Brought to you by Seahorse magazine, Scuttlebutt Europe is a digest of sailing news and opinions, regatta results, new boat and gear information and letters from sailors -- with a European emphasis. Contributions welcome, send to

'A Cone Of Possibilities'
The Volvo Ocean Race finally headed for the 'homeward' stretch after crossing the Equator for the fourth and final time on Tuesday - but there was no room to celebrate with a major decision facing all the boats in the next 24 hours.

The fleet still has a long way to go before the race reaches its climax in the final week of June in Gothenburg, Sweden, having set out on the 38,739-nautical mile (nm), nine-month marathon back in Alicante, Spain, on October 11.

But it has made its farewells to the Southern Hemisphere for the final time in this edition, with all six boats tightly bunched as they entered the north Atlantic with just under 3,000nm still to race in Leg 6 before arriving in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, around May 7.

Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) held a narrow lead of 4.1nm from Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) and MAPFRE (Xabi Fernandez/ESP) with overall race leaders Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) and Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA) still very much in contention (see panel above).

The fleet is heading for an area of light winds before entering what official race meteorologist, Gonzalo Infante (ESP), described as a 'cone of possibilities and decisions'.

Each skipper and his navigator will need to decide whether east or west - or something in between - is the best direction and stick to that course. "It's like arriving at a junction and having a variety of decisions about which road to take," Infante explained.

Foiling World Cup
Close action, engrossing battles, slick commentary, short races, legendary skippers, wild rookies and all starting exact on time. With innovative double trapeze foiling multihulls.

This will be one of the most spectacular sailing styles of the World. It is a new action sport purely powered by wind and water. With a new racing formula for maximum sailing action extremely close to the spectators and media in our sailing arena on a global tour.

The Foiling World Cup with short course racing would be a significant promotion for any city, region, resort locations and sports culture. The event can bring fresh life to the city lakes and port regions. We create a festive atmosphere around our Sailing Arena.

The new full carbon Formula Foiling Multihulls (20 footer) will have a "box rule" to allow innovations and cost control. Every boat builder is welcome to join the race with his design.

Events are planed in Europe, America, Asia, Middle East. One lap around the globe. With the best male and female sailors of the World. Open entry!

It is a new action sport with the new racing rules made by the International Foilracing Association IFA. These rules are special made for highspeed foiling and simular to land- and icesailing rules. But also influenced by F1 Motorsport.

More information at

Henri Lloyd Elite Offshore - Tested By Sailors
Henri Lloyd We put the garments to the test on real sailors in real conditions. Here is what our ambassadors said about the Elite Offshore foul weather garments...

"When it comes to technical and performance wear, Henri Lloyd is at the forefront of innovation and the new Elite Offshore Smock is a great example of their vision.

It's lightweight, soft and really comfortable to wear on the water." Ben Ainslie; Team Principle, Ben Ainslie Racing.

The Lightest, Most Breathable Offshore Gear Ever, Without Compromise:

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Coutts Eyes Boat For Bermuda Sailors
A Bermuda team could compete in the next Red Bull Youth America's Cup.

Sir Russell Coutts, the America's Cup Event Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO, is believed to be keen to see Bermuda among the teams vying for Team New Zealand's title at the next event, which will begin next year with qualifiers, with the final regatta taking place in 2017.

"He wants to help a Bermuda youth team sail in these 45s in the Youth Red Bull Championship during the America's Cup," Alan Burland, who represented Bermuda in the Tornado catamaran at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, said. "What an opportunity for young Bermudians to be coached and trained by some of the best people in the world in the most sophisticated equipment. It's just tremendous."

The inaugural Red Bull Youth America's Cup took place just before the first races of the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco in 2013. The event featured ten national teams comprised of sailors aged 19-23 and was an instant success.

The inaugural Red Bull Youth America's Cup was contested in conventional wing-sail catamarans. However, the next event will see sailors racing in modified foiling versions of the boat. -- Colin Thompson

Life After Luna Rossa
Chris Draper this week is standing in for absentee helmsman Flavio Marazzi on board the ARMIN STROM Sailing Team GC32 at the Marseille Test Event for the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour. Having the opportunity to do this would have been unimaginable just a few weeks ago, but since then Patrizio Bertelli has announced the withdrawal of Luna Rossa from the 35th America's Cup and Draper - along with the former Italian challenger's 80 or so other staff - finds himself now with more time on his hands…

"It was a big shock to us all," admits the British 49er Olympic medallist. "It was obviously very disappointing for all of us, but, understandably, Patrizio was very unhappy about the situation. It was a great shame, because we were in a very good position and we had changed the feeling within Luna Rossa from being a 'competitive' team into a 'winning' team. We were really doing some lovely work and the design team was working fantastically together - you'd regular hear them say 'this is the best design team I've ever worked in'.

Full article for subscribers:

Howth Yacht Club's Lambay Race Spreads Its Historic Net
The 1912-built Ainmara (Dickie Gomes) will be coming south from Strangford Lough for the Lambay Classic on June 6th. She won the race in 1921 when still owned by her designer/builder John B Kearney. Photo by Pete Adams. Click on image to enlarge.

Ainmara Howth Yacht Club's annual Lambay Race has developed over the years into the premier sailing celebration of the coast of Fingal writes W M Nixon. Indeed, there are few places in Ireland which can offer such a beautifully straightforward course of sufficient length to make it something of significance, yet without being unduly long. And the fact that the turning mark of Lambay is an island of such unspoilt natural beauty when so much of the East Coast has been over-developed is a bonus, as is the fact that the course is well clear of all commercial shipping.

It was 1970 when I first sailed the Lambay aboard the late Johnny Pearson's 8 Metre Cruiser/Racer Orana. We must have had a reasonably good race without actually winning, for my abiding memory is of the charm and fascination of the course, and the sense of a large fleet having a good time together in a race well worth sailing.

In those days, the course was simply round Lambay and back to the pierhead line in Howth, though whether you left Lambay to port or starboard would be decided on the day by the Race Officer. But this was a relatively new twist to the event - the traditional Lambay course was through the Sound inside Ireland's Eye, Lambay left to port, then finish back through the Sound.

Since then, the Lambay course seems to have become ever more complex, so in recent years there has been a certain nostalgia for the straightforward circuit of the old days. The earliest records are sketchy, for all we definitely know is that Howth SC member Henry Stokes put up a cup for a race round Lambay in 1899, yet it doesn't seem to have been raced for until maybe 1902, but it certainly was annually raced by 1904.

However, the best account we have of the Lambay Race in the old days is of the race of 1921, and if you happen to have a copy of A Centenary of Sailing, the history of Howth Yacht Club published for the club's hundredth anniversary in 1995, in it you'll find a vivid account of the race of 1921, written by Pat Walsh of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. He came second in the cruiser class in a breezy race, sailing single-handed in his lovely little 1905-built 25ft gaff yawl Sheila, which is still in existence.

WM Nixon in Afloat:

Seahorse June 2015
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
‘Nipper’ Luke Parkinson stars onboard Azzam, Bernard Stamm is back in the saddle, China turns red, yet more multi-tasking from Cammas, Auckland launches raceboats again, Ribes and Altadill on the BWR and lukewarm Cup reactions from the USA. Blue Robinson, Ivor Wilkins, Carlos Pich, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis

All the king’s horses...
James Dadd looks at the challenges of resurrecting Team Vestas Wind and ensuring that the rebuilt VO65 remains in class

Nothing is indestructible
Blue Robinson sits down with Volvo Ocean Race boatyard manager Nick Bice

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Industry News
Lux Inc Media announced today the acquisition of YACHTstyle, the leading yachting lifestyle magazine in the Asia-Pacific region.

Founded in 2007, YACHTstyle magazine is published and distributed on a quarterly basis in Hong Kong and Singapore as well as in key countries across the Asia-Pacific region: Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and China.

YACHTstyle is already a trusted editorial and advertising platform for yachting and boating manufacturers (including Benetti, Ferretti, Royal Huisman, Numarine, Jeanneau and many others), marina and waterfront developers, and well-established Luxury (Rolex) and Lifestyle (Maserati, Macallan etc.) brands alike.


BAR has teamed up with Siemens PLM Software UK, and its professional services partner Majenta PLM, to leverage its product lifecycle management, NX, Teamcenter and Femap software to design, simulate, test and refine the boat's structure and onboard systems before manufacturing it. BAR will have access to any new software updates and Siemens' engineering expertise for at least three years.

According to Claughton, this will offer multiple benefits. "Ideally, we want to spend as long as possible on the design phase to ensure that each component is optimised and that the boat will perform well in a variety of different scenarios before we finalise its structure," he explains. "The beauty of the NX system is that we can quickly go from a paper sketch to a fully functional virtual 3D model that can be extensively fine-tuned and reworked."

Fundamentally, using the NX software will enable BAR to create the basic 3D structure of the boat, capture the dimensions and then link all of the different components using parametric modelling techniques.


Silvers Marine Scottish Series is delighted to announce a new partnership with Crewsaver for this year's event.

Crewsaver is the the safety partner and product sponsor for next month's series, which runs between 22 - 25 May. It will also provide a brand new set of of inflatable marker buoys to be used during the event and afterwards for use at Clyde Cruising Club.

As part of the sponsorship Crewsaver has also teamed up with the local retailers to offer 10% off the recently launched, next generation Crewsaver Fusion 3D lifejacket range.


The village of Key Biscayne in Florida filed a lawsuit against the National Marine Manufacturers Association over plans to hold the Miami International Boat Show at the Miami Marine Stadium in 2016.

In the most recent turn in plans to move the show while the Miami Beach Convention Center undergoes renovations, village officials filed a complaint last Wednesday in Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County, saying the NMMA has refused to share public plans and records with the village.

The complaint is asking the court to void an agreement between the city of Miami and the NMMA to hold the upcoming boat show at the venue.

The path to moving the event has been fraught with complications and detours, with the original deal crumbling in November following a public announcement with Friends of Miami Marine Stadium spokeswoman Gloria Estafan.


The major redevelopment project for the Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Royal Air Force Yacht Club on the River Hamble, has reached a major milestone, with club members' vessels being welcomed on to the new pontoons in time for the 2015 Easter weekend.

The £2.6m project has been led throughout by UK based specialist Marina Consultancy, Marina Projects Limited, who initially acted for the Royal Southern Yacht Club in developing concept proposals to make better use of the water space, whilst at the same time addressing the requirements for the replacement of an aged and failing quay wall.


The Beneteau Group is reporting an 18.2 percent gain in boat sales for the first half of its fiscal year, up from about $230 million between September 2013 and February 2014 to $272.6 million in the same time period through February this year.

Billing for the first half of 2014-15 represented 251.3 million euros ($273 million). Revenue for the second quarter came to 156.4 million euros, or about $169.56 million, the company said.

Excluding the 38.1 million euros ($41.34 million) contributed by Rec Boat Holdings brands - Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft and Scarab - during the half-year period the boat business recorded 0.3 percent growth.

The company said currency trends during the half-year period had a positive impact on Boat Division sales for 3.9 million euros ($4.23 million).


Safety and Survival Systems International Ltd (3Si) has appointed former Henri Lloyd director, David Peach, to group business development manager.

Having spent 14 years as international market director for Henri Lloyd, Mr Peach brings with him vast experience in the marine sector.

3Si has been ramping up the acquisition of British safety firms of late in order to grow its portfolio and make itself somewhat of a safety super group.

In March, it acquired International Safety Products Ltd (ISP), a leading safety manufacturer and supplier.

The acquisition of ISP has made 3Si one of the world's leading lifejacket providers and safety product suppliers.

Both companies have now joined Ocean Safety, Typhoon International, Revere Survival Inc. in 3Si's growing business portfolio.


Veteran sailmaker Steve Haarstick is retiring. Your humble narrator had the great pleasure spending time and doing business with Steve, as my sailing school and marina was just down the road from his home on Cayuga Lake.

From an email sent to Haarstick customers and friends:

I am especially grateful for the efforts of so many employees, past and present that have contributed to the many innovations in sailmaking that were developed at our loft. From our early computer design programs in 1968, to the world's first computer cut (Laser) sails in 1974, our custom Computer cut spinnakers in 1975, our still unique "Impact Flutter" testing program from the late 70's, to our "Quilt-Cut" sails in 1978, and the many other improvements and innovations that we have developed over the years.

I am proud of the fact that we have always developed our loft solely on the efforts of many hard working, really smart people that have been part of Haarstick Sailmakers. I am most grateful for all the employees, past and present that have made my life quest possible.

But after I had some health problems last year, and actually turned 73 this past January, I realized that a continuity plan was necessary if this loft would have a secure future and be able to provide the same excellent sails and service if and when I retire. Well, retirement time has come! I am very pleased to announce that a very capable sailor, Kris Werner has agreed to purchase my loft which he will transition to Quantum Sails Rochester.

Thank you all for allowing me to spend all my working years doing what I have loved!

Steve Haarstick

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The Last Word
I never learned from a man who agreed with me. -- Robert A. Heinlein

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