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 Glorious Comeback
Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) edged overall Volvo Ocean Race leaders Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) by just three minutes and 25 seconds to win Leg 6 to Newport after an enthralling duel over the past 24 hours.

The result cuts the Emirati boat's lead over the Chinese-backed challengers to six points and marks a fantastic comeback for Caudrelier and his crew after they were forced to pull out of the previous leg to Itajai because of a broken mast.

The French skipper paid tribute to his shore crew who managed to fit a new rig in under a week in Brazil and prepare the boat for the 5,010-nautical mile (nm), ultra-competitive next stage through the Atlantic.

Dutch challengers Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) finished just over 55 minutes after Dongfeng to claim the final podium spot following yet another closely-fought leg.

Photo by Rick Tomlinson / Team SCA. Click on image to enlarge. Team SCA

* What might have been

Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) rounded off Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race on Thursday on a perfect, sun-bathed Newport morning with their heads held high, but a burning sense of what might have been.

For so long in the 5,010-nautical mile (nm) leg to the American sailing capital of Newport, from Itajaí, Brazil, the all-women's crew were right in the mix in the fight for supremacy.

But in the final four days of a 17-day stage, they conceded nautical mile after nautical mile to their rivals and ended up finishing sixth again, nearly 12 hours adrift of leg winners Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA).

There were plenty of reasons for the gap including the masses of sargasso weed encountered en route that infuriatingly clogged up their keel and slowed their progress at the beginning of the week.

But, once again, it was simply a lack of pure offshore experience that primarily proved the difference against the world-class male sailors they are competing against.

Leg Six Standings

1. Dong Feng Racing Team - Finished - 17d 09h 03m 00s
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - Finished - 17d 09h 06m 25s
3. Team Brunel - Finished - 17d 09h 56m 40s
4. MAPFRE - Finished - 17d 10h 34m 25s
5. Team Alvimedica - Finished - 17d 14h 24m 01s
6. Team SCA - Finished - 17d 20h 59m 08s
7. Team Vestas Wind - Did not start

2018 Golden Globe Race: Suhaili At The Start
Sir Robin and Suhaili will be star guests at the start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race from Falmouth, Cornwall on June 14, the same day 50 years on from when Robin set out on his record setting odyssey.

The 2018 Golden Globe Race was announced on April 22, and already 26 solo sailors have made a commitment to enter. Hundreds more from just about every continent bar Antarctica have asked for information.

"The idea of a solo race that returns to the golden era of sailing has obviously hit a cord," says Don McIntyre, the Australian race founder, As a result, entry has been extended from 20 to 30 competing yachts. Competitors will race standard 32-36ft long-keeled production yachts designed prior to 1988, and carry only the equipment that was available to Sir Robin back in 1968 - nothing more than HF and VHF radios, a sextant and a barometer - to sail 30,000 miles around the globe non-stop and unassisted.

The Race will take around 300 days. For details go to

Practice With The Pros!
North Sails North Sails is excited to be growing their North U. Regatta Services in Europe in 2015 at the North Sails Trim Cup in Lomma Bay, Sweden.

Kicking off the season our team will be offering expert advice during and after racing, which includes on water coaching followed by a debrief and photo / video analysis from our experienced professionals.

If you're racing at the Trim Cup, come join us for a free coaching clinic!

To reserve your space please contact:

For more information on the North Sails Trim Cup

North U. Regatta Services has been growing over the last two years at regattas in the United States and will be at the BIC International Regatta The IRC Event (RYSR) in Cowes, UK (July 23-31). For information on that event see

New Events Added To World Match Racing Tour
The World Match Racing Tour has added two new events to its 2015/16 world championship schedule. 'The Sails of White Nights' held in St Petersburg, Russia and the Internationaux de France in Pornichet, France both join the professional sailing series as World Tour Events. The 2015/16 Tour now features 19 events including 7 World Championship and 12 World Tour events under the new Tour format announced earlier this year.

Founded in 2006, 'The Sails of White Nights' (3-7 June 2015) is staged in the iconic City of St Petersburg with racing held on the Neva River directly in front of the world famous Winter Palace (The Hermitage). The venue offers a stadium atmosphere for spectators and VIP guests to watch the action close to the shore. This year, the event will also represent the 2015 EUROSAF Open Match Racing European Championship.

Also joining the 2015/16 Tour is the 'Internationaux de France' (29 July - 1 August), one of the long term 'go to' match racing events in Western Europe since 2002. Raced in Pornichet near Nantes in West France, the event will see twelve teams slug it out in July for World Championship points and the winner will become the French Match Racing champion. The event is supported by the cities of Nantes and Pornichet as well as Pays de la Loire region

Loick Peyron Says Changes To Boat Sizes Have Been 'Brutal'
A yacht racing and design guru has described the America's Cup changes as "brutal" and wondered if the radical revamp has gone "too far".

"It has been a bit brutal, although we were kind of expecting it. We had done a lot of work on our 62' which will, hopefully, not be useless. Under the leadership of Iain Percy, we were working on our systems, in order to manage our appendages and our wing, and we'll keep doing this, just at a smaller scale."

Peyron said the changes meant the America's Cup had lost the "big sailing team" aspect that set it apart in the sport.

"All you need now is a helmsman, a wing-trimmer and a group of hamsters to pump your hydraulics ... maybe it's gone a bit too far: too much muscle and not enough brain, we'll see. But luckily for the white hairs, this game, like many others, needs experience," he said.

Record Fleet For World Cruising Club's Spring Rallies
A bumper fleet of over 50 boats from 20 different countries will take part in World Cruising Club's Spring rallies - ARC Europe and ARC USA - set to depart on Saturday 9th May from Nanny Cay, Tortola.

Venturing west to east across the Atlantic, more than forty boats will sail with ARC Europe this year; thirty leaving from Nanny Cay, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, and six from Portsmouth, Virginia, USA for the first stage of the rally, a passage to Bermuda where a further seven yachts will join. ARC USA sailors starting from Tortola include seven yachts headed for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, whilst sixteen boats sail alongside the ARC Europe fleet to Bermuda then onwards to ports along the US Eastern seaboard.

Of the boats joining ARC Europe 2015, eleven are sailing in a WCC rally for the first time. For some the rally is a convivial way to start a European adventure and for others, an end to a Caribbean season or circumnavigation

Sail Racing Donates To Mange Olsson Memorial Fund
Mange Olsson Mange Olsson Memorial Fund was established in May 2013, in memory of the sailing legend Magnus "Mange" Olsson who passed away in a stroke in Lanzarote 20th of April 2013.

Magnus loved sailing and the Magnus Olsson Memorial Fund was established by his family and friends to encourage and support youth individuals and organizations who work to achieve or promote success at the highest level of sailing - preferably with Magnus 'inimitable spirit and enthusiasm. The ambition is for the fund to continue to grow and many of Magnus' friends, and the businesses he came into contact with during his sailing career, have committed their support, Sailracing being one of them.

The Mange Olsson Prize is presented annually by the Fund to a leading person, organization or project, which has achieved the highest international levels in the sport.

The Mange Olsson Prize 2014 was awarded to Torben Grael from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. In addition scholarships are awarded annually to young Swedish sailors. Scholarship recipients will also have the opportunity to receive some mentoring support for a year, from the recipient of the Magnus Olsson Prize.

Magnus was a great sailor, a good friend and an important member of the Sail Racing Test Team during many years. Sail Racing donate 10% of our revenues from the collection SAIL RACING SWE to the Mange Olsson Memorial Fund.

More info at

The Story Of A Caribbean Tradition
There is a small group of islands in the Lesser Antilles where the traditions of boatbuilding were once crucial to the survival of local communities skimming a living from the sea. Hundreds of sailing vessels were once launched here, more than anywhere in the West Indies.

Today there is no more trading by sail, and these skills have vanished elsewhere in the region.

The film "Vanishing Sail" represents over fifteen years of research and documenting the art form of wooden boatbuilding in the Eastern Caribbean.

The Premiere of the movie "Vanishing Sail" - what a night! West Indies sloops & schooners from up and down the islands gathered on the dock for the 20th anniversary St. Barth Film Festival.

By nightfall the crowd swelled to 350 + people, a brief intro and the music of the sea began. The dock became wrapped in silence, only the creaking of mooring lines, the vessels all swaying together lit by the moon, all feeling the story as one.

Very powerful indeed to finally see our film come alive on a huge screen with such a wonderful audience followed by a standing ovation.

The film will be screened at selected Film Festivals during this summer & fall prior to a general release.


Spreading The Word
Vismara Advanced technologies move into the fast cruising market - and at affordable prices

Mark Mills Yacht Design has put immense effort into optimising the naval architecture of both the new Vismara 62 SuperNikka and the forthcoming Vismara 56 (at right). Working alongside the Spanish specialists at KND Sailing Performance, Mills made extensive use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) while Hernan Salerno took the lead with the structural calculations (something he has done for many years at Vismara). Last but not least, Lucio Micheletti, who previously worked for both ourselves and the Italian shipyard Solaris, is now in charge of developing the interior design of the Vismara 56 along with other new custom projects.

Vismara recently invested heavily in engineering and design tools to support the launch of two more prêt-a-porter designs: the Vismara V62 and Vismara V50. The first Vismara V50 launches in July and hull number 2 will launch before the end of this year. Shortly afterwards, Vismara V62 hull number 1 - a fast cruising creation all in advanced composite materials that is descended from the custom SuperNikka - will launch at the beginning of 2016.

SuperNikka is an aggressive 62ft IRC racer-cruiser that showcases the performance solutions developed by Vismara: a carbon high-performance dual-purpose design with an efficient lifting keel, plus removable bow thruster and dinghy stowage door allowing her to change modes quickly and easily.

From Seahorse magazine:

New Sonar Imagery of Wreck of RMS Lusitania
Click on image to enlarge.

Lusitania Ireland's Minister of State with responsibility for Natural Resources at the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Joe McHugh T.D., and Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D, today welcomed the publication of new state-of-the-art sonar imagery of the RMS Lusitania. Members of the INFOMAR (INtegrated Mapping FOr the Sustainable Development of Ireland's MARine Resource) team from the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and the National Monuments Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have recently produced and assessed this brand new sonar imagery of the wreck of the RMS Lusitania.

The current condition of the RMS Lusitania on the seafloor, 100-years after its sinking on May 7th 1915, is revealed in greater detail than ever before. The imagery provides a sense of the scale and history of the site, a tangible connection to the wreck and to the dramatic and tragic events that surrounded its sinking. The 240m long vessel is clearly defined on the sea floor, lying on its starboard side and standing over 14m high above the seabed.

Cheeki Rafiki: Safety Lessons
The RYA welcomes the conclusion of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) investigation into the loss of the yacht Cheeki Rafiki and her four crew whilst on passage from Antigua to the UK in May 2014.

It is thought that past groundings and ensuing repairs to the keel and matrix may have weakened the yacht's structure where the keel joined the hull. The deterioration of one or more keel bolts is also possible. A loss of structural integrity may have enabled movement of the keel which was made worse by the deteriorating sea conditions.

There are opportunities to highlight important safety messages following the tragic loss of Cheeki Rafiki and the MAIB has highlighted a number of key points:

- After all groundings there should be an inspection for possible damage by a suitably competent person

- Be aware of the danger of keel detachment and have procedures in place to reduce the risk - particularly with vessels of bonded matrix construction

- Ocean passages require comprehensive risk assessment and contingency planning

- Due to the SAR limitations presented by ocean passages consideration needs to be given as to how the alarm will be raised

- When on a long passage consideration needs to be given to the location of the liferaft to ensure it is available for use in the event of a catastrophic event

MAIB website

Zones Prepare for RYA Eric Twiname Championships
Young sailors are preparing for the annual 'Battle of the Zones' with the 29th RYA Eric Twiname Championships set for Rutland Water Sailing Club over the weekend (9-10 May).

The RYA Eric Twiname Championships is one of the premier events on the Youth racing calendar. Over 275 sailors have been invited to race in three dinghy classes, Optimist, Topper and RS Feva, as well as four windsurfing classes (4.5, 5.8, Techno 6.8 and Techno 7.8) from the six English Zones, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The defending Eric Twiname Shield champions, RYA South East Zone, were triumphant over a windy weekend in 2014 and will be back to try and see off their rival Zones. Once again the event could be blustery with the forecast showing a low pressure set to descend on Rutland Water over the weekend. The UK will celebrate Victory in Europe, 70 years since the end of World War II, on Saturday 9 May and the RYA plans to celebrate and educate sailors at the Eric Twiname Championships. Everyone will be given a mini Union Jack flag as well as a streamer to fly from the top of their mast on the water. Rutland Water Sailing Club will also be decorated with Union Jacks and other merchandise for a street party BBQ on Saturday evening.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Adrian Morgan: " All you need now is a helmsman, a wing-trimmer and a group of hamsters to pump your hydraulics..." no hoists, jibing with huge spinnakers, headsail trimming, sail changes, frantic crew activity, up pole, down pole, bowmen, mast men, spectacle. Lost skills. All the best ACC sailors are now aboard J Class. Loick Peyron. Enough said.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2008 X-50 - REBEL. Located in Malta.

Sparkling example of the X-50, a competent cruising yacht and also a good IRC contender, a true master of all trades.


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

See the collection at

The Last Word
Most seem to think that while a person may not be responsible for the opportunities he gets in life, each is entirely responsible for what he makes of these opportunities. -- Sam Harris

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