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

Lisbon Lights Up For Flying Dutchmen
Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) completed a triumphant Leg 7 early on Wednesday to bolster their hopes of finishing with a podium place in the Volvo Ocean Race and also keep alive the possibility of overall victory.

The Dutch boat sailed a near faultless transatlantic stage, edging MAPFRE (Iker Martinez/ESP) into second, just under 22 minutes behind.

If Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing finish fifth that could open the door again for Team Brunel, currently third overall, who would move within six points of the Emirati boat.

Few sailors in the fleet will savour a win over one of the race's trademark legs more than Team Brunel's 51-year-old skipper, Bouwe Bekking, in his record-equalling seventh appearance.

Mission Accomplished!
Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS) was restored to the Volvo Ocean Race fleet on Wednesday, nearly six months to the day when the boat ran aground, setting off a story of team-work, determination and sheer hard work to return the crew to the start line in Lisbon

Many experienced observers of the 41-year-old race had feared there was no way back for the Danish team in the race's 12th edition when the Vestas Wind ran aground on the Cargados Carajos shoals in the Indian Ocean during Leg 2 on November 29.

But the doubters would have underestimated the combined efforts of an expert team assembled by Vestas and race organisers, who have managed to rebuild the shattered Volvo Ocean 65 boat to the strict one-design demands of the race in four months - half the time it would normally take to build the boat.

The bulk of the work has been carried out by the Persico Marine boatyard in Bergamo, Italy.

Henri Lloyd Elite - Winner Of Yachts &Yachting Award
Henri Lloyd was the proud winner of the Yachts & Yachting Award for kit innovation for 2014, the award was voted for by the public and presented to Henri Lloyd at the 2015 London Boat Show.

"We all know as sailors how important it is to have good clothing, and it's great to see so much innovation in this category, both in terms of materials and design.

The overall winner in this category was Henri Lloyd's Elite offshore kit. Designed to reduce weight by up to 30 percent with a new material developed in conjunction with Goretex, this ultra lightweight and breathable range delivers an extra edge for offshore racers." - Georgie Corlett-Pitt. Editor - Yachts & Yachting Magazine.

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

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Louis Vuitton Strengthens Ties With The America's Cup
Photo by Koto Bolofo / Louis Vuitton Malletier. Click on image to enlarge.

Louis Vuitton is renewing its commitment to the America's Cup by becoming the title partner of the America's Cup World Series, the America's Cup Qualifiers and Challenger Playoffs as well as the presenting partner of the 35th America's Cup Match.

"Since 1983, Louis Vuitton has continued to play a major role in the America's Cup, but this agreement is the widest-ranging yet," said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the America's Cup. "Over time we have built a partnership that is quite unique in sports in terms of its longevity and our relationship is strengthened by more than 30 years of shared history. But now is the right time to take a major step forward. Under this agreement, Louis Vuitton is extending its involvement throughout the entire event."

Louis Vuitton will assume a prominent role in all aspects of the event, ashore, on the water, in international television broadcasts and on online platforms.

The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series begins in Portsmouth, UK, from July 23rd to 26th 2015.

The Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers and Playoffs and the America's Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton will take place in Bermuda in June 2017.

Menorca Maxi Regatta
The second edition of the Menorca Maxi Regatta begins today with the Opening Ceremony and the skippers briefing. High seas and strong wind had not permitted the practice race

Four full days of racing in the turquoise waters of Menorca with four Windward/Leeward and two coastal races.

From 27th-31st May the 12 Wallys and 5 Maxi 72s will battle it out on the turquoise waters of Menorca over four Windward/Leeward and two coastal races. World-class sailors, many with America's Cup and round-the-world backgrounds, will be participating in the Regatta, a compulsory event for the Super-Yacht Season.

The Port of Mahon, the second largest natural-port in Europe, is ready to provide a big show from tomorrow with two regattas scheduled from 12.30 hrs.

The big spectacle is on the water with the tight battle of the 12 Wallys from the start line, with the compulsory steering of owners to the finish.

Five Maxi 72s will participate in Menorca; Dieter Schon`s Momo and Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou are back to battle it out again, but won´t be taking their eyes off their competition with teams such as Alexader Shaerer's Caol Ila R, the powerful Robertissima III and Schockwave.

Big Interest In New San Francisco America's Cup Style Series
The new San Francisco Yacht Racing Cup, to be sailed in 'Super 12s" has attracted interest from 20 teams from 12 countries.

The new regatta will be the richest in the sport, carrying a total prizemoney of $500,000, with $300,000 going to the winner, $150,000 to second and $50,000 to the third placegetter.

The inaugural event will start in July 2017 - just after the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda.

SFYRC is the brainchild of Golden Gate Yacht Club Vice-Commodore, Tom Ehman. The event has been renamed from Golden Gate Yacht Racing Cup to the San Francisco Yacht Racing Cup out of deference to the wider involvement of the clubs surrounding San Francisco Bay.

\The new Cup will be sailed in a class called the 'Super 12s', a reference to the 12-Metre class used for the America's Cup from 1958 to 1987.

The new boat will be updated - retaining the classic looks of the 12 Metre above the waterline, but being a contemporary design below the waterline. The rig is expected to be a classic sloop of the 12 Metre era - but with carbon spars, and conventional sails, utilising contemporary technology and materials. -- Richard Gladwell, NZ

What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Sweet 16
Jocelyn Bleriot talks to Sebastien Josse and Antoine Koch about two new oceanic racers now in the pipeline for Gitana Team

More or less?
Rob Weiland looks at the strides made in the TP52 class and at the line-up for the Super Series

Seahorse build table - (More) style and performance
Giovanni Ceccarelli is working on a follow-up to his highly successful NEO 350

ISAF column
Reaping the rewards on a worldwide scale Nazli Imre

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Triple Bullets For The Dutch 49er FX Team
Annemieke Bekkering and Annette Duetz turned on the afterburners of their 49er FX skiff to take three wins from three races on the second day of Delta Lloyd Regatta in Holland.

After a blustery opening day for the 707 boats from 74 nations competing in Medemblik, the sun came out to play, and the breeze was slightly softer although still wildly variable in strength and direction.

Six races completed in the women's RS-X windsurfers, and the rising star from the Netherlands - Lilian de Geus - has won three of them. However, in the overall standings she's still only a point ahead of two Polish sailors, Maja Dziarnowska and Zofia Noceti-Klepacka.

Continuing the theme of 'threes', Sweden's Fritiof Hedstrom and Niclas During have surprised many of their more experienced rivals by winning three of their qualifying heats in the men's 49er, displacing the previous overnight leaders from the top of the scoreboard, New Zealand's Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski.

The Swedes hold a big lead at the top of the men's 470, and the same is true for Great Britain's 470 crew, Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre, who scored 2,1 to lead by 12 points.

In the Nacra 17 catamaran, Denmark's Olympic bronze medallist Alan Norregaard and Anette Viborg are the new leaders, thanks in part to a rare mistake by World No.1s from France, Billy Besson and Marie Riou, who were disqualified for crossing the start line too early in race 6.

Tomorrow the breeze looks set to blow hard, and quite possibly for the rest of the week. It's what Delta Lloyd Regatta is famous for, some hard and fast racing on the choppy waters of the IJselmeer.

Pensacola A La Habana 2015
The Pensacola Yacht Club gives preliminary notice of an offshore rally and race from Pensacola, Florida in October, 2015 to the Hemingway International Yacht Club near Havana, Cuba. The rally and race is intended for experienced sailors and seaworthy cruising sailboats.

The rally and race will be conducted consistent with the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2013-2016 including US Sailing Prescriptions, the GYA-PHRF prescriptions, and with the Notice of Race & Sailing Instructions to be distributed at later date. The start for the Cuba rally race will be October 31st, 2015.

The race management will be biased towards cruiser sailboats with the objective of doing an initial "trial balloon" race to Cuba to consider the feasibility of a recurring series, encouraging cruiser type sailboat participation, and controlling participant costs.

All participants in the race will require licensing from the Department of Commerce; and, instructions will be provided to entrants. The anticipated time frame for issuance of individual licenses is thirty to 45 days; and, individual applications should be made as soon as practical.

If you are interested, plan on it and let us know. Additional information, including a notice of rally and race, will be distributed in the next 45 days. Feel free to contact Bob Kriegel or Dave Oerting, PYC Fleet Captain with any questions or comments. -- Talbot Wilson

The Stars Are Fading At Erith
If you have been around Dinghies over the past 90 years there is a possibility you will have heard of the Hamble Star?

They are a 14ft x 5ft Carvel built sailing dinghy with a Gunter rig which, for the last 60 or so years were used as the main introduction to sailing at the Erith Yacht Club who are located on the lower Thames at Erith.

There are now 14 of these Stars at Erith two of which are privately owned all of the others are part of the Star Class Association they rent the boats out on a long or short term basis so as to enable new or old members have the facility to sail. The ONLY proviso is they maintain their Stars.

The boats have a long and chequered history but alas time has run out for them at Erith !!! Although they are sailed there occasionally on River Thames at Erith as well trailed and sailed at various locations on the East Coast they are now excess to requirement as a training fleet and are being offered for sale to members at Erith Yacht Club who wish to own and preserve these vintage boats.

As we do not expect them all to be sold and kept at Erith the remainder are to be offered for sale on the open market at a minimal price OR consideration will be given to any group, in particular Cadet group, Scouts, Guides or any Club with a group of youngsters who would like the entire remaining fleet as a gift from the Michael Robinson Sailing Trust.

Should anyone be interested in further information or groups looking for a fleet then please contact Secretary. Star Class Association, Erith Yacht Club, Anchor Bay, Manor Road, ERITH Kent DA8 2AD OR come and see the boats either in action at the Club on Sunday 7th June 2014. or any weekend by arrangement.

ALL of the Stars are fully rigged with fairly new sails and rigging and in most cases brand new never used buoyancy. boat covers oars .All have there own launch trolley but not a road trailer.

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 Glenn T. McCarthy: You've seen the stories on Guanabara Bay, not just through me, but through the AP, UPI, Reuters, BBC and others. The media is having a field day with this story and the impression it is leaving on non-sailors is disgust. And just how do we attract more people to sailing when the media blitz is working against us?

How Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics Is Now, and is Planning Forever, to Produce a Bad Image for Sailing

* From David Evans: re: Daniel Charles' letter:

Daniel sums it up perfectly and I agree 100% with him, as do everyone I speak with.

So its down to us we must make increased efforts to pass on our love for sailing/ boats and boating before its too late!

* From Malcolm McKeag: Daniel Charles raises a most interesting point and question. All this talk of declining participation and the need to do something about it: is it actually about only a tiny part of our vast and wonderful pastime? Indeed, is it about only a tiny part of our vast and wonderful pastime in only a part (the USA) of our world? Certainly I see no evidence of it at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club in Hampshire, England where on a Wednesday afternoon the club forecourt and the river it abuts are thronged with youngsters from all the local schools (be they the children of members or not - it is a long-standing and much enjoyed Community Initiative) learning for themselves the joy of being afloat and learning from others (who are members - almost as many volunteers, at times it seems, as there are children) how to tie bends and hitches - and untie knots - how to row, how to sail, how to avoid getting run down by the ferry every half-hour and how to avoid drowning themselves. And to judge by the noise level these young recruits are enjoying themselves.

And I see no evidence, either in the club in question or in the wider if limited world that my failing eyesight and shrinking horizon these days encompasses of any serious diminution of the pastime that Daniel says ' was fun, and charming, and fascinating, and much nobler than a reassurance that you are better than the next guy.' Just try finding a quiet and empty anchorage.

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The Last Word
All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out. -- I. F. Stone

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