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

Yes... I missed yesterday's issue. Tornado, downed trees, no power or internet. It was a good night to have a working flashlight and a pile of books...

MAXI72, Proteus (USA) Declared Overall Winner Of RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy
Photo by RORC / Emma Louise Wyn Jones. Click on image to enlarge.

RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy George Sakellaris' Maxi72, Proteus (USA) has been declared the overall winner of the 2016 RORC Caribbean 600. Whilst several yachts are still racing, by the afternoon of Thursday 25 February the remaining teams will be unable to better Proteus' corrected time under IRC. Sakellaris was awarded the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the best corrected time under the IRC Rating rule.

It is the second time that George Sakellaris has skippered the overall winner, having won the 2014 race with Maxi72, Shockwave. Proteus was also the winner of the highly competitive IRC Zero class featuring four Maxi72s.

Eric De Turkheim's French A13, Teasing Machine finished the RORC Caribbean 600 at 0710 AST on Thursday 25 February in an elapsed time of Two days and 20 hours to provisionally win IRC One and claim third overall for the race. In the eight editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 no other boat under 50ft has made the podium for the overall prize. As Teasing Machine moored stern to at Antigua Yacht Club, the mass of soaking wet offshore clothing on board was testament to a tough race.

The magnificent 213ft schooner, Adix finished the RORC Caribbean 600 at 0703 AST on Thursday 25 February in an elapsed time of 2 days 19 hours 33 minutes 5 seconds to win the Spirit of Tradition Class. Gonzalo Botin's Class40, Tales II finished at 0336 AST, over three hours before Adix. Both yachts are sailed by the same Spanish family and no doubt Gonzalo would have been delighted to win the Spanish duel in a boat that could fit on the stern of the spectacular schooner. Tales II was also the winner of the Class40 division for the third year in a row. The joy of Botin's Tales II team was complete when they crossed the line, breaking their own Class40 record by 11 minutes and 23 seconds to set a new Class40 record of 2 days 16 hours 26 minutes 29 seconds.

RS:X World Windsurfing Championships
Eilat, Israel: In the morning the 15 knots North wind enabled three nice races for the Gold fleets. As scheduled, the races started at 11:00.

The wind weakened when at 13:30 the Silver fleets went out to have their races. The Race Officer tried to start the first race two times, but the wind stopped. After a while all were sent to shore, hoping to be re-called later.

As the wind didn't resume, this day was lost, and no races started for the Silver fleets.

Tomorrow the races will start earlier, at 08:30, starting with the Gold fleets again, assuming that the early start will allow completing three races for all fleets.

Top five Men:
1. Piotr Myszka, POL, 21 points
2. Louis Giard, FRA, 32
3. Shahar Zubari, ISR, 32
4. Pawel Tarnowski, POL, 33
5. Nick Dempsey, GBR, 33

Top five Women
1. Malgorzata Bialecka, POL, 19
2. Lilian de Geus, NED, 20
3. Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, POL, 29
4. Marina Alabau Neira, ESP, 35
5. Bryony Shaw, GBR, 38

Full results:

470 Worlds Day Four
Click on image for photo gallery.

470 Worlds Taking advantage of the morning breeze, the Race Committee got teams off early on race day 4 at the 470 Worlds to complete three races.

In a breeze of around 10-12 knots, the 470 Women kicked off race 5 at 1005 hours, followed by the 470 Men. A long day for all, with around 8 hours spent out on the water.

Birthday girl, Camille Lecointre and crew Helene Defrance (FRA) raced a dream series, 10,1, 6 and continue to hold the overall lead. Another superb day from China's Xiaoli Wang/Lizhu Huang, including a win in race 7 propels them to second overall, with Sydney Bolger/Carly Shevitz (USA) in third.

In the 470 Men, as predicted yesterday, the advantage was initially with Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo (ESP) who came into their own as the only team to count an all top ten scoreline, and bounced up to first overall after race 6. But a 21st and OCS penalty in races 7 and 8 dropped them to 7th by the end. Reclaiming the leader's bibs by the end are New Zealand's Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Wilcox, with Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) in third.

The camelote* plants made a return to the race track in greater numbers. Their appearance is a rare phenomenon due to storms last month. But, as teams recognize, they all face the same challenge.

470 Men: Top five after 8 Races
1. Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Willcox, NZL, 37 points
2. Sime Fantela/Igor Marenic, CRO, 39
3. Mathew Belcher/William Ryan, AUS, 48
4. Sofian Bouvet/Jeremie Mion, FRA, 55
5. Anton Dahlberg/Fredrik Bergstrom, SWE, 56

470 Women - Top five after 7 Races
1. Camille Lecointre/Helene Defrance, FRA, 25
2. Xiaoli Wang/Lizhu Huang, CHN, 28
3. Sydney Bolger/Carly Shevitz, USA, 32
4. Lara Vadlau/Jolanta Ogar, AUT, 36
5. Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie, NZL, 43

* Yes, I had to look this one up as well. From "Eight Months on the Gran Chaco of the Argentine Republic" in Google Books:

...camalote a large polled willow a trailing plant and yet growing higher than a man It is in fens and in very wet ground such as the lowest and entangles itself in such a way that when washed away the great floods it moves in masses like little floating islets.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Preferred By Professionals
Dubarry Crosshaven If you had to invent the most punishing ordeal for offshore sailing footwear - an extreme boot camp perhaps? - then it would be a professional, fully-crewed round the world race: thousands of ocean-bashing, boat-trashing miles around the planet. If there's even the slightest imperfection in boat, man or gear, this race will find it, break it, then tell everyone about it.

For most of us, it's the ultimate contest of man and machine against nature. For Dubarry, it's R&D. After supplying its ever-green Shamrock boot to the professional crew of Ireland's Green Dragon entry in a 2008-09 round the world race, Dubarry's most fanatical designers listened, developed, tested, listened some more, tweaked, analysed and tested again. The result was the Crosshaven boot.

When Green Dragon arrived in Galway at the end of leg 7 for the best party the race has ever seen, elbowing their way through the "craic addicts" was Dubarry's research team, wanting yet more feedback. Their finishing touches sealed the Crosshaven's reputation as the offshore professional's boot of choice. Where's the proof of that? Professional teams chose Crosshaven in the 2011-12 and 2014-15 round the world races.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

Light Wind Forecast at the ACWS Oman
The 2016 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series (ACWS) is ready to kick off in Oman with the first event of the season. Land Rover BAR begin the year in third place, three points behind Oracle Team USA and 13 points behind Emirates Team New Zealand.

The team have been preparing the AC45F over the past few days and today was the first opportunity to get out on the water. A full practice session will follow on Friday, with three races a day on Saturday and Sunday.

All the action - in the UK and Ireland - can be watched live on BT Sport, Saturday's racing beginning at 0930 on BT Sport 2; Sunday's racing is live on BT Sport 1 beginning at 0930. Both BT1 and BT2 Sport will run replays of racing throughout the weekend. Land Rover BAR Sailing Team member, Ed Powys will join Presenter, Hannah White and Ian Walker live in the London studio to provide expert commentary and insight into the racing.

Friday has official practice racing followed by the Opening Ceremony. Racing takes place on Saturday and Sunday - with each race on Sunday counting as double points - beginning at 14:00 local time (GMT+4) each day.

Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Leaderboard after three events:
1. Emirates Team New Zealand 122
3. Land Rover BAR 109
4. Artemis Racing 105
5. SoftBank Team Japan 100
6. Groupama Team France 82

The Cup Arrives In Oman
Click on image to enlarge.

America's Cup The America's Cup trophy officially arrived in Oman Thursday morning ahead of the start of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman.

The 'Auld Mug' traveled to the Sultanate onboard Oman Air and was greeted at the Muscat International Airport by Oman Sail the organisers of this weekend's event.

Following its arrival, the America's Cup trophy was transported to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, for a photoshoot with the sailors.

How To Watch
The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Oman is available to view live on television and on mobile devices internationally via the AC app (subject to territorial restrictions).

A full list of what and where it's restricted here:

Best bet is to get the App although your humble narrator's copy of it crashed rather quickly (on a very new and fully updated iPad Mini) during the Bermuda ACWS. But I will piss away a bit more lucre and get the season pass. For me at least it's a business expense!

From Craig Leweck of Scuttlebutt:
For those in America's Cup fandom hoping for the good old days, not monohulls, but easy access to race viewing, we have some bad news. From all appearances, the only way you are going to watch the races in 2016 is if someone pays for it.

The go-to option in 2015 was the free app for smart phones or tablet, but with a cost of $7.99 per America's Cup World Series event, there was hope - go ahead, admit it - that this experiment in pay-per-view broadcast would be deemed a failure. How could it not be?

Well, while not yet deemed a failure, the service is now being discounted. A season pass for 2016 (six events) is available now for $24.99. A weekend pass for each event is $7.99. The second-screen only option (for territories where rights restrictions preclude live race video coverage) is $3.99 for a weekend pass.

What Else To Watch
Feb 28.16 "World on Water" Oman special we talk to Iain Murray pre LVACWS Oman where the forecast is 2-5 knot winds.David Witt says "What Went Wrong" on Rags 100 in the "Hobart", the Farr 40's wrap and there was "Plenty" of action, The RORC Caribbean 600 started in shorts and T shirts and the first major US race to Cuba. Big news in sailing this week all on the WoW.

February World Sailing Show is available on the the World Saling Youtube Channel.

Learn how to catch a runaway race boat in the Atlantic, get to know the hopeful first disabled sailor to compete in the Vendee Globe, Evi Van Acker's superstitious nature and much more!

Benelux J/111 Series
Scheveningen, The Netherlands)- 2016 will see the start-up for J/111 One-Design Racing in the Benelux region with three events scheduled:

- April 23-24- Van Uden Reco Regatta- Stellendam
- May 13-16- North Sea Regatta- Scheveningen
- August 26-28- Breskens Sailing Weekend- Breskens

The best scoring boat over these three events will win the Benelux Championship. Besides, this all five boats competing (Sweeny, Red Herring, Top Job, Djinn & Lallekonig) will also participate in the J/111 Worlds at Cowes, United Kingdom in the first week of August! In fact, some of those teams will also join in the fun and frolic for the J/Cup in Hamble.

For more J/111 Benelux Class sailing information- Paul Gladdines-

Women's Sailing Cup Italia
Chiavari, Italy: The Blue Project in Italy have launched the Women's Sailing Cup Italia 2016 and they are experiencing a lot of success and positive feed back. Many women teams from all over Italy have answered enthusiastically. They are very keen and proud to sail and support AIRC- a famous cancer research organization in Italy that supports, in particular, women's breast cancer research.

The regatta will be sailed onboard the J/80s in Chiavari from the 18th to 20th of March 2016. The Blue Project is committed to support female sailing, solidarity & research.

US ONE Takes Round 2 of M32 Series Bermuda
Taylor Canfield and his US One crew were victorious last weekend in the second of four events which make up the M32 Series Bermuda. However his nemesis on the World Match Racing Tour, Ian Williams and GAC Pindar, pushed the US Virgin Islander hard for the win, the British skipper winning the lighter day 2 of the regatta.

As winner of the M32 Scandinavia Series last year and with a season's hard experience under his belt, Canfield goes to Fremantle as the favourite, although Williams and the other professional match racers will take heart from the fact that US One didn't have it all their own way in Bermuda last weekend.

Bermuda is a proving to be a perfect warm-weather venue for M32 racing, sailing on the Great Sound, the very same stretch of water that will host the America's Cup next year.

M32 Series Bermuda - Event 2 Final Results
1st: Team US One
2nd: GAC Pindar
3rd: Riptide Racing
4th: Team Convexity
5th: Miss Budwesier
6th: Team Magenta 32
7th: Jarvinen & Lumijarvi Sailing Team

Jean-Pierre Dick Completes His Vendee Qualifier
After setting sail from Cascais 11 days ago, Jean-Pierre Dick finished his solo training aboard his foiler StMichel Virbac yesterday evening. After 3600 miles of solo sailing between the Canaries, Cape Verde, the Azores and Lorient, the skipper from the French Riviera and his boat, StMichel-Virbac are now qualified for both The Transat and the Vendee Globe. On 2nd May, Jean-Pierre will set off at the start of The Transat from Plymouth to New York. Then, he will compete in the new transatlantic race from New York to Vendee, which begins on 29th May. Two transatlantic races allowing him to continue to train for the Vendee Globe.

"I'm beginning to get to know my boat better and judging how to use the right sails. All these details add up and in the end, I have managed to keep up better speeds on my StMichel-Virbac than on my previous boat. Today, I feel more confident. I have sailed in winds going up to 35 knots. StMichel-Virbac accelerates and slows down very quickly too. She slams a lot and these flying IMOCAs feel different. The fact that the boat rises up thanks to the foils puts a lot of pressure on the hull and the sailor!"

'Respect The Water' Rnli Campaign To Reduce Drowning
British and Irish waters are dangerously unpredictable. You might think that adrenaline sports and rough weather pose the greatest threat, but casual, everyday activities around the coast can cause fatalities. In fact, over 200 people accidentally die each year around our coast; the RNLI want to change this.

The charity that saves lives at sea has a goal to halve the number of coastal drownings by 2024. 'Respect the Water' is the RNLI's national drowning prevention campaign and will play a key role in helping them to achieve this. The RNLI still want you to enjoy the water, but they also want you to 'Respect the Water', acknowledge its dangers and never underestimate its power.

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) is one of the first UK harbour authorities to be working jointly with the RNLI on promoting the Respect the Water campaign, and so you may see Respect the Water messages in and around our Harbour Commission sites, on CHC vessels, at Cowes RNLI lifeboat station, in yacht clubs and even local pubs.

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 Brent Isaacson: Broadcasters' priorities are driven by their self interest in viewership. The proposed broadcasting times of the Americas Cup World Series shows that most of the world is getting it live on TV whereas the US only gets a delayed summary broadcast - unless you assume that Americans prefer to watch on a tablet rather than a large screen TV (but why should Americans viewing habits be different from the rest of the world?).

Given this apparent lack of interest by Americans and the fact that the vast majority of yachting innovations reported in Seahorse are from outside the US, one can only conclude that Americans are not interested in fast sailing. This is confirmed by the proposed 12metre series in San Francisco being launched to rapturous US applause as support for slow sailing.

Why is this the case? Does the US constitution say that thou shall not exceed hullspeed?

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