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

Williams The Conqueror
Fremantle, Australia: Reigning World Champion Ian Williams swept aside Hans Wallen 3-0 to win the final of the World Match Racing Tour Fremantle, the opening event of the 2016 World Match Racing Tour season.

Even though the GAC Pindar skipper has won a record six world titles on the Tour in the days of slow keelboats, the level of his domination in high-speed M32 catamarans took even the British skipper by surprise.

Williams was keen to put the praise on his three hard-working crew mates, the engine room of GAC Pindar - Mark Bulkeley, Garth Ellingham and Brad Farrand. "There's always a lot of focus on the skipper, but this really is a team sport. It's pretty obvious which way to point a fast boat like an M32 so my job is relatively easy, it's what the guys do in front of me that really counts." In the Petit Final, the race for 3rd overall, Guichard beat Sehested 2-1.

Williams raised the trophy aloft and accepted a winner's cheque for USD 33,000, his team's share of a USD 200,000 prize purse. Now the game moves on to three other international venues before the big finale this July, the World Championship Finals in Marstrand, Sweden.

WMRT Fremantle 2016 - Final Results

1. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
2. Hans Wallen (SWE) Walleen Racing
3. Yann Guichard (FRA) Spindrift Racing
4. Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing
5. Matt Jerwood (AUS) Redline Racing
6. Murray Jones (AUS) Full Bants Racing
7. Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One
8. Mattias Rahm (SWE) Rahm Racing
9. Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing
10. Evan Walker (AUS) KA Match/ CYCA
11. Steven Thomas (AUS) Royal Perth YC
12. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing
13. Eric Monnin (SUI) Albert Riele Swiss Team
14. Sam Gilmour (AUS) Neptune Racing
15. Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing
16. Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE) Dackhammer Racing
17. Sally Barkow (USA) Team Magenta 32
18. Brett Burvill (AUS) Edge Racing Team NYC
19. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Royal Danish YC
20. Mark Whittington (AUS) South of Perth YC

Milan Vujasinovic Wins Only Race On Finn Europeans Opening Day
Milan Vujasinovic (CRO) is the early leader at the Finn Europeans after wining the opening race in tricky light winds in Barcelona.

The second race was abandoned at the top mark as the wind began to shut down for the day. The morning weather briefing proved to be largely correct when it suggested that an onshore breeze could develop late morning and then disappear towards evening. The fleet were held on shore under AP for an while before being let out of the harbour.

After one general recall the fleet got going with one boat pulled out under the black flag.

The second race also started after one general recall under black flag but it didn't get further than the top mark. Caleb Paine (USA) led into the mark from Karpak and Zach Raley (USA) but before they could get there the race was abandoned as the wind had fallen consistently under five knots. With time and light running out the fleet was sent home.

The Junior World Champion Ondrej Teply (CZE) is leading the Junior Europeans from Facundo Olezza (ARG) and defending Junior European Champion Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS).

Racing continues Tuesday with forecasts of more light winds to come

Top ten after Day 1
1. Milan Vujasinovic, CRO
2. Ioannis Mitakis, GRE
3. Jonas Hogh-Christensen, DEN
4. Zsombor Berecz, HUN
5. Deniss Karpak, EST
6. Nenad Bugarin, CRO
7. Pablo Guitian Sarria, ESP
8. Josh Junior, NZL
9. Ondrej Teply, CZE
10. Tom Ramshaw, CAN

Full results:

Adina's Discovery
North Sails Leaving metropolitan life behind for a time, Tom Partridge and Susie Plume have taken to exploring the world by sea from the comfort of their own home. Their Hylas 46 Adina, that is. Join North Sails as we share the journey through Tom and Susie's reports from Sri Lanka to Cape Town.

There is sure to be variety; from encountering different cultures, to exploring areas of pristine crystal clear waters to open seas, finding local food to keep them fed, sail changes, re-routing, and the many, many discoveries made while living aboard.

Artemis' Bermuda Base Open For Business
Bermuda: Artemis Racing officially declared their new America's Cup base open and fully operational on Friday.

Nearly 500 guests attended the opening ceremony held indoors, including Torbjorn Tornqvist, Artemis Racing team principal, Michael Dunkley, the Premier of Bermuda, local dignitaries, sponsors, local contractors, team members and their families.

Torbjorn Tornqvist was impressed by the short time it took to build the facility located right at the tip of Morgan's Point.

Team Manager Iain Percy is fully aware that it takes far more than having a good base to win.

"We know it's going to be a great training base for us, but you don't win the America's Cup by having a good base, that's very important to stress. That said, it certainly helps and it is going to create an environment, as well as provide the necessary practical facilities, to allow us to win".

The team has been been overwhelmed by the local support received since being on the island, and by the professionalism of the local Bermudian contractors and partners that have made it possible for Artemis Racing to be fully operational so quickly.

MACIF Trimaran Back At Sea
The race against the clock begins for Francois Gabart

After a three-month refit, focusing on optimisation and reliability, the MACIF trimaran returned to her natural element this Friday. Despite difficult weather conditions, the multihull is now moored in the port of Lorient, before being delivered to Port-La-Foret, planned for next week. Francois Gabart must now get down to training before the start of The Transat, his first single-handed race, in early May.

Equipped with a new protective cap and a new port foil, the MACIF trimaran and skipper Francois Gabart are about to take on a new challenge this season - sailing single-handedly. The skipper now has less than two months to prepare and train, to become familiar with the boat again, before the start of The Transat; the first single-handed handed race of the season. This has become the normal configuration, we are reminded by Francois Gabart, skipper of the MACIF trimaran. "Last year, there was little time between the launch of the boat and the Transat Jacques Vabre. Today, we find ourselves in the same situation, since the only race in the year is earlier in the season. So we have very little time to prepare".

MACIF trimaran 2016 programme

23 April: Prologue of The Transat (St Malo)
02 May: Start of The Transat (Plymouth - New York)
End May: Atlantic Record attempt (New York - Lizard Point)
13-19 July: Brest Maritime Festival
September: Mediterranean Record attempt (Marseille -Carthage)

MACIF won the 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre, with Gabart sailing with Pascal Bidegorry.

Seahorse April 2016
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Rating racing boats is very hard; a lack of money will always make it harder. Rob Weiland

Coming for a fleet near you...
French sailmaker Incidence is best known for winning events like the Vendée Globe and the Trophy Jules Verne. That's all about to change

Where to guv'nor?
Why Olympic gold medals no longer automatically translate into a big boat career. Ian Walker

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Eric Twiname Trust at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show
Bruce Aitken and David Cotterell. Click on image to enlarge.

Bruce Aitken The trustees of the Eric Twiname Trust were pleased to have the opportunity of being able to share a display stand at the 2016 RYA Dinghy Show with Yamaha Marine UK and Barnet Marine Centre Limited. This stand featured a new Barnet Marine manufactured 5 metre XS RIB with a 50hp Yamaha 4-stroke outboard and trailer, the latest incarnation of the Trust's on-going commitment to the provision of support RIBS for the RYA recognised youth and junior dinghy sailing classes in the UK.

This thirty second Trust-funded RIB - named "Eric Twiname 32" - was officially handed over at the Dinghy Show to the UK RS Feva Class Association by the Trust's Secretary, Bruce Aitken, and accepted on behalf of the association by its chairman David Cotterell.

Whilst the Trust funds the purchase and insurance of the RIBS, the RYA manages the scheme on the Trust's behalf, all to an agreed programme that caters for regular replacement of the RIBS according to their usage, thereby ensuring that the classes always have a valuable, versatile and dependable training asset.

Bacardi Cup
Coconut Grove, Florida: Today was the first day of the 88th Bacardi Cup. The Bacardi Cup started in Havana Cuba and was moved to Miami in the late 50's. 70 Star teams from 14 countries are entered for the event.

The wind was in from the east at 15-17 knots and all the teams were ready for the noon start. 2.5 hours later, we finally started our 2 hours race. We got back to the dock at 5:00. It was a very long day. Unfortunately for some, it was a short day as a few broke masts and other gear.

Without going into all the details, we had many-several (can't remember) recalled starts, postponements and even half a race that was abandoned after the first lap. I was worn out before the race started.

The starting line for a fleet this big is two lines put together with a large signal boat right in the middle. So adjusting the angle of the line is a three boat operation and takes time to get anchors up etc. No doubt the race committee are worn out too.

The German Team, and past World Champions, Robert Stank and Fritjof Kleen sailed well to take the win. Peter Vessella and Phil Trinter moved from 5th to second as the race progressed and Arthur Anosov with Edward Morey up front got the bronze. Lars Grael and Samuel Conclaves, the current World Champions, were 4th with local Miami hero Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada in 5th.

The forecast is windy all week. Maybe a bit more tomorrow-20 gusting 25. The race committee with send the fleet on reaches on the first lap if it is real windy. They do this to eliminate one dead downwind run which is where most of the masts break. We don't reach much anymore in the Star class so that will be interesting. Could become a habit this week. -- Paul Cayard

10+ Teams To Compete On The 2016 GC32 Racing Tour
At least 10 teams are set to contest the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour, for this, the third season of foil-born racing for the flying GC32 catamarans.

The sizeable fleet includes a mix of keen, enthusiastic amateurs and professionals, a mix of return customers and new faces.

The GC32 Racing Tour welcomes French Volvo Ocean Race winner Franck Cammas and his NORAUTO Racing campaign. While Cammas is new to the GC32 Racing Tour, he is far from new to the GC32. In fact, in preparation for his International C-Class Catamaran Championship victory in 2013, Cammas, along with GC32 designer Martin Fischer, developed an 18ft foiling catamaran, which became the test bed for the GC32.

Cammas will sail with some of the best French multihull sailors and with youth sailors from the Team France Academy, whose goal is to develop sailors who can compete in crewed racing at the highest level internationally.

Also making its debut on the GC32 Racing Tour is Gunvor Sailing, backed by the Geneva-based commodity trading group, who's CEO is Torbjorn Tornqvist. The crew of Gunvor Sailing has yet to be confirmed, but will comprise young Swedish sailors with guest appearances from notable sailors such as London 2012 Olympic 49er gold medallist Nathan Outteridge and Francesco Bruni (Gunvor also supports other youth development programs in Sweden, like ice hockey with AIK Hockey).

At least two more teams have signed up to join the circuit over the course of this season and will be announced shortly.

Teams for 2016:

ARGO - Jason Carroll (USA)
ARMIN STROM Sailing Team - Flavio Marazzi (SUI)
Gunvor Sailing - TBA
NORAUTO Racing - Franck Cammas (FRA)
Realteam - Jerome Clerc (SUI)
Spindrift racing - Yann Guichard (FRA)
Team ENGIE - Sebastien Rogues (FRA)
Team Tilt - Sebastien Schneiter (SUI)
Team Umpirex - Laurent Lenne (FRA)

GBR "'Spinnaker Team" Dominate Athens 2K
Spinnaker, the leading UK team racing team moved back onto central stage with an extraordinary performance in Athens. Racing in the Yacht Club of Greece's superb fleet of Platu 25's in the Saronic Gulf the team led by Skippers Littlejohn and Hebbert swept aside all opposition to take Athens trophy without a single loss.

As racing started it soon became clear that the Greek team led by Stratis Andreadis was going to be the team to beat. Their knowledge of the tricky wind patterns and their sheer boat speed meant that if you did not win the start then you were unlikely to win the race. Royal Cork were to be the first victims of these wind gods.

Spinnaker who had finished 2015 in fourth place behind the Dutch and Italians quickly set a new pace. Tom Hebbert and Sam Littlejohn both skippers in the UK's British America's Cup team soon proved unstoppable.

2K now moves to Italy for the next three events starting in Scarlino in Tuscany in April.

Final standings at Athens:

1. Spinnaker (GBR)
2. Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL)
3. Yacht Club Costa Olanda (NED)
4. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (ITA)
5. Yacht Club Greece (GRE)
6. Team Chaos (GER/NZL)

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record

Record: Indian Ocean Intermediate Record
(Western limit: Cape Agulhas, crossing the meridian 20° E
Eastern limit: The southern point of Tasmania, South East Cape, crossing the meridian 146° 49'.E).
Yacht: IDEC
Name: Francis Joyon FRA and 5 crew
Dates:.5th to the 12th December 2015
Start time: 10; 30; 00 UTC on the 05/12/15
Finish time: 10; 30; 00 UTC on the 12/12/15
Elapsed time: 7 days

Comments: Previous record: 2015. Spindrift 2. Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli 8d 4h 45m

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

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The Last Word
One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die. -- Hunter S. Thompson on Oscar Zeta Acosta

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