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

Postma Finally Clinches Major Finn Title With European Championship Win
Pieter-Jan Postma. Photo by Robert Deaves. Click on image to enlarge.

Pieter-Jan Postma Something different happened today in Barcelona. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) managed to maintain his overnight lead and win the 2016 Finn European Championship. Probably the most popular person in the fleet, if not in the sport of sailing, this is an extremely popular win in the class and one that is long overdue.

He held it together in the stressful medal race to take home the gold. There were great performances and results also for Zsombor Berecz (HUN) who took the silver, and Milan Vujasinovic (CRO) who won the bronze. The final day's racing was a fitting end to a testing week in Barcelona.

Postma has never managed to convert a strong position into a major championship win. He has now overcome that at just the right time as he heads into Rio with the European title around his neck.

On his success and failures, "There have been some upsets. In the last Olympics I had a medal in my hands and I let it go. But it's a process of experience and more and more experience counts. But this is big one for me I am really happy with this."

Final results (medal race in brackets)
1. Pieter-Jan Postma, NED 38 (6)
2. Zsombor Berecz, HUN, 46 (2)
3. Milan Vujasinovic, CRO, 47 (5)
4. Josh Junior, NZL, 66 (4)
5. Ben Cornish, GBR, 73 (9)
6. Vasilij Zbogar, SLO, 76 (1)
7. Jorge Zarif, BRA, 88 (3)
8. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, CRO, 95 (8)
9. Ioannis Mitakis, GRE, 97 (10)
10. Tom Ramshaw, CAN, 99 (7)

Full results:

89th Bacardi Cup
Another perfect day for sailing today on Biscayne Bay with 12 knots of wind to from the southeast and sunshine.

The final race was for all the marbles. Robert Stanjeck with Fritjof Kleen (GER) up front and Diego Negri with Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) were tied and no one else could beat either of them. Augie Diaz was in third and I woke up to find out I was in fifth place after going to bed in fourth place.

Last night, the Jury had awarded Torben Greal redress after he was hit by a give way boat in race 5. He was in 10th place at the time and the jury awarded him 4th place for the race. It was a bit hard to comprehend. Anyway, we beat him today so that wasn't an issue for us.

After our customary one general recall, the race committee put up the Black Flag. The Germans shot off the line and were never headed. The led wire to wire. The Italian's were in the top four at the first mark and worked their way up to second by the end of the race. Brian and I tried a loser rig today and it wasn't good. We had mediocre speed upwind and were in 20th after the first lap of the race. We hit a nice shift on the right side up the second beat to round the top mark the second time around 12th. By the end of the race we had moved up to 10h with Torben and Guilherme in 13th. Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada finished 6th in todays race so the remained comfortable in third for the series.

Final top ten:
1. Robert Stanjek / Frithjof Kleen, GER, 8 points
2. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi, ITA, 9
3. Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada, USA, 20
4. Paul Cayard / Brian Fatih, USA, 26
5. Torben Grael / Guilherme Almeida, BRA, 30
6. Brad Funk / Mark Strube, USA, 31
7. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter , USA, 35
8. Brian Ledbetter / Josh Revkin, USA, 42
9. George Szabo / Isao Toyama, USA, 45
10. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise, USA, 47

Full results on

Hear From Top Superyacht And America's Cup Sail Designer Burns Fallow
Burns Fallow New Zealander Burns Fallow has been at the cutting edge of sailmaking technology for more than 25 years, fundamentally changing the sport through engineering and working closely with customers at all levels.

With the ACWS in full swing and the superyacht season heating up, North Sails chats to him about his unparalleled experience in the America's Cup, superyachts, and what he's excited about for 2016...

Clipper Round The World
A British sailor competing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race was taken to land after suffering a fall during a violent storm that hurled 90-knot winds and huge waves at the 12 yachts taking part.

Trudi Bubb, 50, from Crawley in Sussex, was injured when the Unicef team yacht plunged off a wave during extreme weather in the Yellow Sea last Wednesday night. Bubb fell while below decks in the galley, according to race representatives.

Unicef relief Skipper Paul Atwood recounted the on board conditions in his blog: "Slamming, driving rain, the steady 50-60 knots breeze peaking at a gust of 92 knots, the air full of horizontal spray, waves filling the cockpit ..."

The Unicef yacht was more than 120 nautical miles south-east of Shanghai when the incident occurred

* Clipper Round the World Yacht Race arrives in Qingdao, China to rapturous welcome

Today, China's Sailing City of Qingdao put on a spectacular display for the arrivals of the first four of twelve teams taking part in the world-famous Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Winner Derry~Londonderry~Doire was first to sail through the Olympic Rings and Torch, a reminder of the city's role in the 2008 Beijing Games, with fireworks heralding their arrival into the marina. The winners were followed by teams Garmin and LMAX Exchange to complete the podium wins.

The Sailing City - Qingdao Cup promised to be a rough ride in tough upwind conditions and the final days in particular the Yellow Sea lived up to the billing, as the fleet was hit by a stronger than forecasted storm which brought violent wind gusts of 80 knots. More than 220 international sailors set sail from Da Nang, Vietnam two weeks ago to race the 1700 nautical mile course have battled against the adverse weather conditions and plummeting temperatures in what has been described as the toughest race of the 14 race series yet.

The fleet will enjoy the warm hospitality of Qingdao before setting sail for Race 9 across the North Pacific to Seattle, USA on Sunday 20 March.

Seahorse Andy Rice talks design with the M32 team as production gets (seriously) ramped up for 2016

Russell Coutts' decision to take the America's Cup away from its roots in traditional monohull keelboats and into high-speed multihulls has had a dramatic trickledown effect on the rest of the sailing world. Lifelong monohull sailors have started to sit up and take notice, and some are beginning to wonder what life is like in a faster lane.

The M32 catamaran was designed to satisfy this growing curiosity with cats, and to offer a practical, affordable route into the world of high-speed multihull sailing. The 'M' in the name refers to Marstrom, Goran Marstrom, whose beautiful Tornado catamarans became the only weapon of choice for aspiring medal winners in the former Olympic multihull class.

The Swedish builder has been responsible for some of the finest small hi-tech multihulls of modern times, as well as the not-so-small SeaCart 30 tri and the Extreme 40 cat, which until this year was the mainstay of the Extreme Sailing Series.

But Marstrom wanted a boat that he could blast around on with his friends at home on the west coast of Sweden. It had to be easy to rig, easy to maintain, not too hard to sail, yet still delivering blistering performance. Working with longterm design partner Kare Ljung, the duo settled on 32ft (9.75m) as a good length for accommodating four large or five small adults, yet still manageable on the shore without the need for a crane.

Full article in the April issue of Seahorse:

America's Cup Racing Is Coming To New York May 7-8
The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series is coming to New York on May 7-8, 2016.

This marks the first America's Cup racing in New York in nearly 100 years.

Skipper Jimmy Spihill is bringing his ORACLE TEAM USA, defending champions of the America's Cup, to race on home waters in the United States for the first time in this Cup cycle.

Emirates Team New Zealand, with World Sailors of the Year Peter Burling and Blair Tuke on board, is at the top of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series leaderboard, with Spithill's ORACLE TEAM USA in second place. Land Rover BAR won the first event of 2016 in Oman in February to pull within one point.

... And To Japan
Japan will play host to an America's Cup World Series race for the first time ever, The Japan Times has learned. The final race of the 2016 campaign will be held in Fukuoka in late November, a sailing source confirmed Friday.

The America's Cup World Series, which began in 2011, is a slate of preliminary two-day events used as heats for the next America's Cup set for Bermuda in June 2017. It was announced last year that Japan would be returning to the America's Cup competition for the first time in 17 years.

Dean Barker, formerly of Team New Zealand, is the skipper of SoftBank Team Japan's AC45F (13.4-meter) catamaran, which is sailing for the Kansai Yacht Club. The 42-year-old Barker is competing in the America's Cup for the sixth time in his career.

Japan has previously participated in three America's Cups (1992, 1995, 2000).

Gipsy Moth IV Headed To Jersey Boat Show
The restored Gipsy Moth IV will be in attendance at next month's Jersey Boat Show to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the yacht's historic round-the-world sail.

Sir Francis Chichester used the 53-footer in his record-setting round-the-world solo sail in the 1960s.

Visitors to the Barclays Jersey Boat Show will have the opportunity to get aboard the historic ketch during the 30 April - 2 May event. The sailing boat is also available for charter and there are crewing opportunities on offer through the Gipsy Moth Trust charity.

Gipsy Moth IV was put on display in Greenwich from Chichester's death in 1971 until 2003, when Yachting Monthly Editor Paul Gelder launched a campaign to restore the yacht and sail her around the world on the 40th anniversary of Chichester's voyage, a trip that was successfully completed in May 2007.

The United Kingdom Sailing Academy bought the yacht for £1 and a gin and tonic in 2004. Restoration work at the yard were Gipsy Moth IV was built - Camper and Nicholson's in Gosport - cost some £300,000.

Gordon Bennett And The First Yacht Race Across The Atlantic
The dawn of ocean yacht racing can be pinpointed to a drunken night at the exclusive Union Club, on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in October 1866. That evening, a group of super-rich playboys of the burgeoning New York yachting scene - Pierre Lorillard, George Osgood and James Gordon Bennett Jr - gathered to drink and brag about the performance of their respective schooners. Insults and challenges were swapped, and by the time the men staggered out into the dawn in an alcohol fug they had signed up to a dangerous race across the full width of the north Atlantic in midwinter. Each owner would stump up a $30,000 stake, and the winner would take all.

To give Bennett his due, as Jefferson does, he was the only one of the three owners to personally take part in the race, joining his yacht in freezing conditions on Tuesday 11 December 1866. The three little ships Henrietta, Fleetwing and Vesta gathered off Sandy Hook with the boozed-up cheers of the New York spectator fleet ringing in the crews' ears. Each owner had done his utmost to tip the odds by hiring a professional captain, and Bennett in particular had excelled himself by recruiting Samuel Samuels - a famous veteran of the transatlantic packet trade, who had once decided to amputate his own broken leg - to skipper his yacht Henrietta. Henrietta was seen as the slowest vessel, but Samuels would drive her perfectly to her limits.

18ft Skiffs: Alice Burton Memorial Trophy
Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiffs Sydney Harbour: Alcatel One Touch claimed victory in the Alice Burton Memorial Trophy 18ft Skiff race on Sydney Harbour today after previous leader Asko Appliances sailed a wrong mark on the last lap of the course.

Once the Asko Appliances team realised the mistake the crew withdrew after the race, giving Alcatel One Touch the victory.

Stephen Quigley, Tom Quigley and Sam Ellis were near the lead most of the day in Alcatel One Touch and the official winning margin was 1m4s.

Ilve (Ollie Hartas, Mark Muirhead, Harry West) finished second, with Haier Appliances (Pedro Vozone, Tim Westwood, Lorenzo Cerretelli) a further 35s back in third place.

Only one minute covered the next four placings with Triple M (John Sweeny) in fourth place ahead of Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Micah Lane), Peroni (Michael Coxon) and (Matt Stenta).

The race was sailed in a light NE wind which produced some close fleet racing over a three-buoys course.

Next Sunday will be the last race of the 2015-2016 Season. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

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The Last Word
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