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

Victory For Team Magenta 32 In Bermuda
Hamilton, Bermuda: After two near perfect days of racing on Bermuda's Great Sound, Team Magenta 32 skippered by Sally Barkow clinched victory at the third and penultimate stage of the M32 Series Bermuda posting an impressive eight wins out of fifteen races over the two day regatta.

Finishing overall just one point behind Team Magenta 32 was Team GAC Pindar skippered by six-time world match racing champion Ian Williams from Great Britain. Don Wilson's Team Convexity, winner of the previous series event, finished 3rd overall.

Coming off an impressive victory at the World Match Racing Tour in Fremantle, all bets were on Ian Williams' Team GAC Pindar to take the lead in this third event of the four event Bermuda Series. However, Sally Barkow and Team Magenta 32 had other plans. Series leader Don Wilson and his Convexity team also looked to unseat Williams, while Deneen Demarkous' Groovederci, Charlie Enright's 11th Hour Racing 55 South Team and M32 Founder Hakan Svensson's Cape Crow Vikings were all pushing hard for a podium finish.

With an aggressive schedule, M32 Race Director Mattias Dahlstrom took advantage of the steady 8-15 kt Northeasterly wind on day one, managing to complete 7 short races.

Race day 2 greeted the fleet with a SW wind at 9-13 knots and an on-time start.

Despite the use of some match racing tactics in the pre-start, Magenta 32 didn't flinch once and banged off three glamour starts to string together three bullets. Convexity maintains the series lead over Magenta 32 by one slim point heading into the final event of the series from 15-17 April.

M32 Series Bermuda - Event 3 Final Results
1st: Team Magenta 32
2nd: GAC Pindar
3rd: Convexity
4th: Cape Crow Vikings
5th: 11th Hour Racing
6th: Groovederci

Crazy But It Works: ICRA's Success Is A Highlight Of Irish Sailing Scene
The Irish Cruiser-Racer Association (ICRA) is a unique organisation. "Run by sailors for sailors", it is nevertheless a very land-centric administrative body whose only manifestation afloat as a group with its own identity is seen at the organisation of the annual ICRA Nationals.

And the sense of it relating purely to the island of Ireland is accentuated by the fact that much of its work is essentially back-office activity, dealing with handicaps and all the other paraphernalia involved in providing the nation's numerous and very diverse cruiser-racer fleet with meaningful racing. W M Nixon went to last Saturday's ICRA Conference to get a flavour of what ICRA does, and came away both impressed and stimulated...

...there is a fresh demand out there, and two of the morning's speakers, Alistair Rumball of the Irish National Sailing School in Dun Laoghaire and Des McWilliam of McWilliam Sailmakers in Crosshaven, gave excellent talks on encouraging it, with Alistair showing us how his programme of moving beginners through dinghies and on into the school/club's1720s, then became an inevitable progression into gaining experience and instruction on the school's Prima 38 Lynx.

As of last weekend in Limerick, there were just two crew places left aboard Lynx for this year's Volvo Round Ireland on June 18th, and they've probably been snapped up by now. But the Rumball presentation underlined the fact that there are people out there who are mad keen to get into cruiser-racing, and it was up to ICRA to guide its members as to how best to tap into these wannabee sailors, instead of bleating all the time about how hard it is to find crew.

Much more from WM Nixon at:

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

Seahorse Magazine

World news
Jeremie Beyou goes straight, Stu Wilson gets back on the wire, Grant Dalton is (still) on the trail and Storm Trysail pulls it off (in style). Ivor Wilkins, Dobbs Davis, Blue Robinson, Patrice Carpentier

Rod Davis
Time to get out the crystal ball

Design - As big as it gets (for now)
Denis Glehen, Herve Devaux and a (big) new mast for Ms Bertarelli's (big) Spindrift 2

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The Vampire Project
The Vampire Project is a collaboration between catamaran sailor William Sunnucks and boat builder Graham Eeles to develop a new breed of foiling catamaran in Brightlingsea Essex. It is based on the the International Moth foil design which is quite different to the America's Cup line of development

Sailor Bails On Rio Over Funds Row
New Zealand faces going to the Rio Olympics without a competitor in one of our most successful events in a row over funding.

Windsurfer JP Tobin gained New Zealand a spot for Brazil, but has since withdrawn, saying he cannot afford to go after receiving "zero support other than a couple of bits of lycra".

And he says the female hope for the event - Natalia Kosinska - is unlikely to make it and has been forced to sell her gear just to get to regattas.

It means not entering an athlete for the first time in more than 30 years in an event which has netted seven medals. Tobin has launched a stunning broadside at Yachting New Zealand, accusing the national body of turning its back on its windsurfing programme - easily the country's most successful Olympic class.

"As we currently sit it is looking like New Zealand won't be represented in the windsurfing and that pisses me off," Tobin said.

"We have a long history and legacy in this sport and it has not been given the support that it requires."

China One To Debut In Extreme Sailing Series
The CHINA One sailing team, skippered by former world match racing champion Taylor Canfield, is to compete in the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series.

Jointly run by Canfield, sailing team manager Hayden Goodrick and Kiwi America's Cup veteran Craig Monk, CHINA One joins seven other elite professional crews contesting this year's Series that starts with Act 1 in Muscat on March 16th.

This year the Extreme Sailing Series has moved to foiling for the first time in its 10-year history and Canfield is looking forward to getting to grips with the GC32 one-design.

"It is great to have the opportunity to compete in the Extreme Sailing Series," said Canfield, aged 27, originally from St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. "As the sport of sailing has transitioned from monohull racing to multihull racing, we are excited to get the chance to do both."

The CHINA One team is a new franchise created by the sailors behind the successful US ONE team and aims to achieve international success while looking to develop sailing in China.

The new season marks not just the introduction of super-fast foiling on GC32 catamarans, but also innovations in race format including a new coastal race and match racing, that complement the core proposition of the Series, its unique Stadium Racing format.

On March 16, the boats will race in front of the stunning historic backdrop of the Old Town in Muscat before returning, in a 20km coastal race, to Al Mouj, in the first race of this duration in Extreme Sailing Series history.

150th Anniversary Of The Spinnaker
David Frost talks about the history behind the spinnaker sail, now forever associated with the tower at Gunwharf Quays

The tower has fast become a symbol of the city of Portsmouth, but few know how deep its roots are.

A century-and-a-half ago the newly founded Royal Albert Yacht Club was at the heart of the keenest competition in sail racing.

The cutter yachts, huge by our present standards, were at the forefront of design.

Two leading members were experimenting with a revolutionary sail and they competed for the coveted Albert Cup.

In 1865 it was won by William Conway Gordon in his 40-ton Niobe. In that year he was said to be conducting trials with a full-bellied foresail.

In 1866 HC Maudsley, in his 47-ton yacht Sphinx, won the cup. She was a steel-framed vessel based closely on the Niobe design.

He too had conducted trials with a revolutionary foresail flying from the masthead and using a detachable boom.

Who was first with the design? At this point in time it's impossible to be certain but we can be sure that the 1866 victory was considered to be due to the new sail.

We can also be sure that the crew of Maudsley's yacht called it the Sphinxacre.

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

Brisbane To Gladstone Yacht Race
Australia's historical ocean race, the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race will set sail for the 68th time on Good Friday, March 24.

With the reported chance of a cyclone forming around the Queensland coast this week the organisers, Queensland Cruising Yacht Club, and competitors are not straying far from their favourite forecasting site.

This year's race has three very distinct interests. Queensland boat 'Black Jack' owned by Peter Harburg has been trying hard in recent years to beat the now twelve-year-old record for fastest ever elapsed time of 20 hours, 24 minutes and 50 seconds set by 'Skandia Wild Thing' in 2004. Unfortunately, despite taking both Line Honours and the overall win in last year's race, the wind strength has not been favourable to the ex-Volvo 70 round the world craft. Skipper Mark Bradford will be hoping that the run of light wind races is finally at an end and the more than capable 'Black Jack' can make history with a new fastest time.

The second aspect of the race, and unquestionably the harder one to call, is who will win the race overall and be presented with the prestigious Courier Mail Cup in Gladstone.

If 'Black Jack' have a fast race and then the wind dies, she stands a good chance of back to back wins but if the wind holds then this highly competitive fleet make it hard to predict a winner.

'Kerumba', a Ker 50, is always competitive, as is 'The Fat Controller'. If the wind really favours the smaller boats then 'Redjam' has recently has a good run of form and you can never discount the experience on board 'Corrobboree' skippered by Robbo Robertson or the oldest boat in the fleet and four times winner, 'Wistari'.

Trying Hard To Win A Darwin Award
A bungling thief was jailed today after setting out to sea in a stolen yacht - with no sailing experience.

Cathal Matthew, 29, sailed 50 miles out to sea after nicking the £6000 boat from Portknockie Harbour.

But he ended up having to be rescued when he got stranded in a violent gale force 8 storm in the Moray Firth.

The weather was so bad that the coastguard teams decided not to put any crews at risk rescuing him in stormy sea conditions which were getting rougher.

After drifting out to an oil field next to a rig, he managed to grab the attention of a ship captain who took him on board the vessel to safety.

Matthew previously admitted stealing the Tradewind vessel as well as a car and driving while disqualified and was sentenced at Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday.

Sunshine Start To The Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series
Glorious sunshine heralded the first Sunday of the six week Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series on Sunday 13 March.

The breeze was shifty, as expected with a northeasterly coming off the mainland shore and it was swinging up to 45 degrees and quite variable in speed; average 10 knots that occasionally dropped to seven knots and rose at times to 13 knots. There was generally enough breeze to run against the strong spring tides, although this did mean each downwind turning mark opened up big tide gates in some fleets.

The White Group classes and Black Group IRC4 class were kept close to 'home' with their courses starting and finishing at buoy. Black Group classes were started on the Ryde Middle Bank and raced predominantly windward leeward legs, finishing near the north channel off Hill Head.

Several 'race rusty' White Group competitors were caught out by the strong easterly going tide, combined with the north easterly breeze, and were over the line at the start for race one. By race three of three they were back in the swing of it with a clean start.

Racing was tight with significant overlaps between the classes making for some exciting boat-on-boat competitive sailing. All three of the classes in White Group;, SB20, J/70 and J/80, gained a top three result in the day's racing.

The Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series is sponsored by Helly Hansen and supported by race partner's Crewsaver and Rolly Tasker Sails.

The Warsash Sailing Club runs Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series and for the White Group Combined results is using the Warsash Handicap System which has been developed from the 2015 Championship results.

Provisional Results
IRC 1 Alice (Simon Henning - Mumm 36)
IRC 2 Fast Tack Puma (Fast Tack Sailing Ltd)
IRC 3 Stiletto (Beneteau First 35 - John Barrett)
IRC 4 Voodoo (Hunter Impala-Peter Rouse)
J/109 Jiraffe (J/109-Peter Rouse)
White Group Combined Cosmic (J/70-Patrick Liardet)
J/80 Betty (Jon Powell)
J/70 Cosmic (Patrick Liardet)
SB20 Flutter (Aron Wellbend)

Michel Joubert
We learned this Wednesday, March 9 late afternoon. Michel Joubert, one of our most famous naval architects, died at Bordeaux following a long illness. He was 73 years old.

Few architects have designed many boats that are racing, cruise, great trip ... monohulls and multihulls. In nearly 40 years, Michel Joubert and his faithful accomplice Bernard Nivelt, with whom he had opened an office in La Rochelle in 1974, have produced a considerable number of boats - we are talking about 20,000 ships sailing!

A quick "short list" of successful yachts such endless inventory speaks for itself: Surprise (and all the ships of the Archambault boatyard), Gin Fizz, Selection, Attalia, Poker, Gib'Sea 30 to 37, Damien, Marguerite, Tofinou, Maldives, Neel 45, Southern Louisiana Fleur ... but also (and most catamarans Fountaine-Pajot), the half-tonners famous in the great age of the IOR, to Subversion in Ar Bigouden , world champion 1980 ... or the sublime Diva , one tonner winner in the individual classification of the Admiral's Cup!

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2006 RC44. Located in Austria.

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2008 Volvo 70 - MONSTER PROJECT. 425000 EUR. Located in the United Kingdom.

Strong and well built Volvo 70. Would make a perfect offshore racing yacht, or promotional line honours vessel.


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+44 (0) 1590 679222

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The Last Word
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