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

Five On TP52 Training Mission In Valencia
A successful, productive training week on the waters off Valencia's Malvarrosa beach saw five TP52s preparing for the upcoming 2016 52 SUPER SERIES raise their game to the point that racing during the five regatta series is fully expected to be closer than ever.

Three days of speed tuning were followed by informal racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - facilitated by the Saint Petersburg Yacht Club, home club of Bronenosec. Although honours were reported to be quite even across the races - no formal results are published - consensus agrees on two clear points. 52 SUPER SERIES champions Azzurra were still consistently the best team there, and the Vrolijk designs - which have been modified through the winter - are expected to be closer in upwind performance to the Botin Partners designs such as Azzurra and Quantum Racing.

Between the Friday and Sunday eight races were sailed in a range of conditions and Azzurra - which sailed with her full race crew - is reported to have won more races. By all accounts Tony Langley's Gladiator, a Vrolijk design which had America's Cup winner Ed Baird on board to provide some outside input for this week only, has made visible gains and the speed tests reports of various competitors suggest the two quickest boats were Azzurra and Gladiator.

In their quest to reduce a small deficit in upwind vmg or possibly better said to create a wider range of apparent wind angles in which to match the Botin Partners designs upwind, some of the Vrolijk boats are reported to have new or modified keel fins, moved their rudders slightly forward and some have reduced blade area to reduce some of the drag which the modifications added. Ergin Imre's Provezza has a new Southern Spars rig which was set up during the training week. Quite a few of the rigs have been beefed up in the lower part during the winter, replacing lead trim ballast for laminate and so adjusting bending stiffness to the ever increasing loads that the trimmers like to induce.

Flat Out Racing
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA: The final stage of the 2015-16 Melges 32 Blue Water Series (BWS) is just days away from commencement, hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) at Bahia Mar Marina. Three days and eight races are scheduled for the post-Easter weekend and the weather/breeze forecast looks to be superb.

After two events complete, the overall Blue Water Series Ranking shows 2016 Gold Cup Champion Richard Goransson on Inga From Sweden in first overall. Jason Carroll on Argo is second, tied with International Class President Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio on G-SPOT in third. Ryan DeVos' Volpe also claims equal points as well in fourth. Dalton DeVos on Delta is seated fifth.

What will make this forthcoming weekend a very interesting mix is that both Goransson and Serena di Lapigio will be absent, having transferred back to Europe to prepare for the start of the 2016 Melges 32 World Series on 10-12 April in Porto Venere, Italy. The stage is set as Carroll and Ryan DeVos will square-off and go head-to-head, hard and clean for the top prize.

Top Ten 015-16 Melges 32 Blue Water Series Ranking (Overall, After Two Events)
1. Richard Goransson, Inga From Sweden: 6 points
2. Jason Carroll, Argo: 7
3. Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio, G-SPOT: 7
4. Ryan DeVos/Dick DeVos, Volpe: 7
5. Dalton DeVos/Dick DeVos/Rick DeVos. Delta: 11
6. Benjamin Schwartz, Pisces: 14
7. Morgan Kiss(C), Team Hydra: 15
8. Alessandro Rombelli, STIG: 15
9. Christian Schwoerer & Veit Hemmeter, La Pericolosa: 17
10. Andrea Lacorte, Vitamina Amerikana: 17

Full rankings:

Never Say Never
Brightlingsea, Essex - Now in its 89th year, the Brightlingsea One Design (BOD) Class - a classic 18-foot three-man clinker dayboat which has been sailed continuously at Brightlingsea since its introduction in 1927 - is going from strength to strength and continues to expand.

Easter Friday 25th March saw the launch of the very latest addition to the fleet, C65 Never Say Never. With GRP mouldings by White Formula and woodwork and fit out by Simon Hipkin Boat Builder for owner Geoff Gritton, Never Say Never is without doubt the most innovative BOD built to date and a large crowd gathered to celebrate her naming.

Never Say Never will join a fleet of 26+ active BODs that race at least twice a week from May to October from Brightlingsea Sailing Club and the Colne Yacht Club. Alongside the construction of Never Say Never, half a dozen older BODs have been undergoing signification refit and restoration work during the winter and the fleet is expected to be in fighting form by the time it gets to Pyefleet Week in early August, the highlight of the BOD year where once again it will be one of the largest classes racing.

Superyacht Club
The award-winning and record-breaking 45m Mari Cha III, designed by Philippe Briand is one of the latest boats to sign up to the twenty plus fleet. She beat the Transatlantic Record in 1998 and the Sydney to Hobart record in 1999, hitting speeds in excess of 30 knots.

During the Superyacht Cup this sleek super maxi will be sailed hard under the expert guidance of yet another racing legend, the acclaimed helmsman Mike Sanderson. Perhaps best known for receiving the prestigious ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award for winning the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race as skipper of ABN Amro I.

Another one to watch out for will be the 28m Southern Wind KIBOKO DOS. Like last year this high calibre sailing yacht will be home to a posse of top professionals. Moreover, most of the talent on board will be sailing on their home waters: the local knowledge possessed by these Mallorquin and Spanish sailors is bound to give this tenacious team a substantial head start.

The 39m Pendennis built fast cruising sloop Tenaz is one of the most striking sail yachts to come from the Dubois drawing board. With a particularly sleek profile and trade mark pilot house, she'll be sure to turn heads both on and off the race course. Not just a pretty face though, Tenaz claimed victory in the Superyacht Challenge Antigua in January, winning the first regatta she's ever competed in.

We're very excited to see the new, larger and faster 39m Atalante, designed by Hoek Design Naval Architects and built by silver sponsor Claasen Shipyards, show what she's made of on the racecourse this June. She's the largest in the Truly Classic range to date and described by Andre Hoek as one of the best boats he's ever been involved with.

The 2016 regatta will take place 22-25 June. The Superyacht Cup Palma is organized by Aquamarine Events SL and run in association with Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP)

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

Seahorse Magazine

This time is it for real?
After years out in the wilderness a genuinely practical production wing rig should shortly be on the market. Oyvind Bordal

A beautiful thing
Paul Larsen is in love again (sorry, Helena). And, typical of the fastest sailor in the world, the subject of his latest attentions is very slim, very light, very pretty... and 100% carbon

Seahorse build table - Full bodied
The MAT1180 from Mark Mills further reinforces the move to proper IRC raceboats

Sailor of the Month
Both very creative... but in their own ways

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Different Strokes
As the 47th Trofeo Pincesa Sofia IBEROSTAR moved into the Finals phase unfortunately the usually reliable sea breezes had not taken note of the transition to the real business end of the key Olympic indicator event.

Through the early part of the racing day light, lazy unsettled airs threatened the schedule . But a long day of waiting - both on the water and around the boat parks - was rewarded with high quality, intense competition for all classes except the RS:X which were signalled AP over A - no further racing - at 1900hrs this evening not having got their first Finals race away .

As they seek to accelerate improvement as much as possible from one Olympic Games to the next, different National Olympic squads embrace entirely different philosophies.

Both of today's fleet leaders in the Laser class are the product of similar ideals, programmes where four or five sailors work through the whole quadrennial as a close knit, tight unit. Competition within the group hones skill levels, information and knowldges is freely shared.

Training alliances are also founded between top crews from different nations. The philosophy of the best learning from close equals, and competition between each other, transcends national team boundaries. In the Nacra 17 Class the French four times world champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou train with Italy's Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri, inviting each other to camps in Cagliari and La Grande Motte respectively.

Full results

The 'Locals' Polgar and Koy: Give It Everything We Have
Eleven VIP teams are confirmed for the inaugural Star Sailors League City Grand Slam, in Hamburg 2-7 May and Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy can be considered as the local team for the City Grand Slam, both are members of the host club, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein on the banks of Lake Alster, Hamburg.

Markus Koy was born in Hamburg and lives there to this day and Johannes Polgar has lived in Germany's second largest city for over 16 years. Polgar's rise in the Star Class has been impressive, he represented Germany at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the vastly different Tornado Class, before switching to the Star with Markus Koy. Just three years later, the German pair won the Star European Championship and this year finished fourth in the SSL Finals in Nassau.

At the SSL City Grand Slam, hosted by Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Hamburg, Germany, over 90 teams will be competing from 18 different countries. With many Olympic medallists and Star World Champions racing, the action will be fantastic!

Full coverage of all the action will be streamed live on the internet with expert commentary from special studio guests. On the water, the latest in hi-tech camera technology, as well as Virtual Eye 3D Graphics, will provide thrilling viewing. Armchair sailors can also race the course with Virtual Regatta -- Louay Habib

Dubarry Crosshaven - Comfortably The Best Performer
Dubarry Crosshaven Round the world racing teams have chosen Dubarry's Crosshaven in every edition of the race since the boot was developed with Green Dragon in 2008. There are several reasons for that. First, the innovation that impressed the Green Dragon guys most: the integral gaiter. Made of lightweight, hard-wearing, water-resistant fabric and cinched up with a drawstring, this gaiter means you can kneel down and work on the foredeck without suffering the dreaded 'bootful of green' that kills comfort for the rest of the passage.

And when you're dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean as freezing winds snap at your vitals, you'll appreciate the 350g GORE-TEX Duratherm membrane and thermally insulated footbed that will keep your feet, at least, toasty.

Then there's the award-winning grip of Crosshaven's non-slip and non-marking sole. If you're trying to stay vertical on deck, and several tonnes of water traveling at 30 knots is trying to persuade you that you might be more comfortable lying down, you need your feet to stay planted.

We can all benefit from experience, but it comes at a price. Lucky for you that Green Dragon footed the bill, and the benefit is all yours.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

Records Tumble At The 2016 Round Hayling Race
Just before midday on Friday 25th March, Hayling Island Sailing Club's Principal Race Officer, John Rees, signalled the start of the 2016 Round Hayling Island Race. With fantastic Good Friday weather and the largest entry of recent years, over 200 competitors enjoyed a great day on the water.

The flat water and light winds early on, suited the paddlers, with Stand Up Paddleboarder, Paul Simmons smashing his previous record time by over nine minutes, Marie Buchanan bettering her own Ladies record by an amazing 15 minutes and the OC6's slicing over 8 minutes off the record. The windsurfers endured a slow start, waiting for the sea breeze to make its mark, but this didn't stop Rob Kent securing a record sixth consecutive win.

A packed prize giving saw over £3,000 worth of prizes awarded and some fine trophies, thanks to the support of sponsors : The SUP Company, Tushingham, Red Paddle, Starboard, Severne and Fullers Brewery.

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 James Dadd 0 Director, RORC Rating Office: All of us in the office were truly saddened to hear of Ed's sudden departure. Most of us here have known Ed for many years and always looked forwards to his occasional visits. In recent years he put a huge amount of effort into getting everyone around the table to improve safety when racing superyachts, of which he was clearly very passionate.

I first met Ed when racing on his first IMS design, the 54 footer "Dumptruck" back in the early 1990s and even though I was just a lowly bowman, he always made me feel my views were as important as anyone else on the boat. One of the true gentlemen in our world and he will be missed by many of us.

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1997 IMOCA 60 GREY POWER (Ex Fila). 190000 EUR. Located in Gosport, UK.

Winner - Atlantic Alone 1998 (Giovanni Soldini)
Winner - Around Alone 1999 (Giovanni Soldini)
4th - Transat Anglaise 2000 (Giovanni Soldini)
6th - Transat Jacques Vabre 2001 (Bruno Laurent)
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8th - Transat Jacques Vabre 2003 (Antoine Koch)
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Botin HPR40 - NEW BOAT

Marcelo Botín enters the HPR market... Good for the designers and similarly good for HPR. This production-built design takes full advantage of extensive CFD and VPP work with a very refined hull and appendages package


McConaghy Boats
+61 2 999 777 22


2008 TP52 - HURAKAN. 380000 EUR. Located in Ancona, Italy.

One of the finest TP52's ever built. Optimised for IRC and ORC, 2013 world champion in ORC, in 2014 proved competitive in Super Series and a winner in IRC! Best racing yacht ever?


Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222

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The Last Word
To say one is revolutionary is a little like saying one is a Zen Buddhist - if you say you are, you probably aren't. -- Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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