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

Transat AG2r: A Long Slide At High Speed
In the early morning of the third day of the race the breeze from northwest quickly developed into a strong wind (25 knots), having the effect of a big kick for the speeds of those in the back of the fleet. For the first time since the start of the Transat, the speedos displayed 2-digit rates: 10,12,13 knots. It is only the beginning of a long slide at high speed towards the Canary Islands.

This afternoon, everyone was in the same boat with two exceptions: Guadeloupe and Free Dom Home Services. The two boats have gone astray in a becalmed area. At the16:00 ranking they were respectively 100 and 106 miles behind the race leader.

At the helm since Tuesday noon, Nicolas Lunven and Gildas Mahe (Generali) retain their leadership in a group of four boats. A quartet of Agir Recovery (Hardy / Biarnes) Skipper Macif (Dalin / Richomme) and Gedimat (Chabagny / Tabarly). Ten miles behind Sebastien Simon and Xavier Macaire (Britain-CMB Performance) are trying to make up time lost when they were stranded in light air.

Circle Verte (Morvan / Loison), one of the favorites of the event, is relegated to 30 miles from the leaders. But the next 70 hours towards the waypoint Canary will be a straight spinnaker run. In the absence of strategic opportunity, it will not be easy to catch up. Only the quality of high-speed driving, attention to the sea and no damage will make the different. With 30-35 knots downwind, navigation will soon become a balancing act.

Trouble Aboard Faceocean
Drama onboard the IMOCA 60 ‪#‎faceOcean‬ this morning. Battling a storm (48knots) near Gibraltar, the J2 suddenly unfurled and exploded soon after. The J2 being A key sail, the team is sailing towards Malaga for a pit stop. At the same time a car is leaving Toulon with the spare J2. The rendez-vous is for tomorrow 10am.

FaceOcean is en route for Lanzarote to take part in a single handed race across the Atlantic, the Calero Marinas Solo Transat, a qualifier for the Vendee Globe.

Sebastian Destremau's video on the team's Facebook page:

GP 14 A Bit Of History
2016 is not the first time the GP 14 held their world championship in Barbados

Back in the 60’s a red hot Bajan GP 14 sailor won the world championship in England. In those days the world championship was held in the club of the previous years winner, so having won it in UK the championship was held the next year in Barbadoes.

In the late 50’s sailors in Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia and Martinique imported Bell flat pack GP 14 kits. They were built in all the above islands but the strongest fleets were in Grenada, Trinidad and Barbados.

Needless to say the quality of the boats when the kits were put together varied but many of them were superbly built. The best ones were put together by the late Porgie Rapier of Grenada. He built them so well from the Bell kits that he had to add compensator weight to bring them up to weight.

When the GP world was held in Barbados Porgie raced there and inspected the European built boats. Everyone came to the conclusion that Porgie’s GP’s were just as good as the finest professionally built European boats.

Having the GP’s on various islands lead to the formation of the West Indies Yachting Association, which was a bit of a misnomer as the association comprised of the Yacht Clubs from Martinique south. Eventually, because of northern and southern boats meeting at Antigua Sailing Week the northern and southern clubs got together and formed the Caribbean Sailing Association which has gone from strength to strength.

In the late 50’s and early 60’s when Trinidad was having a fast motor gun boat built by Vospers, Commander Bloom RN who had been seconded to Trinidad to command their coast guard not to mount 40 mm cannon fore and aft as per design, but to leave off the after gun mount. He said he needed that space to ferry GP 14’s to the various regattas.

He said if he ever had any problems he was sure he could settle the problem with on 40mm cannon he did not need two.

He proved this was so in the middle 70’s when the Trinidad Army mutinied. Their base was at the western end of Chagaramus Peninsula, the only road into town at one point led by a cliff with the sea on the other side.

Cdr Bloom headed for the area with his one 40 mm cannon, As the army approached the cliff, Cdr Bloom started blasting the cliff. The army realized they could not get by the cliff as Cdr Bloom would be able to blast them to hell. They retired to their base where they were bottled up by the police force who remained loyal to the Government and Cdr Bloom with his one 40 mm cannon.

Because of Cdr Bloom the mutiny was quelled with little loss of life and Cdr Bloom continued to transport GP 14 in the space where the after gun mount was supposed to be! -- Don Street

Setting Rio Straight
Rio The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event on the planet. It’s an event unlike any other in that it’s unique, compelling and evokes raw emotions. Sydney 2000 was the last time an Olympic sailing regatta was held in the heart of a city, benefiting from stunning backdrops and sailing conditions that challenged each and every sailor. The Sydney Games were spectacular.

Sixteen years on and Rio de Janeiro, with Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer and Copacabana Beach, will provide a picture postcard background that is unrivalled. Some tricky wind and tide conditions will also be added into the picture come competition time, which should help make for compulsive viewing... with the perfect end result being that the world’s best all-round sailors take home Olympic gold.

Rio’s water quality has obviously been hotly discussed at World Sailing and on many occasions both the organisation and in turn myself have come in for criticism on the subject... we have also been regularly misquoted. I can take criticism, but not being attributed with comments that are entirely fabricated.

During the Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 2015, the Olympic Test Event, sailors had no interest in talking about water quality. They were there to compete, focused on the task at hand, and were only really happy to discuss sailing and the competition.

While they are not talking about it, it is part of my responsibility as chair of the World Sailing Athletes’ Commission to ensure that all that can be done to improve the water quality is being done. I would greatly like to see an improved situation for the Rio locals themselves, but my first responsibility is towards the sailors. The Rio city government made a clear promise in their host bid document that they would indeed take comprehensive steps to resolve water quality issues, but the truth is that any improvements that have been seen have been painfully slow in being delivered.

At World Sailing’s executive committee meeting last month I visited Marina da Gloria and Flamengo Beach, two venues that the Rio 2016 Regatta will utilise. The situation is far from perfect, but the progress made since my previous visit in 2013 is staggering.

Full article in Seahorse magazine:

Ben Ainslie Racing Uses Recycled Carbon Fiber for America’s Cup Boat
The Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) team is hoping to win Great Britain’s first ever America’s Cup title in 2017 with possibly the world’s most sustainable sailing operation ever. The team’s sustainability efforts feature a good dose of recycled carbon fiber.

Susie Tomson, the team’s sustainability director, explained in a Q&A with GreenBiz that the team uses a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to measure the efficiency of its use of resources in the building of its race boats. She says the use of LCA in race boat manufacturing “is really a first in the sailing world” and that recycled carbon fiber is a big part of the team’s sustainability goals.

“[The Life Cycle Assessment] helped us to figure out how we can use recycled carbon fiber in the molds from which the race boat is made,” Tomson explained. “The recycled [carbon fiber] is much less carbon-intense than virgin carbon fiber. For our two docking rigid inflatable support boats (RIBS), LCA showed that, by using recycled PET [polyethylene terephthalate] plastic, natural flax fibers in the floor and a bio-based resin, we could save both on carbon and on cost.”

The use and promotion of recycled carbon fiber has been a part of the team’s work since its inception.

Industry News
With just a month to go until the start of the race, OC Sport is pleased to announce The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust as the official UK race charity of The Transat bakerly, 2016.

The Trust was set up by Dame Ellen MacArthur in 2003 and is now a nationwide organisation that uses sailing to help re-build confidence in young people who have suffered from cancer and leukaemia.

The tie-up with The Transat bakerly, the world’s oldest professional solo race that sets sail from Plymouth to New York on May 2nd, is particularly appropriate because MacArthur was on the startline in 2000.

She went on to score an astonishing victory becoming, at 23, the youngest ever winner of the race in the monohull division on board her Open 60, Kingfisher.

The 2016 edition of The Transat bakerly will see 25 solo skippers in four classes – Ultimes, IMOCA 60s, Multi50s and Class40s – take on one of the great challenges in professional sailing. They face a 3,000-mile course complete with storm force headwinds, rough seas and freezing fog.

When Sir Francis Chichester won the inaugural edition of the race in 1960, it took him 40 days to reach New York. This year the fastest boats could be there in as little as seven days.


SNAME is developing the technical program for the 2016 SNAME Maritime Convention (November 1-5 at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue in Bellevue, Washington) and is offering industry professionals a unique opportunity to share their insights on a wide range of issues of interest to what will be a gathering of over 1,000 colleagues.

April 18 is the deadline to submit abstracts for papers - as well as ideas for panel sessions, demonstrations and presentations.

All content submissions require an abstract to be considered by the content committee.

Click here to submit a content abstract. For submission questions, email Sofia Iliogrammenou,


The iconic marine brand Line 7 is back in Australia

The Charles Parsons Group, an Australian family owned textiles business with global reach, has brought the much loved Line 7 Marine brand back to Australia and back into its stable. After a period of management under a licensee, the move allows the group to put its full weight behind the brand’s success in line with the launch of a new range in April 2016.

With 18 years in the marine apparel industry and a relationship with Line 7 that dates back to his management of their official merchandise licenses in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2003 Rugby World Cup, Duncan Curnow will return to once again respresent the brand in Australia.

Established in 1963, Line 7 is has outfitted Australian America’s Cup teams, Australian Kenwood Cup teams, multiple Sydney Hobart Yacht Races, Round the World Yacht Races and the Sydney 2000 Olympics.


The successful partnership first forged in 2015 between 52 SUPER SERIES and 11th Hour Racing will continue through the next two seasons of the world’s leading grand prix monohull racing circuit.

During 2016 and 2017 many new sustainable initiatives will be rolled out at each of the 52 SUPER SERIES venues, and a broader fan engagement campaign in order to raise awareness and promote a lasting legacy across sailing and the world of sport.

In 2015, the 52 SUPER SERIES and 11th Hour Racing worked closely together to create a robust sustainability plan and implement a series of initiatives to promote environmental responsibility, awareness and best practices, with the ultimate goal of protecting the health of our ocean.

11th Hour Racing, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, establishes strategic partnerships with the sailing community to promote collaborative systemic change for the health of the marine environment.


GILL has signed to be the official supplier of technical apparel and accessories to the J/70 Italian Class, the world’s fastest-growing sailing class.

The J/70 Italian Class features an open circuit in glamorous locations such as Monaco and Lake Garda. With 50 boats expected to race across several events, a growing participation of international crews, and an active media programme, the J/70 Italian Class is garnering worldwide attention.


Cowes Week has appointed luxury boutique agency Gabrielle Shaw Communications to represent them in their 190th year of competition. The agency has been tasked with helping to reinforce the event’s luxury positioning and deliver increased stand-out for the event as part of the British summer sporting season.

Gabrielle Shaw Communications specialise in luxury positioning and global brand development work with over twenty years experience activating globally for some of the most prestigious names in retail and consumer goods including Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Selfridges, Harrods, Starbucks, Corinthia Hotels, Hummingbird Bakery and Liberty to name but a few. Gabrielle Shaw Communications has previously worked with long-standing client Peroni on their involvement with Cowes Week and their sponsorship of the Nautor’s Swan 45 class racing yachts, as well as working on the sponsorship activation of the Prada boat, Luna Rosso for the Americas Cup.

Cowes Week 2016 takes place from the 6-13 August.

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1961 Custom Laurin 52' - ANAHITA. Located in Stockholm, Sweden.

Beautifully presented and very smartly optimised fast cruising yacht from the pen of Arvid Laurin and some subsequent wizardry below the waterline by Peter Norlin. Perfect for classic racing, but also great for cruising too. A VERY special yacht indeed!


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One of the best appointed Ker 40's anywhere in the world. With upgraded deck hardware, electronics, spars and a comprehensive inshore and offshore sail inventory, Baraka is most definitely the one you want to get your hands on! Professional maintained from new and a family run campaign, the boat has been used with real care, while upgrades and optimisations were a force of habit rather then a necessity. An IRC and ORC winning package available at the drop of a hat.


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