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

British Skipper Phil Sharp Beats The Odds To Finish Third In The Class40 Fleet
Sharp covered a total of 3798nm of the Atlantic, with an average speed of 8.32 knots to finish third in the Class40 division

During his 19 days, 31 minutes and five seconds at sea, Sharp has had his metal well and truly tested by the formidable Atlantic Ocean. Subject to time penalties, burst spinnakers, ripped sails, his power down, the boat taking on water and finally a giant gaping hole in his mainsail, the skipper dealt with every challenge the race had to throw at him - determined to make it to New York.

Leading the Class40 fleet away from Plymouth on May 2nd, Sharp crossed a TSS exclusion zone and on day five of racing was required to stop his boat for six hours as a penalty. Dropping through the fleet, within 24 hours Sharp was back in the top three where he remained for the duration of the race.

Four days out from the finish line, Sharp reported a burst main sail. With not enough materials onoard to repair the sail, the skipper lashed the torn edge together with no other choice but to work with the damaged sail.

With the sail in two halves, Sharp continued on this mission to New York - describing the it as a useless flag. Willing the boat forward with everything he had, today Sharp realises his podium dream - just one day, 11 hours, 48 minutes and nine seconds behind the Class40 winner.

Rafael Trujillo Wins Finn World Masters In Torbole
Rafael Trujillo (ESP) won his first Masters title after a great comeback in the medal race to take the win from defending champion Vladimir Krutskikh (RUS) and six times winner Michael Maier (CZE).

Earlier in the day the final races were held for the rest of the sailors. The southerly Ora kicked in good and strong just in time for a 13.00 start with four races started within an hour. Race wins went to Uli Breuer (GER), Christoph Christen (SUI), Aleksandr Kulyukin (RUS) and Andre Budzien (GER), but more importantly the medals for most of the age categories were determined. The medal race itself was as dramatic as it was scenic. Sailed up against Garda's steep walls, the lead changed three times before Trujillo crossed the finish line ahead to take the overall title and the Masters title.

Super Legend (80+) Pedro Jimínez-Meifren (ESP) took the biggest cheer of the prizegiving, but all week Grand Masters, Grand Grand Masters and Legends have been trading places with the younger Masters. The Masters and Grand Masters medals were all contained within the top 10 with Trujillo winning the Masters title, Maier taking the Grand Masters while Marc Allain des Beauvais (FRA) was assured the Grand Grand Masters title already.

Final results (medal race in brackets)

1. Rafael Trujillo, ESP, 7 (1)
2. Vladimir Krutskikh, RUS, 9 (2)
3. Michael Maier, CZE, 13 (3)
4. Piet Eckert, SUI, 17 (4)
5. Paul Mckenzie, AUS, 26 (5)
6. Christoph Burger, SUI, 27 (6)
7. Laurent Hay, FRA, 30 (7)
8. Harles Liiv, EST, 31 (8)
9. Marc Allain Des Beauvais, FRA, 34 (10)
10. Yuriy Tokovoy, UKR, 37 (9)

Super Legend: Pedro Jimínez-Meifren (ESP)
Legends: 1 Howard Sellars (GBR), 2 Andreii Gusenko (UKR), 3. Henry Sprague (USA)
Grand Grand Masters: 1 Marc Allain des Beauvais (FRA), 2 Rob Coutts (NZL), Umberto Grumelli (ITA)
Grand Masters: 1 Michael Maier (CZE), 2 Laurent Hay (FRA), 3 Yuri Tokovoi (UKR)
Masters: 1 Rafael Trujillo (ESP), 2 Vladimir Krutskikh (RUS), 3 Michael Maier (CZE)

Closer Closer
Rob Weiland says, Don't be afraid to share to get ahead

Going through the 52 Super Series 2016 scheduling and entry list one might think that not much has changed from the spectacular 2015 series in which we saw nine new builds join the fleet. However, there are two new venues: Scarlino in Tuscany and Mahon in Menorca. Scarlino opens the series in May. The modern Marina di Scarlino provides ample space to get a fleet of this size and standard properly measured and prepared.

Scarlino is followed in late June by the testing conditions on the emerald coast of Porto Cervo. A fine combination of scenic but nerve-racking coastal races and a couple of windward-leeward days will decide the winner of the highly valued Settimana delle Bocche trophy. From Sardinia to the Bay of Palma and Puerto Portals in July provides another contrast in sailing conditions, requiring remoding to both your boat and to your tactician's mindset.

This year we choose not to race during August as many of our officials and umpires are involved with the Olympics, but the TP52 worlds in September will see 12 TP52s battling it out in beautiful Mahon. One of the largest natural harbours in the world, Mahon has been claimed by many seafaring nations and has seen some epic sea battles. We hope to add one more, albeit more peaceful.

Full article in Seahorse magazine:

Nick Thompson Repeats As Laser World Champion
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico: Great Britain's Nick Thompson won his second Laser World Championship and has now joined an elite group of sailors who can claim back-to-back titles in what many consider one of the world's toughest sporting events.

The wind on the final day was only a 15 degrees south of the typical direction but caused the biggest place changes seen during 14 race series in the waters of Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Big gains and losses affected both the championship leader and those further down the leader board.

When Thompson pulled ahead of Bernaz on the second upwind leg, he had essentially sealed his victory as he successfully covered Bernaz to the finish.

Rutger van Schaardenburg won the final race, and combined with his third in the first race of the day promoted him from an overnight position of tenth to third overall, showing how close the racing was in the gold fleet.

Bernaz held on to his second place overall position and with the regatta win, Thompson became only the fifth person in 42 years to successfully defend a Laser World Championship title.

Overall top ten after 14 races with 2 discards

1. Nick Thompson, GBR, 61 points
2. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz, FRA 73
3. Rutger van Schaardenburg, NED, 88
4. Matthew Wearn, AUS, 90
5. Marco Gallo, ITA, 93
6.Tom Burton, AUS, 101
7. Tonci Stipanovic, CRO, 118
8. Philipp Buhl, GER, 123
9. Jesper Stalheim, SWE, 123
10. Robert Scheidt, BRA, 127

Volvo Cork Week Set For Bumper Entry
With nearly 90 yachts already confirmed for the 2016 edition of Volvo Cork Week, an increase in entries from 2014 is highly likely for Ireland's most famous regatta.

Tony Langley's TP52 Gladiator is currently the fastest yacht competing at Cork Week.However, British entrepreneur Tony Langley will not be at the helm of Gladiator for Volvo Cork Week.

Royal Cork's Anthony O'Leary has enjoyed tremendous success with his Ker 40, Antix, racing with his three sons, Peter, Nicholas and Robert and an all Irish crew. Anthony was the Irish Captain for both of Ireland's Commodores' Cup wins and his former boat, also called Antix, was the overall RORC IRC National Champion in 2014.

"The move to host the first IRC European Championship at Volvo Cork Week was an inspirational move by the sailing committee, the Royal Cork YC and the Royal Ocean Racing Club." Commented Anthony O'Leary. " To have the championship in Cork is fantastic and I am sure it is the perfect venue for what IRC is all about. There is a massive variety of courses; plenty of windward leeward but also reaching and running legs, and you never know what the Harbour Course has in store. If you sat down with a blank piece of paper to design the best courses for an IRC regatta, Volvo Cork Week has been providing it for years."

Laurent Pages has competed in the last two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, winning the round the world race with Groupama in 2014 and will be tactician for Eric De Turkheim's French A13, Teasing Machine for Volvo Cork Week.

Sir Richard Mattews' Humphreys 39, Oystercatcher XXX1, will be making its debut at Volvo Cork Week.

Oystercatcher XXXI is the third boat to be designed for Sir Richard Matthews by Tom Humphreys and should be launched 8th June, after fitting out at Fox's Marina Ipswich.

2016 Volvo Cork Week will host the first ever, IRC European National Championship, the Irish Quarter Tonner National Championship and the inaugural Beaufort Cup.

Julian Fernandez Wins J/70 North American Championship
Seabrook, Texas, USA: Julian Fernandez Neckelmann's Flojito y Cooperando won the first race of the Torqeedo J/70 North American Championship and withstood an onslaught of challengers over seven races to earn the trophy. The reigning J/70 World Champion, Neckelmann was joined by crew Willem van Waay, Bill Hardesty and Danel Belausteguigoitia at the event hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas.

Able to discard a 13 in race 5, Flojito y Cooperando kept scores of 1,3,1,11,1,3 for 20 net points. The next five teams juggled standings all weekend, but with the victory in Sunday's only contest, Glenn Darden's Hoss leapt into second place with 30 points (Darden is the current J/70 Midwinter Champion). Peter Duncan's Relative Obscurity benefited from a second on Sunday to move into third overall with 32 points.

Neckelmann, from Mexico, credited his team which has been together for more than a year. He also thanked the Race Committee, saying "It was just a very tough weekend with complicated conditions for them to run races. They did an outstanding job." Expect to see Flojito y Cooperando at the J/70 World Championship this fall in San Francisco.

Top five:
1. Julian Fernandez Neckelmann, Flojito y Cooperando, 20
2. Glenn Darden, Hoss, 30
3. Peter Duncan, Relative Obscurity, 34
5. Bruce Golison, Midlife Crisis, 37
6. Bruno Pasquinelli, Stampede, 37

Para World Sailing Championship
The 2016 Para World Sailing Championships will see sailors from over 20 nations competing in the three Paralympic classes out of the International Sailing Centre Medemblik, Netherlands from 24 May to 28 May.

In the last big hit out before the Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition in September a host of Paralympic medallists, world champions and Sailing World Cup winners make up the start list across the 2.4 Norlin OD, SKUD18 and Sonar fleets.

Heading in to the last Paralympics in London 2012 as Sonar world champions were Norway's Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Kristiansen. A bit of history repeating would be welcomed by the team as we head toward the next Paralympics of Rio 2016 in September.

Helmed by one of the most successful Paralympic sailors at the Medemblik regatta, Canada will be looking for Paul Tingley to lead Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes to a medal after they slipped to fifth overall in 2015. The Canadian's won silver at the 2014 Para Worlds with the Sydney 2000 bronze medallist Tingley at the helm.

Further medal contenders in the fleet are Alphonsus Doerr, Bradley Kendell and Hugh Freund (USA) and London 2012 silver medallists Jens Kroker, Siegmund Mainka (GER) who are now joined by skipper Lasse Klotzing.

With teams from Brazil, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy and Spain there are plenty of medal prospects in the Sonar fleet and with a host of titles and medals in the line-up it could be a very tough one to call.

Racing in the Sonar is scheduled to commence at 13.30 on Tuesday 24 May. -- Richard Aspland - World Sailing

Dubarry Crosshaven - Comfortably The Best Performer
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

Changing Media Horizons
Barry Pickthall, the former yachting correspondent to The Times and Sunday Times newspapers, has been elected Chairman of the Yachting Journalist's Association which represents the interests of some 250 specialist media from as far afield as Australia, Caribbean, China, Europe, Gulf States, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and USA.

Barry takes over during challenging times for marine media with both the number of traditional magazine titles and circulation figures dipping, pay rates stagnating and the demand for copyright free pictures and footage on the increase.

It is not all bad news. Web sites and digital advertising are flourishing and demand for good video footage on the increase. TV viewing is also changing fast with viewers becoming much more selective over what they watch, using catch-up services rather than video recorders to view programmes they miss.

"The sport, and the way we present and watch it, is changing so fast that unless we adapt, we run the risk of being side-lined altogether." Says Barry Pickthall. "Journalists not only need to be masters of the pen, but produce good image and video content to promote what they have written, and for photographers and video cameramen, the role is reversed."

YJA members are being invited to provide valuable work experience for graduates, and the Association will be promoting their work in a competition to encourage budding media stars to get themselves in print.

In another major initiative, the YJA is also planning to introduce a new competition to promote the work of existing members to a world-wide audience.

The YJA has also refined its membership rules to allow Advertising and PR executives within the marine industry to join as associate members in order to widen the sphere and influence of the Association.

Membership of the Yachting Journalists' Association costs £40 per year and includes an Internationally recognised Press Card, a listing on the YJA website highlighting your specialist skills and contact details, and many other benefits.

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M32 One Design

In action on both the World Match Racing Tour and the M32 Series. Its lightweight carbon-fibre hull and two-piece mast make the durable M32 very easy to transport. Crewed by 4-5, this low-drag design uses just main and gennaker to achieve full performance


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