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

Olympic Non-Selection Processes
The 2016 New Zealand Olympic selection process came to an end on Monday night in Auckland with the announcement at the end of a Mediation Hearing by the Chairman of the Sports Disputes Tribunal, Sir Bruce Robertson, that he would not overturn the two non-selection decisions by Yachting New Zealand.

The Hearing took place against a June 1, 2016, deadline set by World Sailing for national sailing bodies to confirm the places which their sailors had earned in the Qualification process which started in September 2014.

Sir Bruce, while coming down on the side of Yachting NZ was not particularly complimentary about the actions, or rather 'inadequacy of communication by YNZ to both athletes' and referred to this shortcoming and other instances by Yachting NZ several times in the Decision.

These comments are not something that should be dismissed lightly. The inactions took place over an extended period and were not just a single incident.

The final comment must go to 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther, one of the sailors spurned by Yachting New Zealand.

'I paid my own way to go win a spot at the Olympics in Santander (first round) and now my country can swoop in and take it all away. How fair is that?' -- Richard Gladwell in

* The controversy in Australia continues to boil... Roger McMillan's editorial in sums it up nicely:

In my opinion, although the Australian Sailing Team selectors had the right not to send a crew as neither pairing had achieved the nomination criteria, this is a disgraceful decision based on officals covering their backsides rather than because they thought no crew deserved to go.

The situation goes right back to when Olivia Price decided she wanted to sail with Eliza Solly, who at the time was crew for Tess Lloyd. As an Olympic silver medallist, Price was obviously the favoured skipper for the Rio nomination and the change of crews was quickly facilitated.

It has been obvious to anyone watching the AST go about their work that Price and Solly had protected status. That was fine when they were consistently the best crew. But after a break because of injury they have never regained their previous form and on the past 12 months results most certainly did not deserve an Olympic spot. In fact they were only the third best Australian crew as Haylee Outteridge and Nina Curtis, who only got back together 12 months ago, also beat Price and Solly at recent major regattas.

But although Price and Solly didn't deserve to be selected, in my opinion Tess Lloyd and Caitlyn Elks certainly did. Lloyd showed her fighting spirit during her comeback from a shocking accident in Brisbane when she was hit in the head by a windsurfer while competing in the 29er and was in a coma for several days. After teaching herself to walk and talk again, she got back in the boat and started working towards her dream of Olympic selection.

More on this shameful decision by Sailing Australia:

The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series will race on the first freshwater racecourse in its history when it comes to Chicago June 10-12, 2016 at Navy Pier. Watch World Sailor of the Year Peter Burling and his Emirates Team New Zealand squad race to defend their series lead over Jimmy Spithill's ORACLE TEAM USA, the defending champion of the America's Cup.

Paris 1900, The First Olympic Games For Sailing
Click on image to enlarge.

1906 Olympics Following a no-start due to high winds at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, sailing's 112-year Olympic history began on the River Seine at Meulan on 20 May 1900.

The venue, a small town 20km away from Paris, played host to 6 of the 8 Olympic classes with the other two sailing from 1 – 5 August off the coast of Le Havre.

The International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU), the international governing body which would become World Sailing, wouldn't exist for another six years. This meant there was no one established international rule-book for sailing so the 150 competitors from six nations would have followed their local rules - which must have led to some confusion on the water. It also meant that the boats were not standardized like they are today and were instead placed in different 'Ton' categories according to the Godinet rule which considered displacement, length, and total sail area.

Despite the lack of structure and less than ideal wind conditions the competition would be a relative success. The French were the big winners, dominating with 24 of the 39 available medals. However, despite the home-nation gold-rush, it was a Swiss sailor who captured the public attention. Hélene de Pourtales, one of the crew of the winning 1-2 ton class, made history when she became the first ever female Gold medalist of the modern Olympic Games. -- Daniel Smith, World Sailing

Dubarry Ultima - Loved by Sailors
Dubarry Ultima It's hard to love a pair of boots. They either do a job or they don't. Some will have great grip and others will send you crashing down to the deck like some slapstick comedian. Some will keep the water out, others will leak like a pair of bespoke footbaths. Some will breathe to keep you comfortable, others will slowly baste your feet in their own sweat. Some will look great, others like you've just escaped from a circus.

Even if you do find a pair that ticks every box, that looks good, grips well and keeps you warm, dry and comfortable, you'd still struggle to love a boot. Unless, of course, it's a Dubarry boot. Take the Ultima, with its blend of rich, supple leather and durable man-made fibres, the hi tech GORE-TEX liner that acts like an air conditioner, the award-winning grip of the sole - yes, those are all there, recognised benchmarks of quality, but what you can't see or touch or smell is the soul. Ultima boots have it in abundance because, like you, they change. They gain experience at sea and improve with age just as surely as you do. That's why sailors love them.

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Arbitration Panel Hearing Over Kiwi Qualifier For July
In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America's Cup Event Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July.

This is the first official indication that the three-person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however, Sail-World's sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.

The major issue for the Arbitration Panel will be the withdrawal of the Qualifier Series which had been scheduled for Auckland prior to the Challenger Finals which were to be sailed in Bermuda.

That agreement was claimed to have been ripped up by ACEA after Emirates Team New Zealand dared to support the stance taken by then Challenger of Record Luna Rossa (ITA) over the change of boat from an AC62 to the current AC50.

The change was part of a deal offered to the Challengers by the Defender. While Luna Rossa was not against the move to a smaller boat, they warned that it had to be agreed unanimously by all the Challengers, and not decided by a simple majority.

The Italians flagged their move on March 26, 2015, with Emirates Team New Zealand backing their stand via social media.

That was sufficient for ACEA's Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller, a decorated pilot from the Vietnam War, to pull the Qualifier Agreement, telling AP journalist Bernie Wilson that while there were a number of reasons, Schiller told The Associated Press 'the biggest was Team New Zealand 'bouncing back and forth on support' for the unprecedented mid-course downsizing.' -- Richard Gladwell

Master Mariners Regatta
Photo by Erik Simonson, Click on image for photo gallery.

Master Mariner The Master Mariners Benevolent Association is a San Francisco yacht club dating back to 1867 with the purpose of fostering participation in yachting and the preservation of well designed, properly constructed, and well maintained classic and traditional sailing craft.

The Annual Master Mariners Regatta was held on Saturday, May 28th (Memorial weekend). The race began off the San Francisco city front at NOON (near St. Francis YC), aided by Jeff Zarwell and the great Race Committee on the "MERCURY" from Sausalito Yacht Club.

The starts were every five minutes until the final start at 1305. The finish was on the east side of Treasure Island, first finishes around 1400 and continuing until appx. 1600. The post regatta awards party is at the Encinal Yacht Club with a large raft-up of participating vessels.

Alcatel J/70 Cup
Porto Cervo, Italy: A 22-strong fleet of J/70 one-design boats is scheduled to take to the starting line tomorrow as racing gets underway in the first edition of the Alcatel J/70 Cup to be held at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS). Taking place from 3rd to 5th June, the event is the third leg of the Italian J/70 class circuit and marks the fleet's inaugural visit to Porto Cervo but certainly not their last, given that the class World Championship will take place at the YCCS in 2017.

Naturally the scratch list is dominated by Italian teams, however several crews from the Principality of Monaco are also participating alongside Russia's New Territories. Among the Italian crews to watch are current circuit leader Franco Solerio with his L'elagain together with his closest rivals on the overall leaderboard Alberto Rossi on Enfant Terrible, and Carlo Alberini with his Calvi Network.

Also in the spotlight will be Giacomo Loro Piana on Mary J, Stefano Bonadeo on Mary Lou and Franco Loro Piana on Jamming, all of whom fly the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda colours and form, together with Nicola Savoini, the Positive Vibration Sailing Team. With a new fleet of J/70 yachts acquired in 2015 and several team racing and interclub events in programme over the 2016 season, the YCCS clearly sees a strong future for this fast-growing class.

the first signal for racing is scheduled for 12 noon Friday June 3. The forecast is for 15 to 18 knots of westerly breeze.

Survitec Group Marine Industry Regatta
Fifteen teams from across the marine industry set sail yesterday from Port Solent to compete in the 2016 Survitec Group Marine Industry Regatta.

The teams enjoyed breakfast and a pre-race briefing at the Port House before the fleet of Sunsail Match 40's left the marina at 09:30. With Ian Walker, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Skipper and winner of the Volvo Ocean Race, competing as skipper on the JMST/ASSF boat, the pressure was on as the teams made for the racecourse.

The weather conditions were tricky with a blustery northerly, which gusted up to 28knts.

The first of three extremely competitive races saw Marine Resources leading the fleet off the line and into an unassailable lead. The second race was again won by the team from Marine Resources who showed some excellent boat handling in the increasing breeze. The final race win went to Wetsuit Outlets who picked there way through the front of the fleet as the wind dropped and then built again.

The fleet made its way back to Port Solent, arriving at 16:30 to the sound of jazz music and the smells of BBQ in the air.

Marine Resources was awarded first place and presented with the Boating Business Trophy, with the 2nd place Greg O'Brien Trophy going to Wetsuit Outlet.

This fun but competitive event, sponsored by Survitec Group, raises funds for both the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation and the John Merricks Sailing Trust and is a great way to get together with other marine professionals and to entertain clients and staff. A cheque for £1700.00 was presented to Ian walker (JMST) and Richard Percy (ASSF) by Hannah Burrywood (Survitec Group) and Mike Shepherd (Marine Advertising Agency).

Final Results
1. Marine Resources
2. Wetsuit Outlet
3. Sunsail Port Solent
4. ASSF and JMST
5. Marine Advertising Agency
6. Survitec
7. Pantaenius UK Ltd
8. Sunsail Holidays
9. Bruntons Propellers
10. Marine Superstore
11. Chelsea Magazines
12. Premier Marinas
13. British Marine
14. Crewsaver
15. Sea Cadets

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 Alistair Skinner: I completely agree with Dave Williams, why do people have to try and drag achievers down and just how does someone being a confirmed bachelor leave them open to unfounded accusations, particularly when they are no longer with us to defend themselves and YES, how could he have got away with it when surrounded by so many people there, for his own safety, to watch his every move. I am sure they wouldn't have imagined the security they were providing would end up being security of reputation.

The first Brit to win the Sydney Hobart since Cpt. Illingworth and, as far as I am aware the only country leader to captain a national sporting team while in office (British Admiral's Cup Team 1971) and also lead it to victory. He formed a remarkable partnership with Owen Parker and led and inspired a great boat crew and it is doubtful if the Morning Clouds' 3 Gold Roman Bowls in the Round the Island Race will ever be surpassed.

We do appear to live in a sad cynical world I am sorry to say.

* From David Arnold: Dave Williams cracked a couple of ribs during the '79 Fastnet and I, being the medical officer in my spare time, bound him up with a large elastic bandage when the weather had calmed down a bit.

Ted Heath had a deep cut in his leg, which I stitched up while he stoically bore my clumsy efforts in silence.

When we got in to Plymouth I was met by my wife and parents-in-law - Andrea's father was a famous Australian surgeon. He said it was the worst bit of stitching he'd ever seen. I replied that the next time he operated I shake him around a bit and pour buckets of sea water over him to see how he'd manage.

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