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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Maxis In The Rolex Capri Sailing Week's Volcano Race To Round Stromboli
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, carloborlenghi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Volcano Race The Maxis competing in Rolex Capri Sailing Week set off from Capri on the Volcano Race at 1000 local time Monday.

The start took place as a front was passing over, bringing intermittent rain and a southeasterly wind of 8-10 knots.

After poring over the latest forecasts, the race committee, led by PRO Peter 'Luigi' Reggio, earlier this morning chose a shorter course option for the Volcano Race. Instead of sailing the full 320 miles, that would have taken the fleet through the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily, the boats are now heading south from Capri, then leave the island Stromboli and its tiny neighbour, Strombolicchio, (both active volcanoes) to port, before returning north to Capri and the finish. The distance for this route is 230 miles.

As expected, the largest boat in the fleet, Igor Simcic's 30.5m (100ft) Esimit Europa 2 this afternoon was leading the charge south, while the French crew aboard the VO70 Villa Saxe Eiffel was representing her greatest threat. The latter team, led by former Whitbread Round the World Race winner Lionel Pean, had chosen a more offshore route, some 8km to the west of Esimit, possibly in anticipation of a wind shift to the left later today.

The tightest race among the competitors at this event, organised by the International Maxi Association in conjunction with the Yacht Club de Capri, was expected to be in the Mini Maxi Racer class, between the two Judel-Vrolijk 72 sisterships, Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou and Roberto Tomasini Grinover's Robertissima. This afternoon Robertissima held a narrow lead over Jethou, Sir Peter Ogden's team having won the Volcano Race two years ago on their previous Mini Maxi.

The routing currently has the boats completing this shorter, 220 mile Volcano Race by Tuesday afternoon (Tuesday).

www.internationalmaxiassociation.com

Solo Basse Normandie
On Friday 16th May, the eight man British Solitaire du Figaro squad; Sam Goodchild (Team Plymouth), Nick Cherry (Redshift), Henry Bomby (Red), Jack Bouttell (GAC Pindar), Ed Hill (Macmillan Cancer Support) and Rookies Sam Matson (Artemis 21), Alan Roberts (Artemis 23) and Rich Mason (Artemis 77) set off on the Solo Basse Normandie - their last race offshore race ahead of the 2014 Solitaire du Figaro.

Starting from Granville, France at 1900 BST, Team Plymouth skipper Sam made the most of the spritely 15 knots of breeze at the start, leading the 17 boat fleet to the first mark followed by fellow Brits Ed in second and Nick in third. As forecast, the breeze dropped off on the first night and before long a routine was established with skippers alternating between drifting on the tide in roughly the right direction, and dropping anchor when the tide became unfavourable. The Race Committee called time on the already shortened 165nm race at 0500 BST on Sunday 18th May as the fleet passed Ouistreham, France, taking finishing times at the eastern exit to the Cherbourg breakwater.

With the third and final warm up race of the season done and dusted, the eight British Solitaire du Figaro competitors are counting down to the start of the Figaro calendar's main event in just 20 days time. While Nick, Jack, Ed, Rich, Alan and Sam get in a week of rest, recuperation and a bit of boat work ahead of the 2014 mile race, Sam Goodchild and Henry will race the inshore series at the Le Havre Allmer Cup. Having spent less time on the water than before any of their prior Solitaire attempts, Sam and Henry will race in the series starting Friday 23rd May as one final practice ahead of the Solitaire du Figaro. Finishing the Cup with a short race to Deauville, the pair will join the rest of the 37 boat Solitaire du Figaro fleet in the starting port on the 29th May.

The Solitaire du Figaro prologue race will take place on the 31st May ahead of the start of Leg 1 from Deauville, France to Plymouth, UK on Sunday 8th June.

Solo Basse Normandie results
Position / Skipper / Boat name

1. Paul Meilhat / SMA
2. Sam Goodchild / Team Plymouth
3. Nicolas Jossier / In Extenso Experts Comptables
4. Groupe Queguiner Leucemie Espoir / Yann Elies
5. Joan Ahrweilher / Espoir Basse Normandie
6. Alexis Loison / Groupe Fiva
7. Henry Bomby / RockFish
8. Isabelle Joschke / Generali Horizon Mixite
9. Yoann Richomme / Skipper Macif
10. Alan Roberts / Artemis 23
11. Rich Mason / Artemis 77
12. Ed Hill / Macmillan Cancer Support
13. Jack Bouttell / GAC Pindar
14. Sam Matson / Artemis 21
15. Nick Cherry / Redshift
16. Dave Kenefick / Full Irish
17. Port de Caen-Ouistreham / Claire Pruvot

www.solo-bassenormandie.fr

Figaro: www.lasolitaire.com
Artemis Offshore Academy: www.artemisoffshoreacademy.com

Calling All Clubs & Class Associations!
Hudson Wight In advance of the arrival of its 2014 products, Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear has limited availability of the much-admired 2013 HW1 'oilies' made with 3-layer OceanVent fabric. Clubs and Classes can now offer these to members at 25% off via the Hudson Wight Affiliate Scheme, making a full set only £300 while stocks last.

Affiliates will still receive their normal commission of 15% on every order placed by members and friends using their unique Hudson Wight Affiliate code via the website www.hudsonwight.com

Hudson Wight's prices are already far lower than other brands because they only sell direct via this innovative Affiliate Scheme. It's therefore a great deal for members and friends as well as a valuable new source of revenue for Clubs and Classes. Existing Affiliates are already enjoying the benefits of the Hudson Wight Affiliate Scheme but the scheme is open to ALL Clubs and Classes.

If you're not already an Affiliate you are almost certainly missing out so please drop Hudson Wight an email to discuss joining the Affiliate Scheme at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and they will contact you immediately.

Get on board right here, right now! www.hudsonwight.com/affiliates/affiliate-scheme

Media Crew In IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship Event
The IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race will be the first ever major IMOCA event where the doublehanded crews competing also have the opportunity to take a media crewmen with them.

Dedicated on board reporters/media crewmen have featured aboard boats in the last two Volvo Ocean Races. In this they proved to be a vital, dedicated interface between the media and fans back on land and the sailing crew.

One person with a foot in both camps is Andres Soriano, who sailed the last Volvo Ocean Race as media crewman on Mike Sanderson's Team Sanya. Andres will be joining Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz aboard Neutrogena for the race to Barcelona.

During the Volvo Ocean Race media crewmen are forbidden to help with the sailing of the boat in any way, but, in addition to their journalistic responsibilities, could cook for the crew and clean the boat. Lucky them. For the shorter IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race, there are no such draconian rules. Media crewman are, as defined in the Notice of Race as 'not permitted to participate in the sailing of the boat in any way'. This is to give the sailing crew some flexibility in what they feel comfortable with allowing their media crewman to do.

The fleet are gathering in Newport, RI, and set sail from there on Saturday 24th May headed for North Cove Marina in New York. During their time in New York they will take part in the Manhattan Charity Race on Thursday 29th May and then the start of the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona race starts at 1200 hrs on Sunday 1st June.

www.oceanmasters.com

RORC Myth Of Malham Race
The RORC Season's Points Championship continues this May Bank Holiday with the challenging 230-mile Myth of Malham Race. A fleet of approximately 40 yachts, from five different nations, will take part with 10 yachts racing in the Two-Handed Class. The race is of great significance in the RORC Season's Points Championship, as the route mirrors the start of the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and has a weighted points factor for teams looking to increase their overall score for the season.

The course can be a described as a long windward leeward, starting from Cowes with the top mark as the Eddystone Lighthouse, approximately 12 miles SSW of Plymouth Sound, and finishing in the Solent.

The end of May is typically a time of changeable weather in the UK and the Myth of Malham Race is shaping up to be a real tactical challenge. The south coast of England has complex and significant tidal flows, measuring as much as five metres at the Eddystone Lighthouse and weather forecasts are predicting varied wind speed and direction along the route. Correctly anticipating whether to stay offshore or come inshore will be a big factor in any teams performance.

Jean Yves Chateau's Iromiguy won IRC Four in last year's Myth of Malham Race; the Nicholson 33 is one of the legendary yachts of RORC racing, having won the Fastnet Trophy in 2005.

Line Honours for the Myth of Malham is likely to come down to a duel between two IMOCA 60s: Chris Le Prevost's Rosalba, and the new Artemis Ocean Racing 2. Led by Mike Ferguson, the team behind Artemis Ocean Racing 2 won the 2010 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race overall onboard the first Artemis Ocean Racing.

The Myth of Malham Cup will be awarded to the yacht with the best corrected time racing under the Spinlock IRC Rule. The trophy and race are named after the yacht Myth of Malham which was a 37'6" sloop built in 1947 by Hugh McClean & Co at Greenock and designed by John Laurent Giles for John Illingworth. Myth of Malham won the 1947 and 1949 Fastnet Races and in 1957 was part of the winning team for the first Admiral's Cup.

afloat.ie

Pete Goss Urges Support For Missing Yacht Crew
Westcountry sailor and adventurer Pete Goss MBE has added his support to the growing calls to resume the search for four yachtsmen missing from the 40ft yacht Cheeki Rafiki.

The vessel ran into difficulties late last week while crossing the Atlantic about 1000 miles off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but despite an upturned hull being spotted in the water and the sailors having a life raft and survival equipment, the search was called off on Sunday.

An online petition has been launched to persuade the US Coastguard to resume the search: https://www.change.org

Pete is no stranger to the perils of ocean sailing and said that he really feels for all those involved. When asked to comment he said: "I don't need to say anything - just click on the petition."

Harken Technical And Hardware Support At The Pendennis Cup
Harken at Pendennis Cup Our resident professionals, Mark Gardner and Alun Hughes from Harken UK, will be on call at Harken's fully-tooled service van during the Pendennis Cup, May 26 - 31.

They are available to answer all your technical questions, clean, grease, and reassemble your winches, and have plenty of spare parts in stock to keep your deck gear primed and rolling.

Don't hesitate to contact them with a problem. Just give them a call on the service van's mobile 07969 299848. They'll make your yacht race-ready, so you'll be ready to race.

www.harken.com/Pendennis-Cup

Marseille One Design 2014
From 8 to 14 September the all new Marseille One Design event will play host to France's first ever staging of The Great Cup circuit. Headlining the event is the GC 32 one-design and the circuit has already been in operation for some two years.

Based on an idea by Laurent Lenne, a trained naval architect, creator of the circuit and manager of The Great Cup society, the Martin Fischer-designed GC 32 is a foiling catamaran. The most modern version of the GC 32 can stand some 1.5m above the surface of the water and is capable of 20-knot (36km/hr) speeds upwind and over 30 knots (55km/hr) downwind, with a potential for development which makes even greater speeds a possibility.

With her structure built by Premiere Composites, her appendages by Heol Composites (Laurent Tournier) and her rig by Southern Spars, the GC32 incorporates the most high performance technologies. Designed for a clientele of owner-drivers, the craft is also ideal for training up the crews for the next America's Cup.

Launched in 2013, The Great Cup circuit has confirmed stages in Austria, the United Kingdom, Germany and a project planned in Italy. Marseille will be the first French meeting for this cutting-edge circuit. Marseill One Design is organised by Sirius Evenements with the City of Marseille as main partner.

In addition to the performance of the boat, there will be live 3D tracking of the races over the Internet using an on-board camera on each boat.

The week-long programme will alternate between speed test days close to the shore to thrill the local spectators, with the possibility for journalists and guests to climb aboard for a race, as well as 4 days of competition in the southern harbour with a minimum of 6 races a day each lasting 20 to 25'. -- Translation by Kate Jennings

www.thegreatcup.com

Aschenbrenner and Ogeman to Stena Match Cup Sweden
Volvo Spring Cup, the qualifying event for Stena Match Cup Sweden, was decided this weekend at the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club. The young Danish team skippered by Joachim Aschebrenner excelled and won the event against tough competition from some of the best match racing teams in the world.

Light conditions on Saturday turned to stronger winds on Sunday afternoon as the excitement grew heading in to the deciding matches of the Volvo Spring Cup. Johnie Berntsson's Stena Sailing Team and Joachim Aschenbrenner's Team Trifork were the strongest crews in the Medal Round Robin, and the race between them became the deciding match of the regatta.

Johnie received a penalty in the prestart against the Dane and although he tried to recover and equalized the penalty at the last rounding, Aschenbrenner could control the match and win the ticket to Stena Match Cup Sweden '14.

One qualifying spot was also given to the best Swedish youth team in the Volvo Spring Cup. The three Swedish Youth crews competing for the prize had a disappointing start of the event and were knocked out after the Round Robin which led to a sail-off where they raced each other again. It all came down to a duel between to teams from the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club in which Viktor Ogeman's team got off to a good start against Nicklas Dackhammar. An advantage they kept until the finish and they are now awarded a spot in the line up of the World Tour event at Marstrand.

Besides the eight Tour Card Holders of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and the two teams qualifying in the Spring Cup, four teams will also be given wildcards to enter the Open Class of Stena Match Cup Sweden 2013. The 20th anniversary edition of Stena Match Cup Sweden will take place June 30 - July 5 2014.

www.stenamatchcupsweden.com

Andrew Mills To Retire From Olympic Campaign Trail
British Finn sailor Andrew Mills has made the 'tricky decision' to hang up his sailing boots and end his quest for Olympic gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Ashford-born sailor has decided to call time on his eight-year journey in the heavyweight dinghy class, having been offered a career opportunity outside of the sport that he couldn't refuse.

Mills, 28, has been a central figure in the British Sailing Team's successful Finn squad in recent years, having aided Sir Ben Ainslie as a training partner during the 2008 and 2012 Olympic cycles and with his own career highlights coming at the 2011 European Championships where he won bronze, and with regatta victory at last year's ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres.

He also achieved five top-ten finishes at the Finn Gold Cup (the class's World Championship), claimed a sixth place at the recent European Championship at La Rochelle last week, and outside of the Olympic Classes, is a Round the Island Race record holder with Ben Ainslie's JPMorgan BAR.

"I feel I've made great progress with my sailing this cycle and think I have more to come, but when I look at the competition I am up against for the one British spot for Rio and the form Giles [Scott] is in, I don't think I'm quite fast enough.

"Sailing for me was always going to be a first career with the intention of moving into something more permanent afterwards, and I've been given a really great opportunity to make one of the smoothest transitions from sport into business that you can get. It's a one-time offer and although I'll be sorry to be leaving the team, it's an offer that I feel I need to take in the best interests of my longer-term career."

Mills will continue sailing in the Finn until mid-July, aiding the British Sailing Team's Finn squad in their preparations towards the Rio Test Event in August and September's Santander 2014 World Championships before starting his new role in the financial services sector in late August.

www.britishsailingteam.com

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The Last Word
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