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.

Cheminees Poujoulat Lead Into Pacific
Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam set the fastest 24 hours run of this edition of the Barcelona World Race so far making 478 miles to 1400hrs this Monday afternoon on Cheminees Poujoulat.

The Swiss-French duo should enter into the Pacific Ocean early tomorrow morning and hold a lead of 237 nm over second placed Neutrogena. The race's only two paired skippers who are both aged over 50, racing at near 50 degrees south the vastly experienced pairing have been able to maintain high averages propelled by favourable conditions on the leading edge of a low pressure system. Cheminees Poujoulat have gained an extra 26 miles on their margin to Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz over that same period.

Their 24 hrs maximum for this edition of the Barcelona World Race still falls about 38 miles short of the 24 hours record for the race which was set on January 22nd 2011 by Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron. But for comparison their IMOCA 60 Virbac Paprec 3 was a brand new generation at the time, whilst the current Cheminees Poujoulat was launched in 2007 as Michel Desjoyeaux's Vendee Globe winning Farr desig ned Foncia. Stamm has been quicker before, setting his own mark at 507 miles solo in the Vendee Globe in December 2012.

Stamm and Le Cam will pass into the Pacific in good shape. Last time they sailed this stretch of water they were fifth and sixth in the Vendee Globe, Stamm lead his current co-skipper by more than 700 miles.

Standings at 1400hrs UTC Monday 9th February 2015

1. Cheminees Poujoulat (B. Stamm - J. Le Cam) 12.362,9 miles to finish
2. Neutrogena (G. Altadill - J. Munoz) + 236,8 miles to leader
3. GAES Centros Auditivos (A. Corbella - G. Marín) + 1.344
4. Renault Captur (J. Riechers - S. Audigane) + 1.592
5. We Are Water (B. Garcia - W. Garcia) + 2.181
6. One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton (A. Gelabert - D. Costa) + 3.190
7. Spirit of Hungary (N. Fa - C. Colman) + 3.719
ABD Hugo Boss (A. Thomson - P. Ribes)

barcelonaworldrace.com

NSW Etchells: Cheers Michael!
The 2015 Etchells NSW State Championship has been won in quite emphatic style by, The Hole Way. Cameron Miles, David Sampson and Grant Crowle collected wins in both races of this final day of racing to firstly leap into the top spot, and then cement their overall triumph. So it is in memoriam to Cameron and Grant's late friend, Michael Hole, who lost his battle with cancer, that the whole crew would like to dedicate this very hard fought championship. So indeed, cheers to both Michael and his family.

"It is wonderful not be second on count back, such as at the recent Australian Championship, and to be the outright winner, with points up our sleeve. We do feel like we earned this one, after knocking on the door a lot of late. We knew we could do it and have done it before, but it has been a while since we have felt this particular joy", said the former World Champion.

The charming Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Kirribilli hosted the 2015 Etchells NSW State Championship. Now there is always more fun to be had with the Etchells. Next is the West Australian State Championship, followed by Victoria's turn. After that it is off to Mooloolaba in Queensland and then wonderful and hospitable Hong Kong for the 2015 World Championship.

www.etchells.org.au

Dubarry Ultima - Quality Always Lasts
Dubarry Ultima It's amazing to think how sailing has changed since Dubarry started making boots in 1937. The first marina arrived in the 1930s but there were no plastic boats to park in it before the 1940s. There was no yacht radar before the 1950s, nor marine diesel engines before the 1960s, also when polyester sailcloth ousted linen and cotton. The 1970s brought instrumentation and the 1980s saw Decca come and go as GPS stole the show. Oiled canvas gave way to PVC, which yielded to GORE-TEX®. Much indeed has changed, yet one thing has stayed the same: nothing signifies a confident, experienced, discerning yachtie like a pair of Dubarry boots.

Developed as a more luxurious, classical and traditional interpretation of the legendary Shamrock, on which the company's reputation was built, the Ultima is Dubarry's flagship boot. Its sole delivers award-winning, sure-footed grip. Its GORE-TEX® liner is waterproof and breathable to keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Its Dry-Fast-Dry-Soft water-resistant leather weathers with grace and distinction, recording every nautical mile of your experience in the gentle, tanned folds of its sumptuous hide. It's clearer than ever that, though times may change, quality always lasts.

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

dubarry.com

Percy: This Is A Tricky Venue
Artemis Racing team manager Iain Percy says he's very excited about the prospect of racing in Bermuda, which he is calling a tricky venue that will demand the best from the sailors.

"I'm really excited about Bermuda," he says. "You've always had the old adage in the America's Cup that the fastest boat wins, but this is a tricky venue. We'll all have to wake up. It's going to be shifty with a wide range of conditions and that's going to be a new element. Strategy and tactics will be a big factor in this venue."

For the moment however, Percy's Swedish challenger is focused on getting more training time in on its foiling AC45 from its base in California.

"Personally, I love Bermuda. I've sailed there several times and the hospitality you get from the locals is overwhelming," he says. "I know how excited everyone is about us coming there. For me, the best events are where the locals get behind it and enjoy it. So I think that's going to make it very special. It's going to be a very exciting America's Cup."

www.americascup.com

NBC Acquires Us Broadcast Rights For The 35th America's Cup
The America's Cup has selected NBC Sports Group as its partner for the upcoming edition of the America's Cup - including the America's Cup World Series events (2015-16), and the America's Cup Qualifiers, Playoffs and America's Cup Finals (2017).

Highlights of the agreement between NBC Sports Group and the America's Cup include:

- Live coverage on NBC on both weekends of the America's Cup Finals 2017
- Extensive live coverage of the America's Cup Playoffs (and additional America's Cup Finals racing) on NBC and NBCSN
- Coverage of all America's Cup World Series events in 2015 and 2016 on NBCSN
- Live-streaming of all NBC and NBCSN telecasts on NBC Sports Live Extra

Competition in the next America's Cup begins in June 2015, with the first event of the America's Cup World Series, in Cagliari, Italy, with racing on June 6-7.

www.americascup.com

Developments Afoot For The Squib
The recent ballot of boat owning members of the Squib Class voted overwhelmingly in favour of rules change to improve and modernise the design. Final proposals are now being agreed with the RYA prior to work commencing on new moulds and a prototype, which we hope to complete in time for it to be sailing at the Class National Championships at Howth.

The improvements are intended to enhance the Class without outdating any existing boats. There are a number of construction and fitting improvements including a self draining cockpit.

The low maintenance construction system will comply with the requirements of Recreational Craft Directive (RCD). The hull form and sail plan will remain unchanged but the Squib will have a 'fresh, more modern feel' and benefit from a quality construction method.

The self draining cockpit is a major safety improvement and will allow Squibs to both sail and be left on moorings without the need for bailing out, thus making the Squib more user friendly for racing, cruising, and for use by sailing schools.

The Squib has been in existence for more than 46 years and continues to be a successful small keelboat for racing and coastal day cruising. 65 plus boats competed at the 2014 National Championship and 31 boats started on the line at last year's Cowes Week. The Squib Class was overall Class winner at Cowes Week 2014.

www.squibs.co.uk

D-Zeros Join GJW Direct Sailfest15 For Their Inaugural National Championships
Launched at the Suzuki RYA dinghy show in March 2014, the Devoti D-Zero has gained great momentum in less than a year. Evolved from Dan Holman's 'Punk', the Holman/Devoti designed D-Zero is a lightweight single-hander with a choice of 2 rigs: the standard 8.1m rig for 70kg+ helms and the smaller D-Zero Blue suiting helms from 55kgs.

20 boats attended the first training day held for the fleet back in November, with 17 helms then competing in the first opening meeting the following day. With 25 entrants over the Suntouched D-Zero Winter Series the class are expecting at least 30 boats at the Nationals at GJW Direct SailFest, Calshot over the late May Bank Holiday weekend - 23rd to 25th May 2015.

One of a handful of fleets with 20+ entries across the events of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series, the Suntouched Devoti D-Zero Winter Series sees the results extrapolated for fleet racing within the huge handicap fleets these events attract.

The D-Zeros will be joined at Calshot by big-brother class the Devoti D-One, with the Rooster 4000 and ISO classes also having SailFest marked in their open meeting calendar.

Did The America's Cup Destroy Belfast Lough Sailing?
The 35th America's Cup series will be staged in Bermuda in 2017, and already the first team - Ben Ainslie Racing - is starting to settle into its base in the islands at the beginning of a developing process which, it is hoped by locals, will contribute significantly and sustainably to an economy which is by no means as prosperous as the popular image of Bermuda would suggest.

Yet past experience of being involved with the America's Cup circus suggests that while there are definitely immediate and highly visible benefits, they're ephemeral and are more than offset by a hidden but very definite downside. And the pace of the event at its peak is at such a level that almost immediately afterwards there's a sense of anti-climax and recrimination which can poison a sailing centre's atmosphere for years. W M Nixon considers how sailing's most stellar event affected Irish sailing, looks at a more recent continuation of this story, and then takes up the tale of an old boat whose class's health suffered collateral damage from America's Cup fallout.

It was while tracing the story of Tern, a 37ft William Fife-designed Belfast Lough One Design built by John Hilditch of Carrickfergus in 1897, that we stumbled into what is arguably an example of the America's Cup having a seriously damaging effect on local sailing.

Long, wonderful article by WM Nixon in Afloat:
afloat.ie/blogs/sailing-saturday-with-wm-nixon

Industry News
The Marion to Bermuda Race has been deemed a signature event by the Bermuda Tourism Authority as it is a proven entity, delivering on the core objectives of the BTA.

Since the first race in 1977, the Marion to Bermuda Race has brought hundreds of boats and their support crews to the island in alternating Junes to partake in not only sailing events but culinary, cultural, and tourism events as well.

The Bermuda Tourism Authority has committed to assisting in promoting the race through digital channels, as well as assisting in the organization and execution of the race and race events.

The 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race starts on June 19th in Marion, MA. Registration is now open for all cruising boats with a LOA of 32 feet or more. The Notice of Race is available online with all regulations for eligible entries.

www.marionbermuda.com

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Swedish event management company Brandspot and the Swedish America's Cup challenger Artemis Racing will be bringing the America's Cup World Series to Gothenburg. Brandspot has worked with international sailing events for many years and the company is currently involved in both the Volvo Ocean Race finish and Stena Match Cup Sweden on the Swedish west coast.

The event in Gothenburg takes place on August 27th -30th, and the Race Village will be situated in the heart of the city.

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Scottish Series organisers are delighted to announce the world's largest sail manufacturers, North Sails as one of their sponsors for the 2015 event. This support will see North Sails One Design agents for Scotland, Sailingfast, at the event with a free crane to help all small boat competitors in and out of the water.

Having raced at Scottish Series for many years, Sailingfast owner Emma Hepplewhite is delighted to be supporting the event. After her involvement during the 40th anniversary celebrations last year in a volunteer capacity, Emma says, "It was an eye opener to see Scottish Series 'behind the scenes' and understand quite how much work goes in to the regatta both on and off the water from a race management perspective. As an enthusiastic competitor for many years, I'm pleased that, in our role as North Sails One Design Scotland, we can put something back and hopefully encourage more One Design fleets to get involved."

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Cowes Week Limited (CWL) has announced a new relationship with Chilgrove Gin which joins the family of sponsors supporting Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week in 2015 as the Official Gin.

The award-winning Chilgrove Dry Gin was launched just last June and is a super-premium gin conceived in the heart of West Sussex, in the hamlet of Chilgrove.

Chilgrove Gin will be available at Cowes Yacht Haven, Cowes Parade, Northwood House and Shepards Wharf Marina as well as at the various yacht clubs and bars throughout the town.

This year's regatta takes place 8-15 August

www.aamcowesweek.co.uk

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Sailing rally specialists World Cruising Club, organisers of the annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) have announced a partnership with sail makers Elvstrom Sails, to share knowledge and experience with aspiring bluewater cruisers. In a typical year over 1.5 million ocean miles will be sailed by boats in World Cruising Club's Atlantic and world circumnavigations.

Elvstrom Sails, one of the largest sail lofts, was established in 1954 by Paul Elvstrom, four times Olympic medallist.

Elvstrom Sails has joined a wide-ranging group of companies that support World Cruising Club rallies and participating sailors, in a three-year partnership commencing in 2015.

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Winfried Herrmann, founder of Bavaria Yachtbau in Giebelstadt, Germany, has passed away following a lengthy illness. He was 71. Often described as the Henry Ford of boatbuilding, Herrmann founded Bavaria Yachts in 1978.

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The Royal Ocean Racing Club is pleased to announce its partnership with Gill North America as official crew merchandise provider for the 7th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, starting in Antigua on Monday 23 February.

With around 60 international race teams taking part in the Caribbean's only offshore race, competition will be strong as the event attracts some of the world's leading sailors as well as fastest boats. The 600 mile route weaves round 11 Caribbean islands and the tough race is often referred to as the Caribbean Fastnet, so competitors will rely on technical race gear they can trust, as well as more casual shoreside clothing to see them through.

During the race a Gill Store will be located in the car park at the Antigua Yacht Club.

caribbean600.rorc.org

Letters To The Editor - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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 Daniel Charles: The IPC report on Paralympics sailing is damning not only for the casual amateurism of IFDS/ISAF, but also for the way Paralympics sailing is organised.

If one takes the IFDS assertion on face value (the IPC rightfully does not), there would be only 204 high-ranking athletes in Paralympics sailing in the whole world. Bearing in mind the huge number of handicapped persons, this denotes from most NA's a complete lack of dynamism, of promotion and of opportunities.

What the IPC report shows is that the global management of Paralympics sailing is worthless. Handi-sailing appears generated by the Paralympics Games, not by a grass-root movement; lacking roots, the tree naturally fell.

The IFDS snafu also shows the writing on the wall for regular sailing. The proportion of not-disabled sailors involved in regular competition is dwindling, which means that the NA"s are less and less representative of sailing as a whole -their roots are shrinking.

In France, the number of private buyers of the size of boat now involved in the Olympics has been divided by 100 in 40 years. A fundamental review of our practice is urgent - not only to remain in the Olympics, but also for the survival of sailing. Let's not forget that US sailing already lost 61% of its sailors from 1988 to 2004 (source: National Sporting Goods Association) and that the trend is continuing worldwide at a yearly rate of 6 to 8 percent (Source: ISAF)

We sailors are all disabled by a competition-only organisation out of touch with the reality of the common practice.

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The Last Word
I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image. -- Stephen Hawking

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