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.

Figaro and Classic Focus - Day Four: RORC Caribbean 600
Competing for the Mariella Cup, Brian Smullen's 1970 Irish McGruer 55, Cuilaun. Photo RORC/Tim Wright/Photoaction.com. Click on image to enlarge.

TEXT Four Figaro II teams, all from the Guadeloupe Grand Large sailing academy, are racing in this year's RORC Caribbean 600. 18 sailors from the offshore racing academy are racing on four identical yachts and have high aspirations for the future; the Solitaire du Figaro, Route du Rhum or the Everest of offshore solo-sailing, the Vendee Globe.

At 1200 local time on Day Four of the RORC Caribbean 600, the leading Figaros in the race had just rounded Barbuda for the second time and were 78 miles from the finish. Benjamin Augereau's Bandit Mancho was less than a mile ahead of Alienor Fleury's Urga Burga. Simon Lefort's SOR was six miles behind the leader and Arthur Bouwyn's Bato 1 was in fourth place. The battle at the front is intense with a photo-finish likely between Bandit Mancho and Urga Burga at around midnight tonight.

While the fastest boats have finished the RORC Caribbean 600, the fight is still on for the three boats pushing hard to win the Mariella Cup for best Classic yacht overall. Donated by Carlo Falcone in 2014 and won that year by his 79ft Alfred Mylne designed yawl of the same name, the yachts in contention for the Mariella Cup include Brian Smullen's 1970 Irish McGruer 55, Cuilaun and Robert Fabre's 1945 Marconi Frers 42ft ketch, Vagabundo II.

Leading on the water is the oldest yacht in the fleet, Joseph Robillard's 1938 S&S 68ft yawl, Black Watch, which is currently leading on the water on the leg from Barbuda to Redonda with 59 miles to the finish.

caribbean600.rorc.org

Two Different Worlds Separated By Cape Horn
With Cheminees Poujoulat making good progress up the Atlantic, making close to 18kts, 120 miles SW of the Falklands, Cape Horn marks the frontier between the two different worlds inhabited by skippers on the Barcelona World Race.

All but two pairs, the bookends of the fleet, are still awaiting their release from the Big South, the relentless grey, chilly, damp world. For Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam, bows of Cheminees Poujoulat pointed NE, there is the added vigour of knowing every mile north is a mile closer to sunshine and tradewinds, a mile closer to Barcelona, and a mile away from their Southern Oceans escapades. And for seventh placed Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman in Bluff, South Island NZ, there is an unfortunate but not unpleasant technical pitstop as they make repairs to ensure a less troublesome second half of their race.

Cheminees Poujoulat had a reasonable passage across the border last night, under the cover of darkness. They crossed into the Atlantic passing 14 miles south of Rock at 00:53 UTC, after 55 days 12 hours and 53 minutes of racing. This afternoon Stamm and Le Cam passed the Strait of Le Maire, between Tierra del Fuego and Staten Island, and their next choice is which side to leave the Falklands. So far the windward, west side looks better and a shorter route.

Standings at 1400hrs Wednesday 25/02/2015
1. Cheminees Poujoulat (B Stamm - J Le Cam) - 6695 miles to finish
2. Neutrogena (G Altadill - J Munoz) + 1096 miles to leader
3. GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella - G Marin) + 1211
4. We Are Water (B Garcia - W Garcia) + 3244 miles
5. One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert - D Costa) + 3405
6. Renault Captur (J Riechers - S Audigane) + 4000.4
7. Spirit of Hungary (N Fa - C Colman) + 4748
ABD : Hugo Boss (A. Thomson - P. Ribes)

www.barcelonaworldrace.org

Royal Ocean Racing Club Full Time Racing Administrator
The Royal Ocean Racing Club is looking for a full time Racing Administrator to join the Race Team in Cowes.

Primary duties involved in the administration of the Racing Programme are; supporting race competitors entering races, organising volunteers, managing trophies and prize giving's, booking race team and race officer travel and accommodation, compiling and distribution of race publications and paperwork.

The successful candidate will have experience using Microsoft Programmes - Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint and Outlook and ideally have experience updating website content and in using databases.

He or she must be very well organised and able to work under pressure, be confident and sociable and happy to travel as the programme dictates.

An understanding and experience in sporting event administration, particularly in the sailing world would be of great benefit.

Salary and full job description on application.

To apply send a CV and covering letter outlining experience and suitability to:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or

Nick Elliott
Royal Ocean Racing Club
20 St James's Place
London
SW1a1NN

No Sleep Until Auckland
Victory in the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race was so close that Dongfeng Race Team skipper Charles Caudrelier (FRA) could almost taste it on Thursday, but with just over 500 nautical miles (nm) to go, he was taking nothing for granted.

The fleet is expected to arrive at their destination, Auckland, on New Zealand's North Island, on Saturday afternoon local time after 20 days of head-to-head racing.

Rarely in the 41-year history of offshore racing's most prestigious event can such a long leg (5,264nm) have been so closely contested by the entire fleet.

Just 51.8nm separated leaders, Dongfeng Race Team, from the last-placed boat, Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR), and with light winds expected in the final stretch, there was every possibility that the fleet could bunch even closer together.

Caudrelier's crew, victors in the previous leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, were pursued by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), just 3.5nm in their wake, with MAPFRE (Xabi Fernandez/ESP) still holding third spot, 12.3nm in arrears (0340 UTC).

volvooceanrace.com

Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta 2015 Notice Of Race Published
The Notice of Race for the Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta 2015, the Olympic Test Event, has been published.

Notice of Race

The Aquece Rio - International Sailing Regatta 2015 is the second of two Rio 2016 Olympic Test Events with the first being held in 2014. Rio will welcome sailors once again from 13-22 August 2015 with racing taking place inside and outside of Guanabara Bay.

Each ISAF Member National Authority is entitled to enter one boat in each Olympic event and must apply to enter by 1 May 2015.

Sailors will compete in an opening series before Medal Races on 20, 21 and 22 August bring the regatta to a close.

www.aquecerio.com/en

The Day Scientists Tried To Drown Me ... For My Own Good
At the Extreme Environments Lab, elite sailors are quite literally thrown in the deep end, undergoing harrowing survival training in a pool as close to the Southern Ocean as you'll find under one roof.

"I think for quite a lot of them it's all a bit of a game to start with -- they're all jumping in the pool and having a bit of a laugh," said Alistair Hackett, who runs the three-day advanced sea survival course at South Tyneside College in Newcastle.

"Then we turn the waves on. Then we turn the rain on and it's pretty severe -- you can't really breathe properly with it hitting your face. Then we turn the wind on and all of a sudden it's not quite like going to your local swimming pool anymore."

Wearing survival suits, we're standing around what looks like an unfriendly industrial version of your local swimming pool. A siren starts, some unseen machinery strains somewhere deep below, the waters start to move, and as the air fills with spray from the overly aggressive rain makers, the wind machines kick in.

One by one we jump in. But it's fine, because it's a swimming pool. Very quickly though, it's not ok -- I'm searching for the features on my lifejacket, someone's yelling something, but there's too much noise. I'm struggling to fit the spray hood, struggling to stay safe, struggling to breathe.

The sea safety course is a thorough demonstration of what to expect on the open waters, teaching us how to swim in waves and spray, and right upturned life rafts. -- Shirley Robertson

edition.cnn.com

GJW Direct Sailfest
Entry is now open for the 2015 edition of GJW Direct SailFest. With an early heads-up, the keen Devoti D-Zero fleet have already got entries coming in for their inaugural national championships, to be held as part of the SailFest regatta.

SailFest gives the opportunity for dinghy racing at all levels - fun close to shore and bigger courses out in the Solent. GPS trackers on all the competing boats feed back live tracks to shore for a live commentary. The racing, as ever, is the focal point of the event and already the Rooster 4000, Devoti D-One, ISO and Cherub classes have SailFest on their calendar, alongside the D-Zeros.

This year, GJW Direct SailFest has developed yet further to offer a choice of sailing areas with experienced sailors on a big course out in the Solent. Newly-experienced sailors from local clubs and less confident friends and family of the outer-course racers are warmly invited to test the water at perhaps their first inter-club event, knowing they are sharing the inner course with like-minded compatriots, coaches never far away.

All entrants can register for free entry to the Icon Cup - a match racing event running throughout the weekend and with a £1000 prize fund.

Enter here, now: sailfest.sailracer.org

Seahorse March 2015
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Hope balanced with frustration
For Maxi 72 class manager Rob Weiland a week in Key West prompted some broad reflections on today's multiple rating systems

The (other) Pope - Part 2
Bring on the Technology Tigers... as explained by Dobbs Davis and Lowell North

(Great) sportboat value
Meet the 'keenly priced' FarEast 28R

Get a grip...
The lab boys at Gill have been busy

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Short Tacks
The ORC Offshore Classes and Events Committee has recently approved the proposal bid presented by the Nautical Club of Thessaloniki for the 2016 ORC European Championship to be held in Porto Carras, Greece. Final approval will be made by the ORC Congress at the Annual General Meeting in November in Sanya, China. Dates are still to be determined, but may likely be at the end of June or early July, 2016.

For more information on ORC and other ORC rules, classes and events, visit www.orc.org

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Date confirmed for 1 day RORC IRC Measurers workshop conducted by RORC in Dublin is Saturday 28th March 2015. If you are interested please send your details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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If relaxed cruising in open boats with good company, in stunning locations takes your fancy then check out what the Drascombes have planned for 2015.

The Irish Drascombes are starting a busy season of rallys with a weekend on Carlingford w/e of 12th June, followed by a cruise for dinghies & dayboats along the coast to Strangford Lough where East Down Yacht Club will be the host for the the following weekend.

The Crosshaven and Cobh Trad Sail weekend, Glandore Classic Regatta and plenty more are on the calendar of events.

For more information see their Events Page on Drascombe.ie here. www.drascombe.ie/index.php?act=cruises

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Join guest curator and world-leading Viking historian, Dr Gareth Williams from the British Museum, for an insider's guide to the new Viking Voyagers exhibition at the National Marine Museum Cornwall.

Ships and boats were vital to Viking expansion. The Vikings explored and colonised, were invaders and migrants, and the seas and rivers were the highways and byways through which they amassed huge wealth and power. Their power was built on their knowledge of boatbuilding and their seafaring skills. Discover why the Vikings became one of the most iconic maritime cultures in history.

Please call 01326 214546 for bookings. Doors & bar open from 6pm.

Tickets

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As part of the 5th High Performance Yacht Design conference hosted by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), in conjunction with the University of Auckland, there will be a free public lecture during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover.

Knut Frostad is the Chief Executive of the Volvo Ocean Race. This is the third time that he has managed the VOR and he was instrumental in changing the event from an open class rule into the strict one-design, sailor driven contest that it has now become. He will be speaking about the evolution of the Volvo Ocean Race event and the merits of the one-design.

Peter Montgomery - the voice of NZ yachting will be the master of ceremonies at the event, which will be held in a specially built hospitality marquee on the end of Hobson Wharf.

Monday 9th March 6.30pm - 8.30pm at the Members Lounge Hospitality Venue, Hobson Wharf (temporary structure, behind Viaduct Events Centre)

Numbers are strictly limited. For more information and to register for the event please visit www.engineering.auckland.ac.nz

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The Last Word
When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky. -- Gautama Siddharta

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