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 editor@scuttlebutteurope.com

Team SCA 'Keep It Simple' For A Glorious Double
Photo by SCA / Rick Tomlinson. Click on image for photo gallery.

Auckland, New Zealand: Team SCA became the only crew in the Volvo Ocean Race to claim two in-port victories on Saturday after a thrilling start-to-finish win in Auckland - "by keeping it simple".

It was a fight all the way, however, in surely the most exciting in-port race in the 2014-15 edition with Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) narrowly beaten to the line by Sam Davies' (GBR) all-women crew.

Afterwards, the women's boat's navigator Libby Greenhalgh (GBR) summed up their success in the New Zealand Herald In-Port Race: "We won it because we kept it simple, kept our manoeuvres to a minimum and that's what paid out for us."

Team Brunel skipper Bekking, however, had the consolation of moving joint top of the In-Port Race standings on 14 points with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) who lost out in their own enthralling tussle with Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA) for fifth place.

The Turkish/American boat ran down 'Azzam' with barely metres to spare at the finish line, cheered on by fans in an absolutely packed Auckland harbour.

The Emirati boat retains the edge, however, thanks to the best individual results overall in the series.

www.volvooceanrace.com

The Coming Storm...
"Batten down!" screams the front page of The New Zealand Herald on Sunday.

"Devastating cyclone poised to unleash gales, flooding and damage on the North Island tonight."

Dog-eared editions of the paper lie strewn across the Volvo Ocean Race media centre.

Step outside the ANZ Auckland Viaduct Events Centre and there's a tension hanging in the air. A warm hum, an electric buzz. There's no doubt - it's coming.

And it's coming fast. Almost 200km/hr at the last check, as it tore through the tropical island of Vanuatu, crumpling and ripping up houses and cars like pieces of waste paper.

Aid agencies who have descended upon the devastated area have said that this could turn out to be one of the worst disasters in Pacific Ocean history.

"This weather is very rare for the race, and New Zealand," says Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad.

The worst of the storm is due to hit this sailing city in the early hours of Monday morning.

"There's no doubt there's a big storm coming over the next day," says Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker.

"For sure it's the right decision to delay the fleet, nobody wants to send us out there to break boats, damage sails, or worse still, injure people."

www.volvooceanrace.com

How Do You Repair A Volvo 65 With No Side Or Back End?
Recovering a wrecked Volvo 65 from a remote reef in the Indian Ocean and shipping her over 5,000 miles to a yard tucked up against the foothills of the Italian Alps was an huge undertaking in itself. But rebuilding this highly refined, weight conscious, 12.5tonne all-carbon race boat to within a few kilogrammes of her original displacement in one third of the time that she was first constructed, was a truly daunting task. Having stated their aim to return to the Volvo Ocean Race for the penultimate leg of the race starting from Lisbon in June, Team Vestas Wind had their work cut out to deliver on their promise.

Yachting World's Matthew Sheahan's video:

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=uukZi19glq8, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Dubarry Ultima - Loved By Sailors
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, which 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?

dubarry.com

The Wave, Muscat Victorious On Home Waters
Pre-event favourites The Wave, Muscat win on home waters for the third consecutive year, narrowly denying the Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team their first ever Act victory, after a down to the wire final double points race shoot out at the Extreme Sailing Series Act 2, Muscat.

After six races, just two points separated the Omani and Danish teams - with the advantage in the hands of Rasmus Kostner and Jes Gram Hansen on SAP Extreme Sailing Team, after winning the first two races of the day. The teams went toe to toe in the final and 29th race of the Act, and it was The Wave, Muscat who took control from the start, playing the light seven-knot wind shifts expertly, to extend away from the fleet and take the race win and overall Act victory - SAP Extreme Sailing Team taking third place to secure them second.

After 2 Acts this year, (the first in Singapore just five weeks ago), Red Bull Sailing Team, The Wave, Muscat and SAP Extreme Sailing Team are all tied on 18 points on the Series standing. Next up, the Series moves to Qingdao, China, 30 April - 3 May.

Act 2 Muscat standings after Day 4, 29 races (14.03.15)

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 239 points
2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Thierry Douillard, Mads Emil Stephensen, Brad Farrand, 237
3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Hans Peter Steinacher, Jason Waterhouse, Adam Piggott,Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson, 220
4. Oman Air (OMA) Stevie Morrison, Nic Asher, Ted Hackney, Ed Powys, Ali Al Balashi, 211
5. Team Turx powered by Kaya Ropes (TUR) Mitch Booth, Edhem Dirvana, Selim Kakis, Diogo Cayolla, Matteo Auguadro, 189
6. GAC Pindar (GBR) Seve Jarvin, Ian Williams, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski, 167
7. Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) Lorenzo Bressani, Enrico Zennaro, Gabriele Olivo, Tom Buggy, Stefano Ciampalini, 157
8. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Alexander Bozhko, Aleksey Kulakov, 152

www.extremesailingseries.com

Neutrogena Back In The North
Neutrogena crossed the Equator last night at 2218hrs UTC, 73 days 10hours and 18min after the start, passing back into the northern hemisphere 5days 01h28min after Cheminees Poujoulat. GAES Centros Auditivos are making about 13kts but will slow down before they cross the Equator which is about 130 miles ahead of them.

Spirit of Hungary now have less than 400 miles to Cape Horn and are making 16.3 kts this morning.

Race leaders Cheminees Poujoulat are on a more northerly course now - actullay heading just east of north - as the predicted veer takes place and they are lifted to a higher course. Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam will slow from their very regular 12.1 to 12.5 kts today when they negotiate a high pressure ridge.

We Are Water and One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton have 28 miles between them and are racing in 17-20kts of of SE'ly breeze. They are approaching a front which is lying all the way across their route.

Jorg Riechers and Sebastien Audigane on Renault Captur have had some good S'ly winds but will start to be troubled by high pressure and lighter winds arriving for them today from the west.

www.barcelonaworldrace.org

Kilroy Captures Melges Rocks Title, Hollerbach Wins 2015 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series
PRO Blake Middleton did a great job of banging off two well-run races that allowed for a high quality racing experience. An insane amount of generous, hard working volunteers assisted in the effort, and the Coconut Grove Sailing Club again proved it is one of the best places in North America to host an event.

John Kilroy aboard Samba Pa Ti maintained their blistering pace to grab a 2-4 and win the event overall in impressive fashion. But the story of the day was the younger Kilroy, Liam on Wildman who posted a 1-3 passing his father on the final run of the last race and grabbing third overall.

Maintaining a steady hand throughout the winter series, Cesar Gomes Neto on Portobello showed some great speed, boathandling and tactics to secure 2nd overall.

Hollerbach battled for a second in the final race, securing sixth overall In the regatta and winning the series outright, while Kiss sailed another great event to grab second overall followed by Gomes Neto in 3rd.

As the fleet marches on to the Worlds in San Francisco in the fall of 2015, the next stop is the US National Championship during the highly popular Charleston Race Week.

Top five results after 8 races, 1 discard

1. John Kilroy/Bill Hardesty, Samba Pa T, 14 points
2. Cesar Gomes Neto/John Bowden, Portobello, 36
3. Liam Kilroy/Steve Hunt, Wildman, 37
4. Alessandro Rombelli/Terry Hutchinson, STIG, 42
5. Michael Kiss/Mike Buckley, Bacio, 46

Full results: www.yachtscoring.com

P2 and Marie Triumphant at Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta
Virgin Gorda, BVI: The final race day of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous was a fittingly gripping affair that brought three days of hard-fought and incredibly tight racing to a close and saw overall victory awarded to P2 (Class A) and Marie (Class B).

Both classes completed an anti-clockwise round-the-island course today that took them from a downwind start on a spectacular run to Round Rock off the south western tip of Virgin Gorda. A long and challenging upwind beat followed as the boats battled 10-foot waves around the back of the island before finishing just off the North Sound.

Only two points separated the top three boats in Class A heading into the final race, so every second and every manoeuvre counted today. A battle to the finish ensued between P2, Freya and Cape Arrow with less than 40 seconds separating the top three boats across the line after 29 miles of racing.

www.loropianacaribbeansuperyachtregatta.com

* If there was ever any doubt that another new rating rule could create dramatic superyacht racing, Day One of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta not only proved the concept, but kicked it squarely at the goal. After a squally night in Virgin Gorda, BVI, the day dawned with perfect conditions - sun, a steady breeze and blue skies. The scene was set - and the racing didn't disappoint, with a spectacular photo finish on the water for both Classes. 'It was a perfect day of yachting,' said a beaming Peter Wilson, racing on the Vitters ketch Marie in Class B. 'The wind direction was steady, as was the wind speed - perfect conditions for Marie and the fleet.'

This year's regatta - organised by the Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda - has two innovations. First, it is the first outing for the Offshore Racing Congress's new ORCsy superyacht rating rule, and second it is the first time the Loro Piana regatta has run a true pursuit race format. The yachts start in a prescribed order according to how long their rating says they will take to finish the course, and whoever crosses the line first is the winner - there are no corrections or handicaps applied after the racing.

www.loropianacaribbeansuperyachtregatta.com
orc.org

Seahorse March 2015
What's in the Latest Edition Of 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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18ft Skiffs Club Championship, Race 11
Click on image to enlarge.

Sydney Harbour: Strong southerly winds, gusting to more than 30-knots on Sydney Harbour, brought a premature end to the Australian 18 Footers League 2014-2015 Season when today's Race 11 of the Club Championship had to be abandoned.

The Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel team of Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy and Peter Harris were declared Club champions as the team held a 14 points lead over the fleet before today.

Keagan York, Greg Dixon, Matt Stenta took out the Club's Season Poinrscore on Compassmarkets.com. The team defeated the Yandoo team of John Winning, Andrew Hay and Jim Beck by 11 points.

The Australian 18 Footers League would like to thank its supporters and sponsors and looks forward to continuing the association again in 2015-2016. -- Frank Quealey

www.18footers.com

EUROSAF Youth Sailing, European Championship
With the launch of the EUROSAF Youth Sailing, European Championship website www.eurosafyouthsailing.org it is now possible for countries to register their teams to compete in the 2015 European Youth Championship taking place in Brest, France, under the burgee of the Societe des Regates de Brest, from 27th July to 2nd August.

In a development from previous years, it has been announced that with the championship being held in Brest, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia have been invited to send their youth sailing teams to compete in the event, with the objective of this becoming a permanent arrangement should the trial in 2015 prove a success.

In addition, the OA, along with Federation Française de Voile (FFVoile) and EUROSAF, further announce today that the 29er class will be open to entries from all countries, including all non-European countries.

The EUROSAF Youth Sailing, European Championship is an annual event, based upon the same lines as that of the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. It is for sailors under the age of 19 on the 31st December, in the year of the event, and entries are exclusively through the National Authorities for Sailing in each country.

For more information on the EUROSAF Youth Sailing European Championship, 2015 please visit www.eurosafyouthsailing.org or email john.friend@eurosaf.org

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