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

Four In Itajai
"It's awesome. We sailed very, very well, it was a very tight finish - it's been such a monster of a leg!"

After full focus and concentration for 18d 23h 30min 10s, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker finally lets out a smile.

And he has reason to grin. His boat has just won the toughest leg of all - Leg 5, through the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn.

On top of that, they've extended their lead at the top of the rankings, and become the first team this edition to win two legs.

Oh, and won the IWC 24 hour Speed Record Challenge, chalking up a whopping 550 miles in just a one day period on March 30

Within an hour the top 4 teams finished in Itajai to a pack-out race village. Thousands of people lined the shore to watch an amazingly tight finish.

1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing FINISHED Elapsed time: 018d 23h 30m 10s
2. MAPFRE FINISHED Elapsed time: 019d 00h 02m 56s
3. Team Alvimedica FINISHED Elapsed time: 019d 00h 24m 32s
4. Team Brunel FINISHED Elapsed time: 019d 00h 25m 48s

Team SCA's latest Estimated Time of Arrival is Tuesday, April 7, from 1000 to 1200 UTC.

www.volvooceanrace.com

RORC Easter Challenge Day Three: Coached To Perfection
While the sun came out for the final day of the RORC Easter Challenge, sadly the wind failed to materialise on the Solent and at 1130 BST Principal Race Office Stuart Childerley hoisted the AP over A announcing an end to the regatta.

Fortunately the RORC Easter Challenge is a `coaching regatta' and use was made of the lost time at the RORC Cowes Clubhouse where Jim Saltonstall's seminar on the Racing Rules of Sailing was delivered to another packed house. The prizegiving followed, held outside on the club's terrace where the main silverware was presented, along with a considerable tonnage of Easter eggs.

Winner of IRC One was once again Anthony O'Leary's Antix. However this year the Irish team faced a new change having exchanged their beloved silver hulled Ker 39 - which has twice taken them to Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup victory - for Marc Glimcher's red-hulled Catapult, the `big boat' in their winning team last year.

Surprisingly IRC Two was won by a 20 year old Mumm 36, albeit one that has been much tweaked and `IRC-ed' along the way, including the fitting of a swept-back spreader rig. Simon Henning and his crew from Guernsey on Alice are regulars at the RORC Easter Challenge and this weekend beat Peter Morton's JND 35, Salvo to class honours.

More results: www.rorc.org/2015-race-news

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

San Fernando Race Line Honours Decided
After 42 hours of sailing, less than 11 minutes separated line honours winner, Smith 72' Custom Antipodes, from TP52, OneSails Racing however Ray Roberts can take consolation from his position at the head of the IRC Overall standings with OneSails Racing looking very tough to beat.

Geoff Hill, owner and skipper of Antipodes, enjoyed the alternative route offered for the race, saying "It was a very good race [of] 330nm and it had what you would expect. It had a good reach, it had a good run and we had good wind most of the way. We did have some holes to go through, but as a competitive race I'd say it worked very well."

Mills 41 Ambush finished at 1329hrs and Xena is expected to make it home five hours later. The remaining boats in the fleet are still racing and if the breeze holds, Race Management will be busy early tomorrow, with ten boats expected between 0400hrs and 1000hrs.

The last word on the re-routed 2015 San Fernando Race has to go to the line honours winner, Hill. "The crew enjoyed it and we had good sailing - you can't ask for more than that!"

Yellowbrick Tracking can be followed at www.rhkyc.org.hk/sfrtracking.aspx
Provisional Results are posted at www.rhkyc.org.hk/sfr15results.aspx

Sailing Legend: Glenn Bourke
Glenn Bourke has won three Laser World Championship titles, represented Australia at the Olympic Games (in 1992), campaigned for two America's Cup (1987 and 1995), and was formerly CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Glenn is a previous SB20 European Champion, and has also won the class at Cowes Week and the UK Nationals, but has yet to take the Worlds title. Earlier this month he won the Tasmanian State and Australian National SB20 titles at Derwent, sailing with Rob Jeffreys and Australian Sailing Squad member Jake Lilley, and has his eyes on the 2015 worlds - to be held in Torbole, Italy, from July 4-10.

Helen Fretter: What drew you to sail in the SB20 fleet?

Glenn Bourke: My first impression when I saw the class for the first time back in about 2003-04 was that they were everything I could have asked for in a one design, simple, fast, fun, easy to trailer to regattas, not too many crew, one design sails, good in light airs and a breeze, tactical downwind because of the asymmetric spinnaker. I've never really gone away from them either.

I think they are far and away the best small one design keelboat on the market. At time work has taken my attention. I live in a pretty remote place these days without much competition in any form of sailing, but I enjoy travelling to regattas and competing and it gets me off this tiny island, which is healthy!

Interview in Sail-World.com: www.sail-world.com

Consistent Start For Leaders at RYA Youth Nationals
The RYA Youth National Championships kicked off today with racing for all classes at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

The day started with a short postponement ashore before sailors headed out for their first race around 11am. The light sea breeze remained in the harbour for the rest of the day. A dying and unstable breeze in Weymouth Bay meant that the schedule was not completed on the 420, Spitfire and Radial boys' courses.

Consistency was key across the race courses, and those who mastered the shifty sea breeze have taken the advantage on day 1

Warning signal for the first race tomorrow is at the earlier than scheduled time of 10.25am for the 29er blue fleet. You can watch the live streaming from the Harbour course on the sportsXstream website. GPS tracking will also be live for all courses on the sportsXstream class pages. -- Imogen Stanley

www.sportsxstream.com

rya.org.uk

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

World news
Bernard Stamm and 'King' Jean make for the dominant pairing, the TP52s start to get organised in Auckland, Team Vestas begin to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, Burling the magnificent, and a little too much whining in Key West? Blue Robinson, Ivor Wilkins, Giuliano Luzzatto, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis

Update
Terry Hutchinson suffers a 'hump' day in Key West while Andy Rice catches up with Volvo Race sensation Charles Caudrelier

Rod Davis
And it's a wonder that today's America's Cup crews can actually stand up and walk to their boats

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Mumm Partners with Alain Thebault and Hydroptere
Mumm House of Champagne is proud to celebrate long-standing friend of the house and record breaking sailor Alain Thebault, as he prepares to embark on his next daring challenge: to break a new world record speed with the famous Hydroptere boat this spring.

The sail will begin in California where Thebault will navigate between Los Angeles and Honolulu on- board the Hydroptere.

Thebault hopes to completie the record in just four days to beat the current South Pacific record of four and a half days. Joining him is an impressive team of co-skipper Jacques Vincent, engineer Jeff Mearing, and sailors Yves Parlier and Jean le Cam, who will be at the helm for this oceanic adventure.

hydroptere.com/en/the-news/last-news/

Energa Group Announced As Title Sponsor Of Sopot Match Race
One of Poland's largest energy companies, Energa Group, was announced this week as title sponsor of the Sopot Match Race, which will take place from the 29th July to 1st August 2015. The Energa Sopot Match Race is one of the seven world championship events on the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) 2015/16 season.

As part of the announcement, Energa also announced its sponsorship of the new Energa Yacht Racing Team led by Polish match racer Przemyslaw Tarnacki.

Energa Group is a market leader in Poland for the production of renewable energy. The company supplies electricity to over 2.9 million residential and business customers and has a value of over PLN 9.5 billion (USD 2.5billion). Energa joins an impressive list of partners of Sopot event including Albert Riele Watches, Dentsu Aegis, Ferrari, Prada, New Age Media, Moet & Chandon, Clever Frame, Garmin and Bavaria Yachts.

energasopotmatchrace.com
wmrt.com

Summer Long Race Brings Sailing Boost To West Highlands
A huge boost to the west coast ports is on the horizon from a new summer long series of yacht races.

A group of sailing clubs have pooled resourses to organise this bunite for a big event.

The West Highland Offshore Series is Scotland's only season-long passage race sailing championship.

The new event for Scottish keelboat racing sailors gets underway in June and spans across the summer into September.

It will call in at some of the most idyllic west coast ports including Oban, Gairloch, Kyle of Lochalsh, Plockton and Portree.

The series will collect results from nine races and use the five best results for each boat to derive a winning yacht for the season.

The event, in its first year, has been planned for a number of years and is being administered by Skye Sailing Club with support from Oban Sailing Club, Glencoe Boat Club, Plockton Small Boat Club and Gairloch Boat Club. -- Rita Campbell

www.pressandjournal.co.uk

Qantaslink Brisbane To Gladstone: Black Jack Achieves The Double
Black Jack was officially confirmed as the QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race 2015 line honours winner and winner on corrected time today. The team has previously won the line honours trophy on three occasions as well as the prestigious Courier Mail Cup once, but this is the first time they have achieved the illusive double, a feat not managed since 2002 when Grundig dominated the fleet.

The Tasmanian based Alive, who came second on line honours, also came second on handicap in both IRC and PHRF divisions and whilst they did take out the ORCi category, these results will no doubt keep the good natured rivalry between themselves and Black Jack thriving.

Other good performances came from Leon Thomas on Guilty Pleasures VI who had a good showing in both ORCi and PHRF, Kerumba who took third in IRC and Italian Job who dominated the smaller boats in all divisions.

Whilst the Black Jack team were obviously ecstatic to finally get the double, owner Peter Harburg was quick to point out that he is still chasing the now 12 year old record for fastest elapsed time ever set by Skandia Wild Thing. Clearly he will be lining up on the start line in 2016 for the 68th running of this ocean classic. -- Nigel Statham

www.brisbanetogladstone.com.au

Letters To The Editor - editor@scuttlebutteurope.com
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 Heike Blok: The America's Cup, as with most super sport events, has known its up and downs. From court skirmishes to full fledged wars. From a sailing behemoth (NZL) taking on a Catamaran (Dennis Conner). Always, OK, most of the time, the fighting and the boats underlined the importance of the event as unique, making people do things in the realm of the extraordinary. It gave us characters like Charlie Barr, James Hardy, Baron Bic, Dennis Conner, Alan Bond and, any-way, more than enough figures to make it an extraordinary event, and recognised as such, worldwide and bringing Bob Fisher to creating his wonderful volumes of the AC story: An Absorbing Interest.

However, the AC now, seems to have reached a point where a serious transmogrification is seriously pondered. So, serious business is at hand and, as usual, not every one agrees. The main reason being the astronomical cost of the party and therefore suggesting a smaller, one design Catamaran AC. OK. There will be a fight, as usual, and that is good and may-be it could be the end of the thing as we know it. But before we kill a wonderful experience on and around the sport of race sailing, I recommend the remarks of good old Bruno Trouble of Luis Vuitton fame. I feel he hits the nail on the head here and I feel we should heed his warning:

"A one Design Catamaran Contest? Anonymous people beyond the sailing circles? Where is the style, the myth? A vulgar beach event smelling of sunscreen and french fries?" And, yes. I do fully agree with Bruno. "Gone With The Wind" AC? Oh my...

As an after thought: Why not put an agreed upon cap on spending and see what happens on the water?

* From Captain Michael Dailey: re: Bruno Trouble's comments on the America's Cup:

Well said Bruno, well said!

Correction - Cowes St. Malo Record
A letter today from Helena Darvelid:

Not sure why everyone keeps dropping my name off this record, please correct yout information in Scuttlebutt Europe on 6th April, who had this record. History is just as imporant as the future...if not more?

Altough the record has been broken I am still very proud of this one.

Cowes - Dinard
Adrienne Cahalan, Helena Darvelid, Brian Thompson, GBR
5h 23m 38s: elapsed time
25.60 Average speed Kts.

From the WSSRC site: sailspeedrecords.com/records

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The Last Word
I'm not saying I'm Superman. I'm just saying that nobody has ever seen me and Superman in a room together.

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