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

Brothers Bruno and Willy Garcia Finish Fifth On We Are Water
Theirs was one of the most epic battles of the Barcelona World Race, exchanging places with One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton throughout almost the entire 23,000-mile course. As We Are Water entered the Mediterranean three days ago they were fewer than 60 miles behind their long-term rivals, closing to just 44 miles as strong headwinds tested both teams.

But while ultimately fourth place may have remained just beyond their grasp, fifth place, non-stop, remains a phenomenal achievement for this duo, who bring a Corinthian spirit to the race, both working in demanding professions as well as building exemplary sailing careers.

Brothers Bruno and Willy Garcia may have a lifetime of shared experiences between them, but they began their preparation for the Barcelona World Race just three months before the start.

Taking a well-proven boat (the winner of the 2007-08 edition of the race), with a succinct campaign and training plan managed by the FNOB, they hav e exceeded their objectives through teamwork, focussing on the essentials and sailing conservatively when required.

The duo sailed an actual distance of 28 292.73 miles in 99 days, 3 hours, 6 minutes and 28 seconds, at an average speed over the ground of 11.89 knots. They arrived 14 days, 21 hours, 16 minutes and 3 seconds after the winning boat, Cheminees Poujoulat, skippered by Bernard Stamm (SUI) and Jean Le Cam (FRA), who arrived on March 25th at 18.50 local time (17.50 UTC).

barcelonaworldrace.org

Team Oracle Set Up Home In Dockyard
Away from the fuss over who is in the 35th America's Cup and who is not, Royal Gazette photographer Akil Simmons ventured to Dockyard to catch the men behind the scenes of Oracle Team USA - the builders who are laying the table for the defender's base camp.

What he found were a number of spectacular sights, albeit mostly works in progress, which should set the pulses racing in the build-up to the first action, which will be in the Great Sound from October 16 to 18 for the America's Cup World Series.

It is still to be determined how much of the rest of the racing will be in Bermuda, but the summer of 2017 is destined to show off the Island in all its finery during the America's Cup play-offs to determine the challenger, and the match itself.

www.royalgazette.com

RYA Statement Following ISAF Paralympic Update
The RYA welcomes ISAF's efforts and direct discussions with the IPC in an attempt to reinstate sailing to the Paralympic Games programme for Tokyo 2020.

While the recent meeting between IPC officials and the ISAF President and Vice President did not manage to reverse the decision thus far, we understand that there is still a slim possibility for 2020 - and while that slim hope remains we will continue unabated with our plans, activities and our support of our sailors and of ISAF towards sailing's return to the Paralympic Games programme.

The RYA is also proactively working with ISAF to support developing Paralympic sailing nations, and to maximise the impact of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland in June as an opportunity to showcase Paralympic sailing at its best.

We sincerely hope the voices of the sailors - both those campaigning for 2020 and those aspiring beyond that - can be heard by the IPC over and above the administrative shortcomings of the former world governing body.

www.rya.org.uk

Perfect Combination
The new collaboration between Holland Jachtbouw and Multiplast will now offer custom performance carbon composite yachts from 60-foot to 100-foot plus.

To say that it makes sense would be underestimating the strong new collaboration between two companies who are already respected as world leaders in their respective fields. Holland Jachtbouw, one of the top European luxury superyacht builders and Multiplast, world leaders in the arena of composite construction, together bring a new player to carbon composite construction in the superyacht industry (Multiplast now also has an enviable reputation in the area of aerospace and defence composites).

Working together, the combination of the two companies is in a position to deliver performance carbon monohull and multihulls yachts from 60-100+ft. With the strong financial foundation of both companies, and the established reputation of Multiplast in composite construction, it is now possible for the new partnership to offer superyacht clients financial security along with optimal structures delivered to the highest levels of finish - even at the largest sizes of vessel. In addition, North Technology's sophisticated TPT laminate system can be incorporated within the build process of the combined operation for many component parts.

Seahorse magazine: www.seahorsemagazine.com

Chinese Sailor Guo Chuan Plans To Set A Record Through The North East Passage
What's the ideal yacht for attempting to set a record transiting the North East Passage?

You might think a steel yacht, or aluminium perhaps, something that resists crushing by ice, a sturdy craft equipped sensibly, if not beautifully, with a pilothouse or other shelter on deck.

You mightn't think: the best yacht would be a round the world racing trimaran.

But Chinese sailor Guo Chuan did. He has just bought has bought Francis Joyon's 97ft trimaran IDEC. Surprisingly, he didn't buy it to better Joyon's lone round the world record - or at least not for now - but to set a record, the first officially recognised speed record, for going through the North East Passage.

Guo Chuan, former Volvo Ocean Race crew and the first from his country to sail solo round the world, took over the Nigel Irens-designed trimaran in La Trinite sur Mer last month and will train with Joyon throughout April before renaming the yacht Qingdao.

The project follows nearly two years' research on the feasibility of attempting the North East Passage from Murmansk to Providenya. The World Speed Sailing Record Council has agreed to adjudicate on the first attempt of this world record challenge, skippered by Guo Chuan with an international crew from the UK, France, Norway and Russia.

www.yachtingworld.com

Industry News
Reyn Spooner, the Hawaii based business known for its iconic reverse-print shirt designs, has partnered with the Transpacific Yacht Club to design and provide the official Hawaiian-inspired race collection for the next two editions of TPYC's Transpacific Yacht Race, the 2225-mile biennial race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. This year's edition of the race has its first start on July 13th, 2015, and the following race will be held in July, 2017.

Reyn Spooner has designed seven commemorative garments that evoke the history and spirit of this legendary race, including the official aloha shirt for this year's race. This design features graphics that depict the key elements of the race: the festivities at the start in Los Angeles, the close competition off the start line, the long days and nights spent sailing downwind to Hawaii, and the triumphant finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu.

www.transpacrace.com

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Marine industry leader Jonathan Banks has been named chief operating officer of Siren Marine, a Newport, Rhode Island-based company that has pioneered cellular-based monitoring systems for the boating market. Siren Marine's products allow boat owners to remotely monitor, track and control their vessels, giving them peace of mind and the ability to avoid incidents that could potentially result in costly damage to their vessels. Banks joins the company to prepare Siren Marine for future growth at a time when the market for mobile-connected devices is on a steep rise.

Banks skippered a 57-foot Swan sailboat on a four-year circumnavigation of the world before settling in Rhode Island where he held senior-level positions with New England Ropes and Thule. He then joined the non-profit sector as executive director of Sail America and, most recently, as producer of the Providence Boat Show.

"After running Sail America for six years, I was keen to join an early-stage company that has the potential to grow and will benefit from my extensive boating experience and in-depth knowledge of the marine industry," says Banks.

Contact Jonathan at jbanks@sirenmarine.com

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Hard on the heels of the delivery of the 60m sloop Perseus3, the Italian regional newspaper Il Terreno has reported that Perini Navi has joined other brands such as Baglietto, Azimut-Benetti, CRN, Apreamare and Arcadia Yachts by withdrawing its membership of UCINA, the association that represents the Italian marine industry.

In the article published today, Perini CEO Enrico Dell'Artino told the newspaper that the group will "protect our profession as megayacht builders in other ways, and it's a just as well there are those willing to defend the industry in more important centers besides Genoa," in a veiled criticism of UCINA whose headquarters are in the Ligurian seaport.

www.superyachtnews.com

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Camper & Nicholsons Marinas Limited has signed an agreement for the development of a 400-berth marina at Victoria Quay in East Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Once completed, the marina will offer superyachts at the smaller end of the spectrum the chance to base themselves in the UK. Sean Purdy, marketing director at Camper & Nicholsons Marinas, revealed the berths would range from approximately 10m to a maximum of 30m or 35m. With superyachts being classified as 30m and upwards, this just falls into the category of a superyacht marina.

The agreement has been signed with the Camper & Nicholsons Marinas' landside partner Westcourt Real Estate (Europe) Ltd (WREE) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

www.superyachtnews.com

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Gurit (SIX Swiss Exchange: GUR) today reports unaudited results for the fiscal year 2015 first quarter. Growth of the company progressed well over the first three months of the year resulting in a sales growth of 13.3% compared with the first quarter of 2014. Adjusted for currency changes, the growth rate of 13.3% would increase to 15.6%.

Gurit Composite Materials sales totaled CHF 67.3 million for the first quarter 2015. This 9.9% (13.9% when adjusted for currency changes) year-over-year sales growth mainly resulted from continued strong core material sales to the wind energy sector as well as from sound demand in the marine business and other material markets.

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Germany's Bavaria Yachts has announced a major investment into the Chinese market.

A large number of stock boats will soon be available from different locations nationwide, meaning quick delivery times for clients and more effective work for dealers.

Shanghai-based Bavaria Yachts China will also establish an aftersales department in the South of China that will serve as a support and training base for all dealers and clients.

Bavaria builds sail and power boats from 30ft-56ft and recently added a catamaran range following the purchase of the French Nautitech brand.

The company describes China as one of the most promising markets for Bavaria's particular size range of boats, adding that the country is also very catamaran-friendly.

https://plus.ibinews.com

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The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has once again joined forces with Harken to power the fleet for the historic tenth anniversary edition of the world famous race.

Following the success of the partnership in the Clipper 2013-14 Race, chairman and founder of the Clipper Race, Sir Robin Knox Johnston said: "I am delighted that Harken will continue to partner with us for the Clipper 2015-16 Race. The standard of winch and deck hardware equipment coupled with the level of service provided to us by Harken during the last race makes them a perfect partner."

"This will be our third consecutive race partnership and will also mark the second outing for the Clipper 70 fleet which Harken worked closely with us on to ensure that winches, blocks and organisers were best placed for efficient performance."

clipper-ventures.com

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The International 49er and 49er FX Classes are delighted to announce the continuation of their partnership with renowned sailing apparel manufacturer Magic Marine, who continue as Official Clothing Partner.

The extension of the sponsorship which was first unveiled in 2013 is testament to the ongoing success of the partnership. Magic Marine is a favourite of numerous top sailors across the entire spectrum of the sport, and the partnership will see the Magic Marine brand appear at all Championship venues, on Championship websites, social media, communications and across video distribution channels.

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 Steve Homewood: I've been sailboat racing for years in all sorts of events, including a 14 Worlds in Bermuda (and yes Mr Spooner, it is expensive isn't it!). I have sailed "vulgar beach events" in Carnac, and yes, they did smell of sunscreen and French fries, so what!

The target audience of the AC used to be the people with enough money to afford the bill. Now it's the sofa athletes who have the choice to watch this sporting event or another, because they drive the viewing figures, which in turn drive the advertising and sponsorship dollars. If that's a little vulgar for you, then so be it. I wouldn't bet much on your chance of changing it.

* From Eddie Mays: While Sir B.A. has made some good points in his letter on Tuesday I feel a great deal more sympathetic to views expressed in Thursday's column

When the A.C. was the preserve of eccentric billionaires who used their own money to finance their campaigns and the clubs officiating did so from their own resources then it was only right and proper that, within the agreed rules, anything could go.

However the 1988 version killed that idea stone dead and as the Cup has increasingly become the preserve of media moguls and global corporations with the backing of national governments then, in these supposedly austere times, it was bound to dumb down. It may be more exciting but the A.C. it ain't. One of the few possible benefits of the new version is that the pot may move around a bit more.

There is already far too much racing so perhaps the Auld Mug should be consigned to the 20th Century history books (Sorry - Bob F.) when it really was the glamour icon of yatching.

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The Last Word
Most of our ancestors were not perfect ladies and gentlemen. The majority of them weren't even mammals. -- Robert Anton Wilsonn

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