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.

A Perfect Start To Quantum Key West
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Key West Key West, Florida, USA: Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 got off to a rousing start on the City of Key West Day with strong winds welcoming the 133 boats in 12 classes and organizers getting in three races on all three divisions.

While the tourists enjoyed Martin Luther King Holiday by strolling Duval Street, sailors from 16 countries took to the waters off the southernmost point of the United States and found ideal conditions - northeast winds that exceeded 20 knots for Race 1 and diminished slightly for the subsequent starts when the sun broke through and brought out the azure seas so famous in Key West.

It was a bumpy day on the water with three to four foot waves rolling through the course areas, giving a challenge for all teams. There was some drama on Division 3 with the GP 26 Rhumb Punch getting hooked on the starting line pin boat and the FarEast 28 Eagle's Eye suffering a starboard lifeline failure that sent three crew members overboard.

Ken Legler (Boston, MA), longtime principal race officer on Division 1, set a leeward mark a half-mile further downwind for the Maxi 72 class in order to give the four biggest boats in the regatta more of a runway in deep water. Skipper Alex Schaerer (Mreihel, Malta) and his crew on Caol Ila R enjoyed a strong opening day - winning Race 1 then placing second in Races 2 and 3.

Quantum Racing emerged from the first round of fighting atop the standings in IRC 1, which features three TP52 designs going against a Botin 44-footer. Skipper Doug DeVos (Ada, MI) steered Quantum to a strong line of 3-1-2 as the boat representing the regatta's title sponsor took an early one-point lead over Gladiator (Tony Langley, Great Britain).

In J/70 class, Carlo Alberini (Pesaro, Italy) and the Calvi Network crew picked up where they left off last year - posting a pair of bullets and taking third in the other race. Calvi Network captured class honors at Quantum Key West 2015 and earned Boat of the Week honors as a result.

The ORC system also seems to be working well among the sportboats in ORC 2, where Mike Beasley's GP 26 Rattle N Rum has a slim 2-point lead over Henry DeGroot's J/80 Wired.

Tomorrow's forecast is for big breeze of 25+ knots to return in the night and into the morning, suggesting a possible delay to the start of racing as the forecast indicates diminishing wind through the rest of the day.

www.keywestraceweek.com

Clipper Race Departs Australia For First-Time Visit To Da Nang, Vietnam
The Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race bid a fond farewell to Australia today as the seventh race of its 14-stage global series, The Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race, starts for Vietnam.

The 4,310 nautical mile race will officially get underway with a Le Mans start, estimated around midday local (0200 UTC) tomorrow - (Tuesday 19 January) - 100 nautical miles from Airlie Beach, where the twelve-strong Clipper 70 fleet is currently heading to.

With a tough beat north into prevailing winds as they depart and head up the Queensland coast and the wildness of the Northern Territories, the Clipper Race fleet will then cross the Equator for the second time since leaving London.

This race will test the navigation skills of the teams as they try to work out the best route through the remote communities in Papua New Guinea and into the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

On the approach to Vietnam, the fleet will take advantage of the north east monsoon winds. Spinnakers will be hoisted as the teams charge towards an impressive, highly anticipated welcome in Da Nang where a series of celebrations and festivals are planned for the crew.

The departure to Da Nang marks the end of the All-Australian Leg, which started in Albany in November and included the challenging Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Since leaving London in August, the Clipper Race fleet has completed 18,000 of its 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation.

The arrival window into Da Nang is 17-21 February.

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Antigua Sailing Week
Antigua Sailing Week It's blowing twenty gusting twenty-five, blue water's hissing at the rail. The helm loads up, the boat takes off, down another Caribbean roller. The wild ride continues, stem-deep pristine ocean cascades over the bow. The deck is hot, the sun is brilliant, and so is the competition. Sun, Sea and Surf, the pace is on. Palm trees dance on Pigeon Beach, the 'Trades' are in, and you don't want them to stop.

Cracking jokes on the dock, salt encrusted, a cold one soothes the thirst. The beat goes on and the rhythm hits you. You nod, shake your hips, and move your hands and feet. You're tuned-in and the DJ's playing your favourite song with a hundred or more dancing with you. The sun sighs farewell, setting the skies ablaze, but the party goes on. You don't want to stop but it will be blowing twenty when the sun says - Good Morning.

The 49th Edition of Antigua Sailing Week - April 23-29 2016

www.sailingweek.com/v4/

To enter: www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1477

Playing The Cards Right In Miami With 200 Days To Rio
In 200 days 380 sailors will be set-up at the Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, finalising their preparations for the greatest sporting spectacle, the Olympic Games.

On 5 August the Rio 2016 Olympic flame will be lit, signalling the start of 17 days of sport. For sailors to get to an Olympic Games they have to play their cards right, qualify their country, qualify themselves and fine tune their physique and boats so they're fully optimised for the stresses and strains an Olympic Sailing Competition provides.

In order to do exactly that, sailors go through the Sailing World Cup series and over 780 sailors will be using the first shuffle of 2016 in Miami, USA to deal a killer blow to their rivals in the Olympic year.

London 2012 gold medallists, World Champions and Rio 2016 medal hopefuls will be among the starters aiming for glory in the ten Olympic and two Paralympic events on show in Miami from 25 to 30 January 2016.

A World Cup podium position is not the only thing at stake in Miami. As a Rio 2016 Continental Qualification regatta for North and South America, several nations will be vying for an Olympic berth. One spot in each of the fleets for both continents will be up for grabs with two available in the Men's RS:X

The Laser Radial fleet will be the one to watch in Miami with a special trio facing off in the 80-boat fleet. London 2012 gold medallist Lijia Xu (CHN) will be joined by silver medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and bronze medallist Evi Van Acker (BEL).

Alongside Ireland's Annalise Murphy, Xu, Bouwmeester and Van Acker had a famous four way battle for gold at London 2012 with the Chinese racer coming out on top. Xu stepped away from the Laser Radial in 2013 but after a two-year hiatus she returned to Olympic sailing at the 2015 Laser Radial World Championship. -- Daniel Smith

www.sailing.org/worldcup/

Mount Gay Round Barbados Series 2 Restaurants Race
Bridgetown, Barbados: Day 2 of the 80th anniversary Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, served up the sort of conditions that the island of Barbados is known for - good winds and just enough of swell to keep the racing exciting.

The second day is traditionally the 2 Restaurants race with turning marks of the course laid just off two of the most popular restaurants on the island - The Beach House Bar and Restaurant on the west coast, and Tapas Restaurant on the south coast. For this 20+ nautical mile race, the sparkling, lively conditions couldn't have been better.

Although the J/24 fleet raced three of four windward/leeward races within Carlisle Bay, the fourth race - in the windiest conditions of the day - took the fleet on an 11-mile sprint round Needhams Point to Tapas Restaurant mark. Racing in this class was, once again, extremely close throughout. Robert Povey and team on Hawkeye started the day with a good win in race one but it was Robbie Yearwood and team on Island Water World Die Hard who sailed consistently and won the day. With two more first places to add to two from yesterday, Team Island Water World Die Hard now lead overall with one day to go.

The battle of the Multihull fleet continues between Bryn Palmer and team on the RC30 catamaran Silver Bullet and Team Concise 12 on the Diam 24 trimaran. The conditions really gave both teams a chance to put these super-fast multihulls through their paces. Each had a turn at the front of the fleet as they blasted along the coast but in the end it was Team Concise that won the day.

Tomorrow's it is the final day of racing in the Coastal Series with one race remaining in all classes except the J/24 class where another four races are scheduled. -- Sue Pelling

mountgayrumroundbarbadosrace.com

Seahorse February 2016
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Busy guy
One man continues to fight to bring the different offshore cultures together... Rob Weiland talks with a hyperactive Andrew Mcirvine

Closing the gap
How well does CFD simulation really stack up against high quality empirical testing? Jim Teeters and Dobbs Davis try to find out

Rod Davis
It's not just about trying to win, it's about trying to show everyone else why they are going to lose

Shine a light
Will solar power taken from your sails get you around the world? Alain Janet believes so

ISAF column
Adrienne Greenwood

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Industry News
Gunboat International, a manufacturer of luxury carbon fiber sailing catamarans, is headed to auction.

The motion in bankruptcy court comes after owner and founder Peter Johnstone, who is from a family of sailboat builders, filed for Chapter 11 restructuring in November.

Gunboat can entertain what is called a "stalking horse bidder," according to court documents - a viable initial bid on the business that would seek to avoid low bids by other interested parties.

Court documents said Gunboat had between 100 and 199 creditors and assets of $1 million to $10 million.

A list of the largest 20 creditors amounted to roughly $6,025,845 million in claims, and documents filed in December showed that unsecured claims against the company totaled $10,133,947.32.

Johnstone said in announcing the Chapter 11 restructuring that it had been "a perfect storm of adverse business circumstances, mistakes and disputes."

Leading the list of challenges was the legal dispute between Gunboat and Hudson Yacht and Marine Industries, a Chinese builder Gunboat contracted to build the 60 and subsequently sued. Gunboat alleges in court documents that HYM never did some work and that the yard refused to pay warranty claims on other poorly constructed yachts.

Gunboat also accuses HYM of breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, interference with contractual relations, unjust enrichment, breach of a non-compete agreement and misappropriation of trade secrets.

www.tradeonlytoday.com

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The London Boat Show drew to a close on Sunday 17 January with many companies reporting strong sales figures throughout the show and an increase on last year's figures.

This was despite there being a slight drop in visitors with 90,328 welcomed through the doors of the ExCel London this year, compared to 92,288 in 2015.

The show saw over 132 boats make their debut, including the largest ever boat to be globally launched at LBS - a 40.05m Sunseeker 131 Yacht which was berthed out on the dockside. All together there were close to 400 boats showcased during the ten-day events with several new brands such as Adidas Sailing and Bainbridge International exhibiting for the very first time.

www.boatingbusiness.com

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The new EU Watercraft Directive (formerly known as the Recreational Craft Directive or RCD) 2013/53/EU has become applicable from Monday 18 January 2016.

As a result, the European Boating Industry and International Council of Marine Industry Associations' (ICOMIA) invaluable 'RCD Guide' is now applicable to boating professionals intending to manufacture, import, distribute and sell products on the EU single market as well as Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland (as part of the European Economic Area/European Free Trade Association), and Turkey (candidate EU member).

In order to comply with the new EU Watercraft Directive on the relevant markets, boats, engines, personal watercraft and certain components (whether imported or domestically produced) will have to be assessed according to the new EU rules.

The Guide, which is currently available in nine languages, is free for ICOMIA and EBI members and available for purchase as a downloadable App on both Apple and Android tablets (for only €3.99) and as a PDF (€2.99) supported by any device.

Report to purchase

iims.org.uk

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The Chartered Institute of Building Support Composites in Construction Middle East 2016 CompIC ME organisers are pleased to welcome the support of The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Middle East for CompIC ME (Composites in Construction) conference being held in Dubai, UAE, 9th-10th February 2016.

The conference follows on from the success of the inaugural CompIC conference held in the Netherlands last February and will focus on current and future use of FRP Composites within the construction industry.

Sponsored by Premier Composite Technologies, speakers and exhibitors include DIAB International, Exel Composites, Sicomin, Leadergrate, Scott Bader, Tony Gee & Partners, 3A Composite Core Materials and many more.

mecompositesin.construction

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 Don Street: In the Ft. Lauderdale Key West Race the crew of Grand Cruz reported they had a bad spinnaker wrap rhat took an hour to clear.

Back in the middle 60's Capt Walter, Tom Watson(IBM) long time skipper on all of his Palawans explained in Yachting the easy way to clear a spinnaker wrap.

Set up the main boom preventer and sail slightly by the lee Even the worst spinnaker wrap will unwind.

For over thirty years I have recommended that all boats, both racing and cruising should be equipped with an main boon preventer that is easily connected and disconnected.

To do this  a wire(now high teck high strength line) slightly shorter than the lenth of the boom, should  be secured to the end, or near the end  of the main boom. The forward end secured to the gooseneck with a light lashing line.

Sailing broad off, or dead down wind in heavy weather, the line secured to the boom is disconnected from the goose neck, attached to the lee spinnaker pole fore guy and set up tight. This make an inadvertent jibe almost impossible.

If boats would do this, it would saved a lot of injuries and more than a few deaths caused by inadvertent jibes.

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.

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The Last Word
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