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

Quantum Key West Race Week
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Unlike yesterday in the howling wind, today started well in Day Three of Quantum Key West. During his morning weather briefing, Ed Baird alerted the assembled sailors about the importance of Wednesday's racing.

"More than likely, there's going to be three races today. That means the regatta is going to be more than halfway complete by the time you come off the water," Baird said. "Like I tell my kids with their junior regattas, this is moving day. This is when all the action happens. Some boats are going to fall off the cliff while others are going to climb up the standings."

Baird's words proved prophetic and many teams did indeed make a major move on Mount Gay Rum Day as multiple races were contested in perfect 15-18 knot northeasterly winds that held steady enough to provide the closest race action of the week.

On Division 1, it was Bella Mente in the Maxi 72's and the TP52 Spookie in IRC 1 that had an outstanding day on the water to take the lead in their respective classes. On Division 2, Extreme2 posted a string of superb results to take charge of the new and competitive C&C 30 class. On Division 3, the J/80 Wired showed it will be a factor in ORC 2. And on Division 4, the New York 40 Defiant won its second straight distance race to seize control of the Performance Cruising class.

Italian skipper Carlo Alberini's Calvi Network posted a scores of 2-3-1-3 on to maintain the lead in the J/70's, the largest fleet in the regatta with 54 boats. Branko Brcin is calling tactics for the defending regatta champion, which now has a low score of eight points and leads the reigning J/70 world champ Flojito Y Cooperando (Julian Fernandez Neckelmann, Mexico City) by three points. Relative Obscurity (Peter Duncan, Rye, NY) and Helly Hansen (Tim Healy, Newport, RI) are still in the mix with 14 and 19 points, respectively.

No class is closer in points than ORC 1, where J/122 sister ships Orion (Paul Milo, Leesburg, VA) and Teamwork (Robin Team, Lexington, NC) are tied with 17 points. Four boats are still very much in contention with third place SkyFall (Peter Sulick, Naples, FL) and fourth place Bluto (Ben Hall, Tiverton, RI) totaling 18 and 19 points.

Racing resumes Thursday at 11:30 AM, with another three races expected in another day of similar breeze.

keywestraceweek.com

World Sailing's Credibility Questioned By Israel Sailing Chief
The Chairman of the Israel Sailing Association has disputed claims from World Sailing that they were unaware of the pending withdrawal of the ISA's Youth Team at the 2015 Youth Worlds in Malaysia.

World Sailing, formerly the International Sailing Federation, claimed they did not know of the Israeli intention to withdraw until after it was reported in the media.

The Chairman of the ISA Gili Amir is reported in The Jerusalem Post as disputing the claim made in the report and other comments by the world sailing controlling body.

In the report, released after and emergency meeting of the World Sailing Executive Committee, the sport's governing body said that it "deeply regrets" that Israel's representatives were unable to compete "due to the conditions imposed by the Malaysian authorities," but also added that the ISA's conduct contributed to the unfortunate outcome.

"That is complete nonsense. We did exactly what we were supposed to," insisted Amir. "They received our letter 24 hours before we sent it to the media. They are telling tales. They had to somehow appease the Malaysians so they wrote that nonsense. It is entirely inaccurate. We went exactly by the book and they are looking for excuses after not meeting their obligations."

It is that lack of action which has left Israel Sailing Association chairman Gili Amir saying he has little faith in World Sailing, with recent experiences having left him disillusioned regarding the true intentions of the sport's governing body.

Allon Sinai reports that ISA has sent a letter to World Sailing President Carlo Croce asking that he guarantees that Israel's sailors will be able to take part in all future events.

"We are disappointed that Malaysia hasn't been punished," said Amir.

"We are also skeptical whether World Sailing plans to enforce its own decisions.

We are afraid that this is all politics and we only trust ourselves." -- Richard Gladwell in Sail-World.com

www.sail-world.com/

The full letter in the Jerusalem Post: www.jpost.com

Antigua Sailing Week: Where Sailing Comes First
In 1968, with Caribbean racing in its infancy, Antigua Sailing Week was born. It was all about sailors racing and partying to celebrate the end of the season and that still applies today. What has changed for the 49th edition of Antigua Sailing Week taking place 23rd-29th April, is there are now a huge range of charter options, offering everything from a single berth for a beginner to hi-tech machines for top racing crew as well as professional teams on the line up.

This April, with North America and Europe still in a cold grip, Antigua Sailing Week offers an amazing experience with professional race management in fantastic conditions and an an exciting social scene in one of the world's top holiday destinations. With daily direct Transatlantic flights, getting to Antigua is simple. For charter options visit Antigua Sailing Week's dedicated yacht charter page: http://www.sailingweek.com/v4/race-charters/ You will find flexible packages for all manner of boats or if you are in the region and plan to race but need to get back to Europe Peters and May will be loading in Antigua post Antigua Sailing Week.

Don't be left out in the cold, create a sailing memory that you will never forget.

www.sailingweek.com

IRC Expands Its Reach In Asia
The IRC rating rule has been used by racing owners in Asia for many years, with major IRC regattas well established in Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. In the last few years Japan and mainland China have benefited from the use of IRC for their racing fleets, and now the RORC Rating Office and the Chinese Taipei Sailing Association (CTSA) are pleased to announce that IRC will be used for Taiwan-owned boats in 2016, further strengthening the IRC fleet in East Asia.

The CTSA plans to hold IRC racing at the Penghu International Regatta Series this summer and looks forward to introducing IRC rating to boat owners in Taiwan.

Taiwan lies around 180km east of China, so using the IRC rating rule will allow Taiwanese owners to race not only in their local waters but also in events organized by neighbouring China and Hong Kong, and indeed any other IRC race worldwide. Visiting sailors who hold IRC ratings will also be able to join in with races in Taiwan and have the opportunity to race in a different mixed fleet and boost local entries.

IRC is one of only two International Rating Rules as recognised by World Sailing, and annually issues 8000 certificates to 6000 boats racing in hundreds of club and international events in almost 40 countries worldwide. In all but one of the famous offshore classic races, including the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and Rolex Middle Sea Race, the major trophy is awarded to the overall winner in IRC.

ircrating.org
For more information on IRC racing in Taiwan, please contact CTSA at ctya168@seed.net.tw

Does Overturned Hull Hold Clue To Mystery Of Missing Sa Yachtsmen?
Cape Town: An overturned hull recently spotted off the east coast of South Africa has raised hopes a year after a catamaran went missing with three local yachtsmen onboard.

Looking for answers, their families are urgently mobilising to locate the drifting hull.

Anthony Murray, 58, Reginald Robertson, 59, and Jaryd Payne, 20, were delivering the Leopard catamaran, Moorings A5130/Sunsail RC044-978, from Cape Town to Phuket when all contact was lost during a cyclone on January 18 last year.

A hull was spotted off Port Elizabeth on Thursday. Their families were informed on Monday, the one-year anniversary.

Ravi Naicker, operations manager at the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, said a Brazilian navy vessel spotted a hull roughly 78 nautical miles (144km) off Cape Recife, and 98 nautical miles (181km) off East London. -- Jenna Etheridge, News24

www.news24.com

12M Class Sends A Letter To Tom Ehman
We have followed with interest your efforts to establish a new racing class in San Francisco conceptually modelled on the International Twelve Metre.

While we have no issue with the formation of such a class, the International Twelve Metre Class does object to your continued use of the heritage and history of our class in the promotion of your new one.

As I have mentioned to you before, our Class is active and healthy, especially in the North American Fleet based in Newport, and the in the Northern European Fleet based in the Baltic where the newest Twelve was launched in 2015. This is in addition to the recent refurbishment or restoration of several Twelves such as VICTORY '83, DEFENDER, BLUE MARLIN, ITALIA II, and VIM.

Further, we have registered with authorities our objection to your use of the International Twelve Metre Class Insignia. Such use is completely at odds with the mutual respect for each other that has existed between sailboat classes since the adoption of such insignia at national and international levels.

Page | 1As you are well aware, the current 12 Metre Class Insignia has been in continuous use since the adoption of the Second International Rule. Further, the addition of an "S" was used by the Scandinavian 12's built to the Second Rule but prior to the effective date of universal implementation of the Second Rule. Subsequently, as you also are aware, the "S" has been used by yachts built to the Universal Rule at 17' rating, specifically the Herreshoff "S" Boat one-design first launched in 1919, and still an active racing class.

Since you have decided not to affiliate your new concept with the Twelve Metre Class, we demand that you and your agents immediately cease using the Twelve Metre in promoting your effort, and cease using the International Twelve Metre Class Insignia.

As I have written to you before, ITMA, our owners, and our sponsors do not wish to see our class, legacy, or brand diluted by your efforts. If your effort is worthwhile it should be able to stand on its own, not on the Twelve Metre Class.

Yours sincerely,
W.H. Dyer Jones, President

US Yachtsmen Rescued For The Seventh Time In Voyage
Two retired American yachtsmen have been rescued off Cornwall - the seventh time they have been towed to safety during their voyage.

The intrepid pair admitted they have called out lifeboats in Norway, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall since they set off from Norway last July. [Editor... depending on where in Scotland, that appears to be one call every 300-500 miles at most. These guys are not going to qualify for the Vendee.]

Fishermen in St Ives have doubted their competence and experience but the two men say they have simply had bad luck.

The St Ives All Weather Lifeboat was task by Falmouth Coastguard and launched early afternoon on Tuesday to a yacht with no propulsion.

The vessel Nora had the engine running but was getting no drive, and was drifting 1.5 miles north off St Ives.

Lifeboat crewman David Holland-Kemp was boarded the yacht to liaise with the yacht crew.

Once it was established that the problem could not be solved and needed mechanical work, the boat was towed back to St Ives and moored outside the harbour.

A lifeboat spokesman said the rescue was the first time the new boat has been used in service.

www.westernmorningnews.co.uk

Giangiacomo Serena Di Lapigio New President Of International Melges 32 Class
La Spezia, Italy - Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio, owner and helmsman of Melges 32 MON-181, G-SPOT, member of Yacht Club de Monaco and Vice President of Circolo Nautico e della Vela Argentario, has been appointed as the new President of the International Melges 32 Class Association (IM32CA) for the 2016-17 term.

Following the legacy of past President Jason Carroll, Serena di Lapigio is looking forward to supporting and growing the class in both Europe and North America.

For the past three seasons, Serena di Lapigio has been a staple at European and North American regattas, carrying the flags of both his G-SPOT racing team and that of the IM32CA. The 2016 season will see Serena di Lapigio, the board and the entire class management involved in promoting events in North America and Europe, guiding them along a unique path leading to the 2016 World Championship happening in Newport, R.I. on 29 September - 2 October.

"One of our commitments as a class today is to bring together the North American and European fleets while offering Melges 32 owners a new circuit which aims to encourage, facilitate and enhance the participation on both continents," continued Serena di Lapigio.

"The activity in North America in recent months is very lively thanks to the launch of the Blue Water Series in Florida. European enthusiasm is high with the forthcoming European Sailing Series. In a few months, the focus will shift to Newport for the ultimate contest in grand-prix, one-design racing - the 2016 Melges 32 World Championship."

www.melges32.com

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The Last Word
In all phases of my work I was conscious of the need for balance, and I did my best to find balance in both the long and the short view. Broadly I think I can say that I applied the principles of balance in design, in business and in the pleasures I enjoyed. -- Olin J. Stephens II

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