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

Primo Cup - Credit Suisse Trophy
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, http://carloborlenghi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

5 - 7 February 2016 : Smeralda 888, Surprise, Star, SB20, IRC 1-4
12 - 14 February 2016 : J/70, Melges 20, Diam 24od

Regularly attracting 150+ boats over two weekends divided into nine classes (1,000 sailors), the Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse has established itself as a classic for one-designs and IRC classes (since 2012).

Surprise (16 registered)

They looked unbeatable until the last race when current French Champion Mark Howell-Jones (Indigo) made an impressive come-back, winning the last race to snatch 2nd place in the final overall ranking. The Swiss were thus deprived of a 1-2-3 podium finish, with Swiss Etienne David (Mirabeau 1) winning this 32nd Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse, and his compatriot Nicolas Groux (Cer Genève Aeroport) finishing 3rd.

SB20 (15 registered)

Class President Ed Russo (Black Magic) did his best to hold onto the lead, finally finishing 2nd ahead of the tenacious Englishman John Pollard (Xcellent), winner of last year's Primo Cup. He inched his way up the ranking, having been lying 6th on Friday to take first prize, with the Italian Carlo Brenco (Un'Altra Claudia) completing this international podium.

Star (14 registered)

In the Stars, the German Philipp Rotermund held his nerve throughout the weekend to claim a well-deserved victory, just one point ahead of the Swiss Christian Nehamman, also very consistent, with the Frenchman Jean-Gabriel Charton (Junior) completing the podium 10 points behind the winner.

Smeralda 888 (9 registered)

There was no doubting the experience of YCM member Guido Miani (Botta Dritta) who won this 32nd Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse in style, a full nine points ahead of his nearest rival Roberto Tamburelli (Forrest Gump) followed by Timofey Sukhotin (Podeba).

IRC classes 1-4 (22 registered)

It was a fantastic sight watching the spinnakers unfurl, the crews all working in unison as the IRC 1-4 classes surfed the waves on the downwind legs to end this winter meeting in technically challenging but exciting conditions that only confirmed the leader-board positions. In the IRC 1-2, Latvian Vadim Yakimenko (Amber Miles) won the day, with Orel Kalomeni (Arcora) in 2nd and Jean-Jacques Chaubard (Team Vision Future) in 3rd. In the IRC 3-4, the Irish boat led by Englishman Andrew Jones (Fox in Sox) maintained their lead, ahead of Rocco Giorgini (Revelation 3) and Jean-Claude Bertrand (Tchin Tchin).

Results

Sam Gilmour Wins The Warren Jones Regatta
Perth, Western Australia: Sam Gilmour, of Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, maintained the momentum that got him to the top of the leaderboard at the end of the round robins, to go on and win the Warren Jones International Regatta.

The final featured the same two skippers as last year, New Zealand's Chris Steele versus Sam Gilmour, but in this year the tables were turned in the final outcome.

For Gilmour it was a case of mission accomplished, having been the defeated finalist for the previous three years, and the fifth time he has contested the event.

The top three skippers in this event were awarded places in the World Match Racing Tour event that will take place off Fremantle at the beginning of March.

The third skipper to qualify was Matt Jerwood of South of Perth Yacht Club, who beat Sydneysider Murray Jones in the petit final. -- John Roberson

Final results:

1. Sam Gilmour, AUS
2. Chris Steele, NZL
3. Matt Jerwood, AUS
4. Murray Jones, AUS
5. Lachy Gilmour, AUS
6. Jordan Reece, AUS
7. Will Boulden, AUS
8. Joachim Aschenbrenner, DEN
9. Mark Spearman, AUS
10. Ethan Prieto-Low, AUS

facebook.com/Warren-Jones-Regatta

VOR Boat Entry Costs Slashed By Half, Confirms PwC Report
At a time when rival major global sports events are struggling to contain spiralling costs, a report by independent auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has praised sailing's premier round-the-world event, the Volvo Ocean Race, for halving the price of competing for sponsors.

Much of the credit for this has been ascribed by report author, Manuel Díaz, to The Boatyard, the shared-maintenance facility introduced by the race for the last edition in 2014-15.

"A campaign now costs around 50 per cent less to run - in the last editions, the cost was between €20-35 million rather than €10-15 million for campaigns at the same level," the report, Assessment of the Maintenance Operating Model, says.

The Boatyard has broken new ground in the offshore racing industry, pooling both human and equipment resources for the servicing of a newly-introduced class of boat. The Farr-designed Volvo Ocean 65 one-design broke with 40 years of tradition in an event, which was launched in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race.

The report, which was commissioned by the race after the finish of the 12th edition in June last year, highlighted: "The list of benefits is no longer hypothetical: the model has already been implemented, showing an excellent performance and outstanding results."

volvooceanrace.com

Safer Racing
In pursuit of safer offshore structures. Jason Smithwick and Hasso Hoffmeister

As the world's governing body, World Sailing (ISAF) believes that ensuring safety is one of our fundamental missions. The structural integrity of an offshore racing yacht is clearly imperative if that boat is to be genuinely self-sufficient and ready to meet any foreseeable emergency without outside assistance.

Formerly, all racing yachts needed to comply with a set of regulations developed by the technical committee of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) - the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Offshore Racing Yachts. In the past the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) implemented these rules and carried out plan approval for race yachts up to 100ft.

Main picture: Brandon Linton's build team ferret away inside the complex structure of Comanche at Hodgdon Yachts. At 100ft Comanche is the largest race monohull to be built in advanced composites in recent years - though François Gabart's new G-100 tri Macif required more man-hours. Linton now runs the AC build team at Artemis.

But this was only the case up until 1996. Once European Directive EC95/25 for the CE-certification of pleasure craft was established that year, ABS ceased its activities. Subsequently it was left to yacht designers to confirm compliance with the ABS Rule; third-party review was no longer mandatory and only this designer declaration was required.

Full article in the March issue of Seahorse: seahorsemagazine.com

300 Pre-Entries For Finn World Masters
This week the 2016 Finn World Masters at Torbole on Lake Garda pre-registered its 300th entrant.300 oldie Finn sailors from 29 countries will be reliving their youth for another year. Tempting fate here, it is heading towards being the biggest Finn event of all time, and there are still three months to go.

This year there are 26 Legends (over 70 years old) and one Super Legend (over 80 years old) taking part.

Gianfranco Tonelli (ITA), President of the host club, Circolo Vela Torbole, is very excited at the prospect of a huge Finn fleet on Garda this May.

"We were very happy to win the right to hold this event, and now we are even happier to know that the championship will be one of the largest of all time. It's a confirmation for us about the popularity of North Lake Garda and Circolo Vela Torbole. This year we will have many World and European championships and the king of all these events is the Finn World Masters."

Andy Denison (GBR), Finn World Masters President said, "In the last four years the Finn World Masters has grown considerably and is attracting a large number of former Olympians and sailors returning to the class after some years away."

The 2016 Finn World Masters takes place from 13-20 May.

www.finnworldmasters.com

Commodore Wins J/22 Commodore's Cup
Cayman Islands: JUST LEAVIN', the J/22 sponsored by Yellow Pages, took first place for the third year in a row for the J/22 Commodore's Cup. At the helm was Commodore Mike Farrington and crew consisting of Matt Diaz and Ralph Harvey.

If you recall, earlier in the Caribbean winter sailing season, Farrington was the winner of the Montego Bay YC's J/22 Jammin' Jamaica event. Farrington and crew are on a roll and may be headed for the big time in the 2016 J/22 Worlds this coming August in Kingston, Ontario's CORK Regatta!

The Commodore's Cocktail party was well attended, where the 50th anniversary celebration for the club was announced.

www.sailing.ky

Onion Patch Series Dates Announced
The traditional Onion Patch Series and the Onion Patch Navigators Series are organized by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC), the Cruising Club of America (CCA) and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC).

All yachts in the traditional Onion Patch Series will race as individual entries and are encouraged to form three-boat teams representing nations, yacht clubs, or other yachting associations to compete for the "Onion Patch Trophy".

The traditional Onion Patch Series consists of these races:
The combined score of each individual race day of the New York Yacht Club 162nd Annual Regatta on Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12, 2016.
The Cruising Club of America and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club
Newport Bermuda Race starting on Friday, June 17, 2016.

All races of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta on Friday, June 24, 2016.

ALL RACES in the traditional Onion Patch Series that are sailed shall count.There is no throw-out race. A minimum of three races, which shall include the Newport Bermuda Race, shall constitute a series.

The Onion Patch Navigators Series consists of these races:
The Navigators Race each day of the of the New York Yacht Club 162nd Annual Regatta on Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12, 2016,
The Cruising Club of America and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Newport Bermuda Race® starting on Friday, June 17, 2016

The Navigators Race of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta on Friday, June 24, 2016

ALL RACES in the Onion Patch Navigators Series that are sailed shall count. There is no throw-out race. A minimum of three races, which shall include the Newport Bermuda Race®, shall constitute a series.

www.onionpatchseries.com

Road To Vendee
With just nine months to go until the Vendee Globe begins, Alex Thomson Racing has unveiled the first in a twelve part series, documenting Thomson's preparations and progress ahead of the race.

#RoadtoVendee will bring viewers closer than ever before to Thomson, not only as a professional yachtsman but as a brand ambassador, husband, father and loyal team member.

Episode one, unveiled today, sets the scene as the Alex Thomson Racing team prepare for the start of the Ocean Masters Vendee Globe. It features a unique insight from the legendary Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Managing Director of Alex Thomson Racing, Stewart Hosford. In 1969 Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became a hero for being the first man to perform a single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe.

Athletes Shouldn't 'Jeopardize Health For Olympic Dreams'
American ESPN presenter Mike Greenberg from the 'Mike & Mike' show reacts to the news that World Sailing boss Peter Sowrey says he was fired for pushing to get rid of polluted Guanbara Bay as the sailing venue for the Rio Olympics.

A team of at least four or maybe six Irish sailors are to compete on the Bay in August.

afloat.ie/sail/

espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:14657201

One Of Australia's Last 'cape Horners' Donald Garnham Celebrates 100th Birthday
The life of one of Australia's last living links to early 20th century sailing has been celebrated in Hobart on his centenary.

Don Garnham turned 100 surrounded by friends, family and some much-loved memorabilia from his days sailing around the notoriously stormy Cape Horn in South America.

The Hobart "Cape Horner" was one of the sailors who battled ice and dangerous seas, exploiting the strong winds through the Drake Passage, moving cargo to Europe on huge multi-masted ships and clippers in the 1930s.

Mr Garnham first sailed around Cape Horn on the Hereogin Cecilie in 1935 and then did the route again on the Moshulu a year later.

The centenarian was born in Camberwell, Victoria and forged a life as a deckhand.

www.abc.net.au/news/

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 Adrian Morgan: Tom Ehman's new series, to be raced off San Francisco in what are being called Super 12s, promises to bring back an era before the phenomenon of foiling catamarans when crews did more than pump hydraulics and leap about like demented monkeys in fat suits.

The new boats look like 12s, but are not strictly 12 Metres. In fact they look as much like a gaff-rigged, long keeled 12 Metre from the 1900s as winged keeled Australia II in 1983. That is, not a lot as there have been three 12 Metre Rules since 1907. And instead of embracing this attempt to recreate a more civilised form of yacht racing, guess what? The 12 Metre lobby are up in arms. Why? It will devalue the brand? It will devalue their investments? Nonsense.

I say good luck to Mr Ehman in trying to recreate the drama and tactics and sail changing and close racing we saw in the best of the 12 Metre racing of old, and under the Golden Gate too. Put jealousy, self interest aside and embrace what could be a rather fine competition.

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The Last Word
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