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

Berntsson Triumphs At Ficker Cup
It was some of the most thrilling, and unpredictable racing, in the 16 year history of the Grade Two regatta. In the end, Johnie Berntsson slid by Scott Dickson in a final, tenuous match - where leads changed at every mark - to win the Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche trophy, and a berth in the Congressional Cup, April 6 to 10.

While Berntsson may be the first Congressional Cup winner (2009) to come back through the ranks to earn a berth via the Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche, Dickson may also be approaching a record-breaker, as he enters the Congressional Cup for the 16th time.

Sunday's weather and competition was brisk from the get-go. As winner of the round robins, Berntsson had elected to race Matthew Jerwood: at 23, already ranked 6th in the world.

In the semi-finals Berntsson' prowess on the helm dispatched Jerwood 3-1; but Dickson and Storrs would go a full five matches before Dickson triumphed at last.

A radical wind shift saw the postponement of the finals, and a reduction to 'best of three' races. Berntsson took the first, Dickson the second, but as the seabreeze yielded to the offshore puffs, it became "a mintefield," said Dickson. "Conditions were anything but predictable," he added, as he and Berntsson traded leads 'til the final downwind leg,when fate handed the win to Berntsson.

Berntsson and Dickson will go on to compete in the 52nd Congressional Cup regatta, to be held here April 6 to 10.

Final Results: Ficker Cup Presented by Porche

1. Johnie Berntsson , SWE
2. Scott Dickson, USA
3. David Storrs , USA
4. Matthew Jerwood, AUS
5. Evan Walker, AUS
6. Dustin Durant, USA
7. Steve Natvig, USA
8. Peter Holz, USA

www.thecongressionalcup.com

Wet And Stormy First Night In The Transat AG2R
"I'm chilled to the bone, I was inside sleeping and I'm soaked." It's Yoann Richomme speaking this morning at 5:00, while Skipper Macif, south of the fleet, still leads the way in the Bay of Biscay, to the coast of Vendée.rvan (Cercle Vert), the three sailors joined the session this morning, we all depicted the same table. Humidity, cold and noisy sea

Difficult to stand inside and find restful sleep while on the bridge, it is also a balancing act. The front passed last night, providing a 30/35 knot wind, forcing the crew to trim. The fleet turned yesterday about 23 hours and is now progressing towards Cape Finisterre upwind in a southwestern wind of around twenty knots and always very unpleasant sea.

Skipper Macif, the leader of the moment, is positioned in the far south, close to the direct route, not far from Bellocq Landscapes-Flavors of Cornwall. To the north, across the spectrum, two boats have a radically different idea of upcoming weather events: Recovery Act and Generali.

It is only after this first day at sea, while the wind will ease and become unstable, we will know the outcome of these strategies. A suspenseful day awaits in the Bay of Biscay.

Top five positions:

1. Skipper Macif, Charlie Dalin / Yoann Richomme
2. Gedimat, Thierry Chabagny / Erwan Tabarly
3. Generali, Nicolas Lunven / Gildas Mahe
4. Bellocq Landscapes - Flavors Of Cornwall, Martin Pope / Eric Peron
5. Recovery Act, Adrien Hardy / Vincent Biarnes

transat.ag2rlamondiale.fr

London's Greig City Academy Inspires With Offshore Sailing
Greig City Academy's most experienced sailing crew were invited to talk to the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace, February 2016. Click on image to enlarge.

Promoting an active interest in outdoor education, Greig City Academy has succeeded in inspiring students by granting access to sailing. Program initiator, Jon Holt, began taking groups of 24 students at a time to complete their Level 1 RYA Dinghy Sailing certificates, over 250 students completed the course.

Holt then spearheaded a fundraising effort to acquire Scaramouche, a 45ft German Frers yacht, which the group plans to race in the 2016 Round the Island Race and next year's Rolex Fastnet.

The North Sails team in Gosport, UK is an active supporter of the Academy's sailing club.

Read their story at www.northsails.com

Devos Wins Lauderdale Cup, Takes Home 2016 Blue Water Series Trophy
Twenty-four races have been completed spanning three events, concluding the Melges 32 Blue Water Series hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club at Bahia Mar Marina Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Congratulations to Dick DeVos on Volpe as he is the 2016 Melges 32 Lauderdale Cup Champion, simultaneously snapping up the first ever Blue Water Series Ranking Champion title. Alongside Dick for most of the ride has been a steady crew that included tactician Mark Mendelblatt, Scott Nixon, Sam Rogers, Drew Weirda, Peter Kinney, Erika Reineke and Mike Hill.

On the flip side of the coin is the amazing performance of Morgan Kiss and Team Hydra, they are 2016 Lauderdale Cup Corinthian Champion, which awards them the overall Corinthian Blue Water Series title as well. Team Hydra included their coach Marty Kullman, Ty Baird, Noah Blacker, Alex Brown, Henry Fernberger, Jensen McTighe, Lexi Petter and Alex Post, and finished third overall

Next week, the first event of the 2016 World Sailing Series kicks off in Porto Vernere, Italy.

Top Five Results (FINAL - After Eight Races, One Discard)

1. Dick DeVos/Mark Mendleblatt, Volpe, 15 points
2. Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo, 17
3. Morgan Kiss/Alex Post, Team Hydra, 25
4. Rick DeVos/Morgan Larson, Delta, 29
5. Alessandro Rombelli/Manuel Weiller, STIG, 34

www.yachtscoring.com

2016 Blue Water Series Standings (Final - After Three Events)
1. Dick DeVos, Volpe, 8
2. Jason Carroll, Argo; 9
3. Rick DeVos/ Delta; 15
4. Richard Goransson, Inga From Sweden; 16
5. Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio, G-SPOT; 17

melges32.com/pdf/Ranking-2016BWS-Results.pdf

'Young Vlogger Of The Year' Award Launched
The Island Sailing Club (ISC), organisers of the annual one-day yachting marathon around the Isle of Wight, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, have today announced a brand new Award, 'Young Vlogger of the Year'.

This initiative has been launched to encourage some of the younger Race competitors - whether on the helm or crewing - to share their full Race experiences using live footage filmed on their smartphones or tablets.

The 'Young Vlogger of the Year' Award is open to anyone competing in this year's Race who is aged 17 or under on the date of the Race, 2nd July 2016.

Race Vloggers will be required to submit up to 3 minutes of footage with a description of their experiences of preparing for the Race, competing in the Race, their result and a comment on what they thought of the Race.

For more information and full details on how to submit your entry, terms & conditions, prizes, see rtir.me/vlogger

Brian Thompson & Lloyd Thornburg Join The Farr 280 Fleet
Lloyd Thornburg and Brian Thompson will shortly be taking delivery of a Farr 280 for the summer season.

Lloyd and Brian's Phaedo3 MOD 70 team will be moving to Cowes for the whole of the summer and the Farr 280 will be arriving in early May and will be worked up in time for the inaugural HP30 Class event at the Vice Admiral's Cup in Cowes, on the 20th May. The boat will also compete in a number of other HP30 and Farr 280 Class events.

This year, the UK based Farr280's will be racing in the HP30 Class fleet, as well as amongst themselves at Cowes Week, where a number of European Farr 280's will also be competing. Expectations are for at least six boats on the start line.

"We are delighted that Team Phaedo are joining the fleet," comments Joe Hall, head of Farr Yacht Sales Europe. "People are beginning to realize that the 280 offers great performance in a neat package and owners are now a lot happier to take the plunge, knowing that in addition to the One Design racing, they can also get out on the race track and compete with similar race boats in the HP30 Class.

Patrick Shaughnessy, president of Farr Yacht Design, said, "Having Lloyd and Brian on one of our 280's is a great testament to the boat and to the class. People with discriminating taste can see the effort we've put into the boat, and see the true international basis for the class. I'm really confident that Team Phaedo will campaign the boat at a very high level, which will be great for the class' momentum in 2016."

Farr Yacht Sales has recently appointed a new agent in Germany and expects to do the same in Sweden very soon. With recent boat sales in the USA and Japan, numbers are increasing, in key territories, building an international fleet for the future.

www.farr280.com

BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival
On Sunday evening, under a setting sun on the beautiful beach at Nanny Cay, the 45th BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival drew to a close with the ritual awards ceremony and fabulous fireworks. The entire fleet was treated to a delightful racing day, with a light easterly of 8 to 12 knots throughout the morning, becoming a little lighter towards the end of racing.

It was no surprise that first place in CSA-Racing 1 went to the TP52 SPOOKIE, skippered by Steve Benjamin (USA), finishing the regatta with 7 bullets over 7 races. The Melges 32 Soca, skippered by Luis Juarbe (PUR) finished second with 18 points, and in third, Tschuss, a Mat 1180, skippered by Christian Zugel, finished with 23 points.

Heidi and Steve Benjamin, owners of SPOOKIE, always a big presence at Spring Regatta, clearly love BVI sailing and undoubtedly will be back for more. Said Steve, "With respect to the Premier, the Governor, and the entire BVI government, we are so happy to be here in your sailing waters, some of the best sailing waters in the entire world. We thank Nanny Cay and the sponsors; we know Nanny Cay is building a new marina which will be really good for us so that we have more than half a foot under the keel! Thanks also to my crew who say I'm not sailing so well with my new wheel, so they want to put the tiller back on. It's so wonderful to see all the competition here; it's the friendliest and the best sailing that we do, here in the BVI."

New to Spring Regatta this year was the VX One fleet. Tim Pitts (USA), fleet chairman, who took third overall in class racing on Cruzan Rhode, said, "It was absolutely perfect, we enjoyed everything from the weather, to the conditions, the hospitality here was just great. We had 11 boats sailing all weekend in premium conditions.

Save the date for 2017 BVI Spring Regatta: 27th March to 2nd April, 2017.

Full results on YachtScoring.com

Gryphonsolo2 Departs Uruguay
Accomplished solo sailor Joe Harris set off from Newport, Rhode Island on November 15, 2015 in an attempt to break the non stop solo around the world record held by Guo Chuan. After a 11 day detour for repairs in Cape Town, South Africa in December and now a haul out in Uruguay for hull repairs he has decided the record is no longer possible. -- Tatja Hopman in Blue Water Sailing

www.bwsailing.com

* Joe departs Uruguay for home:

Lots of emotions flowing as GS2 headed out of the marina in Piriapolis, Uruguay yesterday on a beautiful sunny morning.

We had worked into the night on Thursday getting the boat prepared and buying and storing food and supplies, after clearing through the departure paperwork. As he had done when I arrived, Aldo Fedele helped me with the marina bill, Immigration and the Prefectura (Navy/Coast Guard), then drove me to the supermarket for food and the gas station for diesel and helped us load it all on to the boat. Aldo had been a shining example of Kharma- being an incredible friend to someone he had never met before- but was a fellow sailor. In Aldo's mind- he was just helping out a mate- as any sailor would do for another sailor- but let's face it folks- that just doesn't happen very often in the real world. So to Aldo- all I can say is "thank-you" from the bottom of my heart- as I would have been lost without you not speaking Spanish and lost in the maze of paperwork. Please come visit the USA and I will reciprocate your generous friendship with GS2/Kharma Bus nation.

The other person who went way above the call of duty is Rob Windsor. Rob answered my first call from offshore when I found the delamination in the hull and basically worked tirelessly from that moment on to get GS2 and her skipper sailing again. Rob flew to Uruguay carrying a new jib and auto pilot ram in his bag and showed up with a smile on his face to pick up the spiritually wounded GS2 skipper and provide him a mate to get good and drunk with, a large shoulder to cry on (literally- I was a PTSD chocolate mess), and the most skilled preparateur imaginable to put the boat back together. Rob and I worked with our Argentine boat builder friends (who he had miraculously found- a true needle in the haystack) for three days and then put the boat back in Bristol condition in another four days- which is really like an Indy-style pit-stop. Total time in port was 10 days- and we worked through the Easter holiday- which is huge down here. Pretty darn good given my shaky start with local officials.

...time to put my head down and sail hard and sail well and avoid the obstacles and sail 2,000 miles to The Bulge! GS2 seems ready for the task and good kharma is flowing

www.gryphonsolo2.com

Featured Brokerage


1998 Vallicelli 60 Racer. 99,000 EUR LOCATION

1st place in category Maxi - Barcolana regatta - seven times in a row (2002-2009) 2nd place overall Giraglia Rolex Cup - 2008
2nd place overall Palermo-Monte Carlo - 2008
Third place overall regatta Barcolana - 2007
...... .and numerous other victories of the regattas in the Adriatic Sea ....... READY TO SAIL!

Details

Contact
info@bachyachting.nl

----------------------------------------------

1976 Palmer Johnson S&S 46 - ARISTEIA. 99,000 USD. Located in Alogonac, MI - USA,

Classic S&S from 1976 always stored under cover and heavily updated - bit of a barn find really!

Details

Contact
Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222
ben.cooper@berthon.co.uk

----------------------------------------------

2001 Volvo 60 - SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE. 129,000 EUR. Located in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Turn Key charter business with a good revenue stream. Very seriously for sale and open to genuine offers.

Details

Contact
Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222
ben.cooper@berthon.co.uk

See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/

The Last Word
I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me - they're cramming for their final exam. -- George Carlin

Editorial and letter submissions to editor@scuttlebutteurope.com

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: gb@beesonstone.com or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html