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

Leaders Emerge At Antigua Sailing Week Race Day 3
The CSA Racing division enjoyed spectacular windward leeward courses on the south coast of Antigua for the third day of Antigua Sailing Week. The rush to gain the upwind advantage from lifting pressure along the rocky shoreline caused some spectacular pin end punch-ups. Rock hopping upwind past the iconic Pillars of Hercules, the fleet enjoyed classic Antigua Sailing Week racing.

Tony Langley's TP52, Gladiator still remains unbeaten, but they are not the only team with a perfect score. Chris Body's J/122 El Ocaso and Sir Hugh Bailey's CS40 Gypsy-UGo have also been undefeated after three days of racing.

In CSA Racing 1, Linas Ivanauskas' Lithuanian Volvo 60 Ambersail scored two more bullets and will lead the class by a substantial margin once the discard kicks in for the next race.

In CSA 2 there were two ties today highlighting the competitive level of racing. One involved class leader Renato Cunha Faria's Brazilian Dufour 500 Ventaneiro 3, but it was for their worst result so far; joint fifth. Ventaneiro 3 still leads the class, but only by half a point from Jorge Madden's S&S 78 Kialoa III which scored a win and a second today.

A new leader has emerged in CSA Racing 4. Overnight leader, Mark Chapman's Ker 37 Dingo failed to get on the podium in each of today's races and slips to second and only on countback from Ian Hope-Ross' St. Maarten Melges 32, Kick 'em Jenny II. The new CSA 4 Class leader is Jim Hightower's Texan King 40, Hot Ticket, which won both of today's races. In CSA 6, Ross Applebey's Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster also won both of today's races to lead the class by three points.

Racing at Antigua Sailing Week continues Thursday, 28th April off the South Coast of Antigua and full on conditions are forecast.

Full results, videos and pictures at: www.sailingweek.com

Maersk Line 18ft Skiff Anzac Championship
Photo by Andrea Francolini, www.afrancolini.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

After 10 races on the Waitemata Harbour for the annual Maersk Line 18' Skiff ANZAC Championship, Yamaha has come out as the clear winner.

David McDiarmid, Matt Stevens and Brad Collins have stayed in the top spot for the entire regatta with four guns out of ten races.

"Bloody good to come away with the win after finishing second at the JJ's. We are pretty stoked!" said skipper McDiarmid.

"Today was windy which was good. It was all on for the last couple of races. Matty was pretty good and only left the boat once! Brad was good too." continued McDiarmid.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers were second place overall after missing race 10 due to a few issues.

From Yachts and Yachting:
www.yachtsandyachting.com

Overall Results: (top three)
1. NZL Yamaha 13 pts
2. AUS Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 21 pts
3. AUS Noakes Youth 32 pts

Handicap Results: (top three)
1. AUS Noakes Youth 32 pts
2. USA Harken 35.5 pts
3. NZL C-Tech 37.5 pts

rayc.co.nz/aklskiffleague/

Save The Date
Yacht Racing Forum 2016, co-hosted by Yachting Malta and Yachting / Events

- MALTA
- November 28-29

The Yacht Racing Forum 2016 will take place at the prestigious Grand Hotel Excelsior, in Valletta, Malta.

The Yacht Racing Forum is the leading annual conference for the business of sailing and yacht racing, open to anyone involved in yacht racing: venues, event organisers, sponsors, designers and builders, insurance and financial companies, athletes and specialized media, as well as anyone involved or just interested in the sport of sailing.

Earl Bird registrations are open, and valid for the top 80 registrants: www.yachtracingforum.com

If you want to exhibit or sponsor the event: Ask for the partnerships packages at contact@maxcomm.ch

Check out last years' video:

Read the 2015 Post Event Report

ORC European Championship
First discount entry deadline approaches on 30 April

Thessaloniki, Greece - Organizers from the Nautical Club of Thessaloniki and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) remind prospective teams considering entry to the ORC European Championship held over 3-10 July 2016 that the first discount entry deadline for the event is approaching later this week. After 30 April, entry fees will increase for all classes to €700/entry, and after 31 May the fees increase further to €900.

The 2016 ORC European Championship will be based at the Porto Carras Grand Resort, in Halkidiki on the Sithonian peninsula located east of Thessaloniki. The clear azure waters of the Toroneas Gulf combine with scenic landscapes of rocky coastlines and secluded beaches to provide fantastic sailing at this world-class resort. Entries will receive discount rates to two hotels at the Porto Carras resort, dockage is free of entries at the Porto Carras Marina during the event, and there is a 50% discount on marina rates for boats that choose to stay until the next offshore series, the 2016 edition of the annual Aegean Regatta held over 20-27 August.

Already 56 teams from 10 countries from as far away as the USA have entered, including many newcomers to ORC championship events but also some past champions and near-champions. One of these is Vincenzo De Blasio's Scugnizza Total Marine, the N/M 38S from Italy that was ORC World Champion in Class B in 2012 in Helsinki and again in 2013 in Ancona, Italy.

Another is Aivar Tuulberg's Katarina II, an Arcona 340 from Estonia, who won Silver at the ORC Europeans in 2013 in Sandhamn, Sweden. Another podium finisher was Milan Hajek's First 40.7 Three Sisters from the Czech Republic who won Bronze in Class C at the ORC Worlds in Kiel in 2014.

To serve as a preview to the Europeans, the Nautical Club of Thessaloniki will host the North Aegean Cup 2016 to also be held at Porto Carras over 30 June - 3 July to test race teams as well as the race managers prior to the main event. The format will be a mix of inshore buoy races as well as races along the beautiful Sithonia coast, replicating the style of racing to be used the following week.

For more information and to enter the 2016 ORC European Championship, visit orci.ncth.gr

Press and media registration is available from a link on the event management website at www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1460

www.orc.org

Orion Wins Newport To Ensenada International Yacht Race
Orion, the MOD70 based in the San Francisco Bay area and owned by Tom Siebel, shattered the fastest elapsed time record in the N2E. Orion crossed the finish line in 5 hours, 17 minutes, 26 seconds, breaking the former record of 6:46:40, set by the late Steve Fossett on the yacht Stars and Stripes in 1998 by more than 1 hour, 29 minutes.

"We had to make sure the boat is prepped and the team is prepped, and we get a good start," said Charlie Ogletree, the tactician who also shared the helming with Siebel. "We had to make sure we were handling the boat better than the other boat. The conditions became a challenge.

Orion, which also includes Peter Isler, Zan Drejes, Hogan Beatie, Paul Allen and Damian Foxall, got off to a great start to grab the lead against Mighty Merloe (H.C. Enloe) and Tritum (John Sangmeister).

But about an hour into the race, Mighty Merloe caught Orion and gained the lead. However, Orion regained its lead and opened up a gap on Mighty Merloe. Orion kept adding to its lead before finishing in Ensenada.

Mighty Merloe, the 60 ORMA that has been dueling with Orion for first-to-finish honors the past three years, followed just 20 minutes later with a time of 5:37:18 - also breaking the old record by more than an hour. Orion is also expected to win its class based on a corrected time of 12:26:36. -- Steve Virgen in the LA Times

www.latimes.com/

EFG Nations' Cup
A 6'4" German wearing lederhosen will be just one of the sailors taking part in what is arguably one of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's more fun events - the EFG Nations' Cup in association with Auckland Tourism Events & Economic Development, which takes place on Sunday 1 May in Victoria Harbour.

Often referred to as sailing's answer to the (Hong Kong) Rugby Sevens, many teams turn out in costume and the Club has already received entries from 13 nations including a crew in silver capes from Uranus.

The Nations' Cup is a pursuit race and the winning nation will win not only the coveted Vic Locke Memorial Trophy but also the all important bragging rights in the form of having their national flag displayed in the Main Bar until the 2017 edition of the Nations' Cup.

Last year New Zealand took the honours for a second year in a row ahead of England, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. Uranus then beamed in ahead of Sweden, Germany, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

For sailors of all nations wanting to get involved, online entry is available at www.rhkyc.org.hk/NationsCup.aspx together with the not-terribly-onerous Nationality Criteria, Notice of Race, crew wanted and available boards and other race documentation.

Safran Qualifies For The Vendee Globe
Last Saturday morning, Morgan Lagraviere completed the solo 1,500-mile voyage required to qualify for the Vendee Globe. The greatest satisfaction was that his boat, Safran, is in perfect condition, despite the sometimes rough conditions. His voyage has been validated by the Vendee Globe race office, meaning the skipper of Safran has qualified officially.

Being back with the boat in perfect condition is the greatest of the many satisfactions for Lagraviere. In addition, the skipper of Safran believes he has taken another step forward in the understanding of his boat and realising its potential. The delivery for the New York - Vendee race is scheduled for the first week of May, as part of the Voyage Transatlantic sponsored by Les editions Gallimard. Lagraviere will sail with Gildas Mahe, fresh from the Transat AG2R, Gwenole Gahinet and, of course, Roland Jourdain.

Surrounded by sailors accustomed to long-distance voyages, Lagraviere is bound to get some good lessons before a Transat New York - Vendee that will not want for intensity, with 18 boats registered for the start. That will be enough to satisfy his competitive temperament.

www.safran-sailingteam.com

Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series
The final Sunday (24 April) of the Helly Hansen Warsash Spring proved to be a tricky day's racing when the wind ignored the forecast and dished up between 5 and 20 plus knots, with big and cold down blast gusts which switched direction by up to 30 degrees; dumping more than one crew's legs in the water!

Shanghai Lil in IRC2 (Regatta Yachts) reported that despite bending their bowsprit irretrievably, they managed sustained bursts of 17 knots on the downwind legs.

In the White Group congratulations go to Jon Powell (J/80 - Betty) who scored a hat trick by winning, once again, the Spring Series and the Crewsaver Warsash Spring Championship in the J/80 class and finished overall leader in the White Group Combined results.

Black Group Series winners were Jitterbug (J111 - Cornel Riklin) in IRC1, Sunrise (JPK1080 - Tom Kneen) in IRC2, J'Ronimo (J92 - David Greenhalgh) in IRC3, Stan the Boat (Sigma 33-Toby Gorman) in IRC4 and in the J/109 Class Just So.

IRC4 also had a stealth coaster appear, cutting the fleet in two during a surfing spinnaker reach which caused a flurry of excitement, particularly for Betty (Hunter707 - Tim Rees) who wiped out while trying to lift across the coasters stern.

Champagne and prizes were presented by Annabel Shove from Rolly Tasker Sails who have provided the winner's champagne throughout the Series.

Full results: www.warsashspringseries.org.uk

So Much For The Will Of People
A campaign to name a polar research ship Boaty McBoatface may be heading for the rocks, after a UK government minister said he wanted something that "captures the spirit of scientific endeavour".

Science minister Jo Johnson said that the public had come up with some "very imaginative" suggestions for names, which would all be "reviewed". But his comment left no doubt that he does not regard himself as bound to follow the results of an internet poll.

RRS Boaty McBoatface was the runaway winner in the competition staged by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), taking 124,109 votes, ahead of RRS Poppy-Mai - named after a 16-month-old girl with terminal cancer - which came second with 34,371 votes.

afloat.ie

* In a jovial interview on on the BBC's Today programme on Monday, Admiral Lord West suggested a more suitable alternative would be to name the vessel after a legendary British explorer.

The former First Sea Lord, who has a fair bit of experience in all things ship-related, said: "If you go for crowd search in the current environment where everything is so gloomy then the average Brit comes up with some strange names.

"It's the typical thing of Brits going mad, normally silly season, not at this time of year."

www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

RORC Fleet Bound For Le Havre
The Cervantes Trophy Race is traditionally the first English Channel Race of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season's Points Championship and this year's race from Cowes to Le Havre has attracted a variety of yachts from Belgium, Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The majority of the teams are passionate Corinthians, but make no mistake, the RORC Season's Points Championship is arguably the toughest offshore series of races in the world.

James Neville from Cambridge, UK will be racing his HH42, Ino XXX in IRC One for the Ceravntes Trophy Race.

Surgeon Adrian Lower, from Burnham on Crouch, will be racing his Swan 48, Snatch, with co-owner David Smith in IRC Two.

Jean-Eudes Renier is originally from France but works in London in the Financial sector, he has been sailing since he was a child and has competed in several Rolex Fastnet Races. Jean-Eudes will be competing in the Cervantes Trophy Race in the IRC Three and the Two-handed Class, which has seven teams entered.

Cervantes Trophy Race
Start: Saturday 30 April 2016
Course Cowes - Le Havre (95-140 nautical miles).

For more information about the RORC Seasons' Points Championship and the Royal Ocean Racing Club, visit: www.rorc.org

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The Last Word
We all felt the same. We just saw it from a different point of view. -- Bob Dylan

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