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.

Quantum Racing Triumphant In Scarlino
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

TP52 Scarlino, Italy: Displaying their hallmark high level of consistency at a challenging new venue for the 52 SUPER SERIES, Quantum Racing won the opening regatta of the season - the Scarlino Cup on Tuscany's Golfo di Follonica. The Ed-Baird-skippered crew finished no worse than fourth over the eight race series to secure the title with a margin of six points over Andy Soriano's Alegre.

Quantum Racing won the first race of the regatta in light conditions but closed out the first regatta of the season with a pair of second places gained in a 13-16kts breeze which produced the best race of the event; fast, powerful, tactical, upwind; and quick, exciting downwind rides with plenty of place changing. The second race was lighter, to the point that the left side of the track looking downwind collapsed almost completely.

Andy Soriano's second overall repeats their dream debut in Valencia one year ago when the Maxi world champion crew seemingly made a great transition to the circuit. But that was their best finish of the season. This time they sailed a very steady, smart regatta with only one lowly eighth as ballast which was counterweighted by two solid thirds on the final day. The result is a ringing endorsement for young Nick Asher the past 470 world champion. The 31 year old is the youngest tactician in the fleet and served his apprenticeship as strategist on Ran Racing. But he stepped on to Alegre in the middle of last year and now repays Andy Soriano's desire to have a younger, open minded tactician in his team.

Final standing after 8 races:

1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) 23 points
2. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) 29
3. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER. 35
4. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) 40
5. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) 45
6. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) 46
7. Ran Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennstrom SWE) 46
8. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) 48
9. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) 63
10. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) 73
11. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) 81

www.52superseries.com

Goodison Wins 2016 Moth Worlds
Light winds dominated on the final day of racing at the 2016 YANMAR Moth Worlds, with just one race completed.

Paul Goodison (GBR) crossed the finish line in second place, which was more than enough to claim the World title by 3 points over Chris Rashley. Silver to Bashley and bronze to Robert Greenhalgh, who claimed the race win, but it was too late to close the points gap on his rivals.

Behind the British top three, Australia's Scott Babbage finished fourth.

The second race of the day got underway but was abandoned after the first windward mark, due to a dying breeze.

The YANMAR Moth Worlds 2016 took place from 23-29 May in Hayama, Japan. The 2017 Moth World Championships will take place on Lake Garda, Italy in the summer 2017.

Full results: www.mothworlds.org/hayama/result/

New York - Vendee Start
Just as they did on their dry run on Friday during the Currency House New York-Vendee Charity Race, the boats started upwind from a line directly off Manhattan's North Cove marina. At 1530 local time the 14 boats will regroup off the Ambrose Light buoy off the entrance to New York Harbour ready for the start of the transatlantic race proper.

3,100 miles of North Atlantic lies ahead of the 14 solo sailors as they turn their bows towards the finish port of Les Sables d'Olonne in the Vendee region of west France. The course includes a substantial ice exclusion zone to keep the boats south of the Grand Banks and away from the threat of any rogue bergs that may have drifted south from Greenland on the Labrador Current. But at present the weather, and especially the more-southerly-than-usual track of depressions in the North Atlantic this week, looks likely to force boats south.

The line-up for the race includes all of the potential Vendee Globe race winners, including the latest generation IMOCA 60s. They, along with Jeremie Beyou's Maître CoQ, are all fitted with state-of-the-art foils.

Among the frontrunners are Armel le Cleac'h on Banque Populaire, winner of The Transat bakerly, the westbound singlehanded race that finished recently in New York. Le Cleac'h finished second in the last two Vendee Globes. He will be up against former Volvo Ocean Race skipper Sebastien Josse on the equally well developed Edmond de Rothschild, winner of December's IMOCA Ocean Masters Transat St Barth-Port la Foret.

The frontrunners in The New York - Vendee (Les Sables d'Olonne) Race presented by Currency House and SpaceCode are expected to finish in just over nine days.

www.ny-vendee.com/en/

Gill Performance Boots - Up To £50 Off For Two Weeks Only
Gill When the waves hit, our Performance Breathable Boots and Performance Race Boots ensure you'll remain nimble and dry on your feet. Unique combination of tough TPU moulding for the foot bed in combination with our breathable laminate membrane, gives complete durable waterproofness and the comfort of breathability. Non-marking, non-slip outsoles and deep multi-directional water dispersal channels prevent aquaplaning and assure outstanding grip. In the UK we have up to £50 OFF Performance Boots for two weeks only.

From early design concepts through to test prototypes we consulted consumers at both amateur and professional level, refining our designs at each development stage. Of vital importance was on-the-water performance, with wearer trials taking place over a period of 8 months before we could finally give approval for production. These trials were backed up by extensive testing in our own lab and independent test houses where we measured slip resistance, waterproof performance after flexing. Not satisfied with industry standard footwear testing, we worked with a leading laboratory to develop our own method of testing wet and dry slip resistance on varnished wood and textured glass fibre - equipping the lab with sections of foredeck for added realism.

The resulting Gill Race Boot is an innovative solution for those wanting the sturdy waterproof protection of a sailing boot without having to sacrifice manoeuvrability. Perfect for the fast-paced action of keel boat racing, RIB riding or powerboating, the lightweight Race Boot has a lower cut and a secure lacing system protected by a waterproof gusset. The Race Boot also comes equipped with a stretch cord lace that allows flex and accommodates a wider fit as well as a static lace for those that like to 'lock in' to their footwear.

Performance Breathable Boot - was £210, now £160
Performance Race Boot - was £175, now £135

www.gillmarine.com

Mind The Gap Claims ORC Sportboat European Championship
Chioggia, Italy: With today's final two inshore races completed in light air and among approaching rain and storms, Andrea Cavagnis and his all-Italian team on the FAT 26 Mind the Gap still managed to overcome the unstable weather to claim overall victory in the 2016 edition of the ORC Sportboat European Championship.

Hosted by Portodimare and sanctioned by the Offshore Racing Congress, this event featured four days of racing in winds that varied from light to moderate, and in 8 windward-leeward courses and one 22-mile coastal race, the Mind the Gap team dominated the fleet of 40 boats from six countries, winning every race but one.

Local-based pro sailor Enrico Zennaro was tactician on Mind the Gap, and said "This will be a memorable championship for both the city of Chioggia and for all the sailors who participated. For us it will also be unforgettable because winning with so much margin does not happen every day, especially against such an excellent level of opponents. Our crew proved flawless throughout the week and the choices that we made with the new sails and the preparation of the boat proved to be a winning choice."

"We are very pleased with our second place," said Alberto Leghissa on Ezio Guarnieri's Delta 84 Chardonnay, a past champion from the 2005 Sportboat Championship.

The final place on the podium was taken by Vincenzo Graciotti's SB20 Flexlogik, who was only one point behind Chardonnay in the Silver medal position.

The top Corinthian finisher in the fleet was 8th placed Arkonoe, Sergio Caramel's Melges 24.

www.orcsportboateuropeans2016.com/en

No Australian 49er Fx Team Selected For Olympics
Early this morning, Australian time, the Yachting Australia Appeals Board rejected the Appeals by two Australian 49er FX crews about their non-selection to the Rio Olympics. Having qualified a spot for the Games the Australians were eligible to send a team but the Yachting Australia selection panel chose not to send a team. Two of the three teams appealed the decision, but overnight both Appeals were denied.

The last avenue of appeal open to both teams is to CAS, although there is a ticking clock in that the Australian Olympic Committee must notify World Sailing by June 1st if they are to send a representative. If not, the position will go to the next country on the WS list of qualified countries. It is not know if either team will appeal to CAS.

* Editor: There are a lot of people close to this situation who believe this to be an exceedingly unwise decision. Olivia Price had been the clear favourite as hers was the only team to have achieved a top ten finish in a nominated list of events... however, that was some time ago and since then, Tess Lloyd has beaten her in every race for the past 15 months.

Tess was the young woman who suffered a significant head injury (fractured skull), and was in a coma for three weeks after being struck by a boardsailor during a skiff regatta in Queensland in 2012.

See www.sailingscuttlebutt.com

Tess had to LEARN TO WALK AND TALK AGAIN and endured months of rehabilitation. And now she is one of the best skiff sailors in the world.

This spring she finished 5th at Palma, 16th at Hyeres, 14th at the European Championship. Beating Price at Hyeres and the Europeans.

But Yachting Australia has looked only at their statistical charts and decided to save a bit of money by not sending any representative for the 49er FX class.

Tess's is an heroic story... one can only imagine the PR bonanza that this would bring to Australia and to Olympic dinghy sailing.

Think about all the (comparatively) bland puff pieces on "athletes overcoming adversity" that you've seen on television during previous Olympics. Now think about how this story would play out in global television markets. This one's as real as it gets.

Tess and her crew Caitlin Elks have a decent shot at a medal and are a marketer's dream team in promoting sailing to a wider audience. Doesn't anyone at the YA Appeals Board watch sports on television?

Rio Markers Set At 2016 Para World Sailing Championships
The 2016 Para World Sailing Championships in Medemblik during the Delta Lloyd Regatta came to a conclusion on Saturday in near summer conditions with a building breeze though the day and a warm northerly providing challenging racing across the three fleets.

The 2.4 Norlin OD was up first with Heiko Kroger (GER) capitalising on his overnight lead to take his ninth world title. Next, Monika Gibes and Piotr Cichocki (POL) won the SKUD18 with a race to spare before Alphonsus Doerr, Hugh Freund and Brad Kendell (USA) won the Sonar class after an incredibly close final race that went right down to the wire.

For all of them a marker has been set down as they begin final preparations to the Rio Paralympics.

While the other para fleets were reasonably secure the 16 boat Sonar fleet kept everyone guessing right down to the final leg. Alphonsus Doerr/Hugh Freund/Brad Kendell (USA) had led overnight twice and held a four point margin into the final day. Victory was not secure until the end of the tense final leg, with a third place enough to take the world title.

Full results:
www.deltalloydregatta.org/results

NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks
NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks is a free interactive online tool that allows users to track historic hurricane tracks. The site, developed by the NOAA Office for Coastal Management in partnership with NOAA's National Hurricane Center and National Centers for Environmental Information, offers data and information on coastal county hurricane strikes through 2012. It also provides links to detailed reports on the life histories and effects of U.S. tropical cyclones since 1958, with additional U.S. storm paths traced as far back as 1851. The site contains global hurricane data from as far back as 1842.

www.bwsailing.com/cc/noaas-historical-hurricane-tracks/

oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/historical-hurricanes/

Tales Hits Top Speeds Of 19.6 Knots In First Leg Of Atlantic Cup
Just over 28 hours into the first leg of the Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing and the fleet is through the worst of Tropical Storm Bonnie. Overnight last night the teams saw 35+ knots of wind and a very confused sea state, which made for extremely tough conditions and very little sleep.

Spanish team Tales and French team Earendil have consistently led the fleet and have chosen a more northerly path. While Amhas, Toothface and Oakcliff in the second grouping opted to head further east. Since the wind shifted, teams have seen very fast sailing, with Tales hitting top speeds of 19.6 knots today.

Privateer's tracker stopped working shortly after the start yesterday, which is why the tracking map shows them in Charleston. However, they are racing and updating their position with race HQ and as of 3:30 ET they were located at 34.05 357 N 75.59 726 W putting them in the vicinity of Talanta on the tracking map.

The 9 teams will continue en route to New York Harbor where the finish line will be just before the Brooklyn Bridge at Pier 5. Models are showing a fast race with an estimated arrival time of sometime early Tuesday morning, May 31.

www.atlanticcup.org

Three Remaining Slots Determined For World Match Racing Tour Newport
After three days and 64 races in Newport today, the three remaining berths of 20 were decided for next week's World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) Newport. The eight-team qualifier series started Thursday and concluded today with the Semi-Finals, Finals and Petit Finals held within yards of the shoreline on the east side of Fort Adams in 8-15 knots of breeze.

Taking the top two berths by making the Finals were 36 Below, skippered by Chris Steele (Auckland, New Zealand) and 13 Fifty Racing, skippered by Michael Menninger (Newport Beach, Calif.). 36 Below lost only one of its 18 matches in the qualifier series and won the Finals 2-0 over 13 Fifty Racing.

The Petit Finals were the most exciting, with Team Gilmour, skippered by David Gilmour (Perth, Australia) having to outmaneuver Team Mirsky, skippered by Torvar Mirsky (Pittwater, NSW, Australia) to clinch the third berth with a 2-0 final score.

A weather system coming up the east coast is expected to bring high winds on Monday, which could make the Memorial Day kick-off to the World Match Racing Tour Newport all the more fast-paced. According to World Match Racing Tour Card Holder Taylor Canfield (Chicago, Ill./St. Thomas, USVI) who is the top-seeded skipper here, the boats are good to "fly their hulls" in up to 25 knots.

wmrt.com

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