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

Figaro Leg 2: A Drag Race To The Finish
Yann Elies (Groupe Queguiner) rounded Fastnet Rock in 1st place at 1004BST this morning. The two-time Solitaire winner was 8 minutes ahead of Gildas Mahe (Interface Concept) in 2nd and 10 minutes ahead of Jeremie Beyou (Maitre Coq) in 3rd. It had been a tough night for the solo sailors as they had to cope with long periods of very little or no wind but at Fastnet there actually more wind than they had been expecting. The whole fleet is now within 6nm as they race straight from Fastnet to Roscoff.

The leading sailors were some 15nm from the Stags south cardinal buoy at 0400BST when the wind died, and the fleet was becalmed. Yann Elies (Groupe Queguiner) was able to hold on to his lead but the gap between the first and last boat halved, from 14nm yesterday morning to 7nm today. Adrien Hardy (Agir Recouvrement) was able to capitalise on this, climbing from 17th to 5th position.

After rounding the Stags mark the fleet raced 12nm along the Irish coast to Fastnet. This afternoon the fleet had 8kn of NE'ly wind. At the moment we are expecting the Solitaire sailors to arrive in Roscoff late Tuesday night.

Top ten overall positions, 1400 BST Monday:

1. Yann Elies (Groupe Queguiner) 248nm to finish
2. Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) (+0.5nm)
3. Corentin Horeau (Bretaagne - Credit Mutuel Performance) (+0.7nm)
4. Adrien Hardy (AGIR Recouvrement (0.7nm)
5. Jeremie Beyou (Maitre Coq) (+0.8nm)
6. Gildas Mahe (Interface Concept) (+0.8nm)
7. Fabien Delahaye (Skipper Macif 2012) (+0.9nm)
8. Corentin Douguet (Un Maillot Pour La Vie) (+1.3nm)
9. Sebastien Simon (Bretagne - Credit Mutuel Espoir) (+1.3nm)
10. Erwan Tabarly (Armor Lux) (+1.3nm)

Chicago Match Cup Qualifier
Chicago, Illinois, USA: Chris Steele from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and his team of Walker Banks on Main, Hamish Hardy on Jib and Tim Siemers on Bow prevailed in blustery conditions today to win the ISAF Grade 2 Chicago Match Cup Qualifier. In a come-from-behind effort, Steele defeated Australia's David Chapman 2-1 in a fiery series of matches that were shortened to a first-to-two point series due to strong wind and high wave conditions on Lake Michigan.

Racing in 15-20 knots and lumpy seas, Steele's road to victory started with being down 2-0 to CMRC's Don Wilson in the Semi-Final, and then coming back to win the next three to go to the Final to meet Australia's David Chapman, who won 3-0 over Steve Lowery.

Then the wind picked up to gusts to over 30 knots with seas building even higher, so CMRC race managers decided to put up the Z flag to indicate that spinnaker use would not be allowed.

The Finals started well for Chapman, who scoring first blood and put Steele under pressure to win the second match and stay alive for the series. Steele and team did exactly this, setting the stage for a dramatic final showdown.

Steele's only other appearance at CMRC was at last August's Grade 2 Grand Slam event, where he finished second in a field of 12 teams from 6 nations. This event featured a slightly smaller field - ten teams from four nations - but with valuable Grade 2 winning points Steele should make a significant advance up from his current position of 22nd on the ISAF Open World Match Race Ranking list.

Chicago Match Cup Qualifier Final results:
1. Chris Steele (NZL)
2. David Chapman (AUS)
3. Don Wilson (USA)
4. Steve Lowery (USA)
5. Stefan Lindberg (FIN)
6. Scott Dickson (NZL)
7. David Storrs (USA)
8. Chris Poole (USA)
9. Tyler Rice (ISV)
10. David Niemann (USA)

Henri Lloyd Elite Offshore - The Collection - Protect
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Elite racer jacket:
A pared down version of the Jacket to reduce bulk for even greater agility when racing.

Elite Offshore Hi Fit trousers:
Men's and Women's Fit - ergonomic articulated fit, waterproof zips, adjustable waist and ankle cuffs, fast draining pockets, reinforcement on seat and knees.

The Lightest, Most Breathable Offshore Gear Ever, Without Compromise: or Elite product pages

Retired Yachting Star To Sail Again - For The Love Of Her Boat
Tracy Edwards, celebrated racing yachtie and inspiration for a generation of ambitious female sailors after her performance leading a crew of women in the Whitbread World Race in 1990, vowed she would 'never set foot on a boat again', but she's changed her mind and it's sentiment not competitiveness driving her on.

The problem is that her boat Maiden, the 21 year old 58ft yacht used as her race boat, self-funded by Tracy, and which won her two of the six races of the famous race, occupies a place in her heart that goes beyond competitiveness, and now the boat is in trouble.

Since completing the Round the World yacht race the yacht has had several owners and has fallen into a state of disrepair.

Having recently discovered its plight Tracy has launched a fundraising campaign to salvage the boat, bring it back to Britain and restore it to its former glory.

She hopes to reunite her former crew and re-enact their historic race finish 25 years ago by sailing Maiden up Southampton Water on May 28 next year.

The vessel will then go on display at maritime museums around Britain and also be used to take young people from charities sailing. -- Nancy Knudsen in

Round Texel and Texel Dutch Open
On Saturday 28th June 2014, the 37th edition of the legendary Round Texel is scheduled to take place. The Round Texel, also known as 'the Biggest Cat Race in the World', is the highlight of a festive week of sailing from 25th – 28th June on the beach at Paal 17.

The Dutch F18 class organisation, together with the board of the Round Texel Race, has decided to classify both the Texel Dutch Open as well as the 37th Round Texel as an official F18 class event. Both events now count towards the Dutch F18 Championship 2014. F18-sailors, as well as other cats, who would like to join both class events, can register online via:

Texel Dutch Open
The Texel Dutch Open for catamarans is taking place between Wednesday 25th and Friday 27th. Numerous races have been planned during these 3 days after which, based on the Texel Rating, two Dutch champions will be crowned. This particular Dutch Open will be sailed in 2 open catamaran classes: Open Class I and Open Class II.

The 37th edition of the Round Texel has been expanded with the Open Dutch Championship Marathon Windsurfing. The windsurfers will follow the same course as the catamarans: circumnavigating the Dutch isle of Texel. Entry is open to surfers 15 years and older who have a registered slalom, formula or race board. The qualifiers will be held on Friday 27th June, and on Saturday the 50 best windsurfers from the qualifying round will compete for the title.

Johnie Berntsson Gets Wildcard To Stena Match Cup Sweden
Gothenburg Sweden: Skipper Johnie Berntsson and his Stena Sailing Team have received a Wildcard to Stena Match Cup Sweden 2014. The team aims to go all in at their home event with a tailor made training schedule leading up to the 20th anniversary of Sweden's biggest sailing event.

Stena Sailing Team have had a good start to this year's mach racing season - winning GKSS Icebreaker Cup, as runners up at the Volvo Spring Cup and reaching the semis at both the Congressional Cup and a Grade 2 event in Szczecin, Poland.

Even though the team missed out on a Tour Card to the Alpari World Match Racing Tour 2014, they have a busy racing schedule ahead and a clear plan for how to climb the international ranking. Tactician Robert Skarp has stepped joined the team and added his experience to the afterguard as well as new energy to the team.

14 teams will enter Stena Match Cup Sweden 2014, the eight Tour Card Holders of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, two qualifiers from the Volvo Spring Cup and four Wildcards. The remaining three wildcards will be disclosed the coming weeks.

Line-up Stena Match Cup Sweden 2014
1. Ian Williams (GBR)
2. Björn Hansen (SWE)
3. Phil Robertson (NZL)
4. Keith Swinton (AUS)
5. Taylor Canfield (USA)
6. Francesco Bruni (ITA)
7. David Gilmour (AUS)
8. Mathieu Richard (FRA)
9. Wildcard 1 - Johnie Berntsson (SWE)
10. Wildcard 2
11. Wildcard 3
12. Wildcard 4
13. Qualifier VOLVO Spring Cup - Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN)
14. Qualifier VOLVO Spring Cup - Viktor Ogeman (SWE)

Luna Rossa Challenge Steps Forward
On Thursday Luna Rossa Challenge released several videos and stories detailing their team for the 35th America's Cup.

Patrizio Bertelli, the passionate team principal of Luna Rossa, introduced Max Sirena as skipper for the second consecutive challenge:

"In addition to his unquestionable technical skills, one of Max's strongest qualities is the ability to manage relationships with his staff: he understands the needs and rationale of each department in the team and puts himself on an equal level with everyone. He is also a strong team builder: success in the America's Cup is never the result of an individual but a combination of factors that lead to the victory of an entire team."

Sirena says he has retained the core of the team from the last America's Cup, adding some crucial parts to develop the strongest possible team.

The Luna Rossa Challenge sailing team:

Max Sirena
Francesco Bruni
Pierluigi de Felice
Chris Draper
Ben Durham
Shannon Falcone
Bora Gulari
Emanuele Marino
Marco Mercuriali
Adam Minoprio
Manuel Modena
Gilberto Nobili
Alister Richardson
Pietro Sibello
Simeon Tienpont

Lizzy Foreman Racing In The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race
One of the bright new talents on the British solo offshore sailing scene, Lizzy Foreman, from Worcester Park in Surrey, will spend her 24th birthday heading round the Isle of Wight in the annual J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on her Mini 6.50.

Lizzy will be sailing her boat 'Hudson Wight', Hull 633, from France arriving back in Cowes at around midday on Wed 18th June. The boat will be moored on the inside of Trinity Landing in Cowes courtesy of the Royal London YC from next Wednesday.

On Saturday 21st June, Lizzy will set off in the first of the class starts at 0630 accompanied by Jamie Scrimgeour, Managing Director of Cowes-based Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear (Lizzy's title sponsor), and Jill Stevenson, Sailing Secretary of the Royal London Yacht Club, also in Cowes.

Swinton & Team Alpari FX Claim The Boysterous Trophy
Hamble, Hampshire, UK: When two of the world's best match-racers go head-to-head the smallest edge can be decisive - and so it proved in the final of the Royal Southern Match Race Cup 2014.

The two top ISAF seeds at the event - Britain's four-time World Match Racing Champion Ian Williams, number 2 in the world, and rising Australian star Keith Swinton, number 7 - battled it out under leaden skies but with a solid Solent breeze, and it was the young man from Perth and his Team Alpari FX crew who claimed The Boysterous Trophy with a decisive 2-0 scoreline.

As ever, it was smart tactics and a quick adaptation to the J80 sportsboat which produced an edge in upwind boatspeed that sealed the deal. Just a week ago Williams' GAC Pindar team had triumphed over Swinton racing Bavaria 40s at Match Race Germany, but found the tables turned on him at the Royal Southern Match Cup.

Swinton and Williams progressed to the final after defeating, respectively, New Zealander Reuben Corbett (2-0) and Australian David Gilmour (2-1), both of whom had come through Friday's weather-shortened Round Robin stage undefeated.

Indeed Gilmour had been the star of the Match Cup show over the first two days, having a perfect scoreline until running up against Williams in the semis. On what turned out to be a disappointing final day, he also lost out to Corbett in the Petit-Final third place play-off.

Estonia's Sailing Potential Revealed
Estonia remains a mystery destination to most UK yachtsmen, but now the government of the former Soviet satellite Baltic State are engaged in a major push to put the country into the cruising man's psyche.

Yachtsmen from the country's well-regarded yacht clubs paid a visit to London's Little Ship Club - where thanks to sponsorship from the Estonian Embassy - an 'Estonian night ' was held.

The well attended event was sponsored by the Estonian Embassy in London, Enterprise Estonia, the Estonian Maritime Museum , Viru Beer and photographed by Graeme Kennedy.

For those of you, who wish to go sailing in Estonia already this summer, the 57th Moonsund Regatta, will take place from 12th-19th July - the registration is still open. It is a week long, Cowes Week like regatta visiting the numerous islands and harbours around Estonia's western coast.
Moonsund Regatta -

Audi Sailing Team Germany Teams with Australian and Japanese National Sailing Teams
In preparation for the Olympic qualification regatta in Santander this September, the ISAF Sailing World Championships, the Australian and Japanese teams are working closely with Audi Sailing Team Germany to create a comprehensive wind and current model. Advanced solutions developed by the German team together with its technology partner SAP serve as the foundation for this process.

This summer marks the beginning of qualifications for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio for the sailors. After the Football World Cup, Rio de Janeiro will welcome 400 sailors for the Olympic test regatta in Guanabara Bay. Shortly afterwards the first qualification regatta for Rio 2016 will start in Santander, Spain.

Complex tidal patterns present a unique challenge for the sailors and can make a big difference to the outcome of a race. While the international press is only talking about the poor water quality in Rio, teams are not only measuring the level of pollution but also the speed at which the water is moving.

The German team is also busy collecting data in Santander in the north of Spain. Together with the Australians and the Japanese, they are looking to log as much data over as big a time span as possible. This data will be used to create a model, allowing detailed forecasts. The technology, which creates daily tidal simulations, has been developed together with SAP and the physicist Dr Ingo Bull. -- Andy Rice,

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The Last Word
One can imagine that the ultimate mathematician is one who can see analogies between analogies. -- Stefan Banach

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