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

Hansen Hat Trick At Stena Match Cup Sweden
Marstrand, Sweden: Swedish fans turned out in their thousands to cheer on defending champion, Bjorn Hansen on the way to his claiming a third consecutive victory at the Stena Match Cup Sweden final, on this occasion against Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar crew.

The Swedish team has been raising its game constantly throughout the week. After scraping into the Quarter Finals on Thursday having finished Qualifying in lowly seventh, Hansen had an equally tight run through the Quarter Finals beating Team Alpari FX skipper Keith Swinton, only by 3-2.

Even on 1-1 with US Virgin Islander Taylor Canfield going into the last races of the Semi-Finals this morning, Hansen claimed two races in a row to gain his berth in the finals.

For today's racing off the west coast of Sweden's paradise island of Marstrand, the wind was light and blowing, unusually, from the northeast, the opposite way down the fjord to previous days.

While Hansen has now won Stena Match Cup Sweden four times (his first was in 2007), he is still three short of Peter Gilmour's record.

Overall results of Stage 2 Stena Match Cup Sweden, Alpari World Match Racing Tour

1. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team
2. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
3. Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone
4. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa
5. Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets
6. Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX
7. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Team Trifork
8. David Gilmour (ASU) Team Gilmour
9. Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing
10. Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing
11. Ed Baird (USA) Quantum Racing
12. Magnus Hoimberg (SWE) Team Magnus Holmberg
13. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Stena Sailing Team
14. Viktor Ogeman (SWE) Team Accure

International Star Class World Championship
Malcesine, Italy: The International Star Class World Championship was decided in dramatic style on the last leg of the last race. GER 8340 Robert Stanjek with crew Frithjof Kleen led by ten points going into the last race and held on in a nervy final race to become the new world champions and the first German world champion for seventeen years.

Clouds above The Dolomite Mountains and clear blues skies above Lake Garda provided classic Ora conditions, with 12 knots of warm breeze pumping from the south.

The first start resulted in a general recall and the race committee hoisted the Black Flag for restart. Nine boats were still over, resulting in their disqualification and yet another general recall. Third time lucky, the fleet got away clear;

Stanjek/Kleen were in a desperate struggle to secure the world championship title and with a last gasp effort, the German team moved up to 12th, enough to win the International Star Class World Championship by two points. ITA 8491 Negri/Lambertenghi were second on countback from NOR 8317 Melleby/Prada.

GER 8340 Stanjek/Kleen became the fourth German pair to lift one of sailing's most prestigious trophies after: Kuhweide/Meyer in 1972, Hagen/Hoesch in 1981 and Hagen/Ferreira in 1997.

Final top ten:

1. Stanjek/Kleen, GER, 25 points
2. Negri/Lambertenghi, ITA, 27
3. Melleby/Prada, NOR, 27
4. Diaz/Baltins, USA, 30
5. Fuchs/Seifert, BRA, 40
6. Szabo/Natucci, USA, 42
7. Papathanasios/Tsotras, GRE, 43
8. Arapov/Sitic, CRO, 44
9. T. Grael/de Almeida, BRA, 44
10. Polgar/Koy, GER, 44

Natalia And Low Noise Are New Orc European Champions
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image to enlarge.

ORC European Fickle conditions on last day causes abandonment of Class B final race, while Class A has huge windshift that influences final results

Valencia, Spain: In a class of 21 teams from seven nations, owner-driver Natalia Brailoiu from Romania and her Italian team on her Club Swan 42 Natalia have today won Class A in the ORC European Championship, while in Class B the reigning Mediterranean champion - Italian Giuseppe Giuffre on his Polli-modified M37 Low Noise - has won against 26 rivals from six countries. This is a repeat performance for Low Noise, who also won the Class B European Championship crown in 2012.

The hot conditions today saw temperatures reach 35°C, but the expected seabreeze came too late to save Class B's slow start, forcing race managers to abandon their race. With a discard allowed for all but the offshore race, Low Noise was then able to take the lead from Pedro Campos's Synergia 40 Movistar, who despite winning every inshore race could not overcome the 15.6 points earned in the offshore race on Thursday, and thus had to settle for Silver medals for the series. Another Italian team, Nicola de Gemmis's GS 39 Morgan IV, earned Bronze medals based on solid top-four results in inshore series.

In Class A this final race was destined to be a fight, since so few points separated the top contenders, who all had respectable results in the offshore race and thus were counting on a good final inshore race. The light conditions initially favored the two fastest boats around the course, the TP 52's Hurakan and Duvetica-Linosonega, but then a new breeze filled in quickly to take away that advantage, just like the long offshore race. Bernd Kammerlander's XP-44 Koyoma, with Inaki Castener on the helm, read the conditions perfectly to win this race, and grab the last place on the podium. Meanwhile Natalia's second-place in this race was good enough to have them pass yesterday's leader Elena Nova, Christian Plump's Swan 45, to take the lead and push the Germans back into second place.

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First Win For Team Oman Sail
The nine teams of the Tour de France a la Voile are now warmed-up and fully in the game. Despite the wet and cold conditions on this second day of racing, the crew did not lack energy on the Dunkirk race course today and they are getting more familiar with their new one-design sails.

The fleet sailed two inshore races in some shifty and gusty wind conditions. Sidney Gavignet, who finished fourth in 2013 edition, is back this year to take his Omani team on the podium. And Team Omansail was in top form. After a 3rd in the first race, they won the second one with good tactics and perfect control over their chaser Groupama 34.

The four Corinthian teams have nothing to be ashamed of. Even though they are at the bottom of the leaderboard, they have their own race within the race and on the water, they show good speeds and good spirit.

The fleet came back at the dock at 2pm this afternoon so that the teams can rest and get ready for the first offshore leg in the 2014 Tour de France a la Voile. At 8pm, they will be heading to Dieppe, in Normandy, 116 miles down the track. And the weather forecast predicts more upwind conditions... and more rain.

Overall top five ranking :
1. Groupama 34, Franck Cammas, 120 points
2. Courrier Dunkerque 3, Daniel Souben, 117
3. Team OmanSail, skipper, Sidney Gavignet, 111
4. Bretagne - Credit Mutuel Elite, skipper Nicolas Troussel, 110
5. Ville de Geneve - Carrefoux Addictions, Nicolas Groux, 104

* 2D and 3D videw, live... and free App:

From 4th to 27th July, ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) has chosen GeoRacing to provide the 2D and 3D LIVE visualization of the Tour de France a la Voile. This year the streaming video will be in HD (720P) and will be improved with a live audio commentary.

Georacing's App (available for IOS and Android) or viewing the website:

Download the App (FREE):
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Audi Tron Melges 24 European Sailing Series
Riva del Garda, Italy: The Audi tron team is winner of the Audi tron European Sailing Series Melges 24 event organised by the Fraglia Vela Riva in cooperation with con B.Plan Sport&Events.

The Audi Italia Sailing Team has collected another victory after winning in Kiel just one week ago. They took the win with a race to spare.

Second on the podium were world and European champions Blu Moon (2-1), led by Flavio Favini.

And a great result for the crew of Maidollis (3-3) helmed by Gabrio Zandona ranking third at 8 points off the winner's scoreline.

Ranking 6th with the best Corinthian results, Gill Race Team (5-9) of Laser SB20 world champion Geoff Carveth took the win over Magica of Pietro Andolini and Lorenzo Gemini.

Thanks to this new victory Audi tron has consolidated its leading role in the Melges 24 European Sailing Series that will conclude in Medemblik 19-21 September.

The Top 3 in open division:
1. Audi tron ITA-840 - Riccardo Simoneschi, 21 points
2. Blu Moon SUI-825 - Flavio Favini, 24
3. Maidollis ITA-822 - Gabrio Zandonai, 29

The Top 3 in Corinthian division:
1. Gill Race team GBR-694 - Geoff Carveth, 82
2. Magica ITA-764 - Lorenzo Gemini, 94
3. Marrakech Express ITA-636 - Alfredo Capodannom, 110

Round Ireland Yacht Race
The 2014 Round Ireland Yacht Race, held every two years starting in 1980, is over. This year, again, the race lived up to its billing as a quality race for sailors, with the overall results on corrected time changing frequently and several dramas played out at various stages of the race. Perhaps not the strong winds and consequent sleigh rides up the west coast that we often get, but at least no rain and lots of clear skies, with varying degrees of wind challenging the fleet.

Richard Harris, Tanit, Sydney 36 from Serpent YC in the Clyde got home at 09.04 on Wednesday morning, but knew that Liam Shanahan in Ruth, J 109 National Yacht Club had a good chance of catching them. In the event, Ruth lost the wind close to the line and missed out by just 7 minutes and 14 seconds on corrected time after completing a race of 704 nm through widely differing seas and tidal gates. Ian Hickey on Cavatina, Granada 38, Royal Cork YC, held the lead on several occasions throughout the race. They too could have achieved 1st place, and become the first 3 time winners, until they hit the slack winds of the west and north-west coasts.

Tanit, then, from The Clyde, becomes our 1st winner from Scotland.

3rd place goes to Laurent Gouy, Inis Mor, Ker 39 with strong French connections from Clifden BC, just over 1.5 hours behind Ruth. Frank Doyle in Endgame, A35 Royal Cork YC and Cavatina took 4th and 5th respectively. Two of the first four boats are the sons of former winners, Frank Doyle, whose father Denis won in Moonduster in 1982 & 1984 and Liam Shanahan's father (again, Liam) won in Lightning in 1988. And two of the first five boats are from Cork, maintaining the strong association which Cork has with this race. Finally, 3 nationalities are reflected in the first 3 boats, UK/Scotland, Ireland and France.

Line Honours go to Monster Project, VOR70, chartered for a special campaign by David Ryan and his team, so they become the first ever Line winners from the home club.

Eugene F Collins/Amazing Grace, Oyster 37 from Tralee Bay SC were really unfortunate; starting late due to minor damage suffered, they fought their way back into the fleet only to suffer a broken boom off Donegal, well over half way around this strenuous course. Two other boats were forced out due to gear failure so that 33 of the 36 completed the course.

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Dragon Edinburgh Cup
Photo by Rupert Holmes. Click on image for photo gallery.

Dragon Edinburgh Cup Lymington UK: The opening day of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup supported by Aberdeen Asset Management and hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club provided a sparkling day on the water with winds building to give gusts of more than 20 knots.

Despite a strong challenge from Lawrie Smith's Tigger, Graham and Julia Bailey's Aimee led the 24-strong fleet for most of the two hour 20 minute race, finishing with a 43 seconds advantage to win both Open and Corinthian divisions. Smith took second place and Quentin Strauss's Rumours third in the Open Fleet, while a fifth for Julian Sowry's Scimitar and sixth for Eric Williams' Ecstatic saw them take second and third respectively in the Corinthian division. -- Rupert Holmes

Top five after first race (23 boats)

1. Aimee, Julia Bailey / Graham Bailey / Keith Tippell / William Heritage
2. Tigger, Lawrie Smith / Tim Tavinor / Simon Fry
3. Rumours, Quentin Strauss / Martin Collen / Nigel Young
4. Little Hook, Ted Sawyer / Martin Payne / Mark Hart
5. Scimitar, Julian Sowry / Claire Sowry / Johann Napp / Tamaryn Napp

Foiling Week, Day 2: Moth Italian National Open
A spectacular sunny day highlighted the colors of Lake Garda and a timely Ora wind guaranteed three races of the Moth Class Italian Open Championship 2014.

A perfect Ora - the typical afternoon breeze - around 15 knots, without the excesses of the first day (28 knots of wind with gusts over 30), allowed the 34 mothies to race in the best of conditions.

This "small world championship" - so called for the number of sailors who came from 8 different countries - has at the top of the rankings three remarkable names: the two Australians sailors Josh McKnight (1-1-4-1-1-2), moth world champion in 2012, and Rob Gough (3-4-1-2-3-1), always in the top ten world ranking list, and the Virgin Islands's sailor Anthony Kotoun (2-2-2 -6-2-4), who won the American title this year.

At the moment, the first italian sailor is the well-known Stefano Rizzi (7-5-6-5-5-11), who can count victories in the Melges 24 class, America's Cup, ocean races and more. In the provisional ranking list, he is sixth, followed by Fabio Mazzetti (12-11-9-8-13-15) in tenth.

Full results:

Invitational Team Racing Challenge
Photo by Francesco Nonnoi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Invitational Team Racing Challenge Porto Cervo, Sardinia: At the conclusion of two round robins, with almost 60 races held in the team racing event organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, victory in the Invitational Team Racing Challenge went to Italy's C.C. Aniene skippered by Cristiana Monina and Luca Tubaro. The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda team, skippered by Filippo Maria Molinari, took second place in the inaugural edition of the regatta ahead of Team Atalanti/Yacht Club Greece, skippered by Stratis Andreadis and Iason Spanomanolis.

Today's third and final race day dawned bright and blustery with a brisk Mistral blowing away the light and humid conditions that had characterized the previous days and allowing the Race Committee to hold all of the remaining 24 races scheduled in order to complete the second round robin. The mistral wind which varied from 15 to 20 knots and gusted up to 22 made for fast and furious racing off the coast of north-eastern Sardinia and a thrilling end to the event.

Final results

World University Match Racing Championship
The U.S. crew skippered by Nevin Snow is the winner in Open category of the 7th edition of the World University Championship Match Racing competed on Lake Ledro. Despite the opposing team - led by the Australian Samuel Gilmour - being the favorite of this World Cup as well as the title holder from the last edition in Nice in 2012, Americans had a great day and won the final race and the championship.

For Bronze, to get the better was the French team of Pierre Quiroga while 4th place went to the team of Japanese Ichikawa Kohel. Nothing to do for the Italians of Valerio Galati, in the match for 5th place, lost competing against the second team in Singapore, Sean Lee, resulting in the 6th position in ranking.

Then the Female category, which saw winners of the gold the British crew of Annabel Vose, leaving the French headed by Pauline Courtois at the second place; 3rd place awarded by the Brazilian team of Juliana Motta Poncioni - winners of the Worlds in Nice in 2012 - and 4th to Singapore / Denise Lim. Fifth place finally to the Italian Federica Wetzl.

Optimal weather conditions: sunny and very bright for this latest series of races, with light winds - intensity between 3 and 5 knots - to start the day, then increased between 7 and 8 knots, and then declined again to 5.

The 8th edition in 2016 will be held in Australia. -- Paola Malcotti

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