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

'Epic' Rio Racing Marks Two Year Games Countdown
TEXT Rio marked its two year countdown to the Olympic Games with a full day of competition at the first sailing Test Event on Guanabara Bay today (Tuesday 5 August).

In spite of the milestone celebrations being held across the city, it was business as usual for the 324 sailors from 34 nations on the third day of this Aquece Rio International Regatta.

After a day confined to the shore on Monday due to light winds, the Brazilian Olympic host city saw a change in a conditions across Guanabara Bay and an ambitious schedule across all ten classes and five race courses.

"It is exciting that it's two years out from the Games and we're here in Rio racing," enthused the British Sailing Team's 470 Olympic and European silver medallist Hannah Mills. "That's pretty cool - but we haven't even started our selection trials yet. There's a long way to go so we can't get too swept up in that."

The 470 fleets experienced what Mills described as an 'epic' swell for the three races on their Copacabana race course on Tuesday, with the duo enjoying a great start their regatta. They picked up a race win, a third and a seventh to sit second overall after their first day of racing.

In the Finn fleet, Giles Scott tops the leaderboard after five races, with Ed Wright in fifth, while Nick Thompson enjoyed a good start to his event with 6,1,15 seeing him in second place overall after the first day of the Laser competition.

British Sailing Team crews in the 49er and 49erFX men's and women's skiff fleets also enjoyed a steady opening day. Four races were completed in each event, with Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign and John Pink-Stuart Bithell poised fifth and sixth respectively after the opening day of the men's 49er event.

In the men's windsurfing event, Nick Dempsey's day improved as it went on - having broken a mast before the first race of the day, he ended it with a third place in the third and final race to see him in 10th overall with two days of competition left for the RS:X classes.

Competition at the Aquece Rio International Regatta continues across all ten classes on Wednesday 6 August. The medal race deciders will take place on Thursday 7 August (RS:X Men, RS:X Women), Friday 8 August (Finn, 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17) and Saturday 9 August (470 Men, 470 Women, Laser, Laser Radial). -- Lindsey Bell, RYA

Cowes Week Daily Round-Up Day 4
Princess Anne trimming on the UKSA Farr 65 Albatross racing in Class Zero. Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Cowes Week After a gentle start, today was another one of shifty southerly and south-westerly winds that reached 15 knots at times in the afternoon. The day started with a minute's silence, while HMS Mersey sailed past the Royal Yacht Squadron with a gun salute in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1.

Today the big yachts in IRC Class 0 were racing for one of the regatta's most prestigious trophies, the Britannia Cup, presented by King George Vl in 1951. Today his granddaughter, HRH The Princess Royal was competing for the Cup, racing against her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence on the two identical Farr 65 yachts entered by UKSA, the official event charity.

At the start, the fleet was crowded towards the pin end of the line, with Richard Rankin's 12-Metre Italia leading the fleet and shutting out the de Graaf family's Ker 40 Baraka GP at the inner distance mark. At the same time, Andy Budgen's giant Volvo 70, Monster Project, was already accelerating through the fleet, having made a long timed run in to the start. Of the two UKSA yachts, Albatross ll, with the Princess Royal on board, was well up in the pack at the start, with her husband on Whirlwind ll a few lengths astern and a little to windward.

Irvine Laidlaw's Reichel Pugh 52 Cape Fling ll was first across the finish line, almost 15 minutes ahead of Michael Bartholomew's GP42 Tokoloshe ll. However, Laidlaw was unable to save his time against the smaller boat and Tokoloshe ll won the coveted trophy by 12 seconds on corrected time. Piet Vroon's Ker 46 Tonnere de Breskens 3 was fourth across the line, behind Monster Project, but took third on corrected time.

In the match race that naturally developed between the two UKSA boats, Albatross ll extended her lead around the 24-mile course, with HRH The Princess Royal on the helm as she crossed the finish line. -- Rupert Holmes

Live streaming, full results and reports:

Dubarry Crosshaven - Comfortably The Best Performer
Dubarry Volvo Ocean Race teams have chosen Dubarry's Crosshaven in every edition of the race since the boot was developed with Green Dragon in the 2008 edition. There are several reasons for that.

First, the innovation that impressed the Green Dragon guys most: the integral gaiter. Made of lightweight, hard-wearing, water-resistant fabric and cinched up with a drawstring, this gaiter means you can kneel down and work on the foredeck without suffering the dreaded 'bootful of green' that kills comfort for the rest of the passage.

And when you're dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean as winter's teeth snap at your vitals, you'll appreciate the 350g GORE-TEX® Duratherm membrane and thermally insulated footbed that will keep your feet, at least, toasty.

Then there's the award-winning grip of Crosshaven's non-slip and non-marking sole. If you're trying to stay vertical on deck, and several tonnes of water traveling at 30 knots is trying to persuade you that you might be more comfortable lying down, you need your feet to stay planted.

We can all benefit from experience, but it comes at a price. Lucky for you that Green Dragon footed the bill, and the benefit is all yours.

Dubarry Crosshaven -- Born at sea

2016 Olympics: Brazil Successfully Improving Water Quality
Top international photographer, Juerg Knaufmann (SUI) has been in Rio de Janeiro at the venue for the 2016 Sailing Olympics and reports that the serious issues surrounding the water pollution at the race venue are being mitigated.

He writes:

After one week in Rio for me there are three points which are becoming apparent:

1: The water is still dirty, it smells even bad in some places, but most of the time specially during the day with the current it's not so bad. I'm talking about the race courses until the bridge. There are still a lot of plastic bags and others floating around and I think they are the major risk at the moment for the sailors during the race.

2: Days ago our head coach did some water test and we did send the water to a independent lab to get a neutral view. Will get the final results in two days as they are in translation, but the bottom line, and it's incredible, is that the water is within the accepted norm. We also saw a turtle today and some of our sailors saw some dolphins...serious. For sure the water is far away from what I'm used on our alpine lakes in Switzerland.

3: Looking back at the Stars Worlds four years ago here in Rio the water quality has really improved a lot. I remember we had a race in the future medal race course and I simply could not use any photo as the water was so brown and some times even black.


Ulrikkeholm Leads Lysekil Women's Match 5 - 0
When Lysekil Women's Match begun Tuesday, World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm continued her winning streak from the previous WIM Series event in France. Five wins on as many sailed matches so far in the round-robin, takes her straight to the top of the scoreboard.

Ulrikkeholm is aiming for her fourth consecutive title in Lysekil Women's Match, the third stage of the 2014 WIM Series and an event she has developed a special relation to: "Yes, we feel really at home here, with the venue, with the waters and with the boats. The DS 37s are physically and technically demanding, and we definitely like that!" Ulrikkeholm comments.

Stephanie Roble is also undefeated, after an eventful day in the beautiful Swedish West Coast archipelago. She beat the Swedish World Champion Anna Kjellberg, and with one victory less than Ulrikkeholm, the American now shadows the Danish skipper on second place with her 4 - 0 score.

The big talk of the day was the match between Roble and Kiwi Claudia Pierce, in which the latter misjudged the distance to the American boat when dialling up in the pre-start, and T-boned Roble with great force. Fortunately no one was badly injured


1. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 5 - 0
2. Stephanie Roble, USA, 4 - 0
3. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 2 - 1
4. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 3 - 2
4. Linda Rahm, SWE, 3 - 2
6. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 2 - 3
7. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 1 - 4
7. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 1 - 4
9. Claudia Pierce, NZL, -1 - 5

SK2 Dinghy

SK2. Welcome To The New.
Click on image for SK2 Videos

The fast and fun sportsboat with a canting keel. Developed by Swing Keel Sailing Ltd and built by Ovington boats.

The SK2 will be shown at Southampton Boat Show 2014 and will be available for test sails at the show. The boat will be in the marina in berth M010. Book your test sail early by e-mailing us at or come to see us on our shore based stand at E032.

For more information on the SK2 and what it has to offer visit

Slow Progress In First Offshore Race
Photos by Pavel Nesvadba and Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

ORC Worlds Kiel, Germany: The weather predictions of today's first offshore race at the 2014 ORC World Championship have held true, with light 4-8 knot conditions in the Kieler Bucht making it slow going for the fleet of 151 boats from 19 countries. Race managers from Kieler Yacht-Club set a course of 62 miles that traverses the western Baltic in a combination of 9 short and long legs oriented more or less in a windward-leeward direction.

But even with a late rain squall that brought 20 knots to the course area, this race had to be shortened for all classes so as to not threaten the 14-hour time limit. The distance shortened for each class has varied depending on how far each class has progressed in the original course.

The start-stop nature of the breeze today and its large swings in direction not only spread out the fleet but has also been testing the crews' sail change and trimming abilities on legs which vary in length from 3 to 12 miles.

Results as they come in:

And regardless of the outcome, inshore course racing will resume Wednesday in Day Three of the ORC World Championship, with the first start on each course area scheduled for 11:00 local time.

Les Sables - Les Acores - Les Sables Second Leg Delay
The start of the second leg from the Azores to Les Sables France, originally scheduled for Tuesday August 5 at 1500, has been delayed 28 hours. Race officials monitoring the weather forecast made the decision, which was widely supported by the Mini 6.50 competitors.

The projected trajectory of tropical depression Bertha was the reason for the postponement. While initial forecasts called for the storm to track to the north, recent weather models show the possibility of the storm heading directly into the Bay of Biscay. In the next few hours the track will be better known.

Denis Hughes, Race Director: "Beyond the fact that the routing of the competitors could get them to go up in the north and come flirt with really high winds, our decision was motivated by the fact that in the worst, there was no escape for the competitors as he would have approached the vicinity of Cape Finisterre ... by delaying a few hours, we'll have a clearer picture.

420 World Championship Gold to Spain and Italy
Travemunde, Germany: Jose Manuel Ruiz/Fernando Davila of Spain crowned 420 World Champions and Carlotta Omari/Francesca Russo Cirillo of Italy win the 420 Ladies World crown.

A waiting game on Sunday's final day of racing at the 2014 420 World and Ladies World Championships as teams waited anxiously under postponement ashore for the call to the race track and contest the final two races. But the forecast from early in the week delivered, with an early morning thunderstorm and torrential rain, followed by virtually no wind giving no chance of racing on Sunday's final race day.

The Race Committee held off until 1400 hours to wait for a stable breeze to kick in in, before taking the decision to call off racing.

Ten races in total for the 2014 420 Worlds, six in the qualification and four in the finals, delivered a rounded Championship, with a range of weather conditions testing all 390 sailors. The talent pool was simply incredible, with different winners in virtually every race. This year's Championship reflected the ongoing growth in the 420 class with 27 nations from all six continents competing across the 111-boat 420 Open and 84-boat 420 Ladies Fleets.

420 Open - Top 5 Overall after 10 Races
1. Jose Manuel Ruiz/Fernando Davila, ESP, 69 points
2. Hippolyte Macheti/Sidoine Dantes, FRA, 72
3. Ido Bilik/Ofek Shalgi, ISR, 73
4. Robin Folin/Tao Manni, FRA, 79.7
5. Muhamad Faizal Norizan/Ahmad Syuki Abdul Aziz, MAS, 82

Ladies - Top 5 Overall after 10 Races
1. Carlotta Omari/Francesca Russo Cirillo, ITA, 40
2. Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew, SIN, 45
3. Aikaterini Tavoulari/Fotini Koutsoumpou, GRE, 47
4. Elena Picotti/Maria Coluzzi, ITA, 59
5. Souzana Bakatsia/Nikoletta Papageorgiou, GRE, 61

Jess Eales, 17, Found Dead In Woodland
A champion sailor who trains at Hayling Island has been found dead.

The sailing community is in shock after the news of the tragic death of 17-year-old Jess Eales, who was a hugely popular member of Hayling Island Sailing Club.

Jess was found in woodland near Shirely Holms Car Park in Sway, in the New Forest.

Jess was found at around 9.30am on Thursday, July 31 - the day after she had celebrated her 17th birthday.

The tragedy comes just weeks after she represented Great Britain at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Tavira, Portugal, which she described as the 'biggest week of her career'.

More than 365 of the world's Olympic hopefuls from 63 nations competed in the sailing in the Algarve where Jess finished 11th.

In April she won a gold medal at the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Youth National Championships in Weymouth and Portland.

Police attended the scene and a spokesman confirmed the death is not being treated as suspicious.

Officers have passed on a file to the coroner and an inquest will be opened.

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