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

Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: An Epic Start
The 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, started at 0900 BST August 11.

All 28 yachts are now heading east along the Solent having now started the 1800 mile race around Britain and Ireland. A large crowd of spectators outside the Royal Yacht Squadron saw the fleet away. In bright sunshine, with a stiff southwesterly wind and a significant positive tide, it was a magnificent start with yachts flying through the surf under spinnakers.

At 1130 BST, all of the fleet are now past Selsey Bill, experiencing over 30 knots of breeze as they reach at top speed along the south coast of England. Musandam-Oman Sail, skippered by Sidney Gavignet, has averaged 30 knots of boat speed since the start. If the MOD70 keeps that up the team will finish the course in two and a half days, smashing the course record.

The IRC and Class40 Fleet start saw Brian Thompson's IMOCA 60, Artemis - Team Endeavour, judge the line to perfection, blasting through the short chop at full power right on the gun. However, Andrew Budgen and Fred Schwyn's Volvo 70, Monster Project showed terrific downwind speed to take up the lead. The two canting keel downwind flyers are now locked in a high speed duel averaging 20 knots of boat speed and that battle is likely to continue for the next four or five days. Just two hours into the race, Artemis - Team Endeavour are leading overall after time correction from Monster Project.

Concise 8, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, leads the Class40s, opening up a two mile gap on Burkhard Keese's German Class40, Stella Nova.

The five Volvo 65s screamed through the start line flying Code Zeros, all bar Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam, skippered by Ian Walker, which started with a smaller A3. Team SCA, skippered by Sam Davies, got the best start but Azzam soon peeled to the Code Zero to fly into the lead. However, Team Dongfeng, skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier, was just in the lead at 1100 BST. Three teams have taken the lead in the Volvo 65 class in the first two hours, a pattern that may well continue right through the race.

Race Tracker

Cowes Week
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Cowes Week The final day of racing at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week delivered sparkling conditions with plenty of sun and wind, including gusts of 25 knots that gave exhilarating and energetic racing under predominately cloudless skies.

Much of the focus was on the White Group dayboats, where the overall class winners were decided. Malcolm Hutchings and Andrew Ramsey's Lady Penelope had already won the Squib class with a day to spare, having won all but one race. Sarah Everitt and Steve Warren-Smith's Aquabat was also secure in second place, while Duncan Grindley and Dave Ross' Surprise took third by a comfortable margin.

Hutchings' performance also gained him overall winner of both White Group and of the whole event for the second year running. "Winning overall last year came as a bit of a surprise, and we are just as surprised this year," Hutchings said. "It's wonderful to be taking this magnificent overall winners trophy back to the east coast once again, where some extremely big celebrations are on the cards. It is always a fantastic week - we come down here for the great competition, fun and the fantastic social scene and this week we revelled in it all."

The lively weather on the final day wrapped up a great week of racing that featured plenty of sun and a mix of winds that tested crews in different conditions. Next year's Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week runs from August 8-15, a slightly later date than usual in order to avoid strong spring tides.

Full results of all classes at:

Dubarry Ultima - Quality Always Lasts
Dubarry Ultima It's amazing to think how sailing has changed since Dubarry started making boots in 1937. The first marina arrived in the 1930s but there were no plastic boats to park in it before the 1940s. There was no yacht radar before the 1950s, nor marine diesel engines before the 1960s, also when polyester sailcloth ousted linen and cotton. The 1970s brought instrumentation and the 1980s saw Decca come and go as GPS stole the show. Oiled canvas gave way to PVC, which yielded to GORE-TEX®. Much indeed has changed, yet one thing has stayed the same: nothing signifies a confident, experienced, discerning yachtie like a pair of Dubarry boots.

Developed as a more luxurious, classical and traditional interpretation of the legendary Shamrock, on which the company's reputation was built, the Ultima is Dubarry's flagship boot. Its sole delivers award-winning, sure-footed grip. Its GORE-TEX® liner is waterproof and breathable to keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Its Dry-Fast-Dry-Soft water-resistant leather weathers with grace and distinction, recording every nautical mile of your experience in the gentle, tanned folds of its sumptuous hide. It's clearer than ever that, though times may change, quality always lasts.

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Star Eastern Hemisphere Championship
Brunnen, Switzerland: On Following a long day of waiting and false hopes on Race Day 1 of the 2014 International Star Class Eastern Hemisphere Championship, the Star sailors endured an even longer day today, Race Day 2, filled with on and off rain, inconsistent wind pressure, and shifty wind direction. However, despite the difficult conditions today, the 2014 Star Easterns is now well on its way with 3 of the 7 scheduled races completed.

Race Day 2 got off to a slow start this morning with an onshore and on the water postponement of the original 11:00 am First Warning signal time, but the pace quickened as the first rain storm of the day took over the race course on the Gersauer Becken race area. The wind picked up from the previously NW 4-6 knot breeze to a stable 8-10, and Race 1 was successfully started at 11:45.

The first day of actual racing was dominated by the Italian crew of ITA 8491 Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi.

Race 2 did not start immediately as there was a general recall.

The third and final race of the day was much more unpredictable and varied. A jump to starboard in the first phase of the upwind leg worked to the advantage of a group of four boats which immediately broke away from the rest.

Tomorrow racing is scheduled to start once again at 11.00 and up to three races can be held.

The 2014 International Star Class Eastern Hemisphere Championship will be able to award the Silver Star only when four races have been completed while five valid races is the threshold to see the worst result discarded.

Top five after three races:

1. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi, ITA, 8 points
2. George Szabo / Serge Pulfer, USA, 11
3. Emilios Papathanasiou / Antonis Tsotras, GRE, 11
4. Hubert Merkelbach / Gerrit Bartel, GER, 25
5. Christoph Burger / Renato Marazzi, SUI, 28
Live Brodcast Page:

GJW Direct Sailfest Starts August 23 at Calshot
The 18 foot Skiffs have confirmed that their 2014 Nationals will be part of GJW Direct SailFest.

These 3 man speed machines, considered to be fastest non foiling monohulls will bring some great spectator viewing for those afloat and fitted with SailRacer GPS trackers.

With GJW Direct SailFest also forming the National Championships for the Alto, Byte and ISO classes great chance to see a cross section of dinghy fleets, including new entrants such as the D-Zero making an appearance.

Calshot Activities Centre has awesome sporting facilities and, for the August Bank Holiday weekend, sailors are invited to book sessions as part of the GJW Direct SailFest. Regatta entry is not required to take part in the sports sessions, just book now and bring the family for a sailing themed activity day with racing to watch on the water as well as live ashore via GPS tracking.

J/24 Europeans
Angelholm, Sweden: For the first time in decades, the European J/24 sailors are making a migration north into Scandinavia to sail the J/24 European Championship. The event takes place from the 9th to 15th of August and will be hosted by ASSS Sailing Club in Angelholm, south-west of Sweden. Thirty-seven teams are participating from seven countries (Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Sweden and USA).

The single largest contingent participating are the twenty-five German boats, mostly from the northern parts of the country. Many of their top sailors who've participated in past Europeans and Worlds are in attendance, as well as a number of their top women teams.

In addition to the five teams from Sweden, top America sailor Mike Ingham will be racing, as will Dennis Frederiksen from YC Monaco.

Top five in Monday's Tuneup Race

1. Front Runner, Per-Hakenn Persson, SWE
2. Vitesse, Manfred Konig, GER
3. Paget, Dennis Frederiksen, MON
4. El Nino, Mike Schmolling, GER
5. Flying Colours, William Pollock, GBR

Racing starts Tuesday and continues through Friday.

Neilpryde UK Laser Nationals
Largs, Ayrshire, UK: Whilst the big boats competing in the Seven Star Round Britain & Ireland race were postponed and the Merlin sailors in Looe were playing beach rounders because of Big Bertha the 150 Laser helms in Largs were kept ashore for lack of wind. Eventually in the early afternoon a Northerly breeze about 10-12 kts arrived to allow all three fleets to complete two races in a fine Scottish drizzle. All starts used a common trapezoidal course laid near Great Cumbrae.

There is a very healthy percentage of youth sailors in the Standard fleet this year and it was Ireland's youth sailor Dougie Power who took the first gun ahead of Alistair Goodwin & Anthony Parke. Jack Aitken, having finished 4th in Race 1, then showed the others the way home in the 2nd race to lead overnight.

With nearly 90 Radials entered the decision was made to split the fleet into two starts and race the first half of the week in a Round Robin format. If today's results are anything to go by this could be one of the most exciting week's racing for a long time. Each start had a different winner and at the end of the day three helms, Jon Emmett, Scotland's Jamie Calder & Ireland's Liam Glynn; were all tied on three points.

The Championship is being sponsored by Neil Pryde ably assisted by Harken UK as the equipment sponsors. Racing continues until Friday and with brighter conditions but stronger winds expected on Monday the fun has just begun. -- Eddie Mays

Classic Wooden Boats & New Dinghy Linked Through Sailing's Book Trophy
The Book (senior version from 1944) and the junior (from 1980) on display at Sutton Dinghy Club for Sunday's 70th Anniversary series. Photo by W M Nixon. Click on image to enlarge.

The Book If you've ever team-raced for "The Book" between Sutton Dinghy Club and a team from Cork Harbour, then you'll know that it is Irish sailing's Book of Kells, inaugurated seventy years ago with the winning team obliged to inscribe the outcome on vellum in illuminated style. W M Nixon found that this year's event last Sunday had the Corkmen celebrating a win, even if they lost the race.

Keeping the records of sporting events may seem the simplest thing in the world, but it's amazing how quickly the written reports can disappear completely. In this blog on 12th April, we were pointing out that ancient sailing trophies are doubly valuable, as they'll still be in existence and lovingly cared for because of their intrinsic worth as pieces of silverware, and with any luck they'll also carry the name of the boats and owners, the early winners of races back in those remote mists of time.

Yet even the world's oldest original sailing trophy, the Ladies Cup of Sligo Yacht Club which dates back to 1822, took a while to cop on to the need to inscribe the names. It didn't occur until 1831, when the winner was Owen Wynne of Hazelwood on Lough Gill, that lovely lake where the Sligomen sailed before they took to the sea at Rosses Point.

Another lovely article with a ton of photos:

Industry News
Marina Projects Ltd is pleased to announce the successful sale of Endeavour Quay, the Gosport run specialist boatyard business, to Premier Marinas Ltd. As part of Premier Marinas' continued expansion and development plans, the company has purchased the rights to the name and business operation of the specialist boatyard. Endeavour Quay lies adjacent to Premier's Gosport Marina and offers one of the largest boatyard facilities on the South Coast. The yard will continue to serve its existing customers and will provide additional boatyard facilities for Premier customers, trading as Premier Endeavour Quay from 1st August 2014.

Premier Marinas owns and operates eight prestigious marinas on the South Coast with locations that include Eastbourne, Brighton, Chichester, Southsea in Langstone Harbour, Gosport and Port Solent in Portsmouth Harbour, Swanwick on the Hamble and Falmouth.


A three-year, three-part reorganisation plan for the UK's Oyster Yachts, which was set in track following the acquisition by Dutch investment company HTP Investments in February 2012, is due to be finished by the end of 2014.

Oyster Group CEO David Tydeman told SB: "The plan will be completed by the end of this year with the last part of it involving 15 people, out of 350, which make up the financial, sales and marketing team in Ipswich."

Part of the plan was to move the head office from Ipswich to one of the two Oyster shipyards - Oyster Yachts Wroxham in Norfolk, formerly Landamores, and Oyster Yachts Southampton, formerly Southampton Yacht Services.

Southampton will now be the head office, with a brokerage office in Ipswich and also a small commissioning base for yachts built at Wroxham. -- David Robinson in Superyacht Business


Southampton-based GAC Pindar has been awarded a major three-year contract extension with the global Extreme Sailing Series, to manage the complex worldwide shipping of the Series' Extreme 40 boats, equipment and support materials, In 2013, GAC Pindar clocked up over 23,000 miles to help deliver the Series, transporting the valuable cargo by road, sea and air, and rose to the challenges of delivering the world's only truly global elite level sailing series, with a carefully choreographed plan.

The 2015 global tour will traverse three continents, with eight Host Venues starting in Singapore, 5-8 February, over 11 months. As official logistics partner to the Extreme Sailing Series, GAC Pindar will be responsible for the transportation of not only the Extreme 40 boats - including their own team entry - but also the bulk of the supporting infrastructure, including the shore side facilities, such as the TV production equipment, Race Village and VIP area - all of which are essential to delivering the elite level Stadium Racing competition to spectators on site and television viewers around the world.


Lymington Town Sailing Club are delighted to announce a new title sponsor for their annual autumn keel boat racing series, The Solent Circuit. In a five year deal with Southampton based RYA training and charter company, Coastal Pursuits, the event will be known as the Coastal Pursuits Solent Circuit.

The arrangement also sees Coastal Pursuits join forces with Lymington Town Sailing Club's in house RYA training centre, Lymington Town School of Sailing and Power Boating, to offer their full range of RYA courses and Charter packages from a new Lymington base. The centre will be run by LTSSP Principal, Robin Pratt and will trade as Lymington Boat Training.


Exposure Marine has been appointed as an Official Supplier to Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15.

The agreement follows on from an extensive trialling and development programme, with the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing crew, during the 2011 edition of the Race. This exercise led to all the Volvo crews adopting Exposure's specialist range of high-powered LED lights and torches by the end of the Race.

Exposure is equipping Abu Dhabi's Volvo 65 'Azzam' with their lightweight, X2 multi-beam searchlights, with white and red beam modes to protect night vision, and featuring new customised switching programmes specifically for the Team. The crew will be testing some new development products with highly specific search and rescue capabilities and a headtorch. In addition, the Team will use Skipper Ian Walker's trusted favourite, the tiny XS personal torch, which he wore around his neck for the entire 2011/12 race.

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The Last Word
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