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

First Day On The Bay
Photo by Erik Simonson, Click on image for photo gallery.

Big Boat Series In typical fashion for this time of year, the wind on San Francisco Bay piped up to 15-18 knots this afternoon, thrilling hundreds of sailors competing in their first day of the four-day Rolex Big Boat Series.  With two races scheduled for 10 classes (three handicap-rated and seven one-design), the morning started out relatively slow, with J/120s, Farr 40s and J/105s having to abandon their first race on the "Circle" Course (farthest north on the Bay) due to frustrating eight-knot winds across a four-knot flood current. It just took some patient waiting, however, and "Big Boat normal" was back, with plenty of heft in the conditions to fulfill the first day's racing plans.

The first-ever St. Francis Perpetual Cup Series was held in 1964, with Jim Wilhite's 63-foot Sparkman & Stephens yawl Athene claiming the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy after a narrow victory over Jim Kilroy's Kialoa II.  Eventually changing its name to the Rolex Big Boat Series (Rolex became title sponsor in 2005, after three years as a presenting sponsor), the regatta has been going strong ever since, with the somber exception of 2001 when the regatta was scheduled to start only two days after 9/11. Now at the event's 50th Anniversary edition, sailors are still lusting after the St. Francis Perpetual and five other trophies that St. Francis Yacht Club Commodore George Dort last night ceremoniously announced as being for the taking in ORR, HPR, Farr 40, J/111, J/105,  and Express 37 classes, along with Rolex timepieces. (A Rolex timepiece will also be awarded to the winner of the J/120 class.)

Top three results:

HPR (HPR - 7 Boats)
1. Rock & Roll, Farr 400, Bernard Girod, USA, 4
2. Hamachi, J/125, Greg Slyngstad, USA, 6
3. Whiplash, MC 38, Donald Payan, USA, 6

J/70 (One Design - 13 Boats)
1. Bottle Rocket, David Schumann, USA, 5
2. Little Hand, Frank Slootman, USA, 7
3. Perfect Wife, Chris Andersen, USA, 8

J/105 (One Design - 19 Boats)
1. Arbitrage, Bruce Stone, USA, 4
2. Godot, Phillip Laby, USA, 4
3. Blackhawk, Scooter Simmons, USA, 6

J/111 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Madmen, Dorian McKelvy, USA, 3
2. Bad Dog, Dick Swanson, USA, 7
3. Big BLAST!, Roland Vandermeer, USA, 7

J/120 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Chance, Barry Lewis, USA, 4
2. Peregrine, David Halliwill, USA, 5
3. Julian, Yasuhide Kobayashi, JPN, 7

Melges 24 (One Design - 9 Boats)
1. Viva, Don Jesberg, USA, 2
2. Insolent Minx, Zhenya Kirueshkin-Stepanoff, USA, 4
3. Bones, Robert Harf, USA, 6

Farr 40 (One Design - 15 Boats)
1. Plenty, Alex Roepers, USA, 3
2. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, ITA, 6
3. Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, USA, 8

Express 37 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Golden Moon, Kame Richards, USA, 2
2. Expeditious, Bartz Schneider, USA, 5
3. Loca Motion, MarkHeidi Chaffey, USA, 7

SF Bay ORR (ToT - 10 Boats)
1. Encore, Sydney 36 CR, Wayne Koide, USA, 2
2. BustinLoose, Sydney 38, Jeff Pulford, USA, 6
3. Swiftsure, Schumacher 54, Sy Kleinman, USA, 8

Multihull (BAMA) (ToT - 5 Boats)
1. SmartRecruiters, Extreme 40, Jerome Ternynck, USA, 4
2. Orion, MOD70, Tom Siebel, USA, 5
3. Shadow, ProSail 40, Peter Stoneberg, USA, 5

Two Dismastings At Extreme Sailing Instanbul
In an unprecedented opening day at the Extreme Sailing Series Act 6 in Istanbul, the public and national media witnessed some extraordinary racing, with every team pushing hard - and at times too hard, with two boats dismasting; first Groupama sailing team and then Alinghi.

In near perfect sailing conditions that topped out at 20 knots, the French, with too much load on their rig at the windward mark, were the first to lose their new mast during race four, which disappointingly for the French came after their best start to an event this year. In a completely unrelated incident in the seventh and final race of the day, Alinghi suffered the same fate, with both boats now out of the water and with a long night in the pitlane to be back on the water tomorrow.

Emirates Team New Zealand showed a return to form after their last place in Cardiff just two weeks ago, hitting the accelerator as both the fastest average boat downwind at 16.27 knots, and upwind at 11.80, to finish the day tied on points at the top of the leaderboard with the defending Series champions, The Wave, Muscat.

Tomorrow the event officially opens to the public, with three days of Stadium Racing, and the live video starting from 1530 local time (GMT+3)

Standings after Day 1, 7 races

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari, 46 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat, 46
3. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Christian Kamp, Brad Farrand, 45
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson, 40
5. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov, 38
6. GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Jack Macartney, Ed Smyth, Seve Jarvin, Tyson Lamond, 37
7. Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi, 30
8. Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 28
9. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Bleddyn Mon, Matt Cornwell, 24
10. TeamTurx (TUR) Mitch Booth, Edhem Dirvana, Selim Kakış, Ateş Çinar, Anıl Berk Baki, 21
11. Groupama sailing team (FRA) Tanguy Cariou, François Morvan, Romain Motteau, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan, 20
12. Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jerome Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Cedric Schmidt, Thierry Wassem, 19

Sail Racing Link Technology
Big Boat Series The new GORE-TEX® LINK JACKET will match with any of Sail Racing´s liner jackets in lightweight goose down, Thermolite® or Primaloft®. When combined, the two jacket layers provide optimal warmth, wind- and water-proof protection.

Sail Racing now launch the new GORE-TEX LINK JACKET, a shell jacket in GORE-TEX® Paclite fabric with taped seams, wind- and waterproof with high breathability. The jacket features fastening loops at the sleeve ends and in the hood, to attach any liner in the Sail Racing range into the GORE-TEX® shell.

A zipper on the inside of the shell will match the front zipper on the liner jacket to complete the integration of the two jackets. The combination of a lightweight liner and a GORE-TEX® shell provides the ideal balance of weather protection, ventilation and insulation. Also, the pattern construction and materials of the jackets enable freedom of movement with minimal restriction.

Any liner jacket in the Sail Racing range is now possible to integrate with the GORE-TEX LINK JACKET. The liner range consists of a number of models and colour variations in light weight down, Thermolite and Primaloft for men and women. Prices from €200.00.

The GORE-TEX LINK JACKET is available in black at the price of €220.00.

Please watch the new movie about the SAIL RACING LINK TECHNOLOGY at

Healy Leads J70 Worlds
Newport, Rhode Island, USA: After two days of qualifying, the 2014 J/70 World Championship presented by Helly Hansen today saw the first races of the Championship Series that will decide the winner of this inaugural world championship.  Based on their performance during the first two days of the regatta, the 86 teams are now racing in either the gold or silver fleet, with the championship crown going to the eventual victor in the gold fleet.

After being postponed ashore this morning until a thunderstorm threat had lifted, the competitors were once again sent out to do battle on Rhode Island Sound.  Under partly cloudy skies, with breeze ranging from 12-18 knots out of the southwest, competitors were tested by another day of swells and seaweed that did little to help their results.

The big move of the day was made by 2013 J/70 North American Champion Heather Gregg-Earl of Boston, Mass., on MUSE.  Finishes of 5-4-3 today propelled her from 24th into fifth overall, which also makes MUSE the top Corinthian team thus far in the series.

The September 8-13 competition is being hosted by New York Yacht Club at Harbour Court, with regatta headquarters at Sail Newport, Rhode Island's Public Sailing Center.

Top five
1. Helly Hansen / Tim Healy, 11 points
2. Catapult / Joel Ronning, 18
3. Savasana / Brian Keane, 40
4. New Wave / Martin Kullman, 51
5. MUSE / Heather Gregg Earl, 58

Volvo Ocean Race Leg Zero
Alicante, Spain: Seven Volvo Ocean Race boats set off together for the two-day Leg Zero on Friday knowing that a series of "crises" loom for all of them - and they have all been planned by the organisers.

The fleet will be sailing to Majorca and back from Race headquarters in Alicante and failure to complete the trip will mean they will have to return to do it again or at least complete any unfinished mileage.

Before the Leg Zero race starts in earnest, they will need to run through a list of emergency procedures such as losing a man overboard or major equipment failure.

The all-women's Team SCA have even been given a special model made by Race organisers to practise their rescue procedures for a crew member swept off the boat.

Race Director Jack Lloyd explained why the event is ensuring all seven crews go through the crisis rehearsals ahead of the start of the Volvo Ocean Race proper on October 4. "Leg Zero is a really important exercise for both the Race and the sailors," says Lloyd. "We are able to dry run all our communications in Race Control and for the media.

"Safety of course is paramount - this Race is risky enough as it is - and we want to ensure all the crews know exactly what they need to do if things go badly wrong such as a sailor falling overboard.

Kru Sport and R10: The Ultimate Combination For Volvo Crews
Ocean Safety The Ocean Safety Kru Sport Pro lifejacket is the choice of the majority of the crews of the Volvo Ocean Race, which starts on 11th October. Even better, each lifejacket will be fitted with the Kannad R10 AIS Survivor Recovery System (SRS). By integrating these vital safety products the chances of survival at sea for a person overboard will be significantly increased.

The Kru Sport Pro's waistcoat design makes it very comfortable and barely noticeable to wear and that's why it's more likely to be worn for longer periods by sailors at sea on tough ocean races like the Volvo. With the lifejacket on, and the R10 attached, locating a person overboard will be much more likely.

The Volvo crews are taking no chances with their safety inventory and training. At last month's Ocean Safety training session in Newcastle for the crews where the lifesaving combo was demonstrated, SCA Skipper Sam Davies commented "Safety is a performance aspect of racing, since we would have to slow down and resolve the situation if someone is hurt or something is broken." SCA, like five of the other seven Volvo yachts will be carrying the Kru Sport Pro and R10.

Famed Northwest Passage Ship Found In Arctic
The discovery of a British shipwreck in the Canadian Arctic has solved a 169-year-old maritime mystery that led to the opening of the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Calling it "truly a historic moment for Canada," Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Tuesday that searchers had found the remains of one of two ships from a legendary expedition led by British explorer Sir John Franklin.

He and 128 sailors aboard two ships, the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, vanished in 1846 during their quest to find the long-sought passage along the northern coast of North America and through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Harper said it wasn't yet known which of the ships - "perfectly preserved" but with "a little bit of damage" - had been found.

A robotic submersible located the shipwreck Sunday just 36-feet deep in Victoria Strait, off King William Island. A sonar image shows the main mast, which was sheared off by ice when the ship sank, is among the deck structures still intact. The vessel's contents probably are just as well preserved, said Ryan Harris, an underwater archaeologist helping to lead the search by the government agency Parks Canada.

Yachting World Bluewater Sailing Series
Crossing an ocean is something any keen sailor should do, at least once. It's not for everyone, but being out there on your own at the mercy of the elements in the self-contained and self-sufficient world of a sailing yacht is the essence of its charm as well as the challenge. It is also the most wonderful antidote to the deadlines and stresses of daily life ashore.

This month we begin a year-long series to help you prepare for some of the key ocean passagemaking skills. We headed to Fiji to demonstrate these and to film them for our online videos to go with the features. It has to be said that the South Pacific was our sponsor's idea but we weren't complaining!

In our new bluewater sailing series we aim to help you build up the skills needed to turn the voyaging dream into reality, from setting up for easy, comfortable downwind sailing that will cover the miles with minimum stress on crew and gear, to specialist pilotage arts as well as some of the fun to be had along the way, such as reef snorkelling and fishing. The first feature kicks the series off this month in print, with a video online at and an app of the entire series on its way soon.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Adrian Morgan: I am biased, but then everyone has a side in the enduring America's Cup debate. I could, and have, argued that the schooner America was a dog, well certainly on the evidence of her record (a few races, not all of which she won) hardly deserving of her adulation. Sold as quickly as her owners could rid themselves, and high tail back home to the US with their winnings and reputation intact. And I am just as scathing about the adulation heaped on the amazing wing-sailed, foil-borne, down-to-the-wire, miraculous comeback Americas' Cup which so transfixed the world.

All these months on and the only legacy is that every class capable of planing is fitting foils. Just as post 1851 owners rushed to modify their yachts to conform to the now-largely discredited "America ideal". None of the modifications were particularly successful. There are those who want to foil and those, like the reservoir club down south, which has banned them. "You  can't hear a foiler approach," I was told. "Too dangerous." And once you get used to whizzing about 3ft above the waves, it becomes normal. The crash and bang, spray and excitement of old-fashioned displacement sailing is replaced by quasi-flying boats.

The last America's Cup gave us spectacle. The result was hailed as a new beginning. I would argue that it was a dead end. As an avowed supporter of the Kiwis, I was dismayed when they lost. We could now have had a venue, a class, and a date. I blame Ben Ainslie!

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2008 Volvo Open 70. 475000 Euros. Located in Alicante, Spain.

Just getting her breath back from a spirited dash around the globe, Sanya Lan is now lying for sale. Inventory to include all you need for scorching around offshore. Currently chillaxing in Alicante, ready for the next adventure. Surely the most cost effective Volvo 70 on the planet.


Ben Cooper

+44 (0) 1590 679222

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The Last Word
Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don't know. -- Bertrand Russell

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