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

Victory For Tomislav Basic At Match Race Germany
Langenargen, Germany: Tomislav Basic from Croatia mastered the light wind conditions of Lake Constance today to secure his first victory of Match Race Germany, the second world championship stage of the 2015/15 World Match Racing Tour (WMRT). Basic defended the favoured left side of the racecourse in every race of the final to defeat Switzerland's Eric Monnin 3-0.

For a moment in the first race of the Final, Monnin looked the favourite after forcing a penalty over Basic in the pre-start. But Monnin clipped the top mark on the first leg cancelling out the penalty, and Basic was able to maintain the lead after winning the favoured left side of the race course, a strategy he used in the next two races.

After a disappointing Semi Final performance yesterday against Eric Monnin, Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) had a point to prove today defeating young Australian Matt Jerwood in the Petit Final 2-0.

Overall Results

1. Tomislav Basic (CRO) TB Race Team
2. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox
3. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing
4. Matthew Jerwood (AUS) Redline Racing
5. Tino Ellegast (GER) Team Ellegast
6. Mark Lees (GBR) GBR Match Racing
7. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing
8. Max Trippolt (AUT) Trippolt Sailing Team
9. Przemyslaw 'Tara' Tarnacki (POL) Energa Yacht Racing
10. Dejan Presen (SOL) Lumba Match Race Team
11. Christian Binder (AUT) Flat Lake Sailing Team
12. Tim Kroger (GER) New Wave by Adidas

Comanche Takes Three Top Trophies And A Place In The Record Books
The 70th edition of the Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race yielded winners in ten classes - four IRC (including one for Double-hand), four PHRF, J/44 and Multihull - and a place in the record books for Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark's new 100-foot Maxi Comanche.

Fifty eight boats started the 185 nautical mile race (from Stamford Yacht Club in Connecticut, down Long Island Sound, around Block Island, R.I. and back to Stamford) on Friday afternoon (May 22) of Memorial Day Weekend, with Comanche finishing exactly one second after 2:50 a.m. the next morning, giving her an elapsed time of 11 hours 25 minutes and 01 second.

"Each year I ask the fastest boat in the fleet to give me a call when they are abeam of New Haven on the return," said Event Chair Ray Redniss about Comanche's call that came in at 0024 Saturday morning. "This was the earliest one yet, and a new record was established!"

Redniss said that to be precise, this year's race was one mile shorter than that on which the 90-foot Rambler's 2013 record of 13 hours 15 minutes and 55 seconds was set. "After 15 years of being at the entrance to Stamford Harbor, the finish line was moved out to the The Cows (Red Bell "32") in order to allow enough water depth for Comanche to compete; with a draft of 22 feet, only a high tide would allow her to finish in the harbor," he said. In 2013, Rambler completed the 186 mile course with an average time of four minutes and 17 seconds per mile. Comanche's completion of the 185 mile course this year was with an average time of three minutes and 42 seconds per mile. "Speed-wise, this translates to Comanche averaging 16.2 knots and Rambler averaging 14 knots."

Comanche, which won her IRC 4 class, took home the Governors Race West Trophy for best elapsed time in the IRC Fleet; the William Tripp, Jr. Memorial Trophy for best corrected time in the IRC Fleet; and the self-explanatory Harvey Conover Memorial Overall Trophy.

Full results at

XS-R: The Worklight You Should Never Be Without
XS-R Worklight Exposure's XS-R (red beam) torch is the smallest, brightest, toughest and lightest for its micro size. The 21 lumens red light has an impressive 17m beam distance, is 33g and measures 50x22mm with high and low definition outputs and 6 to 60 hours burn time plus optional rechargeable batteries.

Designed to wear around the neck, XS-R is great for on deck jobs, night trimming and working in dark spaces whether you are searching in lockers or fixing the engine! Maintaining night sight is critical especially when navigating through channels and traffic at night. The XS-R reduces risk of losing that essential nocturnal vision.

Ian Walker, Skipper of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Team, says "This little light is my favourite piece of equipment. It's so useful, it lives around my neck day and night for the entire race. The red light allows you to work without disturbing your crew, or anyone else's night vision. Even in daylight it's useful down below decks. You never know when you are going to need it. With the little XS around your neck it is always ready for you but never gets in the way."

More XS-R information

and contact Ocean Safety for dealers:

Piling On The Pressure
A powerful 24-hour surge by Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) piled the pressure on overall race leaders Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) in Leg 7 on Monday, as the battle to finish first in Lisbon gathered pace.

Team SCA navigator Libby Greenhalgh (GBR) had decided on a northern course to skirt the Azores High in the mid-Atlantic where there was more wind, and by early on Monday, they had all but wiped out an earlier 100-nautical mile (nm) deficit on the leaders to bring them right into play.

By 0942 UTC on Monday, they had overtaken Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and were challenging other boats in the pack, which was being led by Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED), just over 17nm ahead in the 2,800nm stage from Newport, Rhode Island, USA, to Lisbon, with MAPFRE (Iker Martínez/ESP) hard on their heels (see panel above).

The push by Team SCA left Azzam in an unaccustomed position at the back of the fleet, with their six-point advantage at the top of the overall standings under real threat.

The six boats are now heading for a 'drag race' - straight-line racing in good winds and sea state - for Lisbon. They are expected to arrive on Wednesday (May 27) morning between 0500-1200 UTC.

Current latest standings (low points wins, In-Port Race Series splits ties):

1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, 11 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team, 17
3. Team Brunel, 21
4. Team Alvimedica, 24
5. MAPFRE, 24
6. Team SCA, 35
7. Team Vestas Wind, 44

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race On RTI TV
Television coverage of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (RTI) is being significantly extended in 2015 to include live streaming of the Race to a global audience.

A new, dedicated outside-broadcast production unit will provide live, commentated coverage of the starts and early finishes on Race day, Saturday 27th June. The programme will be broadcast on EventTV in Cowes, at the Race Hubs in Hamble and Lymington and on the official Race website for viewers around the world to watch.

The live show will feature pre-race interviews with key competitors and Race officials, full coverage of each of the 11 starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron, as-live action from key parts of the Race course as the fleet of 1500+ yachts make their way around the Isle of Wight, audio interviews with leading competitors during the Race and live coverage of the first boats across the line back in Cowes.

The package will also incorporate live fleet tracking graphics, key results, weather updates and features from some of the Race sponsors. Two commentators will anchor the show and keep viewers updated with the latest race progress information and news from the Race.

Official Race Charity:

Official Race website:

Passionate About Performance
North Sails At North Sails, we are passionate about performance. For cruising sailors, this means a lot more than just speed.

Although North Sails has a dominant racing record, we place just as much importance on using breakthrough North Sails technologies to improve the sailing experience of cruising sailors as we do racers. This has been the case throughout our storied 56-year history.

As a result, more cruising sailors rely on North Sails today than any other sailmaker in the world.

Choosing the right sail to best match your boat and sailing style can be a daunting task. With the help of your North representative, choosing the right sail for your sailing style is now easier than ever before. Regardless of whether you choose thermo-moulded Marathon 3DL®, or crosscut Premium Polyester, you can be confident your North sail is the right sail.

For us, "the power to perform" means so much more than faster sailing. It is our mission to help you get the most out of your sailing - from improving sail-handling and sail life, to increasing onboard safety.

Visit to learn more and find out how to get in touch with your local loft.

Yuri Tokovoi Masters Kavala On First Day At Finn World Masters
Yuri Tokovoi (UKR) mastered the challenging conditions on the first day of the Finn World Masters in Kavala, Greece with two race wins to lead the 204 boat fleet. Vladimir Krutskikh (RUS) is second after winning one of his races, while Allen Burrell (GBR) is third. The other race win went to Karel van Hellemond (NED).

The day proved to be challenging for race officials and competitors alike with the wind never staying consistent for more than one leg at a time. The fleet of 204 boats was split into two groups, divided using a randomised number process that allows all group allocations for each day to be calculated at the start of the regatta.

The sailors arrived at the Nautical Club of Kavala on Monday to be greeted by a building breeze and racing started on time at 11.00. However it was a series of non-starts before racing really got underway.

Racing in Kavala contines until Friday with two more races scheduled on Tuesday from 11.00. -- Robert Deaves

Top 10 after 2 races

1. Yuri Tokovoi, UKR
2. Vladimir Krutskikh, RUS
3. Allen Burrell, GBR
4. Martijn van Muyden, NED
5. Vladimir Butenko, RUS
6. Laurent Hay, FRA
7. Pete Eckert, SUI
8. Giacomo Giovanelli, ITA
9. Michael Maier, CZE
10. Karel Van hellemond, NED

Full results:

Yacht Club Costa Smeralda Wins First Of The 2k Team Racing Tour Events
Three glorious days at Anzio saw the full entry of 8 teams line up from across Europe to compete in the first of the 2K Tour events. With the top six teams from last year's rankings present all was to play for.

Racing on Saturday and Sunday left a 3 way tie at the top to be resolved.

Spinnaker lost the tie break leaving the Italians to face the Irish.

Could the Irish repeat their early success ... it was not to be. With Costa Smersalda's Pasini and Botticini in relaxed but determined form they stamped their authority from the start, winning both starts with a fine 1-2. There was to be no catching them. But for the Irish they have left their mark on the game.

The next 2K event is to be sailed in Gaeta just north of Naples in mid June.

Final standings of the Rome 2K:

1. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
2. Royal Cork
3. Spinnaker
4. Rome Racing Team
6. Royal Thames
7. Serpentine Racing
8. Yacht Club Bavaria

Saoirse To Be Reborn?
Photo courtesy Gary MacMahon. Click on image to enlarge.

Saoirse Can she be born again? There has never been anything quite like her, neither before nor since. Conor O'Brien's world-girdling Saoirse, seen here shortly after the start of the 1927 Fastnet Race, when the fleet went eastabout out of the Solent. In its original form, Saoirse's rig was an easily-managed gaff ketch. But for this one venture at offshore racing, while using the same masts, O'Brien made her into a sort of mini-brigantine with the mizzen making her almost like a schooner, as its area had been greatly increased by using a lug sail.

This last full weekend of May we'll see the Baltimore Woodenboat & Seafood Festival swing into action. And although wooden boats need reasonably good springtime weather almost as an essential for the annual refit, there'll be a colourful turnout of character vessels large and small.

But the talk of the town will not be about a boat which is showing her style off the busy Baltimore waterfront today. Indeed, not only will this very special boat not be there, but it's a moot point as to whether she still exists. Put another way: Does enough of Saoirse still exists to allow a re-creation of this wonderful little ship to be properly classified as a re-build?

The voyage of the Saoirse in 1923-1925 only gains further lustre and wonder with the passage of time. It was an achievement of greatness, yet of beautiful simplicity. It was a uniquely pioneering venture made by an Irish skipper in an Irish designed-and-built vessel, and it was the first major voyage by an Irish ship of any size flying the Tricolour ensign of the new-born nation.

W M Nixon in Afloat:

Cunard Liners Mark 175th Anniversary In Liverpool
Photo by Christopher Ison, Click on image for photo gallery.

Cunard Three famous ocean liners have sailed together in Liverpool for the first time to mark Cunard's 175th anniversary.

The Queen Mary 2, the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth saluted the city where Samuel Cunard began his transatlantic line in 1840.

The display was part of a three-day celebration, which ends on Tuesday, marking the company's first transatlantic crossing from Liverpool.

Sir Samuel Cunard, who founded the service, sailed aboard the RMS Britannia to Boston on its maiden voyage on 4 July 1840.

The Cunard company revolutionised travel in the 19th Century with its steam ships which added speed and safety to journeys which had previously been made on less reliable sailing ships.

By the early part of the 20th Century, the company's "big three" liners - Mauretania, Berengaria and Aquitania - were the primary means of passenger transport across the Atlantic The shipping company moved its headquarters from the Cunard Building on Liverpool's waterfront to Southampton in 1965.

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 Kent Greenough re: Roger Marshall's article

While I can agree to observing the recession and financial changes and their affect on sailing participation Roger is missing the 900 pound gorilla in the room. In a word, demographics.

The Baby Boomers drove the growth of sailing and as they go to retirement and the next life, the numbers in sailing participation will continue to drop, a statistical and sad fact. To make matters worse, the income levels for the average family has been stagnant at best and in fact dropping for most middle class families for the past twenty years. Add to that inflation and in does not take a PhD to forecast a smaller sailing population for the next twenty or even thirty years.

So yes, get them young, get them involved, look at new ideas (at least in the US) like club owned boats available for members, take very good care of the back half of your fleet, get families involved, not just individuals. Great ideas, all. See you on the water.

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The Last Word
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Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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