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

Figaro Leg 2 Annulled: Restart On Wednesday
On Monday 8th June, Leg 2 of the Solitaire du Figaro - Eric Bompard Cachemire was annulled due to heavy weather.

Race Director, Gilles Chiorri reported: "When we started from Sanxenxo to Concarneau, we all knew that the weather forecast was quite tough, but that's not abnormal for a Figaro race. We were expecting 25-35 knots, gusting 40, but we received a new weather forecast predicting 45 knot gusts at Cape Ortegal which is quite an infamous place and difficult to sail.

On top of that, we had a major failure on one of the boats, and the same failure at Cape Ortegal [in the dark] would bring some major issues, so I'd prefer to put safety first. This means that we're annulling Leg 2 in light of the weather and we will rerun the Leg tomorrow, starting from La Coruna, in better conditions.

Corentin Houreau's dismasting became the catalyst for the Race Director's decision, highlighting the difficulties of the rapidly worsening weather. With skipper safety and minimising damage to the boats top priorities, the Solitaire du Figaro fleet will wait in La Coruna until Wednesday 10th June, when Leg 2 will restart.

The restart affords a fresh opportunity for the skippers trailing the back of the fleet, since the passage from Sanxenxo to La Coruna will not be counted towards final finishing times. For the skippers leading the race, the decision to suspend the race is a frustrating one - their hard work and efforts in the challenging conditions now counting for nothing.

The fleet will depart La Coruna at 1300 CET tomorrow. The new Leg 2 is a 330 mile course that takes the sailors directly to La Cournouaille [Concarneau], across the Bay of Biscay, with an ETA of late Friday 12th June.

Glimpsing Glory In The Viewfinder
Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) continued to clasp firmly on to their slim advantage in tough conditions on day three of Leg 8 to Lorient, France, on Tuesday, a fairy-tale success tantalisingly in their sights.

At 0930 UTC on Tuesday, they maintained a lead of 8.5 nautical miles (nm) with just over 400nm of the stage still to negotiate.

"It's blowing a solid 30 knots in four-metre waves, it's on the edge. We haven't seen proper upwind sailing like this so far in the race," said Volvo Ocean Race official meteorologist, Gonzalo Infante.

Team SCA's navigator, Libby Greenhalgh (GBR), told Inside Track on Tuesday that the wind and sea state were delaying their planned tack back towards the French coast as they approach Brittany in 24 hours.

On Tuesday, they were the first boat to reach the Bay of Biscay to the west of the main pack. So far, the female crew have improved leg on leg since the race start in October, but have not posted a result better than sixth in any of them.

Behind the first all-women's crew to enter offshore sailing's toughest challenge since 2001-02, is another boat for which a podium finish would be a dream result: Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS).

The blue boat was a near write-off after a collision with a reef in the Indian Ocean last November during Leg 2, yet an incredible effort and near total re-build restored the crew to the eighth stage start line in Lisbon.

Few expected Chris Nicholson's crew to be competitive after such a long layoff, but they have been at the forefront of the seven-boat fleet from the first night on Sunday and only trailed Sam Davies' crew by 8.5nm early on Tuesday.

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Azzurra On Top On Home Waters
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

TP52 While different boats won both of the first two races of Sardinia's Settimana Delle Boche, the second regatta of the 2015 52 Super Series, as much as glittering race wins may contribute, it was the ability to grind back through the fleet from poor early positions which define the top two positions after the first day of racing on the Costa Smeralda.

Azzurra lead Quantum Racing but only on countback, both sharing the same seven points aggregate after two windward leewards in 5-8kts on NE'ly breeze.

Azzurra's share of the regatta's best points tally is as much due to their fight back to convert an eighth to a sixth in the second race as it is to their convincing, gun to gun victory in the opening contest. Equally for Quantum Racing, converting fourth to third in the first race and a sixth to fourth in the second heat showed the real regatta winning DNA of the 2014 52 Super Series champions.

After two races it remains incredibly close only seven points separating first from ninth and three points between first and sixth.

Overall after 2 races

1. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,6) 7 points
2. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug De Vos USA) (3,4) 7
3. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (6,3) 9
4. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,1) 10
5. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) (8,2) 10
6. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (5,5) 10
7. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithugeunin FRA) (2,9) 11
8. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (4,8) 12
9. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (7,7) 14

Round Texel Correct Error In Winner Calculation
Startline. Click on image to enlarge.

Texel Last Saturday 6th June, after a fantastic and very fast Round Texel by Paal 17 Events, an error occurred in the end results of the overall winners. Due to human error in the processing of the end results, Matthijs van Assema, sailing in a Prindle 15, was announced as the overall winner.

It transpired that, after rechecking the finishing lists, this was unjust, and the Round Texel board has corrected the results. The rightful winners, Mandy Mulder & Coen de Koning, sailing in the Olympic Nacra 17, are very pleased to have been informed of their overall victory.

Since Sunday, the race officer Norbert van der Kooij has done his utmost to recheck all results, gate times and finishing lists. It became apparent that in fact, a Prindle 15 could have won the race on handicap. Due to boat damage however, Matthijs van Assema did not finish the race, but he did sail back to Paal 17 and was therefore not listed in the safety reports as having been 'saved' or 'picked up'. Last Sunday, the race committee and the Round Texel board informed all sailors involved.

The board will do its utmost to prevent these mistakes from happening again in future, but it is and remains a human error, which, in the first instance, was overlooked.

Overall result catamarans - Boat - Finishing time - Corrected
1. Mandy Mulder/Coen de Koning, Nacra 17, 2.37:01, 2.38:36
2. Onno Schuitema/Linda Boer, Hobie16, 3.09:36, 2.39:20
3. Jorden Veenman/ Frank de Waard, Formule18, 2.40:46, 2.40:46

Round Texel Windsurfing
1. Casper Bouman - 2.08:00
2. Dorian van Rijsselberghe - 2.09:36
3. Adriaan van Rijsselberghe - 2.20:58
4. Kiran Badloe - 2.22:36

* Veenman/De Waard win Round Texel 2015 Formula 18 class and are 3rd overall

The whole race was a battle between Jorden Veenman and Frank de Waard versus the overall winners in 2013 Oscar Zeekant and Charly Begemann. At the finish the difference between both teams was just 30 seconds. Simon Northtrop and Sam Barker, winners of the Texel Dutch Open on Friday, were third and finished just 10 minutes behind Veenman/De Waard.

"These last battles were really nice, we were in sort of a herd in a hurry on the way to the finish. But that's where the real challenge started: no finishboat at all…? And than we literally found 'the smallest finishboat ever' between all the big waves. And, we made it as first Formula 18 and were 3rd overall", explaines De Waard. Everybody is now looking forward to the next big catsailing event: The Formula 18 Worlds in Kiel - Germany. Expected is that the magic number of 200 Formula 18 catamarans will be reached. Also a lot of the best Olympic catamaran sailors will come straight from their worldchampionship in Denmark to the Formula 18 Worlds. No doubt this is one of the most populair catamaran class wordwide.

Top 5 results Formula 18 class - Round Texel 2015:
1. Veenman/De Waard (2:40:46.00)
2. Zeekant/Begemann (2:41:12.00)
3. Northrop/Barker (2:50:23.00)
4. Breur/Everaars (2:52:34.00)
5. Duijnmeijer/Alessie (2:52:42.00)

IOC Chooses Fujisawa for 2020 Olympic Sailing Venue
Yokohama, Japan: Officials and residents of the coastal city of Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, welcomed on Tuesday the news that the International Olympic Committee picked its Enoshima Yacht Harbor to host sailing events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The city performed the same role in the last Tokyo Olympics, more than 50 years ago.

"I feel relieved," Fujisawa Mayor Tsuneo Suzuki told reporters Tuesday. "It's an overwhelming feeling the city is experiencing for a second time."

As for Enoshima, a small island connected to the city of Fujisawa by a causeway, Suzuki said he believed the deciding factors were its proximity to Tokyo and its natural environment and weather.

He said the waves and wind allow for superior sailing conditions and gave Enoshima an edge over rival venues Mihama, Chiba Prefecture, and Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture.

Helping To Bring The (Whole) World Up To Speed
Seahorse Six years ago the International Sailing Federation decided to set up a dedicated Training and Development department tasked with the challenge of helping its Member National Authorities (MNAs) to increase participation in sailing. Now, with a second administrator being appointed as I write this article, the scope and work of the department have grown beyond anything that I, as vice-president responsible for development, would ever have imagined when we embarked on this journey.

The role of ISAF is now and always has been to act as a facilitator, with each national sailing federation member of ISAF (currently numbered at 142) responsible for the delivery of the outcomes in their specific country. Training is the key that will unlock the future sustainability of any sport and sailing is no different, especially in a world where there is more competition than ever for commitment of our 'free' time. Our dedicated training programmes are addressing the fundamental resources and opportunities needed by our members, as well as helping nations not yet members of ISAF that we must attract to be able to bring more people to sailing and grow stronger, more sustainable foundations for the future of our sport.

Information on the programmes and initiatives that we are delivering can be found via our dedicated website page as well as by joining over 100,000 people keeping up to date with our initiatives at: and Twitter... @ISAFDevelopment -- Nazli Imre

Full article in this month's Seahorse magazine:

A Day For Pink With Peters & May
Global marine transport specialist Peters & May hosted its annual charity clay pigeon shoot in aid of Breast Cancer Clinical Trials on the 5th of June as part of its ongoing support for the charity. Hosted at Pennsport Shooting School in West Berkshire, guests of Peters & May were treated to a morning shoot followed by a gourmet barbecue lunch and drinks. The day concluded with a charity auction and raffle which raised an impressive £20,000 for Breast Cancer Clinical Trials.

Breast Cancer Clinical Trials aims to raise awareness of the importance of clinical trials in the prevention, diagnoses and treatment of breast cancer, giving women the chance to take part in ground-breaking research using cutting edge technologies. The charity has raised over £1.9 million over the past 10 years and has been able to conduct over 30 clinical trials, leading to new drugs receiving approval from the Food and Drugs Administration and the European Union as standard treatment.

Ashraf Patel, Specialist for Breast Cancer Clinical Trials, commented: "We'd like to say a huge thank you to Peters & May and its sponsors for hosting yet another brilliant charity shoot. Without the backing of companies like Peters & May we wouldn't be able to support the hundreds of patients that rely on us. We're already looking forward to next year!"

Support this vital charity:

Old Pulteney IRC Scottish Championship
Old Pulteney Scottish IRC Championship title winner Eala of Rhu. Photo by Neill Ross. Click on image for photo gallery.

Scottish IRC Championship In her first appearance at the Old Pulteney Scottish IRC Championship, Swan 45 Eala of Rhu has swooped on the overall crown.

The regatta, run and organised by Mudhook Yacht Club at Helensburgh on the Clyde, was blighted on day one by storm force winds, which forced the race committee to abandon all aspirations of any competition.

But day two dawned today (Sunday June 7) in a more summery vein, allowing officials to run three good races in challenging airs.

Co-owned by Jamie McGarry and Colin Moore, Eala was by some distance the largest of the yachts lining up in IRC Class 1. But that size and power, offset by her handicap meant that she had to keep plenty of clear water between her and major rival Aurora, Rod Stuart and Bill Ram's Corby 37. A tough call in an 18-25 knot westerly which produced fast and physically demanding racing throughout.

IRC 1 winner: Eala of Rhu, Swan 46, J. McGarry, GBR
IRC 2 winner: The Wildebeest V, J/92, Craig Latimer, GBR

Complete results

Windsurfer's Record Bid With Gruelling 2,200-Mile Solo Surf Around Britain
A Windsurfer is bidding to sail into the record books by becoming the first person to make an unassisted solo voyage around the UK.

Jono Dunnett set out on his 12ft raceboard from Clacton Pier on Sunday morning.

Ahead of him lies a gruelling journey of more than 2,200 miles. Jono, 41, will head clockwise around mainland Britain. The expedition is expected to take up to three months before he arrives back in his home town of Holland-on-Sea, where he first took up the sport as a youngster.

If he completes the epic journey, he will become the first person to windsurf around the UK without a support boat. The adventurer will stay at the homes of well-wishers from the sailing community and people living by the coast at night where possible.

But he is also carrying a barrel containing a tent and camping gear, as well as a special dry bag for other essential kit.

The quest is raising money for pancreatic cancer research and a local charity that supports Tanzanian orphans and widows.

To follow Jono's progress, or to sponsor him, go to

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 Alistair Skinner: Richard Gladwell states in his recent article that SCA are "turning in perhaps the most significant result in the history of womens competition in sailing."

Doesn't he know that Tracy Edwards and Maiden won TWO legs and 2nd OVERALL in class in the 89-90 Whitbread and one of the legs was the grunter from Punta Del Este to Freemantle not a 700 mile sprint up Portugal and across Biscay.

Both of which I would reckon a straw poll of sailors would consider somewhat more significant than what is currently happening in Biscay, well those over 30 years old anyway.

Don't tell me he believes all that SCA hype - does he?

* From Talbot Wilson: I don't know how Mark Thornton is distributing this but his analysis of the weather and NWS communications is very thorough.

I was on this race.

Mark Thornton's intro:

The 57th annual Dauphin Island Race was held on Mobile Bay, Alabama on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Sailing on the protected waters of Mobile Bay and the relatively short distance of the race appeals to a wide range of participants from casual day sailors to serious racers. Approximately 475 people registered for this year's event.

The race began under pleasant conditions, but by early afternoon darkening western skies indicated that thunderstorms were approaching Mobile Bay. A little after 3:00 pm, thunderstorm winds ranging from 50 to 70 knots spread across the Bay and ravaged the fleet. Tragically, six sailors were lost as crews struggled against the near hurricane-force winds and accompanying steep waves.

My article, Tragedy Strikes the 2015 Dauphin Island Race, provides a "sailor-oriented" meteorological analysis of the event and the dynamics that promote thunderstorm downbursts.

The article can be found here:

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The Last Word
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