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

Tricky Finish Ahead For Lucky
With a day and a half to go, the three-way battle to be first home in the Transatlantic Race 2015 has changed complexion, with Bryon Ehrhart's Lucky taking the lead on the water. Yesterday afternoon the Reichel/Pugh 63 finally passed the giant schooner, Mariette of 1915, a vessel twice her size, but some 93 years her senior.

Lucky, also favorite for handicap honors, had 312 miles left to sail at 1000 EDT (1400 UTC).

*Editor: at 1233 AM EDT Friday July 10 Lucky is 106nm to finish.

Yacht racing wisdom would dictate she should now keep herself between her competition and the finish line off The Lizard. Instead she chose a different path and this morning appeared bound for southern Ireland rather than southern England.

The reason for this is that there remains one final challenge all three boats - Lucky, Mariette and Clarke Murphy's 100-foot maxi Nomad IV - must tackle: a patch of light or no wind hovering around the Scilly Isles/Land's End.

To avoid this, Lucky is heading north where she can remain in stronger winds for the longest period. Conversely Mariette is now on a more southerly course. Last night at 2200 UTC (1800 EDT) she crossed some 15 miles astern of Lucky.

Meanwhile the mood has lightened at the back of the fleet after the race's four fastest boats endured a windless 48 hours.

The four boats at the back are now set to have a relentless, high-speed run toward the British Isles at possibly record-breaking pace. "We have a couple of cold fronts and it'll be 'hold on fellas' because it is going to get pretty interesting," said Kenny Read aboard Comanchel.

With strong south westerlies currently spanning the breadth of the North Atlantic, the freshest breeze today remained in the mid-fleet which was still seeing 35 knots.

South of the group experiencing the severest conditions was Snow Lion of former New York Yacht Club Commodore Lawrence Huntington, who is doing his seventh transatlantic race at the age of 80. His Ker 50 passed the '1000 miles to go' mark this morning and was experiencing 15 to 20 knots from the west. 

Boat Blogs:

Articles in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes about Comanche and Rambler88

Laser Standard World Championship
Kingston, Ontario, Canada: Final Day of the 2015 Kingston Laser Standard World Championship. Three races were completed in winds of 6-10 knots from the North East, for a total of six races in the final series.

Nick Thompson representing Great Britain, went into the day with a 20 point lead, and was able to stay on top, winning the 2015 Laser Standard World Championship. Nick Thompson had a strong regatta, as he remained one of the top 5 competitors for the entire event.

Final top ten:
1. Nick Thompson, GBR, 67 points
2. Philipp Buhl, GER, 93
3. Tom Burton, AUS, 97
4. Juan Ignacio Maegli, GUA, 105
5. Matthew Wearn, AUS, 106
6. Andy Maloney, NZL, 106
7. Sam Meech, NZL, 107
8. Kacper Zieminski, POL, 110
9. Pavlos Kontides, CYP, 113
10. Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini, GBR, 116

* Of the 46 places available on the Rio 2016 Laser startline, nine were up for grabs at the 2015 Worlds which were held in Kingston, Canada from 2-8 July 2015. The first qualification regatta, the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships saw 24 nations secure a spot in Rio.

The nine nations to qualify for Rio 2016 from the 2015 Laser Worlds (in nation order) are:
1. Argentina
2. Chile
3. Estonia
4. Hungary
5. Korea
6. Montenegro
7. Peru
8. South Africa
9. Spain

J/70 World Championship
La Rochelle, France: A second World Championship day under the sun for the 78 boats competing for the title in La Rochelle.

Crews from 16 countries, 4 different continents are present at this world Championship.

Having left the harbour in the late morning, the competitors took three more depart today under a clear blue sky. The crews enjoyed a thermal breeze between 8 and 17 knots from 270 to 280, typical of La Rochelle, that maintained itself throughout the afternoon. A lovely weather and some ideal conditions were gathered today to give rise to some wonderful races.

The Mexicans on the Flojito Y Cooperando (MEX 384) skippered by Julian Fernandez Neckelman win the third race today (race 6) and remain in first place in the provisional rankings.The Italians on the Calvi (ITA 456) take for their part the second position, just ahead of the English led by Ian Atkins on

Ten races are scheduled for this championship. Each day, the race committee should launch at least 3 races, depending on sea conditions.

Hudson Wight Has The Classics Covered
Hudson Wight Hudson Wight is delighted to once again be announced as the Official Clothing Sponsor of Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week (20-24 July).

We are supplying branded competitor bags that were particularly well received when first introduced in 2014, plus event-branded polo shirts for around 75 event volunteers, and event-branded Gilets and Fleeces for the team of Chief Race Officers.

In addition, the winning boat in each of the 12 classes will receive a Hudson Wight voucher to the value of £100 redeemable against Hudson Wight products purchased online or at our Showroom on Cowes Parade.

Subscribers to Scuttlebutt Europe should contact their nearest Affiliate to check out the latest product offers.

Hudson Wight looks forward to welcoming you on board this season.

Contact us via:

Louise Morton and Bullit Dominate Opening Races of Coutts Quarter Ton Cup
Cowes, UK: After the high winds disappointment of day one, day two of the Coutts Quarter Ton Cup produced four wonderful races in perfect Solent conditions. The day had opened with light airs and it took a three hour postponement before the sea breeze finally kicked in, but once it arrived the race committee took full advantage of it to run races one to four of the nine race series. From the off the fleet was in spectacular form with closely packed starts, frantic mark roundings and constant place changes on every leg. There were no less than three dead heats on corrected time and multiple photo finishes on the water.

In the overall standings Louise Morton and her team sailing the 1979 Fauroux designed Bullit have dominated the results, ably demonstrating that their reputation as one of the smartest and most practised teams in the fleet is well deserved. With two wins, a second and third place she leads the fleet overnight by a ten point margin from nearest rival Aguila, owned by Sam Laidlaw, with Eric Reynolds' Magnum Evolution four further points behind in third. Magnum Evolution also heads the Low Rating Division, for boats with an IRC rating of 0.899 or below, while the Corinthian Division for all amateur crews is led by the French team of Pierre Paris's Pinguin Playboy.

Provisional Top Five Results
1. Bullit - Louise Morton, FRA, 7 points
2. Aguila - Sam Laidlaw, GBR, 17
3. Magnum Evolution - Eric Reynolds, GBR, 21
4. Blackfun - Tony Hayward, NZL, 22
5. Alice II - Rickard Melander, SWE, 25.5

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Photo by David Branigan, Click on image for photo gallery.

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is Ireland's biggest sailing event and takes place for the next three days until Sunday 12th July with over 400 boats and 3,000 competitors taking part. There is a great festival atmosphere across the waterfront and Dun Laoghaire town as four sailing clubs come together for the biennial event; Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club and National Yacht Club.

Howth Yacht Club's Storm skippered by Pat Kelly took an early lead in the J109 National Championships being sailed as part of the 2015 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta this afternoon. The Howth entry made the most of a strong sea breeze gusting to 20 knots that delivered championship conditions and got all 29 classes off to a prompt start on Dublin Bay.

Racing continues tomorrow (Friday).

Selected results only from VDLR Day One.

1. Jump Juice (C Phelan)
2. Roxstar (J Anderson)
3.Auora (R Stuart / B Ram)

1. Wildfire (D/J O'Malley/Urquhart)
2. Now or Never 3 (N Stafford)
3. Boomerang (Kirwan Family)

1. Injenious (M & G Crompton & Hallworth)
2. Wildebeest V (C Latimer)
3. Checkmate XV (D Cullen)

1. Dux (A Gore-Grimes)
2. Maximus (P Kyne)
3. Fusion (R Colwell & R Cobbe)

1. Storm (P Kelly)
2. Something Else (J & B Hall)
3. Joker 2 (J Maybury)

1. Squawk (P Prentice)
2. Leaky Roof 2 (A Harper)
3. Popje (T McCourt)

1. Levana (J Mitton)
2. Crazyhorse (F Heath / I Schuster)
3. Prospect (C Johnston)

Full results:

History In The Making
North Sails is excited to present History in the Making, a panel discussion celebrating the Squadron's Bicentenary event and featuring the top names in sailing. Seated will be America's Cup skipper Sir Ben Ainslie of Land Rover BAR, the defending skipper of Oracle Team USA Jimmy Spithill, and skipper of Team SCA's all-female Volvo Ocean Race team, Sam Davies. Led by North Sails president Ken Read, the discussion will celebrate the heritage of our sport alongside current world-class sailing events, and include expert advice for racing on the Solent in the week ahead.

"The format for the panel stems from our North U Regatta Services program, which we are excited to roll out on a new level for the Royal Yacht Squadron's Bicentenary Regatta. North U is rooted in practical analysis and increased performance through applied group debriefs, dock talks, and local knowledge panels," said Ken Read, Volvo Ocean Race Skipper of PUMA Ocean Racing (08-09 and 11-12), America's Cup skipper of Stars & Stripes (2000, 2003) and America's Cup coach and strategist to Young America (1999).

"History in the Making" will take this concept next-level by drawing intel from the best in sailing today. The panel will be held at Cowes Yacht Haven, on Monday July 27th at 1700hrs. Entry is free and open to all competitors.

High Winds Restricts Racing at ISAF Women's Match Race Worlds
The second day of the 2015 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship, the first event on the 2015 WIM Series, offered the sailors more waiting than sailing. A low-pressure front caused steady wind speeds of up to 40 knots and a long postponement as the race officials pondered the elements. Just two flights were sailed in the morning, with Australian Katie Spithill scoring two wins. 

Standings after two days of round-robin in the 2015 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship in Middelfart, Denmark, the first event on the 2015 WIM Series (skipper, country, wins - losses):

1. Lotte Meldgaard, DEN, 8 - 0
1. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 8 - 0
3. Anna Ostling, SWE, 7 - 1
4. Camilla Ulrikeholm, DEN, 6 - 2
4. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 6 - 2
6. Katie Spithill, AUS, 7 - 3
7. Stephanie Roble, USA, 5 - 3
7. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 5 - 3
7. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 5 - 3
10. Milly Bennett, AUS, 4 - 6
11. Louise Christensen, DEN, 2 - 8
12. Sanna Hager, SWE, 1 - 9
13. Johanna Larsson, SWE, 0 - 6
13. Nina Ramm-Schmidt, FIN, 0 - 6
13. Rikst Dijkstra, NED, 0 - 6
13. Diana Kissane, IRL, 0 - 6

Cranking Up The Volume
Seahorse Magazine At the 2014 International Sailing Federation mid-year meeting in May, driven by the vision of ISAF president Carlo Croce, it was decided that the ISAF Sailing World Cup should be reinvigorated.

The goal was to change the five ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas and refocus, highlighting the elite athletes of Olympic sailing and steering the series towards a more commercially viable platform. This vision also included adding an additional regatta to the schedule, to take place in November 2014 in Abu Dhabi and be named the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final.

To achieve these goals a new format was adopted by the ISAF Sailing World Cup Series. Host venues rebid based upon a new structure to deliver smaller, elite-level fleets with the best of the best competing internationally. Changes include revised entry quotas, shortening the racing schedule by one day, qualification rounds being removed, live television, prizemoney, increased logistical support and a greater onshore presence. These quickly became the buzz phrases prevalent throughout the regattas, enhancing excitement among sailors, media and public.

Full article in Seahorse magazine:

Soft Breeze and Big Shifts Upset Some Of The Big Beasts
Very light airs made for a tricky fourth day at the 49er and 49er FX European Championships in Porto. After a long wait ashore for the breeze to fill in, the 49erFX sailors were sent home without any gold fleet finals racing today. By late afternoon a light breeze was blowing out to sea, and the 79-boat 49er men's fleet went out for two tricky races to complete their qualifying regatta before the gold fleet split.

The reigning Olympic Champions, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, suffered in the fickle conditions, falling from 3rd to 11th overall after scoring 13,22 this evening. Their big rivals, the reigning World Champions from New Zealand, keep on chipping away with some solid results

Qualifying is now complete for both the men's and women's fleets, so Friday sees the start of Gold Fleet finals. The forecast is for better breeze, and you can watch all the action on the live TV broadcast which is scheduled for the start of racing on Friday at 1030am local time.

Top five
1. Jorge Lima / Jose Costa, POR, 24 points
2. Peter Burling Blair Tuke, NZL, 32
3. Lukasz Przybytek / Pawel Kolodzinski, POL, 35
4. Dylan Fletcher Scott / Alain Sign, GBR, 38
5. Jonas Warrer / Anders Thomsen, DEN, 39

German Leaders Avoid Disqualification at 49erfx Europeans
A buzz hit the boat park as the race committee announced their intentions to protest two contenders for the title here in Porto, Portugal. Vicky Jurczok with Anika Llorenz (GER) in the 49erFX and Erik Heil with Thomas Ploessel (GER) in the 49er each had identical spinnaker poles, purchased legally but modified/repaired with reinforcement in the inboard end to prevent damage and a clear cote protective seal or paint over the length of their poles.

While neither modification would be considered performance enhancing to boat speed, each modification could be considered performance enhancing from the view point of durability. As the protest committee revealed their findings that both teams would be disqualified from all races sailed to date Sailing Team Germany were already researching options to reopen the case. The STG argument stems from the view that the penalty is disproportionate to the crime. 49er sailing is not accustom to such definitive penalties stemming from judgments on equipment issues.

The jury did reopen the case, and upon hearing more evidence of the vastness of these types of repairs across the fleet changed their penalty applied to be that each team must change their spinnaker pole but their scores will remain.

Top five after 9 races:
1. Victoria Jurczok / Anika Lorenz, GER, 28.0
2. Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz, NED, 36.0
3. Maiken-Foght Schutt / Anne­Julie Schutt, DEN, 36.0
4. Jena Hansen / Katja SalskovIversen, DEN, 53.0
5. Ida­Marie Baad Nielsen / MarieThusgaard Olsen, DEN, 46.0

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 Jamie Leopold: The report on the 2015 TransAtlantic race in Scuttlebutt Europe #3372 includes a reference to "the world's two fastest monohulls" referring to Comanche & Rambler 88.

I would be willing to bet that Bob Oately the owner of Wild Oats, and her skipper Mark Richards would certainly take exception to that comment, as Wild Oats beat Comanche in the 2014 edition of the Sydney to Hobart race.

Results are results!

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The Last Word
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