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

Testing Tactics, and Torment
The crew of the Australian supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, is hanging on to hope as much as conviction in the 2225 nautical mile Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii as the majority of the fleet continues to be dogged by frustratingly light and variable wind conditions.

Late today the big, silver-hulled sloop, which is entered in the classic race under a joint arrangement between American yachtsman, Roy P. Disney, and the Australian owner, Bob Oatley AO, was continuing to lead her class and make significant gains on the other divisions ahead that had started days earlier. But, with the race course being a minefield of calms and significant changes in wind direction, the 16-man Wild Oats XI crew knew it wouldn't take much for them to lose everything they had worked so hard to gain since the start last Saturday.

Ironically, after telling their Australian team mates prior to the start that this was one of the most exciting downwind races imaginable, the six Americans in the crew, who have more than 100 Transpacs between them, are now saying they've never seen a race like it.

"The Americans are telling us this is the most complicated Transpac they've ever seen," said Wild Oats XI's navigator, Nick White. "They've never sailed this far into the race and not had a jib set at any stage, nor have they ever had a spinnaker set so soon after the start." -- Rob Mundle

Third Day Of Panerai British Classic Week
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Panerai British Classic Week The sun returned on the third day of Panerai British Classic Week 2015 and the fleet enjoyed two spectacular round the cans races in the Western Solent, races three and four of the series. Whilst the classes raced separately in the morning they came together for a combined fleet race in the afternoon.

It was a truly glorious day's sailing and race three gave the boats fantastic flat water sailing in 15 to 18 knots from the south west.

Race four by contrast was in rough water as the ebbing tide versus building sea breeze created a classic Solent chop.

Although we are unable to bring you the overall and race four results at this time, what we can confirm is that the victors in race three were Armin Fischer and Robert Towbin's 'Sumurun' in Class 0, Sean McMillan's 'Flight of Ufford' in Class 1, Jamie Matheson's 'Opposition' in Class 2, Giovanni Belgrano's 'Whooper' in Class 3, David Sherriff's 'Jap' in Class 4 and Avia Willment's 'Siris' in Class 5.

But Panerai British Classic Week is about more than just race results. It is a celebration of these historic boats and their fascinating stories.

The delightful Solent 38 One Design gaff cutter 'Kelpie' was built in 1903 by J G Fay & Co to an Alfred Milne design and is one of the oldest boats competing. One of eight sister ships, she originally rated as a 42 linear rater. In 1907 she competed in the first ever 12 Metre race but was quickly outclassed as a 12 by boats designed and built specifically to the rule. In 1923 she was re-rigged still as a gaff cutter, but with a much taller mast and shorter bow-sprit and boom, enabling her to compete successfully again as a 12 for a short time, even against the early Bermudan-rigged boats. Her current owner Pelham Olive has extensively restored her and taken her back, as far as possible, to her 1920s rig.

J/111 ... The Family Speedster
J/111 The J/111 is a 36' speedster, daysailer and weekender all in one - able to hit double-digit speeds in 15 knots of wind with only two aboard. The versatility as a family speedster also carries over to the race course. While J/111 Eccentric Ripper was celebrating victory at the Netherlands Double-Handed National Championship, twenty-five sisterships from 5 countries competed for the J/111 World Championship in Newport, RI. With J/111's now sailing in 15+ countries there are new friends to make in every port.

We invite you to join this exciting class and participate in the 2016 World Championship in Cowes.

Team Updates and Lineups for Portsmouth
Emirates Team New Zealand has signed up Toyota again as a sponsor, joining Emirates and Omega. Peter Burling will helm with his 49er crew Blair Tuke trimming the wing. Ray Davies will be tactician. Two additional crew will be announced soon.

Artemis Racing will be helmed by Nathan Outteridge with his 49er crew Iain "Goobs" Jensen on wing trim. Chris Brittle, Freddie Lööf and team leader Iain Percy round out the Artemis crew.

Ben Ainslie Racing Ben Ainslie will helm. Other sailing team members are Paul Campbell-James, Jono Macbeth, Freddie Carr, Matt Cornwell, Nick Hutton, Giles Scott and Andy McLean.

Team France has now signed Groupama as their title sponsor for the full AC campaign. Franck Cammas will be on the helm in Portsmouth, with Arnaud Psarofaghis as tactician. Joining them on board will be bowman Devan Le Bihan, wing trimmer Thierry Foucher and headsail trimmer Arnaud Jarlegan.

Softbank Team Japan signed Jero Lomas and Derek Saward, both ex-ETNZ. They will join helmsman Dean Barker, tactician/wing trimmer Chris Draper and bowman Kazuhiko "Fuku" Sofuku.

Oracle Team USA will have Jimmy Spithill at the helm, Kyle Langford at wing trim, Tom Slingsby as tactician, Kinley Fowler trimmining and Louis Sinclair as bowman.

* How to Watch Live: Portsmouth AC World Series Racing

ACEA will release a new app on Wednesday July 22nd.

Download the new America's Cup (AC) App available on iOS and Android for live race coverage (live video is restricted in some territories), race highlights, team interviews and rich content from the race village events, as well as news, features and social feeds.

Check the America's Cup website from Wednesday onwards for a link to their new app in the iTunes Store and in Google Play.

SSV Oliver Hazard Perry Sets Sail
Photo by Onne van der Waal, Click on image to enlarge.

Oliver Hazard Perry Newport Rhode Island, USA: Rhode Island's 200-foot Official Sailing Education Vessel SSV Oliver Hazard Perry sailed for the first time yesterday in Narragansett Bay after she left the Hinckley Boat Yard in Portsmouth, R.I. to begin a journey up the coast to join the Tall Ships Portland 2015 festival. Anyone on or near East Bay Passage between seven and eight a.m. saw a truly amazing spectacle when four of the ship's 20 sails were unfurled, one-by-one as crew members climbed aloft to set free the lines that secured them to the yards.

SSV Oliver Hazard Perry is the first ocean-going full-rigged ship built in America in over a century. She also is this country's largest privately-funded, actively sailing Tall Ship, one of only 75 Tall Ships in the world designated by Sail Training International as Class A.

On July 3rd SSV Oliver Hazard Perry was dockside at the Newport Shipyard for the "Homeport Rhode Island" gala. The annual fundraising event celebrated the unprecedented $16 million economic development project, which has supported hundreds of jobs in the Rhode Island marine industry. It raised $122,000 while also honoring the non-profit organization's Board Chairman Bart Dunbar for his unfailing devotion to OHPRI's Education-at-Sea mission.

Monster Project Racing Charter Has 3 Places Left For The Rolex Fastnet
Monster Fastnet MONSTER PROJECT, formerly Team Russia's Volvo Open 70 from the Volvo Ocean Race Round The World, is in high gear for the iconic Rolex Fastnet Race 2015.

The boat, is very avant-garde in her design, in near new condition, has a large sail wardrobe and is already setting records both inshore and offshore on the Mediterranean, Transatlantic and Caribbean circuit as Formula-1 racing charter.

Skipper Andy Budgen is caping her racing campaign this year with the the 90th Anniversary of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2015 and he has moved fast and drawn together an international team. He brings a wealth of offshore and in-port racing skills to the table.

Fastnet has always stirred a passion amongst sailors, stoking the fires for offshore sailing and focusing the mentality from "why can't we do that" towards "let's do that".

Fastnet has exceptional take up and has produced a conveyor belt of offshore talent and for more information to get onboard MONSTER PROJECT and to see her roar as she takes on sailing heavyweights such as Comanche, Hanuman, Rambler 88, and Leopard - all with one thing in common, a winning mentality!

To Get On Board Contact: /

Attention Class Coordinators: Key West Race Week
3 days or 5 days? Decision deadline announced.

For race management planning, Quantum Key West Race Week organizers need to know which classes are interested in racing only 3 days next January.

Any classes wishing to race Wednesday-Friday only, need to confirm with the Organizing Authority by September 30, 2015

Please email your intent to

Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week
Today's opener of the series races of Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week could not have been in greater contrast to yesterday's one off and somewhat drizzly warm up race for the Trinity Cup, when the 4-day event got off to a flying start in brisk winds and sunshine.

The Winkworth and Royal Victoria Race Day offered truly champagne sailing conditions to the five one design classes and the other classic handicap divisions today, all of whom qualified for the event as a design that was introduced before 1970.

Conditions suited the XODs perfectly on their committee boat windward leeward courses. Steady winds of around 16 knots provided some lively sailing in the fleet which goes from strength to strength, this week standing at 60 entries, up by 10 from last year.

Classes were divided between four separate committee boats which were spread throughout the eastern Solent to give each group plenty of room for their predominantly windward leeward courses. Further to the east of the XODs the Solent Sunbeams, whose fleet makes its annual crossing from Itchenor Sailing Club to the event, were establishing a firm pecking order, with the first three places going to the same yachts in each of the two races.

Two elegant classes, the Darings and the 6 metres shared a race course further to the south east.

With just one race per day in their programme the historic Old Gaffers enjoyed a mid-Solent round the cans race.

Many other vintage yachts including the Nicholson 32s, SCODs and Twisters are also taking part in the event in two Classic Cruisers divisions, while the Flying Fifteens and Swallows are competing in the Classic Dayboats class.

The Classic Cruisers use the KLR Formula handicapping system which originated in Germany in 1994, and is favoured by traditional cruising yachts.

The plan is to get a series of eight races in between now and Friday when the event finishes.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 5, Hamburg
For the first time in its nine-year history, the world's only annual global, sailing grand-prix is set to race in the heart of Hamburg, Germany. Nine elite-level racing teams will take to the busy waters of the River Elbe to put on their unique brand of city centre Stadium Racing in Extreme 40 catamarans.

In an unprecedented move in Hamburg, the four day regatta - from July 23 to 26 - will see cruise liners and other commercial craft make room for the racing on one of the tightest courses ever staged by the Extreme Sailing Series. Add strong tidal currents and the vagaries of the weather and you have all the ingredients for what promises to be a superb weekend of racing in front of thousands of fans.

* Due to a serious ear infection affecting his balance, Roland Gaebler has reluctantly withdrawn from Team Extreme Germany.

As the local entry for Act 5, Hamburg presented by Land Rover, Gaebler will hand helming duties for the German team over to young skipper Paul Kohlhoff. Unfortunately unable to compete when racing kicks off this Thursday (23 July) husband and wife duo, Roland and Nahid Gaebler, will be replaced by German Finn sailor and Olympic hopeful Philip Kasueske and keeping it in the family Laser sailor and brother to skipper Paul, Johann Kohlhoff.

Tour Voile: Last Break Before The Tour's Outcome
The boats are being delivered in Marseille today for Act 8, second last stage of the 2015 Tour de France a la Voile. After nearly three weeks of competition, the crew and the boats are feeling signs of fatigue, and this last day-off is a much welcome break to check, repair and rest before the final strech. But the 28 teams have all made good progress in three weeks, both on shore and on the water...

Maître Coq had a nice day yesterday in Gruissan Stadium Racing, scoring three race podiums. And we can expect more good results for them in the next few days, as two of the crew are from Marseille, Christopher Pratt and Dimitri Deruelle.

This is also Aurelien Ducroz's ambition in the Tour. The two-time Freeride skiing world champion is surrounded by two multihull specialists Laurent Voiron and Olivier Backes, and their progress since the beginning of the Tour is impressive.

They scored a 3rd in Roses stadium racing and a 2nd in Gruissan coastal race, going from 12th position overall just 5 days ago, to 7th yesterday.

Corinthian young team Vannes Agglo - Golfe du Morbihan has almost always been in the top 5 since the beginning of the Tour, although their results are not the most consistent. One of the two skippers Mathieu Salomon explains why : "I think we were a bit unlucky at the beginning of the Tour. We've had a lot of troubles, like daggerboards breakage after running aground, the collision with PRB.... That's why we struggled reaching the top 3, and I think we were frustrated about that. While now I think we are free from this."

Vietnam To Participate In World's Longest Ocean Race
Agreement has been reached with the Vietnamese city of Da Nang to be the South East Asia host city of the 2015-16 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. It will be the tenth edition of the famous biennial event which is the longest ocean race around the planet at more than 40,000 nautical miles. The city will not only host the fleet of twelve identical 70-foot ocean racing yachts but will also have an entry in the race supported by local businesses and government.

Da Nang's debut is the first time Vietnam has participated in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The contracts will be signed at a ceremony in Vietnam next week when full details of the agreement will be released.

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