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

Transpac Race: First Finishers To Arrive Friday
The 48th edition of the 2,225 nm LA-Honolulu Transpac continues to favor the first wave of starters (July 13) which look to have gotten the best of the weather lottery offered to the 66 starters.

While the second wave of starters (July 16) has gotten the worst of it as they trail the third wave (July 18), the smaller boats now on their 10th day continue to dominate the overall ranking.

Harry Zanville’s Santa Cruz 37 Celerity now dominates all categories as they are ahead of the first wave on elapsed time and are the ORR Division 7 and overall leader. The tracker, which has a 6 hour delay, reports their position at 195 nm from the finish. If they continue their pace of 10 knots, they will likely be drinking Blue Hawaiians for breakfast.

What could disrupt Celerity’s sweep is their two closest competitors are coming in from the south, which is Paul Stemler’s J/44 Patriot (2nd, Div 7; 2nd overall) and Tracy Obert’s 59-foot BBY ketch Majorie (1st, Div 8; 3rd overall). While the northern track looks stronger, nothing is for certain in this edition.

The roar of the 100-footers will soon be felt by the first wave fleet, as Wild Oats XI, Ragamuffin 100, and Division 1 leader Rio 100 are now clicking at 20 knots and on layline to Diamond Head from 600 nm away. Going two to three times faster than the boats ahead, the bars better get the ice cubes ready for these maxis. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

Tour Voile: PRB Wins Stadium Racing In Marseille
The mistral wind was not as strong as forecast and the fleet ended up having amazing sailing conditions on Marseille race course. Hot temperatures, big blue sky, warm water, nice 10-12 knots wind... As always the 28 boats were split in two groups to compete in a series of four qualification races and one final. None of the race leaders finished in the top 3 today. PRB scored three race victories and won the day, Prince de Bretagne finished in 2 and Vannes Agglo in 3.

It's their best Act so far. Vincent Riou and his crew have had two fantastic days in Marseille. After a 2nd place yesterday on the Coastal course, they scored victory today in Stadium racing format. A great result for PRB team who started the Med in 9th position just a week ago and made its way up to 6th on the Tour's leaderboard.

Although the Top 5 seems to be out of reach, Vincent Riou can already be satisfied with their progression so far. 

Tonight the boats are being dismantled to be delivered to Nice and put back together for a Coastal Race tomorrow and the next two days should offer light wind sailing, with less than 10 knots of wind forecast. It will be the last opportunity for CombiWest and Spindrift to shake the podium positions and try to stop Groupama from winning the event

Three Bullets For Underdogs Gazprom Team Russia On Day One In
The fleet race in front of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. Photo by Jesus Renedo / OC Sport. Click on image to enlarge.

Extreme Sailing  Series On the opening day of the Extreme Sailing Series Act 5, Hamburg presented by Land Rover the teams meant business with The Wave, Muscat and SAP Extreme Sailing Team taking the lion's share of the podiums. But it was Gazprom Team Russia that was the stand out performer, taking three bullets in the final three races.

With the breeze blowing directly against the current from the west, the teams were treated to a fluctuating 10 knots, flat water and a straight windward-leeward drag race against the tide on the narrow river racetrack.

The racing offered a great spectacle for the fans as the boats tacked within metres of the shore, trying to make the most of every inch of the 300m race track.

"Racing in Hamburg is extremely difficult. You've got big walls either side of the course which get higher and higher as the tide goes out. This means extremely shifty winds and nine boats on a very small racecourse, which is hard," explained Phil Robertson after racing.

Position / Team / Points

1. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 57 points
2. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Herve Cunningham, Mads Emil Stephensen, Nicolai Sehested, 55
3. Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Alexander Bozhko, Aleksey Kulakov, 54
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Hans-Peter Steinacher, Jason Waterhouse, Jeremy Bachelin, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson, 45
5. Team Turx (TUR) Edhem Dirvana, Mitch Booth, Selim Kakış, Diogo Cayolla, Pedro Andrade, 44
6. Oman Air (OMA) Stevie Morrison, Nic Asher, Ted Hackney, Ed Powys, Ali Al Balashi, 40
7. Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) Lorenzo Bressani, Enrico Zennaro, Stefano Ciampalini, Stefano Rizzi, Manuel Modena, 39
8. GAC Pindar (GBR) Seve Jarvin, Adam Minoprio, Marcus Ashley-Jones, James Corrie, James Wierzbowski, 29
9. Team Extreme Germany (GER) Paul Kohlhoff, Philip Kasueske, Johann Kohlhoff, Peter Kohlhoff, Max Kohlhoff, 13

Dubarry Ultima - Loved by Sailors
Dubarry Ultima It's hard to love a pair of boots. They either do a job or they don't. Some will have great grip and others will send you crashing down to the deck like some slapstick comedian. Some will keep the water out, others will leak like a pair of bespoke footbaths. Some will breathe to keep you comfortable, others will slowly baste your feet in their own sweat. Some will look great, others like you've just escaped from a circus.

Even if you do find a pair that ticks every box, that looks good, grips well and keeps you warm, dry and comfortable, you'd still struggle to love a boot. Unless, of course, it's a Dubarry boot. Take the Ultima, with its blend of rich, supple leather and durable man-made fibres, the hi tech GORE-TEX liner that acts like an air conditioner, the award-winning grip of the sole - yes, those are all there, recognised benchmarks of quality, but what you can't see or touch or smell is the soul. Ultima boots have it in abundance because, like you, they change. They gain experience at sea and improve with age just as surely as you do. That's why sailors love them.

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Ainslie Pushed To The Fore
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Americas Cup Ben Ainslie, the hometown hero at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth, is finding his rivals are keen on naming him the favourite ahead of this weekend's racing.

"I think Ben is clearly faster than everyone," ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill said, to the applause of a home crowd eager to support the local team.

"Honestly, I think he does have a bit of an edge. But every day I think the rest of us have been getting faster. And I think you'll see that in the racing that is coming up."

Spithill wasn't alone in pushing Ainslie forward, although each skipper felt the new foiling versions of the AC45 catamarans would prove to be a leveller.

"Each team has only had their boat for about two weeks," said Nathan Outteridge of Artemis Racing. "It's been tough to learn how to sail these foiling boats - the foiling aspect changes how we race. I think it's going to be close. If you've been watching closely there was never the same boat in front... but Ben was in front more than the rest of us."

For all the pressure being put upon him, Ben Ainslie of Land Rover BAR was quick to deflect the attention, noting that every team on the stage was more than capable of winning races.

"All of the teams are going really well. ORACLE TEAM USA and Artemis Racing are the two teams that have progressed from the last Cup with similar personnel, and that shows," he said. "The rest of us are all new groups trying to come together, but with very talented squads, and I think the racing will be very close."

Today's public press conference followed an afternoon Parade of Sail, with the Opening Ceremony of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth scheduled for Thursday evening.

Official practice races are scheduled on Friday before the point-scoring races on Saturday and Sunday. Two races are scheduled each day this weekend, with start times of 13:40 and 14:25 local time in Portsmouth.

50th Folkboat Week
Hosted by the Royal Solent Y.C. and generously supported by Lymington Yacht Haven the 50th Folkboat Week will take place between Saturday 22nd & Saturday 29th August. To mark this very special edition of the Folkboat Association's main regatta of the season the usual very full sailing and social calendar has been augmented by a 'one-off' race to Beaulieu River followed by lunch at the Royal Southampton's Gins clubhouse.

Entries are still being accepted for both Nordic & British Folkboat Divisions and, with over 30 entries already received, the club are quietly confident they may reach their target of 50 entries. All entrants will receive commemorative goodies and it is hoped to produce a commemorative book to celebrate the first 50 years.

To that end the Club and the Association are very keen to hear from past participants of the regatta who may have photographs or memories of past years. Anyone who has such mementos that they would like to share should get in touch with Eddie Mays ( / 02380 402194). Photographs can be accepted as either prints or hi-res digital files.

The organisers would also like to invite any past members to the Welcoming party on the evening of Saturday, 22nd August. Please do contact the club (01983 760256) with your details before the event as numbers are restricted. -- Eddie Mays (On behalf of the Folkboat Week Committee)

Seahorse September 2015
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Very different animals...
Yann Guichard has been very busy indeed and Francois Gabart enjoys Lake Geneva

The definition of refined
Project manager Micky Costa talks to class manager Rob Weiland about the detail developments that have gone into this year's latest crop of Super Series TP52s

Winter sun (and wind)
Why EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour is increasing its attraction as a well-organised winter warm-up

Paul Cayard
Have we lost something important?

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Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour Heads To Kiel
The Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour moves on to its third nation of the season with Sailing Cup Kiel in Germany, over 30th July until 2nd August.

Kiel shares many attributes with Cowes: It is a sailing mecca in the same way as the UK venue is and similarly there is a long, historic tie between local inhabitants and the sea. In particular both venues are famous for hosting two of the world's largest annual sailing events in Kieler Woche and Cowes Week respectively.

But when it comes to the race track on which the foiling one design GC32 catamarans will be competing next week, the two venues could not be more different. At the Cowes Cup racing was on the heavily tidal Solent and culminated in the 50 mile JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, around the Isle of Wight. In contrast Sailing Cup Kiel will be held on the confines of Kiel Fjord, within the heart of the city, which will be the most restricted waters of any venue during the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour.

After breaking his hand during the Cowes Cup, Sultanate of Oman skipper Leigh McMillan hopes he will be race ready, for he holds an advantage over some of the other teams in having competed on this race course previously in the Extreme Sailing Series. In fact Sailing Cup Kiel should be a good test to see how appropriate high speed foiling catamarans are racing in such close confines.

2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour leaderboard (after two events)

Pos - Team - Austria Cup - Cowes Cup- Total
1. Sultanate of Oman, 1, 2, 3
2. Armin Strom Sailing Team, 5, 1, 6
3. Alinghi, 3, 3, 6
4. Team ENGIE, 4, 4, 8
5. Spindrift racing, 2, 6, 8
6. Team Argo , 6, 5, 11

J/70 Eurocup
Riva del Garda, Italy: Ever since the J/70 made its European debut at the 2013 Eurocup - held on Lake Garda in Italy - the event has become increasingly popular not only with the local fleet, but also with a growing number of boats from all around Europe.  You could say, the Garda "wind farm" is getting ready for the final act of J/70 Alcatel OneTouch Italian Trophy!

The 2015 edition of the J/70 Eurocup will take place from 9th to 12th September at Fraglia Vela Riva.

Now, Lake Garda gets ready for the third edition of the J/70 international regatta.  Following the success of last year's J/70 European Championship on Lake Garda, this year many entries are expected with top Olympic & World Champion sailors participating from France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Great Britain, Spain, Slovenia, Monaco and Italy to challenge for the overall spot of the event that marks the final act of the circuit J/70 Alcatel OneTouch Italian Trophy.

Brezellec Crowned Pornic J-Cup Champion
Pornic, France)- The Club Nautique Pornic recently hosted twenty-three J/80s for the annual Pornic J-Cup sailed from June 27th to 29th on Pornic Bay.  After sailing seven races on a beautiful weekend in France, it was the long-time J/80 Champion, Eric Brezellec on COURIER JUNIOR that took the overall Pornic J Cup championship with his crew of Nicolas Richard, Damien Dayot, Julie Richeux, and Herve Corlay.  The COURIER JUNIOR team did not even have to sail the last race, but they did anyhow, and finished with a stunning scoreline of two 1sts and five 2nds to win by the enormous margin of ten points.

Double Usa Gold at 2015 ISAF Team Racing World Championship
Click on image to enlarge.

Team Racing Worlds The 2015 Team Racing World Championship came to a close today with a dominant USA team heading home with two Division titles.

Race officials made the decision on day three to finish the regatta a day ahead of schedule which made for an action packed finale of round-robin, semi finals and finals.

In a hotly contested Open Division, it was USA1 who streaked ahead of the competition to finish in top spot and take home the Gold.

Finishing top of the Gold League earlier in the day, World Champions GBR1 had first choice of semi final opponents and choose USA3. They would regret the decision as they lost 3-2 to the Americans who advanced into the final.

That choice left USA1 and GBR2 to contest the other semi final, and it was again the Americans who picked up their game to advance 3-0 to set up an all USA final, and would leave Great Britain to fight it out for bronze.

USA1 turned a 3-0 semi final win into a 3-0 final win, as they beat their compatriots to the title of ISAF Team Racing World Champions with a perfect record in the knockout stages.

Results -

Event website -

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