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

Jablonski Takes Over Pole Position
Sopot, Poland: Veteran Polish match racer and America's Cup helmsman Karol Jablonski skilfully played the gusty conditions today to lead the twelve strong field of teams at the end of Day 2 of Qualifying at the 2015 Energa Sopot Match Race. The Sopot regatta is Stage 10 of the 2015 World Match Racing Tour and one of six World Championship level events on the ISAF sanctioned World Tour.

Jablonski leads the field with an 9-2 [win-loss] scoreline with three flights remaining in Qualifying. The two Swedish skippers Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team lie in joint second position with 7 wins each. Danish skipper Nicolai Sehested and his Trefor Match Racing team, competing in his first Tour event this year, sits just one point behind with 6 wins.

Jablonski, 52, is the oldest skipper competing in the event (much to the delight of 48yr old Bjorn Hansen), but as a former ISAF Match Racing World Champion and America's Cup skipper (not to mention a nine-time World Ice Yachting Champion), Jablonski revelled in the blustery conditions today to remain one of the favourites for the event.

Racing resumes at 1000 tomorrow with slightly lighter 12-18 knot winds forecast from the West.

Qualifying Results after Flight 19

1. Karol Jablonski (POL) Jablonski Sailing Team 9-2
2. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing 7-1
3. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 7-4
4. Nicolai Sehested (DEN) TREFOR Match Racing 6-5
5. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 5-3
6. Przemyslaw 'Tara' Tarnacki (POL) Energa Yacht Racing 5-6
7. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox 4-4
8. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing 4-4
9. Matt Jerwood (AUS) Redline Racing 4-4 (3.5)
10. David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 3-8
11. Sam Gilmour (AUS) Neptune Racing 2-9
12. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing 1-7

All In At The 48th Transpac
Honolulu, Hawaii: With the arrival today of the final finishers in the 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpac, race organizers from the Transpacific YC may now declare the race concluded for its 48th edition. Yasuto Fuda's Feet 30 Fortissimo II may have taken over 17 days to finish the course, but the small Italian-built sportboat with a crew of four intrepid sailors from Japan persevered through some tough conditions to arrive today as the final finishers in the race.

First raced in 1906, this year's event was unusual in two key respects:

(1) Weather: like the last edition in 2013, the first of three waves of starters in Divisions 7 and 8 on Monday, July 13th had the best conditions to get off the coast fast. Harry Zanville's Santa Cruz 37 Celerity was first boat across the finish line and for a while the first corrected overall by sailing fast and smart, with a track that resembled the classic Transpac S-curve across the rhumb line course, with some bias to the north.

(2) Trash: There is not one competitor in this race who does not have a trash and debris story. The amount of floating objects ranging from wooden logs to fishing nets to Styrofoam is staggering...72 million kilograms is estimated to be floating in the North Pacific gyre.

Transpac 2015 has partnered with The Ocean Cleanup's Mega Expedition, where numerous entries in the race will be participating in an ambitious plan to survey the North Pacific while en route back to the mainland California Coast. The results of this survey will help the Ocean Cleanup calibrate its design for a method to deploy a floating apparatus to collect this trash and dispose of it from the marine ecosystem.

For more information on this program, visit

With all finishers now in the harbor, the focus can now shift to the celebrations and awards ceremony tomorrow night at the Modern Hotel in Waikiki.

Results are available at, and for those that want to see the tracks of the entries on the course, this can be found at

Just Over A Week To Go Until Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2015
Gill Gill is extremely proud to be the official technical clothing partner to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes week for the sixth consecutive year.

To celebrate their partnership with this iconic event the official clothing range is now available to buy online as well as at the event. The range comprises a classic look this year, with selected pieces from the Gill collection including men's and women's polo's and caps proudly carrying the official event logo for 2015.

All competitors can enjoy 10% off all full priced Gill products throughout the regatta at Gill in the Yacht Haven, where you can also soak up the party atmosphere with entertainment on the Gill stage.

Gill Race Teams will be making an impact on the water with several teams competing in the regatta including Simon Ling's Team Spitfire and Ian Wilson's Gill Race Team going head to head in the J70 class and Chris Walmsley's Cobra in IRC1.

Shop the official merchandise collection - link to

Local Knowledge and Winning Visitors
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Velsheda Today was a day where local knowledge was the winning advantage for the races 'around the cans' for the J Class and Maxi Yachts along with the IRC classes at the Royal Yacht Squadron's Bicentenary International Regatta. While they battled it out on long Solent Race courses, however, there were some equally fierce competitions going on in other parts of the Solent, with intense and close racing between some very skilled sailors, and it's the foreign visitors that are leading the fray.

The two classes are the Level Rating Class and the Team Racing Class, and they are being dominated by overseas clubs who have been invited specially to the event to mark the Royal Yacht Squadron's 200th anniversary.

The 10 yacht clubs taking part in the Team Racing Event from around the world and the UK are racing on a small course in the sheltered waters of Osborne Bay, to the east of Cowes. After three Round Robins, St Francis Yacht Club from San Francisco have won each one and are firmly in the lead, looking all but unbeatable.

Hot on their heels with a second in both round robins is the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, captained by Jacopo Pasini and with everything to play for with a second and third, the Royal Thames Yacht Club whose crew includes Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champion Ben Gratton. The Team Racing crews are all under the age of 30 and more than one third of the crews are female.

Velsheda took both winning guns for the J Class today at the Royal Yacht Squadron's Bicentenary International Regatta to remain unbeaten at the historic event, setting themselves into the strongest position to win the class outright.

The courses took the J Class east off the RYS start line on a reach to different leeward turning marks, for a short, sharp windward-leeward circuit before reaching back to finish back at the Royal Yacht Squadron.

RORC Channel Race
Team Concise. Click on image to enlarge.

Channel Race The Royal Ocean Racing Club Season's Points Championship continues this weekend with the Channel Race, the tenth race of the series, and the last RORC race before the Rolex Fastnet Race.

92 yachts are expected, starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, around marks in the English Channel, with a Solent finish.

Andrew Budgen's Volvo 70, Monster Project and Mikey Ferguson's IMOCA 60, Artemis Ocean Racing are favourites for monohull Line Honours. However, neither of these canting keel flyers is likely to keep up with one of the world's fastest multihulls. Tony Lawson's MOD 70, Concise 10 is skippered by RORC member, Ned Collier Wakefield.

18 yachts will be racing in a highly competitive IRC One division including the 2015 season's top three contenders for the class; Steven Anderson's Cracklin Rosie, David Ballantyne's Jings and Edward Broadway's Hooligan VII.

24 yachts are expected to be racing in IRC Two, including the class leader, Peter Newlands' First 40.7, Anticipation.

The largest class racing will be IRC Three with 26 yachts entered, including the top three contenders for the class: Louis-Marie Dussere's Raging Bee, Gery Trentesaux's Courrier Du Leon and Nick Martin's Diablo J. Eight J/109s will be racing, including Chris Palmer's J-T'Aime, which is the leading J/109 for the season.

In IRC Four, 17 yachts are expected to enjoy a close battle, Ludovic Melnyk's Sous Mama Boule, Noel Racine's Foggy Dew occupy the top two places for the season and will both resume battle this weekend. Seven identical Sigma 38s will enjoy a close match within the class, including Persephone of London, which RORC Member Nigel Goodhew will be racing Two Handed with his son Tim. -- Louay Habib

America's Cup: Is The New Plan A Better Plan?
Maybe it was better when the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) didn't mean anything.

The concept was launched in the lead up to the 2013 America's Cup, providing teams an opportunity to train and provide sponsor fulfillment, while giving the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) a chance to develop its broadcast product and coddle television networks prior to the races in San Francisco.

But the events were merely exhibition displays, and included teams with no realistic chance at competing in the America's Cup. Often times even the strongest teams were just going through the motions.

The debrief following the 34th America's Cup was that the ACWS was a good idea, but it needed to mean something more than champagne showers for the winner. So changes were made for the 2015-16 circuit, and now I am wondering if 'new and improved' has moved the America's Cup further than what the public can fathom.

The new plan is for ACWS to be the first stage of the challenger series, with the final overall standings to give the top teams an advantage going into the next stage of the challenger qualifiers. So now the ACWS, which is in no way comparable to the America's Cup, is contributing to who will race in the America's Cup.

When the Protocol was first released, I thought it was a positive step for the ACWS to have meaning. But now, after watching the one hour highlight show from the ACWS Portsmouth event on July 25-26, I am not so sure. -- Craig Leweck in Scuttlebutt

Full editorial:

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

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ISAF column
With solid investment the TV coverage of sailing is only getting better - Gary Jobson

Design - Sticky stuff
Feather-light product, strength by the tonne. Pietro Parmeggiani

Seahorse build table - Fast and funky
The best way to describe the latest from Fred Barrett and Brett Van Munster...

Sailor of the Month
And a feather in both of their Volvo Race caps

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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 Ginny Jones: Here is a photo of the finish line of the TransPac with the 1907 (yes, she's 108 years old) year old schooner MARTHA doing about 11 K or so. She was the oldest boat in the race (perhaps ever over the long history of the TransPac) with the youngest crew member Mary D'Arcy (12). She was also one of only two wooden boats (I believe) and the only schooner.

Schooner Martha

Due to high and dangerous surf along that side of the island, MARTHA was actually the last boat allowed into the yacht harbor until the next day -- the other, later finishers, had to stand off and sail back and forth. MARTHA finished down in the standings (they sailed more conservatively than other boats -- she has a long way to get home, and a "day job") but my God, look at her go!

If you want more on her history (and yes, she's been rebuilt, but with a lot of the original remaining) you can check out her website Now she'll be sailing back to the PNW, attending the Victoria Classics Show in British Columbia, then back to Port Townsend (her home port) for their classic boat show. Then she will go back to her "day job" which is sail training.

* From Don Woods: Maybe something was missing from my regular Scuttlebutt this morning . Did Malcolm refer to WH Auden's quote -

"We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know."

I thought they were here to be crew , maybe I was wrong. Otherwise everyone would be sailing Finns , Lasers or doing OSTARS etc...

It was interesting to read of the J - Velsheda winning the RYS race around the Island yesterday in the RYS bicentennial.

It is 30 years ago Velsheda , skippered by Phil Wade raced me with the 60ft tri Red Star in a re-inactment of the RYS 100 Guinea Trophy ( later the Americas Cup .)

At the prizegiving the Commodore of the RYS stated "of course the America's Cup will never be raced for by multihulls" !

Never say never !

* Editor: My mistake, left out the WH Auden quote from Malcolm's letter! As Don noted, it's "We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know."

* From Brian Stewart: The organisers of the Americas Cup World Series at Portsmouth banned all spectators from anchoring even when away from the Mary Rose site and the main channel. This resulted in it being the most hazardous and stressful event that I have ever attended. To be manoeuvring amongst a heavy concentration of other vessels for several hours all with the added distraction of trying to watch the racing at the same time was not conducive to a formula for an enjoyable and relaxing event.

Yachts have been anchoring in this area for many years whether it be for kedging whilst racing, acting as a race committee boat or fishing and I am not aware that they had any undue problems.

I have been present in the capacity of spectator, Principal Committee Boat or marshal at many other events such as Admirals Cup and other Regattas, Cowes Week fireworks, parades of sail and fleet reviews. At none of these were there any restrictions regarding anchoring in the designated areas, in fact it was usually encouraged and in one case even compulsory.

I hope the organisers will review their decision when organising any further such events.

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