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

Volvo Estonia ORC European Championship
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

ORC Europeans Parnu, Estonia: Warm temperatures and sunny skies have helped to confirm Parnu as Estonia's official summer capital, but the lack of sailable wind for most of today delayed the start of the first race by five hours in the Volvo Estonia ORC European Championship. Sixty-five boats from 8 countries are assembled here to compete today through Sunday at this event hosted at Parnu Yacht Club.

After relocating the starting line to a position several miles southwest of the harbor entrance, Principal Race Officer Alfredo Ricci laid out a course to have the fleet sail west to rounding marks that differ according to the speed of the boats. After Class A-B sails upwind through a gate positioned at the mouth of the bay and to the east of Kihnu Island, they will then head out on a close reach to a mark to the southwest of the island, before rounding and heading downwind back to the gate and then on back to the finish line at the mouth of the harbor, for a total course distance of about 50 miles.

Class C has a slightly shorter course at 40 miles by rounding a mark closer to the south shore of the island after sailing through the gate, then back through the gate before proceeding as well to the finish.

The forecast for light winds was no surprise to the Race Committee or the teams, who were kept ashore for two of the five hour's delay. During this time some teams were nervous about the light air and their prospects for the starting race of this seven-race series.

In Class A-B the early lead to Kihnu Island among the 27 entries in this class was being hard-fought between two other contenders from Germany: Sven Wackerhagen's beautiful mirror-finished Knierim 49 DESNA and Kai Mares's Judel/Vrolijk 49 IMMAC ONE4ALL. TUTIMA overtook her rivals on the reach and was placed third at the rounding mark with the long downwind legs ahead.

The event features a video livestream broadcast of the racing, with narration in Esotnian and English, courtesy of Postimees. This can be viewed at

Day Five at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Cowes Week Today was a beautifully warm day with a stable east-north-easterly air flow over the Solent area that mostly averaged 9-11 knots, with a few stronger gusts, making for excellent racing conditions.

The day saw the first racing for the five 60-72ft yachts in the IRC Big Boat Class, which had a downwind start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line. They were competing, along with IRC Class 0, for one of the event's most prestigious trophies, the Britannia Cup, with the winner determined by average speed around the course on corrected time.

The three 72ft Mini Maxis - Hap Fauth's Bella Mente, Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou and Dieter Schoen's Momo - made a spectacular sight as they approached the downwind start. With 15 seconds to go all three had been pointing away from the line to avoid the strong west going tide sweeping them over the start. The trio then bore away almost in unison - despite their size these yachts are amazingly manoeuvrable - and hit the line with speed moments before the starting cannon.

Another 15 seconds later they each had their asymmetric spinnakers hoisted and filling, with Bella Mente enjoying a marginal advantage to windward that also gave her clean air. By the end of their 23.6 mile course, she had a 15-minute lead on Momo, while Jethou had been forced to retire.

As the boat with the fastest average speed on corrected time, Bella Mente was declared winner of the Britannia Cup, with Momo second and Sorcha third.

Wednesday was International Youth Day at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. This year there are 37 crews, all of whom are under 25, competing for the Aberdeen Asset Management Under 25 trophy.

At the end of day five Hugo Sloper's Swallow Marengo is provisionally the leading boat in contention for the trophy, a large margin ahead of Ben Palmer's Etchells Ziggy Legend. Jack Davies' J/70 Jugador is currently lies third in the rankings.

Tomorrow will see the return of the Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, which will see a record fleet of 16 large yachts with celebrity crews competing in a charity dash around the Isle of Wight.

Monster Project Racing Charter Has 2 Places Left For The Fastnet
Monster Fastnet To Get On Board Contact: /

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.

This boat is a weapon and generates such a buzz wherever she goes; and 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.

Fastnet has exceptional take up and has produced a conveyor belt of offshore talent.

If you haven't yet sailed a Fastnet... it's must-do on any offshore sailor's bucket list.

Want to sail it onboard Monster Project as she takes on sailing heavyweights such as Comanche, Hanuman, Rambler 88, and Leopard?


Grant Dalton: For Love, And Money
After the agonising America's Cup loss two years ago, Grant Dalton endured a litany of accusations and barbs. In his most revealing interview ever, he talks to Dylan Cleaver about the end of his marriage, his bust-up with Dean Barker, the personal toll the America's Cup has taken and why he refuses to quit.

The man who was one win, one puff of wind, for goodness sake, from the keys to the City of Sails has, instead, been subject to a barrage of criticism that can be compared only to World Cup-losing All Black coaches. Through it all, Dalton has remained not so much stoic, but grim-faced.

"I've spent 25 years in a round-the-world environment, which is a pure environment," Dalton tells Canvas during one of two lengthy interviews at their makeshift base in Portsmouth. "Your best friends are your competitors because they're the ones who are going to haul you out of the Southern Ocean. In the America's Cup your competitors will bury you - legally or any other way they can. Kevin [Shoebridge, Team NZ chief operating officer and Dalton's closest colleague] and I dislike it in that respect, but we deal with it because we have to.

"Not many nice guys are going to win the America's Cup."

Recognizing A Few Truths About Foiling
"It's what the kids want to be doing," says the America's Cup skipper, wearing the Red Bull cap of his sponsor, a brand that promotes extreme sports. "These boats are awesome to sail," says the skipper's mate, pleased about the platform now used in the America's Cup.

It's foiling, and it's all the rage.

Sailing has incurred progressive steps in equipment, from sails to cordage to spar and hull construction. The advancement of canting keels was significant, but foiling is the most transformative step I've seen in my lifetime. When a boat is fully foiling, it enters a different dimension. It is flying.

While hydrofoil technology is nothing new, it was Rohan Veal's persistence to apply the practice to the International Moth, as well as volumes of video he shared online, that elevated foiling to the current conversation. When Veal became the first to win a Moth world championship with foils in 2005, the development class was never the same. It's no surprise the foiling Moth was born from Australian thinking, as skiff sailing and lightweight keelboats are in their DNA, but the high-performance wave was already extending beyond their shores. Once stodgy keelboat fleets in the United States had new designs planing downwind, with upwind performance aided by "damn-the-torpedos" gut hiking. -- Craig Leweck

* Look for Scuttlebutt (Eurobutt's older brother) editor Craig Leweck's monthly column 'Left Coast, Right Brain' in Sailing World magazine.

U.S., Int'l Sailing Officials Say No Proof Rio Water Made Rowers Ill
U.S. and int'l sailing officials said that there "is no evidence that abnormal levels of viruses or bacteria in the water caused rowers competing in Rio de Janeiro at the weekend to fall ill," according to REUTERS. Thirteen members of the 40-member U.S. team "fell ill after the world junior championships, a test event for next year's Olympics in Brazil." U.S. officials confirmed that 15 members took ill, but said that "that was not unusual in international events and it was too early to blame dirty water." US Rowing CEO Glenn Merry said, "It would be easy but irresponsible for us to immediately assume that the rowing course is the main or sole point of exposure that caused the illnesses." Merry added that U.S. rowers "often took ill abroad and said the fact that coaches also got sick in Rio was an indication water might not be the problem."

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?

2015 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship
Santa Barbara, California, USA: 2015 marks the second year in a row that the action for the Farr 40 class has been centralized in California, with this 2015 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship being hosted by Santa Barbara Yacht Club (SBYC). Situated on the longest stretch of south facing coastline on the west coast, Santa Barbara has a Mediterranean-type climate and is a topographically diverse stretch of coastline.

With the steeply-rising Santa Ynez Mountains behind Santa Barbara, and the Channel Islands to the south, the sailing conditions in August tend to be typical of Southern California with "A late sea breeze, 10-15 knots, that will last most of the afternoon and trend right as the velocity builds," said Santa Barbara resident John Demourkas, whose Groovederci is one of the Farr 40s based at SBYC.

2015 Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship Roster of Entries
Blade II, Michael Shlens, Palos Verdes Estats, Calif., USA
Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, Ancona, ITA
Estate Master, Martin Hill, Sydney, AUS
Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, Chicago, Ill., USA
Flyer, Stanford Shaw, Santa Barbara, Calif., USA
Foil, Gordon Leon, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., USA
Groovederci, John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Calif., USA
Insanity, Rick Goebel, San Diego, Calif., USA
Nightshift, Kevin McNeil, Annapolis, Md., USA
Plenty, Alex Roepers, New York, N.Y., USA
Struntje light, Wolfgang Schaefer, Lueneburg, GER
Temptress, Ray Godwin, Huntington Beach, Calif., USA
Twisted, M. Tony Pohl, Alamo, Calif., USA
Voodoo Chile, Lloyd Clark, Tasmania, AUS
White Knight, Zoltan Katinsky, San Pedro, Calif., USA

Fastnet Queen Ali
A Southampton midwife is swapping scrubs for spinnakers to take on one of the world's toughest yacht races for the third time in a row.

Ali Millman is competing in this month's Rolex Fastnet Race as part of Cowes-based Girls For Sail's all-women crew, one of only a handful of all-female teams entered for the legendary race.

The mother-of-two - whose Twitter name is Fastnet Queen - is part of a team of 10 women sailing on the 40ft yacht Hot Stuff, with the UK's only Royal Yachting Association (RYA) school dedicated to teaching women to sail.

Ali, 49, whose career as a midwife has spanned more than 20 years and has seen her deliver hundreds of babies, sees the biannual race as one of her most demanding challenges yet.

Ali and her fellow crew members, who include two doctors and a lawyer, have been training and taking part in qualifying races with Girls For Sail over the last few weekends - including a team-building session led by round-the-world yachtswoman Vicky Ellis - in preparation for the gruelling 600-mile route.

The Girls For Sail crew are raising money for two good causes during the Fastnet campaign - the Eve Appeal which fights women's cancers and a GoFundMe appeal, Fastnet for Erin, to raise funds to buy specialist assistive technology equipment for first mate Carol Eccles' niece, who has the rare condition Sturge Weber syndrome

Replica Of Legendary Yacht To Race 'Spirit'
A replica of the legendary yacht that gave the America's Cup its name will square off against Spirit of Bermuda in next year's 50th Newport to Bermuda Race.

"The yacht America is going to do a promotional tour of the America's Cup, taking people out on the West Coast and the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States," Tucker Thompson, the official TV and public host of the 35th America's Cup, told The Royal Gazette.

"That tour is going to culminate in 2016 from the East Coast of the United States and Spirit of Bermuda, as I understand, will be joining her through a few specific major venues. At the end of that tour the two yachts will race in the Bermuda race.

"The unique part of that is sort of a metaphor of bringing America's Cup or America to Bermuda, and also tying in the history and the heritage of sailing in Bermuda and in America with the America's Cup all culminating in Bermuda.

"America and Spirit of Bermuda will then both be there for the America's Cup." -- Colin Thompson

Inaugural Optimist Nations Cup Announced At The ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne
On top of the standard fleet racing among the Optimist class at this year's ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne, organisers in collaboration with the Victorian International Optimist Dinghy Association (VIODA), have created the inaugural Optimist Nations Cup.

Letters outlining the principles are going out to Optimist associations in countries near to Australia, and already Japan, China, Hong Kong and New Zealand are considering fielding teams.

The Nations Cup will be based on international or state teams of six sailors plus two adults, a coach and guardian, representing their country with racing from Thursday December 10 to Sunday 13, 2015. Points from the top five sailors from each team from each race count towards each team's score. The sailors making up these teams will be racing both for individual honours in the open Optimist regatta as well as representing their state or country.

The 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne drew an Opti fleet of 107 boats. Adding the Optimist Nation's Cup team's event could mean a fleet of 130 to 140 this coming December Goss forecasts, and once the word spreads she anticipates more countries sending teams next year. -- Lisa Ratcliff

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The Last Word
The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel. -- John Glenn

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