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

Three Paths You Can Go By On The Whispering Wind
Photo by Kurt Arrigo / Rolex. Click on image to enlarge.

Fastnet Race Different options around the Scilly Isles have been put to effect today at the front of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Rolex Fastnet Race with the leaders taking three significantly different routes, hoping to make the best of the complex Celtic Sea weather on the 150 mile leg northwest to the Fastnet Rock off southwestern Ireland.

This morning the multihull frontrunners took the most circuitous route. Rather than heading northwest at Land's End, instead they left the Scilly Isles to starboard, continuing due west into the strongest breeze before gybing north this afternoon with the wind building. Here, in stark contrast to the rest of the race course, the wind was blowing 15-20 knots.

At 1500 UTC Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard's 40m trimaran Spindrift 2, was eating up the miles, making 28 knots with some 37 miles to go to the Fastnet Rock. Behind her, the trio of MOD70s and the Multi 80 Prince de Bretagne were only a knot or two slower.

Among the biggest monohulls, George David's Rambler 88 and Mike Slade's Farr 100 Leopard, followed the same course as the multihulls while Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze Clark's 100ft Comanche and Dieter Schon's Maxi 72 Momo, chose a more 'conventional' route between the Scilly Isles and the Land's End Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS). This move benefitted Rambler 88 allowing her to close from seven miles behind this morning, to one mile behind as the two boats converged mid-afternoon.

The multihulls have broken away from the top four monohulls, but the latter in turn have broken away from the boats behind them and at a stroke may have turned the 90th anniversary Rolex Fastnet Race away from being a 'small boat race' into a 'large boat' one.

All but becalmed this morning between the Lizard and Land's End, the IMOCA 60s have chosen a third option across the Celtic, gybing north up the narrow channel between the Land's End and the TSS. The Seven Stones light vessel here was recording a 3-4 knot SSE-SSW wind this afternoon.


2015 Zhik 29er World Championship: O'Connell & Siganto Win
Photo by Robert Hajduk, Click on image to enlarge.

29er Worlds Pwllheli, Wales, GBR: It doesn't get much closer... the championship came down to the last race and 1 point. In fact eventual champions Kyle O'Connell and Tom Siganto still weren't sure they had won when they arrived ashore.

Second overall Ignacio Varisco and Federico Garcia from Argentina who turned it on the last 4 races with a 1-5-5-2-1 to move them in striking distance and just out of reach of the title, said their "plan was to make the podium." "We tried really hard but just missed it - it was great sailing this week." Likewise the US team of Christopher Williford and Wade Waddell, who finished 3rd overall, commented that they started the day in 7th, dropped to 12th overall going into the last 2 races. "We were very surprised where we ended up and sailed a 16-20-1-2 to move to the podium - we're very happy!'

O'Connell and Siganto also claim the top youth team with Mimi El-Kazindar and Emma Loveridge (GBR) as top female team.

The Silver fleet was won handily by Matt Venables and John Mather (GBR) with the Bronze fleet won by Tania Bonilla and Nuria Miro (ESP).

Final top five
1. Kyle O'Connell / Tom Siganto
2. Ignacio Varisco / Federico Garcia
3. Christopher Williford / Wade Waddell
4. Peter Lin Janezic / Anze Podlogar
5. Emil Jarudd / Julius Hallstrom

Full results:

J/70 ....Finding The Kid In You
Photo by Paul Todd, Ocean Images

JBoats J/70 The J/70 is getting headlines for its explosive growth across Europe and the fantastic event schedule including the 2015 Worlds in La Rochelle, the 2015 Europeans in Monaco, and the recently announced 2017 Worlds in Sardinia. The lesser known story is the 'why.'

At the 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, 12 year old Gannon Troutman steered his family's J/70 to 5th place overall in a 54 boat fleet. Other J/70 events are routinely attracting multi-generational teams from ages 8 to 80.

There are very few sporting activities one can actively share with one's kids or grandkids. J/70 sailing is one of them.

Cowes 2015: Traditional Closing Fireworks Capped A Glorious, Unique Week
Cowes has long been part of Britain's sporting social scene, and despite some difficulties, remains a key component

The sun did not shine on Aberdeen Asset Cowes Week. After a sunny opening weekend, it was cold and wet for most of the rest of the time. Even the wind refused to play ball for much of the week, with sailing abandoned entirely on Tuesday. It may have contributed to an impression, from without anyway, that the week was something of a damp squib.

Gone are the days when Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia would motor grandly into Cowes and dwarf the dinghies; when the Duke of Edinburgh would sail his Yeoman class yacht in the regatta. Zara Phillips, the 16th in line to the throne, did take part in the Artemis Challenge, a round the island race sponsored by the UK fund manager, on Thursday. But it was an understated appearance.

And there is nothing wrong with any of that. Cowes Week has evolved. It is more egalitarian now. And the good news is that it is holding its own. More than 800 boats entered this year which is a healthy number.

Matt Sheahan, the racing and technical editor of Yachting World, believes Cowes is in excellent shape all things considered. And he would know.

"I've been to every one since 1975 I think," he said. "I don't think it has fallen on hard times. I'd argue quite the opposite in fact. Yes we used to have the Britannia but Cowes is still absolutely unique. It has evolved but stayed true to its roots at the same time. The Cowes Combined Clubs [the 10 clubs helping to run the event with around 600 volunteers] do an amazing job in that respect. -- Tom Cary in the Telegraph

Third In A Row For Us One In The M32 Series Scandinavia
The final day in Copenhagen was another day with amazing conditions. A lot of people gathered along the shoreline at Tuborg Havn to see US One dominate the racing. If Rahm Racing had their moment of glory yesterday, this was definitely the day of Taylor Canfield and his crew. "I´m so happy about this. We´ve had our ups and downs this week, but today we nailed it.

Now we are going for a forth win in Helsinki in a couple of weeks, says Taylor. Rahm Racing and Wallen Racing ended up with the same points on the scoreboard, but Wallen racing got the second place due to a win in the last race of the regatta. Hans Wallen, the skipper of Wallen Racing says: "My brain is cooking. We got a chance to go for the second place and we did all we could to get there. Luckily we made it".

Next event: Helsinki, Finland September 3rd - 6th.

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=qPurXZyfyro, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Oyster 90 Sinks Off Spanish Coast
Oyster Marine issues an official statement on the loss of a 90ft Oyster which sank with five crew on board off the Spanish coast

An Oyster yacht that sank off the coast of Spain in July may have foundered following a hull failure. Polina Star III was a 90ft extended version of the Oyster 825.

It is not yet clear if the yacht hit something in the water before sinking, but the loss is described as the result of 'an incident that compromised the integrity of the moulded hull on 3 July' before the yacht sank the following day. According to David Tydeman, CEO of Oyster Marine "the possibilities of contact have not been ruled out."

Sources report that the crew were picked up from a liferaft and taken aboard a Spanish fishing vessel, Isabel y Andres. The crew were safely taken to the port of San Pedro del Pinatar, in Murcia.

Unconfirmed reports on social media suggest that the yacht may have capsized before sinking.

Oyster Marine has issued a statement on the loss, saying that it is 'the first of its kind in the company's 42-year history.' A statement by David Tydeman says the company is treating the sinking with 'the utmost seriousness and [has] commenced an investigation to establish the cause.

Spanish authorities have asked for the wreck to be removed and the insurers are said to be planning to refloat and salvage the yacht. -- Elaine Bunting in Yachting World

The Unusual Nature Of Event Website Hosting
Servers Event organizers have limited budgets but face a dilemma with hosting their website: for 48 weeks of the year, traffic is minimal and can be handled at low cost on a shared server without a lot of RAM or processors. Your 100 visitors a day will be well served.

But then the event hits, and for a few short weeks your traffic goes ballistic with thousands or tens of thousands of visitors a day. You need a lot of processing power, a ton of RAM, a global content distribution network and many layers of caching.

Do you overpay for 11 months for a dedicated fully powered-up server, or do you settle for a slow website, or a crashed one, when traffic goes Godzilla?

We've solved this problem for our clients. This summer we took care of the Transatlantic Race and the Transpac, with "scalable" servers. Scaling is automatic. When you need it, more processors and RAM come online, instantly.

Post event, we dial it all back to off-season server specs and save a lot money for our clients.

Need world class handling of your existing event site? (We also build them)

Contact us at , skype dmccreary or call +1 703 801 8037.

The JClass at the RYS Bicentenary
An absolutely beautiful video of the majestic JClass sailing in the Solent:

Oakcliff International Match Race
Oyster Bay, NY - The Oakcliff International saw world-class teams go head-to-head this weekend, with a young Australian team defeating the world's No. 3 Swiss team, earning a shot at the U.S. Grand Slam Series and an invitation to the prestigious Congressional Cup next spring.

Racing 36 matches over four days, ten teams sailing the Oakcliff International were whittled down to a final two, Eric Monnin (SUI), ranked 3rd, and Matt Jerwood (AUS), ranked 8th. Today's final day of heated competition saw light winds and a fast-approaching time limit, but excellent boat speed and calculating tactics saw a win for Jerwood in the final minutes of the event.

Jerwood's Redline Racing, the winning team, receives $2,400 in prize money, and with more possible wins in the Grand Slam Series, a shot at an invitation to the 2016 Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA, the prestigious Grade 1 event.

Full results

ORACLE Team USA Win Kiwi Sailor Dismissal Case
Oracle Team USA has won a case brought in the Northern District Court of California, by a crew member who had been with the team for 11 years.

Former New Zealand Finn sailor, Joe Spooner (40) had been signed on for the 35th America's Cup despite initial reservations by Oracle Team USA CEO, Russell Coutts that he was too old, and was past his physical peak.

In December of 2014, Bermuda was selected as the venue for the 35th America's Cup, and Oracle Racing issued a "relocation plan" outlining compensation, travel, and housing arrangements for its employees. From previous documents filed with the Court, it is believed that approximately $4,000 was offered per month to compensate crew relocating to Bermuda. Spooner checked out accommodation options for his family in Bermuda and believed that $7,000/mth was a more reasonable amount.

Spooner determined that his relocation compensation would not adequately cover the cost of relocating his family to Bermuda, and requested a salary increase from $25,000 per month to $38,000 per month.

The next day, Simmer sent a letter to Spooner and Allegro stating that Oracle Racing would not increase compensation or provide mediation, and that "in light of Spooner's stated position that [he would] not otherwise relocate to Bermuda," Oracle Racing was giving notice of termination of the contract effective January 31, 2015, said the Judgement.

In Court, it was determined that Spooner was a contractor of Oracle Racing Inc and not an employee. Richard Gladwell in

Olivia Murphy 1944-2015
Irish sailing has lost one of its best-loved people with the death of Olivia Murphy of Sutton in Dublin at the age of seventy, after a gallant five month battle with cancer. Her crowded and moving funeral on Saturday - the Feast of the Assumption - was eloquent testimony to the local, national and international popularity of this leading sailor, who for very many years was half of the formidable duo of Pat and Olivia Murphy, yet had many other personal interests and pursuits of her own.

Having been renowned figures in dinghy sailing - particularly in the International GP14 Class, where Pat competed at world level - together they went on to become involved with cruiser-racing with a variety of boats, and then they made an extraordinary nine year voyage round the with world with their carefully chosen 40ft long-distance cruising sloop Aldebaran.

Olivia was also someone who had time for everyone, and took much pleasure in the more contemplative aspects of life, to which she brought a quiet spiritual strength. Her long marriage to Pat was mutually supportive to an exceptional degree, and was blessed with children and more recently with grandchildren, to whom Olivia was devoted. It was utterly typical of her that, on the night before she died, on hearing that her grand-daughter Lilyanne had started taking riding lessons, she asked for some paper and on a piece of cardboard quickly sketched an inspirational and lively drawing of the young rider on her pony.

Our heartfelt condolences go to the Murphy family on their very sad loss, to Pat and sons Shane, Padraic and Fintan and their families, and to the extended family and to Pat and Olivia's very many friends at home and abroad. Olivia Murphy was a quietly wonderful and truly unique person, and she will be much missed. -- WM Nixon

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Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble

See the collection at

The Last Word
Any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with. -- Douglas Adams

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