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

Fiercely Competitive
Photo By: Rolex / Daniel Forster. Click on image for photo gallery.

Invitational Cup Few events can rival the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup: the racing is fiercely competitive and technical; demanding split-second precision and teamwork. And with a spectacular fall day - the kind for which New England is renowned - to open the fourth edition of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, three winners in as many races gave evidence that the 17 participating yacht club teams were working hard to showcase their skills and teamwork on Narragansett Bay.

The opening race of the series was won by the team representing the Japan Sailing Federation which has entered all previous editions of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. With finishes of 15 - 6 in the subsequent races, they stand fifth overall with 22 points.

Not only is the team representing Australia's Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) new to the event, until two days ago none of the crew had ever stepped foot on a Swan 42. With a win in race two, MHYC also dispatched the jinx that the event is notoriously difficult for first-time entrants.

With finishes of 5-2-4, the Royal Thames Yacht Club team leads the overall standings with 11 points.

After five days of competition, September 15-19, the winning team will be determined at the conclusion of racing on Saturday, September 19.

Livestream with tracking and commentary:

Too Much And Too Little Wind: Groupama Takes First Two
The first two days of the LITTLECUP qualifying races were characterised by fickle winds, with threatening gusts yesterday and dead calm today.

Two rounds were raced on Monday before a strong sou'westerly picked up on Petit Lac, increasing, with top speeds of more than 25 knots. After having suspended racing for a while, the committee finally decided not to send the competitors out onto the course. It was a decision which reassured the teams, some of which sustained varying degrees of damage, depending on the team.

Steve Clark, the C Class guru and Mike Costello from the Cogito 2015 team suffered particularly on the first day of the competition. After having got off to a good start, the Americans capsized during the 2nd round, seriously damaging part of Aethon's wing sail.

To almost no-one's surprise, everyone looked on in amazement as the Groupama Sailing Team gave some fine demonstrations of high speed flight, reaching speeds of more than 30 knots and guaranteeing 1st place while taking care of their C Class boat, avoiding taking unnecessary risks so early on in the competition. As for the Swiss teams, Axon Racing managed to get over having broken their dagger board a little and pushed their boat to 2nd place in the rankings, a fine performance giving Benoît Marie and Benoît Morelle good reason to be extremely pleased with themselves.

Tuesday was a different story altogether. After the blowy conditions of the previous day, the teams' patience was put to the test as they sat out on the course, biding their time from 11h this morning until there was a breath of wind to strong enough to start the fleet races at around 16h30.

On the course set in the water off the SNG, Franck Cammas and Louis Viat got off to a flying start and Groupama held onto her leadership position on the water and in the rankings.

Chicago To Host The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series In June 2016
Chicago made maritime history today with Lake Michigan chosen as the first freshwater venue to host America's Cup racing in the event's 164-year history.

The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago, a qualifying event for the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda, will take place at Navy Pier from June 10 - 12.

Additionally, organizers announced that Chicago-based CME Group, the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, will be the first Foundation Partner of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago event.

Navy Pier, celebrating its centennial in 2016, will serve as event headquarters June 10 - 12, 2016, and include a ticketed viewing area, entertainment and VIP hospitality areas for fans to enjoy as the high-performance 45' foiling catamarans race by at 40+ mph close to the shore.

Chicago's selection as a host for the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series is due in large part to Don Wilson, a passionate sailor, longtime Chicagoan and CEO of DRW, a Chicago-based principal trading firm. He founded the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC) in 2009 with the goal to bring world-class match racing to the shores of Lake Michigan. CMRC is the host management company for the event.

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.

Star Sailors League Lake Grand Slam
Photos by Studio Borlenghi-Andrea Pisapia. Click on image for photo gallery.

Star Sailor League American helm, George Szabo with Swiss crew Patrick Ducommun have won the inaugural Star Sailors League Lake Grand Slam, winning the final to be crowned Swiss Open Champions and $25,000, a quarter of the $100,000 Prize Purse.

The win also earns the duo 3000 points towards their SSL ranking for the showcase event, the SSL Final in Nassau this December. During the four-boat final the lead changed hands three times and Szabo & Ducommun came from last place to take the lead on the final downwind leg. The win in the final was the first time the team had won any of the eleven races making up the SSL Lake Grand Slam event.

Final top four:
1. George Szabo Patrick Ducommun, USA
2. Robert Stanjek Frithjof Kleen, GER
3. Mark Mendelblatt Brian Fatih, USA
4. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic / Josh Revkin, CRO

Full results:

Battle Of The Classes
Photos by Click on image for photo gallery.

Battle of the Classes The 2015 Battle of the Classes held at the Southampton Boat Show saw entries from 31 dinghy classes and a star studded cast, including 6 current National Champions and many top sailors, all battling it out to see who would be top.

Thanks to the support of Southampton Water Activities Centre (SWAC) the fleet gathered at their Itchen Bridge Centre, early on Sunday.

PRO Edwin Buckley and the Royal Corinthian YC team set a challenging course with a start just off the Boat Show Marina, to maximise spectator opportunities for the show crowds. SailRacer provided commentary to the showground and online coverage, with several thousands watching the live race online.

The Battle of the Classes is a 100 minute pursuit race. At the 100 minute gun it was the International 14 of Archie Massey and Harvey Hillary, ahead of 29er James Grummett and Daniel Budden, with the Osprey of Terry Curtis and Peter Greig taking a solid third, after several boats were disqualified for missing buoys. The 29er pair won the prestigious Yachts and Yachting Youth Award.

The Battle of the Classes also started the next round of the new MUSTO Speed Challenge, which saw the 2000 pair of Simon Horsfield and Alex Pickles top the Speed Wall on adjustedspeeds and win £1,000 of great MUSTO Dinghy Kit. 29er sailors James Grummett and Daniel Budden took the second spot and the RS500 of Ian Mairs and Tally Watson completed the podium. Blaze sailor, Mike Lyons, who won Round One of the MUSTO Speed Challenge from over 400 competitors, didn't favour the tricky conditions and finished in 16th place on this Speed Wall.

Flying Phantom Series Saint Malo
Every other year, the Raid des Corsaires is one of the biggest long distance race events in France for racing catamarans. On Saturday, over one hundred crews with boats from 16 to 21 feet enjoyed a long sail from Saint Malo to Cancale and on Sunday from Saint Malo to the Fort La Latte near Cap Frehel.

Six Flying Phantoms were registered for the 9th edition of the Raid des Corsaires, with the almost undefeated Phantom Sailing Team crew of Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot, Team Momentys - Altran helmed by Franck Cammas, the skipper of Groupama Team France, AC45 crewed by Antoine Joubert, Thibaut Vauchel and Benjamin Lamotte, Sebastien Rogues and Cantin Roger, the local Saint Malo Surf School team and Fredigucci, father & son.

The Saturday long distance race referred to as "La route de Cancale" was designed to sail from Saint Malo along the coast up to a mark off Cancale. The race started in sunny weather with a wind at less than 10 knots. The first miles were a nice downwind battle for the participants under the ramparts in Saint Malo with Bontemps and Amiot taking the lead. Bontemps and Amiot arrived 3 minutes ahead of Vauchel - Lamotte and 6 minutes ahead of Cammas - Joubert.

Similar weather conditions on Sunday for "La route des Forts" drove the fleet to Fort La Latte near Cap Frehel. The race started with a fantastic downwind battle between the top 3 teams with Bontemps taking the lead off Dinard and keeping it until the end of the race.

The podium was identical for the results of the 2 races this week-end with Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot winning both races and the Flying Phantom Series Saint Malo 2015.

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=WkYAVtEgd7c, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Dubarry Ultima - Classic Craftsmanship
Dubarry Ultima It's been said of Ireland that it's a lovely country, just needs a roof. True, we get more than our fair share of rain from the storms that barrel in from the North Atlantic, but it's not so bad - it's not for nothing that we're known as the Emerald Isle.

In this part of the world we're also well used to making our living on the sea, in the sturdy Galway Hookers built by hand with traditional tools by local boatbuilders. These bluff-bowed gaff cutters have plied their treacherous trade on the often vengeful waters of the Bay for over 200 years. If ever there was a place where folk would appreciate a quality traditional sea boot - and had the craftsmanship to make one - it's here.

So it's here, in the town of Ballinasloe, a stone's throw from the Shannon and just inland of Galway Bay, that Dubarry started making boots in 1937. We've honed our traditional boot-making virtuosity, found sources of the finest quick-drying, long-lasting leathers, and perfected the technology behind a warm, waterproof classic boot with award-winning grip. What else could we call the world's best traditional sea boot, other than Ultima?

Dubarry Ultima - Where will you go in yours?

Volvo Ocean Race Rivals Line Up For New Skirmishes In Genoa
Milan, Italy, September 15, 2015 - The Volvo Ocean Race returns to centre stage less than three months after the spectacular finish of the 2014-15 edition, when it brings its special brand of exciting racing, shows and public events to the Genoa Boat Show from September 30 to October 5.

Team SCA and Team Vestas Wind will go head-to-head again on a series of Pro-Am races on Wednesday, September 30, Thursday, October 1 and Friday, October 2, while on the following Saturday, they will be starring in the traditional Genoa Boat Show fleet race.

The Genoa Boat Show will offer a rare chance out of race-time for the fans and visitors to see the ocean racers sail just metres from the city's seafront and meet some of the sailors who have written the latest pages of the race's 42-year history.

Team Vestas Wind will sail in Genoa under Chris Nicholson as skipper and Nicolai Sehested as Boat Captain. Returning with Team Vestas Wind sailors to sail the Vestas Wind is local Italian sailor Alberto Bolzan, and Volvo Ocean Race veteran, Phil Harmer.

Several members of the shore crew and guests, some of whom will commission the boat and sail from Alicante to Genoa the weekend prior to the Genoa Boat Show, will also accompany the team.

The Genoa Boat Show will also give the visitors the opportunity to visit the Cross Section, a full size, and completely equipped Volvo Ocean 65 half model.

They will get a real taste of what it's like to be inside one of the world's fastest and most powerful offshore boats. The Cross Section was one of the most popular attractions during the nine-month event, which finished on June 27, with nearly half a million people 'jumping on board'.

Journalist Killed During Cannes Yachting Festival Sea Trial
The closing weekend of this year's Cannes Yachting Festival was overshadowed by news of a fatal accident on Saturday night (September 12).

Local authorities have confirmed that a 30-year-old Serbian woman who worked as a journalist was killed instantly when she jumped off a speeding RIB during a sea trial.

It is believed that she panicked and jumped into the sea after a large wave had thrown the skipper and another passenger overboard.

The authorities add that the RIB's killcord was not being used at the time of the incident.

Local reports suggest that the vessel involved was a Cantieri Magazzu MX-12 Grand Sport, which was showcased last week at the Cannes Yachting Festival, although this has not yet been confirmed.

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.

Click on image for photo gallery.


* From Blue Robinson: Bruce Kirby asks when will his friends in the yachting press going to put a lid on all this nonsense about the 100 foot Comanche? Well, as the Australian writer for Seahorse Magazine I would like to paint a different perspective on Comanche.

Jim and Kristy Clark don't have to do anything. They could leave their money in the bank if they wanted to, but they choose to follow an idea, which means inviting plenty of people into the tent, from designers, to boat builders, to hydraulic engineers, riggers and sailmakers, plus of course the guys sailing the boat.

I know a lot of them, they are some of the best sailors out there and they work very hard - like all professional sailors, pushing the edge, bringing back new ideas, systems and refinements.

Ken Read (not Ken Reed as you wrote) is the president of North Sails, he probably has enough going on without setting up and overseeing a program like this - but when I was onboard to write a profile on the boat in Sydney, I witnessed Kenny's impromptu invitation to a group of passing Optimist sailors on board for a tour, (see the photos) and they were stoked - and I mean super stoked - to climb around the boat and spin the handles, turn the winches, and learn about the boat surrounded by some pretty big names.

This is all about trickle down - the ability for sailors to race on TP52's or Maxis or J Class, down to the old or new thirty, forty or fifty footers that someone chooses to pay for - so we can compete or photograph or write about it. I don't expect you to like it Bruce, but please - don't knock it.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2002 M32. 190,000 EUR. Located at Lake Garda/Malcesine.

Perfectly ready to race, with tralier container, custom trolley, also prepared for long distance sailing.

Code 0, double forestay, nothing broken in the years.

Twice Centomiglia and Gorla Winner, Bol ' 7th, Blaues Band Bondensee 4th.
Sailed only on Lakes

It comes with everything except a road trailer.


Gregor Stimpfl
mobile +39 335 6254900

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The Last Word
It may be true that you can't fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country. -- Will Durant

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