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

Defenders From Greece Extend Their Lead In Tornado Worlds
Report from race four... no report on race five posted at press time:

It was a long event day on the Lake Constance for all until the fourth race of the world championship of the Tornado class was over.

At first no wind at all, followed by a thunderstorm, after the calm the fleet went afloat, the first race had to be abandoned due to lack of wind, after a longer waiting period finally an new start and after one hour a completed race.

The Greek defenders Iordanis Paschalidis and Konstantinos Trigonis (Nautic Club Thessaloniki) got one bullet more in this race - their third win in four races. It was a fast race. The Greeks only needed 40 minutes to finish - an average speed of 11 knots. So they extended their lead: four races, seven points without discard.

Top ten after 5 races, 1 throwout

1. Paschalidis Iordanis / Trigkonis Konstantinos, GRE, 4 points
2. Nikolaos Mavros / Alexandros Tagaropoulos, GRE, 11
3. Gavin Colby / Billy Leonard, AUS, 11
4. Brett Burvill / Estela Jentsch, AUS, 14
5. Bill Caunce / Aaron Duncan, NZL, 24
6. Baier Bob / Marc Baier, GER, 33
7. Zdenek Pavlis / Michaela Pavlisova, CZE, 33
8. Markus Betz / Monica Schuster, GER, 34
9. Allan Gamble / Nicholas Kim, AUS, 35
10. Maria Tsaousidou / Michalis Papadopoulos, GRE, 36

Record Times Add The Fizz To Round Ireland Race
There's a problem with the Round Ireland sailing record if you're hoping to set a new one in the Volvo Round Ireland Race when it starts from Wicklow at 1300hrs this Saturday, June 18th writes W M Nixon.

The problem is set by that very specific date and that time. It in turn has been set for a long time now, two years and more. But the absolute unlimited round Ireland has become refined to such an extent that you have to allow flexibility and a very broad window of time in which to make your start, and within that arc of time you wait for conditions to come just right.

Yet even then, as all your ducks of wind and weather come into the required neat row, it could well be that a few minutes either way in actually getting the record challenge on track may ultimately make a difference. It has become as sophisticated as that.

However, when it's a matter of the gun firing and the race going off at a pre-ordained time, while it's the same for everyone, equally the possibility of a new record - other than for the race itself - is very much in the lap of the Gods.

Yet it was the 704-mile Round Ireland Race which first began serious interest in an open record time. After Denis Doyle with the great Moonduster - a Frers 51 - set an astonishing time of 3 days 16hrs 15mins and 43 seconds in the race of 1984, it became open season for an open record.

Round Ireland Race Record times:
1984 Moonduster (D. Doyle, RCYC) 3d 16hrs 15mins 43s
1990 Rothmans (L Smith, LTSC) 3d 12hrs 56mins 06s
1998 Jeep Cherokee (C. Barrington, RIYC) 3d 4h 23m 57s
2008 Leopard (M Slade, RORC) 2d 17h 48m 47s

Round Ireland Open Record Times
1984 Moonduster (D Doyle, RCYC) 3d 16h 15mins 43s
1986 British Airways (R Knox-Johnston) 3d 4h 5m 36s
1986 Novanet (R Gomes, RUYC) 2d 22h 25m 16s
1993 Lakota (S Fossett) 1d 20h 42m 20s
2015 Musandam-Oman Sail (S Gavignet) 1d 16h 51m 57s

Round Ireland Monohull Record Times
1984 Moonduster (D Doyle, RCYC) 3d 16h 15m 43s
1990 Rothmans (L Smith, LTSC) 3d 12h 56m 06s
1998 Jeep Cherokee (C Barrington, RIYC) 3d 4h 23m 57s
2005 CityJet/Solene (Jean-Philippe Chomette) 2d 9h 41m

WM Nixon's history of the race in Afloat

A Pre-Olympics Kiel Week Is Always A Bit Special
KIel Week Sailing weeks are now a common format for regattas held all over the world, thanks in part to the continued success of the largest and the oldest one of them all: Kiel Week. Started in 1882, this annual event held in the last full week of June is in its 134th edition this year and has grown to attract thousands of sailors from dozens of nations to celebrate the spirit of competition in an energetic setting that also offers the best of German hospitality and culture.

This year over 4,000 sailors from 50 countries are expected to participate in 28 classes at Kiel Week, ranging from one-design boat-for-boat racing in the smallest dinghies to racing both inshore and offshore under handicap in offshore racing yachts. For nine days there are boats of all types sailing and racing in and around Kiel, making this truly a festival of sail: no other competitive event in the sport enjoys this level of attraction.

And being an Olympic year, one of the big draws is seeing the very best performers who will be heading to Kiel to hone their skills one last time before making their final push towards earning medals in Rio. Being just six weeks before the start of the Games, Kiel Week will be the last big performance test for these sailors before they meet each other again in Brazil on the quest for Olympic gold.

Full article in this month's Seahorse:

Harken Tech Team Ready To Roll At Superyacht Regatta
Harken Mark Gardner and Dana Jennings will keep your gear primed and rolling during the 2016 Superyacht Cup, Palma de Mallorca. Mark and Dana will be onsite and available from June 21 - 25, with plenty of spare parts on hand for emergencies.

For a consult, contact Mark at 0044 (0) 7813 670 133. This number will also be posted at the race office. For yachts needing a general hardware and winch tune-up, Mark will be happy to discuss and set up a post-regatta service date with you.

Blue Whale Skeleton Being Moved To The Hintze Hall Held Together With Copies Of The Kent Messenger From The 1930s
The skeleton of a blue whale which was beached in Ireland 125 years ago was being held together with copies of the Kent Messenger from the 1930s.

The specimen was bought by the Natural History Museum and first went on display in the Mammal Hall in 1938 where it hung from the ceiling for several decades.

The 25-metre long animal, which is the largest to have ever lived, is now being moved to the London museum's main hall where it will welcome visitors from next summer.

However, while staff were relocating the exhibit they discovered a number of copies of the Kent Messenger were being used to hold bones together, with the 1932 Christmas Eve edition packing out intervertebral discs.

The whale will be unveiled in the main hall next summer.

A museum spokesperson said: "Various issues of the Kent Messenger have been discovered in the 'stuffing' of our iconic blue whale skeleton here in South Kensington.

"Workmen onsite clearly had connections to the county and perhaps even intended on creating this time capsule for the modern museum to eventually uncover.

"As our conservators have carefully deinstalled the specimen, in preparation for its arrival in Hintze Hall in 2017, the Plaster-of-Paris-like material that was used to conjoin the fragile bones in the 1930s has unveiled its secrets."

Invitational Team Racing Challenge
Porto Cervo, Italy: Racing in the biennial Invitational Team Racing Challenge, which gathers teams from top international yacht clubs in Porto Cervo, is due to get underway tomorrow at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The six participating teams hailing from the UK, USA and Europe will race on board the new fleet of J/70 boats belonging to the YCCS in a series of round robins tomorrow and Friday, while the semifinal and final races are scheduled for Saturday 18th June.

Tight and exciting racing is expected for the invited teams thanks to both the choice of boats and the team-racing formula. The J/70 one-design yacht, launched in 2012, already boasts more than 1000 vessels launched and is one of the fastest growing competitive classes around. Team racing - a discipline which has grown in popularity in Europe, the USA and China in recent years - takes place on short, fast, match-racing style courses. The defining feature is that each Club takes to the starting line with two boats and it is the team that crosses the finish line last that loses. Clearly teamwork, tactics and the synergy between the crews is key.

The invited clubs participating in the event are: Royal Thames Yacht Club (RTYC) of England, New York Yacht Club (NYYC), Newport Harbour Yacht Club (NHYC), Eastern Yacht Club (EYC) of Marblehead Massachusetts, Galma Stans Yacht Club of Sweden and of course the home team will represent the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Quantum Sails is technical partner of the regatta, with staff on hand for the duration of the event.

Racing is scheduled to get underway on Thursday 16th June at 11.30 a.m. Variable winds of 5 - 10 knots are forecast.

Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics Named As Official Racing Yacht Logistics Supplier Of The Land Rover Bar British America's Cup Team
Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics Sevenstar Yacht Transport joins Land Rover BAR as its official Racing Yacht Logistics Supplier in their quest to win the America's Cup. Sevenstar Yacht Transport will ensure the seamless, safe and timely transport of all the Team's precious cargo for the 35th Americas' Cup.

The Land Rover BAR team can be certain that all their transport needs are looked after by a truly bespoke, reliable and personal service, so the team can focus on the challenge ahead.

"Our primary goal at Land Rover BAR is to win the America's Cup, and it is therefore very important that our America's Cup Class boat and associated equipment are transported in a safe and timely manner to the race venue. We trust the team at Sevenstar and know that they will do all they can to ensure that our equipment will arrive in Bermuda when we need it and in perfect condition," said Andy Hindley, Chief Operating Officer at Land Rover BAR.

"It's a real privilege to be able to provide such vital services to Land Rover BAR. They have the most demanding requirements and we know we will be able to fulfill them.

"Our team will ensure that all their logistics needs are met, that we exceed expectation throughout their campaign. We look forward to being part of their journey to #BringTheCupHome," said Richard Klabbers, CEO of Sevenstar.

The Last Man Hung From The Yardarm: Tom McSweeney
For some time I had been researching the story of this young man who, at the age of 19, enlisted in the Royal Marine and who was hung from the yardarm of the ship on which he served four years later, condemned in a questionable courtmartial, which had seeds of anti-Irishness, for murder.

It is the subject of this edition of my radio programme. THIS ISLAND NATION, which has personal emotion for me.

When I stood at the grave of that young man, it was an odd feeling to see one's own name on a headstone and to learn that, 139 years after his execution this month, unidentified Maltese people still honour him by putting lights and fresh flowers on his grave.

Listen to the Podcast of the programme below for an unusual, different story. -- Tom MacSweeney


Ken Read Prepares For Newport Bermuda Race
The 635-mile biennial Newport Bermuda Race is one of the oldest ocean races. This year's event will celebrate the 50th anniversary.

One local sailor who knows a thing or two about this race is legendary Rhode Island skipper Ken Read.

"The Bermuda Race is really considered one of the great races. There are five or so ocean races like this around the world, and the Bermuda has always been right there with that group. It's an ocean classic. My dad did it, and I think three-quarters of the people in this race have generations of sailors in their family that have done this race. Actually, my dad won this race and I haven't won this race yet. He has a one up on me, but we are going to try to change that," Read said.

This year's race will feature about 180 boats with sailors from 23 different countries. Rhode Island will have 13 boats represented, including Read's Comanche.

This year's Newport Bermuda Race will kick off at 3 p.m. Friday from Newport. The lawn at the Castle Hill Inn is the place to catch all the action.

'Spookie' and 'Kinship' Lead Onion Patch Series Following New York YC Regatta
The three-event Onion Patch series got under way over the weekend with the completion of Stage I, the New York Yacht Club 162nd Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in Newport, Rhode Island. Steve & Heidi Benjamin's TP52 'Spookie' ranked first in the Traditional Onion Patch Series while Tom Selldorff's Baltic 52 'Kinship' stands first in the Navigator's Race Series. Event information and results are posted at Onion Patch Series.

Initially 21 individual boats entered the overall series, 14 in the traditional series and seven in the second running of the ORR Navigator's Series. The NYYC regatta proved to be a tough test on its second day with at least two traditional Onion Patch Series entries being damaged in a port-starboard collision.

In the gusty 30kt winds, Rives Potts 'Carina' collided with the US Navy's Navy 44 'Defiance' skippered by James Reynolds. 'Defiance' was dismasted and 'Carina' suffered a damaged bow. 'Cecile Viking' and the other 'Defiance' in the Navigator's Division did not start the final race on Sunday.

Since the competitors in the traditional Onion Patch windward-leeward racers sail different length courses over the two-day New York Yacht Club Regatta, the final ranking of the Onion Patch boats is based on a formula that divides the yacht's corrected time by the distance of the race she participated in. This formula results in a corrected seconds per mile number. The competitors are ranked in order of the fastest (lowest) sec/mile to the slowest (largest) sec/mile for each race. Points are awarded according to ranking for final regatta results, and these points are used in the compilation of the overall scores in the series.

Each individual yacht's score for the listed events will be weighted. The finish position in the Newport Bermuda Race will be multiplied by 1.25; the finish position in the NYYC Annual Regatta will be multiplied by 1.00; and the finish position in the RBYC Anniversary Regatta will be multiplied by 1.00. -- Talbot Wilson

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I always think of space-time as being the real substance of space, and the galaxies and the stars just like the foam on the ocean. -- George Smoot

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