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

Transat Quebec Saint-Malo: Swarming The Atlantic
Quebec City, Canada: It's hard to believe it was seven days ago already that 24 of the 26 boats set sail from Quebec City for 2,897 nautical miles of racing, adventure, and discovery. After the twists and turns of the St. Lawrence River came the Gulf crossing via Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and now it's a colossal sprint to the finish across the North Atlantic in the cold and damp. The exceptionally windy conditions in the ocean for July have already taken their toll on one of the boats in the race.

The three Multi50 front-runners are already preparing for their approach to Ireland after a battle that has been spectacular in every way, at times logging more than 500 miles a day. Never more alone in the world, Spindrift 2 is devouring the ocean on a single tack without dipping below 30 knots on the speedometer.

Meanwhile, the Class40 fleet are capitalizing on the exceptional potential of their monohulls, battling it out masterfully as they surf the swells at speeds in excess of 20 knots, holding their own in a race that's tighter than ever before with no fewer than five or six potential winners. For the 50-foot trimarans and 40-foot monohulls, the English Channel and the tricks it has up its sleeve will be the deciding factor in the next three days or so.

Estimated arrival times, subject to change
Multi50: Wednesday July 20 - Early hours of the morning
Ultimate Class: Wednesday July 20 - Early morning
Class40: Saturday July 23 - Midday

Musandam-Oman Sail Capsize
Following the capsize of Musandam-Oman Sail early Sunday morning, the five sailors have been safely transferred to a cargo ship and are in transit back to Canada.

The capsize happened in the early hours of Sunday approximately 450 nautical miles east of St Pierre and Miquelon while racing the Transat Quebec-St Malo.

The team is currently assessing solutions for recovering the MOD70.

Fight Over Loss Of Auckland's America's Cup Qualifying Regatta Going To Court
The long-running dispute between Team New Zealand and the America's Cup Events Authority is set to come to a head this week.

The Herald understands Team NZ's protest over the ACEA's backtracking on an agreement awarding Auckland hosting rights for the America's Cup sailing qualifiers will finally be heard by an arbitration panel in London this week.

The protest dates back more than a year when the ACEA made sweeping changes to the design rules and regatta programme for the 35th America's Cup, which saw the qualifier series, originally scheduled for February 2017, withdrawn from Auckland.

But due to blanket confidentiality rules that have since been imposed, neither party is allowed to acknowledge the existence of the dispute.

At the time the protest was lodged in March last year, Team NZ boss Grant Dalton issued a statement outlining the team's position.

Team NZ weren't the only syndicate unhappy with the major rule changes actioned in March last year, 10 months after the original protocol had been set down. Italian team Luna Rossa later withdrew from the 35th America's Cup in protest at the overhaul of the design rule, which saw the America's Cup race boat reduced from a 62ft catamaran to 50ft, without unanimous agreement from the competitors.

The withdrawal of the qualifiers from Auckland effectively ended any hopes Team NZ had of securing government funding for their campaign. The America's Cup qualifiers would have been a huge boost for Auckland as it would have required all six teams set up camp in the city for several months in advance of the 11-day regatta, resulting in a big local spend, and major PR opportunities.

Moving the entire America's Cup racing schedule to Bermuda, an isolated island in the North Atlantic, also proved a turn off for several existing and potential commercial sponsors of Team NZ.

But it is not clear what Team NZ hope to achieve through arbitration. -- Dana Johannsen

Dutch Prove Unbeatable In Monaco Solar Boat Challenge
At right, the boat that YCM student built in 5 days. Click on image for photo gallery.

Monaco Solar Challenge After three days combining a fleet endurance race, slalom course and one-on-one duels, Dutch teams Clafis Victron Energy Solar Boat Team and Dutch Solar Boat proved unbeatable, winning in their respective classes (Open and A) in this the only contest for solar boats on the open sea.

A highlight was the YCM International Speed Record, organised with the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) over one eighth of a nautical mile. World Champion at last week's World Cup in the Netherlands, Clafis Victron Energy Solar Boat Team smashed their own record set in 2015 by nearly 10%, topping out at 49.1km/h.

With 15 teams from six countries, the Monaco Solar Boat Challenge shone the spotlight on this renewable energy source, from a guided tour for participants of the Solar Impulse Monaco Mission Control Centre to the Vripack Grand Prix where five Monegasque high school students succeeded in building a boat (supplied in kit form by Vripack) in under five days - and race it. Never ones to rest on their laurels, the YCM has launched yet another challenge for 2017, the 50nm 'Monaco Offshore Solar Race' for a new class of boats built to take three people. The aim is to combine the expertise of boatyards with the creativity of budding engineers to build the boats of tomorrow.

Sadly, this third edition was overshadowed by the tragic events in Nice on 14th July, and the annual parade was a sombre affair in homage to the victims and their families. All these international university students wanted to show solidarity and reaffirm their desire to build a better future together.

Next Monaco Solar Boat Challenge: 13-15 July 2017.

Melges 24 Italian Championship
Riva del Garda, Italy: On the last day of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series event in Riva del Garda got the perfect conditions, which allowed the completion of the eight races' series, many of which held with some good Peler wind.

At the top of the fleet since the first day, Andrea Racchelli kept the situation under his control helming Altea (ITA; 2-3 today) to the top three in both today's races, a pair of results useful to defend the first position from the attempts of Angelo Di Terlizzi's Marrakech Express (ITA; 8-1 today), helmed by former Italian Olympian Matteo Ivaldi, and from the reigning World Champion EFG Bank (SUI; 1-8 today) with Chris Rast and Flavio Favini in the cockpit.

Thanks to this success, Altea confirms itself as a Melges 24 Italian Champion 2016 and will move some steps up in the overall ranking of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series that will be updated and published on July 20th.

After the Garda Lake, the Melges 24 fleet will move towards Hyeres in France for the European Championship to be held on September 2-9, and then towards Luino, where the Melges 24 European Sailing Series will wrap up on October 7-9.

Overall top five
1. Andrea Racchelli, ITA, 18 points
2. Angelo Di Terlizzi, ITA, 25
3. Rast, Christopher, SUI, 28
4. Perego Gianluca, ITA, 30
5. Eelco Blok, NED, 46

Overall results

Corinthian results

Volvo Cork Week
Photo by Ingrid Abery, Click on image for photo gallery.

Volvo Cork Week Shrouded in sea fog, the final day of racing at Volvo Cork Week was curtailed to just one race for some classes. However as the mist cleared, class winners appeared and the inaugural IRC European Champion went to the wire.

Located outside Cork Harbour, the visibility was just too bad for safe racing for IRC Zero, One and Two and the results remained unchanged from the previous day. The Final Prize Giving was held at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, established in 1720, the antique silverware being presented includes some of the world oldest and famous trophies but the two biggest awards of Volvo Cork Week are brand new this year. VIPs for the Final Award Ceremony where; Adrian Yeates MD of Volvo Cars Ireland, Vice Admiral of the Naval Services, Mark Mellett and Royal Ocean Racing Club Commodore, Michael Boyd.

For the inaugural IRC European Championship, the top three boats all came from different IRC classes and the result was incredibly close. The antique silver IRC European Champion Trophy, presented by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, will not be going far. Royal Cork YC's Paul Gibbons racing Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge was the winner.

John Swan's Howth team, racing Half Tonner Harmony, was second winning the Royal Cork Perpetual Salver. Tony Ackland's Swansea YC team, racing Dubois 37 Dark Angel was third and was awarded the prestigious prize of the Kinsale Kettle for Boat of the Week.

The Beaufort Cup has been won by Defence Forces B racing Joker 2, skippered by Cmdt. Barry Byrne.

Anthony O'Leary's Ker 40 Antix from the Royal Cork Yacht Club are the IRC Zero champions, beating strong opposition from Tony Langley's British TP52 Gladiator and Eric De Turckiem's French A13 Teasing Machine. The class was fiercely contested with both Antix and Gladiator taking three wins a piece in the seven race series. Antix won the class by just one point.

Full results of all classes:

A Perfect Prelude To Start The ORC Worlds 2016
Copenhagen, Denmark: Under partly sunny skies a shifty 10-12 knot wind greeted competitors and race managers today for their practice race at the 2016 ORC World Championship, hosted by the Royal Danish YC and Egaa Sailing Club. The fleet of 131 boats from 13 countries has been divided to race in three separate course areas to determine new ORC World Champions in Class A, Class B and Class C.

"Today's conditions were perfect," said designer Matteo Polli, who is from Trieste but this week is racing on Bachyachting Racing Team from the Netherlands, a new Italia 9.98 of his design. "The flat water and shifty winds are really nice to play the game, and if you are good at this you can make big gains in the race." Under the command of skipper Jascha Bach, this team won the ORC Dutch National Championship this year, and is thus a strong contender here in Class C.

Others to watch in Class C include some teams from Estonia: Jaan Akerman's NM38S Sugar 2 with Sandro Montefusco on the helm and another more recent design, Aivar Tuulberg's Next 37 Katariina II, with another Italian champion on the helm, Lorenzo Bodini. Both teams were battling against each other in Greece only a week ago at the 2016 ORC European Championship in Porto Carras in different boats, and Tuulberg has made some recent modifications to his Cossutti design to prepare for this championship.

In total nine inshore and two offshore races are planned from tomorrow, Monday July 18th through Saturday July 23rd.

Panerai British Classic Week
Photo by Guido Cantini / Panerai. Click on image to enlarge.

Panerai The opening day of Panerai British Classic Week 2016 featured a spectacular Parade of Yachts in which Jonathan Perry, Rear Commodore Yachting of the Royal Yacht Squadron, took the salute as the yachts streamed past the Royal Yacht Squadron. The programme required the yachts to form up in their classes and motor in line past the Squadron, which almost all of the 61 entries did. The only exception was the nine metre gaff yawl Cormorant, who at 105-years young and in "as original" condition does not have an engine so took part under sail.

With the Parade over it was down to the serious business of yacht racing and Royal Yacht Squadron Racing sent the fleet off down tide into the Western Solent for a lovely round the cans race in a west-south-westerly which gradually built from around 6 to just over 10 knots.

First off the line were the International 6 Metres. Robin Richardson's Modern 6 St Kitts, which was built by the Elephant Boatyard to an Ian Howlett design and won the Seawanhaka 6 Metre World Cup on her first outing in 1987, is still regarded as one of the fastest Sixes in the World and lived up to that reputation by winning her class by nine minutes from Thistle, the 1947 David Boyd designed Classic built by Alex Robertson on the Gareloch and owned by Tom Richardson, owner of the Elephant Boat Yard. Third place went to Jonathan Brech's Maida.

Murdoch McKillop's 1931 William Fife designed Saskia, which represented Britain in the 1936 Kiel Olympics, got a terrific start in the 8 Metre Class and went on to win by over four minutes from David Myatt's 1949 Bjarne Aas designed Erica, which won the Sayonara Cup in 1953. Peter Wilson's 1929 built If took third place.

Monday's racing is sponsored by EFG and the original schedule was for the Around The Island Race to start at 08.00, however the forecast is for very light winds making this impractical.

Instead racing will not begin before 13.00 with the Race Committee planning a long Solent race instead. Looking ahead the forecast for the rest of the week is not conducive to running the Around The Island on an alternate day, so that race will not take place this year and is replaced by tomorrow's Solent race.

'It's Overblown' Says Inventor Of Olympic Antimicrobial Suit
The water venues for the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are rife with raw sewage and viruses, antibiotic-resistant and flesh-eating bacteria, and most recently, parts of a mutilated human body. The Associated Press' investigation deemed Rodrigo de Freitas lake - site of rowing and canoe races - to be the most polluted, with more than a billion viruses found in a liter of water.

So when Boathouse, the official supplier of U.S. Rowing apparel, unveiled its new high-tech unisuit the Olympians will use for training in Brazil, the media latched onto the word "antimicrobial," and the spin cycle accelerated out of control.

"U.S. rowers are training in special antimicrobial suits to prepare for dirty water at Rio Olympics," wrote SB Nation.

"Olympic rowers unveil special suits to combat bacteria in Rio," boasted a television station in Rochester, N.Y.

"U.S. Olympic rowers' suits are anti-pollution," crowed the website of a Kansas City network.

The problem with these headlines, according to the man who designed the unisuit, is that none of this is really true.

"I've offered no claims to that effect at all," Mark Sunderland, a textile engineer and the Robert J. Reichlin High-Performance Apparel Chair at Philadelphia University, said. "It's overblown."

Artemis Racing - Road To Bermuda - Episode 5
In this episode we travel to Chicago for the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, and we meet former Red Bull Youth America's Cup sailor and Volvo Ocean winner, Luke Parkinson.

An exclusive behind the scenes insight into what it takes to mount a challenge and compete in the 35th America's Cup. Follow Artemis Racing over 11 episodes in 2016 as the team prepares to win the oldest and most prestigious trophy in international sport - link.

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