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 editor@scuttlebutteurope.com

Team SCA Finish First In Lorient: Second For Team Vestas Wind: Abu Dhabi Racing Clinches Overall Victory
Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race. Click on image to enlarge.

Skipper Sam Davies (GBR) and her Team SCA crew struck a resounding blow for women's offshore sailing in the early hours of Thursday morning when they gloriously clinched Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The finished with an elapsed time of 3d 13h 11m 11s.

Second place to Team Vestas Wind. Abu Dhabi Racing finishes third, with MAPFRE in fourth. That should, provisionally, give overall victory in the Volvo Ocean Race to Abu Dhabi Racing with eight points over Brunel.

From earlier in the day: Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) and Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking /NED) were fighting to keep their dreams of overall Volvo Ocean Race victory alive as Leg 8 shaped up for a thrilling finish at dawn in Lorient, France, on Thursday

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) need only to stretch their lead to eight points by finishing two places ahead of their Chinese and Dutch rivals, and the 12th edition's title will be theirs.

The Emirati boat's skipper, Ian Walker, has barely captured a wink of sleep in the last 24 hours and by Wednesday's 0945 UTC position report, he was well placed in third place, just ahead of Team Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team.

volvooceanrace.com

What?????
From Anette Viborg & Allan Norregaard, Danish Nacra Team as published in Yachts and Yachting:

Right now we are at the ISAF World Cup in Weymouth & Portland. The regatta starts today. Our dear friend and Argentinian crew Cecilia Carranza, ARG 2, who won silver at the ISAF World Championship 2014 in the Nacra 17 together with her helm Santiago Lange, is not permitted by the International Jury to race the World Cup in Weymouth & Portland - because her helm Santiago Lange is injured and she needs to change helm.

On our team we like to think that the one helming the boat and the one trimming the sails has just as important jobs as each other; a helm cannot win a regatta without a good crew and a crew cannot win a regatta without a good helm. It is all about teamwork. So what happens when a crew gets injured or in other ways are making troubles for the helmsman? The helm changes his crew and can easily participate in the ISAF World Cup, if he or she is qualified and invited.

We 'ourselves' on the Danish Nacra Team tried this twice over the past couple of months. We changed crews before the ISAF World Cup in Hyeres in April 2015. No questions asked at all. No problem.

But what happens when the case is the other way around? When the helm gets injured can the crew sail the ISAF World Cup with another helm?

We found the answer to our question. The answer is NO.

A crew cannot change the helm if the helm gets injured. Crews and helms are not equal and we think they should be.

www.yachtsandyachting.com

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ISAF World Cup Weymouth
The first day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland sprung a few surprises with an uncommon north eastern breeze testing the fleet.

Ranging from 10-15 knots, the breeze coupled with glorious British sunshine, resulted in some exceptional racing on the 2012 Olympic waters.

The stakes have been described as high by the competitors competing in Great Britain and rightly so with internal Rio qualification battles on-going, ISAF Sailing World Cup honours, a share of the prize fund and Abu Dhabi Final spots up for grab.

Racing commenced at 11:00 local time and wrapped up early evening with the ten Olympic, three Paralympic and Kiteboarding events completing their race schedule.

Windsurfers Nick Dempsey and Izzy Hamilton aided the British Sailing Team's solid opening day of World Cup racing in Weymouth and Portland on Wednesday (10 June), taking an early lead in the men's and women's RS:X events.

Hamilton, from Holsworthy in Devon, proclaimed it to be her 'best first day at a World Cup so far' as two second places and a sixth saw her edge the lead by just one point over teammate and two-time Olympian Bryony Shaw at the end of the first day in the women's windsurfing fleet.

Andrew Murdoch (NZL) opened his first return to Weymouth since the 2012 Olympics with a great performance to lead the Finn Class overnight from Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and Giles Scott (GBR) at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth & Portland.

www.sailing.org/worldcup/home.php

How to follow the racing:

There's an App for that...
Live Tracking via the Sailviewer-3D Tablet App will be available for devices with 7" or greater screens. Google Play - play.google.com/store/apps/details
iOS - itunes.apple.com/us/app/sailviewer-3d/id912801278

Figaro Leg Two Restarted
At 13 hours on the dot, the 39 solo sailors crossed the starting line of the second stage of the 46th edition of La Solitaire du Figaro - Eric Bompard cashmere to La Coruna. Under a blue sky and a north-easterly wind of 20 knots, the fleet darted along the coasts of Galicia. A grandiose spectacle. At the Radio France buoy, the old veteran Alain Gautier (Generali 40) led the fleet.

The fleet of the 46th edition of La Solitaire du Figaro - Eric Bompard Cashmere has entered the Bay of Biscay and around the west end of Horn of Spain. If the wind eased and blowing around 20 knots, the sea is always a minefield. Alain Gautier (Generali 40) is leading the provisional ranking, not far from Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat), Corentin Horeau (Bretagne - Credit Mutuel Performance) and a rookie, Benjamin Dutreux (Team Vendee). The fleet is beginning to break out in 8000 with lateral deviation. From tonight, 22h, the wind should start to ease off, then turn to allow the sailors to sail spinnakers by 3am.

www.lasolitaire.com

Tsars Of The Day
Photo by Ingrid Abery, www.ingridabery.com. Click on image to enlarge.

Vladimir Liubomirov's Bronenosec crew won the first coastal race of the 2015 52 Super Series season to top the overall leaderboard at the Settimana delle Bocche, but only ahead of the ferociously consistent Quantum Racing by virtue of countback.

While the regatta leadership swung from Azzurra to their twin sistership Bronenosec, Doug DeVos' Quantum Racing stayed steady and held their second overall position, still tied on points with the top of the table, thanks to a solid, patient fourth place around the 31 miles passage race down the straits to round Spargi Island and the little Spargiotta islet to the west.

If the course itself is well known to the grand prix fleets best sailors, a regular out and back trek through some of the most spectacularly beautiful landscape of any venue, one key difference today was racing in the SE'ly wind direction rather than the more usual NW and N'ly Mistral direction. So this meant a fast, close and exciting run down to the islands turn in the puffy, gusty 16-18kts of wind. But the Russian flagged winning boat set out their stall early, gaining the best advantage on the first 2.2 miles upwind leg.

The third day of the regatta, Thursday, will see both disciplines tested with plans set to run a windward leeward and shorter coastal on the same day.

52superseries.com

Dubarry Crosshaven - Comfortably The Best Performer
Round the world racing teams have chosen Dubarry's Crosshaven in every edition of the race since the boot was developed with Green Dragon in 2008. There are several reasons for that.

First, the innovation that impressed the Green Dragon guys most: the integral gaiter. Made of lightweight, hard-wearing, water-resistant fabric and cinched up with a drawstring, this gaiter means you can kneel down and work on the foredeck without suffering the dreaded 'bootful of green' that kills comfort for the rest of the passage.

And when you're dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean as freezing winds snap at your vitals, you'll appreciate the 350g GORE-TEX Duratherm membrane and thermally insulated footbed that will keep your feet, at least, toasty.

Then there's the award-winning grip of Crosshaven's non-slip and non-marking sole. If you're trying to stay vertical on deck, and several tonnes of water traveling at 30 knots is trying to persuade you that you might be more comfortable lying down, you need your feet to stay planted.

We can all benefit from experience, but it comes at a price. Lucky for you that Green Dragon footed the bill, and the benefit is all yours.

Dubarry Crosshaven - Born at sea

dubarry.com

EUROSAF Match Racing, Open European Championship, 2015 - Sails Of White Nights
The Finals was really an exciting and highly competitive event. The crew of Pierre Quiroga got victories in the first two flights, but then something went wrong and in the third flight on pre-start the French sailors didn't keep clear as a windward boat and got a penalty.

A very interesting detail in the Rules: in case the crews have similar number of wins, the winner is to be announced according to the results of the quarter-finals. As a matter of fact, everything was to be decided in one match race: 2:1 was the score where the French team was the winner, but at the previous stage the result of Lipavsky's crew was better (4 victories in 4 flights).

It seemed the crew of Pierre Quiroga couldn't cope with the stress: they got a penalty and there was no possibility to make the penalty turn.

With the scoring 2:2 in the Finals Vladimir Lipavsky, Nikolay Kornev, Egor Larionov were announced the winners of the European Championship.

1. Vladimir Lipavsky, RUS
2. Pierre Quiroga, FRA
3. Przemek Tarnacki, POL
4. Valerio Galati, ITA
5. Stefan Meister, GER
6. Adrian Maier-Ring, GER
7. Patrik Sturesson, SWE
8. Jon Eriksson, FIN
9. Ekaterina Ananina, RUS
10. Henrik Eyermann, SWE

eurosaf.org

SSL Lake Grand Slam Official Poster Contest
For the first edition of the SSL Lake Grand Slam there will be an Official Poster and anyone could be the author, taking part to a contest open to everyone.

- The Poster must be produced on a computer.
- TThe file must be compatible with Adobe Illustrator®, Adobe Photoshop® or Adobe InDesign®.
- TThe artist must take inspiration from regattas, SSL, one or more SSL Champions.
( www.starsailors.com/starsailors/rankings/skippers.html )

The deadline for projects submission has been postponed to Tuesday June 30th, 2015

There will be a money prize for the jury's favourite three designs (1st prize: CHF 1500.-2nd prize: CHF 500.-3rd prize: CHF 300.-) and also for people's choice award, CHF 1500.

You can find the exact regulations here.
swissopen.starsailors.com/contest/

Projects must be submitted via e-mail to the following adress: contest@starsailors.com

Landsail Tyres J-Cup
Big breeze is expected in the Solent over the weekend, providing high octane conditions for a bumper fleet of 67 yachts entered for Landsail Tyres J-Cup in partnership with B&G.

Registration for the 15th edition of the J-Cup opened Wednesday 10th June with three days of electric racing on tight Solent courses scheduled. The Island Sailing Club is a hive of activity with competitors enjoying a welcome BBQ and plenty of banter about the regatta. Spectacular conditions are expected for the first day with a strong easterly breeze expected.

The vast majority of the fleet will be racing in one design classes, including a 19-strong fleet of J/70s. The fastest growing sportsboat class in the world, will revel in the fresh breeze. The new J/88 fleet will enjoy their first National Championship, sponsored by Fastnet Marine Insurance, eight one-design family speedster will do battle for the title. The J/97 National Championship will also be held during the regatta and sixteen J/109s will be racing for the Lifedge J/109 National Championship. -- Louay Habib

www.jcup.co.uk

For The Record
The WSSR Council announces the the establishment of a new World Record.

Course: Antigua to Newport. RI.
Yacht: Phaedo 3. 70 ft Trimaran
Name: Lloyd Thornburg USA. Brian Thompson GBR and a crew of 4.
Dates: 5th to the 9th May 2015.
Start time: 21;45;16. UTC. 05/05/15
Finish time: 03;40;05. UTC. 09/05/15
Elapsed time: 3 days 5 hours 54 minutes and 49 seconds
Distance: 1560 NM
Average speed: 20. 00 kts

Comment: The initial benchmark time was set by Maiden II, Adrienne Cahalan GBR, Helena Darvelid GBR. May 2002. 3d 22h 31m 58s.

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Letters To The Editor - editor@scuttlebutteurope.com
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.

* From Bob Fisher: It is not often that I disagree with Alistair Skinner, but first we must put the matter of Tracy Edwards and Maiden's performance in the 1989/90 Whitbread Race into perspective. In that race, there were three divisions of racing boats with a total of 23 competitors, plus a Cruising Division of two boats. Maiden was in Division D (there was no Division B) with six competitors. Her "wins" were in that division, at the same time placing 17th and 19th in the fleet. They finished 18th overall. There is no taking it away from Tracy and her crew that this was one helluva great performance, sufficient I added at the time for me to promote my earlier quip about the ladies and their aluminium boat, from the initial "tinful of tarts" in stages, to a "tinful of fast, smart tarts" - which gave Tracy something to laugh about.

Yes, I agree that it did a great deal to promote women in sailing, but that was 25 years ago and a lot of water has passed under keels since then, including an "almost" all-womens team in the America's Cup in 1995, but it has been more muted until the SCA campaign. And boy, has this one been made to struggle? The addition of three extra crew members does, to some extent, make up for the lack of physical strength of the women, but all the men admit that the ladies are up against it in this respect.

I would then suggest the addition of one word, that of "recent" into Richard Gladwell's comment: "turning in perhaps the most significant result in the 'recent' history of womens competition in sailing."

As I write this, the SCA team is leading the fleet by 10.2 miles (and has done so for 48 hours) in the Bay of Biscay with 178 miles to go to L'orient. Go Girls! A win would undoubtedly be the most significant result for women's competition in sailing for many years.

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The Last Word
Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. -- Steve Jobs

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