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

Three Fleets Converge Into Two In 48th Transpac
San Pedro, California, USA: The three fleets defined by their start days started to converge into two over the past two days in the 48th running of the LA-Honolulu Transpac. This biennial 2225-mile classic ocean race is organized by the Transpacific YC.

Most of the first wave of starters continue to enjoy conditions that while punctuated by occasional squalls are still getting them downwind and towards Hawaii at a reasonable pace.

Current elapsed time leader of this pack is Harry Zanville's Division 7 Santa Cruz 37 Celerity, who on the tracker (delayed by 6 hours) is shown to be only 425 miles to the finish. At about 200 miles/day they are therefore expected sometime on Friday morning.

The leader of Division 7 in corrected time, however, continues to be Paul Stemler's J/44 Patriot, who is just inside 500 miles to go. Close by at 505 miles to go is Tracy Obert's Division 8 leader Majorie, a 59-foot BBY ketch.

The large area of light air that has been parked in the middle of the course area for nearly a week has forced the second and third wave starters to do some evasive navigation, with some opting to around this patch to the north while others try south. In general the north has been paying off, although some entries have taken this to an extreme.

Syd Fisher's Ragamuffin 100 in Division 1 continued a northward trajectory that has them sailing a lot of extra distance on the hunt for more breeze on the south side of the Pacific High. At about 1150 miles to go, Rags's rival 100-footer Wild Oats XI - co-skippered by Roy Pat Disney and Mark Richards - was positioned closer to the rhumb line and had only 1070 miles to go, with both doing nearly 20 knots, some of their best speeds yet.

transpacyc.com

Tracking: yb.tl/transpac2015

ISAF Match Race Rankings
The ISAF Match Racing Rankings for 22 July 2015 have been released.

Ian Williams (GBR) and Camilla Ulrikkeholm (DEN) have regained World #1 in the Open and Women's Rankings after they were overhauled on the 17 June 2015 release.

Ian Williams (GBR) moved back up to World #1 in the Open Rankings following a second place finish at the WMRT Stena Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand. Williams missed out on top spot in Sweden, losing to home favourite Bjorn Hansen (SWE), but his solid result moves him back to World #1.

Hansen, meanwhile, solidified his spot at World #5 with victory on his home waters.

Taylor Canfield (ISV) moves down to World #2 and continues his long running battle with Williams for the top spot.

A stack of ISAF Women's Match Race World Rankings points were on offer during the current window with the 2015 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship and the Grade 1 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final taking place.

The ISAF Women's Match Race Worlds, which was also the first event of the Women's International Match Race Series, was up first in Middelfart, Denmark with 16 teams taking to the water from 8-12 July.

It was a Danish duel on the final day with Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen defeating Camilla Ulrikkeholm in a tense final. Pedersen occupies World #5, counting five regattas to her points total whilst Ulrikkeholm's silver lining is moving back up to World #1.

Top five open rankings:

1. Ian Williams, GBR
2. Taylor Canfield, ISV
3. Eric Monnin, SUI
4. Mathieu Richard, FRA
5. Bjorn Hansen, SWE

Complete open rankings: www.sailing.org/mrorankings

Top five women's rankings:

1. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN
2. Anna Kjellberg, SWE
3. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA
4. Stephanie Roble, USA
5. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN

Complete women's rankings: www.sailing.org/rankings_table.php

North Sails Presents History In The Making: An Event Not To Be Missed at the RYS Bicentenary Regatta
To kick off the historic Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary Regatta, North Sails has assembled a stellar panel of the world's leading sailors to discuss the heritage of the sport and offer expert advice on racing in the Solent. History in the Making is an open forum, free, all access event, so be sure to make your way down to the Cowes Yacht Haven at 5 PM on Monday July 27th to get some insights from the biggest names in offshore and inshore racing.

North Sails President Ken Read will lead the discussion with celebrated Olympian and America's Cup skipper Sir Ben Ainslie of Land Rover BAR, the defending skipper of Oracle Team USA Jimmy Spithill and British skipper of Team SCA's all-female Volvo Ocean Race team, Sam Davies.

Make sure you don't miss this unique event!

North Sails presents History in the Making
5 PM Monday July 27th, Cowes Yacht Haven

Follow the event via www.facebook.com/NorthSailsWorldwide or https://twitter.com/northsails
#northsails #200years

Portsmouth Race Course
The race course layout for the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth will feature:

- a mid-course reaching start, about 250 meters long
- a short downwind leg - about 750 meters long
- upwind and dowwind legs of about 1,500 meters each
- a reach of about 250 meters, to the finish line close to shore

This will give a total length of about 4,250 meters or 2.3 nautical miles.

The course may be lengthened by adding another upwind and downwind lap, which would make the total length about 3.9 nautical miles.

The video below explains how the boats sail this course, and tactics at the roundings. Note that anchored buoys will be used for the marks rather than movable boats.

NOTE: The diagram above shows the course for a southwesterly wind. The orientation will be different for other wind directions. The Race Committee will try to set up the finish line close to the VIP viewing area on shore. -- Jack Griffin, cupexperience.com

Pyefleet Week 2015 Supported By Zhik
Brightlingsea One Design. Click on image to enlarge.

Brightlingsea, UK - Brightlingsea Sailing Club's Pyefleet Week 2105 supported by Zhik, which takes place from Saturday 1 to Saturday 8 August, is one of the UK's premier dinghy and day boat regattas and this year looks set to break all attendance records.

The Colne Estuary provides sheltered sea sailing and there are committee boat starts for the main racing classes and club line starts in the protection of Brightlingsea Creek for cadets and intermediate/novice sailors. This year the regatta will include the SigneT Class National Championship, which will run from Monday 3 to Friday 7 August.

Also featuring will be a fleet of more than 20 Brightlingsea One Designs (BODs), the local three man traditional clinker day boats that have been raced continuously at Brightlingsea since their introduction in 1928.

The Wivenhoe One Designs, a smaller two-man clinker day boat normally based up the river at Wivenhoe, will join the fray too making for a spectacular sight as boats almost a century old race side by side with the very latest skiffs, multihulls and foilers.

pyefleet2015.sailbrightlingsea.com

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

Record: Los Angeles to Honolulu. Outright record.
Yacht: "Lending Club 2" 105 ft Trimaran
Name: Renaud Laplanche, FRA and Ryan Breymaier, USA. and a crew of six
Dates:.15th to the 19th July 2015.
Start time: 22:44:43 UTC. on 15/07/15
Finish time: 16:44:52 UTC on 19/07/15
Elapsed time: 3 days 18 hours and 9 seconds
Distance: 2215 M
Average speed: 24.61 kts

Comments:
Previous record "Geronimo". Olivier de Kersauson. FRA. Nov 05. 4d 19h 31m 37s

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Monster Project Racing Charter Has 3 Places Left For The Rolex Fastnet
MONSTER PROJECT, formerly Team Russia's Volvo Open 70 from the Volvo Ocean Race Round The World, is in high gear for the iconic Rolex Fastnet Race 2015.

The boat, is very avant-garde in her design, in near new condition, has a large sail wardrobe and is already setting records both inshore and offshore on the Mediterranean, Transatlantic and Caribbean circuit as Formula-1 racing charter.

Skipper Andy Budgen is caping her racing campaign this year with the the 90th Anniversary of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2015 and he has moved fast and drawn together an international team. He brings a wealth of offshore and in-port racing skills to the table.

Fastnet has always stirred a passion amongst sailors, stoking the fires for offshore sailing and focusing the mentality from "why can't we do that" towards "let's do that".

Fastnet has exceptional take up and has produced a conveyor belt of offshore talent and for more information to get onboard MONSTER PROJECT and to see her roar as she takes on sailing heavyweights such as Comanche, Hanuman, Rambler 88, and Leopard - all with one thing in common, a winning mentality!

To Get On Board Contact: www.volvo70charter.co.uk / info@volvo70charter.co.uk

Leading Ladies And Lively Conditions
Photo by Ingrid Abery, www.ingridabery.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

Day four of Panerai British Classic Week 2015 featured both race five of the formal racing series and the traditional Ladies Race. For race five the boats were sent to the west in a building sea breeze for a great mainly windward/leeward romp. With a strong flood tide running, the ability to accurately judge the lay-lines proved to be the day's most useful skill.

Sadly not every boat got it right and there were a number that had to take two and even three bites of the cherry to round marks.

The fleet looked stunning close tacking up the Island shore attempting to dodge the rocks.

Several boats left their tacks too late including Liz and Mark Rushall's Honeybee 'Ragdoll', who managed to free themselves, and James Youngman's Lutine of Helford, being helmed today by double Moth World Champion Simon Payne of Official Clothing Partner Zhik, who wasn't quite as lucky when she hit Gurnard Ledge and got stuck firm on a lee shore and were eventually forced to call for assistance and retire.

The start for Class 0 was the closest of the week and watching these incredibly powerful but stately ladies close tacking was a thrill for all. John Caulcutt, Jamie Matheson and Stephen Hemsley's 'Mariquita' claimed their third race victory of the series from Armin Fischer and Robert Towbin's 'Sumurn' with Zbynek Zak's 'Eleonora' third.

Sean McMillan's 'Flight of Ufford' also claimed her third win of the series in Class 1 for the Modern Classics. 2014 Modern Classics winner 'Soufriere', owned by Stephen O'Flaherty took second and Brian Scowcroft's 'Phantom' was third.

Tomorrow the yachts will take part in the Around the Island Race sponsored by EFG International, starting to the west from the Royal Yacht Squadron line at 08.00. There will also be an alternative inshore race starting at 10.00 for those not wishing to go offshore. Racing continues until Friday 24th July and the regatta will conclude on Saturday 25th July with a Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron and Cowes Green at 11.00.

www.britishclassicyachtclub.org/regatta

Enfant Terrible Takes Early Lead After Opening Day Of Cal Cup
Marina del Ray, California: Competition in the Cal Cup got off to a rousing start with strong winds and sunny skies combining to produce superb conditions and allowing organizers with the Farr 40 class to get off three starts on Quantum Race Day.

In typical Farr 40 fashion, the on-course action was extremely tight and the depth of the fleet was evidenced by the fact three different boats won races.

Enfant Terrible, which captured the Midwinter Championship and the West Coast Championship, has continued its momentum in this third event on the 2015 International Circuit. Skipper Alberto Rossi steered the Italian entry to victory in Race 1 then tacked on a pair of seconds to take the early lead with a low score of five points.

Veteran tactician Vasco Vascotto made a terrific call in Race 1, taking the right side on the second upwind leg and passing Estate Master as a result. Enfant Terrible then made a tremendous comeback in Race 3 after hitting the mark during the second upwind rounding. A penalty turn dropped the Italians to fifth, but they found a way to pass three boats on the final leg and steal second.

Voodoo Chile, an Australian entry, also got off to a good start with skipper Andrew Hunn closing the day by taking line honors in Race 3. It was the first win on the International Circuit for Hunn as a driver. Voodoo Chile won a couple races last season, but with Hunn's boat partner Lloyd Clark at the helm. -- Tink Chambers

www.farr40.org

Coutts Not Ready To Close America's Cup Entries
A Chinese team is one of three groups talking to America's Cup organisers about joining the five challengers so far entered for the 2017 edition, five times winner Russell Coutts said today.

"This new entity that is looking to come in would be (from) mainland China, which would be fantastic," the New Zealander, chief executive of the America's Cup Events Authority, told Reuters.

Of the three potential entries, Coutts was hopeful that one of them would "get across the line" but that was likely to be the limit. While the entry period closed August 8, 2014, late challenges can be accept at the discretion of the defender.

Any new entrant would join teams from New Zealand, France, Britain, Sweden and Japan hoping to challenge holders Oracle Team USA in Bermuda in 2017. Australian and Italian teams have withdrawn.

Coutts said the 35th edition promised to be the most competitive yet with four times Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie's Land Rover-backed British team among the favourites.

www.sailingscuttlebutt.com

Gold League Decided in ISAF Team Racing World Championship
Day three of the ISAF Team Racing World Championships was all about consistency and trying to make the Gold grade.

The top nine teams progressed into the Gold League and would keep their chances of a medal alive. Since the beginning of the regatta, Great Britain and USA have almost had a monopoly on the top places, and that was the way it finished with the two nations making up the top six.

It was the teams of the USA that took the initiative and raced consistently throughout the day to move up ahead of GBR2 who were pushed down the order in to fourth.

Based on Friday's forecast in and around Rutland, ISAF's Race Officials and the regatta organisers have made the decision to complete the regatta on Thursday. That means the Gold and Silver Leagues will continue as planned, but with the added addition of the semi finals and finals taking place in an action packed finale.

Results - exiles.org.uk/events/2015/ISAFTeamRacingWorlds/
Event website - www.rutlandteamracing.org.uk

Spain's Minana Wins European Optimist Crown With Race To Spare
Spain's Julia Minana has been crowned the 2015 Girls'  Optimist European Champion, wrapping up the title with a race to spare at the Magic Marine Optimist European Championships at Plas Heli, Pwllheli today (Wednesday 22 July).

Minana's performance over the week has been so consistent that even if she did not take her place on the 49-boat girls Gold fleet start line on the final day of racing tomorrow, she could not be beaten to the top trophy.

One more day of racing is scheduled for the 2015 Magic Marine Optimist European Championships, with the final races - races 10 for Gold and Silver fleets and races 9 and 10 for Bronze Boys - scheduled for Thursday 23 July.

The first warning signal for the boys Bronze fleet is scheduled for 1200 hours followed by girls Gold, boys Gold, girls Silver, boys Silver and boys Bronze. There are 159 boys and 97 girls from 37 nations entered in the Championships.

This is the first time in the Championship's official 32-year history that the Optimist Europeans are being held in Britain, and only the second time the event has been hosted on UK waters since Belfast in 1993. The 2015 Europeans are also the first event hosted at the new Plas Heli Welsh Sailing Academy.

www.optimisteuros2015.com

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The Last Word
The writer isn't made in a vacuum. Writers are witnesses. The reason we need writers is because we need witnesses to this terrifying century. -- E. L. Doctorow

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