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

52nd Congressional Cup
Ten of the world's top ranked match racing skippers are in Long Beach, tuning up for matches that begins Wednesday April 6, and continue through April 10.

The competition promises to be fierce, if the Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche is any indication. Stephen Van Dyck, one of 14 umpires and officials brought in for the World Match Racing Tour event, called last week's racing, "an extremely high level of competition; as great as I've seen in this event." Van Dyck, a winning America's Cup tactician, and involved in the Congressional Cup since its inception, knows great sportsmanship. "It's very impressive, the standards the competitors have risen to," he added.

The excitement steps up a notch Wednesday through Sunday, as two-time Congressional Cup defending champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) returns to hosting Long Beach Yacht Club eager for a hat trick. Previous champions - Ian Williams (GBR), who won in 2011 and 2012, and 2009 winner Johnie Berntsson (SWE) - having worn the Crimson Blazer and tasted victory in Long Beach, are expected to be on the attack, along with Phil Robertson (NZL), who lost match point to Canfield by just two seconds, last year.

Other top ranked skippers in the line-up include: Sally Barkow (USA), Sam Gilmour (AUS), Bjorn Hansen (SWE), Eric Monnin (SUI), Nicolai Sehested (DEN), Chris Steele (NZL), and Keith Swinton (AUS). All-in-all, the field spans eight nations, and two generations, and includes 10 of the world's top 15 skippers, as determined by World Sailing, the world governing body for the sport of sailing.

Ready To Race At 470 Europeans
Mallorca, Spain: Racing at the 2016 470 European Championships gets underway on Thursday 7 April at Club Nautic Arenal, Mallorca.

The 2016 470 European Championship marks the largest event for teams in the final countdown to Rio. For some it will prove to be the most significant.

Fresh off the back of Trofeo Princesa Sofia, 470 sailors will again face the challenges of racing on the Bay of Palma. Teams absent from the Trofeo have arrived to join the European Championship fray, featuring a massive depth of talent drawn in from 33 nations around the world. The big stars of the 470 Class, counting Olympic and Championship medals to their credit, through to the new kids on the block racing their first ever 470 Championship.

Over 250 sailors will be on the 470 Men and Women starting lines when racing kicks off at 1200 hours on Thursday 7 April. Six days of racing, 11 scheduled fleet races and 1 double points medal race lie ahead.

The USA's Stu Mcnay/David Hughes won the 2015 470 Europeans and are as able as any of the other top teams to repeat their podium finish. Similarly, Greece's Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis who wrapped up last year's Europeans in fourth place are on form. More importantly for them though, the Europeans mark Greece's final test to decide the Olympic team.

Mantis/Kagialis carry a big lead over rivals Panagiotis Kampouridis/Efstathios Papadoupoulos and it will take a significant reversal of fortune to unseat them. This time four years ago though, it was Kampouridis/Papadoupoulos who took the ticket to London 2012.

Amongst others for whom the Road to Rio will be made or broken here are the young Spanish talent of Jordi Xammar/Joan Herp, who are in battle for national selection against the more experienced partnership of Onan Barreiros/Juan Curbelo.

World #1 and #2 women's teams, Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) and Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie (NZL), are not competing as they focus on their Olympic preparations in their home nations. But every one of the other top twenty world ranked 470 Women teams are in the mix.

Defending 470 Women European Champions Tina Mrak/Veronika Macarol from Slovenia have returned to the fighting ring after what for them were disappointing performances at the 2016 and 2015 470 Worlds, finishing 32nd and 13th respectively.

The 2016 470 Open European Championships is organized by Club Nàutic Arenal in co-operation with the Real Federacion Espanola de Vela and the International 470 Class Association. The racing format is an 11 race series scheduled for the 470 Men and 470 Women fleets, with 5 qualifying series races, before the gold and silver fleet split for the 6 final series races.

The top 10 teams will then advance to the final Medal Race on Tuesday 12 April 2016. Titles will be awarded in the 470 Men and Women for the overall Open European Championship leaderboard and the European Championship for European nations.

Seahorse May 2016
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Design - Fast, light and not too brutal on the pocket
Maarten Voogd is creating not just boats but fleets with his Chinese business partners

World news
A foiling Figaro one-design, Francois Gabart readies for action, Franck Cammas gets some (more) dosh, (more) thriving Class40s, mixed Olympic feelings in Auckland, a new star from McConaghy... and whither measurement, asks Dobbs Davis. Plus our new Asian column. Ivor Wilkins, Blue Robinson, Patrice Carpentier, Andy Rice, Carlos Pich

Paul Cayard
And an all-new Star boat as Andrea Folli challenges Marc Pickel's P-Star hegemony

Rob Weiland
Why skill handicapping is for the birds... or at least the (polo) ponies

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National 18 Class Builds On Success
Click on image to enlarge.

National 18 The National 18 Class Association exhibited the new Morrison designed National 18 (Ultra) for the second time at the RYA Suziki Dinghy Show in London in March 2016. After its first full year of racing, including successful outings in the SailJuice Winter Series, the boat is becoming very much part of the dinghy racing scene and continues to appeal to a wide range of sailors.

The boat exhibited at the Dinghy Show was sporting the "new rule" square top laminate mainsail, larger spinnaker, and twin spinnaker poles introduced by the Class Association - and enjoyed her naming ceremony on Saturday with a party in the strong traditions of the Class. The boat and her new rig attracted great interest; she was not only one of the largest boats at the show but also one of the most striking.

With the 2016 sailing season now getting underway the eleven new Morrison 18s delivered to date will be racing actively in a number of the big multi-class events this year. In addition, five new boats are currently nearing completion and a fleet of at least 16 will race for the 2016 National 18 Championship, being hosted by the Royal Findhorn Yacht Club, Scotland, from 31 July to 5 August, where they will sail alongside the previous Proctor design (Ultimates) and the original Uffa Fox design (Classics).

Wicklow's Shane Mac Carthy & Andy Davis are GP14 World Champions
Greystones Sailing Club is saluting its first ever world champions tonight as Shane MacCarthy and Andy Davis lift the GP14 Worlds Trophy on the far side of the Atlantic Ocean at the conclusion of the Barbados hosted week long dinghy championships.

With two races left to sail today any one of three crews could have won the world title but provisional results hand it to the Irish duo. A 22-boat Irish contingent were celebrating the historic win at Barbados Yacht Club, the biggest event the West Indies club has ever held.

Official results were still awaited from organisers but Irish GP14 President Stehpen Boyle has been able to confirm the result for

The GP14 is one of Ireland's most popular two person racing dinghy classes and regularly attracts fleets of 40-50+ boats

Oyster Regatta Antigua
An impressive fleet of Oyster Yachts, flying the flags of Germany, Ireland, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States of America have gathered in Antigua, West Indies for the 37th Oyster Regatta.

Nelson's Dockyard in English Harbour is the starting and finishing point for the six day event, which includes four days of racing in the superb sailing grounds of Antigua, and features fabulous parties at some of the caribbean island's most famous locations. The impressive fleet includes fourteen examples from the Oyster range, including four of the very latest models.

The superyacht dock in Nelson's Dockyard was a hive of activity on Monday 4th April with owners, their family and friends, preparing their yachts for the regatta. The Concours d'Elegance judging was the first competition. Gleaming in caribbean sunshine, the magnificent fleet was a spectacular sight in the historic surroundings of Antigua's Georgian dockyard.

Racing at the 2016 Oyster Regatta Antigua started on Tuesday 5th April with a race from English Harbour to Nonsuch Bay, with a course designed to give fantastic vistas of the south coast of Antigua and the thrill of caribbean sailing at its best.-- Louay Habib

Click on images to enlarge
Safran In the early hours of Wednesday, March 30, under some rain but with an obliging tide, Safran was launched back into the water in Port-la-Foret. Soon after, the team set about stepping the wing mast, a tricky phase followed by adjusting the outriggers to allow the mast to work efficiently.

For Morgan Lagraviere, Roland Jourdain and the Kairos team, a period of intensive sailing has begun. The stated objective: for Lagraviere to accumulate experience, and to capture all the data that could improve the performance of the boat.

Since Safran went back to the boatyard three months ago, March 30 was the deadline in everyone's head in order to allow Lagraviere to keep to his training programme. This delivery date was possible thanks to the perfect collaboration between the CDK boatyard, the architects VPLP - Verdier, and the Safran team.

The work consisted mainly in strengthening the structure of the hull with additional rails that have quartered the surface area of the carbon panels. The resistance to deformation has therefore been greatly increased.

Safran will make its first trip next weekend, before the non-stop IMOCA training at Port-la-Foret begins from April 5. Between the different training periods on the programme, Lagraviere still needs to complete a 1,500-mile sail to qualify the boat, before making a delivery at the start of May, destination New York: "We'll rack up the miles. Luckily, that's what we're here for!"

April: training and sailing
Early May: departure of the delivery to Newport (USA)
May 29: Start of the New York - Vendee Transat
Around June 6: finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
June-September: training and boatyard
November 6: Vendee Globe



X-Yachts announces new high performance cruiser

This is the second model in the new X series from the Danish boat builder, following the sixty-foot X6, the prototype of which is due for launch in the next few weeks. The range is designed to fit between the company's Xp range of performance cruiser-racers and the Xc line up of optimised long-distance cruisers.

The X4 is designed to offer as much interior and deck space as possible, without compromising the sailing qualities for which X-Yachts is renowned.

The deck design and layout would be perfect for sailing in the Mediterranean (or indeed the Baltic in summer), while also offering the potential for longer ocean voyaging, including trans-Atlantic passages. However, the boat is not as optimised for the latter purpose as the Xc range.

Accommodation options include either two or three cabins and one or two heads.

A choice of three keels is offered, with the standard model having a torpedo bulb keel and draught of 2.2m. Shoal draught, deep draught and L-shape bulb keels are also offered. The prototype X4 is currently in production and will be launched in the summer of 2016.


The Indian Defence Ministry has officially marked the start of construction on the Indian Navy's new sailing vessel with a keel laying ceremony at Aquarius Shipyard, Dival Island, Goa.

The new vessel, which is the sister boat of INSV Mhadei, will be manned by an all woman crew to set sail for a global circumnavigation.

INSV Mhadei was constructed at the same shipyard and has circumnavigated the globe twice, and accounts for covering more than 100,000 miles over a period of seven years.

The Indian Navy has ordered a second boat of the Mhadei class this year.

The $0.65m contract has a fixed delivery period of one year and the boat is expected to be delivered next year.


Hallberg-Rassy 44

The first Hallberg-Rassy 44 will be finished the winter 2016-2017 and world premiere is at the world's largest boat show, Boot Düsseldorf 21-29 January 2017.

The sailplan is modern. There is no need for any runners even with an optional cutter stay, either fixed with furler or detachable. The headsail is only slightly overlapping, making tacking easy. There is even a selftacking option. The jib furler is a Furlex TD with under deck drum. The deck layout is clean and uncluttered with under deck mounted electric windlass and all deck hatches flush mounted.

The waterline is 12.88m, which is no less than 1.13 m longer than on the 43 Mk III. Frers speed prediction table tells that a loaded Hallberg-Rassy 44 will make 8.49 knots boat speed at 100 degrees in just 12 knots of true wind.



Adaira highlights Stephens Waring's DNA: a delicate hand in melding classic lines and stylish aesthetics with current thinking in sailing performance, modern systems sophistication and ergonomic comfort.

Our spring board into concept is inspired by the gorgeous early-20th-century creations of the iconic Fife yard; preserving the fine hullform and elegant superstructure details of these classics, we moved toward a beamier, more American aesthetic for a stable and powerful sailing platform with luxurious sprawling space both above deck and below.



Anticipation continues to build as HH6601 prepares to launch. The first in the new line of HH Catamarans. This impressive yacht was designed and constructed with a clear goal in mind - to be lighter, quicker and more luxurious than any of her predecessors.

Test pool system checks are complete and final finishing has begun in Xiamen; best laid plans have 6601 hitting the water mid-April. After initial sea trials she will be delivered to Valencia and into the waiting arms of her owner and crew.

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2006 TP52. 275,000 EUR. Located in Trieste, Italy.

"Sonic Astro" is a fourth generation TP52. She was designed in 2006 after extensive towing-tank testing and with the original TP52 ideas in mind; to be extremely fast around the cans but to race safely offshore. In her two MedCup seasons she raced without incident and showed good speeds inshore and offshore. Due to her very high spec carbon prepreg construction she started her second life as an IRC race yacht without problems and won almost all the races she has done since. She is now for sale with new sails in 2012 and offers her new owners lots of potential for a very succesful IRC campaign. Appointments to view through Ancasta's Head Office in Port Hamble. In Triest, Italy. VAT not paid.


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Ancasta Port Hamble


2011 Sly 47 - NEVERALONE. 220000 GBP. Located in Elba, Italy

Great looking cruiser racer that is optimised for performance ocean crossings and which offers speed, comfort and epic passage times.


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+44 (0) 1590 679222


2006 Cookson 50. 545,000 USD. Located in Sydney, Australia.

VICTOIRE is one of the, if not the, most successful Cookson 50 ever raced. As JAZZ, she was world famous for winning races from the Caribbean to Europe and then on to Australia. Her current owner purchased her in 2012 and kept right on winning with overall wins in the 2013 Sydney to Hobart and the Gosford to Lord Howe race. Also, just recently 2nd in class (behind a sistership) in IRC 0 for the 2014 Hobart race. Full safety gear, new sails in 2014, updated navigation area.


Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419

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The Last Word
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