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

Day One Of Congressional Cup
Long Beach, California: Brilliant sunshine greeted the all-star line-up of Congressional Cup 2017, racing along the shores of Long Beach, California. Conditions were nothing like last year's dismal, drizzly weather.

But the wind played havoc with racers. Light breezes from the southwest built auspiciously, then plunged. The drop was so sudden, it threw Qualifying flight three into a frenzy.

Caught in the shifts - from 185 degrees to 230 degrees - Congressional Cup defending champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) lost to Harry Price (AUS) by a full minute, while Sam Gilmour's (AUS) time over Nicolai Sehested (DEN) was nearly the same. And Johnie Berntsson (SWE) hammered Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) by a remarkable two minutes: a huge spread for such a highly-ranked field of sailors.

But just as suddenly the sea breeze filled in to a brisk 12-14 knots. Aschenbrenner rebounded with a win over David Storrs (USA), and Canfield returned to his winning form: ending the day 4:1 - tied with Berntsson.

Both skippers are past Congressional Cup champions: Berntsson in 2009, and Canfield, 2014 - 2016. Like most of the teams on Day One, Berntsson said they "struggled with the details," but added, "I'm happy, we had a good day and are staying in the game."

Races will continue through Sunday April 2, beginning at 11:30 Pacific Time each day off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.   Day One Results

Johnie Berntsson - Flux Team, SWE, 4
Taylor Canfield - US One, ISV, 4
Eric Monnin - Albert Riele Swiss Team, SUI, 3
Harry Price - Down Under Racing, AUS, 3
Phil Robertson - China One Ningbo, NZL, 3
Sam Gilmour - Neptune Racing, AUS, 3
Joachim Aschenbrenner - Aschenbrenner Racing, DEN, 2
Chris Steele - 36 Below Racing, NZL, 2
Ian Williams - GAC Pindar, GBR, 2
Scott Dickson - Dickson Racing, USA, 2
Nicolai Sehested - EWII Racing, DEN, 1
David Storrs - Pequot Racing, USA

Grant Dalton: Oracle Spies Know Team New Zealand's 'Built A Very Good Racing Machine'
Team New Zealand only launched their new foiling catamaran six weeks ago and have had 21 days on the water. Every session has been monitored by spies from defender Oracle and new challenger Softbank Team Japan with the two syndicates working together despite being on opposite sides of the competition.

"We have been watched very closely by the Oracle SoftBank spies every minute we have been on the water and their vigilance makes me think we built a very good racing machine," Dalton said.

"We could keep improving and developing the boat indefinitely, but we have got to go racing at some stage, and now is that time. It is hard to express the huge effort everyone on the team has put in towards the endless quest for speed and performance gains."

Team New Zealand have a huge point of difference with their radical decision to go with pedal-power to fuel the hydraulic systems. They seem to have quickly developed their transition systems to move the four "cyclists" to opposite hulls between turns. Their smooth foiling, helped by the strong power source from the pedals, won't have gone unnoticed.

In their absence from Bermuda the five other syndicates used their majority vote to pass a rule allowing official practice racing, giving teams the chance to gauge their progress.

Team New Zealand could miss as many as 10 of the 23 practice days because of their late arrival at the regatta headquarters.

The Kiwis will take some time to reassemble their catamaran in Bermuda and undergo some checks before they decide whether to join the practice racing.

Team New Zealand's departure plans were confirmed at the same time the America's Cup bosses claimed the syndicate had damaged a dagger board on their second day of training and the authority wanted to outline what options were available to the Kiwis under the rules. -- Duncan Johnstone

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Paul Callahan (USA)
'A humble man who has changed the lives of so many' - David Evans; 'Paul embodies everything positive about sailing, how could he not get my vote?' - Pete Foley; 'Paul has meant the world to so many adaptive sailors' - Michael Esposito; 'A high-integrity leader and the ultimate role model' - Liz Burn; 'A remarkable man wholly worthy of this honour' - Jenny Zaccara; 'And your boys are so handsome!' - Kimberly Toomey Duff; 'For over a decade now Paul has been quietly making this sport better' - Carol Cronin.

This month's nominees:


Clarisse Cremer (FRA)
Cremer is one of 10 women soloists entered in this year's Mini Transat - a new record for the race. And her entry is one to track carefully, on the water and in terms of the disproportionate impact this former rugby player (sic) is making online and in the media with perhaps the most intense and well-polished (self) promotional campaign we have seen since François Gabart's Vendee 'operation' in 2012. Great for the sport is Clarisse


Alain Roura (SUI)
No fuss, no big drama, at age 24 Roura was the youngest skipper to compete in - and finish - the last Vendee Globe, crossing the line in 12th place. And it's an impressive backstory: brought up in Geneva, by the age of 13 Roura had left school and begun work at a boatyard in South America, going on to race the Mini Transat - 11th overall at the age of 20 - and then the Route du Rhum, followed by a two-handed transat. A fast seaman who takes care of his boat


Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Henri Lloyd, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

To subscribe to Seahorse Digital £30 for one year with discount promo code SB2 click

Willy Altadill Returns
Altadill The 24-year-old from Barcelona, who made his debut with MAPFRE last race, is the son of round-the-world veteran Guillermo Altadill.

Willy is the first sailor to be named for the 2017-18 race as one of the two Under-30s sailors each team must sail with.

"My job will be to help the watch captains ensure the boat is sailing as fast as possible," explained Willy, who is already training with the team in Sanxenxo, northern Spain, and will take the role of trimmer.

The youngster joins skipper Xabi Fernández, watch captains Pablo Arrarte and Rob Greenhalgh, and boat captain Ñeti Cuervas-Mons in the MAPFRE ranks. Seven-time Volvo Ocean Racer Neal McDonald will be sports and performance director, and will also sail some legs in 2017-18.

In 2014-15, Willy Altadill joined MAPFRE for Leg 4 from Sanya to Auckland, helping the Spanish team to victory in the 6,000-mile plus stage. Xabi was MAPFRE's stand-in skipper then, and Altadill is grateful not only to the trust his fellow Spaniard put in him, but also the Under-30s rule that is designed to bring on the next generation of Volvo Ocean Race sailor.

Guillermo Altadill is a Volvo Ocean Race legend, having sailed in five editions, starting in 1989-90 with Fortuna Extra Lights.

John K. Marshall, Doug Peterson And Syd Fischer: America's Cup Hall Of Fame
The Herreshoff Marine Museum / America's Cup Hall of Fame announces the 2017 inductees to the America's Cup Hall of Fame: John K. Marshall, Doug Peterson, and Syd Fischer.

The America's Cup Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on October 5, 2017 in San Diego, California, aboard the U.S.S. Midway.

John Knox Marshall (United States) b. 1942

John Marshall is the perfect example of a sailor who used his brilliant technical mind to develop a practical approach to winning sailboat races. His unique skill of blending the art and science of sailing helped him win the America's Cup three times - once as a sailor, and, twice, as a coordinator of the design team. Dennis Conner remarked that Marshall "is the guy who talks the same language as the eggheads and the jocks."

Doug Peterson (United States) b. 1945

Doug Peterson, a two-time winner of the America's Cup, was a member of the design teams for America3 (winner in 1992), Team New Zealand (winner in 1995), and Prada Challenge (2000 and 2003). Peterson's brilliant understanding of the art of yacht design and a strong grasp of measurement rules made him one of the best naval architects of his generation. "He has a huge talent for designing a boat that can go through waves - any kind of waves. Plus, his knowledge of yachting is second to none," declares Davd Egan, one of his former colleagues.

Syd Fischer (Australia) b. 1927

Australia's Syd Fischer stands with high-profile Ulster-Scot, Sir Thomas Lipton, as the only yachtsmen to have mounted five self-funded challenges for the America's Cup in the event's 166-year history.

Spirit 111 British modern classic yacht company Spirit Yachts has received a new order for a 34m sailing yacht, the Spirit 111', from an overseas buyer. The sloop-rigged superyacht is set to be the largest build from Spirit Yachts to date, and sees the yard's first partnership with yacht design agency Rhoades Young.

The Spirit 111' is designed by Spirit Yachts CEO and head designer Sean McMillan, whilst Rhoades Young has created the interior design concept. The owner has appointed renowned superyacht project manager Jens Cornelsen, of Cornelsen & Partner, to liaise with Spirit Yachts throughout the project.

Planned to launch in summer 2019, the Spirit 111' will begin construction this April at Spirit Yachts' waterside headquarters in Suffolk. Commissioned for an experienced yachtsman, who plans to attend the superyacht regattas in the Mediterranean, the Spirit 111' will be set up for both cruising and racing with carbon spars, hydraulic winches and an extensive sail wardrobe.

The impressive new superyacht is set to be as eco-friendly as possible to enable the owner to spend sustainable periods of time onboard using minimal fuel. Innovative features include an electric drive system, supported by four lithium battery banks, which will power the yacht for modest distances or when manoeuvring. Under sail, the system will automatically regenerate the batteries, and with careful consumption the yacht will operate solely under battery power. For longer distance propulsion, the owner has the option of two back-up generators.


Kraken 50

The new Kraken 50 is now in production. The first order for this exciting new blue water cruiser has already been received and the 50 is due to be launched at the end of 2017.

Kraken yachts, designed in New Zealand by Dibley Marine Yacht Design, are true blue water cruisers. An easily handled twin headsail rig gives outstanding upwind and downwind performance for a small crew in all weathers. The Kraken 50 also offers comfort, stability and safety at sea (thanks to Kraken's integral Zero Keel™), while the semi-custom interior and finish are to a high standard.

e Kraken 50 incorporates Kraken's Zero Keel - so called because zero bolts are needed to hold it in place.  The lead ballast is inside the keel bulb and the hull, keel and rudder skeg are just one piece. As a result, this design has eliminated any possibility of the keel falling off the hull. It is simply impossible.



Step-by-step, the J/121 offshore speedster is evolving at the CCF Composites facility in Bristol, RI; a city famous for its seafaring heritage that includes such notable sailing families as the Herreshoff's. Today, it is home to the next generation of offshore sailing design. Evolving in the shadows of those fabled boat sheds on the Bristol shoreline is the new J/121, an offshore sailing machine designed to be sailed with five or fewer crew.

Critical to this design mandate is the careful engineering of critical boat-handling elements and deck/cockpit ergonomics, where even millimeters can make a difference. Wheel diameters, pedestal heights and placement, foot rest locations, skipper and crew sight-lines as well as trimming locations all add up to sailing faster and more safely with friends and family.

Full-scale prototyping with actual sailors in the cockpit is the best way to validate and optimize the computer rendering. The J/121 cockpit offers tremendous elbow-room across her expansive decks aft. The twin 36" wheels (mocked up in plywood in this picture) afford the skipper unprecedented views of the jib telltales and the ability to pick a faster track through steep seas approaching the bow, or diving for deeper troughs to surf and plane faster in following seas.



By the collaboration between Rossoragno s.r.l. and the historical Garda lake shipyard Zuanelli comes RR28, a sailing yacht of only 8.6 meters long, with luxurious interiors and excellent sailing performance.

Its lines mix sharp edges to rounded surfaces, looking for an aesthetic equilibrium capable of concealing volumes and internal height typical of larger boats, while the maximum width of only 2.54 meters and light weight make it a trailerable boat.

The open-plan interiors offer uncompromising habitability, with an average height of 1,98 meters in the saloon and a deckhouse completely windowed allowing a 360° view towards the outside. Below deck, in addition to 4 comfortable beds, there is a separate toilet, a large table with folding wings, kitchen with double sink, fridge and pivoting kitchen.

Of series is equipped with a diesel inboard engine Lombardini 13 horsepower, in option one can choose for a more powerful Lombardini 20 horsepower, or for a Oceanvolt electric propulsion able to function as hydro generator during the sailing.

The possibility of having a fully automatic pivoting keel, as well as allowing access to ports and places in shallow water, facilitates hauling, launching and transport; the light mast in carbon fiber without backstay is easy to handle in the process of arming and disarming and helps to significantly reduce the pitching and rolling at sea and at anchor.

It is built in sandwich using the infusion technology and the vacuum technology to limit the weight and, mainly, to guarantee a high final quality.

Letters To The Editor -
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 Brian May:

Herewith another you'll remember: J24 KANEMBE CONNECTION. Yachts & Yachting or Yachting World printed a photo of her sailing in the RLymYC Macnamara Bowl which was of course an all-women event. The name of the boat was writ large along the hull below their dangling legs! Needless to say no caption was added which obviously brought a wry smile to those of us who knew the link.

Editor: It's swahili, alternate spelling is kinembe. Check the Urban Dictionary.

* From Robin Hunter:

The most original boat name I ever saw was in New Caledonia. It was a large ocean going catamaran called This way Up. Unfortunately I did not take a photo.

* From Tom Whitmore:

Written on the hull of. Finn at the 1976 US Olympic trials:

If it doesn't come when you call it - why name it.

Perhaps not technically a name, but nonetheless my favorite.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2009 Judel Vrolijk 62 - Chinese Whisper. 2000000 AU. Located in Sydney, Australia

'Chinese Whisper' is for sale for a limited time only and it gives us great pleasure to have the green light to sell her. If you want to win the trophies at blistering speeds, this is the yacht to buy.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Micah Lane +61414307766


Raceboats Only 2003 Swan 45-016 'EarlyBird'. 380,000 EUR. Located in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Earlybird is the most successful Swan 45 in the fleet. She became four time world champion in this high competitive one design class. Her successes are based on the attention and dedication from her owner and professional boatcaptain which always kept the boat in perfect condition. The boat is always upgraded to the highest standards.

For racing Earlybird is equipped with a complete set of 3Di racing sails, various training sails, upgraded deck gear, running rigging and various customized details. The 20ft container consist lots of spare parts. Earlybird is ready to compete again in the 2017 Swan 45 circuit.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Nautor' Swan Brokerage - Jeremy Peek


Raceboats Only 2008 68' A Custom Mills Maxi 72 Class. 1,375,000 USD. Located in Olbia, Italy.

We are proud to announce another central listing in the form of the Mark Mills designed 68 foot CAOL ILA. One of the most consistent mini maxi's in the world, she is now for sale. She is a no expense spared custom mini maxi that has proven to be very fast on all points of sail and in all wind ranges for both her past and current owner. She has been the dominate mini maxi for many years from Cowes to Sardinia and all points in between. New North sails in 2014, new custom spar package in 2012, new updated keel and bulb, she has always been kept on the leading edge of the design spectrum. When the other mini maxis went into the shed for modifications , she just stayed on the race course and kept on winning.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419 or
Greg "Twister" Tawaststjerna at +1.540.687.0700

See the collection at

The Last Word
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. -- Frederick Douglass

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

Search the Archives

Phoca Gallery Search
Search - Categories
Search - Contacts
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Web Links

Our Partners

Seahorse Magazine

Wight Vodka


Ocean Safety

Yacht Club Monaco

St Thomas YC

Grenada Sailing Week

Antigua Sailing Week