In This Issue
SAP Extreme Sailing Team triumphs in Cardiff | Changing of the Guard | Knots V Splicing | Shenzhen's China Cup To Host WMRT Match Racing World Championship | Qingdao Storms In To The Lead | 470 Junior World Championship | The Grand Caribbean Tour - CSA | Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Returns to Europe | Nord Stream Race departs Denmark on longest leg | World Sailing Show | Featured Brokerage

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

SAP Extreme Sailing Team triumphs in Cardiff
It went down to the wire between SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi in the finale of Extreme Sailing Series Act 6, Cardiff, but the Danes pipped the Swiss to the post in the final throes of battle. The Danish squad claimed its third win of the season to go top of the overall leaderboard.

Oman Air was forced to settle for third and hand over the 2017 lead to SAP Extreme Sailing Team, after Phil Robertson and his men struggled to find their form of the previous two Acts. Over 90,000 spectators turned out over the Bank Holiday weekend to watch the international fleet in action on Cardiff Bay, and were rewarded for their efforts today with six nail-biting races and plenty of sunshine.

Act 6, Cardiff marks the end of the European leg of the 2017 season, following events in Madeira Islands, Barcelona and Hamburg. The Series now heads to two brand new venues in the Americas for the final two Acts. Act 7 takes place in San Diego, from the 19 - 22 October.

Extreme Sailing Series Act 6, Cardiff, standings after Day 4, 14 races

1. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Kostner, Adam Minoprio, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason, 158 points
2. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothe Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, 150
3. Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari, 139
4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Will Tiller, 134
5. NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) Graeme Sutherland, Josh Junior, Harry Hull, Shane Diviney, Josh Salthouse, 129
6. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Rob Bunce, Owen Bowerman, Oli Greber, Adam Kay, Mark Spearman, 125
7. Team Extreme Wales (GBR) Stevie Morrison, Alain Sign, Martin Evans, Michael Beckett, James French, 110

Changing of the Guard
For the first time since 2008, the 2017 49er Class World Champion will not be any of Iker Martinez/ Xabi Fernandez, Nathan Outteridge/ Iain Jensen, or Peter Burling/ Blair Tuke. It is a testament to the strength of the 49er Class that each of these three champions are now leading top professional sailing programs in the Americas Cup and Volvo Ocean Race. No doubt the new 2017 49er Class World Champion will be looking to follow in their footsteps.

The truth right now in this post Burling and Outteridge era is that there is so much parity in the fleet making predictions right now is harder than it's ever been. Up to 60 teams are competitive enough that they are looking to make it through the qualifying series to the top 20 Gold fleet. Of those teams, more than 15 believe that if things go their way they could be World Champions at the end of this week. This World Championship is set up to have 19 races over 6 days, but with many of the points being scored in the Gold fleet and Final day races, it is likely to go all the way to the wire and be a tight finish.

As an initial form guide the favorites are Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell (GBR) who narrowly

Returning to action, after a well deserved rest, are 2016 Olympic Bronze medalists, Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER). Erik has been doing some pro sailing this winter while Thomas finished his undergrad degree.

* Light winds cancelled racing on the first day of the Worlds, Monday 28 August.

Knots V Splicing
It is likely anyone who has ever used ropes has learned to tie knots - to create eyes, connect rope to objects or even just for decoration. There's a knot for every application and for many applications there is no better solution than a knot.

However, there are limitations and every time a rope is distorted, strength is lost. A bent rope means that some of the fibres on the outside of the curve will have to carry more load while fibres on the inside may take none of the load. In addition, parts of the rope in a knot may be compressed such that the fibres are unable to move to share the load.

The level of strength reduction can be substantial. In some cases, strength can be reduced by over 50 per cent. However, this will depend on many factors, including the type of knot, how the knot is tied, how neat it is, how the rope is loaded and the design of the rope amongst others. In contrast to these figures, a well spliced rope will typically retain 90 percent of its quoted strength. In fact, some ropes (typically HMPE products) are often quoted with spliced strength, as this is how the product is tested. If strength of termination is critical then a splice is always the preferred choice.

Marlow Ropes is the market leader in Leisure Marine rope and has over 200 years of experience in rope care and advice. This helpful infographic will explain more about the difference in strength between knots and splicing. Look out for Marlow's new Guide to Splicing which will launch this Autumn at the Southampton Boat Show (Stand J300), La Grand Pavois, La Rochelle and METS in Amsterdam.

Shenzhen's China Cup To Host WMRT Match Racing World Championship
Shenzhen, China: As the China Cup moves to its second decade the World Match Racing Tour, with it's high performance M32 catamarans at its core, will aid in propelling this highlight on the Asian sailing calendar to a World leading event and keep it at the cutting edge of modern day high-performance sail racing. As the sailing world's eyes turn to the WMRT Finals in October, Shenzhen and the China Cup will play host to the hotly anticipated conclusion to the 2017 match racing season.

Within the past 40 years Shenzhen has grown from a sleepy fishing village to a thriving metropolis with over 20 million inhabitants. This south-eastern Chinese city has hosted the China Cup from its inception in 2007 and ever since the event has powered the development of sailing in China. With ten years experience of hosting this annual sailing spectacular, Shenzhen certainly knows how to deliver as it is five-time winner of "Asian Best Regatta of the Year" and organisers have grown it to become Asia's biggest boating event.

Racing for the event will take place outside the New Sport Ocean Sports Centre which is located at Daya Bay on the east coast of Shenzhen. With temperatures 20 ̊C – 25 ̊C and average winds of 10-15 knots, this event is shaping up to be an idyllic climax to the season. The sheltered waters of Daya Bay provide flat waters for the M32 catamarans to race in and will allow the course to be set close to the shoreline, directly outside the race village. 

The WMRT Match Racing World Championship will take place 24-29th October.

Qingdao Storms In To The Lead
There has been a major change to the Clipper Race leaderboard in the last 24 hours as Qingdao has stormed through to take pole position after wind shifts favoured the westerly positioned teams.

Sanya Serenity Coast and Visit Seattle, placed further to the east, are clinging on to second and third place respectively, closely followed by Garmin, and Dare To Lead.

Skipper of Qingdao, Chris Kobusch, explains: "Going west and sailing the extra miles paid off as we got the northerly winds first and are now leading the fleet on the way to the Canary Islands."

GREAT Britain, which has played its Joker Card and is currently in seventh position, may be one to watch as it has gone further west than Qingdao and benefitted from the same northerly winds.

Most of the fleet also made great progress from the wind shifts. The crew are now experiencing much smoother downwind sailing as they are able to hoist their spinnakers, with varying degrees of success…

Away from the race, thoughts are very much with the Skipper of Greenings, David Hartshorn, and his crew. A helicopter medevac of David successfully took place yesterday afternoon so that he could receive emergency treatment on a serious hand injury and the crew are motoring to Porto under command of Clipper Race Coxswain, Jeremy Hilton.

470 Junior World Championship
Enoshima, Japan: Conditions were anything but typical, and a real contrast to the race track many of the teams experienced at last week's All Japan 470 Nationals, with the current, shifts and pressure exceptionally hard to read. The mainly light seabreeze filled in from the south for the afternoon, bringing with it an unusual current, which at times was hard to beat, and needed smart decision making.

The opening day was an all-French affair as four different national teams - Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan, Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes, Marina Lefort/Lara Granier and Jennifer Poret/Camille Hautefaye - took the wins in the men and women fleets.  Whilst France took the race victory, consistency rewarded Italy who control the leaderboard in both fleets.

470 Men Top Five Provisional Results after 2 Races
1. Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro, ITA, 4 points
2. Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan, FRA, 8
3. Daichi Takayama/Naoya Kimura, JPN, 9
4. Hippolyte Machetti/Sidoine Dantes, FRA, 11
5. Wiley Rogers/Jack Parkin, USA, 12

Defending Champions Silvia Mas/Paula Barcelo are on tiebreak points with Italy's Ilaria Paternoster/Bianca Caruso. Third to Beste Kaynakci/Simay Aslan, with Aslan commenting, "We averaged good results, and for the next days it can get better."

New kids on the block are twin sisters Courtney Reynolds-Smith/Brianna Reynolds-Smith who had an eye opener of a day at their first ever 470 Championship. Coached by two-time 470 Olympian Paul Snow-Hansen, the partnership proved they have come a long way since stepping into a 470 at the start of this year, showing impressive potential with results of 24,8, pitching them to 2nd in the fleet at one point in race 2.

470 Women Top Five Provisional Results after 2 Races
1. Ilaria Paternoster/Bianca Caruso, ITA, 8 points
2. Silvia Mas Depares/Paula Barcelo Martin, ESP, 8
3. Beste Kaynakci/Simay Aslan, TUR, 9
4. Marina Lefort/Lara Granier, FRA, 10
5. Yuki Hayashi/Chika Nishidai, JPN, 14

The Grand Caribbean Tour - CSA
Can't make up your mind, why not have all of it?

Anyone considering putting together a yacht racing programme in the Caribbean could be forgiven for being slightly bewildered by the vast choice of regattas that take place in so many different locations every year. In the past there were similar challenges for organisers trying to identify dates that were both amenable to the participant and did not clash with other existing events.

The Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA), under the guidance of past presidents such as Cary Lee Byerley and Peter Holmberg, and current president Kathy Lammers, have since paid a great service to those participating on the Caribbean circuit by establishing better dialogue between the many different organisers. The result is that no longer are there the major clashes between events that today flow smoothly into each other. On the CSA website there is now a splendidly organised calendar that lists the dates of all major winter regattas in the Caribbean through to 2022 - one great step in regatta coordination and compatibility.

2018 offers yet again a wonderful selection of regattas for sailors to participate in - all taking place in the Leeward and Windward chain in a geographically logical sequence. The ARC and the RORC Transatlantic Race both act as handy feeder races for European based entries (note that this year's RORC Transatlantic Race finishes in Virgin Gorda rather than Grenada).

Full article in the September issue of Seahorse:

Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Returns to Europe
After an August of exhilarating regattas along the American East Coast, the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the leading circuit for sailing craft of this kind, returns to Europe on August 29 for the penultimate round of the Mediterranean Circuit at Mahon on the island of Menorca.

The American racing was as spectacular and exhilarating as ever with over 200 yachts doing battle over the five events of the North American Circuit. The regattas are, of course, absolutely unique and enchanting, both in terms of the beauty of the yachts entered and the host venues. Marblehead, Newport, Nantucket and Bristol - all magical places that have written many of the most glorious chapters in sailing and yachting history. The winners of the North American Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, were SONNY, a Bermudian Sloop designed by Sparkman & Stephens, in the Vintage Division and VALIANT, a 12 metre class yacht in the Grand Prix Division.

Back in the Mediterranean, the XIV Copa del Rey gets underway on August 29 at Mahon on the island of Menorca. This third round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is definitely one of the most spectacular on the circuit too. The city of Mahon overlooks a breathtaking natural fjord, and the prevailing local weather and sea conditions always deliver exceptionally technical racing.

The Spanish stage will be pivotal to the overall classification which will see the end-of-season Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Mediterranean Circuit Trophy presented to the overall winner of the Classic, Vintage and Big Boat categories. Right now, the battle is still wide open as all the top boats are clustered together with just a few points dividing them. After Mahon, however, the standings should be more clearly defined and the key event of the season will therefore be Les Regates Royales at Cannes, the concluding round of the Circuit.

Nord Stream Race departs Denmark on longest leg
Leg two of the Nord Stream Race set sail from Copenhagen Monday afternoon. At 420 nautical miles, this will be the longest of the four legs in the St Petersburg Yacht Club's annual trans-Baltic yacht race. It will take the  competitors anticlockwise around southern Sweden to Stockholm.

At 1415 the offshore race set sail, upwind into 10-12 knots of south southeasterly wind. At 1700, as the competitors were passing back beneath the magnificent Oresund Bridge linking Copenhagen and Malmo, Germany was back in the lead ahead of the Swedes, followed by the Danes, Russians and Finns, but with just 0.6 miles separating first from last.

From here, the forecast has the moderate upwind conditions holding as the fleet continues south, but possibly dropping and veering into the southwest as they head down to the west of the traffic separation scheme (TSS) off the southwesternmost tip of Sweden. After passing the TSS the course requires them to take a sharp left turn ready for the 88 mile broad reach in 15 knot winds (building to 20) to Bornholm, off southern Sweden. Once round this Danish sovereign island, it will be spinnakers up for the long run north towards Stockholm. The direct route takes the boats west up the narrow channel between the long thin island of Öland and the Swedish mainland, however given the boats are likely to want space to gybe, it is more likely they will take the longer offshore route to east of the island. During this period the southerly breeze is expected to build to at least 20 knots. 

Approaching Stockholm is tricky because there are countless tiny islands and lots of hard granite rocks. The finish line is off the Kungliga Svenska Segel Sällskapet (KSSS) south of the city, where the boats will be mooring. The leg is expected to take around three days to complete. -- James Boyd,

Follow the 2017 Nord Stream Race tracker

World Sailing Show
The Rolex Fastnet Race, the sailor's Everest and this year there was a bumper entry and some fiercely close racing.

There was also a record turn out for the International Moth World Championships where the world's rock stars gathered, hot foot from the America's Cup.

The beast gets launched as Gitana 17 prepares to change the future. We visit the boat and talk to the brains behind the project.

Plus, new talent, new trophy, new events and a new record at Lendy Cowes Week.

Featured Brokerage
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Original spec TP52 that has had a 2013 refit, including new paint, and has been little used since. Full offshore interior with heads and galley.

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2007 X-46 - VITAMINA X. 190000 EUR. Located in West Coast, Italy.

3-cabin version of this popular X-46 performance cruiser. With super cool carbon rig, she has been well looked after and is well equipped for coastal cruising. She has spent her life in the Med being well cherished.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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2008 Corby 36 - Stratisfear. 95000 EUR. Located in Pwhelli, Wales.

The pocket rocket "Stratisfear" is now available for the 2017 season and as ever with these Corby designs, they come with IRC potential in abundance.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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The Last Word
Doesn’t have a point of view / Knows not where he’s going to / Isn’t he a bit like you and me -- John Lennon

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