In This Issue
Biting The Bullets | Turn the Tide on Plastic add four more young sailors | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | The 2018 Extreme Sailing Series is ready for take-off | Bouwe Bekking supports Legends Race 2018 | Whales, Ahoy! | Industry News | 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

Biting The Bullets
Maloney/Meech Rock FX Fleet With Four Wins in Big Northerly; Fletcher/Bithell Come On Strong With Three as 2017 49er Worlds Qualification Rounds End

Porto, Portugal: For four years, three teams have worked together as training partners for the benefit of them all, even as they battled at every event for gold and glory in the 49er FX, the women's Olympic skiff class. They've fought over World and European Championships, they've fought over World Cups, and their battle for Olympic Gold wasn't over until the final leg of the final race in Rio De Janeiro - and all three teams medaled.

We're talking about Rio gold medalists Martine Grael/Kahena Kunze (BRA), silver winners Alex Maloney/Molly Meech (NZ), and Bronze winners Jena Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN), and it's no surprise to anyone that three perennial performers top the 2017 World Championship leaderboard at the conclusion of the Qualifying Rounds for the 49er FX.

As the women's fleets returned to the Club de Vela Atlantico, the breeze picked up yet another notch, settling in at a brisk 20 knots from due North. Capsizes, gear failures, and even seasickness beat up numerous crews, but none of it fazed newly crowned European Champions Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell at all. The British Olympic skipper and his new-for-2017 crew (a former Olympic medalist in the 470 Class) couldn't put a foot wrong today, taking all three races on the Alpha course and carrying a four-point lead into the Gold Fleet action tomorrow morning.

Weather forecasts show a continuation of the summer Tradewind pattern, with Northerly winds of 12-17 knots and lumpy seas on tap for a full day of racing tomorrow.

Turn the Tide on Plastic add four more young sailors
Turn the Tide on Plastic have added another four young sailors to their crusading campaign in the Volvo Ocean Race - with Welsh America's Cup sailor Bleddyn Mon, fellow Briton Henry Bomby and Portuguese pair Bernardo Freitas and Frederico Pinheiro de Melo all joining Dee Caffari's team for the 2017-18 edition.

"There is so much young talent out there," said Caffari, who is delivering on her pledge to bring a mixed male-female crew with a strong youth component to the start line.

"Bleddyn Mon is a talented dinghy sailor and was one of the fittest in Sir Ben Ainslie's America's Cup Land Rover BAR team. As an engineer, he is very analytical, good at checking the data and also a very talented trimmer.

"Henry Bomby has many offshore miles under his belt as a short-handed Figaro sailor, and like most good sailors he can turn his hand to numerous activities on board. He is comfortable with fast speeds and in good physical shape."

The team, which will amplify United Nations Environment's 'Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic' campaign, counts the Portugal-based Mirpuri Foundation as its principal partner and the presence of Bernardo Freitas and Frederico Pinheiro de Melo will strengthen the team's Portuguese flavour.

"We trialled eight Portuguese sailors to finally select Bernardo and Frederico," added Caffari. "There is limited offshore experience in Portugal but some really good sailors. Both sailors I have chosen are physically strong with good skill sets."

Last week, the team announced Italian Olympic sailor Francesca Clapcich (29) and Lucas Chapman (25) to the squad, joining skipper Caffari and boat captain Liz Wardley.

Seahorse September 2017
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

How the Cup was won and why the Golden Globe in 2018 is going to be such a huge story. Rob Kothe, Jack Griffin and Terry Hutchinson

Tough call
James Boyd tries to see past the many conflicting forces that will shape the next America's Cup in 2021

My... we do breed 'em
There are some quite remarkable people who are drawn to race sailing boats... Tim Jeffery sits down with Dr Frank Newton OBE

Seahorse build table - A fun design space
Erik Lerouge has a new Mini-Me trimaran

Sailor of the Month
Two masters of all they survey

Born in the Volvo - available to all
Hoping for the best is never much of a plan

... is everywhere on the latest WallyCento

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The 2018 Extreme Sailing Series is ready for take-off
OC Sport, founder and organiser of the Extreme Sailing Series, is officially inviting team entries for the 2018 season, with the release of the provisional Notice of Race.

The twelfth Series will visit eight venues across three continents. The calendar and venues will allow the teams increased access to boats and facilitate larger racing areas, whilst remaining true to the core Stadium Racing format that the Series is famed for.

The Series will continue to build on the trend of the past four years that has seen the average size of racecourses grow, while maintaining the proximity of the foiling action to the shore.

Race Director John Craig explained: "With the GC32s being as quick as they are we need to give them a little bit more room to stretch, but we won't lose the stadium feel. We will continue to bring the boats close to the spectators by positioning part of the racecourse close to shore."

The diverse racing format will include open water racing in some venues to maximise the potential of the high-speed foiling GC32s.

In addition, the 2018 schedule will increase the teams' access to the boats. "A key goal of the Notice of Race is to enable the sailors to have more time with their boats. Some of the venues we have selected will reduce shipping time, which will increase the amount of time sailors have to use their boats," explained Craig.

Entry is open immediately and the 2018 calendar of events, including venue locations, will be announced in the coming months, along with the shape of the 2019 Series.

Teams who are interested in competing in the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series, or who would like more information about the provisional Notice of Race, should email

Bouwe Bekking supports Legends Race 2018
Gothenburg, Sweden: Dutch sailing legend, Bouwe Bekking is all set to have an eighth tilt at taking home the Volvo Ocean Race Trophy when the race takes off around the world in October this year. But, when it arrives in Gothenburg in June 2018, Bekking will also have another roll to play, as he's also Ambassador to the Legends Race 2018.

Thirty-two years ago, Bekking made his round-the-world racing debut onboard the Dutch yacht, Philip's Innovator, finishing second overall in the Whitbread Round the World Race 1985-86. The distinctive blue boat won the 7,300-nautical mile Southern Ocean leg from Cape Town to Auckland and Bekking's taste for ocean racing was confirmed.

Bekking's second race was alongside America's Cup heroes, Dennis Conner and Brad Butterworth, onboard Winston, a boat full of promise but only delivering a disappointing fourth place finish in the Whitbread 60 division of the 1993-94 event.

Two more races on the 60s, (Merit Cup in 1997-98 and Amer Sports One in 2001) gave Bekking the experience to step up to the plate and skipper his own campaign in 2005-06.

The newly-introduced 'street fighter' - the Volvo Open 70 - was a beast and Bekking took the 24-hour monohull world record, sailing 530.19 nautical miles on the delivery from Wellington, New Zealand to Europe. But his campaign was ill-fated and although the boat won Leg 3 from Melbourne to Wellington, she later sank on the trans-atlantic leg to Portsmouth, UK.

Undeterred, Bekking returned at the helm of Telefonica Blue in the 2008-09 event, winning two legs, and finishing third overall, before his latest sint with Team Brunel in the 2014-15 race, in which he also won two legs and finished second.

With a history like this, Bouwe Bekking is the perfect Ambassador for the Legends Race 2018, an event for any boat that has competed in either the Whitbread Round the World Race or the Volvo Ocean Race.

Whales, Ahoy!
Whales today are more often being spotted close to shore, sometimes in water as shallow as 15 feet. And scientists aren't sure why.

If you read the September 2017 issue of Soundings you'll see that there have been increased whale sightings in Long Island Sound, with some close to New York City.

Wherever you boat, it's good to know what to do - and what not to do - when you see one of these magnificent marine mammals. This video has more.

Industry News
Musto announced as the official suppliers to Turn the Tide on Plastic.

Dee Caffari became the first woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world "the wrong way" in 2006. In 2009 she capitalised on that feat by completing the Vendee Globe and became the first woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world in both directions. Caffari's ambition also extends to the unique make up of her team, which will consist of a 50/50 male-female squad with the majority of them being under the age of 30. As well as competing in one of the toughest races on the planet, the mixed youth focussed team will be tackling the issue of ocean health by raising awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans. Dee Caffari's Turn the Tide on Plastic team have ambitions to make a difference both on and off the water.

Petra Carran, Head of Marketing "It's an honour for Musto to be working with a sailor of Dee's experience and professionalism. We wholeheartedly support Turn the Tide on Plastic's sustainability ambitions and have already been making significant changes to our standard business practices to ensure plastic usage is kept to an absolute minimum. We look forward to supporting Dee and her team throughout the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 and wish them every success as they cross the start line in October."

In the video below Dee Caffari talks us through what an ocean racer really needs to have in their kit bag, with personal recommendations on how to achieve success from a top sailor.


Australian Sailing will farewell Performance Director Peter Conde after 13 years following his appointment as Director of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

Joining Australian Sailing as a consultant following the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Peter was instrumental in the collective development of the Gold Medal Plan which resulted in the creation of the Australian Sailing Team in 2006. Taking over as Performance Director in 2009, Peter continued to expand the Plan by refining the coaching and staffing structures and strengthening the focus on pathway development.

His meticulous planning resulted in two Gold and one Silver in Beijing and one Silver and one Bronze at the Paralympics; three Gold and one Silver medal at the Olympic Games and one Gold at the Paralympic Games followed in London in 2012. In 2016, the Australian sailors returned home with one Gold and three Silver from the Olympic Games, equalling the highest medal tally of any sailing country. Australian Paralympic sailors medalled in all three classes claiming two Gold and one Silver in Rio.

Australian Sailing CEO John Lee said the search has already commenced to secure the services of a Performance Director for Australian Sailing. "We are disappointed to see Peter leave us but are proud that he is utilising his exceptional leadership skills and knowledge for the ongoing development of Australian sport at the AIS.

He also confirmed that the Board of Australian Sailing have agreed to undertake a targeted search for its next Performance Director.


Dutch serial entrepreneur and sailor Peter Houtzagers takes the helm of SAILMON, a nautical instrument solutions provider based in the Scheveningen harbor, Netherlands. Together with multiple Olympic 470 athlete Kalle Coster, he founded the company in 2014 with the aim of making this world a better place for sailors. As the new CEO, Houtzagers will now steer SAILMON into the future with unique inventions.

SAILMON is known for its high-quality, full-colour and full graphical displays. They offer crisp, crystal clear and bright readability, even in full sunlight. As well as soft, subtle, non-blinding pitch black night readability. The other asset is the SAILMON Model E4 Processor and Connectivity Unit with unique internet connectivity. It processes and converts all incoming data from the sensors on board into adequate and useful sailing performance data. "The big advantage is that most of the existing sensors connect to our SAILMON Model E4 Processor, so there is no need to replace them", explains Houtzagers.

The numbers can be viewed on any kind of display, either attached to the boat or on portable devices, by using the free ScreenView App


Harken has been named official supplier of winches, blocks, traveller systems and mast car systems for the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.

It is the second consecutive race that the USA and Italy-based manufacturer has equipped the One Design Volvo Ocean 65 fleet with some of the most advanced deckware products on the market. The agreement ensures Harken hardware will continue to be a fixture of the racing boats when they line up in Alicante on 22 October 2017.

Each Volvo Ocean 65 features seven hand-operated, manual Harken winches on deck, which allow the sailors to hoist and trim huge sails under high-pressure racing conditions.

"We're delighted that the Volvo Ocean 65s will once again feature a wide range of Harken products in 2017-18," said Neil Cox, Head of the Boatyard, the Race's shared services maintenance centre, which travels around the world alongside the fleet to keep the boats in tip top shape.

Harken has a long and successful history supplying many Volvo Ocean Race teams before officially linking up with the event when the race moved to a One Design fleet ahead of 2014-15, and will supply carbon fibre racing winches, TTR2 Air® blocks, CRX roller bearing travellers, and Battcar systems in 2017-18.


As of today, Quantum Midden-Nederland (aka Sail Loft) continues as Quantum Sails Netherlands. Owner Jelmer Bouw is now providing his Quantum service to all sailors in the Netherlands. Bouw is succeeding the business from the Rotterdam-based sail loft operated by Nic Bol.

Bouw opened his loft and joined the Quantum Netherlands team in 2009. The full-service loft is centrally located at Marina Muiderzand in Almere and is easily reached by car and boat. The loft offers sail and canvas repairs, rigging along with cruising and racing sails. Bouw said, "I'm excited about growing our business and continuing to provide Quantum customers with the best products and services that meet their needs."

Bouw is a lifelong sailor; he loves the adventure of it knowing that a day on the water is never the same. Over the years, he has raced in a variety of classes including dinghies, beach cats and big boats.


The Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show saw a 6.4% rise in attendance over last year's event. Some 11,272 people visited the show, located in the middle of the Finnish capital.

Summer in the Nordics has been relatively cold, but ended with warm weather before the show started. That, and slightly better economic conditions in Finland, resulted in a positive turnout.

Some 279 boats from 166 exhibitors were on display at the show, which is now in its 40th edition. According to Pajusalo, visitors appreciated an extended exhibition area, broader programme, and more restaurants.

The Finnish boating industry directly employs some 3,500 people, although 4,000-6,000 people in total are employed in peripheral roles. Around 73% of Finnish boat production is exported.


HISWA has announced that its in-water boat show will conclude its run at Amsterdam Marina next week. Next year, the show will be held in Lelystad, 40km northeast of Amsterdam.

HISWA director Paul Boomsma said that Lelystad's Bataviahaven offers more parking space and facilities as well as a larger marina. The organiser has signed a five-year deal with the city for the boat show.

Lelystad may not be able to replicate the urban features of Amsterdam, but it has a small airport and is closer to Germany, a key market for Dutch yacht-builders. The final edition in Amsterdam takes place from August 29 to September 3, 2017. The largest in-water show in Northern Europe will have about 250 boats, over 150 exhibitors and an extensive programme of watersports for visitors.

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