In This Issue
Wind And "Wow" On Day One Of Congressional Cup
Chinese Whisper on target to break Melbourne Osaka Double Handed record
Counting Blessings
Maxi Banque Populaire IX arrives back in Casablanca
World Sailing Offshore World Championship to launch in 2019
Peter Burling will return to Team New Zealand as AC skipper for 2021
Mammoth 24/7 work programme needed to get Auckland ready for America's Cup
Tomes Cup
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Alan Watts

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wind And "Wow" On Day One Of Congressional Cup
Long Beach, CA, USA: Dean Barker (USA) celebrated his 45th birthday with six straight wins on Day One of the 54th annual Congressional Cup regatta, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC). Stiff competition, and solid breeze that started at eight knots and built to an exciting 14 knots, greeted the 10 top match racing teams from around the globe who convened in Long Beach for this prestigious World Sailing Grade One regatta. Congressional Cup racing continues through Sunday April 22, on the waters off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.

Barker's team American Magic had battled its way into the Congressional Cup, qualifying at last week's Ficker Cup regatta with just one loss under the belt. It was the first stop on the New York Yacht Club American Magic challenge for the 36th America's Cup; and an auspicious one for Barker, CEO/tactician Terry Hutchinson and the campaign.

In a three-way tie for second place, after six flights of round robin racing, are Johnie Berntsson (SWE) 2009 Congressional Cup champion; three-time victor, in 2014, 2015 and 2016, Taylor Canfield (USA); and and Sam Gilmour (AUS).

Gilmour set sail this morning with a secret weapon: 11-year-old Jack Snow.

LBYC members house the visiting Congressional Cup crew and officials, and for six years Julie and Bob Snow have welcomed various team members into their home. "The guys are near and dear to our hearts, and have become like family to us," explained Julie Snow.

So when Sam Gilmour's Congressional Cup team weighed in significantly lighter than the maximum weight limit - a huge disadvantage in the breeze - they thought of the Snows' son: Jack.

"We've all seen Jack growing up over the years," surmised Gilmour, "and he gets bigger all the time ..."

"I received a random text from Keith Swinton (tactician) saying 'Hi Julie, how much does Jack weigh?' I thought that was funny ... but I had just weighed him, and texted back," said Julie Snow.

Jack tipped the scales at 40.2 kilos.

"And as it turned out, we were 41 kilos below weight," Gilmour said.

Preliminary Standings Round Robin
Dean Barker (USA), 6-0
Johnie Berntsson (SWE), 4-2
Sam Gilmour (AUS) , 4-2
Taylor Canfield (USA), 4-2
Harry Price (AUS), 3-2
Ian Williams (GBR), 3-2
Eric Monnin (SUI), 2-4
Chris Steele (NZL), 2-4
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN), 2-4
Scott Dickson (USA), 0-6

In Memoriam Today's Congressional Cup started with an on-the-water tribute to LBYC member Robert Graham, a local businessman, boater and community leader who died March 31, 2018 at the age of 82.

Graham was born in 1935 in San Marino and grew up on Balboa Island, where his first boat was a Balboa Dinghy - very much like a Naples Sabot. He won the International-14 championship in 1949 and was an extraordinary dinghy and big boat sailor. He counted such notable Southern California sailors as Bill Ficker and Bill Lapworth among his boyhood friends.

Graham chaired Congressional Cup in 1971, and was Commodore of LBYC in 1978. He was recognized as providing sage advice to the club's governance until his passing.

Chinese Whisper on target to break Melbourne Osaka Double Handed record
The NSW Judel/Vrolijk 62, Chinese Whisper (Rupert Henry and Greg O'Shea) is on target to break the 23 year-old Melbourne Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race record, with an ETA at the Osaka, Japan, finish line of this Saturday evening around midnight.

Chinese Whisper had 625 nautical miles to go at 2pm today, and if she keeps moving at the current pace, is likely to annihilate the record of 26 days 20 hours 47 minutes 6 seconds, set by Victorian Grant Wharington and Scott Gilbert on Wharington's 50ft Wild Thing in 1995, by around five days.

Henry purchased Chinese Whisper out of Europe in mid-2015 and he and O'Shea were the last starters in the race on April 1, which has been a staggered start race with the smaller heavier boats leaving on earlier dates.

Meanwhile, the first starter, Morning Star (Joanna Breen/Peter Brooks, who started over three weeks earlier) continues to lead the race in real time. The S&S 34, representing Tasmania, is the oldest and one of the smallest in the fleet, and had 524 miles to travel.

The race has had its share of dramas for those involved in the main start on Sunday 25 March. In early in April they were forced to suspend racing and take shelter from Cyclone Iris in various Queensland ports such as Southport, Brisbane, Bundaberg and Gladstone after the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria, co-organisers of the race, issued a safety warning and exclusion zone to the fleet as the re-formed Cyclone Iris bore down the Queensland coast.

Some reported wind squalls up to 50 knots and lightning storms, but all are back on track now, further behind than originally anticipated.

Earlier race starters, Morning Star, The Edge (David Kenny/Paul Schulz) and the Japanese entry Bartolome (Keiichirou Morimura/Masakazu Omote) were unaffected by the cyclone, as they were already north of the 'critical zone'.

Then on Black Friday, 13 April, Utopia signalled their intention to retire when Steve Evans sustained injures. He is now back in Australia recovering, while the boat owner, John Fletcher, picked up a new crew and is continuing on to Osaka.

Counting Blessings
Seahorse Rob Weiland has plenty to smile about...

Sailing industry watchers will notice that, as has happened in the past, yacht racing is one of the last 'industries' to pick up after a recession and only after years of economic expansion is interest likely to grow again. Big boat classes and events are low in numbers and gaining or losing a few boats can make a considerable difference to how well the event or fleet is seen to be doing.

Both the America's Cup and the Volvo, to some extent sailing's role models, are not looking all that flash. The Cup, maybe too extreme in the varying of its weapon of choice between Matches, is slow out of the blocks in terms of teams joining. The Volvo seriously lacks direction; I expect a complete change of philosophy from the Swedish carmaker - better late than never. Cannot imagine they are going to pay for yet another generation of Volvo one-design boats, only to find potential teams twisting their arms continuously for ever more support.

The Super Series and the TP52 class were, in terms of participation, banking heavily on the America's Cup for their 2018 growth. But seen from the perspective of today, given the low AC commitment and the information that has to date been released about the next Cup boat, the bar is so far away from the relative simplicity of a TP52 that it takes some imagination to see so many benefits to having the Super Series as the first step on quite a long ladder to the old mug itself - other than keeping shore and boat crew on their toes in high-level competition.

Full story in the May issue of Seahorse:

Maxi Banque Populaire IX arrives back in Casablanca
After being towed since last Sunday, the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire IX arrived on Tuesday afternoon in the port of Casablanca after a 130nm tow after capsizing on Saturday night off Morocco.

The 104ft Ultime class maxi trimaran had been on a training sail ahead of the singlehanded Route du Rhum across the Atlantic in November. The purpose of the practice was to give skipper and Vendee Globe winner Armel Le Cleac'h experience at sailing the yacht singlehanded.

A cameraman and technical team member were on board at the time of the capsize, which is believed to have occurred as a result of a sudden gust of wind. Windspeed was 18-20kts at the time of the capsize and moderate seas.

On Wednesday morning, the technical team rolled the foiling trimaran upright in order to be able to begin an initial diagnosis of the boat and will try to proceed with the repatriation of the vessel to her base in Lorient as quickly as possible.

World Sailing Offshore World Championship to launch in 2019
World Sailing, the world governing body, is pleased to announce that the inaugural World Sailing Offshore World Championship will be held in 2019.

Announced at World Sailing's 2017 Annual Conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico the World Sailing Offshore World Championship will be a powerful platform to accelerate the interest and growth of offshore one-design sailing amongst the sailing community.

The Championship is a new annual offshore double-handed mixed competition between nations, featuring 20 boats. It is designed to cater to the fast-growing double-handed offshore community worldwide. An important goal is to engage with new countries by providing turnkey equipment ready to use at the event venue as well as a training academy.

World Sailing is seeking an Event Management Partner (EMP) to manage the commercial and operational delivery of the World Championship from 2019 through 2024.

World Sailing is inviting EMP's capable of delivering a high-quality event in partnership with World Sailing that generates value for both parties.

The EMP will be responsible for procuring the event Host, managing key aspects of the event, promoting and marketing the event, creating commercial value, and through this, generating revenues from both the Host Venue directly and through commercial partnerships and activities.

Event Management Partner Information for Bidders document.

All bids must be received by World Sailing by 17:00 UTC on Friday 18 May 2018. Further questions will be sent to bidders from 21-25 May and there may be a requirement for presentations of bids at World Sailing's Executive Office in London, Great Britain.

A final decision by World Sailing's Board of Directors will be made on 4 June 2018.

Alongside an EMP, World Sailing is also requesting equipment proposals for the Offshore World Championship.

The Championship will feature 20 identical offshore boats. World Sailing is looking for an Equipment Supplier that will be able to provide a full fleet of ready to race double-handed boats available to charter on the dates and venue to be designated at least ten months in advance by World Sailing.

Request for Proposal of Equipment for the 2019 - 2024 World Sailing Offshore World Championship document.

Peter Burling will return to Team New Zealand as AC skipper for 2021
Team New Zealand have confirmed Peter Burling will be their skipper for the 2021 America's Cup.

Burling was a helmsman with the team who reclaimed the title in Bermuda last year and is currently competing with Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Team New Zealand's Ray Davies confirmed Burling would take on the new role during a live Q&A session on Facebook.

"It's really exciting times for the team and, yeah, we have [signed him] - he is going to be the skipper," Davies said

Glenn Ashby skippered the team in Bermuda and told the Herald in February he was returning for the 2021 campaign, however his role with the team was still to be defined.

Davies said more than half of the 2017 team had been signed for the 2021 campaign, but with the regatta still a way away they weren't in a position to hire a full sailing squad yet.

Mammoth 24/7 work programme needed to get Auckland ready for America's Cup
Construction staff will have to work round the clock, six to seven days a week, to get the America's Cup facilities built by late next year when the syndicates arrive.

The tight time frame to build six new bases and house Team New Zealand in the Viaduct Events Centre on the Auckland waterfront is set out in a new resource consent application lodged today.

It follows tortuous negotiations between the Government, Auckland Council and Team New Zealand going back to November, numerous proposals and an earlier resource consent application being dropped when the parties finally agreed on a location last month.

The $212-million project has five bases on the eastern side of Wynyard Point, a 74m extension of Hobson Wharf for one base and Team New Zealand in the Viaduct Events Centre on Halsey Wharf. -- Bernard Orsman

Tomes Cup
Tomes Cup First awarded (as the Sugar Refiner's Cup) on 1 April 1880 to the yacht Naomi owned by William Howell Forbes, the trophy was gifted back to the Club by the Tomes family in the 1960s and renamed the Tomes Cup. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful trophies the Club has collected over its long history of sailing in Hong Kong since the mid-1800s.

The Tomes Cup is a pursuit race, which is different to normal yacht racing. Competitors are given staggered start times under RHKATI handicap, ie. the slowest boats start first and then the faster boats set off in pursuit. If all boats are sailed equally well, they should (in theory) all finish at the same time.

The race is held in the eastern area of Hong Kong s Victoria Harbour, taking in Shau Kei Wan, Tai Koo Shing, Kowloon Bay and Hung Hom and is expected to attract around 60 competitors from Hong Kong s one-design fleets and Big Boat classes.

The regatta is the fourth and final constituent event of the Top Dog Trophy Series which is designed to identify the most successful boat over a variety of pursuit race courses and conditions.

The current series includes the results for the Around the Island Race (12 November 2017), the Lipton Trophy (18 November 2017), the HKRNVR Memorial Vase (10 February 2018) and of course the Tomes Cup.

Currently, the top 10 in the Top Dog Series are

Boat Name - SailNo - Class - Skipper
Shrub - 912 - Etchells - Jamie McWilliam
Phoenix - 2282 - Big Boat - David Ho
Diva Deux - 1193 - Etchells - Mark Yeadon
Incoming - 1047 - Etchells - Fleming / Wood
Merlin - 64 - Sportsboat - Steve Bourne
Ambush - 2388 - Big Boat - Joachim Isler / Andrew Taylor
Taxi - 1047 - Impala - Florence Kan / Dennis Chien
Impala 1 - 9546 - Impala - Mike Burrell
Mei Fei - 51 - Dragon - Karl J Grebstad
Solstice - 668 - Pandora - Chair Kui Wang

Letters To The Editor - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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 Frank Newton:

Well said Paul Henderson. I would support his plea for having differing weight categories in the choice of Olympic sailing events. In my years involved in Olympic sailing as member and later chair of the IYRU/ ISAF Medical Commission, and in looking after youth sailing for the RYA like many I was very aware that sailors come in all shapes and sizes. The youth sailor is also very aware that they may be going down a dead end if they aim for a particular class to which they are not suited as adults.

In one year at the World Youth Championships the GBR Team featured a girls World Champion at 45 Kg, a boys World Champion at 45 Kg and another boys World Champion at 90 Kg. Both the boys are still in the top flight is sailing when in ' Middle age', but each in his own suitable class.

Dr Jaques Rogge who occupied the top position in sailing and later as IOC President was himself a competitor in four Olympic Games in the Finn Class. He carried out significant research into the weight distribution of the Olympic Classes which made clear the fact that you had less chance of success if not in the best position on the weight distribution curve. He also demonstrated that there was a significant race related problem in the selection of classes. Large American / European nationals versus slight Eastern races.

A young sailor plotting future progress in his / her chosen sport has to look to the future (and the stature of his/her parents) and a stable structure of future classes to remain motivated in sailing as the chosen sport. Otherwise he or she may go elsewhere. We already have a loss of female youth sailors as they find themselves competing against stronger boys.

In the rush to provide a TV friendly Olympic sport with lots of ' exciting action' the proper sailing may be left behind. Why is 'TV friendly 'essential? I fear it is all down to money and the post Olympic sharing of TV generated funds between the various sports. If you are not photogenic you deserve a smaller share, or if sailing is no longer Olympic no share at all. And then how does the international sport fund its projects and administrative set up ? So we have to go for whizz bang. But may get ' Sorry Sam'!

By all means go for new sailing classes but remain conscious of the fact that in sailing, as in boxing or horse racing or Grand Prix racing, weight matters. And everyone should be catered for. As an ex distance runner of 75 Kg turned hopeful Finn Sailor I should know !

* From Jamie Leopold:

A comment regarding the article by Paul Henderson in 'butt Europe # 4073:

Thank you Paul Henderson for your words of wisdom regarding Olympic Sailing in 'butt Europe #4073.

Please keep up the good word David!

* From Bill Canfield:

As usual Paul Henderson slammed the hammer home on his assessment of Olympic Sailing. The key word was how "clever" the sport was with sharing medals between the sexes and weights. What happened to the "cleverness" right now the sport's leaders seems to have turned into dunces. Paul keep pushing for sanity as the "cleverness" is gone.

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The Last Word
No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now. -- Alan Watts

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