In This Issue
Canfield tops Barker in Congressional Cup Final
Itajai to Newport, Rhode Island
Giving up the weave
Nacra 15 World Championship
Guest Editorial: Alistair Skinner
FAST40+ Training Regatta Report
The heat is on in Hyeres
Nations' Cup - Scotland Victorious
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Sir Bertrand Russell

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.

Canfield tops Barker in Congressional Cup Final
Photo by Bronny Daniels. Click on image for photo gallery.

Congressional Cup Taylor Canfield and Team US One have won the 2018 Congressional Cup after an intense five-day battle with nine other of the world’s top match racing talent; and fierce finals with Dean Barker and Team American Magic, who finished second. Sam Gilmour (AUS) defeated Johnie Berntsson (SWE) in the petit-finals, for third place in this prestigious World Sailing Grade One regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.

The final matches of this legendary match racing event came down to a USA sail-off.

Not since Ed Baird’s win in 2004, has Old Glory flown from the backstay of a winning boat. Although both Canfield and Barker are past Congressional Cup champions, at the time Canfield (2014, 2015, 2016) was sailing for the US Virgin Islands; and Barker (2000, 2005) under the Southern Cross, withTeam New Zealand.

For the final day of Congressional Cup, despite a full docket, light breeze held off racing nearly an hour. Once they began, Canfield straightforwardly eliminated Berntsson, in the shifty 6 to 8 knot breeze. Barker and Gilmour battled intensely, with finishes seconds apart. Going into race four, it was match point: Barker 2, Gilmour 1.

Shortly after rounding the top mark on the second downwind leg, Gilmour’s spinnaker halyard popped. Despite a lightening fast recovery, Barker took the advantage and won that match, advancing to the finals.

Both Barker and Canfield have championship DNA: Barker, victorious in the America’s Cup; and Canfield, a Match Racing World Champion.

But Barker had beat Canfield in both matches in the Round Robins; and held an impressive record, with 16 wins – leaving Canfield the underdog, as he entered the finals.

In scintillating matches, as the wind built to 14 knots, Canfield took the first race, while Barker won the second. When the third bout went to Canfield, it all came down to race four.

By this point in the regatta the sailors were in tune with their boats; in the better breeze they accelerated, and excelled. After a thrilling start, on the first upwind leg Barker tacked too aggressively, according to the judges, earning a penalty. The closely matched teams dueled around the course. But when Barker elected to take his penalty turn at the top mark, Canfield surged ahead, and never succumbed, taking the win and the series. Joining Canfield on his return to the Congressional Cup podium is Mike Buckley, Ian Coleman, Victor Diaz de Leon, Dan Morrs, George Pete, and Erik Shampain.

Itajai to Newport, Rhode Island
It was a familiar sight on Sunday afternoon in Itajaí, where the two red boats at the top of the Volvo Ocean Race leaderboard set the pace at the start of Leg 8 to Newport, Rhode Island on the east coast of the United States.

MAPFRE, in second place overall, led throughout the inshore portion of the leg start, with overall race leader Dongfeng Race Team giving chase just boatlengths behind.

Team Brunel and Turn the Tide on Plastic were up amongst the leaders as well, pushing the frontrunners as they headed out to sea for the 5,700 nautical mile leg north.

Team AkzoNobel held down fifth place out of Itajaí while Team SHK/Scallywag and Vestas 11th Hour Racing were close to 3-minutes behind the leader at the final inshore gate.

The Scallywag team was sporting a new logo on both boat and uniform honouring their lost teammate John Fisher.

The forecast is for generally light winds, making for tricky conditions to start Leg 8. The fleet is likely to push out to the east to get further offshore before making a turn to the north.

Leg 8 Positions as at 1800 UTC on Sunday 22 April:
1. MAPFRE (Xabi Fernandez)
2. Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier)
3. Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking)
4. Team AkzoNobel (Simeon Tienpont)
5. Turn The Tide on Plastic (Dee Caffari)
6. Sun Hung Kai Scallywag (David Witt)
7. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (Charlie Enright)

Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 --- Overall Leaderboard after Leg 7:
1. Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier), 46 points
2. MAPFRE (Xabi Fernandez), 45 points
3. Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking), 36 points
4. Team AkzoNobel (Simeon Tienpont), 33 points
5. Sun Hung Kai Scallywag (David Witt), 26 points
6. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (Charlie Enright), 23 points
7. Turn The Tide on Plastic (Dee Caffari), 20 points

Giving up the weave
TEXT Non-woven external finishes have moved into mainstream sailmaking…

Sailcloth has gone through multiple iterations over the years. Woven polyester long ago gave way to high-tech laminates and composites that offer tremendous weight to strength performance. While the fibres that provide this strength vary in modulus, flex, UV and tensile strength, most laminates are still dependent on standard polyester films that encapsulate the fibres and provide off-angle stability. Polyester films have been the primary base since the late 1970s but gradually sailmakers have recognised that these films aren't as long lived as the fibres they protect and support.

Over time polyester films may succumb to UV degradation and abrasion which can break the windows between the fibres, while longterm off-angle loading can cause the films to shrink. One means to minimise ageing is by adding a layer of fabric to the outer film, providing a UV-stable surface that offers more off-angle stability and enhances abrasion resistance. This type of fabric has been in use in cruise laminates for years and provides incredibly long-lived sails. The one drawback, of course, is the increased weight incurred with the added taffeta.

Full article in the May issue of Seahorse:

Nacra 15 World Championship
Click on image to enlarge.

NACRA 15 Right now in Barcelona, 60 eager Nacra 15 youth teams representing 18 Nations and four continents are preparing their first official Nacra 15 World Championship. Sailors are coming from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Spain, Finland, France, Great Britain, Italy, US Virgin Islands, Holland, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. This championship is also important for the qualification of 7 countries to participate in October 2018 during the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. The goal, to be one of the fourteen Nacra 15 teams representing their respective countries who will participate during these Youth Olympic Games. The teams must be mixed teams in the age born between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2003. The Nacra 15 is the "pathway class" to the Olympic Nacra 17 multihull.

The qualification system to participate the Youth Olympics is based on four qualification events: In October 2017 in Medemblik the countries Switzerland and Tunisia have qualified; in November in America the countries USA and Uruguay and in January in Australia the countries Australia and Singapore. Argentina has a wildcard to participate the Youth Olympics. During the Nacra 15 Worlds in Barcelona 7 more countries will qualify to complete the 14 allowed countries/teams.

The new Nacra 15 class has started in 2016 and it is very nice to see how within 1.5 years this new class has been developed very fast. The Nacra 15 is the smaller version of the Olympic Nacra 17. For young sailors really exciting to sail. Most of them are coming from Optimist, 29'er or 420. During last winter period a lot of the teams have trained much time in Barcelona to prepare these worlds.

Today the practice race has been sailed in great sailing conditions with around 10-12 knts wind. The weather forecast for this week also looks good. Race 1, tomorrow Monday 22nd , will start at 12:00 with 4 races scheduled back to back per day, through to Friday, a true test of fitness, skills and stamina. A total of 19 races are scheduled.

The Nacra 15 Worlds will take place at Barcelona International Sailing Center and is organized by Federació Catalana de Vela, Real Nautical Club, Reial Club Maritim Barcelona and the International Nacra 15 Class Association. The event is sponsored by the Government of Barcelona, Forward WIP, Island Tribe sun protection, Code Zero, Harken, PEGA trailers and Nacra Sailing.

For more information please contact Edwin Lodder, Nacra 15 Class Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , mobile +31651134452.

Live tracking

Guest Editorial: Alistair Skinner
Well there you have it - a little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing. Dongfeng Auto wanting performance is only part of the story.

A quote taken out of context about the sponsor wanting their team to perform and suddenly it is wrong or disappointing that there aren't more Chinese sailors on the boat.

A Chinese boat doing well is more important to Chinese than the number of sailors on the boat and Dongfeng Auto have caught that mood perfectly. And before you claim that Dongfeng isn't Chinese you may as well claim that Abu Dhabi wasn't an Emirates team, or is Akzo Dutch or Vestas Danish?

If you are going to have Chinese sailors on the boat first of all you have to have Chinese sailors.

When I arrived in 2000 there was NO non-vocational sailing (Olympics, Asian Games all the sailors employed by the government etc) When I brought my boat to China in 2003 she was the first privately owned offshore racing yacht in China - that's only 15 years ago. Developing sailing is not just about taking people who are already sailors and trying to turn them into offshore sailors – you have to increase the 'gene' pool as well.

If you look at the developed sailing nations a large % of sailors either are not interested or don't have access to sailing something bigger in longer races or are just interested in cruising and until very recently the ONLY sailing most Chinese sailors had done was in something with no lead under it.

Dongfeng, as a commercial company are, of course, in it to increase their bottom line. Their perception is that by being further up the leaderboard this will happen better than by increasing the number of sailors on board. By wonderful spin off that success has raised our sport's profile here in PRC dramatically. The coverage is on CCTV, People's Daily, Xin Hua News Agency and reported on most Chinese media channels. Last race Dongfeng Race Team had more coverage than the winners which is extremely rare in the VOR. I look forward to the metrics this time round, but I am sure it will be mind blowing.

I was there at the original selection trials and there were a few hopefuls, some no hopers and some who had potential. It boiled down to only about half a dozen. Of them Black - who originally stepped out of the programme after a heavy upwind beating first time offshore and Horace have shown the potential and are being rotated back and forward in this race. Black is currently injured by the way hence Horace back on for leg 8.

As a strange and wonderful spin off Dongfeng's improved performance and profile has got more and more people interested in sailing, both from the last race and this one so far.

Quite unbelievably, after Volvo Ocean Race failed to produce Live In-Port coverage during the Guangzhou coverage, Dongfeng, the Guangzhou Stopover and VOR China put together a Mr Vs Mrs challenge for the Pro-Am. Kenny Fok on Dongfeng and his 5 times Olympic Gold Medal diver wife on Turn the Tide on Plastic.

Using a couple of iPhones and social media (Wechat primarily) the local organisation sent out the race across 17 channels to a recorded 1.98 million viewers live. I may be wrong but I believe that is a significant multiplier on what VOR usually gets for a livestream.

To get Chinese sailors in the Volvo first we need more Chinese offshore sailors, before that we need more sailors, before that people need to try sailing and now 2 million (at least) Chinese - WeChat is primarily used by Chinese people (1 billion registered users) - have actually witnessed sailing, some may now want to try.

One follows the other and Dongfeng's success in heading towards what looks a certain second successive podium finish in the Volvo Ocean Race (and potentially an overall win if they can build on their recent move to the top of the leaderboard) will do more to generate interest in sailing than an extra sailor on the boat. Like most people in most countries Chinese pay more attention to the flag on the back than to the colour of the sailors faces.

It is a slow burn but our sport is growing. When we founded our club in Shanghai in 2001 it was the only sailing club in the city (we were told it was the first in China) Now in Shanghai there are half a dozen clubs and instead of being all expats, the expats are VERY much in the minority.

Dongfeng's involvement and Green Dragon and Sanya before them have certainly helped but it is noticeable the Dongfeng being near the top of the leaderboard has accelerated the awareness of sailing here in China.

Watch this space.

FAST40+ Training Regatta Report
Eight teams participated in the FAST40+ Class Training Regatta held 21-22 April, 2018. The Solent served up a variety of conditions to test crew and boats with a cold and foggy light easterly wind for the first day, and a bright and breezy southwesterly for the last day, piping up to 20 knots by the close of play.

James Neville's British HH42 INO XXX has been out racing and practicing for the last two weekends and it has been a valuable time on the water as James explains. "The changing conditions meant we got nearly all the sails out of the bag including our Code Zero. It has been a really enjoyable and rewarding weekend; great to get the team together and work through manoeuvres and the weekend has been very well supported by the class. We are now looking forward to racing next weekend."

Round One of the FAST40+ Race Circuit will take place in the Solent 27-29 April, organised by the Royal Southern Yacht Club with multiple races in the Solent, including windward-leeward and racing around the cans.

The heat is on in Hyeres
Hyeres will heat up in more ways than one this week with temperatures set to soar and a red-hot competition across the single Para World Sailing and ten Olympic sailing disciplines expected.

Sailors competing at the Hyeres 2018 World Cup Series event include Olympic, Paralympic, World and Continental Champions. With the Hempel Sailing World Championships just a few months away, every race counts, making it a highly competitive week of sailing for all.

There is a high turnout in Hyeres, France, for round 3 of the Series with over 830 sailors representing 46 nations. Registration commenced on 22 April with racing set to conclude on 29 April, prior to the Final in Marseille, France, in June.

Sailors will be racing in beautiful sunshine with temperatures ranging from 21 - 27°C but light wind speeds are forecast.

Racing will commence at 11:00 local time on Tuesday 24 April. In the meantime, sailors have been practicing and testing their strategies.

The 2.4 Norlin OD, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 and RS:X fleets will conclude racing on Saturday 28 with their Medal Races with the Men's and Women's 470, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn sailors' bringing the regatta to a close on Sunday 29.

All Medal Races will be available to watch across the World Sailing Network from 12:00 local time -

Results will be available here soon: -

Nations' Cup - Scotland Victorious
Click on image for photo gallery.

Nations Cup New Zealand's four year Nations' Cup winning streak has come to an end thanks to Scotland (Mike Burrell Impala I) who have now placed their flag in pride of place in the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's Main Bar.

56 teams signed up for the 2018 Nations' Cup; spanning 17 nations and one planet including Australia, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Uranus and the USA.

With the wind at 6 to 12kts, Race Officer and RHKYC Rear Commodore Sailing, Lucy Sutro sent the fleet on a course from Hung Hom out through the east end of the Harbour around Shek O Rock and TCS3 and back in finishing in Hung Hom.

Costumes were aplenty with some eye-catching ensembles from the superheroes representing the USA on Maiyo Hood's Goddess and Chinese folklore characters representing Hong Kong on Thomas Wong's Ding Dong in particular.

Top 10 Results - Nations' Cup 2018

Name of boat - Sail No. - Type - Nation - Skipper/ Person in Charge
Impala I - 9546 - Impala - Scotland - Mike Burrell
Paddy's Belle - 1339 - Etchells - Ireland - Jamie McWilliam
Phoenix - 2282 - Big Boat - Hong Kong - Robert Wiest / David Ho / Victor Kuk
King of the Pin - 1364 - Etchells - Netherlands - Frank van Kempen
Swiss Reprobate - 1235 - Etchells - Switzerland - Denis Martinet
Tuco - 2197 - J/70 - France - Berenice Voets
Boss Hogg - 1066 - Impala - Hong Kong - Bob Yu / Francis Cheung
Ambush - 2388 - Big Boat - New Zealand - Andrew Taylor
Hotwired - 60 - Sportsboat - Australia - Rob Bates
Das Busch - 912 - Etchells - Germany - J Isler

Previous winning nations
2017 New Zealand
2016 New Zealand
2015 New Zealand
2014 New Zealand
2013 Philippines
2011 England

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2006 Melges 32. 47000 EUR. Location on request.

Nice Melges with B&G electronics and North 3Di sails, trailer included. Balbi trailer, 14.10.2016 approved by Danish authorities Engine: Tohatsu 9,9 hp , seviced in 2016. Works nice.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Liesbeth Groeneveld
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Raceboats Only Donovan 26 OD. $77,474 CIF. Annapolis MD, USA USD.

The Donovan 26 OD is an evolution of the successful GP26 built by Wrace Boats

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Tink Chambers
Stagg Yachts
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Raceboats Only 2011 TP52 - SPIRIT OF MALOUEN VIII. 600000 EUR. Located in Lorient, France.

Super Series Specification TP52. Fully kitted out and ready to play. Has IRC sail configuration as well as class. Designed by Judel/Vrolijk in 2011. Formerly RAN racing and hugely successful in the TP class. Built by Green Marine to exacting standards and in excellent condition.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679 222
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See the collection at

The Last Word
One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it. -- Sir Bertrand Russell

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

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see

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