In This Issue
Swede Lead in 55th LBYC Congressional Cup
Nine teams line-up for the 44Cup season opener in Montenegro
Into Action - 11th Hour Racing
Entries open for the 2019 IRC Europeans in Sanremo
39th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Documentary
Eve Of The 2019 Melges 20 World Championship
First local entry to Airlie Beach Race Week no longer a 'Mistery'
Gladwell's Line
Inaugural Hong Kong to Puerto Galera Yacht Race
A Group Of Experts Supporting Nicolas Troussel
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Douglas Adams

Brought to you by Seahorse magazine and EuroSail News 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

Swede Lead in 55th LBYC Congressional Cup
Long Beach, CA, USA: It's been 10 years since Johnie Berntsson (SWE) won the Congressional Cup, but if today's opener is any indicator, he could be celebrating his decennial anniversary with another Crimson Blazer.

The Berntsson Sailing Team looked confident and strong in their bright orange jerseys, as they routed the competition on Day One of Congressional Cup racing at Long Beach Yacht Club.

In mild conditions, with winds of 6 to 10 knots, flat water and blue skies, Stage One Round Robins got underway in the 55th running of this prestigious Grade One match race regatta.

Results were random, as number-one-ranked Ian Willams (GBR) and defending champion Taylor Canfield (USA) found themselves in the middle of the pack with last week's Ficker Cup winners Harry Price (AUS) and Chris Poole (USA).

But while several past Congressional Cup titleholders struggled, newcomer Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL) sat in second place. Egnot-Johnson, 20, is the winner of the 2019 Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Cup and last year's Oakcliff International Grade Two regatta. As victor in the US Grand Slam Series in September, he received an invitation to Congressional Cup, hand delivered by Chairman Arleen Tolle and LBYC Commodore Camille Daniels.

Racing continues through Sunday April 7 as competitors battle through a Double Round Robin series, to advance to semi-finals and finals over the weekend. Racing takes place in the Congressional Cup Stadium, a designated course off the Long Beach Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, where spectators can enjoy the action and commentary, free, from 11:30AM to 5PM daily.

Nine teams line-up for the 44Cup season opener in Montenegro
Nine RC44 teams are set to make their debut on the beautiful waters of Kotor Bay, Montenegro for the first event of the newly christened 44Cup over 10- 14 April.

While the majority of teams have opted for strategic consistency, retaining the same crew as last year, a few key changes promise to mix things up. Entering the fray for the 2019 season are a fresh crop of tacticians: Tom Slingsby takes over from Dean Barker on defending World Champion Team Nika and Ed Baird joins Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, replacing long term tactician Vasco Vascotto.

The 44Cup has long prided itself on offering the owner-drivers and tacticians as level a playing field as possible with its strict one design rule. However, the first event of 2019 takes this to a new level, as none of the sailors have previous experience of racing in Tivat, Montenegro - making it the ultimate test of each team's communication ability and skill.

"Montenegro looks like a beautiful venue, but sailing knowledge or an understanding of the area and what to expect is zero," explains Team Aqua's tactician Cameron Appleton. "The racing area is in a beautiful bay surrounded by massive mountains so we are expecting flat water and lighter shifty winds. This becomes tricky as no one will have a clear advantage."

Returning regulars, with only small changes to their crew line-up and looking to monopolise on their consistency, include long term favourites Chris Bake's Team Aqua, Hugues Lepic's Aleph Racing, Vladimir Liubomirov and Kirill Frolov's Bronenosec Sailing Team and Torbjorn Tornqvist's Artemis Racing.

Hosted for the first time by Porto Montenegro over 10 - 14 April the 44Cup Porto Montenegro will be the first event of what promises to be a close, hard-fought 44Cup season span five regattas between now and its conclusion in Palma in November.

Teams competing in the 2019 44Cup

Aleph Racing (FRA17)
Hugues Lepic (FRA) / Michele Ivaldi (ITA)

Artemis Racing (SWE44)
Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) / Andy Horton (USA)

Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS18)
Vladimir Liubomirov (RUS) and Kirill Frolov (RUS) / Cameron Dunn (NZL)

Charisma (MON69)
Nico Poons (NED) / Morgan Reeser (USA)

Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR1)
John Bassadone (GBR) / Ed Baird (USA)

Team Aqua (GBR2041)
Chris Bake (GBR) / Cameron Appelton (NZL)

Igor Lah (SLO) / Adrian Stead (GBR)

Team Nika (RUS10)
Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS) / Tom Slingsby (AUS)

Tavatuy Sailing Team (RUS21)
Pavel Kuznetsov (RUS) / Evgeny Neugodnikov (RUS)

Into Action - 11th Hour Racing
Seahorse Two birds with one (Aussie) stone... why not?

Stacey Jackson had a vision of putting a team of professional female sailors together to compete in the 74th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, then using the biggest event in Australia's sailing calendar as a platform to elevate the message of sustainability, raise awareness of the need to restore ocean health, and inspire action for positive change. This vision was supported by two principal backers; the Oatley family who provided the Reichel/Pugh 66 Wild Oats X, and 11th Hour Racing, the team's sponsor, which promotes ocean health through strategic partnerships within sailing communities.

The team, Ocean Respect Racing, came together with 68 Hobart races and 21 laps of the planet between them. The focus was on winning the race, inspiring future generations of young sailors and promoting environmental responsibility. This powerful initiative was born from viewing first-hand the scale of the problem of ocean health, as Jackson outlined just before the race start.

'I was motivated by the amount of debris I came across in the ocean during my two Volvo Ocean Races around the planet - that really hits you; an eye-opener was where I saw it, not even close to land, confirming that pollution really does travel vast distances. What became very important to me was the educational work that we did with Vestas 11th Hour Racing, and why it is vital to reduce single-use plastics and look after our oceans' health. I became highly involved with the activations that we carried out at the various stopovers around the world, and at the end of the Volvo Ocean Race I knew that I wanted to continue this work.

Full article in the April issue of Seahorse

Entries open for the 2019 IRC Europeans in Sanremo
The Notice of Race for the IRC Europeans 2019 is online at and entries are open.

Organised by Yacht Club Sanremo in co-operattion with Italy's UVAI (Unione Vela d'Altura Italiana) and France's UNCL (Union Nationale Course au Large), the IRC Europeans are scheduled for 23 through 29 June, on two days dedicated to measures and checks and five days of racing.

The Championship is open to offshore boats with an IRC endorsed rating that will take part to a minimum of four inshore or windward/leeward races and an offshore event lasting approximately 10 to 18 hours.

At the end of the week a Sanremo European IRC Championship 2019 Trophy will be awarded to each class' winner and a Special Trophy to the overall winner, who will be therefore crowned European IRC Champion 2019.

A special price will go to the best Corinthian team in class 3 and 4.

All the participant boats are offered a free mooring on the Yacht Club Sanremo pontoons from June 14 to July 1, close to the town centre. The organizers are hoping to gather approximately 80 boats from all over Europe, that will represent a record number, after the successful editions of the Championships in Marseille and Cowes.

Several teams form Germany, Estonia, France, the UK and Italy have already confirmed their participation.

Notice of Race here

39th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Documentary
39th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta have been four days of awesome sailing, leaving competitors with unforgettable memories of sparkling azure blue seas, sandy white beaches and windswept ragged rocks. The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta delivered on its promise of four days of serious sailing, with upwind legs dousing the crews hiking on the rails with warm water from the waves breaking over them. Spectacular champagne sailing with roller coaster downwind legs, with a myriad of colorful spinnaker kites flying in the trade winds.

Eve Of The 2019 Melges 20 World Championship
The 2019 edition of the always-competitive International Melges 20 Class Association World Championship looks to be hotly contested under what is forecasted to be beautiful Miami conditions; 80 degrees and breeze in the 9-15 kts range. It is the Melges 20 fleet's tenth year racing at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, and this weekend's event will be the 32nd Melges 20 regatta hosted by the club over the past ten years. The Melges 20 Class is also grateful for the critical support from Shake-A-Leg Miami. A solid core of Melges 20 sailors from around the globe are prepared to do battle on Biscayne Bay. The only uncertainty is: Which team will be crowned champions?

Teams had two official practice races today at the Melges 20 Pre-Worlds hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Alessandro Rombelli and the STIG team won the first practice race and Igor Rytov and the RUSSIAN BOGATYRS won the second.

Tomorrow the teams battle, but tonight they party. The Competitors' Briefing and Opening Ceremony is sponsored by Rob Wilber, Rhonda Joyce and other Melges 20 fleet members that have been solid contributors to the class for years.

Results will be on

First local entry to Airlie Beach Race Week no longer a 'Mistery'
When Bill Hopton entered his Swarbrick S99 into the 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week, he wasn't expecting to be the first local in the Festival of Sailing's fleet.

Nonetheless, it wouldn't be the first time 'Mistery' has claimed an inaugural spot.

Originally named 'Thick as a brick' she was the first S99 to be built in 1985.

"Fortunately somebody changed her name," Hopton laughed before going on to explain how Mistery epitomised his feelings about the 31st running of the Whitsunday Sailing Club (WSC) hosted event.

"I've owned the boat for eight years and only missed one Airlie Beach Race Week since then," he said.

"Why? Because it's pure and simple fun.

"You're racing in the Whitsundays in the middle of winter in shorts and T-shirt; it's great passage racing but without being too serious."

When asked how he felt about leading the pack in the entry stakes, Hopton was optimistic of a good omen for things to come. -- Sharon Smallwood/ABRW media

Gladwell's Line
Undermining America's Cup teams at this stage of the competition, and indeed right through the regatta, is not unusual. Whether that is a legitimate part of the America's Cup game is another matter.

If the Racing Rules of Sailing had been in force for the current America's Cup, then off the water actions by teams against others could be governed under the Misconduct provisions, for which the penalties are substantial and now cover both teams and individuals associated with teams.

Previously Golden Gate Yacht Club put rules in their Protocols covering the 34th and 35th America's Cup to prevent teams or individuals making adverse public comment about the America's Cup event, but not between the teams. That was the so-called "Dalton Clause".

In this America's Cup cycle, Emirates Team New Zealand was critical of the New York Yacht Club after the publication of recent decisions from the Arbitration Panel.

In a subsequently withdrawn media statement referring to the New York Yacht Club's team continuing with its complaint about imperfections in the Late Challenges accepted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Emirates Team New Zealand said: "This anti-competitive action has caused further delays and uncertainty for the teams and frustrated the Challenger of Record and the Defender who have been working together in the best interests of the event."

While lodging complaints with the Arbitration Panel is quite legitimate, it can also have an adverse effect on Challengers. Particularly affected are commercially based teams who are trying to approach sponsors and backers.

Would be sponsors/backers can run quick, usually informal, checks on the team and which may throw up some minor issue in the context of the America's Cup rules, which appears to be significant to someone new to the event, and who doesn't understand the cut and thrust of America's Cup competition.

Inaugural Hong Kong to Puerto Galera Yacht Race
17 entries have now been received for the inaugural Hong Kong to Puerto Galera Yacht Race, which will start on 16 and 17 April. The race is organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and will commence in the iconic Hong Kong harbour and take competitors through the eastern entrance of the harbour before setting out on the 650nm mile journey to Puerto Galera on the Philippine island of Mindoro.

Organisers hope the race will see the yachts sail further south than before; allowing them to sail a wider apparent wind angle in the Monsoon breeze, enabling the yachts to sail faster and hopefully enjoy a spinnaker ride earlier than in the Club's other offshore races across the South China Sea.

Among the entries is the double-handed father and son team of Philippe and Cosmas Grelon. This will be the second Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club offshore race they have competed in double-handed - the first being the 2018 Rolex China Sea Race which took place last March. The Grelons finished the 565nm Rolex China Sea Race in 82h 07m 14s, putting them in second place in their division on their boat Decathlon Aya, a Pogo 10.50.

Decathlon Aya will be once again competing against their Rolex China Sea Race division winner on a fully crewed Blackjack - a Grand Soleil 45 owned by Glenn Smith as well as the rest of the fleet fighting for the overall win.

A Group Of Experts Supporting Nicolas Troussel
Greg Evrard (team director, former director of North Sails France), Juan Kouyoumdjian (naval architect) and Michel Desjoyeaux (double champion of the Vendee Globe and building manager) are all supporting skipper Nicolas Troussel, who will take the start of the Vendee Globe 2020 at the helm of a brand new boat in the colours of CORUM L'Dpargne.

A few weeks after the Route du Rhum 2018, CORUM L'epargne and Nicolas Troussel signed a deal to ramp up their partnership with the construction of a latest generation IMOCA monohull (18.28m) and the launch of a project, which will take them through to 2022.

A long-time racer, Greg Evrard called tactics for Mathieu Richard, whose crew spearheaded the top 5 of world match racing* for over 10 years. He has also won several Tour de France à la Voile competitions, the ORMA trimaran championship and been at the top of his game in numerous series. His managerial skills also saw him head the finance department at Decathlon and then North Sails France, of which he was director from 2014.

Brought together through competition, Nicolas and Greg's relationship is guided by mutual respect and running this project together seemed like the obvious way to step things up a gear. Greg is leaving his responsibilities at North Sails in late March so he can fully devote himself to his new duties.

And here we have the other dynamic duo of the project. "The association of a Juan Kouyoumdjian design project-managed by Michel Desjoyeaux with his Mer Agitee and Mer Forte structures, is the perfect solution for us since we can save time with confidence," explains Greg. "Juan has won the last three Volvo Ocean Races with prototypes and Michel has won two Vendee Globes and built four of the last five winning boats. Both guys were very keen to work with one another and it's a fantastic boost for a project, where the problematics of time are genuine."

CORUM L'epargne is one of eight new boats, which will take the start of the Vendee Globe in Les Sables d'Olonne on 8 November 2020. She's the second such creation by Juan Yacht Design and the last boat to be launched as her slot is scheduled for the first quarter of next year.

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The Last Word
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