In This Issue
Volvo 49er, 49erFX and NACRA 17 European Championships
What we have learnt from the Bermudes 1000 Race
Refit Sales Manager Required
Golden Globe: Tapio Lehtinen takes 5th place
Great British Sailing Challenge
Time to catch up - Harken Derm
Laser European Championship
Medemblik Regatta
Featured Brokerage:
• • Vismara V52
• • Rapido 50 - NEW BOAT
• • Triple Lindy
The Last Word: Kurt Vonnegut

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

Volvo 49er, 49erFX and NACRA 17 European Championships
49erFX: Brazil win, but Dutch survive pressure to win ticket to Tokyo
Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze won the Open European Championships, the Olympic Champions from Brazil in a different class this week in Weymouth. The greater interest for the Medal Race was which of the chasing pack would succeed in taking the silver and bronze. There were six teams in contention for the minor medals, but the team that needed to climb on to the podium more than any other were the reigning World Champions from the Netherlands, Annemieke Bekkering and Annette Duetz. On the back foot after their Dutch rivals won the previous regatta in Italy, the Hempel World Cup event in Genoa, Bekkering and Duetz need to pull out all their experience and ability to withstand pressure as they lined up on the Medal Race start line.

The Norwegian crew Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen held the lead on the last downwind leg and crossed the finish line ahead, sufficient to give the 2018 European Champions the bronze medal. The Dutch held their nerve to cross the line in second place, making them the European Champions (excluding the Brazilians) and earning them a place at next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

49er: The Kiwis do their work while Brits battle
The final day of the 2019 Volvo European Championships began with one final Gold fleet race for the 49er Men, their 20th race of the week!

Back in the pack, the kiwis were able to do their work, climbing steadily throughout the race from a deep 22nd (which would have put Fletcher/Bithell into the overall lead), all the way back to 9th by the finish line, staying on top of the overall podium. Fletcher/Bithell won the race to maintain second overall, while last year's World Championship bronze medallists, Germany's Fisher/Graf, snagged a second second place in a row for the gold fleet racing, but it wasn't enough to move them into the medal race, showing just how tight and close the racing this week has been.

NACRA 17: Saxton and Boniface Ride Light Air Roll to Pole Position
With 6 boats all within 12 points of the gold medal, this Nacra 17 medal race was always going to be a difficult one to predict and a big battle on the water for all teams involved.

Staying true to form in the light winds over the last few days it was Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface who dominated the race from start to finish, coming off the middle of the line and managing to use their boat speed to control most of the fleet around them.

Nacra 17 Top 5
1. Ben Saxton, Nicola Boniface, GBR, 61
2. John Gimson, Anna Burnett, GBR, 67
3. Lin Cenholt, CP Lubeck, DEN, 71
4. Ruggero Tita, Caterina Banti, ITA, 73
5. Mateo Majdalani, Eugenia Bosco, ARG, 76

49erFX Top 5
1. Martine Grael, Kahena Kunze, BRA, 76
2. Annemiek Bekkering, Annette Duetz, NED, 79
3. Helene Næss, Marie Rønningen, NOR, 83
4. Alex Maloney, Molly Meech, NZL, 90
5. Vilma Bobeck, Malin Tengstrom, SWE, 93

49er Top 5
1. Peter Burling, Blair Tuke, NZL, 72
2. Dylan Fletcher, Stu Bithell, GBR, 81
3. James Peters, Fynn Sterritt, GBR, 94
4. Diego Botin, Iago Marra, ESP, 97
5. Eric Heil, Thomas Ploessel, GER, 123

What we have learnt from the Bermudes 1000 Race
There is still one competitor still at sea in the second edition of the Bermudes 1000 Race, the Belgian skipper, Denis Van Weynbergh, who is expected to finish on Thursday afternoon in Brest. The race was won on Friday by Sebastien Simon (in 7 days, 17 hours and 34 minutes) ahead of Yannick Bestaven and Giancarlo Pedote. This 2000-mile race which is on the IMOCA Globe Series calendar with a weighting of two, was very instructive for the 17 solo sailors competing, none of whom were forced to retire. We look back at the major lessons from this race, which took the skippers from Douarnenez to Brest via the Fastnet Rock and a virtual mark off the Azores.

Sebastien Simon, who was one of the rookies gave a strong impression, leading the race from start to finish and finishing first in Brest more than three hours ahead of his nearest rivals.

Behind him, the battle was on for the other places on the podium, but the favourites were there. After more than a week of racing, the four skippers chasing Sebastien Simon completed the course with just six minutes between them. A nail-biting finish, which pleased Yannick Bestaven, who came second

Maxime Sorel and Clement Giraud both newcomers to the IMOCA class, performed exceptionally well. Finishing fifth, just 4 minutes off the podium, Maxime held out against the best foilers in his IMOCA with straight daggerboards.

Out of the seventeen competitors that set sail, none have retired. Apart from the skippers already mentioned, three women and one other man have also completed the demanding Bermudes 1000 Race: Miranda Merron (13th), Alexia Barrier (14th), Pip Hare (15th) and Ari Huusela (16th). Having been very unlucky with the weather, Belgian skipper, Denis Van Weynbergh has been struggling in light winds since rounding the Azores waypoint. Based on the latest routing, he is expected to finish in Brest on Thursday. If he does manage to finish, all of the competitors will have completed the race. Things are looking very positive for the IMOCA class in terms of reliability, as all of those registered for the 2017 Transat Jacques Vabre (13/13) completed that race and that was also the case for the Monaco Globe Series in 2018 (9/9), while 75 % made it all the way in the 2018 Route du Rhum (15/20), in spite of some very tricky weather conditions.

Major changes in the Globe Series rankings
Winner of the 2018 Route du Rhum, Paul Meilhat remains at the top of the Globe Series, even though he did not take part in the Bermudes 1000 Race. But Boris Herrmann is now just four points behind him. Consistency is important, as Stephane Le Diraison (5th in the Monaco Globe Series, 8th in the Route du Rhum and 10th in the Bermudes 1000 Race) is in third place in the provisional rankings in the championship. We can see too that Damien Seguin (5th) and Fabrice Amedeo (6th) have leapt up the rankings, which remain close, as there are only 14 points between third-placed Stephane Le Diraison and tenth-placed Alan Roura. The next event in the Globe Series will be the Rolex Fastnet Race, which starts on 3rd August. Twenty-five double-handed IMOCA crews are due to compete in this event.

Rankings in the Bermudes 1000 Race:
1. Sebastien Simon (Arkea Paprec) in 7 days 17 hrs 34 mins
2. Yannick Bestaven (Maitre CoQ) 3 hrs 13 mins and 20 secs after the winner
3. Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group) 3 hrs 15 mins and 45 secs after the winner
4. Samantha Davies (Initiatives Cœur) 3 hrs 18 mins and 22 secs after the winner
5. Maxime Sorel (VandB-Sailing Together) 3 hrs 19 mins and 45 secs after the winner
6. Boris Herrmann (Malizia-Yacht Club de Monaco) 3 hrs 54 mins and 15 secs after the winner
7. Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest-Art & Fenêtres) 7 hrs 29 mins and 9 secs after the winner
8. Clement Giraud (Envol by Fortil) 7 hrs 31 mins and 36 secs after the winner
9. Arnaud Boissieres (La Mie Caline-Artipôle) 8 hrs 38 mins and 49 secs after the winner
10. Stephane Le Diraison (Time For Oceans) 9 hrs 13 mins and 11 secs after the winner
11. Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil) 14 hrs 48 mins after the winner
12. Manuel Cousin (Groupe Setin) 14 hrs 59 mins and 37 secs after the winner
13. Miranda Merron (Campagne de France) 1 day 5 hrs 31 mins and 47 secs after the winner
14. Alexia Barrier (4myplanet) 1 day 10 hrs 19 mins and 24 secs after the winner
15. Pip Hare (Superbigou) 1 day 22 hrs 13 mins and 48 secs after the winner
16. Ari Huusela (Ariel 2) 2 days 9 hrs 32 mins and 32 secs after the winner
17. Denis Van Weynbergh (, still racing

The top 10 in the Globe Series:
1. Paul Meilhat : 98 points
2. Boris Herrmann : 94
3. Stephane Le Diraison : 78
4. Yann Elies : 76
5. Damien Seguin : 74
6. Fabrice Amedeo : 72
7. Alex Thomson : 72
8. Vincent Riou : 68
9. Arnaud Boissieres : 66
10. Alan Roura : 64

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Golden Globe: Tapio Lehtinen takes 5th place
Tapio Lehtinen, the 5th and final placed Finnish skipper competing in the Golden Globe Race crossed the finish line at 20:21 hours today accompanied by Bernard Moitessier's famous yacht Joshua and a flottila of excited wellwishers, including French race winner Jean-Luc Van Den Heede.

Sailing his Gaia 36 Asteria with spinnaker set in glorious weather, Tapio has clearly enjoyed his lengthy solo circumnavigation extended by barnacle growth on the hull. The 61 year-old from Helsinki is now heading towards Les Sables d'Olonne harbour where live coverage will continue for his dockside reception, prizegiving and press conference.

Barnacle growth was the root cause of Finnish skipper Tapio Lehtinen's slow solo circumnavigation but the 110 day difference between his and Race winner Jean-Luc Van Den Heede's time was definitely enjoyable.

"I have certainly got my money's worth from the entry fee." Tapio had joked with Race organiser Don MacIntyre before his return to Les Sables d'Olonne at 20:21hrs on Sunday. "This is the best organised race I have ever taken part in...And the most selfish thing I have ever done... It is the fulfilment of a life-long dream...I'm not enrolling myself just yet, but yes, absolutely, I would do it again!" the 61 year old from Helsinki said at his press conference today.

"Yet asked what was the lowest moment in the race, the answer appeared to cover several months. "I had been sailing neck-and-neck with Istvan Kopar across the Indian Ocean when suddenly he started to get away. I thought there must be something wrong - perhaps a fishing line caught in the propellor - and dived overside during a calm spell before the Hobart film drop to investigate. It was not a rope or net, but barnacles growing all over the hull. When I first saw them on the bottom, I knew my race was over."

Other skippers had taken the opportunity to clean their hulls during their compulsorary 24 hour stop in Tasmania, but by the time Tapio and his Gaia 36 Asteria reached Storm Bay Australian authorities had put a stop to it. Careening hulls had to be undertaken beyond the 200 mile territorial waters.

Tapio readily admits to an aversion to sharks, so when he prepared to dive overside during a calm period after leaving Tasmania he recalled "I was tying my improvised boarding ladder to the boat in preparation of diving overboard and spotted this huge shark swim alongside the boat - and that was the worst day of my life."

Tapio was accompanied the last 10 miles to the finish by Bernard Moitessier's famous yacht JOSHUA a French entry in the original Golden Globe Race 50 years before. "I sense the smell of Tahiti in Les Sables" Tapio shouted across in reference to Moitessier's decision to foresake the success of finishing by continuing towards a second circumnavigation 'to save my soul' as he put it, before finally dropping anchor off the Pacific island.

20 sailors from 10 Countries have signed up to compete in the next Golden Globe Race slated to start on 4th September 2022, and many more have expressed an interest to compete.

Great British Sailing Challenge
The Wilsonian River Challenge offers adventurous dinghy racers the chance to branch out and try something a bit different from the usual open meeting. Taking place on 1&2 June, it's the next event on the Great British Sailing Challenge calendar, and the format is designed to make the best use of the tidal conditions on the Medway River in this hidden away corner of Kent.

Entry is open to all non-foiling monohull centreboard dinghies with a Great Lakes Handicap Number equal to or lower than the Topper 5.3 and Challenger Trimarans. So far there are entries already in for boats as diverse as 2000s, AltOs, Blazes, Musto Skiffs, National 18, Osprey, RS600, RS800, Solos, Streakers and Wayfarers.

For friends and family who aren't racing, there's plenty to do nearby including a visit to the historic Upnor Castle and the local area which is full of Britain's maritime heritage.

The club is putting on food and social events throughout the weekend. Hot and cold food will be available from the galley on arrival including:

Food available for Friday night Competitors and Visitors
Breakfast served from 8am to 10.30am on Saturday from 7.30am to 9.30am on Sunday
Rolls to take afloat on request
Pasties and snack food available after racing on both Saturday and Sunday
Bar open all day for Soft Non Alcoholic and Alcoholic Drinks
Saturday Afternoon/Evening: The BBQ will be available from 4pm with live music in the Evening
Camping: There will be a limited amount of camping space( maximum tent Size 2 x 3 metres) and campervan space which will need to be applied beforehand on a first come first serve basis.

There's plenty of accommodation nearby. The website will give you all local B&Bs, Guest Houses, Premier Inn, Travelodge and other hotels. The nearest towns are Hoo St Werburgh and Strood.

Online entry is open at This is set to be one of the most exciting and out-of-the-ordinary events of the dinghy calendar in 2019, so get your entry in before it hits the 80-boat limit.

Time to catch up - Harken Derm
Seahorse readers will by now be familiar with the growing number of images we publish that include instances of some of the world's best-known racing sailors competing while wrapped up like desert nomads. There is good reason for that of course; even so, the full extent of the active racer's risk of sun-induced damage can still fairly be described as less than fully appreciated. Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Medical College of Wisconsin Edit Olasz Harken looks at both the risks to ourselves and at the steadily growing side-effects on the waters on which we compete.

'Sunscreen is the new margarine', 'Hawaii just banned your favourite sunscreen to protect its coral reefs', 'Is your sunscreen poisoning you?' - these and similar headlines have been creating a lot of buzz in the news lately. Sunscreen is a hot topic and the closer one gets to it nowadays the hotter it becomes - you may even crash and burn like Icarus, who ignored his father's advice and flew close to the sun on wings made of feathers and wax.

Luckily dermatologists (like myself), sunscreen manufacturers, marine biologists and scientists studying potential benefits and harms of sunscreens at least agree on one fact: applying a proven sunscreen will reduce your exposure to burning from the sun. They may even agree that proper use of sunscreen decreases the risk of skin cancer, although with a lot of ifs and buts.

The rest, frankly, is becoming a field of controversies where the battle of opposing and usually polarised opinions plays out gruesomely, creating the type of social media havoc that has unfortunately permeated our world lately.

Full article in the June issue of Seahorse magazine

Laser European Championship
The races that will award next Saturday the European titles of the Standard Laser Class (male seniors), Laser Radial (female seniors) and Laser Radial Open (all ages and genres) began yesterday.

Distributed by two "race fields", 323 sailors representing 55 countries competed on the Atlantic front of the cities of Matosinhos, Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia.

The weak wind prevailed on the first day of competition but allowed the two regattas scheduled for the race to be completed.

In the Laser Standard category, German sailor Philipp Buhl, Spaniard Joaquin Blanco, Dutchman Niels Broekhuizen and Irishman Finn Lynch lead the way with 5 points.

In the women's Laser Radial category, Malaysian sailor Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif leads the standings, with Mafalda Pires de Lima being the best Portuguese in 52nd position.

In the Laser Radial Open category, Martim Fernandes leads the classification after obtaining the 3rd and 2nd positions in both races.

For the second day of competition, Tuesday, two more races are scheduled, with races starting at 12 PM. -- Icarus Sports

Medemblik Regatta
The 35th edition of the Medemblik Regatta is starting this Tuesday in the Netherlands. The medal races on Saturday will close the week of racing. Besides all the action on the water, the Nautical Festival, as part of the Medemblik Regatta, offers more activities.

From Tuesday to Saturday, European-, World - and Olympic Champions are racing in Medemblik. Reigning World- and European Champion in the RS:X Women, the Dutch Lilian de Geus, will be determined to win the gold medal this week. Last year she had a difficult week of racing and came in second place. The Polish Zofia Noceti Klepacka won the Regatta last year. She is also present this year.

In the RS:X Men fleet, it's going to be an exciting battle between the Dutch Kiran Badloe and Dorian van Rijsselberge. This year Badloe became European Champion and was second placed at the World Championship last year. Multiple Olympic Champion van Rijsselberghe is the reigning World Champion. He ended up in a second place at the European Championship. We can expect some close racing between these two.

Besides the Olympic RS:X class, the 49er and 49erFX will race as well. We'll welcome the talents of this class since the top sailors are closing their European Championship in Weymouth at this moment. Another Skiff racing in Medemblik is the Musto Performance Skiff. Later this summer they have their World Championship in Medemblik, so this is the perfect event for them to prepare. Although Paralympic sailing is off the calendar, the Medemblik Regatta includes the Hansa class to their event. This way the organisation continues its support and promotion of this sport.

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The Last Word
True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. -- Kurt Vonnegut

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