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
Liam Shanahan Is Irish Sailor Of The Year
Liam Shanahan has been named Afloat.ie Irish Sailor of the Year for 2015.
The Irish Sea yachtsman and June's Sailor of the Month was presented his award by Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy at the Irish Sailing Awards gala in Dublin's Royal College of Surgeons this afternoon (Thursday 4 February).
Shanahan was recognised for his comprehensive victory in the 280-mile Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race at the helm of Ruth, his family's J/109, marking the highlight of a busy June in Irish sailing.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Shanahan – and his dependable crew, especially so since they're family – would go on to retain the James Eadie Trophy in the ISORA Offshore Championship, fending off the strong challenge of Andrew Hall's J/125 Jackknife and Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox's J/109 Mojito in the season's final race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire in September.
And what's more, Shanahan was the clear choice of both the judging panel and Afloat.ie readers alike from the field of 17 individual and joint nominees, garnering 1,359 votes out of nearly 6,500 cast.
2016 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship
Michael Coxon is a two times winner of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, a former Australian champion and current NSW champion, and is the skipper of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers in the 2016 JJ Giltinan Championship, sponsored by appliancesonline.com.au, on Sydney Harbour from 13-21 February.
Michael's new Thurlow Fisher Lawyers-sponsored boat was built just prior to the start of this season and his top rating team is Trent Barnabas, in the bow, and Dave O'Connor on the sheet.
Although the team didn't win one of the races during the recent nationals, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers finished second behind Smeg, but it seems they may be 'flying under the radar' as some followers are talking up the JJ chances of their main rivals.
Underestimating the chances of the Thurlow Fisher team in 2016 would be a great mistake as the crew are proven winners of major championships and know how to time their run into the big regattas.
Coxon's usual pre-championship preparation is based on meticulous work with his equipment in the local park, then time on the water to fine tune the crew work of the talented trio.
Thurlow Fisher's forward hand Trent Barnabas is the son of five times JJ Giltinan champion Trevor Barnabas, and is also a multiple winner of the championship. -- Frank Quealey Australian 18 Footers League
Can Schooling Become The Winter Champion This Time?
Ben Schooling has been here before, sitting at the top of the rankings for the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series, only to be pipped at the post in the last regatta.
The Musto Skiff sailor has been one of the perennial performers in the Series, and his skill and persistence has been rewarded again this season by becoming the fourth sailor to top the leaderboard. He has displaced another familiar face on the winter circuit, Craig Williamson (Laser), who now sits in 2nd overall. Iain Horlock's Supernova lies in 3rd, ahead of 4th placed David Summerville, who has been the top D-Zero performer this winter.
While they don't currently show in the top 10 overall, a good performance at the final event, the John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland this weekend, could see two other top-level teams surge into pole position. GP14 World Champions Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe are well in contention, as is Fireball World Champion Tom Gillard, racing in the Series with Andy Couch in a 505.
Ancasta is encouraging vendors to list their boats with them now in order to be part of Europe's biggest brokerage event, the Ancasta Spring Collection, which will take place this year between 25th March and 3rd April 2016.
The ten-day event spans two weekends, maximising the opportunities for buyers to see boats. A range of incentives for buyers will be announced nearer the time, making the Collection not only the ideal time to sell a boat, but the ideal time to purchase one too.
Boats listed with Ancasta up to 4th March 2016 will automatically be included in the popular Ancasta Spring Collection magazine as well as gaining visibility through Ancasta's unrivalled online presence, giving exposure to a massive local and international audience.
The Ancasta Spring Collection has proved a huge success boasting a huge catalogue of quality pre-owned sail and power boats from across the Ancasta network, including race boat listings.
Further details, terms and conditions etc. can be found at www.ancasta.com/ASC
Sam Gilmour Top Of The Ladder
Perth, Western Australia: Local skipper Sam Gilmour has come out on top of the ladder after two round robins in the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta. He and his Neptune Racing Team, representing Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club ended the qualifying series with 14 wins and 4 losses on the scoreboard.
They are just one point clear of last year's winner, Chris Steele from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, who has climbed the leaderboard since languishing down the rankings early in the regatta. The real conundrum now for the crews and the race organisers is whether there will be enough wind on Friday to run quarter-finals and semi-finals, or whether they will have to go straight to the semis. The forecast is looking doubtful. -- John Roberson
1. Sam Gilmour, AUS, 14 - 4
2. Chris Steele, NZL, 13 - 5
3. Matt Jerwood, AUS, 12 - 6
4. Murray Jones, AUS, 11 - 7
5. Lachy Gilmour, AUS, 11 - 7
6. Jordan Reece, AUS, 9 - 9
7. Will Boulden, AUS, 7 - 11
8. Joachim Aschenbrenner, DEN, 7 - 11
9. Mark Spearman, AUS, 4 - 14
10. Ethan Prieto-Low, AUS, 2 - 16
Transfusion Wins Record Sixth Farr 40 Australian National Title
Guido Belgiorno-Nettis' Transfusion overpowered the local contenders for a record sixth time at the Farr 40 National Championship: John Calvert-Jones Trophy.
Master international tactician John Kostecki helped furnish the dominant Middle Harbour Yacht Club crew with the highest accolades once again, a major boost to the team's Rolex Farr 40 World Championship chances when Sydney hosts an international fleet in a couple of weeks' time.
Luckily they had enough points in the bag that Transfusion wasn't required to sail the last race. When they lined up for the start of race 10, Martin Hill's Estate Master pushed them up, then when Transfusion lent over in a gust Hill's mast spreader pierced Transfusion's mainsail, bringing Belgiorno-Nettis' day to a premature end.
Transfusion began winning major Farr 40 trophies in 2009. Over seven years they've amassed an extraordinary six Australian championships, multiple state championships and a world championship in Sydney in 2011.
Jason Polakow Becomes The First Windsurfer To Sail Infamous Nazare
Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) is well known for his big wave exploits - often travelling the globe to search out the biggest and best waves on the planet and he's just completed his latest mission.
With El Niño producing a colossal winter of pumping swells the Australian couldn't resist the opportunity to become the first windsurfer to sail Nazaré, Portugal, and the first footage of him doing just that is starting to emerge.
To see Jason Polakow taking on one of the biggest waves in the world visit:
Volvo Ocean Race veteran and recently event CEO, Norway's one-time Olympic windsurfer Knut Frostad is moving on to the next chapter. So Blue Robinson starts digging...
Rob Greenhalgh talks Moth speed with Chris Museler and Kalle Coster, Jack Griffin tries (very hard) to explain AC35 and Terry Hutchinson launches into 2016 with some style. Plus more on the youth gap...
James Dadd thinks we are going the right way, but with the cart in front of the horse...
In pursuit of safer offshore structures. Jason Smithwick and Hasso Hoffmeister
Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2
1yr Print Sub: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65 www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs/
1yr Digital Sub for £30: www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/digital
Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine.
Youth Match Racing World Championship NOR Released
Noumea, New Caledonia: The Notice of Race for the 2016 World Sailing Youth Match Racing World Championship set to be held in Noumea, New Caledonia from 14 - 18 June 2016 has been released.
Organised by the Cercle Nautique Caledonien in conjunction with World Sailing, this Grade W event will welcome 16 skippers racing in Elliott 6m boats.
In its third year following the successful 2014 and 2015 editions, the World Championship is open to competitors under 23 years old on 31 December 2016.
World Sailing Member National Authorities may apply for an invitation for a skipper of their nationality by sending a completed entry form to World Sailing no later than 15 February 2016. World Sailing will inform MNAs and skippers if they will be issued with an invitation no later than 1 March 2016.
Ocean Sprint Start In Sight For Clipper Front Runners
A swift turn around Amianan Island has seen half of the Clipper Race fleet gybe to the south-west as the teams head for the Ocean Sprint course and next waypoint off the south coast of Vietnam.
Spinnakers are down and the teams are racing under white sails with Derry~Londonderry~Doire still holding more than a 35 nautical mile lead over GREAT Britain. However the boats further back have been making ground on the second placed team, with Qingdao and Garmin now within 25nM.
Whilst racing remains the focus of all the Skippers and crew, they are finding challenges in the Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race which they had yet to experience in their circumnavigation thus far, as Da Nang – Viet Nam Skipper Wendy Tuck explains: "Last night was an interesting one, the wind had changed so we were sailing under a Yankee and staysail.
"The call was for some unidentified lights coming into view. They were fishing boats. Most of them didn't have AIS (Automatic Identification Systems) so we just had to go back to old school and use eye ball MK1, we always use this with everything else," continued Wendy, whose team currently lies in eighth place.
Within the next 24 hours the front half of the fleet is expected to start the Ocean Sprint with each team vying for the two extra points on offer as they aim to cover the course in the fastest time.
The descriptive comments, some of them bordering on ridicule, were directed not so much at the man as they were at his out-of-the-box boat designs.
Capt. Nat's 33-foot catamaran, one of the first seen in the United States, was considered "odd" when participants saw it at a regatta in 1876. They didn't take the architectural piece of work seriously until it embarrassed all the large racing yachts. From that point forward, cats were barred from conventional yacht races.
Full story: www.yachtingmagazine.com
Gosport Marine Scene Searches For 10 Young Crew To Represent Gosport In Small Ships Race
Gosport Marine Scene is offering a life-changing opportunity to ten young people from Gosport in the form of a sail training bursary called 'Gosport Marine Futures', which includes a place in the Small Ships Race. All 14-17 years old living in the Gosport area can apply. Learning to sail develops personal skills that improve young people's ability to succeed in life, and offers a route to maritime jobs and careers.
On completion of the sail training, the crew will earn RYA Competent Crew accreditation, and receive support to join local sailing clubs or the Gosport Sea Cadet Unit, to continue to develop their skills. They will meet local employers for marine work experience and become the Gosport Marine Scene Youth Ambassadors. They will pass on the baton to the next crew at the Gosport Marine Festival on 27th May 2017.
To apply for this incredible opportunity visit gosportmarinefestival.org.uk to download full details on Gosport Marine Futures, including dates and an application form. Closing date is 21st February 2016.
Not Sailing But Very Cool...
Sir Van Morrison described himself as just a "blue-eyed soul singer" from Belfast as he was knighted for a musical career that has enthralled audiences and delighted critics.
Over more than 50 years the singer has gone from teenage stardom to innovator and is now a respected veteran, whose classic album Astral Weeks regularly makes the list of top 100 albums of all time.
The artist, whose full name is George Ivan Morrison, was introduced as Sir Ivan Morrison as he stepped forward to be dubbed a knight by the Prince of Wales in Buckingham Palace's ballroom.
Morrison's knighthood is for services to the music industry and tourism in his native Northern Ireland.
Ambush is one of Hong Kong's most successful racing yachts and would be extremely competitive in any IRC fleet globally.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
The road to a clinic goes through the pathologic museum and not through the apothecary's shop. -- William Gull
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html