In This Issue
RORC Transatlantic Race | MAPFRE wins Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Takahashi wins Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship | America's Cup: Government funding came with 'expectation' of hosting | Team NZ not scouting other locations | World Sailing Show | Race cancellation scuppers Bermuda's hopes of hosting leg | Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2017 Preview Video | Is Offshore Sailing an Olympic Possibility? | Letters to the Editor | Featured Brokerage

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

RORC Transatlantic Race
After months of planning and preparation, it was time for the record fleet of 23 yachts from nine different countries to cast off lines and take on the challenge of the Atlantic Ocean. At noon, the starting gun heralded the beginning of the iconic 3,000 nautical mile race from Marina Lanzarote to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada.

The forecast of fast reaching conditions failed to materialise and despite little breeze, it was a very competitive start. Ludde Ingvall's 98ft canting keel Maxi CQS made the best of the zephyrs to stretch out an early lead, gybing perfectly on the first of many wind shifts to come.

The gentle conditions at the start did not last for long. Mike Broughton, navigator on Jens Kellinghusen's Varuna called the media team as the German Ker 56 was passing La Bocaina, the narrow gap between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. "There's buckets of water cascading down the deck with over 20 knots of boat speed power reaching. It is a pretty bumpy ride. We are leaving Lanzarote in our wake and getting ready for the first night at sea."

After the first night at sea in the RORC Transatlantic Race, the vast majority of the international fleet were north of the Canary Islands, negotiating the wind shadow of Gran Canaria and Tenerife created by the unusual southerly wind.

Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS leads the fleet on the water and having now raced over 200 miles and left Tenerife to port, as required by the Sailing Instructions, the next mark of the course is 3,000 miles away. CQS now looks to be taking a different tactical option by leaving La Palma to starboard and going south in a divergence route to the rest of the fleet.

Two yachts have broken away from the chasing pack and look to be heading for the low pressure system north of the rhumb line. The centre of the low is 500 miles away, but they are already feeling the effect as the wind direction and speed becomes unstable, with torrential rain very likely. Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna leads the charge, nine miles ahead of Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt -Muratet 54 Teasing Machine. Of the Maxi yachts, Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project is by far the most northerly yacht, whilst Jochen Bovenkamp's Marten 72 Aragon is going well, pulling ahead of Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump.

Bo Teichmann & Thomas Jungblut's German Elliott 52 Outsider is showing great pace, keeping up with the Maxis. Mathias Mueller von Blumencron's German Class40 Red has pulled out a two mile lead on Berthold and Tobias Brinkmann's German Class40 MarieJo.

Race Tracker:

MAPFRE wins Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race
MAPFRE, the Spanish-flagged team led by skipper Xabi Fernandez has won Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race, a 7,000 nautical mile marathon from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa.

MAPFRE trailed Dongfeng Race Team on the long charge to the south, but last weekend, 14 days into the leg and after crossing the Doldrums, navigator Juan Vila and skipper Xabi Fernandez put in a quick gybe to the southwest that Dongfeng didn't match. It turned out to be a winning move; within hours the Spanish team had a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

In contrast, after leading from the first night, Dongfeng suddenly found itself in fourth place two weeks into the leg. But skipper Charles Caudrelier led his team to an inspiring fight-back. Over the final days, Dongfeng clawed its way back into a well-deserved second place.

Leg 2 Lisbon to Cape Town finishing positions:

1. MAPFRE, Elapsed time: 19d 01:10:33
2. Dongfeng Race Team, Elapsed time: 19d 04:02:39
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Elapsed time: 19d 05:37:53
4. Team Brunel, Elapsed time: 19d 10:14:47
5. Team AkzoElapsed time: 20d 07:24:40
6. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, Elapsed time: 20d 07:55:21
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic, Elapsed time: 20d 07:56:29

Seahorse December 2017
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Behind the scenery
Seen off the boat the mechanics always look to operate pretty seamlessly onboard the modern J Boat. But all that glistens... Ted Street

When lower is higher
The foiler Moth has hit new highs of technical performance and the focus swings back on sailing technique. Between them the Cup guys and Olympic champions have it nailed. Current design no1 Kevin Ellway talks to Andy Rice

Strong foundations
After running America's Cup 35 Iain Murray is home overseeing Australian racing. But his own Cup hopes never went away... Blue Robinson

Fast boats just got faster
Fast enough for Franck Cammas and tough enough for all you lot!

RORC - Almost straight swap
Eddie Warden-Owen

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Takahashi wins Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship
In a first for a Japanese representative team, rising match racing talent Leonard Takahashi and his crew claimed the 25th anniversary 2017 Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship convincingly and in unique style on finals day, Sunday November 26, 2017.

North-easterly sea breezes 14 gusting to 18 knots on Pittwater paired with bright spring sunshine capped off four days of similarly ideal conditions for the 12 competing teams, eight of them international.

Over the four-day knockout round robin format Takahashi's Pacific Racing Team and their training partners, James Wilson's Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron team, proved round after round they had the pace, flair and match racing nous to deserve a finals berth.

The finals were definitely a balancing act for RNZYS coach Reuben Corbett who trains both teams, thereby requiring him to carefully divide his loyalty when two sets of protégés ended up squaring off.

Overseen by race officer Ted Anderson and his highly polished race management and umpire teams, Pacific Racing Team wrapped up the series 3:1

Though he lives in Auckland, should Takahashi move forward with his 49er skiff plans for Tokyo 2020 he is aiming to qualify for the host country, Japan.

Second place at the 2017 Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship went to James Wilson (RNZYS) and third was Finn Tapper's Cruising Yacht Club of Australia team.

Final results:

1. Leo Takahashi, Josh Wijohn, Tim Snedden, Taylor Balogh, JPN
2. James Wilson, Sam Barnett, Zac Merton, Bradley McLaughlin, NZL
3. Finn Tapper, Tom Grimes, Jess Grimes, Harry West, Eric Sparkes, AUS
4. Jelmer van Beek, Rutger Vos, Jorden Van Rooijen, Henry Rochford, NED
5. David Wood, Max brennan, Catherine Reynolds, Robert Garrett, USA
6. Callum Radford, Lachlan Grimwade, Jaymin Southee, Cameron Wright, Bryn Bennett, NZL
7. William Curtiss, RJ Porter, Wade Wagner, Steven Lever, USA
8. Porter Killian, Jeffrey Peterson, USA
9. Sarah Parker, Nial Powers, Harley Walters, Nathan Weis, James Farquharson, AUS
10. John Lynch, Kieren Schorts, Kyle Bonney, Jed Cruickshank, Finn Niemeier, AUS
11. Charlotte Griffin, Nick Rozenauers, Charlotte Alexander, Angus Olding, Fergus Abbott, AUS
12. Eliott Quintin, Chloee Poudewa, Emilie Bouchet, Mahina Dauris, Robin Chantrelle, FRA

America's Cup: Government funding came with 'expectation' of hosting
The $5 million given to Team New Zealand (TNZ) in July from the then National Government to get the ball rolling for the next America's Cup in 2021 was made with the expectation it would be held here, but it wasn't conditional.

It comes after a study suggested hosting the cup in New Zealand could create more than 8000 jobs and be worth up to $1 billion to the nation's economy.

Former Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges told Newshub the then National Government agreed to the investment of $5 million to retain key team members until the format of the next regatta was finalised, and sponsorships and other funding could be locked in.

"The expectation was that the investment would go some way towards protecting the intellectual property, experience and skills that the team has generated over the years," Mr Bridges says.

"We didn't make the $5 million conditional on the next America's Cup Regatta being held in New Zealand because Team New Zealand needed flexibility, but our clear expectation was that it would be held here".

A deadline of August 2018 has been established for TNZ to confirm a venue and race course for the next event.

Team NZ not scouting other locations
Team New Zealand has confirmed overseas interest in hosting the next event - but says it isn't "actively scouting" other locations.

The Herald on Sunday has revealed Team NZ are being wooed by backers in the Middle East prepared to offer up to US$80 million to take the regatta away from New Zealand.

Negotiations are ongoing between TNZ and the Government, including on a multi-million dollar hosting fee that the team wants for agreeing to hold the Cup in Auckland.

A Team NZ spokesman responded to the Herald on Sunday story with a statement that said it was not actively scouting other locations.

"But there has been overseas interest that have presented themselves but we reconfirm our desire to host the Americas Cup in New Zealand and we are making good progress with both council and government."

The negotiations over money have seen British sailing legend Ben Ainslie weigh in, saying it would be both astonishing and a huge shame if the 2021 event wasn't staged in New Zealand.

"The history of support for the event in Auckland and New would be an amazing event and a real shame if that didn't go ahead," Ainslie told Newstalk ZB.

The Herald on Sunday has learned Team New Zealand top brass are looking at a raft of other possible destinations, including Sochi, in Russia, and Abu Dhabi.

And it's understood the syndicate could receive up to US$80m (NZ$116m) from a potential hosting deal in Abu Dhabi.

World Sailing Show
The radical new America's Cup class design has just been revealed.

A 75ft monohull with no keel that is it's claimed will be faster than the foiling cats of the last Cup. The World Sailing Show takes a closer look.

Sometimes an Olympic medal doesn't get you a head start, especially if you're embarking on a 7,000mile race offshore. We check in with some of the rookie Volvo Ocean Race crews as they head south to Cape Town.

And on the subject of offshore, we take a look at the two monster trimarans in the double-handed race from France to Brazil that set a blistering pace and smashed the course record.

Meanwhile inshore, a massive turnout for the J70 Worlds Championships in Sardinia started with controversy and ended with spectacular racing in one of the biggest one design sportsboat fleets ever seen.

We also take a trip to China to report on an impressive regatta that also played host to a distinguished guest.

Race cancellation scuppers Bermuda's hopes of hosting leg
Bermuda's hopes to host a leg of the 2019-20 Volvo Ocean Race have been dashed after organisers cancelled the event.

Pat Phillip-Fairn, chief product and experiences development officer for the Bermuda Tourism Authority, confirmed that the organisation had "previously voiced an interest" in having the event make a stopover on the island during the next installment of the around the world race.

However, those plans have fallen through after Volvo Ocean Race organisers cancelled the 2019-20 event to allow for additional time to implement a raft of changes announced in May.

The 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, now in its second stage, features local sailors Emily Nagel and Mustafa Ingham, who have joined racing syndicates Team AkzoNobel and Turn the Tide on Plastic.

Nagel, who worked with SoftBank Team Japan during the America's Cup, is a sail trimmer with Dutch entry Team AkzoNobel while Ingham is serving an apprenticeship with Turn the Tide on Plastic.

Ingham's role forms part of an initiative between the Bermuda Tourism Authority and XL Catlin to build on the social legacy of the America's Cup and promoting the island as a premier sailing destination.

Ingham is scheduled to take a series of courses in Southampton towards his certification before rejoining his team-mates in Cape Town, South Africa, at the end of the second leg of the 11-stage 45,000 nautical mile race Volvo Ocean Race.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2017 Preview Video
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is a true test of human and machine. Organized by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in collaboration with the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, this 628 nautical mile offshore race requires meticulous preparation, honed skills and resolute determination just to finish. Securing the Tattersall Cup and coveted Rolex timepiece awarded to the overall winner requires all those values and more. The 2017 race marks the 73rd edition of this time-honoured tradition. And, with over 100 yachts, including 30 overseas entries, expected to cross the start line at 13:00 AEDT on 26 December, everything is in place for another exceptional chapter in the history of this classic race.

Is Offshore Sailing an Olympic Possibility?
Some decisions and the sentiment expressed at World Sailing's 2017 Conference recently suggest that the door might be opening for offshore sailing to become an Olympic sailing event.

Submission 108 presented by the World Sailing Board, and passed by the Council, greenlights the establishment of an Offshore World Championship in one-design boats. The submission gives credence to the proposal made to the International Olympic Committee to hold an Offshore "Showcase" event at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Noboru Kobayashi of the Japanese Sailing Federation, speaking to the submission, suggested a 300 mile offshore course starting close to the Olympic Marina in Tokyo Bay and finishing in Enoshima just west of Tokyo.

While there is much detail to be discussed, it is believed that the format will allow for a two-handed, mixed gender crew sailing in supplied one-designs with the Figaro Beneteau 3 being mentioned as a potential class.

Letters To The Editor -
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 Richard Hayes:

re: AC75. It looks like a gecko (click on image to enlarge).

* From Julian Everitt:

Don Wood has hit the nail on the head regarding the point of the 'traditional buoyant main hull' in the new America's Cup class. I don't think the Kiwis have a clue about what they have unleashed in terms of driving the proverbial horse and cart through the rule. I suppose they could cop out like the previous lot did and make the buoyant canoe bit One Design!

* From Derek Paterson:

Butch Dalrymple Smith is on to something. It seems that 100m x 25m flat top barges are readily available from China. A pair lashed together would be a good sized base. Auckland City would only need to supply water frontage, and non-team facilities.

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