In This Issue
A close game for the final 24 hours | Contender Worlds - Jason Beebe wins Pre-Event | Closing the gap | Youth to Keelboat Programme Launches for Antigua Sailing Week | America's Cup - Crucial process gets underway in Auckland | Team NZ nominated for Laureus Team of Year award | America's Cup: AC75 design set to provide huge challenge for sailors, race great says | SuperFoiler Grand Prix | Barbados Sailing Week: Coastal Series winners emerge with one race to go | Restoring a Herreshoff Classic | 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

A close game for the final 24 hours
As Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race brings the fleet to Hong Kong for the first time, the racing is closing up. It's going to be a tense final 24 hours...

Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag's emergence from "Stealth Mode" corresponded with two of their closest rivals 'disappearing' from the tracker.

Scallywag had a jump of just 40 miles on second-placed Vestas 11th Hour Racing when they went into Stealth Mode just before 1700 UTC on Wednesday, cloaking their position from their rivals and from fans for three consecutive six-hourly position reports.

At 1300 UTC they reappeared on the tracker back in the number one spot with only 500 miles left - but just when it seemed the action couldn't get any more tense, podium challengers Vestas 11th Hour Racing and team AkzoNobel deployed Stealth Mode.

Team Brunel, locked in their own battle with MAPFRE and Turn the Tide on Plastic for fifth, also chose to go 'undercover', leaving only four teams on the tracker with 24 hours to go. At 1300 UTC Scallywag were 37 miles ahead of Dongfeng, but both teams - and race fans - were left guessing as to where Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Akzonobel were. If we assume the Vestas team remains ahead of Dongfeng, the race to finish in Hong Kong is getting closer and closer.

The most up-to-date ETAs see the leaders arriving between 1600 to 2000 UTC Friday afternoon, with the back trio due in between 0200 and 0630 UTC on Saturday morning.

Contender Worlds - Jason Beebe wins Pre-Event
The 2017 Contender World Champion Jason Beebe (5,1,2) topped the all Aussie Nationals podium, finishing five points clear of Jono Neate (20,3,1) with Mark Bulka (19,2,3) in third place.

Britain's James Spikesley (1,47,38) won the first race of the day ahead of Chris Jones of Australia.

In the second race Beebe won ahead of Bulka with Neate in third place.

In the final race it was all down to the leading trio again, with Neate taking the race win, second Beebe and third Bulka.

Ed Presley (17,23,11) was best placed British competitor in 15th place.

Soho Lawyers Contender Australian Championship - Final top five (79 entries)

1. Jason Beebe, AUS, 12 points
2. Jono Neate, AUS, 17
3. Mark Bulka, AUS, 21
4. Scott Cunningham, AUS, 38
5. Jan Scholten, AUS, 43

Full results

The iSail Whitsundays 2018 Contender World Championships is held at the McCrae Yacht Club. The event will run from the 16th January 2018 till 25th January 2018.

Closing the gap
Eduardo Sylvestre, Brazilian sailing coach, PE teacher and World Sailing regional development co-ordinator for South America writes about transforming lives...

As World Sailing coach working on sailing development and having been involved with the Emerging Nations Program (ENP) for the past three years on two continents, America and Africa, it is easy to see the impact that our programmes are having in transforming the lives of both sailors and coaches.

It is difficult for an individual from a developed country, that has all the equipment on tap, great facilities and sailors who don't have to worry about anything other than going sailing to realise the effort, strength and vigour a coach or sailor from a third world country requires simply to get out on the water.

Each day they deal with problems that might floor better-known athletes. Lack of the basics, like sails, boats, cleats, gloves and so on. Lack of time, equipment and of course the money needed to race and train overseas. Meanwhile, they are often working their way through school to secure the education they know they will need to support their own families... Yet they still maintain a dream of representing their country at big international events.

The World Sailing ENP is promoting a fair game, it is a great opportunity for coaches and sailors who wish to learn what other countries are doing and to improve their own skillset.

Full article in the February issue of Seahorse:

Youth to Keelboat Programme Launches for Antigua Sailing Week
The Antigua and Barbuda Sailing Association (ABSA) in conjunction with Antigua Sailing Week (ASW) is this week launching a new programme that will allow youths aged 16 - 25 to gain keel boat experience during Antigua Sailing Week 2018.

In 50 years of ASW there have always been a small number of Antiguan youths on board; often from seafaring families or raised within yachting communities. Skip forward to 2017 and interest in sailing, not just as sport or leisure option, but as a career has grown exponentially.

The first youth programme was developed by Antigua Yacht Club in the nineties and then latterly the National Sailing Academy. The Academy has now enabled every secondary school island wide to offer sailing as part of the national curriculum. Both programmes have produced an increasing number of youths with dinghy sailing experience but for many that is where their sail racing ends. The Youth to Keel Boat Programme (Y2K) seeks to bridge the gap and help them make the leap to gaining keelboat experience.

The original idea for the initiative was borne out of a conversation at a Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) Conference held in Antigua between Tim Cross (World Sailing Regional Development Coordinator) and ex-America's Cup sailor Peter Holmberg. Of the programme Tim Cross said, "We were debating how to get more youths into sailing across the region and identified that there needs to be tangible reasons for a young person not only to start sailing, but then remain a life long sailor either recreationally or professionally. This concept is fantastic as it will provide both inspiration and aspirations for the young people involved."

Youths who would like to apply for the programme are asked to visit and follow instructions. Deadline for submissions is February 9th, 2018.

Skippers who are interested in taking a youth on board can tick the request box during the registration process at or email

The Notice of Race for Antigua Sailing Week 2018 and the Peters & May Round Antigua Race are now available online and can be viewed here:

America's Cup - Crucial process gets underway in Auckland
Panuku Developments lodged the Resource Consent applications for the 2021 America's Cup bases with the Auckland Council last Monday.

The lodgement of the consents is the first real step in the construction of the bases for the 36th America's Cup, scheduled to be held in Auckland.

The lodgment comes two weeks after entries opened on January 1 for the March 2021 regatta. They are only preliminary documents, and the final documents will be lodged at the end of January and then open for a 20-day public submission process.

There is little new regarding concepts for the options. However, the required detail has been inserted, extensive supporting reports added and the development has been progressed from conceptual drawings and graphics to plausible fine line detail.

One new feature is the addition of a Legacy use view of the new Halsey Street Wharf extension is as a waterfront concert venue. The drawing also shows Wynyard Point fully developed with a large public park on half of the available area, after the 50 plus silo tanks have been removed.

The application lodged is for the Auckland Council's stated preference known as Wynyard Basin, selected in a 12-3 vote in mid December. The long and shortlisted options are also included to illustrate a full consideration of all options.

In their commentaries, Emirates Team New Zealand have continued to express their support for the more expensive but centralised option of the Halsey Street Extension, as has the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Ports of Auckland pour cold water on the Captain Cook Wharf option.

Richard Gladwell has the details on SO much....

Team NZ nominated for Laureus Team of Year award
Team New Zealand, skippered by Glenn Ashby, won sailing's greatest prize with a stunning 7-1 victory over defending champions Oracle Team USA in Bermuda last June.

Helmed by 26-year old Olympic gold and silver medallist Peter Burling, the youngest winning helmsman in the history of the America's Cup, New Zealand gained revenge against Team USA, to whom they had suffered a crushing 9-8 defeat in the 2013 America's Cup.

Team NZ CEO Grant Dalton said it was a privilege to be recognised by the judges.

"Emirates Team New Zealand are truly honoured to be nominated for this prestigious award alongside some other remarkable teams," Dalton said.

"We know the effort that went into winning the America's Cup, but what we are equally proud of is the very special group of people that came together in the true essence of the word team. Without the team there would not have been the victory."

All Blacks great Sean Fitzpatrick, who is chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said while Team New Zealand was up against some great teams from other sports, they deserved to be recognised.

America's Cup: AC75 design set to provide huge challenge for sailors, race great says
If America's Cup sailors were looking for more of a challenge on the water, the 2021 regatta will give them one, event great Grant Simmer says.

Simmer, who was part of four America's Cup-winning crews including Australia II's victory in 1983, has joined British team Ben Ainslie Racing as cheif executive for the next regatta after two campaigns with Oracle Team USA.

The design for the yachts to be raced in the 2021 event having been public knowledge for about three months, with teams set to race AC75 vessels - 75ft high performance, fully-foiling monohulls.

Speaking to the World Sailing Show, Simmer said the new class of yacht could provide the sailors with one of the biggest challenges in recent Cup history.

"It'll be really challenging for the sailors to sail them. They've just never sailed a boat like that before.

"We've been looking at what boats we should focus on sailing just for our sailors to get used to sailing a boat like the new America's Cup class, and really we haven't found anything."

The AC75 class rule will be published in March, with entries for challengers closing at the end of June.

SuperFoiler Grand Prix
Photo by Andrea Francolini, Click on image for photo gallery.

From the creators of the 18ft Skiff Grand Prix, who pioneered the onboard experience, putting the viewers in the action. This is a father and son journey, Bill and Jack Macartney, who set out to build a new breed of extreme racer built purely to foil.

Over three years, they met with world leading designers and after 4500 hours of production and four countries contributing innovation came the SuperFoiler.

The inaugural SuperFoiler Grand Prix will see six teams of three world class sailors compete in matched SuperFoilers at five locations around Australia in February and March 2018.

From Scuttlebutt

Barbados Sailing Week: Coastal Series winners emerge with one race to go
Click on image for photo gallery.

Bridgetown, Barbados: The second and penultimate day of the Coastal Series, traditionally known as the Two Restaurants Race, took place over a 22nm course and offered spectacular sheltered flat water/fast reaching conditions on the leg to and from the northern-most mark at Holetown just off The Beach House restaurant. On the southern part of the course to the Tapas Restaurant mark, the more lively conditions gave competitors a real taste of Caribbean sailing at its best.

Racing was close once again particularly in Non CSA division where Mandy (Hunter 29.5) sailed by Bruce Robinson and team managed to hold off their closest rivals on Bill Tempro's Hunter 36 Sail La Vie. Tempro and team looked good off the start line and sailed well but there was little they could do to match the impressive speed of Team Mandy and had to settle for second place once again. With two wins Robinson and team have clinched the series, which means the race for second place overall will be decided in the concluding Coastal race tomorrow.

Charles Hunte, the current Windsurfer Mount Gay Round the Island Race record holder was on top form again today on his Starboard Phantom Batwing 377 raceboard although he did confess to feeling shattered after enduring a tough three-hour stint on the water.

Andy Budgen racing his Exocet foiling International Moth Nano Project had a good sail but suffered with gear failure, which ultimately led to him not completing the course correctly

Barbados Sailing Week, Organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, Barbados Sailing Week 2018, continues tomorrow with the final of the Coastal Racing Series and the first race of the J/24 two-day series. -- Sue Pelling

Restoring a Herreshoff Classic
The documentary film NY40 Marilee: Restoring an NG Herreshoff Classic follows the two-year restoration of the Nathanael G. Herreshoff-designed New York 40 sailing yacht. The talent of the artisans at French & Webb in Belfast, Maine; the ingenuity of engineering and design from Herreshoff experts; and the vision of her current custodian were brought together to restore Marilee, which was built in 1926, to perfection.

This was not your typical restoration of a wooden classic. With access to the original Herreshoff Manufacturing Co.'s building plans, documents and images archived at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Hart Nautical Collections and the Herreshoff Marine Museum, this project pushed the envelope in both perfection and ingenuity.

The NY40 class was originally designed in 1916 as a gaff-rigged yacht for the New York Yacht Club. While combing through the plans at MIT, an original Herreshoff drawing of Marilee's Marconi rig was discovered, penned by Capt. Nat himself. This sparked the unique idea of building two separate rigs for Marilee — both a Marconi and gaff.

The film is scheduled for release this month. For more information, visit

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See the collection at

The Last Word
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