In This Issue
Hong Kong to London: Maserati Enters the Indian Ocean | Miami Breeze Plays Hide and Seek on Day 1 of World Cup Series Miami | MAIB Report on Clipper Death | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | NZ Government close to securing new site for America's Cup bases in Auckland | Contractors will have to work around the clock | Superfoiler Grand Prix: Newcastle leg delayed until 2019 | 2018 iSail Whitsundays Contender World Championships - Day Three | EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour | Vasco Vascotto Joins Team Luna Rossa | Lewmar's 'Mr Winch', Tony Jones, has died while travelling in France. | 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

Hong Kong to London: Maserati Enters the Indian Ocean
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi70's crew crossed the Sunda Strait and entered the Indian Ocean.

At 19 UTC they were at 9° South and 103° East, 593 miles ahead Lionel Lemonchois.

Leaving the China Sea, the crew leaves behind many hazards: fishing ships with no lights, debris and nets scattered all around the first 2000 miles of the Hong Kong to London route.

Maserati Multi70 is now headed towards the South-East trade wind, flowing around the sixteenth parallel South.

The trimaran Maserati Multi70 left Hong Kong crossing the starting line positioned between the Tai Long Pai and Nga Ying Pal lights, at the exit of the Tathoong canal, at 10: 43′ 24" UTC (18:43 in China, 11:43 in Italy) on January 18.

To beat the record Giovanni Soldini and the crew of the trimaran - Guido Broggi, Oliver Herrera Perez, Alex Pella and Sébastien Audigane - have to complete the course and cross the finish line under the Queen Elizabeth II bridge over the Thames before the 1st of March at 8: 9′ 47" UTC.

Along the 13,000 miles course (about 24,000 kilometers) following the shortest orthododromic route passing by the Cape of Good Hope, the Hong Kong-London route begins with a run down the South China Sea. "The weather situation has been very unstable in these last days", explains Pierre Lasnier, the routeur who will follow the record on land. "According to the latest models, it's getting clearer. Starting today, Maserati Multi70 is almost certain to find an average wind of NE between 17 and 18 knots of speed for the next three days, enough to get down to 5°N, under the southern point of Vietnam. But, they will not be able to sail on the direct route, they will have to make several gybes downwind to go towards South."

Miami Breeze Plays Hide and Seek on Day 1 of World Cup Series Miami
For athletes looking to burst out of the blocks and vigorously shake off any holiday rust at the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA, the opening day was a struggle.

The wind played hide and seek for all of the morning - tempting at least one race officer into starting a race that would eventually be abandoned - before filling in the afternoon and allowing six of the 10 fleets to get in at least one race.

Miami is welcoming 543 sailors from 50 nations and when the wind did fill it, it remained light and fickle, and the challenge on Biscayne Bay was more mental than physical. But the mantra was still the same for any first day of a big regatta: minimize risk and avoid the big mistakes.

With very light winds and a compact race schedule, the Laser Radial didn't get a chance to race. The Finn and Men's RS:X fleets were also unable to compete.

The Race Committee will look to catch up on races missed on Wednesday, in a bid to get back on schedule. Competition is due to commence at 11:00 local time.

MAIB Report on Clipper Death
The MAIB has published its initial report into the drowning of Simon Speirs in November 2017 while taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Mr Speirs was on board the yacht GREAT Britain (CV30) during the third leg of the race when he fell overboard during a headsail change.

He was attached to the yacht by his safety harness tether however the hook at the end of the tether that was clipped to a jack-line, deformed and released resulting in him becoming separated from the yacht.

He was recovered unconscious onto the yacht however other crew members were not able to resuscitate him.

The MAIB's initial findings state Mr Speirs was using a three-point webbing tether attached to the integral harness of his lifejacket that allowed him to clip on to the yacht with a short or long tether.

The investigation found the hook on the end of Mr Speirs' tether had become caught under a deck cleat resulting in a lateral loading that was sufficient to cause the hook to distort and release.

Although the harness tether complied with international safety standards, the standard contains detailed testing requirements that assume the tether and its hooks will be loaded longitudinally rather than laterally.

The investigation is continuing.

Seahorse February 2018
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

World news
(Very) uncomfortable boats, soft wings, America's conundrum and Australia cranks it up (even more). Patrice Carpentier, Carlos Pich, Blue Robinson, Dobbs Davis, Ivor Wilkins

The clock is ticking for Cup teams and there is way more to the Star Sailors League than meets the eye. Plus stretching the entente with the Golden Globe

Rod Davis - Jumping the (development) curve
You just gotta remember to listen with your eyes…

Sailor of the Month
Determination plus persistence equal delivery

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NZ Government close to securing new site for America's Cup bases in Auckland
The location of the America's Cup bases in Auckland is up in the air with a Government plan to house the syndicates on the old Tank Farm at Wynyard Point.

Economic Development Minister David Parker says he has received an in-principle letter from Stolthaven to move its hazardous facilities off its southern Tank Farm site by the end of the year.

Parker's persistence at investigating a land-based option at Wynyard Point is at odds with Auckland Council and Team New Zealand, which agreed last month to go with the Wynyard Basin option for a cluster of bases on a 75m extension to Halsey Wharf, a 75m extension to Hobson wharf, and on the existing Wynyard Point wharf.

Last Monday, a resource consent application for Wynyard Basin was lodged with Auckland Council. The consent, a huge document with more than 50 supporting reports, is due to be publicly notified on January 30.

Parker said the cost of Wynyard Point would be a "very small fraction" of the $118 million figure the council's development arm, Panuku Development Auckland, said it would cost to move and relocate the hazardous facilities.

Panuku have costed the Wynyard Basin option at $124m plus $18m to relocated tenants and landlords. This does not include $28.4m to build eight syndicate bases. Panuku costed Wynyard Point at $112m (exclusive of bases) plus relocation costs of about $118m.

Parker is confident the Wynyard Point option can be achieved within the tight time frame to gain consent and build the base in time for the first team's arrival at the back end of 2019.

Contractors will have to work around the clock
Contractors will have to work 24 hours a day, six or seven days a week to build the America's Cup bases in time for the start of the 36th cup defence, say experts.

Engineering firm Beca says the 18-month time frame to build eight bases for the arrival in Auckland of the first syndicates at the back end of next year is a challenging job.

The challenges are outlined in technical reports from Beca, which form part of the resource consent application to build the bases.

The consent is for Auckland Council's favoured Wynyard Basin option for a cluster of bases on a 75m extension to Halsey Wharf, a 75m extension to Hobson Wharf, and on the existing Wynyard Wharf.

"Due to the short construction period of 18 months, use of precast concrete is expected to be maximised and a 24 hours/day, 6-7 days/week construction period will be required," says one infrastructure report by Beca.

A second report by the engineering firm says there are only likely to be three or four New Zealand-based main contractors capable of building the bases within the time frame and it may require a joint venture to pool resources and expertise.

Superfoiler Grand Prix: Newcastle leg delayed until 2019
The Superfoiler Grand Prix will not swoop through Newcastle in 2018, organisers have confirmed.

The event, which the Newcastle Herald revealed in July last year was slated to head to the Hunter, is now likely to arrive in 2019 instead.

Superfoiler Grand Prix managing director Bill Macartney confirmed that a date switch for a potential leg in the harbour from December last year to Australia Day had made a race in Newcastle impossible this year.

"It's probably my fault more than anyone," Mr Macartney said.

"I failed to keep Newcastle City Council properly up to speed with discussions with other supporting bodies and by the time I finally went back to them, they'd switched power boats from the Supercars event ... to Australia Day weekend. That ruled us out."

"All parties seem keen to make it happen next summer."

The Superfoiler Grand Prix will visit Adelaide, Geelong, the Gold Coast, Busselton in Western Australia as well as Sydney in February and March.

2018 iSail Whitsundays Contender World Championships - Day Three
It's official! It's a two horse race - everyone expected the duel between Bulka and Beebe - well they have it!

Two points separating them after the discard came into play after Day Three of the Contender Worlds hosted by McCrae Yacht Club, Australia. Local sailor, Mark Bulka, had a blistering day on the water with a 1st and 2nd whilst Jason picked a 5th and 1st with only a half boat length between them both on the final race.

Similar 'champagne sailing' weather tomorrow - two races planned for Day Four - keep up to date with all of the action via Race Tracker Live:   

Results available at and videos by VR Sport Media.



EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour
The all-new 2018 EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour (3-17 February) has attracted a high-class international fleet of Diam 24 racers eager to test themselves against the competition and the challenges of the course along Oman's dramatic coastline.

Though the revised route - as well as the switch to the high-speed Diam trimaran - was only revealed in October last year, eight top teams have signed-up for the Gulf region's premier yacht racing event.

The international fleet offers a high-powered mix of Sailing Arabia veterans combined with newcomers bringing a wealth of Diam experience, much of it gained on the legendary Tour de France à la Voile which also uses the modern one-design multihull.

Among the leading contenders are Daniel Souben, a former winner of both EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour and the Tour de France à la Voile, who will be managing and coaching the Vivacar team which will have the experienced hands of his multihull-racing son Matthieu on the helm. "EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour 2018 is looking set to be a great competition which will also provide us with perfect preparation for the French circuit and the Tour de France later in the year," he said.

Another French team out to make its mark on the new-look EFG Sailing Arabia event is Beijaflore, fresh from a highly competitive third-place finish on last year's Tour de France a la Voile. Valentin Bellet, a former F18 European and Hobie 16 world youth champion, will be leading a young five-strong squad that will rotate as the demanding 14-day event unfolds.

Renowned yachtsman Pierre Mas is project director for the go-getting team who are ready to take full advantage of Oman's near-idyllic sailing conditions and aim to make a winning start to the new season.

They will face stiff competition along the way however. Swiss racing legend Bernard Stamm will lead his Poujoulat team, while his compatriot Elodie-Jane Mettraux will skipper the all-female DB Schenker entry.

Further French opposition will come from the Lorina Youth team led by Solune Robert, and Cedric Pouligny's Renaissance squad.

Then there are the two hometown teams - defending EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour champion Thierry Douillard skippering EFG Bank Monaco and British Olympic sailor Stevie Morrison helming Averda, with both boats featuring Omani crewmembers as part of Oman Sail's ongoing development programme.

Action kicks off on 3 February.

Vasco Vascotto Joins Team Luna Rossa
Vasco Vascotto The Italian sailor Vasco Vascotto - winner in different classes of 25 World, 15 European and 25 National titles - joined team Luna Rossa and the crew who will sail the 2018 TP 52' Super Series. On the TP 52' Luna Rossa Vascotto will partner as tactician with helmsman Francesco Bruni.

Both Bruni and Vascotto are already in Cagliari, together with the team, to participate in the training and observation sessions of over 40 young sailors from all over Italy, selected as possible future crew members. This project aims to widen the team's scope of action by involving the most qualified and promising Italian young racing sailors in Luna Rossa's preparation to the 36th America's Cup.

Lewmar's 'Mr Winch', Tony Jones, has died while travelling in France.
Tony Jones Mr Jones began his career with Lewmar in 1979 as product manager of the sailboat winch product line and was heavily involved with the design and development of the company's winches throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Mr Jones was particularly involved with Lewmar's OEM and racing winch product platforms working with the design team to develop the Ocean series of winches, an early form of the company's current Evo winch range.

"Tony was instrumental in the conception and design of Lewmar's highly successful Ocean winch range," said Matt Johnston, Lewmar sales and marketing director. "During his time within the business, he was a great source of knowledge for many of our employees and will be sorely missed."

Ian Stevenson, currently the Osculati North Europe representative, who sat opposite Mr Jones at Lewmar for many years, added: "Tony travelled the world talking 'Lewmar Winch' he was respected by boat builders and competitors for his vast knowledge and experience.

"He approached work with a great sense of humour and enthusiasm and he will be greatly missed."

Mr Jones retired from Lewmar in 2007 to spend more time travelling with his wife Pauline and enjoy their French holiday home.

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The Last Word
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