In This Issue
Hong Kong-London / Last Difficult Day Before The Trade Winds | Scottish Series 2018 open for Entries | America's Cup faces cost blowout, says Auckland councillor | Repairs start for Vestas 11th Hour Racing | Brian Keane’s Savasana Wins 2017-2018 Quantum J/70 Winter Series | Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series starts on 18 March | Noakes Youth 18 Footers Team | 38th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta | Viper 640 Worlds | Emirates Team New Zealand Win Supreme at the 55th Halberg Awards | Extreme Sailing Series Confirms Eight-Stop Global Tour In 2018 | 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-London / Last Difficult Day Before The Trade Winds
The twenty-sixth day of navigation begins about 40 miles off Guinea for Maserati Multi 70, still struggling with the very light winds of the tropical depression which is slowing down its progression towards North. Reached this morning, Giovanni Soldini explains: ”The center of the depression moves quickly. This night it stopped us again for a few hours. Right now it’s heading West and we have only 5 knots from South East that should stabilize later around 10 knots. We are going through the last difficult passage before conquering the north eastern trade winds we should reach next night at about 10°30’N and 17°W”. The waypoint indicated by Soldini is located at SW of Guinea Bissau, about 150 miles of the trimaran position at 10.26 UTC.

At the same rankings, the advantage of Maserati Multi 70 is still 1.625 nautical miles with 2.861 nm remaining to London.

Scottish Series 2018 open for Entries
Scottish Series The 44th Clyde Cruising Club Scottish Series (25-28 May) is now open for entries with the announcement at the London Boatshow.  Set in the magnificent backdrop of Tarbert, Loch Fyne this event makes best use of the end of May Bank Holiday to provide four days of great sailing.

Scottish Series is the largest keelboat regatta in Scotland with 120 entrants in 2017, and for 2018 it will again incorporate the IRC Scottish Championships for which there were 43 entrants last year, making it a significant event in the IRC calendar.  And, for those with other interests there are the One Design Classes, Clyde Handicap and White Sail Fleets, so there is definitely something for everyone.

Traditionally the One Design Classes are Sigma 33, Hunter 707 and Sonatas, but any class that can get enough entries will also have their own start.  An early-bird discount for entry is available until 11 March (Mothers' Day).

America's Cup faces cost blowout, says Auckland councillor
A senior politician says the $178.5 million cost to provide the America's Cup in Auckland is a "crude estimate" and could rise significantly.

Chris Darby, chair of Auckland Council's planning committee, is concerned about the cost of building the bases in Auckland, which will involve contractors working 24 hours a day to meet a tight timeframe.

"There is not a lot of accuracy in the costings to date. They are a very crude estimate and don't be surprised if there are significant upsides on those costs," he said.

The council has estimated it will cost $160.5m to build the infrastructure for eight cup bases and superyachts, plus $18m to relocate the local fishing fleet and Sealink ferry.

A resource consent application to build the bases says the work covers a large area over deep water and will require working round the clock six or seven days a week. It warns about the need to obtain price certainty for the Government and council, saying the financial risk is unlikely to be accepted by the contractor.

The council is also planning to spend $260m on projects around the waterfront for the Cup and Apec meeting of world leaders in 2021, of which about $80m is currently funded. The projects include new public open spaces, upgrading Quay St and ferry terminal improvements. -- Bernard Orsman in the New Zealand Herald

Repairs start for Vestas 11th Hour Racing
Only six of the seven teams are competing now in Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Hong Kong to Australia as Vestas 11th Hour Racing is on a mission to repair their boat following the collision with a fishing boat as they neared the finish line of Leg 4 in Hong Kong.

After revealing on February 5 they were loading the boat onto a freight vessel in Hong Kong for transportation to Auckland, they report today the yacht was offloaded from the transport ship in Tauranga, New Zealand, and was then transported that evening by truck 200 kilometers to a shipyard in Auckland where repairs will begin.

Due to the strict one-design nature of the Volvo Ocean 65, a bow section was fabricated from existing molds at Persico Marine in Italy and transported to Auckland. The plan is to remove the damaged parts of the hull and attach the new section under the supervision of an independent surveyor to adhere to the class rules.

The goal is to re-launch in time for Leg 7 to Itajaí, Brazil, on March 18th.

Brian Keane’s Savasana Wins 2017-2018 Quantum J/70 Winter Series
Tampa, Florida, USA: Fifty-nine J/70 teams qualified to win the 2017-2018 Quantum J/70 Winter Series at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida by competing in at least two of the three weekends with the same boat and skipper. Brian Keane’s Savasana placed third overall on the final weekend to earn the Series victory. Following Keane are Bennet Greenwald’s Perseverance and Bruno Pasquinelli’s Stampede. The Corinthian division was won by Sarah Renz’s Berteau Group. 

Following two breezy weekends accompanying cold fronts, conditions this Saturday and Sunday were characterized by sunshine, record high temperatures and light winds on Tampa Bay. Four races were completed, and Jack Franco’s Flojito 3JT won the final segment of the Series.

The popular Quantum J/70 Winter Series spans three weekends of racing between early December and February, allowing participants to store their boats onsite for a reasonable fee. Additionally, on each Friday of the Series, SAIL22 and North U combined forces for the Porch Series to offer practice races and coaching.

Full results

Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series starts on 18 March
Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series Come and join us at the premier early season event. Easy online entry.

Great racing and prizes including 50 trophies - 100 bottles of champagne - valuable goodies from Helly Hansen and Crewsaver.

The Spring Series is on six Sundays: 18 March to 29 April (excluding Easter).

There are 4 IRC classes + J/109, J/88 in Black group. White Group comprises Sportsboats (J/70 - SB20 - J/80 - Mixed). Other one design classes or extracted results are possible on request.

Crewsaver Spring Championship starts on 21 April

The Spring Championship is on the last two weekends of the Spring Series: Saturdays & Sundays 21-22 + 28-29 April. Up to 14 races over the four days.

Black group has 4 IRC classes + J/109, with the Performance 40 class racing within IRC 1. White Group is for J/70 - SB20 - J/80 Mixed Sportsboats -Quarter Ton Class.

Warsash Sailing Club - The first place to race in 2018.

Warsash Sailing Club, Shore House, Shore Road, Warsash SO31 9FS. 01489 583575

Noakes Youth 18 Footers Team
Click on image for photo gallery.

Noakes Youth 18 Footers Team While it is only their first season sailing together in the 18 Footers, the rookie team of Kirk Mitchell, Tim Westwood and Daniel Barnett has shown they have what it takes to challenge the front runners.

They all began their sailing careers in junior classes at their respective clubs, then made their way into the 18ft skiff on similar paths, the 29ers and 16ft skiffs.

After winning the Cherub Nationals in 2013/14 - and another three seasons on the podium - skipper Kirk Mitchell had his sights set on the 18ft Skiff. After a season in the 16ft skiff, he made his debut this year steering Noakes Youth.

Sheet hand Daniel Barnett was destined to become an 18 sailor. He is a fifth generation 18 Footers sailor and both his father, Phil Barnett (Chesty Bond), and grandfather, Don Barnett (Associated Motor Club), have won the JJ Giltinan Trophy over the years.

The final member of the team, bowman Tim Westwood, returns to the class after a season off racing with the Team Japan Youth America’s Cup Team. He made his debut in the 18 with Pedro Vozone on Haier in 2015 and now returns to sail on Noakes Youth.

The team has plenty of talent among them and they have put it to practice on the water mixing among the more experienced teams throughout the season. They finished the Spring Championship on a high winning the final race and they were fifth overall in the NSW Championship.

The Noakes Youth team will compete in their first JJ Giltinan Championship from March 3 to 11, 2018. -- Kimberley Montague, Australian 18 Footers League

38th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
St. Maarten: The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has been a Caribbean favorite for almost four decades, and this year’s 38th edition, scheduled for March 1-4, will prove no exception to the rule.  Already, 75 boats representing 22 countries have registered to race in the island of St. Maarten’s first major event since Hurricane Irma passed through in September. With three weeks to go, organizers have ensured that the parties and entertainment will continue to be legendary as they complement four days of serious on-the-water competition.

The world-class St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is known for attracting a largely international fleet of maxi, monohull and multihull boats. This year’s roster is comprised of teams coming mostly from North America, South America, Europe and Australia.

Sir Richard Matthews will skipper his 42-foot Judel Vrolijk designed Power of Love to represent one of ten UK-based teams competing.

“People keep coming back to the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, because it’s good competition and a great place to race,” said Matthews who first raced in the event over 25 years ago. His team won its class last year, racing his Humphreys 39 Oystercatcher XXX1. “We’ve done quite a lot of sailing in the Caribbean, and I have had 31 race boats under the Oystercatcher name, but this year we will be racing a new boat coming down from America, which is slightly larger than what we competed in last year. We’re very competitive, but at the same time we sail for fun.”

The regatta, kicks off Thursday, March 1 with the separately scored Gill’s Commodores Cup. On Friday, the fleet embarks on the event’s 26-nautical mile Around the Island Race before taking on a series of windward-leeward races on Saturday and a single coastal race on Sunday. Each day of racing is rounded out with shoreside entertainment from the “Regatta Village” located at Princess Port de Plaisance Resort and Casino and the Yacht Club at Port de Plaisance (across from race host St. Maarten Yacht Club.

Viper 640 Worlds
The International Viper 640 Class 2018 World Championship will take place at the South of Perth Yacht Club, Western Australia. A fleet of 26 boats from Australia, Canada, England, South Africa and the USA are expected to contest the series.

Two teams from Britain are competing: former Laser world champion Lawrence Crispin of Stone Sailing Club and David Hitchcock of Hayling Island SC.

Australia has the largest contingent with sailors, coming from as far as Queensland and New South Wales. Western Australia will field a strong team, with boats from Perth and Albany.

SoPYC is one of the largest yacht clubs in Australia with more the 2,300 members and truly magnificent world class facilities.

Emirates Team New Zealand Win Supreme at the 55th Halberg Awards
Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup victory in Bermuda in 2017 was recognised with both the Sports Team of the Year and the Halberg Supreme Award at last nights 55th Halberg Awards, the country's pre-eminent event to honour and celebrate sporting excellence and raise funds for the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation.

Emirates Team New Zealand received the Sports Team of the year award, decided by a panel of kiwi sporting personalities and journalists, ahead of a strong line up of significant kiwi team sporting success: The Black Sox (Men’s Softball), Womens K2 Canoe Racing (Lisa Carrington and Caitlin Ryan), and the Rugby World Cup winning Black Ferns (Womens Rugby Team).

Long time Emirates Team New Zealand sailor Ray Davies accepted the award on behalf of the entire team: “Obviously this award is about ‘team’ so I am accepting the award on behalf of the 90 team members and their families that came together against so many more odds than people realise but believed in each other to work so relentlessly for three years to win back the America’s Cup.”

The Halberg Supreme award was decided from the winners of the four main categories, Sportsman of the Year (Tom Walsh), Sportswoman of the Year (Lisa Carrington), Disabled Sportsperson of the year (Sophie Pascoe) and Sports Team of the Year.

Extreme Sailing Series Confirms Eight-Stop Global Tour In 2018
The 2018 Extreme Sailing Series is ready to fly for the 12th consecutive year, with the announcement today by Series organisers OC Sport of a global tour that will visit eight major cities on three continents. The Middle East, Europe and the Americas are all on the line up for what promises to be another year of foiling action, as the Series continues to provide a guaranteed annual proposition to teams and partners on a global scale.

The grand finale will take place in Los Cabos, Mexico, following a hugely successful debut last year for both the sailors – where the Zhik speed machine record for the year, with insights from SAP, was hit at 33.7 knots - and the Series commercial partners.

2018 Calendar of Acts:
14 - 17 March - Act 1, Muscat, Oman
24 – 27 May - GC32 World Championship, Lake Garda, Italy
14 - 17 June - Act 2, Barcelona, Spain
5 - 8 July - Act 3, Portugal
9 - 12 August - Act 4, St Petersburg, Russia
24 - 27 August - Act 5, Cardiff, UK
18 - 21 October - Act 6, San Diego, USA
9 November - 2 December Act 7, Los Cabos, Mexico

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The Last Word
Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. -- Matt Taibbi

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