In This Issue
Record fleet sets off on record pace | Ludde Ingvall's CQS Retires From Race | 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 In For 2024! | Harken Element Blocks - Coming Soon to a Dealer Near You | Glory for Goodwin at the Oxford Blue | New Caledonia Groupama Race | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | World University Sailing Championship is coming to Cherbourg | Double-handed racing debuts at Lendy Cowes Week | 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Record fleet sets off on record pace
A record 84 yachts started the 2018 RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua today; the largest fleet assembled in the ten-year history of the race. The impressive armada set off in unstable conditions with squalls producing a wind range of over 20 knots, and as little as 10, with some big shifts in direction. High seas and strong trade winds are expected for the race, with the anticipation of record breaking pace. At 1600 AST Rambler 88, Proteus and Warrior were ahead of the monohull race record.

Peter Aschenbrenner's Irens 63 Paradox was launched at the start and led the 11-strong multihull fleet, reaching Barbuda in just two hours. George David's American Maxi Rambler 88 got away well at the outer end of the line, tacking immediately to smoke upwind in a halo of spray. Rambler 88 took under an hour to round Green Island before unfurling reaching sails to blast towards Barbuda at well over 20 knots of boat speed. Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS developed a technical problem shortly after the start and returned to Antigua to effect repairs, as per the rules of the race.

"It's incredible that the weather for the start of the 10th edition was exactly the same as the first race in 2009," commented Eddie Warden Owen, RORC Chief Executive. "Today's start is probably the windiest that we've had for some years, with rain squalls coming through during the start sequence, then sunshine; typical Antiguan conditions. We have a fantastic fleet of 84 boats setting off in this record-fleet."

George Sakellaris' American Maxi72 Proteus was just four minutes behind Rambler 88 at Green Island, lying just east of Antigua. USMMA Sailing Foundation's American Volvo 70 Warrior and Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna were all in hot pursuit. Two Superyachts enjoyed a close battle at the start which is likely to rage for the whole of the race. The Dixon 100 Danneskjold was just 13 seconds ahead of the Southernwind 102 Farfalla at Green Island.

Catherine Pourre's French team racing Eärendil leads the Class40s after a tough beat to Green Island. Eärendil has stretched out a one mile lead ahead of Louis Burton's BHB and American John Niewenhous' Loose Fish.

In IRC One, Christian Kargl's Austrian More 55 Pixel, skippered by Michael Gilhofer is provisionally leading the class under IRC. Philippe Frantz's French NM43 Albator is second, with Olivier Rapeaud's Capo Di Fora in third.

In IRC Two, Scarlet Island Girl, owned by Ossie Stewart and skippered by Ross Applebey got a great start and provisionally lead the class. A tense battle is expected for the race and the start was indicative of this. Ballytrim, EH01, Avanti and Quokka are all fighting for the lead.

In IRC Three, Conor Fogerty's Irish Sunfast 3600, Bam got away to an impressive start, as did Jonty and Vicki Layfield's Swan 48 Sleeper X. Richard Palmer racing his British JPK 10.10 Jangada Two Handed with Jeremy Waitt also got a great getaway.

Track the race:

Ludde Ingvall's CQS Retires From Race
English Harbour, Antigua: Ludde Ingvall and his CQS team have taken the very difficult decision to retire from the RORC Caribbean 600 race, this was due to an undiagnosed problem with the engine that runs the hydraulic systems on the boat.

Explaining the situation they found themselves in before the start Ludde said, "we found out fairly quickly that we had an electronic issue with the software, which on our boats the engine drives hydraulics, hydraulics runs every winch, our canard which is the rudder in front, it runs the DSS board, and runs the keel as well as propulsion.

"The problem we had was that four times the engine cut out in the middle of what we were doing and we didn't understand why."

As always, Ludde's main concern was safety, and if the engine cut out during a critical manoeuvre lives could be at risk. After discussing the situation with his watch captains and safety officer it was decided to retire from the race.

Continuing his explanation Ludde told the race control, "we started with the keel in the middle, which is why we were so slow, and with little sails. We decided to go to the top of the island and if by the top of the island we haven't got things sorted, we won't continue."

Ludde expressed his huge disappointment, particularly for the young sailors who had travelled a long way to take part in the race. However with the nature of the Caribbean 600 having a course that goes close to a lot of island, and through some restricted channels, if the engine problem re-occurred they would find themselves in a very difficult situation.

49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 In For 2024!
World Sailing announced today that it has put up for review the events represented by the 470 M/W, Finn, and RSX M/W. By choosing not to review the other 5 events; Laser/Radial, 49er/49erFX, and Nacra 17, these events and the current equipment will remain for the games in Paris.

The decision itself was very close, with 21 for and 17 against, showing how divided World Sailing Council is on the future of the sport. Just a few months ago, Theatre Style Racing format was defeated 20 to 21 by the same body, which was in some ways a precursor to this vote. How sailing comes together over the next two phases of this process will have a major impact on the strength and stability of Olympic Sailing for years to come.

The impetus for reviewing events derives from two IOC initiatives:
The IOC now reviews events, not just sports - each event must stand up to that level of scrutiny.
World Sailing has agreed to both participation and event gender equaility - since the 2020 events do not balance, change is required to comply.

Putting events up for review is the first part of the process World Sailing has agreed to in order to make the change. There are three major sections of work:

Phase 1 - Decide what to review, and by default what would remain. The minimum number of boats up for review, by rule, was 4. The decision today is to review 5.

Phase 2 - Decide the Events (high level description of what the racing should be) for the balance of the 5 events. This begins in Mid-March and concludes in a vote at the World Sailing mid-year meeting on May 15th in London.

Phase 3 - Decide which equipment should be used by the nominated events. This vote can occur at the November 2018 meeting, with provisions to extend for an additional year if new boat designs are required.

Of the ten events and 350 athletes destined for Paris 2024, half are now known. The work begins to select both the Events and Equipment to fill the remainder of the slate.

The next step is the high level phase, where sailing will decide what to aim for while balancing a huge variety of factors. As we enter a phase of uncertainty for many current and aspiring Olympic sailors, and sailing as a whole, the task was outlined beautifully by Athlete Representative, Yann Rocherieux: "We trust in council to select events for 2024, where all sailors can have an opportunity to chase their dreams of becoming an Olympian, even if some sailors will have to change those another event than the one they are sailing now." -- Ben Remocker, 9er Inc.

Harken Element Blocks - Coming Soon to a Dealer Near You
Harken Wisconsin winter is in full swing with the usual snow, sub-zero temps, and cars in ditches. But in Pewaukee, the Harken crew has YOU on their minds. We're is getting ready to ship the first Element blocks to dealers around the world. When designing Element, Harken engineers decided a new approach was imperative. They rejected the status-quo methodology of plastic blocks with internal stainless load-carrying straps.

Element blocks introduce sideplates that combine forged, hardcoat-anodized aluminum with compound curves for strength. That forged metal protects the composite sheave and pairs with a proven bearing system. The result is a Harken-designed and engineered value-priced block that is contemporary, durable, and built without compromise. Whether cruising the bay, competing in a weekend race, or embarking on an extended passage-making adventure, Element blocks will get you there without eating into your wallet.

Available in singles, doubles, triples, fiddles, and footblocks in 45, 60, and 80 mm; accept line from 8 = 16 mm.

Learn more. Harken At The Front.

Glory for Goodwin at the Oxford Blue
Photos by Tim Olin, Click on image for photo gallery.

Oxford Blue Regatta Alistair Goodwin has steered his Laser to glory at the Oxford Blue, the final of seven events in this season's GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series. The light winds, which barely blew over 8 knots, suited Goodwin's Laser although in race one it was Nick Orman from Castle Cove who helmed his Phantom to handicap victory ahead of Ian and Gemma Dobson's GP14 from SMVC and Charlie Sansom from Bowmoor in his RS Aero 9.

Goodwin only managed 7th in the opening race but then the Haversham sailor hit his stride in race two, winning on handicap with Andrew Snell piloting his K1 keelboat to second place ahead of another Laser, Ben Flower in 3rd. Ben Schooling managed a 4th place in this race, although this would prove to be the high point for the Musto Skiff sailor from Stokes Bay, who really needed more breeze to stretch his legs over the hiking boats.

In the final race, Goodwin again took the corrected time victory, this time ahead of Lawrence Creaser's Solo and the Wayfarer sailed by Andrew and Tom Wilson who placed third.

A huge turnout of RS Aeros meant there was a big class battle going on, making it very hard for anyone to break clear and score a consistent set of results. A trio of Aeros finished very close on points in 11th, 12th and 13th overall, with RS Aero 9 National Champion Pete Barton just pipping arch rival and reigning RS Aero 7 World Champion Steve Cockerill by a point, with Charlie Sansom a point behind Cockerill.

Goodwin's two race wins gave him the overall prize by a comfortable margin, with Creaser second, Snell third and the Wilsons' Wayfarer first of the doublehanders in fourth overall. As is often the case, many classes had a sniff of the front at some point during the day, with eight different types of boat in the top 10, the Laser and Solo being the only classes to get two finishers in single figures.

GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series Prize Giving
RYA Dinghy Show (Sat 3rd March - 10.30)
The official prizegiving takes place on Saturday 3rd March at the RYA Dinghy Show. Series organisers Andy Rice and Simon Lovesey will present the highlights from this Winter, with a vast array of prizes to be awarded across the numerous categories. The prizegiving will start promptly at 1030am on the Saturday, soon after the doors open. It takes place at the Class Association Stage, which you can find by heading in the direction of the big organ. Book your RYA Dinghy Show tickets now.

New Caledonia Groupama Race
The 2018 New Caledonia Groupama Race around the South Pacific's island gem will see the return of Sean Langman's multiple speed record-setter Team Australia, the giant ORMA 60 trimaran. Team Australia is the holder of the World Sailing Speed Record Council's fastest time between Sydney and Auckland and between Sydney and Hobart. As well as setting speed records, Langman was tackling some of Australia's medium distance eastern seaboard races until the multihull was dismasted when leading the 2015 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race.

For two years the tri sat idle as the skipper sorted through the logistics of a new rig and kept himself busy with an 18-footer campaign and multiple Sydney Hobarts on board his beloved Ranger called Maluka. Now the Sydney based Langman and his core crew are planning their long-awaited comeback knowing that Simon Hull's Groupama Race multihull record time of two days 33 minus 12 seconds set in 2016, with what was Team Vodafone Sailing, now Frank Racing, is ripe for the taking, given the usual tradewinds were largely absent in the record-setting year.

"We considered entering the last Groupama but the boat was in re-fit," Langman said. "Now we have a new mast and we are planning to enter the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron's Brisbane to Noumea feeder race to bring us to New Caledonia. My boat has a strong French flavour as she was French owned, as Banque Populaire V, and won the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre from northern France to Brazil."

Four feeder races delivering yacht fleets from three Australian capital cities and Auckland, New Zealand, will be a key component when it comes to the ultimate 654 nautical mile New Caledonia Groupama Race starting June 17.

The fleet leaves Noumea and sails counter-clockwise alongside reefs, past the compulsory waypoint at the Grand Passage and inside the UNESCO World Heritage listed turquoise lagoon. Warm waters and tradewinds are key selling points for the giant windward/leeward course from the east to west coast.

Nineteen crews took on the Groupama adventure in 2016 and record times were set in both the monohull and multihull class. Encouraging early numbers in the feeder races and 17 Groupama Race entries representing Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia point towards a great sixth edition. -- Lisa Ratcliff

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

Seahorse Magazine

Boulevard of broken dreams
To create a first-class grand prix omelette you do have to break some quite expensive eggs... Peter Harken

Cold light of day
Rob Weiland bravely goes where most would fear to tread: the cost of racing a grand prix yacht

Linked by but a thread
The song remains the same... but it’s a very different band playing it. Brian Hancock

Square peg round hole
We’ve moved beyond subtle tweaking. Hugh Welbourn

RORC - Lifeblood
Getting out the youth vote... and the passing of the dragon. Eddie Warden-Owen

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World University Sailing Championship is coming to Cherbourg
The northwestern French city of Cherbourg welcomes the world's finest university sailors for the 2018 FISU World University Sailing Championship this summer, from the 1-5 September. The Organising Committee is ready to welcome a maximum of 40 teams competing on one of the 20 J80 regatta boats.

Following two very successful events in the sailing hotspots of Ledro, Italian and Perth, Australia, this will be the first ever WUC Sailing event to be held with the fleet racing format. Competitors will race six windward-leeward courses a day in the world's largest artificial harbour.

Sailing event organisers look to welcome over 200 high-level sailors from around the world to share their sporting passion and to have the opportunity to discover the French culture, visit the Mont Saint Michel and the nearby WWII Normandy landing beaches.

Double-handed racing debuts at Lendy Cowes Week
Cowes Week Ltd, the organisers of Lendy Cowes Week, the world's largest regatta, is delighted to announce that in a new and exciting development the 2018 regatta will see the introduction of a new Double-handed class.

Double-handed racing has recently become incredibly successful worldwide, both inshore and offshore and this new class reflects the demand for, and interest in, Double-handed sailing. Entries are invited for boats with IRC ratings between 0.900 to 1.085.

Racing will be held as part of the Black Group and courses will be about 3½ hours long with an interesting range of wind angles, but somewhat fewer legs than for the standard IRC classes. The courses will, however, be challenging and we expect a highly competitive fleet. The class will be offered its own start every day and, if there is enough demand going forward we would be delighted to offer two class starts, enabling a wider range of boats to compete, including some of the smaller boats.

Entries can be made online through the Lendy Cowes Week website. For further details please contact the regatta organisers on (01983) 248002 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The updated Advance Notice of Regatta is now available online. Lendy Cowes Week 2018 takes place from the 4-11 August.

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The Last Word
It's here, where absolute evil was perpetrated, that the will must resurface for a fraternal world, a world based on respect of man and his dignity. -- Simone Veil

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