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.

In This Issue
Maserati Breaks the Tea Route record
Team AkzoNobel push the pace towards Cape Reinga
Meeting of Minds
Points on the scoreboard for the new Barcelona World Race
18ft Skiffs Australian Championship, Races 9 & 10
2018 Hong Kong Race Week
Optimist US Nationals
First round of Sail Aid UK grants
Two men have died after a yacht overturned off the coast of WA during a race
Featured Brokerage: K36 - Samurai, 2017 Libertist 850, Donovan GP26 Speed6
The Last Word: Ken Campbell

Maserati Breaks the Tea Route record
Click on image to enlarge.

Maserati Multi 70`` They have done it. At 13h20'26" UTC, Maserati Multi 70 crossed the Tea Route arrival line between Hong Kong and London passing under the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. Giovanni Soldini and trimaran's crew composed of Guido Broggi, Sebastien Audigane, Oliver Herrera Perez and Alex Pella took 36 days, 2 hours, 37 minutes and 2 seconds to cover the 13.000 nautical miles of the theoretical route between the Chinese port and the capital of the United Kingdom. They have improved the record by almost a week (5 days and 19 hours) that previously belonged to Gitana 13, the 100-foot maxi catamaran that completed the route in 41 days in 2008. On the ground, the Italian trimaran travelled 15.083 nautical miles at an average speed of 17.4 knots.

Just after the finish line, the skipper Giovanni Soldini comments: "We are super happy but also very tired. The last 48 hours have been very tough. Sailing in the Channel upwind with a lot of breeze, a lot of sea and a terrible cold. The record went very well, we are very happy with our route. The most difficult part was the last one: with more favorable weather conditions in the Atlantic we could have gained another 3 or 4 days, but that's okay. Indeed it could not have been better, technically the boat is perfect. From the last time we put Maserati Multi 70 in a yard, we have sailed more than 19,000 miles and everything is fine onboard, surely there is the work of preparation by Guido and the whote team. An excellent crew".

We are currently waiting for the ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the organization that validates the ocean records.

maserati.soldini.it/

Team AkzoNobel push the pace towards Cape Reinga
The race is on to slip around Cape Reinga and North Point, the northern tip of New Zealand, ahead of the dash down the east coast of the North Island and into the finish of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

On Sunday afternoon at 1300 UTC, it was team AkzoNobel as the pacesetters, leading a southern grouping of three boats who eased out of the doldrums ahead of the chasing trio earlier this week.

AkzoNobel, Turn the Tide and Plastic and Scallywag have held the advantage for days, getting into the new pressure first. Although they are sailing a greater distance to the finish, sweeping in from the west, the extra speed more than compensates.

"The current picture to Auckland doesn't show the pain we thought we were going to see," said Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari.

"The light airs that we thought we were going to have to deal with - that might have formed a re-start - are getting pushed out of the way. It looks like we'll come in with pressure and it will stay with us. Fingers crossed that does happen."

The wildcard on the leaderboard at the moment is Scallywag, who engaged Stealth Mode earlier this morning. They won't return to the position report for another 12 hours (0100 UTC, Monday morning). At the time they went in, they had a narrow 4-mile advantage on current leaders AkzoNobel. A

If the weather news is good for the leading group, it's not as favourable for the trailing trio.

"They are going three or four knots faster than us. I don't think there is anything we can do to come back," said Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier. Instead he has his sights on winning his southern group, over Brunel and MAPFRE.

With just over 500 miles to go for the leaders, time is running out to make a move.

volvooceanrace.com

Meeting of Minds
North Sails North Sails' year-end debrief generated a tech-fest of ideas, from Super Series TP52s, complete with 3Di RAW 880 sails, to AC50s in Bermuda

Over the last 12 months sailors have broken new ground and set incredible new performance benchmarks in many different parts of the sport. From the recordbreaking round-the-world endeavours of French heroes such as Thomas Coville, Armel Le Cleac'h and, most recently, François Gabart, to LDV Comanche taking line honours in the 2017 Sydney Hobart in a new record time - the common thread between all these achievements is that North Sails 3Di technology has provided the power behind the headlines.

Aside from the news-grabbing offshore successes, 3Di continues to be first choice for the majority of grand prix inshore campaigns, particularly in the TP52 class, arguably the most competitive of all inshore racing circuits. This year the TP52 is attracting America's Cup talent such as Sir Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR and Patrizio Bertelli's Luna Rossa Challenge. More than ever the battle for TP52 glory will come down to a game of inches that demands every last drop of performance from sailors and their equipment.

North Sails responded to the unceasingly high demands of the TP52 class by developing 3Di RAW; the latest iteration of that product is a high-carbon 3Di tape called RAW 880.

Full article in the March issue of Seahorse: www.seahorsemagazine.com

Points on the scoreboard for the new Barcelona World Race
The fourth edition of the Barcelona World Race, which sets off on the 12th January 2019, will have two legs (Barcelona - Sydney - Barcelona) and teams will be able to change co-skipper for the second leg. These two significant new features seek to enhance competition, to open up ocean sailing to a broader group of sailors and to expand the international horizons of the regatta. In the recently-published Notice of Race, the Barcelona World Race unveiled further tweaks to the format: the rankings for the race would now be calculated using a points system, in the place of finishing times across the two legs.

According to Jacques Caraes, the Race Director, this system, which has already been tried and tested in other regattas divided into legs such as the Volvo Ocean Race or the Tour de France à la Voile, means a more balanced and intense sporting challenge along the length of the entire course. "The chance to fight back is still there in the second leg. Both legs, with a coefficient rating of 4.5 for the IMOCA World Championship, are worth more".

Caraes also says that the scoreboard with ranking by points will also intensify competition: "Teams, who for example have lost a considerable amount of time during a leg because of technical issues, will have more of a chance to fight back on the leader-board and it means skippers will have more freedom to stop for repairs and maintain their competitive edge". The Notice of Race stipulates that teams are allowed a technical stopover on each leg, with a minimum duration of 12 hours and maximum of 48 hours. The head of the Race Management Team for the Barcelona World Race also highlighted the suitability of the system for the characteristics of today's IMOCA fleet: "The fleet is made up of boats from many different generations, with varying speeds. The points system evens out the playing field somewhat and will make it easier for the public to understand the scoring. Where teams are joint on points, the Race Committee will be able to decide on the rankings based on racing times. The organisers will also be able to uphold the additional awards for the best times for each leg".

www.barcelonaworldrace.org

18ft Skiffs Australian Championship, Races 9 & 10
Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiff Sydney Harbour: Lee Knapton, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge were superb in the strong Southerly winds on Sydney Harbour today when they steered Smeg to become the Australian 18ft Skiff champion team for 2017-2018 Season.

The champion team scored six wins in the 10-race championship to finish with an overall score of 16 points, and now head into next week's JJ Giltinan (woerld) Championship as one of the top two chances.

Yandoo (John Winning, Mike Kennedy, Cam McDonald) proved consistent in all conditions and finished second overall with a total of 35, followed in third place by Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams) in third place on 44 points.

Today's racing was a final hit out for the major championship, starting on Sydney Harbour next Saturday, and crews revelled in the strong 25-knot Southerly which battered the harbour.

Misty conditions made viewing difficult for spectators but the action as the fleet raced downwind in the strong breeze made up for the visibility.

Next week's JJ Giltinan (world) Championship has a fleet of 25 set to face the starter, with entries from New Zealand, USA, UK, Germany and Hungary ready to take on the locals.-- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

www.18footers.com

2018 Hong Kong Race Week
After a cool day on the water yesterday, sailors were relieved with the jump in temperature and blue skies for Day 3 of Hong Kong Race Week. There was 'champagne sailing' (or should we say 'sparkling soda sailing' due HKRW being a predominantly youth regatta) for the whole fleet across four race tracks in a 10 to 15kt easterly breeze.

The windsurfers were the last to launch and the first to finish; getting in three quick races for both fleets in Repulse Bay. In the Techno 293 Class, Hong Kong's Lok YEUNG had a cracking day with a significant lead in all his races putting his grand total of firsts for the regatta to an impressive seven out of nine. There will be some tight racing in the RSX Youth Class tomorrow between Siu Wing HO in the lead and Patrick LEUNG who are both sitting on 17 points.

In the 2.4mR fleet which sailed by both able and disabled sailors, Chi Yeung PUK is currently winning the regatta with top two places throughout the week. Yuen Wai FOO a bronze medalist from the Asian Para Games and who recently placed 7th overall in the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club Around the Island Race is close on his heals only one point behind.

On the same track, the leading two RS Fevas had a significant tussle all day, with the all-female team of Sam SHARP and Hannah CRAWFORD taking two out of the three firsts today. This however was not quite enough to pull ahead of Will STORK and Julian HILL who are currently three points ahead.

In the 79-strong Optimist fleet, Hong Kong's Duncan GREGOR had three firsts today putting him two points in front of his rival Douglas LEUNG going into the final day of racing.

With a light forecast for the final day of racing, fingers are crossed for blue skies and big breeze!

Keep up to date with next week's racing by following the links below!

The official website is at www.hongkongraceweek.com
Provisional results: www.hongkongraceweek.com/results

Optimist US Nationals
Pensacola, Florida: Registration is now open online at www.usoda.org for the three-event 2018 Optimist Nationals scheduled for July 13-22 at Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC) in Northwest Florida. A separate Notice of Race for each of these three national events is also posted on the site.

All qualified Opti sailors, not just sailors from the USA, are invited to come to beautiful North West Florida for great sailing on Pensacola Bay in the four-day Optimist National Championship, the one-day Optimist Girls National Championship, and the three-day Optimist Team Race National Championship. Check out PYC's event site usoda2018optinationals.com and on Facebook at USODA Nationals for updates and details.

Pensacola Yacht Club is waiting with warm water, warm hospitality, lots of cool fun and big plans for a fantastic regatta. This will be a week-long sailing spectacular on Pensacola Bay showcasing the nation's best and some of the world's best young International Optimist Dinghy sailors aged 8 to 15 years old. Beginners can gain regatta experience in Green Fleet racing, too.

All registration is online at www.usoda.org. Check-in and measurement for these strict one-design eight-foot prams will be July 13-14. Racing is scheduled for July 15-22, 2018.

This year, in a change from previous years, the overall Optimist National Championship leads the schedule on July 15-16-17-18. The Optimist Girls National Championship will be sailed July 19 and the Optimist Team Race Championship wrap up the action July 20-21-22. Prizes are awarded after each event. -- Talbot Wilson

First round of Sail Aid UK grants
The Trustees of Sail Aid UK (SAUK) are delighted to announce approval of the charity's first three grants, totalling GBP £15,000, to the Anguilla Sailing Association, the Virgin Islands Sloop Foundation and Adopt a Roof BVI.

Sail Aid UK, now operating as a fully-fledged charity, was set up in the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Jose that swept through the Leeward Islands leaving entire island communities devastated in September last year. The six Trustees have since organised and hosted a high-profile gala fundraising evening for the UK sailing community, held at the Land Rover BAR HQ in Portsmouth, which raised an astonishing £50,000.

The business of spreading this positive news, combined with being in a position to invite Grant Applications from relevant organisations, is the on-going focus for the Trustees. Their remit is to continue to promote the work of the charity and, with the awarding of grants, to fulfill its Mission Statement, "To help those Islands and their communities that were so tragically affected by the hurricanes to rebuild, restore and regenerate their communities, be it through educational, health and welfare or building projects."

Anguilla Sailing Association
The overall objective of the Anguilla Sailing Association is to 'preserve the art of sailing through youth and adult programmes accessible to all'. What particularly caught the eye of the SAUK Trustees was the need to replace some boats and repair others, specifically four Lasers and eight Optimists, enabling 38 young people and two instructors to get back on the water in the coming season.

VI Sloop Foundation
The Virgin Islands Sloop Foundation is dedicated to preserving the traditional sailing heritage in the British Virgin Islands (BVIs). Prior to Irma they had five traditional sloops that had been refurbished to a condition where they could be sailed and even raced. These five represented the entire remaining fleet of authentic traditional BVI sloops left anywhere. They were all very severely damaged in Irma with three of them sunk and a future hanging in the balance.

This link takes you to a site reporting on the 10th annual sloop shootout!
www.facebook.com/VirginIslandsSloop/

As these five sloops represent a very important part of BVI maritime history, the VI Sloop Foundation is now raising funds to endeavour to salvage and repair them once more. The fund will be administered through the online fundraising platform One Love BVI.

Adopt a Roof/BVI
Meanwhile, Adopt a Roof BVI was established specifically to provide shelter for poor and vulnerable families in the BVI following the hurricanes. The roofs are constructed to the highest building code standards and to withstand future hurricane storms.

You can donate to the Sail Aid UK Action Stations Fund directly through their website:

www.sailaiduk.com/page/how-to-help

Two men have died after a yacht overturned off the coast of WA during a race
The sailors, aged in their 60s and 70s, were taking part in the 70th Bunbury and Return Ocean Race when their yacht, Finistere, capsized off Mandurah with six people aboard.

Crew from two other yachts reached the overturned vessel and pulled five sailors from the water, including one man who died.

Another man remained missing for hours until a helicopter spotted his body and it was recovered by police.

It is not yet known what caused the yacht to capsize.

The race began at 5.30pm on Friday (WST) and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) received a distress call just before midnight after a crew member on board activated a personal locator beacon.

The Bunbury and Return Ocean Race is organised by the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.

Racing was cancelled as a mark of respect, and Commodore Dean McAullay said support would be offered to family, crew and race competitors.

Rescue helicopters, water police, volunteer marine rescue crews and two other yachts from the race were involved in the extensive search for the man who was missing.

Surviving crew members were taken to shore for medical treatment.

The 15-metre yacht Finistere was about 11 nautical miles southwest of Mandurah when it raised the alarm and attempts to contact it via radio were unsuccessful.

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The Last Word
The mother of all answers is... 'paint.' -- Ken Campbell

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