In This Issue
Day 1 RC44 Calero Marinas Cup
Liverpool 2018 Wins Inaugural Clipper Race Sanya Serenity Coast In-Port Regatta
Vestas 11Th Hour Racing Ready To Rejoin Volvo Ocean Race
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
IMOCAS Disembark In Monaco
Not just (any old) boatbuilders
Charged filed in Cheeki Rafiki deaths
Google to map South Florida waterways in partnership with marine industry
Gilberto Nobili Joins Team Luna Rossa
Vale Marianne Middelthon
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage: Oyster 655 Matawai, Oyster 655 Larette, Oyster 655 Blue Horizon of London
The Last Word: Ken Kesey

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

Day 1 RC44 Calero Marinas Cup
The opening day of the 2018 RC44 Calero Marinas Cup indicated firstly how close the season for the Russell Coutts-inspired one designs is set to be and how to win, it will be vital to make zero mistakes.

Following the cancellation of yesterday's practice racing as a gale battered the Canary Islands, the wind and sea state remained brisk as the RC44s departed Marina Lanzarote this morning. By the time the first of today's three races started the southwesterly wind, blowing parallel to Lanzarote's south coast, had dropped to 10-12 knots. However it subsequently built with occasional gusts up to 20 knots. Throughout race officials were forced to reset the course on almost every windward leg.

Three races saw three different winners. Torbjorn Tornqvist and Artemis Racing romped away to claim race one following a winning call to claim the left on the first beat. Next up it was the turn of Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika to take race two. This left the Russian team ahead overall going into the final race. Sadly, while they were second at the first top mark rounding on the transom of John Bassadone's Peninsula Petroleum, a ripped gennaker put paid to Team Nika's chances and lost her the overall lead at the close of play on this opening day.

Winner of race three was the nearest the RC44s have to a local team here in Lanzarote (three are from this island) with Peninsula Petroleum leading overall after day one from Artemis Racing, but by a slender point. With three days of racing left to go and with all the teams most capable of claiming races, the outcome of the RC44 Calero Marinas Cup remains anyone's guess.

Tomorrow racing is scheduled to start on time at 1130 UTC, but with the southwesterly wind at the top of the range, gusting into the mid-20s.

Full results:

Liverpool 2018 Wins Inaugural Clipper Race Sanya Serenity Coast In-Port Regatta
The inaugural Clipper Race Sanya Serenity Coast In-Port Regatta has been one to remember, with Liverpool 2018 leading from start to finish to take victory.

Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world were able to watch the first ever Clipper Race Sanya Serenity Coast In-Port Regatta live, with the race also broadcasted live on television in Sanya.

The broadcast demonstrated the fantastic sailing destination of Sanya and the fantastic facilities of the Sanya Serenity Marina, a Marina Industries Association Platinum Level Five Gold Anchor marina, which is the highest level of accreditation and the only one of its kind found in Asia.

It was the first time in the Clipper 2017-18 Race that all eleven Clipper 70s took to the water at the same time for an in-port regatta. Against the city backdrop and azure waters of the Sanya Harbour, the bright pink of Liverpool 2018 was the first across the line, followed by Dare To Lead and Visit Seattle.

PSP Logistics made a move late in the race to jump from the back of the fleet to second by the final mark. The team crossed the finish line two minutes and 36 seconds behind Liverpool 2018, whilst Nasdaq was third, the team's first time on the podium.

The Clipper Race fleet will remain at the Sanya Serenity Marina until Sunday 4 March when the teams will depart for Race 8, a 1,700 nautical mile race from Sanya to Qingdao in northern China.

Vestas 11Th Hour Racing Ready To Rejoin Volvo Ocean Race
When Vestas 11th Hour Racing rejoins the Volvo Ocean Race for the grueling Leg 7 - from New Zealand, across the Southern Ocean, past Cape Horn and into Brazil - the crew will do so with a mixture of heavy hearts and anxiousness.

The team hasn’t raced since the collision in the latter stages of Leg 4, during the final approach to Hong Kong.

Just after 0100 hours on the morning of January 20 (local Hong Kong time), Vestas 11th Hour Racing was involved in a collision with a fishing vessel. Shortly after the accident, nine Chinese fishermen were rescued, however, one other very sadly perished. The Vestas 11th Hour Racing crew were not injured, but the VO65 race yacht suffered significant damage to its port bow. See Q&A with Mark Towill, skipper of Leg 4 for additional information on the incident.

The loss of a life still weighs heavily on the minds of Mark Towill and Charlie Enright, the co-founders of the team, and every other team member. “On behalf of the team, our thoughts and prayers go out to the deceased’s family,” said 29-year-old Towill. Out of respect for the process, the deceased and his family, the team has remained silent throughout the investigation.

Towill was skipper on Leg 4 because Enright had to sit out due to a family crisis. During Leg 3, from South Africa to Australia, Enright’s 2-year-old son had been admitted to the hospital with a case of bacterial pneumonia. Immediately before the end of Leg 4, Enright traveled to Hong Kong to greet the crew at the finish line, but instead had to play an active role in the crisis management process from the shore.

The Vestas 11th Hour Racing VO65 was shipped to New Zealand from Hong Kong on January 28. A new port bow section was laid up over a VO65 hull mold at Persico Marine in Italy and then sent to New Zealand, where it was spliced to the hull of the team’s VO65 in the past two weeks.

The team hopes to relaunch their VO65 in the coming days and will then spend some time practicing and possibly complete an overnight sail.

Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race, approximately 6,700 nautical miles to Itajaí, Brazil, is scheduled to begin March 18. Prior to that the New Zealand In-Port Race is scheduled March 10.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Last month's winner:

Montel Fagan-Jordan (GBR)
'I was in the Fastnet team, Montel is a great sailor and also a great skipper' - Espoir Mazambi; 'A fantastic young man who worked his guts out' - Paul Hodge; 'The whole Grieg Academy deserve this award' - Colin McDonald; 'I am so proud also for his teachers and his school' - Dolores William; 'Wonderful!' - Dennis Earle; 'Everyone this young man comes into contact with is impressed' - Nick Ferrier; 'Trailblazer!' - Jon Holt; 'A superb example of what can be achieved with dedication and hard work' - Katina Read.

This month's nominees:

Michael Boyd (IRL)
Overdue but we chose not to stir things up while he was still the man in charge… Boydy to his friends, Michael got his sea legs in J/24s back in Ireland in the 1970s. As well as being joint winner of the 2017 RORC Championship through his three-year tenure as commodore he was there to present prizes after every RORC race (including when racing). Plus not every club commodore is such a 'worthwhile' addition to a party: Irishman, you see

George David (USA)
Back in Antigua after taking the line honours and handicap monohull double in the Caribbean 600 must have felt a long way from floating around, probably terrified, in the Irish Sea after his previous maxi capsized in the 2011 Fastnet. Many others would have been put off by that experience - Larry Ellison gave up ocean racing after the stormy 1998 Hobart - but David was back at sea within months and soon hard at it again

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Henri Lloyd, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

View past winners of Sailor of the Month

IMOCAS Disembark In Monaco
With IMOCA class and Race Committee representatives and skippers in Monaco to see the facilities, the Yacht Club de Monaco took full advantage to unveil details of the Monaco Globe Series, a qualifier for the next Vendée Globe.

Being organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco from 1-8 June 2018, it is the first non-stop double-hander offshore race around the Western Mediterranean and will depart 3rd June.

As these boats rarely come to the Med, the event will start with a two-day prologue in the form of runs or fleet races on an inshore course so sailing fans can see them in action.

On a 1,300nm course round emblematic landmarks in the Western Mediterranean (Sardinia, Sicily and Balearic Islands), the Monaco Globe Series offers a sprint comparable to the 110m hurdles, with obstacles like the Strait of Bonifacio, not to mention all the vessels from fishing boats to pleasure boats and cargo ships, always very numerous at this time of year. Teams will need to be extra vigilant, with back-to-back manoeuvres likely, and expect a range of weather conditions.

Although the closing date for registrations is not until 1st April 2016, six boats have already confirmed their participation.

Women will also be on the start with Alexia Barrier (4myPlanet), a newcomer to the IMOCA class, and Isabelle Joschke, represented by Alain Gauthier.

Provisional programme:

Friday 1st June 2018
Exhibition day for teams and their sponsors
Runs and courses in Monaco Bay
Globe Series Opening Ceremony
Gala Dinner

Saturday 2nd June 2018
Exhibition day
Runs and courses in Monaco Bay

Sunday 3rd June 2018
Start of 1,300 nautical mile race

Friday 8th June 2018
Prize-giving ceremony

Not just (any old) boatbuilders
There must be something in the air in Michigan as the 'new kids' at Composite Builders add their name to the grand prix sailing directory.

Building with advanced composites is no longer a simple matter of combining cloth and resin in a mould, pulling a vacuum and post-curing the laminate, followed by filling, fairing and finishing. The demands of the grand prix marketplace are relentless, with pressure to improve on design and shave off every gram of weight while retaining strength, durability and appearance in the ultimate challenge to marry form and function.

There are surprisingly few practitioners who combine modern high-tech composite fabrication with hands-on experience of sailing at the top level. Similarly, some of the greatest build talent is rarely seen in 'daylight', spending whole careers hidden in America's Cup programmes, pushing their skill sets to the edge in this ultra-competitive arena. Now some of that elite-level composites - and sailing - talent has been unleashed to offer high-end composite solutions for any application in grand prix sailing.

Founded by Brian MacInnes in Holland, Michigan, Composite Builders have been perfecting what MacInnes (now CEO) has learnt over two decades from sailing and project management of the Windquest race programmes in the Maxi, 1D48 and 50ft classes of the 1990s, through six cycles of the America's Cup and two of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Full story in the March issue of Seahorse:

Cheeki Rafiki deaths
A yacht firm director carried on drinking after receiving an "urgent" warning that one of his vessels was taking on water, a court heard.

All four men on board died when the Cheeki Rafiki sank hours later.

Nigel Lickley, prosecuting, told Winchester crown court: "Despite what was happening at sea, he didn't call the UK Coastguard to alert them at that time, but he went to another pub nearer to his home and carried on drinking."

He talked to the crew later, went home and rang the Coastguard, but "didn't report any urgency".

"He said the pumps were coping," Mr Lickley told the jury.

Andrew Bridge, 22, of Farnham, Surrey; James Male, 22, of Southampton; and Steve Warren, 52, and Paul Goslin, 56, both from Somerset, were lost at sea.

The 40ft Cheeki Rafiki sank after its keel fell off in bad weather as it returned from Antigua to the UK in May 2014.

Bolts holding the three-tonne keel to the hull had failed, said Mr Lickley.

He said Innes had neglected the vessel for years, by not maintaining it or having it inspected, and chose an unsafe route across the Atlantic.

Innes, of Southampton, Hants, had a "duty of care" to the four men, Mr Lickley said.

The trial continues.

Google to map South Florida waterways in partnership with marine industry
Tech giant Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is partnering with the Marine Industries Association of South Florida to create a water version of its popular Google Street View maps that would cover the region's major waterways.

Not only will this create a detailed visual map covering 143 nautical miles along the Intracoastal Waterway and Biscayne Bay from the Palm Beach County line in Jupiter through Ocean Reef in Key Largo, it will provide the opportunity for nearby businesses to reach customers on their boats.

"This is an incredible opportunity to add another tool to the toolkit of the marine industry in South Florida, which employs 136,000 people and produces an annual economic impact of $11.5 billion," said Phil Purcell, CEO and president of MIASF. "Just as Google Street View is a valuable instrument and a trusted way for businesses to connect with customers, Waterway View has the potential to be the most exciting new resource for the boating lifestyle, connecting boaters with restaurants, marinas, fuel docks, service and sales centers, and all the other resources they may need."

The Google Waterway View should launch as a mobile app by June when the mapping is completed. A web browser version will be available sooner. Businesses will be able to buy a listing to be promoted on the map, or provide a 360-degree view inside their business. MIASF will work with local businesses that want to utilize the new maps with Google.

Gilberto Nobili Joins Team Luna Rossa
Cagliari, Italy: Gilberto "Gillo" Nobili, joins team Luna Rossa Challenge with the double role of Operations Manager and Crew Member.

Gillo, winner of the last three editions of the America's Cup (2010 and 2013 with Oracle Team USA and in 2017 with Emirates Team New Zealand as crew member and system developer) is now at his sixth participation.

He also took part in several international events onboard TP52s, Maxi yachts and Extreme40s and sailed four years (2004-2008) as Star Class crew.

Vale Marianne Middelthon
It is with regret and deep sadness that World Sailing announces that Marianne Middelthon passed away on 27 February after a long fight with cancer.

An International Judge and Umpire since 1993, serving Racing Rules and Race Officials in many capacities since the turn of the century, Marianne was greatly admired by her peers and sailors'.

Marianne was a member of the International Jury and Umpire team at no less than five Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games and the America's Cup while always finding time to help her fellow Norwegians and many others.

Through her work as an International Umpire Instructor, Marianne provided support and guidance to many, enabling others to achieve their dreams within the sport.

Over the past 25-years, Marianne dedicated an extensive amount of time and energy to World Sailing and the sport and in recognition of her services, she was awarded a World Sailing Gold Medal in 2017, one of the very few non-committee chairs or Board members to be recognised.

Through her work and dedication to the sport, Marianne touched the lives of many and World Sailing are inviting tributes to be sent to

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Daniel Charles:

All this talk about renewing some Olympic classes is very good - but what are we trying to achieve? What is the problem with sailing in the Olympics? This problem is twofold:

1) Supply the general public with a show which holds the same attraction than other sports. Of course the traditional regatta format does not do that. To compete against the attraction of - say- 50m breaststroke swimming, one would need not a regatta course, but a 500m WSSRC-format straight run. Do that on foiling Moth? OK this wouldn't be sailing as we know it, but then a circus show is not the life as we know it either!

2) Let the Olympics represent the real sailing community. Right now the Olympic classes are only dinghies, while the HUGE majority of sailors sail keelboats. Just to give an idea: in France, the number of dinghies sold annually to individuals represents less than 1% of what that number was in the late 1960s. Yes, that's a 99% reduction. In everyday practice, dinghies are out...

Of course these two precepts are contradictory. Maybe that is the sign of the falsity of the problem, and that sailing would be better off without the Olympics. I certainly believe that the Olympics are a nuisance. They help finance Federations which, in return, spend an inordinate amount of money and attention on competition, while the real problem is the not-so-slow abandon of pleasure sailing at a rate of 6-8% a year - imagine that over 20 years...

Too much sport kills the sport.

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The Last Word
People don't want other people to get high, because if you get high, you might see the falsity of the fabric of the society we live in. -- Ken Kesey

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