In This Issue
18ft Skiffs JJ Giltinan Championship
Swedes Take Charge at Valencia Double Header to Kick Off 2018 WMRT Season
Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series
Day 4 RC44 Calero Marinas Cup
Clipper Round The World Yacht Race Starts All China Race From Sanya To Qingdao
Volvo Ocean Race initiate independent report
2018 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta
12 Metres
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage: WHAT
The Last Word: WHAT

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

18ft Skiffs JJ Giltinan Championship
Click on image for photo gallery.

New Zealand's domination of the 2018 Winning Group 2018 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship continued on Sydney Harbour today when Honda Marine proved too good for the 25-boat fleet of the world's best 18 Footer teams.

David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins grabbed the lead soon after the start and led for most of the course before going on to a 2m6s win from a determined Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Paul Montague, Harry Bethwaite) team.

Race 1 winner, and overall points leader, Maersk Line (Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazzard) battled all throughout the race with Asko Appliances and finished a further 32s back in third place.

While the top three teams broke away from the rest of the fleet, the battle for the minor placings was intense in the 25-30-knot Southerly which battered the harbour course.

Brett Van Munster's finished fourth, followed by Knight Frank (Riley Dean), Yandoo (John Winning), Ilve (Oliver Hartas) and Triple M (James Ward).

After the two races sailed so far, Maersk Line leads with a total of four points, followed by Honda Marine on5, Asko Appliances on 7, Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) on 11, Knight Frank and Appliancesonline on 13 and Harken (Riley Gibbs) on 15.

Race 3 of the JJ Giltinan Championship will be sailed on Sydney Harbour on Tuesday 6 March -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Race dates for the rest of the championship are:
Race 4 - Wednesday - March 7
Race 5 - Thursday - March 8
Race 6 - Saturday - March 10
Race 7 - Sunday - March 11

Swedes Take Charge at Valencia Double Header to Kick Off 2018 WMRT Season
Valencia, Spain: With 8 teams registered for the Valencia Match Cup and a fully stacked 10 entry lineup for Malvarrosa Match Cup, both WMRT regulars mixed in with new special guests, the Valencia WMRT double-header was set to provide an action filled start to the 2018 match racing season.

Valencia Match Cup, running 20-22nd February, began in style with 15-20 knot breeze in a good swell, catching some of the less experienced teams out by testing boat handling skills in these tough conditions, up against strong competition.

The hugely experienced catamaran racer, Arnaud Psarofaghis with his team Alinghi, progressed through he Round Robin Qualifying stage and into the Semi Final stage at their first M32 era WMRT event. As early leaders, winning the Round Robin series unbeaten, the team picked Daniel Bjørnholt's Youth Vikings Denmark to face in the Semis. Although finishing lower down the leaderboard after the initial stages, Bjørnholt proved himself at the WMRT Miami qualifiers last spring and this experience helped him to get past Psarofaghis in an enthralling 3-2 victory over the Swiss which secured himself a place in the final and the all important qualification spot to a Championship level event.

The other side of the draw saw an all-Swedish affair as Nicklas Dackhammar with his Essiq Racing Team took on fellow Gothenburg rival Mans Holmberg of Holmberg Racing Team.

The battle of Scandinavia was set for a final with Dackhammar flying the flag for Sweden and Bjørnholt for Denmark. Due to a lack of time the final was shortened to a sudden death, one-race-take-all to decide the winner. In the end it was Dackhammar who showed his experience on the Tour and in the M32 and took the race, winning the Valencia Match Cup.

Up next was the three day Malvarrosa Match Cup - take two for some teams who used the first three days as a warm up. Polish Team Delphia Sailing Team left the group and made way for 3 new entries - Denmark's Jonas Warrer, Sweden's Johnie Berntsson and The Netherland's Pieter-Jan Postma.

Holmberg cruised to victory at the Malvarrosa Match Cup, leaving both himself and Nicklas Dackhammar as the favourites for the start of the 2018 season. Perhaps they were aided by the surprisingly cool winds sweeping Valencia to make them feel at home, but these two young Gothenburg teams both showed strong match racing prowess over the six days of racing in Valencia and set themselves up as strong contenders for the new season ahead.

Final Standings - Valencia Match Cup
1. Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE), Essiq Racing Team
2. Daniel Bjørnholt (DEN), Youth Vikings Denmark
3. Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI), Alinghi
4. Mans Holmberg (SWE), Holmberg Racing
5. Markus Edegran (USA), E11even Racing
6. Vladimir Lipavsky (RUS), OST Legal Sailing
7. Kim Kling (SWE), Caprice Match Racing Team
8. Lukasz Wosinski (POL), Delphia Sailing Team

Helly Hansen Warsash Spring Series starts on 18 March
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

Day 4 RC44 Calero Marinas Cup
Nico Poons' Charisma proved today that there is a new player in town in the one design fleet, as they clung on to their lead from yesterday to win the RC44 Calero Marinas Cup, the opening event of the 2018 RC44 championship. But it came down to the last run of today's last race when a final curved ball cut the Monaco-based team's overall lead to just one point ahead of arch-rival, Team Nika.

With no awkward frontal systems to complicate matters today, Lanzarote reverted to her usual summery self for the final day of competition. Until the last run the winds remained reliably in the southwest at around 15-16 knots, which with flat water and a scorching sun that made it seem like June in the Mediterranean.

After their outstanding Saturday, defending 2017 RC44 champions Igor Lah's Team CEEREF were still in the groove and led today's opening race from start to finish.

After posting a couple of deep results, Vladimir Prosikhin 's Team Nika was back on song for race two. The Russian team and John Bassadone's Peninsula Petroleum opted early for the right on the first beat where they struck gold. The two boats were respectively first and second at the top mark, positions they maintained until the finish.

In the third and final race it was for the first time Hugues Lepic's Aleph Racing, steered here by former Farr 40 World Champion, Jim Richardson that rounded the top mark in first. However on the run Torbjörn Törnqvist's Artemis Racing overhauled the French team and went on to lead for the remainder of the race. However this was despite an almighty right hand shift on the final leg that forced those on port gybe to finish under jib.

Despite a disappointing fifth place for Nico Poons' Charisma in the final race, this was still enough to secure her first RC44 regatta victory in four years, just ahead of Team Nika. Team CEEREF made the best of the final dramatic shift to finish third leaving her third overall, three points behind Team Nika.

Competition now returns to Portoroz, Slovenia, birthplace of the Russell Coutts-inspired RC44 for the second event of the 2018 championship.

Clipper Round The World Yacht Race Starts All China Race From Sanya To Qingdao
The final section of the Asia-Pacific Leg 5, officially known as Race 8: The Sailing City Qingdao Cup, has got underway following the inaugural Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Stopover in Sanya, China.

Using the first ever Sanya Serenity Coast In-Port Race, which was held on Friday, as a springboard for further success, Nasdaq crossed the Race 8 start line in first place and was followed closely by Visit Seattle and Dare To Lead. Tactics were at play from the off, with the fleet immediately splitting into two packs as teams headed for the windward mark.

It was Dare To Lead and PSP Logistics, which both opted for the Westerly route, that rounded first but Visit Seattle, which took the Easterly route, took third place and pipped Sanya Serenity Coast around the mark.

After completing a short inshore route, which passed the Nanshan statue, the Clipper Race fleet raced away from Sanya and will navigate the Kuroshio Current as it heads north, where the scorching heat will be replaced by freezing conditions.

The race to Qingdao is expected to take between ten to twelve days, with the fleet expected to arrive into the Wanda Yacht Club between the 13 and 16 of March.

This will be the seventh time the Clipper Race has included Qingdao on its global racing route, with the city the longest serving partner of the race. For the first time, Clipper Race crews will berth at the newly constructed Wanda Yacht Club, a state of the art facility in western Qingdao which demonstrates how the sailing industry continues to expand in China's Sailing City in the ten years since hosting the Beijing Olympic Games Sailing Events.

Following the Qingdao Stopover, the Clipper Race fleet will depart again on March 23 for the Mighty Pacific Leg 6, a 5,600 nautical mile race across the world's biggest and remote ocean to Seattle. From there, the teams will race on to Panama, New York, Derry-Londonderry, and Liverpool, where the Clipper 2017-18 Race will finish on July 28 2018.

Volvo Ocean Race initiate independent report
Following the collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing and a non-racing vessel in the final stages of the racing leg into Hong Kong, the organisers of the Volvo Ocean Race have commissioned an independent report into ocean racing at night in areas of high vessel traffic density, to establish what steps race organisers may take to mitigate risk going forward.

The report will be conducted by an Independent Report Team (IRT), chaired by Rear Admiral Chris Oxenbould AO RAN (Rtd) and assisted by Stan Honey and Chuck Hawley.

Rear Admiral Oxenbould is a former deputy chief of the Australian Navy and an experienced ocean racing yachtsman with a particular expertise in navigation. He is also the former chairman of Australia Sailing's National Safety Committee.

Renowned current sailor and ocean navigational expert, Stan Honey, who won the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 as navigator onboard ABN AMRO ONE, and Chuck Hawley, who is the former chairman of the U.S. Sailing Safety at Sea Committee, will assist Rear Admiral Oxenbould on the report.

The IRT will examine all the issues associated with racing a Volvo Ocean 65, or similar racing boat, at night in areas of high vessel traffic density, drawing on the experiences in recent editions of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Any findings from the report that could benefit the wider sailing community will be released. It is intended that the IRT will make its report available to Volvo Ocean Race by June 2018.

2018 Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta
What started out as a 3-day event with less than 10 boats in 1927 in Cuba, now attracts more than 200 sailors each year from 20 countries and the attention of international media in Miami.

For nearly one century, the Bacardi Cup continues to attract the world's top sailors and fans alike with its popularity and international intrigue. The event is celebrating its 91st anniversary in 2018 and for 56 straight years has called the beautiful waters of Biscayne Bay home.

Started as a regatta for Star Class boats in Havana, Cuba in 1927, the Bacardi Cup has continued to evolve and change with the times, giving the one-design class invitational continued growth and popularity in a sport and an international city that has seen numerous regattas come and go.

For 2018, the Bacardi Cup organizing committee has decided to refocus the series on the original idea of an invitation-only regatta where the best small-boat sailors in the world come together to compete in tight, competitive, thrilling racing for six full days with an emphasis on quality instead of quantity. Still sponsored by the venerable Bacardi Rum brand and the Bacardi family, who have been active patrons since the inaugural Bacardi Cup was presented in 1927, the series in 2018 will be called The Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta. Only one other one-design class has been invited to compete in the Bacardi Cup in 2018: the exciting J/70 class, the fastest-growing one-design fleet in the world.

Racing gets underway in Biscayne Bay on Monday, March 5th for the Star Class. Racing for the J/70 Class commences the following Thursday. The Star fleet will compete in a single daily race, in what many today would call "endurance" style racing, which is exactly what the sailors' relish. The J/70 fleet face 9 races scheduled across 3 days.

12 Metres
Onawa (US-6) to Sail with New Syndicate

In January of 2018, Onawa was acquired by Onawa 12 US 6, LLC, a Rhode Island company managed by McMillen Yachts. She is currently at their facility in Portsmouth, RI and she is race ready! No firm plans have been made, but they are entertaining the idea of forming a new syndicate of five 20% partners. McMillen Yachts would remain a partner and would maintain the yacht for the partnership. She would be based out of Newport and be available for the southern New England classic yacht circuit. When not being sailed by the partners, she would be made available for charter with the Newport 12 Metre fleet to supplement her income. If a new syndicate is not formed, offers for a sale will be considered

Easterner's (US-18) Proud New Owner

Scott Bernard of Annapolis purchased US-18 in January (2018) and plans to race her in Newport and Annapolis going forward. Scott has a sentimental tie to this iconic 12 as it was moored in front of his family's home in Newport Beach, CA during the 1970s - 1980s. Then known as Newsboy, Scott tells us that that she was the "belle of the bay" and he is trilled to now own her. Easterner is undergoing a refit scheduled to be completed in time for summer races in Newport and then be sailed to Annapolis for the fall 12 Metre Onawa_ US-6and winter. Scott intends to keep the hull bright, bottom white, and will likely offer Easterner for charter in coming years when not racing.

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 Euan Ross:

Interesting to see the Volvo fleet lined up after service, shrink-wrapped in single-use plastic covers. Seems we are no more turning the tide than King Cnut at the Hamble?

* From David Evans: Re Daniel Charles in his letter 02/03/18

I thoroughly agree with every word in Daniel Charles' letter (02/3/18), as they say he hit the nail precisely on the head!

* From Don Street: re: Canaries:

As I have been saying for forty years despite what tourist boards and many yaching authors say, the Canaries are not in the NE trades as is proved by cancellation of the RS44 racing yesterday.

How many times has the ARC started out with boats beating to windward for a number of days until they get down to the trades.

Look at the back of Imray Iolaire transatlantic passage chart, at the weather boxes for 12 months of the year.

The reliable trades reach the Canaries in June and depart in September.

.The rest of the year wind can come from any direction.

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The Last Word
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