In This Issue
18ft Skiffs JJ Giltinan Championship, Race 3
Luke O’Connell back in OK Dinghy World top 10 after double victory down under
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
New Course Record While Fleet Passes Cabo
Sundance Marine Melbourne Osaka Yacht Race start
LEGO Technic 42074 Racing Yacht
Patrice Carpentier appointed Golden Globe Race Director
For the Record
Oldest-known message in a bottle
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage: Cookson 50, Swan 78 Custom, Maxi 79' Racer
The Last Word: Meher Baba

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, Race 3
Click on image for photo gallery.

Skiffs The Australians fought back after an previous domination by the New Zealand teams when Finport Trade Finance took out Race 3 of the Winning Group JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams) had a race-long dual with the winners of the two earlier races in the championship (Maersk Line nad Honda Marine) before crossing the finish line an 18s winner.

Honda Marine (Dave McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins) finished secong, just 4s ahead of third pl;aced Maersk Line (Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazard).

Although finishing behind Finport today, the two New Zealand teams share the lead with a total of seven points, followed by Finport on 12 points.

Harken, of the USA, (Riley Gibbs) finished fourth today and is also in fourth place overall on 19 points.

Two more New Zealand teams, Knight Frank (Riley Dean) and C-Tech (Alex Vallings) round out the top six overall on 20 and 25 points respectively.

Once again, the strong Southerly wind gave all teams some great rides but was also respensible for some capsizes during the first half of the race.

It was a great credit to all teams as 23 of the 24 starters managed to complete the course.

The only non-finisher was Triple M which lost a crewman just before the race and had to substitute a last minute replacement, then had a collision only a few secs. after the start.

Today's Result Sheet and Progress Points are attached, together with photos from today's race.

Race 4 of the JJ Giltinan Championship will be sailed on Sydney Harbour tomorrow, Wednesday 7 March.

Luke O’Connell back in OK Dinghy World top 10 after double victory down under
The first release of the OK Dinghy World Ranking List in 2018 is much the same as the last one in 2017. Greg Wilcox, of New Zealand, still leads from Tomasz Gaj, of Poland and Henrik Kofoed, of Denmark.

While most of the top places stay the same, there are 18 new sailors on the list, which now includes 519 sailors from 13 countries. All four events counted for this list were in New Zealand and Australia, before the European circuit begins next month.

The first event was the Go for Gold Regatta at Black Rock Yacht Club, Melbourne, in November 2017. Michael Horvath won from Folkert Jansen and Brent Williams. The Australia Nationals, held at Southport Yacht Club, on the Gold Coast in January 2018 attracted an impressive 42 entries, with Rob McMillan sailing a recently imported Ovington hull, from the UK, to a dominant victory over Wilcox and the defending champion Mark Jackson.

A few weeks later the New Zealand National and Interdominion titles were held at Wakatere Boating Club in Auckland. Luke O’Connell won a shortened series from defending champion Dan Slater and Ben Morrison. The event was viewed as practice for next year’s World Championship, which will be hosted by the club in February 2019.

The final event, at Turangi, was also won by O’Connell with straight wins from Alistair Deaves and Steve McDowell.

O’Connell’s results means he is back in the top 10 again, while Jackson drops out, from 10th to 12th. The biggest climber though is McDowell, up 17 places to 15th.

The European circuit opens, as usual, with the Spring Cup in Medemblik at the end of April. The next release will be after Kieler Woche in June and just before the 2018 World Championship in Warnemünde, Germany, where pre-entry closed at 99 boats. A huge fleet is expected at what is one of the class's favourite venues.

OK Dinghy World Ranking List - March 2018 (Top 20 from 519) Full list can be downloaded here.

Top ten rankings:
1. Greg Wilcox, NZL
2. Tomasz Gaj, POL
3. Henrik Kofoed Larsen, DEN
4. Martin von Zimmermann, GER
5. Pawel Pawlaczyk, POL
6. Jim Hunt, GBR
7. Oliver Gronholz, GER
8. Ralf Tietje, GER
9. Andreas Pich, GER
10. Luke O'Connell, NZL

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

Seahorse Magazine

It’s not an easy time to be a wannabe America’s Cup challenger, the extraordinary CV of that Mapfre navigator and the complexities of modern campaigning. Plus modern real-time performance analysis... think again. Jack Griffin, Joan Vila, Carlos Pich, Terry Hutchinson

Design - Plenty (more) to come
Bernard Nivelt And Alexis Muratet have no intention of turning back the clock...

The game of life
Blue Robinson talks America’s Cup and an extraordinary career with Tom Whidden

What does it take...
A big picture hunt for the commonalities of a successful Olympian. Carol Cronin

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New Course Record While Fleet Passes Cabo
San Diego, CA: Mighty Merloe (Orma 60, HL Enloe) flew across the Sea of Cortez Monday and crossed the finish line to set new multihull and overall record for the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race. The previous record was set in 2014 by Tom Siebel’s MOD70 trimaran Orion, sailing 1209 miles in 56 hr 55 min for the 1000 mile rhumbline course. Mighty Merloe was three hours behind them that year, but suffered from a broken centerboard on one of the hulls, sailing 1160 miles that year.

The new 2018 record now stands at 51 hr 58 min set by Mighty Merloe, sailing 1136 miles, for an average speed of 21.8 over the 1000 mile rhumbline course.

Mighty Merloe is nearly 15 years old now, and recently she has been getting some much deserved work to ‘tighten up’ the hull. You can only imagine the stress placed on various features of the outboard amas, cross beams, and mast components. With a new record in hand, it seems to have been worth it.

For the rest of the fleet... they are punching their way through that lee, and perhaps thinking back to Peter Isler’s competitor briefing where he described the nuances of a ‘in close, out wide’ approach to the wind shadow in the lee of Cabo, and the third ‘leg’ of the race. Racers will be working most of today to pace themselves to the other side and ‘reattach’ to the northerly flow pumping out of the Sea of Cortez.

Sundance Marine Melbourne Osaka Yacht Race start
With the first of multiple starts for the Sundance Marine Melbourne Osaka Yacht Race just eight days away, both excitement and pressure are tangible at Sandringham Yacht Club (SYC), where most boats are berthed and the double-handed crews continue to beaver away as they make final preparations.

“All but five of the 24 boats have arrived,” says Melbourne-Osaka committee chair, Martin Vaughan from the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria. “Most are now berthed at Sandringham Yacht Club, where their crews are undertaking final preparations. You can definitely feel a buzz and nervous tension in the air,” he said.

The countdown is on and first away will be Joanna Breen and Peter Brooks on Joanna’s S&S 34, Morning Star, on 15 March, at 12pm. The next start will take place on 18 March, followed by the main start for the bulk of the fleet on 25 March, then the last, larger boats will leave on 1 April, the idea being for the fleet of 24 to finish close together. All starts will take place from Portsea Pier.

One of the last away will be Rupert Henry’s JV62, Chinese Whisper, from Sydney. Henry says he and his friend Greg O’Shea are prepared: “We had to turn an 18-handed boat into a double-handed boat in a fairly short time, because I only got the idea to enter in October. I was looking for something to do and this race was perfect, it gives us something to aim for.”

Henry has previously effectively done a bit of single-handed sailing. “For years I cruised my J/65 in Rhode Island with my family, which was really sailing the boat on my own. I have literally copied systems off that boat to Chinese Whisper.

A total of seven Melbourne Osaka double-handed yacht races have been conducted in the past, held approximately every four years from 1987 to 2013. The race record of 26 days 20 hours 47 minutes 6 seconds, has been held since 1995 by Grant Wharington and Scott Gilbert with Wharington’s 50ft Wild Thing.

LEGO Technic 42074 Racing Yacht
Lego Unlike the charming LEGO Ideas 21313 Ship in a Bottle, the new LEGO Technic 42074 Racing Yacht, despite also being a ship, doesn’t come inside a brick-built bottle. Instead, this bright and vivid ship was designed for high-speed regattas. Even though its playability is rather limited, the set can give a young builder the very basic idea of a modern racing vessel’s mechanisms. The set is just 330-pieces big, but its retail price of £24.99/$39.99/29.99€ can make it a pretty good addition to your collection if you can deal with the model’s flaws…

Once finished, the yacht leaves a dual impression. The model’s design deserves a solid “A”, but that can’t be said about its playability. The set has only two basic features, and even these are as limited as possible; get ready to constantly hit your fingers with the boom any time you try to adjust it. And there’s no way you can make the yacht stand upright: it will always heel over. You’d need a proper display stand if you’re planning to exhibit the model on a shelf.

Patrice Carpentier appointed Golden Globe Race Director
Patrice Carpentier Les Sables d'Olonne: Don McIntyre, founder of the 2108 Golden Globe race, is proud to announce the appointment of Patrice Carpentier, the well-known French sailor, author and editor of Course au Large Magazine as Race Director.

Patrice, who has been sailing since the age of 12, and is multilingual, brings a wealth of experience to this leadership role, having completed five circumnavigations. These include the first two Whitbread Round the World Races aboard Grand Louis and Gauloises 2, and two Vendée Globe solo non-stop races. He also finished 2nd overall in the 1991 Mini Transat despite suffering a broken mast during the first leg. He competed successfully with standard production yachts in two Route du Rhum races in 1982 and 1990 and was still winning in 2017 with victory in the 2-handed IRC/UNCL championship. All told, Patrice (67) has clocked up more than 300,000 sailing miles and crossed the Atlantic 35 times.

With 4 months to the start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race from Les Sables d’Olonne, France on July 1, the number of entrants now stands at 20, representing 13 countries.

These skippers have a remarkable range of backgrounds. Professional sailors and adventurers dominate, but they also include an engineer, foreign exchange trader, hydrographer, pilot, tailor and university lecturer. All have considerable short – and single-handed sailing experience, one having logged five solo circumnavigations. They hail from Australia (2), Estonia (1), Finland (1), France (4), Ireland (1), India (1), Italy (1), Netherlands (1), Norway (1), Palestine (1), Russia (1), UK (3), and the USA (2). Their average age is 47. The youngest, Britain’s Susie Goodall is 28; the oldest, French solo veteran Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is 72.

For the Record
The WSSR Council announces the establishment of a new World Record:

Record: Hong Kong to London
Yacht: “Maserati”. Multi 70 ft
Name: Giovanni Soldini ITA and 4 crew
Dates: 18th January to the 23rd February 2018
Start time: 10;43;24 UTC on the 18;01;18
Finish time: 13;20;36 UTC on 23;02;18.
Elapsed time: 36 days 2 hours 37 minutes and 12 seconds
Distance: 12948 NM
Average speed: 14.94 kts
Comments: Previous record: “Gitana 13” Lionel Lemonchois. FRA. Sep 08. 41d 21h 26m 34s

John Reed
Secretary to the WSSR Council

Oldest-known message in a bottle
A Perth family has made an extraordinary historical discovery after becoming bogged on a West Australian beach.

Tonya Illman was walking across sand dunes just north of Wedge Island, 180 kilometres north of Perth, when she noticed something sticking out of the sand.

"It just looked like a lovely old bottle, so I picked it up thinking it might look good in my bookcase," she said.

But Mrs Illman realised she had likely uncovered something far more special when out fell a damp, rolled up piece of paper tied with string.

The message was dated June 12, 1886, and said it had been thrown overboard from the German sailing barque Paula, 950km from the WA coast.

Discovered 132 years after it was tossed overboard, it is the oldest-known message in a bottle in the world.

The second oldest was just over 108 years old.

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 Bruce Kirby:

How wonderful to have the tuned in Adrian Morgan rush to the defense of he Laser design after someone named Evans had disparaged the design of my little vessel. Mr.Evans doesn’t like the “stupid mainsheet system” which was made necessary by the fact that a center lead system would have been too far forward of the center of the boom. This is true because there is a nifty little secret about the Laser hull design which, as far as I know, has been ferreted out only by a vastly experienced New Zealand / American sail maker. This feature helps to make the wee yacht manageable by good sailors even in extreme conditions. Designers of the most recent rip offs have missed this aspect of the Laser hull and must wonder why their boats handle as they do in heavy air.

Mr. Evans would not know that I sailed International 14s for decades and enjoyed looking aft to see most of my competitors, or that I raced the Finn in two Olympic Games. It was with a thorough knowledge of both of these boats that I designed the Laser. So the sheet was very much as used in the 14s before 1958 when Roger Hewson of Montreal and I began using the center boom system as in the Finn.

Mr. Evans doesn’t like the Laser rudder. Many years ago I designed a slightly deeper and more modern rudder for the little boat but the class and builders turned it down because they thought the original blade was just fine for those willing to learn how to control the boat with it. Maybe Mr. Evans was not one of these, but apparently a couple of hundred thousand others mastered it.

As to the “hopeless rig design” the Laser was not the first boat to use the two-part mast with great success and having taken this route the sail maker (in the case of the Laser, the late double Olympic medal winner Hans Fogh, disciple of Paul Elvstrom) was faced with making the mast/sail combination wor ; and all those hundreds of thousands of sailors seem to have been happy that it works just fine.

Thank you again Adrian for your defense of my offspring; and as to Mr. Evans, if I were not in my 90th year and a bit unsteady on my feet I would fly off to England , throw down my glove, and challenge him to a duel with Laser extension tillers at a distance no closer than10 yards.

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The Last Word
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