In This Issue
Star World Champions Control The Fleet
John Merricks Sailing Trust Announces New Keelboat Awards
Celebrating International Women's Day
18ft Skiffs JJ Giltinan Championship, Day 4
Final countdown to Finn Europeans in Cadiz
Prominent Aucklanders enter America's Cup base row
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage: Wally 80 Tonemai, Oyster 82 Raven, Oyster 72 Solitaire of Bosham
The Last Word: Basil Fawlty

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

Star World Champions Control The Fleet
A keen Star Class fleet pushed the starting line, forcing the Race Committee to signal two general recalls before race day 2 at the 91st Bacardi Cup got underway on Biscayne Bay today.

Superb weather conditions in a breeze up to 15 knots kept the frontrunners close together, with intense head to head fights concluding in a virtual photo finish between the leading three boats.

On the first upwind leg, the majority opted to take the left side of the track which paid off particularly well for Italy's Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi who claimed the mark rounding first, chased by a rowdy fleet crowding around the mark behind.

The Italians held their position in the leading pack for the next legs, almost keeping their advantage to the finish line, as a battle of wills unfolded. Three boats crossed within moments of each other with the advantage going to the Norwegian pair of Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin. A reversal of fortune compared to yesterday when they lost their lead in the final leg, but today they accelerated ahead of the Italians to take the win by half a boat length. A scorecard of 2,1 now puts Melleby/Revkin in the overall lead, sitting 2 points ahead of Negri/ Lambertenghi in second overall.

Top ten after 2 races:

1. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin, NOR, 3.0 points
2. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi, ITA, 5.0
3. Robert Scheidt / Brian Fatih, BRA, 10.0
4. Paul Cayard / Mark Strube, USA, 10.0
5. Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada, USA, 11.0
6. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise , USA, 16.0
7. Arthur Anosov / David Caesar , USA, 21.0
8, Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary, IRL, 21.0
9. Xavier Rohart / Sebastien Guidoux, FRA, 26.0
10. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter , USA, 29.0

John Merricks Sailing Trust Announces New Keelboat Awards
Jim Saltonstall (left) and Ian Atkins. Click on image to enlarge.

The Ian Atkins Keelboat Awards have been set up by the John Merricks Sailing Trust thanks to a contribution from Dominion Enterprises / Yachtworld.

Dominion Enterprises, the previous owners of Dominion Marine Media, now Boats Group, has marked the occasion of Ian Atkins' retirement with a significant donation to the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) in support of youth keelboat sailing. The Award was announced at Atkins' retirement celebration at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble, by Courtney Chalmers, Vice President of Marketing, Boats Group, on behalf of Dominion Enterprises.

Jim Saltonstall MBE was in attendance and expressed his gratitude for the gift on behalf of JMST.

The Award was a surprise to Atkins, who was visibly moved and deeply honoured at the donation being made in his name in the presence of family, friends and industry colleagues from his extraordinary career in the marine industry, which spans over 40 years.

Ian Atkins is an enthusiastic, active, keelboat sailor with an outstanding record of success in yachting, both in Great Britain and beyond. Ian's particular forte is racing small keelboats, which many young sailors aspire to after serving their apprenticeship in dinghies. He has had a very successful business career and his knowledge of the commercial side of the sailing industry is well respected both at home and abroad.

The JMST will promote and manage the Ian Atkins Keelboat Awards, which consist of a series of cash bursaries for young people to aid their transition from racing dinghies to keelboats. These bursaries, awarded annually, will be given on the basis of track record, future potential and financial need.

Youth sailors can apply for the awards from 1 November to 1 January each year. The JMST Trustees will then consider all applications in January and successful applicants will be awarded grants by the end of the month. All applicants will be notified by the end of February whether their applications were successful or not.

Typically the monies will contribute towards a young sailor's expenses when looking to further their keelboat sailing through the British Keelboat Academy, British Keelboat league, Student Yachting, Offshore Academy or any other similar keelboat progression. The expectation is, that the scheme would hand out bursaries amounting to a total of £3 - £5k per year.

The John Merricks Sailing Trust has been in operation for twenty-one years and has helped many young sailors and youth sailing organisations to achieve their goals. The charitable trust was set up by those closest to John to do some good in his name and further the memory of such a remarkable person. Many people gained from all that John gave and many also helped John to achieve all that he did in such a short time. Indeed if it were not for this help John may have fallen short of his aspirations, culminating in an Olympic silver medal in 1996. The Trust's aim is to provide help to those young people who display similar drive, talent and commitment to sailing as John, but who perhaps themselves need support to set them on their way to fulfilling their dreams. -- Suzy Hamel

Celebrating International Women's Day
This international Women's Day, Marlow Ropes is celebrating the success of the many inspirational women in sailing they are proud to work with and support as official supplier.

- Dame Ellen Macarthur OBE, sailor and world record holder
The long relationship between Marlow Ropes and Dame Ellen Macarthur started more than 17 years ago with Marlow supplying the running rigging for all of Ellen's voyages and record achievements, including her record breaking entry in the 2000-2001 Vendee Globe.

- Susie Goodall, Golden Globe Race 2018 Skipper
Marlow is the official supplier to pioneering GB yachtswoman Susie Goodall who will compete in the solo and unsupported non-stop Golden Globe Race starting in July.

"There's a mutual understanding that we're all just sailors and gender doesn't come into it and this is thanks to the incredible female sailors such as Tracy Edwards and Ellen Macarthur who paved the way for us." Susie Goodall

- Marie Gendron, French Mini Transat Engineer & Sailor
French engineering student Marie Gendron designed and built her ground-breaking boat, Le Mini 930, a 6.3m Mini Transat; whilst preparing to sail it solo across the Atlantic in 2019 using Marlow's DM20.

- Clementine Thompson, Laser Radial sailor for the British Sailing Team
Laser Radial sailor Clementine Thompson was the recipient of Marlow's British Sailing Team Podium Pathway Award in 2017, working with Marlow along with other members of the British Sailing Team, to test new products including the new Excel R8 Dinghy line. 

- Steph Roble and Maggie Shea, 49erFX sailors, US Sailing Team
Steph Roble and Maggie Shea combine to make a formidable 49erFX team, rigged by Marlow, with notable success ahead of their Tokyo 2020 campaign.

 It is also fitting that in advance of this year's International Women's Day, Marlow Ropes has been announced as title sponsor of the RYA Women's Match Racing Championships. 

"Marlow have been privileged to work with a succession of talented female sailors and athletes over the years, and this International Women's Day we want to pay homage to their ambition and achievements.  These inspirational women demonstrate the skill, determination and tenacity required to sail at the very top of the sport.  We look forward to seeing where their ambition takes them next." Emma Donovan, Marketing Manager

18ft Skiffs JJ Giltinan Championship, Day 4
Click on image for photo gallery.

Day 4 of The Winning Group 2018 JJ Giltinan International 18ft Skiff Championship was held on Sydney Harbour today when two short-course, windward-return races were sailed towards the overall championship pointscore.

The first of the two races was sailed in an 11-knot South-East wind and resulted in a win for Triple M (James Ward, Adam Gillson, Tom Anderson) by 11s from the Australian champion Smeg team (Lee Knapton, Ricky Bridge, Mike McKensey), with New Zealand's Honda Marine (Dave McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins) a further 47s back in third place.

In the latter race, which was sailed in a flukey 8-14-knot South-East breeze, New Nealand's Maersk Line (Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazzard) took the lead only a few hundred metres from the finish to defeat the UK's The Time Genie (Graham Bridle, Eddie Bridle, Ed Gibbons) by 2s, with Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams) another 10s back in third place.

After the day's racing, Maersk Line leads the points table with 13 points, followed by Honda Marine on 14, Finport Trade Finance on 28, Knight Frank on 40, Asko Appliances (James Dorron) 40, and NZ's C-Tech (Alex Vallings) on 44.

The course for both races was set between the start in Taylor Bay to a windward mark in Rose Bay.

The lighter wind conditions and nature of the course didn't produce the excitement, spectacle or spinnaker/two-sail reaching we saw in the previous three days and the erratic results reflected the uncertainty of the short course racing.

Day 5 of the JJ Giltinan Championship will be sailed on Sydney Harbour tomorrow, Thursday 8 March. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Race dates for the rest of the championship are:
Day 6 - Saturday - March 10
Day 7 - Sunday - March 11

Final countdown to Finn Europeans in Cadiz
Ninety-six Finn sailors from 33 countries are counting down the days to next week's Open and U23 Finn European Championship in Cadiz, Spain. Many have been training for months at the venue for the first big test of the year as the fleet gears up for the first Olympic qualifier in Aarhus, Denmark in August.

The high-calibre fleet includes 12 Rio Olympians, three former world champions and three former European champions. The defending champion is Jonathan Lobert, from France, the London 2012 bronze medalist, who took the gold in Marseille last year, the sailing venue for the 2024 Olympics.

Some of the biggest threats for Lobert's title defence are likely to come from current World Champion, Max Salminen, from Sweden, last year's second and third placed, Ed Wright and Ben Cornish, from Britain, Rio bronze medalist Caleb Paine, from the USA, Australian, Jake Lilley, and Alican Kaynar from Turkey.

Kaynar won last week's Andalusian Olympic Week and has shown steady improvement since the Rio Games, including a bronze in Miami earlier this year.\

The championship opens on Friday 9 March, with a series of 10 races from Monday 12 to Friday 16 March, followed by the medal race for the top ten on Saturday 17 March.

Follow the event through the event website and the various Finn class social media channels

Prominent Aucklanders enter America's Cup base row
Prominent architects, academics, legal figures and resident groups have entered the America's Cup base row in an open letter published in today's Herald.

Distinguished academic Dame Anne Salmond, retired Court of Appeal judge Sir "Ted" Thomas and many of Auckland's top architects are calling on the Government, Auckland Council and Team New Zealand to adopt a land-based solution for the cup bases.

Resident groups from the CBD, Devonport, Herne Bay, Northcote, Parnell and St Marys Bay have also signed the letter.

The letter comes as talks between the main parties drag on with no sign of an agreement in sight. It is nearly four weeks since Economic Development Minister David Parker, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton last met.

The 100 or so individuals plus residents groups and architectural groups to sign the letter are calling for five syndicate bases on Wynyard Point, moving the Team New Zealand Base from a 75m extension on Hobson Wharf to a small extension on Halsey Wharf, and two contingency sites on Beaumont St.

It is very similar to the option put forward by Viaduct Harbour Holdings - a company owned by some of New Zealand's richest businessmen who own 20ha of prime waterfront land around Wynyard Quarter.

No one from Viaduct Harbour Holdings has signed the letter, but company chief executive Angela Bull said it supported the letter and "believed the Wynyard Point proposal will deliver a world class America's Cup event which is cheaper without encroachment into the Waitemata Harbour". -- Bernard Orsman

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: Andrew Hurst, Seahorse International Sailing Magazine

I think my good friend Bruce Kirby is perhaps being uncharitable in his response to Mr Evans' observations about the Laser. Surely Mr Evans was being ironic… no one would set out to upset tens of thousands of past, present and future happy Laser customers...

The Laser is the most brilliant, significant and successful design in dinghy racing history (sorry Opti parents, it's good but now it's time). I am one of hundreds of thousands, probably millions over the years, of enthusiasts for whom the Laser made an extraordinary contribution to my sailing life and to my simple enjoyment of the sport. I still have my last Laser (Tallinn, No147092) which is on permanent loan to any keen sailor who wants to sail it. I race it myself on occasion when it's blowing so hard that the mere sight of my lovely Finn scares the pants off me.

By the way, a similarly perfect keelboat in my view is the Mumm 30, now called the Farr 30 but forever the Mumm 30 to me and many others. The perfect small fast racing yacht in every way; I am pleased to see a steady stream of examples now being optimised for new lives as ORC and IRC racers (as was its predecessor the Mumm 36).

And Mr Evans, you're welcome to borrow my Laser anytime… I'm sure Tom Burton will relish the challenge.

The sun's out so a little praise where it's due. And a little adult supervision.

Keep up the good work.

* From Adrian Morgan:

Gosh, blimey and other British expressions. To have Bruce Kirby mention me in Scuttlebutt Europe. I'd say that was an honour.

However on the day I had my defence of the Laser published I received a call from an eminent sailor who took me to task, pointing out that the really serious faults in the boat, Mr Evans had ignored: among them the variations in hull weight; the differences in mast characteristics, daggerboard quality and so on, which meant Olympic and championship sailors having to pick through many hulls and masts and boards to find the "good" ones. That was surely not the fault of the design, however. How many other classes face the same problems? Compared to the cost of any development class, a Laser looks pretty good value. To make a one design that will suit the long, short, tall, and the heavy, is a tough order and Bruce's Laser comes closer to that ideal than most. It has stood the test of time and, until someone designs a better ironing board, will continue to do so. Mine, yellow, sail number 132322, certainly did from 1988, when I collected it from the factory near Oxford, until I sold it two years ago.

* From Eddie Mays:

A voice from the past (complaining again) popping my head above the parapet

I have just watched the first day's video highlights from the Bacardi Cup and I would like to congratulate Icarus Sports. In a 2min 56sec video they managed to condense the Star class sailing to 15 secs. Perhaps in tomorrow's video they will get it down even further.

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The Last Word
Basil Fawlty: Always reminds me of somebody machine-gunning a seal.
Major Gowen: The heat?
Basil Fawlty: No, no. My wife's laugh.

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