In This Issue
Kiwis win The Winning Group 2018 JJ Giltinan International Championship
Bacardi Cup
Indomitables from the East win 5th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series
Dongfeng win challenging New Zealand Herald In Port Race
Chinese team may be entering the America's Cup
Clipper Race 8 Day 7: Highs And Lows As Chase For Podium Heats Up
Finn European Championship storms open in Cadiz
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage: Davidson Custom 70, Ker 33 - New Build, K36 - Samurai
The Last Word: Malaclypse the Younger

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

Kiwis win The Winning Group 2018 JJ Giltinan International Championship
Click on image for photo gallery.

JJ Giltinan International Championship New Zealand's Honda Marine (David McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins) became the first Kiwi team to win the 80-year-old JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour when the team completed the championship with a total of 21 points to defeat fellow-kiwi team Maersk Line by just one point.

The final race of The Winning Group 2018 JJ Giltinan International Championship was sailed in a brilliant 12-15-knot North East wind on Sydney Harbour today in front of a large spectator fleet and the cheering crowds aboard the two Australian 18 Footers League's Spectator Ferries.

Australia's Finport Trade Finance (Keagan Yord, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams) finished strongly to take line honours by 13s from an unlucky Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Paul Montague, Harry Bethwaite) which led for almost the entire race.

The championship runner-up, Maersk Line (Josh, Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazzard) finish in third place today,1m54s behind Asko Appliances.

It was an emotional moment for Dave McDiarmid, who has tried for a number of years to take the title.

As he brought Honda Marine alongside the spectator ferry to receive the coveted Blue Ribbon from former Giltinan champion David Porter, McDiarmid jumped onto to ferry to cuddle his great family supporters Jana, Viktor andhis mother Susan.

NSW champion The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage) finished behind the placegetters today, followed by Smeg (Lee Knapton) and Honda Marine.

Top six placings on the overall points table: Honda Marine 21 points, Maersk Line 22 points, Asko Appliances 35 points, Finport Trade Finance 42 points, Smeg 44 points and Harken (Riley Gibbs, USA) on 59 points.

Asko Appliances and Honda Marine shared the lead early on the spinnaker run from the Beashel Buoy, but Asko Appliances led the fleet once the fleet reached the bottom mark off Clark Island.

From that point Asko Appliances led the fleet over the nest three long legs of the course before coming under cahllenge from Finport Trade Finance.

This pair staged a great race from the Beashel Buoy, around the wing mark off Shark Island and the final run between Shark and Clark islands.

Bacardi Cup
The final race of the 91st Bacardi Cup was held today in 14-18 knots of wind from the south east.

Mark and I got off the starting line well and were amongst the top teams approaching the first mark. We rounded second behind Robert Scheidt, with series leader Diego Negri in 6th. All the top teams were in the top 8 so no big shuffling of positions, overall, was going to happen.

Negri who got forced to gybe right at the top mark, layed the bottom mark due to the windshift and moved into third place and safety for the overall. Ian Percy also gybe early and moved into second. I misjudged the layline to the first bottom mark and we slipped back to 6th.

We were fighting with Xavier Rohart of France and Luke Lawrence up the second windward leg. At the final mark before the run to the finish, Sheidt still led followed by Doyle, Percy, Negri, Lawrence, ourselves and then Rohart.

We played the right side of the run with Percy/Ekstrom while the others gybed away to the left. We had more wind and ended up 3rd and Percy caught Scheidt to win the race.

In the end, Mark and I tied for fourth with Lars Grael but lost the tiebreaker to finish the regatta in 5th. That’s not a bad result in this fleet. 7 out of the top 10 are Star world champions. I made a few too many mistakes this week and that costs points. I felt our speed was good and we got better together as the week went on. There definitely is something to sailing with the same team mate.

Negri and Lambertenghi won their first Bacardi Cup, Scheidt/Fatih second, current World Champions Melleby/Revkin we’re third.

A big part of this week for me was honoring my good friend Sir Durward Knowles. I sailed with 4789, the number of his Gold Medal boat Gem IX, from the 1964 Olympics and with bow number 64 in honor of 1964. I want to thank Bacardi and all the competitors who helped honor Sir Durward on Monday. -- Paul Cayard,

Final top ten:

1. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi, ITA, 14 points
2. Robert Scheidt / Brian Fatih, BRA, 16
3. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin, NOR, 22
4. Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves, BRA, 24
5. Paul Cayard / Mark Strube, USA, 24
6. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise , USA, 28
7. Iain Percy / Anders Ekstrom, GBR, 28.4
8. Xavier Rohart / Sebastien Guidoux, FRA, 33
9. Luke Lawrence / Pedro Trouche, USA, 47
10. Jack Jennings / Frithjof Kleen, USA, 51
11. Peter O'Leary / Robert O'Leary, IRL, 77/BFD

Full results:

Indomitables from the East win 5th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series
Click on image for photo gallery.

Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series The 5th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series of monthly regattas from October to March ended today with Act V for the J/70s. Organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco, in collaboration with technical clothing supplier SLAM, the meetings give teams an opportunity to establish their winter training base in the Principality. Led by the talented Russian Valeria Kovalenko, Art Tube has set the bar high for next season, winning all Acts, including this weekend’s in this 5th edition to bag the series by a clear 84 points, ahead of the YCM’s Stefano Roberti (Piccinina). In his first J/70 outings, winner for the season in the Corinthian category was Remi Piazza, a young sailor from the YCM’s Sports Section. Indeed, this class has momentum behind it in the Principality with 20 boats flying the YCM burgee, and an eye to the future. Monaco class president, Michel Boussard, announced that the YCM will host the 2021 World Championship.

The final Act for the Melges 20 was at the last Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse (February). At the end of 28 races, it was the Russians on Alex Team who triumphed for the season, ahead of stage local, Ludovico Fassitelli (Junda). Maxim Titarenko (Leviathan) was 3rd.

The 6th season starts 8-11 November 2018 for this Winter Series. Meanwhile, one-designs again take centre stage on 27-31 March 2018 for the Monaco Swan One Design, followed by the IMOCA Monaco Globe Series 1-8 June. The latter is a double-hander 1,300nm offshore race, and qualifier for the Vendee Globe 2020.


J/70 - Final ranking - Act 5
1st: Valeria Kovalenko - RUS (Art Tube) - 7 points
2nd: Federico Leproux - ITA (Alice) - 15 points
3rd: Jean-Marc Monnand - SUI (CdE.Ch) - 23 points

J/70 - Final ranking - 2017/2018 season
1st: Valeria Kovalenko - RUS (Art Tube) - 33 points
2nd: Stefano Roberti - MON (Piccinina) - 117 points
3rd: Germano Scarpa - ITA (Sport Cube) - 148 points

J/70 - Final ranking - Act 5 - Corinthian
1st: Alain Stettler- SUI (Quarter2Eleven) - 29 points
2nd: Thomas Studer - SUI (Jerry) - 30 points
3rd: Mario Rabbio - ITA (Caim2) - 38 points

J/70 - Final ranking - 2017/2018 season - Corinthian
1st: Remi Piazza - MON (Levante) - 344 points
2nd: Pawel Tarnowski - POL (Apotex) - 372 points
3rd: Loic Pompee - MON (Allo 3) - 375 points

Melges 20 - Final ranking - 2017/2018 season
1st: Alexander Mikhaylik (Alex Team) - (RUS) - 47 points
2nd: Ludovico Fassitelli (Junda) - (MON) - 59 points
3rd: Maxim Titarenko (Leviathan) - (RUS) - 83 points

Dongfeng win challenging New Zealand Herald In Port Race
Dongfeng Race Team showed great concentration and resilience in winning the New Zealand Herald In Port Race in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday.

Conditions were extremely light, shifty and patchy on the Waitematā Harbour, making for plenty of lead changes over the course of the one hour race.

Team AkzoNobel finished in second place, while early leaders MAPFRE completed the podium to retain the overall lead in the In Port Race Series.

On the nominally downwind second leg, AkzoNobel and Dongfeng found a vein of pressure to grab the lead, and on a shortened two-lap course, it was Dongfeng who were able to ease ahead and hold on for the win.

“It was a good team win,” said Caudrelier. “Very good for the mood of the team."

The results mean MAPFRE retains the overall lead in the series, with Dongfeng reducing the gap to second place and team AkzoNobel leapfrogging Brunel to take third.

Results Auckland In-Port Race
1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN, Charles Caudrelier) - 7 points
2. Team AkzoNobel (NED, Simeon Tienpont) - 6
3. MAPFRE (ESP, Xabi Fernandez) - 5
4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (USA/DEN, Charlie Enright) - 4
5. Team Brunel (NED, Bouwe Bekking) - 3
6. Sun Hung Kai Scallywag (HKG, David Witt) - 2
7. Turn The Tide on Plastic (Naciones Unidas, Dee Caffari) - 1

Overall In-Port Race Series
1. MAPFRE (ESP, Xabi Fernandez), 37 points 2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN, Charles Caudrelier), 34
3. Team AkzoNobel (NED, Simeon Tienpont), 27
4. Team Brunel (NED, Bouwe Bekking), 26
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (USA/DEN, Charlie Enright), 16
6. Sun Hung Kai Scallywag (HKG, David Witt), 15
7. Turn The Tide on Plastic (Naciones Unidas, Dee Caffari), 11

Chinese team may be entering the America's Cup
Sailors working with the Chinese Volvo Ocean Race team have confirmed to Newshub Team China is in talks to enter the America's Cup.

Officials there have turned to a former Team New Zealand winning sailor to help expand their sailing ambitions, and he says we can expect to learn more in the next few months.

Liu Xue goes by the nickname "Black". He's a sailing star in China with a Kiwi star in his sights.

"We want to be here to do the America's Cup with the China team, and we want to win. We want to battle with Peter Burling," he says.

He already is. Black's Dongfeng team in the Volvo Ocean Race are beating Burling's Team Brunel.

Three of the sailors on board were in China's last attempt at an America's Cup campaign in 2013. Since then, former Team New Zealand grinder Craig Monk has advised Chinese officials as they've developed more than 30 new marinas and yacht clubs.

He says a proposed animation of the Auckland America's Cup village, which featured a Chinese team, wasn't just based on rumour.

"There's some truth at it - they'd certainly have what they need to do a Cup programme and we'd love to see them here.

"I can't say too much but that's definitely what I'm working towards."

He says all will be clearer after China sees more specifics around the monohull boat design in the next few months. Their planning would also need to allow time for some overseas crew to get Chinese residency to comply with new nationality rules.

Clipper Race 8 Day 7: Highs And Lows As Chase For Podium Heats Up
As the fleet pushes north up the Taiwanese Coast, a real contrast in wind and conditions have been reported over the last 24 hours, resulting in a vast range of fortunes and emotions for the teams. One thing for certain is that the air temperature may be dropping but the competition level in this race to Qingdao is properly starting to heat up.

PSP Logistics has extended its lead and is now around 50 nautical miles ahead of nearest competitor, Visit Seattle.

Behind the leaders, five teams are spread from east to west with less than 25 nautical miles separating them, making for an intense chase to reach the podium. Visit Seattle has moved up into second place and Skipper Nikki Henderson has detailed the change in conditions that the fleet has experienced over the last 24 hours, saying: "We could not have had a more dramatic change of scene.

Relief has been reported across the fleet that the gale force headwinds are over for now and that life has returned to more normality in the flatter waters but now crews will have to battle hard again as they look to avoid wind holes. The good news is that they are at least aided by the Kuro Shio current, also called Japan Current, a strong surface oceanic current, which flows between Luzon of the Philippines and the east coast of Japan and provides a natural push, which should keep teams from standing completely still.

The eleven Clipper Race teams are expected to complete the 1,700 nautical mile Race 8: The Sailing City Qingdao Cup between 13 - 16 March 2018, arriving into Qingdao Wanda Yacht Club.

Full Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint Results
1. Garmin - 21:01:00
2. Sanya Serenity Coast - 21:11:40
3. Dare To Lead - 22:02:00
4. Liverpool 2018 - 22:04:00
5. Nasdaq - 22:40:00
6. Visit Seattle - 22:53:56
7. GREAT Britain - 23:03:37
8. Qingdao - 24:24:57
9. - 47:55:23
10. PSP Logistics - Did not declare
10. Unicef - Did not declare

* Qingdao and Nasdaq have both been awarded race redress following a rendezvous on March 6 between both boats in order to transfer an essential watermaker spare part from Nasdaq to Qingdao.

The spare part was a bleed screw that should have been replaced during the Sanya stopover but unfortunately got omitted. Therefore, this was not the fault of either crew and redress can be awarded to both teams by the Clipper Race Committee as per Sailing Instruction - Redress : 24c and 24d.

Both yachts ceased racing at the same time and made best speed towards each other in order to facilitate the transfer in the quickest time possible. Qingdao ceased racing at 1105 LT (0305 UTC) and resumed racing at the exact same position at 1300 LT (0500 UTC) and so will receive 1 hour 55 minutes redress. Nasdaq also ceased racing at 1105 LT (0305 UTC) and resumed racing at the exact same position at 1250 LT (0450 UTC) so will receive 1 hour 45 minutes redress.

Finn European Championship storms open in Cadiz
You have to admire the enthusiasm and dedication of Finn sailors. It is a long journey to Cadiz from almost anywhere, but coupled with the extreme bad weather across Europe over the past few weeks, it is nothing short of miraculous that nearly 100 boats and sailors have gathered in this far flung corner of Europe to contest the 2018 Open and U23 Finn European Championships.

One of the Swedish teams thought they had it rough with a 52-hour drive from Uppsala, stopping only to change drivers and top up with gas. But that was relatively benign compared to the four days by Norwegian, Anders Pedersen, who also had to contend with several snow storms, sleeping in the car in -15 degrees in Berlin, picking up a new boat in Poland, and an 11 hour traffic jam in France caused by snow and high winds. He arrived just in time to witness the first ever tornado to strike Puerto Sherry, the damage of which is still evident in the marina.

Rafa Trujillo sold this venue to the fleet on the basis of great winds and great weather, even in March. While the wind conditions so far during training have been exceptional, sometimes they have been too exceptional, and combined with weather normally reserved for Weymouth, it has been a breezy but damp start to the event.

So the championship was opened Saturday evening with almost every kind of weather battering the venue, and another storm raging outside while the sailors enjoyed the Andalusian hospitality inside. The only thing missing so far has been the sunshine, and that has been promised by the start of racing of Monday.

The first points race is scheduled for Monday at 11.05.

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:

It is clear that the Weekender/Laser/Torch still inspires great loyalty among former owners. I can understand that. I still love my old steel Pinarello road-bike, although to be honest it seldom sees the light of day; and I retain a soft spot for the Hobie 16 - another masterpiece of junkyard engineering, well past its sell-by date. It’s human nature to be blind to the faults of our loved ones - indeed it’s the only way to enjoy a happy married life.

David Evans was perhaps undiplomatic, but there was a lot of truth in what he wrote and I guess he didn’t expect the 90 year old designer to be reading Scuttlebutt Europe - I’ve been there too. If it does come down to tiller extensions at dawn, I’d be happy to hold David’s coat and have a blether with Adrian while the principal protagonists are knocking three kinds of stuffing out of each other.

However, more pertinent today is whether the Laser is still ‘fit for purpose’ as an Olympic class, with many aspects of assessment being unrelated to design. No matter how much we love it, the boat is blighted by anti-trust issues, whatever outcome maintains its status in the meantime.

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The Last Word
The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist is afraid that it is. -- Malaclypse the Younger

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