In This Issue
America's Cup: No Australian challenge for 'The Auld Mug' in 2021
Grant Dalton says Jimmy Spithill will need to watch his words
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
17 National Sailing Leagues Competing in Europe
French Father and Son Double-handed Entry to Take on the Rolex China Sea Race
Jeanne Baret Disguised Herself As A Man To Circumnavigate The Globe
400 European sailors are already in Mallorca for the Sofia Iberostar
2018 Para World Sailing Championships
Sundance Marine Melbourne Osaka start
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Stephen Hawking

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

America's Cup: No Australian challenge for 'The Auld Mug' in 2021
Australia will not be among the challengers when Team New Zealand host the America's Cup in 2021.

A source close to the proposed syndicate has confirmed to Newshub that it hasn't been able to secure the funding needed for a competitive challenge.

According to Newshub's source, the Australian venture ran into a funding roadblock and the challenge failed to get off the ground.

Team New Zealand's Blair Tuke told Newshub that it is unfortunate there won't be an official trans-Tasman clash on the waters of Auckland.

"It would have been nice if Tommy [Slingsby] could have pulled it off and got a team together for the Cup," Tuke told Newshub.

It is unclear if former America's Cup-winning skipper Jimmy Spithill was a part of Australia's planned challenge.

On Wednesday, the 38-year-old confirmed he would re-join Luna Rossa for the 2021 edition, after spending close to 10 years with Oracle.

Spithill was at the helm of the Italian syndicate when they challenged unsuccessfully for the 'Auld Mug' at Valencia in 2007.

Despite a strong indication that Luna Rossa would be joined by a Ben Ainslie-backed British challenge, the only other official entry has come from the New York Yacht Club.

Grant Dalton says Jimmy Spithill will need to watch his words
Grant Dalton warned Jimmy Spithill to watch his words in order to maintain the strong relationship between Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa.

Spithill was at the helm of Luna Rossa's Louis Vuitton Cup loss to Team New Zealand in the 2007 America's Cup, before he made the switch to join Oracle Team USA where he won the event in 2010 and 2013.

But Dalton said the addition of thier rival to Luna Rossa wouldn't affect Team New Zealand's relationship with the Italian syndicate, provided he "kept his gob shut".

"The relationship between us and them won't falter via that he keeps his gob shut basically! But I think they will have that in control," Dalton told Radio Sport.

"We have a really strong relationship with Luna Rossa and it goes back in history now, and particularly now with them as challenger of record for the next Cup, that relationship has only got stronger."

In light of Spithill's move, Oracle's potential to compete in the 2021 regatta has become increasingly unlikely.

Yachting commentator Peter Lester said that Spithill's decision to jump ship has "significantly signaled the end of Oracle".

"It really signals the end of Oracle for this next America's Cup," Lester said. -- Cheree Kinnear in the New Zealand Herald

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

Boulevard of broken dreams
To create a first-class grand prix omelette you do have to break some quite expensive eggs... Peter Harken

Cold light of day
Rob Weiland bravely goes where most would fear to tread: the cost of racing a grand prix yacht

Linked by but a thread
The song remains the same... but it’s a very different band playing it. Brian Hancock

Square peg round hole
We’ve moved beyond subtle tweaking. Hugh Welbourn

RORC - Lifeblood
Getting out the youth vote... and the passing of the dragon. Eddie Warden-Owen

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17 National Sailing Leagues Competing in Europe
Five years after the first National Sailing League kicked-off in Germany, 16 other sailing leagues were founded in Europe. The newest "family members" are Croatia and Lithuania, starting in 2018.

The wave of success is still running strong and sailing leagues are taking over Europe. Each country that has sailable waters within its borders has sailors that are crazy about the league format; most of them are getting prepared to start their own National Sailing Leagues.

Besides the Premiere Sailing League in the USA as the only non-European sailing league, Greece hosts its kick-off event of "Hellas Sailing League" in July 2018.

Spain already sent tracking operators to the latest training session by SailTracks even though there is no sailing league founded- yet. The organizers of SAILING Champions League were also contacted by Estonia. So, the "sailing league family" of International Sailing League Association continues to grow…

Of note, of the 17 leagues to date, a dozen of the largest leagues have all standardized on the wildly popular J/70, the world's fastest growing and largest sportboat class. Its popularity stems from its tremendous ease-of-sailing by all ages (young and old alike), as well as by its attractiveness for speed and one-design competition by all levels of competitive sailors, from beginners to Olympic Medallists.

French Father and Son Double-handed Entry to Take on the Rolex China Sea Race
With just under a month to go before the start of the 56th Anniversary of the Rolex China Sea Race, 30 entries have been received from eight territories, including one double-handed entry.

Philippe Grelon, an experienced offshore sailor, has raced in all of Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club's blue water classics, since arriving in Hong Kong, including the 2014 and 2016 Rolex China Sea Race on board Krampus an Anteros 36. Krampus placed 2nd in IRC 2 and 7th Overall in both editions. In a challenging 1993 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, he placed 10th overall and 3rd in division on board an Adams 50 Collex Onyx and 2nd in division with famous French skipper Lionel Péan on Kyote French Line a Beneteau 53f5 in the 2014 race. In December 2006, Philippe broke the Taipei to Hong Kong record set by Dame Ellen MacArthur's 23m trimaran B&Q by 1h 5m 50s on Tuatahi (Ex Johan II) a Sun Odyssey 47.

Philippe will challenge himself with his first double-handed China Sea, crossing with his 23 year old son Cosmas on board. The last double-handed entry was in the 2016 edition when Nick Southward and Barry Hayes raced their way to 3rd in IRC 2 and 21st Overall on board Nick's J109 Whiskey Jack.

Cosmas is an experienced dinghy sailor who learned to sail in Hong Kong waters with the Hebe Haven Yacht Club and Aberdeen Boat Club. During his teens, he racked up impressive results including the 2011 Youth World Champion in RS500s and 2012 Asian Sailing Champion in 29ers. Cosmos has not shied away from offshore racing either, he was a trimmer on board Primitive Cool a Reichel Pugh 51 that took 4th overall in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. He is now the racing coach of Vanhang Sailing Academy in Shenzhen.

Adding to their experience, both father and son have been in some tricky situations. During the 2013 Hong Kong to Vietnam Race, they assisted in the successful rescue of the ten crew off of Steve Manning's Sydney GTS43 Walawala 2, when she lost her rudder and began taking on water.

The father and son will race on tbs-Aya a Pogo 10.5. Philippe Cotillon's Aya previously raced in the 2010 Rolex China Sea Race but had to retire, due to lack of wind close to the finish.

Jeanne Baret Disguised Herself As A Man To Circumnavigate The Globe
Nearly 255 years ago, Jeanne Baret, a French botanist, became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. Her journey started at the age of 26, when she disguised herself as a man. However, it wasn't intentional. In fact, she didn't set out to become a pioneer at all. When she stepped onboard the Etoile, one of French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville's two ships that left for round-the-world expedition in 1766, she was only there to accompany Philibert Commerson, a well-known botanist, who was selected to be a part of Louis's journey around the world.

About 18 months later, when they halted at Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia, the islanders recognised what Jeanne's fellow expedition peeps had missed - she was a woman. Now, this is what one version of this centuries-old story says. The second version, however, said that a Tahitian, Aotouru, boarded the ship and called Jeanne a mahu. The word was referred to someone who lives as a gender different to the sex that was assigned to him or her at birth.

Bougainville and his team decided to get rid of the illegal member. So, when the ship reached a French colony in Mauritius, the couple was left behind.

But, Philibert and Jeanne weren't discouraged by this. They continued their expedition from there. A few years later into this exploration, Philibert died, leaving his love stranded miles away from home. The strong-willed woman that she was, Jeanne took up a job in a small tavern and eventually married another Frenchman, an army officer, who helped her return home.

Her accomplishments went unnoticed until the 2010 publication of "The Discovery of Jeanne Baret"

400 European sailors are already in Mallorca for the Sofia Iberostar
The Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar will kick off on 30 th March but a large number of teams are already in Mallorca getting ready for the event and starting their sailing seasons. A total of 438 sailors from 27 nations are already based at the Club Nàutic s'Arenal (CNA) and Club Maritimo San Antonio de la Playa (CMSAP) venues and their sails fill the bay of Palma.

The conditions offered by Mallorca for the practice of water sports throughout the year as well as the services offered by the Sofia Iberostar organising clubs have encouraged another year the visit of the major European teams to the island.

The hosting of so many teams for such a long period is a challenge faced with enthusiasm by Arenal and Can Pastilla: "It is good for Mallorca to have people here the whole year. And the Sofia Iberostar contributes to having so many people; we all win", points out Muniesa who acknowledges that having two venues and the beach areas "is of great help as far as logistics and organisation are concerned".

This year the Spanish pre-Olympic team has also decided to organise a training camp in Mallorca and warm up for both the Sofia Iberostar as well as the World Cup Series in Hyères. The Race Manager recalls that "in some editions only part of the national team attended the regatta and they were missed"; that is why Muniesa adds that the Organisation "is very pleased to have the full national team training in Mallorca".

Organised by Club Nàutic S'Arenal, Club Maritimo San Antonio de la Playa, Real Club Náutico de Palma and the Balearic and Spanish Sailing federations, the 49 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar is sponsored by Iberostar and the event collaborators are Trasmediterranea, Marine Pool and Europcar, besides the Balearic Islands government through the Balearic Tourism Agency, Palma and Llucmajor City Councils.

2018 Para World Sailing Championships
The Notice of Race for the 2018 Para World Sailing Championships, in Sheboygan, USA, is now available to download. The Para Worlds will take place from 16 - 22 September.

The Worlds is the ultimate annual event for the best-of-the-best in Para World Sailing and showcases the development of the discipline. This year will have new formats including "Heat style" racing for the RS Venture Connect and medal races in all disciplines.

World Sailing is supporting the participation of new and emerging nations, in the Para World Sailing Championships, by providing economic support, free charter boats and training, including on-water sessions. Interested nations should contact - for further information.

The disciplines and racing format at the 2018 Para World Sailing Championships are: Single Person Keelboat (Technical) - Open Gender - 2.4mr Norlin One Design (OD) - fleet racing with a Medal Race Single Person Keelboat (Non-Technical) - Male - Hansa 303 - Short course fleet racing, shared charter boat with a Medal Race Single Person Keelboat (Non-Technical) - Female - Hansa 303 - Short course fleet racing, shared charter boat with a Medal Race Two Person Keelboat - Open Gender - RS Venture Connect - Short course fleet racing, shared charter boat with late stage knockouts. The winner of the final race will win the event

The all new RS Venture Connect two-person dinghy will be included in the Para Worlds for the first time ever. The two-seat standard configuration on the RS Venture Connect was recommended to the Para World Sailing Committee by RS Sailing and has been vetted for safety and classification for the 2018 World Championships.

NOR on YachtScoring

Sundance Marine Melbourne Osaka start
Last evening, a Civic Reception was attended by over 150 competitors, officials and guests at the Town Hall, including Councillor Philip Le Liu, representing Melbourne City Council, who presented competitors with a special flag for each yacht - celebrating the 40th anniversary of Melbourne and Osaka becoming sister cities. Kazuyoshi Matsunaga, Consul-General of Japan in Melbourne was also in attendance.

"Today our first competitor, Morning Star began their long journey to Osaka with the rest of the fleet to start over the next couple of weeks."

"Everyone associated with the race is keenly anticipating the event getting underway after two years of planning and preparation."

STS Young Endeavour will act as start vessel for the 5500 nautical mile race. The Tallship was a gift from the United Kingdom to the Government and people of Australia to mark the Bicentenary in 1988. Australia's sail training flagship, it participates in major events in Australia and worldwide to provide young Australians with a unique and challenging sea experience.

The Brigantine, with 22 young Australians currently embarked as part of the youth crew undertaking a 10 day voyage from Melbourne to Eden, is also carrying two very special guests for the start. Jessica Watson and Ken Gourlay will view the start of this iconic event while meeting the young crew members and regaling them with their individual adventures.

Watson was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for completing a southern hemisphere solo non-stop circumnavigation in 2010 at the age of 16, then in 2011, the Queenslander was named Young Australian of the Year.

Gourlay completed a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the world in 2007, the only Tasmanian to achieve this feat and the oldest and fastest Australian to do so. Along the way he raised over $127,000 for the Tasmanian-based Clifford Craig Medical Research Trust for eyesight disorders ad diseases in children.

Joanna Breen and Peter Brooks were the lone starters today. At, after a delayed start due to light and wafty airs, Breen's S&S 34, Morning Star, was off and running in 3 to 5 knots from the south west, on an overcast day.

The next start is to take place on 18 March, ahead of the main event one week later.

Away on the 18th is the Japanese crew of Keiichirou Morimura and Masakazu Omoto on Bartolome. The pair will be accompanied by their own personal cheer squad - 31 Japanese officials and supporters will be in Portsea for one day only, to farewell one of two international competitors. The other, Steve Ho and John Bankart on Surfdude from Hong Kong, is in the main start.

The largest boat in the fleet, Rupert Henry's Judel/Vrolijk 62, Chinese Whisper, will be the last boat away, when the Sydney skipper and Greg O'Shea depart on 1 April.

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 Martin Adams:

Having watched the Winter Olympics where people trudge moles through snow carrying a rifle, then lie down in the snow and try to shoot at small targets and curling where they employ a couple of people with brooms to help a granite stone into a circle in the ice, surely ski yachting is the next logical sport for the Winter Olympics: skiing followed by model boats on a pond with a wind machine. What more could you ask?

The next Olympic meeting is scheduled for 1st April I gather

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The Last Word
Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. -- Stephen Hawking

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