In This Issue
A Very Long Leg
Epic Day 4 at Finn Europeans in Cadiz
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
Veterans And Victors Given A Run For Their Money
Visit Seattle Steals Clipper Race Victory Into Qingdao
Dream Double is the Perfect St Barths Bucket Debut for Svea
New challenges for iconic Merlin
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Michio Kaku

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

A Very Long Leg
Seven Volvo Ocean Race teams will embark on one of the most classic legs in offshore racing on Sunday afternoon from Auckland, New Zealand.

Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race is an iconic Southern Ocean challenge; a 7,600 nautical mile race through "Furious Fifties", the inhospitable, remote waters south of 50-degrees latitude that circle Antarctica, around Cape Horn and up to Itajaí, Brazil.

Leg 7 is a double-point scoring leg, with an additional bonus point awarded to the first boat to pass Cape Horn. With so many points on offer, this classic Southern Ocean leg, a return to the roots of the race, has the potential to be decisive on the leaderboard.

MAPFRE is the overall leader following six legs, but after a fourth place finish and late charge to get on the podium on the leg into Auckland, the team's position at the top doesn't appear as secure as it was early on.

Re-joining the fleet is Vestas 11th Hour Racing after missing the last two legs with damage sustained in a collision near the end of Leg 4. Skipper Charlie Enright says his team is eager to get racing again and resume challenging the leaders.

"The team has come together great, the repair has come together great," he said. "There are 16 points available to the winner and to put that into context, we have 23 points now, so it's going to be a big move and shake. We had a successful Southern Ocean leg last time and we're looking to repeat that performance."

Leg 7 will start at 14:00 local time in Auckland, 01:00 UTC on Sunday, 18 March.

Epic Day 4 at Finn Europeans in Cadiz
Ben Cornish schooled the Finn fleet in Cadiz on Day 4 of the Open and U23 Finn European Championship with two emphatic race wins in conditions that developed during the day from awesome to epic with huge waves, 20+ knots of wind, as well as something almost unseen so far in Cadiz, the much promised Spanish sunshine. Unfortunately the second race was later abandoned after extensive jury hearings because the first mark was out of position.

At the top of the Open leaderboard, Nicholas Heiner, from The Netherlands, still leads the Briton, Edward Wright, though now just by two points, while Josh Junior, from New Zealand, is some way back in third. Defending champion Jonathan Lobert from France holds third place in the European Championship

Defending U23 champion, Henry Wetherell, has also extended his lead from Nils Theuninck, from Switzerland and Ondrej Teply, from Czech Repubic.

Cornish said, "It was quite a changeable day. The first race was quite weather dominated with some quite big swings in the wind which came with the rain clouds. For the second race the skies opened up and we got the gradient come down, as forecast and quite a steady breeze for the afternoon."

On the testing conditions, "It was full on. On the back of yesterday's three races, where everyone was hanging on by the end just to get round and then straight back into it today. It was just as hard today with the conditions and I think there are a few broken people around here, so let's see what tomorrow brings."

With Race 8 being abandoned, three races are now scheduled for Friday.

Results after seven races:
1. Nicholas Heiner, NED, 28
2. Edward Wright, GBR, 30
3. Josh Junior, NZL, 52
4. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 53
5. Max Salminen, SWE, 60
6. Jorge Zarif, BRA, 60
7. Caleb Paine, USA, 65
8. Ioannis Mitakis, GRE, 65
9. Henry Wetherell, GBR, 70
10. Ben Cornish, GBR, 79

Full results here.

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

The flying Banque Populaire IX in detail; don't buy it use it; let's ditch the (damn) triangle; running a Cup campaign is some kind of a job. Plus be in no doubt... we are going to capsize. Jack Griffin, Scott Dickson, Peter Heppel,Terry Hutchinson

On to the next one
It won't be there in Japan but it may very well be there when you get to Paris. Rob Kothe

The multihull era
The time of the monohulls has passed. Now it is the time of the multihull... or it was. Eric Hall

Tech Street: Power

Tech Street: Huge ask

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Veterans And Victors Given A Run For Their Money
Series veterans and victors were given a run for their money today, Thursday 15th March, in day two of the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series Act 1, Muscat.

The young pros on board Land Rover BAR Academy, as well as the newly formed crews NZ Extreme Sailing Team and Red Bull Sailing Team, chased their experienced counterparts around the racecourse with tenacity.

An array of strong results from some of the new kids on the block peppered the leaderboard by the end of racing. The Kiwi challenger NZ Extreme Sailing Team also proved tough competition on the glistening Omani waters. Starting and finishing on a high, the team took second place in the first and last races of the day, demonstrating their skill, determination and potential. Australian Skipper Jason Waterhouse was particularly happy with their flying start.

Racing on the powerful foiling GC32 catamarans continues Friday 16th March at 14:00 local time (UTC+4). Continuing off Al Mouj, Muscat, the event will host a free public access Race Village at Al Mouj Golf on Friday and Saturday, offering a close-up view of the race course. Racing will be broadcast live on the official Extreme Sailing Series Facebook and website.

The Flying Phantom Series saw Team France Jeune emerge victorious once again. Having flown around the course to a first day victory yesterday, the team stole the show for the second time today, consistently demonstrating their incredible abilities on the water.

Red Bull Sailing Team finished second in today's racing on the Flying Phantom course.

Flying Phantom Series racing continues tomorrow in Muscat from 10:00 local time (UTC+4).

2018 Extreme Sailing Series Act 1, Muscat standings after Day 2, 10 races
1. Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothe Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 108 points
2. Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Stewart Dodson, Nasser Al Mashari 100 points.
3. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Kostner, Adam Minoprio, Julius Hallstrom, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason 95 points.
4. Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Will Alloway, Leigh McMillan, Oli Greber, Adam Kay, Mark Spearman 89 points.
5. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Chris Draper, Ed Powys, Neil Hunter, Dan Morris, Rhys Mara 87 points.
6. NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) Jason Waterhouse, Will Tiller, Harry Hull, Luke Payne, Guy Endean 85 points. .

Flying Phantom Series Act 1, Muscat standings after Day 2, 12 races
1. Team France Jeune (FRA) Solune Robert, Antoine Rucard 231 points.
2. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Olivia Mackay, Micah Wilkinson 225 points.
3. Idreva Zephyr Foiling (FRA) Charles Hainneville, Pierre-Yves Durand 214 points.
4. Culture Foil (FRA) Nicolas Ferellec, Theo Constance 208 points.
5. Flying Frogs (FRA) Pierre Le Clainche, Arnaud Vasseur 187 points.
6. EVO Visian ICL (GER) Raphael Neuhann, Elias Neuhann 180 points.
7. UON (POR) Jose Cladeira, Helder Basilio 175 points.
8. Masterlan (CZE) David Krizek, Zdenek Adam 158 points.

Visit Seattle Steals Clipper Race Victory Into Qingdao
Visit Seattle, Skippered by 24-year-old British sailor Nikki Henderson, has pulled off a sensational victory in Race 8 of the thirteen stage Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, stealing the victory from PSP Logistics in the final few miles of the race to Qingdao, China

Visit Seattle crossed the finish line off the coast of Qingdao at 00:04:11 local time on Thursday 15 March (16:04:11 UTC 14/03/2018) to complete the 1,700 nautical mile race stage from Sanya, in 10 days, 9 hours, 34 minutes and 11 seconds.

The Clipper Race competitors have once again proved that the race is never over until that finish line is crossed as anything is possible. PSP Logistics, which had led for eight successive days and were 25 nautical miles (nm) ahead at 0900 UTC, succumbed to a wind hole just 30nm from the finish line, allowing Visit Seattle to sneak up on their eastern side to take the win in this race stage, The Sailing City Qingdao Cup.

This is the third podium in eight races and a second victory for Visit Seattle, which went into Race 8 in third place in the overall standings, just four points behind the race leader, Sanya Serenity Coast. The team is also yet to play its Joker Card, a bonus tactic, which each team has the ability to 'play' for one of the thirteen race stages, doubling the number of race points earned in that particular race..

The current overall race leader is Sanya Serenity Coast, which finished in second place behind Visit Seattle, followed by Liverpool 2018 which completed the podium positions, whilst PSP Logistics continued to be becalmed in the wind hole it found itself in.

Visit Seattle will become the first Clipper Race team to arrive at the newly constructed Wanda Yacht Club in the West Coast New Area of Qingdao, with the Skipper and crew to be given a full taste of the famous Qingdao welcome at their arrival ceremony set to take place at 0900 local time (0100 UTC) on Thursday 15 March. The following teams will arrive in order every hour throughout daylight in Qingdao.

This will be the seventh time the Clipper Race has included Qingdao as a Host Port on its global racing route, with the city the longest serving Host Port Partner of the race.

Five of the eight Clipper Race legs have now been completed. Since starting in Liverpool, England on 20 August last year, the eleven strong Clipper Race fleet has raced to; Punta del Este, Uruguay; Cape Town, South Africa; Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart and the Whitsundays, Australia; Sanya and now Qingdao, China.

Teams will depart for Seattle, USA, on 23 March, and continue via Panama, New York, Derry-Londonderry, before returning to Liverpool on 28 July 2018, where one team will have the honour of being crowned the Clipper 2017-18 Race Winners.

Dream Double is the Perfect St Barths Bucket Debut for Svea
Svea may be the J Class' 'newcomers' launched last year and racing at their first St Barths Bucket, but their two hard won first places from today's two windward-leeward races is a perfect opening to the popular Caribbean regatta.

Racing remained typically close and Svea had to battle hard and sail smart for their first day double. On the finish line of the second race, Topaz crossed first ahead of Velsheda by only one single second, and eleven seconds separated first from third.

All three boats lead at different stages of the second race. Svea corrected out from third across the finish to win by a slender three seconds on handicap from Topaz, with Velsheda in third just nine seconds shy of victory.

It is the first time in the short history of the Svea team that they have won two J Class races on one day. In the first race they only briefly ceded their lead to Velsheda through the leeward gate, but they showed good upwind speed and, more particularly, stuck to their avowed strategy of staying away from boat for boat dogfights, trying to sail their own races and let the powerful, newest J Class yacht in the fleet do its thing. Tactician Charlie Ogletree is backed up by Kenny Read sailing as strategist here. Read won the J Class one year ago at 'The Bucket' as skipper-helm of Hanuman.

J Class Results Day 1
Race 1 1. Svea 1h 5m 42s 2 Velsheda 1h 7m 18s 3 Topaz 1h 8m 26 s
Race 2 1 Svea 1h 20m 16s 2 Topaz 1h 20m 19s 3 Velsheda 1h 20m 25s
Overall after two races 1 Svea 2pts (1,1) 2 Topaz 5pts (3,2) 3 Velsheda 5pts (2,3)

New challenges for iconic Merlin
When the fleet of competitors begin the 635 nm course out of Narragansett Bay toward Bermuda, within their midst will be a legend of Pacific Ocean racing. Merlin, the 68-foot Transpac Race trend-setting, record-breaking Bill Lee design has come east for the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race, fulfilling a lifelong dream held by, coincidentally, Chip Merlin.

Chip's father, Bill, is the reason Merlin was trucked to St. Petersburg, Florida, last fall and is being refit for the legendary boat's first Bermuda Race.

A retired Coast Guard admiral, Merlin senior was a recent graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1956 when he led a team of cadets in that year's Bermuda Race. The boat was in a pack of three in contention for a class victory when a final squall flushed the Coasties to third by the finish.

"My dad's 83 and I thought this would be the last chance to do a race like this, with him," says Chip, who found out Merlin was for sale last fall while browsing the internet for a Bermuda Race charter. "I called Bill Lee that night, and the next day I had my boat captain fly out to meet him and see the boat."

The deal was easily made. Now Chip wants to make Bill Lee proud, with a goal of sailing all the rest of the major ocean races of the world, too. Merlin had a triumphant comeback in the 2017 Transpac, where Lee himself skippered the 'sled,' as the type was dubbed after the '77 race.

Merlin won line honors and her class on corrected time in her first ocean race with Chip and team in the 2018 St. Petersburg to Habana] Race. Next is the Isla Mujeres Race from Tampa Bay, then up to New England Boatworks to prepare for Bermuda.

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 Chris Brown Fastwave V:

Martin makes an excellent suggestion for the ski sail Olympics. I would like to add the track based sailing Olympics. Based on the annual Ayers Rock desert regatta, water is superfluous and the boats are held up and moved by athletes, in conformance with full racing rules. Life jackets are not required.

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The Last Word
It's pointless to have a nice clean desk, because it means you're not doing anything. -- Michio Kaku

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