In This Issue
Golden Globe Endgame is Masterclass by Veteran Van Den Heede
Grael and Bank will face off at 12 Metre Worlds
Harken Tech Team will be at Hempel World Cup Series Miami
Disharmony in the Laser World
Australia invests $6.7 million into replica Endeavour circumnavigation
Classes Already Committing to The International Paint Poole Regatta 2020
Defi Atlantique
Time to think of sailing like television?
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Bill Nye

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

Golden Globe Endgame is Masterclass by Veteran Van Den Heede
Veteran French skipper Jean-Luc van den Heede (73) has been giving a strategic sailing masterclass in the final 1500 miles of the Golden Jubilee Golden Globe Race writes W M Nixon. A week ago, after enduring flukey and unfavourable conditions all the way northward from the Equator, his distance from the finish was barely 50 miles less than that of second-placed Mark Slats, although the two boats out in mid-ocean were never within two hundred miles of each other.

This was because van den Heede was making every effort to get himself northwest towards the slowly approaching more favourable winds. In the end he made so much westing that he passed through the western passage of the Azores, and soon found himself making excellent speeds in the right direction well north of the islands, despite his boat's damaged rig.

Meanwhile, it was Slats who was now drawing the short straw in terms of the developing wind situation. His position well to the southeast meant he was on the wrong side of the new weather setup which was favouring van den Heede, and in the end he passed the Azores to the eastward, hard on the wind.

Van den Heede is only 700 miles from the finish, right on line for Les Sables d'Olonne in the Bay of Biscay on port tack in northwest to north winds, and making 6.8 knots in his "Little Snail", as he has nick-named his Rustler 36 Malmut.

But Slats in his sister-ship is close northeast of the Azores, hard on the wind at only 5 knots on starboard tack, and all of 1020 miles from the finish. It's looking good for van den Heede. Yet we mustn't forget that he's racing with that roughly-repaired rig, even if - despite it - he was making 7.9 knots in the right direction north of the Azores. -- WM Nixon in Afloat

Race tracker here:

* Editor: If you are as big a fan of long form journalism as I am, and enjoy Winkie Nixon's work, you should consider a donation to Afloat.

Grael and Bank will face off at 12 Metre Worlds
Brazil's Torben Grael and Denmark's Jesper Bank, who have eight Olympic sailing medals between them, will face off in the 2019 12 Metre World Championship, joining sailing royalty from around the globe for the largest-ever gathering of 12 Metres in the U.S.

Scheduled for July 8-13 in Newport, R.I. the 12 Metre Worlds is hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the International Twelve Metre Association (ITMA) America's Fleet and the 12 Metre Yacht Club and takes place on the same waters where the America's Cup was held in 12 Metres from 1958 to 1983, adding further historical significance to this fleet racing competition planned for two dozen teams representing seven countries in four divisions.

Grael, winner of five Olympic medals (two golds and two bronzes in Star class and one silver in Soling class) will skipper Italian Patrizio Bertelli's KA-12 Kookaburra II in the seven-boat Grand Prix Division while Bertelli's second boat, US-12 Nyala, will defend its World Title from Barcelona 2014 in the four-boat Vintage Division.

"I am looking forward to some action in these beautiful and historical boats and to sailing them in a special place like Newport," said Grael, whose past 12 Metre experience includes winning the 1999 12 Metre Worlds in Saint Tropez with KZ-7 Kiwi Magic (also competing in the Grand Prix Division) and sailing Nyala in the America's Cup Jubilee in Cowes in 2001.

And while Grael adds relevant 12 Metre experience to his accomplishment of being one of the most successful sailors in Olympic history, he nevertheless has enormous respect for Bank's sailing accomplishments. "I know Jesper well; we have sailed Solings against each other on many occasions. He is a great sailor."

It is expected that Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of the Prada fashion group and primary backer of the Challenger of Record (Luna Rossa) for the 36th America's Cup, will join Grael's team aboard Kookaburra II. The rest of Grael's team will consist of sailors from past Luna Rossa America's Cup campaigns (2000 through 2015), while Mauro Pelaschier, skipper of the Azzurra America's Cup campaign in '82, will skipper Nyala with some original Azzurra sailors and ex-Luna Rossa sailors aboard. Kookaburra II and Nyala will arrive in Newport near the end of June to compete in the Pre-Worlds and will sail in the "12 Metre Jubilee" at the New York Yacht Club's 175th Anniversary Regatta (July 15-20) after the Worlds.

Harken Tech Team will be at Hempel World Cup Series Miami
World Sailing's Hempel World Cup Series tour makes its only stop in the Americas from 29 January through 1 February in Miami. Harken will be there.

The tour is the premiere competitive circuit for sailors aspiring to represent their country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Sailors will find innovative new and replacement products - as well as a chance to talk to experts - at Harken's trailer, which will be on site from 23-30 January.

"This has always been a great way for us to get close to the best dinghy sailors in the world, who use our hardware every day," said CEO Peter Harken.

Sailors will have a chance to check out Harken's line of high-load Fly™ blocks, which were specifically developed for use with today's small diameter low-stretch line. Efficient, with an incredible working load for their small size, Fly blocks give sailors the power they need and are perfect for use on foiling dinghies, sportboats and in cascade-rigged systems aboard Grand Prix racers. Their weight savings alone promises an instant uptick in racing performance. Harken Fly blocks offer the strength and efficiency of larger blocks, but are much smaller because new high-tech lines require smaller sheaves.

Learn more.

Disharmony in the Laser World
The dysfunction within the World of Laser Sailing has a long history. There are design rights, boat builders, and one design class administration that's not always in harmony. Like now.

The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) currently has three approved builders – Performance Sailcraft Japan, Performance Sailcraft Australia, and LaserPerformance (Europe) Limited – that each have their territory, with the largest creating the most angst.

LaserPerformance lists its territories as Europe, North America, South America, Africa and most of Asia, so their business practices can impact a lot of sailors. Supply issues have been on the forefront which has fostered copycat equipment that, while not class legal, is often permitted to ensure active participation in regattas.

There's been a number of updates recently which began with LaserPerformance offering a lengthy State of the Union Address, followed by the ILCA clarifying some of their details, and now the ILCA is disputing other facts.

Details in Scuttlebutt

Australia invests $6.7 million into replica Endeavour circumnavigation
The 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook's first voyage to Australia and the Pacific will be marked by a series of events and a retracing of the route.

The government will spend $6.7 million to sail the replica of the Endeavour around the country next year to mark the anniversary of Captain James Cook's first voyage to Australia and the Pacific.

Arts Minister Mitch Fifield says the circumnavigation would be managed sensitively, and will present both the view from the ship and the view from the shore of Cook's historic voyage.

The circumnavigation is being funded from the existing nearly $50 million set aside to mark the anniversary, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying the events would offer new generations an insight into Captain Cook, the Endeavour and the experiences of Indigenous Australians.

"As the 250th anniversary nears we want to help Australians better understand Captain Cook's historic voyage and its legacy for exploration, science and reconciliation," Mr Morrison said in a statement on Tuesday.

"From Far North Queensland and the Cooktown 2020 Festival across to Bunbury and down to Hobart, our government will ensure Australians young and old can see first-hand the legacy of Captain Cook and the voyage of the Endeavour."

Projects for the Cooktown 2020 Festival will receive $5.45 million for the development and upgrade of sites but also to celebrate local Indigenous culture as the region becomes the focal point of the anniversary.

The Endeavour will depart Sydney in March 2020, heading south to Hobart before turning north and sailing right around the country's coastline.

It will call in at some ports, anchor at others or sail by specific locations, with 39 stops proposed where it will host a series of events and activities.

We excerpted an article from SailWeb last issue; World Sailing has contacted us about a correct that Gerald has made to the story which we wish to pass along.

World Sailing has not put up the prize fund for the championship. Virtual Regatta are providing the prize fund.

"The eSailing World Championship – the official World Sailing eSailing game – puts Prize Money on the line for 2019.

A prize fund of $10,000 USD, provided by Virtual Regatta, will be up for grabs and will be awarded to the 2019 champion.

World Sailing released the 2019 eSailing World Championship as the second season was officially launched at Boot Düsseldorf in Germany.

Following a first season that saw 169,000 eSailors from 74 nations compete over six months, the second will see the introduction of prize money, a new competition format, National Championships and more global live events"

Classes Already Committing to The International Paint Poole Regatta 2020
The International Paint Poole Regatta 2020 is still 17 months away, but that has not stopped many sailing classes committing to making Poole a significant event in their 2020 racing calendars. It is already confirmed that the J24 and J80 National Championships will be held at the Regatta, prior to the J24 worlds being hosted in Poole shortly after.

Discussions are also at an advanced stage with the Fast 40+, Performance 40, HP30 and Quarter Ton fleets to hold championships during Poole as well. The International Paint Poole Regatta also plans to host the 2020 IRC Southern Area Championships. 2018 was a fantastic weekend of racing and 2020 looks to be unmissable. That is before even considering the social side of the weekend. For those who have not previously competed at Poole Regatta, the evening social events are considered as important as the racing.

Preparations are well underway for the 2020 event which will be held across the May bank holiday from 23rd to 25th May. In 2018 over 1500 crew on nearly 160 yachts competed in 15 classes and enjoyed four post racing social gatherings; figures expected to be surpassed next year. The historic Canford Cup, which will be awarded again in 2020 to the overall regatta winner, was presented to Richard Powell, sailing SB20 - Marvel in 2018.

The regatta will once again be hosted by the combined yacht clubs of Poole, which sees the eight clubs based in Poole harbour come together to organise and run one of the largest, best managed and most well known regattas in the UK.

Time passes rapidly, so save the date and make sure the International Paint Poole Regatta is in your calendar for 2020.

For more information visit

Defi Atlantique
Ocean racing is back in force in La Rochelle with the setting up of the Defi Atlantique Guadeloupe > Horta > La Rochelle reserved for Class40 by Grand Pavois Organisation. This new event is the first of its kind to offer a departure from Guadeloupe with an arrival in La Rochelle, after a stopover in Horta in the Azores. It should be noted that this new race, which features on the Federation Francaise de Voile's annual programme, will depart from Guadeloupe on Saturday 23 March so that the crews (minimum of 2 people aboard) arrive in Horta in the Azores, then in La Rochelle, on approximately Saturday 13 April/Sunday 14 April 2019.

Organised by Grand Pavois Organisation and under the race management of Denis Hugues, the stopover in Horta offers many advantages. It will allow the fleet to meet up after two-thirds of the Atlantic crossing have been completed, before heading for Europe and the Gulf of Gascony. A major stopover that will allow the skippers to change crew, swap over crew members, and offer those who wish the opportunity to complete their two-man team qualification for the forthcoming Transat Jacques Vabre.

Another advantage is that it will offer the chance for a second sailing highlight with a genuine close contact regatta over the last 1,200 miles of the race. As a result, the arrivals should be grouped together in La Rochelle and we will be able to enjoy genuine "match-races" in the Pertuis Charente on the approach to the finish line.

Finally, this stopover in Horta will allow the Class40 to avoid the sometimes violent weather conditions at this time of the year on the final section of the race. Remember that the likelihood of having to deal with a very active low pressure system is very high in this sailing area at this season. Three reasons which explain why a stopover in Horta is a genuine asset for this new event.

14 crews are currently registered for this first Defi Atlantique, bearing in mind that registrations are still open. We can already confirm the presence of:

Loïc Fequet (Tibco - 123)
Aymeric Chappellier (Aïna Enfance et Avenir - 151)
Marc Dubos (Esprit Scout - 81)
Miranda Merron (Campagne de France - 147)
Franz Bouvet (Yoda - 65)
Morgane Ursault-Poupon (Fleury Michon Bio - 30)
Arthur Hubert (Espoir pour un Rhum - 152)
Mikael Riking (Talenta - 95)
Emmanuel Le Roch (Edenred - 100)
Charles-Louis Mourruau (Lost Boys - 101)
Luke Berry (Lamotte Module Creation - 153)
Catherine Pourre (Earendil - 145)
Kito De Pavant (Made in Midi - 142)
Andrea Fantini (55)

Time to think of sailing like television?
Joe Cline is Editor of 48° North, which serves the Pacific Northwest sailing community. In his column for the December 2018 issue, he suggested a need to redefine success for the sport of sailing.

When I find myself having a recurring conversation with sailors, that's often pretty good fodder for this page. The latest discussion-on-repeat seeks to understand sailing by considering it through the prism of the modern television market.

This conversation started at the recent meeting of the yacht clubs who help us put out the Seattle Area Racing Calendar (SARC) in the January issue. That meeting is full of movers and shakers from all over the PNW – from Portland to Bellingham. If there's a group of people more invested in increasing sailing participation in the PNW than these folks, perhaps you could introduce me!

The flip side of this is that this is also a group who palpably feel the effects if racing participation is down. It's a concern from a yacht club budget standpoint, but it's also a concern about the well-being of a sport that we love.

If a regatta used to have 100 boats and now it has 30, can the club afford to put it on? What can we do better? How can a club organizer feel as though they're delivering on their herculean efforts? The most important question, to me, is: how do we define success for sailing events in 2019?

That's what made me think about television. Somehow, someway, TV producers have re-envisioned what success looks like, even though in our lifetimes, the number of channels has gone from 3 to 37 to 900. A smash hit TV show 30 or 40 years back would have had viewership in the tens of millions.

Full article in Scuttlebutt

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The Last Word
The more you find out about the world, the more opportunities there are to laugh at it. -- Bill Nye

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