In This Issue
Australia wins inaugural SailGP in Sydney
Beijaflore crowned EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour champions
Still the greatest game in town
Dan Slater secures Symonite OK Dinghy World title
Australian 18ft Skiff champions Dorron, Bethwaite and Barnabas
Clare Olding skippers Vertigo to Women in Sailing Challenge win
Boat builder Southern Spars three years deep in America's Cup construction projects
Build your own Nigel Irens 14ft skiff
Mariners' Museum Chosen As Stewards of U.S. Lighthouse Society Library Collection
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Bebop Loco

Brought to you by Seahorse magazine and EuroSail News 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

Australia wins inaugural SailGP in Sydney
Sydney, Australia: The first ever SailGP was witnessed by more than 20,000 people who took to the water on the spectacular Sydney Harbour, providing the perfect amphitheater for the season kick off.

Two intense days of racing saw six national teams do battle in the world's most technologically advanced catamarans, competing to get the first points on the leaderboard and closer to the $1 million Season 1 prize.

In front of cheering crowds, the green and gold F50 race boat of the Australia SailGP Team, helmed by local hero Tom Slingsby, won the final race of the day to earn the title in the opening event over Japan.

A second and a third for Outteridge's Japan team guaranteed their place in the final match race and a chance to go head to head against the home team and line up against a close friend and fierce rival. The Australian team's practice over the last few weeks paid off, and they lead the Japanese off the start and never looked back.

Next stop for SailGP is San Francisco, May 4-5, 2019, when the young guns of the United States Team will be hoping to emulate Slingsby's success and score a victory on home waters.

Overall Leaderboard Sydney
1st // Australia // 48pts
2nd // Japan // 45pts
3rd // Great Britain // 36pts
4th // China // 33pts
5th // France // 33pts
6th // United States // 31pts

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Beijaflore crowned EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour champions
Beijaflore have been crowned champions of EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour, repeating their success of last year to take back-to-back victories in the Middle East's premier yacht racing event.

The French team produced a remarkably consistent performance on their Diam 24 trimaran during the two-week marathon along Oman's coastline, gradually building and extending a lead over nine other international teams across five venues and a mix of inshore Stadium races and long coastal Raids. Overall, they finished seven points clear of their nearest challenger, and also won the standalone Stadium Racing trophy.

Coached by Pierre Mas and helmed by Valentin Bellet the Beijaflore crew held off a determined challenge by the Cheminées Poujoulat team, who had taken an early lead in the Tour after a strong performance at the first venue in Muscat.

For Cheminées Poujoulat the runner-up spot marks a significant improvement on their fifth-place finish on last year's Sailing Arabia adventure.

Helmed by Robin Follin, and managed by another sailing legend, Switzerland's Bernard Stamm, the French team further demonstrated their form when they won the final day of Stadium racing in Salalah.

The final place on the Tour podium was taken by the international crew aboard the Oman Shipping Company entry, with British Olympian Stevie Morrison teamed with French tactician Quentin Ponroy and Oman Sail instructor Raad Al Hadi.

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Still the greatest game in town
Hello, Mr Bond... a new boat from the east and a 'new' crew put to the test.

The challenge for the 2019 52 Super Series title promises to be the most open since the circuit started in Barcelona in May 2012. Quantum Racing, so long the grand prix circuit's benchmark team, are making their biggest ever set of changes to their crew line-up. Vladimir Lyubomirov's Russian-flagged Bronenosec return armed with the only new-build boat this season, and a winter of fine-tuning and optimisation to seven of the nine boats that were new for 2018 (Luna Rossa is for sale and Onda has recently changed hands) will only ensure that racing is tighter than ever.

It may seem inconceivable to consider the TP52 class racing as a fleet in Europe without the presence of either Terry Hutchinson or Vasco Vascotto, but the five regattas that will comprise the 2019 season will represent a golden opportunity for new or different talent to shine. For sure, there will be no reduction in the level or the intensity of the racing.

Andi Robertson's full article in the March issue of Seahorse

Dan Slater secures Symonite OK Dinghy World title
Dan Slater has won the 2019 Symonite OK Dinghy World Championship at Wakatere Boating Club after a challenging final day of racing with at first light winds, then breezy conditions, but always difficult and shifty. Fredrik Lööf almost did enough to pass Slater, but finished four points back in second, while a magnificent final race win for Josh Armit brought him back up to third overall. The first race of the day was won by Steve McDowell.

Sailing on home waters, Slater has hardly put a foot wrong all week, but today he made it look hard, even though he didn't look particularly rattled by two scores in the 20s.

Rod Davis was the first Master in the fleet in ninth overall,

Final top ten results after 9 races
1. Dan Slater, NZL, 37
2. Fredrik Loof, SWE, 41
3. Josh Armit, NZL, 44
4. Luke O'Connell, NZL, 50
5. Andrew Phillips, NZL, 57
6. Nick Craig, GBR, 58
7. Steve McDowell, NZL, 64
8. Thomas Hansson-Mild, SWE, 91
9. Rod Davis, NZL, 122
10. Eric Rone, NZL, 141

Veteran: Dan Slater, NZL
Master: Rod Davis, NZL
Grand Master: Bob Buchanan, AUS
Junior: Josh Armit, NZL
Women: Olivia Christie, NZL
Elvstrom Trophy: Fredrik Loof, SWE
Geest Trophy: Bruce Schofield, AUS
Clive Roberts Trophy: Dan Slater, NZL

Full results

Australian 18ft Skiff champions Dorron, Bethwaite and Barnabas
Click on image for photo gallery.

The Asko Appliances team of James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite and Trent Barnabas became the 2018-2019 Australian 18ft Skiff champions after a wonderful day of action-packed racing on Sydney Harbour today.

Going into today's final two races, only four points separated the top five teams.

With a 13-15-knot North East wind, and a brilliant, sunny Sydney day, the conditions were perfect for a spectacular finale to the championship.

Asko Appliances revelled in the conditions for the first race (Race 8) and the team quickly went to the lead on the windward leg from the start off Clark Island to the windward mark off Nielsen Park.

Asko's domination was soon evident and the team held a 35s lead over Einning Group (John Winning Jr., Sam Newton and Euan McNicol) as spinnakers were set for the run back down the harbour to the bottom mark.

The first casualty of the day happened at the start when defending champion, Smeg was recalled for being over the start line too early.

On the short 2-lap windward-return course, this spelt the end of Smeg's chances of retaining the title.

Asko continued to lead throughout the race and finally crossed the finish line a 20s winner over Winning Group, which had pushed the winner all the way around the course.

The final points in the championship were: Asko Appliances (17 points), Winning Group (20), The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (31), Bing Lee (35), Smeg (36), The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (39).

Next Sunday is the last race of the Club Championship and the final hit out for the JJ Giltinan (world) 18ft Skiff Championship, which begins on Sydney Harbour on March 2. -- Frank Quealey

Live streaming is available on 18FootersTV

Clare Olding skippers Vertigo to Women in Sailing Challenge win
Photo by Bruce Cocozza. Click on image for photo gallery.

Royal Yacht Club of Victoria member, Clare Olding, has skippered Vertigo to an overall win in Race 3 of the Port Phillip Women's Championship Series sailed in light air on Port Phillip today.

The Women in Sailing Challenge (WISC), hosted by Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne, consisted of three windward/leeward races, the first of which was delayed until the breeze filled in at around 4 knots from the west, but clocked east as racing settled in. It was a long day afloat for all- experienced and inexperienced.

Olding won PHS, the scoring system used to determine the overall winner. Back at SYC for the prize giving, she was ecstatic with her win "Pretty light day - the wind gradually increased - it was a very technical sort of day. It glassed out completely, so there was a short delay before started."

By the last run of the last race, the breeze finally increased to 10 knots. Too little too late- but not for Olding and crew who sail shorthanded, five-up on the Summit 35.

Monica Jones and her Adams 10 won IRC overall. She seems to be the benchmark of the fleet, according to a number of competitors.

Megan Aulich, co-ordinating the event ashore, commented: "The Race Committee did good job getting the three races in at all, considering the conditions. The first two races were two lappers and the third just one lap, due to light winds and time running out."

Aulich also said the SYC's speaker's night, held in conjunction with the PPWCS and featuring high-profile sailors Stacey Jackson, Jade Cole and Sophie Ciszek, on 6 February, was very successful.

"Around 90 turned up- more than we expected, as there was a storm front coming through. We also had a lot watching on Facebook, as we streamed it live. Stacey, Jade and Sophie (the trio recently finished second overall in the Rolex Sydney Hobart) were wonderful and so down to earth and relatable."

Hobsons Bay Yacht Club will host Race 4 of the PPWC when the Shirley Freeman Trophy is held on Sunday 3 March. -- Di Pearson

Boat builder Southern Spars three years deep in America's Cup construction projects
Southern Spars has a busy couple of years ahead but a "chronic" labour shortage may stall the speed of progress.

The West Auckland-based boat manufacturer is not only building the masts and rigging for Team New Zealand's giant foiling monohull for the 2021 America's Cup in Auckland, it is also doing the same for most competing teams.

In addition to work for America's Cup, the company is working on a "big project" believed to be for a superyacht owned by one of the world's wealthiest.

Mark Hauser, Southern Spars co-founder and managing director, says his team of 250 will be "all-go" in the two-and-a-half-year up lead up to the regatta.

Hauser says labour is an issue currently with a shortage of staff. The company is looking overseas to bring in the at least 30 workers needed.

"It's going to slow us down - it's going to hold us up," he says.

"Unemployment here is so low and the construction industry has taken a lot of our people.

"We're looking everywhere."

Build your own Nigel Irens 14ft skiff
When Nigel Irens designed the Western Skiff 22 years ago, boatbuilding as a hobby was enjoying a modest but significant revival in the UK.

Designers such as Iain Oughtred, Selway Fisher and Andrew Wolstenholme were developing expanding portfolios of plans for amateur construction, and a highly successful amateur boatbuilding competition (ABBA) was established, which is still going to this day.

Not content with just creating a dinghy for amateur boatbuilders, however, Nigel Irens, the designer of record-breaking multihulls such as B&Q, ENZA and Cable & Wireless decided that kit boats would be the logical next step forward.

Over the next few months PBO will be following the construction of the first Jordan Western Skiff kit by PBO reader Jeremy Butler in Devon.

Although Jeremy was a boatbuilder for a few years and is therefore familiar with the techniques needed for epoxy ply construction, he now works as an IT consultant and hasn't messed with the 'sticky stuff' for quite a while.

You can see how he gets on in the next few issues of PBO- or you can build one yourself 'in parallel' by getting the free plans, available from 19 February, 2019 from the link below, or ordering a kit from Jordan Boats.

Full article in Practical Boat Owner

Links for plans and kit

Mariners' Museum Chosen As Stewards of U.S. Lighthouse Society Library Collection
Newport News, Virginia: Earlier this year, The Mariners' Museum and Park was officially chosen as the new caretakers of The United States Lighthouse Society Wayne Wheeler Library (USLHS) collection. The Museum is honored to accept this incredible collection of books, journals, and lighthouse reports.

The United States Lighthouse Society issued a national search to find a proper home for the impressive library. USLHS was looking for an institution to house their materials because their current facility ran out of storage space. USLHS reached out to The Mariners' Museum through the Council of American Maritime Museums (CAMM) to begin the conversation of the Mariners' housing the collection.

The USLHS collection was delivered to The Mariners' Museum on November 12, 2018, and is a little less than 400 linear feet that holds 4,000 volumes. The materials include books, journals, postcards and lighthouse reports. Most materials are related to United States lighthouses, but a segment includes international lighthouses. It is believed to be one of the largest lighthouse libraries in existence.

The Mariners' Museum Library holds the largest maritime history collection in the Western Hemisphere. With its rich collections and international scope, the Library is a premier resource for maritime research. The Library collections consist of over two million items including books, magazines, manuscripts, maps and charts, vessel plans, newspaper articles, rare books, photographs, Chris-Craft archives, and The Mariners' Museum's archives. Although current storage for the Library does not include public space, Library staff is able to complete patron research requests.

For more information about the Library, please visit For research and collection questions, please email

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 Chis Rowsell:

Re the letter from Adrian Morgan about Tool Station checking the identity of customers before despatching scrapers and blades to them. Rather than criticising the company, it should be commended for acting responsibly in the campaign to reduce knife crime. The inconvenience to customers of having to provide identification is surely minimal.

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The Last Word
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