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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Doctor Delivers
Fremantle, Australia: The second day of the World Match Racing Tour Fremantle served up some high-octane excitement, as the 20 international teams did battle with each other and the Australian elements today.

Today was the second day of fleet race qualifying, and the famous Fremantle Doctor was blowing harder than day one, gusting up to 25 knots with a few nasty waves making Bather's Bay a tough, unyielding race course.

For the fleet racing, the 20 teams are divided into four groups of five. Last on from the previous day were first on this morning, to give each of the groups the best chance of a varied set of conditions. Like clockwork, the breeze builds throughout the day, so now it was a chance for Group D to experience the lighter end of the wind spectrum. Sweden's Nicklas Dackhammar put the hammer down to win three heats and take second in the next, making him the clear winner of his group.

Friday's schedule starts with some Pro-Am Racing in the morning, then it's Group A's turn to finish their racing, followed by the Play-Offs to determine which of the bottom eight teams can secure one of the four remaining spots in the match racing, and which four teams go home for an early bath.

Live coverage will be shown at www.wmrt.com from 1400 local Western Australian time (CET+7hrs)

wmrt.com

Transatlantic Thriller To Cardiff
Cardiff has been chosen as the destination for the first Volvo Ocean Race transatlantic leg to the United Kingdom in 12 years, when the world's leading offshore race makes its debut visit to Wales in 2018.

At a press conference, Adolfo Rodríguez from the Volvo Ocean Race joined Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart, and the City of Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Phil Bale, to announce that Cardiff had been chosen as the transatlantic stopover, when the race will visit from May 25-June 10.

Sailors will leave Newport, Rhode Island, U.S., on May 20 and will cover approximately 2,900 nautical miles until they reach Cardiff.

The leg will start in Newport, which made a hugely successful debut as the race's only North American stopover in May 2015. It was reselected to host a stopover in the next edition from May 8, with the in-port race on May 19. -- Jon Bramley

www.volvooceanrace.com

Decisive Final Act For 3rd Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series
Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series The fifth Act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2015/2016 looks set to be a close-run final in both the J/70 (4-6 March) and Melges 20 (18-20 March) classes of this international one-design series, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco.

Held once a month from October to March, an initiative of Valentin Zavadnikov (Synergy), the regattas give amateurs and professionals an opportunity to make Monaco their winter training base.

After four Acts and 17 races for the 65 entrants (seven nationalities) in the J/70s, British sailor Sam Carter (Brutus) leads the provisional ranking for the season. He is just ahead of Monegasques Stefano Roberti (Piccinina) and Jacopo Carrain (Carpe Diem), President of the J/70 Monaco Class Association, 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Racing alongside them this weekend will be 15 Stars for Act 3 of their European Winter Series. In the Melges 20s, Russian Alexandr Ezhkov (Pirogovo) leads the fleet of 33 entrants (eight nationalities) after four Acts and 15 races, but last year's winner, Monegasque Guido Miani (Out of Reach) has yet to strike. For their final Act the Melges 20s will be joined by Smeralda 888s competing in their Spring Challenge.

International umpires, GPS trackers and umpire courses run by World Sailing Race Committee members, who chose this Winter Series to trial jury on the water for fleet racing, are testimony to how the Club is benefiting from its new facilities to establish itself as a centre for training and racing in winter.

www.ycm.org
Event Series

World Sailing Undertake Full Review Of The Sailing World Cup
At the February 2016 meeting of the World Sailing Executive Committee in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it was agreed that a strategic review would be undertaken of the Sailing World Cup from 2017-2020 in order to ensure that the event series remains the best possible showcase for the sport on the journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The review will be concluded and proposals presented at the World Sailing mid-year meeting in Lausanne in May 2016.

The comprehensive review will include considering continental representation, calendar and venues, events, sailor quotas, ranking points, Para World Sailing and the role of known and future Olympic venues within the calendar. Sailors will continue to be placed at the heart of the Sailing World Cup, ensuring it is attractive to athletes, commercial partners and the media.

It was agreed that any existing World Sailing contracts with Sailing World Cup Organising Authorities for 2016 would be honoured.

World Sailing Chief Executive, Andy Hunt, and World Sailing President, Carlo Croce, met with Abu Dhabi organisers at the end of February. Following the World Sailing Executive Committee decision in November 2015 to host the 2016 World Sailing Annual Conference in Europe rather than Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority took the decision to withdraw their financial support of the 2016 Sailing World Cup Final and future editions of the event.

World Sailing will seek a venue partner for the 2016 Sailing World Cup Final and contractual discussions are ongoing with an alternative venue. World Sailing expect to confirm dates for events in the final quarter of 2016 by the end of March.

sailing.org

Samui Regatta: Finale Of Asianyachting Grand Prix Championship
Boat owners and sailors from across Asia and around the world have Samui Regatta 2016 firmly marked on their calendars as boats ranging in size from 23 to 72 feet are heading to Thailand's second largest island to compete in the 15th edition of the regatta to be held 21st to 28th May and hosted by Centara Grand Breach Resort Samui, on Chaweng Beach.

Everybody loves a comeback story and the comeback class for 2016 is expected to be the Multihull Class. The number of multihulls are expanding in the region and playing a major role in the region's regattas, and a new edition this year is the six metre Pulse 600 design, produced by Corsair Marine in Vietnam. At the other end of the size range is a 67-foot catamaran that is expected to line-up this year, and many multihulls of varying sizes and designs in between.

The Notice of Race is online at samuiregatta.com/on-the-water/racedocs

RYA and Royal Thames Yacht Club to Officially Launch 2016 National Sailing League
In October 2015, the RYA and Royal Thames Yacht Club (RTYC) ran a Sailing League Trial event at Queen Mary. Following a successful event the National Sailing Leagues are back for 2016 with regional qualifiers and a grand final on the 16-17 July 2016.

The National Sailing League is a new keelboat model that has been successively run in Germany over a number of years. The RTYC has bought into the concept and has partnered with the RYA to help run the event.

The event format usually includes round-robin schedule with teams racing each other a number of times before the team with the lowest number of points is crowned the winner. Six boats compete in each 15 minute race with teams rotating boats throughout the weekend.

Details and the formal launch announcement at this weekend's RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show, RYA Stand, Alexandra Palace, London

www.rya.org.uk

Other Stuff At The Dinghy Show...
WIN Harken sailor sponsorship for a year!

The winner will receive:
- Discounts off Harken Hardware, McLube, FSE Robline rope and ClamCleats
- Tech Team advice
- A bag packed full of Harken goodies
- Stickers for pimping out your boat with Harken logos

TO ENTER: visit us at our Dinghy Show stand G8; fill in a competition entry card to be entered into the draw! The winner will be announced shortly after the show finishes, good luck!

www.harken.co.uk/article.aspx?id=44456

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Show guide
Show APP

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70th Anniversary of the Merlin Rocket

When the two separate classes, the Thames designed Merlin and Nottingham designed Rocket had the foresight to merge, few would have predicted the longevity and success that the MROA has enjoyed.

The quality of racing is testament to the success of the class. The 2015 Championships were won by Ben Saxton (Olympic GBR Nacra 17 hopeful) who had to compete against the likes of Stuart Bithell (2012 Silver medallist in the 470s), Nick Craig and Roger Gilbert (multiple Endeavour Champions), Andy Davis, David Hayes, Sam Pascoe and Tim Fells to name but a few.

On the RYA stand this year will be the latest offering from Winder Boats, with a new sail plan in a move away from the traditional 21 foot 6 rigs that the class has almost exclusively adopted for the past 3 decades.

Lining up next to this will be Jon Turners own Genii 2 design. The original concept was launched in 2012 and showed immediate potential; the design, rig and internals have been tweaked from one season to the next and this latest offering is right at the front of the fleet competing with the immensely successful Winder boats. To reflect the history of our class we will also be showing 'Gently' Merlin number 16 and Jack Holts very own multiple championship winning boat. Loving restored by Chris Barlow and now actively sailed on the vintage circuits she reflects a time gone by of home builds, wooden rigs and even spinnakers flown inside the jib as per her original design.

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Pay a visit to the Hornet Class Association (Stand C48)and find out what's in store from the Hornet Class in 2016 and take a sneak peek at the new Hornet dinghy.

On the stand you'll be able to check out the first new Hornet dinghy for a significant number of years and book your very own test sail. You'll also be able to chat with members of the class association about what's on the agenda for the Hornet Class in 2016.

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The RYA Membership Team is inviting all RYA Gold Members to join them at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show for an exclusive Gold Members' brunch, with special guest speaker, Stephen Park OBE, RYA Olympic and Paralympic Manager and members of the British Sailing Team.

Taking place on Sunday 06 March, in the Londesborough Room, Alexandra Palace, this free to attend event will provide you with the perfect opportunity to meet members of the RYA membership and senior management teams, as well as fellow RYA Gold Members to chat about the boating you do, find out more about the work of the RYA and ask any questions you may have in an informal setting.

www.rya.org.uk

Letters To The Editor - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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 David Munge: Adding to Andrew Hurst's comments about the Firefly. From memory 20 minutes was quick to bail out the boat. On a number of occasions the aft buoyancy bag would pop out, leaving the boat bow up, stern very down.

Which reminds me of another funny bag out experience.

It must have been just before, I believe, the Pusan Olympics. I was sailing inside Hayling harbour during the week when we came acrossed a Firefly, bow up stern down, bag out. The helmsman was the British FD helmsman and was due to fly out the next day to the games. He was having a final day with his girlfriend before departure.

He explained that a sailing school Wayfarer on port tack had made them crash tack, ending up in a capsize, and the vertical position of the boat. The Wayfarer sailed obliviously on.

Has anybody ever seen F 825, which was my Firefly?

Happy days.

* From Zvi Ziblat : in response to David Evans, #3537 on Oman withdrawing from the 2016 Youth Worlds.

As an Israeli I am not delighted, I am sad and still naively and childishly hope for a "happy end". The the Sultan or one of his advisors will re-think the consequence of their decision. In our world we strive for a win-win situation and to walk with your eyes open into a loss-loss situation for a clever Sultan looks, to be polite, strange.

Not allowing a competitor to carry his country flag is what make you feel good?

Won't the Sultan and Oman look greater than life if they will, even now, host the 2016 Youth Worlds?

And I cannot but thank the Malaysians for making that happen with the "Malaysian Youth Fiasco".

it seems that the ISA should send them a crate of the finest Single Malt in appreciation!

* From Alistair Skinner: I think delight is the wrong word to use at the Omani withdrawl. I would have preferred they chose (at governmental level) to guarantee ALL sailors could compete under equal conditions. I do agree with David Evans that apologies are due to the young sailors who were unable to compete in Malaysia due to visa issues/conditions imposed on them.

However, I am sure that on signing up as an MNA, Malaysia agreed to follow ALL the rules and principles of ISAF (now World Sailing). Equally I would be pretty certain that promises would have been made about all competitors ability to enter the country.

I would surmise therefore that any apology should come from Malaysia and not World Sailing. Oman's decision to withdraw does say something about Oman - they would rather give up a major championship than allow Israeli competitors to attend.

On the subject of rapidly moving venues, 10 months is rather easier than the 3-4 months ISAF would have had to move the 2015 event. The provided boats with confirmed shipping dates from 4 different manufacturers, flight probably booked by competitors - it would have been a logistical impossibility. Also bear in mind that the venue hasn't been moved yet. Oman may have withdrawn but no other MNA has yet stepped up to the plate.

* From Len Davies: I wholeheartedly support David Evans in his suggestion that an apology from ISAF/World Sailing and involved parties to the young Israeli sailors, their National Federation and the Israeli Nation is not only long overdue but also required out of decency after the apathetic and careless manner in which they conducted themselves in the face of the uncalled-for political intervention in our Sport pre-, during and post- the ISAF Youth Worlds in Malaysia.

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1976 Palmer Johnson S&S 46 - ARISTEIA. 120,000 USD. Located in Algonac, United States.

Classic S&S from 1976 always stored under cover and heavily updated - bit of a barn find really!

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The Last Word
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