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 editor@scuttlebutteurope.com

JJ Giltinan Championship, Race 5
Sydney Harbour: The Asko Appliances team totally dominated the international fleet with a brilliant victory in Race 5 of the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Sailing a four lap windward-return course in a 5-7knot Easterly wind, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Seve Jarvin and Jeronimo Harrison grabbed the lead at the second windward mark then raced away to win by 3m11s.

Former JJ Giltinan champion Howie Hamlin (USA), Dan Phillips and Skipe McCormack finished second in Harken, with New Zealand's C-Tech (Alex Vallings, Shayne Young, Scott Barnes) a further 2m8s back in third place.

Peroni (Nick Daly) was a close fourth, just ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and Noakes Youth (Ash Rooklyn).

In a race which saw some disappointing performances by a few of the top teams, provisional series leader (after discards) is New Zealand's Yamaha (David McDiarmid) on 9.33 points, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 10, Smeg (Lee Knapton) on 16, Asko Appliances 18, C-Tech 19 and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) on 20.

With two more races to be sailed on the weekend, a protest and an appeal of a protest decision to be heard tomorrow (Friday) it is almost certain that the overall result won't be decided until Sunday.

Race 6 of the JJ Giltinan Championship will be sailed on Saturday 4 March, at 3pm. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League

Race Dates:
Race 6 - Saturday - 4 March
Race 7 - Sunday - 5 March

www.18footers.com

Paine, Moroz Awarded Us Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman, Yachtswoman Of The Year For 2016
Sailing's diversity was celebrated today when Caleb Paine and Daniela Moroz were presented the US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards, respectively, at a luncheon in the Model Room of the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.

For the second consecutive year both Paine (26, San Diego), an Olympic medalist, and Moroz (16, Lafayette, Calif.), a prodigy in an up and coming sport, were first-time winners of the coveted awards that have been presented since 1961. The winners were selected by a blue ribbon panel of sailing journalists and media and each was presented a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master timepiece and a framed print of them from US Sailing.

Moroz went one step better by becoming the youngest to ever win the male or female award. Moroz was 15 years old last year - she turned 16 last month - when she burst onto the kitesurfing scene and ascended to the top step of the winner's podium.

The awards celebrate the accomplishments of the winners from the previous calendar year. Moroz and Paine were among 18 nominees for both awards who reflect the variety sailing offers as a sport for the ages. Whether young or old, male or female, able or disabled, sailing has a place for anyone willing to push their personal boundaries and learn how to interact with oceanic and atmospheric conditions. The sport is also adapting to new hydrodynamic influences with the introduction of foiling boards and boats.

Paine had to wait upwards of six years to become an Olympian, but that made winning a Bronze medal ever the sweeter. Sailing in the physically demanding Finn dinghy, Paine secured US Sailing's first medal in eight years by winning the medal race in the Finn class, which propelled him to 3rd from 4th.

Paine is the first American to medal in sailing since Anna Tunnicliffe (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) both accomplished the feat at Beijing 2008, and came from behind in dramatic fashion to win the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team athlete selection series in early March.

www.ussailing.org

MAPFRE Sign Up Neti As Their Onboard 'Macgyver'
Neti (Antonio Cuervas-Mons) the 35-year-old from Santander in the north of Spain, will be taking part in the race for the fourth successive edition. He made his debut on Telefonica Black in 2008-09 and returned with Telefonica in 2011-12 and MAPFRE in 2014-15

In each of those races, he's sailed alongside Xabi Fernandez and the skipper for 2017-18 is delighted to have him back as both bowman and boat captain.

So impressed is Xabi with his countryman's resourcefulness that he refers to him as a 'MacGyver', in reference to the cult TV character who always seemed to find an ingenious fix for any problem.

MAPFRE was the second fully re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 in the water this week in Lisbon and the team - which also includes the previously announced Pablo Arrarte - are due to start training shortly.

volvooceanrace.com

Director Of Racing
The RYA has a mission to be the world's most successful nation in boating competition to inspire future champions, and engages with all forms of the sport in order to attract and retain racing sailors. The RYA Racing Department is recognised by sailing National Authorities around the world for its excellence in all the activities in which it operates. The Director of Racing has overall responsibility for the development of the whole of sail racing within the UK, including determining and developing the strategy of the World Class Programme across the Olympic and Youth programmes; the quantity and quality of its volunteer Race Officials and coach education which supports racing from club to country and the technical side of the sport which ensures boats all compete on equal terms and helps to keep racing sailors safe.

This role has the opportunity to influence the development of UK sail racing across all disciplines, at all levels. The Director of Racing will need to harness a vision and pull together a cohesive strategy into execution. The successful candidate will therefore be someone who has proven success in this, who has the drive and ability to lead their team to strive for the very best and has demonstrable experience in leading sporting performance success at the highest level. With a proven track record of working with a variety of partners and stakeholder groups and possessing excellent interpersonal and communication skills, the successful candidate will have demonstrated that they are able to lead, motivate and support a team managing significant budgets.

Based in Hamble, near Southampton, the role involves travel and attendance at events outside normal office hours for which time off in lieu is allowed.

Attractive salary and benefits package including pension scheme, free life insurance, 25 days annual leave plus public holidays and discretionary Christmas holiday

Closing date for applications: 12 noon on Wednesday 8th March 2017.
Interviews to be held in Southampton on 24th March 2017

The successful candidate will need to be available to attend the interviews for the selection of the Olympic Performance Manager on the 4th or 5th April 2017

For a more detailed job description please visit www.rya.org.uk/go/jobs

To apply please review the job description and complete an application form and equal opportunities monitoring form.

Applications, or requests for an initial confidential conversation, should be sent to Dawn Brown: dawnbrown@positivedynamics.co.uk

The Royal Yachting Association is the national governing body for all forms of boating including dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, RIBs and sports boats, powerboat racing, windsurfing, inland cruising, narrowboats, and personal watercraft.

The RYA is committed to equality of opportunity. We would encourage applications from women, candidates with disabilities and ethnic minority groups who are currently under-represented at this level of post.

100-Strong IRC Fleet Expected For 2018 European Championship
June 2018 will see the cream of the IRC fleet gather in the Solent for an exciting 12-race multi-disciplinary team and individual regatta.

The Commodores' Cup, a team-based keelboat event, has been running every other year since 1992 and has seen incredible competition amongst amateur-sailed IRC rated offshore keelboats representing various countries and geographical regions.

The most active and competitive IRC racing boats fall into the rating band 1.00 to 1.27. This fleet has had its own European Championship held at various racing venues. In 2016 it was held in Cork, Ireland and in July 2017 it will be held in Marseille and in 2018 the IRC European Championship will take place in Cowes, and incorporate the Commodores' Cup. It is expected to attract up to 100 individual entries over the nine-day period (8-16 June 2018).

The European Championship will be an Open event, meaning that amateurs and professionals will race each other and the presence of professional sailors on board the entries is unrestricted. However ,to compete for the Commodores' Cup within the championship, each three-boat team will be restricted to just one World Sailing Category 3 sailor per boat.

www.rorc.org

Merlin At 40
Over the weekend, 200 plus friends and family, SC locals and sailing types, young and old descended upon Santa Cruz Small Boat Harbor to celebrate the recommisioning of Bill Lee's Merlin.

Born in the Chicken Coop a few miles east in the Soquel Hills, Merlin was launched in 1977 and became world famous later that summer by annihilating Windward Passage's 1971 record of 9d:08hr:06m:48s, reducing the new standard to 08:11:01:45.

The record would stand for 20 years before Roy Disney's turboed 70's sled, Pyewacket in 7d:15hr:24:40. Merlin would go onto set course records in SD to Manzanillo and Victoria to Maui in 78, the Pacific Cup in 1980 and the windjammer in 1983.

Bill ran into her while attending a conference in Wisconsin in 2014, resting in a warehouse and ready to come home. After a year of negotiating, Merlin was reloaded onto a trailer and brought back to her original stable where she underwent an immediate canting keel removal and fixed keel surgery. "We knew going in, it was going to be a big job, doable but a chore" Bill notes. The original fixed keel weight remained the same, but the profile went from an 8.5' blade to a 10' fin and bulb, adding addition stability Merlin had not enjoyed in her original configuration.

On Sunday, the stream of humanity to D dock where she currently sits, was incredible. A virtual who's who of Norcal sailors old and young alike. Rubbing shoulders with some of the original "Fast is Fun" pioneers and the legions that followed suit, brought together in a family reunion atmosphere, where folks that have not seen each other in decades reengaged with love and joy. Yarns were exchanged, memories rehashed and free flowing wine and beer enjoyed as bodies shifted to and fro as the dock strained to keep the mass of humanity afloat.

In the midst of the late afternoon celebration, adorned in flower leis, as they should be, were 6 of the original 8 surviving members from Merlin's glorious 1977 Transpac; Bill Lee, Don Snyder, Bob Larson, Dave Wahle, Phil Vandenberg, and Jack Halterman.

A proper lei placing and the bow and recommisioning speech by the wizard himself conjured up memories of years gone by before the celebration continue above at the harbor pavilion, with delectable pu-pu's followed with some tales of days gone by with alumni of Merlins past concluded the day! -- Erik Simonson

www.pressure-drop.us

Magic Blue's First Day Out
Bermuda: On Monday Artemis Racing sailed its new America's Cup Class yacht, Magic Blue, for the first time.

Skipper, Nathan Outteridge, was excited to get her out on the water:

"Everyone's always pretty excited when we get a new toy, and I'm no different. We had to treat the boat very gently to begin with, but as soon as we were allowed, we began to push her a little harder.

From the first take off the boat felt great, the guys who designed and engineered her have done a great job".

Dave Endean, COO, commented on the importance of those first few hours on the water:

"There's been much preparation ahead of Magic Blue's first day of sailing. We have a lot of sensors on board, and we have to check that the installations and calibrations are correct and completely accurate. They provide us with critical information regarding the loads and functionality of the onboard systems.

Once they were calibrated and checked, the first stage of sailing was to get out there and slowly ease into loading the boat, in a very controlled manner.

After that initial hour, we came back in to analyze the sensor data, make sure there were no surprises, and verify that all the work we've put in leading up to that day was accurate.

First sails can be difficult, but I'm happy to say that we had a really good day. In the second three hour session, we began to push the boat a little harder, hitting over 40 knots in 10-12 knots of breeze. The results and data were extremely positive, so everyone's happy".

The team will soon continue its two boat match racing programme against T2, the team's second AC45 Turbo development boat, with Francesco Bruni at the helm.

Jean-Louis Guillemard
In 1969 Jean-Louis Guillemard, assistant editor in charge of international affairs at L'Aurore, convinced his editors to open a section entitled "Yachting", fed by a freelance writer, Jean-Louis Barrault. Sailing on a common passion for sailing, the two men lay the groundwork for a solo race.

"On the paper tablecloth of a pizzeria of Porte Maillot " will tell the first in a very beautiful paper published in the magazine Voiles & Voiliers in August 2010, on the occasion of the 40 years of the event. That notatation gave birth to La Course de l'Aurore, which in 1980 became La Solitaire du Figaro. The main lines are clear and almost unchanged since 1970, the year of the first edition won by Joan de Kat: a solo competition with stages, identical sailing boats (first half-toners, then the Figaro Beneteau ) And the obligation for competitors to "share" their news daily with the readers of the Aurora.

Jean-Louis Guillemard, the first editorial director of Voiles & Voiliers, which he will hold from 1971 to 1985, has never ceased to cover with affection "his" race. In 2009, almost 80 years old, he had even launched the crazy challenge of participating in the 40th anniversary edition of La Solitaire. A project he could not carry out, the new courses imposing a real physical demand.

At 86, Jean-Louis Guillemard set sail. The team of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro sends his sincere condolences to his family. Thank you Mr. Guillemard, the sailors owe you a lot!

www.lasolitaire-urgo.com

Letters To The Editor - editor@scuttlebutteurope.com
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 Rich Hayes: Like John Stott, I also raised an eyebrow over the Guinness World Record claim and wondered if I should say anything, not wishing to knock someone's laudable effort to raise money for worthy causes.

Frank Dye's first little cruise (with Russell Brockbank) in 1963 was around 530nm as the seagull flies (Kinlochbervie to Heimaey, Iceland). Others have made extended trips too.

I can't answer John's question, but as an application has to be made to Guinness World Records just like the Jules Verne Trophy, my guess is that Mr Dye didn't bother and nobody has checked with GWR.

Another questionable statement is '500nm of open sea'. Plymouth to the Gareloch (River Clyde) is hardly the open sea in Frank Dye's sense, and the rhumb line distance is actually about 450nm.

Maybe we just have another example of over-inflated copywriting, which is a great shame as it detracts from the achievement.

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