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.

Phil Robertson Shows How It's Done
Perth, Australia: New Zealand's Phil Robertson, the reigning world champion, made it look easy as he cruised to a 3-0 victory in the final of the Match Cup Australia, beating local skipper Matt Jerwood.

The Kiwi put on a master class of match racing, winning all three starts, and only allowed Jerwood to cross in front of him once in the three races.

Robertson had progressed to the final by defeating another local skipper, David Gilmour of the host club, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, 3 - 1 in the semi-finals, definitely finding the lighter breezes to his liking.

Until the final, Matt Jerwood had been the giant slayer of the week, moving smoothly through the opening rounds, until the quarter finals where another Kiwi, Chris Steele pushed him to five races. This seemed to set him up to cruise through the semi-final defeating Torvar Mirsky in three straight races, but the dream run ended in the final.

This was the first event on the 2017 World Match Racing Tour, a seven regatta circuit, which takes in venues in Europe, and the United States before ending in China for the World Championships.

Match Cup Australia Final Results

1. Phil Robertson (NZL), Robertson Racing
2. Matt Jerwood (AUS), Redline Racing
3. Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Mirsky Racing Team
4. David Gilmour (AUS), Team Gilmour
5. Chris Steele (NZL), 36 Below Racing
6. Taylor Canfield (ISV), US One
7. Steve Thomas (AUS), RPM Racing
8. Yann Guichard (FRA), Spindrift Racing
9. Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE), ESSIQ Racing
10. Jonas Warrer (DEN), Warrer Racing
11. Evan Walker (AUS), KA Match
12. Måns Holmberg (SWE), CFA Sports
13. Ian Williams (GBR), GAC Pindar
14. Sam Gilmour (AUS), Neptune Racing
15. Nicolai Sehested (DEN), EWII Racing
16. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), Sailing Team NL
17. George Anyon (NZL), RNZYS Performance Program
18. Sally Barkow (USA), Team Magenta 32

www.wmrt.com

Ficker Cup: Dickson and Storrs Advance to Congressional Cup
Long Beach, California: Scott Dickson and David Storrs defeated young challengers Harry Price and Nevin Snow in the semi-finals of the 38th annual Ficker Cup held here today, with Dickson, representing Long Beach Yacht Club, going on to win the prestigious Ficker Cup trophy, and a spot in next week's Congressional Cup regatta. As first runner up Storrs also advanced to Congressional Cup, which runs March 28 to April 2.

Dickson, who led after the double round robins, elected to race Price who - despite ranking no. 3 in the world - admitted to "struggling" in the 37-foot Catalina monohulls over the weekend. That left San Diego's Snow to compete against Pequot Yacht Club's Storrs.

In the final of three days of racing, starts were contentious with penalties a plenty, which continued up and down the course.

Sunday's 6-8 knot southerly breeze was the lightest of the event, giving competitors a chance to test their prowess in a variety of conditions. And with the double round robins and more than one dozen races under their belts, the sailors were primed. Each pairing went 2:2 before the final flight, when Storrs dispatched Snow.

Meanwhile Dickson battled mightily in the semi-finals. Down 1:2 entering Flight Four, as the pressure increased - both wind and worry - Dickson pushed Price well past the top mark, dragging him so far off course the run to the gate turned into a reach.

By the time the finals commenced, the breeze had freshened. Dickson took the first two matches but Storrs battled back in the third; finally succumbing to Dickson in a very tightly raced match four - putting Dickson's team in the victory seat. -- Betsy Crowfoot

Final Results
1. Scott Dickson
2. David Storrs
3. Nevin Snow
4. Harry Price
5. Vladimir Lipavsky
6. Peter Holz
7. Dave Hood
8. Sidney Gathrid

www.lbyc.org

British Land Yachting Championships
Dozens of the UK's top sand yachting enthusiasts were in action on Brean beach over the weekend for the British Land Yachting Championships.

The two-day National Land Yacht Regatta, organised by Brean Land Yacht Club, started on Saturday and continued on Sunday.

The racers were helped by strong winds throughout the weekend

Martyn Hale, Brean Land Yacht Club Chairman, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: We had a good weekend of racing with 30 racers from across Britain - coming as far afield as Redcar, London and the Lake District to take part.

We had near-perfect conditions with strong winds powering the land yachts along the beach.

Five different classes of Land yacht raced the length of Brean beach, with the speed of the land yachts reaching in excess of 60mph

www.burnham-on-sea.com

Zero Tolerance
Seahorse A quiet revolution has taken place in composite boatbuilding over the last decade which is being reflected in the ever more precise build of the best raceboats - from America's Cup to offshore Maxi.

One company leading the revolution is Persico. Over the last decade Persico have become one of the world's leaders in raceboat production. At present they are nearing completion of the new Mark Mills-designed WallyCento, while also this year starting a new 144ft fast cruising yacht, set to be built at their new facility in Massa Carrara, near La Spezia.

Twenty-seven years on from the company's launch and there are CNC milling machines wherever you look in Persico's gleaming new facility. However, now those CNC machines have been joined by some of the most sophisticated and up-to-date composite manufacturing equipment that you are likely to find anywhere outside Boeing or Airbus…

Along with a generously sized ISO 8 clean room (inset), Persico now boast their own in-house ultrasound scanning system for non-destructive testing (NDT), a large-scale 3D scanner for both reverse engineering and the dimensional scanning of components, four different fixed ovens, the largest being 45m x 12m, plus a transportable modular oven and a 25m x 8m vacuum table to join the two other existing (large) tables.

Full article in the April issue of Seahorse:
www.seahorsemagazine.com

Australian Yachting Championships
The Australian Yachting Championships have wrapped up in Sydney, Australia, with Beau Geste Racing and Bushranger taking out the coveted IRC titles.

While there was a small fleet of 16 boats, congratulations must be given to all who took part in putting on a great spectacle of racing from Thursday in big southerly breezes, through to yesterday in a slowly building Easterly. The Race Committee and organisers did a great job to get in all but one of the scheduled races given the weather outlook at the start of the regatta.

Beau Geste Racing again sailed a near impeccable regatta, kudos to the team who continue to set the bar in Australian waters in the Australian Yachting Championship. Bushranger were also excited to take their first win after a large investment, both time and money, in the past twelve months, nice to see hard work paying off.

Check out some of the action from the final day in my live coverage of the final race start sequences from on board the start boat/

Full results and regatta reports are available at www.australianyachtingchampionship.org.au, or as always, more adventures and full galleries can be found here: www.sailorgirlhq.com

Dublin Port Perspectives
As part of "Dublin Port Perspectives", Transit Gateway is a project that documents the transitional changes of the shape of Dublin Port from its medieval shoreline to its current infrastructure.

Following the recent introductory seminar of Transit Gateway, the second out of nine seminars, titled "Dublin Port from 1708 to 1785 / Walls of Protection" takes place on Wednesday 29 March in the LAB Gallery, Foley Street, Dublin

The changes of the port as a gateway to the city bring to mind the void of communication of the 18th century, the forced emigrations of the 19th century, the modern context of maritime holiday migration that shaped the 20th century, and which now extends itself to the cruise business the 21st century, and how cargo volumes changed over the centuries in terms of goods, locations and quantity.

Transit Gateway is an artistic mapping cartography that will show the changing connections of the city and the port throughout the years, and how the port as a gateway creates a vital connection of the city with the wider world. In collaboration with partners and the local community, the artist Silvia Loeffler has been commissioned by Dublin Port Company to create a social and collaborative artistic mapping project that looks at the port 's transitional phases over a time period of 9 months.

A large-scale installation series loosely based on the various maps used by H.A. Gilligan in his "History of the Port of Dublin" is currently being created, and the works are displayed in the Terminal 1 Building in Dublin Port. Each month, a new map layer will be added to the installation.

As previously outlined, each month a specific seminar will be held in the LAB on Foley Street, in order 'to bring the port back into the city' which will accompany the map layer.

The second seminar "Dublin Port from 1708 to 1785 / Walls of Protection" takes place on Wednesday 29 March (18.15-20.00) in the LAB Gallery, Foley Street off Talbot Street, Dublin.

The event is free, but places are limited. Please make sure to register here

afloat.ie

World Sailing Show Programme 15
Going overboard - Conrad Colman's shocking secret

Conrad Colman's candid account of his race in the Vendée Globe touched thousands as he recorded the highs and the lows of his trip. But what he didn't tell the world during his 110 day race was that he had come perilously close to dying in the process. He saved that bombshell for the press conference.

The World Sailing Show was there for his arrival and caught up with him for a one to one interview. Candid as ever, he describes the incident that had nearly cost him his life and why he kept this a secret until his return.

But Conrad goes further as he talks of the tragedies in his personal life that have contributed to a deep rooted determination to succeed.

Conrad Colman's story is a moving and personal one, but also one of grit.

It may only be the Spring, but this is one of the stories of 2017.

Olympic Race Officer Jack Roy Elected As Irish Sailing Associaiton President
London 2012 Olympic Race Officer Jack Roy from Dun Laoghaire succeeded David Lovegrove at Saturday's ISA agm at Howth Yacht Club.

Roy, a past dinghy and one design champion, has campaigned 420s, 470s, Flying Fifteens, J24s, Dragons, J109s and Squibs. He is a member of National Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club & Kinsale Yacht Club.

An International Race Officer since 1998 he was the first Irish Race Officer at an Olympic Regatta in 2012 and is Chief Race officer at Ireland's largest yacht racing organisation, Dublin Bay Sailing Club.

Saturday's agm was followed by an ISA dinghy and one design keelboat forum to 'target growth in participation'.

afloat.ie

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 Malcolm McKeag:

I don't know what Leonardo da Vinci called his but certainly since the early 20th century virtually all navies and all submariners have referred to their "submersible vehicles" as 'boats'.  So what's with all this fuss about Boaty Macwhassisname?

* From Suzie Marwood

Re "bizarre  and surreal VHF communications with vessels named after a person"

There's surely got to be a competition here as to who has experienced the most unlikely?

Brigitte Bardot calling Nelson Mandela? Popeye calling Winston Churchill? Elvis calling Beethoven? Over.

* From Adrian Morgan:

The America's Cup has always been skewed in favour of the defender, and murky practice, rule twisting and skulduggery part and parcel of the enduring appeal. Where would the Auld Mug be without Keelgate, court battles, mismatches and the tantrums of tycoons, including Lord Dunraven (who may well have been correct in claiming foul, as evidence has emerged of an inflatable bladder fitted to the defender's keel to alter trim).

Now the playing field is so level that all play by (much) same (stupidly complex) rules; moreover all challengers and defenders can have a jolly time racing against each other beforehand and much of their respective boats are one design (although hiding weight inside cross members did get one team into hot water a while ago).

But hang on: the defender can have two boats, whereas the challengers only one? How did that slip past? So no change there. Defender holds most of the cards again, which means Cup races every two years god help us, until we get fed up to the teeth of a black boat cleaning up, and foiling loses its novelty, speed palls, and the sight of rubber-clad monkeys leaping around trampolines (or pedalling like kids in a pedalo) begins to look ridiculous.

All that's left, as one correspondent wrote recently, is the chance of an almighty, spectacular collision in which no one is injured. Has it sunk to this?

* From Euan Ross: Thinking through the cycle

Russell Coutts is an engineer, and he might know a bit about sailing, but the myth of 'pedalling in circles' with a power up-stroke was debunked long ago. Good technique can reduce drag on the upstroke and is crucial to efficiency; but even so, power input for even the best cyclists is all negative through 190 to 350 degrees of rotation. More generally, the potential to harvest power on the upstroke segment is limited by the need to optimise overall efficiency through the entire 360 degrees. So, apart from standing starts on the track, not much "pulling" goes on, whatever the cyclist himself may think. 

While many cyclists use SPD-type pedals today, the attachment primarily provides a stable and solid connection for the down-stroke - there are no pedal designs or cycling shoes specifically designed to facilitate a power upstroke (neither, for that matter, is the human body designed for such work). I have yet to see any photos of the pedals and shoes being used by TNZ. However, there are a variety of pedal 'systems' that can be set up to allow rapid hop-on hop-off; alternatively, platform pedals would also do the job. Studies have, perhaps surprisingly, produced identical power curves for both types. As for the practicalities, watch any kind of extreme or acrobatic cycling and it's apparent that practiced riders have no trouble reengaging with the pedals. Whether or not cyclo-grinders are the way to go in the America's Cup, the outcome will have nothing whatsoever to do with power upstrokes.

Featured Brokerage
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Maxi champion Reichel/Pugh 82 which is equally good at coastal and inshore racing. Equipped to an incredibly high standard and ready to go for next year’s Caribbean season and beyond.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Contact
Ben Cooper
+44 (0) 1590 679222
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Raceboats Only MC90. New Boat.

Now we’re really cooking with gas as Ker and McConaghy introduce this 90ft globe-girdling powerhouse. All three of the new McConaghy cats look to deliver a nice combination of aesthetics, roomy interiors but still a promise of proper sailing

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Contact
McConaghy Boats
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+61 2 999 777 22
www.mcconaghyboats.com

-----------------------------------------

Raceboats Only 2004 90' McConaghy Custom Racer. 1,500,000 USD. Located in Annapolis, MD United States.

RAGAMUFFIN 90 is now on the market and our latest central listing. Built as GENUINE RISK in 2004, and competing world wide from Sardinia to Hawaii, GR always was at the front of the fleet. Under her second owner, she won both the 2010 Newport to Bermuda race, and the overall prize for the 2011 811 mile Fort Lauderdale to Montego Bay race, and the overall win at Antigua sailing week both under Csa and IRC leaving no question that she was still one of the fastest maxi boats sailing.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Contact
Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419

See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/

The Last Word
It's a great time to be doing political satire when the world is on a knife edge. -- John Oliver

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

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see www.scuttlebutteurope.com/advertise.html

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