THE SAILOR’S ANNUAL
2018 MARINE EVENTS GUIDE
FOR 2018 LATEST BOATS to wow you GEAR for next season DESTINATIONS to inspire you PLUS
J-Class on the limit America’s Cup latest The year’s best sailing photos Yachts brought back from the dead How to win the Round the Island Race
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Classic Boat OCTOBER 2017
IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS Our experts shed light on sailing by night
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On rescuing a Maiden in distress STEP BY STEP
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Classic wins Cowes Week
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The tranquil delights of Chichester Harbour In depth guide to bustling Brighton Marina
COWES CLASSICS 170 small boats go racing
His unknown influence on Fife
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Plot your course to bluewater bliss Expert chartering tips
DUNKIRK What the film got right
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The performance sailing magazine
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Strategy, weather, prep, kit, fitness and more!
WHAT TO WEAR
Jim Saltonstall on how to achieve your sailing goals
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AINHOA SANCHEZ/VOLVO OCEAN RACE
elcome to The Yachting Year, a glorious celebration of the sailing universe – from wooden yachts to the latest cuttingedge race machines, from laid-back cruising to the biggest regattas in the world. Over the next 130 pages you can immerse yourself in all things sail. As well as reflecting on some of the exciting events on the water over the past year, we look forward at what is to come in 2018. This issue of The Yachting Year features exclusive articles from the editors of three of the UK’s biggest sailing magazines – Georgie Corlett-Pitt of Yachts & Yachting, Sam Jefferson of Sailing Today and myself as editor of Classic Boat – each of us writing about what 2018 is likely to bring in the racing, cruising and classic boat worlds. The Yachting Year also gives you a first glance at the new gear coming out in 2018 – from a water-repellent dinghy top to an old school ditty bag. We take a look at the important boat launches – including an affordable carbon foiler and a wooden pilot cutter boasting a fin keel. And our event guide will give you a good idea of how to plan next summer, whether you’re sailing or spectating. We are in the midst of an incredible time for sailing. The epic duel between Alex Thompson and Armel Le Cléac’h in the Vendée Globe kept millions gripped until the final moments. At the same time, Frenchman Thomas Coville was quietly smashing the round-the-world solo sailing record. It was only 12 years ago that Ellen Macarthur did this in 71 days. On his trimaran Sodebo-Ultim, Colville arrived home in just 49 days. Surely, now the record can’t go much lower. The past year was special for another reason. In June, the 35th America’s Cup took sailing to another level. Following plans shape up for the next edition in New Zealand is making fascinating viewing. Watching these events over the past 12 months, it has felt very much like the late 1990s and early 2000s, when racing was in a golden age, with Ellen, Pete Goss, Mike Golding and others giving us so many great stories, stories that will have inspired many sailors on the water today. As I write, the Volvo Ocean Race is in full swing, with coverage more ‘on board’ than ever, another great battle that we can savour from the comfort of our homes. Whatever kind of sailor you are – whether you like to go 4 knots or 15, whether your pride and joy is a Laser, or a schooner, or a TP52 – these are exciting times. I hope you enjoy reading about some of what’s to come in the The Yachting Year. THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 3
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THE YEAR AHEAD IN THE CLASSIC WORLD Fifty years on from Sir Robin’s voyage, what will 2018 bring?
THE YEAR AHEAD FOR PERFORMANCE SAILORS Ocean racing, foiling dinghies and more
AMERICA’S CUP The 35th Cup broke new ground, but what can follow it? We look back and we look forward! Plus, historic J-Class meet.
THE YEAR AHEAD FOR CRUISING SAILORS How to slow down over the coming year afloat
BOATS OF NOTE The exciting new
RESTORATIONS THAT CHANGED OUR WORLD The classic yacht restorations that shook it all up
boat launches of 2017 and 2018
NEW GEAR The kit to see you through 2018, be it cruising or racing
MINK An extraordinary restoration of a rare Herreshoff-designed Buzzard’s Bay 25
CARIBBEAN CRUISE South through the Leeward Isles
SAILING SVEA We sail the latest J-Class yacht in exciting conditions off Mallorca
Regattas to join and watch over 2018
STERNPOST ‘Taking his last sail’
ROUND THE ISLAND RACE A former America’s
Cup sailor and his family go round in classic style
SAIL IONIAN Slow boat to Lefkas – the Ionian is an ideal family cruising ground THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 7
FIVE GO ROUND THE ISLAND The Nutter family – Craig, Kate, Jack, Molly and their Harrison Butler cutter Sabrina – enjoy a day to remember in the Round the Island Race WORDS CRAIG NUTTER
8 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
WATERCOLOURS SUE PEAKE
The race is on PICTURE AINHOA SANCHEZ/VOLVO OCEAN RACE
In-port circuit racing will wow those shoreside, but the Volvo Ocean Race is still about brutal offshore sailing in some of the fastest yachts afloat. Read all the latest at yachtsandyachting.co.uk
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 9
FIVE GO ROUND End of ISLAND a perfect day THE PICTURE TRYSTAN GRACE
The Nutter family – Craig, Kate, Jack, Molly and Enjoying an idyllic evening off their Harrison Butler cutter Sabrina – enjoy a Madagascar is the crew of this day to remember inlarge the Round the Island Race Kraken 66, one of a new breed of blue water cruising yachts designed to be handled by a couple. For boat and gear reviews, plus practical cruising advice, visit sailingtoday.co.uk 10 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 11
FIVE GO ROUND THE ISLAND The Nutter family – Craig, Kate, Jack, Molly and their Harrison Butler cutter Sabrina – enjoy a day to remember in the Round the Island Race WORDS CRAIG NUTTER
12 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
WATERCOLOURS SUE PEAKE
Drinks are on me PICTURE STUDIO BORLENGHI Monaco Classic Week, with vintage yachts lining the quay and the glamour of the principality behind, is a mid-point in the Medâ€™s extraordinary classic regatta circuit. For all your classic boat news, visit classicboat.co.uk
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 13
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FIVE GO ROUND KIWIS WIN THE ISLAND
The Nutter family – Craig, Kate, Jack, Molly and their Harrison Butler cutter Sabrina – enjoy a It is never easy to win day to remember in the America’s Round the Island Race Cup, but Emirates Team New Zealand’s WORDS CRAIG NUTTER WATERCOLOURS SUE PEAKE victory was truly remarkable. We take a look back over a stunning regatta 18 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 19
efore the 35th America’s Cup began, there were clues but no guarantees as to how it would play out. Even amongst themselves, there was the sense that the Kiwis had taken a gamble with their technology, with a clear departure from the ‘norm’. Their win was a win for the underdog, a blow to the billionaire Larry Ellison backing Oracle Team USA for what he must have felt certain was destined to be a hat-trick victory, following San Francisco (2013) and Valencia (2010). But the Kiwis were gunning for a hat-trick of their own – although not a consecutive one, 2017 marked the third time their country lifted the coveted Cup (San Diego 1995, Auckland 2000). Their helmsman, Peter Burling, is the youngest helm to have ever won, doing so in front of a crowd of over 100,000 watching the drama on the blue waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound. Burling was backed up on board by Blair Tuke, his 49er team mate with whom he won both silver and gold Olympic medals, and directed by Cup veteran and skipper Glenn Ashby. Also on board was cycling’s 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Simon van Velthooven and rowing’s 2012 Olympic gold medallist Joe Sullivan, taking the mercenary roles in the primary cyclor station, along with a wealth of Kiwi sailing talent. The team’s determined fight back from their 2013 defeat began with a solid third in the AC World Series. By the time they arrived in Bermuda, they meant business, winning eight from 10 races in the qualifying series – a score equal to that of the defender. Crucially though, the Kiwis’ two losses were both to Oracle. It’s part and parcel of the Cup that teams continuously improve and that was once again the case, with refining boat handling a key focus. ETNZ, however, had already cracked their manoeuvres; smoother, faster and with superior ‘flytime’ stats. Their weak spot lay in boat on boat tactics. They chose to hone their skills against Land Rover
BELOW: USA skipper Spithill and team ponder the loss
New Zealand dominated early, winning the opening two races by enough to cause Jimmy Spithill embarrassment
20 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
BAR in the semi finals; it was not without a fight, but they dispensed with the Brits in a 5-2 showdown. On to the challenger finals, where a 1-1 opening score tipped in the Kiwis favour the next race as Nathan Outteridge flew off the back of his Swedish boat. Artemis did their best to level the points but the Kiwis walked away with five wins to their two. It was the fifth time in an AC final for the Kiwis – starting one race down, due to Oracle’s win in the qualifiers. They dominated early, winning the opening two races by enough to cause Jimmy Spithill embarrassment. Proving it wasn’t a fluke, they scooped two more the following day; Spithill vowed to come back. Race six finally gave that opportunity; time in the shed had delivered a speed improvement for USA and, now, a race win. But it wasn’t enough. The next day, the Kiwis were back with strong starts and speed to burn in races 6 and 7, needing only one more win the following day. Even when Spithill won the start on the final race and led round the crucial first mark it was all for nothing; the Kiwis simply sailed faster, picking their moment to overtake and cement their place in the history books. What next for the cup? As unveiled in broad terms by New Zealand in November, the new 75ft America’s Cup class will feature two large articulated foils which will be weighted to provide righting moment and, significantly, no keel. These articulating foils can both be dropped down to provide a ‘stable’ three-point foiling system (along with the rudder) but will usually sail with the windward foil raised and just the leeward and rudder foils in the water. Although the New Zealanders and Italians have made clear that they intended to move the Cup back to monohulls, this design clearly indicates that there was much from the last edition that the teams wanted to keep – certainly in technology terms. It does not take a great deal of analysis of the boat to conclude that, although this is technically a monohull, the line between this boat and a multihull is significantly blurred. The hull design will be open, which should lead to teams having clearly different looking boats – a criticism often levelled at the AC50 was that the one-design nature of the hulls made the boats appear identical to the outside observer. But those who were hoping to see a more traditional AC match race will probably be disappointed as this is clearly a design aiming to replicate the kind of speeds which we have seen in the last two cups. Further to this, it will be interesting to see what sort of manoeuvrability might be achieved in the class. For all the complaints about the catamaran era, once foiling was achieved – which could be done in relatively little wind – fully foiling tacks where not that expensive. Foiling tacks and gybes are stated here as a design aim, but we will have to see what levels of efficiency might be achieved. The rig options are something that are still being looked at. The release shows a huge code 0 being deployed around a windward mark and, again, traditionalists will be appeased by the reintroduction of changing sails, but it is hard to see that a code 0 could be more efficient at the kind of foiling speeds it is imagined the design will reach. Still this will certainly extend the light wind range of foiling. The key component of the rig, shown in renderings as a wingsail, is still apparently in discussion, but there is an aim to use ‘affordable and sustainable technology’.
Peter Burling is a star – probably the finest helmsman in the world
How did the Kiwis win? WORDS DAVID PALMER
They were also versatile – seemingly working in up to
Zealand gets its
14-knot wind speeds. Less obviously, their rudder designs
In November 2016, during the World Series event in
hands on the
were also extreme, with a longer ‘T’ at the bottom of the
Fukuoka Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand,
foil. Oracle tried to copy this in the five-day gap between
stated over breakfast that the America’s Cup would be won
Cup racing weekends. So too did Ben Ainslie in his struggle
to catch up. The rudders play a big part in keeping the boat
On the surface, he was right. But the Kiwi win in Bermu-
stable, especially through manoeuvres.
da is about more than technology. It is about team building,
The Kiwis’ tacks and gybes were quicker and more
choosing the right people and above all about the leader-
reliable. That was down to hours of fine-tuning the control
ship of the team, and the spirit, the ‘zeitgeist’, they create.
systems, days and weeks of training. Burling’s overtake
Emirates Team New Zealand turned up in Bermuda in
of Spithill on the first downwind leg of the final race fol-
mid-April with a boat that had never been raced, and a se-
lowed a ‘no look’ gybe - a classic match race move with
ries of innovations that had never been tested in competi-
no pre-manoeuvre set-up - then rapid acceleration giving
an unsuspecting Oracle maximum dirty air. “That’s the first time we’ve ever done that in a race,” Burling said later. “All
What did they do so differently?
the training paid off.”
They took the hydraulic control systems to new levels of so-
They also physically sailed their boat differently. They
phistication. The Kiwi boat was the only one without a main
had more windward heel, moving the centre of effort and
sheet. Wing trimmer, Glenn Ashby sat in his pod tapping on
improving efficiency. It is the multihull equivalent of hiking
a little controller. The twist on the wing is a function of the relative positions of the three flaps that form the rear portion of the solid sail. Ashby never stopped playing with the twist, just as you and I do when racing a soft sailed boat. Similarly, Blair Tuke was able to use his legs for grinding and control the foils with his hands. On all other boats, the foils were the helmsman’s responsibility. The result was that Peter Burling could concentrate on sailing fast, and getting the tactics right. Crucially, they got their foil and rudder designs right. From the day we all first saw New Zealand’s light weather foils – great long tips, with a sharp kink in the middle – it was clear that they had gone for an extreme idea. They had rightly predicted a light air regatta. Those big foils got them out of the water earlier and kept them there longer.
Peter Burling is a star – probably the finest helmsman in the world
harder. The cyclors generated more hydraulic power than the arm-grinders. This meant that Ashby could trim more often, Burling could tack and gybe whenever he liked, and they still had oil to spare.
A true team effort Peter Burling is a star – probably the finest helmsman in the world, and sophisticated beyond his 26 years. That is why he got more out of his boat and his team than any other helmsman. He never stopped learning, and paid generous tribute to Ray Davies and Murray Jones, the two coaches. His 7-2 win-to-loss record in the finals pre-starts against Jimmy Spithill, a prodigious starter, speaks volumes. His dry humour at the press conferences was also a delight. THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 21
S RACE IN BERMUDA
The biggest ever gathering of the class in its history and a historic return to the Americaâ€™s Cup
PHOTOS INGRID ABERY
22 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
he biggest ever gathering of J-Class yachts took
ABOVE: Js going
place in Bermuda he biggest in June, ever gathering with eightof ofJ-Class the cur-yachts took headplace to head in
superyachts in a separate event in Bermuda. The final Theday final in day Bermuda in Bermuda was particularly was particularly competitive, competitive, with
rent J fleetininBermuda attendance. in June, The with eventeight was of part the ofcurrentBermuda’s J fleet in waters Hanuman withand Hanuman Rangerand at the Ranger top of atthe theleaderboard top of the leaderboard with seven the 35th America’s attendance. Cup, The with event the was classpart invited of the 35th America’s
points with apiece, seven Lionheart points apiece, just behind Lionheart them. just A flat-footed behind them. startA
back for what Cup, turned without theto class be two invited spectacular back for days whatof turned J out to be two
lookedflto at-footed have cost start Lionheart looked to anyhave chance costof Lionheart the race,any butchance she
racing. It took spectacular place 80 years days after of J racing. the 1937 It took America’s placeCup, 80 years after the 1937
came back of thetorace, roar but down shethe came lastback run past to roar Topaz. down In the a dramatic last
which was the America’s last one Cup, in which which thewas J-Class the last raced. one in which the J-Class raced.
turn ofrun events, past Hanuman’s Topaz. In a dramatic hopes were turn dashed of events, when Hanuman’s she suffered
Those present Those werepresent Shamrock were V (launched Shamrock 1930), V (launched 1930), Velsheda
a penalty hopes for were a rules dashed infringement when she approaching suffered a penalty the last for buoy. a One
Velsheda (launched (launched 1933), 1933), andand thethe modern modern builds builds Rainbow, Rainbow, Hanuman,
of the rules original infringement Js, Velsheda, approaching took a popular the last linebuoy. honours Onevictory, of the
Hanuman, Ranger, Ranger, Lionheart, Lionheart, Topaz Topaz and and Svea. Svea. Rainbow Rainbow dedecided not to race
but theoriginal race and Js,regatta Velsheda, crown tookwent a popular to Lionheart. line honours Built in victory, 2011,
cided not to in race theinregatta. the regatta. Only Only Endeavour Endeavour (launched (launched 1934) did not attend.
to Olinbut Stephens the race and and Starling regattaBurgess crown went lines to that Lionheart. were drawn, Builtbut in
1934) did not attend. After close racing, Lionheart took the top spot on the podium,
never realised, 2011, to Olin for the Stephens 1936 Ranger and Starling project, Burgess her modernday lines that dewere
After close just racing, a week Lionheart after she took beat the a fl top eetspot of 20 onmodern the superyachts in a podium, just separate a week after event she in beat Bermuda. a fleet of 20 modern
sign was drawn, overseen but never and optimised realised, for bythe Hoek 1936 Design, Ranger while project, she was her built atmodernday Claasen Shipyards. design was overseen and optimised by Hoek THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 23
It was a fantastic day for Shamrock V today and obviously all J-Class racing
Ande Hoek said: “She sailed extremely consistently to gain her victories, recording several firsts.” He also congratulated the crew of another Hoek-optimised J, Svea (see p106), which won her first ever race, having been launched earlier this year. Sadly later Svea suffered gear failure that forced her to retire. Lionheart’s tactician Bouwe Bekking said: “The boat is doing a nice job for us but I think the crew work has been really good. That atmosphere on board, where you are still able to claw back from maybe an impossible position like today, that’s what makes the difference. “We’ve been together for a few years since Harald bought the boat. That has been the really nice thing about the crew. Everyone digs in for each other and there’s no captains. Everyone’s kind of the same level.” He gave credit to the boat’s owner, who helmed the boat and also ensured that Lionheart was heavily optimised through the winter for the lighter breezes expected in Bermuda (as was Hanuman). Jeroen de Vos, of Dykstra Naval Architects, who was off side trimmer on Shamrock V, said: “The J-Class put on a real show today. It was very exciting to be on board one of the boats at what is an historic event for the class and it was very close racing. The regatta win was up for grabs for more than one J right up to the last race.” Tom Dodson of North Sails, who was tactician on Velsheda, which won the final race of the regatta (also helmed by her owner), said: “It was interesting to be racing on one of the original Js, against some fast, highly-optimised replica boats. The boats are all sailed at a high standard by crews who have got to grips with the unique skills and techniques required to win in this class. We were punching above our weight in that light stuff, so we are delighted. Velsheda is 84 years old, 85 next year, so second in that fleet is pretty good stuff. “As well as advances in crew work, the boats are going a lot faster compared to when I started sailing on Velsheda in 2001, mainly through improvements in rigs and rigging, hydraulic power and sails.” Ken Read, the Hanuman skipper-helm, said: “We made a mistake today, but that is life, that is sailing, and Lionheart deserved to win. Now we have to regroup a little bit. It is such a shame. I feel bad. I feel bad for our team who have worked so hard. I feel bad for Jim and Kristy, the owners, who put so much into this, but at the same time, that is sailing boat racing. You take the bad with the good. We had our breaks when we won in Saint Barths. We did not have FROM TOP: Hanuman bowman in
Stu Bannatyne of Shamrock V said: “It was a fantastic
a helmet; Svea’s
day for the Shamrock V today and obviously all the J-Class
skipper Paul Kelly
racing. A big thanks to the owner for providing such an
celebrates the team’s
awesome boat with such a great history for us to go sailing
first race and first
win; race helm on
24 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
our breaks here. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
To crown an amazing year for the J-Class fleet, its first
Topaz; winning team
ever world championships later took place in August, in
Newport RI, the spiritual home of the Js, after they raced
afterguard on Svea
for the America’s Cup there in the 1930s.
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YEAR AHEAD FOR CRUISING SAILORS Editor of Sailing Today, Sam Jefferson, on what he is looking forward to in the cruising world in 2018 26 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
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he beautiful thing about the cruising sailor’s calendar is the wonderful rhythm of the year with each season dictating our sailing movements with the same rhythmic ebb and flow as the tide beneath our keel. Yacht cruising is, almost by definition, about freedom and blazing your own trail, whether that be across oceans or across the English Channel. The lure of the horizon, the tang of salt air in the nostrils and the sheer joy of being at the helm of a yacht headed to some far flung horizon are surely the most cogent reasons imaginable for taking to the water in an ocean yacht.
Azure seas and loads of space on board – what is not to love about the charter holiday?
Now, that obviously doesn’t particularly lend itself to a feature on what is scheduled in for the year ahead. Yet the seasons themselves provide a delightful if somewhat loose schedule for all but the most adventurous sailor. Unless you are extremely hardy then the winter months tend to discourage sailing in the northern latitudes and that even includes the Mediterranean. Whether you’re chartering or cruising your own yacht, eyes therefore turn to the Caribbean for cruising sailors or perhaps even further afield, with the south seas and such rich and delightful cruising grounds as Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. As winter turns to spring, the Mediterranean once again beckons and whether you’re planning to head there via the French canals or make the sometimes treacherous trip across Biscay, the rewards once you arrive are great. Few cruising grounds can offer such a compelling and rich blend of history and pure bite-the-back-of-the-hand beauty; from the lambent waters of the Dalmatian coast to the effortless sophistication of the Côte d’Azur via the incredible history attached to the Turkish coast and Greek archipelago, sailors truly are spoilt for choice and all of the
major operators such as Sail Ionian and Kiriacoulis continue to flourish and expand their fleets. Even better news, 2018 sees the opening new charter bases at Sicily for Sunsail, while Dream Yacht Charter has a new Italian base in Naples in addition to new bases in Pula in Croatia and Kotor in Montenegro. As things warm up further then home waters beckon and, as always, the British coastline will be a hive of cruising activity with a whole range of cruising activities – more on that later though. Summer brings balmy breezes to even the northern latitudes and those fortunate enough to be able to devote their time to a Baltic cruise are generally richly rewarded. There’s more welcome news for charterers here, because Dream Yacht Charter has recently opened an all-new charter base in Stockholm.
With summer bringing balmy breezes to the northern latitudes, a Baltic cruise ” is a joy
While that I opened this piece by arguing that yacht cruising by definition lacks any real ‘calendar’ as such, the rise of the cruising rally has certainly given a more of a year-round structure to cruising. Indeed, you could argue that the past two decades has seen something of a pandemic of these rallies with one of the newest and most exciting being the Oyster World Rally. This kicked off in 2017 and the fleet of indomitable cruisers, all of which are built by Oyster Yachts, set out from Antigua in 2017 and is not scheduled to complete this round the world odyssey until 2019. This year the fleet will find itself in the depths of the Indian Ocean with stopovers in such exotic spots as the Cocos and Keeling islands, Mauritius, Reunion and Durban to name but a few. Yet this epic voyage is just one tiny drop in the ocean on the thriving rally scene. As we all know, the World Cruising Club is one of the world leaders in this field and it has a schedule that is absolutely packed to the gills with THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 29
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ATLANTI C RALLY FOR CRUISERS
thrilling events throughout the year. Of course, the biggie is the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, which kicks off every November. This is the original rally that really got the ball rolling and it remains hugely popular; widely viewed as the best way to make the long hop across the Atlantic in company. Itâ€™s a rally that has spawned a plethora of offshoots including the World Rally which caters for those who wish to expand their horizons yet further after making the Atlantic crossing. Another fascinating offshoot is ARC Plus, which allows yachts to deviate from the traditional course straight from the Canaries to St Lucia in order to enjoy a detour to the Cape Verde Islands. Other events organised by the World Cruising Club that you can look forward to throughout the year include the ARC Baltic,
Cross the pond in style, and in company, with the ARC or other events
held over a six week period in July and August and giving you the opportunity to explore this mesmerising cruising ground in company. Some yachts will be there already, others will be cruising north in company too. In actual fact, the World Cruising Club almost holds too many events to list, but before slipping anchor and moving on, itâ€™s worth giving a special mention to the Malts Cruise, held in July and allowing cruisers to explore the enchanting cruising ground of western Scotland with the added benefit, not to mention motivation, of an enticing stopover at one of the numerous distilleries that pop up with pleasing regularity among the highlands and islands. Naturally, this list of rallies is more of an aperitif and there are many more cruises to be enjoyed along the way as the yachting season wends its way through the year. THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 31
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ROUND THE ISLAND RACE SOUTHAMPTON BOAT SHOW
RACES AND TALKS
The Round the Island Race, supported by Cloudy Bay, is often known as ‘the cruising yachtsman’s race’, since it is the one point in the year when racers and cruisers alike seem to cast aside any tribal allegiances and muck in for what has to be one of the ultimate celebrations of sail. Beyond the event lies a myriad of really great smaller events that are often an absolute pleasure to stumble upon. Whether it be a cruise in company with your local yacht club through to a larger event organised by the Cruising Association or the Royal Cruising Club, there’s always something to divert your attention if you fancy it. In fact, both the RCC and the CA hold a range of fascinating seminars and lectures throughout the year which are definitely worth checking out. Particularly during the winter, these seminars can be a vital means of reminding yourself of the true joy of sailing.
Speaking of the off season, the autumn tends to bring with it an absolute smorgasboard of delights for anyone out there with a love of boat shows and, let’s face it, what isn’t there to like about wandering aimlessly around pontoons gawping at a mouth watering selection of yachts and hardware. I always look forward to the Southampton Boat Show in September; yet this is merely one glittering gem in a packed show calendar that kicks off in earnest with the glitzy Cannes Boat Show in the autumn and includes the massive Düsseldorf Boat Show, consisting of around 14 huge halls and every boating item from a shackle to a superyacht, in February. In between are all sorts of fascinating highlights and it’s well worth checking out some of the smaller boat shows, such as the Barclays Boat Show in Jersey in April – it’s free and has a great atmosphere – another personal favourite of mine is the
Cruisers go racing around the Isle of Wight; Southampton Boat Show in September
2018 Don’t forget the Sailing Today Awards! All details on our website sailingtoday.co.uk
Friedrichshafen Boat Show on Lake Constance in September. It’s not the biggest show, but the location is beautiful and there’s a really friendly feel. Plus it’s a great opportunity to stock up on Bratwurst.
Of course, one of the highlights of any boat show is the new boats and this year will see a plethora of exciting new launches. These days there really seems to be a philosophy of bigger is better and it means that many of the major manufacturers such as Jeanneau, Hanse, Bavaria and Bénéteau have all been launching supersized cruisers in the 60ft plus category. The latest to make a move into this territory is Dufour with its all new 63, a magnificent leviathan of a yacht that can still be easily handled by a couple. Elsewhere, Kraken Yachts has been making waves with its fascinating selection of serious ‘go anywhere’ blue water cruisers. The first model off the production line is the 66, with hull number one slowly making its way to Europe from the factory in Hong Kong. Quite rightly, the THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 33
SAFFIER SE37 Kraken and Saffier have interesting launches aimed at cruising sailors
owner has not opted to have the yacht shipped, but has instead opted to deliver the yacht in the traditional style by actually sailing her, so she’ll be well tried and tested by the time she gets here. The 66 will be followed off the production line by a 50 and a 58. Speaking of blue water cruisers, the next year will also be a fascinating one for Discovery Group, which recently acquired Southerly Yachts. The popular manufacturer of top end blue water cruisers has added another string to its bow with the addition of Southerly’s hugely successful swing keel range of yachts. We wish the company well as it looks to expand its range. I’m also excited to see the first of Oyster Yachts new G6 range, with the new 565 being of particular interest. Another exciting development when it comes to new boats in recent years has been the introduction of the supersized weekender. These are yachts in the 30-40ft bracket that have bags of style, sparkling performance and a smattering of home comforts yet are neither out and out racer or cruiser. Last year the Tofinou 10 was a big hit and I fully expect Saffier’s new SE37 lounge to offer a similarly seductive cocktail of sharp looks, blistering performance and a certain indefinable style all of its own. Beyond that, Hanse’s revamp of its range continues apace with several new models making their debut this year including the 532. Meanwhile, the multihull world remains as prolific as ever, with Lagoon leading the charge of new models with its smart new 40 and 50 models. In the annual Sailing Today Awards we celebrate new launches like these and hand out prizes to those boats voted for by our readers. The ceremony takes place at the Southampton Boat Show and is a snapshot of the boatbuilding industry today, an industry that any observer would say is looking very healthy.
LEARN TO SAIL
One of the other great joys of sailing are those small personal landmarks that the yachting year can throw up: I hope you don’t mind me including a very personal choice 34 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
Sailing courses are available for all levels of experience
for the year ahead, but the fact that a good friend of mine is about to become a Yachtmaster is of some excitement to me. Having been very much a crewing sailor just a year ago, she finally got sick of me droning on with misty eyes about my days as a charter skipper in Greece and Croatia, and did what any right-minded person would - she gave up her job and signed on for a course at UKSA in Cowes. She has loved the course and with several thousand miles under her belt, including many miles sailing offshore deliveries, as I write she is about to graduate. She has already got a job on a superyacht based in Palma, but I’ve told her that her qualifications mean when she comes sailing on my boat, I get to sit back and eat crisps, while she does the skippery bit. Now, that is something to look forward to. I guess that is the thing about yacht cruising; everyone’s year is an intensely personal experience. We build our own narrative, write our own stories with every mile that disappears in our wake. Our journeys are often gloriously unstructured; shaped by the vagaries of wind and tide, yet littered with our own personal landmarks. Yacht cruising is more than a simple pursuit; every journey is a voyage of self discovery and one that provides a veritable cornucopia of memories to mull over and treasure at leisure during the winter months. The only question is really where your voyage of discovery will take you over the upcoming season? Personally, I’m raring to get out there, set my eyes to the wind and disappear off over the distant horizon.
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PERFECT TO A FAULT A Buzzards Bay 25 restored so she’s exactly as she was at launch in 1914, warts and all WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS ROB PEAKE
ith beautiful boats at every turn, it takes something special to draw the crowds at the WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport. A complete restoration of a Buzzards Bay 25, however, wasn’t just drawing admirers, it was drawing gasps of astonishment as the team behind the project described to passers-by the lengths to which they’d gone in the name of authenticity. Most owners, when they say they want an ‘authentic’ rebuild, at some point draw a line. Period-correct ropes or sails, for example, can be unwieldy compared to their modern counterparts. Not the owner of Mink, the Buzzards Bay 25 at Mystic. He asked Andy Giblin and Ed McClave of boatbuilders MP&G to bring back Mink to her warts-and-all 1914 condition, even insisting that where they found a mis-drilled rivet hole from the original build, they did nothing to change or improve it. Mink is Herreshoff Manufacturing Company (HMCo) hull number 733 and was the last remaining unrestored boat of the class, all four existing Buzzards Bay 25s having previously been restored by MP&G. The project pushed the much-debated concept of authenticity to a new level. Even the smallest details were attended to, and not just on the boat itself. It was important, for instance, to have a period-correct boathook. So an original casting of HMCo pattern 5640 (drawing 71-4) was laser-scanned, digitised, 3D-printed
36 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
ABOVE: Period correct box compass, brass fog horn and anchor light, all part of Mink’s essential kit RIGHT: Mink takes her first sail at Mystic Seaport
and then castings were made. Even the handle details were lifted and replicated from an original HMCo boathook handle. The boat’s hand-held bilge pump was recreated using the same process, using a period-correct method of casting, all clearly at greater expense than could have been achieved if the owner had settled for, dare it even be suggested, off-the-shelf modern products that might have looked the part. Completing the spine-tingling picture of pre-World War I yachting on the Mystic quay was all the equipment required by the class racing rules at Mink’s first home, Beverly Yacht Club, in Marion, MA. This included an original HMCo 2in pump, a period-correct box compass, a period-correct brass fog horn complete with brass mouthpiece and reed, a period-correct lead line with period-correct markers, a period-correct galvanised all-round white lantern (as anchor light) and a 1915 life preserver stitched in cotton twill fabric with raw cork block fillers. Like most traditional boatbuilders, MP&G likes to remain true to a boat’s original construction design, except when changes are clearly in order. “We are dedicated students of the boatbuilding techniques of the great builders like Herreshoff and Nevins, who built many of the boats we restore. These boats have lasted remarkably well, and when restoring them, we go to great pains to duplicate the many successful techniques used in their construction.
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 37
However, we also recognise that the more innovative techniques of the great yacht builders were experimental when many of the boats were built. We now have the benefit of almost 100 years of in-service destructive testing. If a technique worked, we follow it closely. If it didn’t work, we don’t hesitate to change it.” However, the Mink project’s motto became ‘Keep drinking the Kool-Aid’, as repeatedly the team were asked to ignore common sense and stick rigidly to the mantra of ‘original at all costs’. Heads were turning when Mink cast off her lines and took a sail downriver at Mystic, showing off her new cotton sails made by Mark Butler’s team at James Lawrence Sailmakers, in Brightlingsea, Essex. Butler said: “Every detail in the sails is as it was in 1914. We used the same number of stitches. The cotton cloth is the same weight. We used sisal bolt ropes, rarely used in the UK. Instead of brass eyes on the sails, they’re all galvanised steel. They’re going to rust. Herreshoff didn’t think the sails would last more than three years, so he used what rings he could get hold of. Galvanised rings would have been used in their bucketload back then. “We struggled like hell with some of the seams. Originally cotton sailcloth had a woven selvedge. That’s very hard to get nowadays so we created it ourselves using tiny little seams. “They are the first sails that we’ve not put our logo on – they’re branded as the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company – and they are exact replicas of Herreshoff-made sails. I think Herreshoff would have been very pleased with what we did.”
Buzzards Bay 25 The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company only built five Buzzards Bay 25s, all in 1914, each priced at $2,000. The contracts for Mink (hull no 733) and Vitessa (hull no 734) were signed on March 28. Nat Herreshoff carved Mink’s half model, considered to be one of his favourites, by April 5. The construction drawing was issued on April 12 and on June 14, just 12 weeks after signing the contract, Nat’s son L Francis Herreshoff conducted a test sail. Mink was delivered to the Beverly Yacht Club, Marion, MA, where she raced for the first time on June 27, with her sister Vitessa. Meanwhile a third BB25 contract had been signed for Bagatelle (hull no 736). (This boat, known on the US east coast as ‘Bags’, is owned by Glenn Kim. It was he who suggested to a friend that he take a look at Mink. What Glenn did not realise then was how far his friend, a first-time boatowner, would go with the restoration.) The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company signed a contract for a fourth BB25, White Cap, at the same time as Bags. White Cap (hull no 738) is now called Aria and resides in the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol. MP&G have restored all four of these BB25s. One other, Tarantula (hull 741), is listed on the Herreshoff Registry as having been built later in 1914, but its fate is unknown. A resurgence in the 1980s saw many cold-moulded versions built, by professional and by amateur builders, mostly on the US east coast.
38 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
Top row, l-r: manila mainsheet; same name since launch; hull 733 was the first Buzzards Bay 25 to be built. Second row, l-r: Herreshoff-branded sails by James Lawrence Sailmakers in Essex, UK; periodcorrect lead weight and line; replicated
MINK: BUZZARDS BAY 25
cedar bucket, as
LOA 32ft (9.7m)
described by L Francis Herreshoff
LWL 25ft (7.6m)
for his H-28 design
BEAM 8ft 9in (2.6m)
in Sensible Cruising
DRAUGHT CB UP 3ft (0.9m)
Designs. Third row, l-r: 1915 life preserver; gaff jaws and hoops, with sisal bolt ropes on mainsail. Bottom row, l-r: as she was down below; an original HMCo forged folding stock anchor.
DRAUGHT CB DOWN 6ft 8in (2m) DISPLACEMENT 8,660lb (3,928kg) SAIL AREA 539sq ft (50m2) DESIGNER Nathanael Herreshoff THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 39
YEAR AHEAD FOR RACING SAILORS Editor of Yachts & Yachting, Georgie Corlett-Pitt, on what she is looking forward to in the racing world in 2018
QUADRENNIAL BATTLE - ROUND BRITAIN AND IRELAND RACE
2018 promises to be yet another action-packed year for UK racing sailors. If you are competing yourself, there is a multitude of events to take part in. There’s also ample
Immediately following Cowes Week, on 12 August, the
opportunity to soak up some of the very best that the
quadrennial Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race sets
professional sailing world has to offer, with the UK playing
off from the Royal Yacht Squadron start line on its 1,805nm
host to several top level events this summer, not to
west-bound circumnavigation of the British Isles, taking in
mention a plethora of innovations, exciting launches and
all the islands including Muckle Fluga.
new campaigns to look forward to…
Organised by RORC, it will be a strong fleet that takes on this gritty test of offshore sailing, with hopes of break-
IRC EUROPEANS COME TO COWES FIRST EVER OFFSHORE SAILING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
ing the record. A star studded fleet contested the race last time, with an incredible five new world records set thanks to a low pressure dominating over the northern
An undoubted highlight of this summer, the Spinlock IRC
UK. Famously, the MOD 70 Musandam-Oman Sail didn’t
European Championships, organised by the Royal Ocean
tack once. In the monohulls, Ian Walker’s VO65 Abu Dhabi
Racing Club, comes relatively early in the season (8-16 June).
Ocean Racing led the way in an incredible 4 days 13 hours
RORC will be pulling out all the stops and Cowes is set to
and 10 minutes and 28 seconds to set a new record. Will
welcome more than 100 entries for the nine-day event, more
conditions be prime for smashing that? It will be
than doubling the numbers attracted to last year’s event in
interesting to see how the new generation of foil-assisted
Marseille and 2016’s inaugural championship in Cork.
offshore keelboats impacts on the records.
Entry is open to boats with a rating between 1.00 and 1.27.
In the double-handed category, several IMOCA 60s will
Some fantastic racing is promised, with mix of 10 inshore and
be using the event to warm-up for the solo Route du Rhum
offshore races, highlights of which will be special round the
Race and 2019’s Barcelona World Race. A strong line-up of
island race (11 June) and a 150nm offshore race (13 June).
Class 40s is expected, with hopes of smashing the class’ 8
For the first time, the event will also incorporate the
days, 19 hours and 6 minutes race record.
Commodore’s Cup, a biennial team event where each three-
This testing endurance race also attracts amateur crews
boat team can have no more than one World Sailing Cat 3
in the open IRC fleets; with a $20,000 voucher from
sailor on board, meaning the event is a strictly amateur affair,
sponsor Sevenstar for worldwide yacht transportation up
with teams representing their nation, club or region. Entries
for grabs for the overall winner under IRC, there’s all the
open in January and it will be eagerly anticipated to see
more reason to enter.
which nations enter. It was first sailed in 1992 as a Corinthian take on the Admiral’s Cup. In 2016, when the event was last
held, the French took victory; a British team last won in 2012.
One of the most influential dinghy designers of all time, Ian Proctor was the man behind more than 100 boat de-
Also of note in 2018 will be the first ever combined ORC/IRC Offshore Sailing World Championship, being
signs, innovative spar developments, not to mention being
competed for in The Hague from 12-20 July.
a hugely talented sailor himself. 2018 marks 100 years since his birth and there are plans to celebrate his career
It is the first time that the two leading handicap systems will have joined forces, and some 150 teams are
Ian Proctor was
with an exhibition at the RYA Dinghy Show and a com-
anticipated. Keelboats of between 9-20m LOA, with IRC
one of the most
memorative regatta later in the year. His influence touched
or ORC ratings, will sail a combination of inshore and
so many classes, from the Merlin Rocket to the Wayfarer,
the Topper to the Bosun.
40 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
ROUND BRITAIN AND IR ELAND RACE
IRC EUROPEANS IN COWES
AMERICA’S CUP CAMPAIGNS BUILD On 1 January 2018, entries for the 36th America’s Cup will open and the momentum will begin to build towards the expected announcement of the class rule on 31 March, elaborating on the information given so far by Grant Dalton when Emirates Team New Zealand released the Protocol, that the yachts will be 75ft monohulls, “suitable for head-to-head match racing and close competition” (see p20 for more). Then, by the end of August, we are expected to have confirmation of the venue and course area that will be used for the America’s Cup Match in March 2021. Meanwhile, we wait with interest as the Challengers assemble and announce their intentions. With the Circolo della Vela Sicilia (Luna Rossa) as Challenger of Record, challenges have also been indicated from Sir Ben Ainslie’s Royal Yacht Squadron-backed Land Rover BAR, and from the New York Yacht Club, holders of the trophy from 1851 to 1983, who now plan to put in their first challenge in 15 years, represented by Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association led by John J ‘Hap’ Australia, Switzerland (Alinghi) and French (Groupama Team France), with rumblings too from the USA west coast and the Swedes (Artemis Racing). THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 41
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ROUND THE ISLAND RACE A RACE FOR ALL
A cornerstone of the British yacht racing calendar, the Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay, is taking place a little later than usual this year on 7 July, to avoid a clash with the Isle of Wight Music Festival. The first start is a relatively leisurely affair this year, set at 0630; entries open in January. As many as 1,400 boats – that’s around 15,000 sailors – will race the 50nm course heading westwards from Cowes, which pits Corinthian sailors against the professionals alongside celebrities; last year’s event ambassador was TV adventurer Ben Fogle. Whatever size of boat you sail, whether fast or slow, there’s truly a sense that this is a ‘race for all’, making this event a firm favourite. Could we see records tumble once again? Last year saw the MOD 70 Concise 10 steal the multihull record by one minute, to set a new record of 2 hours, 22 minutes and 23 seconds. Irvine Laidlaw’s 82ft Highland Fling XI followed a notch under two hours later as the first monohull across the line, and Adam Gosling’s JPK 10.80 Yes! in IRC1 won the coveted Gold Roman Bowl.
CORK WEEK VENTURE OVER AND ‘BUILD YOUR OWN REGATTA’
2018 sees Volvo Cork Week take place between 16-21 July. As ever, this biennial regatta promises top class racing on the water topped with a good dose of Irish hospitality onshore, making it a not to be missed event. After attendance numbers took a dip when the recession hit Ireland hard, the event has been working in recent years to deliver exactly what sailors want. A big part of that response will be delivered in 2018 in the way of a brand new format, which includes three or five day racing options and exciting combination of inshore and coastal racing for 12 competitive classes. This ‘build your own regatta’ concept could well be a revolutionary move. On shore, the parties are set to span all six nights, with up to 10,000 visitors to the regatta site expected. Sounds like a winning combination and a superb excuse to venture over the water and sample some of this regatta’s legendary hospitality!
100ft supermaxi CQS owned by Lude Ingval will be gunning for honours in the Solent in 2018
8 The annual prestigious Yachts & Yachting Awards highlights the very best sailors, boats,
COWES WEEK SIMPLY UNMISSABLE
With its legendary racing and unrivalled social scene, if there’s one must-do regatta for many, it’s Cowes Week. Sponsored once again by Lendy and running 4-11 August, 2018’s event promises to bring all the excitement once again, drawing boats from around the world. Following last year’s spectacular debut big boat series, the Sevenstar Triple Crown event, a 25-strong fleet including a dazzling appearance by the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, competed for three prestigious and historical trophies. On a memorably windy round the island race, the record tumbled as VO65 Mapfre set a new record of 3 hours, 13 minutes and 11 seconds. This year’s event will undoubtedly see another collection of the biggest and most advanced cutting edge race machines on the water, as well as thousands of keel boats sailed just as expertly and just as fiercely. Of particular note this year will be the Squib class’s celebratory anniversary regatta, held as part of Cowes Week, with the class hoping to beat the XOD’s usual claim to having the largest fleet at the week. Cowes Parade will be buzzing again, with bands, burgers and banter aplenty.
kit, events and racing achievements, as voted for by Y&Y readers. From dinghies to offshore
ROUND THE ISLAND RACE
record breakers, and everything in between. Could your class or event be shortlisted? Find out when the nominations are revealed and voting goes live with the December issue of Y&Y. In 2018, Y&Y is joining forces with the Royal Yachting Association to recognise the achievements of local clubs. THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 43
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BART’S ‘BIGGER’ BASH September sees the return of Bart’s Bash, now into its fifth year. The world’s largest sailing event has chosen 2018 to attempt to beat its own Guinness World Record, set in 2014, for staging the world’s largest sailing event! Back then an incredible 9,484 boats took to the water to race at 237 locations worldwide, competing in memory of Olympic medallist and America’s Cup sailor, Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson and raising a massive £366,391 for the Andrew Simpson Foundation, which works to increase participation in sailing among young people.
FAST40+ CIRCUIT CONTINUES TO WOW
Since the class formed two years ago, there’s no doubt that the Fast40+ fleet has been the hottest keelboat class around. And the momentum is still growing! Owner of Ràn Racing and Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom is the latest owner-driver to join the fast-growing Fast40+ phenomenon. His team, Ràn Racing, has commissioned a Carkeek Fast40+ to be delivered in 2018. It’s a move that takes him away from the 52 Super Series, of which he was a founder and president of the TP52 class. Also joining the Fast40+ party is Botin Partners, who’s new production series Fast40+ is being built by McConaghy and sold via Ancasta. The first two boats are destined for Australia and Japan, but there’s already a third of the same tooling and design waiting to be snapped up. If their TP52 pedigree based on the 2017 championship series winner, Azzurra, is anything to go by, these should be fast boats. Defending their titles will be 2017 FAST40+ champion Sir Keith Mills and his team on board Ker40+ Invictus, who clinched the series win with Giles Scott on board as tactician. They saw off close competition from Peter Morton’s Carkeek 40 Mk III Girls on Film - the CF40+ which was built at Premier Composites from the same mould as his previous Girls
on Film launched early in 2017 and has had a fantastic run it its first season, winning not only the class at Cowes Week, but also retaining the One Ton Cup. Racing is tight and with more teams coming to the fray in 2018, it will continue to be the class to watch.
HP30 CLASS RE-LAUNCH
Sir Keith Mills’ Invictus (left) and the HP30 class
Despite no official racing taking place in 2017, the HP30 class is optimistic of getting things back on track for 2018, thanks to recently announced independent technical support from RORC. Rating Office Director Jason Smithwick will lead the team of experts, and it will be good to see these small sportsboats given a second chance in their bid to loosely emulate the successful formula of the bigger Fast40+ fleet. The class will be run by the owners’ association, with support from RORC, and promises exciting racing for fans of pocket rockets such as FarEast28s, Farr280s, Farr30s, Open 7.5 and Seascape27s. Originally set up in 2016, by Joe Hall and Jochem Visser, the class is open to boats with asymmetric spinnakers and a minimum TCC of 1.050. Class starts have now been offered at RORC’s Easter Challenge and Vice Admiral’s Cup events, as well as at Poole International Paints Regatta and Lendy Cowes Week.
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 45
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VOLVO OCEAN RACE COMES TO CARDIFF
2018 will be a particularly exciting year in terms of pinnacle events coming to the UK. Foremost amongst these is the much-anticipated Volvo Ocean Race, which in June will visit Cardiff. It’s been 12 years since race the race last stopped-over in the UK, and never before has a Welsh city had the opportunity to welcome the crème de la crème of the offshore racing crews in this way. Sailors will leave Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on 20 May, heading towards the final European hop in its 45,000nm circumnavigation. The completion of the tough transatlantic leg will not only be a momentous ‘tick’ as the race works its way towards the finish in The Hague, but also could well see records broken on the 2,900nm crossing. Visitors will be welcomed to Cardiff ’s race village from 27 May, and in-port racing will take place on 8 June, with the fleet setting off for Gothenburg on 10 June. This will be a fantastic chance to see the fleet of seven one-design Volvo 65s and their crews up close, learn more about the race, and enjoy various activities and entertainments. With new crew requirements for this edition of the race seeing all seven teams opting to have a mixed crew on board, it will be interesting to see at this stage of the race which teams have fared the best over the distance and which crew are able to drive their one design boat the hardest. With the finish now in sight as the fleet reaches Europe, the pressure will certainly be on the top crews to push hard. All crews have a mix of nationalities on board, and amongst the British sailors counting this as a home coming leg are Turn the Tide on Plastic’s Dee Caffari, Brian Thompson, Henry Bomby and Bleddyn Mon; Mapfre’s Rob Greenhalgh; Vestas 11th Hour Racing’s Simon ‘SiFi’ Fisher and Hannah Diamond; Akzo Nobel’s Ross Monson; Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag’s Steve Hayles and John Fisher; and Team Brunel’s Annie Lush and Abby Ehler.
VOLVO Amateur sailors race in the Clipper Race, while the Volvo is the pinnacle of ocean racing
months of gruelling offshore racing. Liverpool itself has strong ties with the race, being the first northern host city a decade ago – and the Albert Dock forms a natural amphitheatre from which to admire the boats and welcome the crews. Not to be missed will be a special parade of sail as the boats sail into the Mersey on 28 July.
GOLDEN GLOBE RACE YOUNG BRIT TO TAKE ON THE UNCONVENTIONAL
CLIPPER ROUND THE WORLD RACE Sticking with epic circumnavigations, the amateur crews seeking to emulate their offshore heroes will have their moment in the spotlight with the finish of the Clipper Round the World Race, coming to Liverpool in July. Around 700 crew in total over eight legs and up to 16 individual races, together with a professional skipper, will have battled 40,000 nm around the globe. The fleet of 12 Clipper 70s will be returning to the seafaring city after 12
Susie Goodall competes in the Golden Globe Race
A third round the world race is destined to get a fanfare send off, as the Golden Globe Race 2018 fleet of solo sailors gathers in Falmouth for a parade of sail before crossing to France for a five-day start window. And by modern standards at least, this is no ordinary race. Participants will be recreating the race of 50 years ago, when Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world on his 32ft yacht Suhaili. As it was in 1968, competitors this time around will have no access to modern day equipment, communications or technology, so will be relying on sextants, paper charts, logs and kerosene cookers. Once in Les Sables d’Olonne, the 22 modernday competitors will have a five day window in which to start the 30,000nm trek around the globe – solo and unassisted. British interests include Susie Goodall, one of two female skippers and amongst the youngest of competitors at 27 years, racing on board her Rustler 36 class yacht Ariadne. As with the 1968/9 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the competitors in 2018 have a huge range of sailing experience and their progress will be fascinating viewing. THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 47
RYA DINGHY SHOW
RYA DINGHY SHOW PRESENTED BY SUZUKI IN ASSOCIATION WITH YACHTS & YACHTING
The annual dinghy extravaganza is back at Alexandra Palace in London on 3-4 March, promising to bring you all that’s new and exciting in the dinghy world. Yachts & Yachting is delighted to be the official media partner once again. New show presenters Olympic gold medallist Saskia Clark and Olympic 49er sailor Stevie Morrison will head up a weekend jam-packed with informative talks and hands-on coaching sessions from the very best sailors. New for this year is a second stage dedicated to clubs and classes, as well as an all-new beginners trail. The return of the popular children’s treasure hunt makes this the perfect friends and family day out; tickets are already on sale. And don’t miss your special 54-page Show Preview Guide – free with the March issue of Yachts & Yachting.
RS GAMES CELEBRATING 25 YEARS
2018 marks a quarter of a decade since the first two boats in the RS Sailing range were born, the RS400 and the RS600. Since then the number of RS boats sailing around the world has spiralled, and now the class association is looking to celebrate in a very special way. The ‘RS Games’ brings together the RS100, RS200, RS300, RS400, RS500, RS600, RS700, RS800, RS Vareo, RS Aero, RS Feva, RS Tera for nearly a month of racing at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy (4-30 August), with several national, European and world titles due to be decided on the water, and the famed RS party vibe set to prevail on shore. 48 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
It’s 25 years since RS changed our lives; the dinghy show is a great day out
Foiling designs are proving ever more popular with sailors of all levels of experience
FOILING REVOLUTION CONTINUES
In 2017, Britain was on top of the foiling world when Olympic medallist Paul Goodison became the first sailor to win back-to-back world titles in the Foiling Moth. He will be looking to make it a hat-trick at May’s world championships hosted by the Royal Bermuda YC. With ‘foiling’ the buzzword in the sailing world, could 2018 be the year that it becomes ‘the norm’? Sailors looking to try the craze will soon be spoiled for choice. The much anticipated F101 (design by Ron Price) is due to go into production at White Formula in time for 2018 – an all-carbon ‘over-sized’ Moth with additional outriggers aimed squarely at the average sailor. Other options also now on the market include the Stunt S9, UFO, Waszp single handers and Whisper doublehanded catamaran – each claiming to make foiling a reality in a safe and accessible way for average racing sailors. Exciting times!
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We look back at some of the projects that have defined the classic scene over the past 30 years STORY STEFFAN HUGHES
Writing a list of this nature is a risk-laden enterprise. Note the title – nowhere does it contain the words ‘the’ or ‘best’. Many of the boats in this list would, as it happens, count as among the best, but that’s not the point. The finding of an old woody and fixing it up – that is, after all, what we’re talking about here – must be judged on more than just the quality of the material restoration. Any project like this is a re-kindling of history, so while physical aspects like frame spacing, deck material and screwhead patterns are important, so are the rhyme and
reason of doing it in the first place. There are any number of great chequebook restorations out there in the world – out with old planks and in with the new – and then you find them for sale a few months after. Nothing wrong with that – our industry thrives on it. But to make this list takes more, as you will see over the next few pages. These are boats that created movements and changed lives. In some way, all the boats here really do live up to the rather grandiose title: without further ado, these are our 10 restorations that have changed the world.
FIVE GO ROUND THE ISLAND The Nutter family – Craig, Kate, Jack, Molly and their Harrison Butler cutter Sabrina – enjoy a day to remember in the Round the Island Race WORDS CRAIG NUTTER
50 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
WATERCOLOURS SUE PEAKE
f you’ve never seen or taken part in it, the Round the Island Race course couldn’t be simpler. Just keep the Isle of Wight on your left! Here are a few other tips – don’t start the race early, leave the Bembridge Ledge buoy to port, avoid Ryde Sands, take plenty of snacks and make sure you go through the finish line. Sabrina is a carvel-built cutter to the shape of Yonne, a design that was drawn by Dr Thomas Harrison Butler in 1931 and is part of a series of designs with particular emphasis on hull balance. Harrison Butler always referred to Yonne as a ‘sports boat’! Sabrina was built in Portsmouth at Clemens Yard in 1935. We are only the fourth set of custodians since then. We entered the Round the Island Race (this year run in association with Cloudy Bay) some 80 years after Sabrina’s
launch, but still in time to get the discount for early entries. The information we supplied about the boat and the dimensions of the sails were used to provide a handicap for Sabrina. We were rated in the Island Sailing Club Handicap, a reasonable formula for general boats outside IRC and one-design fleets. By the day of the race, there were 1,584 entrants. Of these 1,393 boats crossed a start line that stretched from the Royal Yacht Squadron masts at Cowes seemingly right across the Solent. The fleet was in 11 groups, starting every 10 minutes from 0700 until 0840 and heading west towards the Needles. Sabrina was in the last start at 0840, but our race had begun well before that. We had slept on board the night before, which meant I could bimble around doing little chores: checking, tidying and fidgeting and enjoying being together as a family on board. I could have removed a lot of gear but decided not to, however the rules specified we removed the anchor from the bow roller and we took the bag of warp and chain ashore too. We left our mooring on the River Medina just after 7am. On board was the Nutter family – me, my wife Kate and our children Jack and Molly, who were then 12 and 10. As THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 51
we motored out we had bacon sandwiches together in the cockpit. In front of us there was a wonderful sight – hundreds and hundreds of yachts of all sizes going in all directions. Some were making their way towards the start line. You could see the tension in their sails, sheets and crew as they settled into the rhythm of their start. The start times were on a strong ebbing, west-going tide, and on the day there was a reasonable breeze from the west, helping boats beat away from the start line. By 8am we had the sails up and were sailing around in the swirl of yachts, some passing quite close but most keeping a good lookout. Nonetheless, vigilance was important. It was great to feel the pull of the sails and the boat moving easily through the water. Her bottom was really clean for the race ahead. Sabrina was shipshape, the family were happy and excited and the sun was out on a lovely day with a solid Force 3, forecast to build from the WSW. All around we could see boats full of people counting down the time, as we were, to the start. I had decided to start nearer the mainland shore on starboard tack. It seemed slightly favoured and would avoid the short tacking along the island shore that the racier fleets had been forced to do in the earlier starts. The short tacking would have been a real benefit because the ebbing west-going current always starts over there first. But, as we were in the last start, the tidal current was building and spreading across the whole Solent to whoosh us towards the Needles. With less than 10 minutes to go, we could see the bunch of boats that we would be jostling with at our end of the line. Getting the start right comes with practice and I was quite rusty! You also need a fair measure of luck as boats start to speed up and compress towards the line. We crossed on time and clear, but there were boats all around. A bigger yacht next to us was giving us dirty air. Sabrina was sailing with her full cutter rig, but weighing around 5.5 tons (with her anchor ashore), the old girl needed clear air in the Force 3 to keep her zipping through the water. However, in a few minutes, almost shockingly, there was space all around us as boats spread away at different speeds and angles. We would have to tack along the Solent for just over 13nm to round the Needles. There were hundreds of boats in front of us, but our race was keenly focused on the half-a-dozen boats around us. The handicap system meant we should have been of similar speeds and we were already holding our own.
Wind starts to build
As we raced past the wonderful Newtown Creek, the wind started to build to a solid Force 4. Sabrina was heeling under the press of wind on the sails. I tweaked these with a critical eye, hoping to marry the passage of the wind as it passed behind the leeches of the jib and staysail. I had to keep working to not over-trim the mainsail and stall this wind’s already disturbed passage. The rhythm on board was calming down I was settled into the cockpit of my racing machine; Kate was engineering a cup of tea in this heeling world; Jack was nestled below behind a lee cloth, a 52 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
new adventure ahead of him; Molly was letting the wind blow through the hair of her Barbie doll. We were around 90 minutes into the race when the tide swept us past Hurst Castle. The plan here is to short tack along the line of the Shingles bank for the most current until you can judge the time to head towards the Needles lighthouse, then turn towards St Catherine’s Point. Sabrina was going really well, with a good two knots of current pushing us along. We were racing and it felt great to feel the whipped-up spray from the bow wave as Sabrina heeled to the press of wind and shouldered her way through the Solent chop. Her lively nature could be felt in the tiller as she moved from wave to wave and the displaced water came back together leaving a foaming wake. The boats around us were leading our class and all were doing their best, some gaining here and there, some not. But we were with them! We were sailing past the slower boats of the classes that started before us and judgements needed to be made of their competence. One of these, sailing along on port tack, would have had to change direction to avoid us charging along on starboard, but I judged that it was safer to duck behind them and let them continue to bob along.
The wreck at the Needles
There is much written about the SS Varvassi wreck, lying just below the Needles lighthouse. Our pilotage notes – and ambitious gut feeling – allowed us to cut this corner. We passed close to the broken water at the foot of the Needles and waved to the crew on the RNLI lifeboat, on station nearby. This sharp turn meant the wind moved aft. We could hoist and set our big jib on a furler – there had been too much wind to have it aloft for the long beat from the start! With best speed I set the new sail with Kate and kids in the cockpit revelling in the thrill of a level boat and the change of scenery of the majestic chalk cliffs that lead away from the Needles towards Freshwater. Sabrina was being pulled along by nearly 600sq ft of willing Dacron towards St Catherine’s Point, just under 13nm ahead and the halfway point of the race. With the sheets eased away and the big headsail pulling us southeast, our attentions turned to lunch and we sat together in the cockpit enjoying our picnic sandwiches. The fleet by now had spread all around, hundreds of them ahead converging on St Catherine’s Point, but also behind there was the pleasant view of hundreds of boats that had been left in the wake of Sabrina. So far it was a really good day! We had chosen the inshore route towards St Catherine’s, to avoid the last of the ebb tide against us, and made some early gains. Over the next hour or so this evened out, with the boats further out to sea coming back, perhaps in slightly more breeze. By this stage most of the nearby boats were bigger than us, from the classes that started ahead of us, and their longer waterlines were helping them along.
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 53
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St Catherine’s juts out into the Channel and as we sailed in towards it we could see the tide was turning in our favour. The odd weedy, seemingly forgotten fishing pot buoys showed the telltale wake that reinforced the Navionics data on Kate’s iPad. We kept in as much as we dared, enough to see the smiling faces of the many spectators enjoying a great day out, watching the fleet go by. It is a rocky part of the coastline and we were close, but some had been closer. We passed one poor boat hard on its side on a nasty exposed rock, the spinnaker streaming from the masthead, flapping in misery. We were running square before the wind with the big jib poled out to windward. By now, we were over half way round, so technically on our way home. Kate and the kids had done great, but we had some way yet to go.
Passing larger yachts
So far the fleet had been swept up the Solent past Hurst Castle, to then turn hard left round the Needles lighthouse, to reach down the southwest coast of the island to St Catherine’s Point, and then to change course again, to head WNW across Sandown Bay heading for the Bembridge Ledge buoy. Once round this, the fleet makes its way either side of No Man’s Land Fort, back into the Solent for the last leg past Ryde and across Osborne Bay to the finish line back at Cowes. The wind was quite strong as we ran dead before the wind towards Bembridge Ledge and some boats around us were broaching and spearing away off course, others were lying on their side, sails flogging. On board Sabrina, our long jib stick was bending under the pressure as we were pulled forward by the straining sails. I did not feel completely in control, but we were going well. I have to admit, the rounding we made of
Bembridge Ledge buoy was not my best-ever tactical move in a yacht race. It all started several minutes before, when I decided to drop the poled-out big running jib and put up the working sail. Because of the strong wind, I wanted to get this done before the boats around us started converging on the mark while I was still wrestling Dacron on the foredeck. The team was briefed and the sails were changed – so efficiently, in fact, that we ended up wallowing around for several minutes and rounded the mark outside a group of several larger yachts that had caught us up, their crews struggling to manage their unwieldy sails or appreciating the importance of changing course towards the next mark. Instead there were several unnecessary orders shouted to us ‘smaller boats’. We let their unpublishable comments carry on the wind. We cleared our way and settled into a marvellous creaming reach towards No Man’s Land Fort, passing the entrance to Bembridge on the way. It seemed as though Sabrina was eager to pull away from the hiccup of the last rounding and we were sailing with cruising boats far bigger than ourselves. Though it should be said, had they concentrated more on their sails and having a clean bottom instead of smiling at us as we went slowly past them, it could have been a different story. The tide was flowing east and many of the boats on this leg sagged to leeward, even by half a mile, following each other and giving themselves far more distance to sail. We stayed on a straight course, watching for any wind shadows as we closed to the land near Seaview. Ahead of us a bottleneck was forming near the fort, as boats moved into the stronger tide and came on to the wind for the beat back up the Solent. We only draw 4ft 6in, so we stuck to our plan to go inside the fort and skirt the edge of Ryde THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 55
boat from the cockpit, while Jack and Molly giggled and wrestled their way across the coachroof to the new weather side. We zigzagged WNW, picking a route between the stronger adverse currents further out and the dastardly wind shadow nearer in. As well as these pressing considerations, there was the small matter of many, many boats also going this way and beating to the finish. Among them a RIB hove into view, good friends of ours wishing us well and looking forward to seeing us after the race. They appeared impressed that our race was nearly done, but we still had to get through Osborne Bay and past Norris, and then the final little bit to the finish. There were two finish lines and we checked the instructions again to ensure we would not go through the wrong line. We finished at half past five, with an elapsed time of 8hrs 49mins and 3secs. We had raced our little old boat around the Isle of Wight without hitting anything and averaged 6.1kt for over 50nm, and were ready for a drink. On board we were really pleased and happy to be over the finish line! We signed off using our mobile phone, then dropped and tied up the sails before we motored back to our berth in Cowes. Our friends in the RIB were very excited about how early we had finished and on a lovely sunny afternoon they were popping corks by the time we had come alongside and moored up. We had a great time with a glass in hand, recounting little adventures and highlights from around the course – even the odd error was admitted to in the pleasure of the moment. We huddled and laughed together and I felt very fond and proud of Kate, Jack and Molly and relieved that Sabrina had gone well and brought us around safely. The results were being posted on the internet and there was a regular frenzy of mobile phones being held aloft, between drinks, to get reception and receive the news. And when it came through, what news it was! In the Island Sailing Club Handicap, there were 701 entries and Sabrina was placed sixth overall and we had won the Family Trophy. What a day. We raised our glasses again.
sands, which would keep us out of the deeper water with the stronger current and reduce the distance we had to sail. Of course we used our friendly echo sounder in the shallower water – it is highly strung and gets very excited when the depth gets within a metre of the keel! The notorious Ryde sands were there to catch the unwary and as we skirted round the edge I was concerned about grinding to a halt. There were many other boats trying to make a jump on the rest by doing the same. We were still going well and a J105 with her crew all leaning out on the rail couldn’t get past us, sailing in our wake because their keel was too deep to go closer to the bank to clear their wind. The task ahead was made simpler by a line of yachts that had strayed on to the edge and stuck fast, heeled over with sails pushed out and crew sitting on the booms. These became our depth markers as we estimated their size and draft. It was mid-afternoon and we had been racing for seven hours. There was a healthy sea breeze pumping down the Solent and the tide would be against us all the way to the finish. We were on the final leg, but a good two hours of beating lay between us and Cowes. We kept into the island shore, passing close to Ryde pier and tried to keep our tacks neat and tidy to not lose too much speed. Every now and again a tack would go really well – the sheets for the headsails would release and not snag as the sails flapped across the foredeck and I would let the bow steer through the wind without using too much rudder. Sabrina would settle onto the new tack, her headsails cleated with an inch of ease as she got back up to full speed, then tweaked in to allow us to steer as close as we could to the oncoming wind.
Keen to finish
We were keen to finish and sensed we were doing well. Molly and Jack decided to give us an extra edge as they dangled their legs over the weather side, a bit more stability for Sabrina and a comfy viewpoint for them to enjoy watching the boats around us. Kate and I tacked the
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4ft 6in (1.3m) 56 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
Sabrina’s wining team The Island Sailing Club Handicap had 701 entries. Sabrina was placed sixth overall and won the Family Trophy. From left: Craig, Jack, Molly and Kate, with Helena Lucas MBE, Paralympic Gold medallist, centre.
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YEAR AHEAD FOR CLASSIC SAILORS Editor of Classic Boat, Rob Peake, on what he is looking forward to in the classic world in 2018
Early in 2015 I had an email from a film production com-
To add another strand to the story of the Golden Globe
pany requesting images from the 1968 Earls Court Boat
Race 2018, events organised around the French start in
Show. Classic Boat has an extensive archive of images (and
July will include the presence in the UK of four historic
other incredible yachting memorabilia going back some
yachts from the era – Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili and
time) and it turned out we could help. More importantly,
Bernard Moitessier’s Joshua, both of which took part in
the email gave rise to interesting news. It had come from a
the original 1968 race, as well as Alec Rose’s Lively Lady
company making a new film about the Donald Crowhurst
and Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth IV. Suhaili, Lively Lady
story. This, in case you don’t know one of the most incred-
and Gipsy Moth IV are relatively common and much-loved
ible stories in sailing, is the tale of the 1968 Sunday Times
sights in British waters, but Joshua will be new to many
Golden Globe Race, which Robin Knox-Johnston won and
– indeed, many British sailors won’t have known she still
nobody else finished, Crowhurst undertaking a famous
existed. On the French side of the Channel, she’s a national
institution, kept in seaworthy condition by a team of en-
The film is to be called The Mercy after Crowhurst’s
thusiasts who use her to take younsters and newcomers to
oft-quoted final jottings in his logbook on Teignmouth
sea. She’s not the prettiest boat afloat, but the DIY nature
Electron, and stars Colin Firth. There have been gripping
of her assemblage, undertaken by Bernard Moitessier on
books and documentaries about this fascinating and har-
almost no budget, remains. Joshua will be cruising around
rowing story, and I hope a big budget adaptation will treat
the UK over the summer of 2018 and there’ll be chances
the subject with sensitivity. It will be released by
to get aboard. I’ll be one of those queueing up. Details in
StudioCanal on February 9, 2018, in the UK.
Classic Boat nearer the time.
GOLDEN GLOBE RACE 2018
The 1968 Golden Globe Race took such a heavy toll on its
Falmouth Classics regatta was founded in 1987, the same
participants, that one might ask why someone would want
year Classic Boat first hit the shelves, at the start of what is
to go through the experience themselves.
now called ‘the classic revival’. Falmouth’s regular regatta
When a re-run of the solo, non-stop circumnavigation
fleet in some ways mirrors how the classic scene has de-
was proposed, however, to mark the original event’s 50th
veloped in that time – particularly the growth of the pilot
anniversary, places were over-subscribed within weeks.
cutter. Back in the late 1980s, these former working boats,
The new event will recreate some of the atmosphere of
renowned for their seaworthiness, were relatively thin on
the old, insisting on yachts of the era, period navigation
the ground, sailed by the few enthusiasts who could still
software (sextant and dividers) and it bans modern gizmos
remember how to rig a deadeye. Three decades on, at the
apart from a GPS beacon, which will be inaccessible to the
30th anniversary Falmouth Classics regatta held in baking
sailors, but visible to us ashore, following the event.
heat in June 2017, the working boat fleet was a key part
A fascinating array of sailing talent new and old will
of the event, pilot cutters new and old providing a regatta
assemble on the start line in Plymouth in June, including
flavour that you don’t see everywhere.
Jean-Luc van den Heede, aged 72, who has sailed five
The West Country is still, as it was generations ago,
times around the world solo already. Incredibly, but totally
a hotbed of working boat expertise, and among those
in keeping with the original race, the fleet will also number
experts is one Luke Powell, who with wife Joanna has
people who were sailing novices when they signed up.
Colin Firth is Donald
recently teamed up with Brian Pain, the owner of the
How will they fare? It’ll make interesting viewing.
Crowhurst in Studio
Thames Barge Lady of the Lea. After some years of work-
Canal’s The Mercy
ing with the Faversham Creek Trust and shipwright Simon
The race starts from Les Sables d’Olonne on 1 July.
58 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
WORKING BOATS THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 59
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Grillet to develop a boatbuilding training platform, Brian is branching into Cornwall and has formed the Falmouth Pilot Cutter CIC, with Luke and Joanna. Their aim is to resurrect Cornish Maritime Heritage by training a new generation of young people in the art of wooden shipbuilding. They have set up in the Rhoda Mary Heritage Boatyard at Truro and are building a 68ft (20.7m) Falmouth pilot cutter as a community interest project. Over the three-year build, the project will develop as a vocational training platform for maritime skills. The apprentices will not only build the vessel but also maintain and sail her once she is launched. For this project Luke has chosen one of the most famous and long-lived of Falmouth cutters, the Vincent. Built in 1852 for the Vincent family of St Mawes, she had a long career in trade until 1922, before finishing her life as a houseboat at Freshwater, up the Percuil River near St Mawes. Today, some of her fittings, companionway and spars have survived and can be seen incorporated into a local house. The new vessel, a faithful copy of Vincent, will be called Pellew in honour of a local hero, the greatest British frigate captain of the Napoleonic wars. Over the coming year we’ll see her shape up magnificently – and we can also appreciate the development of a fresh group of apprentices, schooled by Cornish mastercraftsmen in a centuries-old trade.
THE UK CLASSIC CIRCUIT
The 2018 season will be the third edition of Hamble Classics, launched by enthusiastic Solent sailor Jonty Sherwill. I sailed at the regatta in 2017 and it’s a wonderful event, with a varied fleet, well-organised racing by an expert team at the Royal Southern Yacht Club on the Hamble River and good after-sail entertainment, including
The UK classic scene provides events for all kinds of vintage yachts, racy and less so, through the summer
LEFT Mayflower II at Mystic Seaport RIGHT Panerai British Classic Week is a highlight of the classic boat summer. Photo Guido Cantini/Panerai
a BBQ at the Elephant Boatyard, which lies on the shores of the river. The launch of the event, however, did more than just put another Solent classic regatta on the map. It created a real UK classic circuit, by putting a full stop at the end of the season (the regatta takes place mid-September). An ambitious season could now see a yacht start its classic summer’s racing at Falmouth Classics or the Suffolk Yacht Harbour Classic Regatta, both mid-June, then there is the choice of making it into the Solent for Panerai British Classic Week, followed directly by Cowes Classics Week, or doing the Channel Classic Regatta (which runs every other year). Then you’ve got the Round the Island Race and Lendy Cowes Week, both with a healthy array of classics taking part, and after a couple of weeks in the office catching up on several thousand emails, it’s time to get afloat again, at Hamble. If you’re an east coaster, then Maldon is more likely to be your season closer, and meanwhile there are scores of other events around the coast, regattas for the racers and rallies for the cruisers, that attract classic boats of all shapes and sizes. A long racing season is not for the faint-hearted. The wear and tear on the boat’s crew and the owner’s pocket is considerable. But it’s heartening to know that the UK classic scene provides events large and small, racy and less so, on every corner of our coast, for gaffers, for yachts, for keelboats, for one-designs. Whatever your classic bent, there is something for you in 2018.
Craning their necks up at a tall, narrow stern in a tent at Mystic Seaport this year have been many groups of visitors viewing the ongoing progress of the major restoration of
THE UK CLASSIC CIRCUIT
MAYFLOWER II THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 61
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the Mayflower II. This is the full-scale reproduction of the tall ship that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620. The boat normally resides on a berth at State Pier on the Plymouth Waterfront, Massachusetts. Until 2019, she will be at Mystic Seaport, receiving a full restoration ahead of Plymouth’s 400th commemoration of the Pilgrims’ arrival on New England’s shores. Her launch will mark the end of a heavy duty project, but meanwhile the team needs some money to do it! The project is estimated at $12million and $9million has been committed. This includes everything from the cost of materials such as wood, sails and rigging, to the establishment of a maintenance reserve fund for the ship. Visit SaveMayflower.org
Once, at some blurry hour of the morning in a bar overlooking Saint-Tropez quay, I saw a bagpiper climb onto a mantlepiece, give a deafening rendition of something stirring and then leap off, crowd-surfing his way to the door, while still playing. This is entirely unremarkable behaviour at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, the Med’s end-of-season regatta for classics and, somewhat strangely, a fleet of cutting edge Wally yachts. The mix on the water of wood and carbon, bronze and blacked-out glass, makes for an unforgettable spectacle. Back ashore for the evening, the party begins again. It’s a must-see regatta.
In October yachts of 100 years or more race at Saint-Tropez; in April the annual Centenarian of the Year trophy is presented at the Classic Boat Awards, both events backed by the Gstaad Yacht Club
In the midst of it, though, takes place one of the classic scene’s most wonderful events. The Centenary Trophy is organised by the Gstaad Yacht Club and is, as the name suggests, for boats in their second century. The entry list is magnificent, Victorian raters going up against early Universal Rule race yachts, an exhibition of early leisure boat design that is worth the cost of your journey to Saint-Tropez alone. The fleet starts in a staggered format, the slowest first, with the idea that they will come together at the finish. Winds in the famous gulf being as fickle as they are, a close bunch finish rarely happens, but who cares when you’ve got a restored P-Class crossing tacks with a boat that took part in the first modern Olympics? It’s a truly classic spectacle. lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr
CLASSIC BOAT AWARDS
Forgive me for talking momentarily about the Classic Boat Awards, which we run annually on a public-vote basis, with votes being cast in their thousands from around the world. There are many other marine awards ceremonies, but not one that recognises professional and amateur restorations of all kinds of old boats. The Classic Boat Awards has categories for newly built modern classics, the so-called Spirit of Tradition class, and also for new builds done in a traditional way, such as a newly built pilot cutter. We also have a category for THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 63
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‘Yachtsman of the Year’ – and it’s hard to pick your winner. Last year we teamed up with the Gstaad Yacht Club to form a new award, for Centenarian of the Year, for any 100-year-old boat that has done something remarkable that year. What I love about the Awards is that all manner of boats win. Those coming to the podium to collect their trophies are not all professional shipwrights. Far from it, some are amateur woodworkers who have completed amazing jobs in their back gardens. The public vote ensures that these people get the recognition they deserve. We publish the shortlist of boats you can vote for in our February issue and you can also see it online at our website classicboat. co.uk. I’d be delighted if you had a look at felt inclined to cast a vote – there is a sawdust-covered shipwright out there now who deserves your support!
TRADING UNDER SAIL AGAIN
It was the summer of 1941 and in the Thames estuary, a steel sailing barge was making her way to London. She was Blue Mermaid, the last Thames sailing barge ever built, with the only people aboard her skipper, Percy Bird, who was looking forward to getting home to his wife and family, and his 18-year-old mate George Lucas. Their hazardous duty was to continue the distribution around the coast of essential wartime supplies. The bargemen were unaware of the six-foot long magnetic mine, charged with 1,000lbs of high explosive which, dropped from one of Goering’s Heinkel bombers several nights before, had swayed down on a green parachute and plopped gently into the West Swin. As the 11-year-old steel hull of Blue Mermaid approached, the mine was unleashed from its sea-bed anchor. Today, the names of Percy and George are cast in bronze on a memorial to Merchant Seamen lost in two World Wars, which stands on London’s Tower Hill. Seventy-five years after their death, Percy’s grandsons Russell Bird, 67, from Saxmundham, Suffolk, and Barry
ABOVE J-Class yachts racing under Newport Bridge RIGHT Blue Mermaid
TRADING UNDER SAIL AGAIN
GOING GOING G O N E...
There are few things more exciting than an auction, particularly a marine auction, and in November I was on the edge of my seat as I watched one of Charles Miller Ltd’s twice-yearly marine sales – and I just about managed to keep my hands in my pockets. The brochure had whetted my apetite. On the day, with Charles Miller himself holding the gavel, the atmosphere was taut, efficient and entertaining in equal measure. A builder’s half model for the Camper & Nicholson schooner Moonstone, carved in 1879? It sold for £2,280 – out of my budget alas. Then there was the Admiralty sheer draught profile plan for the 74-gun ‘Armada’ class ship Barham from 1806. How I would have explained that to my wife, I don’t know. Equally tough to ignore was the 12-volume set of John Marshall’s naval biography from 1823. I had the perfect place for this on a shelf at home. Next came a sextant probably used on Cook’s second voyage. Then a malacca walking stick presented to a naval officer on HMS Terrible in 1902. But I managed to keep my arm in the safe position – down, not up. If you’re into boats and fascinating boaty stuff, a morning at Charles Miller should be in your diary. Sales take place each spring and autumn. See you there.
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 65
YACHTING HERITAGE CENTRE
MYNLE BOOK Bird, 64, from Gloucestershire, were among those watching as the champagne smashed on the stem of a replica Blue Mermaid, built and launched in Polruan, Cornwall. The new barge will be rigged this year and will begin operation under the auspices of the Sea-Change Sailing Trust as the first working Thames sailing barge to be built since 1930. She will be crewed by disadvantaged and socially excluded youngsters interested in learning traditional seamanship for a career afloat. Hilary Halajko, chair of the trustees of the Sea-Change Sailing Trust, said: “Percy Bird and George Lucas left us a legacy and we are hopefully going to learn their skills, to celebrate the memory of those two brave men.”
LEFT Mylne cufflinks and book to come RIGHT Robbe & Berking’s new Yachting Heritage Centre in Germany
One of the most enjoyable nautical books to be published in recent years is a collection of the drawings of Alfred Mylne. The book was published by Amberley and put together by Ian Nicolson, who worked with the great designer for many years. Ian’s pithy notes accompanying each reproduction of Mylne’s lines plans, each a veritable work of art, come highly recommended. If you enjoyed it, then 2018 is set to bring something else, as a group of Mylne scholars, among them Classic Boat’s yachting historian Clare McComb, have been busy putting together a lavish history of his work. Mylne was one of the great designers when yacht design was at its peak. His contemporaries were Fife, Nicholson, Stephens and other great names against whom he had to compete for work. Many of his designs are still afloat today and the book is bound to be a dead cert for any lover of yachting history and the quintessential era in yacht design. You can pre-order the book, by way of purchasing some rather smart Mylne cufflinks. mylne.com
If you haven’t already, take a look top right on p65. It was taken last summer by top yachting photographer Ingrid Abery at one of the biggest ever gatherings of J-Class yachts in the class’ 80-year history. The J-Class fleet in full flight beneath Newport Harbour Bridge – hell of a sight. Created by the Universal Rule at the start of the last century, the J-Class’ big moment was during the 1930s, when these mammoth yachts competed for the America’s Cup. The greatest naval architecture brains in north America and Europe came up with 20 different J-Class designs. Ten were built (and a few other yachts converted to the class), before World War Two and a reality check on how much the big beasts cost caused their fall from grace. They languished in relative obscurity until the class – and the entire classic boat movement – was invigorated by one of the greatest restorations ever undertaken – Elizabeth Meyer’s rescue of the J-Class Endeavour in the 1980s. This astonishing project brought back to life one of the Js that competed for the America’s Cup in 1934. Other J-Class projects followed and today no less than ten Js exist, most of them new builds in the last 15 years. As per class rules, all of the yachts racing are original J-Class designs, but they are allowed to utilise the most advanced boat building and equipment technology available. The teams of pro sailors on board race as aggressively as if they were on a TP52 yacht. Many Js, for instance, now use North Sails’ 3Di RAW, billed as the lightest, highest performance sail on the market and hardly classic. The extraordinary rise and rise of the class came to a peak in 2017 with two events. First, in June we enjoyed the inclusion in the America’s Cup of a dedicated J-Class 66 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
regatta, the biggest ever gathering of Js, nine in all. Two months later the J fleet had moved up the coast to Newport, in many ways the class’ spiritual home, since the America’s Cup was raced from Newport for so many years. To see the Js racing en masse under Newport harbour bridge in 2017 was a moment in yachting history. And there’s no reason to suggest things won’t carry on in the same vein. 2018 will see more spectacular regattas, more great stories from the race course and it could well see the build of an addition to the fleet.
YACHTING HERITAGE CENTRE
The rise of the J-Class continues and we may see more additions to the fleet
Where do you go to research yachting history? There are places in the USA, notably MIT, and there are smaller archives dotted around, but now Europe has something major for itself. The new Yachting Heritage Centre in Flensburg has been built by family company Robbe & Berking, at whose helm sits Oliver Berking, a serious classic boat enthusiast. Mr Berking’s day job is running the family silversmiths, but luckily for us, he has meanwhile founded a classic yacht boatyard, he puts on the biggest dedicated Metre yacht regatta in the world and through a sustained input over decades, his corner of the Baltic, Flensburg, has become a byword for classic boating in all its guises – big boats, small boats, cruising yachts, racing yachts.
The end result will be one of the largest, single-masted modern classic wood yachts ever built in the UK
HISTORIC UK SUPERYACHT
Talk of Panerai British Classic Week 2017 was a new yacht from Spirit, a 52D, which was not your average modern classic. It had something of a Metre boat, it had something of a NY40. If one can be so crude, in terms of pure yachting pornography, judging by the legions of onlookers lining the pontoons, it ranked highly. Spirit’s founder Sean McMillan said at the time: “The design harks back in many ways to the glory days of the ‘metre boats’ of the 1930s with flush decks, slim, easily driven lines and supremely elegant overhangs.” However, in the true spirit of a modern classic, this was as tricked out for racing as it possibly could be. There was the Spirit standard carbon rig (although in ultra-high modulus for this yacht), but so much else had been engineered in carbon as well, from the keel blade and rudder, to the winches and a host of fittings, large and
The curvaceous deck layout and interior of the forthcoming Spirit 111
small, which would normally be in stainless steel – all done to keep weight to almost 2 tons less than Spirit’s previous 52, owned by McMillan himself. While those on the Cowes pontoons admired the lines, what they could not see was the magic down below. McMillan again: “There is a glorious moment in the build of any wooden yacht when the finished hull is rolled over but the interior is not yet fitted. At this stage, the purity of the core structure of the boat is seen for the first, but regrettably the last time, as the interior starts to break up the space. I have thought more times than I can remember that it would be wonderful to build a yacht with no interior so the beauty of the hull can be appreciated and celebrated in its own right. “You can imagine our enthusiasm when we were commissioned by an internationally known and highly respected racing yachtsman to build a Spirit 52 as a totally maxed-out race boat – without carrying the weight of any interior!” The new boat, called Oui Fling, was eventually second overall in the competitive British Classic Yacht Club fleet. Oui Fling was an interesting launch for Spirit because the previous year they had taken a new path into the cruising world, with the manufacture of the Spirit CR47. This has gone to a US owner and now forms part of a growing fleet of Spirits on the New England coast. Meanwhile, this thriving Ipswich company, which in many ways has been the standard bearer for the Spirit of Tradition movement, is at work on something rather larger. The Spirit 111 will be a 34m sloop and the largest build from Spirit to date. It sees McMillan and Spirit’s dynamic MD Nigel Sharp embrace a partnership with yacht design agency Rhoades Young, who will take care of the interior of the huge yacht. Perhaps as a sign that Spirit is really a player in the superyacht scene, the owner’s representative is the mighty Jens Cornelsen, of Cornelsen & Partner, who has overseen various J-Class projects, among many others. McMillan said: “The end result will be one of the largest, single-masted modern classic wooden yachts ever built in the UK.”
MODERN CLASSIC THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 67
RHOADES YOUNG/SPIRIT YACHTS
Now he has gone one further, by opening the heritage centre. It’s a lavish affair, with plenty for the serious researcher to get their teeth into, but also regular exhibitions and other events, including things for schoolchildren. Two more buildings, opened late last year, include an office for the Baum & König classic yacht brokerage (also owned by Robbe & Berking) and also other associated marine companies. The centre’s first exhibition was a taste of things to come. ‘Royal Yachting’ displayed the passion of European royalty for sailing from the 19th century onwards and featured exhibits on loan from nearly all of Europe’s royal houses and many royal yacht clubs, in a 1,500m² space. “We plan to do three to four exhibitions per year,” said Oliver Berking. “Apart from the many maritime items, we will also always show classic cars, create a Hall of Fame for the great men and women of yachting history and run a small but special museum shop.” If you needed any more reason to book your ticket to Flensburg in 2018, the site also has an Italian restaurant, which needless to say comes highly recommended.
NOTE A modern pilot cutter, an ocean racer, a family cruiser and more. The boats set to make waves in 2018 are are a diverse bunch
SELECTED BY THE EDITORS OF CLASSIC BOAT, SAILING TODAY AND YACHTS & YACHTING
Spirit Yachts in Ipswich has now built 66 boats, but founder Sean McMillan says perhaps the latest, a newly designed 52D called Oui Fling, best captures the idea of a ‘modern classic’. The boat was the star of the show at Panerai British Classic Week in July 2017, where her racy lines and bare deck attracted onlookers aplenty. McMillan says: “The inspiration has been the heritage of long, low, easily driven, beautiful boats. But we’re not slaves to the long keel. With fin and bulb and a spade rudder, you can get a perfectly balanced boat. When you combine that with a superlight construction it is a pretty seductive combination.”
68 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
The Hanse 588 features the trademark plumb bow and stern combined with a soft turn of the bilges and high freeboard with lots of internal volume. In common with the rest of the Hanse range, she features a powerful sail area with the standard self-tacking jib and the option of a second forestay for a reaching sail. She comes with three different basic layout options. One of the standout features is what Hanse terms the ‘silent master cabin concept’ with lots of extra sound insulation to keep things quiet.
ENDEAVOUR The concept behind the ICE 60 is stylish cruising at speed. This
Lake Constance Pilot Cutter A pilot cutter on Lake Constance (which has no history of pilot cutters), a boat with traditional looks and gaff rig, but with a
new Felci design definitely errs toward the racier end of the
hydraulic lifting bulb keel – this new creation by Swiss boat
cruiser spectrum and as an example of her performance cre-
builder Stefan Züst in Altnau is bound to have the purists and
dentials, hull and deck lamination is a hybrid carbon-glass fibre.
the traditionalists up in arms, but those who enjoy a handsome
The upshot is a yacht that her manufacturers claim will cruise
day sailer, fast enough to overtake many modern yachts, should
without fuss at 10 knots. Her rig is simple and easy to control,
look no further. With modern blocks and lines, she is an unusual
featuring no runners and a self-tacking jib. Down below, she is
mix of up-to-date and vintage, but she has been designed to
stylish and exceptionally roomy with the option of either three
be sailed single-handed on inland waters or as a family at sea,
or four cabins.
where her mini-sprayhood will come in handy.
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 69
The Dehler 34 strikes a balance between comfort below and sleek performance, lending herself equally well to fast family cruising or Cowes Week glory. The new Judel/Vrolijk-designed hull is lighter and faster than ever, with a larger sail area. The boat comes in a cruising or a competition style, giving you the option of a German mainsheet, bathing platform or open transom, wheel or tiller, and T- or L-shaped bulb keel. Below, she has Dehler’s trademark curving-lid lockers. There is the choice of mahogany, teak or cherry for the cabinetry, and a range of fabric and paint colours and finishes.
From £108,500 inspirationmarine.co.uk
Bristol 32 The mythology of the Dunkirk Little Ships still looms large, 77
years after they played their decisive role in the events of World
Designed by Bruce Farr and Ken Freivokh, this new top-quality
sergeant called Reg, who later made a sketch of the yacht that
Swedish cruiser is offered in aft and centre-cockpit versions. The
had come to his rescue. Decades later, Reg’s grandson com-
former sports a large cockpit with twin helms and an interior
missioned the build of that very boat, designed by Andrew
featuring three large cabins. The CC model has a well-protected
Wolstenholme and built by Star Yachts in Bristol in strip-plank
cockpit located close to the centre of gravity and is especially
cedar, epoxy sheathed, with varnished trim and scrubbed teak
designed for long-distance bluewater cruising. Aft is a large sun-
decks. Twin engines give manouevrability and a top speed of
bathing deck and a wide bathing platform. From £272,135
more than 20 knots.
70 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
War II. One of the men saved on the beaches of Dunkirk was a
Designed by Michele Petrucci and built in Italy, the new S1R singlehanded catamaran shares both its design pedigree and build factory with the S9 foiling cat – currently selling like hotcakes throughout Europe – not to mention many of the same features. You would be mistaken, however, to consider this merely a de-tuned or soft version of the S9 – as we did ahead of testing on Rutland Water. In fact, it is better to think of this as a shorter A-Class cat, though with the addition of a 14.5sq m spinnaker or screecher downwind. This is a top spec racer, with everything in carbon.
Marlin Heritage 23
Designers of the nine new Imoca60s to take part in the last
Cape Cod Shipbuilding Co’s Marlin Heritage 23 is a boat steeped
Vendée Globe (which finished at the start of 2017), VPLP have
in a century of American maritime history. It is a modernday
announced plans to build an off-the-shelf Imoca60 for the next
adaptation of the Herreshoff Fish class and its cruising sister
Vendée. VPLP were commissioned by teams on an individual or
model, the Marlin. The tweaked design was the brainchild of
small group basis as the solo round-the-world racers fought to
EL Goodwin, who purchased many of Nat Herreshoff ’s designs
find a design edge. Race skippers have traditionally been faced
smaller than 50ft, along with the building moulds, patterns and
with the choice of purchasing a new boat for eye-watering sums
jigs that went with them when the Herreshoff Manufacturing
or picking up a proven secondhand boat. Now VPLP will be
Company closed its doors. Goodwin’s Cape Cod Shipbuilding
manufacturing copies of the winning Banque Populaire design
built many of them from the 1950s onwards. Now the company
available at significantly less than a bespoke boat.
has adapted the design further, for modern day cruising sailors.
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 71
Fairlie 55 Fairlie Restorations, known for some of the most stunning classic yacht restorations, including The Lady Anne, Mariquita, Moonbeam
of Fife and Hispania, became Fairlie Yachts when it began to focus more on building modern classic yachts. The 55 comes with a fin and bulb keel and modern dishy racing hull, though she carries some 17ft (5m) of overhangs with elegant tapering ends, she is as good looking a Spirit of Tradition boat as youâ€™ll find. The swept 12mm plain teak covering boards are joggled into the unvarnished king plank in a homage to tradition; teak also feels great underfoot. Meanwhile the 55 has North-built Dacron sails.
Fareast 19R Jeanneau 51
Following the success of their three previous designs, the
Designed by Philippe Briand and built with bluewater cruising
have launched the Fareast 19R. The new boat is smaller than
firmly in mind, the 51 can be semi-customised to suit the needs of the owner with such additions as a store or workshop/technical area instead of the second aft cabin. Sail controls are led aft to the twin wheels and sail handling is simple. Below, the level of comfort rivals some much more expensive yachts and the amount of natural light and living space is hard to better on a 14m waterline.
From ÂŁ425,000 jeanneau.com
72 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
Fareast 23R, 28R and the 31R, Shanghai-based Fareast Boats their previous offerings and is pitched more towards the entry-level keelboat for clubs, sailing schools market. Fitted with the typical Fareast reverse bow and wide transom, the 19R is designed to be sailed by three people, but the company says can also be sailed by two bigger or four smaller sailors. She has no backstay, and her modern single spreader rig allows for a square-top mainsail and big fore triangle, but without runner lines she should be handled easily through manoeuvers.
$19,800 ex VAT fareastboats.com
Duchy 21 The Spirit of Tradition is strong in motorboats and this
handsome craft from Cockwells in Falmouth is the Duchy 21
Oyster’s latest ‘entry-level’ G6 cruiser has luxury and perfor-
picnic launch, its origin an old Cornish harbour launch. The
mance in equal measures. Following the latest G6 generation
Cockwells team took the lines of that boat and recreated them
hull shape developed with Humphreys Yacht Design, the Oyster
faithfully in GRP, giving a seaworthy, load-carrying hull of 21ft
565 is intended for family cruising without the need for a pro-
(6.4m) in length, 7ft 6in (2.3m) in beam and around one tonne
fessional crew. The 565 has more stowage, larger berths and
in weight. Boats of the early 20th century had to move without
more headroom than ever before. She can be configured with
the benefit of powerful modern diesels – either under oar, or
numerous different interior layouts, including a fourth cabin. The
perhaps with something like a 4hp Stuart Turner. The first boat
owner’s suite can also be located forward to leave room for a
had a 20hp diesel but further models will have electric motors
transom garage aft. Sloop-rigged, she has a bowsprit for Code-
or 14hp diesels, which should be plenty to push her to her
0 and gennaker sails, and twin rudders for improved handling
maximum of 8 knots and an easy cruising speed of 6 knots.
Price from £30,000+VAT cockwells.co.uk
from £1.25m oysteryachts .com
Kraken Yachts is a Hong Kong-based yard that is working on
Anyone from Norway, and many from Sweden, will instantly
producing yachts that are specifically built for bluewater cruis-
recognize the Petterssen design DNA in this river cruiser, with
ing and are not afraid to buck modern styling trends to achieve
its loud echoes of his iconic 1930s and 40s designs. With its
the right hull shape for the job. The Kraken 50 features a skeg-
wooden-framed windshield, stepped sheer and the all-important
hung rudder, a relatively narrow, easily driven hull, a keel with a
full-width foredeck with sidedecks leading aft to the cockpit, it
huge chord width and lead ballast to ensure excellent integral
has clearly hit the right design note, with 80 already sold, a 31 in
stability. The yacht is designed with ‘couples sailing’ in mind and
build, and a 22 in design. They are built in Holland in GRP. She’s
all controls are led aft to the cockpit. The accommodation is
ideal for weekend boating, with the all-important heads, a small
practical yet luxurious.
galley, a double berth that converts to a dinette, storage and a very large cockpit with a folding hood.
From £567,000 krakenyachts.com
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 73
74 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
WATERCOLOURS SUE PEAKE
SAILCHELLES We all know itâ€™s a holiday paradise, but what is the Seychelles like for the cruising sailor? WORDS EMMA BAMFORD THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 75
love Greece. I totally understand the appeal of the blue waters, the fresh food and the easy line-of-sight sailing from one little taverna quay to the next. Equally, I love the Caribbean: the vibrant culture, the heat, the stunning beaches. But sailing holidays can get a bit samey – Med in the summer; Caribbean in the winter. What do you do if you want to go away in the shoulder season? Or if you just fancy mixing it up a bit? Well, if it’s a friendly welcome you’re after with gorgeous waters, empty beaches, fresh seafood and no-stress island hopping, you could give the Seychelles a whirl. The Seychelles is a group of 115 islands and coral atolls 500nm-1,000nm east of Kenya and Tanzania, in the Indian Ocean. They are divided into two broad groups, the Inner Islands, characterised by towering granite peaks, and the low-lying coralline Outer Islands. The Outer Islands are largely off the agenda for charterers (Sunsail for example has a 60nm from Mahé rule, so that its boats are always within four hours of mechanical or medical aid if needed, and a Seychelles ban on charter yachts visiting the islands was due to be lifted in 2017), but own-boat cruisers who are still happy to sail the Indian Ocean can visit. With only small fishing settlements and copra farms, expect nothing in the way of facilities, though, not even water – so you’ll need a watermaker on board. I was invited by Sunsail to spend a few days exploring the Inner Islands, which have more than enough to keep you busy on a two-week charter holiday. We picked up our boat, Dou Reve IV – a new Sunsail 404 40ft (12.2m) catamaran, which had four generous double cabins, two in each hull, with a shower and heads in between, and a lot of outdoor lounging space – from Eden Island Marina. This is a superyacht-grade facility with services including fuel, chandlers, ATM and supermarkets, set under the impressive towering topography of the island. I didn’t know it at the time but Tracy Edwards’ Maiden was there, waiting for the British yachtswoman to bring her back to the UK. (See sailingtoday.co.uk for the latest on this story).
FACING PAGE Wildlife is abundant on the shore including the giant tortoises of Curieuse; local markets are a highlight; Emma enjoys some of the most spectacular beaches in the Indian Ocean
Being so close to the equator, the islands are always warm but have a monsoon climate. The SE monsoon runs from late April/early May to October and the North monsoon in the other months. I went in late November and there was very little wind, as the seasons were in transition. Of the four days, it rained hard for a few hours in one afternoon, we had one mixed day and then over lunchtime on
Robertson and Caine Sunsail 404 Dou Reve IV LOA: 32ft 8in (10.0m) LWL: 30ft 0in (9.2m)
Beam: 10ft 11in (3.3m) Draught: 4ft 9in (1.5m)
Baie Beau Vallon Mahé
Sail area: 51.5m2 (554sq ft) Engine: 21hp
76 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
another day. I wasn’t plagued by mosquitoes. After a taxi tour of some of the island’s sights, our skipper Jeremy Bossy, a Seychellois, collected us from Port Launay beach and we motored for about an hour to Baie Beau Vallon (004° 36.5’S, 055° 25.6’E) and anchored in 5.6m, with 8kt coming from the east, off the island, and with only two other catamarans and a monohull for company. We tendered to shore and stopped off at Didier’s fish shack, just behind the beach, for a takeaway dinner, Mahé style: charcoal-grilled red emperor fish with spicy yellow Creole sauce, rice and salad for 150 SR (Seychellois rupees, about £9). Restaurants in the Seychelles rightly make a point of showcasing the local seafood, with smoked fish a speciality. The next morning, we motored for three-and-a-half hours in light beam-on winds from the SE and flat seas, heading NE to Praslin (pronounce Pra-lan, with a French roll on the r), the second largest of the Inner Islands. From leaving Mahé we could see Praslin in the distance, with the smaller Cousin Island, a bird sanctuary, in front of it. We were accompanied by flying fish shooting out of the water ahead of us and by dolphins playing 100m off our beam. Tropic birds bobbed on the deep turquoise water, their distinctive and elegant tails raised in the air, and frigates wheeled overhead. We anchored in 6m at Anse Lazio (004° 17.6’S, 055° 41.9’E) and were immediately visited by a pod of cartoonlike batfish which hung around the stern, accepting like ducks pieces of bread from our fingers. We snorkelled to the beach, passing rays and blue damsel, angel, soldier and needle fish. Juvenile lemon sharks nosed about in the shallow breakers. Ashore, the beach was backed with verdant jungle and to reach the sand we had to swim between large pink granite boulders that looked out of place, like they had been strewn about by giants. Smoothed by the sea, they give the place striking character. Praslin is famous for its Coco de Mer palms, the giant seeds of which weigh up to 20kg (44lb) and are like a giant double coconut fused to resemble a woman’s derriere. The only two places where they grow naturally in the world are Praslin and neighbouring island Curieuse. At the UNESCO world heritage site of the Vallée de Mai, a primeval rainforest park, we strolled in the shadow of 6,000 giant palms, some of which were 30m tall and hundreds of years old. The park is also the only habitat of the endangered black parrot.
From Anse Lazio it was just a half-mile motor to neighbouring Curieuse, a small island managed as a bio-reserve by the Marine Parks Authority. It was a leper colony for 136 years, which meant that human influence was kept to a minimum, so the endemic species are largely untouched. We spent a happy hour hand-feeding giant tortoises here. In just over one square mile of land on Curieuse there are 150 tortoises. They are aged by the size of their shell and the oldest one here is estimated to be 115. You must pay a 200RS (£12) landing fee to visit Curieuse and can anchor at Baie la Raie in NW winds (004° 17.2’S, 55° 44.0’E) or just off the Doctor’s house at Anse St Jose (004° 17.5’S, 55° 43.3’E) but there is an
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 77
SEYCHELLES TOURISM; EMMA BAMFORD
additional 250SR overnight anchoring fee, which includes use of a barbecue area by the tortoise sanctuary, behind the beach. The winds were wrong for us to stay at Curieuse so we motored back to Praslin. I cannot supply the co-ordinates of our overnight stop as the clearance over the bar and reef was only 30cm under the keel and you need local knowledge but alternatives are Anse Petit Cour (004° 18.4’S, 55° 43.9E) or Anse Volbert (004° 18.5’S, 55° 44.7’E). We set off early the next morning, again in winds too light to sail (3kt true), for the island of La Digue, where we anchored in front of the small port (004° 20.6’S, 55° 49.6’E), with seven or eight other boats. La Digue has a bit more of a hippyish vibe than the other islands, and a population of just 3,000. It’s quite basic, with most people preferring bicycles over cars. Roads, where there are any, are rippled poured concrete reaching up into the hills. Watch out for slow-moving tortoises!
beach scene on a
trip ashore at Mare
Wind Two opposing trade winds generally govern the
weather pattern: the north-westerly trades blow from Octo-
ABOVE A perfect
ber to March when wind speeds average from 8 to 12 knots (the Seychelles Sailing Cup, an international sailing event, is held in January); and the brisker south-easterly trades blow from May to September with winds of between 10 to 20 knots, bringing the cooler and windier conditions ideal for sailing. The periods of calm between the trades produce fairly warm and wind-free conditions throughout April and also in October. Conditions for swimming, snorkelling and especially diving are superb during April/May and October/ November when the water temperature sometimes reaches 29ºC and visibility is often 30 metres plus. Tidal range 1.7m neap tides to 2.4m spring tides. Port Launay on Mahé is the only place in Inner Islands where you can anchor in any wind direction. The alternative is Baie Sainte Anne, Praslin, where it will take you only 30
The highlight of this island is L’Union, a beach and plantation where, after paying a 100SR entrance fee (£6) we learned how coconut is farmed and the oil extracted. But the real draw of this place is the access to the beaches, which are freckled with more of those impressive granite boulders, softened and shaped by wind, wave and time into impressive alien shapes. They dot the beach here like punctuation marks, creating tiny little private beaches walled off from the eyes of passers-by. There was even a wedding taking place on the sand behind one of these natural rooms. Our final morning in the Seychelles we woke to a bit of wind and, halfway through the five-hour cruise back to Mahé, it was enough to unfurl the sails and turn off the engine. And no sooner had we done that than a bonito bit onto the line we’d been trawling for the past few days. A few minutes later we had another bite, then another, then another: four decent-sized fish, all within the space of an hour. No matter where you go, as a sailor you’re always at the mercy of the wind gods. Luckily there is plenty to keep you occupied – beautiful beaches, uncrowded anchorages and clear waters with plenty of sea life to keep you entertained. Add gentle winds, dolphins off the bow and supper being plucked straight out of the turquoise ocean; cruising doesn’t get much better. 78 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
mins to get from one side to the other if the winds change. Admiralty charts for the area date from 1980, and there is coral growth and land reclamation projects, so sail by day. As well as Eden Island, there is Praslin marina at Baie st Anne, with room for 15/16 boats. You can fill up with water at the marina for 200SR or at the jetty for 250SR. Restaurants: Bravo! Eden Island marina, Mahé; Bonbon Plume, Anse; Lazio, Praslin; Fish Trap, La Pass, La Digue About the author Emma Bamford, formerly deputy editor of Sailing Today, has cruised from Borneo to Beaulieu and has written two books about her adventures, Casting Off and Untie the Lines.
(their fish tartare in passion fruit marinade was spectacular). Jardin du Roi, Mahé. Charters in the Seychelles with Sunsail start from £4,221 a week on a Sunsail 404 Premier Yacht, including yacht damage waiver and fuel. A skipper is £128 a day. Flights from the UK via Dubai with Emirates emirates.com Tourist information: seychelles.travel Other charter companies include: Dream Yacht Charter dreamyachtcharter.co.uk Seafarer seafarersailing.co.uk If arriving by your own boat, Victoria is the port of entry. Radio your boat’s registration number to Eden Island Marina. It will give you a position to anchor, off the Victoria jetty. Immigration will visit you. The Seychelles are visa-free. You are given one month’s stay on arrival but you can extend to three months for free. You can pay to extend further. Holding tanks are a must until you are more than 12nm offshore.
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10 Restorations that We look back at some of the projects that have defined the classic scene over the past 30 years STORY STEFFAN MEYRIC HUGHES
changed the world
80 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
riting a list of this nature is a risk-laden enterprise. Note the title – nowhere does it contain the words ‘the’ or ‘best’. Many of the boats in this list would, as it happens, count as among the best, but that’s not the point. The finding of an old woody and fixing it up – that is, after all, what we’re talking about here – must be judged on more than just the quality of the material restoration. Any project like this is a re-kindling of history, so while physical aspects like frame spacing, deck material and screwhead patterns are important, so are the rhyme and reason of doing it in the first place. There are any number of great chequebook restorations out there in the world – out with old planks and in with the new – and then you find them for sale a few months after. Nothing wrong with that – our industry thrives on it. But to make this list takes more, as you will see over the next few pages. These are boats that created movements and changed lives. In some way, all the boats here really do live up to the rather grandiose title: without further ado, these are our 10 restorations that have changed the world.
ALTAIR It’s amazing to think that a restoration carried out in 1987 can still be considered the torch bearer for good practice today, but the fact is that Altair remains one of the most revered restorations – one of the most revered yachts – in the world today. The attention to originality or, failing that, authenticity was unswerving, under the careful – sometimes obsessive – eye of Swiss Ferrari collector Albert Obrist. With very few careful owners over her life, the 108ft (33m) Fife III schooner, built in 1931, was the perfect candidate from the era of ‘low-hanging fruit’ and to this day, she retains remarkable originality, particularly in her interior, an area often considered secondary in yacht restoration – although thankfully, there are signs that this is beginning to change. The hull was restored at Southampton Yacht Services, which went on to restore a string of big classics. The restoration, overseen by Paul Goss, also led to the foundation of Fairlie Restorations, which went on to restore more big yachts than anyone.
For two glorious summers before WW1, the
But one, Mariquita, came to lie in the
She was found in 1987 by Albert Obrist
four new boats of the 19-M class – Mariquita
Suffolk mud for 60 years. Three days before
(Altair, left), who had the wherewithal and
(1911) and Corona (both Fife), Octavia
war swept the globe for a second time in 1939,
vision to procure, salvage her, and bring the
(Mylne) and Norada (C&N) – dazzled British
she was sold to Arthur Hempstead who owned
boat to Fairlie Restorations on the Hamble
sailors. These big – c95ft (29m) – elegant
houseboats in West Mersea, Essex. Her 96ft
in 1991, to be stored for a full restoration.
cutters were cheered by spectators ashore
6in (29.4m) Oregon pine mast was sawn off
as their captains and crews fought for line
and she was floated to a mud berth, lead
of 2004, she was re-launched. Today, she is
honours and big prize money. Then, as soon
removed and bottom tarred. She suffered a
probably the most photographed classic
as they had arrived, they were gone,
very long fall from grace, spending most of
yacht in the world and one of a very
“subsumed into handicap racing and eventual
the 20th century as a houseboat at
glamorous fleet of similar ‘houseboats’,
obscurity” as John Leather put it.
Tollesbury and later Pin Mill.
which includes Merry Maid and Hispania.
Work began in 2001 and in the summer
ENDEAVOUR It’s hard to gauge the importance of restoring Endeavour, the J-Class
up with Gary Jobson, Ted Turner and Buddy Melges to make it happen.
sloop designed by Charles Nicholson and launched in 1934 for British
The spectator fleet at the first regatta in Newport RI was as large or
aviation entrepreneur Thomas Sopwith to mount a challenge to win the
larger than the AC spectator fleets, according to Jobson and Turner.
America’s Cup. Her 1989 restoration from rusting hulk re-ignited the J
One fan who came alongside in a Riva was Donald Trump, “whining
Class – and look how well that’s going these days. The woman behind
to come aboard. Donald, Ivana and ‘young Donnie’ all toured the boat
it, Elizabeth Meyer, also went on to restore Shamrock V, built in 1930
with me”. When Endeavour returned to land after racing, the crush of
for the tireless British optimist Sir Thomas Lipton. The two boats racing
72 Bella Mente people wanting a taste of the J magic was such that the Maxi pontoon broke
together really got pulses racing: “We held a series of regattas in 1989
starts the haul-out apart and sank. Whatever you think of them, the Js have forever
and 1990 that were heavily televised in the US and got a lot of
process epitomised the pinnacle of glamour in yacht sailing since then. And on one
attention outside the sailing world,” remembers Elizabeth, who teamed
Trump’s career has really taken off too...
of Sevenstar’s Bermuda services THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 81
GIPSY MOTH IV Not so long ago, millions would be arrested by the sight of two very different vessels sat side by side in Greenwich, London, yards from the Thames. They were both testament to the bravery of men who sail around the world via the terrifying Southern Ocean route, one a glorious Clipper ship from the wool and tea trade crewed by salty men of yore; the other, a piece of 1960s modernism piloted by an ageing, bespectacled daredevil. Now, you only partially see the Cutty Sark, hidden as she is behind a curtain of glass. The other, Gipsy Moth IV, was taken out and put back to sea in an extraordinary campaign by Yachting Monthly and UKSA to send her around again, this time with a crew of youngsters. She was restored by a huge volunteer team in just 150 days. These days, she’s still at sea, where she belongs.
BEETLE CATS AT IYRS The Beetle Cat restoration programme started at Rhode Island’s International Yacht Restoration School 18 years ago is as unique as the boats themselves. In case you didn’t know, the 12ft Beetle was first built in 1921 and is still built in wood to this day, to the original moulds. They now number more than 4,000 and they are by far the most numerous wooden boat model of all time. This must be some kind of production run record, and the boats are, like so many in this short list, emblematic of a nation. The Beetle Cats can now add another extraordinary chapter to their story, as no fewer than 120 of them have been restored by students at the famous boatbuilding college. Broken, derelict hulls in need of a second chance are donated to the school and moved into the student workshop every autumn; they emerge fully restored in spring and are splashed on graduation day in the school’s annual Launch Day ceremony. According to Clark Poston of IYRS, these small boats are not necessarily simple to restore but they include elements students are expected to master as they become BENJAMIN MENDLOWITZ,
trained in plank on frame construction, including steam-
82 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
bending frames, backbone construction, planking, spar making, and finish work. After restoration, the boats are sold to raise funds for the school. The Beetle Cats are not only the living embodiment of the eternal ‘life’ a wooden boat has: skills learned on them have been used to restore yachts of all hues and sizes around the world.
Radio And Free Sailing in the UK
Bristol 32 Fun, Tactical and Competitive...
www.staryachts.co.uk • +44 (0)7866-705181
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“Winner Transat Race” “Winner Newport-Bermuda Race” To discuss owning one of these beautiful yachts please contact: Info@ahreid.com • +44 7585 428989 • www.classicyachts.se Further information online @ Classicboat homepage
PIONEER The 70ft (21m) Class A sailing smack Pioneer, built in 1864 and now the only remaining example of the deep-sea smacks, was rescued from oblivion by the Pioneer Sailing Trust in 1998 and re-launched, after massive restoration involving thousands of volunteer hours, in 2003. She’s been run since then to improve the lot of young people living hard lives. Hear them speak of their transformative moments on a wooden sailing ship, far from the strife of their everyday struggles, and you will understand the power that Pioneer CK18, and others of her ilk, have on lives. These boat don’t just change the rarified world of
yacht restoration: they change everything.
We’d better get one thing straight. The restoration of Mink, the Buzzards Bay 25 that won Classic Boat’s 2017 Restoration of the Year (under 40ft) award, has not changed the world of restoration. In fact she’s downright controversial, which is why we like her so much. She’s got a few boatbuilders in the industry – people who live by the sword of authenticity – asking questions. Has Mink gone just a bit too far with authenticity? Her restoration, at MP&G in Mystic, had the brief to bring her back to her 1914 condition. Well, the owner wasn’t kidding. The job involved laser-scanning and 3-D printing for new casting moulds to recreate every detail – even down to the boathook. The sails are cotton with galvanised steel eyes that will rust and need replacing, just as on the original. This is authenticity taken to the next level, at the expense of practicality or longevity, and some wonder how sensible it is. For better or worse though, she could just be the most authentic restoration ever undertaken. And that’s enough to earn her
entry to this very select list.
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 85
DORADE Could there have been a bigger comeback kid in the history of sailing? The 1930 S&S yawl that established the name of her designer Olin Stephens has won more ocean (1932), Fastnet (1931 and 1933) and Transpac (1936) are among early highlights. After she was restored in 2011 by LMI in Rhode Island, owners Matt Brooks and Pam Rorke Levy put her back on the circuit with a serious racing programme. And guess what? In 2013, she won the Transpac again, 77 years after her original triumph.
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races than any other yacht in history: the Transatlantic Race (1931), Newport-Bermuda
IF YOU HAVE TO ASK... One of journalism’s dictums is ‘tell ’em what it costs’, a problem where restorations are so expensive that the owner has given up counting. Wooden Rivas have bucked that trend, and are defined by celestial prices. The Ariston and Aquarama embody our near-fetishised awe of mid- century Italian glamour (think Ferrari, Gucci etc), making Riva one of the most romantic emblems in the world – ironic as the aesthetic roots are as American as jeans. Never mind: they are among the most beautiful objects ever created, and the 26ft (8m) twinengined Aquarama fetches up to $1m at auction. “Everything on them is curvaceous,” says British restorer Richard Freebody – “even the cleats.” The Aquarama pictured, one of 768 built from 1962-96, was for Ferrucio Lamborghini in 1968 and is powered by 4l, 350bhp V-12s from the
Lamborghini 350GT. She was restored by Dutch firm Riva World in 2013.
DUNKIRK LITTLE SHIPS The story of the five-yearly Dunkirk ‘returns’ began with Raymond Baxter’s purchase of the 1938 cruiser L’Orage (pictured) in 1963. The existing fleet returns every five years to those historic beaches, crewed by patriotic owners and, still... just... a few surviving veterans of the campaign. It’s one of the strongest discrete niches in the classic boat world, and the one that captures the
EMILY HARRIS, CB ARCHIVES
imagination of the British public more than any other. Every year, more boats are found by the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, and the register grows and grows. As a fleet, the Dunkirk Little Ships reign supreme in the British imagination, equalled only by Nelson and the Titanic. That the fleet exists in the physical realm too, and in such good shape, is testament to millions of hours of restoration work.
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 87
Crewsaver 3D buoyancy Aid Range Follow a full line-up development of their lifejacket range, Crewsaver have now done the same for their buoyancy aid range. Crewsaver’s new range of buoyancy aids have been updated to feature the companies new ‘Fusion 3D technology’ which they say provides a uniquely unrestricting and comfortable fit. The range, consisting of five designs, and features combinations of lightweight and soft contoured buoyancy foam which is encased in finely tailored covers to support the designed-to-fit profile. From £34.95
SPOIL YOURSELF crewsaver.com
Cowes week watch As the Official Timing Partner for the 2017 edition of Lendy Cowes Week, TNG launched an official Lendy Cowes Week Collection. The Official Lendy Cowes Week
Treats for you and your boat
Collection has four different models; The Classic Tornado, the Classic Cup Chronograph Lady, the Sailmaster and the Baltic Cup Lady. All models have a stylish and refined Official Lendy Cowes Week symbol and a Limited Edition mark on the dial. Price £549 tngwatches.com
Drone Popular action camera manufacturer, Go Pro have released this impressive little drone. It folds down to 14in by 9in and has an attachable stabilizer for a steady professional looking shot, it can fly up to 35mph and has a straight-forward controller. Price £869.95 gopro.com
Canon stabilising binocular
Gerber Centre Drive
Canon is launching three new binocular models
This tool packs a punch and will prove
with 10x, 12x and 14x magnification levels. They
to be your best friend onboard, with
include image stabilization technology, which
full-sized attachments, rather than
will help to see far in to the distance, even when
miniature alternatives. You get pliers,
the boat is bouncing up and down in heavy
wire cutters, a fine edged blade, a
seas. The non-reflective rubber coating means
serrated saw blade, magnetic flathead
they’ll stay safely in your hands, even when wet.
and phillips bits, the boating essential
Price from £1,300
bottle opener, and the list goes on.
Plus, it comes with a 25-year warranty. Price £125 gerbergear.com
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Class of 1934 If the images of America’s Cup challengers past, including the J-Class yachts of the 1930s, whetted your appetite while watching the 35th Cup in Bermuda last June, then this image taken by Frank Beken on a home-made camera in August 1934 might tempt you. From left, Britannia (K1) and Astra (K2) (both converted to be Js), Shamrock V (K3) and Candida (K8) (also converted) give chase to Velsheda (K7) in the Solent. A limited edition silver gelatin photograph, printed using the original 8in x 6in glass plate. From £995 brettgallery.com
New Rolex Sea-dweller
These 81cm-long (32in)
The fact that the words
binoculars once perched
Sea-Dweller are in red on
on the conning tower of
this new 2017 model will
a Japanese Word War II
have Rolex aficionados
submarine, the only pair
stopping dead in their
of their type to survive the
tracks. Launched on the
war. They are from a huge
50th anniversary of
I-Class sub, big enough to
the legendary 1967 Sea-
carry aircraft. They have
Dweller, it also features – in
been in the possession of
another shocker for Rolex
a Royal Australian navy
fans – a cyclops above
captain since post-war days.
Waterproof camera VIRB Ultra This is a great find for any watersports video enthusiast. Firstly, and most essentially, it’s waterproof. It captures images and videos, and those images will be clear and smooth, thanks to 3-axis image stabilisation. It has built-in sensors and GPS to record speed and altitude, and the high-sensitivity microphone will capture clear audio in and out of its
Silver J-class Celebrate the glory days of the America’s Cup and the era of the J-Class with this silver sculpture made by Theo Fennell. Price £POA theofennell.com
waterproof case. With HD live streaming. Price from £313 garmin.com
Fusion StereoActive Fusion’s StereoActive is a water-resistant portable marine stereo that floats. Designed to thrive in marine environments and engineered to deliver crystal clear audio, the StereoActive will suit the yacht as much as it will the beach BBQ! Offering an AM/FM radio, USB port for audio playback or smartphone charging, Bluetooth streaming, MP3 playback, and wireless control through the free Fusion-Link app available for download from the Apple App store and Google Play. It boasts 20 hours of battery life and can be installed in less than two minutes, without cutting holes or running wires. fusionentertainment.com Price £298.95 THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 89
Is your anchoring a bit of a drag? Fit either of these anchors and you will rarely drag your anchor again. The Rocna anchor was designed by New Zealand sailor Peter Smith, who has been designing, building, and sailing boats since the early 1960’s. Over 100,000 nautical miles of cruising, Peter experienced the same anchoring problems that are still prevalent today – needing to carry a variety of anchors to suit various sea beds, yet still the anchors dragged and boaters felt insecure.“Your anchor should provide you and your crew with reliability, security, and confidence,” says Peter. A lifetime of nautical experience worldwide was poured into an anchor – initially conceived for Peter’s own use – which became the Rocna.
The new Vulcan anchor is Rocna’s first major design development since the launch of the highly successful and acclaimed Rocna anchor itself. Following on the success of the Rocna, designer Peter Smith was often approached by customers seeking to experience the exceptional holding power and setting performance of a Rocna, but who had difficulties accommodating the roll-bar design on their bow. After years of testing and development, Peter has come up with a design that meets the needs of these customers.— the VULCAN
For your nearest Dealer, Drawings, Sizing Chart and Downloadable Templates, go to
AT 6 KNOTS
Brompton Marine Bike Brompton Bikes, the foldable bike of choice for city commuters, have released a special version of their popular folder designed specifically for the marine market. This version of the bike has e-colour (electrode coted which significantly improves resistance to water), features a wide variety of stainless steel parts, PTFE coated components and other protections to keep the bike functioning around seawater. Ideal for use in a marina. Price £POA (varies depending on spec) landauuk.com
Women’s Rider Rashguard
Gill OS2 trousers These might not be the most
We’re big fans of this new rash-
flattering trousers you’ll ever
guard from Helly Hansen. Made
wear, but they’ll definitely keep
from full stretch nylon lycra, you
you warm and dry through
forget you’re wearing it, but
the winter months. They’re
it’s sure to keep you warm and
waterproof, incredibly dura-
protected from the wind. It also
ble, with two layer, laminated
has an anti-slip bottom hem
fabric, and are designed to be
so it won’t rise up and let the
comfortable and easy to move
elements in. You’ll be safe from
around in. They have adjust-
harmful sunrays too.
able braces and an elasticated
waist, for a comfortable and
close fit, anti-corrosion zips so the saltwater can’t get to them, a secure multi-tool attachment so you won’t use the essentials
overboard, and hand warmer
This hull-cleaning tool is remarkably useful
pockets with reversible thermal
for those who have no cause to lift out once
fleece so your hands don’t fall
a season. Suffice to say, it scrapes your hull
foul of the elements.
clean. The foam head has buoyancy enough to
press the cleaning blades upwards, saving any
tedious hard work. Price £79.99 scrubbis.se/en
Musto Solent GoreTex jacket Riva Cap
This is a bit of a sailing all rounder and will keep costs down when
Carlo Riva’s company didn’t just
you’re buying winter kit. It’s light-
produce eye-catching motor-
weight, breathable and, of course,
boats. This baby-blue baseball
waterproof, so will keep you cool
cap will get you noticed!
and dry through summer. It’s also a
Price €45 (c£41)
great windbreak, has a fleece-lined
collar, and is a large fit, so you can layer-up underneath through the winter months.
OLAS MOB alert This clever little MOB tracker is attached to crewmem-
Price £249 musto.com
bers via a watch strap, and sounds an alarm when it’s over a certain distance away from the phone it’s connected to. Once alerted, crew on deck can then locate an individual up to 100 metres away via location arrows on the phone’s screen. Most of us now own a smart phone and keep it with us most of the time, so it’s ‘smart’ to have the tracker connected to the phone as we’re far more likely to hear the alarm, if and when it sounds. Price £44.95 alertandfind.com
Waterproof backpack This kit bag is perfect for life at sea. It’s 100% waterproof, it floats and has reflective patches so will be easy to spot, should it take a trip overboard. It’s comfy for travel, with padded shoulder straps and lumbar support. Price £60 over-board.co.uk THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 91
12-Metres by Martyn Mackrill
This dramatic depiction of 12-Metre racing harks back to the post-war America’s Cups, painted in oil by official Royal Yacht Squadron and Royal Thames YC artist Martyn Mackrill, part of his Home Waters III exhibition at Messum’s in Mayfair. Price £29,400 martynmackrill.com
OS Series 2 Sailing Watch
The OS2 is water resistant, shock resistant, has interchangeable PU and Velcro straps, with a tough stainless steel buckle, features large 10mm digit height numbers so is easy to see in heavy weather, and includes alarm, timer and calendar functionality. Finally, it comes in navy blue, charcoal and pink.
The Travel 1003 from electric outboard manufacturer Torqueedo delivers more 1,000 watts of input power and is comparable with a 3hp petrol outboard. It now comes with a greater battery capacity option, which provides more than 73 per cent greater battery capacity at an almost identical weight to the original model. Price £1,499 torqueedo.com
Price £56.95 optimumtime.co.uk
Henri Lloyd boot New for 2018, the Henri Lloyd Shadow is a next generation waterproof leather sailing boot, designed to offer high comfort, while also giving the protection
We recently put to test the Rooster ThermaFlex longjohn and top during a Merlin Rocket Open Meeting in Weymouth Bay. Mother nature threw everything at us, with rain squalls and top temperatures of 15 degrees! The soft inner lining of the longjohn paired with the velcro shoulder entry made it very easy to get on. The ThermaFlex provided great flexibility due to its 1.5mm super-stretch neoprene and was extremely comfortable to wear. It provided plenty of warmth for the conditions and the thinner neoprene prevented overheating. Furthermore, the duraflex wear resistant knee and seat patches provides great protection from snags often caused on hiking boats. Price £110 (longjohn) roostersailling.com
92 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
expected from a sailing boot combined with superior grip via Henri Lloyd’s own Octogrip outsole. Price £210 henrilloyd.com
Ryvingen deck shoe
The new Ryvingen is made from quick drying material, has a padded collar around your ankle for comfort and a breathable mesh lining, also an EVA comfort foot bed. It looks pretty smart too. Price £70 hellyhansen.com
£65.95 AVAILABLE FROM ALL GOOD CHANDLERIES
Your Personal MOB Alarm
DOWNLOAD THE FREE
In a MOB situation OLAS sounds an alarm and records the latitude and longitude of the incident using the phone or tablet’s GPS. OLAS will then clearly direct you back to the logged GPS location and advise on the correct VHF procedure.
B&G Zeus 3
This MFD from B&G is the Zeus 3, which features a high-performance widescreen display, incorporating SolarMAX HD technology for daytime visibility and wide viewing angles. Zeus 3 incorporates an all-weather touchscreen that works while wet. It combines this with an integrated rotary dial and keypad capable of controlling all display functions. Price £999.95 bandg.com
DanVolt offers SUNBEAMsystem solar panels. The solar panels that have the smallest possible footprint for their power generation, thanks to world-record efficiency in its solar cells.
Price from £159
This is a great bit of safety kit to have on board for night sailing. The TK is a newer, more affordable version of the original Ocean Scout thermal monocular. It allows you to scan your surroundings for other vessels, buoys in the water and key landmarks. Perhaps most importantly you can quickly locate a person overboard by detecting their body heat in the water.
Price £565 Raymarine.co.uk
The breeze off the UK coast in summer isn’t always as balmy as we’d like so this new neck warmer from Heat Holders will help to keep out the chill. It comes in loads of colours, including Purple, Light Grey and Navy, and has a cable knit exterior, with a faux fur lining. Price £10 heatholders.co.uk
Bruntons Autoprop Silk scarf and squares
If the snood isn’t quite your thing, this silk scarf, bearing a painted waterside scene, may fit the bill. New silk accessories brand David Watson has created these scarves and pocket squares using 100% silk twill and made in England, with waterside scenes ranging from Whitby Harbour to Henley, by British artists. Price £39 for pocket square; £139 for scarf Davidwatson.uk
94 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
Made in Essex by Bruntons, the Autoprop debuted in 1987. The hub uses a system wherby each blade swings independently from the rest depending on the power being applied, resulting in a self-adjusting pitch. Bruntons says this returns better fuel economy due to reduced RPM and reduces drag under sail by 85%. Price from £1,380
Kobo aura H20
What makes this e-reader of interest to sailors is its ability to remain waterproof for 60 minutes in shallow water. You won’t get through War and Peace in that time but perhaps a digital copy of your favourite sailing magazine, while perched on the rail, might help a blustery afternoon pass quite pleasantly.
THE NEXT GENERATION OF SAILS™
BEAUTY, STRENGTH & RELIABILITY Andersen Winches™ are synonymous with precision, reliability and performance. The lightweight 316 stainless steel drum ensures an extremely durable, efficient and beautiful-looking winch. Power Rib® – Stainless Steel Drum Maximum grip with minimum rope wear No overriding turns on the drum Smoother and safer rope handling Andersen Compact Motor™ electric above-deck model Andersen E1 Electric Winch
EXPERIENCE EMPOWERMENT Powering up your Andersen winch has never been easier, and gives you a host of unique, market leading features. ™
Andersen Compact Motor Electric Winches Fits into spaces where there is little or no room below deck Available in above deck or below deck options Variable speed control – the speed of the winch changes with the pressure on the push button.
OneSails GBR Timeless elegance and sophisticated lines, a deep expertise amongst its designers and sailmakers, and a real passion for detail ensure that all OneSails are the ultimate combination of style and quality. Racing or cruising, classic or modern, we have construction styles to suit every project including 4T FORTE™ composites, custom membranes, radial cut laminates and carefully selected woven Dacrons. Contact either loft to find out more.
OneSails GBR (South) T: 02380 458213 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
OneSails GBR (East) T: 01473 659878 E: email@example.com
Andersen E1 Electric Winches Quality European made motor and gearbox Unrivalled levels of integrated monitoring and protection systems. Ease of installation – control system contained completely within motor housing. Learn more on andersenwinches.com Proudly distributed by
Andersen Winches - Sailing Today (UK) - half page vertical - 99mmW x 262mmH.indd 1
6/9/17 11:29 am
FRIB430 The new FRIB 430 is the latest addition to the fleet of foldable RIBs. As with all FRIBs, it folds down for stowage on board, or can fit in the back of a car (with the seats folded down). The large cockpit means you can carry up to six people at one time, say the manufacturers. Price £3,800 foldablerib.com
Imray App Imray, the publisher of nautical charts, books and apps, has launched a new Navigator app to enable sailors to zoom and pan across multiple charts on iPads and iPhones for easy navigation at sea. The new Navigator app is available in six languages, and offers subscriptions to sets of Imray nautical charts plus a selected range from other international Hydrographic Offices and publishers.
ISpeedsix Speedsix sail aerosol is designed specifically as a lubricant for all of the moving parts on a boat, jib tracks and onwards. Also available is the Speedsix HydraPRO, designed
Price: app free; charts £34.99
as a coating to be applied to
the hull of the boat. The manufacturers claim it is formulated to maintain a clean surface and utilising superhydropho-
VHF AIS marine radio
bic technology will support
This marine radio from Garmin is offers
everything you’d expect from a modern VHF. It
displays AIS on your MFD or chartplotter, boasts
25 watts of transmitting power, has a two-way hailer system, is pre-programmed with international marine channels and operates in temperatures ranging from -15ºC to 70ºC. Price £630 garmin.com
Water Speed app The Water Speed app gives you tracking tools in real-time and historical track activities to improve your skills and get more from your training. Water Speed works with the Apple Watch 2 using the native GPS, so you can keep tracking trails and monitor your speed and heading without the iPhone, in the water! When you come back closer to your phone, Water Speed will sync all points and data so you can review your tracks and stats. Price approx £4.25 per year subscription waterspeedapp.com
Andersen winch Zhik Kiama Coat
Andersen stainless steel winches are renowned for their high quality and elegant appearance.
Zhik’s Kiama Coat is a cosy, insulated, long-fitting
Two models have recently been launched. The
jacket that is waterproof inside and out, so the jacket
34ST is dimensionally the same as the 28ST but
can go on over damp shore jackets and wet sailing
with a low first gear ratio for fast trim. The 50ST
gear, preventing chilling between races or when rig-
replaces the 48ST model, which is the same size
ging and de-rigging in a cold boat park. It’s also ideal
as the 46ST, but provides more trimming power in
for coaches, instructors, race committees and safety
second gear, an ideal option for genoa sheets on
crews who are often standing static.
10-12m yachts or halyards on 12-14m boats.
Price for manual winches from £435
96 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
CHELAN H-P Inflatable Kayaks
AquaGlide CHELAN Premium Range Inflatable Kayaks - High-Pressure Drop-Stitch Floors for superb rigidity (no saggy bottom!) - Tough Single-Skin construction for quicker drying/higher pressure - Excellent Stability - Really Comfortable Seats - Fold Up easily into neat, backpackstyle storage/transport bags
PACKAGE DEALS 11ft One Â£1049 Â£925 13ft Two Â£1149 Â£975 15ft Tandem Â£1249 Â£1075 INCLUDE seat(s), footrest(s) carry bag, four-part paddle(s) and high pressure stirrup pump. UK Mainland Delivery Â£25. VAT included. E&OE.
The delated kayaks it - easily! - into the very neat storage bag/backpacks supplied
The Portable Boat Specialists:
www.nestawayboats.com Tel: 0800 999 2535 firstname.lastname@example.org
Post hurricanes, the message is that the Caribbean is open for cruising yachts – and the Leeward Isles offer sights and flavours to savour, says Vicky Page WORDS VICKY PAGE
98 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
WATERCOLOURS SUE PEAKE
ost people take a leisurely sail through the Caribbean islands, stopping off for days or weeks at any island that takes their fancy. We, however, were on a mission. My partner Ben and I were taking Papagayo, our 40ft Choate IOR one tonner, from Texas to a new life down in St Lucia where we were setting up a sailing school. Having finally reached the British Virgin Islands after some fun if not challenging sailing from Texas, we were ready for a little relaxation before heading onwards. We were about to lose our crew member, as she had to get back to a job in London, but we had time to kill before she caught her flight and what better way to kill time than spend a few days sailing around the BVI’s? This, I hasten to add, was before the area was ravaged by
hurricanes in 2017. In the wake of those terrible events, as local people gather themselves and rebuild their lives, the general message is that the Caribbean is open for business – and it needs that business more than ever. It’s all we can do, as cruising folk, to help support the rebuild of the islands we’ve enjoyed for so long. As we found out when we visited the BVIs, not only does the immigration department in Road Town, Tortola, welcome you warmly, they can also give excellent advice as to where to go and get a tooth pulled. The tooth, having split vertically, was dead and for a quick $US100 the pain was all but forgotten. The British Virgin Islands consists of four main islands and many smaller palm fringed, idyllic white sand islands. It was always somewhere I’d dreamed of visiting after seeing it on a television programme in my youth. Our first THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 99
stop was at Norman’s Cay which was a two-hour sail from Tortola. It was quite a squally day so what we thought may be a nice relaxing sail after our heavy weather from the US actually became a rather more exciting sail than anticipated. Norman’s Cay is apparently the location for Treasure Island and even though no treasure was located on our trip ashore we did find some cocktails as the cocktail cannon went off at 4pm. We found setting anchor in the BVI’s was more trouble than expected, as the drop off from the islands is so deep, but with the cost of mooring buoys being $30 per night, this was not a problem. After choosing our mooring, at some point in the evening a friendly ‘harbour master’ would come out and collect the necessary fees. The following day we took a three-hour sail to Cooper’s Cay – and were hit by a rogue wave. As we stood there drenched in our swimwear we felt glad that the warm rays of the sun would dry us off and there would be no need to dig out the wet weather gear. Here we paddleboarded (our first attempt), sunbathed and enjoyed the odd Painkiller cocktail as the cannon fired again 4pm. I was to find out more about the infamous Painkiller as we explored the island of Marina Cay the following day. This blend of rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream and orange juice, with a generous amount of nutmeg, might sound unpleasant, but is in fact rather tasty. The Pusser’s Restaurant on Marina Cay makes a great Painkiller. We stocked up our supplies in Spanish Town and left that night from a mooring off the Bitter End Yacht Club in Vigin Gorda. Because we were leaving under the cover of darkness we left through the main channel, unsure that we would have the draught to make it through the cut. As we passed Richard Branson’s Necker Island, the breeze was steady, but we could see in the distance there were quite a few low lying clouds peppering the horizon and watching them closely we decided to reef in the main. The wind began to pick up and after two hours the black clouds were above us and the rain began to fall. We were hoping that it was just a squall, but the rain continued to fall and the wind continued to blow stronger. We had previously had a watch system, but with just the two of us we decided to do a watch until we became too
Papagaya Choate 40 IOR One tonner LOA 39ft 8in (12.1m) Beam 12ft 16in (3.8m) Draught 7ft (2.1m) Year built 1999
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th’s Bar a i t c S ta a a SabSt Eus itts igu St K evis Ant t N a err e nts oup Mo del a u G a inic Dom e iqu rtin Ma
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OPPOSITE CLOCKWISE: Iconic view of Les Ansesd’Arlet, a town and commune in Martinique; one of many landings in the British Virgin Islands; sundowners at Norman Island; Clear waters for diving; telephone box at Marina Cay Soper’s Hole, with its marina
SOUTH AMERICA 100 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
at Tortola’s West End, has checking-in facilies
tired and then we would swap over. We did this throughout the night as we passed by the islands of Saba and St Eustacia, with Antigua and St Barths in the distance. The island’s lights gave a respite from the complete blackness of the night, as did the giant cruise ships as they passed close by. We had intended on treating ourselves to a few days in Saba as we had heard great things about the diving there but with the squally conditions, strong winds and limited moorings on the island, we felt that beating to windward was too much.
It seemed like it was never going to end, but with the sunrise came the end of the storm. We couldn’t quite believe that there was no indication of what was out there when we checked the weather. It was great to see the islands of St Kitts and Nevis rising out of the gloom. We decided to go to the smaller of the two islands and moored off the beach at Charlestown, the capital of Nevis, which has one of the most beautiful backdrops in the Caribbean. The dormant stratovolcano of Nevis Peak, a verdant green cone, dominates the skyline and is the highest point on the island. The government has put down a number of moorings off Pinney’s Beach. We checked in with no difficulties and took a look around the old town. Charlestown holds claim that Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers, was born here, as was Fanny Nelson, the wife of Admiral Lord Nelson. After our long day and night at sea we spent the afternoon on the beach, relaxing and dozing. We had heard about a beach bar called Sunshine’s, which makes a mean cocktail, the Killer Bee. The concoction is a wellkept secret, but needless to say there was some rum in there somewhere and after two of them along with our long arduous sail, we slept like babies. We were up early, with slight headaches, to continue down to the French island of Guadeloupe 70nm away. The breeze was a steady 20 knots and the islands gave some protection from the rollers of the Atlantic. After leaving Nevis we could see in the near distance the island of Monserrat with its plume of volcanic smoke and ash still rising into the sky after the 2010 eruption. Between 1995 and 2000, two thirds of the island’s population was forced to evacuate. The main town of Plymouth, the docks and airport were all in the exclusion zone. Even from a few miles’ distance from the shore the lava flows can still be clearly seen and the devastation that the volcano has caused is evident on much of the island. There was a mystical feel to the island as the volcano’s smoke shrouded the landscape. Due to the volcanic action the charts are no longer accurate and it is advised that you sail a good distance away from the shoreline.
We anchored in the bay at Deshaies, which has good holding but has become more difficult over time as there are more mooring buoys in place. We went to the dinghy dock in the centre of town and went to locate the clearance office. As with other French islands the clearance procedure is done through a computer system. The store Le Pelican” has a computer to clear in and out at a cost of €4. It is a brightly coloured building located on the ocean side of the main street half way between the dinghy dock and the main dock. The real treat here were the patisseries
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 101
and French restaurants with the most amazing cakes, tarts and quiches. We enjoyed a feast. The following day we took a short, four-hour sail down the coast of Guadeloupe to the capital, Basse Terre. The sea state was calm and the breeze made for a relaxing sail with plenty of time to sit back and sunbathe. There is a marina about a mile south of the town that can accommodate visiting yachts – however it cannot take catamarans. Being a Sunday we could not contact anyone in the marina and so chose to anchor just north of the entrance where the holding is good, but there is a steep drop off. We had to dinghy into the marina to fill up on water and to take our jerry cans to the local petrol station as the marina station was closed. With only two of us it was a relief that we were able to take short hops between destinations. The sea state was calm as we sailed down the western coastlines of the islands as they provided protection from the rough seas of the Atlantic. Due to this we were finally able to discard our wet weather gear. With Papagayo being a race yacht she offers little protection from the waves and sea spray that other cruising yachts may offer. With a flush deck and no bimini or spray hood, there is not a lot between you and the elements.
ABOVE: The bay at Deshaies gives access to Guadeloupe’s delights
DO IT YOURSELF
From Basse Terre the 22nm sail took us to the huge, sweeping Prince Rupert Bay in Portsmouth in the north of Dominica. We were met by a small boat of one of the members of the Portsmouth Association of Yacht Services (PAYS). This organisation was set up in response to the growing problem of security for yachts in the area. The members can be identified by the logo on their boat. The charge for their services is EC$30 (c£8) per night and this includes the mooring. Yachts can also anchor in the area, which is free, but the holding is variable as it is a mix of sand and coral rubble. It was suggested to us that the best place for security was in the north end of the bay as this is where the PAYS monitors. After checking in with immigration and customs, we realised our arrival had coincided with the weekly PAYS barbecue. We met up with some other cruisers that we had seen on our voyage and caught up over a few beers and some great BBQ chicken and fish. Music and entertainment were put on and the rum punch flowed. The PAYS can also help organise trips inland. We took a 102 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
trip up the Indian River as far as Rahjah’s Jungle Bar, where we stopped for drink among hummingbirds, egrets and barracudas swimming in the brackish waters. The trees with their entangled routes gave a fairy tale feel and it wasn’t difficult to see why the river had featured in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. We stayed a little longer than anticipated in Dominica as it has so much to offer, including a long weekend carnival or “the Real Mas” which is a celebration before Lent. People come out into the streets to watch others dance by in colourful costumes. This made provisioning for the remaining leg of our sail difficult. We set sail for the final leg of our journey, through Martinique and onto Saint Lucia. There were many small bays to choose from and as we were only staying one night in Martinique we dropped anchor in the small bay of L’Anse Dufour and hoisted our Q flag as we were not within an area to check in. We watched some rock jumpers as we sat drinking sundowners on the deck. Unlike most sailors we travelled through the Leeward Islands in ten days, a short length of time to get any real feel for the islands. I guess that is just an excuse to go back again.
Fly to: Direct flights to Grenada, St Lucia and Antigua with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic from £500 return. Onward island-hopping via LIAT ba.com, virgin-atlantic.com, liat.com When to travel: For tradewind sailing without hurricane risk, December to May About the author
bviholidays.com is the region’s specialist with a fleet
Originally from Kent,
of monohulls and catamarans
Vicky Page is
Dream Yacht Charter has bases in the BVIs, Antigua,
an RYA Coastal
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com), in Saint Lucia
with her partner Ben
g n i t Yach St Helena welcomes visiting yachts to its unspoilt destination. St Helena is conveniently positioned for passing sea traffic as it sits in the middle of West Africa and South America. Itâ€™s popularity as a port of call for passenger liners has now been taken over by sailing yachts, a large number of which stop to St Helenaâ€™s shores every year. A warm welcome awaits the visiting sailor ashore in Jamestown.
FIVE GO ROUND THE ISLAND INSURING SIMON WINTER
The Nutter family – Craig, Kate, Jack, Molly and their Harrison Butler cutter Sabrina – enjoy a dayistoanremember in the Round the Island Race What old yacht worth? Deciding such matters is Simon bread butter WORDS CRAIG NUTTER Winter’s WATERCOLOURS SUEand PEAKE WORDS ROB PEAKE 104 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
imon Winter tells a good story about hanging head first over the windward side of a fishing smack, banging along in a head sea, trying to squirt ‘gunk’ into a tiny seam in the hull that was threatening to sink the boat on the other tack. “We made it home, let’s put it that way,” he recalls with a laugh. Tales of derring-do on working boats don’t quite fit with the stereotypical image of an insurance broker, but Winter was toddling around on smacks before he can remember and his family have owned working boats all his life – the smacks Rosa & Ada (1908), Unity of Lynn (1906 and on the National Register of Historic Vessels) and Maria (1886) and Bristol Channel pilot cutters Cornubia (1911) and Mascotte (1904 and also on the National Register of Historic Vessels). His father left school to work on the Thames sailing barges in the last days of trading under sail, and ended up becoming chairman of Medway Ports. Winter Jnr went to the highly academic Canterbury school, before university and a stint in the City as an investment banker. He was running the yacht account for an insurance broker, thinking he’d found the best way of combining a passion with work (‘and to date I haven’t tired of it – that’s the danger!’), when family reasons persuaded him to move south west in 2006. He set up as Simon Winter Marine, specialising in classic boats (75% of his business is classic), and today insures most of the working boat fleet along with many classic yachts around the world, from 21ft canoe yawls to 100ft Fifes. His office in Seaton, Devon, is perhaps more working boat than Edwardian yacht, and Winter himself is agreeably unshowy, exuding the energy and quickthinking of the City broker, coupled with a sleevesrolled-up approach to things that is typical of many sailors. The company’s insurance policies, while standard in many respects, sometimes reflect his no-nonsense approach. “I don’t believe in discounts for qualifications,” he says. “You find people with a certificate in their hands who are calculating whether or not to anchor in exactly 3.62m of water. A lead line and some common sense will tell you where you can anchor, not a one-week course.” A large part of his job involves putting a value on yachts that are often irreplaceable objects. “The adage is that the boat is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it,” he says. “As far as insurances are concerned, we would always prefer to insure on the market value, not replacement or new build value. Market value can be difficult. We work closely with surveyors and owners and yacht brokers on this. We’ve never had one where we haven’t been able to reach some accommodation between parties. “Obviously you can’t replace a lot of these boats. They’re unique. But they still do have a value.” Can you ever add on the restoration cost to a boat’s value? “Possibly,” he says, “but it’s unusual. The rebuild would have had to have been done recently.” Winter is happy enough to talk insurance, but really he wants to talk boats, and sitting in front of a massive photo of the 2012 St Mawes Pilot Cutter Review on his office wall, he launches into ‘what is a classic boat’.
If you row away from your boat and think ‘that is beautiful’, then you have a classic
“If it looks right, it probably is right,” he says, before adding: “I think that’s actually a Tommi Nielsen quote! There’s a long development of what most people would call a classic, boats like Mariquita or Kelpie, and then there is where we are today. A Twister, for example, or a Vertue and all those pocket cruisers – are they classics? I would describe them as design classics, but not classic yachts. “If you row away from your boat and think ‘that’s beautiful’, then you have a classic. On a smack, the look of them, at anchor particularly, they’re just amazing.” Refreshingly, Winter is not short of an opinion and in a lively conversation about yachts old and new – amid which he laughs at himself as a ‘ruddy-faced insurance broker’ – he shares thoughts garnered through firsthand experience of the classic scene big and small. “It’s day in, day out what we do, but you can always learn,” he says. “We have built up a huge network of experts around the world to help assess claims and support customers. “We describe ourselves as specialist, which by definition means that we do understand the market. We understand how the boats are constructed, how they should be maintained and run, the type of sailing they are doing and from a practical background, the areas where they are sailing and mooring. “Generally all yacht policies will cover and exclude the same things, but as far as the classic yacht policy is concerned, it’s as much to do with the broker you’re dealing with, plus the support that we have from underwriters in settling claims. “At the information-gathering stage, pre-inception of the policy, we’re asking all the relevant questions, which if you’re not immersed in this work you may not consider. That means there’s less chance of a claim potentially being declined.” He says there is no common claim among wooden boat owners, although the nature of the material means ‘gradual deterioration’ is seen by insurers as a higher risk than on plastic or steel boats. “If a claim is made, a specialist broker will understand the nature of the issue and can assist with managing repairs, locating suitable surveyors, yards, shipwrights and can have a sensible discussion on the type of repair, or how the repair is carried out. These are all three or four way discussions between the owner, surveyor, insurance broker and shipyard.” As a sailor himself, he is more than aware that having to make a call to the insurance broker is precisely what every client wants to avoid. “A five-yearly survey means problems can be picked up early,” he says, “and meanwhile, even though in the majority of cases it is like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs, we continue to remind clients of the importance of checking boats regularly, ensuring moorings are adequate and in good condition, lines doubled if necessary. The basic rules of seamanship never change.” Winter is a family man with children at home aged from five to 16. He relishes the Devon life and his eight-minute commute to work by bicycle, but he’s less than complimentary about Lyme Bay as his home waters. “I used to sail in the Bristol Channel, which could be called ‘interesting’, but at least there you can sail a pilot cutter!” THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 105
WATERCOLOURS SUE PEAKE
106 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
SAILING TO THE LIMIT IN J-CLASS SVEA The plans for Tore Holm’s 1937 masterpiece lay forgotten in a basement for decades, until now. We sail the newest J – in a Force 6 WORDS STEFFAN MEYRIC HUGHES PHOTOGRAPHS CARLO BORLENGHI THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 107
he flight to Palma should have been a warning. The little Airbus bounced stiffly through turbulence, occasionally dropping through the sky like a stone through a vacuum. The tail end of a big mistral was still blowing itself out, bending trees and bedevilling recreational hat-wearers on the ground, teasing the nervous and the God-fearing on flight EZY8627 as we flew south to Spain’s Balearic isles. The day before, winds over 30 knots had cancelled race-training on Svea (‘Swede’). Now, as we waited dockside, the big, mast-mounted anemometer read-out flickered around 15. The friendly English captain Paul introduced himself, and I didn’t need him to point out that it was going to be pushier outside the marina – even in the protected bay of Palma. It’s customary at this point to express awe at the size and grace of a J, but the truth is that it’s too big for that: you can’t take it all in. You must induce a fair bit of curvature in your lower back, then crane your neck all the way back, to see the tip of the black, carbon, quadruple-spreader mast, which at 173ft (52.8m) high, would rise above the Coliseum, Arc de Triomphe or the upper walkway of Tower Bridge. The 29 race crew in their smart grey gear, some wearing headsets, huddle in groups to discuss the day’s aims. Most of them are from pretty serious backgrounds, like the Olympics and America’s Cup. Perhaps it’s a product of our unwillingness to take the present entirely seriously, or maybe it’s just that the scale and elegance of these vessels remains unchallenged in yacht racing, but sailors still judge the J-Class yachts of the 1930s as the pinnacle of sailing glory. Svea, of all the Js designed from 1930 to 1937, is not only the longest, newest and, theoretically, perhaps the fastest – but she’s got one of the most mysterious pasts, coming to fruition only through a chance encounter.
A mothballed dream
John Lammerts Van Bueren, Dutch timber supplier, was on the hunt for original Tore Holm drawings to inform the restoration of his Holm 8-M yacht Cagg. He found the near-complete archive of one of the greatest yacht designers of the last century, in a series of ageing leather briefcases in the basement of a house near Stockholm. That house belongs to Birgitta Holm, daughter of Tore Holm who, with compatriot boatbuilder Gustav Plym, drew Svea (then unnamed) to tackle American supremacy and claim sailing’s greatest title for Sweden. Neither of them would have known that the America’s Cup would not be raced again for 21 years, and never again in craft as grand as the Js. Still less might they have imagined that in a new millennium, the Js would explode in popularity again and that a lone Dutch seeker would come knocking at Tore’s daughter’s front door, asking to see those old plans under the stairs, six decades after they drew them. They held no special resonance for Birgitta, for whom sailing was a cold, wet necessity, as she helped her father deliver yachts to clients in all conditions, and John helped to secure this treasure trove for the Swedish Maritime Museum, where they were gently steamed open and scanned. And so it was that John, returning to the museum to see the treasure in all its glory, found Svea. His 108 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
PREVIOUS SPREAD AND HERE: photos of Svea taken in a calmer Bay of Palma, before we arrived for a sail
“heartbeat stalled” as he pulled out the drawings marked “KSSS [Royal Swedish YC) J-Båt”. There were the lines, sail plan, midship section and construction plan – a complete preliminary study. After a couple of false starts and dissolved syndicates, a complete aluminium hull had been built by Dutch yard Bloemsma and finally, an owner for Svea came on board and took the project to completion at Vitters Boatyard. She was launched in January this year, eight decades after her design. To this day, no other record of Svea has been found, neither at KSSS or the New York Yacht Club. Like fellow modernday J build Topaz, she is neither a restoration nor a replica, but a dream that spent 80 years mothballed and is today sailing for the first time.
High and rising
Out at sea, I was asked to stay on the aft deck, the usual observation post for guests and journalists on a J, and surprisingly comfortable, even in 20-25 knots of wind. What happened next was a quiet, efficient blur of action, punctuated in the memory as a series of impressions: diesel off, black mainsail rising up the mast, speed building, then the No3 (100 per cent) genoa climbing up the mast. The weather side went up as smoothly as a high rise lift, heeling at up to 37°, as we sailed hard into the wind. Somewhere out there in the hard blue glitterscape of a spring day in the Med, our chase RIB stood off. The presence of the chase RIB is standard in the J Class and means that Js are raced without lifejackets or guardrails, quite correct for this aesthetically-driven class that is nothing if it is not a spectacle. It also colours every moment with an exhilarating sense of vulnerability. Even in the enclosed bay with its limited fetch, a couple of days of mistral had raised a bit of a sea – perhaps 5-6ft (1.52m), but we cruised through them like a flying carpet, high and dry on the weather side, above the spray flying back down the lee deck, which is partially underwater. It would be a long way to fall into the water from here, but my perch is secure. Looking down and along that deck is a rare sight – 143ft of swept teak, barely interrupted as it tapers gently to a needle point. Even more noticeable is the sound, as the rig judders and creaks from the insane loads. The load generated by the 5,000sq ft (4,500m2) mainsail is 14 tonnes: the mainsheet has enough pull on it to hoist a London bus into the air, and it jerks and creeks as the hydraulic primary winches pull it in. The mast compression load is a horrifying 180 tonnes, more than the boat weighs. Even the vang load exceeds 4 tonnes, and snaps to show its disapproval as the load reaches 4.2 tonnes. There is little reaction from the incredibly calm crew. I imagine someone jots ‘get stronger vang’ on a tablet somewhere later, when we are back ashore. There is another noise, too, the backstay perhaps, playing its own moaning glissando that sounds eerily alive. This feeling of tension and excitement are the things you might expect. Then there are the things you don’t expect, like the simplicity of the rig. The reality of J sailing is anything but straightforward, but ostensibly at least, you can kid yourself that you understand a boat like this. The bermudan sloop rig has (for racing) an unreefable main, a choice of three genoas (100, 120 or 140 per cent) and a spinnaker. For cruising, a staysail can be hoisted on its own luff to divide the sail area before the mast. The racing main
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 109
JOHN LAMMERTS VAN BUEREN
is replaced with a reefable mainsail and stanchions and a fence are inserted. With a comfortable interior capable of sleeping 11, Svea is far more bluewater capable than you might imagine. We bear off and run downwind for a while, the red spinnaker blooming out ahead of us, still at hull speed of 12 knots or more. In much the same way that a 6-M will sail at 6 knots “all the time”, the Js will power up in quite light airs, and suitably rigged, can take a lot. Remember that they have been crossing the Atlantic since the 1930s. With their slender profiles and high displacement, the same qualities that enable them to hold their speed so easily, they apparently become submarines in a real seaway, but, in high-tensile aluminium and carbon rig, they simply plow on.
detail on the saloon
Building on the past
table shows part of
When Andre Hoek first beheld the 1937 drawings from
the Norse compass
Holm and Plym, they were far from the finished article. The
rose, a visual motif
first job was to digitise the information, then fair the lines
used throughout, in
in a CAD programme and render the boat in 3-D. The results
an echo of her
were sent to the J-Class Association, which must approve
all prospective builds if they are to race in the fleet. Then a
new construction plan was drawn up for aluminium.
ABOVE L-R: corner
where the aluminium hull was built
their modern sails – North Sails 3Di in this case. Laminate sails and zero-stretch rigging result in huge loads – 180 tonnes of mainmast compression, 36 tonnes on the forestay.... Add to that the fact that modern Js are built in aluminium rather than steel (apart from the 2003 Ranger
110 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
which is steel), and you have a very different construction strength requirement. After that came the mast position and sail plan which, thanks to the sailcloth, is far more powerful than the original, so the rig has remained very similar. Then came stability, weight and handicap considerations. “It’s a major job,” said Hoek, who has previously acted as naval architect on the Lionheart and Topaz J projects. In fact, Hoek Design formulated a velocity prediction programme specifically for J boats while working on Lionheart. It suggested that Svea was going to be a flyer, particularly upwind, a theory that is proving true. She’s also the longest J on deck, with a correspondingly long waterline, so benefits in terms of hull speed. There has been much talk of waterline length in the J Class, particularly since the association allowed an extra 4in (10cm) of freeboard, along with the lighter aluminium hull material. Svea floats lower than her contemporaries, in fact very close to her original design. Hoek maintains that the waterline argument is overstated, giving as evidence the last J race, where the fleet raced for more than two hours and arrived at the finish line within seconds of each other, a closeness that is aided further by the J handicap C/O HOEK
If a J on the wind is a serene drama, the sensation on a run is one of benevolent magic. The wind had died down a little and the sun, gathering strength, warmed our backs as we raced down the wind in silence, nothing other than the goosewinged sails to suggest that we are just one crash gybe away from oblivion – but that’s not going to happen today as I am not helming. Then suddenly the cry of ‘Man overboard’! It is instructive to see how quickly we lose sight of our man – about 20 seconds – but not before the RIB is racing through the sea to collect him and transfer him back to us, all without stopping. A single dolphin leapt out of the water ahead of us, and the uniform waves march slowly past the boat, rising almost above the freeboard, translucent aquamarine in the sun and close enough to touch. A crewman approaches, smiling and pointing to the spectacle of a wave slowly racing us home. It’s perfection. Svea has not had much of a run-in period before the big America’s Cup races in Bermuda this June, but with boat and crew running well, she’ll be one to watch – if not there, then at Newport (RI) at the J Worlds in late August. As I write, Svea has reached the Azores, sailing on her own hull in the tradition of Js voyaging to the new world to make their challenge. Tore Holm and Gustav Plym are gone now, but even in the lives of the dead there are sometimes second chances; their ghosts might prevail yet.
New boats have to be considerably stronger than their 1930s counterparts, to take the greater loads produced by
rule that theoretically nullifies differences in size – including waterline length. That low freeboard is also a great boon to Svea’s appearance. She’s already earned a reputation as one of the
143ft (43.6m) LWL
87ft 3in (26.6m) BEAM Styling
21ft 8in (6.6m) DRAUGHT
16ft (4.9m) DISPLACEMENT
180 tonnes Styling
7,500sq ft (704m2)
Stockholm Museum; and their modern rendering in Hoekâ€™s deck
HOLM AND PLYM/HOEK
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 111
2 xbunks Twin Cabins with bunks 2 x Twin Cabins with 1 x Pullman Single Cabin with Pullm 1 x Single Cabin with
plans, now at the
Walnut and raised off-white and Walnut and off-white painted andpainted fielded raised paneling
prettiest boats in the class. “She’s gorgeous-looking,” said
and the ‘pit’ forward of the mast, where the halyards and
Hoek, who also cites the pleasing balance between bow
spinnaker sheets are handled on the secondary winches (also
and stern overhangs. With such an effective handicap
system, the real key to winning in the J-Class is crew work.
Velsheda, with her tried-and-tested crew, is the perfect ex-
forward and good communication lines, being able to speak
ample. Svea provided a unique opportunity to make a clear
to the main, genoa and backstay trimmers without a headset.
improvement in this area. Because the original drawings did
Similarly, the spinnaker trimmer, who is always standing
not include a deck plan, Hoek was free to come up with a
with a table and
highside to see the action, can act as a comms bridge be-
deck arrangement based around crew communication, key
tween the spinnaker winch men and the afterguard.
on a boat this size.
Unlike some Js where the winches and crew stations are
The result of this is that the helm has good sight lines
“She’s got by far the best communication lines of any J,”
said Hoek. The other area in which Hoek had carte blanche
‘all over the place’, there are three distinct areas on Svea:
was in the deck housing. Hoek came up with very low-pro-
the helm’s cockpit, with a large wheel to allow the helm
file upperworks, which honour Tore Holm’s own aesthetic
to sit out and see the tell tales; the main cockpit directly
sensibility, and as you can see from the photos, it’s another
in front of that, from where the main, genoa and running
factor that adds to her appearance.
backstays are operated on the primary (hydraulic) winches;
BELOW DECKS The interior was designed by Pieter Beeldsnijder, who died before seeing the fruits of his labour. “He was brilliant, great to work with,” said Hoek. Michiel de Vos of De Vos De Vries Design, who acted as interior decorator, was in Palma and gave me a tour of the interior, which is in classical raised and fielded style, but with a dash of modernity in the choice of wood – claro walnut with its vivid tiger stripes – and in the striped blue-and-white fabric settee coverings. The interior is more commodious than you might imagine given the slim, overhang-heavy shape of a J. A full-width, en-suite owner’s cabin aft leads (as we go forward) to a double guest cabin, a twin-single guest cabin (both en-suite), day heads, full-width saloon, galley, crew mess and crew quarters. The galley can open into the saloon, so the owner can access it for small things like a coffee without rousing crew. The engine and generators are accessed through a large, lifting sole hatch.
112 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
FIVE GO ROUND SLOW BOAT THE ISLAND
The Nutter family – Craig, Kate, Jack, Molly and their Harrison Butler cutter Sabrina – enjoy a day to remember in the Round the Island Race Light winds and plenty of sunshine make the WORDS CRAIG NUTTER WATERCOLOURS SUE PEAKE Ionian an ideal family cruising ground WORDS MIKE TRIPPITT 114 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 115
he Ionian Sea on Greece’s west coast is blessed with long summers, azure anchorages, safe harbours and an abundance of tavernas. Little wonder thousands of sailors visit each year. Just 90 minutes after arriving in this idyll we had been introduced to our yacht, had received our evening briefing and were enjoying a beer before dinner. That was how to start a sailing holiday. Our charge for the week was a Jeanneau 33i, Esta Bien. Her saloon was light and airy, her deck and cockpit uncluttered. The furling genoa and a two single-line reefing mainsail were uncomplicated. Although capable of sleeping four, she did feel small. A 36-footer would provide much more space. However, she was easy to sail, and with the exception of the toilet seacock, which was located under the rear cabin bed, everything was where it should be. Before sailing here it is a good idea to buy Rod Heikell’s Ionian pilot guide. There will almost certainly be one aboard a charter vessel but reading it in advance pays huge dividends. Its value cannot be overstated. On Monday morning, as soon as our full on board briefing was over, we were on our way south down the Lefkas Canal in bright sunshine and a light breeze. It was busy with yachts travelling to and from Lefkas town or making passage through it. We motored at 5kt until clear of No.1 buoy. After an hour we hoisted full sail. In 10kt of breeze, Esta Bien ambled along at 4.5kt on a beam reach. An extra knot might have been gained if the mainsail was re-cut – it looked rather stretched. By early afternoon the prevailing northwesterly of 9 to 11kt had arrived and the temperature was in the high twenties. The sea was a deep blue. The islands stood out a fertile green. Off the island of Skorpios we passed a small motorboat at anchor 50m to port. One of the two fishermen aboard shouted as we passed. What had we done, we wondered? We laughed and sighed with relief when we realised he was shouting at a gull stealing his bait. Our first afternoon was giving us what we wanted: clear skies, sunshine and gentle wind. Ironically though, the best of the day’s breeze came after we had put the sails
GREECE PREVEZA Lefkas
Skorpios Little Vathi Kalamos
Fiskado F Vathi IONIAN ISLANDS
116 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
Esta Bien Jeanneau 33i LOA 32ft 8in (10.m) Beam 10ft 11in (3.3m) Draught 4ft 9in (1.15m) Sail area 51.5m2 (554sqft)
BELOW Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea is a popular summer resort
away. The katabatic wind off the mountains produced a 20kt offshore blow in the last mile towards Sivota, our first destination. Those few who had kept their sails up to the end were justly rewarded. Tuesday’s forecast was again for a northwesterly of 9-11kt in the afternoon. Fiskardo on Kefalonia was our destination. Much is said and written of this striking village and harbour, but it seems the sailor is faced with a stark choice; go straight there early and get a quayside berth, or spend the day out sailing and anchor in the bay. Our decision was made for us by the weather. The prevailing wind had given way to a light southsouthwesterly, which was on our nose all the way across Steno Keffalonias, the strait between Lefkas and Kefalonia. Yes, we had the mainsail up, but today was a day to get there early and enjoy a longer time ashore. The 12-mile passage was a tedious procession. A turn around to retrieve our tender after it had floated free was a welcome interlude. Fiskardo was busy; crazily busy. But mooring stern-to, cheek-by-jowl, gives plenty of opportunity to talk to those on adjacent yachts. A young French couple told us their next passage was a 200nm sail to the southern tip of Italy. They were on their way home having been out since May. With a toddler on board, the skipper was cautious: “It will take us 40 hours and I do not want a head wind. On the beam or over the quarter is fine. It looks as though we will have to wait till Saturday.” That evening we enjoyed dinner at Lagoudera on the waterfront. We mentioned to our waiter Gregory how busy Fiskardo was. Was it the time of year? “It’s always busy,” he said wryly and wearily. Vathi on Ithaca was to be our next destination. The Royal Yacht Britannia visited here during the Prince and Princess of Wales’ honeymoon in 1981. The forecast was for a northwesterly of 10kt in the afternoon, so we decided to sail around the north of Ithaca to get the best of the wind down the island’s east. A katabatic fills in here in the afternoon. Claire Shields, base manager at Sunsail in Lefkas, a Yachtmaster and seasoned sailor, has lived and worked in the southern Ionian for 16 years. “When I first arrived you could set your watch by the weather,” said Claire. “You
MIKE TTRIPPITT PAWEL KAZMIERCZAK / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
would get light southerly, Force 1 or 2 in a morning. It would get very hot at lunchtime and by two o’clock the katabatic would kick in. The northwesterly would hit and that stayed until about seven or eight o’clock. It is an easy place to sail, but the wind is quite fickle.” We sailed most of the way to Vathi, albeit with the assistance of the motor on occasions. It proved an interesting stop-over. Just outside Vathi we came across the superyacht Lionheart, owned by Sir Philip Green, anchored in Skhoinos Bay. The former BHS boss had made news headlines the previous day when confronted in the town by a Sky News reporter. That evening the wind blew strongly at Vathi and we were glad to be on the southwestern quay. Those on the southeastern quay were having a more uncomfortable time of it. By morning, however, the wind had gone. Water bowsers and a fuel tanker trundled along the quayside in the warm morning sunshine. It was tempting to stay a while. But, we headed off again, this time northeastwards. A westerly breeze was forecast: 7 to 12kt. For a second day, 30 degrees Celsius was predicted.
TOP LEFT The old and new lighthouses at Fiskardo TOP RIGHT Unofficial harbour master and local restaurant owner George takes a neighbour’s lines at Kalamos ABOVE Yachts in Fiskardo port, the most visted tourist destination on Kefalon and the main yacht port
We have made the 20nm passage from Ithaca to Kalamos a number of times, and today our instinct was right. There was no wind. For five-and-a-half hours we crossed a millpond. The oily-calm waters were broken only by the wakes from motorboats and the Minoan Line ferry. This passage was not about sailing but about enjoying the peace and beauty of these islands and surrounding waters. “Welcome to Kalamos. My name is George.” These words greet most arriving in this charming harbour as George takes the stern lines. The restaurant proprietor, turned unofficial harbourmaster, is well known, thanks to his help and Heikell’s guide. George’s assistance in Kalamos is useful but such an offer of help is not unique. Those daunted by the fear of stern-to mooring in small, busy harbours need not fear. There is always a fellow sailor, a restaurant owner or charter company skipper around to take ropes and provide that extra pair of hands. Sunsail’s Claire Shields has always been impressed. “I have never been anywhere either as a skipper or sailing with friends where someone is not willing to come and take a line. It is not pretentious out THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 117
here and it is not scary. Everyone has to start somewhere and everyone is in the same boat!” The following day, Friday, could have ended so differently. It was hot, humid and set to reach 30 degrees again. The forecast was for a northwesterly, 12kt. Our passage to Little Vathi on Meganisi could give us the best sail of our trip. But when we tried to raise the mainsail in the Kalamos channel, the main halyard caught around a bracket on the mast. After countless attempts to loop the halyard free we gave up. Neither of us had any intention of scaling the mast. Grumbling and disheartened, we resigned ourselves to a day without a mainsail. But thirty minutes later, with defeat gnawing away at us, we tried again. This time we kept the boat off the wind and although the sun made it impossible to see we freed the halyard after several blind attempts with the help of the breeze. We were free to sail. Our persistence was rewarded. After one tack, Esta Bien skipped along northward on a beam reach, the 10nm or so to the northeast edge of Meganisi. It was an excellent sail; as good as we have had in our travels here. Our last morning aboard dawned bright, warm and still. We had a plan, but it did not involve sailing. We were anchored in the bay at Skorpios by 10am. Jackie Onassis’ beach hut was metres away. In the lee of this island, close to the last resting place of Aristotle, Alexander and Christina Onassis, there is peace and tranquillity. We spent all morning there, swimming and reading. A sail in these parts is not complete without a quiet moment at Skorpios. By the end of our week and our 98nm, we felt we had learned something new: in August, the charter sailor has a choice. Stay out late and get the stronger late afternoon winds or get to a port early to secure a good spot. Equipped with Heikell’s guide, a sound anchoring technique and the ability to moor stern-to, the skipper and competent crew should encounter little outside their experience on a summer charter here. One charter company describes the Ionian as an area to have a great holiday where the sailing is secondary. Rod Heikell says: “This is gentle daysailing at its best.” Back at Sunsail, Claire Shields agrees. Like many, she came to the Ionian and stayed. The reason, she said, is simple: “I live in paradise.” 118 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
Skorpios is in the
Charter in the Ionian
The Ionian Sea has become a popular charter destination
for British sailing families due to the region’s light, consist-
behind and the
ent winds and warm sunshine from May to October.
All the main charter companies are represented in the area: in
Agiou Dimitriou on
the north (Corfu to Paxos); and the south (Lefkas to Zakin-
thos) (see below).
RIGHT Sailing and
Scheduled and charter flights are plentiful in season.
fishing boats share
Holiday company airlines and budget operators fly from
the quay in Fiskardo
Birmingham, Manchester and Gatwick into both Corfu and
Preveza. Flight times are three-and-a-half hours. Transfer times to most yacht bases are 30 to 40 minutes. Charter monohulls are typically in the 32-50ft (9.815.2m) range while catamarans are increasingly available from 38-48ft (11.5-14.5m). The larger charter companies all offer flotilla sailing, bareboat charter and skippered charter, while some also offer ‘assisted bareboat’ giving the option of having a skipper on board for an afternoon or a day at the start to help build skill and confidence. Greek law requires the skipper of a charter boat to have an appropriate qualification in their home country whether they are bareboating or on flotilla. This is taken to mean RYA Day Skipper practical or above, or an International Certificate of Competence endorsed for sail. Several of the charter companies offer RYA-recognised training that can be done as the first half of a two-week holiday. SUNSAIL Bases at Corfu and Lefkas. Flotilla, bareboat and skippered
About the author Mike Trippitt is a freelance writer with 20 years’ sailing experience. Having sailed their own Maxi 1100 on the east coast, Thames estuary and northern France, Mike and wife Clare now charter regularly in the Greek islands.
charter sunsail.co.uk OTHER CHARTER Sail Ionian - sailionian.com Family-owned charter in Lefkas Nautica - nautica.com.mt Based in Malta The Moorings - moorings.co.uk Corfu and Lefkas bases Seafarer - seafarerholidays.com Lefkada base, beach club DIYachting - diyachting.co.uk Luxury yacht charter Vliho YC - vlihoyc.com Friendly people-based club HDM Sailing - hdmsailing.gr Lefkas base Dragon Drascombe - dragondrascombe.com Traditional sailing round Lefkada S.Y.C. sycg.gr Corfu, Lefkas, Kefalonia bases
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EVENT GUIDE 2018 Don’t miss these highlights of the next yachting year
London Boat Show
Les Voiles d’Antibes
30 May - 3 June
New-style show over just five days, with
Opening Channel race for Junior Offshore
The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge kicks off
yachts, dinghies, motor boats and more at the
Group members, departing Cowes. The
in style beneath the old stone walls of Antibes.
ExCel centre. There will be an activity pool
programme stretches to late September and
for children to try paddleboarding and other
closes with a second Cherbourg race.
things, as well as demonstrations and talks and
a ‘waterside’ bar. A Classic Boat exhibit will
Three Rivers Race 2-3 June (TBC)
welcome guests at the entrance.
Voiles de St Barth
and great fun.
Now in its ninth year, this event is for serious
Düsseldorf Boat Show 20-28 January One of the world’s leading boat shows, Boot
racers in yachts of all sizes. lesvoilesdesaintbarth.com
Small boat day/night race in Norfolk. Eclectic
Falmouth Classics 22-24 June
spreads 1,800 exhibitors across 17 vast halls.
Almost every boatbuilder under the sun will be
mosphere with everything from family-owned
here, along with gear manufacturers, charter
Classics worldwide gather for legendary racing
pilot cutters to gleaming Metre boats.
companies and more. It’s easy to get around,
and partying at this quintessential regatta for
dynamic, and all in a city famed for its tradi-
RORC Caribbean 600
Beaulieu Boat Jumble
Coincides with a sea shanty festival. Magic at-
Tall Ships Races 11 July - 6 August First Tall Ship Race of the year starts from
Sunderland. The races continue onto Den-
Best known of the marine jumble sales, in the
mark, Norway and Holland, finishing in August.
Top Caribbean offshore race. The varied fleet
grounds of the National Motor Museum.
sails out of Falmouth Harbour, Antigua, for a
slalom course round the Leeward Islands. Attracts some of the world’s most exciting boats.
Antigua Race Week
28 April – 4 May
Youth Sailing World Championships 14-21 July
Headline race event of the Caribbean season,
The best sailors aged 19 and under head to
this year celebrating its 51st anniversary.
Corpus Christi in Texas for the 48th edition.
Post-hurricane the island needs the custom of
Tall Ships Festival
Lendy Cowes Week
yachtsmen more than ever. The race will hap-
pen, marinas are open, shoreside facilities are
First of three tall ships gatherings, this one in
Cowes becomes the centre of the universe, as
ready and the sun will be out. Latest info on
Liverpool, the others in Dublin and Bordeaux
the world’s top race boats battle it out with
over the summer.
keen amateurs, one-design fleets and ‘white
sail’ cruisers in one of the greatest regattas.
Suzuki Dinghy Show
Northern Boat Show
Organised by the RYA, this show is a must
Held in Liverpool Docks, this show forms part
for anyone interested in dinghy sailing. Venue
of the International Mersey River Festival.
Cornwall’s answer to Cowes Week.
Alexandra Palace in north London.
St Maarten Heineken Regatta 1-4 March
120 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
Panerai British Classic Week 14-21 June The British Classic Yacht Club’s annual regatta is part of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge and sees entries from across the world, as well as many of the finest classic yachts in UK waters.
OGA anniversary rally 16-19 August Friendly meet for big and small boats at the Folly Inn on the Medina River to mark the OGA’s 55th anniversary. oga.org.uk
Fast 40+ series April - October The boats and the series of the moment, with another exciting season ahead guaranteed. lendycowesweek.co.uk
Oyster World Rally 2017-2019 The fleet continues its round-the-world odyssey, with participants able to sign up for different stages of the 26-month fully supported voyage. oysterworldrally.com
Antigua Classics OYSTER YACHTS
18-24 April Spectacular event with everything from 100ft schooners to small family boats in Antigua’s steady trade winds. antiguaclassics.com
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 121
Volvo Ocean Race Until mid-June The multi-leg crewed circumnavigation concludes with a tricky leg from Cardiff to Gothenburg. The VOR app will keep you updated meanwhile.
YANN RIOU/DONGFENG RACE TEAM
Competitive family and friends racing on the
sheltered River Blackwater in Essex.
classic fleet gathers in
Carrick Roads for racing
Dartmouth Royal Regatta
and live bands. falmouthclassics.org.uk
30-31 August Including a passage race and a cruiser race, as well as a river procession, fireworks, steamboat rally and much more. For all the family.
Route du Rhum
4 November start
Mersea Oyster Dredging Match
Saint Malo to Guadaloupe in the fastest, most extreme monohulls
Unique event for smacks and bawleys, where the winner is the boat to dredge the most. Lovely atmosphere amid east coast mud and merriment. mersearegatta.org.uk
and multihulls in the world. routedurhum.com
In a delightful setting by the Croisette, the
The best time to
Cannes show is now four decades old and is
exit the Solent if you
one of the best places to see cruising yachts,
donâ€™t like fast boats,
motorboats, modern classics and there is a
fierce racing and all
wealth of shoreside stands, all the while soaking up some late summer sun over a glass of cool rosĂŠ. cannesyachtingfestival.com
122 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
Cannes Yachting Festival
night parties. lendycowesweek. org.uk
Monaco Classic Week September (dates TBC) All the glamour of the principality with some of the finest classic yachts afloat – mixed in with motorboats, dinghies and vintage cars. yacht-club-monaco.mc
29 September - 7 October (TBC)
Southampton Boat show
The 20th edition of Saint-Tropez’s heady mix
September (dates TBC)
of modern and classic is sure to set pulses
Britain’s biggest and best
racing again, on shore and in the gulf’s cobalt
on-the-water boat show
blue waters. The season closer for the classic
welcomes hundreds of
scene and one to remember for anyone there.
boats in Europe’s larg-
est temporary marina. A
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
growing number of new
boats get their debuts here,
October, November or January starts
while test sails can also be
Jimmy Cornell’s family-focused Atlantic rally
leaves Tenerife bound for Barbados. There is a
separate route via the Cape Verdes islands and a follow-on Caribbean Odyssey. cornellsailing.com
Extreme Sailing Series finals
Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
29 November – 2 December (TBC) The globe-touring extreme racing series held its eighth and final race in Los Cabos, Mexico,
in 2017 and another attractive venue is a sure-
The granddaddy of the
thing for 2018. See foiling Extreme 40 catama-
Atlantic rallies gets under
rans slicing up the race course at high speed.
way from Gran Canaria,
with boats arriving in St Lucia from early December
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race
26 December – 2 January
attracting top competition for tough racing, often in heavy seas. rolexsydneyhobart.com
One of the great offshore yacht races,
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 123
BOOKS THE BEST FOR 2018 More cracking reads for your already groaning bookshelves...
Sir John Franklin’s Erebus and Terror Expedition: Lost and Found GILLIAN HUTCHINSON This book is an accompaniment to a fascinating exhibition at the National Maritime Museum Greenwich, which runs until 5 January, 2018, on Franklin’s ill-fated expedition in 1845 to find the North West Passage. The story is well-known: both Franklin’s ships, Erebus and Terror, disappeared in the ice with the loss of 129 men, but exactly what happened to them remained a mystery. The ships were only found in 2014 and 2016, revealing more about how the men may have
brings the story to life through
Tales from the Captain’s Log: From Captain Cook to Charles Darwin, Blackbeard and Nelson, accounts of great events at sea from those who were there
paintings and photographs, as well as
A faithful reproduction of letters, journals, log entries, diaries and other first hand accounts of
an accessible text. Both wrecks are in
nautical events in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries – transcribed for slightly easier reading – to
excellent condition, preserved by the
make an engrossing and handsome volume. The source material is all stored in the National
cold water, Erebus only 11 metres
Archives at Kew in west London and most of it has rarely seen the light of day. A modern day
below the surface and Terror with
commentary puts things in historical and sociological context.
intact panes of glass, 48 metres
met their deaths. This is an undemanding softback book that
down. £18.99 Bloomsbury
124 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
WELL WORTH A READ
A New History of Yachting
Solo Around Cape Horn
The stories behind the
fatal last voyages of 11
well-known sailors who
the author met or raced
of a remarkable solo
passage south in 1966.
The Impractical Boat Owner
Exposed: the dark side of the America’s Cup
MIKE BENDER In the words of Tom Cunliffe, who writes the foreword, this new 440-page account of our favoured hobby is a “thumping good read”. Bender takes the tale from its very stirrings to the modern day, bringing in all manner of influences from the development of motorways to changes in technology and politics. Notably, from 1880 onwards, he avoids a focus on racing and includes the everyday cruising yachtsman in a small boat, who sailed for pleasure. £30 Boydell Press
DAVE SELBY observations and
ALAN SEFTON AND LARRY KEATING
Some of the great
inexpert budget sailing.
scandals of the event.
£20 Adlard Coles
The Piper Calls the Tune: The life and legacy of David Boyd, yacht designer
The Laser Book
BY EUAN ROSS
The sixth edition of the
The Complete Yachtmaster 9th edition
Scotman Boyd started his career working with Wm Fife III and ended
final word on how to
up almost as famous himself, drawing two post-war British America’s
get the best out of the
Learn from the best! If
Cup challengers and the much-loved Piper One-Design, which marked
most fun boat ever
you like it real, Cunliffe
its 50th anniversary last year. Ross’ personal account is first rate and his
is your man.
text is laden with pithy commentary about much besides the Boyd story.
£16.99 Fernhurst Books
£25 Adlard Coles
THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 125
WELL WORTH A READ
Barefoot Navigator JACK LAGAN
Into the Southern Ocean
How to navigate using
the skills of the
A tough Shetlander’s
ancients, with stars,
wind, swell patterns,
attempts to sail solo
birds and more.
round the world.
Waypoints: Seascapes and Stories of Scotland’s West Coast
£15.99 Shetland Times.
BY IAN STEPHEN Beautifully written accounts of sea journeys honouring different craft, mostly traditional, including an Orkney yole, a Stella and a South Coast One Design, each one interwoven with a re-telling of a traditional tale about the sea. Former Isle of Lewis coastguard Ian Stephen has created a lyrical and gentle commentary on the nautical past and present. £18.99 Bloomsbury
The Cape Horners’ Club
A Wild Call
The history of the Cape
account of one man’s
through the stories of
Scottish cruise north
those who made it
towards St Kilda and
round, 1934 onwards.
JAM or how I learned to love the RIB BY JAMES ROBINSON TAYLOR Regular Classic Boat readers will know the photos of James Robinson Taylor well. The popular American photographer, who lives in Florence, has taken some of the iconic images of the great classic yachts over the past three decades. This, his first book, takes us around the race course, with photos of yachts old and modern at each part. It’s an aesthetic delight, printed on thick matt paper and with James giving a humorous insight into the photographer’s lot. €48 jrtphoto.com
Herreshoff – American Masterpieces
Restoring a Dunkirk Little Ship: Caronia SS70
The Sea Devil An epic WW1 tale of
BY MAYNARD BRAY, CLAAS VAN DER LINDE, BENJAMIN MENDLOWITZ
how naval commander
A magnificent assessment and record
A technical and
Felix von Luckner
of Herreshoff ’s designs, in large
practical account of a
format, with Bray’s peerless prose
private 10-year project.
infuriated the Admiralty.
and Mendlowitz’s dreamy
£75 WW Norton & Company
126 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
WELL WORTH A READ
Charting the Oceans
From the British
on how to model the
Library’s collection of
extreme clipper, in
rare charts. One shows
minute detail with tons
BY NIGEL SHARP
the ‘island’ of California.
of instructional photos.
Classic Boat writer and photographer Nigel Sharp
£14.99 British Library
$75 Sea Watch Books
The Boats I’ve Loved CHUCK PAINE
A History of Whisstock’s Boatyard
A charming, personal
look at 20 of the
The east coast yard in
photos and memories.
Three Men & A Boat: portrait of a classic Thames launch
Off the Deep End: A History of Madness at Sea
Sea Charts of the British Isles
BY MARTIN PRESTON
The story of the fabulous Lady Charlotte
Former CB editor Nic
charts and surveys
and those of her ilk through the eyes of
tackles an interesting
through the ages, the
designer Andrew Wolstenholme, builder
topic, with stories from
text putting each in
Colin Henwood and owner Simon
the past and present.
McMurtrie. Deservedly lavish.
EDWARD J. TOSTI
offers 180 of his own photos of classic boats afloat today, with brief and authoritative text accompanying each. Nigel has shot the boats on his travels far and wide. From a newly built Thames skiff to the Big Class. £14.99 Amberley
Pirates Magnified A SEARCH AND FIND ADVENTURE BOOK More than 200 piratical things to spot in the packed pages of this hardback book, which comes with its own plastic magnifying glass. Each spread looks at a different pirate, so you get to learn all about Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Anne Bonny and others. Sections on navigation, survival, the pirate dress code and of course treasure! For children, or those waiting for the tide. £14.99 Quarto
£25 Middle Thames Publications THE YACHTING YEAR 2018 | 127
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BY JAN HEIN
TAKING HIS FINAL SAIL
MAIN PHOTO: the boats are readied TOP RIGHT: The coffin is carried to the quay
oat racing is the national sport on the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla. Born from competition between engineless cargo schooners beating home from the Dominican Republic, today it is a serious sport raced in open sloops. Boatbuilders are held in high regard, their skills often handed father to son, and rock star status is guaranteed for the fastest of the fleet. Our little gaff ketch was anchored in Anguilla’s Road Bay when I noticed two trailered race boats appear on the beach, 28ft in length, painted like a fresh box of crayons. First one was dipped in the water, then the other. We were months ahead of Easter, when racing begins in earnest, and long past August Monday, when the entire island turns out in force. Why they were there was a mystery. The following day, curiosity hauled me ashore to watch crew hustling gear and ballast aboard. More came to raise the 50ft masts, set up rigs and bend on sweeping mains that downwind give the appearance of butterflies in flight. “Is there going to be a race?” I asked with expectation. One of the riggers replied: “No. No race. We takin’ a fella on he’lass sail.” An anniversary or retirement? Spreading ashes? But the story I learned was far more. The sailor was Albert Hughes, known locally as Belto. His father owned Light and Peace and Belto sailed her over 50 years, often as captain. He had a hand in building, maintaining and financing this favourite of the fleet. The second boat, De Wizard, was also a Hughes family vessel, built through the efforts of Belto. Belto passed away aged 82. He would be honoured by the country at a national funeral for his service as an Elected Representative, Minister and Parliamentary Secretary, having served his West End community and country for 27 years. His nephew, Earl Hughes, knew Belto longed for one more sail.
130 | THE YACHTING YEAR 2018
Time had slipped away, along with his uncle’s life, but there was still a chance to make it happen. The following afternoon, a crowd gathered near the pier. A hearse backed onto the beach and crew, wearing Light and Peace shirts, came forward as pallbearers. The door opened, revealing a boat-shaped coffin, painted to replicate Beltos’ beloved vessel. The casket was carried down the pier, stern first by tradition, and placed aboard a motorboat that would escort the yachts. Pallbearers then hustled down the beach to the waiting boats, which were filling fast. Kids and women were carried out, beers were opened and before long everyone was aboard, the jibs were busted loose and they were off – West End bound. The crowd onshore toasted Belto. Laughter erupted along with sailing stories. Tears filled eyes watching the three vessels shrink in size. I knew nothing about this man, yet I knew without a doubt how much he was loved, that Anguilla was his heart and sailing was in his blood. After the boats returned and the casket was placed in the hearse, I saw boatbuilder Devon ‘Beggar’ Daniels. “You got to come to my yard,” he said. “See what I make. It de boat dat go on top.” Beggar collected us the next day, hours before the funeral, and as we entered his boatyard, there sat a 7ft miniature replica of Light and Peace. It had taken a week to build, setting up the frames, laying up tiny planks, finished in minute detail including paint, graphics and numbered ballast stones glued in the bottom. “It go on top de grave,” Beggar explained. “Like a wreath.” Never before had a wreath looked like a boat, nor had any sailor been given such an extraordinary tribute. It was, to my eyes, the finest salute to a man of the sea. One of hundreds of condolences said it best: “RIP Mr Hughes. You have finished the race.”
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