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by Olympian Stu Bithell

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Expert tips on how to go faster

BOSSING IT!

Exclusive insight on the closest Vendee yet


THIS MONTH

PHOTO: INGRID ABERY

APRIL 2013

24 TESTING

PHOTO: JEAN-MARIE LIOT/MACIF*

OPINION

6 News Latest insights into the world of sailing

boats 57 New Including the new Sunreef 90 and Crabber 22

11 Out with the old and in with the new Bob Fisher: Roving eye

24,000-MILE

for the next Volvo Ocean Race

MATCH RACE

13 How far does talent alone take you? Andy Rice: Dinghies

The youngest ever winner, in a new course record time, with the closest finish yet: the Vendee Globe just keeps on getting tougher. Helen Fretter and Andi Robertson report

Wanted: future Vendee winners 32 Rupert Holmes looks at the Artemis

Robertson: Yachts 14 Andi Is the IMOCA 60 keel and ram failure

Academy and its mission to propel Britain’s sailors to the front of the Vendee Globe fleet

count still too high?

ANALYSIS

hall of fame 36 Olympic Ten of the most famous names that

16 Cover story Francois Gabart and Vendee ‘match race’

Alex Thomson share their stories from the closest race to date

winners 24 Key Andi Robertson talks to three winners

have stamped their authority on Olympic sailing...

40 Louay Habib talks to the owner-driver Sir Peter Ogden

of the RP60 ‘Spirit of Jethou’

from the famous Key West Race Week

TECHNIQUE tale of two crew 44 ACover story Olympic silver medallist

phoTo: RichaRd Langdon/Skandia Team gBR*

crew Stu Bithell talks about his move to helming and winning the Merlin Rocket nationals

The

olympians The global festival of sport every four years enables some of the world’s best sailors to shine on an international stage and become national heroes

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Yachts & Yachting

April 2013

phoTo: ppL

phoTo: onediTion*

Ben Ainslie Four Olympic gold medals, plus one silver make Sir Ben the most successful Olympic sailor ever and the sailor that most people will have heard of, be they sailing fans or not. He started out sailing Optimists in Cornwall, and did well at a young age, moving up to winning the Radial worlds in 1993 and the youth worlds in 1995. He won his first Olympic medal, a silver at the 1996 Atlanta Games, aged just 19, since when he hasn’t let gold out of his grasp. In 2012 he became the first person to win Olympic sailing medals at five consecutive Games. If the Star class was staying in the Olympics we might have seen Sir Ben chasing a fifth gold, but the physical demands of the Finn led him to announce his Olympic retirement last year – his focus now is the America’s Cup. He is undoubtedly one of the most talented sailors in the world.

hard for anyone to ever equal. His influence stretches beyond pure medal winning: he also developed sails and new equipment including a self-bailer; he popularised the kicking strap as well as leading the way in the new technique of hiking using toe straps. His influence is massive and the sport wouldn’t be what it is today without his input.

April 2013

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62 Competition Cover story WIN a Sailqube dinghy bag 67 Kit The latest new gear and gadgets Safety special 70 Rupert Holmes thinks through the essentials for safe sailing

The ultimate toolbox 75 Paula Irish looks at what should be in the serious sailor’s toolbox

TRAVEL of a lifetime 80 Holiday Dream of sailing round the world?

ESSENTIALS and Classes 88 Clubs Grassroots and grand-prix events

20 fast boat tips

on the water 92 Boats Our top picks

at a host of ways to make your boat go faster

of the month 98 Position The human bomb

50 Cover story Rupert Holmes looks

Paul Elvström One of the most amazing sailors the world has ever seen, Denmark’s Paul Elvström won four Olympic gold medals and competed at eight Olympic Games, his last in 1988 at the age of 60 sailing in the Tornado class with his daughter Trine. He won over 11 world championships in eight different classes, demonstrating a dominating talent that will be

focus: Ker 40 60 Boat We take a closer look...

April 2013

Yachts & Yachting

3


YACHTS YACHTING EDITORIAL Editor Gael Pawson +44 (0)7855 849273 gael@creatingwaves.com Deputy Editor (tests) Rupert Holmes Deputy Editor (features) Helen Fretter Art Editor Claire Greeno Picture Editor Tom Gruitt Sub Editor Rob Melotti Clubs & Classes Editor Paula Irish Yachtsandyachting@creatingwaves.com Contributors Jeremy Evans, Bob Fisher, Louay Habib, Andy Rice, Andi Robertson

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April 2013

The power of perseverance

A

lex Thomson’s third place in the Vendee Globe is perhaps my favourite ocean racing result ever. You see I sailed with Alex many, many years ago when few had heard of him. He told me of his dream of competing in the Vendee Globe... who knew that he would go on to post the fastest British time ever and become only the third Brit to make the podium of this French-dominated epic. After all his disappointments and boat failures over the years, to post such a great result in an old generation Open 60 is a truly tremendous achievement and just goes to show that if you persevere, you can reach your goal. If Alex was starting out now, he might have a helping hand in the form of the Artemis Academy - we take a closer look at where the next generation of British Vendee sailors are likely to come from. However, one of most inspiring stories we have this issue, in my view, is from Olympic silver medallist Stu Bithell, who talks about how he went on to win the Merlin nationals as a helm... he’s also going to be campaigning for the 49er spot for the next Games in Rio in 2016, again at the back end of the boat. Best of luck to him - it’s a truly well-rounded sailor who can win at the See us on Facebook.com/sailingmagazine

front and the back of a boat and transfer their skills to different classes. Meanwhile, if like me you’re struggling to feel inspired about getting out on the water in this miserable weather, take a look at the stunning shots from Key West Race Week - they can’t help but inspire you for the season ahead, while the tales from the three winners include plenty of interesting nuggets to learn from. Sometimes it might feel like our learning curve is massive, especially after switching classes, but every time we go out on the water we are all honing our skills, however good we are to start with. That’s a huge motivating factor for anyone who loves learning.

Gael Pawson, Editor Follow us on Twitter:

@gaelpawson

Writers this month include... One of the world’s most respected sailing commentators, Bob Fisher has a depth of knowledge that’s second to none.

Midlands-based Paula Irish is a highly experienced dinghy sailor and writer with a finger on the pulse of the UK dinghy scene.

Musto Skiff sailor Andy Rice has unparalleled knowledge of the dinghy sailing scene, from grassroots to Olympic level.


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NEWS

Left Francois Gabart celebrates shaving five days off the race record and becoming the youngest ever winner of the Vendee Globe

Golding hangs up Vendee boots Photo: Jean-Marie Liot/DPPi/VenDee GLobe*

British solo sailor Mike Golding will not compete in any future Vendee Globe races. The 52-year-old skipper became the first to complete three Vendee Globes when he finished sixth this year.

Vendee sets record pace The seventh Vendee Globe was won by 29-year-old Francois Gabart on ‘Macif’, the youngest ever winner of the solo non-stop circumnavigation, in his first attempt at the race. Gabart set a new race record by completing the round the world course

in 78 days, two hours, 16 minutes and 40 seconds, shaving five days off the time set by Michel Desjoyeaux in 2009. Gabart was followed home by Armel le Cleac’h just three hours and 17 minutes later, making it the tightest ever finish to the race. Brit Alex Thomson finished

third on ‘Hugo Boss’. At the time of going to press 11th placed Alessandro Di Benedetto was due to finish 25 days after him, also making it the shortest gap between first and last. See full report and interviews with Gabart and Thomson on page 16.

Figaro set for Portugal The Solitaire du Figaro race is to visit Portugal for the first time this year. The 2013 course has been confirmed as Bordeaux-Porto-GijónRoscoff-Dieppe, starting on May 4.

Tri service initiative Toe in the Water, Yachts & Yachting’s official charity for 2013, has launched its Racing Programme which will see around 50 injured servicemen compete in key sailing events this summer. Founded in 2008, the

initiative uses competitive sailing as a rehabilitation tool for injured service personnel. Racing on a Farr 52 yacht, donated to the charity last season, the Toe in the Water crew will be entering six events including the RORC Easter

Regatta, the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, the IRC Nationals, Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the Dartmouth Royal Regatta and the Garmin Hamble Winter Big Boat Series.

Photo: oneDition*

Toe in the Water announces regatta dates

ETNZ’s ‘Boat 2’ takes flight Photo: Chris CaMeron/etnZ*

Emirates Team New Zealand’s ‘Boat 2’ became the latest AC72 to take its maiden sail on February 12. Sailing around the Hauraki Gulf in a light 8-11 knot breeze the Kiwi team got up on the foils on the first attempt. Season tickets for the 34th America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton

6

Yachts & Yachting

April 2013

Cup have now gone on sale, encompassing the full summer schedule from July 4-September 21 in San Francisco. To buy or see race schedule visit www.americascup.com/en/ experience Left ETNZ’s ‘Boat 2’ takes to the water


news

Vounaki regatta week Supernovas, Hartley 12 and Hartley 10 dinghies. The price is £399 including flights, accommodation, half board and race entry fee, with a free rash vest for entries received by June 10. To book contact Nicky Foot at Sunsail on 0845 869 5037, or visit www.hartleyboats.co.uk and www.sunsail.co.uk/clubs

Collect 40+ years of Y&Y Barry Pickthall of PPL has over 40 years of Yachts & Yachting magazines in search of a good home. The extensive library, which dates back to 1969 and includes every issue from 1971, is available to any interested clubs, associations or museums. To find out more, contact PPL@mistral.co.uk

They said… “The only words I have to describe the time since passing the Horn are: cold, frigid, bone chilling, etc. I think you get the picture.” Ryan Breymaier on the VO70 ‘Maserati’ New York-San Francisco record “It’s a pretty powered-up rig and we felt quite light when we first got out on it, so we ate a big dinner that night!” Eighteen-year-old Rupert White on his first sail on the Nacra 17 “It was awesome. Words can’t describe the feeling. Popping a hull in an AC45… I can’t get the smile off my face.” Jason Waterhouse, of Objective Australia team, after the first day’s training for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup “Yesterday I didn’t speak to anybody, more than 24 hours. But I’m pretty happy. I know that soon I will be with my friends and family, so I’m actually enjoying a few moments by myself for the last time. I know soon it will be a big party.” Tenth-placed Vendee Globe skipper tanguy de la Motte on his 95th day at sea solo “I’d probably been out on my board three times since the Games... so to be racing and planing again, well I just got spat straight out the back. The board felt heavy, I felt slow and it hurt.” RS:X sailor Nick Dempsey on his return to windsurfing at Miami

Photo: GiLLes Martin-raGet / www.aMeriCasCuP.CoM*

Yachts & Yachting has teamed up with Hartley Boats and Sunsail for a special regatta week at Sunsail’s Club Vounaki in Greece next year. From April 27-May 4, 2014 the family fun regatta will include performance seminars, daily races and a grand finale on Saturday, held in the resort’s Wayfarers,

You said… Photo: Jean-Marie Liot/iDeC*

Wondering which university to apply to? Here’s the all-important question... “What are the best universities for sailing? kingdacks

Joyon’s Columbus Francis Joyon, skipper of the maxi trimaran ‘Idec’, crossed the Columbus Route finishing line off San Salvador in the Bahamas at 0457hrs GMT on February 15. With a race time of eight days, 16 hours, seven minutes and five seconds, Francis Joyon shaved more than one day and four hours off his own record set back in 2008 (nine days, 20 hrs and 35 mins). Over the theoretical 3,884 miles of the Great Circle route, he sailed at an average speed of 18.66 knots (distance actually sailed 4,379.5 miles at an average speed of 21.04 knots). Francis Joyon left Cadiz, Spain, on Wednesday January 6, 2013. He becomes the first sailor ever to take the bar for the Columbus Route to less than nine days. An exceptional performance, when we see that Francis Joyon looked after his own strategy out at sea without any routing assistance or outside help. The Columbus Route is always very challenging, as it requires dealing with many different weather systems. The next challenge for Francis Joyon on ‘Idec’ will be an attempt at the North Atlantic record between New York and the Lizard. He is due to go on stand-by in the spring.

“Some of the top team racing clubs can be a little neglectful of those who aren’t team material, whereas others with a lower profile are more inclusive.” – Rupert “For team racing Oxford, Cambridge, Soton, Durham all are good clubs... Yachting-wise Soton, Solent, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Exeter and Bristol are always there or thereabouts. To get a feel for the standard check out the Busa website.” – Quagers “Don’t forget SUSA (the Scottish equivalent). There is some great racing up there and also plenty of yachting if that’s your thing on and around the Clyde.” – tick “Choose on academics first, extra-curricular second!” – alstorer For more views go to

www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/

April 2013

Yachts & Yachting

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news In brief ■ Scotland-based Sailingfast has been appointed as a Laser agent and will be supporting the rYa Youth Champs in Largs at the beginning of april. ■ a J/97 eurocup will be held as part of the 2013 J-Cup hosted by the royal western sC, Plymouth from august 21-24.

Photo: eD warDLe/shaCKLeton*

■ Portmore insurance is to sponsor the Royal Lymington YC 2013 spring series. ■ Volvo Car UK is the new official Vehicle Partner to aberdeen asset Management Cowes week for the next three years. ■ the first edition of the Mauritius Regatta is set to take place from May 18-25, with skippers including Francois Gabart, Michel Desjoyeaux and sam Davies taking part.

Shackleton Epic success Record-breaking speed sailor Paul Larsen and British offshore racer Nick Bubb are among the Shackleton Epic team who have successfully recreated Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Sailing ‘Alexandra Shackleton’, an accurate replica

■ skandia team Gbr Development squad sailors Rupert White and Nikki Boniface are the latest recipients of the Marlow ropes award, which will support them in their new nacra 17 olympic campaign. ■ Gothenburg, Sweden will be the final stop on the route for the 12th edition of the Volvo ocean race in 2014-15

of Shackleton’s 22.5ft lifeboat, the team made an 800-mile voyage across the Southern Ocean from Elephant Island to South Georgia, replicating Shackleton’s 1916 voyage after ‘Endurance’ became icebound. The project included wearing

historically accurate clothing and avoiding the use of modern navigation equipment. Larsen also accompanied members of the expedition team in recreating the second leg of Shackleton’s journey, a hazardous mountain climb across South Georgia.

Worth a look Our sister titles have some great reading this month. The Sailing the Atlantic NEW April issue of Sailing YACHTS FOR 2013 Family flyer Today includes: Atlantic challenge – ARC newbie takes the civilised route Yarmouth Harbour to the Caribbean; Tests on the Scanmar 33, Bavaria 33c and security boat trackers, plus essential spring boat checks. Classic Boat will feature more than 300 global events for traditional craft of all sizes; James Cagney’s boat, the American schooner ‘Martha’, has been restored to sail (with no dirty rats aboard) plus Crossing the Channel in a 14ft clinker dinghy and a proposal of marriage from the Mid-Atlantic using a Yellow Brick! SAILING TODAY

■ auckland in new Zealand will also be a host port for both the 12th edition in 2014-15 and the 13th of the Volvo Ocean Race.

192

APRIL 2013

CRUISING TRANSATLANTIC

■ the official charity of the 2013-2014 Clipper race, the ellen MacArthur Cancer trust, has recieved £5,000 from Peter smith, 60 from solihull, who completed the full round the world yacht race last year.

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Hamble joint open day The four sailing clubs on the River Hamble are teaming up for their first joint open day on Saturday, April 6. The clubs will be open from 1000-1700, with all visitors welcome (for safety reasons they are requested to register in advance with Hamble River SC, Warsash SC, RAF YC or Royal Southern YC). The day will include inter-club team race racing in Foxer dinghies and the chance to talk to members.

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■ the first event in the Australian tP52 Southern Cross Cup was won by Karl Kwok’s beau Geeste. early indications are there could be up to 10 tP52s racing on the new australian circuit this year.

TRACKERS USED BOAT TEST: SCANMAR

ADVENTURE

Could you take on the ARC?

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■ GBR Youth Challenge, competing at the red bull Youth america’s Cup selection series, have named Macmillan Cancer as their official charity.

■ the 2013 extreme Sailing Series calendar has been confirmed, taking in oman, singapore, Qingdao, istanbul, Porto, nice and rio de Janeiro, with the british act 6 held in Cardiff, august 23-26.

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Opinion

Bob Fisher Out with the old and in with the new for the next Volvo Ocean Race

T

he Volvo Ocean Race has made its first announcement of a stopover port for the 2014-15 edition – Recife in Brazil. As the press release pointed out, the race’s links with Brazil date back to the first Whitbread in 197374, a stopover that was repeated four years later when an impromptu conga, led by Clare Francis, ended with the riot police flailing truncheons and firing tear-gas as 200 or more crews weaved an uneven course into the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro’s swimming pool. Rio, as a stopover port, was off limits for some years after that. It was in Uruguay in 1994 that a major change was planned in the event – that of a first-to-finish winner with points given for individual stages. Until then, the race had been run under IOR under a total corrected time basis, but the introduction of the Whitbread 60 class opened a new opportunity. The argument then was whether or not it should have been a one-design class and the decision against it was taken because it was felt that a box rule should give yacht designers some room for manoeuvre. What also should be made plain is that the owners of the IOR Maxis saw the Whitbread 60 as a threat to their superiority – they wanted the class to be two days slower on each leg of the race. When they saw the full potential of the Whitbread 60s in the Fastnet Race, when they finished 1-2-3, the Maxi owners demanded that their masthead spinnakers be banned for the Southern Ocean legs (remember, this was a roundthe-world race). Had they not done so, a Whitbread 60 would have had the fastest elapsed time in that race. Eventually, the one-design protagonists

the World Race that begat it has been eliminated. The citizens of Cape Town – the Tavern of the Seas – are not happy with the decision, but they have to understand that they have to buy more Volvo cars and trucks AND pay to have the race stop at the most natural of stopover ports anywhere in the world. That’s the new – commercial – face of ocean racing events.

Bucking the trend

have achieved their aim with the 65-footer, which will make the next race more comprehensible to the general public. That is clearly a key aim of the organisers, who are also seeking a new batch of media crew members – if only that had been available in the early races... But whoever fills the MCM slots this time will have a hard job to emulate their predecessors in the last race – the

That the 300-boat limit of entry for this year’s Fastnet Race had been reached within the first 24 hours was indeed remarkable, particularly in view of two facts. To have done so, the RORC must have relied upon online entries, which proves that the entrants are all electronically articulate, and, perhaps more remarkably, the event attracts entries like no other in this day and age. Everywhere else, regatta entries are depressingly down on the previous year, which, in turn, were down on the year before. Yet, when it took 10 days to achieve the full entry in 2011, it took one tenth of that time this year. Something must be very right about the way the RORC runs the Fastnet Race. By way of contrast, an all-new yacht club is being established, but its headquarters will not appear on any Admiralty chart as Chipping Norton could hardly be closer to the centre of England. It will, according to its founder, Trevor Taylor, ‘provide an opportunity for local people with an interest in boats and the sea to get together’. His enthusiasm is to be applauded – he has the support of the RYA – and one can only wish success to the Chipping Norton YC. How long before it has an entry into a major sailing event?

Maxi owners demanded the Whitbread 60s’ masthead spinnakers be banned for the Southern Ocean legs world owes a great deal to their skill and determination in filing reports and video stories from the boats. They will not, however, for the first time, have stories of Cape Town to tell. The Recifé stopover eliminates Africa from the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race (and there will be two stops in Brazil, as it is understood Itajai will be repeated). All tradition with the Whitbread Round

April 2013

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Dinghies

Andy Rice Can talent alone get you to the top? Or is anything possible with practice, practice, practice...

G

reat sailors – born or made? No one can really say, but my observations from Olympic sailing suggest that talent is what gets you noticed, but it’s hard work and practice that really makes the difference at the top. Before the British Olympic squad turned into the lean professional fighting machine that it has become today, people went Olympic sailing because they’d had some success in other classes and fancied trying their hand at the toughest end of the sport. It was interesting to see how some really successful sailors at national level, with multiple titles to their name, failed to cut it at Olympic level. Sometimes it was the lesser-known sailors who plugged away for longer and eventually made a breakthrough. Maybe because it hadn’t come so easy at national competition, they had higher reserves of patience and fortitude for the tough times that inevitably come with Olympic campaigning. I saw this first-hand when I got a call from a multiple world champion to crew for him in a 470 regatta. He was a legend in his ‘other’ class, and I expected him to display similar talent in the 470. To some extent, he did, when we had space around us to put our heads down. But in tight tactical situations he got into a mess. He was so fast in the ‘other’ class, he probably didn’t need to be too good at the boat-on-boat tactics. He always had the space to just sail fast. Popular author Malcolm Gladwell has written a bestselling book on this subject called ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’, which lays out the premise that you need to have done 10,000 hours of practising the thing that you want to

excel in – whether it be playing the violin to concert hall perfection, kicking a rugby ball with the metronomic precision of Jonny Wilkinson, or sailing. It’s an interesting read, although I don’t think it does quite tell the whole story. After all, Ben Ainslie reached a world-class level in the Laser at the age of 18 when he had been sailing for less than 10 years in total. It’s not just the hours that you put

teams competing around the world: on the MOD 70 trimaran circuit, and in the Extreme Sailing Series where the team’s boats – The Wave, Muscat skippered by Leigh McMillan and Oman Air by Morgan Larson – claimed the top two places last year. The Omani sailors competing on the world stage are becoming the role models for an even more ambitious programme back in Oman, to introduce 70,000 children to the sport of sailing. Already 10,000 have been through the programme, with a further 60,000 due to go through Oman Sail’s sailing schools in the next four years. This organisation has grown from a standing start to employing about 150 people today, all headed up by a British expat, David Graham, who used to run Laser Performance in this country. There are many Brits in key roles, including an old friend of mine from Laser days, Neil Coxon, who is now director of training. The ultimate aim of putting these 70,000 kids through a sailing programme is to equip them with useful life skills that we all learn from sailing – self-reliance, patience, resilience and so on. That in itself is a remarkable aim and perhaps the most significant of all. But the measurable aim of success will be whether the very best of the Omani sailors can qualify for the Olympics in 2020 and go on to win the nation’s first ever Olympic medal in 2024. As far as Neil is concerned, it’s not about finding the most talented individuals. As an organisation Oman Sail has dismissed the notion of talent. The only attributes they are looking for in young Omanis are the ones that relate to sheer hard work and commitment.

It’s not just the hours you put in, it’s the intelligence and intensity you apply to your training time in, it’s what you do with those hours, the intelligence and intensity that you apply to your training time.

Earning their place

What prompted me to consider this again was a recent visit to Oman Sail. The scale of this organisation and its ambitions are almost beyond belief. You might already be aware of Oman Sail’s

April 2013

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Yachts

Andi Robertson Is the IMOCA 60 keel and keel ram failure rate still too high? Merf Owen thinks so

A

t the time of going to press we are looking at 11 Vendee Globe finishers from 20 starters. Compare that to 11 finishers from 30 in 2008-09 and something has definitely improved, although this has been a slightly easier race in terms of the conditions, which were relatively benign in the south. Keels have been the main issue this time. Starting with Marc Guillemot’s failure at 50 miles after the start, there were ram failures for Jérémie Beyou, and on the final approach to the finish for (disqualified) Bernard Stamm. JeanPierre Dick’s dropped off, as – we believe – did Bubi Sanso’s, whose ‘Acciona 100% Eco Powered’ capsized. That is an unacceptably high rate of failures. Merf Owen, designer of ‘Acciona’, ‘Gamesa’ and ‘Mirabaud’ in this race, believes forged steel fins – preferably as one-design – should be ruled as the only solution, probably bringing them in for 2020. I caught up with Merf as he waited for Wavre to finish, and asked him if the performance of the Open 60s has hit a plateau with Gabart’s 545 miles 24hour run? ‘The performance level has not plateau’d. Some things have been taken away from us, like we can’t play with righting moment as much as we could before. The fleet here goes from “Acciona” and “Cheminées Poujoulat”, which are at the max 32 tonne metres, and Guillaume Verdier’s boats are around 28-29 tonne metres so there is still some room and that depends on your belief system and your skipper. ‘A lot of the talk before the start of the race is about how heavy the boat is, what the boat speed potential is,

everyone forgets about the righting moment. There is a righting moment to displacement ratio which you have to play with. In the end it is down to the skipper’s choice and designer’s choice.’ Certain rule changes have hamstrung the designers a bit, but Owen still believes improvements can be made: ‘The interceptor has been taken away from us. We can’t do that. Rig height

that’s it. There is nothing done in terms of the rule which has improved that, but it is a whole step change in rig reliability.’ Owen has been advocating steel forged fins for more than five years but so far his argument has fallen on deaf ears at IMOCA: ‘It is unacceptable and the answer is still what we should have done in 2008. Forged steel keel fins. Nothing is for life, and there are many reasons for keel failure. There is design, manufacture and maintenance. There is a thing called crevice corrosion - you have to be careful how you maintain the fin, you can’t get down to bare metal at any point. So you can’t just fit a forged keel and imagine it will go on for ever. It has to be looked after. Essentially though if the rule is set at a high enough tolerance then the keel will, within reason, never exceed its fatigue curve. ‘Realistically you would not worry about doing two Vendee Globes and the training on a forged steel keel. You wouldn’t worry about doing 100,000 miles. Typically you won’t get change from Euros 120,000 but it is less than the cost of a sail wardrobe on an Open 60. ‘A forged fin is the way to go. There is less potential for problems. There is less manufacturing, there is less human input into the whole thing. But the bottom line is [it is] a lot heavier, and when you put the spreadsheet down in front of the teams, then they don’t want to do it. But if they are made to do it they will do it. The worry is what others are doing. Even if there are not that many hours difference around the world between a steel fin and a carbon fin, the teams just look at the weight and baulk at it.’

It is unacceptable and the answer is still what we should have done in 2008: forged steel keel fins

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has been limited but I think we can still make advances, a lot to do with rigs. ‘The bad things about this race are the keel failures and the two hydraulic ram failures. But one of the really nice things about this race is the rigs. From 20 months before the start of the last Vendee Globe until the end, the IMOCA class lost 18 rigs in the fleet. This time around…Sam Davies’ and


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photo: Jean-Marie liot/Macif*

24,000-MILE MATCH RACE The youngest ever winner, in a new course record time, with the closest finish yet: the Vendee Globe just keeps on getting tougher. Helen fretter and andi Robertson report


photo: Vincent curutchet/Macif*

Vendee Globe

Golden boy The blonde rookie told Andi Robertson how he decimated the Vendee Globe race record Throughout the race Gabart was sunny, chatty, unruffled. But as he acknowledged the deafening applause which welcomed him back to dry land, Gabart looked, for the first time, a little off guard – emotions were clearly running high for the ultra-professional. ‘I am still surprised I won. I did not start the Vendee Globe thinking I would win. Of course I did all I could to make sure I had a chance,

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but never thinking I would. All I wanted to do was sail a good race,’ he explained after the finish. ‘Armel le Cléac’h and I did a lot of training together from Port La Fôret,’ he recalls. ‘In fact we were like the star pupils there because we never missed any sessions, we were the two best kids at school, maybe along with Vincent Riou on “PRB”. But all the training we did there was certainly important in our taking first and second on the Vendee Globe. It was a tough race but we had spent the last two years training together. Often we would go out offshore for 24-36-48 hours and

just race together and it was usually down to five, 10 or 15 minutes between us (the whole Port La Fôret group). It certainly helped us to be fast. ‘The boats are very close in terms of set up. “Macif” was built after “Banque Populaire” (ex-“Foncia”) and so there are some improvements. I think I was faster downwind when it was windy and Armel was just a little bit faster upwind. The sails we have are very close in design – all from North – although I had my blast reacher which Armel did not, and with our Code Zeros there were tiny differences.


but ‘Safran’s’ place at the front was short-lived when keel loss forced retirement five hours later. Gabart on ‘Macif’ jousted with 35-year old ‘Banque Populaire’ skipper Armel le Cleac’h and Vincent Riou on ‘PRB’ through the first few days. As the fleet negotiated its first significant front Bernard Stamm replaced ‘PRB’ in third, and passing the Canaries this leading trio were within sight of each other, just 25 miles apart after a week’s racing with Cleac’h in front – a situation that would be oft-repeated. As the fleet headed down the Atlantic it divided into three distinct groups. First was a leading pack of Gabart, Cleac’h, Dick and Stamm, with Riou and Alex Thomson hanging onto their tails. Next came the ‘old guard’ of Dominque Wavre, Mike Golding and Jean Le Cam –racing so

tightly that Le Cam joked he could not sleep for the noise of snoring – and finally the tail-enders. Coming through a particularly squally Doldrums the leaders were crossing tacks, but it was Le Cleac’h who slipped over the Equator first. With the St Helena High in a very southerly position last autumn the fleet held west, Jean-Pierre Dick diving south first while Cleac’h and Thomson opted to cut the corner. Dick and Gabart seemed to have taken the better option, with the pair leading through the Aiguilles Gate and into the Roaring 40s, ending Cleac’h’s two week reign at the front. Meanwhile as November ended Gabart also usurped Alex Thomson’s long-standing position as IMOCA speed king, smashing his 2003 record of 468 miles in 24 hours with 482 miles, which was later decimated

Below Race winner Francois Gabart on ‘Macif’ photo: Vincent curutchet/Dppi/VenDee Globe*

E

xhaustion, elation, and overwhelming emotions are etched on the faces of the skippers who sail back up the famous canal of Les Sables d’Olonne. To finish a Vendee Globe is a lifetime achievement, but this year saw sailing performances that were truly incredible. Francois Gabart, winning the world’s toughest solo race on his very first attempt, aged just 29. Mike Golding, who became the first man ever to complete three Vendee Globes. Jean-Pierre Dick, sailing over 2,500 miles without a keel to finish fourth. Eyebrows were raised when Race Director Denis Horeau revealed his hopes for a 76-day record. Before the start, he explained: ‘It took Michel Desjoyeaux only 84 [days] in 2008. Desjoyeaux actually spent only 82 days at sea as he sailed back to Les Sables d’Olonne shortly after the start. If everything goes well, it’s possible to sail two, three or maybe even four days faster.’ He was proved correct, as Mich Desj’s protégé Gabart completed the course in 78 days, two hours, 16 minutes and 40 seconds. But no-one could have predicted just how some of the major contenders would crash out of the race, or how the battle for first would be won.

Full throttle The 2012 Vendee Globe was supercompetitive from the very outset, with five boats called OCS. First to take the lead was Marc Guillemot,

I learned from Michel Desjoyeaux to listen to the boat and to stay always relaxed ‘I am not sure if for Armel having done the race before helped. I think it did because having experience in anything always helps. One of the real keys to the Vendee Globe is not to lose energy. And I think I was good there. I learned from Michel Desjoyeaux to listen to the boat and to stay always relaxed

and not stress. When your average speeds are above 20 knots that is so important and I always felt relaxed with the boat, and positive about what was going on. ‘I had quite a lot of small breakages, lots of tiny things. But I never had to stop, I never had to slow down. The tack line on the

gennaker went a few times and that is a very difficult thing to fix because you have to go on the bow when the boat is going very fast. And in the first week I had to fix the engine. To have had no engine at five days after the start would have been a disaster but I managed to fix it. ‘Michel Desjoyeaux really taught me how to be relaxed and the way to behave when there are problems. The thing is not to stressed by them but to solve them one at a time one day at a time. You have to be ready for everything and take it as it comes to you, not to be surprised by anything.’

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Vendee Globe

Third time lucky The smile said it all for Alex Thomson, as ‘Hugo Boss’ crossed the finish line after 10 years of trying, on the podium in third place For Alex Thomson finishing the 2012-13 Vendee had become a challenge of K2 proportions. His previous attempts ended thanks to a damaged gooseneck in 2004, and in 2008 due to the double-whammy of a pre-start collision and hitting an underwater object. Not forgetting his rescue in the Velux 5 Oceans and a bout of appendicitis just before the 2010 Barcelona World Race, and Thomson, now 38, has seemed dogged by some persistent bad luck. This time around, the Hugo Boss style was still there, but behind the scenes there had been a few changes. ‘Our whole campaign over the past four years has been better compared to the previous ones, much better attention to detail, much more focused on reliability,’ commented Alex a week after the start. The focus on reliability included giving the 2008 Farr design what Ross Daniel, the team’s technical director, described as a top-to-toe ‘re-engineering’ in conjunction with the Farr office. ‘This time we had more confidence because we had worked so hard on reliability, and we made some performance sacrifices for that,’ Alex explains. ‘We added some more structure inside the boat at a weight

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cost. I certainly felt like I knew a lot more about the risks, and I was confident that we’d addressed everything.’ Sea miles were a critical part of his preparation for this race. ‘Every sailor always says that time on the water is really key, and hardly anyone does it! Whereas this time around I did – in the year preceding the Vendee Globe I did four trans-atlantics, three of them were solo, two in race conditions. So I felt very confident.’ After so many years of disappointment, the key focus for the entire team was on getting round. ‘If you were to put our goals in order we wanted to first of all finish this race, second we wanted to be the first old boat, and then our last objective was to get on the podium,’ recalls Alex. The early stages went entirely to plan. ‘Our race strategy was to come out of the blocks fast and to try to stay with the lead group as long as possible. The idea was to get into the Southern Ocean and try and create a bit of a gap, and by the Equator I was a couple of hundred miles in front of some of the older boats. That gap was eroded when I got down to the St Helena High, but I did get quite lucky there because they added the Crozet ice gate, and that saved me a few miles because I would have had to go deep into the south and then upwind, and would’ve ended up probably just ahead of Jean Le Cam.

‘It’s really hard to move from one group to another. It’s much easier to stay with a group, and I managed to stay with them until eastern Australia when I had that collision and damaged my hydrogenerator and steering gear, and I just wasn’t able to run at the pace they were running at.’ Alex’s hydrogenerator cart-wheeled into the rudder tie-bar on the eighth day of racing, smashing it. He replaced the bar, only for it to be smashed again when a collision with an underwater object caused more severe damage to his hydrogenerator, bracket and rudders. The incident also forced Alex to sail using the bare minimum of power to conserve diesel. ‘One day everything on, computers on 24 hours a day, I’m running Deckman, two different graphs of all the performance, I’ve got my Iridium phone on, my Immarsat phone on, my Sat-C, my AIS, my lights, everything is on. The next day everything is off. My computer I’d maybe turn on for half an hour a day, get my emails, get my weather, run a route, turn it off again. ‘The scary bit is the situation where you go to sleep and when you wake up you’ve got no history of what wind you’ve had. So there were actually a couple of situations where I did run the computer when I was in some quite nasty conditions just to make sure I had the history and didn’t make any stupid mistakes.’ Despite the need to conserve power, Alex managed a live link-up with BBC Breakfast


enabled them to consolidate their advantage, Jean-Pierre Dick on ‘VirbacPaprec 3’ dropping 500 miles back by Christmas. The phenomenal speeds they had maintained became clear when Gabart rounded Cape Horn in first place, already four days ahead of the race holder Desjoyeaux’s time in 2009.

each week during the race. ‘When we had the black-out it was agreed that we wouldn’t do it, but I rebelled! I just felt that it was so important – not just for me or for our sponsors – but for our sport of sailing to be there in front of 7 million people every Friday morning. For me that was one of the best parts of the race.’ Exiting the Southern Oceans with his generator issues resolved in a solid fourth place, completing the Vendee Globe was becoming a realistic proposition for Alex, but

Throughout the race both kept any signs of weakness well concealed, but after finishing Le Cleac’h revealed that rounding Cape Horn he had suffered sail damage which may have sealed his fate: ‘I‘ve thought about what the deciding moment was... and I think it was in the Le Maire Straights, where

on the other side? ‘At the time it was very upsetting and obviously you’re worrying for their safety and all the rest of it,’ Alex explained once back in Britain. ‘But at the end of the day the Vendee Globe is a design race, it’s a technical race as well as a sailors’ race and we all make our choices. I’ve made my fair share of bad choices but they were taking a keel that had been around the world before and had obviously suffered some fatigue. ‘The harder ones I think, the ones that are

It’s a technical race as well as a sailors’ race and we all make our choices. I’ve made my fair share of bad choices opportunities to improve his position seemed non-existent. In the south Atlantic he opted for a westerly route. ‘If I get a lucky break up the North Atlantic maybe there’s a podium place still available,’ he mused on January 17. A few days later that ‘break’ came when Jean-Pierre Dick on ‘Virbac-Paprec 3’ lost his keel. For Alex, a podium position was suddenly within reach – how did he feel having been

Below and left Celebrations for British Alex Thomson as he finished third on ‘Hugo Boss’ photo: Mark lloyD/Dppi/VenDee Globe*

further by Jean-Pierre Dick as he clocked 502 miles. Across the Indian Ocean it became a match race between Gabart and Cleac’h. The race amongst the second pack was just as tight, with Le Cam and Wavre rendezvousing to sail just a few boat lengths apart. Aside from a brief reshuffle as the race organisers reset the Crozet ice gate, the pair remained locked together in first and second across the Southern Oceans, exiting the Amsterdam ice gate just a couple of miles apart. The pace was relentless, both sailing their latest generation VPLP designs at near 100 per cent of performance capability, Gabart cranking the 24-hour solo record up several more notches to an impressive 545 miles on December 10. The leading duo hooked into a favourable weather system which

tough, are the accidents. The one I actually felt very angry about was Vincent Riou when he hit a buoy. The chances of hitting a mooring buoy that’s floating around in the middle of the ocean are miniscule.’ Despite having the podium tantalisingly within his grasp, with 30-knot winds forecast Alex diverted his course away from Les Sables to shadow Jean-Pierre Dick for around 24 hours.

Even when he finally turned for home, Alex says he didn’t allow himself to relax. ‘I had it in my mind the whole way round that there wasn’t going to be any celebration. There was no champagne at Cape Horn, there was no Christmas pack, in my mind it was a long hard slog until the end. Even the night before the finish I was trying to get some sleep, which I couldn’t get, and I was lying there thinking about the finish and all the people that were going to be there, and I could feel my eyes welling up a little bit, and I had to stop there! I just thought, no you can’t. Wait until you get there at the end. If you get there – there’s always an if. ‘So the finish was amazing, to have all those people that come out and wave you in. it’s an incredible feeling and it’s one of the things I love about the race. At the start you are just incredibly humbled that so many people come and cheer you off and shout your name, and the same when you come back in. There’s only one boat coming in but you’ve got tens of thousands of people give up their time to come and show appreciation for the job you’ve done. And as a solo sailor, when you’re out there for 80 days on your own, suddenly you come back and they make you feel incredible, and I really appreciate that.’ There might not have been any champagne at Cape Horn, but there certainly was back at Les Sables. ‘I’m telling you, it was a 10-year party...!’

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photo: Jean-Marie liot/Dppi/VenDee Globe*

Vendee Globe

aBoVe Above ‘PRB’ was one of the key players forced out of the race by a collision aBoVe RIGHt Mike Golding finished sixth on ‘Gamesa’

Below Armel Le Cleac’h finished just three hours behind Gabart, in second

the gennaker lashing broke. There were 25 knots of wind, it was dark, and it took me about two hours to fix it. Of course François kept going, he was 20 miles ahead in the morning and because of an anticyclone, 20 miles turned to 40 miles… It’s a series of little details, really. I couldn’t catch up with François even if he was slower in the end of the race.’ As they returned north the pair diverged, Gabart’s more easterly course seeing him hook into the trade winds smoothly to lead by 270 miles past Brazil, the greatest separation of the race. The ‘Jackal’, as Cleac’h is known,

photo: Jean-Marie liot/Dppi/VenDee Globe*

Gabart cranked the 24-hour solo record up several more notches to 545 miles emerged the victor to finish fifth, but Golding’s sixth on ‘Gamesa’ was a remarkable achievement, making him the first man to ever complete three Vendee Globes, in what will be his last attempt at the race. ‘It has not been the easiest of Vendée Globes,’ he commented after finishing, ‘in fact it has been the hardest without any question because of the weather. ‘Yes, I am the first person to have completed the race successfully three times. Lots have competed in the Vendée, and lots multiple times. I have competed four times and finished three times and I have beaten the odds. I didn’t do this Vendée Globe, or any other, to stack up a numerical supremacy, I did them to compete, and to win it would have been a dream. I haven’t done that, but in pursuing that dream, I have made several others come true.’

fought hard through the north Atlantic, but was unable to close the gap, and it was Francois Gabart who became the seventh winner of the race, on his very first attempt. Just three hours and 17 minutes later Cleac’h crossed the finish line, confirming the 2012 race as the tightest in the event’s history.

Fight to the end The leaders were not the only ones dueling throughout this year’s Vendee Globe. Mike Golding and Jean Le Cam had an epic contest with the two highly experienced skippers trading places across the course. Le Cam

photo: Vincent curutchet/Dppi/VenDee Globe*

OVERALL RESULTS

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1st Macif, Francois Gabart (FRA) 2nd Banque Populaire, Armel Le Cleac’h (FRA) 3rd Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson (GBR) 4th Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) 5th SynderCiel. Jean Le Cam (FRA) 6th Gamesa, Mike Golding (GBR) 7th Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre (SUI) 8th Akena Verandas, Ardaud Bossieres (FRA) 9th Votre Nom Authour du Monde avec EDM Projets, Bertrand de Broc (FRA) 10th Initiatives-coeur, Tanguy de Lamotte 11th Team Plastique, Alessandro di Benedetto (FRA/ITA) (still racing)


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Three

key winners Andi Robertson talks to three winners from the famous North American Quantum Key West Race Week to get their secret ingredients and tips from a classic week of racing...


photo: Ken StaneK


to counteract that. It means we had to position ourselves slightly differently to them in terms of the geometry of the racecourse. For example, we screwed up a little bit last year in Barcelona a couple of times, in not having enough understanding of the boat and the different modes we can sail. Thankfully come Key West we had nailed it. ‘I think it is definitely a collaborative effort, but one of the things with having Rod, is that he is quite good at saying: “Do not sail where the boat does not want to go. If you are going to try and defend high against Rán and Gladiator you are not going to win in 13-15.5 knots. So just don’t go there. You won’t win. That is the nature of the tool you have.” ‘So Vasco comes around the weather mark and knows were we should position ourselves. We have improved that quite considerably. The funny thing about Vasco Vascotto is that he is a lot more patient and a lot more mature than people give him credit for. They think he is a crazy Triestina and he plays on that, but he has a pretty old head on his shoulders. When Cecco and he were sailing with us together,

often I felt that Cecco was the creative one and Vasco was the reality check.’

Adding to the team ‘Tomislav Basic is the new addition to the team, as we were not great at starting and Guillermo was under a little bit of pressure from the powers above to get off the line. ‘Cecco’ started for us at the last regatta in Valencia last year and it definitely made a difference. It opens up avenues for the afterguard; it is an uplift for the team. I take my hat off to Guillermo. There are not many people who will step in and steer the boat immediately after the start, but I am not too proud to say I want the best for the team. ‘And so he did a lot of research and Tomislav has come in and done a great job. He is obviously a very talented match racer who gets us off the line. I think possibly that the main benefit of having him will be further into the season when perhaps there is more boat-for-boat; like before in Valencia when we were engaging at 15 minutes before the start. ‘As far as sail choices are concerned, we tried a jib we call a heavy-plus,

which is between the No.4 and the heavy. We will try and make a decision on the European headsail inventory during Miami. We used it in Miami on one day, well downrange, but just to learn. It was in about 16-18kts and it is from about 17 and so it worked well, but we will decide in Miami and it might free up a sail button for us in Europe.’

Above The multinational Matador team includes British trimmer Simon ‘Stir’ Fry

The opposition There were a few disasters in the final race that helped Matador on to victory overall. ‘Yes, Rán and Quantum had their own little foibles and that made it relatively easy for us, but by the same token we were leading going into it. We were well placed when we came off the line and Quantum’s headstay let go, which blew the head off the jib. And then at the leeward mark we put the chute away and executed nicely and Rán unfortunately had a drop line failure. ‘In terms of the mechanics now in the TP52s there is just no margin for error in boat handling. Everyone arrives at the bottom mark thinking they are going to drop the chute at two and a half lengths from the mark. No

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Yachts & Yachting

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to counteract that. It means we had to position ourselves slightly differently to them in terms of the geometry of the racecourse. For example, we screwed up a little bit last year in Barcelona a couple of times, in not having enough understanding of the boat and the different modes we can sail. Thankfully come Key West we had nailed it. ‘I think it is definitely a collaborative effort, but one of the things with having Rod, is that he is quite good at saying: “Do not sail where the boat does not want to go. If you are going to try and defend high against Rán and Gladiator you are not going to win in 13-15.5 knots. So just don’t go there. You won’t win. That is the nature of the tool you have.” ‘So Vasco comes around the weather mark and knows were we should position ourselves. We have improved that quite considerably. The funny thing about Vasco Vascotto is that he is a lot more patient and a lot more mature than people give him credit for. They think he is a crazy Triestina and he plays on that, but he has a pretty old head on his shoulders. When Cecco and he were sailing with us together,

often I felt that Cecco was the creative one and Vasco was the reality check.’

Adding to the team ‘Tomislav Basic is the new addition to the team, as we were not great at starting and Guillermo was under a little bit of pressure from the powers above to get off the line. ‘Cecco’ started for us at the last regatta in Valencia last year and it definitely made a difference. It opens up avenues for the afterguard; it is an uplift for the team. I take my hat off to Guillermo. There are not many people who will step in and steer the boat immediately after the start, but I am not too proud to say I want the best for the team. ‘And so he did a lot of research and Tomislav has come in and done a great job. He is obviously a very talented match racer who gets us off the line. I think possibly that the main benefit of having him will be further into the season when perhaps there is more boat-for-boat; like before in Valencia when we were engaging at 15 minutes before the start. ‘As far as sail choices are concerned, we tried a jib we call a heavy-plus,

which is between the No.4 and the heavy. We will try and make a decision on the European headsail inventory during Miami. We used it in Miami on one day, well downrange, but just to learn. It was in about 16-18kts and it is from about 17 and so it worked well, but we will decide in Miami and it might free up a sail button for us in Europe.’

Above The multinational Matador team includes British trimmer Simon ‘Stir’ Fry

The opposition There were a few disasters in the final race that helped Matador on to victory overall. ‘Yes, Rán and Quantum had their own little foibles and that made it relatively easy for us, but by the same token we were leading going into it. We were well placed when we came off the line and Quantum’s headstay let go, which blew the head off the jib. And then at the leeward mark we put the chute away and executed nicely and Rán unfortunately had a drop line failure. ‘In terms of the mechanics now in the TP52s there is just no margin for error in boat handling. Everyone arrives at the bottom mark thinking they are going to drop the chute at two and a half lengths from the mark. No

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photo: Ken StaneK

left Key West 2013 was one of the first big regattas for the new J/70

one drops their chute before they enter the zone now. And if it is not coming down on the string system, you can call manual as much as you like, it is not coming down smoothly and you are not going around the mark in good shape. That was proven by Rán.’

2. J/70 helly hansen

Tim Healy was the skipper of the winning J/70, ‘Helly Hansen’, sailing with Geoff Becker, John Mollicome, and Dave Reed. In the relatively new class tuning was key.

Tuning, tuning and tuning ‘It was the first big regatta for the J/70 class and so it was a real test of tuning, trimming and boat handling and setup,’ says Tim. ‘And so we made a real effort to be there early to practise and to talk to people and see what they were up to and see what people were really doing. ‘The big thing was crew weight as far as we could see and that was quite tough to figure out. Apart from the first day, which was a bit lighter, it was typically more than 12 knots every day. We sailed with 690lbs with four people and that worked out; the second boat had 750lbs and the third 780lbs. Upwind we were fast and had an edge, I think the other two overdid it. Downwind we were okay but it was a real test of technique, and to be honest the second and third placed boats were better at that and had great technique. So it was good to see and learn what other people were doing.

‘We had an edge upwind. Typically, the key thing in that north-westerly on a left favoured course is to be able to hold the long starboard tack. And to be honest it was the second day before we were able to get into that. The first day we had two mediocre starts and the second day we were better. I got us off the line better and we were able to hold that starboard tack and we got a 3,2,1

to the Quantum ones, just finishing details, no major differences.’

3. Melges 32 Bombarda Italy’s Lorenzo Brassani was tactician on the winning Melges 32 ‘Bombarda’. ‘This was my second race with the team. Federico Michetti and I have been racing together since 2007 and

We really, really worked on tuning and trim. We were out early every day with a tuning partner Tim Healy J/70 class winner and that was a key day. The next day we got a scoring penalty and that dropped us to fourth from first but we were just six boats out. From there we just kept chipping away and did it in the end. ‘Jeff and John are regulars with me on the J/24. Dave Reed really only joined us for this regatta but fitted in well. I have done a lot of J/24 sailing but the only real tuning and testing we did [in the J/70] was down in Key West against other boats. Our set-up was with a little more rig tension than others I am sure, but we really, really worked on tuning and trim. We were out early every day with a tuning partner. ‘The sails we have are very similar

know each other very well and were asked to join Bombarda in 2012.’

Fast learning ‘I’m the tactician and Federico is the team manager as well as the trimmer. We fit into the team very quickly and very well; it was a group of people I never sailed with and I was impressed by their qualities and skills, especially manoeuvring in windy conditions. ‘The owner, Andrea Pozzi, is just incredible. He only started one year ago but is one of the fastest learners I ever met, which is rare in my experience in owner-driver classes. He’s got the right approach and a good budget too, which helped us to be able to train, do

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Above The Melges 32 class was won by just two points

several speed test sessions, spending many days on the water together. ‘This was our first time at Key West, with this crew. Before that we went to Fort Lauderdale in November 2012 for the Gold Cup where there were only 16

ashore and good rivals on the water. ‘We started well, after the first racing day we were third overall and got to the top on the second one. And, behind us the others were swapping places. We had very varied conditions, from the

A ‘black week’ can happen to everyone; in the Melges 32 it is very hard to stay in front and very easy to slip back Lorenzo Brassani boats racing and we finished third so we can say that this is a pretty new project. ‘All the races were equally important, if you consider that we won with a margin of only two points. It was crucial not to give up until the very end, to keep believing we could do it and stay focused. On the last day, for the last race we didn’t start that well but we slowly and gradually bounced back, finishing third and getting the title.’ What about their main rivals? ‘They are all dangerous. The final results say it all, the first four boats are all top teams: the Americans, the Japanese and the other Italians too, including Mascalzone Latino. I was very wary of Paul Goodison, on Alex Jackson’s Leenabarca. I know him well because we sailed together; we’re good mates

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light air on the first day up to 18-20 knots. The sea was always quite flat, so I think that was not a key factor.’

A winning mindset ‘I think what helped us winning was

mainly the consciousness to be able to do well after the result in Fort Lauderdale. So, as it’s almost always the case, consistency was more relevant than anything else. ‘From a tactician’s point of view, knowing the race area was significant, with the breeze coming from the land and quite shifty you have to be particularly vigilant. But you know, all the tacticians in the class are good… it’s a level playing field. ‘The good thing about the class, is that the Melges 32 is a real onedesign boat and there are not so many settings you can work on. This makes it cheaper and easier too, especially if you compare the situation with other classes like the MiniMaxis or the TP52s… Three quarters of the settings you can find on the internet; they’re known to everybody. Then obviously each crew has its own little secrets, but they are mainly something you do out of experience and instinct just a few minutes before the start (i.e. the shroud tension). The only detail we changed for Key West was a new jib, all the other sails were okay as we didn’t use them that much before.’

keeping confident ‘We were able to keep our nerve until the end, especially Andrea (the helmsman) who’s called Tiger for his cold blood… ‘Personally I’m very happy with my choice, I was asked to go racing with three or four different teams, but after Key West I proved to myself that I did the right thing. The atmosphere on board is very positive and we’re happy. Obviously we know that a ‘black week’ can happen to everyone; in this class it is very hard to stay in front and very easy to slip back. But, as we say in Italian, “You don’t change a winning team”, do you?’

photo: IngrId abery

photo: Ken StaneK

Key West


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Wanted:

Future Vendee Globe winners

B

ritish sailors may have led the way in the 1960s when the solo offshore racing scene was in its infancy, but for the past few decades the sport has been dominated by French skippers. The Artemis Offshore Academy has a road map to change all that, with a programme designed to help our home-grown sailors achieve success in major offshore solo and short-handed races. The hopes are the programme’s graduates may emulate Alex Thomson by taking a podium position in the Vendee Globe, with the ultimate aim of one day seeing a British winner of the race. The Academy was set up in 2009 with the objective of fast-tracking British sailors into the world of singlehanded offshore racing. ‘The recipe for success is to help very, very good sailors to convert into solo sailing,’ says performance director John Thorn. ‘So far we have been very successful, with our sailors gaining credibility in a very tough field. Our graduates already have a very strong track record and present less of a risk to potential sponsors.’ To date the Academy’s sailors have come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including youth and Olympic squad members – including a bronze and silver medallist. A number are also British Keelboat Academy graduates such as Becky Scott, who campaigned the Academy’s Mini for two years. Sam Goodchild, one of the Academy’s better-known graduates, had also grown up living on boats in the Caribbean, and so was able

Rupert Holmes looks at a mission to propel British sailors to the front of the Vendee Globe fleet to draw on a wide range of other experiences that were equally relevant to the programme. From the outset the AOA was not envisaged as an all-encompassing commitment for all the sailors involved – instead they are able to create a programme that fits with their individual campaigns and other commitments. This enabled Goodchild, for instance, to join the Class 40 ‘Cessa Citation’ for the Southern Ocean leg of the Global Ocean Race ending in Wellington, New Zealand. Similarly last year, sailing with Ned Collier, he won the Normandy Channel Race, a 975-mile non-stop marathon from starting and finishing in Caen, rounding marks including Guernsey, the Isle of Wight, the Fastnet Rock and Tusker Rock (south-east Ireland) in a fleet of 15 Class 40s. Some sailors have been both parttime and full-time with the Academy, so the length of time each individual stays with the Academy is not set in stone. In effect they all have the same number of targets and goals to achieve and once those are done they are considered to have graduated.

Training The Academy combines winter training with key summer short-handed races,

with the focus for the latter being the annual Solitaire du Figaro, the event that has so far produced every Vendee Globe winner and two thirds of the podium finishers. There’s also corporate regatta work, often with clients of Artemis, who in turn can provide good leads to sponsorship opportunities. As with any sailing programme, a fourth plank is in looking after the boats. Much of the winter training takes place at Le Centre d’Entrainement Méditerranée in La Grande Motte, in the south of France, where there’s a long-standing training programme for French Figaro and Mini sailors. ‘There have been some differences in the way that we do the training since we started,’ adds Thorn. ‘In the first year there were lots of unknowns - it was the first time we were doing it, but linking up with CEM at La Grande Motte, where skippers could train alongside French skippers in an established programme was certainly very beneficial. ‘We got slightly slicker in the second year – our knowledge base is increasing massively, including on the logistics side. Now we have solid campaign-based knowledge we’re much more efficient than we were in our first year and much more on top of how to maximise opportunities.’ Selection takes place in September, in a process that has become tougher over time, with a much greater emphasis on sleep deprivation, and also to make it more interesting and physically more demanding for candidates. ‘It gives us really good insights both into their mental toughness and insights

We encourage them to tell their own story, warts and all, so that their own personalities shine through 32

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photo: LLoyd ImaGes*

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Artemis Offshore Academy

into them as individuals,’ says Thorn. ‘We also try to talk to candidates in advance a lot more, as well is talking to the RYA and other coaches, including a presentation that would give to the British Keelboat Academy and in some cases we approach individual sailors.’

PHOTO: ARTEMIS OFFSHORE ACADEMY*

BELOW The Academy combines winter training with summer racing

Summer 2013 will see three of the Academy’s Figaros racing on the singlehanded scene, culminating in the Solitaire du Figaro – the French series that is by far the most fertile breeding ground for potential Vendee Globe skippers. It’s hard to overstate the challenges of this event, which encompasses 1,5002,000 miles of racing over four legs, with 8-13 days at sea. Neither can the tightness of this fleet be under -estimated – in 2012, after eight and half days of cumulative racing, only 94 minutes separated the first 10 boats. In leg three the first 30 boats finished in less than an hour after almost three days of racing. The Academy already has an excellent track record – Nick Cherry was top rookie in 2011, an outstanding achievement for a nonFrench sailor. Last year Henry Bomby was the youngest competitor in the race: ‘…the youngest French sailors tend to be 25-26 and have already competed in events like the Tour de France a la Voile,’ he says. ‘They know the [rock-strewn] coast very well so being a French rookie is very different to being an English one.’ Other than finding a sponsor, what does Bomby see as the biggest challenges in a solo campaign? ‘Managing sleep is important – Yann Eliès says he gets more tired in the

FIND OUT MORE Read blogs from squad members, follow the British sailors’ seasons throughout 2013 and learn how to sign up for the selection trials at www.artemisoffshoreacademy.com

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PHOTO: LLOYD IMAGES*

2013 programme

Figaro than during the Vendee. Managing risk and reliability are also important as are creative ways to solve big problems.’ He also identifies knowing the crossovers between sails, so that the boat is always kept driving at its optimum. Cherry also cited the importance of fitness – he’s a competitor in ultramarathons and when we spoke to him he had just returned from the SB20 Europeans in, Holland, having cycled all the way home. The Academy’s other two Figaros will have a two-handed focus for 2013, including the Rolex Fastnet, the Tour de Bretagne and also both the RORC and Royal Southampton YC two-handed series. There will be four people involved with this, two existing part-time members of the Academy and two new part-time members.

Mini programme The Academy continues to support Mini training in the UK and there’s another official UK-based event in 2013. This year Nikki Curwen has taken over

the Academy’s Mini from Becky Scott, who sailed the boat for two seasons. ‘Becky clearly has the ability and boat speed to do very well in the Mini class,’ says Thorn. ‘She was an excellent sailor before she came to us and has made absolutely massive progress. ‘Last year she was leading on the last leg of [a serious race] in the Med. Unfortunately, even though she knew the wind was forecast to head before the finish, she didn’t put any ground in the bag and lost 12 places as a result.’ From the outside it may sound like an elementary error, but when you’ve been racing full on with only a few minutes’ sleep for 48 hours, it’s much harder to identify the right decisions than on a two-mile leg on a round the cans course. ‘Becky is a very good sailor and could step into any boat including the Figaro and Class 40,’ Thorn adds. ‘She has a very broad knowledge base and could be very successful in the future based on what she’s learnt at the Academy.’

Gaining recognition Sailing ability is only a one part of


Life after the Academy

corporate contacts they make during Cowes Week. As well as raising their own profile, whether that’s through interviews on local radio or television, social media or their own blogs, we encourage them to tell their own story, warts and all, so that their own personalities shine through.’

BELOW This year Nikki Curwen has taken over the Academy’s Mini from Becky Scott, who sailed the boat for two seasons

photo: artemIs offshore academy*

the skill set a successful singlehanded sailor needs – after graduating from the Academy they need to win funding and sponsorship in order to be able to form their own campaign. Speak to any of them and it’s immediately clear this is where the sailors’ biggest concerns lie. ‘The sailors grow in all respects it’s not just their hard sailing skills,’ says Thorn, ‘but also their soft skills, including handling the media and approaching sponsorship. For instance with Sam the soft skill side of his campaign is now in a completely different place to where it was before he joined the Academy. These things are in their performance targets and goal settings – blogs, photos, websites and sponsorship proposals – all get measured and form part of the overall performance assessment that we make on each sailor.’ So where do sailors look for prospective sponsors? ‘To some extent it’s from their own networks and we help them to cultivate relationships, for instance through

‘The Academy can only be considered to be successful if graduates are able to get their own projects off the ground afterwards,’ says Thorn. ‘The challenge for them is to look outside of traditional sponsors and open the eyes of potential sponsors to what you can offer. Value for money to sponsors is becoming much clearer to quantify, but the challenge is in giving community value to sponsors. Value in kind can also be important and it’s always important to be creative - and you need to understand the value to the organisation of what you’re offering.’ Sam, Henry and Nick have all found backing for their own to enable them to get to the Figaro start line next year, although all need to raise additional sponsorship to pay for running their boats and campaigns. Similarly, Becky Scott will continue with Mini racing in 2013. The Academy continues to offer considerable mentoring and support to graduates, backed by the considerable resources and expertise of OC Sport, long after they leave the programme. This varies from help with sponsorship proposals and media relations to logistics, campaign planning and coaching. This year’s Vendee Globe race illustrates clearly how difficult it is for even the very best sailors in the world to gain a place on the podium. However, the Artemis Offshore Academy is for the first time ensuring that there is a growing pool of talented British sailors with the skills, experience and backing needed to get a good result. The bigger that pool, the greater the chances of one of them being first boat home in future.

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The

olympians The global festival of sport every four years enables some of the world’s best sailors to shine on an international stage and become national heroes

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phoTo: RichaRd Langdon/Skandia Team gBR* phoTo: ppL

phoTo: onediTion*

Ben Ainslie Four Olympic gold medals, plus one silver make Sir Ben the most successful Olympic sailor ever and the sailor that most people will have heard of, be they sailing fans or not. He started out sailing Optimists in Cornwall, and did well at a young age, moving up to winning the Radial worlds in 1993 and the youth worlds in 1995. He won his first Olympic medal, a silver at the 1996 Atlanta Games, aged just 19, since when he hasn’t let gold out of his grasp. In 2012 he became the first person to win Olympic sailing medals at five consecutive Games. If the Star class was staying in the Olympics we might have seen Sir Ben chasing a fifth gold, but the physical demands of the Finn led him to announce his Olympic retirement last year – his focus now is the America’s Cup. He is undoubtedly one of the most talented sailors in the world.

Paul Elvström One of the most amazing sailors the world has ever seen, Denmark’s Paul Elvström won four Olympic gold medals and competed at eight Olympic Games, his last in 1988 at the age of 60 sailing in the Tornado class with his daughter Trine. He won over 11 world championships in eight different classes, demonstrating a dominating talent that will be

hard for anyone to ever equal. His influence stretches beyond pure medal winning: he also developed sails and new equipment including a self-bailer; he popularised the kicking strap as well as leading the way in the new technique of hiking using toe straps. His influence is massive and the sport wouldn’t be what it is today without his input.

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Hall of fame

Competing in the very first women’s Olympic singlehanded class, the Europe, in 1996, Shirley Robertson had to suffer the pain of finishing with a ‘leather medal’ when she came fourth. But Shirley went on to become Britain’s first gold medal winning helmswoman when she won gold in the Europe class at the Sydney Games in 2000. She followed it with a second gold four years later as the first winner of the women’s keelboat class and the first British woman in any sport to win gold at two consecutive Games. Now a familiar face on television covering sailing, Shirley is an inspirational role model to generations of young female sailors.

phoTo: Skandia Team gBR*

Shirley Robertson

phoTo: caThy foSTeR*

Cathy Foster

There are just three sailors who have won five Olympic medals, and Torben Grael is one of them. Silver in 1984 in the Soling class was followed by a bronze in the Star in 1988 and 2000, and Star gold in 1996 and 2004 – arguably one of the most competitive classes in the Games. The future of Brazilian Star sailing then moved into the capable hands of Robert Scheidt, while Torben Grael focused on the rest of his career. Outside the Olympic arena he skippered the Brasil 1 Volvo Ocean Race entry, which finished third in 2006, and went on to win the event as skipper of Ericsson 4 in 2008. He has also competed in the America’s Cup including the winning campaign in the 2000 Louis Vuitton Cup and in 2007 as tactician on Luna Rossa.

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The Brazilian legend who denied a young Ben Ainslie gold at his first Games, Scheidt dominated the Laser class for decades before moving onto the Star class. His run of Olympic golds in the Laser (where he has also won no fewer than eight world championships), started in 1996 but was interrupted by Ainslie when he had to settle for silver in 2000. The famous battle between Ainslie and Schiedt in 2000 produced amazing television footage and did much to engage the public in the drama of the sport – proving sailing can be fascinating to watch! In 2004 he was back to take gold, before moving to the Star where he made an impressive entrance, taking silver at the 2008 Games and bronze in 2012. The impressive haul means that Brazil boasts two of only three sailors to have won five Olympic sailing medals (see also Torben Grael left).

phoTo: STefano gaTTini/dppi

phoTo: david kneaLe/voLvo ocean Race*

Robert Scheidt

Torben Grael

38

Back in the days when there weren’t any women’s Olympic classes, Cathy Foster proved that girls can beat the boys when she qualified for the 1984 Olympics in the 470 (which was then an open class), helming with a male crew. She was the first female sailing helm to compete in the modern Games. She finished seventh, winning one race and inspiring many young female sailors in the process. Since her Olympic career, Cathy has gone on to become a successful sailing and life coach, with clients including Olympic gold medallists.


phoTo: RichaRd Langdon/Skandia Team gBR* phoTo: ppL

Jochen Schumann The German superstar sailor won an impressive four Olympic medals, three of them gold, making him one of the most successful Olympic sailors of all time. His first gold came in the Finn class in 1976 and was followed by dominating performances in the Soling class where he won three medals, two gold and one silver, between 1988 and 2000. In 2003 and 2007 he was part of the America’s Cup winning Alinghi team as sporting director.

phoTo: RichaRd Langdon/Skandia Team gBR*

Finn gold medallist in 2000, Iain Percy was part of the triumphant trio of British singlehanded sailing gold medallists who returned from Sydney (together with Ben Ainslie and Shirley Robertson). A hugely talented sailor, in 2004 he switched to the highly competitive Star class where he finished a disappointing sixth, but he followed that up with an impressive gold in the Star in 2008. He was disappointed, and perhaps unlucky, to win silver not gold in 2012, but his medal win meant he equalled the record of Rodney Pattisson, making him the joint second most successful British Olympic sailor ever.

Alessandra Sensini The Italian windsurfing legend has proven that you don’t have to be young to compete at the highest level. Born in 1970 she was Italy’s representative at the 2012 Games. She failed to medal, finishing ninth but in the highly physical windsurfing class it was impressive to see the 42-year-old competing, and qualifying for the medal race no less! She already holds four Olympic medals, taking bronze in 1996, gold in 2000, bronze in 2004 and silver in Beijing 2008, impressively at the age of 38.

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phoTo: onediTion*

Three Olympic medals, including two golds, put Rodney Pattisson among the best Olympic sailors – in Britain this was exceeded by Ben Ainslie in 2008, and equalled by Iain Percy in 2012 – making him the second most decorated British Olympic sailor to date. In winning his first Olympics, he also became the first Scot to win a medal in sailing. Competing in the Flying Dutchman class, his series of boats called ‘Superdocious’ were legendary, as were his performances in the class. After retiring from the Olympics he later co-skippered Victory 83, Peter de Savary’s 1983 America’s Cup entry.

Iain Percy

phoTo: ppL

Rodney Pattisson

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Serious fun T

he all-black Mini Maxi ‘Jethou’ is the latest in a string of eye-catching yachts owned by Sir Peter Ogden, one of the quickest wits in sailing. But behind the bonhomie lies a keen intellect and a phenomenal business career. Born in Rochdale, Lancashire, Peter Ogden attended the local grammar school before reading Physics at Durham University. Ogden then studied at Harvard Business School and quickly established himself as a highly successful merchant banker, notably with Morgan Stanley where he rose to become a managing director. Ogden co-founded the computer services company Computacenter in 1981, and floated the business in 1998 for an approximate net worth of £1 billion. Peter Ogden was born with no silver spoon in his mouth and, inspired by the scholarship he won to attend Durham University in 1968, his own philanthropic organisation, The Ogden Trust, today offers sponsorship to gifted students of physics to the tune of over £1 million per annum. Sir Peter Ogden received a knighthood for services to education from Her Majesty the Queen in 2005. For three decades Ogden has raced highly successful sailing yachts under the name of ‘Jethou’, the Channel Island of which he is the leaseholder. Jethou is home to a colony of puffins, which Peter has chosen as the emblem on the battle flag for all his racing yachts. His latest yacht, the Mini Maxi ‘Jethou’ is a stunning 60ft design by Judel Vrolijk with multiple America’s Cup-winning tactician, Brad Butterworth calling the strategy. ‘I started sailing in Lancashire when

Louay Habib interviews Sir Peter Ogden, owner-driver of the Reichel Pugh 60, ‘Jethou’ I was very young on my aunt’s Firefly. I was about 12 but I didn’t really sail again until my mid-30s when I got the racing bug at events like Cowes Week, more for fun than anything else,’ Ogden recalls. ‘Team work is a value that can apply to just about everything; marriage, business, sailing. Building a winning race team relies on a blend of personalities and I believe you need a few characters to make it fun. I run a largely amateur team; most of the guys are taking time off work to race on “Jethou”. They are all very excellent sailors but for most of them it is their pastime and passion, which makes it all the more entertaining. They are wonderful people, very charismatic. Personally, one of the great things about yacht racing is that even at my age, you can still participate at a good level and really contribute to the performance.’

Right on time In 2012 Ogden’s ‘Jethou’ crew was the overall winner of the Rolex Vulcano Race, a new 400-mile offshore that runs as part of Rolex Capri Week, fullfilling a long-held ambition of Ogden’s to win one of the famous timepieces. The team also rounded off their season by winning the GBR Rolex IMA Championship trophy at the Maxi Worlds. ‘I have spent all this time trying to win a Rolex, although it is only a fraction of the cost of one sail,’ Ogden points out. ‘I do get tremendous satisfaction from the achievement and that makes that watch very special. It really means something

and I get very emotional about winning one. You have got to want to come out on top and I put a lot into it. I am absolutely exhausted after a race but there is a lot of excitement and a huge sense of accomplishment, especially when we win. ‘On any start line there is a real rush of adrenalin but nowadays I sail a very quiet boat. Before the start I have Brad [Butterworth] talking me through the move before we do it. A Mini-Maxi accelerates really quickly so you can stall the boat and then power up into a gap. I ignore the other competitors and rely on the tactician and focus on keeping my lane at maximum speed. So I am deep in concentration on the start, only the tactician can get through to my ears. It is very important that the whole team stick to their jobs and don’t shout at each other. ‘Obviously “Jethou” had a great 2012, [but] I think that the Mini-Maxi class is moving towards a 72ft racing fleet and my 62ft boat has a massive disadvantage, especially on windwardleeward courses, as they can put me exactly where they want me. So we really struggle because [the bigger boats] can monopolise the tactics of the race, so to be really competitive you need a 72ft boat. ‘The other problem I have is that many of the other owners have a great desire to race offshore. I am getting to the stage where I prefer regatta sailing to the offshores, so maybe I should do something different. It is very much a debate as to what do we do next as we are coming to the end of this programme. ‘Having said that I really enjoyed the Rolex Volcano Race this year. With good wind and fantastic scenery, whipping along at 23 knots, it was

I have spent all this time trying to win a Rolex, although it is only a fraction of the cost of one sail 40

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PhOtOS: all KuRt aRRigO/ROlex*


Sir Peter Ogden

ABOVE At the helm of the Mini Maxi ‘Jethou’

a fantastic experience. There was water everywhere but how could you not smile in those surroundings and exhilarating conditions, I am still laughing now thinking about the emotional high!’

want to have a race boat, if I want to cruise then it’s got to be a really big one so I would charter and that’s the combination that works. ‘“Jethou” is a sexy looking boat, it’s just a pity I didn’t build it 72ft! The

The Mini Maxi Class rules make it owner-driver, which is great because I am not good enough to do anything else! Paint it black

RIGHT Sir Peter Ogden with his much-wanted Rolex prize from the 2012 Volcano Race

The current ‘Jethou’ is a 60ft pure black racing one-off designed by Reichel/Pugh and built by Green Marine in Hythe. ‘I have had a fair few boats but this one has just been so different,’ Peter explains. ‘In the past, I have had yachts which you could cruise and race, but now I have decided not to mix the use. I

MINI MAXI FLEET The Mini Maxi fleet is for yachts from 60-79ft, and is one of the most exciting and fiercely fought ‘big boat’ classes around. It includes Niklas Zennström’s double Rolex Fastnet winner ‘Rán 2’ (GBR) and this year’s Mini Maxi world championship winner, the new 72-footer ‘Bella Mente’ (USA).

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Yachts & Yachting

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thing about the Mini Maxi class is that I decided on a 60ft boat because I wanted to be able to do other events. I have been into too many dark rooms late at night discussing a new class. Owners like me tend to be a bit fickle; sometimes when we all agree to do a circuit and then if it doesn’t transpire that can be very frustrating. So I tend to be a bit cautious, but I think the Mini Maxi Class is pretty secure for a while, there are several new boats this year and I understand two more are on the way. But you have to be very careful getting sucked into a class because you can build one and then find that people are doing something totally different. ‘The Mini Maxi Class rules make it owner-driver, which is great because I am not good enough to do anything else! But I do have Brad Butterworth telling me what to do, it is amazing to have such a talented sailor next to me. I have known him as a friend for many years and he has been very keen about the programme since he got involved. Brad is very direct, if he wants to make a point he doesn’t hold back but after that it’s done, he doesn’t go on about it and he is very sociable once we get ashore. Brad is the tactician now but ‘Budgie’ (Ian Budgen) is still very much involved. Budgie trims the main but he is spending hours and hours finetuning the boat and Brad has every confidence in his ability. ‘Even if you are an amateur, to be part of the Jethou team, you have to take things seriously when you are racing. I do like to have fun when I am racing but you have to want to win. To do that everybody has to perform to the best of their ability and if someone doesn’t show dedication to the event, they’re off the team – end of story.’


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photo: Mike Rice/fotoboat

A TALE OF

TWO CREW


Neither consider themselves to be solely a crew or a helm; they are happy in either role

Swapping their more usual helm-crew roles saw Stu bithell and Christian birrell regain the Merlin Rocket national title. Paula irish reports...


Changing roles

photo: Mike Rice/fotoboat

right Andy Davis & Tom Pygall (sail no. 3684) trying to punch out to leeward off the start line. They battled hard with Stu and Christian all week

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Yachts & Yachting

April 2013

photo: Mike Rice/fotoboat

F

resh from winning a silver medal crewing a 470 at the 2012 Olympics, just a little over two weeks later Stuart Bithell was helming to success at the 2012 Merlin Rocket nationals just along the Jurassic coastline at Lyme Regis. His crew in the Merlin was Christian Birrell, who just a week before had finished third helming in the 130-boat fleet at the GP14 worlds. It was a chance for each of them to swap their more usual crew-helm roles and regain the title won when they first sailed a Merlin together at the 2010 nationals in Penzance, which saw them go on to win the Endeavour ‘champion of champions’ trophy that year. The pair also won the GP14 nationals at Abersoch in 2011, and Christian says while they haven’t done a huge amount together, ‘we’ve done a reasonable job of what we have done. It just kind of works for whatever reason. Our skill set comes together quite well.’ It’s a proficiency enhanced by each of them having a passion for both crewing and helming. Neither consider themselves to be solely a crew or a helm; they are happy in either role. Explaining his helming role in the Merlin, Stuart says that having campaigned the 470 up to the Games as a crew he enjoyed being on the stick for his ‘fun sailing’. He adds: ‘But also the widest part of the Merlin is where the helm sits and I’m a bit bigger than Christian so there’s a bit of a performance reason there as well. Get your big boy out on the widest part of the boat.’ The 2012 Merlin nationals saw them put in just one day of training

right ‘The widest part of the Merlin is where the helm sits...’ Stu’s extra size helped keep the boat flat

and going upwind in 18-20 knots and big waves in Weymouth bay they managed to snap the mast of a brand new Winder on loan from Speed Sails. Luckily fellow competitor Simon Potts lent them a mast, and their next chance to get some time on the water was the practice race of the nationals at Lyme Regis SC, which they won. The pair followed up with a bullet in race one, being noted for ‘having a distinct speed

advantage and going the right way’ in the 80-boat fleet. Did having a new boat, well set up help? ‘A little bit of that,’ says Stuart. ‘But I think coming from the 470, where we do plane upwind, I know what it feels like to lose height on a person but go forwards on them, so then we can sail into the next shift with a bit of leverage, you can take a gain. I think the first few days were particularly windy and me and Christian put ourselves in a position where we could drop the bow so to speak so we could get the boat moving really quickly... VMG-wise it was very good.’ Day two was too windy to race, then day three, in a building breeze, saw them take a second bullet and a fifth place which put them neck-andneck at the top of the leaderboard with defending champions Andy ‘Taxi’ Davis and Tom Pygall. With the black flag flying, a number of top contenders were caught out in race two, including Nick Craig, John Gorringe and Ben McGrane. Stu and Christian’s approach was to be slightly more conservative on their starts – in fact Christian says many were


Stuart tends to make the calls as he has more time to look around while Christian concentrates on the kite.

Broken mojo

‘woefully bad’ – knowing they could rely on their speed. Stuart also used strategies from the Olympics: ‘One of our goals for that event was to know exactly where the line was every start and I just transferred that routine across to the Merlins. Sometimes we had bad starts because of it, but we didn’t have any black flags and people around us were getting black flagged. The big thing is that it’s a very thorough pre-start routine you need to do, to know where the line is.’

Total faith Christian says the routine included checking the numbers on both tacks upwind then chatting about the racecourse and what they thought was going to pay, and about the rake: ‘In a Merlin you do a lot of rig changes, so we always have a chat when we’re sailing upwind about what range of rake we’re in, because I move the rake but all the feel comes from Stuart helming.’ More chat followed downwind, sailing both gybes, getting a feel for wave angle and boat speed, before sorting a startline transit and some line

bearings with the compass. ‘What Stuart is very, very good at is transits,’ says Christian. ‘He’s always very confident about where he is on the line, which I’m not so good at. More so than anyone I’ve ever sailed with, he knows exactly where the line is all the time. And one thing you can say

With day four lost to high winds, day five again saw two races and with races lasting two hours, and some breezy conditions, fitness was a factor in their favour. ‘Obviously fresh out of the Olympics, fit as a fiddle I was,’ says Stuart. ‘And Christian’s a fit lad anyway. A couple of races got blown off so there were two long races a day, which is quite hard work in the Merlin to be honest, especially if it’s windy, and our fitness would pull us through those longer harder days and we kind of ground out the results.’ With a strong north-westerly coming straight over the cliffs, conditions were challenging for race four, but Stuart and Christian were able to hold off Taxi and Tom for the win. Then in race five Stuart says they had another bad start and got the first beat completely wrong: ‘We did a couple of laps and we were probably around 10th or 15th. And then to top things off we capsized, downwind. It was a gusty offshore day and we just caught a gust, not unexpectedly but we just didn’t handle it as best we could.’ The pair sailed in and the daily report couldn’t decide whether they’d suffered a broken boat or broken mojo: ‘It was the mojo!’ says Stuart. ‘We were deep, it was going to be our discard, and with the forecast we were sure we could still manage a good result the next day so we came in. It

When I’m crewing, I know exactly what the helm wants from me because I’ve spent so much time doing it Christian Birrell about him as a general sailor is if he believes something... he’s got total faith in what he believes. He has absolutely no qualms in committing to what he thinks, it’s quite a rarity.’ Around the track, upwind would see Christian looking at the big picture of the tactics and Stuart more at the boat-on-boat tactics, while downwind

was a decision under a bit of heat but it was logical.’

Showdown And so the fight for the title came down to a final-day showdown between Stuart and Christian, and Taxi and Tom. The year before when faced with a final-day match race, Taxi had defeated Geoff

April 2013

Yachts & Yachting

47


Changing roles

right The windy conditions off Lyme Regis suited Stu and Christian

Carveth for the Merlin title. ‘The pressure was on,’ says Stuart. ‘But we knew we just had to get off the startline, we knew Taxi was going to try and stop us from doing that, and I hate to keep bringing up the Olympics, but we trained for the match race scenario at the Olympics as well. ‘We had about six general recalls which didn’t help the nerves... and every race was a match race. The race that went, we just got the upper hand up the first beat and off we went.’ It was a relentless game of cat and mouse during the countdown to

much because we still had to get a topthree result in the race. We couldn’t just beat Taxi, we had to get off the startline and make sure we were close to the fleet at the first mark.’ Christian says: ‘Taxi perhaps wasn’t as aggressive as we were expecting him to be. He just kind of shadowed us the whole time, and kind of looked for an opportunity to do something. But we didn’t really make any mistakes so the opportunity didn’t really arise. ‘We just made sure we kept the boat moving all the time so it wasn’t like we were a sitting duck at any point,

To get your feel for a boat it’s good to get on the stick

photo: Mike Rice/fotoboat

below Flying downwind

each start. ‘We didn’t escape but we always hit the line with speed and with a lane,’ Stuart explains. ‘Taxi was always either one boat above or one boat below us trying to interfere with our race but we put ourselves in a position where he wasn’t going to hinder us too

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April 2013

and made sure we always stayed to leeward of him so we had right of way, just simple things... and staying in the middle of the line so he didn’t have any opportunity to pin us on either side of the line.’ Stuart says boat handling and communication was key – the pair chat constantly – as was staying calm and logical: ‘Staying uber-relaxed and focused and just sailing – every start it was serious, intense, we’re gybing and we’re tacking which looks really hectic, but when you know what you’re doing and what’s happening, it’s very calm.’ The start which finally went saw a tacking duel which led to Taxi having a port and starboard on Stuart and Christian. ‘He let us duck him and then he tacked... so we’re going off on port now with him to windward of us and we got a lee-bow on him and that was it; that was us away then, like a ferret up a drainpipe!’ Christian says there was a huge left-hand shift about three or four minutes after the start: ‘It wasn’t a huge gain on Taxi necessarily but it was a big gain on the rest of the fleet which meant we were lying third and Taxi was fourth or fifth or something, so what happened is straight away we were up into second, the guy who was winning was a long way ahead, so we kind of had an easy track, there wasn’t much opportunity for us to mess it up.’ Stuart and Christian regained the title they held in 2010 with a score line

photo: Mike Rice/fotoboat

Stu Bithell

of 1,1,5,1,2 to narrowly beat the 2011 champions’ scoreline of 2,2,2,2,3, with Geoff Carveth and Graham Williamson taking third. Heading on to the Endeavour Trophy, Stuart represented the 470s with his Olympic teammate Luke Patience crewing for him, and Christian the Merlins, with GP14 world champion crew Andy Tunnicliffe at the front of his boat. In 2011 Stuart had beaten Christian on equal points, this time round Christian beat Stuart by a place. Stuart has since announced he’ll also be helming on the Olympic trail in 2013 in a 49er, while Luke is to continue in the 470, since the pair felt they would be too heavy to be competitive together in the light winds expected at Rio in 2016.


Crewing versus helming Both Stuart and Christian say there are benefits from being able to crew and helm when it comes to improving your sailing at either end of a boat. Stuart, for example, crewed Merlins when he was younger for good sailors at his local sailing club, Hollingworth Lake – including Nick Heginbotham – so knows how the boat feels when being helmed well, and finds his 470 crewing expertise also helps when helming the Merlin. ‘The beauty of the Merlin is they’re a similar speed to the 470 and similar in the sense that there’s two modes: bow down and moving fast going upwind and there’s your high mode as well. The hiking is different, it’s more tiring on your legs, but in the 470 you’ve got unlimited pumping in anything above 8 knots so

that’s fairly tiring all over really.’ However, he says helming provides feedback from the rudder about how a boat responds, for example when heeled. ‘So, to get your feel for a boat it’s good to get on the stick.’ Christian is also among the few to both helm and crew to a top level. He’s crewed 470s and helmed a variety of national classes, so helming at the GP14 worlds he knew how best to help his crew, while crewing for Stuart ‘it’s a benefit to understand what you’re trying to achieve and what information he wants’. ‘When I’m crewing, I know exactly what the helm wants from me because I’ve spent so much time doing it.’ Christian worked to support his brother Niki’s successful quest for a Paralympic medal in the Skud in 2012 and this year is helming a Fireball with Sam Brearey

crewing, the pair having finished second at the 2012 Europeans. His 470 crewing experience enables him to understand Sam’s role and what Sam wants from him: ‘It just makes it a bit easier.’ Of his teamwork with Stuart, Christian says: ‘I think quite often when you sail with different people, they’ve done a lot of different sailing to you, and maybe come up through different coaching pathways. Sometimes I sail with people and think, “what are you doing here, what are you thinking here?” whereas me and Stuart have always been on exactly the same pathway. We’ve sailed Merlins, 420s and 470s against each other, so there are not really any surprises, we both know what each other wants and what we think makes a good partnership.’

April 2013

Yachts & Yachting

49


20 easy ways photo: tom GruItt*

to make your boat go faster

above Practising your starts is an easy way to lift you into the front row, which gives cleaner air on the first beat above right Slick spinnaker hoists, drops and gybes can gain a lot of ground and help with consistency of results right If possible, don’t hit the starboard layline too early – doing so risks losing many boat lengths

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W

hen looking at how to move performance up to the next level it’s all too easy to think first in terms of spending money – buying new sails, gear, or even a new boat. However a number of small and easy improvements in your technique can yield great results that will stay with you for the rest of your sailing career.

1 Practise boat handling This need not be onerous so there’s no excuse to put it off – 15 minutes spent practising your weakest manoeuvre before the start of each day’s racing will rapidly pay dividends. Once this first manoeuvre is much improved, you’ll have a ‘new’ weakest one to work on. A Go Pro video camera in a waterproof housing is an ideal self-coaching tool – they weigh only a few grams, are easily fixed to the back of the boat and will reveal both your

April 2013

Improvements you can begin today to boost your racing results this season need not cost the earth, says Rupert Holmes strengths and your weaknesses. 2 Mark all the settings Knowing the fastest settings for a wide range of conditions is a key prerequisite of good boat speed, yet far too many boats – whether dinghy or offshore racer – fail to mark their controls. Everything should be marked – halyards, sheets, vang, outhaul and so on. Once you start, it’s the beginning of an ongoing process that sees both sail trim and boat handling improve as you gradually refine the markings. 3 Hoists, drops and gybes Getting the spinnaker work right is crucial to good performance and a bit

of practice outside of race conditions will always yield excellent returns, especially early in the season. The boats with crew work in this area always gain an advantage on their rivals, whatever the weather. 4 Mark roundings It’s amazing how many even quite good sailors give valuable time away at mark roundings. The biggest mistakes are failing to follow the basic ‘wide in, narrow out’ principle and thereby allowing other boats inside, and uncoordinated sail handling. 5 Work on your starts Few of us can claim to be able to nail the start every time, whatever the circumstances, yet getting away into clean air on the first beat gives a valuable early advantage. If you don’t do so already, try to think of the length of the line in terms of the time it takes to sail along it – this can be a big help in improving judgement of time and distance.


photo: paul Wyeth

If starting mid-line, get a reliable transit and don’t be afraid of being half a length ahead of the boats around you – most hang back too far, even in the very top level of competition. It goes without saying that a top-notch timer is needed, and on big boats it’s essential to have instruments or software that enable you to ‘ping’ the exact location of each end of the line.

photo: paul Wyeth

6 Don’t hit the starboard layline too early This is particularly important on the second and subsequent beats, where hitting the layline early means you will end up overstanding, especially in big fleets. In many fleets it’s possible to make the mark if you tack on to port just underneath the boats that are overstanding – but remember to do so just outside of the three length zone and that if you need to luff to shoot up to the buoy you must not go beyond head to wind. In a big fleet it’s possible to pick up dozens of places this way.

April 2013

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Technique

right It’s easy to lose several places in a botched mark rounding, yet an hour of focussed practice will see your skills improve dramatically

Note that it may be too crowded for this tactic to work on the first beat in a big fleet – but watch out for any chancers piling into the mark on port and be prepared to sail round the resulting carnage. However, on subsequent beats the fleet will be more spread out, which means a different tactic can be applied. 7 Take the correct gate On windward-leeward courses with a gate at the bottom, you need to know – or at least have a good guess at – which side of the gate will be favoured before you bear away at the top mark. The bigger the fleet the more important it is that you get this right – going the wrong way can be costly, but it’s really easy to be pinned out to one side by other boats if you don’t have a plan at the top mark. 8 Weight distribution This comes naturally to a few lucky people, but other crews struggle and it’s not unusual to see boats with poor fore and aft trim, especially in light conditions. Never allow yourself to fall into thinking that your boat is sufficiently heavy that this isn’t a priority – even at the 50ft level, the best crews will roll tack in light airs.

below Correct fore and aft weight distribution is crucial, whether you sail an Optimist, a Flying 15, or a TP52

9 Change gear to accelerate This is just as important for reservoir sailors who are trying to reach a mark in a wind shadow as it is for keelboat sailors who become buried in disturbed air after making a disappointing start. Sheeting in and attempting to point high is always counterproductive, even in a lightweight boat. You need to ease sheets and bear away until you’ve gained some boat speed or found clean air.

photo: tom GruItt*

10 Develop high and low upwind modes The ability to maintain VMG while pointing higher than usual – or lower than usual – gives tactical control over other boats around you and helps to keep clean air. It’s one of the bestkept secrets of the most successful sailors and is well worth practising. For instance it may allow you to gain enough space to tack, or squeeze up above an overtaking boat. But don’t be tempted to overdo it – any more than 3-5 degrees in each direction will put you on the conveyor belt towards the back of the fleet.

52

11 Be consistent It’s important to balance the size of

Yachts & Yachting

April 2013


photo: tom GruItt*

below The ability to sail higher, or lower than usual with minimal loss of VMG gives more tactical options in a tight fleet

any risks you take against the potential gains – a principle that almost always rules out taking a big risk in exchange for a small gain. People whose results are inconsistent are often those who either take too many risks, or take the wrong risks. When they get a run of good luck they are at the front of the fleet, but all too often the risks don’t pay off and they are mid-fleet or worse. Alternatively, if your results aren’t consistent, there’s a good chance you’re sailing fast, but being let down by a small number of important mistakes. Identifying these can be very revealing and help propel you a long way up the fleet.

photo: paul Wyeth

12 Post-race analysis Make a habit of critically analysing your performance in each race – when you do well, it’s important to know the reasons why, so you can repeat the success when

April 2013

Yachts & Yachting

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Technique

photo: paul Wyeth

right It’s easy to lose focus on a long race make sure you’re properly fed, hydrated and have the right clothing

faced with the same conditions in the future. Equally, learning from your mistakes will prevent you repeating them. This process also helps to improve team communication. 13 Duck or tack? When beating on port tack you need to know, in advance, whether to tack or duck on meeting a starboard tack boat. If you’re not doing it already it may require some conscious effort to train the right thought processes, in effect rhetorically asking, ‘what would I do if we met a starboard tacker now?’ Before long it becomes instinctive and puts you in much firmer control of your route up the beat. Equally, if you’re on starboard and want to continue on that tack don’t let a port tack boat that’s on collision course tack under your lee bow. Wave them through instead, and duck their transom if necessary. 14 Sort the boat out! While there are many small ways in which a little extra performance can be gained with a relatively small amount of effort, many of the benefits will be lost if the boat is not up to scratch. There’s also an important psychological aspect to this – it’s easy to blame a substandard boat for disappointing performance, when the real fault lies with the crew. Does everything work exactly as it should? Would the foils benefit from being faired? If the boat is kept afloat is the bottom immaculately clean? Is the rig properly set up? Can you tweak the rigging tension for different wind

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April 2013

conditions? How good are the sails? It also helps psychologically to have a boat that looks smart, so maybe now is the time to get the polish out, or even plan a repaint or a vinyl wrap of the hull. The discipline of keeping the boat looking good also has benefits that are more than skin deep – salt and grit are responsible for the majority of the wear to which deck hardware components are exposed, so a wash with fresh water after every sail will help keep everything working as it should. 15 Look after yourself The right clothing that will keep you warm, comfortable and dry across the full range of conditions that might be experienced during the race is vital if you’re to perform at your best, both physically and mentally. It’s a false economy to attempt to make do if there’s a gap in your sailing wardrobe – you won’t be as fast, you won’t enjoy the sailing as much, and the kit you do have will wear out faster. 16 Nutrition This is also of vital importance and is as relevant to a 40-minute dinghy race as to the 605-mile Rolex Fastnet Race. Quite simply, without the right form of energy – which frequently means complex carbohydrates – you won’t be able to perform at your best: after a period of intense concentration followed by relative inactivity even the fittest sailor will feel tired and make poor decisions. If you’re working hard, don’t underestimate how difficult it is to remain properly hydrated.

17 Stay focused This may sound obvious, but no one can give 100 per cent concentration all the time – and even just a short lapse at a critical time can cost several places. As well as good nutrition, make sure your conversation doesn’t wander away from the race and that everyone is tuned in on the run-up to important manoeuvres. This is particularly important in the latter parts of a race – many crews will be flagging, so those who stay focused on the job can make good gains relative to other boats. 18 Develop your knowledge Your understanding of the rules, tactics and sail trimming should be incremental and ongoing, but we all get stuck in a rut from time to time. If this is you, unless you have loads of free time to play with, choose a couple of specific topics on which to get started. 19 Do something different It’s amazing how much can be learnt by sailing with different people, in a different boat, or in a different place. If you have been sailing the same class with the same crew for a long while, give something else a try for a weekend or two – you’ll almost certainly come back to your regular boat with valuable new skills and knowledge. 20 Over to you... Email us at yachtsandyachting@ creatingwaves.com with your 20th idea – the best submission will receive a Y&Y beanie.


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the any marinas in UK in winter are thankless, desolate time. places to spend out of Most boats are a the water and only to do brave the cold handful of people e, dreaming of some vital maintenancor escaping the come; the summer to of the life in wdreaming mania of home mania or escaping the summer to come; of the winter. dreaming of home life in winter. inter. of home life in Docks, however, Visiting St Katharine of picturesque provides a sense also vibrancy rarely tranquillity but of year in the marine s found at this time sense of peacefulnes environment. This due more impressive is perhaps all the the of the dock in to the positioning Sunt quae sit very heart of London. mporiberita odigeni volorpo rehende etur, odi to bea cusanit de dolorepudic tisque officie nimpor odition pe pelecup prae velis ad que ut as ped quo corum, as eaque dolessit, vit volore nonsequos quisciis ex et abor ra quaspernam res dolorum quatemolupta eribus cus, vere volorep volupientium re rehende llandusanti quunte omnim latur solendipsunt aut velendite intur sed et volorercium aut aditioribus, pror arunt. volorem olupture intistio. atiaero recest, Verum dollupt volut erestor secatur, Magnis pe samet m quis endaecte is unt, omnissenda dolut ommo offici doluptatem volupti

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New boats Home-built innovations and new French launches Beneteau Oceanis 55

The latest in Beneteau’s range of cruisers is at the very top of the size range you’re likely to find offered for bareboat charter – and similarly close to the maximum size most owners who don’t want to sail with the help of professional crew will choose. The Oceanis 55 follows the principles behind the success of the marque, including a very spacious interior, with huge hull windows that maximise the interior light and give those below decks a good view of the outside world. There’s a wide choice of layouts, with up to five cabins, and four heads/shower compartments. The sail plan includes an easily handled jib with minimal overlap, while the powerful mainsail

is sheeted via the distinctive overhead arch. As a result, there’s plenty of deck space, much of it unhindered by sail controls. In addition, an electrically-operated transom platform lowers to provide a sea level terrace/bathing platform when at anchor or moored stern-to a quay. www.beneteau.com Hull length Beam Draught Draught Displacement Sail Area Mainsail Genoa (105%) Asymmetric

15.99m 4.99m 2.2m (deep keel) 1.49m (very shallow keel) 16,700kg 67sq m 72sq m 200sq m

Sunreef 90 Ultimate

This ultra-modern giant catamaran offers an enormous volume of accommodation, yet promises more than 20 knots under sail. The lightweight carbon and glass superstructure is designed to minimise wind resistance and includes a streamlined flybridge from which all manoeuvring and sail handling can take place. Aft of the superstructure, a huge 20sq m cockpit includes sofas, sun pads and tender garage. There’s also a separate private terrace outside the owner’s cabin with a spa pool, bar and lounge. Needless to say, the interior areas are equally sumptuous. The boat claims to be eco-oriented and includes 54sq m of solar panels, capable of generating 8kW of power, plus wind and hydro-generators – all fitted with the aim of minimising generator running time. www.sunreef-yachts.com LOA 27.4m Displacement 55,000kg

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Cornish Crabber Adventure 22

This Cornish-based builder of traditional style boats has plenty of new developments in the pipeline. The Adventure series now sees the standard gaff rig of the Cornish Crabber 12, 17, 19 and 26 models replaced by a Bermudan alternative option. Meanwhile the Adventure 22 also sports a new deck design and shares many concepts with the Crabber 26 we tested last year. With the new deck the 22-footer packs a lot into its relatively short hull length, including four-berth accommodation and a separate heads compartment that separates the forward double v-berth from the living space, together with a proper galley. A ballasted centreplate gives shallow draught for exploring, and inexpensive moorings. The boat is available with an outboard engine fitted in a central well, or with a 14hp inboard diesel. www.cornishcrabbers.co.uk LOA LWL Beam Draught Displacement Towing weight Sail area

CNB 76

Following the success of the Bordeaux 60 as an affordable, large performance cruiser, CNB – the Beneteau owned builder of large sailing yachts – has announced a 76ft model that follows a similar concept. Drawings show a flush foredeck, with low-profile deck saloon coachroof, the ends of which are extended aft to form the coamings and seating of the guest cockpit. Below decks, the full-width saloon has a panoramic all-round view, while owner’s and guest cabins benefit from an enormous amount of space and storage. The new boat is available with a choice

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of keels, to give draught ranging from 2.1 to 3.5 metres, and with the option of a standard or performance rig. The first boat is in build and will be launched in late spring or early summer 2013. www.CNB76.com LOA LWL Beam Draught Draught Hydraulic lifting keel Sail area (standard) Sail area (performance) Asymmetric spinnaker

23.17m 21.98m 6.1m 3m (standard) 3.5m (lead keel) 3.1-3.9m 304sq m 324sq m 400sq m

7.53m 6.29m 2.52m 0.71-1.5m 1,950kg 2,630kg 26.9sq m


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We’ve had speeds close to 20 even in flat conditions – 15 knots now feels like nothing, which sounds indecent to cruising people!


Design profile

Ker 40 Focus The Ker 40 has proved to be one of the stand-out new big boat designs of the past couple of years and promises an even better 2013 season, with more south coast based boats and a growing international circuit. Rupert Holmes and Louay Habib report…

J

phoTos: all MiKe Jones/WaTerline Media

ason Ker appears to have a knack of creating ultra-fast, well-mannered designs that are enormous fun to sail and also able achieve enviable handicap results. In this respect he has achieved the Holy Grail – all-out raceboats tend to have a reputation of attracting unfavourable ratings that mean only the most outstanding crews have a good chance of bring home the chocolates. The first Ker 40 to hit the water, Jonathon Goring’s ‘Keronimo’, scored notable successes in the 2011 season, winning her class in both the RORC Myth of Malham and Rolex Fastnet races. In late 2011/early 2012 she was followed by southern-hemisphere boats that scored similarly impressive results. At the beginning of this year, Marc Glimcher’s ‘Catapault’ continued the run of wins, taking the 40ft class at Key West, both under IRC and ORCi. With 10 boats now on the water, despite the difficult economic conditions, the class is clearly gaining momentum.

Design premise In common with other Ker designs, the 40 combines high stability, with a low-drag hull form and efficient foils. The boat was designed at the outset as an all-out racer that would have the potential to form a one-design class. Jason

Ker sensibly shied away from creating an overly complex design, keeping the emphasis on simplicity and robustness, while abandoning everything that is not essential for racing. Crews therefore don’t need to drag a whole load of unnecessary interior woodwork around the course, which helps to keep the weight down – displacement is less than 5 tonnes. Combined with a big carbon rig, this makes for very exciting sailing, while minimising loads.

The owner’s view Andrew Pearce is one of the early owners in the class, having taken delivery of his boat ‘Magnum 3’ in January last year. He previously owned an IMX 40 performance racer-cruiser, but wanted to replace it with an out-and-out raceboat that would be capable of exciting speed while still having a competitive IRC rating. Pearce had an exciting and successful first season, winning his class in the RORC Morgan Cup, the IRC Nationals and rounded off the season with a closely-fought second place in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup. Pearce also won line honours and class in the toughest RORC Myth of Malham (round Eddystone) race for many years. ‘I wanted a boat that would be in the top end of the racing band within the type of racing we wanted to take part in,’ he explained. ‘The TP52 is

SPECIFICATIONS LOA Beam Draught Displacement

12.2m 4.15m 2.6m 4,850kg

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3 now pretty much out of the running, it is very expensive to race and it has probably had its day. However, I want to be at that top level, so the boat had to be light, able to race to its handicap and be a lot of fun to sail. ‘By the time I ordered the boat, Jonathon Goring’s “Keronimo” had already done a couple of races and the Ker 40 was beginning to look like she was a winner and a suitable boat for the Commodores’ Cup, one of our top priorities for 2012. It was also a boat I could keep in my home port of Poole. ‘A Ker 40 is basic, very basic. Not in terms of construction, but there’s absolutely nothing that can go wrong down below. There are no windows to leak, and there is no wood or anything to get bashed around. It’s as simple as it comes – it’s just made for racing.’

Phenomenal speed ‘We’ve been racing at speeds close to 20 even in flat conditions – it’s phenomenal. To charge around at 15 knots now feels like nothing, which sounds indecent to cruising people! The JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island race last year was a great example – we were constantly at 17 knots, with the wake from the back of the boat looking like that of a speed boat. ‘It’s a very exciting boat at those sorts of speeds and so rock steady, which was something I worried about

when I ordered the boat, that I was not going to be able to control this beast of a boat. However, the loads are far less than my old IMX 40, so the Ker 40 is far easier to drive.’

The boat captain’s view ‘When I first saw videos of “Keronimo”, with conventional winches, she looked slow in the gybes,’ says ‘Magnum’s’ boat captain, Ancasta’s Ker 40 broker, Sam Pearson. ‘My thinking was that we were buying into a miniature TP52, which has two pedestals. Without a pedestal it’s difficult to get weight aft downwind, so although it’s an expensive option (around £25,000) it’s worthwhile – the set-up takes weight from leeward to the back of the boat. Equally, the same can be said tacking upwind. ‘Looking at GoPro video of “Keronimo”and “Magnum” side by side, we are definitely quicker in gybes and with spinnaker hoists, which is all critical.’ Although the majority of Ker 40s are tiller steered, Pearce’s preference was wheel steering. ‘You could quite easily see this boat with a tiller instead of two wheels,’ says Pearson, ‘but it’s a personal preference. There is a nominal weight saving going for a tiller but it’s not that much.’

Racing with an amateur crew ‘I have got a crack crew with me this year – it’s all about having the right

people on board,’ says Pearce. ‘We trained through last winter with Jim Saltonstall, and others have been on board giving us hints and tips. Looking through videos after training has been invaluable, especially getting us to focus on how to improve things by evaluating performance after sailing – it really goes into your head. ‘Nearly all the crew of “Magnum” are amateurs, so we don’t have the time professionals are able to spend, but having someone like Jim along focuses everybody. It lifts you to a level that you wouldn’t otherwise get to – [the boat is] so radically different, all that input and time out on the water is needed to make it second nature. ‘I have come to realise that, while someone of my age is fine on the wheel, this is a physical boat to sail – it’s a boat for youth. We already have a young crew, it’s getting younger and I’m delighted to say we are attracting some very talented sailors to join us for the season.’

1 Wheel or tiller steering is down to helmsman’s personal choice 2 The Ker 40s are built by renowned raceboat builders McConaghy 3 The interior is minimalist, even without floorboards

Adjusting the rig In common with other large raceboats that benefit from extremely close competition, the set-up of the rig for different wind conditions is absolutely critical. There’s a jack built into the rig, plus a hydraulic pump that enables the mast heel to be lifted enough to insert or remove shims that change the rig tension between races. ‘We have 20mm

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Design focus

Above ‘Magnum 3’ had a strong first season, winning both inshore and offshore

forestay adjustment and at the mast heel we have about 15mm fore and aft,’ says Pearson. ‘The bottle screw on the forestay adds about 50/60mm.’

Below decks ‘Magnum’ has the very basics of fitting out down below, so there is little that can malfunction. ‘It’s a simple raceboat: if it’s not needed, it isn’t there,’ says Pearson. ‘This limits what can go wrong.’ There’s not even a fuel tank: ‘We have a plastic 46 litre fuel container – you’re not going

but it’s easy enough to bail. ‘We went for a custom forehatch with a rolled top edge, which I think is a nice feature,’ says Pearson. ‘After we had it changed I haven’t heard any comments about the size so I’m happy with that. No angry foredeck or sewer man! One of the advantages of having hatches with the inner tube seal is that offshore you can seal it up and just drop everything down the main hatch. ‘For our first kite hoist we normally use the hatch and when peeling we hoist

A Ker 40 is basic, very basic. Not in terms of construction, but there’s absolutely nothing that can go wrong down below... motoring! We have 10 hours worth from that and if you were concerned, there’s space to bring more fuel on board. ‘We have had grab rails put in the saloon for safety. I thought it important to have something to grab hold of, especially when offshore, but we don’t need floorboards – they just add weight. The lowest point of the boat is the companionway area – you often get a bit of water here and there,

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from the bag. Obviously there are times when there is more than one kite in the forepeak, but with a good guy down there keeping it tidy is not a problem.’ There’s no lighting in the forepeak, it just gets covered in salt water and eventually corrodes. ‘A head torch is far more useful and practical and everything here is for racing – we don’t want the extra weight or maintenance issues,’ adds Pearson. ‘We also have a

trampoline type net in the forepeak, which is a simple way of draining water out of the kite.’

Other modifications At this level of racing it’s inevitable that boats are modified to exactly suit what their owners and crew regard as being most important, and for the deck gear to operate in exactly the way that suits them. So what other changes have they made to Magnum after the first season of racing? ‘The biggest thing is development of a better A2 spinnaker. For me that is the gap to plug in our sail inventory – we just can’t get far enough ahead for our rating,’ says Pearce. ‘Jason Ker was always up front about this; it’s a weak area of the boat, but now we have more data we can do something about it. At the moment in 12 knots of wind we are doing well and in 15 knots plus we are over the horizon. In over 20 knots it begins to get really interesting! ‘We have also led the vang right back. It’s still a standard cascade system, but we learnt pretty quickly that we needed full control of it with the weight back when racing downwind, so we have led it aft away from the standard position on the coachroof. The only big gear change is the mainsheet track; in more than 12 knots of wind it becomes difficult to pull it up. Other than that the boat is hard to fault.’


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The 2012 DAME award-winning shoe from Chatham is called Fibercon and is made of Contender sailcloth. Other models in the range include the traditionally styled Contender deck shoe for men, the Elysse and Beam for women. RRP: £89 www.chatham-marine.co.uk

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TRIED AND TESTED: Bern Macon H20 Helmet With boats reaching higher top speeds than ever before should we be thinking more about our personal safety while dinghy sailing? A few years ago if someone mentioned wearing a helmet sailing I would immediately think of a huge mushroom-shaped affair, writes Tom Gruitt, but not anymore! Most crews in the Extreme 40 and AC45 classes now wear helmets, and with this increase in popularity has come more modern designs of watersports helmet. The Bern Macon H20 fits the bill for a dinghy or catamaran sailing helmet perfectly; it’s light, slim and looks pretty cool too! The ABS shell with soft and breathable Brock internal foam provides multi-impact protection on that dodgy gybe or spectacular pitch-pole. The helmet has a small channel above the ears so you can still wear your sunglasses comfortably which I think is a particularly handy feature. Bern’s ‘Sink Fit’ design means the helmet sits as low on your head as possible while still giving protection. I hit my head on the boom for the first few tacks but you soon get used to ducking just a tiny bit further. Weighing in at less than half a kilo the Macon is very light and comfortable to wear so I never really noticed it once sailing. Another handy feature is that it is quick to dry and the matt finish (in a wide choice of colours) doesn’t highlight the times you’ve been hit on the head too much! Whether you wear it all the time or just for when it’s windy, for £60 I think this is a very worthwhile addition to your sailing kit. RRP: £59.99 Sizes: S-XXXL Colours: Black, White, Grey, Yellow, Navy. www.bernunlimited.com


Safety first W

hether you sail a dinghy, or race far offshore, staying safe is all about being equipped to deal with any situation with which you might be faced. There are two aspects to this, firstly the training, preparation and forethought that gives you the skills to keep out of trouble and enables you to deal with unexpected emergencies as they arise. In addition to the right skills, to successfully conquer these also means having the right tools – emergency equipment – at your disposal. Although danger is inevitably ever present on the water, sailing is a surprisingly safe sport with very few serious incidents. Even when sailing on a big boat with little direct responsibility, you can do much to minimise the risks to yourself simply by ensuring you stay on board, are not hit by the boom or the mainsheet and don’t lose fingers in a winch.

Look ahead Failing to keep your eyes out of the boat enough of the time to notice potentially dangerous situations developing is the single most common reason for getting into an emergency situation. Second is inept crew work, the results of which can range from someone losing fingers in a winch to being hit on the head in a gybe. Again looking ahead, and being aware of what those around you are doing, will help to identify and solve crew work problems before they become a potential danger. Looking outside the boat and thinking

Are you prepared? Rupert Holmes looks at the mental preparation and skills needed to keep you safe on the water, as well as some of the best new saftey kit ahead is of course also a prerequisite for good results - it’s perhaps no surprise that in big boat racing some of the most successful skippers also have superb seamanship skills. This enables them to avoid – or rapidly deal with – any situations that might otherwise significantly slow the boat. It’s impossible to eliminate risk when racing, but inadvertently taking on big risks that could be very costly in terms of time is not a formula for consistently good results. The best tacticians are those who understand the risks they take very clearly and are fully switched on to react immediately to keep the boat out of danger.

Serious situations Man overboard: while dinghy racing is in most cases an immersion sport, at least on windy days, the same can never be said for big boat racing, when anyone who falls in the water is at risk. This applies even if they are harnessed on with a lifeline. One of the problems is cold shock – on hitting the water this can lead to involuntary deep gasping for breath and a high risk of heart problems. The risk is particularly acute in the early part of the season, when the water temperature is at its coldest. The second

problem is that conventional harnesses pull the casualty face forward through the water, making it impossible to breathe unless the boat is immediately brought almost to a stop. It was this that spurred Oscar Mead into designing the TeamO reverse pull lifejacket and harness, winner of the 2012 Yachts & Yachting Innovation Award. The situation can be even worse if someone goes over the side without being clipped on. Quick co-ordinated crew action makes a huge difference and there’s no substitute for practice here. If venturing offshore it’s also worth investing in PLBs for all crew. Traditionally these worked in a similar way to EPIRBs, sending a distress signal and location to a satellite, but recently they have become approved for use in conjunction with AIS, with the casualty location displayed on a screen on your boat and any other rescue vessel in the vicinity. Grounding: this may be no real problem for raceboats that are hugging the shore in search of relief from adverse tide. However a gently shelving muddy shore with an offshore wind and rising tide is a very different proposition to steeply shelving rocky lee shore in half a gale. In the former situation a satisfactory margin of safety may be only a few inches of water below the keel, but the latter requires a policy to guarantee no chance of grounding. This necessitates more clearance both vertically under the keel and horizontally away from the danger. This is important when running under spinnaker in a big wind – hitting a rock at speed puts the boat and her crew in imminent danger.

Know who’s in charge in an emergency – this may not be the tactician who usually calls the shots 70

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photo: onEdition*

1 3

photo: RupERt holmEs

4

1 Getting wet is normally part and parcel of dinghy racing 2 It’s easy to become complacent about man overboard if you sail near a rescue helicopter base, but outside of busy summer days, the crew may be on a 20 minute or longer standby 3 Practicing throwing a floating heaving line is the only way to learn how to do so accurately in a strong wind 4 In a heavy weather broach on a big boat make sure you’re clear of the mainsheet and boom, and that you don’t get swept overboard

photo: Rick tomlinson

photo: tom GRuitt*

2


RIGHT The new Exposure Marine floating waterproof torch is much more effective at showing the location of a person overboard at night than a traditional lifebuoy light

Broaching: when sailing downwind in boisterous conditions, a broach, possibly involving a spectacular gybe is a very real danger, which may lead to a man overboard situation, someone being hit on the head by the boom, or even sinking. Modern boats are a great deal more controllable in this situation than older vessels and being lighter weight they tend to float on their side with the companionway further above the water than older vessels, where down-flooding is a very real possibility if the washboards are not in place. Injuries: head injuries can happen both to dinghy and big boat sailors and must be taken seriously – anyone who has been concussed for even a short length of time must be examined by a doctor to check for latent skull fractures. An increasing number of watersports centres supply helmets for children who are learning to sail dinghies to guard against the inevitable bumps from the boom. We’re now seeing athletes at the very top end of the sport, including the America’s Cup, Extreme 40s and Volvo Ocean Race, wearing helmets to protect against the bashes that can occur during very high-speed racing. On a more typical big raceboat, head injuries are most likely to be the result of a gybe. When sailing downwind it behoves all crew to be constantly

photo: EXposuRE mARinE*

Safety focus

aware of the wind angle, so that they can ensure they are safe in the event of an accidental gybe. That advice in no way lessens the responsibilities of the helmsman, but mistakes can happen on any boats. Dinghy capsize: generally with racing dinghies this is not an issue – you just right the boat and carry on sailing. However, there are rare occasions in which a serious situation can develop. The most important of these is entrapment, where the sailor is caught under the water. A trapeze harness with a sacrificial hook is the first line of defence – if the hook becomes snagged it can freed almost immediately. With catamarans it’s also possible for a crewmember to become caught below the trampoline, which will be a few inches under water when the boat is inverted – it’s important therefore for boats and rescue craft to carry a knife that is sufficiently sharp to cut

SAFETY INNOVATIONS Some safety products stand out from among the rest – here’s a quick look at some of the best new ideas Exposure Marine torch Lifebuoy lights are notoriously unreliable, to the extent that RORC recommends carrying a separate floating torch that will shine a light upwards to mark the position of a person in the water. This new model from Exposure Marine is compact, yet enormously powerful. Mike Golding took several on the Vendee Globe to use on ‘Gamesa’ – this is his verdict: ‘After looking for so long for the ultimate sailing torch it seems that Exposure Marine has designed one… they are so incredibly bright and I never seem to have to charge them. Even after such a tough challenge as the Vendee, they are as good as the day I took them out of the box.’ Breathe easy We don’t normally think of the need for an oxygen supply while sailing, but there are times that it can be a lifesaver. The RYA has recognised this in the powerboat racing arena, where drivers of closed-canopy boats must now have a basic

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Yachts & Yachting

April 2013

level of diver training to a depth of 3m, delivered via the new Microdive RYA Basic Diver course. If the driver is trapped underwater this enables them to make best use of the air carried on board, as well as any administered by rescue services. It’s conceivable a similar set-up could help save the lives of the (admittedly very few) dinghy or multihull sailors for whom entrapment is an issue in the event of the boat inverting. TeamO lifejacket/harness This new reverse tow harness/lifejacket is fundamentally different to existing products in a way that stands to significantly increase survival rates. The harness line is attached to the front of the lifejacket in normal use, but if the wearer falls overboard the pull is transferred to their back. As they are towed on their back, the casualty’s face is lifted clear of the water, enabling them to breathe, even if the boat is still moving quickly. Lifting strops are built in – to lift a person on board you simply clip a halyard to the strop and winch them up.

the trampoline.

Don’t panic In any emergency it’s a natural response to feel rushed and pressurised, yet what you really need to do is formulate an effective plan and follow it in a systematic fashion – the very antithesis of an adrenalinefuelled panic reaction. This is usually the reason why, even when faced with a significant challenge, there’s a big difference between the crews that appear to take the problems in their stride, and those for whom the situation cascades into a crisis. Everyone on board should know who’s in charge in an emergency – this may not be the tactician who calls the shots when racing. In addition, they need to know who will take control in the event of the normal person in charge being incapacitated. There are often two stages in resolving a crisis on board – action that needs to be taken immediately to stabilise the situation, followed by a considered plan of action that will either solve or circumvent the problem. But don’t rush into any action without considering the safety implications – despite the high levels of adrenaline, you often need to work more slowly and methodically than normal to minimise the risk of creating further problems.

Emergency equipment This all too often sits mouldering in a locker - yet it’s vital that every item is kept in perfect working order. Examining every item on a monthly basis will ensure anything that needs attention is dealt with and aids crew familiarity with the gear – a dark night with 30 knots of breeze is not the time to be reading instructions on the side of the box. A good example is the throwing line – many sailors have never practised throwing one accurately over a long distance, nor do they know to turn on their back so that they’re not being pulled face forward towards the boat, with water splashing in their face making it difficult to breathe.


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photo: RichARd LAngdon/SkAndiA teAm gBR*

Tooled up

A

well equipped toolbox can save endless time and make the difference between starting a race or counting a discard. And yet a typical scenario sees even the best sailors running around the boat park to borrow tools or making a dash for the nearest chandlery.

Preparation Peter Bentley, technical projects manager for RYA Skandia Team GBR, says what most people think of as their toolbox, he regards as three separate entities:

A few well chosen tools and spares – as opposed to the large random collection more usually found in toolboxes – is all you really need, says Paula Irish n Toolbox – for tools such as spanners and screwdrivers n Spares box – spare parts for your boat, eg. blocks and sheets n Consumables box – for repairs, including glue, resin and glass fibre. ‘It’s not about having a lot of tools,’ says

Peter. ‘It’s about having the right tools.’ He says most small dinghies he works on have only 4mm or 5mm nuts and bolts, very occasionally 3mm or 6mm, so at most, all you need is four spanners: ‘What you don’t need is a box of old spanners your father gave you that were useful for working on his Morris Minor. In reality, when you ask people what’s in their toolboxes, that is often what you find. You find a set of rusty old spanners, none of which are the right size for actually using on your boat, or one big adjustable that actually you can’t get inside the side tank to get onto the nut that you’re trying to undo.

Focus on having a few ‘first aid’ basics to stop water getting in and keep you sailing until you can get a permanent proper fix... April 2013

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photo: dRApeR* photo: tom gRuitt*

Dremel-type tool with attachments such as sanding discs and flap wheels for repair work; a mechanical polisher is also useful, and keep them protected in their original box or case. Since few people who are not professional boatbuilders are able to really do good hull repairs, focus on having a few ‘first aid’ basics to stop water getting in and keep you sailing

Spares Peter finds that spares can also be a classic case of quantity outweighing actual usefulness, with sailors chucking bits from every boat they’ve ever owned into a box. ‘What I say to our Olympic sailors is that since you can’t actually tell which bit on your boat is going to break, you need a spare of everything and that spare needs to be a nice brand spanking new bit still in its wrapping. That is the right piece to put on your boat... but the old Holt Allen one you took off your Mirror dinghy six years ago where the holes are quarter of an inch different spacing from the ones on your boat at the moment is not useful. ‘For me it’s just about being precise and organised about what you’re trying to do and what you’re trying to achieve. It’s not about taking vast quantities of stuff and it’s certainly not about taking inappropriate or useless stuff.’

If other sailors beg for tools or spares, insist they leave their car keys in place of what they borrowed... The variety of bits required for your average dinghy is relatively small – probably two or three different blocks will cover all the sizes you need; with cleats, most dinghies only have two sizes, so just have one of each in the spares box. Also have spare rope, ideally already made-up and ready to go - spliced, tapered, labelled – be it a spare main sheet, jib sheets, halyard, bridle or kicker.

Repairs When it comes to power tools, have a good quality battery-powered drill and some kind of grinding and cutting

until you can get a permanent proper fix. Options for sticking over a bash or hole might include duck tape, sail insignia cloth or Fablon, polyester resin and glassfibre, or a pre-made patch of thin glassfibre, cut out with scissors and stuck on with fast-setting epoxy or Sikaflex. For small temporary repairs, Pete Vincent, of West Country Boat Repairs, recommends Autocare Glass Fibre Compound, available from specialist auto traders, a type of polyester resin with glassfibre in it: ‘It’s very thick and it’s a bit like using

photo: dRApeR*

‘Likewise one sharp drill the right size is worth a dozen boxes of blunt drills the wrong size, or broken drills. Typically, people have a box of drills which goes from 2mm to 10mm except for the 4mm and 5mm ones, which are either missing, broken or blunt, and which are the ones you actually need. Again, you don’t need 2mm to 10mm, you just need a sharp 4mm and a sharp 5mm. It’s about being prepared and organised.’

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photo: RichARd LAngdon/SkAndiA teAm gBR

Travelling

CHECKLIST Tape and WD40 are all you need, according to one jokey flowchart doing the internet rounds: If it moves and it shouldn’t, apply tape; if it’s supposed to move and it doesn’t, spray it! But you may also want to include:

n Lighter n Electrical and duck tape n Multi-tool n Knife n Needle, fids, whipping twine n Spanners / socket set /screwdrivers n Blocks and cleats n Pins and shackles n Screws/nuts/bolts n Rivet gun n Rope / spare sheets and control lines n Elastic n Sandpaper n Sail insignia cloth or Fablon n Polyester resin n Epoxy kit n Glassfibre n Acetone n Clean rag n Battery drill and drill bits n Battery Dremel-type multi-tool * If other sailors beg for tools or spares, insist they leave their car keys in place of what they borrowed to ensure it’s returned or at the very least won’t be going far!

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As an RS sailor Pete travels all over Britain and Europe for events. He takes one really good socket set and set of screwdrivers, tape, three sizes of Allen keys relevant to RS boats, three different sized shackles, a set of clevis pins, and rope with a good non-stretch core. Screwdrivers with interchangeable flat and crossheads can be handy, and a good space saver, but as ever with tools you get what you pay for so look for quality – not a petrol station bargain – and for enough variation to offer the correct sizes for your boat, says Pete, otherwise you will end up damaging the screw heads so they can’t be turned. He also recommends having a really small compact toolbox which is easy to carry around and also easy to hide or put in your sailing kitbag in the changing room. This is useful at, say, seaside open meetings, when you might be parked some distance away and don’t want to risk leaving out your main toolbox. Include a decent ‘get out of jail’ multi-tool such as a Gerber or

Leatherman: ‘Keep it in your sailing kit bag and even it if sits in there all year you’ll be so pleased with it the one time you need it.’ The top tip is to be mindful about keeping it clean, dry and oiled. No matter how good the quality of your multi-tool, it will rust if you leave it in the bottom of your spinnaker bag for a fortnight. Pete also always carries a spare bulb for the trailer lighting board and the wiring diagram for the plug when travelling. As Peter Bentley finds at international regattas with the British Olympic sailing team, once you’re abroad it becomes even more important to have the correct tools and spares: ‘My generic observation would be that in most of Europe and certainly anywhere further afield, the nearest chandlery is either Racing Sailboats in Chandlers Ford or P&B in Northampton. If there’s any kind of specialist stuff you need, you’re going to have to get it sent out from them, because they don’t understand the concept of that stuff in most other places in the world.’ Better to be prepared in the first place.

photo: dRemeL*

plastic padding. The great thing is that in normal temperatures it goes off in about 35 minutes. If a fitting comes out in a glassfibre boat, you can fill the hole, and if you have a knock on the boat you can actually cover up a bit of a bash and know it’s completely sealed and watertight. It costs about six quid and it’s a doddle to use.’ He adds: ‘It’s vital with any repair to first ensure the area is clean and dry, so have a rag and some acetone; if needs be find a girl with a hairdryer. Also have rough sandpaper to key up the surface.

photo: Speed SAiLS*

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LIVING THE DREAM It has to be the ultimate holiday of a lifetimeâ&#x20AC;Ś to sail around the world. Louay Habib looks at one familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story on the Oyster Rally and we run through some of the alternatives

April 2013

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photo: onEdition*

It’s been a tough year. I still have a business and people are employed. I’m not old enough yet to say ‘right, I can retire’

photo: MartinEz Studio/oyStEr*

D

eep into the third month of a northern hemisphere winter, the gulf that lies between sailing in dreamland and deskbound reality never looked deeper or wider. And yet this could be the perfect moment to make a start: there are numerous ways of making a round-the-world sailing dream into a reality – and by combining elements of several different styles of travel, there’s always a way. But only if you actually cast off. For 25 years, Paul and Sue Fletcher dreamt of casting off their lines and sailing around the world. ‘Dreams come True’ is a very apt name for their Oyster 56, which left Antigua on January 6 as part of the Oyster World Rally. Over the next 14 months, Paul and Sue with the help of their four children, hope to fulfil their cherished ambition. ‘For years, Sue and I have visited the London Boat Show and we always made a point of visiting the Oyster stand. We were always made very welcome, even though it was just a dream. We would sit at the back of the boat on display and imagine what it would be like to sail off into the sunset. ‘Thirty years ago we very nearly did sail around the world, we found a steel yacht designed by Bruce Roberts, but

April 2013

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photo: oyStEr*

The ARC The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers has outgrown itself several times over since first being organised by the legendary cruiser and author Jimmy Cornell in 1986. These days, World Cruising Club (strapline: the world’s most popular rallies) shepherds over 200 yachts from Las Palmas to St Lucia before Christmas every year, then organises a rally back in May. World ARC departs St Lucia every two years, and WCC has taken over Scotland’s Malts Cruise, Rally Portugal and the Caribbean 1500 in the past few years too.

it never happened and in hindsight it would have been a tough experience. Back then navigation was still in the dark ages and it was a daunting task just to find your way across the oceans. Also the yacht would require a huge amount of time and money to maintain and it and would have virtually no resale value. ‘So years passed by and we raised our family and our sailing plans were put on hold, although I did a fair amount of racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the dream of sailing around the world was just that; a dream.’

Now or never ‘We had been receiving news from Oyster over the years and when we saw the advertisement for the Oyster World Rally, we decided, well, it’s now or never. In recent years we had got back into sailing, including an Atlantic crossing and cruising in the Caribbean. When the announcement for the Oyster World Rally was made, we started trying to find a boat for

our budget, but it was it was never the right budget for the right kind of boat. ‘In the end we found a great Oyster 56. It was way above our batting order, but we just somehow managed, with a little bit of magic, to make it happen. Right up until the 11th hour it was almost not going to happen but we managed to do the deal. We got the boat ‘Dreams Come True’ almost a year to the day before the start of the Oyster World Rally, so it has been a steep learning curve for us. ‘Well, I was competent enough as a sailor to know that I could pull it all together and Oyster has been so supportive but out on a world tour, you have to be able to look after yourself. It’s like going back to being a jack of all trades. I hadn’t really used a watermaker before. It was an education learning about generators and all sorts. Oyster service is available all over the world but we do have to be careful with our budget, so we try and do as much as we can ourselves. ‘We already had the name, ‘Dreams Come True’, that was obviously the

The Oyster World Rally Born as a celebration of Oyster yachts’ 40th birthday, this is a year-long event that departed the Caribbean in January, through the Panama Canal and beyond... The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Robin Knox-Johnston’s legacy and the only surviving pay-as-you-sail round-the-world race. For the professional skipper, (one per boat) this is a career jump-start (unless you were the guy who hit the uncharted island off Java in the last edition) – see Alex Thomson. For the crew – this is going to be a trip to hell and back, with moments of heavenliness in between... so pay and pray! The Volvo Ocean Race The blue ribband offshore event held every two years featuring professional crew, an orgy of commercial interests and some insanely hard-core ocean racing. Numbers have dwindled in the past few editions but it’s all set to become a one-design race for the next two editions, which should entice a few more entries. The Vendee Globe They sail off into a stormy November sea, miss Christmas and come back at the end of a non-stop round-the-world sail to a freezing February welcome on the west coast of France. Solo sailling’s ultimate challenge – the French are still the only winners but the Brits are a close second.

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photo: JaMES MitChELL/arC*

Travel

On a world tour, you have to be able to look after yourself. It’s like going back to being a jack of all trades WAYS TO SAIL ROUND THE WORLD Sign up for the Clipper Round the World Race The perfect sabbatical – perform punishing sail changes in death-defying conditions for weeks or months on end and find out what you’re really made of (and see how much you really miss your office job). www.clipperroundtheworld.com Get a position as crew on a boat that’s doing a round the world trip If you’re determined enough, you don’t even need to have any money, or sailing knowledge. But if you don’t have the stamina to keep bothering boat owners, then it makes no difference how good (or rich) you are, you’ll never get off the dock. If you’re young, free and single (couples are even tougher to get berths for...), don’t forget to ensure your own safety before accepting an offer. www.crewseekers.net Join up a variety of legs by doing events such as the ARC and then ‘seeing what comes along’... This is a riskier but probably more rewarding variation on option one. Being in the right place at the right time is a gift; getting on with people, reliability and a sense of responsibility and fun will get you a long, long way. Be prepared to be flexible on your destination and don’t be afraid to say no, either. www.worldcruising.com Become a professional sailor The days of landing a paying crew job by dock-walking are probably gone – there’s tough competition from career-minded,

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qualified, experienced deck crew. For jobs in the superyachting industry, take a look at getting a basic certificiate from somewhere like UKSA in Cowes, which also runs its own recruitment agency. Instructors can follow the sun and teach windsurfing, kiteboarding, sailing etc year-round but pay rates are depressingly poor. Charter operators welcome experienced boat owners, valuing maintenance skills just as highly as sailing experience. www.uksa.org Save up and buy a boat to do it yourself If you plan to sail as a family or if you need to maintain your life back on land, then this is the option for you. Ask yourself: if you already have a boat, will it do for the trip, or will you have to exchange it for a more suitable one? Do you have the finances to support the trip or will you be earning along the way? The most important thing is to get on with it. You can always leave the boat somewhere, return home and start again the following year, but if you never even sail away... www.noonsite.com Sell your house and buy a boat instead The one-way ticket – become a liveaboard. Some travel the four corners of the earth, others get no further than the free parts of Poole Harbour. But if you can live free, or cheaply enough you too could turn on, tune in and drop out. It’s not for everyone but it’s definitely an adventure.

whole thing about what the boat was all about and we put it all together. It’s been a tough old challenging year. I still have a business and people are employed. I’m not old enough yet to say ‘right, I can retire’. I’ve got good people in the office. Obviously I’m still very much connected through the internet. We have wi-fi while in port and when we’re at sea we have a satellite system. It’s mainly emails that I need, as I still need to do business online. I’ve got a bit behind with that at the moment, but I just had to get the boat ship-shape. ‘All four of our children will be sailing with us at some stage or another and they all bring something different to the cause. Markus is our oldest and doing his PhD, so he will be concentrating on that until the summer and then joining us. Tim and Sarah will probably be with us the whole way round. Philip is our youngest and taking his GCSE’s this summer. His grandmother will be looking after him while we are away and then he will come and join us when his exams are all over in the middle of June. He’ll probably then take a year out of school to do the rest of the rally.’

Investing wisely ‘All in all, we have moved heaven and earth to make our dream become a reality. We will still be in contact and at the end of the day life goes on, you’re just living on a boat. We feel that if we don’t do it now we are just always getting older. You’ve got to do these things before you get too old. ‘Oyster has been ever so helpful; if there have ever been any problems we can just ring them up. We’re so impressed with the customer service. Also when we first did the ARC, 10-12 years ago, Oyster was the only company there supporting its boats before the start. We were very impressed with that. ‘Even 25 years ago, when we looked at an Oyster and there was no way that we could afford one, nobody at the company was condescending. It takes a lot of years to be able to afford the sort of money that these boats are worth but ‘Dreams Come True’ will be a home for our family the next year or so and she will still have a great value after all those miles, so we think it is a fantastic investment.’


Clubs & Classes

submit your event reports to club@YachtsandYachting.com

Clubs & Classes The Bloody Mary saw 340 boats make it the biggest race since 2000, while more than 200 entries took to the water for the Tiger Trophy at Rutland... Paula Irish reports

Topper action The Topper South West Winter Regatta was sailed at Paignton SC in a building breeze and won by Luke Robertson (Wimbleball) counting a hat-trick of race wins, ahead of Rhiannon Flack (Spinnaker) in second. Paris Thomas (Paignton) was in third.

PhoTo: RichaRd Janulewicz/foToBoaT

Burghfield Oppies A steady 10 knot breeze provided perfect conditions for both the main and regatta fleet sailors at Burghfield SC’s Optimist open. In the 36-strong main fleet first overall was Max Clapp (Royal Southern) with Milo Gill-Taylor (Spinnaker) in second. Robbie King (Warsash) was third. Top Burghfield sailor was Douglas Calder, 19th. First in the regatta fleet was Keelin Greene of Papercourt SC.

Greenhalgh wins Bloody Mary

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provided lots of reaches where they could fly their kites. With an hour to go, the wind was back up to a Force 4, which also favoured the later starters. Despite having put back the Moth start by six minutes from last year and by 33 minutes from 2008, with 20 minutes to go the Moth sailed by Jason Belben took the lead. In the final stages there were 11 classes fighting it out for the top positions. A successful protest against Belben saw his result disqualified, so the winner of the Bloody Mary was Rob Greenhalgh from Stokes Bay SC. Greenhalgh walked away from the fourth event in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series with a £250 voucher from event sponsor Virtual Rigger and vodka and tomato juice for a well-deserved ‘Bloody Mary’ from Thymelords catering team. He was followed home by Andrew Friend of Queen Mary and Peter

Barton of Royal Lymington, also in Moths. Fourth were Rick Peacock and Nick Murray in a 49er, in fifth was Stuart Jones in a Contender and sixth was Rob Watson and John Clifton in an RS800. The first lady helm was Vikki Payne, 34th overall, with Stephanie Orton in a 29er. The grand master prize went to John Cooper sailing with Becky Wiggly in an RS400. The first junior prize went to Rob and Emma Loveridge in a 29er.

Club Success

PhoTo: alex iRwin/sPoRTogRaPhy

Jason Belben crossed the line first but a missed mark handed victory to Rob Greenhalgh sailing an International Moth at the Virtual Rigger 40th Bloody Mary Pursuit. Following a record advance entry a monster 340 boats took to the water at Queen Mary SC in the gusting winds and chilly conditions, making it the largest race since 2000. Sixty different dinghy classes entered and the largest fleet with 31 boats were the Merlin Rockets, followed closely by 30 Toppers and 28 Laser Radials. There were 12 classes with eight or more entries qualifying for a class prize. The Toppers led off in a gusty Force 4 which progressively dropped to a Force 3; they kept the lead for over an hour until the chasing Laser 4.7, Solo and Miracles overtook them. The faster boats enjoyed the fact that an easterly wind direction

The newly-formed Chipping Norton YC in the Cotswolds has attracted more than 100 members from five land-locked counties; the club has launched a Solent Section and an Ionian Section, with summer rallies now planned for those with yachts on the south coast and in Greece.


Clubs & Classes

PhoTo: Paul Manning*

Weston Warm-up

Fireball wins roaring Tiger at Rutland Fireball sailors Ian Dobson and Sam Brearey took victory at a windy John Merricks Tiger Trophy at Rutland. A fourth place in day two’s no-discard pursuit race was good enough to give the pair the overall win in the 210-boat fleet. Brearey is the reigning Fireball world champion, having crewed for Tom Gillard at the 2012 worlds in Australia. And it was his fellow world champion Gillard who won the pursuit race crewed by Simon Potts – a good finish to their Tiger weekend but with only one result in the top 10 from the three handicap races on day one, they weren’t consistent enough to challenge for the overall prize. It was the fifth event of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter

Series. The Saturday had been 420 weather, with gusts up to 30 knots for three tough, cold races; Craig Dibb and Matt Wallis led overnight after winning two of the races, followed by Callum Airlie and Joe Butterworth and James Taylor and Tom Lovesey. A new trophy, The Tony Everard Trophy, was awarded to the overall winner of the Saturday with no discards and this went to Taylor / Lovesey. Sunday’s pursuit race was a little lighter, gusting up to 20 knots but mainly in the 10 to 15 knot range for the majority of the race. Overnight leaders Dibb and Wallis failed to replicate their first day form, with a 12th in the pursuit race seeing them slip to third overall. Second overall, and first youth boat, was the 29er

sailed by Matt Venables and Will Alloway. The regatta raised nearly £5,000 for the John Merricks Sailing Trust, which was established in John’s memory to support young sailors. The John Merricks Lady Tiger trophy went to 420 sailors Annabel Cattermole and Bryony Bennett-Lloyd, and the Junior Trophy went to Simon Weatherspoon in a Laser Radial. For a long time Mark Hartley and Anonymous Crew led the pursuit race in their Wayfarer, but were eventually overhauled by Gillard’s Fireball and a 49er steered by world silver medallist Rick Peacock and Nick Murray. Hartley’s Wayfarer was the only non-trapeze boat to make the top 10, coming 10th behind a quartet of 420s.

Peter Burling dominates Aussie Moths Peter Burling cleaned up at the Australian International Moth Championship at the Wangi RSL Sailing Club in New South Wales, Australia. Burling won 10 of the 15 races

staged over six days to finish 14 points clear of second-placed Scott Babbage, while reigning world champion Joshua McKnight finished in third. The top flight fleet of nearly 70

boats included some top level names with the likes of Olympic Laser champion Tom Slingsby and Olympic 49er champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen competing.

The breezy conditions of the second day of the Weston Warm Up allowed the Nacra Infusion of Grant Piggott and Adam Kay to demonstrate its speed and height capabilities, seeing off the 49er fleet to win class one, for asymmetrics, overall. This year’s event at Weston SC saw contrasting conditions: an overcast day with a light south-westerly followed by four races on a sunny day two with a gusty Force 4 to 6. The strongest class over the weekend was Weston’s ever growing 49er fleet with five boats taking to the water, closely followed by the established Contender fleet. In class two, the fast PY fleet, Blaze sailor Rob Jones won by the narrowest of margins from Rob Angus in his Contender, while class three, the slow fleet, came down to a tightly fought battle between the Laser of Sam Woods (WSC) and the well-sailed GP14 of Chris and Cathy Hawkes visiting from Poole YC. Sam held on and went on to win the class overall.

Podium for Pascoe

At the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami, GBR’s Megan Pascoe took the win in the 2.4 mR event. Pascoe counted six second-place finishes, a fourth and two wins from the 10-race series, winning by three points over Canadian Allan Leibel. In the RS:X windsurfing fleet, GBR’s Nick Dempsey – Olympic silver medallist and defending ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami champion – took silver medal honours, while Spain’s Ivan Pastor took gold. 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijssbelberghe (NED) finished with the bronze medal. In the women’s RS:X fleet Britain’s Bryony Shaw just missed out on a podium finish in fourth.

April 2013

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Clubs & Classes

PhoTo: Mike Rice/foToBoaT

Forthcoming events

Rocket wins Starcross Steamer The 21st Starcross Steamer was won by Merlin Rocket sailors Mike and Jane Calvert. The pre-entry limit of 110 boats had been reached two weeks prior to the event, but with so much snow across the country, many decided it was safer not to travel. Nevertheless, 76 boats did take to the water, just under half of which were visitors. The SailJuice handicap numbers were used and nine different classes filled the first 10 places. A light breeze blew from the north-east at about 5 knots, forecasted to get even lighter. The race started at 1100hrs and the first boats to go were the Toppers

of James Ripley and Eddie Attenburrow, who took advantage of the earlier wind; it was looking good for them as they kept a good advantage over the chasing Streaker of Dave Bartlett. But slowly, with the wind getting lighter and shifting, large gains were made by some and even larger losses were made by others. The wind was also coming in bands, alternately favouring a different side of the course. With the ebbing tide increasing in strength, together with the decreasing wind, all the boats ended up at one end of the course trying to avoid being swept down-river to Exmouth.

Etchells access A partnership between RYA Racing and the UK Etchells Class Association will continue into the 2013 racing season, giving young aspiring keelboat racers, aged 18-24, access to top level one design keelboat racing. The aim is to bring two young teams up to the highest level possible, to maximise their chances of winning the 2013 British Etchells national championship in September.

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At the end of the race at 1330, more than 50 boats were on one leg of the course either stationary or going backwards, making finishing a nightmare. First by less than 14 feet was the Merlin Rocket of Mike and Jane Calvert, ahead of the Phantom of Sam Barker, who was also first singlehander and first junior. Third was Russ Gibbs and Megan Baker in a borrowed RS200, who were also first from the home club. Comet Trio sailors Andrew and Caroline McAusland were fourth ahead of Richard Cain and Barney Bearsley in an RS400, while first lady was RS200 helm Tina Mackie.

IAPS regatta The Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) National Sailing Regatta at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, to be held from May 23-24, is set to welcome more than 200 young competitors from independent prep schools nationwide. The event, held by the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools in partnership with WPNSA and SailLaser Weymouth, has more than tripled in size since its launch in 2010 with 60 entrants.

n April 1 april fool Racing, Bala sc easter Pursuit, hayling island sc n April 6-7 fireball, Race training, alton water sports centre national 12, scottish champs, annandale sc n April 6 combined clubs’ open day, River hamble n April 13-14 olympic classes, national Ranker, weymouth & Portland sailing academy n April 16-21 ac45, america’s cup world series, naples, italy n April 18-21 swan, charleston Race week, charleston, sc n April 20 lark, youth championships, frensham Pond sc n April 20-21 elliott 6m, winter Match Racing, weymouth & Portland sailing academy n April 20-27 olympic classes, isaf sailing world cup, hyeres, france n April 27 national 12, Junior inlands, hykeham sc n April 27-28 welsh youth championships, Pwllheli sc J/24, fowey Trophy, fowey gallants sc

Flying 15 Worlds The 19th Flying Fifteen world championship is due to take place in Hong Kong this November. The championship will be held at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, at the club’s recently upgraded Middle Island facility, from November 1-8, 2013. The event will be preceded by the Hong Kong national championship. October and November are key months in the Hong Kong sailing season, coinciding with the arrival of the north-east monsoon, which generally brings constant breeze, 25 degree temperatures and humidity of around 70 per cent, so the timing of the event is ideal and a number of British boats are expected to make the trip to compete in the championship.


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Oyster 55 1988 - A stunning example - Vastly improved over recent years by a highly experienced yachtsman. £225,000 Jersey

Oyster 49 Pilot House - Classic Holman & Pye. Fully refit to a better than new condition. £249,000 UK S. Coast

Oyster Heritage 37 1988 - Aft cockpit cruiser by Holman & Pye. Constantly updated and ready to go. £69,500 UK E Coast

Oyster 56 - Two available 2007 & 2001. Choice of rigs and

Oyster 62 2002 - Maintained to highest standards. Stunning

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Boats for sale

Race boats

ON THE WATER Our monthly guide to the best boats available from private sellers and brokerages

FigARO ii i £59,000 inc vAt

phOtO: New YOrk Yacht club*

ReicheL/Pugh 66 i €450,000 ex vAt

Look no further if you want to race offshore in style and comfort – this boat has it all, including an enviable string of successes since she was launched in 2000. These include second overall and first in Class Super Zero in the Rolex Fastnet Race, and more recently a class win in the 2011 Transatlantic Race. ‘Zarraffa’ was built to a very high standard by New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and has been well maintained since launch. Accommodation includes a large saloon, and a superbly equipped galley

that works equally well for preparing gourmet meals when cruising and as a highly efficient racing galley. There’s also a comfortable owners stateroom that occupies the full width of the yacht, plus accommodation for guests and crew. In race mode much of the gear can be removed from the interior, including a settee bench and bureau in the forward cabin. The premium upholstery covers also come off, revealing more functional toast colored Sunbrella upholstery. At the same time pipe cots can be installed above most of the bunks.

If the recent Vendee Globe race has inspired you to have a go at singlehanded offshore racing, this is a well-proven and successful boat that’s already well set up. She would make an excellent OSTAR, TWOSTAR, Round Britain and Ireland, and Solo Offshore Racing Club competitor. ‘Hot Socks’ is well equipped, with new electronics and rewiring in 2012, a new engine the year before and recently serviced liferaft. She is not currently within the Figaro II one-design rule, due to the engine and electronics, but the competitive price

reflects her current lack of compliance, and will go a long way towards a reconversion. However she can be raced under IRC as is. This boat has a good record under IRC, including overall winner of the 2008 BluQube Solo 1000 and third in Class 1 in the 2010 Round Britain and Ireland Race. Offers in the region of £59,000, including VAT, are invited. www.offshoresolo.com/sorc/figaro-ii-sale

and the foils are in good condition, with padded bags included in the sale. Of the two suits of sails, the older set is in good condition, while the newer one is essentially as new. There’s also an extra kite, plus spare tiller extensions, an unused extra daggerboard and a spare bowspirit. The boat also has a combination trailer, a cocoon cover and a beach cover. It’s currently based on the north

Kent coast and would make an excellent first boat for a serious campaign in this class. Contact: 07809 430444

LOA 10.15m Beam 3.43m Displacement 3,050kg

She has been IRC optimised, with a fixed bowsprit and a carbon four-spreader Hall Spars fractional rig. Deck gear includes two pedestals, twin carbon wheels and plenty of sails. The nav station, from which some of the world’s best race navigators have plotted the boat’s course, is similarly well-equipped. www.berthon.co.uk LOA 20.2m Beam 4.78m Draught 4.12m Displacement 17,000kg

49eR i £6,000

phOtO: ONeditiON*

This Julian Bethwaite skiff may have been designed in the 1990s, but remains enormously exciting to sail and the class clearly still has plenty of life at the highest level, with two versions of the boat selected for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. This example is in good condition, with lots of recent kit, including a new rig. We’re told the structure is watertight and stiff and was recently regripped. In addition, all lines were replaced recently

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Yachts & Yachting

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LOA 4.99m Beam 2.9m hull weight 94kg including wings Sail area main & jib 21.2sq m crew weight 150kg (120 with fX rig)


uk Open 7 days a week

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Lymington United Kingdom Phone 0044 01590 679 222 Email brokers@berthon.co.uk

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I N T E R N AT I O N A L YA C H T B R O K E R S

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Racing yachts Jnd 36

*Price Drop* €135,000 Lying West Coast France

Owner now keen to move her on, still just out of the wrappers and in fine condition, and a well proven yacht. Could just be the bargain of the year.

Rogers 36

€125,000 Lying Holland

Almost unused, she has untapped potential for the new owners under IRC. Stored inside, and well loved, owner has a larger yacht now.

Farr 52

£149,000 + VAT Lying Cowes

Well known yacht and put away under wraps. Very competitive design. Yacht is very capable, small refit or optimization and you’re off to the races. Large inventory to boot.

ker 37

*Price Drop* €150,000 Lying Southern Ireland

Extremely competitive IRC yacht that offers the short-cut route into top level competition. Available after the Commodores Cup, she comes complete with many new sails on board, and hence minimal running costs.


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TOPPER SAILING DINGHY 44694

Little used in last few years due to university. Red deck in good condition. 2 sails Both top and bottom covers. Foil and spar bags Centre main rigged. Launch Trolley included. Previously owned by Thomas gillard. £900 Tel 07779 913590 / 01142 426655 (ROThERhAM)

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SOLUTION 449 2012 nationals winning boat- very good condition. Top & bottom covers, launch trolley, full & flat sail (2012). . £4500 Tel 07920 142615 / (BRIsTOL) Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority

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LaSer 2 SaIL NUmber 8606 Very good condition, £750 or nearest offer. At spinnaker Club, hampshire. Tel 01725 518845 LaSer baHIa Late 2007 boat, comes with 2 suits of sails one new this year. trolley and cover. a great starter boat. £2500 Tel 01780 721999 / (RUTLAnD) rS800 1153 VgC. Two full suits of sails (one excellent racing condition, one good), plus an extra training main; carbon tiller extension, harken rig fit out, D12 trapeze lines, foil bags, u/o covers, trolley and road trailer. 3rd at the 2012 nationals and 2012 circuit. £7250 Tel 07545 521471 / (BRIghTOn)

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rS200 1313 steve Dunn’s boat; fine racing record. Fully race tuned and ready to race at top level. Main sails good enough for top finishs at nationals, spare jib and kite for club racing. good combi, top and under covers. hull - very good condition, light grey. TRADE. £5400 Tel 07813 -899043 / (EMsWORTh) rS400 1087 bUILT IN 2004 no racing record, seen good use but sound boat - no damage / minor scratching. good combi, new cover. Main ok for club racing; jib / spinnaker well used. Option of new jib for extra £290. Foils good; new slot gasket. hull yellow. Boat very recently pressure tested. TRADE. £2990 Tel 07813 -899043 / (EMsWORTh) rS200 632 bUILT IN 2000 Bottom of hull - first class condition, no scratchs; cockpit / decks very good. Twin patch chute/sock conversion. good fitting spec, foils good, new slot gasket. Brand new top cover. Combi trailer. Main, jib, kite good; spare jib and kite. Ideal to start club racing Rs200’s and open meetings. TRADE. £2950 Tel 07813 -899043 / (EMsWORTh) LaSer 2000 21837 bUILT IN 2006 grey hull, in true decent condition, foils are good. Brand new top cover never been used. good trolley and good road trailer. Adequate suit of sails for club racing. Boat ready to sail. Ideal first Laser 2000 to get used to racing or to get the family sailing. TRADE. £3895 Tel 07813 -899043 / (EMsWORTh) eNTerPrISe 23044 Lovely wooden boat built by JJ boats, Roy Barkers last boat. It has not been on the water for last 3 years. Milanes foils, Proctor spars; carbon flyaway pole, 2 suits of speed sails. West Mersea combi, good under cover, top cover. Contact Ian Barker for viewing. TRADE. £3795 Tel 07427 613404 / (BOURnEMOUTh) rS600 maIN Virtually brand new Rs600 main; has been up a mast 3 times only in light/medium airs. With all battens and sail bag. Would have to pay £599 for a brand new never used main; grab a bargain TRADE. £420 Tel 07813 -899043 / (EMsWORTh)

April 2013

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Multihulls Insurance

HOBIE DRAGOON Sail nos 229, 10 years old. Twin trapeze, ideal junior catamaran for 2 sailors, or to sail single handed by an adult. Beach launch trolley. Complete and ready to sail. £1850 Tel 07742 219109 / 01590 681061 (MUDEFORD)

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No. 1627 (1997) Inc. Trailer, Top Cover and Trolley. At Rutland Water but not sailed this year. Fully Complete and open to inspection or sail. Fantastic price to sell. £1500Multihulls Tel 07850 755876 / (RUTLAND WATER)

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Multihulls

FORMULA 18 HOBIE TIGER Well sorted former Championship winning boat with Excellent sails, DART 16 16 Measurement CertifiInc. cate, Carbon Boards Tornado DART No. 1627 (1997) Trailer, Top Cover andand Trolley. At Marstrom Rudders, Stern Supports, Cover,AtCat No. 1627 (1997)but Inc. Trailer, Top and Trolley. Rutland Water not sailed thisCover year.New Fully Complete Rutland Water but not sailed this year. Fully Complete Trax and Launching Trolley, Galvanised Roadprice Trailer with open to inspection or sail. Fantastic to sell. open to inspection sail. Fantastic to sell. £1500 Tel 07850 755876 / Portsmouth (RUTLAND WATER) largeand box available, Lyingor /price Stokes Bay £1500 Tel 07850 755876 / (RUTLAND WATER) David . £5750 Tel 02392 754000 Office hours / 07958 FORMULA 18 HOBIE TIGER Well sorted former 418145 (PORTSMOUTH) FORMULA 18 HOBIE sorted former Championship winning TIGER boat Well with Excellent sails, | FEBRUARY Certifi 096 | YACHTS & YACHTING ‘11winning Championship Excellent sails, Measurement cate, boat Carbonwith Boards and Tornado DART 18 A 1998 Applause in good condition. Hulls Measurement Certifi cate, Carbon Boards and Tornado Marstrom Rudders, Stern Supports, New Cover, Cat refurbished, new ropes and halyards. Trolley included Marstrom Rudders, Stern Supports, New Cover, Cat Trax Launching Trolley, Galvanised Road Trailer with Trax Launching Trolley, Galvanised Road/ Trailer £2995. £2995 01795 880116 / (KENT) large box Tel available, Lying Portsmouth Stokes with Bay

large box available, Lying Portsmouth / Stokes Bay 1634 Classifieds FEB (7).indd 96 Tel 02392 David . £5750 754000 Office hours / 07958

David £5750 Tel 02392 754000 Office 2009 hours / 07958 418145. (PORTSMOUTH) UNICORN A CLASS CATAMARAN National 418145 (PORTSMOUTH) Championship winning boat Sail No.1074. 1988 Condor DART 18 A 1998 Applause in good condition. Hulls professionally foam sandwich hulls, DART 18 Abuilt 1998 Applause goodconstruction condition. Hulls refurbished, new ropes and in halyards. Trolley included dagger boards & rudders. Low maintainance refurbished, new ropes and halyards. Trolley included £2995. £2995 Tel 01795 880116 / (KENT) competitive boatTelin01795 good condition. £2995. £2995 880116 / (KENT)Ideal for single handed adrenalin seeking man or woman. UNICORN A CLASS CATAMARAN 2009 £1499 NationalTel UNICORN A CLASS CATAMARAN 2009 winning boat(MALDON) Sail No.1074. 1988National Condor 01621Championship 779119 / 07714425460

TORNADO CATAMARAN White Marstrom hulls, MASTROM TORNADO SPORT CATAMARAN Year 2000 mast and pole. Excellent main, good jib, n Built Marstrom Tornado Sport, Carbon Mast + Shoot, DART & 16 2689 Excellentand condition sailed inland HOBIE Sail nos 229, 10 years old. Marlow Twin spinnaker old spinnaker. Fullonly, cover and big Big DRAGOON wheeled launching trolley Gp sails Lines DART 16 2689 Excellent condition sailed cover inlandtrolley only, HOBIE DRAGOON Sail nos 229, 102 sailors, years old. Twin grey hulls, blue whiteNo. sails, yellow genny, trapeze, ideal junior catamaran for or to sail trolley. 412. £6500 Tel 07894 280190 / (S Harken Good condition, well maintained &grey ready hulls, trailer. blue white genny, cover trolley trapeze, idealBlocks junior 2 sailors, or trolley. to sail and road Greatsails, fun, yellow daughters changing class. single handed by catamaran an adult. for Beach launch BAY) to handed race. £6500 Tel 07843 063265 /trolley. 01702 588553 and road daughters changing class. single by an adult. Beach launch219109 £2700 Tel trailer. 02920Great 752167fun, / (CARDIFF) Complete and ready to sail. £1850 Tel 07742 / (SOUTHEND) £2700 Tel 02920 752167 / (CARDIFF) Complete and(MUDEFORD) ready to sail. £1850 Tel 07742 219109 / 01590 681061

01590 681061 (MUDEFORD) DART 16, 2973 WITH GENNAKER Dart 2006 (2973). TORNADO CATAMARAN White Marstrom hulls, Carbon MASTROM TORNADO SPORT CATAMARAN Year16, 2000 White Marstrom Carbon MASTROM TORNADO SPORT Year 2000and TORNADO mast and CATAMARAN pole. Excellent main, good hulls, jib, new GP BuiltWhite Marstrom Sport, Carbon Mast +sails Shoot, hull,Tornado with blueCATAMARAN and white yellow mast and and pole. good and jib, big new GP Built Marstrom Tornado Sport, Carbon Mast + Shoot, spinnaker oldExcellent spinnaker.main, Full cover wheel Big Gennaker. wheeled launching trolley Gp sails Marlow Lines & Secondtrolley boatGp so sails occasional use only. Has big and spinnaker old spinnaker. Full cover and/big wheel Big wheeled launching Marlow Lines & trolley. No. 412. £6500 Tel 07894 280190 (STOKES Harken Blocks Good condition, well maintained & ready wheel launch trolley, road trailer and full ready cover. It has the trolley. Harken Good well maintained BAY) No. 412. £6500 Tel 07894 280190 / (STOKES to race.Blocks £6500 Tel condition, 07843 063265 / 01702 &588553 new £6500 style DartX Gennaker, new style Traveller Main BAY) to race. Tel 07843 063265 / 01702 588553 and (SOUTHEND) (SOUTHEND) Sheet. Very clean boat excellent condition. £3100 Tel 07766 831613 / GENNAKER (OXFORD)Dart 16, 2006 (2973). DART 16, 2973 WITH 30/12/2010 1 DART 2973 WITH GENNAKER Dartsails 16, 2006 White 16, hull, with blue and white and (2973). yellow White hull,Second with boat blue so and white sails and Has yellow Gennaker. occasional use only. big 15 with a DART STING This is the classic Dart 15 / Sprint Gennaker. Second boat sotrailer occasional use only.ItHas wheel launch trolley, road and full cover. has big the more powerful rig.trailer The hulls &cover. equipment are in good wheel launch trolley, road It hasMain the new style DartX Gennaker, new and stylefull Traveller and condition. There is NEW tri-radial sail only used about new style DartX Gennaker, new style Traveller £3100 and Main Sheet. Very clean boat excellent condition. Tel 10 times in pristine condition and original Sheet. Very boat excellent condition. £31001990 Tel main. Jib 07766 831613clean / (OXFORD) 07766 (OXFORD) Road trailer, trolley, cover. Photos in 831613 good /condition. available. £1700 07531 653574 / (HALIFAX) DART STING This is theTel classic Dart 15 / Sprint 15 with a DART STING This is The the classic 15 / Sprint a more powerful rig. hulls &Dart equipment are15inwith good more powerful rig. & equipment in about good condition. There is The NEWhulls tri-radial sail only are used condition. There is NEW tri-radial sail only used about 10 times in pristine condition and original 1990 main. Jib 10 pristine condition and original main. Jib in times good incondition. Road trailer, trolley, 1990 cover. Photos in good condition. Road 653574 trailer, trolley, cover. Photos available. £1700 Tel 07531 / (HALIFAX) available. £1700 Tel 07531 653574 / (HALIFAX)

£19 £19 Championship winning boat Sail No.1074. 1988 Condor professionally built foam sandwich construction hulls, professionally built & foam sandwichLow construction hulls, dagger boards rudders. maintainance dagger boards & good rudders. Low Ideal maintainance competitive boat in condition. for single competitive boat in good man condition. Ideal for single handed adrenalin seeking or woman. £1499 Tel handed adrenalin seeking man or woman. £1499 Tel 01621 779119 / 07714425460 (MALDON) 01621 779119 / 07714425460 (MALDON)

Insurance

DART 16 2689 Excellent condition sailed inlan grey hulls, blue white sails, yellow genny, cover and road trailer. Great fun, daughters changin £2700 Tel 02920 752167 / (CARDIFF)

Sails Marine Tapes

Sails Sails

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KEELBOATS WESTERLY J24, 1979 Wild Thing is robust, fast, fun to sail and ready to go in the water. Two mains, genoa, jib and two spinnakers. No electronics or engine, robust trailer. Surveyed 2011. Wild Thing is family owned and fun to race. . £3200 Tel 07885 518967 / (COWES) K1 KEELBOAT Dinghy with lifting keel, sail number 3, two suits sails, one suit unused and brand new, fly-away jib stick, top and bottom covers, combi trailer. £5250 Tel 07787 552282 / 023 8045 3828 (HAMBLE) SOLENT SUNBEAM - PART SHARE / WORKING PARTNER WANTED The Sunbeam, Mystery, V16, was built in 1925 and is good racing trim as part of the enthusiastic Itchenor fleet. We are looking for someone to race the boat on a share basis (with or without capital input) as we can only partially use the boat due to other commitments. £5000 Tel 07976 639569 / 01243 378353 (EMSWORTH)

OTHER EquIPMENT KEELBOAT CRANE

Butters derrick winch with a 3m lifting radius and lifting capacity of 1000kg. Surplus to requirements. Last tested 2007. All manuals, test certificates available. Pick up 5th April or alternatives can be arranged. £500 Tel 01502 566726 / (LOWESTOFT)

Sailing & Yacht Clubs & Classes

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96

Yachts & Yachting

April 2013

ENTERPRISE DINGHY SAIL, RACE AND CRUISE

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Yachts & Yachting

97


Position of the month DifficulTy rATing: 5/5

No.25 The bomb

phoTo: Tom phipps*

The perfect way to maximise leverage from the wire… if you can land it!

Below Team MacGregor/ Phipps making use of light conditions at the Team GBR training camp in Spain on their new Nacra 17

I

s your crew a bit small? Rather on the weedy side? Think you’re missing out on leverage? Try the ultimate trapezing technique: the bomb. But use it sparingly; it’s only effective for a limited time and the most difficult part of the technique lies in the recovery – it takes a lot of practice to land successfully back on your toes, and there’s the ever-present danger of taking out your helm!

98

Yachts & Yachting

April 2013

Keep your toes tucked in, until you are ready to land. You need quick reactions to pull this stunt off!



Yachts & Yachting April 2013