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Issue #1743 March 2020 yachtsandyachting.co.uk

DINGHY DYNAMICS • Mark-rounding skills

PRACTICAL

NEW TECH FOR RACE MANAGERS

• Communication • Pro tips

TOM SLINGSBY

“HOW I WON MOTH WORLDS” TESTED

International 14 New design SYDNEY-HOBART

Expert race analysis

WORLD SAILING We grill the boss

COWES WEEK The hunt for a title sponsor WINTER RACING

Your results inside

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THIS MONTH MARCH 2020

Analysis & advice 18

Dinghy dynamics: leeward mark expertise COVER STORY: Mark Rushall on how to set up for a useful exit

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Cowes Week

36

Communication under pressure

COVER STORY: On the hunt for a title sponsor

66

Atlantic islands

72

Latest kit

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New tech for race managers

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: INGRID ABERY; MARTINA ORSINI; KURT ARRIGO/ROLEX/ ISTOCK

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For experienced and adventurous sailors, the Canaries, Azores and Cape Verde islands are an enticing charter option New gear for racing sailors this coming season

Meet our Olympians Windsurfer Emma Wilson on her Olympic lineage

Sustainable sailing part 2 What sailors can do

REGULARS

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World Sailing

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We grill the boss

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13 Bob Fisher

Tom Slingsby: ‘how I won the Moth Worlds’

14 Andi Robertson

COVER STORY: Rob Kothe reviews the action in Perth

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24

COVER STORY: We look at the latest software that can assist the race offficer at club events or bigger regattas

Luke Patience and Eilidh McIntyre on how to talk when things get fraught

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54

Equipment & travel

Sydney Hobart Rob Kothe has the story behind the headlines on the Boxing Day Rolex classic

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40

News

17 Andy Rice 80 Clubs & Classes

International 14

88 Letters

COVER STORY: Exclusive boat test of new design

90 Position

March 2020 Yachts & Yachting

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PHOTO: PAUL WYETH/RYA

EDITORIAL Editor Rob Peake rob.peake@chelseamagazines.com News and Digital Editor Chris Rosamond Art Editor Gareth Lloyd Jones Clubs & Classes Editor Paula Irish club@yachtsandyachting.co.uk

The greatest show

am looking forward to visiting the RYA Dinghy Show this month, which runs from 29 February to 1 March at Alexandra Palace in north London. For the small-boat sailor, the show is a must, an upbeat celebration of our sport, where everyone, exhibitors and visitors, are all into the same kind of sailing. Conveniently, the show also comes at a time when pulling on a wetsuit and getting afloat on an icy reservoir is not top of my to-do list. Our columnist Andy Rice, who organises the Selden SailJuice Winter Series, may have stern words with me over this, but I admit I usually get to about mid-November before quietly reneging on my annual promise to sail through to the summer. Yes, I know, a blast round the harbour on a brisk Sunday morning in January can be invigorating. On the other hand, Yachts & Yachting’s advertising manager Mark Harrington still tells the story of the last time he did the Bloody Mary, when he claims at least half the reservoir froze to the back of his head. I suspect this is the sort of thing that hardcore winter dinghy sailors like to brag about. Maybe us warm-weather sailors should be heading to the Caribbean, where the RORC Caribbean 600 and Antigua Sailing Week lie ahead. At a lunch at RORC’s London headquarters this month, to announce the date change for its Transatlantic Race (p8), I was sitting next to Jeremy Waitt. It was very good to see him there, after he fell overboard mid-ocean during the Transatlantic Race in January. Jeremy and Richard Palmer, who owns the successful JPK10.10 Jangada, will be among those on the startline for the RORC Caribbean 600

this month. From there, they are planning on doing every one of the RORC points races this season. Only one other boat is attempting this logistical Everest, Pata Negra, an IRC46. The doubled-handed Jangada versus the fully crewed Pata Negra is going to make a fascinating contest. Good luck to both crews as they undertake one hell of a season. Twenty years ago I did the one and only true ocean leg of my sailing life so far, 8000 miles from Boston to Buenos Aires, leg two of the BT Global Challenge. This coming April our crew is meeting up again in the Isle of Man, which sponsored our boat. While some of the crew have not sailed since the day we tied up at Ocean Village, for some it ignited an ongoing love for the sport. The Global Challenge and now the Clipper Race have introduced countless people to sailing, among them the core crew of Black Sheep, the Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600 that won the RORC points championship in 2018-19. My fellow Isle of Man crewmates and I are a long way off that, but maybe some bluewater round-the-cans action off Falmouth Harbour in Antigua? I’m sure we could be persuaded, especially given the time of year. Sorry Andy!

Contributors: Bob Fisher, Rupert Holmes, Paula Irish, Rob Kothe, Mark Rushall, Sue Pelling, Andy Rice, Andi Robertson Cover image: Irish sailor Fionn Conway on his way to 34th place overall, eigth Corinthian and fourth under-23, at the Chandler Macleod Moth Worlds in Perth; photo by Martina Orsini (report p54) ADVERTISING Sales Director Cameron Hay Marine Group Head of Market Jodie Green +44 (0)207 349 3722 jodie.green@chelseamagazines.com Y&Y Advertising Manager Mark Harrington +44 (0)207 349 3787 mark.harrington@chelseamagazines.com PUBLISHING Chairman Paul Dobson Chief Operating Officer Kevin Petley Finance Financial Officer Vicki Gavin Director of Media James Dobson Publisher Simon Temlett Publishing Consultant Martin Nott Marketing Manager Daniel Webb daniel.webb@chelseamagazines.com EA to Chairman Sarah Porter WEBSITE yachtsandyachting.co.uk Yachts & Yachting is published by The Chelsea Magazine Company Ltd, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TQ Tel: +44 (0)20 7349 3700 CHELSEA CREATE Managing Director Steve Ross Partnerships Director Lyndall Beeton SMALL PRINT © The Chelsea Magazine Company Ltd 2019. All rights reserved. ISSN 0044-000 Printed in England by William Gibbons. Ad Production: All Points Media www.allpointsmedia.co.uk Distribution: News Trade (UK and Rest of World), Seymour International Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London, EC1A 9PT. Tel: 020 7429 4000 Fax: 020 7429 4001 Email: info@seymour.co.uk No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission in writing. Every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of information in Yachts & Yachting, but no responsibility can be accepted for the consequences of actions based on the advice portrayed herein. The Chelsea Magazine Company Ltd makes every effort to ensure that the advertising contained in this magazine is derived from responsible sources. We cannot, however, accept responsibility for transactions between readers and advertisers. Yachts & Yachting welcomes letters.

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WRITERS THIS MONTH INCLUDE… Musto Skiff sailor Andy Rice has an unparalleled knowledge of the dinghy scene from grass roots sailing to Olympic level

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Yachts & Yachting March 2020

Mark Rushall coaches at the highest levels of the sport, covering all types of racing from dinghies to round the world big boat events

Stalwart of the Solent racing scene, Rupert Holmes is a successful sailor, RYA keelboat race coach and freelance journalist

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NICK DEMPSEY/RYA

NEWS

John Gimson and Anna Burnet win the Nacra 17 spot for Tokyo 2020 British Sailing Team members John Gimson and Anna Burnet have been selected for the sole Nacra 17 spot at Tokyo 2020. The pair were chosen after a long-running battle with top Nacra sailors Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface. Saxton sailed the Nacra at the Rio games four years ago with Nicola Groves. While the rest of the Olympic sailing team was announced last year, the Nacra announcement was delayed until late January 2020. It will be an Olympic debut for both Gimson and Burnet

when the Games kicks off on 24 July. Gimson, 36, from Congleton in Cheshire, and Burnet, 27, from Shandon, Scotland, were picked after taking fourth at the 2019 Worlds, adding to silvers that they won at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event and the 2019 Europeans. Gimson, who has campaigned Olympic classes for 15 years, said: “I’m elated and relieved. It’s been a big fight to get to this point. When [team manager] Mark Robinson called to tell me the news of our selection he made a

Team New Zealand reveals test boat Emirates Team New Zealand has a launched a surprise test boat. While most teams started out with their test boat, the New Zealanders launched their full AC75 first, but Grant Dalton says it’s all part of the strategy: “There is no doubt the Challengers got a bit of jump on us… it was a conscious decision to play the long game, as points don’t count until the first race of the America’s Cup, in 2021.” The boat is called Te Kāhu meaning ‘The

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Yachts & Yachting March 2020

Hawk’ and was launched in January. It fits within the rules on test yachts, according to the 36th America’s Cup Protocol, which says they must not exceed 12m LOA. The yacht will be used by the team to continue design development through 2020, while its AC75 ‘Te Aihe’ is being shipped and raced offshore for the America’s Cup World Series events in Cagliari, Sardinia (23-26 April) and Portsmouth (4-7 June).

grown man cry, because it’s been such a long journey for me. I’ve been campaigning to get to the Olympics since 2005, so to finally get the nod is incredibly emotional.” Burnet said: “I’ve always dreamed of going to the Games, but never assumed it would just happen. When I was younger I went to a talent camp where [double-Olympic silver medallist sailor] Joe Glanfield was the sailing mentor, and we set out a realistic plan to aim for the 2020 Olympics. I think that plan has worked out ok!”


70,000

IN NUMBERS

World Cup Series Miami settles North American Olympic roster Last month’s Hempel World Cup Series Miami was the final opportunity for North American nations to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games across the 470, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn fleets. Mexico sealed places in the Laser Radial and Finn, while Canada picked up the Men’s 470 place and USA captured the Women’s 470. Stefano Peschiera of Peru jumped from second to first with his win in the Medal Race to take the gold medal in the talented Laser class. Argentina’s Francisco Garagna Rigonat dropped to second place to earn the silver medal and Enrique Jose Arathoon Pacas of El Salvador took the bronze. Meanwhile, there was a battle for Trinidad and Tobago’s Andrew Lewis, who placed fourth overall, ahead of the Canadians, to book his ticket to Tokyo (see Andy Rice’s column, p17). American Laser Radial athlete Erika Reineke put the finishing touches on her gold medal performance. She was fifth in the medal race to win the regatta by six points over Vasileia Karachaliou of Greece.

Cowes Week to host 44Cup The one-design ‘owner-driver’ RC44 fleet will race at Cowes Week this year. Hosted as a mini-series within the event over 11–15 August, racing on the Solent will take place with a start or finish each day off the Royal Yacht Squadron line. The fleet includes some of the world’s top sailors and should make for an impressive sight for spectators. The SailGP Cowes event will coincide with the 44Cup as a feature event at Cowes Week, on 14-15 August. Meanwhile the 44Cup will start on the Adriatic at Portorož, Slovenia, over 22–26 April, before the fleet moves to Marstrand over 24–28 June. Following Cowes Week, the 2020 44Cup World Championship will take place in Sotogrande, Spain, over 23–27 September, with the finale on 11–15 November in Lanzarote.

sailors enjoyed Bart’s Bash in 2019, the world’s largest mass-participation sailing event. Dates for 2020 are 12-13 Sept

167 skippers have started on the Vendée Globe since 1989, but only 89 have crossed the finish line. Four Brits are trying their luck this year: Alex Thomson, Sam Davies, Pip Hare and Miranda Merron

16 million plastic bottles end up in UK landfill sites every day – the astonishing stat that inspired development of Marlow’s recycled Blue Ocean Dockline

36 days, 2hrs, 37 minutes… maxi-tri IDEC SPORT is targeting the Tea Route record for the 13,000-mile voyage from Hong Kong to London

THEY SAID… “With this campaign now I’ve put everything that I’ve learned over the past 15 years together to build a solid campaign alongside Anna, who’s by far the best teammate I’ve ever had. It’s been a long journey but I’ve always had an inner belief that if I could put everything together and also get a bit of a break I could go to the Games. Ever since I was a kid I’ve dreamed of going to the Olympics, and I wasn’t prepared to let that go until I felt I’d fully attacked it for a whole cycle. This is the first real opportunity I’ve had in the right boat, being the right size and sailing with the right person.” John Gimson, on hearing the news of his selection for Tokyo 2020 in the Nacra class

“The sea is our home and every day we strive to respect and protect it. Our team has taken many steps forward, such as using more sustainable fibres for our technical clothing, introducing alternative solutions to disposable plastics and daily activities to safeguard the area, such as cleaning the water when we are out at sea. But there is still much to do. Hence the launch of the hashtag #ASustainabilityChallenge, which will guide us on our journey, reminding us that everything we do, we owe to the sea.” Max Sirena, pictured, skipper and team director of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli on the team’s new eco initiative

“Everyone is excited about the new modular wing. Of course, from a racing perspective, to be able to sail in a wider range of conditions is of real benefit to both the league and for us as race teams. Certainly in strong winds we’d expect the speeds to be quite significantly higher, but quite how high, who knows?” 2020 Great Britain SailGP helm Ben Ainslie on the new wingsail being introduced this season – on boats that topped 50kts in 2019

March 2020 Yachts & Yachting

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RICHARD BENNETT/RORC

J/111 Training A Pre-Worlds Regatta has been scheduled for 30-31 August, giving J/111 crews a chance to practise their moves in the Solent prior to the World Championships taking place in Cowes in September. RORC Cowes is hosting the Pre-Worlds, and entrants will receive coaching and support from North Sails.

RORC shifts 2021 Transatlantic Race to January race in the championships, not the last, plus changes to the points factors for certain offshore races. “The RORC Committee felt that having the Rolex Middle Sea Race as the first race in the championship would encourage more owners to use the autumn/ winter season for adventure sailing and include in their programme the RORC Transatlantic Race and RORC Caribbean 600, before returning to the UK in the spring,” said RORC racing manager Chris Stone. “Also, starting the race in January provides more time for boats to get from Malta to Lanzarote, and the trade winds are further north and more consistent.”

The Royal Ocean Racing Club has announced a new start date for the 7th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race. Traditionally held in November each year from Lanzarote to Grenada, the next edition will start from Calero Marinas Puerto Calero on 9 January 2021, finishing at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada. This date change is the most significant of a number of subtle changes the RORC is making to its Season Points Championships, which includes making the Rolex Middle Sea Race the first points

Obituary The funeral on 30 December of long-time National 12 and Olympic Finn sailor Patrick Pym was attended by an eclectic mix of people from the world of sailing, from international and Olympic sailors to fellow Hamble River Sailing Club members. Oyster return Richard Matthews has rejoined the Oyster Yachts board under new owner Richard Hadida – almost 50 years after founding the company. Women only The 2020 Women’s Team Racing Championship returns to West Kirby Sailing Club on 22-23 February. The regatta, raced in Firefly dinghies, is the country’s premier team racing event solely for women.

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Yachts & Yachting March 2020

Italians dismast as Sir Ben teams up with Mercedes team led by Sir Ben Ainslie, has formed an alliance with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and the INEOS professional cycling team, with a view to sharing and developing innovations in engineering, human science, simulation and data analysis.

The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli America’s Cup team suffered a dismasting on its AC75 while testing off Cagliari in January. “If you don’t push hard you will never know your limits,” was the team’s response as it published photos on its website afterwards. “It’s a new boat and something like this can happen.” Details of what happened were limited as we went to press. The team managed to get the boat, rig and sail back its base and no team member was injured in the incident. “The team is working to return to the water as soon as possible and resume the training sessions in preparation for the America’s Cup World Series that will take place from April 23 to 26,” it said. Meanwhile INEOS TEAM UK, the America’s Cup

GREAT READING TOM CUNLIFFE Bad latitude causes Atlantic misadventure

This month our sister magazine Sailing Today SAIL THE voyages to Scottish peaks, HEIGHTS across Biscay and on to the Spanish Rias. There is also a fascinating interview with Margaret Dye, of Wayfarer fame. Classic Boat shares a dream yacht wedding WEDDING PRESENT for present that was in need of Project newly-weds serious restoration, and visits the Sea of Cortez for a classic boat holiday sailing with sharks. MARCH 2020 sailingtoday.co.uk £4.75

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OVERSEAS

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Glorious Galicia

Hair raising tales from a dinghy cruising legend TIDAL BORES

The secrets behind this extreme phenomena

NEW SEASON

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Discover the beauty of the Spanish Rias

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ILCA Builders Ovington Boats, UK manufacturer of the Olympic Class 49er, the ISAF and RYA Youth Asymmetric 29er Class, Musto Skiff, VX One, Flying Fifteen and International 14, is on a provisional list of new builders announced by the International Laser Class Association.

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New race to run over ‘old’ Fastnet course The Royal Western Yacht Club has launched a new race over the original Fastnet course. The announcement comes after the Royal Ocean Racing Club moved the Rolex Fastnet Race’s finish from Plymouth to Cherbourg. The RWYC’s ‘Lonely Rock Race’ will start on 16 August 2020, and run on alternate years to Rolex Fastnet Race, with the aim of attracting club and ‘Corinthian’ sailors. Organised in association with The Royal Victoria Yacht Club, it will start from Ryde on the Isle of Wight, leaving the Isles of Scilly and the Fastnet Rock to port, passing

the Isles of Scilly once again to port and finishing in Plymouth. Entries will be open to mono and multihulls between 30ft and 60ft. “It is our intention to run a Corinthian race on alternate years to the RORC Fastnet Race,” said Chris Arscott, RWYC commodore. “We realise that there are a number of sailors and boats that may struggle to finish the RORC Rolex Fastnet Race in time for work on the following Monday due to its new length. The ‘Lonely Rock Race’ is in no way intended to replace the RORC Rolex Fastnet Race.”

Round the Island Race entries open Entries for the Round the Island Race opened in January, when the first competitor to sign-up was Martin Thomas who completed the formalities for his multihull INXSA in just 179 seconds. The Round the Island Race 2020 will take place on Saturday 30 May, a few weeks earlier than usual to accommodate tidal conditions. With starts beginning shortly after sunrise, competitors are expected to enjoy a spectacular first leg down to the Needles, together with a welcome early finish back in Cowes. Dave Atkinson, of the Island Sailing Club and the Event Director said: “We want our ambition of a ‘Race For All’ to build even more momentum this year. We are working on some thrilling new ways for sailors and spectators to enjoy the event – watch this space!”

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 Q&A JAMES HARDIMAN, Managing Director of Ocean Elements Who is the average Ocean Elements customer? We attract a wide range, from those learning to sail, windsurf and SailFoil to more expert dinghy sailors, yachties and families who just want to get active and enjoy discovering new sports and experiences together. We also go to great lengths to attract those who like to do very little, although maybe with some excursions and a little watersports to spice up the day! How did you start out? Aged 21 in 1998 after my final year at uni I started with one rented ski chalet in Morzine. Now we run over 50 ski chalets and 11 hotels across France, Austria and Greece. Ocean Elements came along in 2010 and it was so much easier to start, with money behind us, than it was in 1998, with no money at all! We’ve enjoyed lots of five star reviews for our RYA tuition, staff and service ever since. Are you a sailor yourself? Of course. I live and breathe sailing and skiing, so I have to practice both sports! We’ve got a family Wayfarer and I race an RS100 and a Blaze at North Devon Yacht Club. My real passion is long distance solo offshore/ocean racing and I have a J105 which is very well sorted for the type of sailing I do. But I may soon be on a Sun Fast 3300 which is really exciting. Which gives the best holiday – sea or mountains? The Alps in summer are really beautiful and if you’ve never been, you should. Great biking, activities and kids’ sports. But I have to admit my favourite holiday is a two-week Stay Sail in Greece where we stay at a beachclub and windsurf and dinghy sail for a week, before heading off yacht sailing in the second week. It’s the best combo for all of us. And my four kids (age 5 to 15) love the kids’ clubs and flotilla, meeting other kids, island-hopping and swimming or paddleboarding all day. It’s really relaxing.

When is the best time to visit your bases? Anytime is good. June or September is great for cheaper prices and you get exactly the same package and wind conditions as July or August. How can you guarantee the safety of your dinghies and yachts? We run four RYA Training Centres in Greece and, as a fully licensed Operator (ABTA / ATOL) taking 26,000 clients abroad annually, we take safety very seriously, in all areas. We run full safety boat cover (RIBs) on all our beaches, and instruction ratios are 6 to 1, as governed by the RYA. Our yachts are fully coded, with liferafts, Epirbs etc and expertly managed by our Yacht Team. Safety has to be our top priority. Are your bases in locations that the more experienced sailor will find interesting? Yes, of course. Porto Heli offers more sheltered conditions, great for performance boats and families, with lots more sailing for experts as we extend the sailing area out of the bay for more wind. We’ve also invested in the all-new Foiling Boat, and offer free foiling tasters for all guests that are intermediate and up. It’s much easier to foil, and a huge improvement on our previous foiling kits for Lasers and Aeros, which are not so easy to use. Vassiliki and Kos are both well known for their exciting winds, but offer a range of lighter conditions for families and beginners too.

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Bob Fisher OPINION

The Brits and Italians will be training on the same waters in the run-up to the America’s Cup World Series regattas this summer

O

ne should never be misled by opportunity – accept the best ones at the drop of a hat. Think positively. They do not, whatever you may be told, grow on trees. Life in sailing is not a bowl of cherries – despite the stories, you can be certain that the softer, fleshy parts are no longer on offer, but what remains is perfectly acceptable. To use the words of the poet Herrick: “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, old times is still a-flying.” I was delighted to see, in his effort to return home a trophy that has not been back since 1851, Sir Ben Ainslie’s INEOS TEAM UK has grabbed the bull by the horns and moved the bulk of its team to Southern Sardinia – Cagliari, to be precise. Think of that: not only are they able to be in warmer weather, but they can keep a weather eye on one of their rivals, America’s Cup Challenger of Record Luna Rossa, although anything but passing the time of day is strictly forbidden. More importantly, the team’s first match will be held on these waters – and no one denies the importance of local knowledge. INEOS TEAM UK will benefit from four months of this. Anyone staying here will have the edge of the World Series at the end of April – and that one really counts. So, who would want to miss out on that major event? Luna Rossa has similarly planned its trip to Portsmouth, setting up camp virtually next door to the British team, and will receive much the same treatment as Ben’s boys did in Sardinia. Whether it is able to master the trickiest of the port end of the beat when the wind is westerly remains to be seen, but it should be a step ahead of the rest. Not that it will matter much to the Kiwis, they should be caring only about the conditions in Auckland. The rest should look at those there in February – no one will bother to listen to me when I say the Met records go back for many years in New Zealand, so they can start with a small advantage. However, as we used to interject, there is still one team of which we have

Not only are they able to be in warmer weather, but they can keep a weather eye on one of their rivals heard virtually nothing – the Yanks! They have the most cash at their disposal and are thus the most dangerous. A considerable percentage of their fund base is in sailmaking – part of the complex issue of the power plant of the AC75, and obviously one of the more important parts of the whole. However, it doesn’t, or shouldn’t, stop there. The United States has more to keep quiet about than its sailmaking ability – its huge experience ‘flying’ foiling craft. Almost since the Cup left Bermuda, in those now seemingly far off days, an American triallist has been traversing Long Island Sound, at least giving the impression that she is flying, at times against measured distances – and giving her crew a fast passage. Putting in the hours; putting in the miles; putting in the effort ! What else is there that a crew can do? Not a lot, during this stage of the campaign. It is dreary, boring and dreadfully time consuming, and in all four camps it is much the same. There is no chance of even of grabbing a beer with a mate from another team. Now the INEOS team and those from Luna Rosa

Above America’s Cup Challenger of Record Luna Rossa has planned its trip to Portsmouth, setting up camp next door to INEOS TEAM UK

One of the biggest names in yachting journalism, Bob Fisher has a passion and depth of knowledge that’s second to none

have new change, they can concentrate their efforts on the regatta in April, knowing that by being able to be at the site already, they have an advantage. And those don’t come one’s way frequently in the Americas Cup. One must capitalise on every little one. The two teams are getting together in Portsmouth (sounds a bit like ganging up to me), but by the time they reach Newport, Rhode Island, they are going to need all the help they can muster, and that, too, they may find difficult. Anyway, they are all in it up to their necks right now, and as the numbers decrease, the intensity will increase – but that is still some way off. There have been very many repugnant issues over the years, but this time many of them have been mollified and I am sure this Cup series will pass without adversity. One wonders what the New York Yacht Club committee for the America’s Cup is contemplating right now – I feel they are more worth than a penny. I am, however, not a betting man, or at least I haven’t been since a small sum came my way just before a Hornet race at Burnham-on-Crouch in 1954.

March 2020 Yachts & Yachting

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Andi Robertson YACHTS

British sailor Alan Roberts is aiming high after an eventful year on land and sea

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am sure that those of you who had the good fortune to catch one of Alan Roberts’ winter talks on his Figaro programme will have gained an excellent insight into his life in France, as well as just how competitive and challenging the Figaro class is. There are good reasons for these talks. Yes, he loves to be out speaking to fellow enthusiasts about his passion and his pathway to the Vendée Globe, and being able to educate and inform what might be considered ‘opinion formers’, but there are other motives.  The first is about networking. He is critically aware that the chances of landing bigger sponsors is not about cold calling, it is not about an all-singing, all-dancing, multi-media proposal landing on the right desk at the right time. Rather it is more usually about developing face to face contacts, about inspiring someone to take action and get involved for the right reasons. Just as he is meticulous about his processes and planning on the water, Roberts has developed a strategy for getting to the Vendée Globe start line in 2024. And the work has already started.  He has already done ten talks at various yacht clubs and for commercial organisations. And each one, he says, has yielded at least one good contact or prospect.  The other fundamental aspect is the objective of improving his presentation and interpersonal skills, being able to engage and hold an audience, to speak clearly and informatively. To this end he has a professional mentor who has monitored his improvements. After the last Solitaire he did two solid days of media training.  With new sponsor Chartwell Marine Ltd now on board – they are a naval architecture and marine design consultancy which specialises in the design of offshore windfarm support vessels – Alan has a nest of sponsors from the Southampton and Hamble area, many working together and all involved with developing more sustainable vessels and involved in windfarm and

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March 2020 Yachts & Yachting

After the last Solitaire he did two days of media training renewable energies. With Brittany now opening up to windfarm and hydro systems, this is a key growing market which Alan hopes to be able to leverage further support from in the future, looking towards 2024. Indeed there are plans for Seacat Services craft over in France to host invited guests, thereby shining a light on Alan’s campaign as well as meeting potential clients from the French renewable energies market.  “Hopefully we might be able to tap into some new support there – and there would be crossovers with all the different companies involved,” he says. “It is very exciting that all the companies are young and ambitious and we are all pushing hard. For example Magma Structures [carbon fibre composite specialists] have just won an industry prize in Paris. I am hopeful that something bigger may come out of this sector for the future; sailing has a pretty good track record for sponsors in the renewable energies market and there are great synergies.”  In the meantime he has been one of the earliest to get his boat back on the water.  “What I have to do is sail faster,” he says. “That is the simple answer after

Above Alan Roberts is aiming for the Vendée Globe

Few people can match Andi Robertson’s insight into the big boat world, both in the UK and globally

last year. Sometimes I was fast, but not enough. I was generally happy with the decision-making when I look back at the races but there were three or four sailors who had the speed edge. It is no secret that Incidences Voiles were the fastest sails all round. Incidences did more work than anyone else and reaped the reward. They were on their eighth iteration before La Solitaire started. This year I have control of the contract and will be just getting the fastest sails. I want to be a little more detached from the rules politics and so on and just focus on quality time on the water.” Reflecting on the last 12 months, he said: “Last year was very full on and, in retrospect, quite stressful. I hit a rock and damaged the keel, so that has been repaired, especially the keelhead where the structure has been fully repaired; there is no flutter like I had before. “The Doyle gennaker was good and I am keen to keep developing it with them, but then it is between North, Technique and Incidences, and I will just have what I think to be fastest.”  Alan was also doing some sailing with Alex Thomson on the new Hugo Boss, prior to the Transat Jacques Vabre, and their relationship is ongoing. Having worked closely with Thomson’s French rival Jérémie Beyou last year, it is interesting for him to be able to contrast their styles and approaches. “Without doubt Alex does more corporate sailing,” he says. “He is the best at giving a return to his sponsors and it is interesting to learn from him. He has had his sponsors for 15 or more years and so he is great to listen to in terms of advice. And he stays training in his own corner with really good guys on board like Neal McDonald and Andrew Cape.”  Meantime Roberts confirms his strength and fitness is the best it has been, focusing more on core strength and tailoring his programme specifically to events. He says: “There were five or six guys who had bad back injuries last year; that is more than 10 per cent of the fleet. So we have been working hard in the gym too.”

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Andy Rice DINGHIES

Results from the Miami World Cup suggest there are some great stories to come at the Olympics

SAILING ENERGY

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ntries were down for the Hempel World Cup Series Miami event which took place at the end of January. The epicentre of Olympic competition over our winter has been in Australasia, so the 49ers, 49erFX and Nacra 17 fleets were absent from Miami, favouring instead some preparation time in Geelong, the venue for their World Championship in mid-February. Even if the Miami boat park felt quiet compared with previous years, and only the 470 Men and Women’s fleets were truly world class, there was no shortage of drama on the final day of seven back-to-back Medal Races. Last year I reported in this column on Andrew Lewis, the Laser sailor from Trinidad and Tobago who succeeded in winning a World Cup medal in a mostly windless Genoa in Northern Italy. This time the stakes were much higher, with the Laser Medal Race coming down to a battle for an Olympic berth between Canada (population 35.6 million) and Trinidad (population 1.2 million). Lewis went into the Medal Race with a 3-point gap over Robert Davis. The only problem for Lewis was that Davis was accompanied by four team mates. Incredibly, Canada had five of the 10 athletes lining up on the Medal Race start line. “I was up against the whole of Canada! Even [prime minister] Justin Trudeau was there,” quipped Lewis. Which meant the eagled-eyed International Jury were ready to pounce on any team racing by the combined forces of Canada against their Trinidadian rival. While ganging up on Lewis would have been illegal, the Canadian sailors were still permitted to engage Trinidad in some one-on-one, pre-start match racing. Provided you’re fighting to improve your own position – and not those of your compatriots – you’re within your rights to engage the enemy. Which is what happened to Lewis, who was forced to take a penalty just as the start gun fired, putting him right at the back. Even worse, Canada held the top four spots up the first windward leg.

As he crossed the line he pummelled the deck of his Laser in sheer relief Lewis’s dream of a third consecutive Olympics was rapidly fading... until fate intervened. A 35-degree windshift before anyone reached the first mark resulted in an abandonment and a restart. At the second attempt, Lewis fared much better off the start, while four Canadian Lasers were now languishing at the back, including closest rival Davis. Lewis still had plenty to do, however, with Hugh Macrae up near the front of the fleet. Lewis pulled through to fourth place, just behind the leading Canadian and as he crossed the line the Trinidadian punched the air and then pummelled the deck of his Laser in sheer relief. He then jumped off the boat and started celebrating in the waters of Biscayne Bay. The overhead drone shot captured the moment when three or four other sailors leapt into the water to join in with Lewis’ celebration. It was a moment that had some neutrals in floods of tears, so captivating is the Trinidadian’s story of grit and determination.

Above Andrew Lewis beats the odds to make it to Tokyo in the Laser

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

Lewis said that this was the sweetest of all his three Olympic qualifications. With World Sailing’s drive to 50:50 representation between male and female athletes, the number of spots for the Men’s Laser has been slashed from 52 nations at Rio to just 36 for Tokyo 2020. Lewis has had to massively up his game since Brazil and he has secured his third Olympic dream by the skin of his teeth. No one wished Canada any ill, but the neutral squad were squarely on the side of the Caribbean underdog. This is the man who was crushed by a collapsing wall a year before the Rio Games, an injury that he was lucky to survive but which still left him with two broken ribs, a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg, a punctured lung and nine fractured bones in his face. Fighting back from that near-death experience has made Lewis stronger than ever, and his many fans back home will be watching and cheering his every tack and gybe at this summer’s Olympic Regatta. The story of Andrew Lewis eclipsed many other special moments in Miami, with Stefano Peschiera becoming the first ever Peruvian to take any step on to the podium of a World Cup event, let alone the golden top step of the Laser Men’s competition. It was also a first for El Salvador, with Lewis’ training partner Enrique Arathoon claiming an historic World Cup bronze for his country, just five points off the silver taken by Argentina’s Francisco Guaragna. Okay, so this wasn’t a world-class fleet, with most of the top guys competing at Sail Melbourne in preparation for the forthcoming Laser Worlds downunder. However, the Olympic silver medal and the two world titles won by Pavlos Kontides of Cyprus serve as a beacon of inspiration for all the small nation athletes competing on the Olympic circuit.  While I’m looking forward to reporting on all of Team GBR’s achievements at Tokyo this summer, I’m also excited by the Andrew Lewis stories. The ones that transcend national boundaries and are simply inspiring, that bring a tear to your eye, no matter whether you’re from Trinidad, Tobago, or Timbuktu.

March 2020 Yachts & Yachting

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HOW TO WIN

THE LEEWARD MARK

FROM THE BOTTOM UP Don’t let the leeward mark become a directionless flurry. The smart boats have their strategy sorted as they exit, says MARK RUSHALL

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e made it! The spinnaker stayed out of the water and is safely stowed. The jib halyard needs a little more tension: we can do that on the next tack. The wind seems to have dropped: maybe we need to get the jib cars further forward and adjust the mast chocks when we get a chance. We remembered to get the outhaul back on and the centreboard fully down before the rounding. Now it’s time to find the next mark, check in on the wind shift phase, and decide our upwind strategy: or is it? The beginning of the next upwind leg is a sea of opportunity that is frequently overlooked in the frantic rush to get the leeward mark safely behind us. The smart boats began the planning process early. They were aligned to any changes in conditions during the downwind leg, got the boat

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set up before the mark, were aware of the next mark position and shift phase, and had the strategic priorities sorted. This meant they had a clear objective before the jostling began, and are already sailing fast towards the next gain, while the others are playing catch up. BIG PICTURE: BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND What are the priorities for the next leg? If it’s a reach, the strategy may simply be to protect the “inside” side of the run to give the best chance of gaining or breaking an overlap before the zone, with a clear lane home. If it’s a beat, there’s more to think about. What has been the winning strategy for the race so far? Oscillating shifts? A favoured side through wind or tide variations? What does the next leg look like? Is the beat square, or skewed so that most of the leg will be on one tack? The answers to these questions

should shape your positioning against other boats on the second half of the offwind leg and not the other way around, even earlier if it’s a short leg. If you want to tack early, avoid being overlapped outside another boat at the mark at all costs: drop early, weave around if necessary to fall clear astern, and exit nice and tight on the mark, especially on a starboard rounding, so there is no chance that any following boats can pin you out. If you are making a charge for the left hand side following a port hand rounding, a tight rounding is only necessary if there are boats very close ahead: a smooth arc exiting at maximum speed puts you in better shape for an early tack than a harsh speed killing turn. In a big or mixed class fleet, clusters of boats will affect the bottom beat strategy. Where are the clusters of beating boats ahead, and running boats behind? There is little point, as a leading boat,


PEDRO MARTINEZ/SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILING

1

REFINE YOUR ROUTINES FOR THE CLASSIC LEEWARD MARK APPROACHES:  Tight reach approach, drop, and round up.  Running approach, gybe drop (“kiwi”), round up.  Running approach, leeward drop, round up.

Above An even turn, and full speed at the exit

 Running approach, windward drop, and round up. DEPENDING ON YOUR BOAT, THE ROUTINE WILL INCLUDE:  Jib up: in plenty of time to overcome any snags. All the way to the halyard mark, so there are no distractions with jib halyard faff when boats are closest.  Outhaul: pre-set to upwind mark on the approach.  Centreboard: to upwind position before commencement of turn.  Jib and mainsheet: trim the main in time with the turn, creating weather helm. Take care not to over- trim and stall the main, killing weather helm and speed through the manoeuvre. The jib is trimmed a fraction behind the main, again aiding the turn.  Dinghies: use a hand over hand

PAUL WYETH/RYA

tacking immediately around the leeward mark if that puts you directly into the disturbed air from the large clump of running boats immediately behind. THE RACING LINE If sailing a race against the clock with no other boats on the course, it would make sense to minimise the upwind distance sailed. An even turn takes the least amount of speed off the boat, and leads to a tight exit (diag 1 above). Even if there are no other boats, aim to get a complete, smooth turn in on the approach, and exit tight on the mark on a close-hauled course. With boats around, this racing turn gives some chance of finding a lane when following a beating boat whose execution is not so good, prevents the boat behind from doing just that, and ensures that you are clear to tack whenever you wish without fouling the boat behind. But check the ‘rules talk’ section on p22: if you are keep-clear boat, an inside overlap may not give you the option of following the racing line. The actual radius of the turn depends on the type of boat, and the prevailing

conditions; some time spent watching your class “experts” followed by half a day practising rounding a mark, preferably with a “buddy”, will develop an appreciation of your boats’ needs. The objective is to build and practise a consistent routine. As with every boat handling skill, the aim is a smooth, safe manoeuvre, with a minimum of speed-killing rudder drag.

March 2020 Yachts & Yachting

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HOW TO WIN

THE LEEWARD MARK

Gybe drop (“Kiwi”): the aim is to drop the kite on the new windward side just as the boom comes across in the gybe. This way there is no need to drag it around the forestay. If the approach is a tight one, time to complete the drop will also be tight. In this case, gybe upwind of the mark. The broad approach slows the boat, giving maximum time for the drop with a nice flat platform. Conversely, if above the layline to the mark, gybe late to keep speed on for as long as possible, and approach the mark at a much “hotter” angle. THE LEEWARD GATE How do you choose the right mark at a leeward gate? Unless the fleet is very spaced out, leeward mark choice will be a compromise. The major factors in order of priority are:  Big picture: if the downwind traffic makes an early tack on the next beat tricky, choose the port hand rounding mark if you want to start the beat on port tack, or go right. Choose the starboard hand mark if you want starboard tack. Gate bias: though the gate is usually much shorter than a start line, the gain from choosing the biased (“upwind”)

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mark is equivalent to twice the gain from a start line the same length: you gain on the way down, and on the way back! If a wind shift has caused the gate to be biased, and on the run, you are lifted on port gybe, the starboard hand rounding mark (“go left mark”) is the upwind one. But if the breeze is oscillating, to bank the gain you need an early tack onto starboard to get immediately in phase: if you can’t

do that, the boats which rounded the unbiased mark on the lifted tack will pop out ahead when the wind shifts back (see ‘winning move 5’ on p22).  Other boats: sometimes the pain of waiting for the boats overlapped inside to round first is just too big. An early gybe to the “unfavoured” mark might give the opportunity for a perfect racing rounding, and a clear lane on either tack (diag 2 below).

2 WILL LOY

Windward drop/spinnaker chute drop: try to put a couple of boat lengths to windward of the rhumb line to the racing line “in the bag”. This leaves space to run broad, and enables the crew to get into the boat to drop the kite on a stable platform. On a windward drop, it makes it far easier to pull the kite around the forestay. With a conventional kite, a broad approach enables the pole to be dropped in good time while the kite continues to set, if necessary, with a “human pole”. Generally, get the foot of an asymmetric spinnaker under control first, and then start easing the halyard. This means it’s less likely to hit the water.

STUART SLY PHOTOGRAPHY

mainsheet technique with the extension pivoting around the tiller to match trim to rate of turn.  Boat trim: allow the boat to heel to leeward, generating more weather helm. The turn should be initiated through sail and crew trim, with rudder following, rather than the reverse.  Vang: generally pulled to upwind setting once the turn is complete, giving a more immediate response from easing the mainsheet if a quick dip is required.  Spinnaker: spinnaker routines are extremely class specific. Here are some general observations:


WINNING MOVE 1 when the zone gets close. If they were headed for the port hand gate mark, Red could have defended from Green by sailing high before the zone then dialing down to break the overlap.

WINNING MOVE 1: USE THE ANGLES The overlap line is at right angles to the centreline of the outside boat. Blue has a marginal overlap on Red on the approach. Red uses the angles by sailing super low before the zone, then luffs to clearly break the overlap

WINNING MOVE 3: DROP BEHIND Red needs a tight rounding if he’s planning an early tack, but needs to hold a couple of boat lengths to find a clear lane on port tack. As soon as he’s confident that Yellow can’t gain an overlap before Red reaches the zone, Red drops the kite and slows down to allow Green to edge forward. Green is keep-clear boat: Red keeps the pressure on Green, preventing Green from making extra room for the racing line. Close to the mark, Red makes enough room to sail INGRID ABERY

WINNING MOVES With boat handling sorted, it is time to make the most of the opportunities that arise when boats converge at the leeward mark, always keeping the big picture in mind and never risking compromising the long term objective for a short term gain. Here are five classic “winning moves”:

WINNING MOVE 2: USE THE KIWI When boats converge on opposite gybes, it is impossible for the outside boat to be clear ahead. Blue is clear ahead on the approach but can’t physically reach the zone without bearing away to gybe and creating an overlap. Red has judged his layline to perfection and will be overlapped inside any converging boats to his right. As starboard tack right of way boat, until she gybes Red can make all the room she needs on the approach, to leave room for the gybe and drop, and still achieve the perfect racing line. If this were the starboard hand mark, the inside port tack approach would still give an overlap on any starboard tack boats around, but an inside keep clear boat can’t enforce a racing rounding: rule 18 allows her “room to sail to the mark” on the approach, and nothing more (see below).

WINNING MOVE 2 WINNING MOVE 3

December March 2020 2019 Yachts & Yachting

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HOW TO WIN

THE LEEWARD MARK

JESUS RENEDO/SAILING ENERGY/WORLD SAILING

WINNING MOVE 5

her perfect racing line across Green’s transom, leaving her free to tack at will.

RULES TALK In positions 1, 2 and 3 below, Red is keep clear boat to Orange and to Yellow (port/ starboard). In position 2, Red is overlapped on Yellow, because Orange overlaps both. Yellow has to give mark room to Orange and to Red: they were overlapped when the first of them reached the zone. Orange has to give mark room to Red. Though Red would like to push Orange and Yellow further away from RICK TOMLINSON

WINNING MOVE 4: BUFFALO GIRLS Sometimes the leeward mark is so congested that it’s simply not possible to hit the perfect line, or to prevent an inside overlap. The classic scenario occurs with heavier boats, light-ish winds and tide, with lots of boats stuffing each other to a standstill at the start of the beat. The “around the outside” tactic though not guaranteed, can work in these situations, so long as the big picture does not call for an early tack. In this case, aim to approach the mark at a fast reaching angle with kite set. Beam reach at maximum speed, directly to leeward of the bunch, at the apex of the turn. Keep sailing fast and free until through the dirt created by the traffic jam, and once your bow is forward, wind on the trim to achieve close hauled course. (No diagram for this one).

WINNING MOVE 5: USE THE OSCILLATIONS The wind is in a left phase at the bottom of the run. Red, Orange, and Yellow choose the upwind mark. But wind with tide means that the boats behind are preventing the ones ahead from tacking onto the lifted tack. The wind is gently shifting back to the right, exacerbating the situation. Green choses to round the mark that puts her immediately on the lifted tack. The heading wind leaves her clear to tack as soon as the wind is back at mean. She’ll be ahead when the boats next cross.

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the mark, as keep clear boat she can’t do that (definition, mark room). Indigo is keep clear boat to Violet (windward leeward). Blue is keep clear boat to Indigo (port starboard, then windward leeward). Violet was overlapped on all boats rounding the port hand rounding mark when the first reached the zone. They have to keep clear and give room: until she gybes and becomes keep clear boat, Violet can sail the racing line. Position 4: Red is keep clear boat to Orange, but Orange must give mark room. Yellow must continue to give mark room, and keep clear of Orange and Red (clear ahead/clear astern). Yellow does not break rule 18 by cutting inside Orange as long so long as she gives her mark room. In this case, Orange is unable to sail any higher because Red is there: Yellow’s move is fine. Blue continues to give mark room to Purple and Indigo. When Blue enters the zone, Green is overlapped on Blue. Blue must now give mark room to Green as well.

RULES TALK

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FEATURE

SYDNEY HOBART

CHANGING TIMES

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PHOTO ROLEX/KURT ARRIGO

The big guns took the headlines in the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, but behind them an epic race was brewing that heralded a new fleet on the horizon, says ROB KOTHE

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n 1964, when Bob Dylan wrote the words for his third studio album’s title song The Times They Are A-Changin’, he was thinking of the social and political upheaval of the time. But the same song came to mind at the start of the 75th Rolex Sydney Hobart on Boxing Day 2019. The world is a very different place to when Captain John Illingworth of the British Navy led the first Sydney Hobart fleet on Boxing Day 1945. Back in the day, sailors gathering at Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club, ahead of the 628nm race south, debated whether they would face one or three ‘southerly busters’. Historically, it has been an upwind race with winds of 30 to 50 knots in those frontal systems. Now, with burning Australia making headlines around the world, we truly know the world has changed, and so has this iconic bluewater classic. Rather than having even one cold front, this 75th race had two weak ‘troughs’ – transition periods of little or no wind – one before the fleet leaders headed into the Bass Strait and another as the fleet handicap favourites approached Tasman Light. In both those transitions, it was just a few hours before the winds went northerly again – another downwind race. Although 157 boats started, once again the TV audience of millions worldwide saw the images of the only race they ever know, the line honours competition between five 100-footers. So, to 26 December 2019, Sydney Harbour. The bushfire smoke has temporarily cleared with a 12kt northeasterly sea breeze. From the 1pm gun, Christian Beck’s InfoTrack (the Juan-K 100-footer) won the start.

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PHOTO RIGHT ROLEX/CARLO BORLENGHI; PHOTO LEFT OF MAVERICK ©KRISZIMAGES YACHT PHOTOGRAPHY

SYDNEY HOBART

She led the fleet around the seaward mark by almost two minutes, the third time she had won the race out of the Heads, having taken boasting rights in 2015 and 2016 as Investec Loyal. Then, in close company, came Wild Oats XI, SHK Scallywag and Black Jack, respectively. Comanche, the 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours winner and race record holder, was fifth out of the Heads. She had deliberately started on the second row to keep out of trouble. Once the fleet had turned south, eased sheets and set the asymmetrics, it was another story, though. The last the Sydney TV helicopters saw, Comanche was leading, furthest out to sea ahead from InfoTrack, SHK Scallywag, Black Jack and then Wild Oats XI. Then came the first real challenge. Before the race, the various weather models were in broad agreement that a trough would come in on 27 January, when the leaders were on the New South Wales coast, but the

Above left British boat Maverick at the start with a great race ahead of her Above right Alive, the 2018 winner, approaches Tasman Island Below Ichi Ban, overall winer

models did not align on fine details. What the leaders discovered was not a single trough line, but something more complicated, with a series of clouds embedded in it. With the southeasterly pushing up inshore and the northeaster pushing down further offshore, there were small but heart-breaking parking spots. Comanche was first to park, but behind her, Wild Oats XI had a horrible first night. Rather than choosing a place to cross the trough and doing it once, she had multiple attempts, sailing along the trough line before finally taking her medicine. As a result, she ended up almost 35 miles behind Comanche when the leaders eventually floated away. InfoTrack navigator Brad Kellett said: “Watching on AIS, we saw Oats hitting the parking lot. We turned through 90 degrees and avoided it. Our turn came later.” Mark Bradford, skipper of Peter Harburg’s Black Jack, said: “The transition went well for us. Scallywag

PHOTO RIGHT ROLEX/LURT ARRIGO

FEATURE

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PHOTO COURTESY OF ED WILDGOODSE/MAILASAIL; PHOTOS BELOW IN AZORES COURTESY OF JOHN HEATH

PHOTO RICHARD BENNETT

Scallywag skipper David Witt said: “I’ve never seen a boat go so well, never seen a team sail so well and I think I’ve never sailed to Hobart so well – and none of it matters! We did not get a result. “We got through the transition better than anyone, and we were leading the race longer than anybody. We got to 10-12 miles in front, but unfortunately it was not one of the years when the rich get richer. The wind shifted and everyone concertinaed up to us. “Once it became a reaching race, we were never going to beat Comanche, but we were in good shape to beat the rest of them. “We were going well until we hit a shark. It wrapped around the rudder and wiped the boat out. That cost us. Ricko was 35 miles behind us and beat us by seconds

Above right Kim Jaggar’s Cinquante, winner of the Sydney 38 one design division in the last race, was second this year Below Chinese Whisper, fifth overall

at the finish. I am completely gutted.” Last of the 100-footers was Black Jack. Harburg long-term skipper Mark Bradford said: “Another downwind race and a difficult concept. We sailed reasonably; the spreader issue cost us.” Harburg has relocated from Brisbane to Monaco, and Bradford commented: “We entered as a Monaco Yacht Club boat, and we are off to Europe next year to sail on the Mediterranean. We have some regattas there for a couple of years and will see how it plays out.” Now for what some call the ‘real’ race, as for most sailors this event is about the overall handicap winner across seven IRC divisions. The trophy is the Tattersalls Cup. Sydney sailor Matt Allen, a 30-race veteran who won the race on handicap in 2017 on his TP52 Ichi Ban, was the hot favourite to win the Tattersall Cup again this year. Will Oxley, long-time

PHOTO ROLEX/CARLO BORLENGHI

got through that the best, and then we were next best, but InfoTrack did the best job, as it is not their space or corner.” Comanche owner Jim Cooney added: “We were the widest. We had a tough transition, a miserable eight hours, but not as bad as some. But when we closed on Green Cape, we got the wind angle and strength that suited us and Comanche did what she does best, opening a lead on the fleet.” As they headed for the Tasman Island corner, InfoTrack was clinging to second. Black Jack was third, but a broken spreader just before she rounded caused her to limp towards the finish line. Comanche finished first ahead of InfoTrack, but not without drama. Navigator Stan Honey said: “It’s always scary in the Derwent. When we saw the lemons [boat speed 000] within sight of the line it felt like we had gone to see a bad movie, but thankfully it did not happen that way. Thankfully we had enough miles in the bank to allow us to wait it out until more wind arrived.” InfoTrack owner Christian Beck said dockside: “Our second was way beyond my expectations; we were happy to be catching up to Comanche, but we were more worried about the three skinny boats coming up behind us.” Conditions were still very light when Scallywag loomed ahead of Wild Oats XI, but the silver boat found a private breeze and Wild Oats XI crossed ahead to take third place by 38 seconds. She was aiming for her 10th line honours win, but the transition had cost her. Dockside, a clearly upset Mark Richards was quickly off the boat, along with his afterguard, avoiding the media, leaving the crew to pack up.

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SYDNEY HOBART

BOTH PHOTOS THIS PAGE ROLEX/CARLO BORLENGHI

FEATURE

navigator on Ichi Ban, takes up the story: “We had a good start, led eleven TP52s out of the Heads and headed south. As we approached the first transition, we could see eight to 10 boats on AIS. Those were all mini weather stations providing a heading, speed over ground and a course over ground. That, combined with what you could see in the clouds, meant a reasonable transition.” Respected Irish sailor Gordon Maguire, the rock on which the Ichi Ban team has been built, said: “A race restart, with 400 miles to go. We managed to eke out a lead. We had to stay ahead of Gweilo, with the same handicap as us. The boat we were most worried about was Quest [2008 winner, then 2015 winner as Balance, and runner-up to Ichi Ban in 2017 by just 10 minutes]. We had to beat them to the finish by 90 mins. And as they regularly managed to be in the right place at the right time, that was always a challenge. So, we knew if we slowed down, parked up or got it wrong, they’d be there to pick up the pieces. They did that in the last race before Hobart, so we were very wary.”

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Oxley again: “After we got the breeze, initially it was a tight reach, then as we got closer to Tasmania, it turned into a run. Ahead, we could see the next system coming on the models. “Around Tasman, there was very little wind inside the first part of Storm Bay. We pushed further south to try to reach the southeasterly and we could see white caps ahead. But then the other 52s came around Tasman, and the system had moved a little, so they were now able to straight line to Raoul. That was a nervous time for us. Wed set ourselves up to the south and that meant we were not covering them. We were committed.” Finally the chess game shifted again as the TP52 fleet stalled, the wind shifted and Ichi Ban sailed away up the river at 15-17 knots, winning the race from Matt Donald and Chris Townsend’s Gweilo and Bob Steel and Craig Neil’s Quest. Matt Allen said: “Three wins over four decades... these moments don’t come around very often. Our second win – you must hold the moment. “Gweilo sailed well. They were

Above Katwinchar, built in 1904, the oldest and one of the smallest yachts in the race, is dwarfed by Tasman Island Below Comanche was first to finish, in 1 day, 18 hours

always in touch with us, as was Barry Cuneo’s Envy Scooters, my previous TP52, and she was still there, along with Daguet 3 (a Ker 46).” He reserved praise for British boat Maverick, whose owner Quentin Stewart, from Guernsey, is looking forward to 2020 after a promising performance in 2019. “Maverick is a special little boat, a Hugh Welbourne-designed, Infiniti Yachts-built, canting keel boat with DSS foils, which allow the boat to lift from the water as wind speed increases. “We had a great first afternoon, averaging 18kt, amid the 52s. After the transition, the wind lifted, it kicked up to 21-22 NE, and we had a great passage across the Bass Strait. “This is increasingly a downwind race and if we can get 25 knots, we can do 25, whereas the TPs will top out at 21-22. For them, they like 15-18 knot VMG running. Whereas, if we can get true beam reaching 90-110, we are devastatingly quick, 2-3 knots faster than the 52s. “As we approached Tasman Island, we were ahead of Quest. Envy Scooters and Gweilo were four or so miles ahead and Ichi Ban was the front of the group eight miles ahead. But coming to Cape Raoul we got stuck in the NE/ SE transition. We went nowhere, and for us that was the end of the race. The 52s, 10 minutes ahead of us, escaped. “The plan now is work on our rating. We are rated with the 52s, which is ridiculous. It’s fine if we are hard reaching. In this race, we did not have any reaching at 90-110 degrees, so next year with a better rating and some of that, it will be another story.” As Dylan said: “The order is rapidly fadin’/ And the first one now/ Will later be last/ For the times they are a-changin.”

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March 2020 Yachts & Yachting

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FEATURE

COWES WEEK

PERFECT PITCH The world’s biggest regatta is currently minus a title sponsor. It’s Kate Johnson’s job to find one. How’s that going? asks ROB PEAKE

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T

he young girl who enjoyed sailing her Mirror from a beach hut at Calshot in the school holidays, watching in delight as Cowes Week thundered past every August, never imagined that one day she’d have a key role in running the regatta herself. Kate Johnson’s job as Cowes Week’s Commercial and Marketing Director doesn’t allow her much time to look across the water and remember those early days afloat, but having known and loved the regatta all of her life certainly does no harm as she pitches to potential sponsors of Cowes Weeks to come. “As children we spent many happy summers messing around in boats on the Solent,” she says, “and since then I have done Cowes Week many times. I remember winning our class a couple of times. It was during the Skandia days and we were given a huge race winner’s flag. Both times we were over the moon – it was cause for much celebration, and wearing of the flag.” As we meet today, in the lobby of a London hotel, Johnson is between appointments and admits that with six months to go before the first gun fires off the Squadron, her diary is “very busy”. The hunt is on for the right partner, or partners, of the world’s biggest regatta after Lendy went into administration in late May 2019, less than three months before the event. The regatta went ahead as planned and despite galeforce winds throwing an additional spanner in the works, those who took part enjoyed great sailing and there was widespread praise for Regatta Director

Laurence Mead, who had joined Johnson and Technical Director Andrew Rayner on the Cowes Week Executive Team in 2018. But great sailing or not, all regattas have costs. Before Lendy, Skandia was title sponsor for 14 years, and Aberdeen Asset Management for six, both periods remembered fondly by tens of thousands of sailors. In 2020 the world is a different place, but Johnson is realistic. “Over the past couple of years we have been working hard to diversify revenue streams and ensure the regatta is no longer as dependent on a single title sponsor, as it perhaps has been in the past,” she says. “This should mean that even in times of not having a title sponsor, the regatta is able to carry on as normal, with little or no effect on the overall experience, either on the water or on the shore.”

Above The event is building towards its 200th anniversary in 2026

Of the Lendy bombshell, she says: “We were well-prepared and tried to deliver a regatta of the expected high standard. We hope this was felt by competitors. It did involve some hard work behind the scenes.” Johnson grew up in north Yorkshire, read Politics at Edinburgh and has enjoyed a career at management consultancy Accenture (“they had very large budgets for team-building and were generous enough to pay for quite a few of my sailing adventures”), then advertising agency St Luke’s and most recently 10 years at brand consultancy Clear, leading projects for Unilever, Kelloggs and Astra Zeneca among others. She was appointed in 2015 at Cowes Week Ltd and her big brand know-how has been behind a raft of significant partnerships including with Land-Rover and Musto. “What I enjoy most is working with

WHY BE COWES WEEK’S TITLE SPONSOR? HOW KATE JOHNSON PUTS IT: • A rare opportunity to own a ‘Blue Riband’, historic British summer season event. •  A large base of 5,000 competitors, offering a much more invested, receptive and demographically strong population than other events that are almost exclusively about those watching rather than taking part. •  One of the few events where guests and employees can participate - great for entertaining or staff team-building. Going out on the water together is an experience that generates rapport and a bond between those on board. •  Heritage and tradition that few events can match; nearly 200 years old with a long history of royal participation and celebrity attendance. •  Non-elitist attitude - anyone can take part. Sailors range from disadvantaged kids to Olympians. •  Sailing is a clean sport and Cowes Week is strong on sustainability. •  100,000 visitors to the event during the week, providing an opportunity to engage not only with competitors but with spectators too. •  Cowes Week communications are underpinned by a popular new app, which offers a great way of getting brands directly in front of the audience.

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We are looking to put on daily prizegivings and an opening party for the sailors the sponsors to develop some exciting plans to really get the most out of the event and to deliver against their objectives. Sponsorship is notoriously difficult to measure, but in order to get any sponsor to return, we have to ensure that we’re able to deliver ROI.” Johnson is just as happy to talk sailing and with many Cowes Weeks under her belt, she knows what works for the competitor too. “I’d love to bring daily race winners’ flags back to the regatta and we are now looking to introduce daily prizegivings, in recognition of what a celebratory moment it is for crews. We are hoping to put on an opening party for competitors as well.” Entry numbers were down slightly in 2019 but Johnson measures that against “record levels” previously and says: “They’re holding up remarkably well given that other events are seeing entry numbers significantly decline. For a lot of classes, their biggest turnout of the year continues to be at Cowes Week.” The regatta’s Executive Team, she says, is “very aware that we need to

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focus on the competitor experience, both on the water and onshore, to ensure that the regatta maintains its pre-eminent position”. Part of her pitch to potential clients is the event’s looming bicentenary in 2026, which Johnson calls “a milestone in world sailing history”. “It will no doubt be a spectacular celebration, so any title sponsor joining

Above The British leg of SailGP was held during the regatta in front of thousands of onlookers Below The King’s Cup of 2019 put the regatta on front pages worldwide

at this unique time will be able to take advantage of increased coverage, awareness and special events, as well as working with the regatta to take the next steps along its journey,” she says. “A new sponsor has chance to help us build towards our vision and to really embed themselves with the regatta audience ahead of the bicentenary.” Cowes Week enjoyed global headlines


in 2019 as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge put on the first King’s Cup, raising funds for eight of the charities they are patrons of. Johnson can’t say for sure, as we meet, that the event will take place again in 2020, but is “hopeful it will be repeated”. SailGP was another new development for last year’s regatta and the foiling cat extravaganza will return with the added

REGATTA DIRECTOR LAURENCE MEAD ON COWES WEEK’S 200TH BIRTHDAY “2026 is the 200th anniversary of Cowes Week and we are already working towards putting together two fabulous weeks of competition and events. Although the exact dates have not yet been set, we are returning the regatta to its traditional dates (in very early August) from 2021 onwards. The plan is that 2026 will see two weeks of world-class regatta racing, the first for some of the world’s most exotic and historic big boats and the second week for all of the classes that make up the Cowes Week we know and love. This 200th anniversary regatta will be two weeks of amazing sailing and socials which we expect will attract world-wide support and extensive press coverage. International and prestige classes will be invited to attend and compete against a backdrop of celebratory events, including a sailpast and on-water celebrations.  “Dayboats and Corinthian-sailed IRC boats are the backbone of the event. Cowes Week is a world-class regatta racing event built on a traditional base, but with the very best modern

race management, aimed squarely at Corinthian sailors from around the world who want to compete against each other in challenging conditions all supported by a fantastic social scene. 2020 already has an additional IRC class added to the schedule whilst the cruiser division has been split into two separate groupings, one called Performance Cruisers and one called Club Cruisers. The names are self-explanatory, but the Club Cruiser division is really aimed at making it possible for those boats which are not kept in racing trim to be able to race Cowes Week with other similar boats and like-minded owners. Building towards 2026 there will be a renewed focus on bringing competitors back together from a socialising perspective, with daily prize-givings for race winners a new feature for 2021.” The regatta organisers are inviting expressions of interest from any classes who would like to race within Cowes Week, particularly those international boats who might like to attend the 2026 anniversary regatta.

December March 2020 2019 Yachts & Yachting

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FEATURE

COWES WEEK

We have weekend amateurs and families out competing with world-class sailors both years. “Obviously our target is to improve this to gold!” she says. “One of the difficulties is that Cowes Week Ltd does not own any of the main venues, shops or restaurants that are operating during the regatta, so it requires working with multiple stakeholders to meet a common objective. Competitors will have noticed that in 2019 for the first time, we did not have bowstickers or wristbands. Our new app allows us to identify competitors without the need for wristbands, for example.” Ladies Day has long been part of the event, with its additional option (it’s

Above Numbers were down slightly in 2019 against previous record years and are high compared to other events Below Ladies Day encourages female participation

PHOTOS: PAUL WYETH

excitement of Ben Ainslie helming the GB boat. Johnson says: “One of the things that makes Cowes Week so special is that we have weekend amateurs, club racers and families out competing with world-class professional sailors. “Having SailGP as a feature event of Cowes Week really showcased another dimension of the sport and provided a fantastic spectacle for both our competitors and spectators. Our race team worked hard to make sure that our competitors’ own race experience was not compromised, and that they were off the water in time to enjoy the SailGP event.” Another of Johnson’s concerns is the regatta’s environmental footprint and she has worked for the last two years with the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas programme, winning Silver Certification

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not mandatory – only if you want to enter for the trophy) for female sailors to helm participating boats. The concept still has its opponents, some more light-hearted than others, but Johnson says: “Around a third of our competitors are female, but only about 10% of them typically take the helm during racing. It’s still less common to see women taking roles like navigator, tactician or helm. Ladies Day is about encouraging, supporting and celebrating women taking these roles. We have a trophy given to the female helm with the best overall result on Ladies Day, which we hope encourages women to give it a go on the helm that day, if not the rest of the week. We also award the Ladies Day Trophy to a female sailor who has achieved something extraordinary or who has made an outstanding contribution to the sport. This is an important source of inspiration and celebration.” Johnson is one of three female directors on the board of Cowes Week, while the event also employs female race officers and a female juror who is deputy chair of the Protest Committee. “We’re trying to increase female visibility across the regatta,” she says. When she’s not flying the Cowes Week flag, Johnson and her husband can be found on their Contessa 32, which is moored in the Beaulieu River. With two small children in tow, she counts getting out of the river as “an achievement”, but still has designs on the racecourse. “I’ve raced an X332 back when they had a one-design class at Cowes Week, Sigma 38s, various IRC classes and most recently on a J109. I’ve never entered in White Group, so that will be on my to-do list at the point when I stop doing this job.” Email Kate at kate.johnson@cowesweek.co.uk


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March 2020 Yachts & Yachting

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PROMOTING THE RYA DINGHY SHOW

IT’S GOOD TO TALK

Luke Patience and Eilidh McIntyre share their secrets for good communication when the pressure is on

T

eamwork makes the dream work, as the saying goes, and the bedrock of a successful team in any walk of life is great communication. But, just like any aspect of your sailing armoury, it doesn’t happen without practice. Here, the British Sailing Team’s Olympic silver medallist Luke Patience and 470 World Champion Eilidh McIntyre share their secrets for effective communication, and how they keep their cool in the heat of battle. LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS The building blocks for a firm partnership are as much in the offwater conversations you have as those

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that take place afloat during a race. Both Luke and Eilidh maintain that it’s crucial to take time getting to know your teammate and to discuss how your crew dynamics will work well before you embark on your competition season. “It’s important to think about your strengths, what you enjoy about racing, what you feel you can bring naturally to the team, and see where you complement each other and where you might have disparities that someone needs to pick up, even if it’s not something they find natural to do,” Eilidh explained. “You need to know who’s responsible for what in the boat,” Luke agrees. “And you don’t always

Above Eilidh says that communication has been main focus of her partnership with Hannah Mills

get it right from the first go either!” he admits. “Sometimes you realise once you’ve defined the roles that one person is overloaded and needs a bit of extra help. Within that, you might also find that you’ve not played people to their skill sets as well as you could. “Before you even communicate, you’ve got to get that foundation down.” DO YOU SPEAK ‘SAILING’? “Han and I spent a long time on communication, and it’s been our biggest focus for our entire campaign,” says Eilidh of her partnership with Hannah Mills. “A large part of that has been trying to build a common language – making sure that when you say something it means


the same thing to someone else. We’ve all got different terms that we use for a piece of information or a situation, and it’s figuring out what that means, what the other person wants you to do when they say something, or what you want them to do when you say something. “Developing a common language is really the basis to building good communication in a team.” There’s an even greater need for such clarity and understanding of language on those big wind, big wave racing days, as Luke explains. “In the lighter wind stuff, you can hear each other much easier in the boat and, on those days, Twiggy and I can definitely have more conversation,” he says of his approach with crew Chris ‘Twiggy’ Grube. “It’s a quick conversation, but it’s still a conversation, perhaps using each other to confirm something. You have more bandwidth to look around in those conditions, because the boat’s not a bucking bronco! “In the breeze, you can’t hear each other, and that’s when you have to divide your roles much more strongly. The communication is more command-like – short, sharp, and succinct. It’s an instruction almost. “You have to be careful with the language you use – especially when it’s windy. Words like ‘go’ and ‘no’ almost sound the same; so do ‘tack’ and ‘back’, for example, so you have to try and find words that are completely different. We might use ‘negative’ instead of ‘no’, so there’s no confusion, and we don’t make the wrong call because someone has not heard properly.”

Above Luke, helming the 470 for Chris Grube

You can’t do great things for 55 minutes if you’re an emotional wreck WHEN THINGS GO WRONG Even the most experienced campaigners have hard days, or tough races in conditions they don’t really like. It’s on those days that strong communication and your understanding of your teammate can really make a winning difference. Eilidh’s mantra when the chips are down? “Never give up – sailing is a crazy sport! Have each other’s backs and keep talking. “Some people have a tendency to go quiet in tough situations, and when one person goes quiet it can cause problems for the other person. They may then feel like they have to step in and take over roles that aren’t theirs. It can cause frustrations within a team. Be really conscious of how you change in those stressful environments, and don’t be afraid to voice it. Voicing nerves is a powerful thing. “The really important thing to remember is that you both want what’s best; everyone who’s there in that boat is there to do well and to enjoy it.” Luke’s approach, when the pressure starts to mount, is to take things back to basics. “Go back to the discussion you had before the race start about what your course or race priorities were, so when the communication’s breaking down or there’s a bit of stress starting to creep in, which we still get, we’ll just go back to what we said was important from the

start. Was it to get upper right, or was it to find gusts more than follow the fleet? Those little rules we put in place are what bring us back on track. I’m all for a calm, direct and unemotional approach to communication. A race is a 55-minute or so series of hurdles that you need to cross, and you only do that successfully by being completely on the same page with your teammate. “You can’t do great things for 55 minutes if you’re an emotional wreck and it’s all wild and shouty!”

LEARN MORE AT THE SHOW Luke Patience and Eilidh McIntyre will be talking race communications at the RYA Dinghy Show, in association with Yachts & Yachting, on Saturday 29 February at Alexandra Palace, London. Join them in the RYA Knowledge Zone at 1600hrs for more top tips. Show tickets are available at dinghyshow.org.uk

Yachts & Yachting March 2020

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INTERVIEW

EMMA WILSON

MEET OUR OLYMPIANS

BOARD GAMES

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mma Wilson is recalling the moment she found out she had been selected for the Olympics. “It was the day after the test event in Enoshima. I was having breakfast and Ian Walker came up and said, ‘Meeting

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in 10 minutes’. I thought, ‘Oh God, what have I done wrong?’’’ “It is surreal,” says the 20-year-old today, reflecting on her new status as an imminent Olympian. “It’s been my dream for so long.” Emma is the daughter of Penny

Above Wilson will be going to her first Olympics

Wilson, who represented Britain in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics at Barcelona and Atlanta. “It’s pretty cool. I try to use it to my advantage. She has lots of knowledge that can help me. She’s been through the whole thing and she understands that


PHOTO (C) NICK DEMPSEY

If it’s tough being the daughter of a two-times Olympian, Emma Wilson is coping just fine, finds ROB PEAKE

PHOTO (C) LLOYD IMAGES

Bryony has been the top person for so long... I never thought I’d be in this position

you have good and bad days. Most of the time she’s just my mum.” Wilson won her place after a threeway selection battle with Saskia Sills and Bryony Shaw, who won bronze at the Beijing games in 2008. “She has been the top person for so long and I never thought I’d be in this position,” says Wilson, somewhat shyly. Wilson, however, has been collecting big titles since her youth, her first at the age of 12 when she won the U15 Techno 293 World Championship. Her move

Above Reading the letter informing her of her Olympic selection

to Olympic-class windsurfer the RS:X came early, but she turned heads at her first big outing when she won the RS:X Youth Worlds title in 2014 in Clearwater, Canada – a moment she describes today as “massive”. “I’d only just moved into the class and I wasn’t really expecting to win. It was just me and my brother [aged 22, also a windsurfer]. It was my third time away without my mum and I was more worried about staying with the team than the racing. I still can’t believe I won – I did it on the last race.” In between, she got a taste of senior level – something she is always grateful for. “We went to the Santander Worlds in 2014. I was 15 and didn’t know what to expect. It was the hardest competition I’ve ever done. I was always about fifth from the back. You learn so much more in that situation than being in your age group and doing well all the time. The women’s level was so much higher. “Then you go back to youth level and you know how to get off the start line…you know so many things. “It’s important to do age group stuff as well – but just keep all the learning channels going.” The following year she took that experience and narrowly missed out on the Youth Worlds title to future Rio 2016

bronze medallist Stefania Elfutina of Russia. She came back to win consecutive Youth Worlds golds in 2016 and 2017. “I am not very good at sailing,” she says. “I started in an Oppie, but I was always too big and kept banging my head on the boom.” As we speak she’s been out on the water in Vilamoura, Portugal, with the rest of the British Sailing Team preparing for Tokyo. “We’ve had 25 knots and a bit of swimming,” she reports. “When it’s gusty it’s OK, but an average of 25 is pretty hard. “It’s a 30-minute race and you’re at your limit for the whole time. Then you get a 10-minute break and another two races. In the light winds it’s so physical because of the pumping. If it’s windy you’re trying to control a big sail. If you’re 60kg, it’s not the easiest task. All the girls are around that [weight]. I do two or three sessions a week in the gym but a lot more on the water. The best training is on the water. And it’s the most fun.” The waves at the Olympic venue of Enoshima, she says, can be “massive”. “You have to expect anything. It was pretty windy for the World Cup, but then the next time we were there it was very calm. It’s going to be tough, but I will put everything into it and see what happens.”

Yachts & Yachting March 2020

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FEATURE

40

SUSTAINABLE SAILING PART 2

Yachts & Yachting March 2020


“

PHOTO ISTOCK

FUTURE PROOFING

In the second part of our look at sustainable sailing, RUPERT HOLMES considers what sailors can do to minimise the impact of our sport

March 2020 Yachts & Yachting

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FEATURE

SUSTAINABLE SAILING PART 2

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Yachts & Yachting March 2020

PHOTO: MADELEINE WILD

A

ordinary sailors? The Green Blue initiative, run by the RYA and British Marine, has a huge amount of useful advice. This encompasses topics from preventing water pollution to wildlife/ habitat protection and engine efficiency. REUSE VS RECYCLING Recycling may be better than putting plastics into landfill, but it’s often more of a sticking plaster that a long-term solution – it’s far better to reuse materials as many times as possible. There’s a lot of plastic in sails, and race sails in particular get changed frequently. Don’t automatically bin them when you’re finished – or store them indefinitely in a loft, garage or container. Many dinghy and onedesign keelboat classes offer an excellent example of the benefits of passing sails on to less well funded teams in their fleet. Equally, owners who run cruising yachts on a budget are often tempted to buy (comparatively) well-shaped race

Above Marine environmental campaigner Emily Penn has led initiatives worldwide to help reduce plastic use Below left Hannah Mills launched The Big Plastic Pledge

specification sails and reinforce them to extend their lifespan. In any case, even the most badly damaged sails still tend to have a lot of good material. This can be cut out for awnings, covers, bags and so on. Many clubs around the country are plagued by abandoned boats, whose disposal presents a headache. This is a growing concern within the whole marine industry and there are a few operators, such as Portsmouth-based Boatbreakers, which aim to ensure as many elements of the boat as possible are recycled. However, there are also many opportunities for reusing old boats. In addition to their well-publicised Project Scaramouche Rolex Fastnet Race and Etchells campaigns, London inner city state school Greig City Academy’s enthusiastic pupils have restored a host of abandoned boats, from Toppers to 26ft (7.9m) keelboats for their own use. There are also a couple of initiatives to move suitable boats on to countries that

PHOTO: NICK DEMPSEY/RYA

s competitive sailors we have an unusual and close relationship with the natural environment. We’re far more likely than most people to have been exposed to the scale of many of the problems facing the planet, thanks to the number of high-profile campaigns within our sport. These include Turn the Tide on Plastic in the last Volvo Ocean Race, 11th Hour Racing, or Emily Penn’s current eXXpedition circumnavigation. While few of us are granted the opportunity to make a grand stand on the world stage, most of us have the power to collectively help drive important change in the various communities we inhabit – and in a few cases, circumstances conspire to give us a bigger platform. Appalled by huge piles of discarded single-use plastic encountered in the water during the 2016 Rio Olympic cycle, sailor Hannah Mills was shocked into action.“For almost two decades I have noticed plastic in the oceans,” she says, “but it didn’t resonate with me how bad the problem was getting until the Rio 2016 Olympic cycle. I witnessed first hand the devastating effects of plastic pollution on our oceans and planet. Every beach, marina and coastal area we visited… was affected and damaged beyond belief.” This led to her jointly establishing the Big Plastic Pledge, an initiative to eradicate single-use plastic across the whole sporting world. “So much of it was single-use plastic. It was something I couldn’t ignore anymore, I had to act.” Of course, eschewing plastic water bottles alone won’t save the planet, but it’s one of many essential steps we need to take quickly and is easily achieved. Mills also points out that the ripple effect we can create as individuals can build a powerful momentum. “With one person changing their habits, individually signalling to brands and policymakers our voice, the ripple effect can be huge. The actions you take matter and without you, and the next person, and the next, we are nothing. If a whole sporting community changes its habits and shouts loudly, then… we can create a tidal wave of change.” The Big Plastic Pledge asks those involved in sports of any type to make a minimum of three pledges from a menu of nine, including taking reusable water bottles, refusing single-use plastic packaging, and encouraging clubs and events to find alternatives to single-use plastic. What else can individuals do as

yachtsandyachting.co.uk


PHOTO: ISTOCK

don’t have a long history of sailing as a participation sport. This can be a very good way to give these craft a second life, while helping emerging countries develop the grassroots sailing scene that’s needed if sailing is to remain an Olympic sport.

PHOTO: ISTOCK

PROBLEMS WITH WETSUITS Conventional neoprene is an oilbased synthetic rubber that will never biodegrade, is hugely energy intensive to produce, and can create an allergic reaction. However, the biggest fundamental change in wetsuit technology since their advent in the 1950s is under way, with several innovative companies developing more sustainable alternatives. Patagonia, which has its roots in mountain gear, looked for a more sustainable solution when developing its first wetsuit range in 2005. This used acetylene derived from limestone, instead of petroleum-based material, plus an inner merino wool lining to provide

additional warmth, while reducing the amount of neoprene needed. The company saw this as a first step and three years later teamed up with natural rubber specialist Yulex to identify a sustainable way to source that material. This resulted in a new 2012 range using rubber from guayule trees. This was a big step forward, but was in some ways a second-best, given the best natural rubber comes from hevea trees. However, there was a barrier in that Patagonia says less than one per cent of hevea trees are in certified sources, with much of the rest responsible for depletion of rainforests. Eventually, Yulex found a source of hevea certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council and Rainforest Alliance. The raw latex tapped from the trees is refined to remove 99 per cent of impurities, including those responsible for allergies. This material, which reduces the CO2 emissions associated with wetsuit production by around 80 per cent, has been used for Patagonia’s Yulex wetsuit range since 2016. The following year, young ecofriendly French outdoor clothing company Picture launched its first wetsuit range. This, too, uses rubber sourced from hevea trees, in this case processed into fabric called NaturalPrene by Taiwanese company Sheico. It’s also certified by the FSC and Rainforest Alliance. Recycled plastics are used wherever possible for polyester linings, while traditional glues are replaced with water-based alternatives. Last year Picture launched a parallel range, EicoPrene, in which 30 per cent of the material

Below right The Zhik ECO Wetsuit, made from sustainable materials and recycled plastics

is from recycled tyres. Billabong has also taken this approach, in tandem with a limestone-derived neoprene. Zhik took a different path to a more sustainable wetsuit when creating a new 2mm neoprene-free foam for its ECO Wetsuit, which was launched last year. This is made from sustainable plantbased materials and recycled plastics. It has a recycled soft fleece lining and benefits from a much higher degree of stretch than conventional neoprene wetsuits, which improves comfort and ease of movement. The company’s ZhikTex II abrasion-resistant fabric gives extra protection in high-wear areas. Rooster has also just launched a non-neoprene wetsuit, aimed at those who suffer from neoprene allergies. The Exofleece is made of a nylonbased fabric, with a PU membrane and brushed fleece lining. It’s lighter, more breathable, more flexible and more water-repellent than a standard wetsuit. This trend for more sustainable wetsuits is set to accelerate, with more companies joining in, so when buying new kit it’s worth checking out the latest options.

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SUSTAINABLE SAILING PART 2

INVASIVE SPECIES Non-native marine life is a major threat to biodiversity, which is an important element in the resilience of ecosystems to potential disasters. Yet it’s all too easy to inadvertently transport a species from one location to another when moving a boat between events or other destinations. For instance, the Pacific native oyster is taking over in the Yealm estuary in south Devon, displacing many other forms of marine life. The level of the threat arises partly because many species hitch a lift when at a larval stage of their life and are therefore not easily detected. Most dinghy sailors are familiar with long-running campaigns urging them to check for any plant or animal material on their boats, then wash the boat, equipment and clothing after use, and allow it to dry. Yet, not all comply, despite it only taking a few minutes to do so. This is particularly important when transporting a boat to open meetings and championships in different locations. The more distant the venue, the more important this is. The same applies when moving from salt water to fresh and vice versa. The problem is arguably even greater for sea-going vessels, where larvae can inhabit the fouling that grows on the underwater surfaces of a yacht, or in the ballast tanks of ships. At the same time, there has been a long-standing trend to restrict the types of biocide and other noxious substances in antifouling. It can be argued that this makes sense in terms of reducing the build-up of poisonous substances in areas where a large number of yachts are moored. However, this makes protecting against invasive species a tougher task. Nevertheless, a number of companies have been working on novel solutions to create effective alternatives to antifouling, without relying on biocides as in the past. One of these is Hempel’s Silic One, which the company describes as being its “most efficient antifouling solution”, yet it contains neither biocide nor copper. Instead, the coating is based on silicone and hydrogel, which gives the surface water-like properties. This makes it difficult for organisms to attach to the hull and easy for them to be swept off when the boat is moving at speeds above 7-8 knots. Costs are higher than conventional antifouling in the first year, but reduce substantially in years two and three. A number of companies are pursuing the more radical route of vinyl wrap-style antifouling products. These, again, tend to rely on a silicone fouling release layer that is difficult for marine life to adhere

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PHOTO: COWES WEEK

FEATURE

to. A number of the available products, including Renolit’s Dolphin S and MacTac’s MacGlide, were originally developed for ships and workboats – applications in which they are now well-proven. Upfront costs are higher than for conventional antifouling, but these can be amortised over the typical five-year life of the system. A more established product is also worthy of mention here. Coppercoat is formed of tiny particles of copper suspended in epoxy and has the potential to work for a decade without replacement. The hull needs more regular cleaning than one with conventional antifouling, but avoids the need to apply – and then dispose of – a build-up of a couple of coats of antifoul each year. A further benefit is that the erosion of Coppercoat when in use – a measure of the amount of the product that is ‘sloughed’ off into the water – is only seven per cent of that of some conventional antifouling. EVENT ORGANISERS’ ROLE Event organisers can also play an important role. For the past two editions, Cowes Week has had a drive to eliminate bottled water from the event, with help from communications sponsor AQL. Over the past 18 months the refill

Above Refill stations for reusable bottles are part of a drive by Cowes Week to eliminate single-use plastics

stations for reusable bottles in Cowes town have dispensed more than 8.6 tonnes of water, representing a mammoth ongoing saving of single-use plastic bottles. The event has signed up to the Sailors for the Sea ‘Clean Regattas Programme’ and achieved Silver Level status. It also works closely with The Green Blue and has signed up with the Clean Seas campaign – Turn the Tide on Plastic. In addition the Cowes Week offices have switched to a sustainably sourced electricity provider and have a comprehensive recycling programme. The St Maarten Heineken Regatta was an early leader in this respect, becoming the first ‘Clean Regatta’ in the Caribbean and working with Sailors for the Sea back in 2009. If key events on your calendar aren’t already pursuing similar programmes, then pressurise them. The Green Blue’s website also has a section dedicated to what clubs, class associations and training centres can do to help, including guidelines for running a sustainable event.

FOR MORE INFORMATION 11thhourracing.org bigplasticpledge.com boatbreakers.com coppercoat.com emilypenn.co.uk/exxpedition greigcityacademy.co.uk/434/sailing-club hempel.com macglide.eu patagonia.com picture-organic-clothing.com renolit-maritime.com roostersailing.com thegreenblue.org.uk yulex.com zhik.com

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WORLD SAILING

PHOTO: TOM ROBERTS

FEATURE

CHOPPY WATERS Despite criticism of World Sailing in recent years, its president Kim Andersen is determined to see his changes through and intends to stand again, hears ROB KOTHE

F

or quite some time, you could say, World Sailing, the sport’s governing body, has been navigating difficult waters. The organisation has found itself under fire from sections of the sailing community over a series of issues, including decisions regarding Olympic equipment and Olympic events, and over the handling of World Sailing’s own finances. There have been high level changes in personnel and World Sailing (WS) is currently looking for a new CEO after Andy Hunt stepped down last autumn. We have interviewed World Sailing’s president Kim Andersen before in Yachts & Yachting but we caught up with him again at the Yachting Racing Forum in Bilbao, Spain, late last year. This annual event is a series of talks and debates between some of the most respected names in sailing. Andersen’s 30-minute talk at the event outlined WS’s many successes since he took over the presidency from Carlo Croce in 2016. Unusually for the Yacht Racing Forum,

afterwards no one seemed to want to challenge Andersen’s upbeat presentation, but concerns had not gone away and questions remained. The president of World Sailing was happy to sit down with us after the event to talk through some of the issues that have made the headlines. FINANCE AND GOVERNANCE In 2014, Carlo Croce, the president of what was then then ISAF (which became World Sailing in November 2015), announced a €5 million sponsorship agreement with Russian gas giant Gazprom. This was expected to bring €1 million annually into WS coffers. Two years later, in 2016, it was announced that sailing’s Olympic income would be £11.8 million. This would be WS’s primary funding vehicle through to 2020. Meanwhile additional sponsorship deals had been negotiated, announced by CEO Andy Hunt, and things were looking financially rosy. But there were choppy waters ahead.

Above Kim Andersen addresses World Sailing’s AGM in Bermuda last autumn

Most controversial for some observers was WS’s move from Southampton, where it had been headquartered in a functional office by the Red Jet ferry terminal, to central London. When we first interviewed Andersen in his new role as WS President in January 2017, he made it clear that a relocation had not been on his priority list. However, he discovered that WS had no long-term plans for when the lease on the Southampton building expired. The building’s owners wanted to redevelop and a decision was quickly forced upon Andersen and his new board. In the running for new office sites were Southampton, Geneva, Lausanne, London, Winchester, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, all of them sailing hubs and/or easy to get to for an international clientele. After reviewing all offers, the WS board decided on a relocation to London, a decision taken in part given the time available before WS would have to leave the HQ in Southampton. In total the relocation, including office fit-out and new

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IT facilities, cost more than £1 million. At the 2017 WS Council meeting, CEO Hunt, in response to a question from an MNA (World Sailing speak for ‘member country’), estimated the London rent would be £250,000 per year more than Southampton. The lease for was 10 years. There was undeniable logic in the move, but the costs saw WS come under fire from all sides. Worse was to come. Throughout 2017, Gazprom did not hold to its sponsorship agreement. WS held meetings with Gazprom executives to ensure that payment which was allocated to projects, including the Emerging Nations Programme for development, would receive the sponsorship money that had already been invested in programmes for that year. Gazprom exercised its right to terminate its WS sponsorship at the end of 2017, a loss of income of £3 million for the four-year cycle. Meanwhile, other sponsorship income was below the forecasts made by the previous WS Board. In 2017, the WS budget overran by £4.4 million, in 2018 by £4 million and in 2019 it was forecast to be £2.4 million over. Changes were on the horizon. Chief commercial officer Hugh Chambers resigned in September 2018. The previous week, the technical and offshore director Carlos de Beltan had also resigned for unrelated reasons. It was a tense time. Among opponents, there was a

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feeling that World Sailing was out of touch with sailing itself. It was said that neither Chambers nor CEO Hunt were competitive sailors and an unofficial lobby group grew up to ‘return World Sailing’s governance to sailors’. A year later, in September 2019, Hunt told the board that he too was resigning. At the 2019 WS annual conference in Bermuda, a more conservative approach to budgeting was proposed, with the removal of yet unsigned sponsorship contracts from the body’s accounts. To provide WS and its member countries (MNAs) with continued development services, vice-president Jan Dawson detailed a plan which would involve borrowing against an amount of £1.3 million of future Olympic income (due around September 2020), a practice that is done by many international organisations. Dawson told the council that a stringent cost-cutting campaign had been put in place in 2019 and better financial times were ahead. So to Bilbao and the Yacht Racing Forum, where Andersen was the first ISAF or WS president to attend. Reflecting on previous events, he said: “Relocation planning could have been done better, but the move itself increased the staff talent pool and made the office more internationally accessible, allowing for better positioning for presentation to new high-end sponsors.”

RICHARD LANGDON/SAILING ENERGY/WORLDSAILING

It often seems that 90% of our efforts are Olympic-related, but sailing is so much more than that

Above Tokyo 2020 will be the Finn’s Olympic swan song Below Andersen wants future events, including the Olympics, to showcase the sport’s range and diversity

Furthermore, he said while the costs of the move to London were high, they were less than a move to any of the other proposed cities, including Monaco or Lausanne, places suggested by some critics. Andersen was keen to stress that good governance and transparency, key points of his manifesto when he was elected, remained among his priorities. But he was clearly frustrated by the WS decision-making process, over the last decade or more: “World Sailing should be run following a strategy agreed by the MNAs via the AGM, for say four to six years, and we should have a process in place to make sure we are facilitating that strategy and prioritising it. “Currently, we are managed by submission to the council on a year-by-year basis, so we go right and left depending on votes, without reference to the already agreed overall strategy and budget. “We have changed and invested a lot in the sport over the last three years in the existing structure. However, there is still more to do. 94% of the MNAs say that we need major governance reforms, and 68% of them are saying what we have currently is not working. I could not agree more – that is precisely why we need to progress with the current governance reforms.” He continued: “Overall, as an organisation, we are very Eurocentric. Of course, we are also influenced by the USA, by Australia, by New Zealand and elsewhere. But we are not good at


Below Andersen was a world-class sailor before his career in the bureaucratic side of the sport

So how are the reforms progressing? The WS council voted in favour of changes two years ago. New proposals were introduced but have been voted down initially. “In the debate on the proposal at the recent AGM, most speakers were in favour of the proposals, yet the vote was lost,” said Andersen. “We know that 20 of the 59 votes cast, or 33%, were against accepting the proposal, while some MNAs were saying that they did not have enough time to study the changes in detail.” Following feedback from those MNAs, an Extraordinary General Meeting will be held in April to discuss and approve a revised governance reform. Now in the crucial Olympic year, Andersen is all too aware that the IOC’s allocation of Olympic revenue is a numbers game based on TV audience figures. During the 2016 Games, sailing attracted similar audiences to canoeing, ALL CONFERENCE PHOTOS: TOM ROBERTS

engaging with our full membership. We have 144 members and the new governance proposal is designed to engage with every one of them. “There seem to be some concerns from the smaller nations, as they seem to be against it, but we are listening to them and getting more feedback to understand their concerns better. The plan is to revise and move forward so that we can implement a good governance structure that best addresses the need of all our members.” Andersen said he wanted to “remove the inefficient and ineffective submission process” under which WS decision-making labours. “The governance reforms ensure the people appointed have the necessary skills and expertise for their role. “They create a process that creates sufficient time, before decisions are reached, for research, consultation with stakeholders and assessment of the implications, which may be time, money, resources and the impact on other aspects of WS.” He acknowledged that one criticism of WS is that it is very Olympicfocused. “It often seems that 90% of our efforts are Olympic related, yet sailing is so much more and we should be equally focused on participation and development across our sport, and this governance reform will achieve that. We will have one council dealing with the Olympics and another council dealing with participation and development.”

equestrian events, fencing, handball and hockey and as a result was allocated US$14 million. More popular mid-tier sports including archery, badminton, boxing, judo, rowing, shooting, table tennis and weightlifting received more. Andersen comments: “One way that we are expanding our audience is through World Sailing’s media outreach. Across all our [media] platforms, the audience growth from 2016 to 2019 has been impressive.” He quotes Facebook views increasing by 1.5 million in two years and World Sailing videos attracting 8.1 million views online. The second year of the eSailing World Championship now has 1.4 million players, which Andersen expects to grow rapidly this year. He says: “We have sailors, MNAs, classes and event organisers fully engaged with the core principles of the eSailing platform and its values, which is providing brilliant global exposure. “We have exciting plans for 2020 and for maintaining the leadership role that we are playing in simulation eSports within the Olympic movement.” Of the coming Olympics and sailing’s television exposure, he says: “We’re working hard to engage Olympic Rights Holding Broadcasters ahead of Tokyo 2020 to ensure sailing is in a good position ahead of the Games.” PARIS 2024 Another slice of the ire against WS has come following decisions regarding the events and equipment chosen for the Paris 2024 Olympics. After a magnificent history as an Olympic class, the Finn has been lost. Meanwhile kite-boarding is in, and there is a new event, called the Mixed Double-handed Offshore Class, for a woman and a man crewing a small yacht over a 24 or 48 hour offshore race. Andersen is a staunch defender of the decisions made: “We have kiteboarding, foiling windsurfing, single and doublehanded dinghies, skiffs, foiling cats and an offshore keelboat. This line-up will showcase our great sport, and its development, in the best possible way in Paris. What is unique about this line-up is that we will see more nations participating in Olympic qualifiers than ever before.” World Sailing has recently published a major report into women in sailing and Andersen is keen to turn the report’s recommendations into action at professional and grass roots level. “Gender equity is a straightforward issue,” he says. “Society at large has become much more gender balanced. If we are not doing the

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The new mixed offshore class will allow heavier young guys and lightweight girls to participate same, we risk isolating one gender, and our sport will suffer. The most significant change is the Mixed Double-handed Offshore class [MDHOS]. We have embraced one of the most significant parts of our sport [yacht racing], which has been up to now not represented.” The new class has its doubters, who ask what will happen to the bold claims of exciting 24-hour television coverage if the fickle winds off Marseille depart at the wrong time. However, Andersen is adamant, given the experience of leading offshore races and the virtual engagement, that the discipline will attract a bigger audience than Olympic sailing has seen before. Sensitive to criticism over the Finn class decision, Andersen said: “MDHOS will allow heavier young guys to participate and lightweight girls; remember that young women worldwide have an average weight closer to 50kg than 55kg.

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“No one thought that was a problem for the last 30 years.” He dismissed concerns that some countries will not be able to assemble appropriate one-design fleets, saying that “MDHOS sailing can be done at country and regional level with IRC handicap racing boats, rather than identical one-designs”. The time deadlines mean that the Olympic athletes selected for each country will probably be known before the MDHOS boat is announced. The WS council can choose to name an existing production boat, built to tight specifications, and then 12 to 15 new boats would need to be constructed, commissioned and

Above Last year’s AGM in Bermuda saw major changes proposed Below Among recent initiatives is the launch of the World Sailing Trust, aiming to encourage participation and protect the seas

be in Marseille inside seven months. Andersen expects people who have ordered production boats will be happy to have their boats used at the Olympics in return for a discount, free sails or equipment. This is what sometimes happens with one-person dinghies where equipment is supplied. In the meantime, Andersen is delighted to see the explosion of shorthanded sailing worldwide, a development to which the new mixed offshore class has undoubtedly given substantial impetus. LOOKING AHEAD It was a surprise to some when Andersen was selected as replacement for Croce as WS president in November 2016. He was a senior business figure in Denmark and an experienced sailor, having represented the country at 20 world and European championships. He was already heavily involved in WS affairs, having chaired the Equipment committee among other roles. Looking back at his key objectives then – urgent changes to improve WS’s governance and transparency, and action to keep sailing in the Olympics by increasing gender parity and growing its global audience – few could argue with the progress achieved in Andersen’s term of office, despite the criticism of some WS decisions in that time. Will he stand again? The Dane smiled: “That depends a lot on where we get to with the governance reform. I believe that our sport and WS has a lot to give. We have made a lot of changes which need to be implemented long-term, and I believe that I am the right leader to make sure that it all gets done and that we continue to invest in the future. “Unfortunately, in these political environments, you cannot make changes as fast as you would like, but I intend to stand again to see the changes through.”

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Catch the Harken team at the RYA Dinghy Show, Stand B50 29 February - 1 March, 2020

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FEATURE

MOTH WORLDS

SLINGSBY PINS THE MOTHS The Moth Worlds always attracts the very best sailors. This year among them was Tom Slingsby, who’d never won the event before. ROB KOTHE tells the story

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PHOTOS © MARTINA ORSINI

March 2020 Yachts & Yachting

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MOTH WORLDS

T

he 2019 Moth Worlds in Perth finished on 18 December. They were dominated by one of the most talented sailors around, Australian Tom Slingsby – Laser Olympic gold medallist, America’s Cup winning tactician and SailGP winning skipper. But the Moth worlds, which has been won by some of the greatest sailors alive, had until this point eluded Slingo. No surprise, then, as we caught up with him before the event, to hear he was taking things seriously: “I like to think of the Moth Worlds as a kind of mini America’s Cup campaign. “You choose your boat design, then you can have different types of foils, sails, masts and rigs, and you blend your mix and try and get the best package on the water and go racing. “There are a lot of very competitive boats now. First, it was the Mach 2, then it switched to the Exocet, but now it’s quite open. I went with an Exocet hull and foils; North Sails – I’ve done a lot of work developing their sails, and I am delighted with them; and CST rigs. And I hope my package will be as quick as the other guys. “The Bieker boat, designed by Paul Bieker and Scott Babbage, was moving very quickly in training. So, too, was Kyle Langford, Slingsby’s countryman and fellow SailGP teammate, also sailing a Bieker. Slingsby said: “He is very fast in a straight line, but he has to improve his boat handling.” Slingsby wasn’t shy about assessing the other contenders. Australian Tom Burton, who was Rio Olympic Laser gold medallist and is 2019 Laser World Champion, had just missed out on Tokyo Australian

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sailing team selection, and instead was focussing on the Moth Worlds, “having a charge for the pointy end”. Burton has a six-year-old Mach 2.0 hull and Slingsby admitted “he has some speed, too, because he has the latest-designed foils and spars and sails. ‘TB’ has better boat handling, but I have a little bit on him upwind, so it’s very close.” Slingsby also mentioned Francesco Bruni, a member of the Italian Luna Ross America’s Cup team who won against a fleet of 90 Moths at Foiling Week on Lake Garda earlier in the year. He was also second in the last worlds in a Manta boat. Volvo Ocean Race winner Rob Greenhalgh was also in Perth, in an Exocet and Slingsby nodded to him as well: “All these guys are possible.” For his part, Burton said: “In the 2017 worlds on Lake Garda, I was 13th out of a record 240, with limited preparation. I have an old Mach 2 hull, but much of the best gear – CST spars, Swift foils, excellent sails. The speed of

Above left Winner Tom Slingsby Above The final race underway Below Competitors and boats gather before the race

development with the Moths has been very fast, and I won’t have the new Mach 2.5 curved wing bar upgrade, which gives more height, on my limited budget. Other things – foils, deck sweeping sails, spars – have come first. “I think Slingo is the fastest Moth sailor in Australia, just ahead of Scott Babbage.” The Perth Worlds clashed with a period of intense America’s Cup AC75 development time. Among those who were not there were Paul Goodison, the

yachtsandyachting.co.uk


PHOTOS © MARTINA ORSINI

Laser Olympic gold medallist in 2008 and Moth World Champion 20162018, and 2015 World Champion Peter Burling. There were other potential Moth-ites not present, all busy with their AC75s in the USA, UK, Italy and NZ. At the same time, during the necessary pre-event training time, the Nacra 17 and 49er Worlds in Auckland prevented Dylan Fletcher (2019 UK National Moth Champion) and Nathan Outteridge (2011 and 2014 World Champion) from competing. In that context, Britain’s Chris Rashley (four times Moth European Champion 2011-2014 and five times worlds top 10 finisher) gave a pre-event perspective. He was second in Hayling Island behind Outteridge in 2014, and behind Goodison in Japan in 2016. Rashley coached Dylan Fletcher to his UK Nationals win in 2019, and Fletcher wants win in his Weymouth home waters when the Moth worlds comes to the UK in 2020. Still, there was a clash between Perth and the 2019 49er Worlds, and Fletcher was already selected for Tokyo 2020 alongside Stu Bithell, his obvious priority. Of the Australian sailors, Rashley said: “I was leaning towards Burton

because of his current Laser background and that translates as 10-15 years of hiking experience. “The reason Goodison won in Garda was he out-hiked the non-Laser sailors. The amount of extra riding moment they get is very impressive. It depends on conditions. Slingsby could be too heavy.” Looking ahead to the Moth

Below Brit James Phare sailing Neural Alpha

Worlds in September 2020 in Weymouth, he said: “That will be a huge event for us. I will be working with Dylan to try and make sure a Brit wins.” Now to the summertime furnace of Perth. Slingsby won the pre-Worlds, the Australian Nationals, under a blazing sun, but only on a countback from veteran Australian Scott Babbage, who since 2007 had taken two seconds and two thirds at the World Championships. The 2019 Chandler Macleod Moth World Championship took place at a flatwater river course at Mounts Bay Sailing Club, next to Royal Perth Yacht Club. It featured two windward-leeward courses, three to four races per day, six qualifying races, then a nine-race final series, with 122 boats split into two fleets. On day one, in the first race in his fleet, Slingsby was second to fellow Australian Matthew Chew, his only defeat for the championship. After that, it was all pickets for Slingsby. Tom Burton and Kyle Langford were picked up second and third, while their nearest competitors – Francesco Bruni (ITA), Brad Funk (USA) and Matthew Chew (AUS) – all had solid days as well, but were unable to get near the current SailGP champion helm. Funk said Slingsby was able to muscle his way into commanding leads off the start: “Every day is a little bit different, but Tommy [Slingsby] just puts the hammer down and has his race; then it’s between four other people for second through fifth.” Days two and three were the same. Slingsby was starting well in all races, hiking hard and stretching his legs from there to take three very comfortable race wins. Slingsby’s Australian SailGP teammate

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Kyle Langford was in second. He said: “I don’t think Slingo is unbeatable, but he’s just quick – he’s sailing well, he’s starting well, so I think the rest of us need to step it up to match him. “He’s got confidence in his boat handling and confidence in where he wants to be on the racecourse – I’d say that’s actually what he’s doing better than everyone else.” Burton was third overall, with Francesco Bruni fourth, Scott Babbage fifth and Matthew Chew sixth. Day four, the second day of finals racing, saw three more wins for Slingsby and saw him crowned the 2019 Moth World Champion with a day to spare, after one second place and 12 wins. Fist pumping as he approached the line, he celebrated by ditching into the water. Back in the boat park, Slingsby was pumped. He said: “‘It feels amazing to have won at last. The Moth class, I love it, I’ve been sailing since 2010. I’ve got so many good friends in the fleet. [Slingsby, along with Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, was part of Nathan Outteridge’s Moth squad when Outteridge won on Lake Macquarie in 2011.] “I love the development and playing with the boat. At heart, I am a Laser sailor, and I’ve come over to this. I just had good speed and I was starting well, and I was just trying not to explode the boat, which I’ve done a lot in the past. “I did a lot of training with a very strong Australian squad before this event, on Lake Macquarie. I had the right package of boat, sails and rig and I was off. I am brutal on the gear. I hike hard, coming from a Laser background, I pull everything on very hard. If it is going to make me go quicker, I will do

PHOTOS © MARTINA ORSINI

FEATURE

it, and I will deal with the keeping the boat together later. I was fortunate to have Simon Maguire and Maguire Boats helping me keep the Exocet together. “We had to pull it apart and fix a broken wing in the middle of the regatta a couple of days ago. I was quite worried after that, slowly loading it up – but as soon as I realised the boat was good to go, I pulled everything on and was not afraid to put it where I wanted on the start line. “We have a busy year ahead, but we are looking forward to having a strong squad in Weymouth in 2020.” There were much lighter conditions for the final-day battle between Kyle Langford and Tom Burton, separated by just a point. With Burton having a worse drop, Langford engaged his rival in some pre-start match racing. Both sailors dropped that race, improving Langford’s position by two points.

Above Sailing for Germany Franziska Maege in The Flying Unicorn Below left A victorious ‘Slingo’ with the championship cup

TOP TEN RESULTS 1

Tom Slingsby

14

AUS

2

Kyle Langford

28

AUS

3

Tom Burton

34

AUS

4

Scott Babbage

47

AUS

5

Francesco Bruni

52

ITA

6

Brad Funk

72

USA

7

Robert Greenhalgh

75

AUS

8

Matthew Chew

76

AUS

9

Thomas Johnson

104

AUS

10

Josh Mcknight

107.3

AUS

Moth World Championship, Weymouth 3-12 September 2020 internationalmoth.co.uk/moth-worlds-2020/

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Burton needed to win with Langford in sixth or worse to claim runner-up honours, but Langford managed to cross second behind Italian Francesco Bruni, with Burton third. Langford said: “I am happy to finish second. I didn’t have high expectations coming into this event, but managed to have some boat speed with the new Bieker Moth and Doyle sails, which were awesome. “Slingo out-sailed everyone – and good to see the guy I sit next to on the SailGP boat is still sharp! I had some terrific battles with Tom [Burton], with whom I did all my training. He reallly sharpened me up. “Compared to TB and Slingo, my hiking is rubbish. I looked over at them straight legged and shoulders back; next year I’ll be working on the hiking legs!” Burton was smiling. He said: “The secret to our Australian Laser success has always been the squad approach, it works time after time, and we did it again here in Perth. Kyle and I are both living on Lake Macquarie. We had solid Moth training time, and with Tommy and Scott Babbage joining in, we all pushed each other. Looking forward to the next one!” A final comment came from the top-placed Briton, Rob Greenhalgh, now sailing for Australia, but still with his Brighton accent: “Tom is sailing on a level above us. I think the Australian fleet in the last six months, working up to this event, has lifted the game – we need to find at least a half knot upwind. “We have only eight or so months to the Weymouth Worlds. I reckon we’ll see 150 boats, and it being post-Olympics and before America’s Cup commitments, it will be a fierce competition.”

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INTERNATIONAL 14

BOAT TEST

BANG UP TO DATE The International 14 has enjoyed several very different moments in the limelight over the past century. With a new version built by Ovington, it may be about to have another, says ANDY RICE 60

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J

ust as smart phones and sat nav make us stupid, so we lose something of ourselves when we sail in one designs. There, I’ve insulted you and most of the readership of Yachts and Yachting! To make the point a little more seriously, when racing a one design, by its very definition you’re forced to fit the mould, to weigh the right weight, and to live with the

PHOTOS IAN ROMAN

Left Andi Rice crews a new version of the International 14, more than 20 years after he first sailed in the class

equipment as supplied. The nice thing about one designs, of course, is that you buy the boat and it doesn’t go out of date. On the other hand, if you don’t like something, you can’t change it. Development classes like the International 14 are a different kettle of fish. You get to make technical choices in a bid to try to make the boat go a bit faster. Sometimes you might even happen across the ‘silver bullet’, a quantum leap in performance that

makes the boat significantly quicker. That’s a feeling you’re never going to experience sailing a Laser. Of course the upside of development is also its downside; as things move on, you might find that the new mast or sail that you bought is soon superseded. Or worse, if you break something at a championship, somebody else’s spare sail, rig or foil might not fit your boat. For many, particularly those for whom cash is tight, that can make a development class off-putting. It has been a long time since the International 14 attracted fleets in excess of 100 boats for its big championships. I was fortunate to race in those heady days back in the early 1990s, crewing for Will Henderson and Chris Sidey. I was already competing in what were considered quite racy boats for their time – the Fireball and the 470 – but the 14 in its new form quickly made those single-trapeze boats seem very middle of the road. Just as it has done many times over the course of its illustrious history, the International 14 found itself at the spearhead of exciting new

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INTERNATIONAL 14

BOAT TEST

developments for the time, with sailors such as myself eager to experience the unparalleled thrills of twin trapezes and asymmetric gennakers. However, the other important ingredient to the 14’s success was the Howlett 1B – a design built by Ovington Boats back when the late Dave Ovington himself was racing the 14, including winning the coveted Prince of Wales Trophy with Anne Ainsworth in 1987. For people who wanted all the excitement of the 14 without the development hassle, the Howlett 1B provided the easy answer, as well as propelling a number of sailors to victory at world championships, including Martin Jones/ Duncan McDonald in a shared win with Jon Turner/ Zeb Elliott (boatbuilder Turner racing his own Morrison design) in 1991, and then Ian Walker/ Chris Fox in 1993. Since then, a number of new onedesign skiffs have come along and stolen some of the 14’s twin-trapeze, asymmetric thunder, like the meteoric success of the Laser 5000, followed by the 49er and the RS800 (and many others that have long since disappeared). Numbers in the 14 inevitably dwindled, but there is a hardcore that will forever remain faithful to the 14. Among them are two veterans of the fleet, Martin Jones and Andy Fitzgerald (aka Fitz), who are still actively racing the boat some 40 years after they first set foot in a wooden, single-trapeze, conventionally spinnakered version of the 14. Why does someone like Fitz care so passionately about a 14ft (4.3m) boat? “It’s an amazing boat sailed by amazing people. The heritage of the class is immense – it has brought the sailing world so many developments, like the trapeze back in the 1930s, and we’re still developing today. But what I think we have lacked is an easy way into the fleet for anyone who’s not so technically minded.” Jones helped underwrite a project a few years ago to build a run of Bieker 6 designs, but teething problems with the

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PHOTOS IAN ROMAN

The 14 is always adapting, always changing, which is why it looks so bang up to date

Above Three of the new B6 mk2s have been delivered and three more are on order Below Right out, even in light winds – the 14 develops power quickly

boat meant it never really took hold. However, useful lessons were learned, not least by father and son duo Andy and Tom Partington, who went on to develop the boat and win the 14 Worlds in San Francisco in 2018. “One of the problems with the previous run of boats is that they weren’t holding the kind of rig tensions that we like to run, but the Partingtons had re-engineered their boat to cope with the loads,” says Jones.

So, with input from the Partingtons, not least Tom’s worlds-winning foil designs, the winning boat from San Francisco became the template for the new package, now called the B6 Mk2. With Jones having carried the previous project to try to launch an attractive one-design package, this time it was Fitz’s turn to pick up the ball and keep running with the idea. Following the untimely death of Dave Ovington in 2005, West Country

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boatbuilder Chris Turner took up the reins in Tynemouth and has since built on the Ovington legacy of delivering reliably fast and durable dinghies and sportsboats in many classes. However, Turner is another lifelong 14 fan and didn’t take much convincing by Fitz to take on the build of the new B6 Mk2. So far, three have been delivered, with another three on order. The first went to four-time World Champion Archie Massey back in June, with Fitz and Martin Jones purchasing the next two. I had raced a couple of seasons with Martin, in 2004 and 2005, sailing a new Bieker 4 design from Ovington, and Martin was keen to get me out in his new B6 Mk2. So, we met on a cold December’s day at Itchenor Sailing Club, the spiritual home of the 14. There was naff-all wind, but Martin and I were joined at the local pub by Fitz, along with fellow 14 aficionados Andy Shaw and Harvey Hillary, my old 49er crew from almost 20 years ago. Even our photographer and drone pilot, Ian Roman, was a top 14-er from those pioneering days of the twin trapeze back in the late 80s and early 90s. Quite apart from the prospect of going sailing in a new 14, it was great to catch up with old friends after so long. There is a special something about the class, which is why the 14 becomes such a lifelong passion. “The 14 attracts interesting people,” says Martin, who won his first Prince of Wales Trophy, the national championship, as a wideeyed 21-year-old from Tynemouth. “Working out how to make a 14ft boat go faster was a fascinating challenge for me then, and it still is today.”

Like many of us, however, Martin’s life is already busy with work and family commitments, and his hope with the B6 Mk2 was for it to be fast out of the box. So it has proven to be, with Martin and his stand-in crew for the weekend, Harvey, finishing second in the open meeting at Tynemouth on its first outing. “Racing the boat around Chichester Harbour against the others here, I copied Fitz’s rig settings and we haven’t changed them since,” says Martin. “You can feel the boat is fast.” Eventually the fog clears and a bit of breeze, not much, appears on the water. Andy and Harvey take the boat out first while I watch from on board the RIB with Fitz, Martin and Roman. The wind is barely a Force

Below The B6 mk2 is fast out of the box and well set up, ready to go

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BOAT TEST

PHOTOS IAN ROMAN

INTERNATIONAL 14

3 yet Andy and Harvey have dropped to the knots, twin-stringing and fully stretched. Ever since the T-foil rudder came in some 20 years ago, the 14 has been capable of developing an enormous amount of power in not very much wind. Fitz and Martin say recent championship performances indicate that the ideal weight range runs between 160kg and 195kg. Soon it’s my turn to step into the front of the boat, with Martin steering. The boat feels so light and responsive from the moment you get in. As I recall from more than a decade earlier, the double floor makes the boat feel very tippy when you’re stationary. Like a bicycle, the 14 starts to feel stable only when you’ve got flow over the rig and the foils, when the forces start to balance out. Getting back in the boat with Martin after a 15-year gap felt surprisingly easy – like riding a bike. Except we did fall over the handlebars. We hit the muddy edge of Chichester Harbour, and once we’d landed, found ourselves standing waist deep. The 14 has an impossibly long daggerboard, which makes it very vulnerable to groundings in a confined space, such as the upper reaches of

Chichester Harbour. Fortunately, the boat has been designed to cope, with a rubberised, replaceable backstop built into the daggerboard case. It’s that kind of attention to detail that makes the B6 Mk2 a joy to sail. Martin reports that even the rope lengths have been nigh-on perfect and he’s had to do almost nothing to the boat since taking delivery. It no doubt helps that working closely with Chris Turner in Weymouth is fellow boatbuilder and 2015 International 14 World Champion Sam Pascoe, who knows exactly what he’d want from a championship-winning boat. The layout is incredibly simple. The shrouds are not led up to the side of the boat as they have been on previous 14s I’ve sailed, but the forestay and shrouds are fully adjustable. Apparently, the square top rig is designed to be very automatic, with the primary depowering tools being to wang on the cunningham and raise the daggerboard. I wanted to play the mainsheet but, in truth, I probably didn’t need to. Not only has the 14 got faster since I last sailed it (about 12

WHAT THE 49ER SAILOR SAID

When Andy Fitzgerald offered British 49er squad sailors Jack Hawkins and Chris Thomas the use of his boat for the International 14 National Championship, Prince of Wales Week, the Cornish duo jumped at the chance. Hawkins, who with Thomas finished 16th at the 2019 49er Worlds, was an instant convert to the 14. “If I wasn’t campaigning the 49er, I would definitely consider the 14 class, and not just because of the boat itself, but because of the people involved. They work hard to make it a fun environment, and the event is amazing to be part of. I’ve always liked the development side of the sport and so that aspect of the 14 appeals to me. But what really blew me away is the acceleration. It’s so light, it really doesn’t take much to get the boat up to speed. I definitely hope to be back in the 14 some day.”

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Above The new boat has been designed with a wider transom for earlier planing

knots being the target upwind boat speed), but it has also become easier to sail. Easy to sail? No, but the B6 Mk2 is certainly one of the most wellbehaved 14s that I’ve experienced. It’s also fast, as proven by Archie Massey and Harvey Hillary who won the 14 Worlds in Australia recently with a scoreline of 1,2,1,1,2,5,2. After a run of four victories in his old Bieker 5, Massey had spent a few years sailing a Holman design. Yet Dan Holman and Alex Knight finished runners-up in Perth and won the last two heats of the championships. The problem for Massey was that the Holman hull didn’t provide the necessary lift to carry Massey’s 6ft 4in frame, whereas for the shorter, lighter Holman, the design works absolutely fine. According to Massey, the hull overall offered less buoyancy and rocker, making it great in flat water and wind. The B6 Mk2, however, has been given a wider transom to enable earlier planing, with a weight carrying capacity that came as an added bonus. The beauty of a development class is that you can adapt your boat around your strengths and weaknesses. Of course, Fitz is biased, but he’s probably right when he says: “The problem with one designs is you’re very limited in how you can update them, so inevitably they start to look old after a while. The 14 is always adapting, always changing, which is why the boat looks so bang up to date.” As the old 14 advert in Yachts & Yachting used to remind us: “Other boats may come and go but Fourteens are Forever.” £25K FOR A B6 MK2 You can buy an Ovington B6 Mk2 for £25,000 inc VAT. For this you get the all-carbon boat fully fitted out, roped up and ready to go, with a CST carbon mast and foils designed by Tom Partington. It’s the same package that has just won the 2020 World Championships, a no-excuse-to-lose option. The only thing you’ll need to add is a set of sails, with Fitz and Jones opting for Batt Sails as a local, home-grown supplier. If you want to do the finishing and fitout yourself, you can buy a moulded hull complete for £11,995 inc VAT. Or, if you really are in possession of the skills and the desire, you can buy a hull for £3,400 inc VAT, along with a moulded cockpit for £2,150 inc VAT. Considering a readyto-sail 505 or 49er costs in the region of £30,000, about the same as a new International Moth, the ready-to-go price for the B6 Mk2 looks very competitive with other high-performance dinghies.

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FEATURE

ATLANTIC ISLANDS

ATLANTIC ESCAPADE

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The Atlantic islands off the coast of north Africa and Portugal could be the ideal holiday destination for those with adventure in their blood, writes SUE PELLING

“

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FEATURE

ATLANTIC ISLANDS

T

THE AZORES The remote and off-the-beaten-track Azores volcanic archipelago, which lies 930 miles from Lisbon, Portugal, stretches 373 miles from Santa Maria to Corvo and is divided in three geographical groups: the Eastern Group (or Oriental), comprising Santa Maria and São Miguel; the Central Group – Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial; and the Western Group (or Occidental) of Corvo and Flores. Each of the nine islands is fairly unique, with volcanoes, caves, waterfalls, striking green valleys and UNESCO World Heritage sites to explore, such as the Historical Centre of Angra do Heroismo on the island of Terceira.

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Because the area is a popular hang-out for whales, dolphins and turtles, in terms of wildlife it is one of the most interesting Atlantic island groups to visit. In general, though, this beautiful, rugged and natural sailing area is more suited to experienced sailors because it gives plenty of scope for long-distance sailing in good winds that average Force 3-6. Nautilus has three bases in the Azores, located at Horta, Ponta Delgada and Velas, and offers bareboat and skippered charters, while Sail Zen – a local firm based on São Miguel island – offers by the berth or cabin, and private trips that cover all three groups of islands. André Branco at SailZen says they offer three different programmes too: “There are six-day sailing trips, 10-day sailing trips, and Azores Adventure sailing trips to choose from. All charters include two professional crew – captain and cook/stewardess. “For those with less experience, opt for an itinerary taking in the Central and Eastern Groups, which tend to have shorter distances between islands and a larger selection of wellsheltered anchorages and ports.” Given its location in the remote Atlantic the weather conditions in the winter can be extreme, which is why

Previous page The volcanic island of Graciosa, the Canaries

the Azores, unlike the other Atlantic Islands, are generally only open for charter business in the summer season. With the popularity of adventure-type sailing holidays increasing, however, SailZen has added an adventure boat to its fleet to provide an option for winter sailing. “We have just purchased an aluminium yacht, 50ft (15.2m) long with three double cabins and two spare bunks in the saloon, with the intention to sail between the Atlantic archipelagos during the winter time, delivering proper long-distance sailing experiences.” Archipelago Choice is based in the UK but offers skippered and bareboat charters in the Azores. For those with less experience, destination specialist Ian Coates suggests an Archipelago Choice charter from Faial: “I would recommend Central island sailing in the Azores between the islands of Faial, Pico and São Jorge because you get to visit three islands. There are also plenty of things to do, such as walking, cycling, whale watching, diving, canyoning or horse riding – ideal for the more active traveller.”

Above The islet of Vila Franca do Campo, off São Miguel Below A SailZen tour group

SAILZEN

he North Atlantic groups of islands off the coast of Africa and Portugal, including the Azores, the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde archipelago, are, by their very nature of location, generally considered challenging in terms of charter holiday destinations. However, for those with a bit of experience who are perhaps looking for an introduction to trade wind sailing, or who want to learn to sail while holidaying, this is a perfect option. The overarching advantage of most of these Atlantic groups of islands is that they offer year-round sun and are located just four or so hours south of the UK, which means it is possible to enjoy a fantastic holiday in a perfect climate any time of the year. The other huge benefit is that they are the same time zone as the UK, so you don’t waste precious holiday time acclimatising from jet lag. Pick up a flight from the UK and within a few hours you’ll be on board your charter yacht ready to set sail in this astonishingly beautiful part of the world. Because these islands act as a gateway for transatlantic crossing to places like the Caribbean, they have also become popular option for transatlantic race starts/stop-offs, with events like World Cruising Club’s Atlantic Rally for Cruisers departing from Gran Canaria (Canary Islands) to St Lucia every year. The location and climate are also among the reasons why the Atlantic islands are equally popular with sailing schools, with the Canary Islands in particular the chosen base for the likes of Endeavour Sailing and Sail the Canaries. Rubicon 3, which is based in Madeira, also offers sailing tuition holidays aboard one of its 60ft (18.3m) adventure yachts to the Azores.

CANARY ISLANDS The rugged, volcanic Spanish Canary Islands, 70 miles off the coast of West Africa, offer a year-round mild climate with an average of 19C in winter and 23C in summer. The northeast trade wind also makes sailing exciting, which means the islands are particularly popular for those with more experience. The Wind Acceleration Zones (WAZ) are something to be particularly aware of when sailing in this area. These are where wind funnels between the mountainous islands and can increase in strength dramatically, sometimes from 12kt to 30kt within minutes. For

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ALL PHOTOS ISTOCK EXCEPT WHERE SHOWN

offering RYA Sail Cruising Courses, from Start Sailing to Yachtmaster Ocean, both theory and practical. The company offers one-day courses – such as VHF, first aid, sea survival, diesel engine and radar – and can arrange mile-building opportunities. Stephanie Charlton, school principal at Lazarote-based Endeavour Sailing, says that although the company is predominately an RYA training school, charter holidays are an option. “We offer skippered charters and, for the summer, a lot of our business comes from family charters. To ensure we offer the right charter, we discuss the needs of the clients and what they are interested in doing/developing.” Chatting about the different islands and the conditions, Charlton continues: “Lanzarote is probably the easier of the islands for sailing

Above Mount Pico, as seen from Horta, the Azores Below Sailing around Lanzarote

RICHARD BENNETT

anyone wishing to gain experience for future bluewater sailing, a charter in the Canary Islands can be a good introduction to trade wind cruising. Given the fun conditions, it is not surprising the Canary Islands have become a hot spot for cruising sailors opting to leave their own yachts in the UK for winter sun sailing. For charter holidays it couldn’t be more convenient as the islands are well served with flights from the UK all year round. Among those charter companies serving the islands are Canary Sail, The Globe Sailor, Endeavour Sailing, and Nautilus Yachting, which offer plenty of opportunity to cruise the seven main Islands in this archipelago – Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera. The islands are all within a day’s sail of each other, and most marinas and harbours throughout have top-rated facilities. Nautilus offers year-round bareboat and skippered charter from Tenerife, and Lanzarote (the most easterly located island), both with direct flights from many UK regional airports, and operates charters from Saturday to Saturday. Laura La Roche, operations manager at Nautilus, says the Canary Islands are a great place for experienced sailors: “As it is Level 3, we would recommend this sailing destination to experienced family sailors with older children or teenagers due to the cruising area being in open Atlantic waters. Average winds range from Force 5-8 and the average distance covered on this holiday is 35nm a day; some days it can be up to 60nm.” Tuition holidays appear to be all the rage in this part of the world, with companies such as Endeavour Sailing

as we are not affected to the same extent by the wind acceleration zones. But head west from the lighthouse at Pechugera, you will always pick up wind, making it great for tailoring charters. “Lanzarote is also the most unspoilt of the Canary Islands, with many things to see and do ashore. The César Manrique Foundation has been instrumental in ensuring strict planning regulations. A lot of the tourist attractions were developed by César Manrique and are educational, as well as visually stunning.” For the more adventurous crew, Charlton recommends a trip down the east coast of Fuerteventura. “A sail to Gran Tarajal/Morro Jable and back is achievable in a week and offers some good downwind and upwind sailing. For the best beaches, head to Papagayo on the south of the island.” Canary Sail has bases on the unspoiled island of La Gomera and at San Miguel Marina, near Tenerife South Airport. The company offers year-round cruising and yacht charter, with a range of RYA practical and theory sailing courses in the exquisite waters of the western Canary Islands. Sail the Canaries sailing school, meanwhile, is based in the marina of Corralejo, at the northern tip of Fuerteventura, and is also open for business every week throughout the year. The main sailing area is to ports, marinas and anchorages on Lanzarote, and to the small island of Lobos, just off Fuerteventura. Like most sailing schools, Sail the Canaries offers skippered charter as an alternative to tuition. Commenting on the tuition format, school principal and owner Alex Moreham said: “We offer all RYA

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FEATURE

ATLANTIC ISLANDS

practical sailing and theory courses from Start Yachting to Yachtmaster Offshore for individuals, couples or family sailing holidays. We are one of the only schools to offer a six-day course with a maximum of four clients to the instructor. We also offer skippered charter for clients wishing to just sail around the Canaries with a qualified skipper.” Commenting on the conditions and recommendations for places to visit, Moreham says the sailing between Fuerteventura and Lanzarote is particularly good. “We have steady winds and reliable sea conditions, which makes it ideal. The anchorage on the little island just off Lobos is beautiful and we often stop for lunch at some point during the week for snorkelling. Corralejo, where we are based, is a wonderful town, with some incredible local restaurants and character. Fuerteventura is incredibly popular for water sports, as the wind and sea conditions are so good.” CAPE VERDE Like all the northern Atlantic groups of islands, the Portuguese Cape Verde Islands – located approximately 350 miles off the western coast of the

African continent, near Senegal – offer ideal sailing conditions for experienced and adventurous crews. The sailing area is vast, with a total of 15 islands to explore, and is an excellent choice for those looking to escape hordes of tourists. The easternmost point of the Cape Verde islands is Boa Vista (‘good view’), which offers over 50 miles of beaches and plenty of anchorages, including those in the protected bays of Sal Rei on the northwest coast. Although the number of charter companies that operate from Cape Verde is limited, there is still a healthy selection of charter companies and agents – such as Yachtico, Sailogy, Sailing Europe, and Yachting Lifestyle – that are worth investigating. One of the most interesting companies that specialises in Cape Verde charter holidays is Go West Sailing. This Scottish-based, RYA sailing school offers seven days’ sailing with a professional crew aboard a Bavaria 44, starting from Mindelo on São Vicente. The adventure takes around the islands of Brava, Fogo, Santiago

Above The peninsula of Jandia in the extreme south of Fuerteventura Below A secluded bay at Faja D’Agua on the island of Brava, Cape Verde

and São Nicolau before returning to Mindelo, giving guests plenty of time to explore and log some night hours, too. Flights from the UK are to Mindelo and are not included in the cost of the holiday, but the team in the UK office will advise. For the ultimate Cape Verde sailing adventure, take a look at options on offer at Classic Sailing. This highly respected Cornish-based company offers sailing holidays aboard tall ships and classic wooden boats. It has been in the business for over 22 years and rates the Cape Verdes as one of its most popular voyages. Although most of this year’s voyages around Cape Verde are fully booked at time of writing, there are still a few places remaining on 223ft (68m) four-masted schooner Santa Maria Manuela’ for its sailing and diving expedition in early December.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Azores Choice – azoreschoice.com Azoresailing – azoresailing.com Canary Sail – canarysail.com Classic Sailing – classic-sailing.co.uk Endeavour Sailing – endeavour-sailing.co.uk Go West Sailing – gowestsailing.com Nautilus – nautilusyachting.com Rubicon3 – rubicon3.co.uk Sail the Canaries – sailthecanaries.com Sailing Europe – sailingeurope.com Sailogy – sailogy.com SailZen – sailzen.net The Globe Sailor – theglobesailor.com Yachtico – yachtico.com Yachting Lifestyle – yachtinglifestyle.co.uk

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PRIVATE & GROUP SAILING COURSES March 2020 Yachts & Yachting

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KIT INNOVATIONS DIGITAL YACHT IAISTX CLASS B AIS TRANSPONDER This new Class B AIS transponder with a WiFi interface is designed as an installed solution for the growing number of sailors and boating enthusiasts using iPads and tablets for marine navigation. £504 digitalyacht.co.uk

KIT INNOVATIONS Our pick of the latest new products and best kit launches

NEIL PRYDE ELITE 3D CURVE DRYSUIT The zip on a conventional drysuit goes from the shoulder to the top of the thigh in a straight line. On the 3D Curve, the zip is pre-bent and curved around the waist which removes any restriction normally felt, especially when bending forward. £549.95 neilprydesailing.com

G-SHOCK GULFMASTER From its specialist Master of G range, Casio has introduced the G-SHOCK GULFMASTER Twin Sensor model. Engineered to withstand the rigours of maritime activity, it features a tide graph, digital compass, thermometer and moon phase graph. The advanced technological functionality of this watch is further complemented by 200m water resistance, a date and week calendar display and Super Illuminator LED Light function. £260 g-shock.co.uk

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SEASAFE ‘FASHION’ LIFEJACKET The unique I-Zip Leisure Lifejacket features a removable zipped front cover that can be washed, changed or updated to a different style. Sailors looking for something a bit different to the average lifejacket can choose from several designs, or use their own tailored creations. £99 Jacket (from) £27.50 Interchangeable cover (from) seasafe.co.uk

HELLY HANSEN AND THE AMERICA’S CUP American Magic asked Helly Hansen to kit the team out for the 36th America’s cup, and HH responded by creating what it says is the highest-performing sail racing kit the industry has ever seen. The all-new Foil Pro Series is built for speed and rough water sailing, using unique seam welding processes and technical fabrics. £TBC hellyhansen.com

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GILL BROADSANDS JACKET This is lightweight yet technical marine jacket that can take on the elements. Two-layer fabric construction comes with inbuilt waterproof and breathable technology, complemented by fully taped seams and a durable water-repellent finish. £145 gillmarine.com

RONSTAN RF4050 CLEAR START RACE TIMER

PAUL WYETH CALENDAR

Ronstan’s race timer and watches have been updated with bold new styling and improved functionality. Besides the fresh new look, they feature large buttons, easy to read displays and advanced intuitive programming designed specifically with the racing sailor in mind.  £81.95 sailboats.co.uk

Make a date with this A3 wall hanging calendar, illustrated with spectacular sailing scenes captured through the lens of Paul Wyeth, one of the sport’s best-known photographers. £16 plus p+p pwpictures.com

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH WATER BOTTLES 25 per cent of profits from the sale of these new water bottles will help Friends of The Earth to reduce plastic in the ocean, it is claimed. The bottle is stainless-steel, and resplendent with images helping show the harm plastic does to the marine environment. £19.99 leakproof.co.uk

MUSTO LPX JACKET FUZE WATER SHOE Also from Zhik, and designed to be used on or in the water, the strong, perforated mesh upper fabric allows breathability, quick drainage and is fast drying. Plus, a ‘one-way’ drainage system within the sole channels water from underfoot. £99.95 zhik.com

This new item from Musto is part of their updated LPX Gore-Tex range with improved technical features and new colours – including Brilliant Blue. The jacket has three-layer laminate construction and Aquaguard zip for wind and waterproofing, while the detachable hood has a stiffened peak to protect your face. £350 musto.com

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FEATURE

TECHNICAL RACE MANAGEMENT

RUNNING THE SHOW

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What happens out of sight determines whether a race is a well-oiled machine or a shambles. RUPERT HOLMES looks at race management systems and equipment

ALL PHOTOS © INGRID ABERY PHOTOGRAPHY

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TECHNICAL RACE MANAGEMENT

A

key difference between well-run events and those in which too many elements appear to be at risk of becoming a shambles is often in the systems behind the scenes and the equipment available to race officials. Anyone who has been responsible for running a regatta or series of races is familiar with the huge number of different tasks involved. Experienced race officers all have their favourite kit, though some items are almost ubiquitous, despite the wide variety of styles of racing and types of boat. Essential items include a hand-bearing compass and waterproof hand-held VHF radios. If racing on the sea, a tidal atlas and hand-held GPS that can be used reliably with wet, gloved hands are also needed. VHFs are used for communication with both competitors and other race officials, such as mark-laying boats. They are also an important safety item for liaising with coastguard and on-water rescue services. Given their importance, it’s worth carrying at least one spare VHF, and double-checking both charge properly after getting ashore after racing. A low-tech device used by many is a wind wand, consisting of a stick with a long streamer that can give a better feel of wind direction than simple observation or a conventional burgee. However, when anchored on a committee boat in tidal waters, it’s important to remember you’re not experiencing the same true wind as competitors. Nevertheless, even if you prefer more high-tech solutions, it’s good to have one in case systems go down.

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MARK LAYING Quick and efficient mark laying is a vital element of a well-run regatta, but the skill involved in relaying a mark in exactly the right place at the first attempt after a windshift, without delaying proceedings, is often unrecognised. To do the job efficiently, a compass, GPS, VHF and a race timer are the bare essentials. Mark boats, especially those at the windward mark, will also relay essential wind information to the race officer. Properly calibrated windspeed instruments are needed for this role. In tidal waters these need to be interfaced with a sensor that measures boat speed through the water in order to record the same true wind that competitors will experience – interfacing with GPS speed won’t give an accurate reading of true wind. Autonomous buoys are a great idea to minimise the time that’s usually

needed to relay marks. In an era in which it can be difficult to recruit suitably qualified and experienced volunteers for mark laying, it can also free up club members for other tasks, or reduce the number of duties a club member has to undertake each year. The MarkSetBot is a robotic selfpropelled racing mark developed by Kevin Morin. His aim was to enable a faster course set-up, with perfect placement of marks and effortless repositioning. The latter was particularly important, as his home

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With the reducing cost of technology this is becoming an ever more affordable option. Simon Lovesey of SailRacer – which has supplied trackers to some 10,000 races – says the benefits include increased interest and engagement among spectators, a coaching tool that enables competitors to analyse performance on all legs, and a vital safety function in poor weather or bad visibility.

club on Michigan’s Cass Lake has lots of windshifts, as well as areas that are too deep to anchor conventional buoys. Full production started two years ago and marks have been used at a number of clubs and events, most notably SailGP. CEO Russell Coutts has described it as being “brilliant technology [and] a revolutionary course-laying system using robotic technology”. This may initially appear to be an expensive option, but so is having at least two RIBs on the race course. Prices for the MarkSetBot start at $365 for a month’s hire, ranging through $4,995 for a second-hand unit to $6,995 for a new mark 3 model.

the-scenes functions that are a part of any event are understandably growing in popularity. There’s a vast array of software to help race teams input results while on the water and promulgate these to competitors. Most go beyond this basic functionality to help automate as many processes as possible. For example, Regatta Guru, run by Paul Miller, who lives in Sint Maarten during the winter and

ALL PHOTOS © INGRID ABERY PHOTOGRAPHY

GPS TRACKING

Cowes in the summer, has an automated function to produce a presenter’s script for prize-giving ceremonies. Most companies operating in this sphere are members of the Sailing Software Alliance, which aims to foster a collaborative approach to identifying best practices and worldclass services. The Alliance’s website is a trove of useful contacts. SailRacer is a system that will be familiar to many readers, having calculated some 1.3 million results notched up by 80,000 competitors across 5,000 events. It has been developed by UK-based IT professional and sailor Simon Lovesey to “minimise administrative effort by event organisers, achieve seamless integration between systems, promote standardisation and deliver value”. In addition to results calculations, it handles all aspects of online entry, including medical forms, online payment, sailor login and an email broadcast facility for communicating with participants. SailRacer can provide complete event websites, with official noticeboards, social media integration, news and press releases, plus a variety of login levels for different types of user. The company is also at the forefront of GPS tracking for dinghy and inshore racing (see boxout, inset left). Costs (excluding tracking options) are four per cent of entry fees, collected at the time of entering online, and £175 for a typical event website. Ian Sturland developed SailRace Systems as an automated race timer and management system for dinghy clubs. It will fire the horn system for the start sequence and record boat

SOFTWARE There’s a plethora of software available to help with race management. This varies from simple scoring programs, some of which are available for free, up to sophisticated systems that handle every aspect of running an event, from initial entry to menu choices for meals. In some straightforward cases, a well set-up spreadsheet can suffice for results, although it is important that it’s configured to correctly allow for the correct number of discards in a series. However, more feature-rich systems that can also manage the many behind-

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TECHNICAL RACE MANAGEMENT

finish times from the finish signal. The idea is to free up the race officer to maintain an overview of the racing, eliminating the need for additional volunteers, such as timekeepers. It’s available in two options, including Windows-based software, plus the control module of lights and horns for fixed start lines that have a sheltered start box. Alternatively, a toughened Mobile Race Box with an IP65-rated waterproof computer enables all the functions of the standard system, including entering results in real-time, to be carried out on an open committee boat. All race data can subsequently be exported in Excel and Access Word formats, or uploaded to Sailwave. Sailwave is a very popular free sailing results and scoring application for Windows that’s used by clubs across the UK and internationally. A raft of additional features span publishing to Word or HTML formats for club noticeboards and uploading to websites, promulgating news reports, and automatically sending handicap returns to the RYA. DutyMan, developed by Sailing Club Software, is an online system for managing volunteers and other personnel who have irregular club duties. It includes automated reminders, plus a dutyswapping facility. After a free 90-day trial the annual cost varies from £110 to £160, with a discount for RYA-affiliated clubs. The same outfit also offers SailEvent, which in addition to results calculations has cloud-based entry lists, plus a smartphone-based location system that enables race teams and spectators see where boats are and where they are heading. The Hal family of race software has three elements: a completely online web app to input and view results; a

PHOTOS © INGRID ABERY PHOTOGRAPHY

FEATURE

Windows application (the well-known Hal’s Race Results) for computing and storing results offline; and a website to which race results can be uploaded from the Windows application. HalSail is an online system that works in a similar manner to Hal’s Race Results, but with the interface via a web browser, therefore requiring an active internet connection. Hal’s Race Results is a free program and has the additional advantage that results can be printed for display on a club noticeboard. HalSail costs £80 per year, including the results archive service, with a subscription for the latter alone costing £50 annually. These modest and predictable costs mean the Dorset-based company’s products are used by a large number of clubs. Yacht Scoring is a complete webbased race and regatta management, administration and scoring system, with a long list of top-notch clients around the world. These range from model yachts and dinghies through Melges, Etchells and J/70 fleets, Caribbean regattas and the 2020

ORC/IRC World Championship. It’s intended as a fully integrated system that combines on-the-water race management with on-shore event management, from initial entry to catering arrangements. A comprehensive system for easily communicating with competitors via text message and email is also included, which simplifies tasks for delivering an efficiently run event. The downside is a higher cost of $10 per entry ($5 for junior or charity events). Nevertheless, it has many advocates, including UK Etchells Class captain David Franks, who says: “I particularly like the speedy entry and payment system, the easy circulation of race documents and the ability to see the results on your smartphone.” The best software for a specific club or fleet will depend on a number of different factors. For many, a simple system may be perfectly adequate, but if your organisers and volunteers are always stretched, it’s worth considering a system that helps to automate as many of the administrative functions as possible. Most offer a free trial period to test the systems.

FOR MORE INFO sailingclubsoftware.com halsraceresults.com marksetbot.com regattaguru.com sailracer.co.uk sailracesystems.com sailwave.com sailingsoftwarealliance.org weatherfile.com yachtscoring.com

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CLUBS & CLASSES

Submit your event reports to club@YachtsandYachting.co.uk

CLUBS CLASSES Iconic pursuits along with aptly named ‘frostbite’ opens have provided plenty of inspiration to keep hardcore racers busy over the darkest days of winter. Paula Irish reports

SPORTOGRAPHY.TV

Shotwick Lake Frostbite Series

420 team score Bloody Mary glory The 420 team of Dylan McPherson and Jack Lewis blew away the competition at the GJW Direct Bloody Mary in big breeze conditions that made London’s Queen Mary Reservoir a sea of colour, thrills and spills as sailors battled the gusty field of play. The 5th leg of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series at Queen Mary SC saw 288 entries representing 59 classes and 120 clubs, with the slowest boats starting at midday and Topper sailor Henry Koe leading from the first mark. It was 20 racing marks later at the end of the second lap when McPherson/Lewis took over the lead. In the high winds, topping 30 knots, this pair extended a commanding lead. In the hunt were Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge in

their 2000 and hot on their heels were former Fireball world champions DJ Edwards and Vyv Townend. However, the young 420 team held their nerve to hang on for a big victory. Fourth overall went to another 420 team, Callum DavidsonGuild and Szymon Matyjaszczuk, with 29er sailors Leo Wilkinson and Sam Jones in fifth, and the first lady helm prize going to Megan Farrer, also in a 420. Jez Entwistle, from event title sponsor GJW Direct, commented: “I was pleased to see so many youth sailors competing today – and holding their own against the adults – which is a great testament to the RYA youth programme and the UK dinghy sailing scene as a whole.”

BERNIE KAAKS

Brits dominate International 14 worlds Down Under

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Yachts & Yachting March 2020

Britain’s Archie Massey and Harvey Hillary on Zog secured the CST Composites i14 2020 Perth World Championship with a day to spare. After counting three race wins and two seconds, this was the fifth world title for Massey but the first for crew Hillary. Second overall were fellow Brits Daniel Holman and Alex Knight on Helly the Pelly, having broken their mast in the invitation race, pulled off an all-night repair job to be ready for the main event. Third overall was another British crew, Neale Jones and Ed Fitzgerald, on Scrumpet. Hosted by Perth Dinghy SC, the fleet comprised 66 entries from Australia, Britain, US, Canada, Italy and Japan. Brad Devine and Ian Furlong (AUS) finished fourth overall, while Lauren Laventure (CAN) took the Glass Doll Trophy as the highest placed female, finishing 22nd.

Shotwick Lake SC on the edge of the Dee estuary, just inside the Welsh border, is ideally located to get the best of any wind, whatever direction, which proved a great advantage for its Frostbite Series. Over six weeks with two races each Sunday, the 20+ entry handicap fleet was able to make the most of the very light winds that plagued much of the series until the very last day, when there was too much wind for most! Only Dave Thomas and Shan Stapley stayed upright to finish the final race, sailing their Enterprise with a reduced rig. Dave Turtle and Kieran sailing Miracle convincingly won the series with six first places, but even they failed to finish the final race and needed to be rescued from the far end of the lake. Paul Newman in his Streaker was second overall, just half a point ahead of Gordon Bennell and Evie making their debut in the RS200 fleet. First visitor was RS100 sailor Andy Todd (Chester/Bala) in seventh.

Portishead racing

The racing division of Portishead Cruising Club in the Bristol Channel competed in four series of seven races in 2019. The first victory for the King of the Road, off Portishead pier, saw J Star (J/80) holding their nerve to win by one point from Hero (One Tonner). The Cockburn Series, using the club’s Avonmouth start, was then dominated by Hullabaloo (J/92), which also won the in-parallel ‘with tide’ series. The Slipstream team had been using their time wisely, however, getting up to speed on their new boat Tsuru (Sunfast 32) to win the Autumn Series from Hero and Songline (Sigma 33).

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CLUBS & CLASSES

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

White’s F18 wins 4th Grafham Grand Prix in row The 39th edition of the Grafham Grand Prix hit its 200-boat entry limit for the second year running, with some great midwinter sailing conditions at the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series halfway point. In the 42-boat Fast Handicap, locals Dave White and Jon Sweet powered their Formula 18 catamaran to a fourth consecutive victory. In the Force 3 to 4 conditions of the first two heats, White and Sweet showed a clean pair of heels to the rest of the fleet. The wind then dropped slightly for the final race, enabling Michael Sims and Mark Lunn to come in first. With two races to count, White and Sweet took the win with John Tuckwell’s Nacra Carbon 20 second and the F18 of Paul and Mike Allen third.

The highest monohull, in fourth, was the RS800 of Robert Gullan/Mari Shepherd, just a point ahead of B14 team Mark Barnes/Josh Wilce. In the 74-boat Medium Handicap, Arran Holman’s D-Zero claimed the overall win by a point from the Osprey of Eden Hyland/Mark Hartley (Chase). Holman (Hollowell) came 17th on handicap in race one but got his act together to count a 3,1. Chris Haslam’s RS600 finished on equal points with the Osprey but lost out on the tie-break to finish third. In the 81-boat Slow Handicap last year’s SailJuice champions Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge sailed their 2000 impeccably for two victories, their fifth in the final race a mere formality.

29er Harken Inlands & Rutland GP

Ethan Davies, who won the series last year, got off to a flying start, winning both Asymmetric fleet races in their RS200, as did Cadet sailors Isobel Stewart and Tom Krailing in the Slow fleet. In the other fleets, there were different winners for each race, with the Fast fleet led by Ady Pells, Finn (Harwich Town), the Lasers by Ben Reason (Harwich Town), and the Medium fleet by Luke Farthing, OK (Waldringfield).

A record number of 65 29ers turned up to the class Rutland Grand Prix and inlands, but fog saw attentions shift from racing to reindeer antlers and Christmas jumpers. Following these festivities there much better day, with blue skies and a 15 knot breeze, which allowed four races (eight over two flights). The overall the points at the top of the leader board ended up very tight, with just two points separating first to fourth. The overall winners were Monique Vennis-Ozanne and John Mather on four points, with Sian Talbot/ Madeleine Bristow second overall and first girls on five points, Elodie Edwards/Ewan Wilson came in third on six points, and Sophie Dennis/Emma Wells in fourth on six points. The first juniors were Leo Wilkinson and Sam Jones in eighth.

Frostbite at Yorkshire Dales

A total of 61 boats contested the Frostbite Series at Yorkshire Dales SC. It was a close-fought battle – sometimes with the elements – the last race being called off because of a sudden snowstorm. Overall victory went to Mike Saul and Ollie Kent in an RS500, with the same points as father-and-son combo Richard and Bradley Green in their RS400, closely followed by Andrew Holdsworth in his Laser.

Alton Water Fox’s Chandlery & Anglian Water Frostbite

With Anglian Water now managing Alton Water Sports Centre, no-one was sure how this popular Frostbite Series would be organised – but with good teamwork, there were 60 entries for the nine-week series and 51 on the water for the first two races after the New Year. Waldringfield’s Stephen Videlo and

RS Elite Crabbers Nip Winter Series

Ossie Stewart and crew sailing RS Elite More T Vicar won Hayling Island SC’s Crabbers Nip Trophy for the second year running. Ossie originally presented the trophy (named after his house and awarded for Hayling Island’s open winter series for RS Elites) and takes it home for another year. Racing took place on Sundays in November and December, with

some races inevitably falling foul of the unpredictable weather. In the end five races were sailed and the results were extremely close. Second was Tom Hewitson, making a return to the RS Elite fleet and sailing Shaken not Stirred as guest helm, with third place going to Pete Copsey and crew sailing The Doctor. Both of these boats finished with five points, compared to More T Vicar’s four, and Shaken not Stirred gained second place on countback.

Leigh-on-Sea Brass Monkey

A brisk southeasterly for the Leigh-on-Sea SC Brass Monkey Trophy Race saw one Laser break its mast before the start and another boat deciding on reflection to give the gusts and cold a miss, leaving 22 entries to start cleanly with a flood tide keeping the line tidy. The Sprint 15 of Darren Fitchew (TBYC) quickly moved through the

Colin and Oli Murray successfully defended their grip on the Yorkshire Dales Brass Monkey after sailing their Norfolk Punt to victory in the third event of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series. It was a sold-out 100-boat entry for the Brass Monkey with lots of quality in the fleet, but the light airs and drizzly overcast conditions played to the strengths of the Murrays’ Norfolk Punt. Principal race officer Phil Whitehead made the best of a difficult southerly breeze and set a long, 1.7-mile course with lots of off-wind legs. Unfortunately the fickle breeze meant only one race could take place. On Great Lakes corrected time, the team from Invergordon Boating Club won by 61 seconds ahead of Wimbleball’s Simon Hawkes, up from the west country to compete in his K1 singlehanded keelboat, with Arran Holman’s D-Zero coming third. Hayling Island’s Jack Hopkins raced his Solo to fourth place, just ahead of Burghfield’s Nick Craig, who yet again proved his multi-class versatility by sailing his Hadron H2 to fifth overall. There were nine classes in the top 10, with the D-Zeros in third and 10th. Norfolk Punt aside, the only other trapeze boat in the top 10 was Josh Moran’s Musto Skiff from Ullswater.

TIM OLIN

TIM OLIN

Murrays mint another Monkey

Inaugural UKLA Sailingfast Youth Series proves popular The UKLA’s new Sailingfast Youth Series started in September and saw more than 150 youth sailors competing up to the end of the year, with 54 in the Laser 4.7s, 84 (50 boys/34 girls) in the Laser Radial and 18 in the Laser Standard. The top three 4.7 sailors separated by only three points, led by 15-year-old Jack Graham-Troll (Grafham) ahead of Thomas Williamson (Weir Wood) and Freddie Howarth (Parkstone). Carys Attwell (Rutland) was leading the girls from Alice Snook (HISC) and Leah Fidling (Leigh & Lowton).

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Leigh & Lowton SC Junior Winter Regatta

DAVID EBERLIN

The ever-popular Junior Winter Regatta at Leigh & Lowton SC drew in 40 entries from across northern England and Wales. With good winds of up to 15 knots, dropping as low as 6 knots by the end of the day, competitors had a range of conditions to play with over three races. The Handicap fleet was won by Henry Baylis (Rudyard) ahead of Noe Peckham (LLSC) and Jacob Knock (Port Dinorwic). Ffion Bailey (Port Dinorwic) claimed victory in the RS Teras with clubmate Jac Bailey second and Max Rawlinson (Roa Island) third. First overall in the Topper fleet went to Archie Burton (Beaver) with Henry Smith (West Riding) second ahead of Mary-Anne Beacock (Coniston). The Optimists were won by Ben Welfare from the home club. *The New Year’s Day Race at Leigh & Lowton SC also saw local Optimist sailor Ben Welfare victorious, leading the 40-strong fleet out for their 2 hour 50 minute marathon and maintaining his lead to the last to win both the Junior Trophy (Chris Leigh Memorial Trophy) and the New Year’s Day Overall Trophy.

First of the year at Notts County The First of the Year event at Notts County SC on New Year’s Day was cool with a light breeze and close racing for the 50+ entries from across the east Midlands. Locals Kevin Hope and Andy Stewart in their Fireball won the

Fowey Gallants Winter Series revival

GERARD VAN DEN HOEK

A revival of the Fowey Gallants SC Brass Monkey Trophy series saw 18 people sign up for nine races across a mix of conditions, from light winds, strong tides and heavy rain, to strong and gusty conditions, with perfect winds in between. The final race had to be abandoned and the eight races had five different winners in five different classes; small margins separated the top few overall.

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YVETTE GAMBLE

3rd RS Aero Worlds at Melbourne The third RS Aero World Championship at Black Rock YC, Melbourne, concluded with a blast in Port Phillip Bay – but no racing as the gusts exceeded 40 knots, leaving the day four results to stand after an 11-race series over a variety of conditions. Claiming the RS Aero 5 title was Sophie Jackson (AUS) with David Ellis (GBR) in second and Megan Ridgway (AUS) third. RS Aero 7 victory went to Rhett Gowans (AUS) ahead of Marc Jacobi (USA) with Noah Rees (GBR) completing the podium in third. Liam Willis (GBR) was RS Aero 9 world champion ahead of Derek Bottles (USA) and Keith Willis (GBR). The fleet is already looking ahead to the fourth RS Aero Worlds in August 2020, in Oregon.

Fast Fleet and overall by a small margin from the Slow Fleet winners in second overall, RS200 sailors Nigel and Diane Pepperdine (Staunton Harold). Another local, Jamie Mawson in his RS600, was third. Hope/

With only two points’ difference, Kim Furniss took first overall in his Sunfish and the Brass Monkey Trophy just ahead of Hans Wehmeyer in his Tasar. David Gamble’s Fusion was third and other awards went to: best junior, Elliot Toms (Aero); best lady helm, Sal Furniss (Sunfish); and best endeavour, Kay Barr (Topper). The club hopes it marks a return to sailing in Fowey during the ‘closed’ season.

Stewart won the Goeff Parker Memorial Trophy and the Pepperdines the Phil Davies Cup. The Juniors were won by Sam Grayton in a Topper. The event raised £300 split between the RNLI and Sailability.

fleet to take and maintain the overall lead, with the RS600 of Mike Izatt (King George) claiming second overall - both helms being past winners of the Brass Monkeys, which sit on the trophy.

Bough Beech Icicle

Bough Beech SC is celebrating its 50th year in 2020 – so, it was symbolic that its annual open Icicle Series got off to a fine start in the New Year with 50 boats on the water, more than 20 of them from seven neighbouring clubs. The southwesterly wind never got much above a Force 3, favouring the lighter-weather boats. The first race in the 38-strong Conventional fleet was won by BBSC Rear Commodore Guy Marks’s Wayfarer, crewed by Sam Pygall; the second race by the Wayfarer of John Clementson and Mel Titmus (Chipstead), last year’s Icicle winners. The Asymmetric fleet was led home in both races by last year’s winners, Mick and Sarah Whitmore (Eastbourne), in their RS400. The Icicle runs until 23 Feb.

Royal Hospital School success Suffolk’s Royal Hospital School has been celebrating a number of sailing successes, including winning the School Keelboat Racing Championship alongside 10 other schools at Queen Mary SC, after its team won five of nine races. The team won five of six races in a trip to Weymouth for the NSSA Schools Match Racing Championship, to be crowned champions. RHS head of sailing Ed Sibson, said: “It has been excellent to see the team come together and use their sailing expertise to master sailing these larger keelboats as part of a team.”

Crosby Hangover With light winds for the Crosby SC RNLI Hangover handicap races, Laser sailors claimed the top prizes, sponsored by wine importers LWC. A hat-trick of bullets gave Ian Middleton the overall win ahead of Paul Moses and Vinny Charnley.

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The masters of racing in the lightest of airs aboard Vision, an SJ320 owned by Jon Livesey, won Scarborough YC’s Autumn Race Series in style. Then 21 yachts competed in the club’s first race of the year in a good breeze of up to 20 knots, the overall win going to Jimmy and David Cliff ’s Sonata, Bee Sharp, with crew member Henry Turner collecting the Winners Pennant. Second was Alan Smith’s Sigma 33, Revenge, with the third spot taken by Vision.

SALLIS FAMILY

CLUBS & CLASSES

Scarborough YC last and first of the year

CHRIS CLARK

Rollesby Broad New Year Open Thirty boats contested Rollesby Broad’s New Year’s Day open meeting, with the first win going to Wayfarer team Dave Houghton and John Symonds. In the second race, Mike McNamara and Dan Harvey’s Albacore seemed to have entirely its own air, resulting in them doing a horizon job on the fleet. The afternoon race then began with a little more

breeze and Houghton/Symonds took full advantage of a rare McNamara penalty to lead at the first mark. As the wind fell away the faster craft re-established their positions and McNamara/Harvey claimed their second bullet to take the meeting, with Houghton/ Symonds just a point further back in second and Phil and Tamsin Highfield, also sailing an Albacore, third.

RCIYC Cadet of the Year Award

BILL GROSE & ANDREW SMITH

The Royal Channel Islands YC Hobie Dragoons Cadet of the Year Award 2019 was presented to dual recipients Kyla McDonagh and Juliette Walton. Gordon Burgis, Hobie Dragoons race organiser (pictured left) and RCIYC Commodore Richard Hall presented the award at the club. As well as overall racing performance and results, the award recognises sailing skills, attendance, teamwork, good attitude and general helpfulness.

RCIYC

Testing 29er Ovington champs FORTHCOMING EVENTS

84

Yachts & Yachting March 2020

29er worlds venue WPNSA hosted the 29er Ovington Championship, with a range of conditions testing all 53 entries. David CampbellJames was PRO. Monique Vennis-Ozanne and Fin Armstrong (HISC/Royal Torbay) claimed the overall win with a dominant

performance, counting an impressive series of four race wins and three seconds. Brothers Rupert and Henry Jameson (HISC) were second overall with Oliver Evans/ Louis Johnson (Gurnard/ HISC) third. First girls were Annie Hammett/Jess Jobson (HISC/Royal Torbay).

● 1, 8 & 15 March

Tipsy Icicle Series, Leigh & Lowton SC ● 14 March National 12, National Series #1 & Sprint Championships, Burghfield SC ● 15 March Bala Massacre, Bala SC ● 21-22 March RS800, Spring Open, Rutland SC

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SOLO 5651 Ovington built, great condition. Selden D+ mast, North 3DL sail, trolley & breathable top cover. TRADE. £5750 Tel 07801 088966 (SOUTH SHIELDS)

LASER SAIL NUMBER 140085 WITH SNIPE COMBI TRAILER Colour Dawn Grey. Spars and hull in very good condition. Hull is watertight. Sail included. New racing rope pack not used. Boat has been stored in a garage for the last 10 years. Snipe road trailer with metal combi launching trolley in full working order. Comes complete with lighting board. £1295 Tel 07485 171383 (STEVENAGE )

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DIRECTORY

LASER 209056 CARBON T/MAST COMBI TRAILER Mark 1 & 2 plus radial sails, carbon topmast, combo trailer, all kit etc,. £3950 Tel 07702 559845 (POOLE) DRASCOMBE LONGBOAT Longboat 22ft open-cockpit version, new 2009. Yawl rig, all in good condition for age. NB no engine or trailer. £5000 Tel 01579 342144 / 07530 095594 (LISKEARD) CORNISH CRABBER 12 (BERMUDAN RIG) Excellent condition. Main, jib, spinnaker, cover, combi. Little used, never raced. Can be rowed and fitted with outboard. One owner since new 2013. £3750 Tel 01730 267701 (PETERSFIELD)

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FLYING DUTCHMAN - ITALIAN BUILT GLASS HULL - TIMBER DECKS 40yrs, Well built hull, Timber decks need replacing. Needlespar mast, 4 Genoas, 2 Mains one with reefs, folding cuddy. £500 Tel 01634 404 327 (ROCHESTER) EUROPE CLASS SAILS Velas Pires de Lima (AP-3 layout, different shapes) 4 sails in very good condition, used 2-3 months Spanish Champion design 2014! £280 Tel +3466 0181999 (SPAIN) MIRROR 14 (MARAUDER) 14 foot racing dinghy with spinnaker & trapeze. With launching trolley and boom-up cover. £200 Tel 07913 604 574 (STAINES) SCORPION DINGHY PARTS Everything for

34’ VAN DE STADT LEGEND CRUISER SAILING YACHT Quest, 1986, traditional 6 berth cruiser, large teak interior saloon, well equipped . Saab 16hp engine, 2 12v batteries,full sets of sails.Currently can be viewed at Larkmans Boatyard, Melton. £9950 Tel 01933 461280 / 07736 086463 (MELTON) ROGERS 1987 J24 READY TO RACE Legal Alien GBR4064. 7th in Europe 2019, ranked 1st in UK after 5 events. Complete rebuild in January 2019, duropox and resprayed hull and deck. Comes with trailer, engine . £12000 Tel 07972 308922 (FOWEY) AJAX 23 No.43 “Astrid” White hull, light blue deck. 2 suits of sails, one set used only twice. In fair condition. Currently laid up at Percuil Boatyard. £1500 Tel 01872 862833 (ST MAWES)

JEANEAU SUN 2000 - TRAILER SAILER INCLUDING TRAILER A 2007, one owner, 4 berth trailer-sailer with lifting keel, stored ashore on trailer. White hull and deck. Length 6.2m. Beam 2.55m. Mariner long shaft 4hp outboard. Navman tracker and VHF. Sink with hand pump. Single burner stove. Chemical toilet. Trailer has new wheel bearings, wheels and tyres. £8450 Tel 07905 525614 / 01626 775959 (TEIGNMOUTH) J24 Refurbished J24 rerigged and comprehensively equipped, with Harken MKIV furler, standing rig replaced 2012, running rig professionally upgraded to Dyneema, Spinlock deck gear, Tylaska sheets and rig controls. Sails (mainly North), as new, No.1, No.3, mainsail, spinnaker. Tak-tik wind, vhf, speed/depth, Raymarine autopilot. 4hp Mariner outboard all at competitive price. £4250 Tel 07717 885435 / 01803 212818 (TORQUAY)

SWALLOW YACHTS BAY CRUISER 23 Bay cruiser 23. Built 2015.Very good condition. Includes a braked trailer. . £39000 Tel 07770 860730 (CARDIGAN)

CONTESSA OOD 34 Built 1984. Extensively modified for 2 handed cruising & racing, Monitor self steering, B&G electronics, all lines led aft. see web link for full specifications and pictures https://nazcaii.wixsite.com/ nazca. £19950 Tel 07973 892412 (MEDWAY) VINDO 30 ‘Largo’ is a beautiful, traditional, 30 foot yacht from the famous Vindo yard, currently ashore, under cover in Sweden. Built in 1968, the boat is in good condition but in need of some renovation work. . £5000 Tel 00393 292424060 (SWEDEN) J24 GOOD ALL-ROUND CONDITION Selection of sails and equipment, ready to go racing. Includes Tohatsu 3.5 outboard. Trailer completely refurbished, new wheels tyres suspension units towing coupling, built Westerly. Boat is on trailer. £4500 Tel 07745 317 459 / 01590 718611 (LYMINGTON ) CORRIBEE FIN KEEL SAILING YACHT 21ft Fin Keel Corribee for sale.(4 berth) Condition excellent. Includes Avon inflatable tender, Honda 5HP outboard,anchor, fitted galley, custom storage cradle, Campapotti. Currently in storage at Penryn. £2925 Tel 01326 374524 / 07596 235901 (FLUSHING)

SB20 NUMBER IRL 3148 Excellent condition. Ready to race. 1 – Main & Jib. 3 – Gennakers. Mast, boom and carbon gennaker pole. Keel hoist. Keel buffers. Tacktick Compass. 2 – Gennaker launch bags (blue). Rudder blade plus cover sleeve. Top cover. Lifting straps. Engine bracket. 2.5 hp engine. Many accessories. Road Trailer. £10000 Tel 00353 863731738 (DUBLIN) ENDURANCE 38 DECKSALOON Beautifully light maple interior by Blondicell Southampton. Safe comfortable Grp criusing yacht with raised saloon for all the family and friends,6 berths. Only lightly used. Fin and skeg hung rudder.Radar,Autohelm,GPS, Navtex, Heater,240v,Battery charger. Any offers or share considered. £69950 Tel 07770 860730 (PLYMOUTH)

MOTORBOATS/RIBS MENORQUIN YATE 100 This Menorquin 100 was built in 2003. She has a blue hull and white cab with teak deck. (Price in Euros is 110,000) £97918 Tel 00346 56405192 (MALLORCA)

• • • • • • • •

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Yachts & Yachting March 2020

DIAM 24 - 2014 OD TRIMARAN Professionally prepared (ex Team BP) and perfectly maintained. Little sailed. Complete pack includind Torqueedo engine, 2 set of sails, launching trolley, covered road trailer. Revised in ADH yard 2017, ready for leisure or season 2019/2020. Visible South of France. £23000 Tel +33 607341149 (MONTPELLIER) GEMINI 105MC (CATAMARAN) Gemini 105Mc 2004 34 ft by 14 ft white Comes with everything you need. (only selling due to health issues). £94275 Tel 561-3 409266(WEST PALM BEACH, FL.) CATAMARAN ROAD TRAILER Complete with integral lighting board. £199 Tel 01733 265468 / 07802 710800 (RUTLAND)

ELECTRONICS/NAVIGATION PASSAGE PLANNING GUIDE - ENGLISH CHANNEL, DOVER STRAIT AND SOUTHERN NORTH SEA (2019 EDITION) Brand new, sealed (RRP £275) essential resource for any vessel navigating the English Channel, Dover Strait and Southern North Sea. Features include pull out chartlets, details of traffic and main ferry routes, weather and tidal information. Selling as have no use for it. £40 Tel 07715 274157 (LEIGHTON BUZZARD)

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1980 SOUTHERLY 105 Well-maintained lifting keel Southerly 105, all the gear, including full suit of sails, inflatable dinghy, winches, full inventory and ready to sail away immediately for all-year round sailing. Viewing by arrangement, contact for more information. £29950 Tel 07894 275014 (PLYMOUTH)

HALF TON CLASSIC 1979 Mistral 31 Hull No 1. Taken from the mould of the legendary Rollercoaster. A gorgeous and seaworthy Rob Humphreys design with blistering pace. Good condition, fully loaded, ready to race. £24995 Tel 07971 809294 (BRADWELL ON SEA) 1/5 SHARE SUN ODYSEEY 36.2 Fully equipped /in mast reefing /genoa/elect windlass/dinghy outboard/liferaft/ 3 cabin /8 berth circa 1998/bimini/deck shower/ ashore Aegina. weeks reserved in June/aug add weeks aug available .maintenance payments till May 1st paid. £5950 Tel 01543 432314 (GREEK ISLANDS)

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LETTERS

Submit your letters to the editor at rob.peake@chelseamagazines.com

LETTERS LETTER OF THE MONTH Frowned upon?

Your article on sustainable sailing (Feb issue) covered some interesting initiatives, but nothing that I suspect will satisfy the ever-spreading ravenous desire to change the wider marketplace wholesale. This goes for yachts as much as it does for any product. You can easily imagine a moment in the not too distant future when buying a brand new plastic yacht will not only be totally incongruous for a young family striving to use as little plastic as possible in their weekly shop, but also it will simply become the kind of thing frowned upon by an entire generation. This of course will be a magnificent thing for the masses of old GRP hulls in boatyards around the world bearing mildewed ‘for sale’ signs. But it won’t do any good for the extant marine industry. Initiatives like bioresins, as your article highlights, are a start, but they won’t cut it in a serious debate about plastic use long-term. The question will simply be: “Why build new at all?” Leisure boats, after all, are a luxury. The marine industry must adapt, like every other industry, and fast. Ben Mendel, Edinburgh

Money-makers So Jim Radcliffe wants to fly his INEOS flag in front of the “millions” of SailGP viewers (INEOS TEAM UK joins SailGP, Jan issue). I guess he knows a reasonable commercial venture when he sees one. And that’s what SailGP is: a grand moneymaking scheme. Sailing is just the ‘product’. It might as well be baseball, sausages or a vacuum cleaner. The people at the top don’t care as long as the customers – who are the TV networks, not the world’s sailing audience – are buying. And like all products, it will have its time and then be overtaken by another. Meanwhile, we all go along for the ride. I look forward to your next six-page article on this brazen business venture. Paul Lanson, Warwick

Back for tea Phil Sharp’s round-Wight record (Feb issue) may be impressive, but we did it in an hour on Boxing Day! My two boys and I went round in a friend’s 600hp RIB. 60 knots most of the way. We were back in time for tea! ‘Barney’ Smith, Kingston, Surrey

Uncomfortable truth I admire Ellen MacArthur as much as anyone, but frankly a photo of her in this context (in the article on sustainable sailing, Feb issue) jarred in a magazine that dedicates many pages to offshore sailing. Ellen knows what she is on about and gave up offshore sailing for the precise reason that it is not sustainable! The message that she sent with her ‘retirement’ from yacht racing was too uncomfortable then and, if truth be told, it still is today. Steffan Johnson, Sevenoaks, Kent

Are you serious? I respect Bob Fisher’s experience, but his (Feb issue) column seems to propose a return to the J-Class in the America’s Cup. I have to quote John McEnroe on this one: “You cannot be serious?!” Andrew McCauley, Fife Bob replies: “Thank God there are other opinionated people around. I am not alone in this. Many sailors don’t see the point of racing foilers; however, the Cup should go to the greatest development of the day. Back in 1851, that was the case too. Nevertheless, we are all entitled to our own opinions.”

Still relevant Well done to Andy Rice for writing about the Scorpion ‘revival’. I love reading about how these ‘classic’ classes reinvent themselves and keep on being relevant and attractive in a market overtaken by RS and a whole new generation. I sailed a Scorpion in my twenties, and Andy’s article gave me much to smile about. I have many happy memories of that boat! Stuart Lewin, Poole

88

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