EuroSail News #4563 - 2 April
In This Issue
• Ken Read analysis of 2021-22 round-the-world route
• Shirley Robertson interviews Iain Percy
• Robline Product News 2020: Lazyjack Polybraid
• 2020 Atlantic Cup Cancelled
• Transpac-Tahiti Race Postponed
• Structured Luff Technology
• Getting down to the detail - Elvstrom Sails
• Brains of Bray
• We Are The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team
• 2020 Atlantic hurricane season forecast
• Letters to the Editor
• Featured CharterL Sciomachen 56
• Featured Brokerage:
• • SW110 Thalima
• • Windquest
• • Latini Marine Farr 85 Custom
• The Last Word: Martin Luther King
Brought to you by Seahorse magazine and YachtScoring.com EuroSail News is a digest of sailing news and opinions, regatta results, new boat and gear information and letters from sailors -- with a European emphasis. Contributions welcome, send to
Ken Read analysis of 2021-22 round-the-world route
The recently announced round the world route for the next edition of The Ocean Race in 2021-22 revealed an interesting mixture of familiar stopover ports along with three new cities for the fleet to visit on its way around the world.
But what do the sailors think of the new course configuration? We have been speaking to a variety of past and present competitors to find out. We begin with American yachtsman Ken Read – a three-time Ocean Race competitor (2005-06 with Ericsson, 2008-09 and 2011-12 as skipper of Puma Ocean Racing) and the current CEO of North Sails.
We spoke to Read from his home in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, a short distance from the legendary sailing city of Newport which will once again host the Ocean Race fleet at the end of Leg 5 from Itajaí, Brazil, prior to the transatlantic crossing on Leg 6 to Aarhus in Denmark.
Read said that at first glance it is clear that the 2021-22 edition racecourse – like the last several editions – has understandably been influenced by commercial factors.
“This kind of modernish racecourse certainly takes into account some commercial stops that obviously weren’t there in the good old days, in the Whitbread days,” he said. “But at the same time they tried to minimise stops a little bit, because frankly stopovers are hugely expensive for the teams who are all trying to get the budget down.
“But they have still come up with some really interesting legs and an overall course that still has plenty of excitement to it. Cape Town to China is certainly the one that has still the most question marks. The rest are pretty straight forward and in some form or fashion have been done in the past or at least something like it has been done in the past.
“So all in all, no shocks and I’m happy that the race is coming back to Newport.”
Full interview in Yacht Racing Life
Shirley Robertson interviews Iain Percy
The next instalment of Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast sees the British double Olympic Gold Medallist sit down with long time friend and Olympic team mate Iain Percy. A veteran of four Olympic campaigns, Iain Percy won two Gold Medals and one Silver sailing for Team GB, before turning his attention to the America's Cup. He currently works in a coaching role, with the British Olympic Nacra 17 mixed multihull team.
When it comes to shared histories, Percy and Robertson go way back. Their initial chat centres around the early days, when Iain Percy was honing his competitive skills amongst a raft of talented young sailors. It was a golden era of British youth sailing, the likes of Ben Ainslie, Chris Draper and Andrew Simpson, all Percy's future Olympic team mates, growing up in a fiercely competitive environment.
"You never know at the time that you're in a strong group..., there were many others as well, many many other talented people. Back in the eighties in Southampton it was a natural choice to go and join a local club and learn to sail...sailing in the eighties, on the south coast of the UK was pretty big. Around the age of fifteen or sixteen, Ben was based in Cornwall, and then moved up to sail with us guys, and that group we had made a big big difference. Suddenly we turned up at a World Championships and there's a couple of us in the top five and we didn't know we were any good, but it turns out we were."
This edition of the podcast is in two parts and is available to listen to via the podcast page of Shirley’s own website, at www.shirleyrobertson.com/podcast or via most popular podcast outlets, including iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast and aCast.
Robline Product News 2020: Lazyjack Polybraid
Robline is thriving on a daily basis to optimize both the boat life of the final customer as well as of the factories. This new product will truly help all of you. The Lazyjack Polybraid was especially developed for Lazyjack Systems. Its characteristics are a combination of being slippery enough for easy gliding into the Lazyjack bag, easy splicability just like a Dyneema® Single Braid and high durability against wind and weather.
This line is available in grey in order to ensure even better UV-resistance than white ropes do and in the diameters of 5, 7 and 9 Millimeters to fit for all Lazyjack systems.
For more information please visit www.roblineropes.com or contact your local dealer.
2020 Atlantic Cup Cancelled
Newport, Rhode Island - It is with great regret that Manuka Sports Event Management announces the unavoidable cancellation of the 2020 Atlantic Cup, which was scheduled to take place June 5-21.
Over the past few weeks, like all of you, we have been following developments with regard to COVID-19 / Coronavirus from the US Government and the World Health Organization. The health and well-being of the teams, our staff, volunteers and partners are our highest priority. With current modeling predicting the pandemic going well into the summer, it will not be possible to hold the Atlantic Cup safely. We are also facing significant travel and logistical restrictions that are in place right now and are forecast to remain in the coming weeks and potentially months.
While we are disappointed to not be able to run the 2020 Atlantic Cup, with the support of 11th Hour Racing we are continuing to provide robust Atlantic Cup Kids programming via https://atlanticcup.org/kids. There are multiple learning modules with worksheets and videos for Kids from age 8-13. In addition, the Atlantic Cup Kids classroom visits are going virtual. Classroom visits feature Captain Dave Rearick teaching Kids about offshore sailing, wildlife, ocean health and his experience of sailing around the world alone. To schedule a visit, please email Julianna Barbieri at
Transpac-Tahiti Race Postponed
Organizers from the Transpacific Yacht Club and Archipelagoes in Papeete announce the planned May 28th start of the 3570-mile Transpac-Tahiti Race from Los Angeles to Tahiti has been postponed.
While racing at sea has no inherent risk in the pandemic, the recent imposition of public health restrictions in both California and French Polynesia have made it nearly impossible for entries to prepare or plan for both the race and its logistical support.
"While our fleet is small, we still have concerns for everyone's health and safety," Race Committee Chairman Tom Trujillo, "and we want to be fully compliant with the letter and spirit of the current regulations."
Possible new start dates are being reviewed in consultation with current entries and weather experts. The latter is important to minimize another risk: the South Pacific tropical storm season, where strong winds and high seas may cross the race course during summer months.
Currently there are 10 entries - 8 monohulls and 2 multihulls - one of the strongest turnouts in the history of the race, which has been held only 14 times since its inaugural edition in 1925. Entry Chairman Dave Cort believes this decision may lose a few of the current entries, but may pick up some more.
"There is a lot of interest in going to Auckland for the next America's Cup in 2021," said Cort, "and some want to use this race to get to the South Pacific and keep going west. We may see more interest in entering among those with this agenda."
Structured Luff Technology
Let's take a closer look at the revolutionary technology which powers the HUGO BOSS boat.
Doyle’s Structured Luff technology is the next generation in the world leading Cableless range of sails, and is moving into jib style sails for all applications.
‘This technology came out of the free flying Code sails we were building a few years ago where we took the cable away and put a band of carbon up the front of the sail instead,’ says Doyle’s Superyacht sail co-ordinator Matt Bridge. ‘As part of that and to distribute some of the straight-line load, we put a lens structure in behind and into the sail. These are continuous fibers that run from the head to the tack in the front of the sail that give us the possibility to shape the front of the sail and distribute what used to be a straight-line load back into the sail. Now we've taken that thinking from the Cableless Code sails and applied it to our upwind designs.
In some instances, we are reducing loads by up to 50 per cent,’ explains Doyle Sails International’s COO Emma Hendy. ‘Reducing luff sag is one of the biggest factors in allowing our sails to achieve more driving force. On some of the bigger boats we’re seeing a reduction in sag at the middle of the forestay of up to a metre, which in turn means that the sail can be projecting a metre further to windward. So there are some serious benefits for racing superyachts. But from a cruising standpoint there are massive advantages too, where the reliability of the furl, the reduction in weight and the fact that these new sails are easier to store are all important factors in this area.’
Getting down to the detail - Elvstrom Sails
The story of the development of fibre-film sail material is one of steady development with the occasional bigger step up in product performance. Another such step may be just around the next corner...
Sailmaking has evolved in some interesting directions in recent years, with many variations of film-fibre laminates and fibre-only constructs. All have promised to deliver improved performance by lighter weight, better durability and greater resistance to distortion in the desired mould shape of the sail.
At Elvstrøm Sails, the path chosen is one of continued refinement of the film-fibre laminate, building on the original vision of Peter Conrad to match the fibres with the load paths in the sail. Elvstrøm Sails’ EPEX product line was introduced in 2008 to take this concept even further with continuous unbroken fibre layouts and advanced vacuum infusion technology in the film-fibre assembly process to eliminate any air pockets that can lead to delamination. That system is so advanced now that EPEX sails are guaranteed against failure by delamination for three years of use, which is much longer than the competitive life of most racing sails.
Brains of Bray
Bray Sailing Club’s annual “Brains of Bray” table quiz, which was originally scheduled to take place last weekend, faced some hasty re-engineering in the face of the COVID-19 restrictions. Organisers Jack Hannon, Mark Henderson, and Cillian Murphy decided to take the quiz online and asked participants to register in advance to be added to a dedicated WhatsApp group.
The new format meant that many more teams could be facilitated than could have fitted into Bray SC’s clubhouse, and when the quiz started at 7.30 pm an amazing 61 teams had registered, with many teams consisting of family members and friends not just in different households, but in seven different countries, and three different continents. 171 participants collaborated within their teams via a variety of tele-and video-conferencing applications, and the organisers struggled to deal with a flood of 61 emails with answers after each round.
Despite some delays in producing results due to the large volume of entries, club members and friends thoroughly enjoyed the evening which gave many families the first opportunity in some weeks to spend the whole evening in each other’s company online, while sharing a virtual drink and arguing about which colour Smartie tastes different to all the others*.
The organisers have promised to make the quiz a weekly event while restrictions continue, and have recruited additional scorers to deal with the high number of entries.
We Are The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team
We Are Challengers
In Italy and in the world, we are all facing an unprecedented challenge
A new fight that forces us to go beyond our limits of perseverance and strength
But Most Of All A Shared Commitment
Because only if we act as a team we will win this fight
Today, we are
2020 Atlantic hurricane season forecast
Led by Dan Kottlowksi, AccuWeather's top hurricane expert, meteorologists this week released a 2020 Atlantic hurricane forecast. Kottlowksi's team is calling for 14-18 tropical storms during this upcoming season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. Of those storms, seven to nine are forecast to become hurricanes, and two to four are predicted to strengthen into major hurricanes.
“It’s going to be an above-normal season,” Kottlowski said. “On a normal year, we have around 12 storms, six hurricanes and roughly three major hurricanes.”
The 2019 season marked the fourth consecutive year of above-average activity in the basin and was tied with 1969 for the fourth most-active hurricane season on record.
Early in the season, meteorologists will keep a watchful eye on parts of the Caribbean Sea and areas east of the Bahamas, where the water is already very warm. Water temperatures in the Caribbean have already hit 80 degrees Fahrenheit in late March, according to data from a NOAA station.
Some of the names that early storms to develop this year will be given are Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal and Dolly. For the complete list of 2020 Atlantic Basin names and all related tropical weather information, visit the AccuWeather Hurricane Center.
* From George Morris, Findhorn:
It would be fair to say that the parliamentary scrutiny of the current lock down rules was not quite as thorough as it would have been with less time pressure. It would also probably be true to say that the distillation of the current rules into a soundbite /slogan telling everyone to stay at home has closed the door to a number of activities which did no harm and may have done some good - such as walking one's dog in the countryside of the Peak District rather than round a crowded housing estate in Sheffield. One casualty is sailing. Each day I have managed to cycle to the local (deserted) sailing club and sometimes have managed a sail on the deserted tidal inlet where I live. I meet almost no one on these trips and when they insist on helping me up the slipway, if they push and I pull there is 4.4m between us. Now the local do-gooders, quoting the guidance on the RYA website are suggesting that this is an 'unnecessary journey' and given the impression that I had better stop doing this.
When the lockdown was formulated I would bet that sailing was not thought about at all. Tennis and golf were mentioned but not sailing and certainly not sailing in a remote area where to the north north east the next inhabited land is the Lofoten Islands. However, someone in government has probably started to consider the ways in which the lockdown may be eased when the time comes. I am writing this in the hope that someone in the RYA, working from home, might try to put in a plug to allow recreational sailing under some circumstances. It seems such a trivial thing to worry about when people are dying, losing their jobs and suchlike, but it would make a big difference to me. And If I could drive the three miles it would take to get the dog to the (deserted) beach I'm sure he would appreciate it.
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The Last Word
We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now. -- Martin Luther King
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