In This Issue
• Guest Editorial: John Heyes
• Star Junior World Championship
• Rookies and Returnees to Clash in 55th Congressional Cup
• Detroit Cup Joins Match Race Super League
• Tracy Edwards Documentary To Have 'Maiden' Screening In Cork Next Month
• Oxford Pirates Win 'Reactivate Your Topper' Competition
• Venezuelan pirates - the new scourge of the Caribbean
• Industry News
• Featured Brokerage
• The Last Word: Lawrence Ferlinghetti
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
Guest Editorial: John Heyes
The final months of 2018 will be recorded in the history of the International Finn class as when World Sailing chose to replace the class for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with a new and un-tried Mixed Offshore Keelboat event. In truth the Finn wasn't so much voted out as lost in the process to secure gender equality within the 10-medal format. However a trawl through the WS committee minutes reveals that the real reason for the switch was more to do with money - specifically growing the revenues of the ailing World Sailing coffers.
The minutes of the Equipment committee meeting reveal that one of the prime movers behind the vote was Matt Allen, President of Australian Sailing and a renowned offshore owner, (not a member of the Equipment Committee but was somehow allowed to speak as a substitute for Chairman of the Oceanic and Offshore Committee, Stan Honey from USA). Allen's pitch was that 'the event had the potential to meet the demands from the IOC hopefully enabling World Sailing to move from group D to groups C or B. The importance of the number of viewers for the IOC was acknowledged and the event was presented as a unique opportunity to meet these demands'.
For London 2012, Athletics in Group A was awarded $47 million, Group B Sports $22 million and sailing in group D just $14 million - so it is all about the money!
Much of what Matt Allen says is laudable - to grow sailing and its media penetration but much of his views are based on the strong media coverage achieved by the last Volvo Ocean Race. Assuming that the same level of resources and media rights sales can be achieved with Olympic sailing is a rash and unfounded jump too far. Each Volvo boat had a dedicated professional onboard reporter, state-of-the-art equipment, remote-control cameras, microphones and custom-designed media stations as well as Sky TV as a media partner. The pressure was on to provide compelling daily content, with lucrative prizes for best media coverage and demanding sponsors to keep happy with brand awareness to justify their big investments.
The result was some great footage and regular social media updates but also some disturbing trends. During quiet stages of the race, crews were reduced to trying to create storylines - one witty duo became the 'Ant & Dec' of the Volvo race with their downstairs banter but when the crew of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag tried to emulate such repartee it backfired badly. Pushed into allegedly sexist quips about applying rash cream to a crewmember to enliven the daily broadcast in the doldrums, the crew's efforts escalated into a Rule 75 protest brought by a distant online follower in Australia - resulting in one of the crew having to leave the boat. Sailors train as athletes - not entertainers or media specialists. The scary fact was that the Scallywag team management were more proud of the fact that they won the overall Inmarsat Team Communications award than they were of their overall result - last. Is Olympic sailing to become the sport of 'It's not the winning that counts but the media coverage'?
Proponents will point to the improved tracking software and large numbers playing the virtual Volvo Race as evidence of the huge potential of online coverage of offshore sailing. World Sailing held their first e-Sailing World Championships at the November conference, but how many armchair sailors does it actually convert to real sailing? With sport funding increasingly concentrated on mass participation events that get more people moving and reducing the obesity crisis, e-sailing is unlikely to grow an NGA's or WS's funding.
Much has already been written about the last minute submission by World Sailing to replace the previously agreed Mixed One Person Dinghy event and how the subsequent tight voting was incorrectly recorded by the electronic voting system. The WS President and his followers seemed hell bent on rail-roading this through and ignoring any cries of dissent - the Minutes simply state: Post meeting note: Peter Hall, Pablo Masseroni and Georgy Wossala proposed that the draft minutes be amended on the grounds their votes had been incorrectly recorded. Having considered the proposed amendment and a review of the voting records, the Chairman has approved the minutes without amendment.
It was also sad to see the UK and Ireland delegates at the Conference voting to remove the Finn from the Olympic slate. You might think that a country that won the last 5 Finn Gold medals would wish to hang onto the expertise they have developed in the class, but apparently not. Exactly why UK Rep Dick Batt voted (or was instructed) to reject the Finn is not clear, although it does give the RYA the political high ground that the British Sailing Team is now representing a wider spectrum of its 110,000 paying members.
So what of the new, untried Mixed Offshore Keelboat event? All we know is that it will include a 48 hr Offshore race for, perhaps, only 12 nations off the coast of Marseille in 2024.
Presumably the mixed crew will be filmed from every angle and be expected to send exciting and attention grabbing interviews every few hours whilst trying to win a gold medal? How will Olympic broadcasters be able to sustain the excitement and coverage for 48hrs with potentially no other boats in sight or in little wind? How will the security of the athletes be maintained over such a racecourse and how will officials stop any out of sight cheating? Is this really going to grow the sport and appeal of sailing?
Of the 12 elite nations able to afford a campaign, who will they select to represent them as their best medal bet? A young pair of aspiring athletes from a keelboat academy, a U23 Finn sailor teamed with a top female dinghy sailor with transferable skills or an older, proven professional offshore sailor with huge technical and weather routing experience such as the likes of Phil Sharp, Sam Davies, Alex Thomson, Dee Caffari, or a Michel Dejoyeaux - who would be able to afford the necessary multi boat campaign? Will 'Swifter, Higher, Stronger' be replaced by 'Older, Richer, Communicator'?
Close boat-on-boat action of top athletes racing Finns in big waves and winds does makes a great spectacle, as evidenced by the great footage from the offshore courses at the Rio Olympics, but was surprisingly never shown during the Games. By developing onboard and drone footage, aided by on-screen tracking, bringing Finn racing to life for spectators is now much more attainable and cost effective. It is much easier to maintain an audience's excitement and attention span over 40 minutes than it is over a 48 hour race - half of which is in the dark!
As Paul Henderson suggested recently, by all means trial the Mixed Offshore class as a demonstration event at Paris 2024, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater - in case it fails to deliver and leads to sailing losing its Olympic status.
In the UK sadly several Olympic hopefuls have already quit the class, Ben Cornish has sold his boat, Silver Cup Bronze medalist Hector Simpson and Cameron Tweedle have also put their campaigns on hold. The British Finn Association is working with the remaining GAC Pindar U23 squad to build some keelboat experience into their training, to help keep them in the class whilst also helping them make a break into professional sailing. Supporters of the Finn worldwide are still working hard to overturn World Sailing's decision and until the IOC ratifies World Sailing's proposals in 2020 (or even early 2021) to change the Olympic slate then nothing is set in stone.
Chairman, British Finn Association.
Star Junior World Championship
It was a typical Biscayne Bay kind of day; sunshine and breeze going from 6-7 knots in the morning up to 10-12 in the afternoon. Three races were sailed as scheduled, thanks to a great job by the Race Committee with PRO Carl Schellbach, and the 36 teams, with their '30 and under' skippers who really enjoyed the second day of the inaugural Star Junior World Championship hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club.
With today's three races completed the Championship is back on schedule with the provisional leaders, after four races, American Charlie Buckingham - who moved to the Star after finishing fourth in the Laser at the recent World Cup Series event - and Star US Olympian, Austin Sperry. The American team posted a bullet in today's last race, while the other two race wins went to Star Sailors League Finals 2018 winner Pedro Trouche (BRA) crewing for American Tomas Hornos, sitting in second place overall, and to 2017 Star World Champion crew Joshua Revkin (USA), at the helm, with Arthur Anosov as crew. Third overall are Americans Luke Lawrence with Alexey Selvanov, winners of yesterday's only race.
The conditions tomorrow look to be the same as today with the first start confirmed at 12pm, two races scheduled with no warning sequence starting after 2pm.
The first Star Junior World Champions will be crowned tomorrow after racing with the prize giving ceremony held at the beautiful Coral Reef Yacht Club.
Top ten teams in the provisional ranking after four races:
1. Charlie Buckingham - Austin Sperry, USA
2. Tomas Hornos - Pedro Trouche, USA
3. Luke Lawrence - Alexey Selivanov, USA
4. Juan Ignacio Perez - Mark Strube, MEX
5. Jake Lilley - Lewis Brake, AUS
6. Robert O'Leary - Peter O'Leary, IRL
7. Nick Pellicano Grael - Samuel Goncalves, BRA
8. Facundo Olezza - Frederico Melo, ARG
9. Lorenzo Brando Chiavarini - Brian Fatih, GBR
10. Leandro Altolaguirre - Lucas Altolaguirre, ARG
Rookies and Returnees to Clash in 55th Congressional Cup
The Long Beach Yacht Club Congressional Cup regatta, April 3 to 7, 2019, promises rousing competition, as past champions Ian Williams, GBR, and Johnie Berntsson, SWE, return to face challenges by newcomers Will Boulden, AUS, Nicklas Dackhammar SWE, and Nick Egnot-Johnson, NZL; along with the most decorated Ficker Cup titleholder in history, Scott Dickson, USA.
The Congressional Cup was founded by LBYC in 1965 and is recognized as the 'grandfather' of modern world-class match racing. One of the leading yacht clubs in the nation - celebrating its 90th anniversary this year - LBYC set the standard for premier-level match racing worldwide, and pioneered the concept of on-the-water umpiring.
Six skippers have been named to the field so far, to compete in the 55th running of the five-day event, which culminates with the winner receiving the coveted Crimson Blazer.
Three-time Congressional Cup victor Ian Williams will return with a bid to recapture the title he last won in 2017. Ranked No. 1 in the world of match racing, Williams is a six-time World Champion and formidable opponent.
Johnie Berntsson also comes back with the hopes of repeating his Congressional Cup victory of 2009. Last year he nearly did: scrapping his way through the Ficker Cup qualifier, and making it all the way into the Congressional Cup semi-finals.
Congressional Cup Skippers
Ian Williams (GBR)
Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE)
Will Boulden (AUS)
Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL)
Johnie Berntsson (SWE)
Scott Dickson (USA)
Detroit Cup Joins Match Race Super League
The Bayview Yacht Club, organizers of the Detroit Cup, a grade 2 event with a 12 year history in match racing has joined the Match Race Super League 2019, making it 11 events worldwide on the League.
The event, organized by the Bayview Yacht Club (BYC) and supported by the City of Detroit, will be held over 21-25 August 2019.
MRSL director Harald Thierer said: "It (the Detroit Cup) is one of the most coveted trophies in match racing, and a fantastic addition to the Match Race Super League, particularly as a new League event in the United States. On top of that we continuously work on adding the fifth continent to the MRSL schedule in the hopefully not too distant future"
2019 MRSL Events:
1. Szczecin Match Race, POL, 3.-5. May
2. NJK Open Spring Match Race Cup, FIN, 17.-19. May
3. Match Race Germany, GER, 5-10. June
4. Koper Match Race Challenge, SLO, 11.14.July
5. Internationaux de France Match Racing, FRA, 25.-28.July
6. The Detroit Cup USA, 21.-25. August (NEW!!!!!)
7. Baltic Match Race, EST, 21.-25. August
8. Oakliff international, USA, 2.-4.September
9. Thompson Cup, USA, 6.-8. September
10. DBS Marina Bay Cup, SIN, 19.-22.September
11. The Kingdom Match Race, BHR, 11.-15. December
The MRSL was founded in 2018 under the slogan: Make Match Racing Great Again, in order to unite organizersaon an international stage, promoting classic match racing worldwide. Sanctioned by the Match Race Association (MRA) and supported by World Sailing 8WS). The format is aimed at 20000 active match race sailors in the world. Back in 2018, 78 teams including sailors from 30 nations in a total of 13 events competet on the MRSL in twelve countries around the world.
Tracy Edwards Documentary To Have 'Maiden' Screening In Cork Next Month
Cork's Gate Cinemas will stage a special screening of the new Tracy Edwards documentary Maiden, followed by a satellite link Q&A with Edwards herself, on Thursday 7 March.
Edwards was a 24-year-old cook on charter boats when in 1989 she became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race, the precursor to the Volvo Ocean Race.
Maiden charts Edwards' struggle against the odds - facing chauvinism in the yachting community, and rejection from sponsors - to put a team on the water.
Oxford Pirates Win 'Reactivate Your Topper' Competition
On Saturday 02 March (3pm) the winners of the 2018 Topper International Limited 'Reactivate your Topper' competition will be presented with their new race-ready Topper at the RYA Dinghy Show, in association with Yachts & Yachting and Suzuki (Alexandra Palace, London).
Jonathan Tweedle and his Oxford Pirates team from Oxford Sailing Club, clinched the winners' title after they 'reactivated' four old army Toppers. "The judges at Topper International felt the Oxford Pirates really demonstrated how old Toppers could be brought back to life with a bit of expertise, elbow grease, teamwork and love. Well done to all the team!", commented Roger Proctor, International Topper Class Association (GBR).
The 'Reactivate your Topper' initiative aims to help clubs put value back into old and unused Topper hulls and get them back on the water.
If you would also like the chance to win a brand new race-ready Topper for your club, all you have to do is re-activate an old Topper.
Drop by the Topper International Ltd stand (B58) to find out more about the Topper class and the 'Reactive your Topper' programme and don't forget to join them at 3pm on Saturday 02 March, for the 2018 winners' prize giving.
You can also find out more by contacting the Topper Class Association at or visiting www.itca-gbr.co.uk
Venezuelan pirates - the new scourge of the Caribbean
As Venezuela's economy collapses, a tide of lawlessness is spreading to the nearby island of Trinidad. Its fishermen now live in fear of Venezuelan pirates, discovers Colin Freeman, while Venezuelan smugglers exchange drugs and guns for basic necessities.
If your idea of a tropical paradise is based on what you've seen in tourist brochures, the coastline of south-west Trinidad will not disappoint. Golden beaches and coconut groves? Tick. Sleepy villages, full of fishermen snoozing under palm trees? Tick. A relaxed, laid-back vibe? Hmm. Actually, no.
Take a closer look in villages like Fullarton, and you'll notice a few things seem out of place. For one, why have so many of the fishermen got 200 horsepower engines on their boats, when 75 is more than enough? And why, when they go out fishing at night, do none of them put lights on any more?
The answer, as fisherman Gerry Padarath explains from his beachside hammock, is pirates.
Two US companies have joined forces to develop advanced hydrofoil craft. Bieker Boats has years of experience designing fast foil-born boats, including work on the foils for the America's Cup boats, while Glosten has worked on the design of passenger vessels for public and private clients over the past 50 years.
The joint venture team claims that their ultra-efficient concept requires less than half the installed power of a typical passenger catamaran, resulting in a 50% reduction in fuel consumption. When compared to the latest foil-assisted, low-wake small passenger vessels, the design achieves three times the passenger miles per gallon. The design team achieved this by combining the proven technologies of ultra-efficient hydrofoils, lightweight carbon fiber hull construction, and modern geared propulsion equipment.
Perini Navi, is pleased to announce the appointment of Camilla Calza as its Head of Communications, Marketing and Events.
Boasting a solid background in the luxury industry through her work with leading events organisation companies, Ms Calza was previously Head of Business Department at FeelRouge Worldwide Shows and Business Manager at Balich Worldwide Shows. She also has extensive experience in the fashion sector, having spent, most notably, seven years in London working with Dolce&Gabbana and Burberry. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Management from Milan's Catholic University of Sacro Cuore.
In her new role, Ms Calza will work alongside Simona Del Re who remains in her role as Perini Navi's Communications and Branding Manager with responsibility for related areas.
The ninth edition of YARE, the international aftersales and refit event dedicated to the superyacht sector, is returning to Viareggio next month for another four-day run. From March 20-23, around 100 superyacht captains will descend on Italy's yachting capital for a series of B2B meetings with Italian and international aftersales and refit companies.
Viareggio itself is home to 13 shipbuilders and around 700 companies from five industry sub-sectors - shipyards, refit, suppliers, ground and marine services. The Tuscany region, which is almost exclusively dedicated to the superyacht supply chain, comprises 4,000 nautical/marine companies (3,000 in yachting), 18,000 workers, 70 specialist branches (production and services) and a sales volume of €2bn.
Once again, YARE will host a workshop to discuss the latest market news and trends. The Superyacht Captains' Forum, organised by The Superyacht Group, will engage around 500 insiders and analyse the state of the industry, its dynamics and outlook, while looking at data from an international point of view.
YARE is organised by NAVIGO, a research and innovation service centre for the nautical sector, supported by the Distretto della Nautica e della Portualita Toscana (Tuscany's port and nautical district authority), endorsed by SYBAss, the international superyacht builders association, and by other important partners and sponsors.
The Royal Torbay Yacht Club is pleased to announce the appointment of GAC Pindar as the Event Shipping and Logistics Provider for the J/70 2019 World Championships being held in Torquay August 29th to September 6th. The event is expected to attract over 100 entries from across the world and to have GAC Pindar involved in the event as sponsors and logistics partners is a great boost for the organisers.
Headquartered in the UK sailing hub of Southampton, GAC Pindar is trusted to deliver complex logistics services for the world's biggest sailing events and is the official logistics provider for World Sailing. It made history in 2017 when appointed Official Logistics Provider for the Volvo Ocean Race for the second consecutive edition of the race, a first in the event's 45-year history.
GAC Pindar is a strategic partnership combining the global service expertise of the GAC Group with the Pindar brand's knowledge and understanding of the yachting world. Established since 1956, GAC employs over 9,000 people in more than 300 offices worldwide.
The same team that delivered the Volvo Ocean Race around the world can offer transport solutions for boats coming from Europe and worldwide advising on the best option to fit competitors' needs. They have both containerised and 'roll on, roll off' (for boats transporting on trailer alone) sea freight and road haulage solutions and can also assist with boats towed behind vehicles, on curtain-sided lorries and ferry crossings. GAC Pindar can provide loading and lashing services where required and will handle all customs clearance procedures into post-Brexit UK, being an AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) approved customs broker.
This is an immaculately presented Ker 46 and without doubt one of the most exciting and competitive IRC/ORC boats on the RORC/ROLEX circuit today. Hugely optimized since launching with many new 2019 goodies, she is a safe bet for any serious campaigner. Available after Fastnet Race 2019.
William Fife Iii 19 Metre Gaff Cutter - Classic Sailing Yacht
The best X-41 on the market. A large refit in 2017 with standing and running rigging, upholstery, instruments and interior re-varnish, she looks like a new yacht. Four out of the top 10 at the ORC worlds in 2018 were X-41s; priced in sterling she offers a very good opportunity.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
Poetry is the shadow cast by our imaginations. -- Lawrence Ferlinghetti
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