In This Issue
Inaugural Offshore Sailing World Championship heads to Malta
Uku Randmaa claims 3rd podium place in Golden Globe Race
Positions Vacant With A+T Instruments
Delays - 2019 AC World Series Cancelled?
PRB relaunched in the colours of Arkea-Paprec
First entries in for 29th Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Melges 24 European Sailing Series
Why cargo ships might (literally) sail the high seas again
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: John Peel

Brought to you by Seahorse magazine and 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

Inaugural Offshore Sailing World Championship heads to Malta
The inaugural edition of World Sailing's Offshore World Championship will be held in October 2020 in Valletta, Malta alongside the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Announced in 2017, the Offshore Sailing World Championship will be a powerful platform to accelerate the interest and growth of offshore one-design mixed double-handed sailing within the sailing community.

The 2020 Offshore Sailing World Championship will be organised in collaboration with the Royal Malta Yacht Club and World Sailing.

Originally earmarked to be held in 2019, World Sailing postponed the hosting to 2020 to allow a full qualification system to be developed, allowing ample opportunity for Member National Authorities to qualify and prepare for the event.

The Championship will be a two person mixed competition (one man, one woman) between nations, featuring 20 boats. Held alongside the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the competitors may be required to sail the full course or a reduced course depending on the weather conditions. It is designed to cater to the fast-growing double-handed offshore community worldwide. An important goal is to engage countries new to double-handed offshore sailing by providing turnkey equipment ready to use at the event venue as well as boats being available to charter in Europe for training from the summer of 2019.

Further information on the boats that will be used, the qualification system and race format will be announced in due course.

Uku Randmaa claims 3rd podium place in Golden Globe Race
Uku Randmaa crossed the Les Sables d'Olonne finish line at 09:00 UTC today to secure third place in Golden Globe Race. Thousands lined the river entrance to catch a glimpse of this quiet spoken 56 year old Estonian solo circumnavigator and his boat.

Waiting for him at the dock was his wife Maibi and young twins Thor and Orm who were born shortly before his departure, together with the family of fellow circumnavigators who he had kept each other going through good times and bad over the radio. Winner Jean-Luc Van Den Heede was one of the first to shake his hand followed by Dutchman Mark Slats, and two who were rescued in mid-ocean, Loic Lepage and Susie Goodall.

After almost 252 days at sea, all he had left in his larder was three packets of powdered soup, and he grabbed the pizza offered to him with both hands. The champagne was also something to savour, but before quaffing a drop himself, Uku thanked God for his safe return and poured some in the water, then thanked his boat One and All, sprinkling more on the mast and saved the biggest amount for his 2nd crew-mate - his Hydrovane self steering before passing it round his fellow GGR skippers,

Talking about his diet he said: "I think I must have lost at least 20kg. By Hobart, I knew I was going to run short of food so I divided up what I had left by two…and then I divided it by two more. I had two meals a day; a freeze dried dish and a cup of soup, but it has been very good for my health. If I did physical work, I got tired early, but it was not a major problem.`'

`'The hardest part of the voyage was lack of wind. I was stuck in the St Helena high pressure system for more than a week. My biggest worry was keeping the boat in one piece. I was worried that if something broke I might not be able to finish the race"

Another reflection on the voyage was the amount of rubbish in the oceans. "The biggest pollution - mainly plastic - was after rounding the Cape of Good Hope. There were streams of it in the ocean. At one time time I came across a door and on another occasion, a complete tree. If I had hit that, I think my steering would have broken."

What did he enjoy most? "Oh, the Southern Ocean: the waves, the loneliness. The waves were amazing. I watched them for hours and everyone one was different."

4th placed American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar is now within 950 miles of the finish and is expected to reach Les Sables d'Olonne on March 18-19.

Positions Vacant With A+T Instruments
A+T are the rapidly growing designer and manufacturer of very high-quality instruments for the Superyacht and race boat markets.

Offering upgrades and complete systems, A+T are suppliers to some 250 of the world's largest and fastest yachts. Key to A+T's business is the provision of excellent support.

Year on year growth has been 40% and now A+T are looking to expand their sales team with three appointments:

Technical Sales and Support
Preparation of proposals, drawings and dealing with technical enquiries. Liaison with captains, engineers, high-end electronics installers, project managers and yards. Mostly office based with some travel to visit yachts, dealers, yards and attend trade shows.

Outbound Sales
Office based outbound sales activity primarily around installer/dealers, refit and new-build yards.

Regatta Sales and Support
An upcoming or established professional sailor/tactician/navigator who can add a part-time role around sailing. Providing support, networking and direct sales at regattas and assisting with office- based testing, documentation, product feedback and improvements between events.

Great communication skills and a passion for excellent customer service are essential for all roles. A+T are a friendly team based in comfortable offices in Lymington, UK.

For detailed job description or to apply please email

For any candidates in the Caribbean over the next few weeks there may be an opportunity to meet Hugh Agnew, one of our directors, who will be at St Barths's Bucket and then in Antigua.

Delays - 2019 AC World Series Cancelled?
Challenger of Record Luna Rossa announced in November 2018 that the first AC World Series would be in Cagliari, where their base is located, in October 2019. With delays caused by arbitration over the late challengers and structural problems with the design of the one design supplied equipment foil arms, it seems that event has been cancelled. Italy's Giornale della Vela reports here that Luna Rossa's Technical Director Matteo Plazzi made the announcement at a recent Italian sailing awards ceremony.

The Protocol says there would be "possibly" one or two ACWS regattas in 2019. It also says the ACWS "shall comprise three events" in 2020. Remember that "shall" is used to indicate something mandatory. Speculation about a fourth ACWS in 2020 would require a Protocol change. Not impossible, but it would require ETNZ and Luna Rossa to agree to the change.

2020 AC World Series Venues

The Protocol requires announcing the venues for the three 2020 ACWS events by 30 November 2019. Presumably the first one will be in Cagliari in Spring. DutchSail has "requested" awarding an ACWS to The Hague / Scheveningen. Newport, Rhode Island; Long Beach, California; and Hong Kong have all been mentioned as possible venues.

DutchSail's website shows March 2020 as the launch date for their AC75, leaving little time to learn to sail and race it safely before the first ACWS. There has been no news from Malta Altus Challenge about their AC75 launch date. Remember that the Protocol clearly states that if a challenger misses an ACWS event, they are no longer eligible for the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series.

Jack Griffin in Cup Experience:

PRB relaunched in the colours of Arkea-Paprec
Things are starting to move for Sebastien Simon. On Tuesday 26th February, the IMOCA, PRB, was relaunched displaying the colours of her sponsors, Arkea and Paprec. It is on this foiler the the winner of the last Solitaire du Figaro will be training, while he awaits the delivery from the yard in late June - early July of his brand new Kouyoumdjian designed boat. Sebastien Simon and Vincent Riou, the technical director for the project, will shortly be attempting to smash the record for the Columbus Route (Cadiz/San Salvador). In April, Sebastien will be returning home, sailing as if he was alone, before setting off on 8th May at the start of the Bermuda 1000 race.

Getting used to sailing Vincent Riou's IMOCA, while you wait for your future IMOCA, Arkea-Paprec, to be completed, is a luxury...
"It's the ideal situation being able to sail on an IMOCA immediately. Otherwise, we would have had to wait until July. The Vendee Globe is a big race, which requires a lot of preparation. I still don't have much experience of IMOCAs and none at all sailing solo. Thanks to these couple of months training on the former PRB, when Arkea-Paprec is launched, I won't be in the learning phase, but rather aiming for performance."

This transition isn't happening on any old boat. PRB is one of the references in the IMOCA class and since last season, she has been fitted with foils...
"PRB is now around ten years old, but she was ahead of her time. She was upgraded last season with the installation of foils. I have already had an opportunity to sail on her. In particular after the last Route du Rhum, and she feels great. To start off with, she was awe inspiring, then she was amazing and you end up getting used to her. You can get used to anything. She's a magnificent boat to train on, but also as a sort of lab to test things before my new boat is launched, so that we can run through certain elements, such as the autopilots and sails for example."

The former skipper of PRB, Vincent Riou, is also your technical director for the Arkea-Paprec project. That all seems to come together well...
"I have no regrets about my choice. We get on very well together and Vincent is being very kind to me. He is there to help me build a great boat, ensure I get the full potential out of her and to train me. He has taken part in the Vendee Globe four times and won once. He has an exceptional experience and I can learn a lot from him. It's reassuring to have him alongside me. He supports me, guides me, while leaving me a certain amount of freedom and independence to work on my project."

Full interview on

First entries in for 29th Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta
Entries are open for Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron's (RMYS) 29th Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta (AWKR) and Victorian competitors are throwing down the gauntlet; many will come fresh from competing in the 2018/19 Port Phillip Women's Championship in Melbourne, ending on Sunday 28 April - and two have been quick to enter.

To be held from 8-10 June 2019 and open exclusively to women's' crews from Australia and overseas, committee chair Kristen Buckland has a good feeling around the increasingly popular event, "I am confident that we will have over 30 boats competing from across Australia and New Zealand this year."

First in for the AWKR, founded by a past RMYS Commodore and past entrant Gai Clough, were RMYS members, Nadine Huels and Aurelie Chabrol with their Archambault 32 Remedy. They were quickly followed by Royal Yacht Club of Victoria member, Margaret Goddard, and her Cavalier 30, Balderdash.

While it goes without saying that Victoria will field the largest numbers, strong contenders will also come from Queensland, South Australia, NSW, Western Australia, Tasmania and as far away as the Northern Territory. The Aussies will be joined by possibly three from across the ditch in New Zealand.

Among the Victorian skippers also committed is last year's Division 1 runner-up, Monica Jones (RMYS club captain), owner of the Adams Salamander III. And she is just as committed to helping women reach their sailing potential as she is on performing at the top level.

Consistently on the podium in open competition and at women's events, Jones is highly rated by her opponents. She will be joined by others who have been in winning form at the PPWCS; Marnie Irving, winner of February's Jennifer Goldsmith Trophy with her Cavalier 395, Cavarlo and Leo Eeckman, who sailed the Southern Ocean 31 Le Cascadeur to victory in the Val Hodge Trophy.

The AWKR is Australia's premier and longest running all-female women's keelboat regatta. The 29th running was launched earlier this year at RMYS by Wendy Tuck, winner of the 2017-2018 Clipper Round the World Race. Tuck is the first and only woman skipper to win an around the world yacht race. -- Di Pearson/AWKR media

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month

Last month's winner:

Simon Fry (GBR)
'It's pretty obvious why, Simon (left, above) and I have achieved a lot together over the past 20 years, originally put together by our great friend and crewmate Glyn Charles' - Andy Beadsworth; 'When someone writes the book of British sailing legends he'll have his own chapter!' - Matt Cornwell; 'Great sailor, weapons grade in the bar' - Magnus Wheatley; 'About time a decent crew man got the award instead of the fly-by-night back end chancers' - Alastair Munro; 'Once a menace always a menace, there is no better man to have on your crew… or standing beside you in the bar' - Ian Walker; 'The best!' - Serhat Altay.

This month's nominees:

Jason Carroll (USA)
Not for that steady flow of results in the Melges 32, GC32 and other classes, this one is for managing to flip your MOD 70 trimaran two days before the start of the Caribbean 600 and then pressing the 'go for it' button so hard that the Argo team got the boat back up, dried out and fixed up enough of the electrics to get them safely round all the rocks. Props also to MOD 70 rival Giovanni Soldini for delaying his own start by two hours to make a race of it

Rod Davis (NZL)
'I'm over the moon…' not surprising after the Olympic gold medallist super-coach won the Masters division at the OK Worlds -much more impressively finishing ninth overall in the 110-boat open fleet. Putting it out there like that is not something every former Cup sailor chooses to do - one or two have come unstuck in the not so distant past. Rod was also happy to be able to follow his own methods as recorded in these pages and see for himself that it works!

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

View past winners of Sailor of the Month

Melges 24 European Sailing Series
With just a few days to go before the beginning of spring, it's already time to think about the upcoming sailing season and the Melges 24 fleet is excited to get back to the water in Europe, for a season that will be one of the most exciting of the latest years.

Four events plus the Melges 24 World Championship, that will be hosted in the stunning location of Villasimius, one of the most iconic touristic destinations of Sardinia, famous for its clear waters and blue skies. Villasimius which benefits from a typical Mediterranean climate, will welcome sailors from all over the World in the still warm month of October, from the 5th to 12th.

The opening of the 2019 Melges 24 European Sailing Series will be sailed on April 5th to 7th in Portoroz, Slovenia - a must-go location for the Melges 24 fleet, and that is getting ready to host the 2020 Europeans.

The inaugural event will be followed by two events on Garda Lake that, with the legs of Malcesine (May 3-5) and Riva del Garda (June 7-9) will entertain the fleets with challenging conditions with the typical winds of the Lake, Ponale in the morning and Ora in the afternoon. The fourth event will bring the Melges 24 fleet more South to Scarlino (July 19-21), where the Melges 24 Italian champions 2019 will be found out.

The winners of the 2019 Melges 24 European Sailing Series will be determined on the main podium of the World Championship in Villasimius right before the new Melges 24 world champions will be crowned in the same place.

Why cargo ships might (literally) sail the high seas again
There's something inherently romantic about the great ships of yore: Those massive sails piercing the sky above an endless horizon.

These days, of course, we've given up the sails for the brute force of fossil fuel engines. The modern shipping industry has sacrificed elegance - not to mention the environment - for volume, speed, and efficiency.

But those old sails may be coming back.

There's an overarching organization - the International Windship Association - that's pushing wind propulsion for commercial shipping, and liaising between various governments and entrepreneurs and researchers. But then there are the specific projects, scattered about the globe, in both private business and academia.

Take the Smart Green Shipping Alliance as an example. It's working on a combination of sailing technology and clean fuel to reduce cargo ships' CO2 emissions, hopefully to zero eventually. Diane Gilpin, who founded and heads up the initiative, explained to The Week that they're working on two goals. One is a cargo ship designed from the keel up for sailing, with an optimized hull and so on. The idea has been run through computer simulations and some testing of physical models, and they think as much as 50 percent of the propulsion could come from the sails. "If we do it from scratch we can get better performance results than if we have to retrofit an existing ship," Gilpin explained.

But building new cargo ships, especially technologically-advanced sailing-optimized ones, is expensive. And like much of the global economy, the shipping industry is in an uncertain spot right now.

Thus Gilpin and her colleagues are also looking into retrofitting existing cargo ships. "We want a plug-and-play type system," she said: Ships come into port, they offload their cargo, the sails are installed as new cargo is loaded in, and the ship heads off again. Quick and easy. The sails would be adjustable and retractable, so they can stay out of the way of the loading dock cranes, or when the ship goes under a bridge or maneuvers into port.

The group has been refining the design, getting feedback from players in the industry, and then going back to the drawing board. They're on their third iteration and hope to begin a demonstration project with a fully retrofitted ship in 2021. They think their retrofitted sails could cut 20 percent of fuel consumption.

The Wind Challenger Project, which was started by the University of Tokyo, in conjunction with private shipping companies in Japan, is aiming for much the same goal: A system of sails that can be attached to current cargo vessels, that are maneuverable and retractable, and could cut fuel use by 20 percent. In a further convergence, the sails the two projects are working on even look similar: large, rectangular, multi-sectioned affairs that soar vertically from the ship's deck. Kazuyuki Ouchi, a professor at the University who leads the effort, told The Week they too hope to test a full scale model as soon as 2021.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From John Burnie: re Primagaz

Interesting to see the photo of the Orma 60 Primagaz on the first page in the latest Seahorse. Laurent Bourgnon who won the Route Du Rhum twice on the yachts is cited as a hero. I have to concur -having raced the yacht a few times (fully crewed) in the Caribbean in the RORC Caribbean 600 (in its later guise as Region Guadeloupe) you will see in the photo attached that the helm position has been moved a good distance inboard. Much easier to get into the cockpit to adjust things. Sitting in his helm seat, dangerously exposed and way out on the weather hull, Laurent was indeed a very tough hero!

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The Last Word
Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don't have any surface noise. I said, 'Listen, mate, *life* has surface noise." -- John Peel

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