In This Issue
Sea Trials underway in Valencia
The Ocean Race: how sailors and organisers are preparing
Dolan and Foxall Team Up As All-Irish Challenge For Figaro Season Opener
Capri Classica - the first bespoke regatta for classic schooners
Ten places left for Finns at Tokyo 2020
Windy Weekend In Store For King George
Free Easter boat speed
Opposition to NZ superyacht levy grows
Eight Bells: Jack Baxter
Paul Heys - Celebration of an incredible man
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Douglas Adams

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

Sea Trials underway in Valencia
Sea Trials for the selection of Equipment for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy Events commenced on 11 March in Valencia, Spain.

Real Club Nautico de Valencia is hosting an Evaluation Panel and sailors through to Friday 15 March. During the sea-trials, sailors will sail and test the four boats shortlisted during the Re-evaluation procedure. These include:

D-Zero, presented by Devotti Sailing s.r.o.
Laser Standard and Laser Radial sailboat, presented by ILCA
Melges 14, presented by Melges Boat Works Inc., NELO and Mackay Boats Ltd.
RS Aero, presented by RS Sailing.

Sailors from nine nations are in Valencia, testing the boats. World Sailing invited Member National Authorities to put forward male sailors with a weight range of 75kg to 90kg and female sailors in the 55kg to 70kg weight range.

Sailors at the sea-trials include:

Ash Brunning (AUS)
Guillaume Boisard (FRA)
Pavlos Kontides (CYP)
Stepan Novotny (CZE)
Christian G. Rost (DEN)
Ben Childerley (GBR)
Anna Munch (DEN)
Sarah McGovern (GBR)
Fatima Reyes (ESP)
Tania Elias Calles (MEX)
Mafalda Pires de Lima (POR)

Sailors will sail the boats on a daily basis, testing them in a variety of conditions in Valencia, providing the Evaluation Panel with feedback on items such as performance.

Representatives from each boat will also be invited to present to the Evaluation Panel on universality, measurement, quality control and cost.

World Sailing launched the tender process in May 2018 which invited Class Associations and Manufacturers to tender for the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy following World Sailing's Olympic Re-evaluation Policy, detailed in Regulation 23.6 and approved by World Sailing's Council at the 2017 Annual Conference in Mexico.

Following the Sea-trial phase, World Sailing's Council will select the Equipment in 2019.

The Ocean Race: how sailors and organisers are preparing
The Ocean Race, the crewed round the world race with stopovers raced for the first time on IMOCAs with foils, will start in Alicante in October 2021. With just over two and a half years to go to the start, the organisers and sailors are already busy preparing behind the scenes for this new event on the IMOCA calendar. We look at the state of play with Johan Salen, co-President of The Ocean Race and skipper Boris Herrmann.

"We are talking to everyone and the potential teams can be divided into three major groups," explained Johan Salen, co-President of The Ocean Race. "We are in contact with existing IMOCA teams, a majority of which are French, but also with teams from the last Volvo and some other teams that are completely new. The teams that are interested come from France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the United States, Brazil, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, China, South Africa... And we have some other important countries we need to get involved. The goal is to bring together highly professional international teams that are well organised and structured with active sponsors."

For Johan Salen, it is clear that bringing together the ex-Volvo Ocean Race and the IMOCA class is very welcome. "Working with a class that has shown what it can do helps our sport to be less fragmented. It means we can look forward to more feedback with the same platform," he said. What do the sailors already involved in the IMOCA class think about this? We talked to three of them.

Boris Herrmann: "An adventure that complements the Vendee Globe"
In 2020, Boris Herrmann, skipper of Malizia 2, is set to become the first German to take part in the Vendee Globe, but Boris is already looking further ahead. "The Ocean Race interests me a lot," he told us. "The idea is to ensure our project continues with the same boat (a VPLP-Verdier design from 2015, ex Edmond de Rothschild). This crewed adventure complements perfectly the Vendee Globe. In my opinion, there are four big dreams for sailors: the Olympic Games, the America's Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race and the Vendee Globe. Now, two of these four events are raced on the same boat. That is very inspiring."

Already supported by the Monaco Yacht Club, Boris Herrmann is confident he will be able to attract German firms to complete his budget for The Ocean Race. "The crewed round the world race means a lot to Germans. In 2001-2002, a German crew won the Volvo Ocean Race, Illbruck Challenge. There was a huge event organised at the finish in Kiel, which was absolutely incredible. Since then, no major projects have appeared in Germany. This is a great opportunity to get one going again." If he manages to find the required funding, Boris believes that he will set off with an eclectic crew: "The idea isn't to set up a team that is 100% German. In my team at the moment there are as many different nationalities as there are people involved! I love that diversity."

Dolan and Foxall Team Up As All-Irish Challenge For Figaro Season Opener
Tom Dolan will form an all-Irish partnership with the vastly experienced Damian Foxall for the first race for the new Figaro Beneteau 3, the Sardinha Cup which starts on March 27th.

After last year's promising first season in the Figaro one design class, finishing third rookie overall, Dolan has embraced the circuit's change to the brand new foiling Figaro Beneteau 3, and has spent recent weeks learning how to make the new boat sail fast. Sailing and training with the star studded Lorient training group, Dolan is profiting from Foxall's skills and experience, on and off the water.

Ten times round the world sailor, a winner of the crewed Volvo Ocean Race and the two handed Barcelona World Race round the world, Foxall cut his teeth in the solo and short-handed world in the Figaro class in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He became was the first even non French skipper to win a leg of La Solitaire du Figaro and who finished top rookie in 1997.

The decision to move to the new foil-assisted, faster and more responsive Figaro 3 has proven a magnet to many of the top French ocean racing stars such as Loick Peyron, Michel Desjoyeaux, and Charles Caudrelier as well as three times La Solitaire winners Jeremie Beyou and Yann Eliès.

Dolan received his new Figaro 3 on January 25th and had his first training sessions in February coached by Tanguy Leglatin and Gildas Mahe.

The Sardinha Cup, from 26 March to 13 April 2019, will launch the 2019 French Offshore Racing Championship! This new double-handed race is the first on the new Figaro Beneteau 3 and it will line up over 50 racers at the starting line in the port of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. The race is organized by Team Vendee Formation, which provides unique support and training in the sailing profession.

The Sardinha Cup is open to all the Figaro Beneteau 3 boats complying with 2019 Figaro Class rules and it is the first event in the French "Elite Offshore racing " championship. It will be followed by the Solo Maître Coque and the Solitaire Urgo le Figaro. The race village will open officially on 26 March 2019, at Port la Vie, where the teams will be presented.

Capri Classica - the first bespoke regatta for classic schooners
Press release issued by the International Maxi Association and International Schooner Association From 8th to 12th May the world's largest and most beautiful classic schooners will line up off Capri for the first event initiated by the newly formed International Schooner Association

Following the founding of the International Schooner Association (ISA) at a meeting during last September's Regates Royales in Cannes, so the first ever event purely for classic schooners will take place off Capri in May.

The ISA, the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia and the Yacht Club Capri, with the support of the International Maxi Association (IMA), have launched the Capri Classica which will take place over 8-12 May, just before Capri Rolex Sailing Week.

This new regatta will see some of the largest classic yachts competing in an event with a unique format, specifically tailored to classic schooners. Race starts from anchor, staggered starts, race courses optimised for the peculiarities of the classic schooner sailing - these are just some of the new features to be introduced by the organisers plus the team from The Classic Yacht Experience (TCYE), a company created by like-minded individuals, passionate about schooners and with the desire to promote yachting's purest and most traditional format.

The Capri Classica will be the first round of the International Schooner Association's 2019 Schooner Cup Series. The other two events in this series will be Monaco Classic Week (11-15 September) and Les Voiles de Saint Tropez (26 September- 6 October), at the end of the Mediterranean summer season.

Andrew McIrvine, Secretary General of the International Maxi Assocation added: "The IMA is delighted to be supporting the first regatta designed solely for classic schooners and the inaugural event for the International Schooner Association. Our stated aim is to stimulate and support all forms of maxi yacht racing. We look forward to continuing our affiliation through the next events in their series in Monaco and Saint-Tropez."

Ten places left for Finns at Tokyo 2020
Over the coming 14 months the final 10 places for Finns on the starting line at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be determined. With the exception of the African continental qualifier, the full qualification system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been published by World Sailing.

The Qualification system is published here

and the continental events are here

The Finn class will have 19 places in Tokyo. Eight places (40%) were awarded in 2018 and seven events over the next 14 months will decide the remaining 10. The qualification events will run from the European Championship in Athens, in May 2019, through to the Genoa world cup event in April 2020.

Four places are initially available in Athens, after which one place is available at each of the various Continental Qualifiers, plus an automatic place for Japan, the host nation. Only the venue for the African qualifier has to be announced - it is still being discussed whether this will be in South Africa or at the Genoa world cup event. The objective is to make it possible for the maximum number of sailors from African nations to be able to take part.

Windy Weekend In Store For King George
The forecast for the King George Gallop is promising a stern test this weekend on the North London reservoir. Just down the road from Alexandra Palace, where a couple of weeks ago all manner of dinghies and small cats and keelboats were on display, the goal of the Great British Sailing Challenge is to achieve the same kind of diversity on the water.

Using the latest version of the Great Lakes handicap numbers, a variation of the RYA PY system, along with GPS-based Dynamic Handicapping developed by SailRacer, this event and others in the Challenge aims to create as fair a playing field as possible for a wide range of boats. The Saturday schedule is three back-to-back handicap races with a Fast and Slow start three minutes apart, while Sunday concludes the regatta with a Pursuit Race.

The strong forecast for Saturday could suit Tony Burton's Contender from the home club, and also another trapeze singlehander, Michael Iszatt in his RS600. Jonathan Carter's Vortex will enjoy the strong breeze too. The reigning RS600 National Champion Richard Smith might be wondering if he should have signed on in the singlehander, although he's down to compete with his 21-year-old daughter Ellie in the RS800.

The National 18s have proven very potent on the Selden SailJuice Winter Series, and Jessica Berney from Blackwater Sailing Club will be at the helm of her powerful 18-footer this weekend.

After 13 years out of the boat, co-founder of the Great British Sailing Challenge, Andy Rice, has been coaxed out of 49er retirement by 19-year-old 29er sailor Ewan Gribbin who has recently bought a secondhand Olympic skiff. With a 31-year age gap, Rice and Gribbin easily qualify for one of the sub-series in the Great British Sailing Challenge called the 'Generation Game', which encourages sailors of different ages to sail together.

Free Easter boat speed
You can pay for new sails. You can pay for keel fairing and a good bottom job. You can pay a specialist to try and optimise your IRC rating. Any of the above will help you to get around the race track faster in a more successful manner. But none address the real issue - that boat speed gains, ultimately translating into performance on the race course, can come just as readily if you spend time not money. You can change the set-up and trim of your boat, and spend time on the water testing that while practicing to improve your crew's skill-sets, boat handling and techniques. The fast track way to do this is by employing a coach - the reason why Olympic sailors and America's Cup teams have them full time. However, competitors at the RORC Easter Challenge (Friday 19th-Sunday 21st April) - be they RORC members or not - can receive coaching for FREE from some top names.

This coaching is laid on by the Royal Ocean Racing Club to improve general sailing skills, and thus the tightness of the racing, both in its own fleets and more broadly. As a result it attracts crews from the continent too, notably this year the de Graaf family's Baraka GP from the Netherlands and the Goubau's First 47.7 Moana from Belgium.

Once again North Sails is a partner of the RORC Easter Challenge and various sailmakers from the Gosport loft will be both helping with the on-the-water coaching, while others will be sailing on key boats in the fleet.

For those unfamiliar with the event, the coaching comes in two significant parts. On the water the event is almost unique in having RRS 41 'Outside Help' relaxed. This permits coaches can climb on board to demonstrate something and/or crew can step off on to a coaching RIB to check trim... mid-race.

Post racing on the Friday and Saturday nights at the RORC's Cowes Clubhouse, the coaching team will examine lessons learned during the day, backed up with video from the race course. New for 2019 is that due to the breadth of the fleet and the introduction of a doublehanded class, the debrief session for the whole group will be followed by sessions for smaller groups, with, for example, Nikki Curwen leading the one for doublehanders.

Opposition to NZ superyacht levy grows
Auckland Council has proposed an anchorage tax on foreign-flagged superyachts longer than 40m

Opposition is growing to an Auckland Council proposal for an anchorage tax on foreign-flagged superyachts longer than 40m that moor in waters off the city. If the levy is imposed, the New Zealand Marine Industry Association believes it would cut into the estimated NZ$360m that superyacht visits contribute to the national economy.

The move is estimated to add as much as NZ$1,495 a day to anchor off Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

The most recent to join the fray is Team New Zealand, the defending America's Cup champions. "Owners will simply choose to go to other destinations around the world out of principle at being unnecessarily gouged," said the team in a statement, according to Estimates are that up to 160 superyachts could attend the America's Cup in Auckland in 2021.

NZ MIA executive director Peter Busfield is quoted by the website, saying the government hasn't done its homework. "In Sardinia they imposed an anchoring levy and there was a significant level of disgust, to the extent the Sardinian government had to repeal it," he said. "The superyachts went to Palma Mallorca, which is now a major superyacht hub."

In its statement, Team New Zealand said the impact of taxing superyacht owners has been seen in earlier regattas. "As well as the Sardinia example, we saw at the America's Cup in Valencia in 2007 and Bermuda in 2017, that attempts to gouge the superyacht owners meant they simply didn't come," a spokesman said. -- Tony Esposito

Eight Bells: Jack Baxter
 Jack Baxter For those readers thinking, who? You need to be either an Australian sailor, of a certain age, a participant in the IOR racing in the 1970s and 1980s or a serious aficionado of the America's Cup, in 12 meters.

Jack was a fixture, a near legend I reckon, in the West Australian sailing scene for the better part of 60 years. Coach, crew, navigator, skipper, boat owner and builder, Jack navigated Alan Bond's 12 meters for three America's Cup challenges in Newport, in between a life full of sailing.

Jack Baxter quietly, and peacefully, crossed the bar on Monday 4 March 2019, aged 79, in the company of his wife of nearly 60 years, Di, and three wonderful daughters.

Born in 1939, Jack worked as a Math and Manual Arts teacher in Albany, Western Australia before his first AC with Bondy, as Navigator aboard Southern Cross, in 1974.

He sailed in the Admiral's Cup aboard Hitchhiker, in the Clipper Cup, the Sardinia Cup, and 1976 Half Ton worlds in Trieste, ITA. Jack could spin a good yarn, a significant accomplishment in the Australian sailing community and I remember an instructive (to a nipper Boat Captain) yarn of sailing as Navigator aboard Southern Cross, the first Aluminum 12 meter ever built. -- Joe Cooper

Paul Heys - Celebration of an incredible man
Paul Heys Afternoon of Tuesday 19th March

On behalf of the team at Key Yachting, we would like to say a huge thank you, for the astounding number of cards and messages we have received since we told you the news of Paul's passing. Even if we have not been able to respond to your message yet, please know that we have read them all. Your support has given us an incredible amount of strength, and we are especially proud to have called Paul a husband, father, friend, and boss.

Anyone who wishes to attend the funeral is very welcome. This will take place on Tuesday 19th March.

As the River Hamble and the village were such a huge part of Paul's life, the funeral car will pass through the village, and along The Quay, on the way to the crematorium. This is an opportunity for anyone who wishes to pay their respects. We estimate this will take place around 13.30.

14.30 - 16.00: Service at Test Valley Crematorium, Ridge Lane, Romsey SO51 6AB. As we anticipate large numbers, please be aware that many guests will be asked to stand throughout the service.

16.30 - late: Drinks and reminiscing at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble SO31 4HB.

To help us with our planning, please let us know you are coming by replying to this email.

Dress code: Whatever's comfortable, including regatta t-shirts that remind you of Paul!

As opposed to floral contributions, please give generously to Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

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