In This Issue
92 days 'til Marion Bermuda XXII
Record attempt ends for Pixel Boat
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
Solitaire Urgo de Figaro
Miami to Havana Race
Merlin Rockets Open Meeting
Modernizing the Laser Design
RC35 Class Ready for the Sailing Season
Two Sailors In Their Thirties To Tackle The Vendee Globe
Blind San Diego sailor making waves in record trans-Pacific crossing
Correction: Paul Heys service
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Albus Dumbledore

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

92 days 'til Marion Bermuda XXII
The 2019 Marion Bermuda Race starts June 14. More than 90 days to go seems like a lot of time to get all of your preparations done; but when that last week comes, every skipper and every crew member wants more time to finish the last minute details.

As of Monday, there were 46 confirmed entries. Marketing Chair Ray Cullum of Marion says there are several more entries in the pipeline. Could that be you?

"We expect 50 or more boats on the line in June," Cullum said. "One boat we know of that hasn't entered yet, but we know she's coming, is the 'Spirit of Bermuda' in the Classic Yacht Division. She will match up against the Tabor Academy training vessel 'Tabor Boy' and for the first time have some competition in that division."

The Marion Bermuda Race offers a very strong Celestial Navigation incentive and some nice prizes for that division. Cullum pointed out that 18 of the current entries will be in the Celestial bunch. That's more than double the star-steering entries in 2017.

The 2017 race was won by the Class D yacht 'Selkie', a Morris 32.5 skippered by Chip Bradish. 'Selkie' had elected to use celestial navigation giving her a 3% handicap time bonus over the GPS-navigated yachts in the race. 'Selkie' won Class D, short-handed, celestial, and of course, overall. 'Selkie' will be back to defend her title this year.

In 2017, the 40th anniversary and the 21st running of the biennial Marion Bermuda Race went down as a light air battle to the finish. With the Bermuda high shutting down the breeze about 100 miles from the 'rock' and the line off of St. David's Lighthouse in Bermuda, racing was a test of patience for the Class D boats which ultimately swept all the overall podium places.

Special Trophy Races
There are races for several special trophy within the Marion Bermuda Race.

The R&W Rope Rigging Solutions Team Trophy is offered for established Yacht Clubs or Sailing organizations that form a team of three member yachts. The team whose three yachts have the lowest corrected time total will be the winner.

Yachts sailing with a crew of two, a crew of three or four or an all-female crew of any number may compete in the double-handed, short-handed, and all-female competitions respectively. Prizes are the Double-Handed Trophy, the short-handed L. Bryon Kingery, Jr. Memorial Trophy and the Commodore Faith Paulsen Trophy for the ladies.

The Offshore Youth Challenge Trophy encourages youth participation. A "youth" yacht is one with at least 4four youths aboard with at least 66% of the crew qualified as youths. A youth sailor must be 16 years of age or older but not more than 23 years old by June 8, 2017. One or more adults at least 23 years old by June 8, 2017 must be onboard.

The Beverly Yacht Club Polaris Trophy is a prize for stargazers. If a yacht has elected to be celestially navigated, she will receive a 3% favorable adjustment to her ORR rating.

The first Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race in 1977 saw 104 starters cross the line. Over the forty years since that first race the race has evolved into a true offshore challenge for cruising yachts, amateur, family and youth sailors. Special prizes abound to emphasis celestial navigation, short handed sailing, family crews and regional competition. The race is handicapped under the ORR rating system to assure the fairest scoring available for ocean racing yachts. -- Talbot Wilson

Record attempt ends for Pixel Boat
Sorry everyone, but it is Game Over for the Record Attempt. Here is a message from Alex from this morning:

Most of you will have noticed that a few days ago I took a more northerly course than may be expected and I have been going a bit slower ever since. We have been trying to deal with an issue on board - where the mainsail attaches to the mast. There is a track that runs up the length of the mast, and 'cars' run up the track which attach to 'batten boxes' on the mainsail...., a few days ago it was almost impossible to get the main down to reef it - i had to winch it down with such force that i was expecting either the sail to rip in half or the track to pull off the mast or the line to break. eventually, inch by inch the sail came down. i since noticed damage to several cars and some of the track. i have tried swapping things around but i still get the same jamming issue. This means that I can no longer hoist the mainsail all the way up without it jamming - the bigger issue with this is getting it back down again, which is very important when the wind increases (especially for the expanse of Southern Ocean between New Zealand and Cape Horn) and I need to reduce sail by reefing and lowering the sail again. I am currently in 3rd reef, which means that in light winds I am very slow (like now in 7kts wind!).

I have been trying various solutions but with no success as the track itself is damaged with a nick out of it, and possibly more further up, and three cars are also damaged with bent pins. I have come to the very disheartening conclusion that the only option is to head for a port and try and sort it out - but this means giving up on the Record. I simply can't carry on with 3 reefs all the way and still be viable against the Record.

I have done just over 250 sail changes and sailed 13,910 miles so far, but will be over 14,500 by the time i reach land.

So it is with great regret, and a deep feeling that I am letting you all down, that I am going to have to retire from the record and head to port in Australia. I still have a long way to go to reach a port (maybe Adelaide) so I will leave the tracker running so you can follow me if you still want to. -- Alex Alley


Seahorse April 2019
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

World news
Happy 'blue' birthday (amazing, really), the gods are smiling on Clarisse Cremer, Bilou's three boats and counting, multitasking with a vengeance from Sharon Ferris, steady start fast finish for SailGP... and for Tom Slingsby. Plus the world's smallest 65-footer is back in action. Halvard Mabire, Patrice Carpentier, Ivor Wilkins, Blue Robinson and Dobbs Davis

Too easy
People often talk about the Stephens/Burgess designed Ranger as the 'Super J' with a hull shape that no one could compete with. Don Street argues that is really just a small part of the story

Life in the cheap seats
As one fortunate Vendee Globe hopeful has it all land in their lap Germany's best solo ocean racer is still fighting on like a dog... Jorg Riechers

Rod Davis - Where exactly?
Before taking sailing 'forwards' we first need to work out which way forwards actually is...

RORC news - Encore
Eddie Warden-Owen

Special rates for Scuttlebutt Europe subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code SB2

1yr Print Sub: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65

1yr Digital Sub for £30:

Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine.

Solitaire Urgo de Figaro
A little more than a month after the unveiling of this 50th edition of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, there is no doubt that the 2019 vintage will be an unparalleled success. As of March 1, there were already 5 registered and 23 pre-registered.

Among the registrants are Charles Caudrelier, Adrien Hardy, Armel Le Cleac'h, Tanguy Le Turquais and Arthur Le Vaillant.

The pre-registrants are: Lois Berrehar, Jeremie Beyou, Cassandre Blandin, Alberto Bona, Clarisse Cremer, Matthieu Damerval, Eric Delamare, Michel Desjoyeaux, Yann Eliès, Benoit Hochart, Tom Laperche, Henry Lemenicier, Robin Marais, Benoit Mariette, Justine Mettraux, Andre Morante Perez, Gildas Morvan, Achille Nebout, Loick Peyron, Julien Pulve, Thomas Ruyant and Benjamin Schwartz.

Miami to Havana Race
The Southern Ocean Racing Conference and Coral Reef YC are hosting their fourth annual Miami to Havana Race, starting on March 13th, Wednesday. The race starts just off South Beach, Miami, then it takes you down around the curve of the Florida Keys, and across the Gulf Stream to Havana, Cuba to the finish line off Marina Hemingway.

The festivities get underway on Tuesday March 12, with a pre-race party and Competitors' Meeting hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club, with the start on Wednesday morning. Once cleared in at Marina Hemingway, each boat will have a gracious "red carpet" welcome from the staff at the marina, which looks forward to welcoming competitors to their facility once again. Most after race festivities are set and it will be another banner year for the ride to Havana.

Looking forward to the "Havana experience" and sailing in the ORC Division is Andy Wescoat's J/109 HARM'S WAY from Spring, Texas and the Galveston Bay Cruising Association. They have been racing most of the SORC events this year, starting with the Miami to Palm Beach Race, then the Miami to Nassau Cup Race, then the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race. Currently, they are one of the leaders in the ORC division and hope to get yet another podium finish

Merlin Rockets Open Meeting
Having welcomed Merlin Rockets as a new class this year, Itchenor Sailing Club is preparing to host their first Merlin Open Meeting on Sunday 24thMarch.

The premier adult two-person hiking dinghy in the UK, the Merlin Rocket is a very distinctive national class with a rich history in progression and development.

The introduction of Merlin Rockets at Itchenor has certainly captured interest following a successful Winter Warmer event in February. The visitors, many of whom had never been to Itchenor before, enjoyed a weekend of tight racing in 15 knots, giving a taster of what they can enjoy at the Open Meeting later this month.

The Open Meeting on the 24thwill start with a briefing at 10.00am. The schedule of races will depend on weather conditions but the Race Committee aims to run four races in total. The day will be rounded off with a fish and chip supper in the Club House. This is a fantastic opportunity for visitors to experience sailing in a Merlin Rocket in Chichester Harbour while also finding out more about the Sailing Club and all it has to offer.

Looking further ahead, the Merlin class's racing this year will be focused on specific weekends across the season, with three weekends each side of the summer. During the summer months the Merlin class does a lot of travelling, with events including Salcombe Week and the Nationals, which are this year staged in Looe.

To help encourage fresh talent to Itchenor Sailing Club, the Merlin Rocket class has introduced a new, pay-as-you-sail scheme to allow non-members to book for a weekend of sailing and experience the best that Itchenor has to offer.

Modernizing the Laser Design
A good relationship between one design classes and their builders is vital for the success of class associations. Reliable supply is good for the class members while a poorly administered class is bad for the supplier. Everything is either win-win or lose-lose.

A variable all class organizations face is change, and the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) may be the most conservative of them all. Born as a simple boat with basic rigging, the ILCA has demonstrated a pattern of controlled, incremental evolution and development aimed at improving longevity, increasing the ease of use and reducing the cost of ownership.

Nowhere is that more on display than in the development of a new mast and sail combination to modernize the 50 year old design.

Driven by dinghy designer Julian Bethwaite, and with the endorsement of the Australian and Japanese Laser builders, there has been a four year campaign at developing what is known as the C5 rig for usage while seeking the endorsement of the ILCA.

Full editorial by Craig Leweck in Scuttlebutt:

RC35 Class Ready for the Sailing Season
The exciting RC35 class is entering its third year of racing with another close season on the cards. Many of the members are taking advantage of unseasonal weather and getting an early start on boat prep hoping to shave off a few vital seconds round the race course writes Robin Young.

The class is continuing to go from strength to strength with three new boats already confirmed for 2019. The draw of close Corinthian class racing in exciting locations, combined with boats that are potentially equally comfortable on a family cruise as they are thrashing round a windward-leeward race course seems to be a winning formula. With class rules specifically designed to keep racing close while managing the budget, what's not to like. New class member Terry Kirchin summed it up well, "Racing in the RC35 fleet is such an exciting prospect. With well-matched boats making up the fleet, it'll be the nearest thing to class racing most of us yachters will ever see. As a long time east coast sailor, I would say we've enjoyed some fine company and some keen sailing over there but we're now looking forward to making the most of the variety of splendid sailing venues on the west coast and further afield in Ireland and Wales."

Two Sailors In Their Thirties To Tackle The Vendee Globe
They are among the newcomers to the IMOCA class. Maxime Sorel, 32, and Clement Giraud, 38, come from different backgrounds, but share the same dream. They wish to take part in the 2020 Vendee Globe. We find out more about their two projects.

The Vendee Globe, a childhood dream and the gateway to the IMOCA class It was the prospect of competing in the Vendee Globe that attracted Maxime Sorel and Clement Giraud to the IMOCA circuit. For Maxime, victory in the 2017 Transat Jacques Vabre in Class40 with Antoine Carpentier was the turning point, which led him to take this leap. "Unlike in Class40, it was not financially possible for my partner V and B to build a brand new IMOCA," explained Maxime. "That suited me as I want to move forward slowly but surely in the class, even if we just look at the logistics and organisational aspects, which are complicated with these boats. Even with an IMOCA from a previous generation, the budgets are huge and there is no room for any mistakes. But it is all worth the effort, as there is greater exposure, which is vital for a sponsor. In the next Transat Jacques Vabre, the IMOCAs will be the biggest boats in the dock. This class attracts people because of its professionalism and the fact that it is thriving."

For Clement Giraud, the Vendee Globe is also a childhood dream. He has come a long way to get here. Until he was eighteen, Clement lived in the Caribbean and although he did a lot of sailing, he never signed up to a sailing club. When he came to Mandelieu in France, he worked for a sail-maker, obtained his official sailing certificate and then became a semi-professional sailor, taking part four times in the Tour de France Sailing Race. After his maiden adventure in the 2005 Mini Transat, he turned to crewed sailing (Farr40, TP52, 15 mJI, VOR70, etc). After all this experience, he wanted to try his hand again sailing solo with everything that entailed and so quite naturally Clement turned to IMOCAs. "I did a lot sailing on big boats out on the foredeck," he explained. "On those boats, being a bowman is physically and psychologically demanding. Dealing with huge amounts of sail doesn't scare me and I feel at home on an IMOCA."

Funding to be completed...
While both projects are well underway, both sailors are busy looking for the funding to be more at ease when working and with the aim of enhanced performance. Already backed by a group of companies, Clement Giraud is now looking for one or more headline partners: "I want to set up a human, collective and meaningful project. Today, the sails and hull on my boat are all white. That is a way to tell any potential sponsors: "Come and join us in this great adventure."

Maxime Sorel has the same problem with the boat initially taking the name V and B - Sailing Together. His loyal partner for five seasons in Class40, V and B has come up with 55 % of the budget for the campaign leading up to the 2020 Vendee Globe. "We are looking for a joint partner and we hope to show her off in early April, which will encourage firms to join us," stressed Maxime.

Blind San Diego sailor making waves in record trans-Pacific crossing
Twelve days after leaving San Diego harbor on a nonstop, 6,000-mile crossing of the Pacific Ocean, sailors Matsuhiro "Hiro" Iwamoto of Kearny Mesa and Doug Smith of Japan are right on target to reach Fukushima, Japan, by April 24.

An uneventful ocean crossing may not seem like news, until you consider the circumstances. Iwamoto is completely blind, yet he's splitting all of the ship's steering, rigging and navigational duties with Smith.

And if they're successful in their quest, they will be the first blind sailing team to ever achieve a nonstop trans-Pacific crossing between the U.S. and Japan.

But the real reason for celebrating their arrival at day 12 is that this is the second time Iwamoto has attempted the crossing. Last time, a 50-foot blue whale struck his boat six days into the voyage and sent it to the bottom of the sea. Iwamoto and his then-sailing partner, Japanese TV newsman Jiro Shinbo, barely escaped with their lives in the June 2013 attempt. -- Pam Kragen The San Diego Union-Tribune

Correction: Paul Heys service
In yesterday's issue we noted that the funeral for Paul Heys was at 1:30 PM in Hamble Square. The correct time is 1:00. Fair winds and following seas, Paul.

Featured Brokerage
2015 Mills 45. 480000 EUR. Located in Adelaide, Australia

CONCUBINE, is without question one of the stand out boats on the Australian circuit, both in terms of performance and presentation..... A full grand-prix build and meticulous management from start to finish has got the boat to where she is today, consistently challenging for top spot at every event

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Race Boats
+64 277733717
+44 2380 016582


1982 Nautor Swan 371. 85000 EUR. Located in Genoa, Italy.

Extensively updated 3-owner Ron Holland Swan 371. Hull No.72 of the fleet and lovingly maintained and updated throughout her life. Recent new decks and all new electronics are just a few of her many highlights.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Lead broker - Michele Antonini
Tel: +39 333 74 89 281


2017 RIO 52. 1200000 USD. Located in West coast of the states.

RIO 52 is for sale. Built in 2017, she is a flat out IRC/ORC/Pac 52, race boat that can win anywhere in the world. Three sets of sails, ( North and Quantum) full safety gear, trailer, she has everything Contact us for the details

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

William Jenkins
410 267 9419
410 353 7862

See the collection at

The Last Word
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. -- Albus Dumbledore

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see