In This Issue
International Laser Class Association Removes Laser Performance as Approved Builder
ORC Sportboat European Championship Now Open For Entries
New Harken® SnubbAir defies classification as a winch
Four dinghies put through their paces in Valencia
Entries start to roll in for Cowes Classics Week
TU Delft Solar Boat Team
Clipper Skippers at China's Biggest Offshore Event
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
Cowes Week Ltd continues support of Youth Sailing
Featured Brokerage
The Last Word: Abbie Hoffman

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

International Laser Class Association Removes Laser Performance as Approved Builder
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) announced today. The move comes after longtime builder of the class dinghy, Laser Performance (Europe) Limited (LPE), breached the terms of the Laser Construction Manual Agreement (LCMA), which seeks to ensure the identical nature of all Laser class boats, regardless of where they are built.

"We're disappointed to see such a long and productive relationship come to an end, but we had to move ahead in order to protect the level of competition and the investment for the 14,000 members of the International Laser Class and the more than 50,000 sailors around the world who regularly sail the Laser dinghy," said Class President Tracy Usher. With its UK-based manufacturing facility, LPE was the ILCA-approved builder that produced boats for most of Europe, Asia and the Americas until earlier this week, when Usher says the class terminated the LCMA with respect to LPE after the builder's refusal to allow inspection of the boats being built in their manufacturing facility as required by that contract.

"The very heart of our class is the ability for any sailor to race any other on an equal playing field, and the only way we can guarantee that level of parity is by ensuring that all builders are producing the boat in strict accordance with the Laser Construction Manual," explained Usher, who said that LPE has unequivocally denied the class their right to access to LPE's factory. "It's the same for every class of one-design racing boat: if we can't be sure that they are all the same, we have no class left," said Usher, who said that LPE left the class "no option."

Fortunately for sailors around the world, there are already two other manufacturers of class legal boats, one in Japan and another in Australia. According to Chris Caldecoat, General Manager of Performance Sailcraft Australia (PSA), his company is able to take up the slack if needed. "PSA has sufficient capacity to supply the market until new builders are appointed in Europe and around the world," Caldecoat said. "We have and will always do what is right for the sailors and the sport."

"Doing what's right for the sailors" is really all that matters, according to ILCA Executive Secretary Eric Faust, who emphasized that there will be no disruptions to the the 2020 Olympics or to any major ILCA event. "Performance Sailcraft Japan will supply all the boats for the Olympic competitions in Tokyo, while the next two World Championships are in regions with Performance Sailcraft factories. These are existing, class-approved builders so we expect no issues," said Faust. "We're confident that we'll see new builders coming on line soon, and that we'll once again have a robust dealer network around the world in plenty of time for the lead up to the 2024 Olympics," he added. With PSA and PSJ supplying boats and parts to sailors formerly served by Laser Performance over the next few months, Faust expects the disruption to class owners to be minimal or non-existent.

ILCA understands that many of our sailors will have additional questions about this news. Please know that we plan to post a FAQ with more detailed information soon. Finally, ILCA would like to thank all of our sailors, coaches, members and enthusiasts for their support of the class over the years and we look forward to a prosperous future ahead.

* LP has responded to the ILCA by stating:

"ILCA statements are falsehoods and defamatory. We will fully protect and enforce our intellectual rights property, including Laser intellectual property. ILCA offices, now located in Austin, Texas, USA, should be moved back to the UK or EU, where over 75% of active Laser class members and sailors reside, managed by a full-time professional team paid for by the builders through increased plaque fees. LaserPerformance is proud and determined to continue to support Laser sailors and community around the world."

I understand the termination of LP was based on a serious breach of agreement that occurred very recently, and while they are aware of the potential for legal action, the decision by ILCA came with significant legal advice and they are confident in their position. -- Craig Leweck

ORC Sportboat European Championship Now Open For Entries
Portoroz, Slovenia - Organizers from the Yacht Club Marina Portoroz (YCMP) and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) are pleased to announce the opening for entries to this year's ORC Sportboat European Championship.

Held over 24-30 August in Portoroz, Slovenia, this ORC championship event will be open to yachts that fit the following ORC Sportboat parameters:

- length from 6.00 - 9.15 m
- displacement less than 2000 kg
- displacement/length ratio (DSPM/LSM03) less than 3.70 for Division A
- displacement/length ratio (DSPM/LSM03) less than 6.00 for Divisions B and C

After three days of measurement from 24-26 August, racing will start with a coastal race on Tuesday 27 August, followed by three days of six inshore races until Friday 30 August, the closing date for the event. Inshore racing will take place in the Bay of Piran very near the venue at Marina Portoroz, with the length and location of the coastal race options determined by organizers in the Sailing Instructions.

The area is in the same general region and only a few miles south of where the ORC Worlds 2017 were held in Trieste.

Trophies will be awarded to the top three teams in each division, along with awards for Corinthian teams with all-Group 1 (amateur) skippers and crew members.

For those interested to attend who cannot bring their own boat, CleanSport in nearby Izola is offering charter deals from their fleet of six new Simonis-designed Far East 28R's, a proven performer in ORC Sportboat rules. More info can be obtained by visiting, writing to or calling +386 40 550 520.

New Harken® SnubbAir defies classification as a winch
Harken SnubbAir Designed to solve a deck layout challenge on the J/70, the new Harken SnubbAir might look like a smaller, less bruising version of the Classic Harken plain top size 8 winch it replaces, but the SnubbAir has so many other potential uses it really isn't a winch.

"It could act more like a really large ratcheting foot or cheek block or even a ratcheting line diverter in the pit. The SnubbAir provides lots of line-holding power even without a winch handle," said Greg Hartlmeier, the project's lead engineer.

SnubbAir comes with four integral threaded studs that match the bolt pattern of the B8A winch. It weighs less than half of the B8A and is 30% lower to the deck. It features two races of Delrin® ball bearings like a block, which assure it operates with very little friction. The SnubbAir can be used with an adaptor that lets crews use any conventional winch handle. "We named it the SnubbAir, because it's a modern spin on an old-school snubbing winch," Hartlmeier said. "Its low-profile, wide-drum diameter and large center hole make it look a little like our Grand Prix Air Winches."

Ask your Harken dealer to show you SnubbAir.

Four dinghies put through their paces in Valencia
From 11-15 March 2019, the D-Zero, Laser, Melges 14 and RS Aero were put through their paces at Sea Trials for the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy Equipment for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition.

World Sailing launched a tender process in May 2018 which invited Class Associations and Manufacturers to tender for the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy.

Eight tenders were received and a Board of Directors appointed Working Party recommended that the Laser be included as a full option in the Sea Trials alongside the D-Zero, Melges 14 and RS Aero .

Real Club Nautico Valencia hosted representatives of each manufacturer and class as well as an evaluation panel and 11 international sailors with Olympic and World Championship experience.

The evaluation panel at the Sea Trials brought together a wide range of knowledge including members from the re-evaluation working party, World Sailing committees, Board of Director, Coaches Commission, Medical Commission and World Sailing technical team.

They will now write a report and make a recommendation on what equipment should be adopted for the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

This recommendation will be presented to the Equipment Committee at the 2019 Mid-Year Meeting in May. The Equipment Committee will review the recommendation and then make their own to World Sailing's Council, the final decision making body of World Sailing, who will make a decision on the equipment that will be adopted.

Entries start to roll in for Cowes Classics Week
Cowes, UK: A pretty little 1927 one off yacht is one of the first entries for the 12th Cowes Classics Week. Chough, owned by Alex Kathrin Vowinckel, typifies the spirit of the event which, despite being a draw for vintage yachts and designs from all over the UK and beyond, is hotly contested on the race course. Chough herself is no slacker - following an absence from the event she will be seeking to reclaim her class title that she last held onto three years ago and even maybe her Concours d'Elegance Award which she has previous won at Cowes Classics Week .

Chough's entry is one of a steady flow of yachts whose numbers are likely to reach in excess of 180 if previous years are anything to go by. Preparation for the event is now officially underway. With the launch last week of the new 2019 website, competitors can now find information and enter the event. Racing takes place from 29th July to 2nd August.

Cowes Classics Week has grown strongly since its inaugural regatta whose fleet meets the qualification of being built to designs drawn up before 1979 or in the spirit of tradition.

Many truly classic yachts will be coming back once again to compete in a week which offers thrilling Solent race courses and evening entertainment. The newly formed classic Swan Division is already taking shape with the entry of Stephen Brookson's Kiswala. Meanwhile the XOD class entries are starting to arrive in a class that is likely to number more than 50 entries.

Red Funnel is, for the first time, the Signature Sponsor of the Event. The afternoon Winkworth Tea and Cakes are legendary, held after racing each afternoon at the organising club, the Royal London Yacht Club. Cowes Corinthian YC and the Island Sailing Club are opening their doors for social events as well, while the RORC and the Royal Thames YC are helping on the water.

TU Delft Solar Boat Team
Solbian and Hevel Group are the proud partners in this promising project. The TU Delft Solar Boat Team is one of the Dream Teams in the D:Dream Hall on the TU Delft campus. The name of this building is an acronym for: "Delft: Dream Realization of Extremely Advanced Machines". In the D:Dream Hall, several student teams work on their own innovative projects. The companies Solbian and Hevel Group are collaborating with students of the Solar Boat Team to produce the most innovative and highly efficient solar cells, so the team can show what is already possible with this innovative technology!

Completely new design for the open sea
Never before has the TU Delft Solar Boat Team built a solar boat that will defy the open seas. Besides being the first Dutch team, it will also be the first student team to take on this challenge. The design is completely different from previous years, when boats were built for the inland waters. Over the past five months, the 28 students of the TU Delft Solar Boat Team have been working full-time to create the most optimal design. In order to cope with the high waves and heavy gusts of wind on the open sea, this year's boat will take the form of a trimaran. With a larger solar boat, there will also be a considerably larger solar deck. The solar deck will be no less than 28 square meters, which is the same size as nine double beds together. With such a large surface, the energy that can be obtained from the sunlight is maximal. Due to the use of hydrofoils, the trimaran will not only be able to sail but can also fly above the waves at high speed.

The next months, the team will test and optimize the boat, so that at the start of July it will be ready to battle against world-class boats during The Offshore Challenge, the world-championships for solar boats, in Monaco. They will not only compete for the world title, the students will also do a world record attempt at the end of July by crossing The Channel as the fastest solar boat ever. The team hopes to show how powerful sustainable energy can be at sea.

The current team consists of a group of 28 students from ten different faculties at the TU Delft.

Clipper Skippers at China's Biggest Offshore Event
British Clipper 2017-18 Race Circumnavigators, Mike Miller (50, from Windsor) and Glenn Manchett (53, from Cambridge), who raced on board the winning Sanya Serenity Coast team, have returned to China's tropical paradise this month to compete in the country's famous Round Hainan Regatta.

Having enjoyed everything that Sanya had to offer during the Clipper Race stopover, Mike was especially looking forward to calling into the tropical resort whilst racing on Wan Ming Tang Bravery Honor Team in the race that start and finishes in Haikou, Hainan.

Sharing their Clipper Race experience, they explained how the opportunity to become a Sanya Ambassador has given them the chance to take on the grueling challenges, and also provided them with a once in a lifetime experience whilst helping to spread the word of Sanya. The programme, which is available to residents of Sanya, will give locals the chance to take part in the 2019-20 edition of the epic 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation when it kicks off this summer.

The Round Hainan Regatta was founded in 2010 by the China Yachting Association and celebrated its tenth edition this year

After more than 30 hours of fierce competition, Wuzhizhou Cup 10th Round Hainan Regatta 2019 ushered in the first team of Haikou-Sanya (West Route) at 17:53 18 March, the Noahs Sailing Club, which has always been at the leading position, and finally rushed through the finish line of the sea outside Sanya Serenity Marina in 31 hours, 48 minutes and 12 seconds.

Updates at

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

Seahorse Magazine

That spirit of friendly competition, why looking backwards is rarely a good look (especially if you're over 84kg), first (Figaro) impressions and a racing success that stands out above most others. Jack Griffin,Will Harris, Terry Hutchinson and Mike Woodhead

(More than) busy
With new Melges IC37s underpinning the world champagne market at the other end of the scale the company's little unballasted puppy is doing pretty well too...

Happy days!
Boxing Day 2018 marked the start of a pretty good story for the latest Doyle Sails technology

ORC - For the next trick
Time to lose the lead... Larry Rosenfeld and Dobbs Davis

Into action
Two birds with one (Aussie) stone... why not?

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Cowes Week Ltd continues support of Youth Sailing
Cowes Week Limited, organisers of Lendy Cowes Week, the world's best-known sailing regatta, is delighted to announce that they will continue their youth initiative which offers discounted entry fees to boats with crews of under 25 year olds.

The Under 25 Youth initiative, which has been running since 2012, has succeeded in doing what it was originally designed for - inspiring and making it possible for young people to race at Lendy Cowes Week.

By offering an extremely attractive package to young sailors under the age of 25, numbers have, not surprisingly, increased over the last few years, with young crews enjoying both the exciting racing and the lively apres-sail scene shoreside.

This year, Cowes Week Ltd is offering the first 25 crews to enter, who are all under age 25 at the time of the regatta, a 50% discount on the entry fee. The sooner teams sign up the more chance there is of securing one of the highly desirable discounted places.

In 2018, competition was fierce out on the water, but the Under 25 crew of Team Heiner III, not only took home the Land Rover Under 25 Trophy but also won the TNG Newcomers trophy, Musto Young Skipper trophy and were second overall in IRC 3 Class.

Teams wishing to take advantage of discounted entry fees should make their entry as soon as possible by contacting the Regatta Office at / 01983 295744

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The Last Word
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