In This Issue
The Arrival Of The Fleet
Michel Desjoyeaux: The Return Of The King
Making the harder stuff easy - Spinlock
Maserati Multi 70 and Giovanni Soldini are ready for the challenge
Chinese Whisper at Hamilton Island Race Week
J/70 Downwind Sailing- When to Switch Modes?
European Inland Waterways Cruising Guides
RORC North Sea Race
44Cup star attraction of Rovinj 5-star hotel launch
Featured Brokerage:
• • Mattia 52 Catamaran
• • Charles E Nicholson 147 Ft Schooner 1910
• • Prince De Bretagne Trimaran Ultim Maxi 80
The Last Word: Roy T. Bennett

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

The Arrival Of The Fleet
At 08:30 Monday morning, the race management met the fleet of the 50th edition of The Solitaire URGO Le Figaro under the famous bridge of Saint-Nazaire. Under a grey sky, the skippers are currently making their way up the River Loire towards the Quai de la Fosse in Nantes where they are expected at 12:00. The race village will open its doors at the same time, with thousands of public and well-wishers expected to descend over the coming week in the build up to the race start.

By nature meticulous in all of his planning and his preparation, British solo racer Alan Roberts is trying to ensure he has left nothing to chance before he starts what promises to be the most competitive Solitaire URGO Le Figaro on Sunday 2nd June from Nantes in Brittany. Since making a successful transition some six years ago from being a many times British high performance dinghy champion to solo offshore racer, Roberts has devoted his energies entirely to the famous French multi-stage offshore classic. This season he was hand picked to work with three-times Solitaire champion Jeremie Beyou as a like-minded, talented, hard-driving training partner.

That open book, no-secrets working relationship has allowed the duo to optimise the preparation of their respective new Figaro Beneteau 3s, Beyou's Charal and Roberts' Seacat Services, to follow a two boat tuning and training programme in addition to their participation within the Pole Finistêre elite training group in France.

The huge entry for this 50th anniversary edition of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro and the transition to the new foil assisted VPLP designed Figaro Beneteau 3 has seen the return to the race of Beyou, Yann Eliès, Michel Desjoyeaux, Yoann Richomme, Loick Peyron, Alain Gautier and Armel Le Cleac'h, creating a sporting level which is unprecedented. As he approaches his sixth consecutive Solitaire, Roberts, 29, is relishing every aspect of the upcoming four stage race which starts on Sunday in Nantes and finishes at the end of the month in Dieppe after stages to Kinsale, Ireland, to Roscoff, a loop off Roscoff and a final leg to the finish.

Michel Desjoyeaux: The Return Of The King
On Sunday, Michel Desjoyeaux will start his 13th Solitaire URGO Le Figaro alongside the strongest fleet of solo skippers ever assembled for the French multi-stage offshore classic. It is an event he knows well having already won it three times. But, with the introduction of the new foil assisted Figaro Beneteau 3, and 46 fiercely competitive and experienced rivals, the two-times winner of the Vendee Globe knows he will have a fight on his hands. With four days to go until the first start gun, Desjoyeaux, who will be racing Lumibird, is happy to be in Nantes and impatient to get started on Sunday in Saint-Nazaire.

What lessons have you learnt from the pre-season?

"Well I know that this Solitaire is going to be very hard! (laughs). There are lots of very good sailors. I have to get back on it and make up for the forgotten time. I'm still discovering things I did not know."

Like what?

"There are certain manoeuvres that I can't control over these small boats. And then also the use of the computer. But finally, by asking lots of questions, I start to find some answers. That being the case, I'm still not comfortable with the basics of getting this boat moving fast. I feel that it is less intuitive than before. Before, there were things that I felt quickly, this is more difficult."

What is your view of the boat?

"The Figaro Beneteau 3 is quite fine because it has a keel and small rudders. So it is not very forgiving. With this boat, when you lose, you lose a lot more than before. Especially since the level of my competitors is very equal and high… Before, a stupid mistake could cost you three places… Today, the same stupidity costs you 10… This means that after four bad calls, you're out! But I am ready. I worked with my team on the boat, and I invested myself daily."

Full interview:

Making the harder stuff easy - Spinlock
They say the stopwatch never lies and now Spinlock have produced something equally infallible to monitor the real state of your sail wardrobe

The ability to collect data and produce detailed analytical reports used to be for the experts, yet today quantifying every part of our lives and drawing meaningful conclusions is commonplace. From how fast and far we ran, or the calories burned during a cycle ride, to the number of steps we have climbed and even the amount and type of sleep that we are gaining are typical examples.

In recent years, the sailing world has also benefited from the data revolution as modern technology has filtered through to the sport. But now, an innovative new device from Spinlock has not only provided a new stream of data, but takes the logging process onto a new level and looks set to change fundamentally the way in which we will be able to quantify the life cycle of one of the most important parts of the boat, the sails.

Their new product, Sail-Sense, measures the amount of use that a sail has been subjected to.

Full article in the June issue of Seahorse

Maserati Multi 70 and Giovanni Soldini are ready for the challenge
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70's Team will set sail from San Francisco for the first edition of the CA 500 tomorrow at 13.00 local time (20.00 UTC and 22.00 Italian time). The CA 500 is the last event of the California Offshore Race Week, a series of races organized by the Encinal Yacht Club, the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, the Santa Barbara Yacht Club and the San Diego Yacht Club.

The CA 500 course is approximately 500 miles long, from San Francisco to San Diego: after crossing the starting line, off St. Francis Yacht Club, the fleet will leave Farallon Island Light to port before heading towards the finish line off San Diego.

During the first 12 hours of the race, weather forecasts show 25 knots of NW wind, with gusts up to 30 knots, and rough sea: it will be difficult for Maserati Multi 70 to fly steadily. Closer to the finish line, in the last 100 miles, the wind will drop abruptly, but at the moment the forecasts vary: the European models indicate a wind between 3 and 4 knots, whereas the American models are more optimistic.

Maserati Multi 70 will compete against 3 boats: in the multihull category the American MOD 70 Argo, skippered by Jason Carroll, and the English MOD 70 PowerPlay, skippered by Peter Cunningham; in the monohull category the Swan 461 Free.

Maserati Multi 70 will sail in flying mode, unlike her direct rivals, who will sail in classic MOD mode. Through continuous research and tests to improve the trimaran's flying performance, the Italian Team has developed new settings for the flying foils and T-shaped rudders. The two rudders, on starboard and port side, will be set to different compensation and foil area parameters, so the Team will be able to test these new configurations during the race.

Aboard Maserati Multi 70, skipper Giovanni Soldini will be joined by a crew of 6 sailors, of different ages and nationalities: the Italians Guido Broggi (mainsail trimmer, born in 1971), Nico Malingri (grinder and trimmer, born in 1991) and Matteo Soldini (grinder and trimmer, born in 1993); the Spanish Willy Altadill (trimmer, born in 1992) and Oliver Herrera Perez (bowman, born in 1987); the French François Robert (pitman, born in 1967).

Chinese Whisper at Hamilton Island Race Week
Chinese Whisper, the yacht that claimed every possible prize in last year's 5500-nautical-mile Melbourne to Osaka two-handed race, is among the latest in a record run of entries for this year's Hamilton Island Race Week.

The 18.9m sloop was raced to Osaka by Rupert Henry and Greg O'Shea, taking line honours, setting a race record time and winning all three handicap divisions.

Now back in Sydney, Chinese Whisper is being prepared by prominent local sailor Dave Griffith for a tilt at top honours at Race Week, which will be staged on the beautiful tropical waters of the Whitsundays from August 17 to 24.

"At this stage we are not certain if Rupert's schedule will see him with us for Race Week," Griffith said. "But regardless, we will have an excellent team, including Michael Coxon from North Sails."

With the strong flow of entries for Race Week continuing unabated it is quite possible that the final fleet will exceed the record of 253 set in 2016.

"There are no guarantees, but things are certainly looking good for a record fleet, or thereabouts, this year," said the regatta's highly respected race director Denis Thompson. "The number of entries in all eight divisions is certainly impressive."

One of Race Week's perennial participants, Marcus Blackmore, is also among the latest entries. He will again campaign his TP52 Hooligan which he sailed to victory in the IRC division at Race Week last year. And, once again, Australian Olympic gold medallist and America's Cup sailor, Tom Slingsby, will be his tactician.

J/70 Downwind Sailing- When to Switch Modes?
The following question was asked of Lucas Calabrese, winning tactician on Jud Smith's AFRICA in the 2018 J/70 World Championship in Marblehead, MA (btw, Lucas is also a bronze Medallist skipper in 470s for Argentina in the 2012 Olympic Games):

What are approximate boat speeds/ wind speeds to transition from displacement mode/ VMG light winds to WoW (wing-on-wing) to Planing Mode (jib out trimmed)?

Lucas- "It all depends on tactics, but a good guideline I think is:
Planing: it works when you do over 9.5 to 10 kts of boatspeed.

From planing to wing-on-wing: if you are trying to plane and you are doing between 8.2 and 9.5 kts, wing-on-wing is probably the best mode.

From wing-on-wing to VMG: if doing less than 8.2 kts of boatspeed while on the wing you are better off going displacement/ VMG mode.

Experiment! These are rough guidelines. It all depends on sea state and strategy, but those numbers should be pretty close."

European Inland Waterways Cruising Guides
A series of 10 new, full colour guides to moorings on the French inland waterways has been launched by the European Inland Waterways Section (EIWS) of the Cruising Association (CA) and is now available to purchase.

The guides have been produced by Gordon Knight and currently cover the Canal du Centre; Canal du Loing and Canal de Briare; Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne; Canal Lateral a la Loire; Canal Lateral a la Marne; the River Marne; Canal du Rhone au Rhin; Canal du Rhone au Rhin (Nord) and Canal de Colmar; Canal de la Marne au Rhin (Est) and Canal de la Sarre and River Saar.

Details are provided on all the marinas, haltes and other mooring points (even picnic stops) along the waterways, together with information on facilities, shopping and nearby attractions. Each mooring point is illustrated by a colour photo, meaning that the guides are currently the only detailed pictorial reference available for cruising on the French rivers and canals.

The series will be added to in future years to gradually develop a complete suite of mooring guides.

The launch of these new guides comes hot on the heels of the latest edition of the CA's signature publication, Cruising the Inland Waterways of France and Belgium.

A new 20-page, full colour guide to moorings along the German Rhine has also been launched. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt

RORC North Sea Race
The Royal Ocean Racing Club's 2019 North Sea Race has attracted 79 boats for the 1100 BST start on Friday 31 May. Hosted by the Royal Harwich Yacht Club in their fabulous modern clubhouse, the North Sea Race starts outside Harwich and meanders around the Galloper wind farm before heading north to Smith's Knoll Buoy and across to the famous sailing city of the Hague and the Scheveningen Yacht Club. The majority of the teams come from the Netherlands, teams from Austria, Great Britain, Belgium, France and Germany will also be racing.

Fast downwind conditions are predicted providing exhilarating conditions for approximately 450 sailors racing across the North Sea. Oystercatcher XXXIII, is favourite for monohull line honours. Oystercatcher XXXIII is sailed by Richard Matthews (GBR), who has won the race overall on at least two previous occasions. His newly acquired Ker 51 was formerly Piet Vroon's Tonnerre 4.

Last year's conditions in the North Sea Race favoured the smaller yachts with the three top teams all from IRC 4. The top three teams from last year will be in action this weekend: Overall winner of the 2018 North Sea Race, Sigma 38 Spirit, sailed by Paul Scott (GBR) will be racing with the same team. Second overall X-332 Ape-x, sailed by Robert Leggett, and third overall X-362 Extra Djinn, sailed by Michel Dorsman (NED), will all be racing to Scheveningen.

For the 2019 North Sea Race, the fast downwind conditions may be to the advantage of yachts racing in IRC Zero. Volvo 60 Boudragon, sailed by Hans Bouscholte (NED) is the largest yacht competing in a very competitive big boat class including: Oystercatcher XXXIII, 2017 Overall winner, Ker 46 Van Uden, sailed by Volvo Ocean Race navigator Wouter Verbaak (NED) and Ker 43 Baraka GP, sailed by Harmen Jan De Graaf (NED).

The full 2018 North Sea Race class podium will be in action: Grand Soleil 43 Il Corvo, sailed by Astrid De Vin (NED) will be racing fully crewed, defending their victory. Last year's class runner up, Corby 38 Double Edge, sailed by Chris Schram (NED) and Raymond Roesink (NED), will be racing Two-Handed. A13 Phosphorus II, sailed by Mark Emerson (GBR) will be competing with a crew all in their twenties. -- Louay Habib

44Cup star attraction of Rovinj 5-star hotel launch
For the nine teams due to set sail tomorrow in the Adris 44Cup Rovinj there have been two distractions today - the torrential rain, forecast to depart the Istrian Peninsula before the start of racing tomorrow, and the ancient, densely spaced terracotta-roofed buildings and giant baroque basilica of St Euphemia of Rovinj's old town.

This view - the Croatian tourist board's top image illustrating 'Istria' - will form the backdrop to this week's four days of 44Cup racing. Exploiting this magnificent view is also key to the architecture of Maistra's brand new Grand Park Hotel Rovinj, the opening of which is the reason the 44Cup is here.

Since the high performance one designs last visited Rovinj for their World Championship in 2012, Adris Group's hotel company Maistra has constructed this 5 star masterpiece. The Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is also located by the new ACI Marina Rovinj, which features 196 berths for regular boats and superyachts. Both hotel and marina are being formally launched with celebrations this Saturday.

First warning signal for racing tomorrow will be at 1200. On Sunday the 44Cup fleet will have a sail-past off the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj while on Friday and Saturday the finish line of the last race will be within the harbour.

Adris 44Cup Rovinj
Aleph Racing (FRA17)
Artemis Racing (SWE44)
Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS18)
Charisma (MON69)
Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR1)
Tavatuy Sailing Team (RUS21)
Team Nika (RUS10)
Team Aqua (GBR2041)

Featured Brokerage
3022 Mattia 52 Catamaran. 750,000 EUR. Located in Athens, Greece.

AMETISTA is hull No.2 of the Italian-designed and built vacuum-infused Mattia 52 performance cruising catamaran. Featuring updated carbon rig, membrane sails and a huge blue water inventory.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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


1920 Charles E Nicholson 147 Ft Schooner 1910 - Orion Of The Seas. Located in Italy.

Built by Camper & Nicholson to one of the finest designs of Charles E. Nicholson; this yacht originally named SYLVANA was launched in 1910. When commissioned, Nicholson had clearly won over the wealthy yachtsmen of the period to his designs that by then were regularly beating those of Watson, Fife and Herreshoff on the race course.

Now ORION OF THE SEAS; she was completely rebuilt 2003-2005 with a total focus on keeping the original detail where possible but where modern systems were installed; then most discreetly and with effective sound insulation.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Barney Sandeman

+44 (0)1202 330077
33 High Street
Poole, Dorset
BH15 1AB
United Kingdom


2012 Prince De Bretagne Trimaran Ultim Maxi 80. 790000 EUR. Located in Brittany, France.

Prince De Bretagne II is an Ultim Maxi 80 trimaran born from an extrapolation of the Orma 60 trimaran Sodebo skipped by Thomas Coville. Prince De Bretagne II is a 24 m long trimaran with the weight of a 18 m long trimaran. Therefore, she is much more seaworthy specially for single handed races.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

BERNARD GALLAY Yacht Brokerage
Tel +33 (0)467 66 39 93

See the collection at

The Last Word
Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy. -- Roy T. Bennett

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see