In This Issue
Rambler 88 claims line honours victory in breezy Rolex Giraglia
Game Changer
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Do Day for Marion Bermuda Racers
Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup
Vladimir Krutskikh continues to clean up at Finn World Masters in Skovshoved
International Etchells Saida Cup
Long Distance Dinghy Race In Snowdonia
Champions return for 2019 IRC Nationals
Bitter End 2.0
Featured Charter: Laurie Davidson One Off 69 - Pendragon V
Featured Brokerage:
• • TP/IRC 52 - "Ambition"
• • Baltic 66 - SEI TU II
• • Swan 56-011 Mensae
The Last Word: Bobby Seale

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Rambler 88 claims line honours victory in breezy Rolex Giraglia
The Mediterranean’s reputation for light wind yacht racing was dented today, with the lead boats regularly experiencing 20-30 knot winds in the Rolex Giraglia’s offshore race - organised jointly by Yacht Club Italiano, Yacht Club de Monaco and Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and supported by the International Maxi Association (IMA).

Starting from the Golfe de Saint-Tropez at 12:35 yesterday, the maxi fleet competing in this, the fourth and penultimate event in the IMA’s 2018-19 Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge, first rounded a turning mark to the west off Cavalaire-sur-Mer. They then continued to the Giraglia Rock off northeast Corsica before turning sharply to the WNW bound for the finish, this year, in Monaco.

From the outset, George David’s Rambler 88 was favourite for line honours in Rolex Giraglia. The question was – would the American maxi, sailing her first ever Rolex Giraglia, break the race record of 14 hours, 56 minutes and 18 seconds set by Igor Simcic’s 100ft maxi Esimit Europa 2 in 2012? This would require Rambler 88 finishing before 03:31:18 today.

Heading to the Cavalaire turning mark, George David said that they had been pleased with their upwind speed, the result of modifications made to Rambler 88 over the winter such as fitting a new lighter rig, enabling a reduction in bulb weight and an overall reduction of 1.5 tonnes. “Normally in a breeze Magic Carpet 3 is a click faster, but now it is the other way around,” observes David.

Once out into the open sea and blasting towards the Giraglia Rock, Rambler 88 breaking the record seemed very possible. “This boat is unbeatable when it is 70-110° TWA and 25 knots: We just exploded downwind – and left a lot of people behind,” described David.

It was still looking good after rounding the Giraglia Rock at dusk, when they hardened up for the port tack fetch towards the finish.

But sadly it was not to be. David explained: “We thought the record was close until about an 1 hour 20 minutes out when we parked for almost an hour - that was the margin right there. But that is what happens when you come into Monaco with its big hills and also if you finish races at 3-5am when ‘bad things’ normally happen!” Rambler 88 ghosted across the finish line at 04:35:35, just over an hour outside the record.

Rambler 88’s park-up benefitted those astern, especially the next most highly rated boat under IRC - Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones' WallyCento Magic Carpet 3, the 2015 overall and 2016 line honours Rolex Giraglia winner. She crossed the line just 35 minutes later, having slowed but not stopped.

Next arrivals into Monaco after dawn were Alex Schaerer’s Maxi 72 Caol Ila R and Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou, Dario Ferrari’s Cannonball having not started yesterday. While Jethou had led out of the Golfe de Saint-Tropez it was Caol Ila R that finished 24 minutes ahead of her longer, higher rated rival. -- James Boyd

Full results and tracking:

Game Changer
After the first two stages of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, at the theoeretical midpoint of the 50th anniversary edition Yoann Richomme (HelloWork-Groupe Telegramme) appears to have risen head and shoulders above his opposition.

On the French multi stage solo offshore race which is usually won overall by minutes, and in 2002 was won by Armel Le Cléac'h by just 13 seconds, 35 year old Richomme's margin of more than two hours on nearest rivals like Pierre Leboucher, Armel Le Cléac'h and a few others appears almost impregnable.

But at this half way point of the race it is important to note that the first two stages have been complicated, difficult challenges during which gains and losses have quickly magnified. But now the second two legs are now primarily confined to the complex playground that is the Channnel with its many transition zones and tidal gates.

It is clear that the new Figaro Beneteau 3 has ushered in an entirely different game. So far this 50th ediiton has proven a topsy turvy race, the first group to finish the first stage have been among the last in the second stage and vice versa. And so you will find many of the top seeds, the usual big hitters of La Solitaire, languishing quite far down the leaderboard.

Richomme and Hardy in the Jury Room
The Jury will sit on Friday to deliberate on several protests and claims for redress. Stage 2 winner Adrien Hardy (Sans Nature pas de Futur) has been protested by the Race Committee for straying in to the Cherbourg TSS and overall leader Yoann Richomme will have to respond to a protest by the Technical Committee that he took a sail on board after the allocated preparation time limit in Kinsale. Both are at risk of time penalties. In terms of precedent in 2015 Xavier Macaire commited a similar infringement was penalised an hour. For Richomme the range of penalties is widely expected to be measured in minutes rather than hours.

Redress is sought by Benjamin Schwartz whose boat was damaged in a pre-start collision and also by Martin Le Pape (Skipper Macif 2017), Thomas Ruyant (Avens-Fondation de la mer) and Cécile Laguette (Eclisse) who are all claiming for manufacturer's technical failures which caused them to abandon Stage 2.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month

Last month's winner:

Brandon Linton (AUS)
'I'm glad he's on our team and not on anyone else's' - Jim Turner; 'These guys have built the fastest monohull in the world, give the builders some credit!' - Johnny Hallyday; 'Great job, go Brandon!' - Adolfo Carrau; 'That grumpiest of cats can build a mean boat' - Todd Thomas; 'His boatbuilding skills are exceeded only by his charming personality' - Sherri Caraccia (are we on a mission!!!); 'He's always there quietly contributing success to many of the top projects' - Jon Williams; 'I wouldn't want to build a boat with anyone else, his attention to details and knowledge of composites is genuinely second to none' - Tim Hackett.

This month's nominees:


Asia Pajkowska (POL)
While the Golden Globe fleet was making its gentle (sorry, VDH) way around the globe there were others less well-known out there doing the same but on an even more personal level. The first Polish woman to complete a solo non-stop round the world voyage, Pajkowska onboard her aluminium 40-footer started three months after the Golden Globe but beat the race's last finisher Tapio Lehtinen home by over four weeks...


Paul Cayard (USA)
Star World Champion in 1988 and still 100 per cent on fire in 2019. Paul celebrated his 60th birthday during the Star Sailors League Grand Slam on Lake Garda, where in a windy regatta and with no limits on pumping (we said 60th birthday) he finished third overall and third Star World Champion behind Scheidt and Rohart. In fact, only two of 10 finalists were not wearing a gold star. Davis in the OKs, PC in the Star, our two columnists are totally lit in 2019...


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

Do Day for Marion Bermuda Racers
Marion Massachusetts, USA: When the race office at Beverly YC in Marion MA opened Thursday morning 12 of the 41 boats still had to do their final registration check-in and final paperwork. The rush was on.

Skippers also had to pick up their YB tracking transponders, so race officials, friends and families and other race watchers on land and at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, the Bermuda partner in the race, can follow them to Bermuda with the Race Tracking app.

It was Do-Day for all the Marion Bermuda racers, the day they did all the last minute chores they had left to do. And weather was nasty on Sippican Harbor in Marion, too. Yachts were tossing on their moorings and rain showers were preparing crews for the wetness of the Gulf Stream crossing that’s just over the horizon.

Crews were loading provisions from the Beverly YC pier into the harbor launch then off-loading on to their bucking boats. It was a struggle but this is ocean racing.

Racing begins Friday with the first warning signal at 12:00PM. The first start 10 minutes later features the Classic Yacht Division. That’s a match between Tabor Academy’s schooner Tabor Boy and the Bermuda Sloop Spirit of Bermuda. Spirit last sailed Marion Bermuda in 2015.

The warning signal for the first start of the Founders Division is scheduled for five minutes after the start of the Classic Yacht Division boats. Founders Division classes will start at 15-minute intervals. Fastest boats start first. -- Talbot Wilson

Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup
Photo by Eric van den Brandt. Click on image for photo gallery.

Medemblik, Netherlands - The fifth and penultimate race of the Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup 2019 was yet another heavy airs humdinger. With 18-22 knots average and gusts up to 27 knots from the south-south-west, plus a punishing short chop, it was seat of the pants stuff for even the most experienced crews. Britain's Ron James, a stalwart of the International Dragon circuit, crewed this week by Nigel Young of North Sails Ireland and Ian Turnbull, summed the day up succinctly saying, "I don't think I've ever been as fast in a Dragon before, it really was pretty extreme."

Although strong the wind was relatively stable in direction and the race committee was able to get the fleet away cleanly at only the second time of asking. The five leg windward leeward course was the longest of the regatta so far with an individual leg length of 2.6 miles, and by the end of it the entire fleet was physically and mentally drained.

In the overall standings and with just one race remaining to sail, today's fourth place puts Pedro Andrade into a ten point lead over nearest rival Pieter Heerema who finished the race in tenth. Peter Gilmour's fifth moves him up two places into third, five points behind Heerema. Anatoly Loginov finished the race in thirteenth, which was sufficient for him to hold onto fourth overall, while Grant Gordon's win jumped him up two places into fifth. Overnight third placed Dmitry Samokhin had a tricky day ending up nineteenth, and drops from third to sixth, nine points behind Andrade. Whilst Andrade's lead is comfortable this is a no discard regatta and so anything could still happen with tomorrow's final race, which gets underway at the earlier time of 11.00 and for which there is a 14.30 latest start time.

The regatta will conclude on Friday 14 June with a sixth and final race and the Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup Prize Giving, which will take place at the Medemblik Regatta Centre.

Provisional Top Ten After Five Races
1. Pedro Andrade, POR84 - 4, 5, 2, 9, 4 = 24
2. Pieter Heerema, NED412 - 3, 1, 15, 5, 10 = 34
3. Peter Gilmour, JAP56 - 2, 2, 28, 2, 5 = 39
4. Anatoly Loginov, RUS27 - 8, 4, 11, 4, 13 = 40
5. Grant Gordon, GBR820 - 5, 12, 10, 14, 1 = 42
6. Dmitry Samokhin, RUS76 - 1, 7, 5, 11, 19 = 43
7. Gery Trentesaux, FRA428 - 6, 22, 19, 3, 3 = 53
8. Evgenii Braslavets, ITA77 - 17, 31, 4, 1, 2 = 55
9. Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, GBR822 - 13, 3, 7, 17, 15 = 55
10. Stephan Link, GER1162 - 12, 14, 1, 32, 7 = 66

Vladimir Krutskikh continues to clean up at Finn World Masters in Skovshoved
With five wins from five races, Vladimir Krutskikh, from Russia, is schooling the fleet at the Finn World Masters in Skovshoved, Denmark. Mike Maier, from Czech Republic, is second with Christoph Christen, from Switzerland in third.

The day’s forecast was for light winds later in the day but after a 90-minute delay from the scheduled 12.00 start, the fleet set out to enjoy two great races in a steady 12-14 knots. As the day progressed the cloud cleared to leave a beautiful sunny day on the Oresund.

The 2019 Finn World Masters will conclude on Friday. Racing is scheduled to start at 12.00 with a cut off time of 15.00 for the final warning signal.

The results are subject to many scoring errors, which are currently being sorted out and will be updated later.

Results after 5 races (provisional)
1. Vladimir Krutskikh - M, RUS
2. Michael Maier - GM, CZE
3. Christoph Christen - M, SUI
4. Anthony Nossiter - M, AUS
5. Laurent Hay - GM, FRA
6. Filipe Silva - M, POR
7. David Terol - M, ESP
8. Uli Breuer - GM, GER
9. Thomas Schmid - GGM, GER
10. Paul Mckenzie - GM, AUS

Full results can be found here.

International Etchells Saida Cup
Sadly, the Saturday of this year’s Saida Cup, hosted by the Royal Thames Yacht Club, was cancelled as the tail end of a front brought strong winds to the Solent. The race committee sensibly made the decision to cancel Saturday’s racing on Friday, which gave competitors the chance to prepare for Sunday’s early start.

Despite Saturday’s lack of sailing teams from the RLYC’s Etchells academy made the journey over to the Island to be officially welcomed to the club and for drinks. Later they were joined by other Etchells sailors for dinner – a great evening was had by all.

Sailors were greeted by a completely different picture on Sunday, with a high pressure bringing light winds of between 5-10 knots. Nonetheless, after an hour’s delay Race Officer Phil Hagen got racing underway, with 4 races scheduled.

The first race saw those who took to the left-hand side of the race course on the first beat finish at the front. The race was won by Peter Rogers (Highlife), who was pushed hard down the last run by Shaun Frohlic’s Exabyte. They were closely followed by Shamal sailed by the Royal Dart youth team and Grant Simmer on Man’s Best Friend.

Race two was a similar story – the west to east tide making the pin favoured, with those starting towards the pin also able to escape off to the favoured left-hand side. Rob Goddard’s Rocketman was launched off the pin, leading comfortably at the Winward Mark. However, by the finish, the speed of Grant Simmer’s team and the youth team from the Royal Lymington prevailed, with the pair taking first and second respectively and Goddard finishing in third.

Man’s Best Friend picked up where they left off in race 3, again winning the left-hand side of the course on the first upwind and stretching away for the win. They were followed by the crew of Joly Roger and Shamal.

The last race of day was considerably different from the first three of the day. The breeze built to a steady 10 knots and swung right. This increase in wind speed meant that the racing was especially close and hard fought. In familiar fashion Man’s Best Friend took the win, followed closely by Highlife and Ollie Grogono’s Royal Thames Youth team.

The win for Grant Simmer and his team was enough to secure the win of the event, with Peter Roger’s Highlife finishing second and the Royal Lymington team finishing third and first Youth and first Corinthian.

Full results on

Long Distance Dinghy Race In Snowdonia
For those in the know, the Bala Long Distance has been one of those rare jewels of the summer scene in British dinghy sailing. Now part of the Great British Sailing Challenge, this year’s Bala Long Distance takes place in just over a week’s time on the weekend of 22 & 23 June.

The big race itself, which takes the fleet the full length of Bala Lake (about 3.5 miles long), starts at 1pm on Saturday. Mike Allen, one of the event organisers, says it’s the high point of the Bala year and one that he’s delighted to share with any visitors to this beautiful part of North Wales, the mountainous Snowdonia National Park. “I’ve raced in ten editions and only won it once, in my Devoti D-1,” he says. “It’s an incredible stretch of water to sail on, and this race can be pretty challenging. We’ll aim for four hours of racing, which in the right breeze will mean about four laps for the fast cats and maybe a couple of laps for the slower boats like the Solos and other hiking singlehanders.”

The Sunday will be three-back-to-back handicap races using the Great Lakes handicap numbers whose accuracy and fairness is well proven on the Selden SailJuice Winter Series, along with other GBSC speed prizes using SailRacer’s GPS tracking which will be fitted to all the boats for the weekend.

Bala’s generous size makes it a great playground for boats of all shapes and sizes. Among the multihulls expected to compete in the event are F18s, F20s, Unicorns, A-Class cats and even a Nacra 17. Sportsboats are set to be a battle between SB20s and VX-1s. The Topper is the slowest boat permitted to take part while Brad Gibson is expected to make an appearance in his foiling International Moth.

Among the more conventional dinghies, the Scorpion fleet has targeted Bala as a ‘must do’, as have the RS400s who like to include the Bala Long Distance as part of their popular Rope4Boats Northern Tour.

Remaining events in the Great British Sailing Challenge:

Bala Long Distance, Bala Sailing Club, 22 & 23 June 2019
Mountbatten Centre, Plymouth, 8 to 10 August 2019
Ullswater Ultimate, Ullswater Yacht Club, 17 & 18 August 2019
Grand Finals, Rutland Water Sailing Club, 28 & 29 September 2019

Champions return for 2019 IRC Nationals
After being temporarily replaced by the IRC European Championship last year, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC National Championship returns to the Solent next month with a program of inshore races including a variety of windward-leewards and around the cans courses. The event has also reverted back to its three day, Friday to Sunday format, over 5th-7th July.

Already the race is attracting an international cast with entries received so far from the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, as well as, of course the UK and France, where the RORC and the Union Nationale Course au Large jointly own and administer the IRC rating system.

The IRC Nationals is open to yachts with an IRC Endorsed certificate and a rating between 0.850 and 1.450. While entry closes on 20th June, at present entries span the highest rated - David Collins' Botin IRC52 Tala - down to Giovanni Belgrano's classic 1939 Laurent Giles sloop Whooper, which is lowest rated.

Whooper is a significant entry as aside from being a classic, she is also the defending IRC National Champion from 2017.

Adam Gosling returns having won IRC Two at the 2017 IRC Nationals aboard his JPK 10.80 Yes! This year he is campaigning his newer JPK 11.80.

In 2012, David Franks won the IRC National Championship outright on board his smaller JPK 10.10 Strait Dealer. He is also back this year with a new boat, the J/112e Leon.

Another long term competitor in the IRC Nationals is former RORC Commodore and Admiral Andrew McIrvine, who returns with his seasoned First 40 La Reponse. The attraction of the IRC Nationals? "It is easily the toughest and best IRC inshore regatta in the UK," explains McIrvine, who has yet to win the event but has previously finished a worthy second. "Having a consistent crew is a hugely important component to have any success, especially inshore," he advises.

While the IRC Nationals will have its usual IRC TCC-based class splits, La Reponse will also be using her results from the event to count towards the 2019 results for the Performance 40 class. -- James Boyd

Bitter End 2.0
Watercolor painting of upcoming marina complex. Click on image to enlarge.

The Bitter End Yacht Club is excited to announce that after more than 20 months of demolition and cleanup from Hurricane Irma related damage, including the removal of over 100 structures and remediation of more than 64 acres, the process of rebuilding Bitter End is now underway. Launched in 1969 as a remote island outpost that catered to visiting yachtsman, Bitter End will soon revisit its origins as a rollicking nautical village while the owners plan to Bring Back Bitter End better than ever.

“We have a unique opportunity to return to our roots by welcoming back the sailing, yachting and watersports communities first,” said Richard Hokin, Managing Owner of Bitter End Yacht Club. “Bitter End launched in the 1960s as a hangout for adventurous sailors and has evolved over the last 50 years to become the world’s favorite playground for those who have a passion for playing in, on and around the water.”

Given Bitter End’s legacy it is fitting that the marina village, the heart and soul of Bitter End, will be the first element of the property to be redeveloped following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma. During the 2019-2020 season, Bitter End will debut all new world-class marina facilities to include a two-story, open-air marina complex featuring a lounge with expansive views of the North Sound and setting sun, enhanced amenities such as marina-wide WIFI, upgraded bathing facilities and hospitality offerings that will make even the most sea-worn sailor feel right at home.

Venturing north from the marina along Bitter End’s new and greatly enhanced beach, watersports enthusiasts will find Bitter End’s legendary watersports center featuring an all new Club Fleet available to visiting boaters, Virgin Gorda villa guests, day visitors and locals. “Our tried & true fleets of Hobie Waves, Lasers, 420s, Sunfish, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards will be enhanced by new, cutting edge watersports toys that are sure to excite our community,” said Hokin. Snorkel trips to nearby reefs, sailing, kiting and diving lessons, and a myriad of guided adventures led by Bitter End’s beloved watersports crew will continue to be part of Bitter End’s robust activities program.

Full report:

Featured Charter
2010 Laurie Davidson One Off 69 - Pendragon VI

Available for:
Rolex Capri Week
Palma Vela
Rolex Giraglia Cup
Copa del Rey
Palermo – Monte Carlo
Les Voiles de St Tropez
Rolex Middle Sea Race

Pendragon VI is a Laurie Davidson 69, designed to excel in both offshore and inshore racing. This all carbon mini maxi features a hydraulic lifting keel, retracting prop and twin rudders. Off the wind, in the right conditions, she can sail at 30+ knots!

In 2018 she set a new race record for the 151 Miglia of 15 hours, 30 minutes and 45 seconds taking off 55 minutes!

For full details please go to....

See listing details in Seahorse Charters

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Call: +44 2392 161272

See the the Seahorse charter collection

Featured Brokerage
2011 TP/IRC 52. 530000 EUR. Located in Melbourne.

"AMBITION" is one of the very few offshore capable, modern TP's on the market today and although only raced inshore for the past 3 seasons, she has all the bells and whistles to tick inshore and offshore boxes. An overhaul in late 2018, early 2019 make her turn-key for any of the big offshore races

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Race Boats
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Baltic 66 - SEI TU II. 995,000 EUR.

Beautifully crafted Baltic 66. Light dislplacement and sleek lines perfect for Med cruising and the odd regatta.

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1999 Swan 56. 499,000 EUR. Located in Izola, Slovenia.

Mensae, a superb Swan 56 is well known in the New England and West Indies area, can either cruise in comfort or head offshore both in cruising, and casual racing.

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The Last Word
I think I can capture the taste buds of the average right-wing conservative who loves barbecue. -- Bobby Seale

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