In This Issue
Cowes Parade is packed
Naval Rescuers' Finest Hour Remembered at Fastnet 40th Anniversary
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
RS:X Windsurfing Youth World Championships
Zero Hour for World Sailing and the Laser
Back to the Future at Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Three opportunities to win the trip of a lifetime to race at Antigua Sailing Week 2020
Rooster International Topper World Championships
RORC's Morgan Cup to Sail to Ireland in 2020?
Women In Sailing Survey
Featured Brokerage:
• • GP42 - 42 South
• • Italia Yachts 9.98 Fuoriserie
• • Rapido 60
The Last Word: Stephen Colbert

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

Cowes Parade is packed
The great and the good of the 48th Rolex Fastnet Race appeared on a specially prepared stage set up for the public on Cowes Parade this afternoon.

Vendee Globe skipper Sam Davies, here racing her IMOCA 60 Initiatives Coeur with Route du Rhum winner Paul Meilhat, described her campaign:

"The IMOCA class is sailing here doublehanded as part of our official circuit, so it is a huge fleet. We are out there to defend the title Paul won two years ago and to see how we'll do against our competitors."

Paralympic sailor Hannah Stodel, described how the Class40 she is racing in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race represents a stepping stone up to the IMOCA 60 class. "It is relatively idiot-proof, so perfect for me!"

Franco-Brit Luke Berry reckons that around six or seven boats are in with a chance of winning the Class40. His Sam Manuard-designed Mach 3, Lamotte - Module Creation is among them:

"The Class40 is a good compromise between performance and budget. We are privileged to be able to sail in big offshore races like the Transat Jacques Vabre, Route du Rhum and the Rolex Fastnet Race."

Offshore race veteran Steve Hayles won back to back races as navigator on board Rán 2 in 2009 and 2011. This boat is back as Peter Harrison's Sorcha and Hayles reckons that in addition to he and former skipper Tim Powell, around one third of the crew was part of their previous winning crew. Rán 2 is the only two time winner in the recent history of the race, although during the 1920s and 1930s, Jolie Brise (first home in the inaugural race in 1925) was the race's only three time winner, while Captain John Illingworth's Myth of Malham won in 1947-1949 and Carina was the last back to back winner in 1955-1957.

Hayles enthused about the complexity of the Rolex Fastnet Racewith all its headlands and tidal gates, unlike the more straightforward among the other 'classic 600 milers' such as the Newport-Bermuda.

Watch the Press Conference and Skipper's Briefing at the Rolex Fastnet Race Multimedia Area:

Naval Rescuers' Finest Hour Remembered at Fastnet 40th Anniversary
Serving and veteran aircrew, survivors and relatives will gather on Cowes on Friday August 2nd to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Fastnet Race.

The storm which engulfed the 1979 yachting race from the Isle of Wight to the imposing rock off the south-west coast of Ireland sparked the UK's biggest ever peacetime rescue operation - spearheaded by naval aviators from RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall.

Nineteen sailors died as their boats were battered by ferocious winds and huge waves - possibly up to 60ft high - smashing masts and rigging, washing sailors overboard, causing yachts to capsize or, in some cases, pitch-pole, tumbling end over end.

Nineteen yachtsmen died in the disaster which reached its climax on August 13 and 14 1979 - but 75 people were saved by Fleet Air Arm crews and another 65 picked up by lifeboats and shipping.

Fifteen helicopters from Culdrose were committed. Anyone with search and rescue experience was recalled from their summer holiday, and extra helicopters and crews were sucked in from other naval air bases including Yeovilton and HMS Gannet in Prestwick.

Alongside the navy were 14 RNLI lifeboats which rescued yachtsmen and towed damaged yachts back to port.

Three RAF helicopters, seven warships, four trawlers and four other ships supported the effort, while overhead four RAF Nimrods helped to coordinate the search effort over 10,000 square miles of ocean. In all, around 4,000 military and civilians were involved in the huge rescue mission.

A monument in the grounds of Culdrose to those who died in the tragedy - including two men rescued by the Helston-based airmen who subsequently died.

The service of remembrance takes place at 6pm.

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month

Last month's winner:

James Lyne (USA)
‘Whitby’s finest!’ - Jim Turner; ‘I’m proud to have sailed with him’ - Alexis Petter; ‘Big Jim brings another level to post-race analysis’ - Paul Goodison; ‘Great to see the credit that is long overdue for coach James’ - Terry Hutchinson; ‘James has quietly carried teams to the podium then lets them stand in the limelight’ - Ray Wulff; ‘Absolute guru, wonderful human’ - Phil Armstrong; ‘The super coach and a super guy’ - Adrian Stead; ‘You are our American promise’ - Brooke Cunningham; ‘Best coach ever’ - Dave Jarvis; ‘He’s also an amazing gentleman’ - Carol Tillman. ‘Lad’s done well since he got that first Topper...’ - Nick Lyne.

This month's nominees:


Bruno Prada (BRA)
It was with impeccable timing that Bruno Prada became only the second ever five-time Star World Champion on the day that the life of the other five-time winner Lowell North was being celebrated by friends and family in San Diego. Prada brings a touch of magic to every boat he sails on... three titles with Robert Scheidt, one world title crewing for Augie Diaz and his latest success in Porto Cervo with Poland’s Mateusz Kusznierewicz. Hire this man


Roy P Disney (USA)
Compared to many the rescue was not all that dramatic, especially with the almost ridiculous level of ocean racing experience Roy Disney pulled together for the 50th Transpac. But that is also why Pyewacket’s rescue of the crew of the sinking OEX should be recognised - there were other less fancied yachts a similar distance from the stricken boat but it was an instant call to abandon his own race and do the right thing... sadly not everyone is always quite so selfless


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

RS:X Windsurfing Youth World Championships
In 2019 for the first time St. Petersburg was granted hosting rights for the RS:X Youth World championship and this event promises to be really great. The racing venue of the Youth Worlds will be Park of the 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg that is a new complex founded to commemorate this anniversary. The Park is located on the northern shore of the Gulf.

The competition will be attended by over 150 top RS:X Olympic class athletes from around the world. Besides the world championship races an extensive shore program is developed. Guests will be able to watch both amateur and professional kite and sailing boarders' shows.

Racing starts on August 6th, finishes on Saturday August 10th.

Zero Hour for World Sailing and the Laser
The months-long battle/debacle surrounding the Laser Class and its Olympic Status is coming to a head with an August 1 deadline for an agreement to allow new builders:

Two articles which presenta good overview one from Scuttebutt , excerpted here:

Until recently, the Laser has been built and supplied by three major builders; Laser Performance (LP), Performance Sailcraft Australia (PSA), and Performance Sailcraft Japan (PSJ). Although simplified, these companies all own the rights to the "Laser" trademark and brand in the territories they supply - Japan and South Korea (PSJ), Oceania (PSA), and the rest of the world (LP).

In order for the Laser to comply with the World Sailing FRAND policies, the three builders need to reach an agreement to allow other builders to sell boats called "Lasers" in their territories, for a licensing fee.

They also need to reach this agreement by the August 1st.

In order for the Laser to comply with the World Sailing FRAND policies, the three builders need to reach an agreement to allow other builders to sell boats called "Lasers" in their territories, for a licensing fee.

They also need to reach this agreement by the August 1st.

There are significant disagreements between the builders about the amount of the licensing fee. Put simply, PSA and LP are at loggerheads and have been fighting each other in and out of court for over a decade.

The bottom line is, if the builders are not able to agree to a FRAND policy in the next three weeks, the Laser will be kicked out of the Olympics.

There is, however, an alternative solution to the licensing fee conundrum. The Laser is a commercial brand, and the class rules require that a builder "has the rights to use the Laser trademark".

But what if we were to change that? This is what the most recent rule change is suggesting. If the rule change is passed, the following will be achieved:

- New builders will be able to enter the market as they will not need to have a trademark agreement with the other builders.
- Supply will be improved throughout the world as more builders enter the market.
- Increased supply can encourage more people to sail the Laser, giving us more people to race against.
- The Laser will be guaranteed to remain as an Olympic class, through compliance with World Sailing's FRAND policies.

So what's the only downside to voting "yes"? The boats and equipment supplied by new builders will not be sold under the brand name "Laser".

Will they still be able to race at all Laser events? Absolutely.
Will they be 100% class legal? Absolutely.
Will this mean that the name of the class and regattas will have to change from the "Laser"? Absolutely not.

And a second from

The future of the Laser, or how we know it since 50 years, is totally at risk. The peculiar "referendum" of ILCA, is out of every rule and control. But it could still be important to vote NO anyways, to try and stop the ultimate disaster. The parties (and the interests) at stake, the future in the Olympic Games, the consequences for the Laser sailors.

Firstly the "non-recognition" of ILCA to the historic builder Laser Performance Europe, owner of the registered trademark "Laser". Then the announcement of a new possible name (the very original and attractive ILCA-Dinghy). Then the trials with the modern single handed RS Aero, D-Zero and Melges 14, with the decision of World Sailing in favor of the "old" Laser, for its history and the unparalleled global spread. But when it was possible to think that everything was resolved, the furious and profound quarrel between the parties in question explodes again and puts everything at risk: the Olympic status, the boat name, the building facilities, the future developments in the rigs (mast and sails).

Everything begins from the unspeakable, personalistic, undemocratic and interested management of the international class (ILCA, International Laser Class Association), determined to eliminate the historical component Laser Performance Europe, which controls with its trademark 85% of the world market. At the cost of an earthquake in which everyone would remain affected.

The lastest evolution, is from a few days ago. After the WS Mid-Year Meeting in May in which World Sailing expressed itself in favor to keep the Laser as male single handed Olympic dinghy (Standard) and female single handed dinghy (Radial) for Paris 2024, it had also added the deadline of 1 August 2019, within which the parties involved (ILCA on one hand, together with the Australian manufacturers PSA, the Japanese PSJ, and the powerful organization Global Sailing, of which we will talk about later; and LPE on the other) have to agree on the antitrust terms and the rules regarding the involvement of new international builders.

Further reading, the July 1 update from the Laser Class:

Back to the Future at Copa del Rey MAPFRE
The new scoring system being employed at the 38 Copa del Rey MAPFRE started to take effect today. As the 132 boat 11 division regatta moves from its Preliminary Series to two days of Finals racing, scores are allocated by the classification order after this opening series. The first placed boat carries one point to the Finals, the second two and the third three. King Felipe of Spain steered Aifos 500 in the ClubSwan 50 class for the first time of this regatta.

The idea is that the counters are reset and the pressure and interest is kept up to the end of Saturday's racing.

And of course there are already teams who gain and some who are already hurting. But, ask many of the leading skippers what they think and the universal response is 'Ask me again at the end of Saturday.'

In what is probably the most competitive fleet with a sizeable entry, the ClubSwan 50s, Leonardo Ferragamo's leading crew see their seven points margin gained over six races cut back to one point. Correspondingly today's winners of the one and only race sailed today, Stefan Heidenreich's OneGroup, go into the finals in sixth with their 19 points deficit behind first cut to five points.

OneGroup's four times Olympic medallist Jochen Schumann is one who relishes the change. Winners today they bounce back from a 'black day' yesterday when they had DSQ and a 12th,

"Now it is all about the finals tomorrow and Saturday."Smiles Schumann, " For us as a good revenge on the black day we had yesterday. Yesterday to be quite honest with you, we started actually quite well but we struggled on the downwinds. And we had a protest which we lost. All in all nothing major but the scoreboard looks really ugly with 12th and DSQ so we dropped down a lot. So, the win today was good was a big lead. But the first place didn't help us, we are still sixth which we were yesterday night. I think this is a normal situation now I think this is good."

Today was the first day that H.M. King Felipe of Spain steered Aifos 500, the Spanish Navy's ClubSwan 50 meeting up again with long time friend and rival H.M. King Harald of Norway who is steering Fram XVIII. Today the Spanish monarch, who represented his country at the 1992 Olympics, had the upper hand in sixth, Fram finishing tenth.

Three opportunities to win the trip of a lifetime to race at Antigua Sailing Week 2020
Throughout the summer, Antigua Sailing Week in conjunction with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Dream Yacht Charter, English Harbour Rum and the National Parks Authority are offering three winning crews up to 7, flights, yacht charter with dockage at UNESCO Heritage site Nelson's Dockyard Marina and regatta entry fees during the 2020 event which takes place April 25 - May 1.

Participate in one of the below events to be eligible for this generous prize.
- The Royal Southern Yacht Club Summer Series, UK
- The Antigua and Barbuda Hamptons Challenge, USA
- The Antigua and Barbuda Interboot Trophy Challenge, GER

At the Royal Southern Yacht Club Summer Series invitational the prize will be awarded to overall winner of the series of 4 weekend regattas.

Even if you have missed the first two opportunities, there's time to register for the Champagne Charlie July Regatta on the July 13 -14 and the Land Union September Regatta on September 14 -15.

To enter the either the July or September Regatta follow the below links



Visit the RYSC site for their notice of race and leaderboard to date.

The Antigua and Barbuda Hamptons Challenge (ABHC) is known for awarding the largest amateur sailing prize on the US East coast. Registrations are open for the second invitational on the Road to 2020, which takes place on Saturday, August 10 in Noyack Bay, New York, USA For more on how to register for the ABHC or for tickets to attend the fantastic after-party being held in Sag Harbour visit

The Antigua and Barbuda Interboot Trophy Challenge
On the Saturday September 21, the 3rd invitational will be hosted by the Württembergischen Yacht Club, Friedrichshafen Germany. Winning crew of the days races on Lake Constance will be able to head to Antigua to participate in the 53rd edition of ASW. Following the races there will be a spectacular mini edition of Reggae in the Park - ASW's signature concert to celebrate the culmination of the Road to 2020.

To find out more about this final opportunity, visit

Rooster International Topper World Championships
Photos by Peter Newton and Phil Williams. Click on image for photo gallery.

209 Topper sailors from 12 nations gathered in Medemblik, The Netherlands for the 26th edition of the International Topper World Championships. Travelling from afar as China, India, South Africa, Turkey as well as Europe, the proven championship venue was a perfect location for this truly international event. Renowned as the 'friendly class', the Topper has endured as the ideal pathway boat for youngsters and has never been so popular as it is today.

The weeks' record temperature finally broke overnight on the final day of racing, with a dramatic thunder and lightning storm that whipped up a strong breeze that only served to set the scene for Friday's final showdown. As the sailors arrived blurry eyed for an 8.00 am briefing, it was soon evident that the overnight winds had left a short, steep chop on the shallow water of the Ijsselmeer that was to prove the dominating story of the day. So much so that the 4.2 fleet was unable to make much headway out of the harbour and had to be sent back in whilst the waves moderated.

However, racing was soon underway in a 12-14 knot breeze and with swift turnarounds Race Officer Remco was able to fit in 3 races for all three fleets before the 2.00 pm cut-off.

The short chop was still causing trouble for many sailors trying to get off the line. Tom Campbell later commented, 'It was challenging and choppy - hard to keep a lane off the line with the waves and wash from boats. 'The difficult chop created by the overnight wind was a common theme for sailors, but Charlie Hopkinson (GBR) was chuffed to have mastered it in the second race of the day for the gold fleet. 'It was really good. I went left on the second beat and manged to get past the leader with better speed'. Asked what he had learnt from the day his answer was, 'How to sail in chop. You have to keep the speed up by sailing a bit freer and steering more for the bigger waves.'

By the warning gun for the final race, the race officer jokingly commented that the silver and bronze fleet was ready to go home. With several recalls the final black flag start saw many go back to the harbour early, including Ryan Davies (GBR) of the bronze fleet. We don't know if Ryan is good at maths, but luckily he could just afford to drop the BFD score to still win the bonze fleet by just 4 points from Tamzen Lim of the USA, who took full advantage of Ryan's absence to record her first Worlds race win and silver medal, ahead of Joe O'Sullivan (IRL) in bronze.

In the Silver fleet, Mark Ripley (GBR) secured the top slot with a 5,1,4, just piping Caoimhe Byrne (IRL) who kept her nerve to post a remarkably consistent 8,9,8 in the shifty, fading breeze. Dan Holborn (GBR) had a tight race with Hongbo Xia (CHN) to take the final race win from Xia, securing himself third place in the bronze fleet.

The clear winner and the new World Champion in the Topper 5.3 gold fleet was Leo Wilkinson, (GBR) with a great performance across the wide range of conditions Medemblik served up. Leo has spent four years in the Topper class training for this moment and his win by a 23 point margin underlined his dominance.

Kate Robertson (GBR) claimed the silver medal in the last race from Yikang Su (CHN), who had been firmly in second all week - with a second place in the final race to match Su's net points and take the silver medal on count back. -- John Heyes

Full results here

RORC's Morgan Cup to Sail to Ireland in 2020?
The Royal Ocean Racing Club's ongoing interest in Ireland continues to grow with rumours that RORC's annual Morgan Cup race will set sail for Ireland from Cowes in 2020.

The London Club lists both of Ireland's top offshore races, the Round Ireland Race and the Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race, on its points Championship programme and in 2016 its inaugural IRC European Championships was staged as part of Cork Week. Now that relationship is set to grow with the arrival of the Cup Race if the unofficial word is correct.

The Morgan Cup is an annual fleet race with a fleet topping 100-boats which regularly sails to France or the Channel Islands each June. It is a 110-mile offshore race that insiders say may now come to Ireland instead. It would be excellent timing for the UK fleet fillip given the important anniversary year for Irish sailing, that includes Royal Cork's 300th anniversary.

Ireland has developed excellent connections with RORC that includes Irish sailors holding high office in the 95-year-old club. RORC Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen recently competed at Dun Laoghaire Regatta, winning in his class of visiting Seabirds.

Women In Sailing Survey
The World Sailing Trust have launched a global survey to look at the trends and analyse the barriers to greater gender equality in the sport.

It is really important that the results reflect the very international nature of the sport and we really want to hear from as many people as possible, so please share the link to the survey amongst your own network to encourage as many people as possible to take part so that we get a true reflection of the trends across our sport.

The aim of this Survey is to encourage as many sailors, both male and female, to take part so that we can get a true overview of trends in our sport.

The results of the survey will be combined with research into global best practice, to form a series of recommendations and a programme of work to support women and girls across all areas of the sport.

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Rapido 60 - NEW BOAT. POA EUR.

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See the collection at

The Last Word
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