In This Issue
• Tom Slingsby Wins Historic First SailGP Championship For Australia
• Melges 24 Pre-Worlds
• Make Grenada Sailing Week 2020 Your Bucket List!
• Mini Transat Prologue
• Fast40+ One Ton Cup
• Great British Sailing Challenge Grand Final
• Twenty years on (and still king of the hill)
• Super 8 Race
• Dragon 90th Anniversary at San Remo
• Featured Brokerage:
• • Gieffe GY 53
• • Seawonder
• • Reichel Pugh 45 - "Katsu"
• The Last Word: Van Morrison
Brought to you by Seahorse magazine and YachtScoring.com 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
Tom Slingsby Wins Historic First SailGP Championship For Australia
Marseille, France: Tom Slingsby today made history, helming the Australia SailGP Team to victory over Nathan Outteridge's Japan SailGP Team in the SailGP Season 1 Championship Final Race. The global league's inaugural season culminated with a 10-minute match race between Australia and Japan, in which Australia secured the trophy and US$1 million prize in dramatic fashion.
The stakes for Sunday's racing were unprecedented - US$1 million is the largest monetary prize in the sport of sailing, and the SailGP Championship trophy is a creation of Thomas Lyte, regarded as the world's leading trophy maker.
Race analysis determined that the final duel came down to a mere 78 centimeters at a crucial moment on the racecourse; if the Australians had been five-hundredths of a second slower, Japan could have forced them to incur a penalty. It was a risky play by Japan in an attempt to force Australia off its course that backfired and allowed Slingsby to move into the lead and ultimately take the win.
Japan led for the majority of the SailGP Season 1 Championship Final Race after being given the upper hand from the start when Slingsby took a penalty for entering the start box early.
SailGP Season 2 will debut February 28-29, 2020 in Sydney, allowing Slingsby to start the season defending on his home waters.
SailGP 2019 Season Leaderboard
1. Australia, Tom Slingsby, 229
2. Japan, Nathan Outteridge, 223
3. China, Phil Robertson, 171
4. Great Britain, Dylan Fletcher, 169
5. France, Billy Besson, 164
6. United States, Rome Kirby, 163
Melges 24 Pre-Worlds
Villasimius, Italy: The crew of Andrea Pozzi dominated the three-days-racing of the Melges 24 Pre-Worlds in Villasimius leaving behind the Italian crew of Marco Zammarchi's Taki 4 ITA778 with Niccolo Bertola in helm, overall silver and winner of the Corinthian division, in continuous comeback after the first day of racing, and the Hungarian FGF Sailing Team HUN728 helmed by Robert Bakoczy, which in Day Two had repeatedly tried to slow down the advance of Bombarda.
With extremely variable conditions over the weekend, Villasimius once again showed the beauty of its race course: the crews found themselves facing wind up to twenty knots with a steep wave, but also a light breeze with a long swell, putting themselves to the test in the best possible way with the race course, which, on October 8th, will challenge them for the Melges 24 World Championship 2019.
Top 10 of the Pre-Worlds
1. Bombarda, Andrea Pozzi, ITA, 17
2. Taki 4, Marco Zammarchi, ITA, 23
3. FGF Sailing Team, Robert Bakoczy, HUN, 31
4. Altea, Andrea Racchelli, ITA, 38
5. Zingara, Richard Reid, CAN, 40
6. Mikey, Kevin Welch, USA, 47
7. Nefeli, Peter Karrie, GER, 52
8. Lenny, Tonu Toniste, EST, 58
9. Melgina, Paolo Brescia, ITA, 63
10. Epervier, Ernesto Brianza, ITA, 65
Make Grenada Sailing Week 2020 Your Bucket List!
The 8th edition of Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week 26 - 31 January 2020 is only four months away. This five day event at the start of the Caribbean sailing season kicks off the regatta circuit on the beautiful island of Grenada in the southern Caribbean. The cool trade winds and the warm blue waters of the Caribbean attract international racers from Europe, Canada and North America as well as a vast fleet of highly competitive boats regionally from up and down the islands. With CSA classes, classics, one design and newly introduced Carriacou sloops, the up wind and down wind coastal legs plus the long run with the transition race offer skippers and crews both tactical and challenging racing.
There is already fierce competition out there from rivals Mathew Barker and his 65ft Alfred Mylne 'The Blue Peter' and Judd Tinius (overall winner of GSW classic's 2019) and his 90ft Classic Yawl, 'Galatea'. To Pamela Baldwin, winner of last years CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association) Travellers Trophy with 'Liquid' her J122 and Rob Butlers Reflex 38 'Touch2Play Racing' who came 2nd and 3rd overall respectively in 2019.
Organisers are keen to promote the availability of both skippered and non skippered charters for the event. Tick a Caribbean Regatta off your bucket list with Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week 2020! Compete against some of the best and party with them after. For more info visit: grenadasailingweek.com/charters
Mini Transat Prologue
Despite the postponement of the start of the 22nd edition of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère, the party was beautiful Sunday in La Rochelle. This morning, a large crowd came to greet the sailors who came out of the Trawlers Basin. The competitors then took part in a 34-mile prologue in La Rochelle Bay, offering a nice show. The prologue was originally planned for last Wednesday.
A possible weather window from Thursday for the start of the first leg?
Today, it is still too early to answer the question on everyone's lips: when will the Mini-Transat La Boulangère 2019 set sail? It's worth noting that the kick-off was postponed due to the complicated weather conditions (in terms of wind and sea state) sweeping the Bay of Biscay and offshore of Cape Finisterre. "We're going to have to sit it out for a bit to see if there's a possible weather window from Thursday onwards", explains Christian Dumard, a meteorologist currently working for Mini-Transat La Boulangère. "Before we consider sending the competitors off onto the racetrack on Thursday, we need to get a better handle on the likely conditions for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We'll probably know more tomorrow."
Among the 87 sailors competing in the 22nd edition of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère, 65 will be setting sail on production Minis, seven of whom are women. Just five of the competitors are 'repeat offenders'. Among them, Italian Ambrogio Beccaria sports the label of favourite. That said, rumours circulating the dock suggest that there are several contenders for a spot on the podium and outright victory from within the Pogo 3 ranks and also some of the scow bows. However, for many of the competitors, the primary challenge is to finish the race, even though the competitive spirit is palpable throughout the fleet.
Production boats: a wide open playing field
Ambrogio Beccaria, Nicolas d'Estais, Keni Piperol, Pavel Roubal and Bruno Simonnet are the only sailors in the production boat category to have already participated in the Mini-Transat La Boulangère. The remaining 60 skippers are rookies.
In 2018 and 2019, Ambrogio Beccaria (943) has grabbed nearly all the prizes with wins in eight of the eleven races (including Les Sables-Les Acores-Les Sables). Armed with these results, he's inevitably been labelled as favourite and assumes this status. "I make no secret of the fact that it makes me feel somewhat pressured", admits the Italian skipper. "However, I'd feel more under pressure if one of my rivals had won eight out of eleven races over the past two years! I'm remaining calm and I'll do what I know best." Though Ambrogio has frequently dominated play, he did suffer a bit of a knock-back in July however, finishing in 12th place in the Transgascogne. It may be an added source of motivation for his rivals, some of whom have really managed to raise their game of late and who could pose a real threat.
A series of Pogo 3 favourites
When you ask the sailors to list the favourites, six names come up most often: Ambrogio Beccaria, of course, together with Amelie Grassi (944), Matthieu Vincent (947), Pierre Le Roy (925), Felix de Navacelle (916) and Nicolas D'Estais (905). Other regulars include Sebastien Gueho (909), Lauris Noslier (893), Julien Letissier (869), Benjamin Ferre (902)… All of them are sailing Pogo 3s.
This year, two production boats are making their debut in the Mini-Transat La Boulangère: the Maxi 6.50 (Raison design) and the Vector 6.50 (Bertrand design). The most experienced skippers in this group would appear to be Paul Cloarec (951) and Keni Piperol (956). The latter is one of this edition's 'repeat offenders' and finished 4th in the prototype category two years ago.
Fast40+ One Ton Cup
Niklas Zennstrom's Rán has retained the One Ton Cup, winning the prestigious trophy in Le Havre for the second time. It was never easy for Rán who won five of the ten races sailed, often by just a few seconds. In the 120-year history of the One Ton Cup, Great Britain, and now Sweden, have been the most successful nations winning the magnificent trophy 14 times. The final day of racing saw a change in conditions with a frontal system bringing unstable wind and rain. Filip Engelbert's all-Swedish team racing Elvis, scored their first race win of the regatta. Peter Morton's Girls on Film finished in fine style taking the gun in the final race.
Ran crew: Niklas Zennstrom, Ellie Cumpsty, Toby Iles, Connor Banks, Hamish Macdonald, Ben Childerley Tim Powell, Adrian Stead, Steve Hayles, Mika Eid, Justin Slattery.
Great British Sailing Challenge Grand Final
The Grand Final of the Great British Sailing Challenge has already attracted an entry of more than 50 top-flight boats to this brand new event which takes place at Rutland Sailing Club on 28 & 29 September. However, there are still some big classes yet to get their names on the list, so find out how to make sure your favourite kind of boat is there on the start line. And there are some spots up for grabs for Endeavour Trophy competitors.
With more than 50 accomplished teams or individuals lining up for the inaugural Grand Final of the Great British Sailing Challenge, winning this event for the first time will be no straightforward task. Last season, for example, the 2000 sailed by Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge managed to prevail in the hotly contested Selden SailJuice Winter Series. Will they manage to come out on top at Rutland Water on 28 & 29 September, in this conclusion to the first ever season of the GBSC?
After their phenomenal first season in the 505, beating some of the great legends of the fleet, Penny and Russ Clark will be out to show what they can do in a mixed handicap fleet.
With Olympic silver medallist Dave Wilkins as PRO, the competitors know the racing will be run to the same high level as the John Merricks Tiger Trophy which takes place on these same waters in early February.
On the Saturday evening, competitors will be invited to make an 'Elevator Pitch' for their class, a 20-second sell to convince others "why you should join my fleet". There will be a prize for the Elevator Pitch that is the most convincing, with voting on social media. Then there's an early evening meal and a discussion around "The future of dinghy racing in the UK", where GBSC organisers Andy Rice and Simon Lovesey will host a Q&A and invite competitors to throw in their ideas and examples of best practice that they've witnessed over recent seasons. Everything about the GBSC is aimed at making Great Britain's already strong racing scene even better and stronger for the coming years.
As an invitation-only event, and with an entry limit of 100 boats, this is not open to everybody. However there are some gaps in the entry list to be filled, with the aim of making the GBSC Final as representative as possible with the breadth and diversity of small boat racing. The event also serves as the Y&Y Battle of the Classes which previously took place during the Southampton Boat Show. If you want to make your case for inclusion in the Final, then please contact Simon Lovesey with a brief CV of your achievements in your chosen class. For example, a top 10 finish at a recent national, European or World Championship, would be good, but if you feel you've got a strong case on other grounds or achievements, then let Simon know by emailing him at:
Here's a list of some of the bigger classes that have yet to be represented, but you're welcome to apply even if you class isn't on here. Check the list of current entries here
Classes yet to be entered:
Remember: even if your class isn't on this list, check the entry list to get your fleet represented
Twenty years on (and still king of the hill)
A breezy, adrenalin-pumping Cascais marked the mid-point of the 2019 52 Super Series. Day in day out the action was so close that it was often genuinely breathtaking, both in terms of the skill of the crews and also of the standard of preparation that allowed these ultra-refined boats to race within inches of each other in tough conditions without a single technical failure. Also remarkable at this level, seven boats won at least one race, while at the end just one point separated winners Quantum Racing from runners-up Azzurra. In third and fourth Platoon and Bronenosec were tied on points, with the countback favouring the German-flagged crew.
Big breezes and big waves make it relatively easy to reel off a big race-winning margin, yet once again a Super Series regatta was decided by seconds - two seconds in Cascais following by four tiny seconds that decided the winner in Menorca.
Ironically it is the Roemmers family's former champion Azzurra that has twice recently missed out on regatta titles, each time falling just short. But, as helm Guillermo Parada noted through gritted teeth in Cascais, Azzurra are almost happy to trade those wins for the 8pt overall lead they hold as the five-regatta circuit reverts to the Med, and to the team's preferred summer sea breezes in Puerto Portals.
Super 8 Race
Click on image to enlarge.
Bluewaters Racing Pte Ldt, and Sailing Series International Srl, in 2019 have signed multi-year partnership agreements, to bring the "Super 8 Race" and other events of the Bluewaters Racing portfolio to the Mediterranean Sea.
The Super 8 Race is an offshore sailing event with start and finish in the same port, which thanks to the availability and openness of local institutions has been identified as that of Genoa, with navigation around the islands of Corsica and Sardinia in an eight-way journey , with double mandatory passage in the Strait of Bonifacio.
The race adopts a so-called 'Match 3 Racing' formula, in which three competitors, a Defender and (up) two Challengers compete with innovative rules, based on which the first and second teams crossing the North gate, located between the departure and Corsica, they influence the route choice of the following team, so that at least one of the three teams will always face the West and the East of the Islands.
The Defender, which by regulation will be the winner of the previous edition, in this first edition of Super 8 Race will be the Maserati Multi70 Team, it will start from the Pole Position, according to the starting rules.
In the past few months, the organizers have involved Giovanni Soldini in the event, who has accepted the role of Defender, formalizing his role in a Memorandum of Understanding through his company Orca Srl
Following the official announcement, the potential challengers identified, with or without a MOD70, will be actively contacted and invited to participate. An official launch is expected within the first part of 2020, with the first edition scheduled to start between the end of September and the beginning of October 2020, with the Defender having the right to set the date of the event.
In the following months, during and after the official launch, further details will be announced.
The Super 8 Race is scheduled to take place annually, each time the Challengers challenge the winner of the last edition.
Dragon 90th Anniversary at San Remo
Sanremo, Italy: From 7th to 11th October 2019 160 International Dragon keelboats will gather in San Remo, Italy, to mark the 90th Anniversary of this illustrious and extraordinary class. Dragon sailors past and present, friends of the class and the media are invited to participate in this week-long celebration of all things Dragon.
From her inception as an entry by Johan Anker in the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club's 1928 competition for a new inter-islands cruiser for young people, to her current status as the world's leading three-man keelboat class, the story of the Dragon has been remarkable.
The legendary Uffa Fox recognised the class's great potential when, in 1937 he wrote "The Dragons have the qualities sought for in one-design classes. They will continue and prosper." And prosper the Dragon most certainly has with almost 1500 boats registered and racing in 31 National Associations across five continents today, and as many again cruising Dragons still bringing pleasure to leisure sailors around the world.
The Dragon's story has included selection for six Olympic Games from 1948 to 1972 and the active participation of many of the world's greatest sailors, as well as members of the Royal families of Britain, Greece, the Netherlands and Denmark. She made a successful transition from wooden construction to GRP in the early 1970s as part of her constant programme of carefully managed evolution, and with her elegant metre boat lines the Dragon is widely considered to be the most beautiful of the International One Design keelboats, as well as one of the most successful.
The 90th Anniversary Regatta will bring together sailors from 25 countries and four continents in a gala celebration hosted by the Yacht Club San Remo on Italy's Ligurian Riviera. The racing will encompass not only a 90th Anniversary Regatta series, which will run from Monday 7th to Friday 11th October and begins with round robin races to decide gold, silver and bronze fleets, but will also feature a number of special races to be sailed on Wednesday 9th October.
The first of those special races will be the 90th Anniversary Gala Race in which all 160 boats will come together for a spectacular one-off race. This will be followed by special races for Masters, Juniors, Family Crews, Ladies and the Champion of Champions, which is open to medallists of Olympic Games, World Championships, European Championships and World Cups in any class and the Dragon Gold Cup. -- Fiona Brown
Stunning E-glass rocket ship from 2008 with an almost total refit in 2016 to bring her totally up to date. Ultra-stylish, yet ultra-practical and set up for effortless short-handed fast cruising.
SEAWONDER is an immaculate, race-winning MC46, launched by Marine Composite in late 2003. She is built entirely from pre-preg carbon over Corecell. She has been professionally maintained and has a comprehensive inventory of sails and equipment. A new bow and IRC/ORC keel were fitted in 2009.
KATSU offers a huge amount of potential on the race track, whilst not overly-compromising on comfort below decks. Great successes under ORC and IRC, she is a potent weapon offshore and is a much more forgiving platform, that is far more manageable compared to the newest breed of flyers.
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The Last Word
Hark, now hear the sailors cry, smell the sea, and feel the sky let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic. -- Van Morrison
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