In This Issue
• Alex Thomson and Neal Mcdonald Forced To Retire from Transat Jacques Vabre
• The Southern Expressway: Off Like A Shot
• Wight Vodka Best Sailors Bar -- Nominations open!
• Francis Joyon Rounds The Cape Of Good Hope
• World Sailing's Annual Conference wraps up in Bermuda
• Melges IC37 'ICY' Crowned Solent Winter Series Champion
• Bang (and knots) for your buck - Libertist Yachts
• Etchells Class British Open & National Championship
• 18ft Skiffs Spring Championship, Race 4
• Kiwis bid to regain title at the China Cup
• Featured Brokerage:
• • Botin IRC 52 “Fox”
• • Ker 33 - ACHERON
• • Arksen 70
• The Last Word: Christopher Hitchens
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
The 11th annual Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar search is on... Send us your thoughts and drink recipes...
Alex Thomson and Neal Mcdonald Forced To Retire from Transat Jacques Vabre
Briton's Alex Thomson and his co-skipper Neal McDonald have been forced to retire from the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, the team's debut race onboard the new HUGO BOSS boat.
At 09:37 GMT this morning, while sailing at approximately 25 knots, Thomson and McDonald, onboard the HUGO BOSS IMOCA 60 boat, hit a submerged unidentified object in the water. Both skippers escaped without major injuries however the boat sustained damage to its keel, marking the end of the race for the British sailing team.
"This morning, Neal and I were both awake, going about 25 knots, when we hit something in the water. I was stood inside the cockpit just behind the pedestal. Neal was just behind the cockpit door.
"We're not sure what we hit but it was something big under the water, which must have been submerged to have hit our keel and physically stop the boat at 25 knots. The keel sustained a lot of damage and it was left attached only by the hydraulic ram.
"Neal and I are both physically OK. No major injuries, just some bruises. We were very lucky.
"If you were to get into your car, close your eyes, and drive at 40 miles an hour into a brick wall…that's what it felt like!"
Since the incident occurred, the skippers - with guidance from their technical team shore-side - have been working around the clock to stabilise the keel in order to allow them to sail safely, without assistance, to the nearest port.
* Contrary to Friday's forecast, the high-pressure zone was much more difficult to cross for the IMOCA and Class40 positioned to the east. The rankings and gaps have moved quite a lot in these two classes, while at the front of the fleet the west looks like the place to be to say 'open sesame' at the entrance to the Doldrums.
The west was the nightmare of six IMOCA duos (Hugo Boss, Malizia II Yacht Club de Monaco, Bureau Vallee II, Maître CoQ IV, Prysmian Group, and Advens for Cybersecurity) who chose to take on the great depression at the start of the race. But this time, in the high pressure that rules between the Azores and Madeira, the boot was on the foot. The ridge that looked like being so hard to cross for Hugo Bossand friends, was less stifling than for their comrades to the east. Groupe Setinlost two places and the situation was not much better for Water Family, La Fabrique, La Mie Câline Artisans Artipoleor Time for Oceans. Located further east (east of Madeira) is the small group bringing up the rear of the fleet, where we find Campagne de France, 4myplanet, Vers un Monde sans Sidaand Ariel 2.They are still not out of the woods yet and will be forced to flap around a bit before they are through and can gyb. But they will have to beware, the high pressure is shifting to the south and it should not be relied on hang around before it heads towards Salvador de Bahia and settles around the crossing of the the archipelago of the Canary Islands…
Top three by class:
1. Credit Mutuel - Ian Lipinski / Adrien Hardy
2. Leyton - Sam Goodchild / Fabien Delahaye
3. Aina Enfance & Avenir - Aymeric Chappellier / Pierre Leboucher
1. Groupe GCA - Mille Et Un Sourires - Gilles Lamire / Antoine Carpentier
2. Solidaires En Peloton - ARSEP - Thibaut Vauchel-Camus / Fred Duthil
3. Primonial - Sebastien Rogues / Matthieu Souben
1. Charal - Jeremie Beyou / Christopher Pratt
2. Apivia - Charlie Dalin / Yann Elies
3. Banque Populaire X - Clarisse Cremer / Armel Le Cleac'h
The Southern Expressway: Off Like A Shot
This Sunday, a day on from the start of the second leg of the Mini-Transat La Boulangère, the 81 sailors out on the racetrack are benefiting from trade wind conditions that favour slipping along and long surfs: a fairly stable NE'ly breeze of 20/25 knots, accompanied by an orderly swell of 1.5 to 2 metres and perfectly blue skies stretching right across the horizon. Tanguy Bouroullec, on his foiling prototype 969 - Cerfrance, will be able to exploit these downwind conditions more than anyone else. Indeed, alone at the front of the fleet, conditions are perfect for finally getting the best out of his appendages.
In the production boat category, those to the South have the edge in a group led by the excellent Ambrogio Beccaria (943 - Geomag). For her part, Marie Gendron is busying herself in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria effecting the necessary repairs to her keel fairing and spinnaker pole so she can get back out on the racetrack as quickly as possible.
One of the support boats, Ocean Dentiste, has informed Race Management that Julien Bertheleme (742 - Team BFR Maree Haute Orange) is encountering a few issues with his rudder. Cracks and fissures have appeared and if the problem worsens, he's planning to swap it over. Meantime, another of the support vessels, Aloha, reports that Raphael Lutard (900 - Arkema 3) is lamenting power issues.
Ranking on Sunday 3 November at 16:00 UTC
1. Tanguy Bouroullec (969 - Cerfrance) 2472.2 miles from the finish
2. Morten Bogacki (934 - Otg Lilienthal) 7.3 miles behind the leader
3. Erwan Le Mene (800 - Rousseau Clotures) 8.4 miles behind the leader
1. Ambrogio Beccaria (943 - Geomag) 2480.7 miles from the finish
2. Benjamin Ferre (902 - Imago Incubateur D'aventures 7.4 miles behind the leader
3. Julien Letissier (869 - Reno Style) 9.6 miles behind the leader
This year's 11th edition includes not just voting and stories... but consideration for the best original drink of your favorite pub. This can be as simple as a pickleback shot with a beer chaser (currently one of your humble narrator's favorites) to a sugar-coma inducing one perfected at the Pensacola Yacht Club bar (Pensacola YC was our 2017 winner)
PYC's Famous Frozen Bushwackers. A sneaky drink and desert all on one big glass.
4 ounces cream of coconut
2 ounces coffee liqueur (tia maria,kahlua)
1 ounce rum (black)
1 ounce Creme de Cacao
4 ounces half-and-half
4 ounces vanilla ice cream
plus a dash secret ingredients and a cherry on top.
Bushwackers come in pitchers delivered to boats finishing the Gulfport-Pensacola Race. Crews then sleep on the lawn under the oaks :)
Nominate your favorite bar and send us drink recipes!
Francis Joyon Rounds The Cape Of Good Hope
Francis Joyon and the IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran crossed the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope, often referred to as the Cape of Storms, this morning at 0454hrs UTC, after 14 days, 19 hours and 48 minutes of sailing. He was 2 days, 19 hours and 51 minutes ahead of the time he set in 2009 on his first attempt at the Mauritius Route, the start of the route to the Indies, between Port Louis (Brittany) and Port Louis (Mauritius).
This time was not the main goal for Joyon, for whom the Cape is a mere waypoint on a route that continues for another 2200 miles. The Cape of Storms earned its nickname because of the hellish weather conditions that can often be found in this part of the world. Far from resting on his laurels, Francis is now more than ever focused on keeping his maxi trimaran in this powerful corridor of wind offering him high speeds, while avoiding the tricky Agulhas Current, which is one of the most dangerous in the world, as it flows in the opposite direction to the winds.
The pace he has maintained in the hellish conditions typical of the Southern Ocean has surprised even the most loyal observers. Among them, Christian Dumard, Francis's weather consultant back on dry land, who could not hide his admiration this morning: "We cannot imagine what Francis is going through down in those latitudes. Maybe if we look at the stormy conditions at the tip of Brittany and in the English Channel, we can get a better idea of what Francis is having to deal with aboard his high-speed maxi-multihull."
Having sailed almost 8500 miles averaging 23.5 knots out on the water, Francis has to keep up this mammoth task for another couple of days, before turning left and pointing his bows towards Mauritius. He will then have to deal with an area of high pressure and try to sail with the easterly wind on the beam towards the finish of this Mauritius Route with all its contrasts and dangers.
World Sailing's Annual Conference wraps up in Bermuda
World Sailing's Annual General Meeting concluded the 2019 Annual Conference on Sunday 3 November in Bermuda.
The ninth and final day of the Conference saw the ratification of the Council decisions made on Friday and Saturday, confirmation of the Election Committee for the 2020 General Assembly and a decision made on World Sailing's governance.
Ahead of the AGM, the Chinese Yachting Association and the Israel Sailing Association moved an amendment to change the Council's decision to select the iFoil and instead replace it with the RS:X as the Windsurfer Equipment.
A 50% majority was required for the vote but delegates voted to reject the amendment. 13 voted in favour, 37 against and there was one abstention.
This now confirms the list of Events and Equipment for Paris 2024 as:
Men's Windsurfer - iFoil
Women's Windsurfer -iFoil
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Women's Skiff - 49erFX
Men's Skiff - 49er
Mixed Kite - Formula Kite
Mixed Two Person Dinghy - 470
Mixed Two Person Multihull - Nacra 17
Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore - TBC*
*The criteria for suitable Equipment for the Mixed Offshore qualification events will be published no later than 31 December 2020. At the same time, an additional set of criteria will be published for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Equipment. The recommendation also stated that the Equipment for Paris 2024 will be selected no later than 31 December 2023.
Melges IC37 'ICY' Crowned Solent Winter Series Champion
Ian Atkin's Melges IC37 Icy was named the HYS Hamble Winter Series Big Boat Champion, as well as winning the IRC 1 class, at the 38th Hamble Winter Series. The 2019 edition of the annual Solent series was held over 4 weeks in October by the Hamble River Sailing Club, comprising 8 races in a tightly fought fleet of the UK's top race boats. The prestigious Hamble Star Trophy was presented to Dr Mark Tomson on behalf of Icy, a trophy originally gifted to the Hamble River Sailing Club in 1934 by the Household Brigade Yacht Club, and now dedicated to the memory of HRSC Secretary Jane Windsor who passed away in the summer.
2019 has been a great first year for the newly arrived Melges IC37 in the UK, winning its Class in a breezy Cowes Week, and then winning the IRC 1 division at a light airs Royal Southern September Regatta counting firsts and seconds. As a result dealers Ancasta already have 4 more orders forming the basis of a Solent fleet next summer. The next UK boat (hull #33) will go to Jerry Hill and Carlo Vroon, who commented "We have carefully watched the launch and development of this class, and now having sailed the boat a few times, everything about the boat and the class, just seems right for the UK scene. The boats are very manageable, but rapid downwind and very rewarding when you get it right."
Bang (and knots) for your buck - Libertist Yachts
Founded in 2015, Libertist Yachts based in Poland has been making a big impression in the multihull world following the launch of the first in its range of new racer/cruisers.
Over the last decade, multihulls have attracted plenty of attention. In the high-octane grand prix multihull world, hydrofoiling cats with their complex, multi-section, articulating wing sails and blistering speeds have stolen the show. Yet while their outstanding performance has drawn big crowds and huge interest, there is little doubt that this is the leading edge of the sport and difficult to exploit for all but the world's top professionals.
Etchells Class British Open & National Championship
The Etchells British Open and National Champion for 2019 is Jolly Roger sailed by Tom Abery, Bruno van Dyke, Matt Reid, Dom Mortimer and Quentin bes Green. The 2019 Corinthian National Champion is Audrey sailed by Jon Warwick, Will Bedford, Adele Young and Will Heritage, who have all come through the Cowes Etchells Youth Programme. The first youth team at the championship was the Royal Dart YC team of Miles Jones, Fraser Woodley and James Homes.
The Prize Giving was held at the Cowes Yacht Haven with Rob Goddard as master of ceremonies and Julia Bailey awarding the prizes for the 2019 Etchells British Open and National Championship. The ceremony included the announcement of the winner for the eight regatta series Champion of Champions, which was Rob Goddard's Rocketman. The Etchells Ice Bucket was won by Jon Warwick's Audrey.
Final top five
1. Jolly Roger - Tom Abrey / Bruno van Dyke / Matt Reid / Dom Mortimer/Quentin bes Green, GBR, 9.5
2. Strait Dealer 1431 - Graham Sunderland / Sam Penhaul Smith/Graham Bailey / Harry Blowers / Phoebe Connellan, GBR, 12.0
3. Swedish Blue - Ante Razmilovic / Brian Hammersley / Andrew Mills / Iain Percy/Graeme Spence, GBR, 14.0
4. Exabyte 7 - Shaun Frohlich / David Bedford / Duncan Truswell , GBR, 17.0
5. Audrey (Corinthian) - Jon Warwick / Will Bedford / Adele Young / Will Heritage, GBR, 21.5
18ft Skiffs Spring Championship, Race 4
Click on image for photo gallery.
In one of the most dramatic days for many years, Smeg won the race by just 23s from Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Kurt Fatouris), withThe Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar, Charlie Gundy) a further 27sback in third place.
Finport Finance (Keagan York) came home only 5s behind "The Oak' in fourth place with the backmarker, Noakesailing (Sean Langman), another 20s back in fifth place.
Only three more boats, Yandoo (John Winning), Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) and The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis) completed the race from the 16 starters.
After today's racing, Appliancesonline.com.au leads the pointscore in the seven-race championship, with a total of 16 points, followed by Noakesailing on 20, Finport Finance on 26, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines on 28, Yandoo on 29 and Smeg on 34.
With No. 1 rigs (the big ones) set for a moderate North East wind, the fleet set out from the rigging area in Double Bay, to the start line off Clark Island, but were hit by the first of the day's dramatic conditions even before the starter signalled a start.
The wind settled as the fleet made its way to the first set of windward marks and the battle for the lead developed between Finport Finance, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines and Winning Group, with Noakesailing, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone and Vintec (Kirk Mitchell) leading the next group.
As the fleet approached the 3-buoys windward marks, the wind roarer up to around 25-knots and none of the skiffs could do a bear-away and the fleet was forced in towards Watsons Bay as the fleet 'disappeared' from view as the weather closed in.
No team survived the battering. Every team capsized and a number of skiffs came away with damaged gear, before the visibility improved and Yandoo's red and blue spinnaker appeared from the gloom.
Conditions became extreme once again when a NW storm hit the fleet on the final windward beat then left the leading five boats with almost no wind afterwards as they each tried to reach their final rounding buoys.
As the five boats finally set their spinnakers for the run home, conditions suddenly became 'normal' and the race to the finish line was a tribute to the skills of each crew as the five boats completed the long course with only 1m15s separating them after a truly unbelievable day on Sydney Harbour.
Kiwis bid to regain title at the China Cup
Shenzhen, China: A strong team from Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is among the many international competitors who are coming to the 13th edition of the China Cup International Regatta for five days of racing from 6 to 10 November in Shenzhen. Two years ago the Kiwis won arguably the toughest division in this regatta, the Beneteau 40.7 one-designs, but last year were outsailed by an Australian/ Chinese team.
Laurie Jury will be skippering the XianLiao boat representing the RNZYS with a mixture of experienced and younger talent on board the 40-footer. There's also plenty of Australasian professional talent spread through the rest of the 40.7 fleet, notably on board ChinaOne Ningbo which numbers one of Australia's top-flight match racers, Keith Swinton, in a Chinese/Australian crew that has been put together by for the regatta by New Zealand Olympic medallist Craig Monk.
Other Corinthian crews will be looking to get one over their professional rivals in at least a few races. There are a few teams that come back religiously year after year, such as Mike Evans who enjoys escaping the cold autumn of his home country to skipper CICW Team Canada. There's a big contingent on its way from Russia and Estonia, notably another regular participant in Mikhail Ermakov who'll be heading up Russian crew aboard Glory Sun Land Group-Seven Feet Team.
Last year the New Zealander who's made his life in China, Jono Rankine, finished third overall in the 40.7s and will almost certainly be in the running for overall victory as skipper of Forever 9. A dark horse to watch will be Doubao Team, skippered by Chris Jackson with a crew of accomplished Beneteau 40.7 sailors from Great Britain. While Jackson has competed in one China Cup before, the rest of his team is new to the event.
In total, 90 teams from 32 countries and regions are entered in racing divisions which include the Beneteau First 40.7, IRC Class, Bavaria One Design Class, J/80 Class, HKPN Class and Youth One Design Class. The regatta this year also features a new and more challenging long-distance race.
In the IRC fleets, Frank Pong's mighty 75-footer, Jelik, will most likely lead the way on the water but in terms of IRC handicap competition the smaller boats are predicted to fare better. Tiffany Koo has made a habit of winning her IRC division in recent years, for example, and will be out to prove she can do it again.
FOX now available for sale The current IRC rating of 1.415 makes FOX a highly optimized 52 to race anywhere.
Built as a sister-ship to Beau Geste in 2015, nothing was compromised during the construction of this race yacht at Cookson in New Zealand. Since conception, there has been one owner. In early 2018, there was been a major refit and she is now fully optimized to race under various rating rules (ORR, ORC and IRC). FOX is capable of going offshore to compete in races such as the Sydney to Hobart as well as being highly competitive in inshore racing. FOX has been professionally maintained to the highest standard.
The Ker 33 has huge potential for IRC racing inshore and offshore. Sharing the DNA of the Ker office and McConaghy for the build, she is both competitive and very well constructed. Still in her youth this yacht has a lot of potential.
The Arksen 70 has been optimised for efficiency in hull design, as have her larger sisterships, while retaining a vast amount of interior space to accommodate up to eight onboard whilst retaining the full beam master cabin.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness. -- Christopher Hitchens
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