In This Issue
Risks and Rewards as Penalties Overturn IMOCA Order
Two Dismastings in the Mini Transat
Great start to 7th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series
Dragon Grand Prix Spain
North Sails Golf Day
World Sailing's wins and misses in Bermuda
Robline in a nutshell...may we introduce the brand
Six Melges24 Champions promise tough competition
And the fat lady sang - 52 Super Series
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage:
• • 1946 Eugene Cornu 13.5m Bermudan Sloop
• • Swan 82-010 Grey Goose
• • Black Pearl - Carkeek 47
The Last Word: John Irving

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Risks and Rewards as Penalties Overturn IMOCA Order
Thirteen IMOCA have joined the three Multi50 on the pontoons and the other half of the IMOCA fleet will stream in over the next few days in what have been closely fought battles between these boats of different generations stretching back over 20 years. After sailing around 5,000 miles, this has been a finish measured in minutes for all of the boats, with everyone bar the winner Apivia chasing or being chased.

But even on the pontoons the results can change. Bureau Vallée, received a penalty of 1 hour and 30 minutes for breaking an engine seal, and so has been downgraded from eighth to tenth place after apparently winning a hard-fought three-way battle overnight.

Meanwhile, Advens for Cybersecurity, forgot to round the last mark of the race at the entrance to the Bay of All Saints. The international jury will meet on Tuesday to decide the penalty they will receive, but given the very small gap with America’s 11th Hour Racing(less than 15 minutes) in fifth, Thomas Ruyant and Antoine Koch could lose their fourth place.

As a reminder, PRB, 11th Hour Racing and Newrest Art & Fenêtreswere also penalised by 1 hour and 30 minutes for breaking engine seals, but had made their penalty turns during the race.

Britain’s Samantha Davies and French co-skipper, Paul Meilhat, on their 60ft monohull, Initiatives-Coeur, have finished seventh in the IMOCA class of the 14th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 21:45:44 (UTC), 14 days, 9 hours 30 minutes and 44 seconds after leaving Le Havre, Normandy, France on Sunday, October 27 at 12:15 (UTC).

Initiatives-Cœur covered the theoretical course of 4,350 nautical miles at an average speed of 12.59 knots but actually sailed 4,962.94 nautical miles at an average speed of 14.36 knots. It finished 21 hours 22 minutes and 44 seconds behind the winner, Apivia

Boris Herrmann and Will Harris, on their 60ft monohull, Malizia II - Yacht Club de Monaco, have finished twelfth in the IMOCA class of the 14th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil on Monday, November 11, 2019 at 10:43:43 (UTC), 14 days, 22 hours 28 minutes and 43 seconds after leaving Le Havre, Normandy, France on Sunday, October 27 at 12:15 (UTC).

Two Dismastings in the Mini Transat
Francois Jambou (865) in the prototype category and Ambrogio Beccaria (943) in the production boat fleet are still utterly dominating the competition. Earlier this morning, Russian sailor Irina Gracheva (579) and Julien Bertheleme (742) both announced to Race Management that their boats had dismasted. Otherwise, all is well aboard for both skippers, who are still in the race for now. These two dismastings are the first to occur since the start of this 2019 edition of the Mini-Transat La Boulangere.

The sailor from the Finistere region in NW France (742) has broken his mast level with the spreader. He’s indicated his intention to continue on his way for now under jury rig. The same is true for the Russian competitor Irina Gracheva (579), who is not requesting assistance and wishes to sort out a jury rig on her own and continue her race. At the 16:00 UTC position report, they were respectively 1197.5 and 1,163.7 miles from Le Marin in Martinique.

After more than nine days of singlehanded sailing in the trade winds, the state of human and material wear is beginning to weigh heavy. In addition to the navigation and the race strategy, the sailors are having to double up their efforts in terms of remaining vigilant and cautious as the fatigue, solitude and pressure mount. Perhaps the same cannot be said for Erwan Le Mene (800) in the prototype category or Nicolas D’Estais (905) and Pierre Le Roy (925) in the production boat category however. Indeed, with a very slight edge over their direct rivals in the battle for a spot on the podium, these particular sailors must be glued to the helm, allowing themselves precious little rest.

Ranking on Monday 11 November at 16:00 UTC

1. Francois Jambou (865 - Team BFR Maree Haute Jaune) 631.4 miles from the finish
2. Axel Trehin (945 - Project Rescue Ocean) 91.9 miles behind the leader
3. Erwan Le Mene (800 Rousseau Clôtures) 220.1 miles behind the leader

1. Ambrogio Beccaria (943 - Geomag) 713.5 miles from the finish
2. Nicolas D’Estais (905 - Cheminant - Ursuit) 84.8 miles behind the leader
3. Pierre Le Roy (925 - Arthur Loyd) 85.2 miles behind the leader

Great start to 7th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series
Act 1 of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series got this season of monthly regattas off to a cracking start, with the level of participants higher than ever. Changeable weather over the three days of racing tested the wind-reading skills of the best tacticians and muscles of all in the rougher conditions. But with six races completed, the 30-plus J/70 teams from all over Europe, representing 16 nationalities, were happy.

In a commanding position from day 1, Brutus skippered by Charles Thompson from Great Britain is the big winner of Act 1, thanks to a consistent performance including two race wins and two 2nd places. Local sailor and YCM member Ludovico Fassitelli at the helm of Junda - Banca del Sempione, who was 6th this year in the Worlds in Torquay, UK, clinched 2nd, ahead of a multiple-winner of this Winter Series, the Russian boat Art Tube led by Valeria Kovalenko.

Important also to mention Merci Coach, Mistral and Young Team Monaco, all three manned by young Monegasque teams who pulled off some good results in individual races despite the difficult conditions. Lastly, the all-female crew on another Monaco boat, Jehol, were admirably consistent, auguring well for the next Acts as they get into their stride.

There are plenty of newcomers for this 7th edition, raising the bar ever higher and giving an idea of future leaders for the J/70 World Championship 2021 in Monaco.

Act II of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series on 5-8 December looks set to be another great contest.

Dragon Grand Prix Spain
Puerto Portals, Mallorca: The fourth and final event of the Dragon European Grand Prix circuit, the Dragon Grand Prix Spain hosted by the Club de Regatas Puerto Portals, began today in the Bay of Palma (Mallorca) with two exciting races in northerly winds. After overnight thunderstorms, the day dawned cloudy and everything pointed towards a hard day for sailing, although in the end the conditions were near perfect to compete. "I hope we have this luck all week," said Marta Reynes, of the Club de Regatas Puerto Portals and sports coordinator of the event.

Gusts of just over 20 knots were recorded in the first race as the fleet of 41 teams from 12 countries, completed a three leg 7.2 mile windward/leeward course. The second race consisted of 5 legs, the first four of 1.8 miles and the fifth of 1.2, with a reaching finish. The wind, which at one point in the last race fell briefly to five knots, oscillated very little: from 0 to 355 degrees.

The regatta continues until Thursday with up to six further races planned. This regatta is the fourth and final event in the 2019 Dragon European Cup Circuit. The overall scores this week will be combined with the results from the earlier events in Cannes, Cascais and Kühlungsborn to decide the overall winners of the series, who will receive the new Standfast Trophy, and the winning Corinthian team who will receive the the Lowell Phyllis Cup.

The top twenty boats from the overall ranking will then move forward into the two day Grand Final knock out competition, being raced on Friday and Saturday, to decide the ultimate Dragon European Cup Champions, who will receive the Sami Saloma Trophy.

Provisional Top Five After Two Races
1. Meerblick - Otto Pohlmann, GER, 4
2. Desert Holly - Stephan Link, GER, 7
3. Ingrid - Dirk Pramann, GER, 10
4. YRed - Peter Gilmour, JPN, 11
5. Fever - Klaus Diederichs, GBR, 12

Full results

The 23rd North Sails Golf Day raises £7,680 for the John Merricks Sailing Trust
Ian Walker. Click on image for photo gallery.

A sunny but cold and frosty start greeted the 83 golfers that turned out for the North Sails Golf Day on Friday 8 November at Cams Hall Estate Golf Club in Fareham, that raised £7,680 for the John Merricks Sailing Trust.

John ‘Jonny’ Merricks worked at North Sails and the first Golf Day, was set up to raise money for a Trust to be started in John’s name. Since its inception 23 years ago the North Sails Golf Day has raised over £212,000 for the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST).

Former colleagues and friends of John’s, professional sailors and marine industry colleagues attended the event to play a round of golf whilst remembering John and supporting the charity in his name.

Winner of Day: Tim Peters - 43 Stableford points - winning on countback from:
2nd - Jamie Bollingbrooke - 43 Stableford points
3rd - Gareth Webb - 42 Stableford points

1st Lady - Louise Morton - 34 Stableford points
Contender Longest Drive: Tim Morton - winning an Ineos Team UK Henri Lloyd Jacket.
Peters & May Nearest the Pin: Andy Clarke - winning a basket of rum and mixers along with some Peters & May goodies.
The Best Team won the Bainbridge Trophy and 4 x Craftinsure Jackets: Nigel Barrow, Robert Hunt, David Barrow and Tim Law.
Bandit Trophy - won by Jamie Bollingbrooke

Ian Walker, JMST Trustee, thanked North Sails for hosting the event and all the players for supporting the day that raises such a fantastic amount for the Trust. He also highlighted how the funds are used to support so many young sailors in the UK.

Huge thanks go to North Sails for managing the event and to all the Hole Sponsors: Contender UK; Peters & May; Southern Spars; Marineware; Dimension Polyant; Soluxion Ltd; Osmotech; Grapefruit Graphics Ltd; Craftinsure; Toolkit Websites; TT Rigging; R F Composites and Ocean Images, as well as all the companies who donated raffle prizes and auction items.

And, of course, all of the golfers who turn out to support the day, enjoy a round of golf with friends and remember Jonny. -- Suzy Hamel

World Sailing's wins and misses in Bermuda
The three two-handed Trans Atlantic Races currently under way are dominated by French crews, and it is no surprise that the French are extremely keen to see the Mixed Offshore Keelboat event contested at the 2024 Olympic Regatta to be sailed out of Marseille.

The 2024 Olympic classes were again on the agenda at the Annual Conference of World Sailing, which finished in the first week of November in Bermuda.

The beleaguered world body, at last, got something right with the selection of the Starboard iFoil foiling windsurfer as the Equipment for the Mens and Womens Windsurfer event at Marseille.

The backdrop to that decision is that after the Board of World Sailing had on three successive occasions rejected the recommendation of its expert Equipment Committee that the Equipment for the Windsurfer event should be evaluated. Last May, World Sailing's Council sided with the Equipment Committee rather than just giving a big tick to the incumbent RS:X, and called for a re-opening of tenders and a proper Evaluation and Sea Trial of shorted listed candidates.

The big fail of the Annual Conference was that the three year, £300,000 exercise to implement a new Governance structure for the world body did not receive the required 75% majority.

The surprise of the vote was that 20 of the 59 votes cast, or 33% were against accepting the proposal. The size of the "reject" vote is a significant barrier to getting the proposal accepted at an Extraordinary Annual Meeting. The view was expressed that several years of governance change effort were at risk of having that work rejected by a 25% majority. Instead the 'reject" vote was 33% which is quite different.

In looking at the way forward, if indeed there is one, part of the problem is that the vote was held in secret, and it is not possible to see who was for and against. Additionally in the debate on the Proposal on the day of the Annual Meeting, most of the speakers were in favour of the proposals - yet the vote was lost.

An earlier submission to the Annual Conference to delay the Proposal was supported by only eight of 41 eligible voters with the nine Board members bloc voting.

It would be easy to dismiss the vote as a "protest vote" against the current Board. But independent sports media Inside the Games saw it as a body blow to World Sailing and its President, Kim Andersen who is up for re-election next year.

Richard Gladwell's full editorial in

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Six Melges24 Champions promise tough competition
Pensacola Florida, USA: Five reigning 2019 Melges24 US champions and a former US Champion will duke it out with a stellar fleet of challengers on Pensacola Bay this weekend. Pensacola YC hosts the Melges24 Bushwhacker Cup with racing for the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Championships on Friday and Saturday. A practice race and a Quantum sails clinic will help tune the fleet on Friday.

One entry dropped out today, but still a strong fleet of 21 sporty Melges24’s will be on the line Saturday with the First Warning scheduled for 1055. Tim Bowman, from Lake Stockton YC in Missouri has had to withdraw. He and Rhumb Runner are not able to make the trip. But he promised, “I’ll make it next year.”

“This is the inaugural, first annual, Bushwhacker Cup,” said Race Chairman Tom Pace, Jr. “We want to build a Melges tradition in Pensacola and this is the first step. We have a perfect venue for competitive one-design racing.Our PRO Hal Smith is very familiar with Melges24 racing and will put great racing on the bay for the sailors to enjoy.”

This week’s fleet is highlighted by champions. Travis Weisleder the 2019 North American Champion from Richmond VA tops the list with Roger Counihan, the 2019 Canadian National Champion coming from Atlanta GA on his heels. Steve Suddath of Jacksonville FL is 2019 Corinthian U.S. National Champ. He’ll be pressing the pros.

Bruce Ayres from Newport Beach CA is last year’s Bacardi Winter Series Champion while Megan Ratliff of Chicago is 2019 Corinthian Bacardi Winter Series Champ. For many of the entries, this regatta in Pensacola is a perfect tune-up for racing in Miami at the other end of the state in the Bacardi Winter Series starting in December.

Another notable sailor is former US National Champion Bora Gulari. He is in Pensacola for the winter as a sailing team member with New York Yacht Club American Magic, a Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup. Gulari competed at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, sailing the Nacra 17 male/female multihull. Gulari was US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 2009. -- Talbot Wilson, Pensacola Yacht Club

And the fat lady sang - 52 Super Series
Consistency won the 2019 52 Super Series title for Azzurra. At five regattas they finished as the runners-up, each time pained by how close they had come to winning that title. But the crew that is led by Guillermo Parada and sails in the blue of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda played the long game better than anyone this year, never taking their eyes off the top trophy and what is their fourth, and hardest won, season title.

Azzurra have the complete package. There is no doubt that tactician Santi Lange required some of the 2018 season, his first full year back in the class since 2014, to get on top of the latest subtleties of this, the highest level of inshore grand prix competition. But this year his risk management has been second to none - he rarely puts Azzurra in high-stress situations yet is still prepared to split from the fleet when extra points are seemingly on offer.

‘We are sure Azzurra got a little quicker through the season, and we are pretty sure that changing their rudder after the early-season Valencia training sessions and sailing with more and more rake through the year were a big part of it,’ suggested Simon Fry, trimmer on the Vrolijk-designed Provezza, with whom Azzurra sailed as tuning partners this season.

Full article in the December issue of Seahorse

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

From Richard Dobbs:

I dropped into some of the recent World Sailing Annual Conference in Bermuda while sailing my yacht Titania from the US to the Caribbean.

As with most of these events, I was somewhat depressed at how little of the conversation seemed to be around reversing the decline in participation in sailing seen in much of the world. Not to denigrate the importance of discussions such as Olympic classes, tracking software, changes in World Sailing Governance and the next World Sailing CEO, but if these are all we address, we run the risk of sailing becoming an even less relevant, dynasty sport.

But I also took away two bits of great news from the conference.

The first was from an initial sight of the Andrew Pindar sponsored, World Sailing Trust work on “gender balance, the case for change” led by Dee Caffari, Hannah Hoare, Vicky Low, and Laura Dillion. This work crystallised the nature of the sailing gender problem. But a corollary, is that we could overcome the decline in participation in sailing if we can overcome the gender balance issue and become as relevant to women as to men. Indeed, we could see a multiplier effect, as some men are put off a sport that is not attractive for their wives, girlfriends, daughters, etc.

The second, related, piece of good news was the many pockets of successful practices around the world at overcoming sailing gender balance issues. These include mandating mixed-gender crews in the IC37 class, changing purchase arrangements to require less strength, better lifejackets, approaches to safeguarding and programmes to encouraging more women into coaching and other leadership roles so as to provide more role models. The challenge we face is not one of inventing new approaches to addressing gender balance, but the diffusion of existing best practice.

So, as well as debating issues such as governance, the world sailing community might now have the basis to start reversing declining participation. We, whether we be boat owners, crew, race officials, club members, or other leaders of the sport, need to move into action.

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The Last Word
Life forces enough final decisions on us. We should have the sense to avoid as many of the unnecessary ones as we can. -- John Irving

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