In This Issue
Picking the layline 2,500 miles out
IDEC SPORT in a wild desert
Robline in a nutshell...may we introduce the brand
Lisa Blair to sail double-handed in Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race
Oliver Tweddell Keeps Olympic Hopes Alive After Comeback From Injury
Sharp to attempt world record for Around Isle of Wight
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
Early Entries Presage Strong Fleet for ORC/IRC Champs
Royal Cork Yacht Club opens entries for 'Volvo Cork Week 2020
Vale Bill Steele
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage:
• • Cookson 50 - Endless Game
• • Mighty Merloe - Orma 60
• • Swan 77-006 CALLISTO
The Last Word: Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 2

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Picking the layline 2,500 miles out
Day 5 Update: 0800 UTC, 27 November, 2019: After five days into the RORC Transatlantic Race the international fleet is experiencing shifty conditions with a light to moderate wind oscillating between nor' east and east. All of the teams are south of the rhumb line but different strategies are producing a range of tactics in the 3,000nm race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.

Richard Palmer, competing Two Handed with Jeremy Waitt on his British JPK 10.10 Jangada are currently provisional overall leader after IRC time correction. French Wally 100 Dark Shadow is 2,285nm from the finish and leading the fleet for line honours. Swedish VO65 Childhood 1 has sailed the most miles (945nm) and is the furthest south. Pata Negra is back in the race having made a pit-stop in El Hierro.

Giles Redpath's British Lombard 46 Pata Negra suspended racing on Day 2 (Sunday 24 November) and motored into El Hierro, the most southwesterly of the Canary Islands. The young crew, skippered by Andy Lis discovered problems with their watermaker and wisely took on enough water at El Hierro to last for the race. Pata Negra then returned to their last racing position, hoisted sails, and commenced racing. To add to the crew's problems, Andy Lis cracked a tooth requiring medical treatment. All teams in the RORC Transatlantic Race must carry the prescribed medical kit for a World Sailing Category 1 Race and at least two crew must have first aid training. Pata Negra crew Conor Totterdell put his skills learnt at the Dun Laoghaire RNLI to good use, turning the forecabin of Pata Negra into a makeshift dental lab!

Fleet Tracking

IDEC SPORT in a wild desert
That is how Christophe Houdet, Francis Joyon's faithful friend and one of the crew of four aboard IDEC SPORT for the Asian Tour, described the situation. Slowed down to horribly low speeds yesterday and completely stopped for around seven hours after six days of high speed sailing towards the southern latitudes, the giant trimaran has since then recovered and is racing again across the desert that is the Indian Ocean. After being completely alone in the middle of nowhere, the men on IDEC SPORT are getting ready to face the exact opposite as they approach the coast and the islands of Indonesia. From Friday onwards, IDEC SPORT will be in the heart of a whirlpool of activity, with her crew remaining cautious yet amazed by the sights around them over the final 1000 miles in the China Sea before they reach Ho Chi Minh City.

IDEC SPORT is heading due north towards the Sunda Strait, which marks the entrance to the China Sea. "Conditions are good although not the best," added Francis. "There were a lot of squalls last night with some powerful gusts, which menat we had to carry out manoeuvres all the time going from the gennaker to the J1 and back and we had to trim continually. The wind went up and down between 16 and 22 knots. We are keeping up speeds of between 28 - 30 knots. These conditions are expected to last until we reach the islands of Indonesia." Having already sailed more than 3200 miles in six days averaging more than 22 knots, Joyon and his men are now less than 2000 miles from their destination. They should be able to sail between Java and Sumatra on Friday morning and then enter the China Sea, the final portion of this new record between Mauritius and Vietnam.

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Lisa Blair to sail double-handed in Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race
Lisa Blair, a high-profile yachtswoman and adventurer on a mission to break records and leave her mark on the world, is joining the fleet for the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria's (ORCV) 2019 Melbourne to Hobart, and in doing so, will create history.

Blair's thirst for sailing and adventure was aroused when she crewed in the 2011/2012 Clipper Round the World Race. The Sunshine Coast sailor, who has called Sydney home since 2014, has since completed the ITL Solo Tasman Challenge from New Zealand to Australia.

Among other achievements, Blair took her environmental message aboard 'Climate Action Now' to the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart. Next was her aim to become the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo, non-stop an unassisted, but was dismasted in storm conditions. Undaunted, Blair stopped, repaired and two months later finished, making her the only woman, and solo woman, to sail around Antarctica.

Blair did the 2017 Sydney Hobart with an all-female crew and in 2018, refitted her Hick 50. She sailed solo around Australia, Sydney to Sydney, and into the record books. The first woman to sail solo non-stop, around Australia, also set a world record for the fastest solo voyage on a monohull - 58 days.

Niggling at the back of her mind, though, is the unfinished business of sailing non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. But she wants to do the Melbourne to Hobart 'Wescoaster' first, with her freshly rebadged boat, d'Alboras/Climate Action Now.

The 2019 Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race starts on 27 December off Portsea Pier and takes the fleet down the rugged west coast of Tasmania and to Hobart. The annual 440 nautical mile race is open to fully crewed monohulls, with divisions for Four + Autohelm, double-handed and multihulls.

Oliver Tweddell Keeps Olympic Hopes Alive After Comeback From Injury
It will be a home affair for Melbourne's world class Finn sailor Oliver Tweddell when the Finn Gold Cup – the World Championships of the Olympic Finn class – starts in Melbourne in a couple of weeks.

Seven months out from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Royal Brighton Yacht Club will be hosting the season pinnacle event for the Olympic Finn class December 13 – 21 2019 and the world's best Finn sailors have arrived in Melbourne in preparation for the big event in two weeks and some warm-up regattas on Port Phillip in the lead up, starting on the weekend.

The Finn Gold Cup will also double up as the Tokyo 2020 Oceania qualifier and the last chance for Australia's Finn sailors to secure a quota spot for Tokyo next year.

Over 60 sailors from more than 20 countries including Rio 2016 Olympic champion Giles Scott (GBR), 2018 World Champion Zsombor Berecz (HUN) and World #2 Nicholas Heiner from the Netherlands will be contesting the world championships with the entry list reading like the who is who of Olympic Finn sailing and with many Northern Hemisphere sailors making the most of their opportunity to train and race in Australia's warmer weather in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Games and race for world champion glory at the same time.

Entries also include two-time Olympian, world #5 and former World Champion Max Salminen from Sweden as well as 2020 World Cup 1 silver medallist Josip Olujic (Croatia), Alikan Kaynor (Turkey), Germany's top Finn sailors and many more. See all current entries here:

The 2019 Finn Gold Cup will also be the celebration of Tweddell's comeback to international sailing competition following a difficult break of his wrist earlier in the year which kept him off the water for several months.

The 2019 Finn Gold Cup will be the first event and one of the highlights of Melbourne's 2020 Summer of Sailing with Royal Brighton Yacht club hosting the class world championships in conjunction with the International Finn Class Association and the International Finn Association of Australia.

The world class event kicks off a series of Olympic sailing events on Port Phillip Bay with the club also hosting the 2020 Sail Melbourne International regatta in January (17-21 January 2020).

It will be the first time the event is coming to Royal Brighton Yacht Club, which is the perfect venue given the club's strong tradition with Olympic and off the beach sailing, its history as one of the host clubs for the 1956 Olympic Games, host to numerous World Championships as well as home of the annual Sail Melbourne International regatta and with the club boasting world-class waters to sail in.

Royal Brighton Yacht Club is also home to one of Australia's greatest yachtsman, John Bertrand AO, who skippered Australia II to victory in the 1983 America's Cup and who also won the bronze medal in the Finn class at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.​

* Editor: Royal Brighton has as its Commodore Paul Pascoe, an International Judge, longtime IYRU / ISAF / World Sailing committee member and IT consultant, Hobie Class competitor, officer and promoter, bon vivant, beer tent gourmand and globe-trotting troublemaker. The Finnsters are in very good hands.

Sharp to attempt world record for Around Isle of Wight
Two-times world record holder Phil Sharp is on standby to attempt the Around Isle of Wight world sailing speed record and will also be raising awareness of the urgent action required to reduce maritime air pollution along the UK coastline, and in busy ports such as Southampton.

Sharp will be attempting the record single-handed aboard his newly electrified zero emissions vessel, OceansLab, for which he aims to break the existing benchmark time of 6h 29m 32s set in 2017 by skipper Alex Alley.

In attempting the record Sharp importantly aims to draw attention to the dangerous levels of air pollution around major ports and sea routes in the UK, which are four times higher than previously suggested, and the urgent need for policy makers and shipping companies to reduce coastal and in-port emissions to zero.

The Around Isle of Wight record routes through the UK's second busiest shipping zone where toxic emissions from ships (cruise liner and cargo) are a significant cause for health and environment concern. Research has shown that 30% of the pollution in UK port towns can come from ships, and that long-term exposure to the nitrogen and sulphur oxides (NOx and SOx) released has been linked to the deaths of around 40,000 people in the UK annually.

The record attempt is on standby, in Code Red status until a suitable weather window has been identified, at which point OceansLab will move to Code Amber and finally Code Green to declare an estimated start time. This record follows on from Sharp's successful Round Britain and Ireland world record that was set last year, and from his single-handed Cross-Channel outright monohull world record set in 2016.

Sharp will be delivering OceansLab to Southampton's Ocean Village this week where final preparations will be made ahead of the record attempt.

Seahorse December 2019
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

It started with the racing code zero but already the benefits are spreading rapidly out through the superyacht world (and elsewhere...)

(Almost) a clean sheet of paper
Moving from Archimedean craft to foilers - and particularly to foils - demands a new mindset as much as it does a new approach to composite construction and engineering

Multiple challenges
Redefining the concept of a superyacht - the introduction of Dynamic Stability System (DSS), Cl Ellipse rigging from Carbo-Link and spars from Rondal - and suddenly life's even more full-on

The cutting edge of the cutting edge
For this driven team of Italian engineers the Hugo Boss project now added dramatic compactness to a long list of performance criteria

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Early Entries Presage Strong Fleet for ORC/IRC Champs
Newport, R.I.:Thousands of miles and 10 months of lead time are proving no deterrent for teams intent on ensuring their spot in one of the most anticipated sailing championships of 2020. In the few short weeks since entries opened, nearly 30 entries have registered for the 2020 ORC/IRC World Championships, exceeding organizers' expectations and laying a strong foundation for the regatta's triumphant return to the United States after a two-decade absence.

The 2020 ORC/IRC World Championship will bring top sailing teams from around the globe to battle on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay for one of three coveted world titles. The regatta will be scored using a combination of the two most popular rating rules in the sport, ORC and IRC, and racing will be a mix of around-the-buoys racing and longer, offshore courses. The competition will be held out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court from September 25 to October 3, 2020.

While the Teamwork crew will put in the miles to get its J/122 to Newport, there are many other teams committing to an even longer journey. Among the 28 entries to date are two each from Italy and Great Britain and one each from Germany, France and Canada. This geographic spread is crucial to the regatta as ORC championship rules state that the number of competitors plus the number of countries represented within the fleet must total 14 or greater for each class to confer a world title to its winner.

With an impressive surge of 12 entries from four countries, including Tilmar Hansen's TP52 Outsider from Kieler Yacht-Club in Germany, Class A has already met this requirement. This boat was brand new to Hansen at the last combined ORC/IRC Worlds in The Hague, Netherlands, in 2018, where he finished as runner-up to Karl Kwok's gold medal-winning TP52 Beau Geste from Hong Kong.

Outsider will have some strong competition in a brand-new Fox, Victor Wild's Botin 52 currently under construction, and Vesper, a competitive TP52 from Southern California skippered by David Team. All three boats should be among the fastest boats, according to rating, in Class A.

Another interesting development is the three IC37s that have entered Class B. This boat, created for one-design racing by the New York Yacht Club, has recently had some success under IRC, including an overall win in the Hamble Winter Series on the Solent. Another full season of one-design racing and, perhaps, some optimization for handicap competition could well make one or more of these IC37s a formidable competitor next fall. So far 10 teams have entered Class B.

And Class C is also shaping up well with six teams from three countries, including Kevin Brown's Farr 30 Notorious from Toronto and the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. His plan includes IRC and ORC racing in Florida in the SORC offshore series this winter, and says his boat "is in top form, getting ready for the Worlds now." -- Stuart Streuli, New York Yacht Club

Entry list on

Royal Cork Yacht Club opens entries for 'Volvo Cork Week 2020
The Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world, today launched its online entry system for the prestigious Volvo Cork Week 2020 regatta which will see hundreds of boats and thousands of yachtsmen and women from around the globe compete on the waters around Cork Harbour from July 13th - 17th.

The world-renowned biennial regatta, first held in 1978, is expected to attract a bumper fleet of entries and will this year incorporate The Irish Cruiser Racing Association National Championships, 1720 European Championships, the Beaufort Cup, a Classic Yacht regatta and the southern championships for the International Dragon Class.

All qualifying boats entered in Volvo Cork Week 2020 will automatically be entered into the ICRA National Championships, the pinnacle of the Irish inshore cruiser racing calendar which will see the Irish National Champion declared.

This year's Volvo Cork Week has extra special significance as it forms a key part of the Royal Cork Yacht Club's historic 'Cork300' celebrations marking what is the oldest yacht club in the world's tricentenary.

Volvo Cork Week Director of Racing, Rosscoe Deasy said: "I look forward to welcoming sailors from around the world to Cork Harbour in 2020 in celebration of the Royal Cork Yacht Club's tri-centennial year. We have a packed schedule and the season's centrepiece will be the renowned Volvo Cork Week in July. Notably, the 2020 regatta will also include championship events such as the IRC Europeans, the ICRA Nationals, the 1720 Europeans and the Beaufort Cup.

Volvo Cork Week will also host a dedicated Classic Yacht Regatta for the first time in 2020. Classic Yachts from around the globe will sail to Cork to celebrate 'Where It All Began' and partake in three days of racing in and outside Cork Harbour. This event will also provide a fantastic viewing spectacle for shoreline onlookers.

In addition to this, the International Dragon Class will return to Volvo Cork Week in 2020 following their very successful outing in 2018, to hold their Southern Championships in Cork.

The historic Kingstown to Queenstown feeder race from Dun Laoghaire to Cobh will take place on July 9th, enhancing the build up to Volvo Cork Week 2020 with a re-enactment of what is acknowledged as the first ever off shore race to take place in the British Isles, in 1860.

A competitive fleet will also set sail on an 800nm race from Heligoland, Germany, to Cork, Ireland, on July 4th competing for the Robbe and Berking German Offshore Trophy, arriving ahead in Ireland of the historic Volvo Cork Week 2020.

Online entry to Volvo Cork Week 2020 opens on from 10:00hrs Thursday 28th November.

Vale Bill Steele
The Western Australian and Etchells communities were saddened to hear of the death of Bill Steele on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Bill, who was planning his 80th birthday celebrations for next February, suffered a brain aneurysm while at the helm of his Etchells Chelsea Lady and died two days later.

Another skipper, Doug Kerr, was just to leeward and, noticing Bill's boat had stopped, went alongside and called the rescue RIB with crew Skip Lissiman and Rob Rooke who quickly got him aboard and raced into a waiting Ambulance at the Royal Perth YC Annexe. He was kept on life support for a couple of days, but the damage to his brain was complete.

Bill's step-brother, John Fitzhardinge, wrote the following:

The human brain is an amazing thing, and Bill's allowed him to do a great many things, from representing Hong Kong in the Flying Dutchmen class at the 1972 Munich Olympics to being a successful navigator in Sydney Hobarts and China Sea races before electronic navigation simplified the life of a navigator.

Flying was a large part of his life. Firstly with the RAAF, then the RFDS in WA, followed by flying DC3' into short mountain-top strips in rain shrouded PNG, followed by a life with Cathay Pacific, later flying 747's on the first non-stop trans Pacific flights. He flew the last Convair into Saigon as the NVA advanced down the road to the airport (didn't stop the engines while they loaded the people on).

In later years his passion was sailing Etchells. An important part of his year was the annual Etchells Worlds held in various parts of the world. Bill made a major contribution to the world administration as a world Governor of the Class.

Bill supported the young guys in the Elite sailing programme in a mutually beneficial arrangement where he paid them to crew with him. The crew with him on Saturday was Sam Gilmour on main, Lucas Cunningham, and Brad Moore on jib.

Bill's final memories will be sailing Chelsea Lady last Saturday afternoon in the ocean off Freo in the Syd Corser Etchells Regatta in a lovely breeze, at the forefront of the fleet.

Bill will be sadly missed by the WA sailing community, but all can take heart from the fact that he died doing what he loved.

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 John Burnie: re: Fastnet finish in France

Following the RORC’s decision to change the finish of the Fastnet Race your last word on EuroSail News #4476 - 27 November was clearly prescient. (Lord, what fools these mortals be! -- A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 1, Scene 1). I state my view on the RORC announcement here:

As founders and creators of the RORC Caribbean 600, Stan Pearson and I invited the club (and the Antigua YC) to take over and manage the race based in Antigua - which incidentally we could have kept entirely to ourselves had we so chosen. We felt strongly however that the RORC was the right institution to entrust the race to. Having worked hard to establish the event, Stan and I then spent a good deal of time resisting daft ideas emanating from the RORC and its committees - such as starting the race on another island, running the event every two years - even reversing the course has been suggested. I am dumfounded at the RORC's inclination to meddle in matters of such importance with what is clearly seen as ill judged consideration. This was an extremely radical decision to take with regard to the Fastnet - as such it merited a full and frank consultation with all the members of the club, particularly the many loyal and serial participants of the race. Committees and Commodores come and go - their temporary influence should not be allowed to prejudice the future of such an iconic heritage as the Fastnet Race without full and unequivocal approval of the members.

* From Paul Newell: re: Fastnet finish in France

So the organisers think it's a good idea to have 400+ boats go play in the shipping lanes as they close the finishing line with it's strong tides and associated tidal gate?

Are they mad?

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The Last Word
The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interrèd with their bones. -- Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 2

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