In This Issue
The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild in the pot
Marlow Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride
Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar... the search for 2019 is on!
Catherine Pourre and Pietro Luciani win the 2019 Class40 Championship
56th Congressional Cup To Open World Match Racing Tour Season
IMOCA Globe Series
The View From Bilbao - Yacht Racing Forum 2019
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
How To Grow Volunteers At Your Sailing Club - RYA Webinar
Royal Recognition For Boating's Unsung Heroes
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage:
• • Ker 39 - VENCOM
• • Beneteau First 40.7- Philosophie IV.
The Last Word: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 1, Scene 1

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The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild in the pot
After crossing the equator last night, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild began the crossing of the Pot-au-Noir, with a comfortable lead over his pursuers. But the trimaran MACIF is seeing the fruits of its western option and is getting closer to Actual Leader.

17 days and a half after leaving it, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild re-entered the northern hemisphere last night at 3:13 am (French time) in a leading position he has held continuously since the evening of 14 November, shortly after the passage of Rio. Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier, on Wednesday at 16h 2795 miles from Brest, attacked the doldrums, which should not slow them too much.

Almost 500 miles ahead of Actual Leader (Yves Le Blevec / Alex Pella) and 800 on the MACIF trimaran (François Gabart / Gwénolé Gahinet), the two skippers of the Verdier plan launched in the summer of 2017 have the cards in hand, concentrated with their router Marcel Van Triest first on the doldrums, then on the evolution of the weather situation in the North Atlantic, and more particularly on the Azores anticyclone, whose positioning will determine the end of their journey and their date of arrival in Brest,

Behind the leader, the trimaran MACIF, after spending about four hours idling last night in a zone of very weak winds, has picked up speed since Wednesday morning, with an average of 28.8 knots in four hours between the 12h rankings at 4 pm, the scenario that François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet were waiting for.

The doldrums are also less severe in the west, the two skippers trimaran MACIF could, compared to Actual Leader, located further east, doubly see the fruits of their choice, which will boost their morale before attacking the last quarter of "Brest Atlantiques".

Marlow Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride
The Clipper Race teams have many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, on the racing front; a slight break in the tough squally conditions that they have been facing over the last 48hrs.

Qingdao maintains its lead in Race 4: The Marlow Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride, for another day, with Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam in second as the two leaders continue to ride out the weather and extend their lead over the chasing pack.

Squalls bringing wind speeds topping 80 knots were seen across the fleet. Following a particularly nasty one, Nick Leggatt, Skipper of Zhuhai said: "Our navigation software, TIMEZERO by Maxsea, allows us to download all of our track data to a CSV file so that we can analyse our performance second by second. I had a look at the numbers. Starting from 05:09:04 UTC the wind speeds recorded were 70, 70.6, 71.1, 71.2, 72.2, 72.3, 73.4, 80.8, 81.8, with a sustained period before and after that in excess of 64 knots!

Adding: "Since then, things have been decidedly pedestrian. Mostly severe gale 9 and sometimes as mundane as gale 8."

Whilst tough, these conditions have also brought ample opportunity to both set and break new boat speed records. After a tough night WTC Logistics Skipper, Mark Burkes, who had his Race 4 top speed broken by Will Michelmore's 29.7 knots, is looking ahead to what the next few days could bring and reports: "The next few days should see some lighter conditions of 25 - 30 kts but then a potentially complicated routing conundrum seems to be presenting itself."

Fleet arrival in Fremantle is estimated 9-14 December

* All repairs have now been completed on Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China and both yachts will be departing from Cape Town today. Visit Sanya, China slipped lines at 13:15 Local Time (11:15 UTC) from the V&A Waterfront and will be followed by Punta del Este which is slipping at 17:00 LT (15:00 UTC) from the Royal Cape Yacht Club. There is a clear sense of excitement among the crew ahead of their departure, with both teams eager to get back to racing.

Whilst in Cape Town, all repairs were carried out to the highest standards and, as per normal protocols, the repairs have been inspected and signed off by an independent surveyor.

In preparation for departure, both teams have had time for additional sailing in the beautiful Table Bay, honing their skills and completing essential MOB training drills. A Le Mans practice start was also on the agenda in advance of the offshore start between the two teams.

In order to maximise time, the teams, skippered by Jeronimo Santos-Gonzalez and Seumas Kellock, may motor-sail through the first night and conduct a Le Mans start between themselves as soon as possible at first light on 29 November.

Both teams will be match racing against each other for the Roaring Forties Match Race trophy.

Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar... the search for 2019 is on!
Featured tonight, a bar that's nominated every year: The club bar at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.

This report from a well-known sailmaker:

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club..because of the location, the ferocity of your drinking buddies, the view of Kowloon and the city rising up behind you and the fact that the YC bar sells the beer at wholesale.

From another frequent visitor:

The main bar is stunning, a perfect mix of teak, mahogany, brass, burgees, half-hull models and trophies. It's central casting's idea of the perfect upscale yachtie bar and they got it exactly right.

Have a favorite bar? This year's contest equally weighs stories/submissions, drink recipes and voting (starting mid December).

Pour out a tall warming drink and put pen to paper as it were... at

This year's winner receives the usual accolades AND a custom made 3D map from Latitude Kinsale.

Catherine Pourre and Pietro Luciani win the 2019 Class40 Championship
Click on image to enlarge.

The French-Italian pair Catherine Pourre and Pietro Luciani follows British sailor Phil Sharp as Class40 2019 champions. At the helm of their Mach3 Earendil designed by Sam Manuard, Catherine and Pietro have shown great consistency at the top of the charts to take the win. The Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre, particularly competitive this year, is about the only race where the duo did not perform at the top. Very well positioned on a western course, they had to deal with technical issues, only to finish strong within the top ten of the race after a remarkable remontada. Claiming no less than three victories, Frenchman Aymeric Chappellier who did not compete in the Rolex Fastnet race, takes second place. Newcomer in the Class, Charles-Louis Mourruau having retired from the Transat Jacques Vabre completes the podium.

2019 standing
1. Earendil - Catherine Pourre - Pietro Luciani : 1003 points
2. Aina Enfance et Avenir : Aymeric Chappellier : 953 points
3. Colombre XL : Charles Louis Mourruau et Estelle Greck : 615 points

General ranking

6 races accounted for the 2019 championship :
RORC Caribbean 600 (10 entries)
Défi Atlantique (12 entries)
Normandy Channel Race (13 entries)
Les Sables - Horta (13 entries)
Rolex Fastnet Race Race (19 entries)
Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre ( 27 entries)

The Class40 Championship is a point race competition rewarding the teams that follow the program. This program includes transatlantic races and shorter offshore races.

56th Congressional Cup To Open World Match Racing Tour Season
Four-time past Congressional Cup Winner Ian Williams, GBR (Team GAC Pindar). Click on image to enlarge.

London, UK: The 56th edition of the Congressional Cup, organized by Long Beach Yacht Club in California, will play host to the opening event of the 2020 World Match Racing Tour season April 29 - May 3, 2020. An expected field of ten teams will battle for the Congressional Cup trophy and a share of the USD75,000 prize purse. The announcement marks the return of the Congressional Cup to the World Match Racing Tour after a two year hiatus.

Founded by Long Beach Yacht Club in 1965, the Congressional Cup is commonly referred to as the 'granddaddy' of match racing, and is the oldest continuously-held sailing match race regatta in the world. The event has long set the standard for top-level match racing, and pioneered the concept of on-water umpiring, used by match racing events around the world including the America's Cup.

The list of Congressional Cup past winners reads a who's-who of international match racing and America's Cup champions including Ted Turner, Dennis Conner, Ed Baird, Dean Barker, Taylor Canfield, James Spithill, Paul Cayard, Terry Hutchinson, Francesco Bruni, to name a few. Six-time match racing world champion and four-time past winner of the Congressional Cup Ian Williams is the reigning event champion.

Each year, the world's top ranked match racing sailors return to Long Beach in a bid for the prestigious Congressional Cup trophy, and the equally sought after Crimson Blazer, sailing's equivalent to The Masters Green Jacket in pro golf.

The five-day regatta will feature ten world class teams including six Tour Card skippers plus the top two finishers of the Ficker Cup, the official qualifier event to the Congressional Cup also run by Long Beach Yacht Club 24-26 April, 2020. The remaining invitations are awarded to the winner of the US Match Racing Grand Slam Series, and the immediate past winner of the Congressional Cup. Skippers competing at both events will earn points to the World Match Racing Tour annual leaderboard, giving the sailors the opportunity to accumulate points towards the 2020 Match Racing World Championship title.

IMOCA Globe Series
A lot happened in the 2019 season to the sailors in the IMOCA class. There were three events on the calendar in the Globe Series: the Bermudes 1000 Race (solo), the Rolex Fastnet Race (double-handed) and more recently the Transat Jacques Vabre (double-handed). The latter won by Charlie Dalin and Yann Elies, brought together a record line-up of 29 IMOCAs. In the World Championship rankings, Paul Meilhat remains on top before what looks like being an exceptional 2020 with three solo races on the programme: The Transat, the New York/Vendee and of course, the Vendee Globe.

The Top 10 in the Globe Series:
1. Paul Meilhat : 206 points
2. Yann Elies : 192
3. Boris Herrmann : 180
4. Fabrice Amedeo : 169
5. Vincent Riou : 157
6. Damien Seguin : 143
7. Sam Davies : 140
8. Jeremie Beyou : 132
9. Kevin Escoffier : 131
10. Nicolas Lunvent : 131

Full rankings:

The View From Bilbao - Yacht Racing Forum 2019
Having attended the annual gathering of the world yacht racing fraternity for the last five years, this year's Yacht Racing Forum event staged in Bilbao over two days has been widely reported as one of the 'best ever'.

It was certainly well run, Bernard Schopfer and his team at Maxcomm pulled together a professional, well planned and at times inspiring event, so yes it likely has been one of the best, so far.

The Bilbao location, facilities and close proximity of quality, reasonably priced accommodation undoubtedly made life easier, helping create an improved community feel. Also pleasing to see a number of friendly locals helping out with the organisation - all volunteers from the local yacht club; Real Club Maritimo del Abra and motivated to be involved with yacht racing's good and great, with the event providing an end of season buzz locally and hopefully encouraging those that race, or might be tempted to, in the Biscay province of Northern Spain.

For infectious enthusiasm, few can better Don McIntyre, founder and chairman of the 2018 Golden Globe Race. Announcing the addition of a new class for the Ocean Globe Race planned to take place in 2023, a retro event, growing in popularity based on the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race with 16 entries already confirmed, with the possibility that this could well be the largest Round the World Race in the last 30 years, as Don confirms 'creating modern day heroes'.

It was good to learn more about World Sailing Trust's, Women in Sailing Strategic review. Privately funded and being published on 4th December as part of the Access to Sailing programme, the project lead Vickie Low is eager to point out that although a review it importantly includes recommendations, so a must read for those organising and planning the future of our sport.

I was impressed by all of the work completed by Luca Rizzotti, founder of The Foiling Week in six short years. Established in 2014, women's and children's dedicated sailing was introduced in 2016, learn to fly courses in 2017, in partnership with the Andrew Simpson Foundation, and now running a forum and awards event, the first medical research into foiling injuries and electric foiling design. Credit for now developing a foiler that could be used by sailors both with and without disabilities to offer access to all to this fast growing sector.

There was dialogue aplenty surrounding two-handed racing, one of the sport's growing sectors. Nearly 90% of those at the Forum are in favour of two-handed offshore sailing at the Olympics, so the industry is obviously acknowledging that this is how an increasing number of people wish to race.

Keith Lovett's full report in

Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Between a Rock and a Hard Race takes the reader on a four-year journey through the eyes of the Finn class athletes who campaigned for and took part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It begins on a hill in Weymouth and follows the highs and lows of most of the sailors as they journey towards Rio. It provides some fascinating analysis of managing an Olympic campaign, with extensive comments from many sailors, including all three medalists, as well as the coach of the eventual gold medalist.

Much of the content is adapted from Finn Class press releases issued between 2012 and 2016, but these have been woven into a tight narrative with exclusive extra content and insight into the challenges the athletes faced to stand on the top of the podium.

At 269 pages and 105,000 words, it is probably the most in-depth book ever released about Olympic sailing, and the challenges the athletes faced to stand on the top of the podium.

How To Grow Volunteers At Your Sailing Club - RYA Webinar
Is your sailing club one of the 52% of RYA Affiliated clubs who are telling us that a 'lack of volunteers' is the number one constraint to increasing membership? Or perhaps you feel your club is in a vulnerable position due to a small number of people doing the majority of the work?

The RYA has taken an extensive research project to find out why volunteering is such a challenge for many of us and what we can do about it. On Thursday 05 December at 7.00 pm, members of RYA Affiliated sailing clubs and other organisations are invited to hear the insights from this research by joining a free RYA webinar focused on volunteering.

RYA Director of Sport Development, Alistair Dickson explains: "Our sport always has been and probably always will be reliant on the support of passionate and motivated volunteers. Our research has been a real eye opener in terms of understanding what motivates or prevents people from volunteering and how clubs can amend their volunteer management processes to match".

As well as hearing these findings, club members will also have the opportunity to listen to the experiences of other venues who have managed to successfully increase their number of volunteers.

"As in our previous webinars, we'll be joined by an expert panel to discuss the findings and you'll have the chance to ask questions which can be answered live. If you can't join us, please sign up anyway and you'll be able to hear the recording after the live show" Alistair concluded.

The webinar will be about an hour long and is a continuation of the RYA's Futures Webinar Series.

Find more information and book your place now.

Royal Recognition For Boating's Unsung Heroes
Some 47 volunteers were recognised for their exceptional dedication and achievements in boating at the RYA Volunteer Awards on Friday (22 November) by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

The awards were presented to volunteers from as far afield as County Down to Torquay at the prestigious annual awards ceremony held at One Great George Street, Westminster, London.

The RYA Volunteer Awards are divided into four categories: RYA Awards, RYA Community Awards, The Francis Elkin Award and the Family Award.

Nominations are now invited for the 2020 RYA Volunteer Awards. For more information visit

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 Andrew Palfrey:

Just a short response to the nice obit piece for Bill Steele.

Bill was also part of the UK sailing fraternity, particularly Cowes where he and his lovely wife Annabelle (the Chelsea lady, after which his Etchells were named) were regular visitors. Really interesting guy. It was amazing to read of his exploits as a pilot for RAAF, particularly the bit about evacuating people in Saigon with he NVA closing in. I regret not having asked him about those times over a glass of red. I most admired him for the years of selfless service to the Etchells class and to the sport of sailing in general. But like most people out of that mould, there are many layers beyond that in a life well-lived. God got a good bloke earlier in the week!

A few of his sailing mates will be raising a glass to Bill at the RORC clubhouse in Cowes this coming Friday evening. Sail on mate!

* From Gordon Davies IJ:

In reply to Paul Newell.

I have been involved as a race official in many French offshore races. In recent years the major TSS have been clearly defined as no go areas, with clearly defined penalties for entering these areas. Race Management closely monitors boats routes and does not hesitate to protest if necessary. I would expect the RORC course to follow this precedent.

In any case, it is unlikely that the 'Prefet Maritime' would approve a course that enters any of the TSS.

PS The original home port of Jolie Brise, winner of the first Fastnet was Le Havre. Would this not be a suitable destination for the centenary race in 1925? The port has a proven record of hosting large sailing events as was demonstrated by the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre earlier this year.

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2008 Ker 39 - VENCOM. 130000 GBP. Located in Cowes, UK.

The evergreen Ker 39 is a staple of the 40 ft racing scene. VENCOM has had continued maintenance to keep her up together and racing at the top end of the scene. Further investment in a new rudder design, and reshaping of the transom by Kneierim and Ker themselves. A very strong contender.

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2001 Beneteau First 40.7- Philosophie IV. 89,950 GBP. Located in Hamble, UK.

Superbly maintained and analytically optimised, race winning Beneteau 40.7 now available for s

Philosophie IV only had three outings last season, posting two bullets and a third in three of the RORC Channel Races: Myth of Malham, Cowes to Dinard & Morgan Cup. With a comprehensive inventory of equipment and sails, this boat will deliver some great results and a huge amount of enjoyment for the next team.

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See the collection at

The Last Word
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. -- A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 1, Scene 1

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see