In This Issue
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Light air tango for the super maxis
Robline in a nutshell...may we introduce the brand
Defender And Challenger Of Record Request Mediation Of The Match Conditions
A pivotal moment for the Pacific
Italian showcase - Genoa International Boat Show
Not just a random act of vandalism on FaceOcean
Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar
A Soft Monkey and a Stiff Grand Prix?
Heart Of The Great Barrier Reef Race
Featured Brokerage:
• • Custom Harry Dunning 42, Baby Bella
• • Ker 56 - Varuna VI
• • RIO 52
The Last Word: Andy Rooney

Brought to you by Seahorse magazine and 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... VOTING IS OPEN FOR THE TOP TEN

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Sydney, 26 December 2019: Today's start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was once again a spectacular sight. A north-easterly breeze provided the 157-strong international fleet, the biggest since the 50th race in 1994, with perfect conditions as they embarked on the 628-nautical mile race.

First held in 1945, the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is the 75th edition of this legendary contest. Rolex has partnered the event, organized by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in conjunction with the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, since 2002 and the annual race is at the very core of the Swiss Watchmaker's six-decade-long association with the sport of yachting.

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Light air tango for the super maxis
This morning at 5.30am, the super maxis were dancing a close tango in a weak southerly east of Green Cape, and while Jim Cooney's Comanche might still be in front of the pack in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, anything could and probably will happen, as Seng Huang Lee's SHK Scallywag is just one mile adrift of the leader.

Behind the pair, Black Jack (Peter Harburg), InfoTrack (Christian Beck) and Wild Oats XI (the Oatley family) are only six miles astern of the leaders, with little more than 5 nautical miles between them in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 75th running of the 628-nautical-mile race.

As the boat speeds vary between 5.5 knots and 10 knots, the famous five are sailing well off the coast, being chased by the newest addition to the race, URM, the Reichel/Pugh 72 owned by Anthony Johnston (formerly Neville Crichton's Shockwave), is dicing with Wild Oats XI – there is nothing between them.

Last year's winner, Alive (Phil Turner, Tas); Naval Group (Sean Langman, NSW), Maserati (Jacek Siwek/Jacek Piotrowski, Poland); Chinese Whisper (David Griffith, NSW); the 2017 winner Ichi Ban (Matt Allen's TP52, NSW); No Limit (David Gotze, Vic), and the 2008 and 2015 winner Quest (Bob Steel/Craig Neill's TP52, NSW) are all right on Wild Oats XI's transom this morning.

And while the tracker is indicating a finish on 29 December, this will change again as the next transition of wind comes through. The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a north to north easterly wind of 10 to 20 knots down the south coast this morning, moving into the north-east this afternoon at 15 to 25 knots, reaching 30 knots at times.

Robline in a nutshell...may we introduce the brand: Rebellious
Breaking out of used habits. Breaking ground with innovative, pioneering Robline ropes. The colours of the new Robline logo illustrate and emphasise this spirit. We wanted to break out of the “Blue” in sailing and in general the watersports industry. We wanted to make a statement using cucuum and monsungrey as our new colours - Standing out of the mass with both our products and our spirit.

Read more soon!

Defender And Challenger Of Record Request Mediation Of The Match Conditions
As the Defender and Challenger of Record were unable to agree and finalise the Match Conditions by the Protocol deadline of 20th December 2019, the two parties have agreed to engage in the official mediation process with a view to reaching agreement as soon as possible.

The mediation will be conducted by the America's Cup Arbitration Panel who will then decide the unresolved issues by 20 March 2020 if the mediation is unsuccessful.

Currently the differences involve the wind limits within which racing may be conducted and other issues governing the racing in Auckland.

A pivotal moment for the Pacific
In the lead up to the 2020 edition of the New Zealand Millennium Cup, the race committee has reported 'unprecedented interest' from the international superyacht market ahead of a plentiful series of superyacht events leading up to the 36th America's Cup. The Pacific region is increasingly becoming the focus of the industry's interest, marked by The Superyacht Group's inaugural edition of The Pacific Superyacht Forum.

The 2020 New Zealand Millennium Cup regatta will be raced from 29 January to 1 February, drawing some of the world's most impressive superyachts to the region, and presenting an opportunity for yachts to explore the South Pacific.

Joining Royal Huisman, which signed up to the competition last month, is Italian superyacht builder, Benetti.

Although this is yet to be fully divulged, the New Zealand Millennium Cup Committee has reported that a large American sponsor is due to join Benetti and Royal Huisman imminently, with more information to be released in January 2020.

The regatta will take place amongst the 144 islets of the Bay of Islands in New Zealand's Northland - a sub-tropical cruising ground that has been a home to sailors since the earliest Ma¯ori voyagers arrived in New Zealand.

New Zealand has a long-established marine industry, renowned for maintenance and refit. This is being enhanced by the development of berthing facilities in anticipation of the influx of yachts in 2020/21. Those visiting will be able to take advantage of New Zealand's yacht friendly regulations that allow foreign-flagged vessels temporary entry for up to 24 months and the ability to charter in its waters.

Full article by Georgia Boscawen in

Italian showcase - Genoa International Boat Show
With one thousand boats and approaching 200,000 visitors, the Genoa Boat Show is now among the most important in the world...

Towards the end of the European boating season, the ancient sailing city of Genoa hosts one of the Mediterranean's key in-water boat shows. Held every September, the Genoa International Boat Show, organised by Ucina, the Italian marine industry association, celebrates Italy's love affair with the water.

Set in eastern end of Genoa's well protected and busy commercial harbour, this six-day show is all about maximising the value of the "in water" concept. With the Mediterranean lapping on the other side of the harbour wall, the two marinas are filled with boats ready for sea trials. This, plus two floors of a large exhibition hall with a semi-covered external area allows Italy's most prestigious marine exhibition to showcase the very best of the industry. The boats are grouped into types, accessed by wide walkways. Yachts, RIBs and runabouts cluster near the main hall, while catamarans (now a major growth area) are in the west part of the marina. Beyond them, motor yachts dominate the western end of the show.

Full article in the January issue of Seahorse

Not just a random act of vandalism on FaceOcean
Sebastien Destremau discovered a few days before Christmas that his Imoca TechnoFirst-FaceOcean monohull had been vandalized in the port of Toulon. "After the passage of the storm Fabien I went to check that FaceOcean, which is moored inToulon and in front of the town hall, had not suffered. I then saw that the annex which usually has a couple, was not in its place. I thought that as the wind had blown very hard, it had come off, which still alerted me a little. But as I approached the transom, I noticed that all of the electronics cables at the back of the boat had been cut with the wire cutters. They had to climb into the annex, cut everything and then leave ... "

"We thought we were dealing with a bunch of idle idiots, in fact it is not at all the case. It is quite frightening to be the victim of such a deliberate act."

Security camera video shows: "December 19, 2020 at 4:20 pm: a single man approaches Faceocean and launches some tools on the rear deck. The individual undresses and it is in his underwear that he slides into the icy water. After a few strokes, he climbs aboard faceOcean, collects his tools and meticulously cuts all the electronic cables. Showing a cold-blooded proof, the thug gets back in the water and swims towards the bank before getting dressed. At 4:29 p.m., the thug leaves the scene of his crime after having accomplished his mission. "

And Sebastien Destremau, alarmist, to conclude his press release: "Thanks to these images, we are hopeful that the police can identify the thug. I had initially thought of an act of vandalism, but there, I am afraid that it is a kind of vendetta against us. "Vendetta" may be a bit strong but we are clearly dealing with banditry. I admit that it is frankly not reassuring. Indeed, not to mention the repair cost which he estimates at almost 30,000 euros ...

Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar
A very merry Christmas and Boxing Day to one and all. I hope this week has been as fun for you as it was for me. My first and only grandson has figured out how to crawl forwards, his previous scoots were all in reverse. My oldest son is well aware of the karmic payback due him. A fully mobile child under the age of one is both wonderful (from my vantage point) and terrifying (from his parents').

Son #2 is a very good mixologist, he came up with this one for us: the Mistletoe Martini (we had some Elderflower liqueur left over from trying to duplicate Cloggy's Delights, from last year's winner Cloggy's of Falmouth Antigua. )

1 1/2 ounce Wight vodka
1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur
1 1/2 ounce cranberry juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
Mint leaves

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour in the vodka, elderberry liqueur, cran
berry juice and simple syrup.
Shake until chilled.
Strain into a martini glass.
Garnish by tossing in a few cranberries and floating mint leaves on top.

... and then wax nostalgic about Christmas past (the last 20 minutes of the best version of A Christmas Carol... with Alastair Sim... will do the trick). Sim declined a knighthood in the early 1970s. His acting in that role was worthy of immortality in this man's view.

Sip a few and then send us your vote and thoughts on our top ten... voting continues until mid January.

A Soft Monkey and a Stiff Grand Prix?
Entry for the the Yorkshire Dales Brass Monkey this Friday is already maxed out at 100, while this Sunday's Grafham Grand Prix is rapidly hitting its 200-entry limit.....

Defending champions Colin and Oli Murray could be hard to stop in their massively-canvassed Norfolk Punt at this winter's Yorkshire Dales Brass Monkey, the third event of the Selden Sailjuice Winter Series. With a soft easterly forecast, the Murrays will start as one of the favourites in a maxed-out entry that includes many big names and former winners of the Series.

The reigning champions of the Selden Sailjuice Winter Series, Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge, will be ones to watch in their 2000. Other former Sailjuice winners include Nick Craig, who last year finished runner-up at the Brass Monkey in a D-Zero; this year Nick is trying his hand in the Hadron singlehander. Matt Mee won the Series in an RS200 a couple of seasons back but for the Monkey, Matt is joining a legion of stars who are competing in the GP14. Former GP14 World Champion Neil Marsden will be another one to watch in this competitive fleet.

The RS200s are fielding the biggest entry with nine boats on the start line, followed by seven Musto Skiffs including former champion Ian 'Bov' Turnbull. There are also six RS400s and five Contenders competing, although the singlehanded trapeze sailors would probably prefer a stiffer forecast for the Monkey.

Anyone looking for stronger breeze might want to get their entry in for the Grafham Grand Prix just two days later on Sunday 27 December. Last year the event was maxed out with a few days to go, and with already more than 150 entries with the best part of a week until the event, it would be wise to book sooner than later. There's a forecast of moderate to strong breeze which could suit a different bunch of boats compared with what's expected to be a soft Monkey.

Heart Of The Great Barrier Reef Race
On the fourth day of Clipper Race 5: The Whitsundays, Heart of the Great Barrier Reef, spirits are high as the fleet reflects on the unique festive celebrations on board. Normal racing business has resumed as tactical decisions come into play with the first yachts in proximity of the scoring gate.

For most, calm conditions have allowed an array of gift-giving, festive-attire, nap-inducing feasts and games on board.

Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez, Skipper of Punta del Este commented: "It was lovely to see our loved ones wishing us "Merry Christmas" in the middle of the ocean."

On the racing side of proceedings, the teams have been split in their decision whether to head directly for the scoring gate, for bonus points, or push further north to make better time under the threat of the three teams racing on elapsed time.

Looking forward, the wind is forecast to pick up for the teams who have been experiencing the lighter winds at the front of the fleet.

Review the standings via the Race Tracker

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The Last Word
One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly. -- Andy Rooney

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