In This Issue
World Match Racing Tour Announces 20th Anniversary Season
Cape2Rio2020 First Start - 4th January 2020
Keep Your New Year's Resolution! Sail in the St. Thomas International Regatta
Ken Read talks sailing, business and more
Ku-Ring-Gai and Carabella lead 5.5 Metre Class Cups in Pittwater
New Beneteau 'First 40' Arrival on Dublin Bay is Former French Winning Yacht
3D Maps from Latitude Kinsale... for the Wight Vodka Best Bar
Clipper Race Five: Heart Of The Great Barrier Reef Race
Black flags galore on a tough day at the Australian Laser Championships
80 Seconds with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
Featured Brokerage:
• • Mighty Merloe - Orma 60
• • Johan Anker 49Ft Q-Class Sloop - Leonore
• • Sly 53 - Steve Wonder 2
The Last Word: George Whitman

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

Wight Vodka Best Sailors Bar

The 11th annual Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar search is on... VOTING IS OPEN FOR THE TOP TEN

World Match Racing Tour Announces 20th Anniversary Season and New Championship Format
World Match Racing Tour The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) today announced its 20th anniversary season with an 18 event schedule across 13 countries, including a new championship format awarding points from all events towards the annual match racing world title. GKSS Match Cup Sweden also re-joins the tour as the third World Championship event of the series, alongside Long Beach Yacht Club's Congressional Cup Regatta, and the Argo Group Gold Cup hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Under new ownership since last year, WMRT returns to its 'event host' model, bringing together a series of independent match racing events around the world as part of the annual world tour. Competing teams will accumulate points from events on to the WMRT annual championship leader-board - the skipper with the highest points at the end of the season will be crowned Match Racing World Champion, officially sanctioned by World Sailing, the governing body of the sport. The defending Match Racing World Champion is Phil Robertson (NZL), two-time winner of the title in 2016 and 2018/19.

The 2020 WMRT season will comprise two levels of events - 'World Tour' events and 'World Championship' events. All events will be organised under World Sailing rules as 'Open' match racing events allowing both men and women teams, as well as mixed teams to enter. The 'World Championship' level events will award higher points and prize money of at least USD75,000.

Skippers will count their best four results from events to the WMRT leader-board. The top twelve skippers on the leader-board at 1 October 2020 will qualify for the WMRT Grand Final to be announced soon. The WMRT Grand Final will carry a points multiplier of x1.5 points.

New events joining WMRT for 2020 are 'World Tour' level events in Montenegro, Germany, Slovenia, Finland, Poland, France, Estonia, New Caledonia, Singapore and the US Grand Slam events event in Chicago, Detroit and Oakcliff New York. The events were previously part of the Match Racing Super League which the Tour acquired last year to merge the League events into a single world tour.

2020 World Match Racing Tour Schedule

The Ficker Cup, Long Beach CA, USA, 24-26 April
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Event - The Congressional Cup Regatta, Long Beach, California, USA 29 April - 3 May
Porto Montenegro Match Race, Montenegro, 8-10 May
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Event - Argo Gold Cup, Bermuda 11-16 May
Slovenia Match Race Cup, Portoroz, Slovenija, 14-17 May
NJK Open Spring Cup, Finland, 22-24 May
Match Race Germany, Langenargen, Germany 27 May - 1 June
Świnoujscie Match Race - Polish Match Tour, Poland, 18-21 June
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Event - GKSS Match Cup Sweden, 1-5 July
Internationaux de France de Match Racing, France, 23-26 July
Baltic Match Race, Estonia, 29 July - 1 August
AIRCALIN Match Race, Noumea, New Caledonia, 8-11 Aug
Chicago Grand Slam, Chicago, USA 14-16 Aug
International Match Race for the Detroit Cup, USA, 19-23 Aug
Oakcliff International, Oyster Bay, USA, 27-31 Aug
Thompson Cup, Oyster Bay, USA, 2-5 Sept
DBS Marina Bay Cup, Singapore, 17-20 Sept

Cape2Rio2020 First Start - 4th January 2020
Click on image for photo gallery.

Cape2Rio2020 Years of preparation, dreaming and hard work came to fruition for 13 of the participating Cape2Rio2020 teams, as they took to the blue and rather calm waters of Table Bay, hoisting their sails and embarking on Start One of this adventure of a lifetime, at 14h00 local time on Saturday 4th January 2020.

This is the 16th edition of the premier ocean sailing event that has been held roughly every 3 years since 1971, with competitors aged between 15 and 75 years among those taking part this year.

An underlying theme among the 2020 competitors is their desire to give back as they go, with many adopting their own cause or fundraising project in a Sail4Good commitment to the ocean, the environment and their chosen sport.

At 13h50 the horn signalled the final countdown to the race. At 14h00 the time had come to set sail and they were off, with Mojie, San Salvador, Umoya, Argonaut and JM Busha 54 the first yachts around the inshore marker - before running down parallel to the promenade past the waterfront, across the bay to Milnerton Lighthouse, and then heading up the Cape west coast with destination: Rio.

For these racing teams the wait might be over, but the long voyage and work has just begun, as has the course length of approximately 3600 nautical miles. For this fleet, the South Atlantic crossing is estimated to take about 3 weeks with arrival in Rio de Janeiro towards the end of the month.

Keep Your New Year's Resolution! Sail in the St. Thomas International Regatta
St. Thomas International Regatta Start the year off heathy and bright by registering now for the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), March 27-29, 2020. There's no better way to keep in shape mentally and physically than sailing on the U.S. Virgin Islands' warm turquoise seas, under a tropical sun with plenty of tradewinds.

Early entry discount! Pay only US $150, or 50% off the regular entry fee until January 31, 2020. STIR boasts the most classes in the Caribbean. Register in CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association-handicap) Racing or Cruising; IRC; ORC; Multihull; Beach Cat or One Design classes with a minimum length of 20-feet. Plus, there's a new PHRF class this year!

Get an extra day of racing! Register for the Round the Rocks Race, a circumnavigation of neighboring St. John, on March 26:

Bring Your Boat or Charter! Several companies offer charters:
Or, crew, find crew or a charter for STIR through Tendrr: Or, charter an IC24 from the St. Thomas Sailing Center

Getting Here & Staying is Easy! These airlines fly direct from major U.S. cities: American (Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York, Philadelphia), Delta (Atlanta, New York), JetBlue (Boston, San Juan), Spirit (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando) and United (Chicago, Houston, Newark, Washington Dulles). Airlines connecting St. Thomas to the Caribbean include Air Sunshine, Cape Air, LIAT and Seaborne Airlines. Accommodations include hotels, B&B's, resorts, villas, condos, VRBO rentals and Airbnb's. Visit: and

'We Love It Here!, You Will Too!', Email: , Call (340) 775-6320.

Ken Read talks sailing, business and more
Shirley Robertson Shirley Robertson's podcast series of indepth interviews continues this month with a two part edition, as North Sails President Ken Read talks to the British double Olympic gold medallist about his long and accomplished career at the cutting edge of the sport.

Currently in the top executive role at North Sails, Read's sailing history includes helming two America's Cup campaigns, two Volvo Ocean Race campaigns, two US Sailor of the Year Awards and a trophy cabinet stacked with National and World Championship wins.

Read's early perseverance has been sailing's significant gain, he's a key figure in the sport, and has been on the other side of Robertson's interview microphone on countless occasions. This results in a candid and honest exchange, as the pair chat through Read's early career and move into the corporate world at North Sails, through his early America's Cup exploits and onto his Volvo Ocean Race campaigns as skipper of Puma, before discussing the future of the sport and Read's involvement in the record breaking 100ft maxi 'Comanche'.

Listen to via the podcast page of Shirley's own website, at or via most popular podcast outlets, including iTunes, Spotify, aCast and Google Podcast.

Ku-Ring-Gai and Carabella lead 5.5 Metre Class Cups in Pittwater
At the International 5.5 Metre Class Cups events in Newport, Australia, preceding next week's world championship, Ku-Ring-Gai (AUS62, John Bacon, Terry Wetton, James Mayjor) continue to run away with the Hanko Evolution Cup, while Carabella (ITA 73, Alfredo Delli, Gianluca Marolli, Claudio Mazzanti) has taken over the lead of the Royal Kaag Classic Cup. The Alfred's Gold Cup also started on Monday, with Ali Baba (BAH 23, Craig Symonette, Flavio Marrazi, Will Alloway) winning both races.

After the Scandinavian Gold Cup concluded on Sunday, these three events are great warm up regattas ahead of the World Championship, which begins on Thursday. While the Hanko Evolution Cup and the Royal Kaag Classic Cup are highly sought after Class Cups, the Royal Prince Prince Alfred International 5.5 Metre World Championship Jug has been deeded to the class this year by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and is being raced for for the first time.

The Hanko Evolution Cup, the Royal Kaag Classic Cup and the Alfred's Gold Cup conclude on Tuesday with two more races scheduled. The World Championship begins on Thursday.

Hanko Evolution Cup (after 4 races)
1. Ku-Ring-Gai - John Bacon, Terry Wetton, James Mayjor, ITA, 4
2 Black Magic - Andy Macphail, AUS, 15
3 Skagerak - Steve Brajkovich, Phil Smidmore, Tim Ellis, AUS, 18

Royal Kaag Classic Cup (after 4 races)
1. Carabella - Alfredo Delli, Gianluca Marolli, Claudio Mazzanti, ITA, 6
2. Baragoola - Jason Antill, Damian Macey, Larry Eastwood, AUS, 8
3. Kings Cross - Scott O'Connor, AUS,11

Alfred's Gold Cup (after 2 races)
1. Ali Baba - Craig Symonette, Flavio Marrazi, Will Alloway, BAH, 2
2. Ku-Ring-Gai II - Matt Crawford, Rob Crawford, Matt Visser, AUS, 7
3. Beta Crucis - Martin Cross, Bob Stoddard, Martin Bunch, AUS, 7

Full results

New Beneteau 'First 40' Arrival on Dublin Bay is Former French Winning Yacht
The Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Cruiser Zero fleet will get a boost this week when its latest addition drops anchor in Dun Laoghaire Harbour at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

The First 40 La Response, formerly known as Courier Zen and a veteran of several Commodore's Cup teams is Dublin Bay bound according to its former owner Andrew McIrvine, an ex Admiral and Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

McIrvine wrote on social media: 'End of an era. Have been packing up Larry [La Response] to sail off to her new home in Dublin this weekend. Quite a decade. We took her over from Géry T in April 2010'.

Among other results, McIrvine was second in the 2016 RORC IRC National Championship in the cruiser-racer design.

McIrvine bought the boat from French offshore supremo Gery Trentesaux where she was previously known as Courier Zen.

Afloat understands that the new 40-footer is currently on its way from Cowes to new Dublin owners and will be based at the Royal Irish Yacht Club from Tuesday.

It will be a fillip to a seven-boat or more DBSC Cruiser Zero class racing that was in question only a couple of years ago.

According to insiders, the Trentesaux owned Beneteau's are all specially prepared. This particular boat has a twin skinned sandwich hull as against a standard single skin hull. It also has an IRC friendly fin keel rather than a fin and bulb. It also has a high spec carbon mast and keel.

3D Maps from Latitude Kinsale... for the Wight Vodka Best Sailors Bar
Wight Vodka Best Sailors Bar One more week of voting open for our top ten, and still accepting drink recipes and stories about your favourite.

A serious set of prizes for the winner... a wall plaque, bottle of Wight Vodka, fame and fortune, and the grand prize:

The winning bar gets a custom made 3D map from Latitude Kinsale.

Latitude Kinsale specialises in applying the art of decoupage to marine charts for any location in the world. The process involves precision hand-cutting of nautical marine charts on the depth contour lines, assembling onto mount board where they are re-cut and then assembled to create a wonderful 3 dimensional piece of art that is timeless.

If you wanted a map for someone special, or yourself, it's too late for the holidays, Bobby Nash is all booked up until mid January. But he's headed to BOOT Dusseldorf. You can catch him there at Hall 7 D09. The display will include pieces from the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Holland, the Baltic and the gorgeous piece of the Maldives. Also on display will be a selection of the new Gold coast charts and a chart table.

You can see the one made for last year's winner, Cloggy's of Antigua, view the pie chart of votes (the purple section in the graphic represents the Clarke Cooke House, a bit of a runaway on the voting to date...) all at

Clipper Race Five: Heart Of The Great Barrier Reef Race
On Day 15 of Race 5: The Heart of The Whitsundays, it's a time for tactical decisions as the race develops with currently just around 730 nautical miles to go to for the front-runners.

Skipper of Imagine your Korea, currently in fifth place, Rob Graham reports: "Imagine your Korea and Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam have gambled on going offshore and short-tacking northwards through a band of favourable current, whilst the other boats have gone inshore for better wind, whilst picking their way through adverse current. The next day or two will show who was right."

Having lost out a little in the race to The Whitsundays, WTC Logistics Skipper, Rich Gould remarked: "After the team had pushed so hard, working our way up the leaderboard from 8th to 4th, to find ourselves sitting back in 7th is tough to swallow. With less than 1000 miles to go the opportunities to make up miles on the boats ahead of us reduces. With the previous few days being snake days, here's to hoping the next couple are ladder days."

It is a closely fought race, with routing decisions being made and changed as quickly as the currents change, the last few days of the racing will likely have an exciting finale.

Black flags galore on a tough day at the Australian Laser Championships
It was another frustrating day for sailors and race officials alike at the 2020 Australian Laser Championships. Sandringham Yacht Club was shrouded in smoke, with the gentle southerly breeze not strong enough to blow it away - or allow racing to commence on time.

Finally, a light westerly materialised earlier than forecast and the PRO sent all three fleets out on to the course. But the dramas were just beginning.

The Laser Radials, now split into Gold and Silver fleet, were the first to attempt a start.

With the bushfire smoke becoming thicker and the wind continuing to fluctuate in both direction and velocity, it was a real test of the sailor's instincts and nerve.

There were a number of general recalls as the wind swung by as much as 30 degrees during the pre-start, causing the race committee to eventually start the Gold fleet under Black Flag.

Rio Olympic Champion Marit Bouwmeester (NED) holds on to her overall lead by a single point over Karachaliou and her Dutch team mate Jonker.

The men sailing the Standard rig were not exempt from the problems besetting the Radials and there were six black flags in that fleet also.

The race was won by Luke Elliott of Australia, with Karl-Martin Rammo of Estonia second.

The result moved Elliott into the top 10, but there was little change at the top. Wearn increased his overall lead to nine points over New Zealander Sam Meech, giving him a healthy buffer with only two days left to sail. Another Aussie, Mitch Kennedy, holds third place, six points behind Meech.

The young sailors in the 4.7 fleet showed their older counterparts how it should be done, with just two competitors black flagged.

Singaporean sailors took five of the top six places. Victorian Hamish Cowell was in second place, splitting winner Joelle Lio, a female in the Under 18 category, and third-placed Russell Yom.

Yom now leads the overall standings by a single point from compatriot Jonathan Lio, while Australian Toby Coote is in third.

Race officials will try to get three races sailed tomorrow, when conditions are forecast to be better, with slightly stronger winds and better visibility.

Full results are available at

80 Seconds with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is a household name in the world of sailing and beyond, but did he ever have a driving ambition to become one of the world's most recognised and accomplished sailors? Also, what have his achievements meant to the sport as a whole since his non-stop solo circumnavigation in 1969?

In what is the penultimate episode of the 80 seconds with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston video series we focus on why sailing has such appeal to him and what it is that keeps him pointing Suhaili's bow to the horizon, heading out to sea. This episode is a must watch for anyone thinking about giving boating a try, as understanding what impact sailing has on such a legendary sailor should provide that final inspiration you need to get out on the water.

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2014 ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe. 1,500,000 USD. Located in San Diego, CA

Mighty Merloe is turn-key and race ready. Not only did she win the Transpac in July 2017 but she crossed the finish line in only 4 days, 6 hours and 33 minutes, shattering a 20 year old record by more than a day. A complete refit of the boat was completed in the winter of 2018 including a full structural ultrasound inspection of the boat and appendages.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Kurt Jerman 619-571-3513


Raceboats Only 1925 Johan Anker 49Ft Q-Class Sloop - Leonore. 600000 EUR. Located in France.

This thoroughbred sailing yacht continues to turn heads and offer only transom views. Q-Class yachts offer fun racing for a bunch of friends in boats that look gorgeous - at the dock or on the water - with performance that lives up to looks.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Barney Sandeman

+44 (0)1202 330077
33 High Street
Poole, Dorset
BH15 1AB
United Kingdom


Raceboats Only 2008 Sly 53 - STEVE WONDER 2. 295000 EUR. Located in Marmaris, Turkey.

The Sly 53 is a very, very good option for both regatta sailing, and family sailing. Fast and strong due to her carbon construction, she is available at a fraction of the price of a Swan, Solaris, etc.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Ben Cooper
Telephone: +44(0) 1590 679222

See the collection at

The Last Word
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