In This Issue
Warren Jones International Youth Regatta
Tailoring The Regatta To The Racers
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Clipper Race 6: Getting up to Speed
Spanish line-up confirmed for SailGP Season 2
36th Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse
Emmett wins the Gallop and now to next weekend's Tiger
The Cape of Good Hope in less than 15 days?
Sydney 38 OD Australian Championship heads to Pittwater
Seafarers' chaplain honoured for 50 years of service
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage:
• • Vismara Marine V50
• • Swan 77 RS - Bandolero
• • Maxi 72 Cannonball
The Last Word: Pablo Escobar

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

Warren Jones International Youth Regatta
Day 2 was set to be an important day for the onwater team and the competitors. With some delays on Monday, the pressure was on to move swiftly through the races in order to get through the overall tight racing schedule, which is part of the difficulties that the Perth Waters racecourse provides.

Regatta Chairman, Andy Fethers kept the morning briefing, short, sharp and to the point as time was of the essence. Race Officer, Kim Laurence and his team of Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club volunteers were promptly down in Perth Waters setting their course as the competitors and umpires made their way up the Swan River to start racing without delays. The 'Wind Gods' as Kim likes to call them, were on our side on Day 2 as the team were able to push hard, ending the day two flights into the second round robin. As Andy likes to say, 'After we complete the First Round Robin, no matter what happens after that, the Regatta will have a result' which is a key mark in the week for the Regatta team as the Perth Waters racecourse can historically be unpredictable and inconsistent at the best of times…

The Fremantle Doctor was called and it delivered, providing a sea breeze which was welcomed by all competitors and officials out on the water. The weather was slightly cooler, but still sitting towards 35ºC, but with the sea breeze, it was much more bearable for everyone out on the water.

The day brought some great and tense matches between all our competitors, but notably Boulden VS Egnot-Johnson and Grimes VS Price. Today also saw the sailors really push themselves in their racing as they became more comfortable and familiar with the boats.

Here is the line up for the 2020 Warren Jones International Youth Regatta;

Local Teams

Will Boulden - Alpha Racing - Ranked 30th
Representing Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club

Ethan Prieto-Low - Swan River Sailing Team - Ranked 110th
Representing Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club

Conor Nicholas - Quantum Racing - Ranked 234th
Representing South of Perth Yacht Club

Marcello Torre - Columbus Racing - Ranked 325th
Representing Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club

National Teams

Harry Price - DownUnder Racing - Ranked 5th
Representing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

Tom Grimes - Ranked 17th
Representing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

International Teams

Nick Egnot-Johnson - KNOTS Racing - Ranked 2nd
Representing Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron - New Zealand

Aurelien Pierroz - Universite de Caen Normandie Sailing Team - Ranked 20th
Representing Societe des Regates du Havre - France

Matt Whitfield - Dragon Racing - Ranked 22nd
representing Penarth Yacht Club - Great Britain

Emil Kjaer - Downhill Sailing Team - Ranked 24th
Representing the Royal Danish Yacht Club - Denmark

Jeffrey Petersen - Cricket Racing - Ranked 44th
Representing Balboa Yacht Club - United States of America

Johanna Bergqvist - Team Bergqvist Match Racing - Ranked 55th
Representing Gothenburg Royal Yacht Club - Sweden

Tailoring The Regatta To The Racers
Jaime Torres helming his Smile & Wave - Beneteau First 40. Click on image to enlarge.

An Interview With Antigua Sailing Week Race Manager Jaime Torres

How did you go from racer to ASW Race Manager?
It's a simple story. The economy in Puerto Rico has been weak since Maria. That prompted the shutdown of my business, so I couldn't afford to keep racing my boats. But sailing is my life, and ASW is my favorite event. After so many years of coming over to race and being so vocal about EVERYTHING Alison, the President and fellow CSA board member figured I might be able to contribute and offered me the opportunity to fill the vacant Race Manager position.

What is new?
The overall theme of our plan is tailoring the regatta to the racers on a class by class basis. Let's start with the Sport Boat Class. These pocket rockets like the Melges 24 and the J70 are fun, and fast boats, and their numbers are growing. They are good for the sailors and the sport of sailing. They are tiny and wet but super exciting to sail. But these boats are not meant to be out there in long races on the same courses or starts, with slow cruiser racers.

They need to have their separate starts, shorter races, and more of them. So, give them that: a regatta that is just right for them. And we are doing this across the full spectrum of classes from multihulls to Volvo 65s to cruising boats. Our team is speaking to boat captains, owners, sailors, and opinion leaders.

We are responding by customizing the racing experience to the needs of each class so that everybody goes home with the best memories possible. We are particularly proud that we will have a level-rated bareboat class, a Club Class that offers variable ratings so that everybody has a chance for a podium position, a dedicated full race boat class for several 40 footers that sail like 50 footers. And, at the request of the sailors themselves, opening several CSA classes to be Spinnaker Optional so that most sailors that want to sail with their Jib and Main rating can still have a full Antigua Sailing Week joy ride.

We are now awarding a 1st Overall to a multihull for the Peter's and May Round Antigua Race. And we are taking off the shroud of mystery on how the Lord Nelson Trophy is awarded. It used to be awarded on partly subjective parameters that sometimes left a few worthy boats out of the running. But now we have 100% numerical calculation based on Corrected Time expressed in Seconds/racing mile.

Full interview

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
This month's nominees:

Josh Junior (NZL)
What is it about the number 37? In 1992 in Argentina Ben Ainslie recorded his best ever finish at the Optimist Worlds of 37th and in Perth in 2011 Josh Junior recorded his best result at the Laser Worlds… finishing 37th. It must be a Finn thing. So Junior will travel to Enoshima this summer for his second Olympic appearance - he finished 7th in Rio - as the reigning holder of both the Finn Gold Cup and the America's Cup won with Emirates Team New Zealand. It's a decent start

Matt Allen (AUS)
The TP52 class has become the nucleus of inshore grand prix racing in terms of the level of the crews and the boats they race. With a little bit of help from the engineers and designers, and some smart moding, in Australia Matt Allen's Ichi Ban team have been proving they can cut it offshore as well. The latest Ichi Ban, with a bit more grunt and sail area, and maybe a few extra layers of carbon, is the dominant Sydney-Hobart yacht of the current era

Last Month's winner:
Iain Percy (GBR)
'Perce is back!' - Ben Nicholls; 'Respect, Zen Master' - Krawczyk Ryszard; 'An outstanding sailor and sportsman' - Alvaro Marinho; 'An absolute gent and a total legend' - Andy Hazell; 'Mate!!!' - Steve Mitchell; 'Iain has the best technical knowledge out there and is a top human being' - Romain Ingouf; 'Fitting result' - Tom Burnham; 'Fantastic sailor and since London has also proved a great leader' - Tom Lofstedt; 'Class performance in the best fleet in the world' - Blue Robinson; 'Truly a classy act, all smiles, a lot of grit and he gives a great victory speech' - Carol Cronin; 'But he did nick my bacon sandwich' - Bryn Vaile.

View past winners of Sailor of the Month

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

Clipper Race 6: Getting up to Speed
Click on image for the Race Tracker

The light at the end of the long Doldrums Corridor is starting to shine, with some teams having already gained freedom as they escape the calm and unpredictable conditions the stretch of water has provided. Some teams report painfully slow progress: one thing is for sure, all are unanimous in their plea for more wind in order to pick up some speed.

Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam are leading the pack despite reporting a lack of acceleration as they left the Doldrums in their wake. Skipper Josh Stickland said: "It's been kind of a funny day really, the first half we finished our motoring, and then bobbed about for a little while, whist roasting alive trying to search for wind and not getting much luck, in fact the highlight of the morning was the crew managing to get 2 knots of boat speed!"

Reporting on the erratic sea state, GoToBermuda's Skipper David Immelman said "We are back sailing! We have completed our 4 degrees of motoring, of which the last 90 miles were quite a challenge. We went squall dodging. One after the next, no wind then it would build on the edge, we would take avoiding action and then it would drop. It did mean that we did a few odd manoeuvres last night, but we did make our planned waypoint in the end."

As the teams are all set to be free of the Doldrums Corridor soon but with no great change in wind speed forecast, watch how the race tactics for the teams unfold via the Race Viewer.

Spanish line-up confirmed for SailGP Season 2
Madrid, Spain: With less than one month to the start of SailGP Season 2, the newest team in the global championship has been unveiled. The Spain SailGP Team features Olympians and world champions from across the country, and will be the youngest team to compete in the world's fastest sail racing. Jordi Xammar will helm the Spanish entry following the 2020 Olympic Games, with SailGP veteran Phil Robertson serving in an interim capacity to start the season.

The Spanish squad includes Xammar, 26, of Barcelona (helm); Florian Trittel, 25, of Barcelona (wing trimmer); Luis Bugallo, 24, of Vigo (wing trimmer); Joel Rodríguez, 22, of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (flight controller); Diego Botín, 26, of Santander (flight controller); Joan Cardona, 21, Palma de Mallorca (grinder); Iago López Marra, 29, of A Coruña (grinder); and Mateu Barber, 27, of Palma de Mallorca.

Xammar finished 12th in the 470 class at the 2016 Olympic Games and will be a medal contender for Spain at Tokyo 2020, having already secured his position for his second Olympic appearance. Robertson, 32, of Auckland, who steered the China team to podium success in Season 1, will start the season as interim helm to help accelerate the team's learning curve on the F50.

The global championship returns to Sydney Harbour on February 28-29.

36th Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse
The tradition continues in the Principality as the clock ticks down to the 36th Primo Cup, for the Credit Suisse Trophy and Slam garments, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco.

A meeting par excellence for one-designs, the regatta has been held every February since 1985, the month it was launched at the instigation of YCM President HSH Prince Albert II.

This year again the profile of classes and competitors points to this being a regatta of a level that will live up to expectations with some 450 sailors expected. Primo Cup regulars will be there, the Smeralda 888s, Melges 20s and a big fleet of J/70s with several Nordic teams who have based themselves in the Principality for the winter for the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series of monthly regattas from October to March.

It's a larger fleet due to the fact Monaco is hosting the World Championship for this class from 18-23 October 2021, a deadline attracting international teams like the Americans on Team Newport Harbor and the British on Redshift. The latter will have Hannah Diamond onboard who recently cut her teeth on the Volvo Ocean Race after years in dinghy classes, notably the Nacra 17 in which she won the European Vice-Champion title in 2013. Alongside will be the Longtze Premier, a 7m keelboat developed by the team on Le Defi at the America's Cup in 2007 and which has spread rapidly in Europe.

Programme 36th Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse (subject to change)
Thursday 6th February 2020: 2.30pm: Practice Race
Friday 7th February 2020: 12 noon: Racing
Saturday 8th February 2020: 11.00am: Racing
Sunday 9th February 2020: 11.00am: Racing followed by prize-giving

Registrations are open and the Notice of Race for the 36th Primo Cup is available on the event page:

Emmett wins the Gallop and now to next weekend's Tiger
A diverse range of conditions delivered some diverse results at the King George Gallop on Sunday 26 January, but it was Jon Emmett who raced his Laser Radial to victory at event No.6 of this season's Selden Sailjuice Winter Series.

Sailing in conditions gusting from 10 to 20 knots around a 2.3 mile course on King George Reservoir in North London, the Weir Wood sailor won the first two races on handicap and was able to discard a 5th in the third and final race of a frenetic afternoon. The variable conditions produced good performances from different ends of the boatspeed range, with Datchet Water's Stuart Jones trapezing his Contender to second overall, beating the 420 of first female and youth finisher in the event, Megan Ferguson crewed by Ethan Davey. The Frensham Pond duo started poorly with a 24th, improved to a 4th in the next race and then finished off the day with a bullet in race three.

While the podium finishers held a few points gap over the rest of the fleet, just three points separated places 4th to 9th, with Antonio Pascali's Topper beating defending Selden Sailjuice Winter Series champions Simon Horsfield and Katie Burridge's 2000 by a point for fourth and fifth overall respectively.

The Gallop is the newest event in the Series, this year attracting a total entry of 73 boats out of a maximum 80 slots. The Series now moves from the confines of the relatively small King George Reservoir to the broader expanse of Rutland Water next weekend for the John Merricks Tiger Trophy. Already there are more than 100 entries including Dave Hall and Paul Constable whose Fireball has made an appearance at the event since it began more than 20 years ago. Favourites among the Fireballs will be reigning World Champions and former Tiger winners Ian Dobson and Richard Wagstaff. Last year's winners at Rutland Neil Marsden and Jonny McGovern will be competing in a 470.

The Tiger Trophy is also a celebration of the memory of John Merricks, the winner of the first Tiger Trophy before he went on to win an Olympic silver at the 1996 Games with Ian Walker in a 470. The Tiger Dinner takes place again this year at RSC starting about 7pm on Saturday evening.

Online entry is open until 9am Thursday at:

The Cape of Good Hope in less than 15 days?
With a lead this morning of more than 770 miles over the Tea Route record holder, Francis Joyon can hope to round the symbolic mark of the Cape of Good Hope in four days time, so just under 15 days after leaving Hong Kong. In some particularly tricky weather conditions, with the transitions between weather systems making it tough for his crew of four, Francis Joyon has traced a good trajectory across the deserted Southern Indian Ocean. The Atlantic is calling with the promise of some downwind sailing, which should be ideal to step up the pace and increase the lead over the record pace.

The damage and cyclones are now behind them. IDEC SPORT has emerged from a very tough 48 hours with a substantial lead over her virtual rival, the holder of the Tea Route record.

Sailing into a heavy westerly swell caused by the lastest low pressure system, IDEC SPORT is slamming and at times has been forced to slow down. But Francis, Christophe (Houdet), Antoine (Blouet), Bertrand (Delesne) and Corentin (Joyon) have a clear vision of their route to the Cape of Good Hope. They are going to have to continue to adapt to the weather systems that lie ahead. They can hardly wait to get back into the Atlantic. "We're getting a bit fed up with sailing with the wind on the beam or upwind. We are looking forward to sailing downwind and speeding along in the South Atlantic," admitted Corentin, the youngest crewman. "We were hoping for the trade winds in the Indian, but we didn't get them, so have had to adapt," stressed Francis Joyon remaining as positive as ever.

Sydney 38 OD Australian Championship heads to Pittwater
Photo by Andrea Francolini, Click on image for photo gallery.

The Sydney 38 One-Design Australian Championship will be hosted by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) over three days, from 14 to 16 February, and an exceptional field means the competition will be wide open with a number of Australia's most talented one design sailors taking part.

At this early stage, entries represent Pittwater, Lake Macquarie and clubs on Sydney Harbour. Tony Levett (TSA Management) fresh from fourth place in the Sydney 38 Division of the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Levett's 15th with the boat), is expected to provide hot competition for the rest.

Levett, from Middle Harbour Yacht Club, is a long-standing class member but will have his hands full with fellow MHYC member, Peter Sorensen. Despite only a second year in the class with Advanced Philosophy, 'Sorro' is one of Sydney's most decorated sailors across skiffs, small keelboats and yachts. The veteran moved up from the Sydney 36 and still has a sharp eye and the skills to match anyone.

However, the two owners will first have to overcome last year's second and third placegetters respectively, Peter Byford and David Hudson's Conspiracy and Richard Williams' Calibre.

Class president Byford, and his co-owner Hudson, finished third in 2018 and came out firing in 2019. Leading after the first day, they ultimately finished second to Alan and Tom Quick's Outlaw, which has not entered at this stage. In fine form, the 'Outlaws' crew work was flawless as they kept firing off bullets and could not be stopped at the MHYC hosted Championship.

Competitors will contest windward/leeward races - two days on offshore courses off Broken Bay (weather permitting) and one day inshore on Pittwater. The Sydney 36 Trophy Regatta will join the event for two days on the weekend of 15-16 February. Both will be incorporated into the annual Pittwater Regatta. Open to yachts and dinghies, it dates back as far as 1888 - one of Australia's oldest continuous sailing regattas. -- Di Pearson

Seafarers' chaplain honoured for 50 years of service
Click on image to enlarge.

Chaplain to families of the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster still supports seafarers in Southampton

"One in a million" chaplain Rev Bill McCrea has been honoured by Southampton-based international maritime charity Sailors' Society for 50 years of service.

Bill, who continues to visit seafarers every week in Southampton port despite formally retiring 14 years ago, was celebrated at an event to mark his long service on January 13 at Southampton Seafarers' Centre.

Before his retirement, Bill served as a full-time chaplain for 37 years in London, Kent, Belfast, Jamaica, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Houston and Southampton.

He's reached out to more than 500,000 seafarers over the years, offering a warm welcome, a tune from his mouth organ and practical support - from a listening ear to a lift to the seafarer centre or the doctor.

"I love the work," he said. "I believe you have to have a calling to it and, as I say every week when I go on the ships with my volunteers, every ship visit is different – no two are the same."

Over the years he has experienced great joy, like when he gives seafarers free Wi-Fi to contact their families back home, but also tremendous tragedy.

He even visits ships on Christmas day, when he takes presents to seafarers docked in Southampton. His wife Rosaleen and their family know that Christmas dinner in their home will not be served until Bill has returned from the port.

Bill's commitment to the maritime industry saw him awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for his services as Chaplain to the Sea Cadets in 2003. He was also awarded the Merchant Navy Medal in 2010 for his services to retired seafarers.

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 David Brunskill:

There is a failure to understand how offshore racing will generate cash for World Sailing and more importantly how much more interest it will generate in our sport.

The revenue will be generated as it is in the Vendee Globe and many other long distance races by the 24/7 comment generated from tracking the progress, thrills, spills and dramas of boats. Every tactical change will be monitored and debated, not just by armchair sailors but by virtual sailors trying to compete with the action on the water. There will be extensive internet coverage by news channels and much punditry from offshore racing sailors. Internet advertisers will have a platform to display product - everything from clothing, to sailing equipment, to suntan cream. The revenues from on board videos and tv interviews whilst substantial will be only a part of the income for World Sailing.

More importantly though Offshore Olympic sailing will bring our sport alive not just to the existing dinghy sailing audience but to cruising and racing keelboat sailors in an accessible and enjoyable way.

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The Last Word
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