Issue #4527 - 11 February

In This Issue
IDEC SPORT in the Doldrums
49er Worlds Day One - no racing
Harken Replacement Traveler Kits: The Traveler Function Fountain of Youth
More classes at the Hamble Warming Pan on Sunday 29th March
Melges 24s Top Sperry Charleston Race Week
Clipper Race Six
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2020
International 5O5 World Champions Awarded Rolex Yachtsmen Of The Year
Tom Cunliffe on The Complete Day Skipper
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70’s Team are ready for the Caribbean Multihull Challenge
Featured Brokerage:
• • Botin 65 - HIGH SPIRIT
• • GC32 - ENGIE -for sale or charter
• • CNB 66 - NEW BOAT
The Last Word: David Bowie

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

IDEC SPORT in the Doldrums
23 days after setting sail from Hong-Kong on her attempt at the Tea Route record, the IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran is currently dealing with that tricky stretch of sailing involving crossing the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, more commonly known as the Doldrums. This area of great instability in terms of the weather follows on from a difficult, slow weekend, during which the crew had to pass through a large area of calm conditions on either side of the Equator.

Francis Joyon, Christophe Houdet, Antoine Blouet, Corentin Joyon and Bertrand Delesne struggled for 48 hours in the intense Equatorial heat to keep the boat moving due north and cut across this area of light airs on the shortest route possible. The outcome remains positive for the men aboard IDEC SPORT, as their lead over the record holder, Italian skipper, Giovanni Soldini, which at one point fell to a mere 23 miles, has now increased once again in spite of all the difficulties. The way out of this tricky patch is not far ahead with some decent NE’ly trade winds blowing less than 50 miles ahead of the red and white trimaran.

Low speed and oppressive heat will be the features of the day. After that, once the Doldrums are clearly behind the maxi trimaran, the situation is looking more traditional withh some strong NE’ly trade winds and a rather tricky, yet interesting connection with the North Atlantic lows towards the Azores.

With 3200 miles to go and with thirteen days to go to beat the record, the whole crew on IDEC SPORT are obviously dreaming of stepping up the pace in the trade winds and then in the powerful westerly air stream in order to finish in style.

Live Tracking

49er Worlds Day One - no racing
A day of waiting disappointingly ended without any racing at the 2020 world title for the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 classes in Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

The Race Committee monitored conditions on Corio Bay from well before the morning session to late afternoon, 25-30 knots out of the east keeping 49er crews ashore all day playing pool and cards, one eye on the flagpole. Afternoon sessions for the 49erFX and Nacra 17 were abandoned early.

The racing schedule for Tuesday February 11 remains as per the schedule which is 49erFX and Nacras up first and 49er men’s skiffs in the afternoon. The forecast is for lighter winds in the morning then SSW 15-20kts in the afternoon with the chance of thunderstorms.

Hairstyles trend at the top of the European soccer interest but not typically in sailing, until... the mullet!

The style is concentrated in the 49er class, particularly among the Kiwis. Logan Dunning Deck (NZL) says he’s the original, “the leader of the charge”. Blair Tuke (NZL) is rocking one and so is Leo Takahashi (JPN) who lives and trains in New Zealand. Lachy Gilmour (AUS) is connecting with his ancestors - the mullet being an integral part of Australia’s 1980s culture - and Mitchell Kiss (USA) is sporting a next level two-tone mullet.

“It was something fun to do and keep it relaxed - a bit of a joke among everyone,” Mitchell laughed. “Before the Europeans I went fully blond and I just showed up to the regatta - then we did pretty well so I thought, ‘I’ve got to keep going’. I went to a random Geelong barber - everyone around here knows how to do it. They pointed to a picture on the wall and I said ‘Yep!'”.

Check out the @49ersailing Facebook page for the photos and at the end of the week there will be a poll to vote best mullet at these worlds.

“The mullet isn’t a hairstyle, it’s a lifestyle.” - Preston

Live Tracking will be available for all fleets each day via -- Lisa Ratcliff/49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 World Championship media

Harken Replacement Traveler Kits: The Traveler Function Fountain of Youth
At Harken University, professional riggers reinforce what Olaf Harken believed for years: slip-to-slip, cradle-to cradle, travelers are the equipment most in need of renewal - it’s not even close. Sailors think replacing them is just too much hassle.

Neutral helm. Reduced heel. Balanced sail plan. Now available in a box.

Travelers are too important for crew safety and boat performance to ignore. Harken replacement traveler kits were introduced to address that issue. You’ll find five versions with components and purchases matched for perfect performance on boats from 5.5-14 m. Select the right kit. Have your chandler cut the correct length of replacement track. And you’re on your way.

Variable hole spacing track: The Unholy Grail of Traveler Replacement.

This is huge: Harken high-beam variable hole spacing track allows you to install new track using the same bolt holes used for your current track. That’s right, no new holes. Put a bolt through a slide. Slip it into the bottom race and slide it to just above a previous mounting hole. Drop bolt into hole. Add washers. Tighten nylocks. Feel that youthful traveler function. With zero new holes. Ask your Harken retailer for the replacement kit right-sized for your boat.

Watch the Harken Tech Team Replacement Traveler Kit video...

More classes at the Hamble Warming Pan on Sunday 29th March
Hamble River Sailing Club has refreshed its famous Hamble Warming Pan dinghy open meeting and changed it to a Sunday only programme. Three back-to-back races are planned on March 29th with a 12-noon first start. All non-trapeze dinghies rated PY 970-1172 are welcome to enter this legendary event. Racing will be organised in fast and slow fleets under Portsmouth Yardstick handicapping. Classes mustering four boats or more will receive a class prize and those with eight boats or more will have a separate start.

First run in 1962, back then the Warming Pan was the season opener, with new designs in the highly competitive Merlin Rocket and National 12 classes being launched and tested for the first time. These boats became the bedrock of this great event and now HRSC is inviting competitive sailors in all active non-trapeze dinghy classes to come and experience the unique fun of the Hamble Warming Pan.

An Early-Bird entry rate (£10 single-hander, £15 double-hander) is available online at until 22nd March, standard entry rate until the 27th, and late entry rate available on the day. Full details and the Notice of Race can be found at the above website. We look forward to seeing you at HRSC, now one-hundred years young and going strong! -- Steph Merry, Commodore Hamble River Sailing Club

Melges 24s Top Sperry Charleston Race Week
With only three months to go until the start of the 2020 World Championship (1-9 May) in Charleston, South Carolina, Melges 24 teams all over the world are steadily signing up to compete. Early entry deadlines are fast approaching, and March 1st is the earliest in which teams can take advantage of the lowest entry fees. Click here to register now.

"Premier racing is what we are going for at Worlds. Charleston is a really big venue, and we have lots of options on where we can race. If you are a team that has never done a Worlds, this is your chance to experience Melges 24 racing at its most exhilarating. It is an opportunity you don't want to miss," says longtime Melges 24 sailor and Charleston local John Bowden.

"Randy Draftz and his race/regatta management team are the absolute best. Their goal is to make the Worlds a one of a kind event," continued Bowden. "They are eager to address any concerns anyone has regarding racing, storage, logistics. If you have questions, they have the right answers."

Hands down, everyone recognizes Charleston as one of the most competitive and challenging race tracks for one design, performance yacht racing. This simple fact is exactly why Charleston was selected to host the Worlds and why teams are piling onto the entry list. Teams from Canada, United States, Germany, Italy and Australia are represented so far. Click here to see the current entry list.

Register on

Clipper Race Six
Click on image to enlarge race tracker map

Many of the teams have now completed the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint, following the crossing most skippers have been pondering on their tactical decision making. Whether they opted for the most direct route or focussed on their overall race position, how will that choice affect the leaderboard, as the fleet approaches the final stretches of the 4,000nm race to the Philippines?

With so little continuing to split the leaderboard, the forecast predicts a variety of conditions and potential for a period of light wind in the final stretch or Race 6. Clipper Race Meteorologist, and all round weather guru, Simon Rowell explains: “Today’s synoptic chart rather sums this leg’s weather up - you’ve got a tropical cyclone south of the Equator, definitely a summer feature, then a high off China pumping down a strong north easterly monsoon - definitely a winter feature.”

What will this mean for the fleet? Punta del Este Skipper, Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez says: “We have 150 nautical miles to the race course mark Infante on the Luzon Strait, where the currents are strong and when opposite to the wind they create a shaky sea state. From then around 400 nautical miles to Subic Bay, including strong down winds and very light winds soon after.

The first teams are expected to arrive in Subic Bay from Wednesday 12 February,

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2020
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget, Click on image to enlarge.

With a view to the 2020 edition, the Societe Nautique de Saint-Tropez is unveiling a brand new formula: extended to two weeks - from 26 September to 10 October, the legendary meeting for the most beautiful boats in the world is upping the ante in its hosting of the largest classic and modern craft, which will henceforth enjoy their own event.

By increasing the number of days Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez runs for, the organisers are keen to boost their capacity for accommodating very big boats, a programme which extends from modern boats - Wallys, Maxis and super Maxis in IRCA, to classic boats - large Schooner class and Grand Traditions. "We envisage splitting the fleet into two groups," explains Tony Oller, President of the Societe Nautique de Saint-Tropez "For boats up to 24 metres or so - except for specific classes - the dates and the programme remain unchanged, aside from the prize-giving, which will take place on the evening of Saturday 3 October. The major new feature revolves around offering the big and very big boats - classic and modern alike - referred to as Les Voiles Super Boats, their own exclusive week from Monday 5 October. By not mixing them together with the rest of the fleet, we’re making every effort to help them evolve as well as offering them the priceless opportunity to enjoy some starts at the Tour du Portalet, just in front of the port of Saint Tropez. Indeed, up till now, notably with a view to safety, some of the boats had rounds either outside the bay or off the beaches of Pampelonne".

For Georges Korhel, Principal Race Officer, the cards will also be reshuffled in terms of the programme. “By separately managing the fleets with very different potentials, we’ll be able to offer other types of much longer courses, geared specifically around these types of boats, with starts and finishes off the breakwater. Similarly, by quickly and efficiently dispatching the current participants at Les Voiles, we would be in a position to welcome around 250 boats in the first week and between 30 and 40 in the second. The Notice of Race, with all the details about the programme, will be distributed shortly.” Therefore, the Maxis, Super Yachts, large schooners, J Class and three-masters will take centre stage from Monday 5 October. This minor revolution also has some other major benefits, such as being able to host some of the finest craft that navigate Mediterranean waters, right inside the port of Saint Tropez, to the delight of enthusiasts and public alike. As such, there are countless arguments to convince the crews of some exceptional craft to head to Saint Tropez in early October.

International 5O5 World Champions Awarded Rolex Yachtsmen Of The Year
This past week, the U.S. sailors with the best performances of 2019 were honored at US Sailing’s annual Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards. At the end of the night, 2019 505 World Champions Mike Martin and Adam Lowry were presented with the trophy along with specially engraved Rolex timepieces. Kiteboarder Daniela Moroz won the US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year.

The 2019 finalists were listed on a ballot and presented to panels of past Rolex Yachts award winners and sailing media journalists who voted for the winners. New to this year’s process, fans also had an opportunity to be part of the selection process and vote online. The other male finalists included winners of the Rolex Fastnet Race David and Peter Askew, and tactician Willen Van Waay who won the J24 Worlds.

Martin and Lowry were selected for their triumphant season on the highly competitive 505 circuit, where they won the 2019 505 World Championships in Fremantle, Australia in January, as well as the 505 North Americans and 505 Canadian Nationals. The win marked Martin’s fourth 505 World Championship win, and for Lowry, his second.

*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=zPiUgaAe7BE, $max_width=500, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Tom Cunliffe on The Complete Day Skipper
February sees the publication of the sixth edition of the indispensable The Complete Day Skipper. Tom Cunliffe, RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Instructor Examiner and author of the book, reflects on 20 years of the book’s development in our latest blog post.

“When I was teaching sailing, my favourite course was Day Skipper. This was because it cut straight to the chase and delivered the basics of the job - not much in the way of frills, and a solid grounding from which students could move forward at their own pace and in their own way... ”

See Tom's blog at Adlard Coles

Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70’s Team are ready for the Caribbean Multihull Challenge
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70’s Team are ready to participate in the second edition of the Caribbean Multihull Challenge, from February 14th to February 16th, which will start and finish in Simpson Bay, on the southern side of the Franco-Dutch island of Saint Martin/Sint Marteen. The event, organized by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, is reserved to multihulls, which will compete in three different races in the Caribbean Sea.

There are 20 multihulls participating, divided into 5 classes. In the first class, the ocean racing boats, alongside Maserati Multi 70 is once again Argo, skippered by Jason Carroll, recently challenged during the 2019 Transpacific Yacht Race. The 70’ American trimaran will race for the first time in flying mode, following the recent installation of flying foils and T-shaped rudders. Maserati Multi 70 will sail with a new hydraulic system of pumps and cylinders regulating the rake, the foil’s angle, which was damaged during the Cape2Rio 2020.

The first race of the Caribbean Multihull Challenge, on Friday February 14th, has been added this year and it was designed for the 70’s to perform at their best on a longer course: the contestants will set sail from Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten, heading South-East, they will then sail around Saint Barthelemy before sailing back to the finish line in Simpson Bay. The winner of the race will also set the record to be beaten in the future editions.

The races taking place on Saturday February 15th and Sunday February 16th will have shorter courses: from Simpson Bay to Grand Case, on the French side of the island, and back.

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The Last Word
Sometimes the interpretations I've seen on some of the songs that I've written are a lot more interesting than the input that I put in. -- David Bowie

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