In This Issue
Light Air Combat - Start RORC Caribbean 600
RS:X Windsurfing World Championships
Some evolution: Baltic Yachts
Evolution Sails Round North Island Race
Another Challenging Day at Laser Radial Worlds
Could Olympic sailing return to Weymouth in 2020?
J/70 Midwinter Championship
Worrell 1000: Back and better than ever
Watch Gatorade compete in the Whitbread
An AC75 Nosedive
Featured Brokerage:
• • Reichel/Pugh 52 Custom - Cape Fling II
• • 85Ft Racing Sloop TAHIA
The Last Word: Bertrand Russell

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

Light Air Combat - Start RORC Caribbean 600
Sparkling conditions prevailed for the start of the 12th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

The impressive 73-boat fleet gathered outside Antigua's English Harbour, relishing the prospect of racing 600nm in stunning conditions. A light south easterly breeze gave a gentle start to the race, but the fierce competition was exemplified by highly competitive starts right through the fleet. Lighter than usual conditions are forecast for the first 24-hours of the race, adding another level of strategy to the fascinating race around 11 Caribbean islands.

First to go was the combined IRC Three and IRC Two fleet of 26 boats. The second start was for IRC One and the Class40 division, featuring 23 teams. The IRC Zero start featuring 17 of the fastest monohulls in the race was highly aggressive. The Multihull start featured eight teams.

Fleet Tracking

RORC Carib 600

RS:X Windsurfing World Championships
Sorrento, Victoria, Australia: The final practice race was held today for the 116 competitors for the RS:X Windsurfing World Championships at Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (SSCBC) in Sorrento, Victoria, before the competition gets underway tomorrow.

Competitors representing 31 countries have made Sorrento their home over the past few weeks, welcomed with open arms by the SSCBC Members and the local community. The Club has provided competitors and officials with a temporary membership of SSCBC, enabling them to use the sailing and dining facilities in the lead up to and during the Regatta. This regatta marks the 35th National or Worlds competition hosted in Victoria this season.

The male competitors from the Netherlands are competing head to head for a spot on the Dutch team: Dorian Van Russelberghe and Kiran Badloe. Dorian is a dual Olympic gold medallist with significant experience at the top when it counts, but his younger training partner Kiran has been consistently getting stronger and more competitive and is currently the reigning World Champion. Kiran has been in NZ since November and arrived in Sorrento on 2 February to start his preparation for this event. We have two days of qualifying coming up to decide who will make the gold and silver fleet, so we will wait and see how this friendly rivalry will pan out this week. -- Icarus Sports

Some evolution: Baltic Yachts
Baltic Yachts Telescopic keel, retractable propulsion, high-pressure hydraulics but just 88-tonne displacement for 112-feet of luxury performance... not only that, but Baltic Yachts' Liara may well be the quietest running superyacht launched to date

Those of us lucky enough to cross an ocean or race offshore for any length of time will have an innate sense of appreciation and wonder at the beauty and power of the sea - it's this very primal urge within us that binds us all together as sailors. And yet, as we know, some of the most important features of the sea and its ecosystems are under threat from human interference - most likely for the first time in the planet's history. Consequences now include measurable effects and influence on not just our aesthetic values as sailors but also the lives and well-being of those who depend on being on and around the sea.

Evolution and not revolution sounds less interesting perhaps than foil- driven hyperdrive super-eco, but when the level of refinement and development into what is a challenging genre of yacht reaches new heights, then it becomes very interesting indeed.

Full story in the March issue of Seahorse

Evolution Sails Round North Island Race
The first leg of the Evolution Sails Round North Island Race started in Auckland on Saturday (22.2) with a 154NM dash to Mangonui at the top of the North Island. In the lead up to the race, the heavens opened, and a solid downpour soaked the fleet in the hour before the start. By 2 pm the rain had stopped, and our fleet were off, an impressive sight to see as 38 yachts powered across the start line and headed north.

Wired, Kia Kaha and Miss Scarlett quickly demonstrated the benefits of waterline length as they quickly pulled ahead of the fleet for a close dual up the country, while further back in the fleet a close battle was playing out between Anarchy, Blink and Mr Kite for podium positions on handicap in division one.

In Division Three's battle of the Elliot 1050 an interesting first leg has played out. Kick, skippered by Brendan Sands and Richard Sands, had an exceptional start and pulled well ahead of the pack early in the race. For Gale Force, Skipper Ken Ormandy described the start as "the worst start in our twohanded sailing career" as they were rolled by the bigger boats at the start, leaving them wallowing in bad air as the rest of the fleet sailed away from them. This has left Ormandy and Co-Skipper Sam Tucker to push Gale Force hard to get back to the front of the pack. Our all-woman crew of Victoria Murdoch and Emily Riley, onboard High Voltage, struck problems just south of Cape Brett suffering rudder damage and the suspension of their race. The race is not over for these determined skippers with the boat being lifted at Opua, inspected, repair work undertaken and is now back in the water, with shore crew delivering her to Mangonui in time for the leg two start.

With all the fleet now finished here in Manganoui our thoughts turn to leg 2 - the 550nm from Manganoui to Wellington, and the longest leg of the race. With the official start time now set for 12:00 noon today - 24th February and a southerly breeze expected, the fleet should have a good send on the first stretch toward the top of the North Island before turning the corner and being on the breeze for the start of the long stretch down the west coast of the North Island.

Race Tracker

Another Challenging Day at Laser Radial Worlds
Sandringham, VIC, Australia: Light and variable winds again at the 2020 ILCA Laser Radial World Championship being sailed out of Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne. Again, only one race was possible. The day started strong, with an on-time start and a steady eight knots from the south. Towards the end of that first race, the wind diminished then drifted between south-west and south-east, rarely rising above 5 knots in strength.

Maud Jayet of Switzerland handled the conditions best, adding a win in Blue Fleet to yesterday's second placing. She leads defending champion Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN), who had a third place today, by one point.

The Yellow Fleet winner today was Tuula Tenkanen of Finland, but she sits in 37th overall after a forgettable opening race yesterday. Current Olympic champion, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) has been most consistent, with two third places which leave her in third overall.

Another consistent performance has come from Greek champion Vasileaia Karachaliou who has recorded a second and a sixth, which she says is in stark contrast to her opening races at last year's Worlds.

The light conditions are making it tough for those sailors still trying to win a place on their national team for the Tokyo Olympics. Australia, New Zealand and the USA, for example, have all their sailors out of the top 10.

Fifteen-year-old Mina Ferguson is the surprise leader of the Australian contingent, sitting in 14th place after a seventh yesterday and a 16th today. She leads the two main contenders for an Australian nomination, Zoe Thomson, who is 15th and Mara Stransky who is 19th.

Provisional Results - Day 2

Laser Radial Women's Worlds
1. Maud Jayet, SUI, 3
2. Anne-Marie Rindom, DEN, 4
3. Marit Bouwmeester, NED, 6
4. Vasileia Karachaliou, GRE, 8
5. Manami Doi, JPN, 10
6. Emma Plasschaert, BEL, 11
7. Marie Bolou, FRA, 12
8. Mirthe Akkerman, NED, 13
9. Sarah Douglas, CAN, 13
10. Louise Cervera, FRA, 18

Laser Radial Men's Worlds
1. Daniil Krutskikh, RUS, 2
2. Michael Compton, AUS, 5
3. Nik Pletikos, SLO, 17
4. Jordan Makin, AUS, 18
5. Daniel Costandi, AUS, 20
6. Rhett Gowans, AUS, 21
7. Caleb Armit, NZL, 23
8. Brody Riley, AUS, 26
9. Zac West, AUS 4, 27
10. Zac Littlewood, AUS, 30

Could Olympic sailing return to Weymouth in 2020?
It is seriously being considered at highest levels within the IOC to move the 2020 Games from Tokyo to London given the continuing concerns over the coronavirus, or COVID-19 as the World Health Organization has now designated it, according to Sailing Illustrated. A prominent Japanese virologist has said that the Olympics could not be held in Tokyo in the current coronavirus climate.

ESPN is also reporting that a leading London Mayoral candidate claimed that London can be ready to host the 2020 Olympics if they have to be moved from Tokyo.

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Olympic organisers reiterated their statement of 13 February that the coronavirus will not stop the 2020 Games from being held in Tokyo.

This could mean Olympic sailing returning to Weymouth this year, should the Games not be able to be held in Tokyo, according to Sailing Illustrated. Another a possibility for the sailing events is Long Beach, California where the 1984 Olympic Yachting Regatta (as it was then called) was held, and is potentially going to be held again in 2028.

Article referenced from Sailing Ilustrated

J/70 Midwinter Championship
Miami, FL, USA: John and Molly Baxter's Team Vineyard Vines, along with crew Allan Terhune and Ben Lamb, bested 53 fellow J/70s to earn the title of 2020 J/70 Midwinter Champions. Biscayne Bay delivered its third consecutive day of epic conditions, as winds averaged 15-17 knots with blue skies. Three more races were completed for a total of eight, as Team Vineyard Vines won two of three on Sunday.

Team Vineyard Vines is based out of Long Island Sound, and they have recently excelled in heavier air, including placing fourth at the breezy 2019 North American Championship in Cleveland, OH (the last J/70 event they had raced).

Besides the USA, seven other nations competed, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Great Britain, Mexico and Turkey.

Top Five Overall:
1. Team Vineyard Vines, John Baxter, USA, 27
2. Catapult, Joel Ronning, USA, 29
3. Surge, Ryan McKillen, USA, 37
4. Zaguero, Ignacio Perez, MEX, 48
5. Empeiria, John Heaton, USA, 51

Full results on

Worrell 1000: Back and better than ever
They said it couldn't happen. They said that the Worrell 1000 Race would never again be the revered event it once was. How could it be, after 20 editions from 1976 to 2002, reveling in the heydays of careless adventure?

But that sentiment didn't sit with a stubborn group of former Worrell Competitors, Race Officials and a few "fans" who plotted a comeback for 2019, and even as the start date loomed and the naysayers speculated it wouldn't be run with just three boats registered - it happened anyway, and what a hell of a time it was!

The Organizing Authority knew that if they could just make that first race a reality, the event would catch fire again. And at the awards ceremony after the final leg in Virginia Beach, the official announcement was made - The Worrell would return in two years.

Now, with a little over a year until the 2021 event, the registration list is approaching the entry cap of 15 teams with nations from around the globe represented.

The Worrell 1000 Race is an offshore long-distance beach catamaran sailboat race to be held in May 2021 in the Atlantic waters between Florida and Virginia Beach, VA. The race will cover approximately 1000 miles with overnight stops at multiple locations along the East Coast of the United States. The Organizing Authority (OA) for the 2021 Worrell 1000 Race will be "Worrell 1000 Race Reunion Race, Inc.", a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, (dba "Worrell 1000 Race").

Thirty years on, watch Gatorade compete in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race
What a difference 30 years makes! Take a look at life on board the Italian entry Gatorade during the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race.

The 1989-90 Whitbread was won by Sir Peter Blake on Steinlager, who swept the race, with victories on all six legs.

Gatorade, competing in the Maxi class, would finish in eighth place, under skipper Giorgio Falck.

30 years ago today, on 22 February 1990, Gatorade would round the famed Cape Horn, a moment captured in the film.

And while many things about the race have changed over the past 30 years, the challenges the sailors faced as they raced around the world would be instantly recognisable to today's competitors in The Ocean Race.

(And watch for an appearance by current Race Chairman of The Ocean Race, Richard Brisius, who was a sailor on Gatorade in the 1989-90 race).

Gatorade compete in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race

An AC75 Nosedive
New York Yacht Club's America's Cup team, American Magic have released a video of their test boat doing a spectacular nosedive while sailing off the team's base in Newport.

The team is now in Pensacola, Florida their training base during the northern hemisphere winter.

They have taken their AC75 Defiant to Pensacola.

The video is shot from one of the team's drones flying above and astern, whether the nosedive was intentional (to get test/simulator data) or accidental is not clear.

While splashdowns (where the bow enters the water with a spectacular splash) are commonplace on the larger AC75's, only one boat (and maybe two) have capsized, most of the foiling mishaps have occurred on the test boats. American Magic's test boat, named "The Mule" is designed (apart from the 38ft production M38 hull) to be as close to an AC75 as possible.

The reason for this nosedive is two-fold. First, the boat is flying very high on her foils, and second, the rudder wing breaks free of the water about midway through the low-resolution clip, and at that point the nosedive becomes inevitable. The "phenomenon" is common to all boats that have similar foiling physics such as the AC50, F50, AC72 and AC75. In the AC50 it was reckoned that a rudder wing contributed 500kg of downforce when immersed in the water, and if it breaks clear of the water then that 500kg of downforce is suddenly released triggering the nosedive.

It is not known if The Mule was flying under manual or automatic flight height control at the time.


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The Last Word
One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it. -- Bertrand Russell

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