In This Issue
British Sports to inform BOA and BPA of Government COVID-19 Advice impact
Confined Sailors
No Limits - Sicomin
ORR Permits Outriggers in 2020 on Experimental Basis
A new Flying Fifteen - FF4073 - is born
Virtual Offshore Race kicks off on Monday
Paul O'Higgins of Royal Irish Yacht Club is the New "Sailor of the Year"
100 GP14s Enter for Skerries Sailing Club World Championships in July
America's Cup: Auckland can be a winner as world series sinks in Europe
Canada Withdraws From Summer Olympics as I.O.C. Weighs Postponement
Featured Brokerage:
• • Outremer 51 - New Boat
• • Marc Lombard 46 - "Pata Negra"
• • Herreshoff 136 Ft Gaff Schooner - Eleonora
The Last Word: Epictetus

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

British Sports to inform BOA and BPA of Government COVID-19 Advice impact
UK Sport, the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) will host a conference call with the Chief Executives and Performance Directors of summer Olympic and Paralympic sports on Tuesday 24 March, 2020.

Athletes representative bodies including the British Athletes' Commission, and the BOA and BPA Athletes' Commissions will also be invited to join the call.

The call will primarily be used to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on domestic sport and athletes, specifically in light of updated Government advice and the closure of elite training facilities across the UK.

This discussion will also inform the positions of the BOA and BPA in respect of feedback requested by the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee respectively.

Confined Sailors
Everyone has been affected by the health crisis caused by the Coronavirus epidemic and has to adapt to cope with this exceptional situation. The sailors have been forced to stay ashore and patiently wait until the situation is more favourable...

The teams pulling together: "We all have to make an effort"
The sailors and their teams are dealing with the situation adopting a wartime spirit and trying to put things into perspective. That is the case for Ronan Lucas, director of the Banque Populaire team. "Our projects cannot be seen as vital for the country. We have to step back and show an example. The health of the public is what comes first," he declared.

"We postponed the launch of the Banque Populaire X IMOCA, to protect our employees and to avoid spreading the epidemic. Clarisse Cremer is in a hurry to get back with her boat. Meanwhile, she is doing some sport and weather training… At the end of the lockdown, we will be ready to launch the boat within 24-48 hours. Whatever happens, we will do our utmost to clock up as many miles as possible before the Vendee Globe."

No Limits - Sicomin
Today we can build pretty much anything (almost) - if the materials are good enough, strong enough and light enough

To most performance sailors, composite builders reveal their skills in the finished product: a boat that is strong, light and durable at a reasonable cost. They are aware of the trade-offs between these factors but maybe not completely aware of the details on how clever advances in materials and techniques can be used to optimise the final result. The specialists at Sicomin, however, are very much aware of this.

They are at the forefront of composites technology which helps builders produce structures that are indeed lighter and stronger and still meet their cost targets. Through careful formulations of the chemistry of both resin and hardeners, Sicomin helps to match its products to the specific assembly techniques that builders use and are comfortable with creating the structures they need. This working relationship is critical to optimising the results that benefit both, and ultimately the boat owner who gets the performance that he or she expects.

Full article in the April issue of Seahorse

ORR Permits Outriggers in 2020 on Experimental Basis if Agreed By Race Organizer
The experimental certificate option may be used by only a few boats in one race this year, but sailors and organizers alike can learn from the experiment and consider if outriggers have a place in their type of racing in the future.

You've seen the fast look of photos and video of Volvo Ocean Race 70-footers blast reaching with headsails and staysails sheeted outboard to leeward. These outboard sheeting points are called outriggers, and with a few exceptions they are defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing (Rule 50.3) as being illegal.

To paraphrase Rule 50.3, an outrigger is defined as any fitting or device placed to exert outward pressure on a sheet or sail, outboard of the hull. Exceptions are made for booms and, when a spinnaker is not set, headsails sheeted or connected to whisker or spinnaker poles

Classes like the Volvo 70s waived the rule for the Volvo Ocean Race, and the efficiencies of the leeward outriggers were proven. Now those boats are sailing in ocean races everywhere, which is why, on an experimental basis, the Offshore Racing Rule will allow and rate boats using outriggers this year if race organizers wish.

The challenge for a rule like ORR is to provide fair ratings for all boats. In 2019, ORR clarified that outriggers and whisker poles to leeward were not allowed, but for 2020, ORR has begun to engage in aero-modeling and will allow boats to declare outrigger usage on an experimental basis. However, it remains the call of the race organizing authority, so not all races using ORR will permit such devices.

The IRC rule has allowed whisker poles attached to the mast for several years, and the ORC rule is considering it for 2021. By allowing outriggers on an experimental basis, the ORR is keeping roughly in step with other major rules. After the trial with preliminary aero models in 2020, ORR expects to provide the option for a boat's rated configuration beginning in 2021.

ORR is also permitting owners to design a sail for use with an outrigger and apply for an experimental rating certificate.

While adoption by organizers likely won't be widespread this year, it's been approved by the Tahiti Transpac, which has two Volvo 70s and a Volvo 65 entered.

In the meantime, the Racing Rules of Sailing and the Equipment Rules of Sailing are under review at World Sailing for their quadrennial update beginning in 2021. A proposed revision to RRS Rule 50.3 was approved in committee last fall that would eliminate the term outrigger altogether. While ORR representatives hope the rule will be even clearer by the time it takes effect, that is another story for another day. -- Jim Teeters, ORA Technical Director

A new Flying Fifteen - FF4073 - is born, brimming with innovation from the workshop of Phil Evans
This is the story of how the new Flying Fifteen came together and got to the 2020 RYA Dinghy show at Alexandra Palace, at the end of last February.

It was touch and go, but Phil Evans worked tirelessly to complete the boat, incorporating many new features for owner Chris Ducker.

The class has recently tweaked the jib shape - increasing it's height but reducing it's width - and is now coming to terms with getting the most out of the new rig set-up.

The trend is to ever closer sheet setting, with greater control.

On 4073 the main jib tracks are on custom made 'pods' and even further inboard than those on the latest Ovington boat.

The idea here is to sheet closer to the centre line and then 'barber' outward via the second track when you're offwind.

Virtual Offshore Race kicks off on Monday
Professional and recreational sailors will face off against each other on Monday 23 March from 12:02 UTC in Virtual Regatta's The Great Escape, a virtual race from La Rochelle to Curaçao in the Caribbean.

Professional sailors such as Sam Davies, Armel Le Cleac'h, Boris Hermann and Jeremie Beyou will participate in the race and millions more will have the opportunity to race against them.

eSailors will be able to choose from one of four well known offshore boats - the Ultim, IMOCA, Class 40 and the Figaro 3. The weather conditions within the game will replicate the real-life conditions across the route and the estimated time of arrival for the first boat is 31 March.

Virtual Regatta, the leading digital sailing platform, has offered all players the VIP status. This will grant the eSailors with extended weather trajectory forecasts over 120 hours, the ability to display 100 friendly boats instead of 50 and customisation of the base map.

Head to Virtual Regatta Offshore to register ahead of the 12:02 UTC start time on Monday 23 March -

Paul O'Higgins of Royal Irish Yacht Club is the New "Sailor of the Year"
The potent Dun Laoghaire-based JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI may now have four very busy seasons - both inshore and offshore - in her sailing CV. But the years have not dulled her performance and competitiveness, and in 2019 she had such a wellnigh perfect prize-list that her owner-skipper Paul O'Higgins has emerged as a clear winner of the Sailing "Sailor of the Year 2019" title.

As most readers will be aware, today was planned to see the Annual General Meeting of Irish Sailing in Dun Laoghaire, together with the Annual Conference of many of its specialist sub-groups, with the day's business concluding in the honouring of the many and varied Sailors of the Month followed by the acclaimed announcement of the latest Sailor of the Year.

Normally this is done in early February. But times have changed in the structures of sailing and its sponsorship supports in recent years, and despite the late date, it was right for the circumstances that were in it for the ceremony to be put back by seven weeks.

But in those seven weeks, "the circumstances that were in it" have in turn been changed out of all recognition.

there are many boats of enormous potential in Ireland. And the talent is there at every sailing centre. But it takes a special ability, a very focused intelligence, and an extremely determined campaigner of the calibre of Paul O'Higgins to bring them all together race after race, regatta after regatta, to achieve results of the remarkable consistency logged by Rockabill VI.

The 2019 highlights alone are enough to set the tone: ICRA Nats: First Overall Coastal Class 0; Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race: 1st overall and the first boat to successfully defend overall win in a previous race; Calves Week: 1st; Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association 2019 Championship: 1st Overall; Irish Cruiser Racing Association: Boat of the Year 2019.

WM Nixon's full article in Afloat:

100 GP14s Enter for Skerries Sailing Club World Championships in July
More than 100 boats have now entered for the GP14 dinghy World Championships at Skerries Sailing Club scheduled from July 24-29.

The International GP14 Committee in conjunction with the Skerries SC Worlds Organising Committee says it is in 'constant communication over the Covid-19 emergency'. The championships is building 'very well' for a top event both on and off the water, according to event chairman Colman Grimes.

America's Cup: Auckland can be a winner as world series sinks in Europe
The yachting world awaits the first taste of racing in the new 75-foot foiling monohulls but that wait could be quite a while as the syndicates find themselves victims of the sporting shutdown via the coronavirus pandemic.

Relations between defender Emirates Team New Zealand and challenger of record Luna Rossa are testy to say the least. That's not a bad thing given the far too cosy situations of the last two Cups run by Oracle Team USA. Adding extra intrigue this time is the Italians clearly out of kilter with their fellow challengers.

As usual, the devil is in the detail of any America's Cup legal issues and the nine-page summary by the arbitration panel on the bitter dispute over the Cagliari event, held some telling facts.

"The competitors should now accept that neither ACWS Cagliari nor ACWS Portsmouth will be able to go ahead as planned," INEOS Team UK said in their submissions, adding, "it is simply not practicable to postpone and reschedule either event."

The most relieved syndicate with the early decision to cancel Cagliari are American Magic. They didn't want to commit to putting their new boat on a container with so much doubt over the event, preferring to have it available for more training at home of an early transfer to Auckland which now seems most likely.

The focus is now on the second regatta in Portsmouth, England, due to be sailed on June 4-7.

British syndicate INEOS Team UK have said it can't be held and expect a decision this week reflecting that. -- Duncan Johnstone

Canada Withdraws From Summer Olympics as I.O.C. Weighs Postponement
Faced with growing frustration from athletes and some national committees, the International Olympic Committee said it would decide within four weeks on the Tokyo Games.

Yet not long after it announced its timeline, support for having the Games this summer continued to crumble as Canada said it would not send its athletes, Australia told its athletes to prepare for a rescheduling of the event to 2021 and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan acknowledged the Olympics might not go on as planned.

"I couldn't think of cancellation," Abe told members of Parliament. But, he added, if it were not possible to hold the Games as scheduled, "I think we may not have a choice but to make a decision to postpone, putting a priority on athletes."

The I.O.C. statement on Sunday reiterated the position of Thomas Bach, president of the organization, that canceling the Games altogether was not an option and sought to address complaints that the committee had not been transparent in how or when a decision would be made.

Featured Brokerage
Outremer 51 - New Boat. POA EUR.

The Outremer 51 is THE reference blue water catamaran for families sailing around the world. This best seller was awarded European Yacht Of the Year and Boat Of the Year.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly


Tel : +33.467 560 263


2016 Marc Lombard 46 - "Pata Negra". 400000 GBP. Located in Tortola.

A go-anywhere, IRC optimized all-rounder that never fails to deliver on the race track, or when blue water cruising. Exceptional form stability and forward volume allows this boat to be pushed and with a cockpit designed for shorter-handed sailing, you don't need an army to extract max performance.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Race Boats

+447759 424900
+442380 016582


2000 Herreshoff 136 Ft Gaff Schooner - Eleonora. 6900000 EUR. Located in Spain

More than a century after the launch of WESTWARD, this re-creation brings all of the splendid majesty and grandeur of the golden era of yachting. ELEONORA is in all respects an awesome all-rounder and a true classic with the advantages of being a modern yacht.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Barney Sandeman

+44 (0)1202 330077
22 Market Street
Poole, Dorset
BH15 1NF
United Kingdom

See the collection at

The Last Word
Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have. -- Epictetus

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see