In This Issue
RORC - Update on forthcoming races
The Abnormal But Normal America's Cup
You keep our world moving
Half Ton Class News
Celebrating Antigua Sailing Week 2020 at Home
Endless quest - UBI Maior
Two Nathaniels
RYA launches racing rules webinars
Sailing in focus - renouncing event areas and large stages
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage:
• • Carbon Ocean 82 AEGIR
• • Swan 90-708 Alix
• • Beneteau First 50
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

RORC - Update on forthcoming races
The Royal Ocean Racing Club announce further cancellations and changes to some of its key events as the season progresses and the COVID-19 pandemic continues throughout April. The decision comes after continued close monitoring of Government and medical advice, and in line with guidance from World Sailing and the RYA. The RORC's intention is to adapt its race programme and courses as necessary in order to get members and competitors on the water as soon as it is possible and appropriate.

Myth of Malham - Cancelled
One of the most popular and tactically challenging races, the 230nm Myth of Malham race, scheduled to start on Saturday 23rd May (Bank Holiday), has regretfully been cancelled. The course from Cowes, around Eddystone Lighthouse and back to a finish in the western Solent, mirrors the first 130nm of the Rolex Fastnet Race and takes in some of the most complex tidal gates around notable headlands that include Portland Bill and Start Point.

De Guingand Bowl - Cancelled
The next cancellation in the 2020 RORC Season's Points Championship is the De Guingand Bowl on Saturday 6th June. The race traditionally sails a course relatively close to the Isle of Wight with a Club finish back in the Solent.

RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone comments: "In previous editions, it has provided a great opportunity for the Race Committee to try different aspects of course setting to challenge the fleet and its navigators. Last year we tried out some really exciting and new ideas around the course and the weather, and we were extremely keen to keep that going again. Sadly it's not to be this year, but we will continue to explore these ideas in 2021!"

East Coast Race - Under review
The Club is also working closely with EAORA (East Anglian Offshore Racing Association) and the East Coast Race which is still currently scheduled for the 19th June. The Associations' PRO, Paul Jackson said: "The East Coast Race is still under review. There have been some positive comments from the Netherlands, but it is still early days at the moment and we will wait until we are a little closer to the event to make a final decision."

IRC National Championship - Potential Date Change
The RORC are also considering moving the IRC National Championships from its scheduled June timeslot to Friday 11th, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September. The potential move would see the IRC Nationals being run together with the IRC Double-Handed National Championship scheduled for the same weekend.

The Abnormal But Normal America's Cup
Back in the real (although unreal) world amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic it is an altogether different and fluid path ahead for all of the teams in their home countries in how they now approach the 36th America's Cup presented by Prada both philosophically and logistically with all of the changing variables day to day.

They have no more information on their relative performance other than what they already know via differing levels of early reconnaissance. Do they trust their initial instincts? Their current design knowledge and interpretations of the class rule? Or do they change their approach based on certain nuggets of information that contribute to an overall incomplete puzzle?

American Magic's Skipper Terry Hutchinson acknowledged recently, "We missed the opportunity to see where we are vulnerable," by not being able to race in Cagliari or Portsmouth "It's going to require us to lean that much harder on the design side of the program."

The biggest question mark though is the progress on each of the teams highly anticipated second AC75's currently in production in their home countries. Build timelines that were well established long before COVID19 had made itself known to the world are near impossible to change without flow-on effects to the wider campaign. Some production continues, some has been halted. Do the teams complete the build at home, or get their new boats to Auckland to finish? Do they ship them or fly them direct to Auckland. And most importantly- how will they compare relative to each other when they eventually see the light of day.

If there is one thing that is guaranteed in the America's Cup- that is to expect the unexpected, and COVID-19 has certainly thrown the biggest cat amongst the pigeons the event has seen in a long long time.

You keep our world moving
A love letter to our production workers, partners and customers:

We all do not know what the future brings but at the moment, during this difficult times, we are still able to keep our production running. Our great colleagues in our production facilities in Austria, Czech Republic, USA and Thailand as well as our partners who stand by the Teufelberger Group and believe in our products and service excellence make this possible.

Thank you for your effort. Thank you, Dekuje!

With this video we want to show you our appreciation:

Of course, comprehensive safety measures have been taken in all plants to keep our employees save.

Half Ton Class News
Hi the Halfs! Yes, this is the long-awaited newsletter … For obvious reasons that you all can imagine, it is with regret that we inform you that the Half Ton Class Europe has decided to cancel the Half Ton Classics Cup in Cowes this year (26-31 JUL 2020). Even if the actual restrictions were to be lifted next week, which we all hope but which will not occur, we would not have decided otherwise. Out of respect for the many thousands of casualties in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, out of respect for their families, out of respect for all health care personnel, … we will simply not go out and have fun while a large part of the country is mourning their deads. We are sure you will all understand

Nevertheless… we also have good news to announce: Cowes 2020 is dead, long live Cowes 2021! Yes indeed, please mark the date of the next Half Ton Classics Cup in your nautical (and other) agendas: 19 - 23 JUL 2021 That week the European halftonners will all meet again for an unforgettable week in the Solent! And for the die-hards amongst you… our week is followed by the traditional Cowes Week, so some nice opportunities at hand there!

2020 Regatta Calendar for Halftonners
As to what the local sailing calendars are concerned, the HTCE proposes that as soon as all restrictive measures are lifted and regatta sailing allowed again, the local representatives get in touch with their local herd, and make a draft of such a local calendar. In Belgium f.i. thi scalendar will concentrate around some local regattas in Nieuwpoort and the mid-September event in Ostend.

In Ireland no doubt that David Cullen will unite the local fleet to take part in the Wave Regatta, Massimo and Domenico will certainly do the same in Italy.

Celebrating Antigua Sailing Week 2020 at Home
This weekend would have found us participating in the official opening of the 53rd edition of Antigua Sailing Week (ASW) and the Peters & May Round Antigua Race Prize Giving to kick off an incredible week of racing. The inevitable cancellation of the event in light of the global crisis means we are all at home together and following instructions wherever we are in the world to stay safe. Although we can't Race, Chase and Celebrate together we can still have some fun.

Over the next week, join us in recalling your experience of Antigua Sailing Week by posting your ASW event memories to any of our social platforms starting with the English Harbour Rum Neon Rave Party, the Peter's & May Round Antigua Race, the opening parade to the 52nd edition, any of the 5 race days on and off the water, Reggae in the Park, Wadadli Beer Lay Day and the final award ceremony.

Along with a brief description, don't forget to tag Antigua Sailing Week and include the following hashtags. #celebratingASWathome, #ASW- followed by the year you attended (ASW2019, ASW2018, etc).

Spot prizes will be effect, so be sure to catch our eye with your submissions. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone next year April 24 - 30, in fact our provisional schedule is already up and entries are open. Be sure to let us know if you plan to come by putting your entry in as soon as you make a decision.

Endless quest - UBI Maior
The young Italian engineers at UBI Maior are steadily working their way through pretty much everything that moves on a modern yacht... and working hard to make it move better

This time it's the snatch block. When it appeared decades ago, it seemed a magical device: with its opening cheeks to expose the sheave and rotating head, lines could now get redirected at any angle without having to be re-led from an end. Snatch blocks were a real boon for headsail and spinnaker sheets and invaluable for sail changes with their fast and easy attachment, loading and unloading, and release.

The original snatch blocks were heavy and cumbersome, built as they were from stainless or even bronze with thick, heavy cheek covers of rubber or plastic. The next generation saved weight with Delrin sheaves and lighter plastic cheeks reinforced with stainless straps, but these were not very strong compared with the main blocks designed to take the loads. In the current generation these blocks have evolved further to have soft loops instead of metal shackles for attachment, and even loops to close the cheeks and capture the line. This generation is a fraction of the weight of the early models, and are generally stronger and more versatile.

Full article in the May issue of Seahorse

Two Nathaniels
Detail of one of the earliest dated Stebbins' photos of an HMCo. boat: SHADOW, photographed in 1884; from the Nathaniel L. Stebbins photographic collection (PC047), courtesy of Historic New England. Click on image to enlarge.

Two Nathaniels and several hundred photos make for one extraordinary digital archive: a guest post on the Nathaniel L. Stebbins Historic Photo collection from Historic New England, with additional commentary and guidance from friends of HMM.

Two Nathaniels (Stebbins and Herreshoff) were born within a year of each other in 1847 and 1848. Stebbins began taking photos in 1884, only five years after the brothers Herreshoff had established the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company. For 37 years between then and the end of Stebbins's life he took many photos that show Herreshoff yachts - of which some 450 survive - creating what may be the most extensive visual history of early Herreshoff creations to be found anywhere.

You don't have to travel or pay to view these treasures; you can see every one of them on your computer at home. Historic New England (HNE) scanned all of its Stebbins images (6,700 prints and 2,500 negatives) and has since published them online in high resolution. The collection is one of the very finest and most convenient visual yachting resources of the era available to us online today.

The creators of the wonderful online Herreshoff Catalogue Raisonné (HCR) have identified all the HNE/Stebbins images of Herreshoff boats and arranged them for viewing either by HMCo. hull number or by the date Stebbins snapped his shutter. The HCR's additional annotations pin down many of the racing events that brought out the boats.

Click here to view Stebbins / Herreshoff images ordered by date taken

Or click here to view Stebbins / Herreshoff arranged by HMCo. hull number.

RYA launches racing rules webinars
The RYA will be hosting a series of free webinars for racing sailors and aspiring race officials to introduce and explain the racing rules of sailing.

Whether you are your club's rules expert, a squad sailor or just want to know a bit more, the six-week series will guide you through the racing rules to give you the best advantage on the race course.

The sessions will be delivered by some of the top names in the world of racing rules including British Sailing Team coach and strategist Mark Rushall, World Sailing Governance and Rules Consultant Jon Napier and Tokyo 2020 video umpire Chris Lindsay.

The webinars, which will be screened at 8pm every Wednesday starting from April 29, will help you understand the right of way rules, how to deal with marks, obstructions and more.

Each webinar will aim to be interactive, giving you the opportunity to get your questions answered, and will also be recorded for those who can't make the initial screening.

No camera or microphone is required to join - you can simply relax, view the slides and listen to the presenter as they explain each rule, and how they apply to real life scenarios. If you tune in live there will be the opportunity to ask the presenter your questions.

To sign up to attend the webinars please click here.

Sailing in focus - renouncing event areas and large stages
"Back to the roots" is the motto for this year's Kieler Woche. Kiel's longest week of the year is this time dedicated to sailing only. From September 5th to 13th, national and international sailors will prove their skills on the regatta courses. The "KiWo" program on land will look significantly different than usual - there will be no event areas and large stages that attract many thousands of people.

With the postponement of Kieler Woche from the end of June to September, the organizers of the state capital Kiel and the Kieler Yacht-Club sent a signal in mid-March. Already at the time of this decision, all parties involved agreed that the sailing and summer festival could not take place in the proven form in times of the Corona pandemic. Which cultural offers and smaller events will be possible will be planned in the course of the coming months and adapted according to the current situation.

"The Corona pandemic will keep us all busy for many months to come. We are convinced that, unfortunately, it will not yet be possible at the beginning of September to celebrate exuberantly with many people," emphasizes Lord Mayor Ulf Kämpfer. However, there are no plans to cancel Kieler Woche at the moment: "This year it's 'back to the basics' and 'sailing plus X'. We want to put the sport of sailing - and with it the historical foundation of Kieler Woche - into the centre of attention as a signal. And we want to see what we can offer the people of Kiel beyond that."

With regard to the sailing program, the Kieler Yacht-Club and the co-organizing clubs have agreed to offer a platform especially for the boat classes that have contributed to the success of Kieler Woche in the past years. "We will give an appropriate number of sailors the opportunity to sail the Kieler Woche in the usual scope. The observance of regulations and measures concerning handling and hygiene is a matter of course", explains Dirk Ramhorst, Head of Organization of the Kieler Woche regattas.

Ramhorst emphasizes: "The regatta cannot be held one to one as in June. Flexibility and new ideas are needed now". All planning - for example, with regard to the number of participants - is coordinated with the corona restrictions currently in force until August. "This will probably also lead to maximum registration numbers in various classes," says Ramhorst. In addition, the event area in Schilksee will be geared purely to sailing and not to visitors.

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 Andrew McIrvine: re: Craig Dymock's note "I have received a few emails about it from two former RORC commodores, one of which became RORC Admiral so you have a good class of reader!"

I think he means me!

But a lot of the credit goes to my friend Svante Domislaff who is a fantastic source of knowledge for all things German and nautical.

It also made me look up about the 'Windfall' yachts.

As a schoolboy in the CCF I remember sailing on one of them, 'Marabu', when attached to the Navy in Gosport.

Due to the wonders of Google I even found this video which has footage of 'Marabu' sailing.

Amazing that Craig's correction ended up digging up so much material. The original cause, the YCI press release cancelling the Giraglia, was a bit odd even mentioning the Fastnet since the Giraglia did not start 'til 1953!

* From Craig Dymock:

It turns out that I need to correct the correction of the correction, here goes!

My mistaken comment about the mast at the RYS seems to have raised some interest and I have since received some correspondence from some friends and archivists who have furnished me with the whole story for which I am very grateful.

Your contributor correcting the provenance about the RYS mast was correct, almost. The mast which stood on the line until 2015 was from a Bloodhound but not as I had thought, from the Bloodhound which won the 1939 Fastnet and bought and sailed later by Prince Philip. The RYS mast's Bloodhound was a 40-tonner that was winning everything in the late 1800s/early 1900s.

According to these sources she was an extraordinarily successful gaff cutter (photo below) built by the younger William Fife for the Marquis of Ailsa in 1874 to be raced on the Clyde and at Cowes. She began wining races virtually from the day she was launched and was known for her grace and sea-keeping qualities. She was extremely strong and could race in conditions that would lift the mast out of many modern yachts. She won 71 prizes in her first six years, and the Marquis then sold her to Thomas Dunlop, a Glasgow businessman. Eventually, after 35 years of racing, Bloodhound was sent off to a scrap yard as she was considered to be too narrow and generally out of date.

When the Marquis of Ailsa heard about this he bought her back and refitted her, only to have her sunk at Cowes in 1908 after a collision with a yacht called L'Esperance. She was salvaged and, extraordinarily, went on to win 142 more prizes in the next five years, being as successful as ever. In 1922 she was lost in a fire in a shipyard at Cowes. Obviously her mast survived, but so did her tiller which can be seen mounted high up on the north end wall of the Platform of the RYS. It's a beautiful 8' long piece of mahogany, carved like a rope, brass-banded and with a bloodhound's head carved onto the end of it.

For the record, the mast now standing on the RYS line is a steel replica of that mast as the original was found to be going rotten and was replaced in 2014/5.

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The Last Word
Confront a corpse at least once. The absolute absence of life is the most disturbing and challenging confrontation you will ever have. -- David Bowie

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