In This Issue
At the Sharp End: Superyacht Cup
25 Years On... The con job that finally won Team New Zealand the America's Cup
Sailing.Dog Interview with Mr David Franks
Harken: You Will Get What You Need. We Will Make Sure
Indian Summer for Landsail Tyres J-Cup
2020 Youth Sailing World Championships cancelled
1st Edition - Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy June 27-28
A statement from the Cruising Association
Icebound: The climate-change secrets of 19th century ship's logs
Dr. James "Jim" Thompson
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage:
• • HH 50
• • GC32 Team France
• • Outremer 51 - New Boat
The Last Word: Marcus Tullius Cicero

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

At the Sharp End: Superyacht Cup
The five J-Class competing in the Superyacht Cup were chased like rock stars exiting a stage door at speed. The bay of Palma is an ideal amphitheatre popular with sailors. As such it will notch up a 25th anniversary next season. Here's a look back at the 2014 edition:

25 Years On... The con job that finally won Team New Zealand the America's Cup
It remains arguably the biggest con job in New Zealand sporting history and it brought home the mighty America's Cup.

Murray Jones, a key member of the Team New Zealand afterguard that lifted the Auld Mug 25 years ago today, still chuckles about how they pulled the wool over their opponents' eyes in San Diego in 1995.

Early trials of NZL32, aka Black Magic, were so impressive that Team New Zealand decided to tuck it away for when it mattered most.

They instead sailed on NZL38 through the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series, amassing a 41-2 record in a boat so good that everyone had virtually forgotten about the supposed "dog" that was left sitting in the syndicate's shed.

Then when it was time to front Team Dennis Conner in the match for the oldest trophy in sport, out came Black Magic and the blitz was instantly on.

With vastly superior speed the Kiwis completed a 5-0 sweep of "Mr America's Cup" for a breakthrough win that has kept the Cup near the forefront of New Zealand's sporting psyche ever since.

"We were aware from day one we had something special and we had a lot of fun with it along the way," Jones told Stuff of the secrecy around their best boat.

Duncan Johnstone's full article in

Sailing.Dog Interview with Mr David Franks
David is the long-standing Fleet Captain of the Cowes Etchells Fleet. He is also the founder and main driving force behind the most successful youth sailing operation that I have seen. Ok, ok, there is of course the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's famous youth development scheme, as well as hugely successful operations at clubs in Australia (such as CYCA, Royal Sydney YS and Royal Prince Alfred YC). But where this one differs is that it is totally outside of a Yacht Club or Association structure. It started as one man's desire to want to build a fleet, at the same time as wanting to give something back to the sport of sailing and assist youth sailors transition into keelboats.

David is also one of the most generous people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. When my family moved to the Isle of Wight after the 2013 America's Cup, David went out of his way to welcome us and offered all sorts of assistance as both Kate and I established businesses in sailing.

After settling in the man-cave, we chatted about his late entry into the sport of sailing and his path into the very competitive Etchells class. He also laid out an effective "how-to" with regard to building up a fleet of one-design racers that had basically lapsed. David also outlines what is needed for a youth program to prosper (great people and determination - no surprises there) and how it all works.

Andrew Palfrey's full interview:

Harken: You Will Get What You Need. We Will Make Sure
Do you suddenly have time for a bigger boat project and find you need more Harken products? If you can't find them at your local shop or at an online dealer, Harken is up and running. We're here to help you get what you need.

Send an email to Include your contact information and the part numbers and quantities of what you want to buy. An experienced, caring, motivated Harken team member will return your email with the option that best assures you will receive your products as quickly as possible. Please understand, we'll work to find you product other ways first, but to keep our Harken resellers healthy during these times, equipment that must be shipped directly from Harken will be sold at suggested retail prices - our dealers normally charge less.

But if you need Harken, Harken will get you Harken.

Indian Summer for Landsail Tyres J-Cup
In the light of recent UK Government announcements, it has become clear that the 2020 Landsail Tyres J-Cup will be postponed and not take place in July. The new date, confirmed by an amendment to the Notice of Race, will be 3-5 September 2020.

Whilst the current measures on social distancing have been eased, they are still in place. However, by early September, the UK Government may allow competitive sports for fully crewed yacht racing, which would allow the Landsail Tyres J-Cup to take place. Key Yachting will continue to monitor the Government announcements and will keep the J Boat community updated with any relevant developments.

For more information:

2020 Youth Sailing World Championships cancelled
World Sailing has announced that the 2020 Youth Sailing World Championships have been cancelled due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The regatta was originally scheduled to take place from 12-19 December in Salvador, Brazil.

Australian Sailing had recently announced the selections for the Australian Sailing Youth Team (ASYT) to compete at the event. Those athletes will remain as a part of the 2020 ASYT, but the team will be re-selected for the 2021 Youth World Sailing Championships.

In its 50-year history, the Youth Worlds regularly attracts the best youth sailors from upwards of 60 nations. World Sailing's Board of Directors and the Confederação Brasileira de Vela (CBVela) agreed to cancel the event in anticipation of global travel restrictions and to ensure the health and well-being of athletes, coaches, parents, officials and suppliers.

Australian Sailing will work with the impacted athletes and coaches to ensure that they are supported through the process.

The fourteen athletes selected to the team come from five states, having earned their spot on the team after their performances at Class National Championships and the 2020 Australian Youth Championships over the 2019/2020 summer.

World Sailing and CBVela are now discussing the possibility of hosting the Youth Worlds in Brazil at the earliest opportunity.

The 2021 edition of the Youth Worlds will take place in The Hague, The Netherlands in July 2021.

1st Edition - Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy June 27-28
The Mirpuri Foundation together with Clube Naval de Cascais announces the first edition of the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy

Around 50 Offshore Sailing Boats including conventional and high-performance cruisers, are expected for the first edition of the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy, that will take place in Portugal, home country of the Mirpuri Foundation, next June 27th and 28th. The race will take place between Cascais and Sesimbra with route details to be announced soon. The Clube Naval de Cascais partners with the Mirpuri Foundation for this event.

The Award will be the Mirpuri Foundation Trophy, plus a prize money, with details to be announced soon.

The Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy will be a plastic-free sustainable regatta, and a charitable event, with team registration fees in this first edition of the race being supported by the Mirpuri Foundation and donated to Marine Conservation programs.

The Mirpuri Foundation will once again innovate by promoting the first health controlled Race in the world, with a dedicated medical team ensuring all staff and sailors are in good health and free from the virus Covid-19, including the use of last generation tests that will give the result in less than 15 minutes.

Teams can obtain further information by contacting:
- Clube Naval de Cascais -
- Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy -

A statement from the Cruising Association
The Cruising Association is pleased to confirm that, from today and subject to local regulations, all forms of watersports, including the use of privately-owned motorised craft, can go ahead in England.

In guidance issued this morning (13 May 2020), the Government has confirmed that:

'All forms of water sports practised on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority) are allowed.'

The re-opening of marinas (like golf courses), for leisure boating customers, is now permissible subject to the strict compliance to social distancing and hygiene guidelines provided by government.

Although government restrictions on outdoor activities have been lifted, many of our members' facilities have not had the time to implement the measures set out by government to safely manage the gathering of people on their sites. There are variations in the relaxation of the rules and we therefore recommend that CA members check with their individual port or harbour authority, marina or inland or other navigation authority prior to taking any further action.

It has been confirmed that the Canal & River Trust and the Broads is able to welcome boaters back from today. On the Canal & River Trust waterways short boating trips can take place - avoiding use of locks and any staff-operated structures if possible - providing, as per current government guidance, boaters do not stay away from home overnight and return to home moorings (where possible).

Guidance for the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland differs and therefore marinas that operate in the UK outside of England should remain closed to leisure customers until they are permitted by their government to open.

For up-to-date information on Covid-19 Cruising Restrictions please visit:

Icebound: The climate-change secrets of 19th century ship's logs
An eccentric group of citizen-scientists called Old Weather has transcribed millions of observations from long-forgotten logbooks of ships, many from the great era of Arctic exploration. As the polar regions grow ever warmer, the volunteers have amassed a rich repository of climate data in a 21st century rescue mission.

Meteorologists have long recorded the weather at land-based stations. But nearly three-quarters of the planet is covered by water, and that's where most weather takes place. Thousands of ships have criss-crossed the oceans, noting the weather in handwritten logbooks that for decades sat forgotten in bookshelves and basements.

In a sometimes-obsessive quest, thousands of Old Weather volunteers have extracted millions of observations about barometric pressure, wind speed, air temperature and ice from the old logbooks. These are fed into a huge dataset at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, creating what NOAA calls "a dauntingly complex, high-resolution, four-dimensional reconstruction of the global climate that estimates what the weather was for every day back to 1836."

Or, as NOAA has nicknamed it, "a weather time machine."

Dr. James "Jim" Thompson
Dr. James "Jim" Thompson knew someone everywhere he went. And if he went somewhere and didn't know someone, he'd know someone by the time he left.

A longtime Easton resident, Thompson passed away on Saturday, April 25, at age 86 after a five- to six-year battle with traumatic onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His family, friends, former employees and patients remembered the ophthalmologist who fell in love with sailing and seemed to have friends in all parts of the world.

"When he was in his earlier days, he went to Japan to climb Mount Fuji, which was like a Shinto rite of passage. He was the only non-Asian guy in town," his son Ian recalled. "He was standing on the side of the street, and from across the little river or bay, he heard this 'Hey! Jim Thompson!' One of his buddies who was in the Navy with him recognized him and shouted out his name across the sea of Japanese pilgrims. And sure enough he happened to run into somebody all the way over in Japan. There's just been countless of those types of stories. He really made friends across the globe, mostly because of his sailing and ocean racing and just his sort of propensity for adventure and travel.

"He had many personalities," close friend Bill Chapman said. When he was being a doctor, he had an excellent bedside manner and excellent professional manner. When he was racing boats, he was a wild man. He cared about his friends, was a wonderful host ashore and on board."

Thompson served in the United States Navy as a flight surgeon from 1960 to 1964. He began practicing as an eye doctor on the Eastern Shore in 1966. He started in Easton and expanded to Cambridge, before opening his own Surgical Eye Center in Easton.

His sailing history is extensive. He sailed across the Atlantic, in the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the English Channel down to South America and to various islands, among other places.

As Chapman referenced, he also enjoyed racing sailboats. Some of his race locales include Bermuda, Annapolis to Newport, Key West to Baltimore, Middle Sea, and Ecuador to Galapagos.

Thompson didn't want a funeral. One of his dying wishes was for his family and friends to throw a big party when it's safe to do so after the pandemic subsides. He's remembered as such - the life of the party, always seeking a good time and ensuring those close to him did the same.

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 Euan Ross: to friends and fellow travellers:

I hope you are all well and not yet stir-crazy

For those of you who have been following the three-year gestation of 'Highland Cowes', you may be relieved to know it is finally completed.

As for the distribution of the book, it occurred to me that, since no one ever makes any money from sailing books, I should dispense with the author's royalty, as a small contribution to the common good, for the duration of the Covid-19 lock-down. It was published yesterday, on the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale - which seems appropriate.

So, if time is hanging heavy on your hands, 800 even weightier pages of Scottish sailing history await.

The book is now for sale in UK for £15.98 inc. p&p (or equivalent in US$ and Euro) from Amazon. Unfortunately, it cannot yet be ordered through pukka bookshops as I will have to raise the retail price to cover their additional costs. So if you don't want to patronise Amazon, you will have to wait. The link to the book and 'Look Inside' is here.

During the work on Highland Cowes, it has been a pleasure to collaborate with Ian Howlett, arguably the man who knows more about the International Rule than any current, or indeed past yacht designer. It has also been my good fortune to liaise with Jon Reid, Hon. Historian of the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club, and indeed my many other friends who double-up as vaults of fact, fiction and anecdote.

The following extracts, from Ian Howlett's Foreword, gives something of the flavour of the book.

"Accumulating an excess of old books on yachting has been a vice of mine since the early 1970s, when hidden gems were still to be discovered in the little bookshops of Southampton. These writings from the past feel of a different quality to almost all those of today. Highland Cowes is a most noteworthy and pleasing exception. This book, like old volumes of the Yachting Monthly, is to be savoured in front of a log fire along with a glass of malt.

Highland Cowes is a 'magnum opus' in all senses of the phrase, both in scope and content, describing the history of this extraordinary and beautiful area that was for so long the richest centre of all, for the design, building and racing of yachts. Euan Ross has a special talent for covering much ground in fine detail whilst rooting out the most entertaining stories. It is, of course, the latter that make history interesting. Euan's approach and the resulting text is in marked contrast to what might be termed the 'dumbed down' museum techniques of today. He combines accuracy, along with the entertainment of many good stories, and like a good malt there is a complexity and depth to be appreciated."

Featured Brokerage

Carbon construction and luxury interiors come together on a platform well suited for exhilarating, yet safe sailing. Kept deliberately simple for single or double handing, this is a perfect yacht for exploring the remote corners of the world without the need for crew. 12-18 month lead times mean the dream could be closer than you think.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Hudson Yacht & Marine


GC32 Team France. 180,000 excl VAT EUR. Located in Lorient, Brittany, France.

Experience the foiling revolution with this 30+ knot GC32 flying catamaran, ready to compete on the GC32 Racing Tour.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Christian Scherrer



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

See the collection at

The Last Word
The safety of the people shall be the highest law. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see