In This Issue
Transpac Tahiti Race on Virtual Regatta - Registration open
RORC Lockdown Live Series | Time Over Distance
The new conquistadors - Doyle Sails
The Ocean Race - Dutch Entry
How Can Keelboat Racing Work with Social Distancing?
RYA eSailing championship gears up for final show down
Restoring MINK
Andy Burdick on Melges Performance Sailboats' 75th anniversary
Yachtsman rescued 500 miles off Lizard Cornish coast by tanker
Featured Brokerage:
• • Ocean Explorer 60
• • Charles E Nicholson 147 Ft Schooner 1910 - Orion Of The Seas
• • TP52 - Gladiator
The Last Word: Benjamin Franklin

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

Transpac Tahiti Race on Virtual Regatta - Registration open
After having attracted a near-record turnout for the 2020 edition of the Transpacific YC's Transpac Tahiti Race, organizers had to finally succomb to pandemic restrictions and postpone this year's race to the future.

The dream of sailing to the South Seas on a 3570-mile journey from Los Angeles to Papeete would have to wait until the next planned running in 2022.

However, the dream of this journey is not completely lost for this year, thanks to the infectious enthusiasm of Stephanie Betz and her team at Archipelagoes, the Tahiti-based co-organizers of the race. They have partnered with Virtual Regatta to offer a simulated online version of the race to challenge all sailors, whether curious newcomers or salty veterans who both have for now to sit out any long range voyaging due to the worldwide restrictions on travel.

Using polar performance data from Comanche, the 100-foot current first-to-finish Barn Door Trophy champion in the 2225-mile LA-Honolulu Transpac race, Virtual Regatta (VR) is accepting entries starting today to register at to try their skills to race the longer course to Tahiti.

The online race will start at 1400 PDT on the original race start date of May 28, 2020, and will feature the same real-time weather conditions found on the actual race course, with some additional options valuable to players to increase the performance of their entry during the race.

French ocean racing legend Loick Peyron has been the official race ambassador for the Transpac Tahiti Race, and has also endorsed this virtual approach in lieu of being able to go to sea.

"This is not the same of course," said Peyron, "but it is a clever way to experience some of the strategic challenges we face in offshore sailing, and who knows, may inspire some new ocean racers to try this in person on their own."

To bring interest in this virtual version of the race, Archipelagoes is offering an attractive prize for the winner of the online version of the race: 2 free air tickets to Tahiti, courtesy of race sponsor Air Tahiti Nui.


RORC Lockdown Live Series | Time Over Distance
Vol. 8 - Sam Davies
Sam Davies' first big adventure was as part of Tracy Edwards crew for the 1998 Jules Verne Record attempt. Ahead of the record, the catamaran Royal Sun Alliance was dismasted in the Southern Ocean. It took 16 days with no outside assistance to make landfall. In the 2008-09 Vendee Globe, Davies' IMOCA 60 Roxy was the third to finish in just over 95 days - the only women to complete the race faster is Dame Ellen MacArthur. The 2012-13 Vendee Globe ended in sadness with her yacht Saveol dismasting in an Atlantic gale.

Sam Davies was the skipper of Team SCA in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, the first all-female team for 10 years to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race and the first for 25 years to win a leg of the race. Sam currently campaigns the IMOCA 60 Initiatives Coeur and has her eyes set on the next Vendee Globe. She was born into a seafaring family in Portsmouth, England and her grandfather was a submarine commander. She took her first steps on her parents' boat. Since 2012, Sam has lived in Brittany, France. She is engaged to French sailor Romain Attanasio and has one son, Ruben.

Sam Davies

The new conquistadors - Doyle Sails
Doyle Sails Powering 100-foot supermaxis and giant superyachts, winning the Maxi72 worlds, equipping the Vendee Globe favourite and infiltrating the fastest giant French multihulls... Doyle Sails is on a mission to win everything

2019 ended on a strong note for Doyle Sails with yachts carrying its inventory winning a hard-fought line honours and second place in the tough Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race. Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant's Comanche took line honours with Christian Beck's Infotrack following them across the line, leaving arch rival and nine-time winner Wild Oats XI in 3rd. Putting the icing on the cake, Matt Allen's Ichi Ban, also with Doyle's Cableless technology in its wardrobe, took the coveted Tattersall Cup for first overall.

For Doyle Sails International's CEO Mike Sanderson, who was tactician and sailing master on Comanche, the result was testament to great sailing by a dedicated crew, outstanding navigation by his longtime friend Stan Honey, huge commitment from the owners - and a great showcase of the Cableless and Structured Luff technology Doyle has developed.

Full article in the June Issue of Seahorse

The Ocean Race - Dutch Entry
W Ocean Racing announced their participation and start of their campaign on the Dutch sailing platform Zeilhelden (Sailing Heroes).

Both Managing Directors Nathalie Quere and Chris Nicholson talked with the hosts of Zeilhelden Update, Steffie Plomp and Klaas Wiersma, about the future of their project.

The boat is still branded with the Team AkzoNobel colors, but that will change when a new sponsor comes in. Nathalie Quere said to Zeilhelden: "We have a management agreement with AkzoNobel. This agreement is two-fold.

1. The management of the yacht and her usage, also for the next ocean race, independently of AkzoNobel involvement

2. A corporate sailing program for AkzoNobel customers. This program is still part of their "postrace" activation and not an indication of any future involvement in the race. A potential sponsorship for the next race is not on the agenda."

Although, an uncertain and risky time for making plans, they are very busy with sponsoring, crew selection and the potential option of an IMOCA 60 in the next race.

The Ocean Race - Dutch Entry

How Can Keelboat Racing Work with Social Distancing?
Four-time Olympic sailor, Mark Mansfield, a professional sailor, is part of the Key Yachting/ J/UK team representing J/Boats in Ireland. Mark contributed a good perspective on how sailing can take place while enjoying with family and friends.

Fully crewed or shorthanded?
Though there are other options around, family crew and the like, clearly it will be challenging to sail fully crewed for the first couple of months and still keep the required space between each other. The sight of 8 bodies huddled together on the rail while going upwind on a 35-foot cruiser-racer would not only be regarded as unsafe, but irresponsible and would send all the wrong messages.

So, at what crewing levels could racing happen and still keep close to the permitted social distancing levels?

It is possible to specify a max crew level for different sized boats.
Different sized boats have different crewing needs. A J/70, for example, does not need the same crew numbers as a 42-footer. So, what crew numbers would be required on different sized boats. Here is my estimate:

Up to 26 footers 3 max per boat - Only 2 allowed to sit over the side
Over 26 foot and up to 31 foot - Max of 4 crew - only 2 allowed to sit over the side
Over 31 foot and up to 36 foot - Max 5 crew - only 2 allowed to sit over the side
Over 36 foot and up to 41 foot - Max 6 crew - only 3 allowed to sit over the side
Over 41 foot and up to 46 foot - Max 7 crew and only 4 allowed to sit over the side

And, so on in 5-foot sized increases.

An amendment to The Notice of Race (NOR) could be inserted for events to make these reduced numbers a requirement, while we still have these restrictions due to COVID 19.

Is this enough crew to race boats with spinnakers? In the Fastnet Race in 2019, there were 65 entries in the Doublehanded class, ranging from 45 footers, down to 30 footers. Most boats were in the 35-foot size range and used spinnakers. Yes, they all would have autopilots, and that effectively gives you an extra pair of hands doing sail changes. But that still would mean that they would have had two less crew than my crew size thoughts above. Here is how that would look like on specific boats:

J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80?
Three crew could easily handle any of these boats. In fact, two would be just as easy. One is helming and trimming the main, one in the cockpit, and one on the bow. The Bowman stays forward of the shrouds; the cockpit person stays away from the helm, up by the hatch. It won't be all that easy, but 30-foot boats like Etchells have similar-sized sails and normally sail with 3.

J/109, J/109, J/111, J/112E?
Five on any one of these boats is possible. One on the wheel, staying back a bit. One in the cockpit is trimming the mainsheet but sitting well forward. Helm adjusts the traveler or leaves it in the center. One sits in the hatch, or on top of the coach roof. The Jib Trimmer sits out, and during tacks, they pull in the new sheet while the Mainsheet Trimmer has let off the old jib sheet. The Bow person sits out forward of the shrouds; jib trimmer sits out to windward, 2 metres back from the Bowman.

Downwind more room becomes available as both sides of the boat can accommodate the crew. Andrew Craig, Class Captain of the J/109 class in Ireland, says, "the J/109 is well-suited to shorthanded racing with the small jib and plenty of space for a reduced number to spread out. The Asymmetrical Spinnaker requires no pole, which also makes shorthanded use possible in the right conditions".

RYA eSailing championship gears up for final show down
Two sailing clubs from the Isle of Wight joined clubs from across the South this Saturday to take part in the South regional final of the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship. The winner will then compete for national honours by representing the South in the RYA eSailing Spring Club National Final (30 May).

After some fine e-sailing in the South regional heat, Robbie Southwell from Island Sailing Club qualified as well as Sandy McPherson from Royal Yacht Squadron. They join a group of just 20 sailors to earn the right to be in the South's regional final.

The live final took place at 11am this Saturday 23 May. It is available to watch for free on the Virtual Regatta App by searching for 'RYA South Final'.

eSailing has seen a massive explosion, with thousands of sailors taking to the water virtually to get their daily sailing fix. "Before lockdown we had around 350-400 daily users but those figures have gone through the roof since lockdown was introduced with around 40,000 players logging in each day", commented Thomas Gauthier, Virtual Regatta Product Manager.

Susie added: "With restrictions easing, we are now able to return to the water. However, I am confident that many sailors will continue to play eSailing and it will perhaps remain a part of sailing clubs' regatta programmes."

For those who want to find out more or practise their skills in between club racing, the game is free to play for individuals and easy to access. Simply click here or download the app on a smartphone or iPad, and click 'play now' on either the inshore or offshore game. If you want to compete and keep your score, create a login and a user profile.

The RYA also has a wealth of information to help everyone - from beginners to experienced sailors alike. Visit the RYA for more information

Restoring MINK
"The more carefully you can take it apart, the more you can learn about the way your boat was made originally."

Below you can watch Part 2 of Off Center Harbor's look at the restoration of MINK, a 1914 Buzzards Bay 25. Boatbuilder Eric Blake sits down with MINK's owner as well as her chief researcher to learn about the attention to detail they pursued her rebirth with - even replicating mistakes made in her original construction!

If you missed Part 1, CLICK HERE

Restoring MINK

Andy Burdick on Melges Performance Sailboats' 75th anniversary
If you're into sailboat racing, odds are almost 100 percent that you're familiar with Melges Performance Sailboats' impressive fleet of high-performance One Designs boats, which stretch from singlehanded Melges 14s to fully crewed Melges 40 keelboats. Most famously, this line-up includes the Melges 24 and Melges 32, which are two of the most popular One Design boats afloat. Additionally, Melges also manufactures the now-classic O'pen Bic singlehanded junior racers, four different scows, and the Melges Power 26, which, as its name suggests, is a hard-chined powerboat.

More recently, the lineup also includes the brand-new Melges 15, which was unveiled on May 19, 2020.

Melges boats are well-loved and raced hard all over the world, but the iconic company also accomplished something big by business-world standards by reaching its 75th anniversary this year. The company, which was founded in Zenda, Wisconsin - conveniently right near the shores of Lake Geneva - in 1945 by Harry C. Melges Sr., is now run by CEO Harry Melges III (Harry Sr.'s grandson) and president Andy Burdick.

While 75 years is a long time to be in business, innovation runs strong at Melges Performance Sailboats, as does a desire to press sailing's envelope(s), and the company has partnered with the design offices of Reichel/Pugh for several of its boats, including the Melges 20, Melges 24, and Melges 32. More recently, Melges Performance Sailboats teamed-up with yacht designer Mark Mills to create the Melges IC37 class, which has replaced the Club Swan 42 as the One Design racing platform for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup and the Canada Cup.

Interview with Burdick, the president of Melges Performance Sailboats in

Yachtsman rescued 500 miles off Lizard Cornish coast by tanker
HM Coastguard said a beacon alert was received for the UK-registered Vancouver 34 yacht Helena, 513 nautical miles south west of Lizard Point, at 12.20am yesterday.

French maritime patrol aircraft and RAF aircraft gave back up to locate the small vessel, which was found to be disabled and dis-masted in the Atlantic.

After communicating by radio on scene, the lone yachtsman confirmed that he was uninjured but needed to get off the yacht.

The Seaways Reymar, a 229 metre oil tanker, diverted to rendez-vous with the stricken yacht today and, in challenging conditions, the master and crew of the tanker were able to get the yachtsman onboard this afternoon, despite swells of three to four metres during the rescue.

They will now continue on their voyage to the USA.

"The yachtsman was rescued by tremendous seamanship demonstrated by the master and crew of the Seaways Reymar, who diverted their course and remained on scene for eight hours to ensure the safe recovery of the sailor.

"As well as the skipper's EPIRB satellite beacon, which first alerted us to the situation on Friday, we were also aided by the fact that the vessel was transmitting on AIS which was very helpful in pinpointing the position of the yacht."

Featured Brokerage
Raceboats Only 2017 Ocean Explorer 60. 3100000 EUR. Located in BVI.

Absolutely stunning German Frers designed and Finnish built luxury bluewater cruising catamaran with amazing specification and professionally maintained since launch.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Lead broker: Jonas Renlund - Grabau international ( Scandinavia)
Tel: +358408098688


Raceboats Only 1920 Charles E Nicholson 147 Ft Schooner 1910 - Orion Of The Seas. Located in Italy.

Built by Camper & Nicholson to one of the finest designs of Charles E. Nicholson; this yacht originally named SYLVANA was launched in 1910. When commissioned, Nicholson had clearly won over the wealthy yachtsmen of the period to his designs that by then were regularly beating those of Watson, Fife and Herreshoff on the race course.

Now ORION OF THE SEAS; she was completely rebuilt 2003-2005 with a total focus on keeping the original detail where possible but where modern systems were installed; then most discreetly and with effective sound insulation.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Barney Sandeman

+44 (0)1202 330077
33 High Street
Poole, Dorset
BH15 1AB
United Kingdom


Raceboats Only 2015 TP52 - GLADIATOR. 750000 EUR. Located in St Thomas, BVI.

Built by Persico and project managed by Jason Carrington. Widely regarded as one of the highest quality TP52's ever built, with absolutely no stone left un-turned. Specifically optimized for an owner-driver, this is the last 2015 boat to leave Super Series captivity, with recent IRC optimization.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

Sam Pearson - Ancasta Race Boats

+447759 424900
+442380 016582

See the collection at

The Last Word
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. -- Benjamin Franklin

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

Search the Archives

Phoca Gallery Search
Search - Categories
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Web Links

Our Partners

Seahorse Magazine

Wight Vodka

Robline Ropes


Ocean Safety

Yacht Club Monaco

St Thomas YC

Grenada Sailing Week

Antigua Sailing Week