In This Issue
2020 Edition Of La Solitaire Du Figaro Confirmed
Iain Murray: "The America's Cup Has Always Been Such A Design Contest"
Five months to go to the Yacht Racing Forum in Portsmouth, UK : Time to register!
PlanetSail - NEW Series - On Course
J/24 US National Championships Shift One Year
Vanishing act - Harken
2020 Online Newport Bermuda Winners Declared
New York Yacht Club's 166th Annual Regatta Set for August 28 to 30
MC38s long-awaited return to 2020 season
Featured Charter: J/122 Noisy Oyster
Featured Brokerage:
• • SW100RS Cape Arrow
• • Ker 40+ "Arabella"
• • Gunboat 62 TRIBE
The Last Word: Frank Zappa

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

2020 Edition Of La Solitaire Du Figaro Confirmed
Solitaire du Figaro fleet. Photo by Alexis Courcoux. Click on image to enlarge.

Solitaire du Figaro The owners and organisers of La Solitaire du Figaro, OC Sport Pen Duick, have confirmed that the flagship race of the French Elite Offshore Racing Championship will go ahead at the end of the summer.

As many as 35 solo sailors are expected on the start line in Saint-Brieuc in north-west France at the end of August, and the skippers will race via Dunkirk, before they are welcomed to Saint-Nazaire in the Loire-Atlantique in Western France for the Grand Finale.

Raced in the latest generation foil-equipped Figaro Beneteau3, entries are already flocking in, including the winner of last Vendee Globe, Armel le Cleac'h, 2019 La Solitaire du Figaro runner up Gildas Mahe and British talent Alan Roberts, who was the top ranked international competitor last year.

It will be the fourth time that the port of Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast of France has hosted the race, and the newly labelled City of Art and History, has a special place in the history of La Solitaire du Figaro. Followers of the event will remember the fierce dual between Armel Le Cleac'h and Alain Gautier in 2003, which after a month of on-water racing, saw Le Cleac'h win La Solitaire for the first time by just 13 seconds.

Philippe Grosvalet, president of the Department of Loire-Atlantique commented: "The 51st Solitaire du Figaro is confirmed. This is the best scenario! The legendary race returns from September 16 to 20. We will have the pleasure of living two beautiful stages and the Grand Final in the heart of the estuary, in Saint-Nazaire.

"A real race against the clock is now underway on the side of the skippers, to resume sailing and training. Within the context of the health crisis, the participants are preparing in record time in exceptional conditions for an equally exceptional 2020 edition. I wish everyone the best preparation possible."

Iain Murray: "The America's Cup Has Always Been Such A Design Contest"
In April Iain Murray was announced as the Race Director of the 36th America's Cup. It will be the third time that Murray has done this job. His career in the America's Cup has included roles as skipper and designer, passing all the way through the spectrum from 12 Metre, IACC and foiling Multihulls. Previously he was also CEO of America's Cup Race Management but this time the job is more straightforward as Race Director. At the same time Murray is Race Director for SailGP, Performance Director for Australian Sailing and so has been dealing with the effects of the Olympic postponement on the Aussie team. And he remains very active in the Etchells, winning last year's World Championship in Texas. He took time out last week to speak to Tip & Shaft.

Iain from your perspective what has been the effect of the pandemic on your role with the America's Cup especially the cancellation of the ACWS events in Cagliari and Portsmouth?

Well today's teams are very much in the infancy of this class on a very steep learning trajectory so this has probably been the biggest change to any form of sailing and to the events. There are so many things which are new to the America's Cup, the boats, the type of racing, the equipment. There is a lot of new stuff there which really would have been good to have a test drive with in Cagliari and Portsmouth. But look, the world is very different and very busy at the moment, I am very busy and that is good, I am diversified and that is fun.

What are the specific challenges this time around which are different to previous Cups for you?

The regatta director job has changed since I went into that job in 2010. That was a really big job, the whole establishment of the world series, transport, logistics, establishment of the events' processes and protocols, chartering ships and there was a big staff. We started off in Cascais in 2011 with 130 odd containers and a really big invention. That has been progressed and fine tuned down through the AC45s and the 72s and then the 45s again and now that has moved on to SailGP. There has been quite an evolution there. And now with AC36 we are back into bigger boats, big crews, very cutting edge designs and facets of sailing which are not proven or amended. This is first generation stuff which I find really interesting. The different theories, the boats, hull shapes, wing sizes, what the people are trying to do, the race course and what the style of boat they are going to need. You do get the feeling everyone is going to come to New Zealand and they are going to be locked and loaded, like America's Cups of the past where that first moment on that first day is going to be quite revealing. It will be. "Wow, what have we got here!"

That excites you as a sailor and Cup fan, first and foremost?

Yes, for sure. There are so many very smart people out there developing the tools and technology they have got. The America's Cup has always been such a design contest as much as anything. Thus version of the America's Cup is not going to disappoint.

Full interview in Tip & Shaft

Five months to go to the Yacht Racing Forum in Portsmouth, UK : Time to register!
Yacht Racing Forum Expectations ahead of the Yacht Racing Forum have probably never been as high as this year. In the aftermath of the difficult time we've had this spring, members of the international yacht racing community are eager to meet and gather, and to discuss how to get our sport back on track after a lost season and a complete disruption of the supply chain.

The conference programme is nearing completion and the speakers' list is looking great, with top level speakers and industry leaders from all over the world. There is however still space for a limited number of great projects, ideas and speakers; don't hesitate to contact us at

We are committed to delivering a successful Yacht Racing Forum and acknowledge that health and safety is integral to this objective. We will therefore ensure that the Forum has a high-quality health and safety policy in place which is appropriate for the prevailing advice in November.

The Yacht Racing Forum 2020 will be split in thematic modules, and will address the following subjects:

- Marketing, Sponsorship and Media - Sports Governance and Management - Risk Management and Safety - Sustainability - Top end of the Sport - Design and Technology

We look forward to welcoming you to Portsmouth, UK, on November 23-24.

Detailed programme, speakers list and registration:

PlanetSail - NEW Series - On Course
Episode 4

Two chunky features stand out in this episode, one is an exclusive interview with Alinghi's founder, backer and boss Ernesto Bertarelli. Filmed at his home on the shores of Lake Geneva he talks candidly about the America's Cup.

The other is a full review of Jeanneau's latest 33ft pocket rocket the Sun Fast 3300 designed specifically for the shorthanded market.

Plus, a look at HH Cat's latest H66 and a link to some handy autopilot tips and tricks.

Exclusive interview - Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli
On Test - Jeanneau's Pocket Rocket
Docktalk - HH Cats and tips for shorthanded sailing
Splash and burn - We go back to Looe Sailing Club

Bertarelli interview - EXCLUSIVE
Alinghi boss and founder Ernesto Bertarelli rarely does interviews. But in my exclusive meeting with the man who won the America's Cup twice and started a Cup revolution in the process, he reveals his views of the past present and future in the Cup world. Talking to him at his home on the shores of Lake Geneva he speaks candidly about the highs and lows of campaigning for the world's oldest international sporting trophy and discusses whether he has been, or could be, tempted to come back. Filmed pre-Covid-19 last season it was a special and unique chat.


J/24 US National Championships Shift One Year
The United States J/24 Class Association (USJCA) and Malletts Bay Boat Club in Vermont have determined, because of the varying levels of infection and disruption across the world, that the 2020 J/24 US National Championship scheduled for September 24-27 will be sailed in September 2021. The US Executive Committee has been closely monitoring the worldwide developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. They understand the huge commitment of time and money it takes to participate in a major Championship, as well as the enormous resources that our hosts dedicate to such events.

The 2021 US National Championship will be held in Malletts Bay next September 10-12. The previously scheduled US Nationals will also shift back one year. Therefore, the 2022 Championship will be hosted by Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club in Texas May 23-28, and The Lake George Club in New York will present the 2023 event (dates to be determined). In the meantime, the Class wishes all J/24 sailors and their families the best in these difficult times. We look forward to resuming sailing as soon as we can.

Molly White, USJCA President, said, "As much as we all want to go sailing, the US Class has also taken into consideration the safety of all involved, the ability for people traveling to access these events, and all of the hard work and planning that goes into a quality event such as a National Championship. We hope that while we wait in anticipation for these events to return in 2021, sailors are able to take advantage of all the J/24 racing their local fleets have to offer."

Vanishing act - Harken
Harken It's not just the widespread introduction of hydraulically powered winches that led to the sweeping clean of once cluttered big boat deck layouts... it's also down to the elegant systems which they are a part of

If a casual observer walking the dock were to see a new IRC maxi and an old IOR maxi from the 1990s alongside each other, they'll probably see the Harken brand name on both sets of deck hardware. And they're sure to notice the stark difference between the complex, cluttered deck plan of the IOR maxi and the clean, deceptively simple-looking deck plan of its modern IRC-rated equivalent. Where have all the winches and grinder pedestals gone? One of the most fundamental changes in the way we sail is the acceptance of powered systems. A side-by-side comparison of deck hardware shows just how far we've come.

Full article in the July issue of Seahorse

2020 Online Newport Bermuda Winners Declared
A large fleet of virtual sailboats completed the 2020 Online Newport Bermuda Race off the east end of Bermuda between last night and this morning in a gradually lightening southwest breeze, and winners were decided in four divisions. Utilizing navigation-simulation software provided by and in partnership with, more than 300 boats (of 500+ registered under the flags of 50 nations) crossed the finish line having sailed the 635 nautical miles from Newport in less than four days. Racing was often close, and in one division, the St. David's Lighthouse group sailing Dehler 46s, the difference between first and second place was seven seconds.

The sailors covered many miles in the first and last 24 hours, reaching in southwesterly breezes, but in between, very light and unstable winds challenged the sailors to choose the fastest route. Using NOAA GFS model forecast and actual winds modeled across the course, Sailonline's nav-simulation was so realistic that many top sailors equipped with their usual onboard routing software sailed 100 miles to the east in search of stronger winds on Saturday. But the next day, the winds were light everywhere and those who chose the more direct route emerged closer to Bermuda when the winds returned.

Sailors in each division competed on a one-design basis, racing in a boat model chosen by the race sponsor for that division. The winners and their boat names were as follows:

St. David's Lighthouse Div.- Dehler 46, sponsored by Dehler Yachts/ McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers:
Seven seconds separated first and second, with Michael O'Donnell, sailing his first online race, crediting his own clumsiness for an accidental double tack on the approach to the finish. This iconic racer/cruiser division attracted a larger number of entries who were planning to sail the 2020 IRL (in real life) race.
1) Michael O'Donnell/Modonnellaw (US)
2) Scott Bearse/SlideRule (US)
3) Joseph Gordon/QSail (Qatar)

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Div.- Xp 55, sponsored by X-Yachts/ X-Yachts USA
"Disregarding his router" due to the instability of the weather forecast, Juan Barclay sailed to a westerly position relative to the fleet yet close to the rhumbline; when the breeze filled, he had the best reaching angle for the last day to Bermuda and won by a quarter mile. This division featured some of the top sailors, competing for line honors, all were pleased to see so many Bermuda Race sailors trying their hand at Sailonline.
1) Juan Barclay/rafa (Peru)
2) Ilpo Jarvinen/ij (Finland)
3) Robert Schon/robert1 (Sweden)

Finisterre Cruiser Div.- Italia 14.98, sponsored by Italia Yachts/ David Walters Yachts:
If you're going to change your strategy from east to west, be decisive. That was the message from Cesar Garcia, who referenced a "critical moment on the second day when he lost confidence in the easterly forecast and decided to go the other way. In second place, Derek Joubert, who admits he usually finishes "stone last" when racing his Dart catamaran, was sailing only his second Sailonline race.
1) Cesar Garcia/GREATSKUA (Spain)
2) Derek Joubert/Maximus (South Africa)
3) Jan van der Puil/bonknhoot (Netherlands)

Double-Handed Div.- Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300, sponsored by Jeanneau North America:
The front-runners in this class sailed a similar course to those in Gibbs Hill, with Tony Phillpot finding a westerly position and better, faster angles to overhaul Sloan Burns, a real-life Bermuda Race navigator trying his hand with Sailonline for the first time. Burns said, "it was the most comfortable offshore race I've done- though the fact I attempted to pour my midnight coffee into an upside down coffee cup is probably an indication I got no more sleep than an actual race."
1) Tony Phillpot/midnightexpress (UK)
2) Sloan Burns/SloanBurns (US)
3) OscarBoteco1 (Brazil)

Results available at Leaderboard.

New York Yacht Club's 166th Annual Regatta Set for August 28 to 30
The most enduring event in North American sailing got off to an inauspicious start on July 16, 1846. Beset by light air, Louis Depau's 44-ton sloop Mist was the only one of 14 starters to finish the first race of the New York Yacht Club's inaugural Annual Regatta. A second race, two days later, proved more successful with Commodore John Cox Stevens' Gimcrack taking line honors and Hornet, owned by A. Barker, winning on corrected time.

Through the better part of two centuries, the Annual Regatta has endured, only occasionally missing time due to national and world crises. It has moved from the Hudson River and New York Harbor to Western Long Island Sound to Newport, where it's found a comfortable home at the start of the summer sailing season. The 166th edition was scheduled for June 12 to 14, with a distance race around Conanicut Island followed by two days of buoy or navigator racing on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. Earlier this year, the Club postponed the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but remains determined to keep the tradition alive. The 166th Annual Regatta is now set for August 28 to 30.

The One-Design Regatta, originally scheduled for August 22 and 23, will be merged with the Annual Regatta, allowing smaller keelboat classes to take part in North America's oldest annual sailing competition. As the Herreshoff Museum has scheduled its Classic Yacht Regatta for the final weekend in August, the Annual Regatta will not include any divisions for classic yachts.

The specific divisions and crew formats for the Annual Regatta will be dictated by the Rhode Island social distancing regulations in effect at that time as well as New York Yacht Club guidelines.

The Club's Sailing Office is working to revise race documents and websites. NORs, event schedules and other relevant information will be posted to the respective event webpages as soon as they are finalized.

MC38s long-awaited return to 2020 season
Winter sailing on Sydney Harbour is often fraught, light winds and plenty of shifting potholes to catch the unsuspecting out. For the MC38s crews who returned to their season after months of COVID isolation, getting the fleet back together and completing the seven-race program was more than enough compensation for the tricky conditions.

Reigning Australian champions Lazy Dog, Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart's Middle Harbour Yacht Club MC38, broke away from the chasing pack on day two, Sunday June 21, their 3,1,1 results added to day one's tally delivering the consistent performers a six point victory.

Mixed day two scores for Marcus Blackmore's Hooligan (Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club), with Chris Dare from Victoria helming his first MC38 regatta, tallied to second overall, two points off Steven Proud's Swish (MHYC) in third.

Light and fluky northerlies made choosing lanes rough for tacticians said Stewart, who helmed today while co-owner Shaun Lane handled Saturday's four races. "Given we've been off the water so long, everyone sailed really well with very few mistakes; it came down to picking the shifts. It was one of those days where if found yourself in a hole it was hard to get out," Stewart said after racing.

470 sailor Sasha Ryan has joined Lazy Dog as the bowperson and Lane hopes she'll be a long-term campaign fixture.

The head of multiple keelboat programs, Chris Dare, got the call-up Thursday as he was flying from Melbourne to Sydney for the weekend, accepting on the spot. The Hooligans opened Act 3 with a 1,2,2 scoresheet but twice across the weekend found themselves on the wrong side to the breeze and paid a heavy price.

"It was a nice weekend sailing with good people," Dare said. "It was my first time on an MC38, it was quite tricky to steer and very different from the 52 [Dare's previous boat, a TP52]. Day one was spent figuring out what I could and couldn't do - and the experienced crew members were terrific at showing me the way - and Sunday was about mitigating risk.

"We got a penalty on Saturday going somewhere we shouldn't have and there was some yelling and bruised egos, but I'm proud to say Marcus gets his boat back without a mark on it," Dare added.

MC38 Class

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.

* Michael Brown:

Good news for World Sailing’s finances but even better news for the British taxpayer who is presumably no longer required to support them. I wouldn’t mind if they actually represented ”World” Sailing but in what way do they represent the vast majority on the water who are amateurs just going sailing with absolutely no interest in racing. The Solent is a great place at the moment – you can peacefully cruise along without constantly being attacked by swarms of racing yachts?

* From Alessandro Castelli:

I read in today’s news that “The ILCA Dinghy is widely recognised as the world's most popular boat, with more than 200,000 in circulation.”

False statement.

Only a few hundred ILCA Dinghies exist.

There are more than 217.000 LASERS all around the world.

The difference is substantial.

Let the ILCA Dinghies to the e-sailors, and give back the Laser to the real sailors.

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