In This Issue
51st La Solitaire Du Figaro Starts
Melges 32 World Championship
(Beautifully) Simple - Alpha Lock Systems
Aspire secures 5.5 Metre European title in sunny Sanremo
Finn sailors ready for return to racing at Europeans in Gdynia
Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
Landsail Tyres J-Cup: 03-05 September
RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference Goes Virtual For 2020
Polish ORC National Championship held in Gdansk
Cape to St. Helena 2020 Event Postponement
Featured Brokerage:
• • Ker 40 - "Icebreaker"
• • Vismara Marine V50
The Last Word: Buddy Melges

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

51st La Solitaire Du Figaro Starts
As the 51st La Solitaire du Figaro Starts on the Bay of Saint Brieuc The 35 solo sailors who started the 642 nautical miles first stage of La Solitaire du Figaro on Bay of Saint Brieuc on France's north westerly Channel coast enjoyed a spirited send off in perfect 15-18 knot northerly winds.

With sunshine threatening to finally split the leaden skies, the lone skippers set their course for Fastnet Rock, 300-odd nautical miles to their west- north-west, knowing that the first 24 hours of the out-and-back passage, will be battling through a ridge of complicated light winds in strong tides. This first night may yet prove decisive not just in terms of the first stage results but the whole four leg race.

France's Tom Laperche (Team Bretagne CMB Espoir), who won the Solo Maitre Coq and was second in the Drheam Cup, was leading the fleet on the beat out of the bay towards the turn left turn where sheets would be eased. Britain's solo skippers made solid rather than spectacular starts, Phil Sharp (OceansLab) recovering quickly back into the fleet after being called as being over the start line before the gun.

Solidarity between skippers in the Figaro fleet is well known in the world of sailing and it was exhibited again when Gildas Mahe (Breizh Cola), runner up last year and local favourite on his home waters, tore his mainsail doing an emergency gybe to avoid a collision with another boat crossing his path. Friend and rival Xavier Macaire immediately proposed to lend him a previous mainsail of his Groupe SNEF. With the rapid response and collaboration of other support teams Mahe had the replacement set. He reached the start on time keeping intact his aspirations of winning Stage 1.

As the fleet negotiate the rocky north Brittany, English Channel coast this evening and into the night ortherly wind is due to fade, heralding the arrival of a high pressure ridge of very light, unstable and unpredictable winds.

First ten at the first buoy:
1 - Lois Berrahar (CMB Performance)
2 - Marc Mallaret (CER Occitanie)
3 - Anthony Marchand (Groupe Royer - Secours Populaire)
4 - Fabien Delahaye (Laboratoires Gilbert)
5 - Corentin Douguet (NF Habitat)
6 - Eric Peron (French Touch)
7 - Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Macif 2019)
8 - Adrien Hardy (Ocean Attitude)
9 - Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF)
10 - Kevin Bloch (Team Vendee Formation)

Melges 32 World Championship, the first World title of 2020 goes to Caipirinha
Photo by Max Ranchi, Click on image for photo gallery.

Villasimius, Sardinia: Martin Reintjes' Caipirinha is the winner of one of the hardest-fought Melges 32 World Championships: proof of this competitiveness is the fact that the crew of Reintjes, at his third year of racing in the Class, managed to win the world title being rewarded by the consistency of placements, since he did not score any bullet in the nine races held during the event. A fact counterbalanced by the fact that the "crew dressed in yellow" never finished beyond sixth place. A pace, that set by Caipirinha, that was worth the climb of the world, which annihilated the opponents, who passed, with few exceptions, through various competitive vicissitudes.

Proof of this is the path of La Pericolosa, winner of the World Title in 2019: Christian Schwoerer's outgoing champions finished just one point behind Caipirinha. A detail that must not be misleading, both because the team of which Gabriele Benussi is tactician did not run the last race, as they won with a race to spare, and because the German crew had made their debut between the marks of Villasimius, racing below its potential, effectively forcing itself to a run-up regatta.

Another story of this World Championship, organized by Melges Europe in collaboration with Marina di Villasimius and Lega Navale Villasimius, concerns the third classified: the best of the Corinthians, or non-professionals, got the bronze medal around their necks. An important result was achieved by the guys from Homanit of the Wagner-Stein duo who, rightly, celebrated the feat properly.

Having said goodbye to Villasimius, the Melges 32 Class is preparing to return in september for another Melges 32 World League, a circuit won in 2019 by that Caipirinha of which we spoke at the beginning.

Top five after 9 races:
1. Caipirinha - Martin Reintjes, ITA, 29 points
2. La Pericolosa - Christian Schwoerer, GER, 30
3. Homanit - Jan Jasper Wagner - Maximilian Stein, GER, 36
4. G - Spot - Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio, MON, 37
5. Wilma - Fritz Homann, NOR, 38

Full results

(Beautifully) Simple - Alpha Lock Systems
The man who built Alinghi's America's Cup winning rigs knows a thing or two about eliminating any scope for failure

This year Alphalock Systems launched its new Modular Lock System, an outgrowth of its original system from 2018. As with the originals, the new locks are automatic, requiring no triplines. The action is the same: hoist to lock; hoist to unlock.

'Utter simplicity is the Holy Grail of engineering,' says Eric Hall, founder and president of Alphalock. 'I've been involved with automatic locks since 2007. Each year the locks became simpler and for a short while, I always thought a simpler lock couldn't be devised. But then it always could. In 2018 I founded Alphalock Systems and again I thought our locks, with just two moving parts, couldn't be simpler.'

Full story in the September issue of Seahorse

Aspire secures 5.5 Metre European title in sunny Sanremo
Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemyslaw Gacek, Simon Fry) has won the 2020 5.5 Metre European Championship in Sanremo, Italy, after no races were possible on the final day of the event, Saturday. Momo (SUI 229, Dieter Schön, Markus Wieser, Thomas Auracher) was second with New Moon II (BAH 24, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov) in third.

The fleet was sent out early in what was predicted to be the only window of opportunity all day, but the light wind soon died to leave a glassy sea and the boats were towed back to the marina to wait it out. It didn't look promising and at 12.30, AP over A was hoisted to end the championship.

While the top nine boats were Moderns, the top Evolution boat, in the fleet of six here, was Ali Baba (GER 84, Wolf Eberhard Richter, Beata Kallkowski, Hans Wendlandt), who spent most of the week inside the top 10 and ahead of several other moderns.

The leading Classic boat was Kukururu (ITA 6, Giuseppe Matildi, Gianluca Marolli, Alessandro Marolli), also the oldest boat in the fleet. She was designed by the Swede, Arvid Laurin, and built by Cantieri navali Baglietto in Italy in 1953. A special mention must also go to Korrigan (FRA 19), built in 1961. Jaouen Gurvan spent half the week racing singlehanded as he arrived without a crew.

Final top ten after 6 races
1. Aspire - Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemyslaw Gacek, Simon Fry, POL, 10
2. Momo - Dieter Schön, Markus Wieser, Thomas Auracher, SUI, 14
3. New Moon II - Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov, BAH, 17
4. Ali Baba - Martin Manrique, Flavio Marazzi, William Alloway, BAH, 20
5. Caracole - Bernard Haissly, Berthoud Nicolas, Daniel Stampfli, SUI, 21
6. Marie-Francoise XXI - Jurg Menzi, Jurgen Eiermann, Bo Selko, SUI, 26
7. Shaolin - Lucien Cujean, Andreas Kindlimann, Hans Von Werdt, SUI, 28
8. Black & White - Daniel Schenker, Mark Dangel, Anthony Shanks, SUI, 29
9. Otto - Bent Christian Wilhelmsen, Lasse Berthelsen, Luka Strahovnik, NOR, 32
10. Ali Baba - Eberhard Richter, Beata Kallkowski, Hans Wendlandt, GER, 55

Full results

Finn sailors ready for return to racing at Europeans in Gdynia
It's been a long wait since the last major Finn event, but next week, the 2020 Open and U23 European Championship, as well as the Finn European Masters, will take place in Gdynia, Poland. The fleet sizes are smaller than usual, but there was a huge desire on the part of the class, the sailors and the organizers for the event to go ahead.

With the Finn Gold Cup in Palma recently being cancelled, this is the only major senior event this year, though many of the fleet are expected to head to Kiel Week straight afterwards. The sailors have been training in small groups across Europe but this will be the first time they have met since the 2019 Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne, in December. How they have faired during these strange times, and who has made any gains, will be interesting to see.

With the exception of those outside Europe most of the top sailors will be present, with well over half the fleet still chasing the final European place at the Tokyo Olympics, which is expected to happen at the 2021 Finn Gold Cup in Porto, Portugal.

Among the favourites are Nicholas Heiner, from the Netherlands, Max Salminen from Sweden, Alican Kaynar, from Turkey and Zsombor Berecz, from Hungary, while the defending champion is Giles Scott, from Britain.

The 2020 Open, U23 and Masters European Championship takes place from August 30 to September 6, with a series of 10 races from September 2-6. The intention is also to provide the normal class media coverage - well as normal as possible - which will all be available through the event website. -- Robert Deaves

Seahorse Sailor Of The Month
This month's nominees:

Sam Davies (FRA/UK)
Faster and faster gets the best French prospect for a podium finish by a woman skipper in the Vendee Globe. We say French only slightly tongue-in-cheek since Sam has immersed herself in every possible aspect of life in France in general and Brittany in particular. 'Sam is a very very very good sailor woman' - says her neighbour Geraldine Gandillon... and who are we to argue? From children's charities to environment to education today Sam Davies is everywhere

Juan Hector Domato (ARG)
A slightly belated happy 80th birthday to this innovative Argentinean yacht designer and successful race skipper. Domato is a legendary figure among his country's sailors and may also be recalled by some of our more mature subscribers... Four Admiral's Cups, four Bermuda Races, Commodores' Cup winner in 1992, Transat winner, 3 Sardinia Cups, 6 Buenos Aires to Rios and class winner in the rough 1979 Fastnet on his Admiral's Cupper Red Rock IV

Last Month's winner:
Ian Lipinski (FRA)
'Young, fun and happy!' - Jacob Vjecker; 'The world needs more Ian Lipinskis!' - Paolo Manganelli; 'One of the best solo skippers in the world - I hope he gets the Vendee Globe he deserves' - Jorg Riechers; 'A great man and great skipper' - Laurent Berthet; 'A humble human who brings very strong ideas to sailing' - Edgar Byczek; 'Sailing so fast around the UK is hard!!!' - Maarten van Rossum; 'He's the best one, our Special One!' - Sebastien Gerard.

View past winners of Sailor of the Month

Seahorse Sailor of the Month is sponsored by Musto, Harken McLube & Dubarry. Who needs silverware, our prizes are usable!

Cast your vote, submit comments, even suggest a candidate for next month at

Landsail Tyres J-Cup: 03-05 September
Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club By Invitation of Key Yachting Ltd

The Landsail Tyres J-Cup has an enviable horde of prizes for the competitors and not just the winners! Now in its 21st year, the annual J Boats celebration is supported by a host of sponsors. Landsail Tyres generosity allows complimentary berthing at Cowes Yacht Haven for the 2020 regatta. The Landsail Tyres J-Cup will also be the UK National Championship for the J/109 and J/111 Classes.

The bevvy of prizes for competitors includes sailing gear and equipment from Cyclops Marine, Dolphin Sails, Henri-Lloyd, Ocean Rope, Wight Vodka and XV stripes.

Three one design classes will be competing including the J/109 and J/111 Classes, which will have the added thrill of competing for their respective national championships. The largest class racing will be the J/70 with 14 teams already entered. The J/70 fleet will be flying yacht club burgees of the RORC, Royal Southern, Royal Thames and Royal Yacht Squadron. IRC Classes have been organised for mixed fleets of J Boats racing at the Landsail Tyres J-Cup.

The most coveted award at the Landsail Tyres J-Cup is the J-Cup itself, which will be awarded at the Prize Giving Dinner on Saturday 5th September. -- Louay Habib

RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference Goes Virtual For 2020
The RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference will be held online this year on Saturday 21 November with an innovative format making it more accessible than ever for clubs wanting to catch up with all the latest insights and learning.

Hosted by double Olympic gold medallist and broadcaster Shirley Robertson, an exciting programme of guest speakers alongside interactive 'stands' and workshops will provide clubs with a wealth of ideas for developing their activities towards a vibrant future.

The theme will be 'A different world with new opportunities', recognising the challenges clubs have experienced in 2020 and exploring the new opportunities now available for the sport.

Delegates will be able to take part from the comfort of their own home for 2020, replacing the regional conferences traditionally held across the UK.

The headline conference held on 21 November will run from 10am to 1.30pm while associated workshops will be accessible via online club development webinars streamed the week commencing Monday 23 November, with recorded versions available for those unable to make the specific times.

Clubs will be able to network and throughout the conference weekend there will be an online expo area with RYA 'stands' offering bookable 1-1 appointments, text chat, downloadable resources and on-demand video. This area will also host regional and Home Country updates.

Booking for the 2020 RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference is expected to go live in the next few weeks.

Polish ORC National Championship held in Gdansk
Last weekend the Polish national ORC Championships were held in the bay of Gdansk, site of the 2017 ORC European Championship. The event was conducted for two separated classes: ORC A and ORC B, with five yachts Class A and 15 in ORC B. When taking into consideration situation caused by COVID-19 and related government restrictions, this is regarded as a great turnout.

The event started with measurements, inspections, and registration held on Thursday, 20th of August. On the next day, Friday 21st August racing commenced with a windward-leeward inshore race starting at midday, followed by an offshore race (32Nm) held in the evening. The second day brought more wind and the race committee decided to run two coastal races and one offshore race but with the shorter distance - 16 Nm. The last feature were two inshore races followed by the award ceremony.

In ORC Class A the winner was Hadar, Jerzy Brezden's Petersen 45, with second place going to Marek Limberger's Marco Polo Grand Soleil 42 and third place Andrzej Zielinski's Salona 41. As always, Class B brings more emotions for contenders and spectators. Till the very end, numerous teams competed for the places on the podium - this proves that the level of competitors in Poland is growing every year and the class becomes more popular.

Favorites to watch in ORC Class B and one who particularly stands out for their past successes is the team Good Speed who won Gold in this class. Lukasz Trzcinski's Dufour 34P proves again that they are capable to compete with even more ORC-optimized designs. Silver medals went to Marek Turkowski's Bavaria 32 and third place in class was managed by Artur Pomorski's L'arte 785. This is team Good Speed's fifth consecutive crown as the Polish ORC National Champion. This is outstanding local performance is a good sign for next year's ORC World Championship being held in Tallinn, Estonia.

Cape to St. Helena 2020 Event Postponement
Following a recent survey which was sent to entrants, a Race Organizing Committee meeting and consultation with St Helena, The following:

Due to Covid 19, with the available time left before the intended start for the 2020 event running out, the outstanding challenges namely:

- Quarantine requirements at St Helena
- Return Flights to Cape Town
- Returning South African's quarantine requirements.

These items are still a challenge and likely to remain a challenge which would detrimentally effect the race.

Therefore, the decision has been taken to postpone the 2020 event to 26 December 2021.

The decision has not been an easy one for the organizers, but given the unprecedented circumstances caused by Covid 19, we are confident that it is the correct decision.

The updated NOR for the 2021 event will be made available later this year.

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The Last Word
Sailboat racing becomes a game of chance only when you are not prepared. -- Buddy Melges

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