In This Issue
New Breeze Breathes Life Into Stage 1 of La Solitaire
Strong Enough To Finish
Genoa International Boat Show
The Voiles de Saint-Tropez: Ready to welcome the competitors
RS Aero UK Open & Nationals Championship - Day 3
Backstage At The Vendee Globe
The Cruising Association unveils plans for a Promo Week
Offshore Sailing - Is this the New "Go To" for 2021?
Industry News
Featured Brokerage:
• • Frers 57 Day Sailer - Saskia Too
• • jv36 Multiplast Daysailer - Roljack
• • Maxi Botin Partners 72
The Last Word: Groucho Marx

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New Breeze Breathes Life Into Stage 1 of La Solitaire
After first night at sea which proved painfully slow and frustrating at times, the leaders on the 642 nautical miles Stage 1 of La Solitaire du Figaro had got their noses into the first of a forecasted new southerly breeze and by mid-afternoon this Monday, some 27 hours after the start, the pacemakers were intermittent periods of promising speeds, back up to 7knots.

French skipper Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF) has led the 35 solo skippers since 0530hrs this morning, a middle track close to the most direct, shortest course proving most profitable. The 39- year-old from the Team Vendee Formation training group already has two overall podiums to his credit, second in 2013 and third in 2015, but in nine previous challenges has not yet won a stage.

Leading the fleet out of The Channel approaches this afternoon he had stretched from 0.3 to 0.7 nautical miles ahead of Corentin Douguet (NF Habitat) over a 90 minute period. The leaders are contemplating the passage of the Scillies this evening and tonight and choose their passage around the forbidden zones marked by the Traffic Separation Schemes there.

Into the second night the breeze is expected to build to present a rich-get-richer scenario for those in the vanguard of the fleet, gennaker reaching in 13-16kts of breeze towards the Fastnet, which is just under 200 miles from Macaire this afternoon.

Ireland's Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa) left the Baie de Saint Brieuc start line on Sunday with one avowed intention, to lay to exorcise the ghosts of the two 'disastrous' first legs which ruined both of his first two La Solitaire du Figaro.

In 2018 he was forced back to Le Havre when a spreader root failed less than one hour after the start - he did not even make it to the first buoy - while last year he was one of many who went west on the beat to Fastnet and he finished many hours after the winners.

Lying fifth the 33 year old from County Meath who has based himself in Concarneau for 11 years and has finished fourth in the MiniTransat is making a decent fist of the first part of this stage, best of the eight international, non-French sailors, just 1.2 miles behind Macaire and seemingly well established within this main peloton.

Top ten standings 31/08 1903 local time
1. Xavier Macaire, Groupe SNEF, 490.8 nm to leg 1 finish
2. Corentin Douguet, NF Habitat, 1.06 nm to leader
3. Alexis Loison, Region Normandie, 3.51
4. Tom Laperche, Bretagne CMB Espoir, 3.58
5. Tom Dolan, Smurfit Kappa, 3.81
6. Lois Berrehar, Bretagne CMB Performance, 4.35
7. Fabien Delahaye, Laboratoires Gilbert, 4.45
8. Alberto Bona, Sebago, 5.34
9. Sam Goodchild, Leyton, 6.81
10. Tanguy Le Turquais, Groupe Queguiner - Innoveo, 8.94

Full standings


Strong Enough To Finish
It's true the fastest boat will win the America's Cup, but it's also true that to win, you must also finish. And therein lies the critical challenge of weight versus reliability.

Every racing sailboat needs to be both strong and light, but only a handful of them need to be strong enough to cope with a crash landing, coming off the hydrofoils at 50-plus knots. Images of the first-generation AC75s, in some spectacular touchdowns have already hit the internet - and those are the wipeouts teams have been willing to share. There will be a lot more before the Cup is won and lost.

It's an interesting time to be a structural engineer with an America's Cup team. It would be hard enough if the challenge was to simply build the AC75 with sufficient strength to handle the big crashes. However, the AC75 is a difficult boat to keep under the maximum weight allowed by the rule, and the need to keep it light puts additional pressure on the structural engineers.

"We start by hiring the best engineers we can possibly find, that's a big part of it… a big structural failure at the wrong time could end the campaign, so they are absolutely critical people to a successful Cup campaign," says INEOS Team UK skipper and team principal Ben Ainslie.

Full article by Mark Chisnell in

From 1st to 6th October The Genoa International Boat Show Will Welcome Boating Professionals and Enthusiasts for its 60th Anniversary Edition
The 60th Genoa International Boat Show will welcome industry professionals and boating enthusiasts alike, from 1st to 6th October, to experience the very best the industry has to offer.

The organizers are working to bring an event that will combine the highest standards of health and safety with an effective approach worthy of the Made in Italy brand and a world-class showcase. Requests for display space have been greater than expected, a sign that the event remains an essential tool for companies worldwide who recognize the value in taking part.

Exhibitors this year will see the return of the major yards in Italy and worldwide who were present last year, in addition to a number of new brands. As of today, these include a selection of industry-leading names: for motorboats Amer Yachts, Arcadia, Azimut-Benetti, Ferretti Group through FSD - Ferretti Security Division, Fipa Group, Pardo, Princess, Sanlorenzo, Sunseeker, VanDutch; for sailing boats, Beneteau, Dufour, Hanse, Jeanneau, Nautor's Swan, Mylius Yachts, Solaris and Vismara. This year a brand new area will be dedicated exclusively to Superboats. A full roster for outboards as well, along with an already substantial number of equipment and services-related companies.

The 2020 edition will see the implementation of a key plan of action aimed at creating a flexible layout that can adapt to a variety of scenarios. Supporting the organisers in this endeavour will be a Task Force made up of experts in engineering and legal practice. Plans are already in place to ensure the best organizational conditions, in line with the parameters defined by the World Health Organisation. This is only possible due to key innovations in relation to logistics, remote management and controlled access, all within an entirely new vision based on the large open-air spaces available.

The online ticketing is playing a central role, allowing visitors to purchase their tickets via the event's official website The online platform is the only channel for purchasing tickets, which will quickly be assigned to specific visiting days to allow for an effective level of crowd management and to prevent over-selling. Access to the Show area will be strictly monitored and automated.

The Voiles de Saint-Tropez: Ready to welcome the competitors
Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget, Click on image to enlarge.

The official opening of the first week of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez will be on Saturday, September 26th with the team from the Societe Nautique de Saint-Tropez ready to welcome competitors to the 22nd edition, different in many ways.

Week 1, September 26th - October 3rd: don't change a winning formula
Opening the event on the water, the arrival of the Yacht Club de France Autumn Cup, feeder race open to classic yachts sailing from Cannes, is scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday 27th. As usual, the modern yachts will open the show with races starting on Monday. A novelty this year is that only boats up to 20 metres (depending on their category) will be racing during the first week. From Tuesday, classic boats less than 24 metres will enter the competition, with a programme of coastal races on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Thursday is reserved for the challenge races and the Centenary Trophy in partnership with the Gstaad Yacht Club. The only notable change is that prize giving has been moved from Sunday morning to Saturday evening.

Week 2, October 6th to 9th: tailor-made for the super yachts
It's the big novelty of this year : a second regatta week for the largest boats will allow the race committee to offer a race course and programme perfectly suited to the size and potential of the bigger yachts, whilst allowing them - as with all classes this year - race starts at the foot of the village, in front of the Portalet Tower. Sunday 4th and Monday 5th October are reserved for the changeover of the entire fleet moored in the port, for the benefit of the largest racing yachts, both modern and classics. This second section is open to Wally, IRCA, Maxi and Mini Maxi, big Classic and big Schooner classes. For these larger boats, four days of regattas are planned from Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th October, the prize-giving being scheduled for Friday evening. Given the health situation, the physical presence of the crews will be limited during prize-givings, both for the first week and the closing ceremony. -- Maguelonne Turcat

Programme 2020:
Week 1: The Voiles de Saint-Tropez
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September: registration for boats up to 20 meters (except for certain classes)
Monday 28th September: racing for modern yachts
Tuesday 29th, Wednesday 30th September, Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd October: racing for modern yachts and classic yachts
Thursday 1st October: Challenge Day
Saturday 3rd October: prize giving (week 1)

Week 2: The Voiles Super Boats
Sunday 4th and Monday 5th October: big boat registration (Wally, IRCA, Maxi yachts, big Classic, big Schooner)
Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th, Friday 9th: big boat racing
Friday 9th October: prize giving (week 2)

Full information including the extensive health measures in place:

RS Aero UK Open & Nationals Championship - Day 3
Day 3 of the 2020 RS Aero UK Nationals saw another breezy day with the wind piping up 30kn as the fleet was set to launch. The forecast was for it to moderate with the main question being how soon. After a long postponement the fleet was rewarded with a moderated breeze and an exciting days racing.

In the RS Aero 7s Sam Whaley secured the championship with a 1,3 but the day belonged to Peter Barton who secured his 2nd overall with a 2,1. A titanic battle s unfolding for the Bronze Medal with Tim Hire, Greg Bartlett, Dominic Hall and Noah Rees all horn locked and set for the final showdown.

The RS Aero 5 caught up to the RS Aero 7s schedule with 3 races and the 10-18kn wind during racing and and flatter water allowed lighter sailors to make there mark. Mike Wood of the RAF and Draycote held his lead with a 7,1,2 whilst Andrew Frost managed to keep within striking distance 5 points back with a 2,2,9. David Peaty and Leo Wilkinson has now taken the lead in the RS Aero 5s with an impressive 2,2,1 with Andrew Frost. David Peaty and Leo Wilkinson are in the chase a few points back, set to pounce onto the top spots of the podium given any opportunity.


Backstage At The Vendee Globe
There's no denying the Vendee Globe is extreme. It's the only round-the-world sailing race that is solo, non-stop, and without assistance. It leaves Les Sables d'Olonne, France on Sunday, November 8th with up to 35 skippers on the start line all in IMOCA Class boats, many of them foiling. With a large sail area, they are the most powerful monohulls on the planet led by a solo skipper. They can go beyond 30 knots in downwind conditions. The rules of these race animals is defined by the IMOCA class: a standardized keel, a choice between two masts - conventional or wing-mast, and a limited number of appendices and ballasts now imposed for new boats. The rest is up to the architects.

Meet Hubert Lemonnier, the Vendee Globe Race Manager Duty Officer. Hubert's role is very similar to an air traffic controller - except for instead of managing planes in the sky, he and his team manage all of the sailors and boats. If something goes wrong, it's Hubert's job to deploy emergency protocol.

From the September issue of Harken's At The Front newsletter

The Cruising Association unveils plans for a Promo Week
In the absence of the Southampton Boat Show being staged in its usual format this September, the Cruising Association (CA), the UK's leading organisation representing over 6,300 sail and motor cruising members in 43 countries, has taken the decision not to exhibit but will instead host its own online CA Promo Week from 11-20 September.

The CA would usually welcome over 500 members to its Boat Show stand and instead is introducing a range of new website-based initiatives whilst also promoting the benefits of the CA to potential new members who would usually join up at the Boat Show.

A number of online resources are being rolled out to coincide with CA Promo Week. These have been 'purpose-built' to give members and non-members even more opportunities to benefit from the support of the CA online and to incentivise members when they refer friends to join the CA.

In the absence of any physical events currently taking place at CA House and at Section events, boat shows etc, the CA website will be providing the opportunity for live interaction with the CA team.

From 1st September anyone can book a ONE-TO-ONE Zoom call with a member of the CA team and ask questions, enjoy a tour of the website or a demo of the CAptain's Mate app. The CA is also introducing LIVE CHAT to encourage more direct communication from new site visitors.

Those visiting the site can watch excerpts of videos (members already have full access), enter Prize Draws and effectively make the CA website their one-stop cruising information resource.

Visitors to the Boat Show always love a Prize Draw and, moving to 100% online entry during Promo Week, is the free-to-enter CA Prize Draw for a set of Gill's popular OS2 sailing gear. The winner will be drawn on Sunday 20 September and announced on the Monday. The CA also plans to use Promo Week to announce the winner of its high value Big Draw Prize in association with First Class Sailing and will launch its next Big Prize Draw with Jeckells the Sailmakers.

For more information about the Cruising Association, visit:

Offshore Sailing - Is this the New "Go To" for 2021?
The success of the 'Pop up' Fastnet 450 race and the ongoing success of the ISORA series this year is showing the way forward for what can be done in the future - if COVID 19 continues to be an issue next season and even beyond that. We only have to look at the season gone by to see the litany of cancelled events due to the pandemic and changing Government regulations.

First, there was the early and correct postponement (until July 2022) of the huge 300-year celebrations of the Royal Cork at Cork week 2020. Then Wave Regatta at Howth and the Round Ireland at Wicklow moved their dates to September, where eventually both had to cancel. The Scottish Series, an event always well represented by Irish Boats was next to go, then Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough, then Calves Week in Schull and WIORA in Tralee followed. Most of these had issues with too many numbers gathering after racing, as Government COVID regulations were eased, then tightened again.

Clearly, with social distancing and maximum numbers allowed to gather at events, the social type big 3/4/5/ day regattas are going to be in doubt, perhaps even into next year, until this pandemic can be arrested. -- Mark Mansfield

Full article in Afloat

Industry News
In building out its sustainability team, The Ocean Race has appointed Johan Strid as Director of The Ocean Race Summits, a series of solutions-focussed events bringing together leaders from a wide range of fields to target the restoration of ocean health.

Johan Strid comes to The Ocean Race having previously served as Secretary General for the Swedish Paralympic Committee and Parasport Federation. In the Swedish bid for hosting the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games he was the architect of the ground-breaking sustainability programme that formed the basis of the bid.

The current series of Summits opened in Genoa, Italy last autumn and migrated to an innovative and engaging online format in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, for a May event based out of The Hague.

The upcoming Summit in Newport, RI, next month will follow a similar virtual format and marks a return to where the Summits originated during the 2014-15 event.


Perini Navi announce that after an extraordinary career in the Company, spanning more than 25 years, Bruce Brakenhoff, Jr. will leave the Chairmanship of Perini Navi USA, Inc. from September 1st.

The company leadership express their utmost thanks to Bruce Brakenhoff, Jr. for the commitment, competency and passion with which he conducted his work over these years. We wish him the greatest success in the professional challenges that lay ahead.

Perini Navi is the world leader in the design and build of superyachts, with 63 yachts launched to date, including 59 sailing yachts and 4 motor yachts. Perini Navi was founded in 1983 by Fabio Perini whose vision was to revolutionise sailing, with proprietary technology for sail handling.


MDL's Ocean Village Boat Show is full, with organisers turning away additional potential exhibitors.

The show - taking place from September 11 - 20 in Southampton will have more than 80 boats will be on display from global power and sail names.

Visitor numbers are restricted on a daily basis and measures have been put in place to help make the show covid-secure.

The pontoons have been adapted with connecting bridges to make a one-way system; masks will need to be worn at all times and hand sanitiser will be placed around the site.

Boats will be cleaned after each appointment by the dealership teams.

The Ocean Village Boat Show is free for serious buyers to attend. Visitors must have a pre-booked appointment, via MDL's website, to gain access to the site so that numbers on the pontoons can be controlled at all times.


Global sports league SailGP and Acronis, a world leader in cyber protection, have partnered on an innovative technology solution that will bring fans closer to the high-speed, high-tech action.

Through an innovative voice recognition project, every conversation onboard the national teams' F50 catamarans will be tracked, transcribed and translated in real-time. This will then be made available to broadcasters and viewers around the globe across a number of mediums and in a variety of languages, including French, Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin.

SailGP is continually looking at ways to improve its award-winning broadcast production and use data to bring fans ever closer to the action, as well as help educate them on the high-speed world of SailGP. Being able to listen in on the key conversations - including tactical calls and race-winning, split-second decisions - will give fans a unique insight into what it takes to race at the highest level on the world stage.

The voice recognition project will also be an important tool in the team data analysts' armory as they look at ways for the teams to continually improve and gain a competitive edge while racing boats that all feature the same design and technology.

Through the three-year deal, Acronis will become an official Cyber Protection Supplier to the league, as well as Cyber Protection Partner to the France SailGP Team, helmed by multiple world champion Billy Besson, with its branding prominently displayed on the French team's F50.

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The Last Word
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