Issue #4671 - 9 September
In This Issue
• Stage 2 Victory for Armel Le Cleac'h, Briton Sam Goodchild Takes Historic Second
• Defi Azimut - Perfect Conditions For A Dress Rehearsal
• Harken Hosting Two Virtual Boat Shows This Fall
• Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals at the WPNSA Day 2
• America's Cup Hall of Famer Grant Simmer talks to Shirley Robertson
• Plymouth To Host SailGP EU Debut
• What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
• NZ Women's Match Racing Championship
• Kiel Week: Record series and thrilling final duels
• Blue Water Classics: Portraits of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
• Featured Charter: Swan 80 - Umiko
• Featured Brokerage:
• • Swan 48-122 Chaos
• • Cantiere Baglietto Classic International 12 Metre
• • Baltic 45 - "Flomali"
• The Last Word: Sylvia Beach
Brought to you by Seahorse magazine and YachtScoring.com 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
Stage 2 Victory for Armel Le Cleac'h, Briton Sam Goodchild Takes Historic Second
Sailing a near perfect 404 miles race from the Baie de Saint-Brieuc where the 35 strong fleet started Sunday Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire) won Stage 2 of the 51st La Solitaire du Figaro when he crossed the finish line off Dunkirk at 16:20:34hrs local time France this Tuesday afternoon.
The 43 year old winner of the last Vendee Globe took 2 days 5 hours 20 minutes and 34 seconds to claim the seventh stage victory of his La Solitaire career, one which now spans 20 years and two overall victories in 2010 and 2013.
While Le Cleac'h takes over the top spot on the General Classification after two stages, Britain's Sam Goodchild delivered Britain's first podium finish in the modern era of the race, certainly since Clare Francis won the final leg from Kinsale to Le Croisic in 1975.
Thirty year old Goodchild, who spent the first six years of his life cruising the Caribbean with his parents before taking up racing as a teenager at school in England, finished second 34 minutes and six seconds behind Le Cleac'h and two minutes and 22 seconds ahead of three times La Solitaire winner Yann Eliès (Queguiner Materiaux-Leucemie Espoir).
Goodchild overhauled Eliès in the final miles to the line to find himself sandwiched between the only two multiple winners of La Solitaire. He moves into third overall 43 minutes and 59 seconds behind Le Cleac'h and just six minutes and 29 seconds behind second placed Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF)
With this seventh stage win Armel Le Cleac'h leads overall and is the new man to beat in this 51st edition and given the determination and concentration displayed he has shown since Sunday's start on the Baie de Saint-Brieuc he may well be on course to join the elite group of five triple La Solitaire winners.
Ireland's Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa) retained an excellent level of consistency backing up his tenth on the first leg with an 11th to lie 11th overall.
Stage 3 starts this Saturday September 12.
Overall standings: www.lasolitaire.com/rankings
Defi Azimut - Perfect Conditions For A Dress Rehearsal
The pontoons of Lorient - La Base are a hive of activity this Tuesday 8 September, on the eve of the start of the Defi Azimut. "All eyes will be on this event. Weather conditions are not forecast to be rough so it'll be more a case of gently getting into the swing of things!" admits Gildas Morvan, Race Director for this tenth Defi Azimut.
19 skippers have stepped up to the plate and are preparing to get down to business in a dream setting with a varied programme comprising speed runs and a 500-mile solo passage, rounding off with a lap of the Ile de Groix...
"The 10th edition should enjoy some wonderful light with some hotly-contested races and plenty of tactics and strategy for all the skippers." Gildas Morvan (22 Solitaire du Figaros to his credit) has taken the reins this year as Race Director of the Defi Azimut, with full knowledge of the facts: "It's everything I love. Drawing up a course with the skippers, listening to them, sorting out the on-the-water logistics and ensuring that the Defi Azimut is a fabulous prelude to the Vendee Globe."
From Wednesday at 15:30 hours local time on the dot, the 19 IMOCAs will take part in a series of speed runs between the harbour of Lorient and the Ile de Groix in Brittany. Spanning 1.5-miles, the contenders will be on the stopwatch with 2 to 4 attempts allowed. "Despite these summery conditions, the northerly wind will pick up over the course of the afternoon so the magic of speed should certainly be on display!" promises the Race Director of the Defi Azimut. The same will be true of the 48-hour sprint scheduled for this Thursday at 15:30 hours, with a favourable forecast on the cards coloured by a mixture of strategy and outright speed. "The idea is to get the skippers to go around an initial GPS position out to the West of the Bay of Biscay, then send them down to a second point offshore of Arcachon before they head back due North towards Ile de Groix. Essentially, it's a 500-mile sprint on a direct course", adds the sailor from Aber Wrac'h in the Finistère. This long triangular course should see the solo sailors returning safely to port over the course of the day on Saturday after two nights at sea.
The traditional Tour de Groix Azimut on Sunday will serve as a closing ceremony of sorts, it too likely to feature good weather conditions. A sporty and sociable meeting awaits then and what better way to show the guests and journalists present aboard the IMOCAs how demanding these machines are and the level of commitment required to sail them.
Harken Hosting Two Virtual Boat Shows This Fall
At the shows, viewers can:
- Book an online appointment with a Harken technical or sales rep
- View videos of new Harken products such as:
1) Air Winch 900 - a winch with the perfect blend of speed and power that has a giant hole in the middle where we removed unneeded kilograms
2) CLR Winch - a flush-stowing, deck mounted, power mooring winch featuring never seen before geometry,
3) V Block - Harken's most efficient and lightweight block ever that offers unmatched efficiency at high loads
- Enjoy live meet-ups "At The Front" of sailing
There's a lot to do at Harken Red Tent, c'mon inside!
Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals at the WPNSA Day 2
Portland Harbour served up more ideal Moth conditions for the fleet on Tuesday, allowing the race team to reel off three more races for the fleet.
Winds stayed around the 10 knot mark for the day and the top sailors in the fleet demonstrated just how much power and speed they can develop in these conditions, racing away from the fleet.
Dylan Fletcher had another superb day, posting a 2,1,1 scoreline to extend his lead at the top, and last year’s runner-up, Brad Funk, was hot on his heels with a 1,4,2 scoreline from the day, moving him up to second overall. America’s Cup and SailGP sailor Chris Draper showed his form with 3,2,4 moving him up to third in the standings.
Behind them are a group of four sailors, Alex Adams, Ross Harvey, Eddie Bridle and Simon Hiscocks, who are all biting at the heels of the top three, mixing it up with them when they are in the groove.
Weed proved a problem at times for all the sailors at different points, resulting in boats having to purposefully capsize to clear strings of it from their foils at times.
The Sailing Instructions made it quite clear that the black flag would be raised as soon as a General Recall was needed, but so far (touch wood!) the fleet has been exceptionally well-behaved on the start line, with only one boat on course side in the six races held so far.
Conditions are looking very similar for Wednesday, so let’s hope for three more high quality races for the fleet. The unanimous verdict amongst the sailors is that it’s great to be back out racing.
America's Cup Hall of Famer Grant Simmer talks to Shirley Robertson
Sitting in the hot seat this month with double Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson is America's Cup Hall of Fame inductee Grant Simmer. Currently in the role of CEO at British Cup hopefuls INEOS TEAM UK, Simmer is into his eleventh Cup campaign, a remarkable feat for a man who's relationship with the oldest trophy in world sport goes back to 1983.
As a twenty six year old, Simmer sailed as navigator onboard Australia II in the 26th America's Cup, and was a vital part of John Bertrand's afterguard in the Cup that finally put an and to the longest winning streak in world sport. For one hundred and thirty two years the New York Yacht Club had successfully defended twenty four challenges to the Cup, but Alan Bond's team onboard Australia II finally managed to uproot the trophy and take it back to Australia, to a hero's welcome. Simmer's memories of this time are a remarkable glimpse into what was one of the most historically significant moments in International sport.
Post AC26 Simmer initially returned to work as an engineer, but was back working with John Bertrand for the 1995 Cup in San Diego. As design coordinator, Simmer was responsible for the build of One Australia's Cup boat, but the outcome of their race against New Zealand in the Challenger Series would become Cup legend.
Simmer's stories from throughout his Cup career are illuminating, and provide a wonderful insight into a life spent chasing one of the most illusive trophies in world sport.
This edition of the podcast is in two parts and is available to listen to via the podcast page of Shirley's own website, at www.shirleyrobertson.com/podcast or via most popular podcast outlets, including iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast and aCast. The podcast is produced and written by Tim Butt - for further enquires, please contact
Plymouth To Host SailGP EU Debut
Plymouth has been selected to host SailGP's Season two European debut when events restart in 2021.
Following the season opener in San Francisco in April and New York SailGP in June, the championship will return to UK shores July 17-18.
Racing will take place on Plymouth Sound in partnership with Plymouth City Council, with support from Associated British Ports, English Cities Fund and Sutton Harbour Group.
Plymouth was selected following a competitive six-month-long bid process involving five other UK cities.
New for Season two will be the addition of the New Zealand SailGP Team to the line-up that will include Sir Ben Ainslie.
"There is an element of nostalgia for me personally, having grown up and learned to sail in the West Country and now all these years later coming back to race on the international stage. Plymouth is a fantastic sailing venue with a natural amphitheater for the fans to watch these amazing F50s."
The UK event in SailGP Season one took place in Cowes in 2019, witnessed by around 24,000 spectators and reaching a total global audience of 231 million.
Further dates and venues will be announced in the coming months.
Seeds of battle
Back in the old days people really did fall out properly... then say what they thought without fear of the Twitter undead. So when Uffa Fox appeared on the yachting scene almost 100 years ago the establishment was ready to be rocked, especially his design rival Frank Morgan Giles. Claire Mccomb picks up the story
Setting the record - Part III
Bruce Farr in the ascendant, the golden years of Iain Murray and Color 7, the pure speed of Dave Porter and the first glimpses of a Bethwaite tornado... Frank Quealey
Doyle Sails's high speed journey to the top of the sailmaking industry continues unabated. No wonder one of the most successful yachtsmen of the modern era renounced his agnostic stance to join them for the ride.
In a still-growing field Mark Speirs' team at Performance Classic Yachts are doing an exceptional job of delivering genuinely exciting sailing performance with the most elegant blend of aesthetic styles
Special rates for EuroSail News subscribers:
Seahorse Print or Digital Subscription Use Discount Promo Code ESN21
1yr Print Sub: €77 - £48 - $71 / Rest of the World: £65 www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs/
1yr Digital Sub for £37.50: www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/subs/
Discounts shown are valid on a one year subscription to Seahorse magazine.
NZ Women's Match Racing Championship
It's all about women's match racing this weekend at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron as the 2020 NZ Women's Match Racing Championship gets underway on Friday morning.
Seven all-female kiwi teams will take to the water in the RNZYS fleet of Elliott 7 keelboats for three days of match racing, with a deserving champion being crowned on Sunday afternoon.
The entry list is highlighted by 2019 champion and RNZYS Performance Programme skipper Celia Willison and her Edge Women's Match team. Willison defeated Californian Allison Blecher in the 2019 final to claim her maiden title, and she is motivated to win back-to back titles with a victory this weekend.
Historically this event would attract international teams from Australia, America, and other nations, but COVID-19 has put a stop to that this year. However, we do have our seventh team, skippered by Ella Wilcox, who are travelling the one-thousand-kilometer journey from Christchurch. Ella will be our only South Island representative skipper competing, and she will be looking to emulate the efforts of the South Island rugby team who took down the North this past weekend.
Racing will include a double round robin on Friday and Saturday, followed by semi-finals and finals on Sunday.
The winning team will receive the Leith Mossman Memorial Trophy which was donated by the NZ Women's Yachting Trust in 2000 in memory of an avid female sailor, Leith Mossman, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1998.
Racing will get underway at 10am each day on the water right outside the RNZYS. The RNZYS encourages all to join them at the club or out on the water to cheer on and enjoy these talented female sailors as they do battle in their quest to be crowned NZ Women's Match Racing champions.
Event Information & Documents: www.rnzys.org.nz/rnzys-events/nzwmrc/
Kiel Week: Record series and thrilling final duels
Expected triumphs, exciting battles for the title and surprising changes: The final day of the first half of the Kieler Woche once again offered all the variations of decision making in the ten international classes. In addition there was the new record set by Wolfgang Hunger: the sailor from Strander won a Kieler Woche title for the 23rd time on his home ground - for the ninth time in the meantime at the side of Holger Jess in the 505. A total of six German crews, two Danish and one each from the Netherlands and Poland collected the trophies.
"My smiling face remains", summarized Head of Organizsations Dirk Ramhorst. "After the morning in the drizzle, the weather developed very well, as predicted by Meeno Schrader. We had a great sailing day. The sailors had fun, but also had to fight with the winds. After the successful first half of the Kieler Woche, also with regard to the corona situation, Ramhorst is looking hopefully to the coming four sailing days from Thursday to Sunday in six Olympic and three international boat classes: "Afterwards I hope that everything will be fine."
Blue Water Classics: Portraits of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
The 520-page book takes readers behind the scenes via a vast array of intimate and drama-filled interviews with some of the legends of the race, inclusive of owners, competitors, officials, search and rescue personal and more. The interviews are interspersed by Pearson's personal accounts from her 30 plus years involvement in a sporting event watched by millions every year.
Combined, these ocean racing escapades encapsulate the Sydney Hobart's line honours and overall winning victories, the near misses, disputes, rivalries and emotive accounts of the tragic storm ravaged years synonymous with this iconic race. All are illustrated by over 400 portraits and seascapes captured by Wilson during the four years he documented the race.
Each photo captures the salt encrusted faces of yachties and breathtaking scenery from the start on Sydney Harbour to rounding Tasman Island, sailing in Storm Bay and finishing under the mountain in Hobart to cheering crowds.
Blue Water Classics is self-published by the author and will be available in all major book shops Australia-wide from November.
Hardback Edition RRP $59.99 incl GST
Deluxe Edition RRP $125 incl GST
Limited signed and numbered Deluxe Edition RRP$195 incl GST
Pre-orders available now at: bluewaterclassics.com.au or through your local book shop.
The Swan 80 was designed by German Frers and is recognised around the world as one of the greatest performance cruising yachts ever conceived – an iconic yacht that offers exhilarating sailing whilst not compromising on comfort and luxury.
Umiko was built in 2000 by Nautor’s Swan. She has been continually maintained and has had numerous upgrades throughout her life.
In 2017 she underwent a refit including a full paint job, extensive servicing on all moving equipment, new OYS rigging and the addition of latest generation navigation equipment. Umiko is equally as comfortable on the racetrack as she is cruising.
See the the Seahorse charter collection
Swan 48-122 is a beautiful 3 cabins vessel with overall length of 15.09m (49.51' ft) were her hull color is covered in Midnight Blue. She is currently lying in Norway. Her designer is German Frers and builder Nautor Swan. The main entrance ladder have 3mm untreated teak veneer on step
The first Italian 12 metre built. LA SPINA is offered for sale refitted and ready to sail. Teak deck, spotless interiors, and up-to-date mechanical installations. A historic classic racer, with the most beautiful lines imaginable.
Baltic Yachts exceptional quality, in an easily sailed yacht for fast cruising with your family and friends or convert her to race mode and head offshore. The lifting keel reduces the draft to two meters allowing access to unlimited cruising grounds and powered winches allows easy sail control.
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
Fitting people with books is about as difficult as fitting them with shoes. -- Sylvia Beach
Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see www.eurosailnews.com/advertise.html