In This Issue
Weighing In On The AC75
Robot ship sets sail for autonomous Atlantic crossing
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
La Solitaire du Figaro Race Director Francis Le Goff : "I loved this leg"
Ireland's Tom Dolan Scores Career Best Seventh on Stage 3 of La Solitaire, Fifth Overall
Etchells Bedrock Trophy
Haffenreffer-Herreshoff Collection
Industry News
Vale Murlo Primrose
Featured Brokerage:
• • Pilot Classic 55
• • 2005 Baltic Yachts 66
The Last Word: Seneca

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

Weighing In On The AC75
Overall weight, crew weight, sail weights, centers of doesn't matter what it is, if it's going sailboat racing, weight matters. A lot. So, it's no surprise to find that the rules controlling the new America's Cup class, the AC75, have plenty to say about weight.

What's different about the AC75 is that the rules impose a maximum weight - a very different concept to the minimum weight that might be more familiar to most sailors. The problem when designing and building an AC75 is the same in both cases. It requires meticulous management of weight during the whole process. The consequences, however, are very different. Anyone bringing an overweight boat to a one-design regatta will be sailing at a disadvantage, but anyone turning up at the America's Cup with an overweight boat won't be racing at all...until cleared by the scale.

The weight limit for the AC75 is 6520 kg (14,374 lbs.), that's not including sails or crew. However, 3,358.5 kg (7,403 lbs.) of that is supplied by the event organizers; in the foil arms, the cant system, media equipment and supplied rigging. The teams only have 3,161.5 kg (6,968 lbs.) to play with; so that's less than half the weight of the boat that they can control.

Mark Chisnell's full article in

Robot ship sets sail for autonomous Atlantic crossing
400 years after the pilgrim expeditions, 530 after Columbus - European robots are sailing for the 'New World'.

Named The Mayflower ship is getting ready to leave the south coast of England and human crew members behind.

It's not the ship that left this southwest England port 400 years ago carrying Pilgrim settlers to America. The sleek vessel being readied Tuesday for its official launch has no passengers, no crew - but like its predecessor, an ambitious mission.

The 15-meter trimaran has "no one on board, no captain, no place to eat, no place to sleep," said Brett Phaneuf, co-director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project. "It's sophisticated artificial intelligence that will captain the ship across the ocean."

The ship is set to follow in its forebear's footsteps by crossing the Atlantic from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, this time on a marine research trip. Its creators hope it will be the first in a new generation of high-tech vessels that can explore ocean regions which have been too difficult or dangerous for people to go.

Seahorse October 2020
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Seahorse Magazine

Last chance saloon
We are fast approaching the elections for the World Sailing executive which for once really do have big implications for sailing. Or maybe not? Gerardo Seeliger talks to Carlos Pich

And then they were free...
The brilliant Francois Gabart did not pick the best day to open a new facility and receive the main hull of his new Ultim. Jocelyn Bleriot

Out on a limb
It is a brave man who makes performance calls about any America's Cup fleet, let alone this one. 'Nothing ventured,' says Dave Hollom

Maintaining attitude
Take-off... tick. Intermittent flight... tick. Steady flight over waves and oceans... the loads are almost off the scale. Yet with the help of some brilliant composite engineering it’s happening

Sailor of the Month
More similarities than there are differences

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La Solitaire du Figaro Race Director Francis Le Goff : "I loved this leg"
Francis Le Goff is the Race Director for the Solitaire du Figaro for the fifth year in a row, after being the deputy to the previous director, Gilles Chiorri, for five years. He knows all there is to know about the concept and the traditions of the race and the importance of ensuring a level playing field. It was down to him to draw up the race course, defining the length and difficulty of each leg. For this 51st edition, the Covid 19 crisis meant that there was not the usual trip to England, Spain or Ireland. In the end there were three long legs around the French coast and a shorter one to please the solo sailors. Francis enjoyed the third leg with its ups and downs for everyone and thanks to

Surprise after surprise in this leg
" We had an incredible third leg. Not much wind, a maximum of 25 knots and weather that was hard to predict. I loved everything in this leg. Strategy was limited at the start by the TSS in the Dover Straits. That meant many of the sailors were able to show how well they could sail their boat. It became much more open after Dieppe, which was nice. I loved it. The racers attempted a lot of different things, adapting to the race course and the sea and wind conditions which kept changing. It was fascinating to watch and the suspense was there all the time in Seine Bay, as they passed Barfleur and the Hague headland, off the North coast of Brittany and in the final day, which was so unpredictable. In the end, it was the final decisions which determined the outcome."

" The 4-day format with 3 days of rest in between looks good to me, as it forces the sailors to manage their tiredness, sleep and rest more than in the two-day format. In the first leg, this year we headed off to the Fastnet, and it was a long and tricky leg matching the philosophy of the race. Three days ashore, four days at sea - that is a winning formula in my opinion respecting the history of the race. It favours strategic choices and helps the suspense build. We saw that in the third leg between Dunkirk and Saint-Nazaire."

Ireland's Tom Dolan Scores Career Best Seventh on Stage 3 of La Solitaire, Fifth Overall
The newfound more robust, cool headed approach continues to work for Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan who today finished seventh on Leg 3 of the 51st La Solitaire du Figaro, an epic four day 492 miles light winds slog from Dunkirk all the way down the Channel, around the Brittany peninsula finishing off Saint Nazaire on the Loire estuary this evening.

The best ever finish of his three La Solitaires to date sees the 33-year-old skipper of Smurfit Kappa rising to fifth overall in the 33 strong fleet 1 hour and 29 minutes behind overall leader French skipper Armel Le Cléac'h but only 28 minutes shy of the podium.

No non French skipper has finished on the overall podium since 1988 when Swiss skipper Laurent Bourgnon won. The best international finish overall recently was Britain's Alan Roberts' ninth in 2015, Ireland's Damian Foxall was tenth overall in 1998 when he won the last leg.

The stage which started last Saturday afternoon from Dunkirk was raced mainly in light winds and passed through three major tidal gates where big gaps were opened up in the 33 boat fleet.

Etchells Bedrock Trophy
The Etchells Bedrock Trophy was held over the weekend of the 5th and 6th of September, organised by Royal Southern Yacht Club with Ian Bulloch as PRO.

Saturday the fleet was greeted with a light NW breeze that slowly built to 16 knots by afternoon. Ante Razmilovic on Swedish Blue made the most of the conditions to score two first and two seconds on the day, with Malcom Offard's Plant Hunter and Thomas Abrey's Jolly Roger each winning a race.

Sunday's racing started after an hour's delay waiting for the breeze to develop, with J70 Champion Paul Ward joining the fleet for the day and winning race 5. Swedish Blue was 2nd.

Swedish Blue sailed by Ante Razmilovic, Brian Hammersley and Andrew Mills went on to win race 6 and sealing the Bedrock Trophy. In 4th overall, and winning the ISAF Cat 1 amateur class was Sumo Skippered by Robby Boyd, with Miles Jones helming, and Jack Sharland and Ted Blowers sharing crewing.

The next Etchells regatta is the National championships being held on the 25-27th September in Cowes. -- Rob Goddard

Full results on

Haffenreffer-Herreshoff Collection
12 1/2 Footer Class 744 construction plan. Click on image to enlarge.

Haffenreffer-Herreshoff The Haffenreffer-Herreshoff Collection, one of the most important yacht design collections in the world, features 17,000 objects, primarily drawings for the construction of boats and steam engines. It is the primary design record of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, founded by brothers John and Nathanael Herreshoff in 1878. John B. Herreshoff began building boats commercially in 1863, assisted by Nathaniel G. Herreshoff and other family members. Nathaniel attended MIT as a special student in Mechanical Engineering from 1866 to 1869 and worked as a steam engineer at Corliss Engine Company in Providence, Rhode Island, until joining his brother full-time in 1878.

Following John's passing in 1915, the company was sold to private interests. Nathanael and his son, Sidney, Class of 1911, continued work in design and construction supervision capacities until Nathanael's death in 1938; Sidney remained on until the company's closure in 1945. The following year, liquidation of its yard began under Herreshoff's president, Rudolph F. Haffenreffer, Class of 1895. In 1948, Haffenreffer loaned the collection to MIT for the Hart Nautical Collection within the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. The Haffenreffer family later deeded the collection to MIT in 1961.

See more detail in the Herreshoff Collection Guide [PDF].

Industry News
Yacht Racing Forum postponed to 2021 in Portsmouth

MaxComm Communication, organiser of the Yacht Racing Forum, and Host City Portsmouth (UK), announce the postponement of the event to November 2021 due to COVID-19.

"We have worked tirelessly to create a high quality event", says Bernard Schopfer, the organiser of the Forum. "Unfortunately, recent developments and government regulations, travel difficulties and quarantine measures have forced us to take this difficult decision. Postponing the Forum to next year, two months prior to the event, is the only solution that provides clarity to our stakeholders."

Mark Bowden, Portsmouth Harbour Marine, says: "We are naturally disappointed but there was no alternative. That said, we are pleased that this is a postponement, and that the Yacht Racing Forum will still be coming to Portsmouth next year. This will enable us to showcase south coast marine businesses and those from around the UK to an international audience in the stunning setting of Portsmouth Harbour.

"We will continue to work closely with our partners Portsmouth City Council and are convinced that the team from MaxComm will ensure that next year's event will be exciting, relevant and ultimately rewarding for all those involved.

"We are confident that our sponsors will continue to support us as the marine industry looks at innovative and exciting opportunities to continue to develop."

All the partnerships agreed for in 2020, as well as delegates tickets, will be transferred to the 2021 event.

A virtual Yacht Racing Forum will be organised on November 24.

This will be a short and punchy event, open to everyone and free. Chaired by Shirley Robertson, the Virtual Forum will reassemble some of the sports' leading personalities from all over the world to discuss the post-Covid period and the measures to be taken to relaunch our sport and its industry after an almost blank year.

Please Save the Date. Further information will be distributed in due time.


Harken Employees Acquire Harken - A Few Words from Peter Harken and the Team
We started this company to build the best sailing products we could at a fair price. We've had good success doing it, and that makes us proud.

What we might not have anticipated was how much the culture of this place means to its success. My brother Olaf, Art Mitchel, and I tried to build a place where people could take chances and not be afraid to fail. More and more it's our people who have made this place the leader it is. Today, we're acknowledging an ownership change. It's time for those who have worked with us to own Harken.

I've got all the faith in the world in Bill Goggins, who is now CEO; Matt Malec, COO; and John Jensen, our CFO-along with the members of our Executive Committee made up of Andrea Merello, Managing Director at Harken Italy; Adriano Rubinaccio, Director of Operations at Harken Italy; and Stefano Castagna, Director of Global HR. These people we hired and developed have had their hands on the wheel for a while now, and I look forward to seeing them make their marks. I've always said the company is its people, and it's all 400 worldwide that make this place great.

Three years ago when Harken turned 50, someone asked what we wanted Harken to be like when it turned 100. In 2067, we want it to be stronger than it is today. We hope it will still feel like Harken, but it needs to be doing more than we can even dream of today. This transaction is to help make that happen.

Full letter from Peter and the Team


Group Beneteau's US production facility in Marion, South Carolina is being purchased by a fibreglass pool manufacturer, while the Group reduces production capacity and headcount across other facilities

The purchase of Group Beneteau's production facility in Marion, South Carolina has been agreed this week by Australia-based Leisure Pools Group, one of the world's largest composite fibreglass swimming pool manufacturers. The Group has also announced details of other measures across its 24 facilities. -- Arlene Sloan


Boat hire platform Click&Boat, has acquired its main competitor Nautal.

The acquisition means there are now more than 360 boats listed on the site for rental in the UK with the worldwide fleet standing at 45,000 boats.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Click&Boat has continued to expand and the company now has 150 employees, including an increase in its UK sales and marketing team by 20% in July.

June 2020 saw an increase in bookings by 60% compared to the same period last year. The average length of summer 2020 boat rental time is also up by 11%.

The company has achieved more than 100% growth each year over the last five years and is set to accelerate its international expansion.


Energy Observer, the first vessel to be self-sufficient in energy, has completed her first trans-Atlantic passage.

The vessel has been fitted with Bruntons Autoprop Eco*Star propellers, replacing the vessels original four blade fixed pitch propellers.

The propellers, more suited to a motor sailing vessel, have been designed to increase the vessel's speed by reducing propeller drag when sailing and optimising hydro-generation.

When purely sailing and if maximum speed is not essential, the Eco*Stars can be left to turn in the vessel's wake, providing additional charging for the batteries.

Energy Observer has also been fitted with two Oceanwings, a high-performance, automatic wingsail for use in shipping and yachting, to further enhance her energy saving abilities.

The new propellers were assessed as being the best option to work with the craft's new 'wings'.


As recently confirmed by the Blue Skye Investment Group, Sanlorenzo's interest in acquiring Perini Navi is no more as Blue Skye has reached an agreement to restructure and inject capital into the near-bankrupt Perini Navi.

According to the private equity firm, the transaction aims to consolidate the Perini Navi Group and enable "the continuity of the business, by providing Blue Skye's solid expertise in the turnaround process as well as adequate financial support."

Currently under the ownership of the Tabacchi family and Lamberto Tacoli, Perini Navi's potential new partnership will see top management working alongside the Blue Skye Group's two managers Salvatore Cerchione and Gianluca D'Avanzo. -- Laura Nicholls


Acting on instructions from its member exhibitors, the Auckland Boat Show, scheduled to run October 8-11, has been cancelled by the organisers, NZ Marine.

Executive director of NZ Marine Peter Busfield said it was a hard call, but one that was supported by the majority of exhibitors who had already booked stand space. "We had a Zoom call on Tuesday to gauge the feeling of stand holders and the general feeling was in favour of cancelling the show," says Busfield.

He added that with over 100 linked into the Zoom meeting, it represented a good cross-section of exhibitors and the overwhelming feeling was we couldn't procrastinate any longer and wait for whatever the next lockdown move by the government would be.

Currently Auckland is in Lockdown 2.5, which means the size of allowable gatherings is only 10 for Aucklanders at this modified Level 2. This applies to all social gatherings, including birthday parties, and gatherings.


One of your humble narrator's favorite cruising authors and publishers is Bob Bitchin, of Latitudes and Attitudes.

Bob and his wife lost their house in a recent California fire, and while insurance money will eventually cover a rebuild, their friends and supporters at Pyrate Radio set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise funds to keep the magazine going and make life a bit easier this fall.

If you can contribute, go to

Subscribe at

Vale Murlo Primrose
Murlo Primrose We are sad to announce that our mother, Murlo Primrose passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on Thursday 3rd September.

Because of the current situation we are all in, there will be a quiet funeral on the 29th September, which will unfortunately have to be a private, which could not be further from what she would have wanted.

Following the funeral, Dan, Jojo and all her grandchildren will take her for one last sail down the river, on Seal, and scatter her ashes from the boat she loved so much.

As all of you who knew Murlo will know, all she will ask for is that you raise a glass or two for her and remember the fantastic times we all had over so many years. -- Dan & Jojo Primrose

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Raceboats Only 2005 Baltic Yachts 66. 995000 EUR. Located in Rimini, Italy.

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The B66 is suitable for family cruising and at the same time, it offers great competitive ability; like many recent projects, it is a state-of-the-art craft that will offer matchless performance.

If the standard model envisaged construction of the hull and deck in cutting-edge composites, using sandwich laminates on an epoxy matrix, for this model, technology has gone even further, using a special, advanced press for all lamination work. The bulkheads and panels of the structural interiors will be built using this press, with sandwich laminates veneered with wood.

See listing details in Seahorse's RaceboatsOnly

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See the collection at

The Last Word
If a man knows not which port he sails, no wind is favorable. -- Seneca

Editorial and letter submissions to

Advertising inquiries to Graeme Beeson: or see

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