In This Issue
Apivia, 3rd to cross the equator
Alex Thomson in first place as he crosses the Equator onboard HUGO BOSS
Armel Tripon Climbs The Mast
Stephanie Roble Earns New York Yacht Club's Top Sailing Honor
Dick Carter - Yacht Designer
Tokyo 2020 Notice of Race released
Tall Ships Set Sail For Falmouth, Cornwall, In 2021
Learning The Singlehanded Gybe
British kite foil racers scoop UK Sport elite sport award
Frank Butler
Letters to the Editor
Featured Charter: SW105 Wolfhound
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The Last Word: Spike Milligan

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

Apivia, 3rd to cross the equator
Charlie Dalin on Apivia crossed the equator this evening at 10:03 pm French time or 7 hours and 44 minutes after Alex Thomson ( HUGO BOSS ). It took 10 days 7 hours and 43 minutes from Les Sables d'Olonne to cover this first section of the Vendee Globe.

Transit times at the equator:
1. Alex Thomson, HUGO BOSS , at 13:19 UTC (14:19 HF): 9d 23h 59min from Les Sables d'Olonne.
2. Thomas Rettant , LinkedOut , at 19:08 UTC (20:08 HF): 5h 49min after the leader
3. Charlie Dalin, Apivia , at 9:03 p.m. UTC (10:03 p.m. HF): 7 hours 44 minutes after the leader
4. Jean Le Cam, Yes we Cam !, at 23:32 UTC (00:32 HF): 10h 13 mn after the leader
5. Kevin Escoffier, PRB, at 03:21 UTC (04:21 HF): 2:02 p.m. after the leader

Alex Thomson in first place as he crosses the Equator onboard HUGO BOSS
Alex Thomson today successfully crossed the equator into the southern hemisphere, as he maintains his lead in the Vendee Globe round-the-world yacht race.

The HUGO BOSS skipper crossed the equator at 13:19 UTC today (Wednesday 18th November) after 9 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes at sea. Thomson now finds himself ahead of his nearest rival by some 70 miles.

Despite a gruelling start to the race - which saw the solo sailors navigate changing weather systems and a tropical storm - the Brit has passed through the Doldrums and has reported no major issues onboard the HUGO BOSS yacht, which was designed and built with the aim of winning the iconic race:

"I definitely expected the start of the race to be tough but it's not normal for it to be that intense, that's for sure" he said today onboard HUGO BOSS. "Normally you wouldn't have to negotiate all of these changing weather systems and then a tropical storm; that's never really happened before. So yes, it's been tough with very little sleep.

"But I like to start the race hard. For me, the start of the race is to the southern ocean and then, if you can survive the southern ocean and you get round Cape Horn, at that point you can head home on a boat which has already done a lot of miles and which you know is in good shape. So that's what we're looking to do.

"I'm always desperately worried to lose out in the Doldrums. So I'm very pleased to have made it in and out quickly. Now, I find myself in the lead which is exactly where I like to be. If you're following, then you can get left behind and before you know it, everything can be over. I go out there to try and win the race. That's what I'm here to do. And to be in this position at the equator, with the boat in good shape, gives me a lot of confidence in her performance but also in my own capabilities and decision making".


Armel Tripon Climbs The Mast
Hello, I had to go up my mast for the second time to complete the work. I had to cut through an aluminium ring, which was the part remaining from the broken hook system and which could have done some damage to the loop holding up the J3 stay.

The swell remains present and kept swinging me around the mast. Into the sunshine and then back into the shade. I took the disk cutter up with me which runs on a battery. So there I was 20m up trying to cut through the ring, paying attention to try to avoid injuring myself and damaging the loop, which would have been a disaster.

A few minutes of extreme concentration wedged in place between two huge swells, I cut through it, up there alone at sea, as if I was doing it calmly back in the harbour. Once the job was done, I came back down very quickly sliding down using my descender, which didn't have much braking force. The loop is safe, the job done and I can relax. It is good for the morale when you achieve this sort of success. The trade winds are in place for the next few days. That should enable us to sail quickly down to the Doldrums and get back in the game.

Stephanie Roble Earns New York Yacht Club's Top Sailing Honor
Stephanie Roble Since 2008, the New York Yacht Club has annually presented the Mosbacher Trophy to the Club's sailor of the year. The award, which is named for former Commodore and two-time America's Cup champion Emil "Bus" Mosbacher, is the most coveted of the Club's annual trophies and traditionally the last award at the Club's Annual Awards ceremony in the Model Room at 44th Street. Due to social distancing restrictions in New York City, the 2020 Annual Awards ceremony was held virtually last week.

This year's winner of the Mosbacher Trophy is 49erFX sailor Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wis.). While the COVID-19 pandemic canceled a large portion of the Olympic-class sailing schedule - and postponed the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by a year - Roble and sailing partner Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.) were still able to achieve significant success in the women's skiff class.

Roble and Shea started 2020 by winning the bronze medal in the 2020 49erFX World Championship in Geelong, Australia. It was first American medal in a 49erFX world championship. That result also secured, by the narrowest of margins, Roble and Shea's selection as the American representative in the class for the Tokyo Games.

Previous Mosbacher Trophy winners include world champion one-design skippers Jim Richardson, Stephen Benjamin and Peter Duncan, three-time Olympic 470 skipper Stuart McNay, Paralympic skipper Paul Callahan and brothers David and Peter Askew, who shared the award in 2019 after a remarkable string of wins in major offshore races.

Dick Carter - Yacht Designer
Dick Carter In the Golden age of offshore racing
Special limited edition signed by Dick Carter - Great Xmas gift!
With foreword by John Rousmaniere

In 1965 Dick Carter entered Rabbit, the first boat he had ever designed into that year's classic Fastnet race - And Won! Two years later, racing Red Rooster, an even more innovative boat of his own design, he won the Race again, his centreboarder finishing top boat in the Admiral's Cup which contributed greatly to overall victory for the American team!

Over the next decade, Carter and his yachts dominated across the world, winning successive World One Ton Cups with the likes of Tina, Optimist, Wai-Aniwa and Ydra, the Half Ton Cup with Crocodile and Two Ton Cup with Aggressive. During 1972 Wai-Aniwa skippered by New Zealander Chris Bouzaid capped off a great season by finishing Top Boat in the Southern Cross series lifting New Zealand to win the team trophy.

The stories behind other top Dick Carter designed racing yachts include Robin Aisher's Frigate, 2nd boat overall in the 1973 Admiral's Cup, Carina III, a member of the winning team at the same event, Chica Tica II, winner of the 1976 Cape/Rio Race, Dr Recchi's Custom 65 footer Benbow, line honours and handicap winner in the 1977 Middle Sea Race, and William Hubbard's Lively Lady II which dominated the 2006 Bermuda Race prize-giving.

Despite his lack of formal training in naval architecture, Dick Carter made himself into a skilled yacht designer with radical ideas and a record of daring and continuing success. The results his designs achieved, are a direct reflection of his innovative mind. Blessed with what sailors call 'an eye for a boat' - an intuitive understanding of why some boats sail faster and better than others, coupled the ability to transform that understanding into new expressions. He was the first to separate the keel and rudder in ocean racing, the first to introduce a trim tab to the trailing edge of a keel, an idea later adopted by Olin Stephens on his 1967 America's Cup winning 12 metre Intrepid. Dick was also the first to radically reduce weight and windage within the rig, pioneering the idea of internal halyards and shroud tangs. "They don't even do that on America's Cup yachts." Ted Hood remarked at the time.

As John Rousmaniere writes in his Introduction: "This story of the underdog sailor taking on the world and conquering it is often surprising, roundly entertaining, inspiring and instructive. Dick's approach was straightforward: challenge the common wisdom with a daring that he describes as: 'Once a challenge is met successfully, that is enough for me.'"

The last challenge was the first he could not successfully meet - the petroleum crisis during the 1970s that depleted economies and nearly destroyed the boating business. Just a decade after he burst on the scene, Dick Carter retired from boats, and moved to furrow a fresh course through life. Many of his old friends and shipmates were sure he had died. Now Dick is back, larger than life - and with a remarkable story.

Special limited edition signed by Dick Carter is available only from South Atlantic Publishing priced £40.00 + P&P

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Tokyo 2020 Notice of Race released
Following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 2021, World Sailing has released the Notice of Race for the Olympic Sailing Competition.

The competition will run out of Enoshima Yacht Harbour in Japan and will commence on 25 July with the concluding Medal Race on 4 August.

The Notice of Race states the key conditions for the 10 sailing events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Men's 470, Women's 470, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn fleets will sail ten races as part of their opening series with a concluding Medal Race. Twelve races will be held for the 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, Men's RS:X and Women's RS:X fleets ahead of their Medal Races.

Included within the Notice of Race are details on the rules, regulations, entry and qualification guidelines, format, scoring, schedule, venue and courses.

Athletes, coaches, trainers and other team officials shall comply with the Olympic Charter, as well as with the World Sailing rules, in order to be eligible for participation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing competition, and shall be entered by a National Olympic Committee (NOC).

Notice of Race (PDF)

Tall Ships Set Sail For Falmouth, Cornwall, In 2021
At its annual online conference, Sail Training International, the global organisers of Tall Ships events and races, endorsed Falmouth as the 'Race Start Partner' of this iconic race, one which will also commemorate 500 years since the first circumnavigation voyage around the world.

The maritime event will mark the sixth time Falmouth has hosted the tall ships, with the inaugural one for the town being held in 1966. Given current surrounding circumstances related to COVID and potentially necessary social distancing and safety measures, the 2021 Falmouth event will be operationally innovative, whilst adhering to all necessary Government guidelines.

Tall Ships Falmouth 2021 will be underwritten by Falmouth Town Council, with financial support from its key partners Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID) and Falmouth Tall Ships Association. The exciting event will be organised by the Falmouth Town Team - the partnership between Falmouth Town Council's Town Management function and Falmouth Business Improvement District (BID), Falmouth Tall Ships Association and Sam Groom Director of Perfect Events Group (PEG). The Falmouth Harbour Commissioners as in previous events, will provide exceptional 'on the water' logistical management. Ship liaison volunteers will also play a key role in ensuring the crews' experience of Falmouth is a positive one.

The new event format will welcome around 40 vessels into the sheltered, deep waters of the vibrant port town. Tall ships from various nations will arrive prior to the 19th August race start date (subject to weather, tides and other factors), with the magnificent Class A square-rigged vessels anchoring in the 'Carrick Roads', the estuary of the River Fal. A further number of Class A and Class B ships are likely to anchor in Falmouth's inner harbour, while Class C and D will be berthed at Port Pendennis Marina.

The 2021 event will see the introduction of water-based inner harbour tours to view the tall ships out in their 'natural' surroundings, as there will be no public access onto the ships.

Learning The Singlehanded Gybe
Thanks to Covid 19's requirement to sail socially distanced, I discovered the fun of doublehanding and singlehanding my boat. With a tall factional rig held up by running backstays, she is a handful for a crew of 11 at times. But by slowing down the maneuvers and planning out all steps, most everything can be done shorthanded. This video shows me learning how to gybe my huge asymmetrical spinnaker singlehanded.

Recently I was out daysailing and my wife and friends were too content to rig the spinnaker, but they were perfectly fine letting me do all the work. I welcomed the chance to practice, knowing that I had some back up help if I got into a mess. Getting the chute up and drawing was not an issue in 6-7 knots of wind. Jibing was another story. I learned quickly that the gybe function on the autopilot turned the boat way too quickly. Next I learned that one person can't move the 180 sq/m asymmetrical around fast enough to pull off an inside jibe. Luckily, when I abandoned the jibe and turned back to my original course the spinnaker untangled. Then I re-led the sheet for an outside jibe.

Read the rest from Adam Loory at

UK Sailmakers

British kite foil racers scoop UK Sport elite sport award
The British Sailing Team's kite foil racers have won a prestigious UK Sport award in recognition of their success over the past two years.

The Formula Kite Mixed Relay team scooped the award for the Biggest Turnaround or Breakthrough in High Performance Sport at the annual UK Sport PLx Awards.

The awards ceremony celebrates achievement in elite sport in the UK - and the kite foilers saw off impressive competition from the high-performance community to pick up the honour.

The British Sailing Team was also nominated for two other awards. The #SailFromHome project, an online learning initiative from British Sailing Team and British Youth Sailing launched at the start of the first lockdown, was shortlisted for the Innovation award. In the Collaboration and Team Working category Kate Eddy, the British Sailing Team's Head of Performance Support, and Pete Allam, CEO of Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, were shortlisted in recognition of their work to allow training to resume safely so soon after the first lockdown.

Kite foil racing was selected for the Paris 2024 Olympics in November 2018, but even before then the British Sailing Team had launched its pioneering #kite4gold programme to discover talented female athletes capable of bringing home gold.

Frank Butler
Frank Butler Frank Butler, president and CEO of US-based sailboat producer Catalina Yachts, passed away on November 15 due to unexpected complications from a recent illness.

Born in California in 1928, Frank's line of popular sailboats put more than 85,000 Catalinas on the water throughout the yachting world. His boatbuilding career began in 1962, when he contracted with a Southern California builder for a 21ft daysailer. The builder was unable to finish the boat, and gave Butler the tooling. He completed building the boat himself, found he enjoyed the process, and agreed to take over the company.

A few years later he founded Catalina Yachts, which has grown to become the largest builder of fiberglass production sailboats in the United States, a position it holds to this day.

"A sailing icon and industry 'kingspoke', Frank Butler has introduced hundreds of thousands of people to sailing during his lifetime," says Catalina in a statement. "Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Frank have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor.

Since the start of his career in 1962, Butler led Catalina in buiding more than 85,000 sailboats.

"Frank leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Catalina Yachts," continued the statement. "We extend our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to Frank's family. Our thoughts are with them at this most difficult time."

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.

* From David Brunskill:

As navigator on a number of Fastnet races I don’t mind missing the leg back to Plymouth from the Scillies. I always enjoyed the challenge of getting round the headlands on the way to the Rock. Getting back to Plymouth from the Scillies was never as big a problem. Getting the tides right at Cherbourg is always interesting.

Can I however add the perspective of a RORC member, former member of the RORC race team (and the Fastnet race committee).

The welcome given by local authorities, harbours, marinas in France is consistently of a high order. The financial contribution of a race finish to the local economy is valued. The interest from the public in offshore racing in France creates a marvellous welcoming atmosphere for offshore races. The support given by the French Navy can be quite exceptional. I once spent some considerable time on a French frigate looking for a RORC fleet becalmed off the British South Coast. The only time that I found a lack of enthusiasm toward English visitors in the Club in Cherbourg was when England beat France at Rugby whilst we were there.

Cherbourg has been the host of the end of the English Channel season RORC race for many years so the finish set up will present no issues. Cherbourg too has the capacity to accept the whole Fastnet fleet without any berthing constraints. Medical support at the finish is of a high order. The only difficulty I have routinely come across in the past is where to locate the VHF aerial - it has been outside a top floor bedroom in the Hotel Chantereyne on a number of occasions.

Sadly Plymouth does provide challenges for the race team. There is not a lot of marina capacity in general and especially so near the Royal Western Yacht Club. Creating a central focus for interested spectators is challenging. The Royal Western is a great supporter of the race but I can’t speak for the attitude of Plyouth’s city council; for many years there was a feeling that the local authorities were not particularly welcoming.

I support the decision to move the finish of the Fastnet to Cherbourg. Its an experiment. If it works then fine. After two Fastnets and a period of reflection then the club can consider future options.

* From Tom Hayhoe (RORC Vice Commodore 2009-2010)

Thank you for drawing attention earlier this week to the attempt by a group of so-called “traditionalists” to overturn RORC’s decision to finish the Fastnet Race in Cherbourg, and to WM Nixon’s commentary on the history of the race.

This is the Fastnet Race, not the “Plymouth Race”. The opponents of the race finishing in Cherbourg want RORC’s flagship event to be a shorter race, failing to recognise how much faster the boats we race today are than those raced even a generation ago, let alone in 1925. They want to revert to a course that, given the prevailing winds, is predominantly upwind rather than less imbalanced between upwind and downwind sailing. They want the race to go back to finishing in a port where the fleet was spread over three marinas so the smaller boats end up berthed miles away from the regatta village and where the regatta village itself was a ferry ride away from the main town – both of which frustrated the opportunity for any real sense of post-race party once the race grew to its current size. They raise issues about the safety of racing in the English Channel without recognising that this is what we do for most of the RORC season and that we are all required to carry AIS transponders. Finally, they make a big issue of tides in the Channel, giving the impression they do not recognise that this is a race in which tidal gates are part of what makes it special among the offshore racing classics and that this course widens the tactical choices after rounding Bishop Rock compared to the Plymouth variant with its rhumb line passing close to the Lizard.

I hope that RORC members will join me in voting against the motions submitted to the Club’s EGM.

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