In This Issue
Le Cam Still In The Picture
Vendee Globe: Expert analysis on Week 2 from Conrad Colman
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine
Emirates Team New Zealand Launch 'Te Rehutai'
Gladwell's Line: The Cup accelerates
Wight Vodka Best Sailors Bar
Charles Caudrelier
Portraits of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Science and storytelling
Letters to the Editor
Featured Brokerage:
• • Powerplay
• • Ker 40 - "Icebreaker"
• • Reichel/Pugh 52 Custom - CAPE FLING II
The Last Word: Christopher Hitchens

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

Le Cam Still In The Picture
Mischievous, amusing, sardonic, French veteran Jean Le Cam continues to light up the leading pack of the Vendee Globe who are slogging south-westward, beam reaching into choppy, slamming seas. Alex Thomson continues to lead the 32 boat fleet by about 10 miles at some 110 miles north east of Recife, Brazil.

But for all that the 61 year old Le Cam, who is on his fifth Vendee Globe race, played with Vendee Globe LIVE! viewers' minds today - altering his virtual backdrop to place himself in an empty cafe bar - the undeniable reality is Le Cam is still showing a posse of younger, fast foiling IMOCA boats and their much younger skippers, the way down the South Atlantic.

Just 10 hours and 13 minutes behind Alex Thomson's HUGO BOSS, Le Cam crossed the Equator fourth early this morning on the evergreen 2007 Farr design which, as Foncia, won the 2008 Vendee Globe in the hands of Michel Desjoyeaux. He returned Yes We Cam! one more into the Southern Hemisphere only one hour and 54 minutes behind Charlie Dalin on the new Verdier designed Apivia.

Le Cam's time for the passage from Les Sables d'Olonne this time is 10 days 10 hours 12 minutes, five minutes faster this time than he was on the same boat at the exactly the same point in 2016 when he lay eighth. Clearly he only improves with age!

Here are the times and deltas for the first boats into the Southern Hemisphere

Boat Name - Date - Time - Elapsed - Delta to 1st - Delta to next
1. HUGO BOSS - 18/11/ - 1319h UTC - 9d 23h 59m
2. LinkedOut - 18/11/ - 1908h UTC - 10d 05h 48m - +5hrs 49mins
3. Apivia - 18/11 - 2103h UTC - 10d 07h 43m - +7hrs 44 mins - +1h 54m
4. Yes We Cam! - 18/11 - 2332h UTC - 10d10h12m - +10hrs 13mins - +2h 29m
5. PRB - 19/11 - 0321h UTC 10d14h01m - +14hrs 02mins - +3hrs 48m
6. Bureau Vallee 2 - 19/11 - 0356h UTC - 10d 14h36m - +14hrs 37mins - + 34mns
7. Seaexplorer - 19/11 - 0650hUTC 10d 17h 30m - +17hrs 31mins - +2h 54min
8. Initatives Coeur - 19/11 - 0727h UTC - 10d 18hr 07m - +18hrs 08mins - + 37 mins
9. Maitre CoQ - 19/11 - 0821h UTC - 10d 19hr 01m - +19hrs 02mins - +54 mins
10. OMIA Water Family - 19/11 - 1003h UTC - 10d 20hr 43 m - +20hrs 44 mins - +1H 41min
11. ARKEA Paprec - 19/11 - 1051h UTC - 10d 21hr 31m - +21hrs 32mins - +48 mins

Vendee Globe: Expert analysis on Week 2 from Conrad Colman
On the day that Vendee Globe race leader Alex Thomson aboard his sleek black state-of-the-art IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss crossed the equator and made his way into the southern hemisphere, Kiwi skipper Conrad Colman shares his insight on the happenings of the fleet's second week at sea:

I delayed writing this post to see what would happen in the doldrums, but this year's passage through the meteorological minefield appears to have been dispatched with such efficiency that it was barely a bump in the road and certainly didn't figure in any upsets or changes in the rankings.

Think back to 2012 when Tanguy de Lamotte was stranded in calms for so long he jumped off his boat for a swim and a selfie.

History is full of stories of sailors through the ages starving of hunger, dying of thirst and jumping overboard (before selfies were a thing) as the boats drifted listlessly, completely becalmed. To see images of what that looks like in the modern era you need only look at the last couple of days of photos sent from Miranda Merron and Armel Tripon who have been trapped in the light winds following Theta.

If the doldrums expand by the time the tail-enders get there it would be most unfair as drifting in calms is not what Vendee sailors dream of when they sign up for this craziness.

Good luck with the macro weather systems in both the North and South Atlantic led to a very consolidated convergence zone helped the front runners sneak through and you can click here to see the video that I made in 2017 that uses bicycle wheels and other practical effects to explain how the two systems mesh together.

The full analysis at

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

Seahorse Magazine

Sleek and purposeful
Not so long ago the idea of employing composite rigging on an 81-metre world girdling schooner would have earned you a medical referral. Today it's the obvious choice, even for Royal Huisman's biggest sailing vessel

Setback or opportunity?
The disruptions of 2020 have only increased the opportunities, appetite and scope for the brilliant young Italian engineers at UBI Maior to dream up ever more seductive ways to speed up your yacht...

A black pearl indeed
Ordering a new boat for a full offshore race programme narrows the field when it comes to selecting a builder who will ensure that you receive a boat that is both reliable enough as well as fast enough to do the job

Bringing it home
Both the stories and the sailors... powerful and reliable comms has never been so important as in the era of the oceanic 'speedboat'

Sailor of the Month
Big tasks expertly accomplished

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Emirates Team New Zealand Launch 'Te Rehutai'
Emirates Team New Zealand revealed its second generation AC75 to the world this evening at its base in Auckland's Viaduct. It is the boat that will be used to defend the 36th America's Cup presented by Prada in just over 100 days' time.

The boat was blessed by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and proudly christened 'Te Rehutai' by Lady Margaret Tindall in a ceremony in front of close to 900 friends, family, sponsors, suppliers and supporters of the team.

Te Rehutai is the last of the second generation AC75's to be launched across the AC36 teams. The fleet of boats that will lock horns in the 36th edition of the 170 year old America's Cup are now on display for the eagle eye enthusiasts to pore over the finer details with the common understanding that the fastest boat has always won the America's Cup.

"Getting a new toy is always exciting, but we are pretty much past the point of excitement already as the next 2 weeks are some of the most crucial for the campaign in terms of continuing our development and getting ready to race for the first time in a matter of weeks."

The sailing team have been off water for close to 5 weeks now spending long hours in the gym, and even more hours in the shed helping prepare Te Rehutai for launch. "The guys are eager to get out on the water again. The designers and boat builders have done their jobs, now it is time for the sailing team to do ours. The pressure is on for sure, but that's where we are most comfortable so we can't wait to race." said Burling.

Team New Zealand

Gladwell's Line: The Cup accelerates
As we have said in a couple of the Rialto stories, the Challengers' Version 2 AC75's are all very similar in performance - and to our eye don't look like they are any quicker than Emirates Team New Zealand's Version 1 AC75, Te Aihe.

However the V1 Kiwi boat was a very refined AC75 - as a result of ETNZ's development program continuing apace using the test boat Te Kahu, while Te Aihe was travelling to Europe and back for five months. After Te Aihe returned, we saw several wing shapes that were trialled in half size on Te Kahu, appear in full size on Te Aihe.

As has been pointed out previously, using the test boat means that ETNZ is not covered by the rules limiting the number of wings and flaps that can be constructed to six wings and 20 flaps for an AC75. Without the test boat, an AC75 only team has two wings (their final racing set) and four others per boat, which can be individually different or may be pairs.

Long story short is that ETNZ has been able to test more wing shapes than would be normally permitted in a single AC75 program, and as a result, one would expect their first AC75 to be well advanced of the others. There would be something seriously wrong if that were not the case.

It is normal for the America's Cup high-performance race boats to improve by 15-20% between launch and the end of the Cup. In 2013, Oracle Racing improved by that amount in just the final week.

The Challengers have a very hard-fought series ahead of then in the form of the Prada Cup, and we should expect that their performance will improve significantly before the start of the America's Cup on March 6, 2021.

Richard Gladwell's full article in

Wight Vodka Best Sailors Bar
Brooklin Inn The 12th annual Wight Vodka Best Sailors Bar competition is now soliciting submissions from sailors on notable establishments around the world... whether open or closed, present or past, tell us about your favorite.

This one comes to us from long time reader Ron Breault from Old Lyme, Connecticut. Click on the image at right for a photo gallery.

The Pub downstairs at the Brooklin Inn, Brooklin Maine (the Boat Building Capital of the World.....located on Eggemoggin Reach. Brooklin is also home of the Wooden Boat Publications) The Brooklin Inn is located in the center of town, a short walk from Center Harbor where my Dolphin 24 Marionette moors in the lee of Chatto Island. A row into the dock is followed by the ritual pause to look out at the beautiful boats in the harbor.

The Pub has a small C shaped bar with a brick oven for making pizza. The Maine made draft beer is my favorite drink. Sometimes a 2-3 pc band plays in the corner. I've met sailers there from Europe and around the US. As the webmaster for my S&S designed class of boat WIFI availability is important - I get there early to do my website duties, and chat with the owner, Chip Angell.

My 'submitted' photo is me seated at the bar doing my webmaster duty. I'm usually single handing Marionette on these visits. I've added a few more photos to give you a better feel for the Pub.

Thanks for your time. Here's my S&S Member Yacht page

Tell us about YOUR favorite... submissions to

Charles Caudrelier: "In The Jules Verne, 30 To 40% Of The Routes Tested See Idec's Record Being Smashed"
Since 1st November, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild has been on stand-by waiting for a weather opportunity to tackle the Jules Verne Trophy, which has been held since January 2017 by Idec Sport (Francis Joyon) with a time of 40 days 23 hours and 30 minutes. Tip & Shaft talked to the co-skipper of the Verdier deigned boat, Charles Caudrelier.

has the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild changed since she won the Brest Atlantiques a year ago? Yes, she has been thoroughly upgraded in terms of aerodynamics and hydro-dynamics, here autopilots and controls. We have tried to make weight savings everywhere. It's been a fascinating year as the room for progress with these boats is unlimited. That is vital, as the new machines will be arriving and we'll become the oldest Ultime in the fleet after Actual. We all know that in general, new boats are always faster than the previous ones. The difference is that today it is above all the foils which give us speed, so we have the possibility of changing them.

Is that planned?
Yes, we have the second version which was due to appear this year, but it went behind schedule because of the lockdown. Meanwhile, we have understood a lot of things and we have already designed improvements above what we initially planned for the V2 foils. We told ourselves that it was best to take things slowly, particularly as there was no urgency in dealing with our competitors. Sodebo has not yet gone more than four knots above our speed. We'll have V2 in place next year, and I believe that they will be well advanced in terms of their design.

Can you tell us more?
I can't give you all the details, but the important thing is dealing with cavitation.

Full interview in Tip & Shaft

Former Tasmanian Premier to launch Blue Water Classics: Portraits of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Former premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman, is to launch 'Blue Water Classics: Portraits of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race', to be hosted by Fullers Bookshop at the RACV Hotel in Hobart on early Friday evening.

Hodgman resigned after six years as Premier to spend more time with his young family. He had a close affiliation with the Sydney Hobart during his tenure, making him the ideal choice to launch the new coffee table book by Andrew Wilson, author of the much-loved series 'Old Sea Dogs of Tasmania', in collaboration with journalist and Sydney Hobart Media Director Di Pearson.

Some tickets are still available for the book launch, to RSVP go to

The 520-page book, which is on the Australian Booksellers Association Christmas list, was released last week and is already selling well via the official website and major bookshops Australia wide.

Science and storytelling
Sharing the excitement of ocean exploration and discovery through gripping storytelling, positive narratives and absorbing games are among the techniques organisations should use to bring ocean health and the vital role of science alive for a global audience.

These were some of the key conclusions reached at The Ocean Race's recent Innovation Workshop Communicating Ocean Science With Impact which brought together online a diverse and expert group of scientists, academics, journalists, educators, media specialists, game developers and sailors.

The first speaker in the open introductory session, Dr. Carlie Wiener, the Director of Communications and Engagement Strategy at the Schmidt Ocean Institute, said: "From the earliest emergence of life on Earth, the ocean has played a crucial part in sustaining it. For millennia, the seas have produced most of the oxygen we breathe, regulated our weather, and supplied critical nutrients and resources – despite the global disturbances from human activity in the recent decades.

The Ocean Race

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 Gordon Davies - Bray, CO WICKLOW, Ireland

Dealing with tides and currents is part of the attraction of offshore racing.

There are many offshore races with tidal gates. One example is the Round Ireland Race in which the passage through the North Channel, noted for its strong current, is further complicated by the presence of a TSS, which must be respected by competitors. This passage is followed by a tidal stream separation - to the north of which the flood flows south, to the south the flood flows north. This all presents a considerable challenge for navigators.

Should Wicklow YC change the course of the Round Ireland Race for this reason? I think not.

The leg back from the Fastnet up Channel has been part of the course of the Normandy Channel Race ( 2 handed race for Classe 40 yachts) for many years. The finish of this race is off Ouistreham, so boats must pass the Cotentin Peninsula. There has never been any complaint that this race is unfair.

* From John Kalish:

I heartily endorse Sean Purdy’s comments supporting the decision to finish the Fastnet in Cherbourg and have also already voted accordingly. The last of my four Fastnets was in 1997, but even then the facilities in Plymouth were not adequate and all we could think of doing was heading out as quickly as possible.

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Raceboats Only 2011 Reichel/Pugh 52 Custom - CAPE FLING II. 295,000 USD. Located in Cape Town, South Africa.

This Reichel/Pugh 52 Custom is a unique yacht - she has twin rudders and wheels, making her easy to sail inshore and for coastal racing. The majority of her controls are hydraulically powered allowing her to be sailed more effectively.

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Ben Cooper
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See the collection at

The Last Word
High moral character is not a precondition for great moral accomplishments. -- Christopher Hitchens

Editorial and letter submissions to

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