Platoon getting wet in Cascais. Photo by Max Ranchi. Results here....

bird’s eye

Dear friend Justin Edelman took this drone shot of the Schock 40 Gamble, that he is one for this year's Transpac....

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WASZP – European Championship

Joan Costa ESP defended his first place in the three races held yesterday at the WASPZ Europeans on Lake Garda, closely followed by Rory Hunter GBR reducing the backlog on the leader with the day ranks 2/1/2 to 2 points. Bronze went to Alexander Hogheim NOR.. —– The ranking list.

there and back

For Longview, Tx. resident Pete Pattullo and crew, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are the preferred locations for summer races.

For the past 15 years, Peter Pattullo has driven his Farrier 33 up to one of the two Great Lakes and put it in early June. Four times during the summer, his crew of Bryan Rainbow and Phil Trotter of Norman, Ok., Martin Brown of Tulsa and brother Mike Pattullo of Cairo, Mi. will hop on Nelda Ray and set sail.

“Both [the Chicago Mac and Port Huron Mac] have interesting components,” said Pattullo. “Port Huron is friendlier and more accommodating for before the race. The Chicago Mac is a more challenging race.”

Pattullo and company know how to maximize their sailing experience. After the Mac ceremonies on the island, they head down the coast of Michigan with family enjoying sites at several towns along the coast.

“We’ve stopped in over 100 ports on Lake Michigan, Huron and Superior the past 20 years,” he said. Staying on the rhumb line they rode light winds into Sunday morning. At sunrise, they headed to Ludington, Mi trying to catch a shore breeze.

“For whatever reason, we didn’t have our battery charged,” said Pattullo. “We had a compass, no radio, no wind information. It was seat of pants sailing.”

“We were a hundred feet from shore; you could feel the centerboard tap the sandbar. Sunday evening, the wind filled in from the west and was consistent.” Two spots proved critical for Nelda Ray after falling behind 16 miles after slowing down south of the Manitou Islands.

“Monday morning we took off; we had 20 knots out of the east,” he said. “We did 30 miles in an hour and a half. We started with a spinnaker and then moved to a screecher. We were running; we averaged 19-20 knots for three hours. The boat felt like it wasn’t touching the water, there was no friction. We were within a mile of Caliente at Gray’s Reef [at noon]. We’ve never had anyone pass us in those conditions; The Farrier 33 is built for those winds.”

At the Mackinac Bridge, they made a gut decision.

“The prevailing winds were out of the northeast, the wind stations at the bridge showed southeast on the app, but it didn’t show up on the radar,” said Pattullo. “We headed for the south end of the bridge and got a lift; the other boats went north. We had ten knots and sailed a reach to the finish line without tacking. Double Time tacked the last four miles to the bridge; High Priority tacked to the finish line.”

Nelda Ray beat Caliente on elapsed time 49:40:46 – 49:53:11. On corrected time, Caliente took first 53:19:57 nipping Nelda Ray 53:22:28. It was their best finish in six Mac races. High Priority was nine minutes behind, Double Time was fourth 54:53:34. Earth Voyager blew past everyone reaching the finish line 38:23:06 and kept going to the Port Huron Mac. Their elapsed time was 55:38:22.

“We also knew, there was no way we can beat Caliente if we follow them,” he said.

Pattullo and company know how to maximize their sailing experience. After the Mac ceremonies on the island, they head down the coast of Michigan with family enjoying sites at several towns along the coast.

“We’ve stopped in over 100 ports on Lake Michigan, Huron and Superior,” he said.

“We went from racing to cruising mode,” he said. “Our families met us and we spent Tuesday at St. Ignace. It’s a 30 minutes sail from Mackinac. The rooms are a hundred dollars less and there’s a lot more space.”

Oddly enough, Pattullo’s first trip to Mackinac Island was in 1979 when, Somewhere in Time was filmed.

“There are six of us,” he said. “We stop in Rogers City, Alpena and Harris before leaving the boat in Caseville. Mike has a camper and we put the gear there and a few of the people sleep there.”

Pattullo and the crew come up Aug. 23 for the three-day multihull challenge in Bay City which has over a dozen boats. After that, he drives Nelda Ray back to Longview. Tx.

In mid-October, they do the Harvest Moon which is 150 miles beginning in Galveston and finishing in Port Arkansas, Tx. They’ve won the multihull section four times. In November on Canyon Lake near San Antonio, there’s a race with ten-fourteen hobie cats and multihulls.

In March, Pattullo has the crew over to work on the boat over a three-day weekend. The first race is in April, the Governors Cup at Lake Travis. – Seth Schwartz

sail on ron

Today the Ronstan team mourns the passing of Ron Allatt, who died peacefully with his wife Jan at his side, on the 19th July, 2019. Ron was 89. Together with Stan LeNepveu, Ron was the “Ron” in Ronstan.

The two met in 1946 and raced sailing dinghies together, before teaming up to build boats and make stainless steel yacht fittings. They officially formed Ronstan in 1953 and sold the company in 1977.Ron continued as General Manager until 1981, when he retired to go fishing, bowling, golfing and spending time with his family.

The legacy Ron and Stan left is a close knit, wonderful organisation with a name that is a household name in international sailing circles. Ronstan manufactures world class products, has offices around the world, has won endless awards for excellence and has provided challenging, rewarding and enjoyable employment for thousands of us in the Ronstan family over the past six and a half decades.

Thank you Ron! (and Stan!)

The name lives proudly on!
Alistair Murray, Chairman, Ronstan

ridin’ in

All well onboard in what is our last full day in this epic TransPac Race.

We’ve had a mixed bag today with some lighter breeze and difficult seas on port gybe. The battle continues with Caro who have been within a couple of miles for what seems like forever now. We took an opportunity and gybed on the edge of a cloud and finally created some decent separation. They had some issues which resulted in a kite change cementing our gain of about a mile…or so we thought. A small hole in the leech of our own kite necessitated a drop, hoist other A2 and repair. Jimmy and Jorge have done another great job with no ‘winkles’. Lets hope they last the distance…

We’re about 90nm from our first of a series of gybes to the finish, hoping to be in early tomorrow morning. Sea states are settled, not too many squalls on the horizon and breeze seems solid at about 15kts. It’s smooth sailing with A2, Spinni staysail and full main at 11-12kts SOG.

Sean and Team Maverick Out

ongoing serious concerns

As many of you know, there are ongoing serious concerns with the C420.  Here at PS2000, we have been, so far, silent on the issue of decertification of some of our boats immediately prior to the North American Championships, in San Francisco, CA.  While incurring many tens of thousands of dollars in damages and an unimaginable amount of stress on our staff, we have felt that it would be best for the C420 Class, and C420 sailors generally, to acquiesce to the mandates of the Class while they found a way to roll back these rash and unjustified actions with the least embarrassment and permanent damage to the health of the Class. 

Throughout this affair, the C420 Class has presented itself as a paragon of one design integrity.  And although this has always been the intent of the board, it is simply not true, has never been true.  To claim that our decertified boats are the only ones that do not conform to the construction manual is the height of self deception and the rankest of hypocrisy.   If anything, these boats conform more closely to the letter of the construction manual than any others sailing today. Their exclusion lies not in the actual rules of construction but in the clause in the manual that requires builders to notify the secretary of changes and gain approval in advance.  Which we, in fact, failed to do.

And, in fact, no builder has ever informed the class of a change in lamination, materials or methods. Ever. The Class is wholly unaware of the materials, lamination schedules, construction methods and tools used by any of the builders. There has never been an independent certification of materials or methods.  Ever. This despite the undeniable fact that construction of the boats has always been in a process of change and improvement for all the builders, throughout the life of the Class.

PS2000 has been, by far, the most open, cooperative and transparent of the 3 builders.  We have been, likely, a cautionary tale for the other builders. When we built a new set of molds, we reported it to the class and had to go through a lengthy, but utterly fictional certification process.  By contrast, our competitor is building boats out of at least 3 sets of molds on 2 continents and has never informed the class of an increasing number of tools being used. Another has changed builders at least 3 times and never informed the class.  All this is obvious and widely known but goes unquestioned.  

Let’s consider the issue of changes more fully.  Because of the “inform and approve” clause of the construction manual, no changes are legal, even if within the rules, if not specifically reported and approved.  Talk to any long serving maintenance staff at a club that utilizes the C420 and they will verify that the boats have most certainly undergone changes in lamination techniques and materials over the years.  Ignoring the myriad of ways the boats can, and have, been altered that can’t be easily detected after the construction process is finished, there are some that can. In a single example, for years the rigs were perfectly interchangeable between the 3 existing builders and the past builders, regardless of spar or boat supplier. 

As we saw at NA’s when we were swapping new masts onto other builder’s boats, the masts are no longer interchangeable. Why wasn’t this an obvious red flag? It’s clear that one builder has altered the boat in some way so that, once interchangeable, the rigs must now be specific to that builder. We don’t point this out because we wish to see those hundreds of boats made illegal, we point it out because in the course of a single regatta, one during which boats owned by a third of the fleet were being tossed out, it was at least as obvious, indeed far more obvious, that another builder had altered their boat and it went entirely unquestioned and unaddressed.  To have righteous indignation that one change has been made and then to willfully ignore another seems, to us, patently unfair and, frankly, inexcusable.

There is a clear pattern of the Class enforcing some of the rules, some of the time and only for some builders.  They are in possession of clear proof that boats being built for at least the last 5 years include internal stringers that are specifically banned in the construction manual. 

So, within a matter of days, the board has voted to ban a large number of PS2000 boats because they have been built with methods not actually banned by class rules and then also voted to allow boats that are clearly built with expressly banned structural additions.  More than this, the Class President and the Measurer have refused repeated requests to verify that the construction manual provided to PS2000 is the same document being used to make these decisions. 

PS2000 has been asked to follow rules the Class can’t, or won’t, provide or verify.  They’ve decertified boats that conform to the rules as provided, and affirmed boats that clearly do not.  The sailors are the most important stakeholders in this struggle. We, at PS2000, hope they will speak up and send the Class a message that this kind of double standard can not stand.

Discuss here.

being there

It’s not very often you do a race where no one on board has ever done it before, where you have no reference to previous races and yachts. that is how it is on Maverick – in a way it is nice not to have any preconceptions but knowing the way clearly has its benefits! right now we have finally got some wind, 18-20 knots and this means DSS foils are in play and the smiles are back. We gybed in sync with Caro, the Botin 65 a few hours ago and have gained bearing and separation, so that’s good for us to see. Having not seen another race boat for days we passed a couple this morning on the other gybe. Right now it’s speeds of 15-21 knots and 3 guys on deck with another couple of guys reading books on the sail bag at the transom…..minimalist cruising. Inside the boat is just what you’d expect after 5 days. no showers and high humidity so we do not need to go there.

The one thing we are all agreed on as first timers is that this is an epic race, with awesome conditions and we are lucky to be out here flying along in great conditions, even if we do not know who won the World Cup Cricket final between England and New Zealand…. but its a small price for this great ride and remembering what it is like to go ocean racing.

Team Maverick

fake lasers?

Fake Laser Sailboats at 2024 Paris Olympics?  It’s all official. Or at least nearly official. The membership of the Laser sailboat class just needs to vote yes to a change in its internal rules, and we may see fake Laser sailboats at the Paris 2024 Olympics. At least that’s what the Laser class wants us to believe.  Fake Lasers are not Fake News. This is a scenario that is contemplated not only by the organization governing the Laser class but also by World Sailing - the international governing body of the sport of sailing, that oversees the sport globally and...

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party’s over

What a bummer for our boys on the Infiniti 46 Maverick…

The party came to a grinding halt last night with our prized A2 parting ways with the rig and ending up in the sea. We lost a bunch of miles and took awhile to get sorted out but normal service has returned.

A broken halyard, mid peel, was the culprit and we saw the results this morning with BadPak stepping out on us. Sometimes we need to remember we are just 46ft long and a pretty small 46ft at that but losing miles, even to bigger boats still hurts.

Today has been frustrating, with wind not quite enough to keep us on the step for long, although we are now cruising along at 13/14 it’s like driving a Ferrari in 2nd gear and if only the wind would just increase a few knots….. but then, I am sure everyone says the same thing!

On board things are pretty good, high levels of banter and piss taking which with 5 Aussies, 1 Irishman, 2 Brits and a polyglot Spaniard is to be expected. All systems working, although we are not able to peel anymore as we have the broken halyard which just means the A2 is staying up come what may…..this could get expensive. Follow the fleet here.

Team Maverick

there it is

Reduce drag, eliminate flutter, strength in the right places, Carbo-Link have been taking advantage of the benefits of elliptical profiles in their carbon rigging for over 10 years…

There’s been a notable increase in the number of racing yachts and superyachts upgrading their rigging to Carbo-Link’s elliptical profiled solid carbon cables. Among them are the Wallycento Galateia, the offshore racer Rambler 88 and the brand-new superyacht Baltic 142 Canova together with Maxi 72s CannonballMOMO and Proteus. Read on.

pick ’em

This is one of the best parts about our Fabulous Forms, brought to you by Marlow

I’m a bit stuck on making a decision surrounding the purchase of our first boat and there is a bit of time crunch if I want to make it happen for this season so I’m looking for your opinions. Initially my heart was set on the C&C 27 Mk V but there are a number of 29’s (and 27 Mk III’s) in the area and folks have been getting me to reconsider to avoid the transport costs telling me they don’t feel there is much difference between the two.

I have a young family (2 kids under 3) and plan on spending a lot of time cruising but also plan on racing it around the club under white sails (to start) and may be doing a lot of this single handed (until I can build a crew). This is why I was leaning towards the 27 Mk V but am being swayed to entertain the idea of going the way of a 29 Mk II. I have an opportunity right now to pick up either one but would have to transport the 27 considerably farther though if I jump now I can save myself a few thousand in transport due to a round trip scenario.

If you were in my position which would you go for and why? Feel free to get as technical as you want, Thanks!

Jump in!


over she goes

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Four people were rescued Saturday after a Corsair Cruze 970 capsized about nine miles off the shore of Hamlin State Park near Rochester.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the boat was among the participants in the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge Race from Toronto to Kingston, Canada.

All four people were wearing life jackets, and no injuries were reported. They were on the hull of the boat when the Coast Guard arrived.

how it went down

At approximately 0151 July 15, 2019 nearly 200 miles offshore the California coast, the sailing vessel OEX was competing in the 2019 Transpac Race to Honolulu.  OEX was sailing with a full reef, jib and stay sail. At this moment, we experienced catastrophic rudder system failure tearing a large hole in the hull of the boat.  We were rapidly taking on water. We tried to plug the hole with no success. Brendan Busch radioed a Mayday and the crew of Pyewacket diverted to us. The OEX crew of Erik Berzins, Ryan Breymaier, Brendan Busch, Mat Bryant, Chuck Clay, John Sangmeister, Randy Smith, John Turpin, Greg Weeger remained calm and made a heroic attempt to save the boat.  With waves breaking over the transom into the cockpit and the Pyewacket in sight, I ordered the crew to enter the rafts and abandon ship at 0220.  

We are grateful to the United States Coast Guard and the entire crew of Pyewacket for their efforts on our behalf.  We have known Roy and his crew for over 35 years both as team mates and competitors. We hold them in the highest esteem both on and off the water.  Their rescue of the OEX crew came at an extremely high personal price–their retirement from the Transpac race. 

The rescue of the OEX crew was effected with the highest level of seamanship.  Both teams worked calmly and efficiently and with tremendous cooperation. Once aboard we were welcomed graciously and the Pyewacket crew made every effort to accommodate us.

 On behalf of the OEX crew I would like to nominate Roy Disney and the entire crew of Pyewacket for US Sailing’s Hanson award which recognizes significant accomplishments in seamanship and valor.  I have included the names of the entire crew in hope that each will be acknowledged for their effort and sacrifice.

Here is the crew list of Pyewacket:

Tom Addis
Mark Callahan
Paul Cayard
Roy Disney
Scott Easom
Brad Jackson
Robbie Kane
Ben Mitchell
Mark Towill
Gary Weisman

Thank you or your consideration of this nomination.  

Warm regards,

John Sangmeister
Owner Skipper S/V OEX

Comment here.

up above it

Truly one of the most impressive boats in this year’s Transpac is the Infiniti 46 Maverick.  So far, they are shredding the sleds and if it blows hard, they will be gone… – ed.

This morning I realized we’d settled into the 4hr rolling watch system nicely when there was a heated debate as to what day it was. Some argue 3, others say Day 4 begins at lunch time…all I know is that we are still eating freeze-dried from Day 2 (you can draw your own conclusions!)

We changed mode in the pre-dawn hours; from blasting on a Full main, A3 and staysail with DSS foil deployed (great fun..!), to a more VMG mode of Full main, A2 and spinni-staysail with DSS foil in or out depending on true windspeed. Anything over 16kts True and we find the foil is definitely quicker and keeps the bow up. Anything less…well, we haven’t had much of that thankfully so hammer down to Hawaii.

Team Maverick

they ain’t makin’ no more of them

A Ranger 33 goes up in smoke. Bummer.

One person had to be rescued when a sailboat caught fire near Budd Inlet following an explosion, according to McLane Black Lake Fire Department.

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, crews responded to the report of a boat adrift and on fire in Puget Sound near Budd Inlet.

“The sailboat occupied by a single male burst into flames following an explosion. The occupant retrieved the fire extinguisher with the intent of extinguishing the fire when flames overcame him from behind,” according to the fire department’s news release.

Read on.

tv or not to tv (that is the question)

One the dumbest things said by those intent on promoting elite sailing to a wider audience is that the sport should be made “more attractive for television”. To my mind (and I’ve spent most of my working life producing TV content) there are two false assumptions in that one statement. The first is that sailing needs television coverage, and the second is that it has the capacity to generate viewing figures to rival those enjoyed by the major codes – football, basketball etc. This mindless obsession with TV appeal has yielded no lasting benefits, but contributed to the distortion of...

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dropping science

How much do you know about Future Fibres‘ world-renowned multi-strand carbon rigging products? AEROsix and ECsix?

AEROsix – Hybrid Carbon Rigging.

This technology is a novel rigging system developed with grand prix racing and high performance superyachts in mind. AEROsix is an aerofoil rigging setup comprised of a solid carbon plate that is bonded inside bundles of multi-strand carbon rods. This means performance, robustness, minimum windage and no vibration!

By combining both our solid carbon and multi-strand technology into one fluid product, we have achieved a cutting edge game changer that is both safe and very fast – a product unmatched by our competitors.

ECsix – Multi-strand Carbon Rigging

ECsix is the world’s preferred carbon rigging package. With proven and patented multi-strand technology it is also the most durable lightweight composite rigging on the planet.

ECsix pioneered the way forward for multi-strand technology, the same that is used in the hybrid AEROsix product. The carbon rod bundles allow ECsix to be extremely flexible permitting them to resist fractures from bending, compression as well as heavy impact.

ECsix and AEROsix have been tested at all levels of yachting from the The Ocean Race, SailGP , IMOCA Globe Series, 52 Super Series, Maxi72, Mini Maxis, AC45, Wally, Official J Class through to the world’s largest super yachts such as:

Aquijo, Anatta, Vertigo, Kokomo, Twizzle, Hetairos, Mari Cha III, Unfurled, Sarissa, Ohana, Inoui, My Song, Nikata, Liara, Odin, Ribelle, Missy and many many more…



Patience paid off, blast reaching since we broke into the synoptic breeze yesterday around midday, feeling good as we charge along the Hawaii routing on the Infiniti 46, Maverick. (Picture thanks to McConaghy)

Had some fun with the Navy life firing demonstration yesterday. Had to commence negotiations with them at 0800hrs on the 14th as they politely requested we deviate from our 230 degree course heading to head 50 degrees off course due south 180 degrees for 35 nautical miles…… Once we explained to them what we were up to, and noted another 20 boats were following a similar line they agreed to allow us to steer 200 degrees…a great result given the alternative. Heard two missile launches but nothing more.

We are currently the most westerly boat(other than Comanche & Rio100) with northern leverage on the chasing pack of Badpak (6nm abeam and slightly behind) and Alive who are coming fast on FRO.

Next 24-48 hrs tweaking the lane in the slot car leg will be interesting. Everyone is lining up to short the course and cut the corner, fingers crossed we don’t sail too close to it.

All the best,
Mike Team Maverick

oex sank

UPDATE: AT 0455 AM, the SC 70 OEX sank.

Terrific friend and one of the true gentleman in the sport, John Sangmeister has just reported some awful news:

The OEX crew experienced rudder issues and had to abandon ship.  Pyewacket has picked the crew up and they are all on their way back to the mainland.

Most importantly, ALL ARE SAFE. Needless to say, we are incredibly appreciative to Roy Disney and the crew of Pyewacket.  We are devastated about the loss of our wonderful OEX.  Will post when I have more information.  Everyone is still in shock.

nice pair

Dock Side

The pairing of Swan and Juan K was already more than successful with the innovative, elegant ClubSwan 50 attracting a new generation of owners. But the same combination’s new ClubSwan 36… this is something else.

The Monaco Swan One Design in early April gently lifted the curtain on Nautor Swan’s 2019 Nations Trophy Mediterranean League. Launched last year, the four-event circuit offers individual and national team prizes and, again, peaks with October’s The Nations Trophy in Palma. Read on.

the thrill is gone

Haven’t we all gone through stages like this? I know I did when I left sail making – didn’t care if I ever sailed again. But then, like all good addictions, you get called back. You can never leave! – ed.

The first time I stepped aboard a sailboat I was home.  For the next 49 years it was always that way.  This year we bought a boat.  I thought I’d be in heaven but I’m not.

Most all my sailing was on Lake Michigan.  Cruised Chicago to Mac and back no less than 8 times.  When we got back I always wanted to turn around and just sail away.  It’s always been like that.  Until now.

We were out today and hit 7.5 kn SOG.  I didn’t care.  All I could think of was heading back home.  This is so strange.  I don’t know what it is.

Maybe it’s age.  Maybe it’s the goddamnfucking Florida heat.  Maybe it’s shallow Charlotte Harbor that makes you tack every fucking 10 minutes.  Maybe it’s all of that.  All I know is I don’t care about sailing now.  This is really weird.

Has anyone else experienced this? Jump in the thread and discuss

to infiniti and beyond

Our first onboard report from the infiniti 46 Maverick which is doing really well in the light  air on the race to Hawaii.  Wait till they get some breeze – the thing is a banshee. Funny to see so many of the big boats that have covered way less than 100 miles (like 60!) in the first 24 hours.  Track ’em here.

After 24 hours we are finally sailing in the right direction and without sails flapping. A long night of R1 to Windseeker and back as we crawled away from the beaches of California (with some regret it must be said), we have finally got moving.

The sky and seascape reminds us of England and a Fastnet, grey and cold and the wind never seeming to do what you would like it to do. That said, we have no real idea of how we are doing against the fleet but spent the night battling away with various boats who were not familiar to us non locals. This morning we passed an island, the name of which eludes me, but we were in good company with Peligroso and both found ourselves on the naughty step with the chaps on the island responsible for launching rockets.

Apparently it was necessary to launch a rocket or two this morning, and we were in the way. However, they were so polite we complied with their request, thinking that if someone wants to fire a pistol on the beach then who are we to interfere….. the noise from the beach rather put paid to that as what sounded like Armageddon.

Since then the wind has increased to 10 knots and we are sailing with R1, staysail, full main, canted keel and DSS, so happier boys on board. No more seals which we will miss, no more kelp, which we will not…… finally heading to the islands. – Gordon Kay.

real sleigh ride

The big boys take off from the LBC today for Hawaii.  here's wishing them all a slow and shitty race. Kidding. Not really. Two more boats have dropped out already, making a total of four.... Ronnie Simpson sent this video....

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hike, don’t hike

Funny how the further aft you get, the less you hike. great shot from the 12 meter worlds by George Bekris. That is Nyala, the dominant winner in the Vintage 12 class…

don’t dip the pole

Sure, that looks pretty relaxing….sort of.  Just seems like there are a lot of things that could go wrong here… great shot by Anarchist Kaspars from the Baltic Sea

sleigh ride

Well, maybe not for the Kialoa II, on her way to Hawaii after their start yesterday. They are currently fifth in class. And bummer for two of the three Hobie 33’s who have already dropped out. Track em here.

photo by Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing.

what goes around…

When B & Q supported Ellen McArthur’s Solo circumnavigation record (still the fastest woman around alone non-stop) part of the deal was an ‘Asian Tour’ which included a stopover in Shanghai.

We sourced secure (very tight but secure) berthing for her less than 1 mile from Shanghai’s iconic ‘Bund’.

The Shanghai British Chamber of Commerce laid on a gala dinner. I couldn’t say how many were there but it was in the 400-500 range.

I got the opportunity to meet Ellen beforehand so I printed a picture of my boat and wrote on the back “All the best skippers have owned a Red Corribee”. She looked at the words quizzically so I invited her to turn it over. He comments weren’t what you would expect like “Oh, it’s a boat like mine” – not Ellen. “I see you had roller furling, I had a hanked on jib; You had the tall rig I see, and so on”

I felt like saying “It’s a boat like yours!!!” 

After the main course of the dinner the MC got Ellen on the stage and had a Q & A session with her, every question she answered quick fire. As commodore of the local yacht club  I had be pre-warned I would be invited to ask the first question from the floor so I had to make it a good one. I pondered for a number of days.

When the mike was handed to me I asked her “Had you not been successful in your record attempt would it have been lack of physical ability or due to the mental stresses of the attempt?”

Ellen sat in her chair for around a minute not saying a word and finally said “The boat was designed for me, I trained and knew how to move around without risking injury but you never know. However there is no way you can train to be on your own making every major, sometimes life or death decisions for 70+ days so if I had not been successful it would have been due to the mental stress of the attempt.

A measure of the intensity of the woman that she considered the question for so long rather than just blurting out a simple pat answer.

Inspirational, and I think she still has that little Red Corribee. – SS


I will never forget the first time I was told that I had skin cancer. I was walking through a shopping mall and my dermatologist called me on my phone. He was very good, and said it didn’t look serious and that I should come in to see him for more tests - but I wasn’t listening by then, I was frozen to the spot thinking, ‘why me?’ Well, why not me? Let’s look at the facts. Born in the 1960’s on the clear-skied Channel Island of Jersey, I grew up on a beach, surfed every weekend plus after school,...

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Two years after Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba declared the creation of nine new national marine parks and 11 new aquatic reserves, the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd has committed to another three years of assisting him in the combat against illegal fishing.

Named Operation Albacore IV, Sea Shepherd has signed a MOU with the Gabonese Ministries of Fisheries, Defense and Environment to extend the partnership which has already seen the arrest of eight illegal fishing vessels since the start of joint patrols three years ago.

Under the framework of the MOU, Sea Shepherd will provide a civilian offshore patrol vessel and the operating crew to run it, along with fuel. The Gabonese partners will provide the law enforcement agents on board. Read on.

rollin’ with the new

When Infiniti Yachts asked me to be involved in developing their new Infiniti 52 concept I was immediately excited by the possibilities.  An opportunity to develop a new 52 footer incorporating all the best features available in the industry today and targeted at a space in the market crying out for such a concept.

The 52 has traditionally been a very good size of boat to perform successfully both at inshore racing and coastal / offshore racing and is big enough to be comfortable when overnighting but small enough and light enough to have that exhilarating dinghy like feel to it.  There seems to be a demand from many existing and potential owners of this size of boat to have something they can race without the need for a full professional crew of 13-15 big guys.  The key concepts incorporated into the Infiniti 52 are these:

1.  Designed around a highly efficient single transverse DSS foil.
2.  Powered winches and systems.
3.  Simple appendage package – single rudder and fixed keel.
4.  Efficient, swept 3 spreader carbon mast with sail and rig plan optimised for coastal racing.
5.  A workable, comfortable yet lightweight interior.
6.  A requirement to efficiently race the boat with reduced crew number of 9-10.
7.  A super smart, modern and sleek look!

In more detail:
1.  The DSS foil.
DSS has been around for a long time but only recently is it starting to gain mainstream traction.  I have raced and sailed on many foil assisted monohulls – including Rambler 88, Wild Oats XI, Charal (IMOCA 60), Wild Joe and Maverick (Infiniti 46).  All of these examples and experiences have provided valuable input into the ideal foil arrangement and concept for the new 52.  A simple to operate and reliable single transverse foil provides the best solution for this target market.  A foil that will start working at low boat speeds (around 11-12 knots) when reaching and running to provide righting moment and reduce displacement resulting in a faster, more comfortable ride.  At higher speeds (16+) the foil will provide really significant gains resulting in speeds far superior to any existing 50-60 foot traditional monohulls.  When upwind sailing in heavy airs and/or waves the foil will act as a stabiliser – reducing pitching and making the ride more comfortable and faster!

2.  Powered winches and systems.
The drive for racing with a smaller crew leads logically to powered winches and systems.  Using the latest in powered winch technology and systems means an owner can race very effectively with less crew and reduced reliance on professional sailors.

3.  Simple appendage package – single rudder and fixed keel.
We wanted to create an overall package that was simple.  For a DSS equipped 52 the single rudder and fixed keel provide an appendage package that is easy to maintain and use and combined with DSS provides impressive and reliable performance at all windspeed and angles.

4.  Efficient, swept 3 spreader carbon mast with sail and rig plan optimised for coastal racing.
The well proven swept, three spreader high modulus carbon rig is the foundation for an offshore optimised sail plan.  With a very efficient triple heading configuration designed for early use of single and multiple staysails when reaching and downwind, performance jumps markedly compared with existing setups for this size of boat.  The Solent style furling headsail provides a great solution for short handed sailing and easy sail changes when fully crewed.  The Solent combined with the small Genoa Staysail is the perfect combination for triple headed reaching and downwind sailing.  The small GS also enables it be used at very tight angles under the regular jib ensuring early deployment and a jump in performance.
Utilizing the latest Doyle Sails cable less technology enables the rig compression and sail loads to be reduced – resulting in reduced weight for mast, rigging and boat structure – a huge driver for overall improved performance and comfort.

5.  A workable, comfortable yet lightweight interior.
The owner has the option to choose any level of fit out to suit their purpose – from stripped out coastal racer to super comfortable cruiser/racer interior.

6.  A requirement to efficiently race the boat with target crew number of 9-10.
Mostly covered already but the drive to sail with reduced crew numbers means all the systems and layout are optimized with this in mind.

7.  A super smart, modern and sleek look!
Why not have a great looking yacht with performance to match! You can see some information about the new Infiniti 52 in this link.

Please get in touch if you would like to hear more about the boat and the concepts incorporated in its design.

Kind Regards,
Stu Bannatyne.

a different cat

The sensation at the helm of the Eagle Class 53 is unlike anything you’ve felt on a yacht of this size. This boat feels like half of its 16m length in the light touch of its helm and the nuanced accelerations and decelerations as it sails through puffs and lulls. No feeling of inertia, just pure speed.

That is not what you expect when you board via the transom and see the spacious open-air salon where the stylish design offers not only wide spaces and comfortable seating, but also a full bar and plenty of stowage. Winches, rope clutches and lines are clustered forward in the winch island, mostly out of the way, but reachable. And a push and lift of the clever gull wing hatches on each hull reveals a simple cabin with enough amenities to be comfortable. Read on.

humble pie

As regular visitors to the forums know too well I am always up to corrected if wrong.

We seem to have got it slightly wrong with the image of the Gold Roman Bowl winner. Eeyore is not a standard boat at all.

In my defense the “OFFICIAL RESULTS PAGE” for the 2019 Round the Island Race lists Eeyore as -and I quote – “Alactiry 18 Bilge Keel”. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t believe everything you read, even when it is on the official results page, perhaps the word ‘modified’ might have been appropriate ☺.

I searched the photos on the Round the Island Website and couldn’t find a photo of an “Alacrity 18 Bilge Keel”, at least not one that looked like those that were around when I was new to sailing in the ‘60’s so I posted a photo of what IS an Alacrity. Definitely a case of apples and oranges.

The yacht that won the Round the Island Race 2019 (Eeyore) is, one could say, slightly modified (if she started life as a 1960’s Alacrity at all) as Simon of Suffolk Sails so rightly points out. She still rated the same as a boat 8 feet longer and I reckon still probably cost less than Jethou’s mainsail. She was also – obviously – better sailed to her numbers than any of the other finishers proving that sometimes 0.771 (Eeyore)is a bigger number than 1.647 (Jethou).

Humble Pie on order, just waiting for the custard to come to the boil.

One last comment. One respondent described the boat in the image as a “piece of shit” (not Simon). Pieces of shit like that built by George Hurley, or Newbridge Boats and other small builders probably introduced more people to sailing than any of the modern plastic fantastics. My own “piece of shit” many years ago was an aged Corribee – same colour as Ellen McArthur’s “piece of shit” and she was my first ‘boat with a lid’. The Corribee at just 21 feet long is credited with at least 6 Atlantic crossings (not bad for a piece of shit) decades before the minis stole the limelight, and many of them are still going strong. And guess what? My ‘piece of shit’ also won races when sailed well.

We need to remember that no matter how good we are at whatever we do we were all beginners once. (Wonder what kind of boat that respondent owns?) – SS.

Title thanks to Humble Pie


the name of the game

Not Sailing But….. We often complain that top sailors, in the main, do not have the same earnings capacity as other sports but it would appear that other sports, internally, have similar problems. I am bound to get flak from certain directions but those who know me, know that I am not “-ist” or  “- phobic” in any manner at all be it skin color, sexual orientation, age (young or old) at all. In fact in my day job I have friends and clients in all directions and as a whitey living in China it would be a bit difficult...

Read On