MAPFRE back for another Volvo Ocean Race challenge in 2017-18| Volvo Ocean Race

MAPFRE back for another Volvo Ocean Race challenge in 2017-18


Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race


Francisco Vignale / MAPFRE / Volvo Ocean Race


Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race

MAPFRE will return to the Volvo Ocean Race for a second consecutive edition, as the third confirmed entry for sailing’s toughest team event (full story below).

ALICANTE, Spain – MAPFRE will be back on the start line for the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017-18, the Spanish team announced on Tuesday.

MAPFRE, backed by the Madrid-based global insurance company, are the third confirmed entry for sailing’s toughest team event, which starts from Alicante on Sunday, 22 October and will take the teams on a 45,000-nautical mile route around the world. Dongfeng Race Team and team AkzoNobel announced their campaigns last year.

In the last edition in 2014-15, MAPFRE won the leg into Auckland, New Zealand and grabbed three more podium finishes. Their return is testament to the success of the project both on the sporting and commercial side.

MAPFRE president Antonio Huertas said: “It’s an honour for MAPFRE to be on the start line again in one of the most demanding competitions in world sport. We really value being involved in a sailing competition around the world that represents the same values that define us as a company.

“Our experience in the last edition, with a great team of professionals, committed and determined to do well in this race, was very positive. Additionally, the Volvo Ocean Race will have stopovers in some of our main markets, such as Spain, Brazil and the United States, and we will therefore increase brand awareness of MAPFRE at an international level.”

Spain’s Pedro Campos will again oversee the MAPFRE project, with announcements on the skipper and crew to come in the near future.

Spanish boats have competed in eight of the previous 12 editions of the Volvo Ocean Race – formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race – but the country is still looking for a first win.

“It’s fantastic news to be able to confirm a Spanish team for the next edition, and of course great to see another sponsor return to the race after a successful campaign,” said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner. “With Alicante recently confirmed as the start for the next three editions, and Spain having played a significant role in the history of the race in general, it will be great to see Spanish fans lined up again on the dock in October to cheer on their team, MAPFRE.”

Spanish sailor Campos has an unbroken history with the race dating back to the movistar campaign in 2005-06.

Pedro Campos, CEO of Team MAPFRE and of the last five Spanish projects in the Volvo Ocean Race, said: “We are very grateful and proud to have the full support of MAPFRE once again for the great adventure that is the Volvo Ocean Race, probably the longest, hardest, and most extreme event in the sports world. Just taking part in it, it’s a big goal for every team. To be on start line from Alicante with a chance to try to win – that is our first big challenge and our job for the next months.”

From the start in Alicante on 22 October, the teams will race their one-design Volvo Ocean 65s on a route that calls in at Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport (Rhode Island), Cardiff and Gothenburg before the finish in The Hague.

A recent rule change provides a major incentive for teams to include female sailors as part of the crew, while a series of further initiatives were announced last year to make the racing more open than ever.

via MAPFRE back for another Volvo Ocean Race challenge in 2017-18| Volvo Ocean Race.

Boating Business | World’s greatest yachting cartoonist dies

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World’s greatest yachting cartoonist dies

Mike Peyton in his studio Photo courtesy of Paul Gelder

Mike Peyton, dubbed the ‘World’s greatest yachting cartoonist’, has died aged 96. Born into a mining family in County Durham in 1921, Mr Peyton began sketching as a boy.

He lied about his age to join the Army and was seconded to draw maps of the North African desert by the Intelligence Corps during the Second World War.

After the war he went to Manchester Art School and he also discovered boating buying a 12ft canvas sailing canoe and working his way down the River Thames, sleeping on moored barges.

He worked as a freelance cartoonist for New Scientist magazine for 35 years, as well as contributing cartoons to a wide range of magazines, from Yachting Monthly and Practical Boat Owner to the Church of England Times and Corsetry & Underwear. His cartoons, which often needed no translation, were published worldwide in yachting magazines from Japan to America.

He also had 18 books of yachting cartoons published and in 2016 was presented with the Yachting Journalists’ Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award and dubbed the ‘Picasso of sailing’.

Mr Peyton is survived by his wife, Kathleen and daughters Hilary and Veronica.

via Boating Business | World’s greatest yachting cartoonist dies.

Dongfeng Race Team become first team to take delivery of their newly-refitted Volvo Ocean 65| Volvo Ocean Race

Dongfeng Race Team become first team to take delivery of their newly-refitted Volvo Ocean 65


Eloi Stichelbaut/Dongfeng Race Team


Eloi Stichelbaut/Dongfeng Race Team


Eloi Stichelbaut/Dongfeng Race Team

There are 268 days until the Volvo Ocean Race fleet departs Alicante ahead of a 45,000 nautical mile marathon through the most challenging oceans on the planet, and Dongfeng Race Team are set to make the most of that preparation time after becoming the first to take delivery of their newly-refitted Volvo Ocean 65 at The Boatyard in Lisbon today (full story below).

There are 268 days until the Volvo Ocean Race fleet departs Alicante ahead of a 45,000 nautical mile marathon through the most challenging oceans on the planet, and Dongfeng Race Team are set to make the most of that preparation time after becoming the first to take delivery of their newly-refitted Volvo Ocean 65 at The Boatyard in Lisbon today.

The handover marks the formal beginning of the Chinese team’s second consecutive campaign, and holds extra special significance as it is exactly two years to the day since Charles Caudrelier and Dongfeng Race Team won their 2014-15 homecoming leg into Sanya.

Having been through a re-fit process worth around one million euros, the boat now features an eye-catching new colour scheme and branding, alongside a range of upgraded kit consisting of over 500 items across sails, deck gear, electronics and a new media and navigation station.

“For us, today is the largest milestone we’ve had so far in the re-fit period. It’s 15 weeks since Dongfeng gave the boat to us, and the deadline for returning it is today,” explains Neil Cox, Paint and Commissioning Manager at the Boatyard.

“We’ve had two days of sea trials which have gone well, and that’s the culmination of an enormous amount of work by 25 to 35 people, who have worked the last three and a half months putting in close to 3,500 man hours into the boat, covering everything from boatbuilding, rigging, to electronics, and sails, to get it stripped and put it back together.”

He continues: “In addition to that, we’ve put an additional 2,500 man hours into painting and branding, which has pretty much seen every area of the boat – from the hull, deck, masts, keel, rudders and daggerboards – stripped, re-primed and brought back into new paint, so we’re giving back a product which looks like a brand new boat.”

And Dongfeng technical specialists were full of praise for the Boatyard team, who have given the boat a complete overhaul whilst under huge time pressure.

“We have our boat back and she is still the same one that we got to know last time,” said boat captain, Graham Tourell. “But really she is almost new with some innovative upgrades – everything has been either replaced or renewed and she looks stunning in her new livery.’

Dongfeng skipper Charles has been working for months to build his crew for a campaign which he hopes will see the team better their third place of 2014-15, and the handover of the boat is a landmark occasion, he says.

“Getting our hands on the boat today is another huge step for us. It marks the beginning of another adventure for our team and the moment that we start our training programme in earnest. In the next few weeks we will also be able to finalise our crew selection.”

Who will sail onboard Dongfeng is not yet confirmed, but the Frenchman revealed that his squad will once again feature a mixed Chinese and western crew and will take advantage of new rules designed to encourage female sailors to take part.

“We’re looking for people who are competitive, determined to succeed and committed to our cause,” said Caudrelier. “Competition for each slot on the boat is exceptionally tough but we are determined to take our time and make sure we have the right mix.”

With the main phase of boat preparation now completed the focus switches to Dongfeng Race Team’s on-the-water training and racing programme in the lead-up to the Volvo Ocean Race start from Alicante in Spain on 22 October.

The 2017-18 route will see the Volvo Ocean 65 fleet race more than three times as many Southern Ocean miles as in recent editions, visiting 12 landmark cities across approximately 45,000 nautical miles – including a first return to Melbourne, Australia in over a decade, as announced on Thursday – and Caudrelier can’t wait to test the boat against the toughest conditions on the planet.

“As a team, we’re relishing the new emphasis in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race on racing in the Southern Ocean and leg three is going to be one of the biggest challenges we will face,” he added.

via Dongfeng Race Team become first team to take delivery of their newly-refitted Volvo Ocean 65| Volvo Ocean Race.

Volvo Ocean Race announces Melbourne, Australia as extra stop and confirms all 2017-18 race dates| Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race announces Melbourne, Australia as extra stop and confirms all 2017-18 race dates


Roberto Seba



Josie Withers Photography

The Volvo Ocean Race will give sports fans an extra Christmas present in 2017 after adding Melbourne to the route for the forthcoming edition starting in October (full story below)

MELBOURNE, Jan 27 – The Volvo Ocean Race will give sports fans an extra Christmas present in 2017 after adding Melbourne to the route for the forthcoming edition starting in October.

The change to the 2017-18 route, announced on Friday morning in Melbourne, means the Race will visit Australia for the eighth time – but for the first in more than a decade.

With what will be a compressed stopover, Melbourne fits between Cape Town and Hong Kong, and completes a 45,000-nautical mile route that will see the teams cover three times as many miles in the Southern Ocean as in previous editions.

Cape Town to Melbourne will now make up Leg 3 of the race – a double-point scoring, 6,300-nautical mile leg. Melbourne will host a week-long stopover, but no In-Port Race, before the fleet leaves on Leg 4 to Hong Kong.

According to projections, the one-design Volvo Ocean 65 fleet will arrive around Christmas Day – meaning an extra reason to celebrate in the state capital of Victoria.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren commented: “The Volvo Ocean Race is another chance for Victorians to see some of the world’s best sailing teams in action. Major events are fantastic for the entire visitor economy – they keep our restaurants and hotels full and our shopping precincts bustling.

He concluded: “The Victorian Government is proud to work with a range of dedicated partners to support this stand out sailing event.”

Australia’s history with the Volvo Ocean Race goes all the way back to the first edition in 1973-74 and, in total, Australia has hosted the race seven times. The race first came to Melbourne in 2005-06 and now returns for a second time.

“We’re delighted to be visiting Melbourne again – a vibrant city of sport and culture with a strong maritime heritage,” said Volvo Ocean Race COO, Richard Mason.

“Having been born in Australia myself, I couldn’t be more excited to see the race head Down Under, and I know that sailing fans across the nation will be full of excitement to see the boats and sailors for themselves.”

The full route now features a total of 10 legs taking in 12 landmark Host Cities on six continents.

The teams will leave Alicante, Spain on 22 October and race on to Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne and Hong Kong before a non-scoring transition to Guangzhou in China.

After a stopover in Guangzhou that will include a race in the In-Port Series, the ocean legs will resume with a leg to Auckland before stopping in Itajaí, Brazil, Newport, Rhode Island, Cardiff and Gothenburg, before the big finish in the Dutch city of The Hague.

The two Southern Ocean legs – from Cape Town to Melbourne, and Auckland to Itajaí – plus the North Atlantic leg near the end of the race, Newport to Cardiff – will all score double points. The longest leg of the 45,000-nautical mile lap of the planet will now be the 7,600-nautical mile leg from Auckland to Itajaí.

The Volvo Ocean Race recently announced a series of major changes to the rules of the 43-year-old classic adventure, including a major incentive for teams to compete with mixed male-female crews.

The addition of the Melbourne stopover means the race has locked in dates across the whole 2017-18 route. The key dates are as follows:



Race Village opens – 11 October 2017

Alicante In-Port Race ­– 14 October 2017

Leg 1 Start – 22 October 2017

– – – –


In-Port Race – 28 October 2017

Leg 2 Start – 5 November 2017

– – – –

Cape Town

In-Port Race – 8 December 2017

Leg 3 Start – 10 December 2017

– – – –


Leg 4 Start – 2 January 2018

– – – –

Hong Kong

In-Port Race – 27 January 2018

– – – –


In-Port Race – 4 February 2018

– – – –

Leg 5 Start – 7 February 2018

– – – –


In-Port Race – 10 March 2018

Leg 6 Start – 18 March 2018

– – – –


In-Port Race – 20 April 2018

Leg 7 Start – 22 April 2018

– – – –


In-Port Race – 19 May 2018

Leg 8 Start – 20 May 2018

– – – –


In-Port Race – 8 June 2018

Leg 9 Start – 10 June 2018

– – – –


In-Port Race – 17 June 2018

Leg 10 Start – 21 June 2018

– – – –

The Hague

In-Port Race – 30 June 2018


Australia in the Volvo Ocean Race:

11 Australian sailors took part in the 2014-15 edition of the race: Will Oxley (Alvimedica), Phil Harmer and Luke Parkinson (Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing), Sophie Ciszek, Stacey Jackson and Liz Wardley (SCA), Andrew Cape (Brunel), and Chris Nicholson, Tom Johnson and Tom Addis (all Team Vestas Wind), Jack Bouttell (Dongfeng Race Team).

The Volvo Ocean Race has visited Australia seven times before: Sydney in 1973-74, 1997-98 and 2001-02, Fremantle in 1989-90, 1993-94 and 1997-98, and Melbourne in 2005-06.


via Volvo Ocean Race announces Melbourne, Australia as extra stop and confirms all 2017-18 race dates| Volvo Ocean Race.

British Sailing Team confirms new teams for the new Olympic cycle | Home | News | The British Sailing Team | RYA

British Sailing Team as of January 2017:

Olympic Classes Podium squad

Finn – Ed Wright

Laser – Nick Thompson

Laser Radial – Alison Young

RS:X Men – Kieran Martin

RS:X Women – Bryony Shaw

470 Women – Hannah Mills; Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre

470 Men – Luke Patience-Chris Grube; Elliot Willis

49er – Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell; Alain Sign; John Pink

49erFX – Charlotte Dobson-(Saskia Tidey); Sophie Ainsworth-(Kate Macgregor)

Nacra 17 – Ben Saxton-Nicola Groves

Olympic Classes Podium Potential squad

Finn – Ben Cornish; Pete McCoy; Henry Wetherell

Laser – Lorenzo Chiavarini; Elliot Hanson; Jack Wetherell; Michael Beckett

Laser Radial – Georgina Povall

RS:X Men – Tom Squires; Joe Bennett

RS:X Women – Izzy Hamilton; Emma Wilson

470 Women – Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter; Jess Lavery-Flora Stewart

470 Men – Martin Wrigley-James Taylor

49er – James Peters-Fynn Sterritt

49erFX – Saskia Tidey-(Charlotte Dobson); Kate Macgregor-(Sophie Ainsworth)

Nacra 17 – Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface; John Gimson-Anna Burnet; Rupert White-Kirstie Urwin

Olympic Classes Podium Potential Pathway squad

Finn – Hector Simpson

Laser – Harry Blowers; Jack Cookson; Jamie Calder; Sam Whaley; Matthew Whitfield; Dan Whiteley

Laser Radial – Ellie Cumpsty; Clementine Thompson

RS:X Men – Matt Carey; James Hatcher; Henry Bloodworth; Dan Wilson; Matt Barton; Rob York

RS:X Women – Noelle Finch; Saskia Sills; Imogen Sills

470 Men – Ben Hazeldine-Ryan Orr

470 Women – Sarah Norbury-Katie Dabson

49er – Chris Taylor-Sam Batten; Jack Hawkins-Chris Thomas; Daniel Budden-James Grummett; Morgan Peach-Rhos Hawes; Gillies Munro-Daniel Harris

49erFX – Megan Brickwood-Ellie Aldridge; Steph Orton

All sailor places within the British Sailing Team are subject to ongoing review, a satisfactory performance plan and attainment to specified targets.

With sailing not currently on the Paralympic programme for Tokyo 2020, the sport’s elite Paralympic funding award will cease from April 2017.

via British Sailing Team confirms new teams for the new Olympic cycle | Home | News | The British Sailing Team | RYA.

British Sailing Team confirms new teams for the new Olympic cycle | Home | News | The British Sailing Team | RYA

British Sailing Team confirms new teams for the new Olympic cycle

Written by RYA | 20 January 2017

RYA’s World Class Programme line-up revealed as Tokyo 2020 cycle gets underway

New crews, new faces and a potential future Olympian for 2040 are among the British Sailing Team updates as the squad to kick-start the new Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle is unveiled.

For the first time since 1998 and 2001 respectively, multi-Olympic medallists Nick Dempsey and Saskia Clark will not form part of the RYA’s World Class Programme line-up, with both sailors having called time on Olympic campaigning following their silver and gold medal successes at the Rio 2016 Games.

Hannah Mills, Clark’s gold-medal winning helm in the 470 class, is currently trying her hand in a new event, the 49erFX women’s skiff. She’s been training with experienced 49er campaigner and 2016 Olympian Alain Sign in the high performance boat as she gets up to speed, with a view to forming a more permanent partnership in the all-female Olympic class later this year.

“I’ve been sailing in the 470 class for 10 years now. It’s an amazing boat, but I’m also really excited to try something new. It’s the right time for me to do that, and it’s good to keep things fresh,” Mills explained.

“The FX is certainly a different challenge – a lot to handle and a lot faster – but I’m really enjoying it so far.”

Elsewhere in the 49erFX class, Rio Olympians Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth have each formed new partnerships, with Dobson teaming up with Saskia Tidey, who represented Ireland at the 2016 Games but who has since gained eligibility from World Sailing to compete for Great Britain.

Ainsworth has formed a new FX team with London 2012 match racing Olympian Kate Macgregor, who’s been competing in the class with various crews since the 2012 Games.

Ainsworth said: “Rio 2016 taught me a lot about myself personally as an athlete, and what I believe it takes to win. To have the opportunity to put this into practice with Kate is exciting and I can’t wait to get started.”

Meanwhile, three-time Olympic windsurfer Bryony Shaw is to take a break for at least the first half of the year as the 33-year-old and her partner, US sailor Brad Funk, are expecting their first baby in early June.

The Beijing bronze medallist, who’s secured podium finishes at three of the last four RS:X World Championships, is eyeing a comeback towards the end of 2017, with her intention still to campaign towards the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“Brad and I are so excited to be expecting our first baby!” Shaw explained. “We’re all doing really well and the timing is perfect in that it will hopefully allow me a great run-in to Tokyo.

“Obviously there will be a lot to get to grips with once the baby arrives, but I have great support and I believe I still have what it takes to compete at the highest level. There’s a fantastic team at the British Sailing Team who can help keep me in shape and get me back up to fitness when the time is right.

“Countless other mums pursue successful careers, including in sport, and I’m really looking forward to that challenge.”

World Champions Nick Thompson and Alison Young will aim to pick up where they left off in their Laser and Laser Radial events. Olympic Champion Giles Scott is taking a sabbatical from Finn campaigning as he focusses on the America’s Cup this year, while 2016 Olympian Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell, 2012 silver medallist in the 470 class, have joined forces in the 49er.

Fletcher won World Championship bronze with Alain Sign in 2016, and Bithell secured podium finishes at the last two 49er European Championships alongside John Pink.

Fletcher said: “Rio was awesome, but for me the journey did not end there. It was such an extraordinary experience but also bitterly disappointing to miss out on a medal.

“I am lucky enough to have teamed up with London 2012 silver medallist Stuart Bithell for this next cycle. Stu brings lot of different experience into the boat and I am looking forward to the road ahead with such an amazing talent.”

“Our athletes have really hit the ground running in 2017,” observed RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park. “We’ve just concluded our first winter training camp in Cadiz and a number of sailors are about to compete at their first Sailing World Cup regatta of the year out in Miami.

“The first year of the Olympic cycle is always an exciting one with new teams looking to establish themselves and some of the younger talents who’ve been knocking at the door aiming to show their own intentions towards the next Games. It’ll be fascinating to see what unfolds.”

via British Sailing Team confirms new teams for the new Olympic cycle | Home | News | The British Sailing Team | RYA.

Boating Business | Marine Results renews sponsorship

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Marine Results renews sponsorship

19 Jan 2017

Alan Roberts is sponsored by Marine Results

Superyacht rigging and survey company Marine Results has renewed its sponsorship of Alan Roberts Racing for the Solitaire du Figaro 2017.

This will be the fourth Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro solo race for Mr Roberts and Marine Results will provide a van and trailer, as well as equipment for the boat plus new running rigging.

The company will also carry out final rigging checks prior to the four-leg 1,500-mile race.

Mr Roberts has taken part in previous Figaro campaigns and has been top Brit in the past two editions.

“We are very pleased with our decision to once again sponsor Alan’s Figaro campaign,” said Jon Morris of Marine Results. “He shows a great example of experience and success through endeavour and the Figaro is an impressive training ground for the world’s top offshore sailors.

“Alan has already achieved a great deal on the solo circuit, and we want to pull out all the stops to help him to even greater success.”

Marine Results joins Mr Roberts’ other campaign partners, Seacat Services, Zhik, Kilchoman and BEE.

via Boating Business | Marine Results renews sponsorship.

Boating Business | Alex is the fastest Brit

Alex is the fastest Brit20 Jan 2017Alex Thomson is the fastest Brit to sail solo around the world. Photo credit: Mark LloydBritish sailor Alex Thomson has finished second in the Vendée Globe onboard his boat HUGO BOSS.Finishing in a time of 74 days, 19 hours and 35 minutes, Mr Thomson has become the fastest Brit to sail solo around the world and matched Dame Ellen MacArthur’s second place finish that she achieved in the 2001 edition of the race.  On day 13 of the race, Mr Thomson broke his starboard foil after a collision with an object in the water and at one point fell around 800 miles behind the leader, Armel Le Céac’h.The last week of the race saw Mr Thomson closing to around 30 miles of Mr Le Céac’h before light airs delayed his progress.“It’s incredible to be here in second place, particularly given the loss of my starboard foil in the early part of the race,” he said. “In our sport, challenges do not get any tougher, so this is a moment I will never forget.”He added: “It feels amazing, it’s a long, long way.”The 2016-17 edition of the Vendée Globe started on November 6 with 29 skippers, setting sail from Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Currently 18 of the sailors remain in the race.Thomson and his team had spent more than two years ahead of the race designing and building the new IMOCA 60 race boat, HUGO BOSS.

via Boating Business | Alex is the fastest Brit.

Boating Business | Mid-ocean rescue rewarded

Mid-ocean rescue rewarded

11 Jan 2017

Gavin Reid, second left, receives the coveted YJA Yachtsman of the Year trophy. Left to right, Barry Pickthall, YJA chairman; Gavin Reid; Ian Atkins, chairman,; Ian Walker, MBE, last year’s winner. Photo: Sam Kurtul

Gavin Reid, a 27-year old adventurer who took part in last year’s Clipper Round the World Race, has been rewarded for a heroic mid-ocean rescue of a sailor trapped at the top of a mast with the 2016 Yachting Journalists Association (YJA) Yachtsman of the Year Award.

Fifteen-year old Elliott Kuzyk from Poole, Dorset, won the 2016 YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award after winning the 2016 Topper World Championship.

Both sailors received their awards at a gala lunch held at Trinity House, London, presented on behalf of the YJA by the 2015 Yachtsman of the Year, Ian Walker MBE following a close vote taken by members of the YJA.

Mr Reid was crewing the Clipper Round the World race yacht Mission Performance when an SOS was picked up off the New South Wales coast of Australia from a yacht returning from the Sydney Hobart Race that had a crewman stuck at the top of the mast.

Mr Reid, who is profoundly deaf and had no sailing experience prior to signing up for the Clipper Race, volunteered to swim between the two yachts and found four other crew onboard all incapacitated and unable to help their crewmate who had been tangled in halyards at the top of the mast for several hours.

Using the one remaining staysail halyard, Gavin hoisted himself two-thirds of the way up the mast, then climbed the rest of the way hand-over-hand to reach the crewman, untangle the lines and help to lower him down safely.

“To be named 2016 YJA Yachtsman of The Year over some of my absolute heroes of the sport, feels like an incredible honour,” he said.

“If someone had told me two years ago when I was starting my training for the Clipper Race that I would be here today collecting this award, I couldn’t have believed it.”

The runners up were Olympic gold medalist Giles Scott and Round the Island Race record holder Brian Thompson.

Elliott eventually took the world champion title after a seven-way battle for top spot and also broke UK regional records by winning the Topper Southern Area Championships for a fifth year.

“It really is a prestigious trophy and I didn’t expect to win,” he said. “But I am very happy.”

The runners up were 18-year-old 29er class dinghy sailors Tom Darling and Crispin Beaumont and 15-year-old powerboat champion Thomas Mantripp.

“I’m proud to present the Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the year awards once again this year,” said Ian Atkins, chairman. “2016 was so full of extraordinary sailing achievement — from multiple Olympic gold medal wins, to many new British world champions, to life saving heroics.”

via Boating Business | Mid-ocean rescue rewarded.

Why I will watch the America’s Cup, Sadly >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Why I will watch the America’s Cup, Sadly

Published on January 13th, 2017






by David Salter

Like millions of sailing enthusiasts around the world, I will be watching the America’s Cup racing on television, not because I admire the current version of this great event, but because my 50-year allegiance to the sport demands it.

The fundamental notion of there being a pinnacle of international yachting competition is what will always attract the loyalty of the true enthusiast.

But to my mind, the essential problem for the 35th America’s Cup is that it is not being sailed in boats. Like the previous challenge, it is a contest between two-hulled, one-winged, low-flying aircraft. The AC catamarans have no significant displacement. The design of their hulls is largely an irrelevance. The so-called “sail” is a highly fragile and complex contraption that owes more to aerospace research than the skills of any loft.

While all of that technology is certainly impressive, it bears little relation to the type of sailing the vast majority of us enjoy. We don’t toddle out to the starting line in crash helmets and survival suits. Nor do we rely on sophisticated computing power to choose our gybe angles or select the optimum angle of heel.

Even the intensely hi-tech world of Formula One manages to retain some connection to the ordinary motorist. The F1 cars have a wheel at each corner and an engine somewhere in the middle. They are, in other words, still cars. But the AC foilers are nothing like the average dinghy or yacht that most of us sail.

And we like to devote two or three hours to a good, solid race, not a frantic wham-bam-thank-you-ma’m sprint that’s all over inside 30 minutes because that’s the kind of instant gratification the short attention span TV executives want. The America’s Cup has let itself become just another commercialized spectacle, with all the grubbiness that inevitably infects sport when the dollars begin to outweigh the merits of the contest itself.

So, yes, I’ll be watching the racing, but all the time I’ll be wishing it was more like those wonderfully elegant contests we had 30 years ago between the 12-metres. Back then, every sailor in the world could follow the tactics and imagine themselves on board the yachts. It was engrossing – the very best our sport could offer.

I doubt the Battle in Bermuda will generate that same feeling.

Background: The 35th American’s Cup has attracted six teams (5 challengers and 1 defender) that will compete in the new 15-meter AC Class, with a series of qualifiers beginning on May 26, 2017 that lead to the start of the America’s Cup Match on June 17, 2017. Complete schedule.

Tags: America’s Cup, David Salter

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