Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 14

Monday November 22

The Yacht Racing Podcast – Alex Thomson

Justin Chisholm’s guest on the latest episode of The Yacht Racing Podcast is British solo racing skipper Alex Thomson.

Thomson is a veteran of no less than five editions of the Vendée Globe solo around the world race.

He made his first attempt in 2004 but damage to his boat put him out of that race and the following edition in 2008-09, but he went on to finish third in the 2012-13 edition and second in the 2016-17.

Despite starting the 2020-21 edition as a firm favourite to become the first ever non-French Vendée Globe winner, Thomson was again forced out of the race after first having to effect running repairs to the bow of his state of the art ultra high tech IMOCA 60 and then suffering catastrophic damage to one of his rudders in a collision with floating ocean debris.

The British skipper shocked the sailing world recently with the announcement that he would not be competing in the 2024-25 Vendée Globe.


Protocol announced for 37th America's Cup

The Protocol of the 37th America’s Cup was released today by the Defender, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand and the Challenger of Record - Royal Yacht Squadron Ltd and their representative team INEOS Britannia, eight months to the day after Emirates Team New Zealand successfully defended the America’s Cup.

The Protocol sets the foundations and rules of participation for all teams in the 37th America’s Cup and records the items of mutual consent under the America’s Cup Deed of Gift agreed between the Defender and the Challenger of Record which establishes the basis for a multi challenger event.

“As we saw with AC36, after 170 years, as the oldest trophy in international sport, the America’s Cup maintains its unique position of balancing the traditions of the Deed of Gift while continuing to push the boundaries of innovation, technology and design in the boats, the event, the broadcast and the commercial aspects of the event,” said Emirates Team New Zealand’s CEO Grant Dalton.


American Magic welcomes release of AC37 Protocol

The US America’s Cup syndicate American Magic has given a cautious thumbs up to the Protocol for the 37th America’s Cup which was released earlier this week by the Cup holders Team New Zealand and the Challenger of Record Ineos Britannia.

A statement issued by American team, which is led by Terry Hutchinson and backed by Doug DeVos and Hap Fauth, said that it welcomed the new Protocol’s release. Although the venue for AC37 is still unknown the US team said the document provided ‘a framework to allow design and planning work to accelerate for all teams’.

"Our team plans to compete at AC37, and as part of that process we continue to learn as much about the next event as we can," said DeVos, American Magic co-founder and team Principal.

"The racing venue and the regatta dates remain unknown, but the release of the Protocol and the Class Rule is definitely welcome.”


Sail-World – America's Cup: RNZYS Committee calls for reality check on NZ based AC37 Match

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron General Committee have set Thursday December 9, as the date for the Special General Meeting to consider a motion to hold the 37th America's Cup, and all others defended by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's America's Cup team in Auckland – writes Richard Gladwell.

However a second motion has been submitted by the General Committee (labelled "Alternative Two"), is diluted version of the first.

The General Committee says it “does not believe that it would be helpful that either motion is passed".

In a blunt statement to the membership the outgoing General Committee says: "There needs to be a reality check in respect to a New Zealand based AC37 Match. ETNZ needs to secure funding, with local and central Government support, to hold this event in Auckland.

"Unless this happens, we need to consider offshore venues. The consequences of not doing so are potentially dire – no cup defence at all, and giving the America’s Cup back having been unable to stage a defence and meet our obligations under the Deed of Gift.


Sail-World – America's Cup: Dalton, Ainslie and Bernasconi on the new AC75 Class Rule

Improved performance and cost reduction are the keynotes of the new class rule for the America's Cup class to be used for the 37th Match for the premier trophy in sailing – writes Richard Gladwell.

Not that the third generation of the foiling monohull will ever be simple. However they will be less complex, lighter, with a little less righting moment, and will foil earlier, than those seen in Auckland in AC36 and the Prada Cup.

And the bikes might be back.

The rule changes, in themselves, are not expected to make the third generation of boats look significantly different from what has gone before.

Any change in appearance is more likely to be a result of changed design thinking than being forced by a change in the class rule. Expect to see the same design refinement that occurs when the America's Cup class remains unchanged for multiple America's Cup - as a design consensus forms as to the optimum shapes and design trade-offs. The end result is that the boats all start looking very similar.

Obviously, this time there will be changes in hull shape, as designers encourage their progeny to lift clear of the surface as quickly as possible. Once the boats are efficiently foiling, drag considerations come into play, along with achieving the best interface between rig and hull.


Yachting World – What the 37th America’s Cup Protocol means

The publication of the 37th America’s Cup Protocol has delivered an eagerly awaited blueprint for the next edition of the America’s Cup – writes Matt Sheahan.

From the next generation of AC75s that will be a tonne lighter and carry three fewer crew and result in higher top end speeds and earlier flight in the light, to the new AC40 one-design class that will be used for testing and training as well as the preliminary regattas, the overall mission was clear – to take the last Cup and tweak it to make it better, more accessible and more appealing to stakeholders and spectators alike.

37th America’s Cup Protocol in detail

The Protocol announcement, held jointly between Emirates Team New Zealand and INEOS Britannia this week, unveiled some key details.

Teams will only be allowed to build one AC75 and nationality rules are strict this time around requiring 100% of the race crew for each competitor to either be a passport holder of the country of the team’s yacht club or to have been physically present in that country for 18 months of the previous three years prior to 17th March 2021. Having said that, there will be dispensations for ‘Emerging Nations’.


EuroSail News – Thirteenth Annual Wight Vodka Best Sailor's Bar Competition

Supported by South Atlantic Publishing and Seahorse magazine

This fall and winter we celebrate our thirteenth annual competition to find the Best Sailor's Bar on earth. All previous winners are eligible for the thirteenth anniversary award. For our 13th anniversary three factors will be taken into consideration:

1. Best story about why a particular bar is the best in the world. Stories like "I met both my husbands here", "I never knew that there were that many different burgees in the world, let alone at a single establishment", and "A place lost in time, when you walk in it could be 1930 or 2021" will weigh heavily in our decision.

2. Drink recipe created at, or at the very least, SERIOUSLY promoted at, said establishment. Full instructions and ingredients please, so that we can all conduct the requisite research on the subject as the days (in the northern hemisphere) grow shorter and darker.

3. The voting. The top ten establishments based on 1) and 2) will be determined by EuroSail News, Wight Vodka and Seahorse and announced on Friday December 17. Voting starts that day and continue until midnight Tuesday January 11. Our winner will be announced on Wednesday January 12.

PRIZES -- for the winning bar and readers:

The winning establishment will be presented with a bottle of Wight Vodka and a framed certificate of victory from Dan Hiza and Ritu Manocha, the team behind Wight Vodka. Plus, of course, the fame, glory and accolades due

Best Bar Story will win a signed limited edition copy (including shipping and handling) of the book Dick Carter Yacht Designer from South Atlantic Publishing, courtesy of our long time colleague and fellow SINS member Barry Pickthall

Best Drink Recipe will win a signed limited edition copy of Eileen Ramsay - the Queen of Yachting Photography also from Barry and South Atlantic Publishing (including shipping and handling)


Shirley Robertson’s Sailing Podcast – Dee Caffari

In this month's edition of the podcast, Shirley Robertson sits down face to face with one of offshore sailing's most accomplished sailors, as she talks to British offshore trail blazer, Dee Caffari.

Caffari's achievements are well documented, she holds multiple 'firsts', she's sailed around the planet six times, completed two Volvo Ocean Races, spent months alone at sea sailing 'the wrong way around' and finished a Vendee Globe in it's most attritional edition ever. And she's achieved all of that after a sudden and unexpected career change in her mid twenties...:

"I don't fit the mould, I think that's what confuses everybody, and they can't pigeon hole me, they can't put me into a box so I always feel on the outside a little bit. I grew up dancing, I didn't grow up sailing!"

From the outset Robertson and Caffari's discussion is frank and honest. Dee reveals the catalysts that saw her turn away from a successful and established career to take a chance on making it in the world of sailing. Her story is inspiring, and before long she was skippering a yacht of amateurs in the 2004 Global Challenge race.

That successful endeavour kick started an unparalleled career that first saw her become the first woman ever to sail around the world solo non-stop against the prevailing winds and currents. From there a Vendee Globe campaign onboard "Aviva" lead to a sixth place finish in an edition of the gruelling race that saw just eleven boats complete the course.

"In 2008 there were thirty entires, and only eleven finished, completed the race. In the war of attrition, which the Vendee is known for, the odds are pretty much always against you. But for me the big thing was to stand in the skippers' line up! I hadn't grown up in that environment and I'd literally just exchanged my 42 ton steel tank for an 8 ton carbon fibre race machine!"

Episode One of this two part podcast finishes as Dee Caffari sails across the start line of the 24 000 mile Vendee Globe. Her journey non stop solo around the world is then picked up as the duo continue their chat in Part 2.


Public Vote - 2021 Rolex World Sailor of the Year

The World Sailing Awards 2021 - celebrating the outstanding achievements and exceptional contributions to sailing - is now open for online voting!

A record number of athletes and projects have been nominated in this remarkable period for global sailing.

World Sailing Awards 2021 - make your voice heard

This year’s winners will be decided by public vote live on the World Sailing Awards 2021 online show on 2 December.

Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards: male and female categories

2021 marks the 20th year of support by Rolex for the World Sailor of the Year Award, the most prestigious individual awards of recognition in sailing.

A total of 13 athletes - including Olympic medallists, major offshore series winners, a kite world champion and new around the world record setter- have been shortlisted.

The winners will have their name engraved on the iconic marble and silver trophy depicting the globe, crowned with five silver spinnakers representing the continents, as well as a souvenir they will keep close to them forever.

World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award

World Sailing and 11th Hour Racing joined forces in 2018 to celebrate the delivery of high impact and replicable sustainability within the maritime industry aligned to World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030.

One of the four projects shortlisted will win the 10,000 USD prize to fund their continued sustainability efforts and the iconic trophy made from recycled carbon fibre from an America’s Cup boat infused with bio resin.

"The four finalists for the Award represent the incredible breadth of 2021 applicants," said Todd McGuire, managing director, 11th Hour Racing. "I am enthusiastic for the future of our sport to see the variety of sustainability initiatives from working to increase diversity in sailing to removing the barriers to entry along with classes, design initiatives, and research and development working towards a circular economy."

Rolex World Sailor of the Year - Female Nominees:

  • Annie-Marie Rindom

  • Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze

  • Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre

  • Clarisse Cremer

  • Daniela Moroz

Rolex World Sailor of the Year - Male Nominees:

  • Peter Burling and Blair Tuke

  • Tom Slingsby

  • Yannick Bestaven

  • Kiran Badloe

  • Giles Scott

11th Hour Sustainability Award:

  • Sail Africa Youth Development Foundation

  • Foiling SuMoth Challenge

  • International Optimist Dinghy Association

  • Northern Light Srl