In 22 May 1990, Steinlager 2 – skippered by Peter Blake and crewed by 14 fellow New Zealanders – crossed…
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On the shoulders of a giant: the legacy of Sir Peter Blake (6 Dec 2021, 9:54 am)
Twenty years after the death of her father Sir Peter Blake, Sarah-Jane Blake reflects on his legacy and the influence he has had on her life
Twenty years after the death of Sir Peter Blake, Sarah-Jane Blake talks to Alex Stone about her father’s legacy and the influence he has had on her life
Puke hāhaka, ko pae tata ka kitea. Maunga teitei, ko pae tawhiti ka kitea.”
So goes the proverb in te reo Māori, the indigenous language of New Zealand.
The saying was was composed by Sir Pou Temara; his rendering of it is: ‘A low hill only allows limited vision. A high mountain gives distant vision.’
This aligns with a widespread Māori belief that we go into the future on the shoulders of others – the giants, our tūpuna, our ancestors.
It certainly applies to the artist Sarah-Jane Blake, the creative, visionary daughter of Sir Peter Blake, one of New Zealand’s greatest sailing sons, who won the 1995 and 2000 America’s Cup as well as the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race and the 1994 Trophée Jules Verne.
‘I was brought up with parents who weren’t doing your typical 9-5, my mother being an artist and my dad a yachtsman,’ explains Sarah-Jane.
‘We were used to long periods of Dad being away or being on the road following him or joining in. Holidays were spent on sailing adventures and even the smallest outing with my parents, like a walk, would most likely involve climbing a cliff or wading through a river; they would never take the easy route.
‘My father was very passionate about the environment and could see clearly the problems, such as climate change, that the world was and is, at greater acceleration, facing.
After years of sailing around the world he had seen first-hand a decline in the environment.’
This foresight inspired the work of the 36m (118ft) expedition schooner, Seamaster, now called Tara, which Sir Peter Blake sailed around the world to draw attention to threats to the environment.
On 5 December 2001, while leading an expedition to the Amazon, he was murdered by pirates after they boarded Seamaster at Fazendinha, close to the Brazilian city of Macapa.
‘His passion for the environment was so great and so clear,’ says Sarah-Jane.
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‘It was hard not to be affected by it, hard for it not to rub off on you. I am also acutely aware of these issues, having been inspired by my father, that I cannot help but speak about them in some way through my work.
‘He, one individual, with a great team, had effected some change or awareness for these issues and I, having witnessed this, believe that we all can and need to desperately fight the good fight as our futures and that of our home, the planet, depend on it.
‘We need to do this in teams, community teams made up of different types of everyday people with differing skills. We don’t just need superstars for these changes.’
As Sarah-Jane highlights, Sir Peter’s most successful sailing teams were ‘not made up of the most skilled individuals but the best collective group – people who could rely on each other to get the job done and do it with a smile on their faces. I think this idea of teamwork was one of the most inspiring things about my father.’
Sailing with Sir Peter Blake
Educated in the UK at Chichester, where the family has a home in nearby Emsworth, and then Dorset, Sarah-Jane studied drama at Bristol University.
Sir Peter Bake encouraged his creative daughter, but she found herself ‘less and less into performing, and more into behind the scenes.’
So she followed up with a diploma in theatre design, with a special interest in costume.
Her childhood was punctuated with sailing cruises to all parts of the world – the Pacific islands, Easter Island and Patagonia.
‘Dad would phone and say, “Come and join us,” from Antarctica or the Amazon. It was too hard to refuse. A childhood of travel and adventure has continued to influence me with a lust to keep finding out what is over the horizon – physically and metaphysically. I have a curious mind,’ she notes.
Just like her father and mother, Sarah-Jane’s own wanderlust soon set in, travelling in Nepal, where she taught drama at the International School in Kathmandu, before heading to India, Thailand, and Cambodia.
‘I was very naive, not very political, in the early 2000s,’ she recalls.
Then she got a call. A documentary film was being made about Sir Peter Blake in New Zealand. Could she fly to the country?
‘At the time, I had no plans of going there,’ she recalls, but she went and then stayed.
Sarah-Jane met her husband Alistair Moore while sailing on Lion New Zealand, the Ron Holland- designed masthead sloop which was Sir Peter’s 1985-86 Whitbread Round the World yacht.
Alistair grew up in Auckland and had studied outdoor education at Auckland’s University of Technology before he found work on the media boat for Bruno Troublé at the 1999 Louis Vuitton Cup in the Hauraki Gulf.
He met Lady Pippa Blake, and ‘cheekily’ asked her to put his CV in front of her famous husband.
It worked, and Alistair started working on Seamaster, then the environmental-campaigning sailboat of the Jacques Cousteau Foundation.
‘My first-ever paycheck was from Cousteau. And I still have an original red beanie,’ recalls Alistair, who spent two years working on Seamaster.
Sir Peter Blake was captain of the foundation from 1997 until 2000 when he left to set up Blake Expeditions.
Alistair invited Sarah-Jane to sail on Lion New Zealand in the 2008 Royal Akarana Yacht Club Race to Noumea.
Their romance was forged in a storm at sea.
Sarah-Jane had last been on Lion as a two-year-old, sailing from New Zealand to England. Alistair was the skipper on the fateful voyage to Noumea, and the storm on the return trip that defined it.
‘I wouldn’t want to do that again,’ Sarah-Jane says firmly. ‘When we got back to New Zealand, we moved in together.’
The call of the ocean
The next five years were spent with Alistair, working on boats around the world. ‘But I felt a bit lost, out of the theatre,’ says Sarah-Jane.
Alistair ran the Oman sailing programme, before Sarah-Jane worked for the Irish Youth Sailing Academy.
Following sponsorship from the Dubai Government, the couple also crewed a Volvo 70 on a tour of 200 venues including Ireland, Lisbon, the Caribbean, Pacific Islands and Australia.
Motivated by a desire to sail on their own, they bought the 43ft Darth Vader in 2013, but continued to sail commercially, working for five years with the New Zealand Sailing Trust, not only taking students out on Lion but also on Sir Peter’s winning Whitbread yacht, Steinlager 2.
By 2017 and after a six-month refit, they set off to cruise the world on Darth Vader.
They got as far as Tonga, when an electrical issue surfaced; it was finally found to be an earth leak from a hidden screw driven into an anchor winch power cable.
They continued cruising with a disabled electrical system, reaching Vanuatu and Fiji, before deciding to return to New Zealand.
To get by, both Sarah-Jane and Alistair worked on commercial boats.
But the creative spark burned bright through all this. Sarah-Jane developed a performance piece, based on the Edward Lear poem, The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, which she and Alistair perform on Darth Vader at fringe festivals around New Zealand.
Sarah-Jane has also run creative workshops at the New Zealand Maritime Museum, helping children build and design model boats.
Miniature worlds and puppetry feature in her simultaneous virtual reality and live performance work, which has grown out of her sailing blog, www.darthandstormy.com
‘My mother has been a big influence on me in terms of pursuing art and often took me to exhibitions, pointing out artists of interest in books and exposing me to potentially more bohemian ideas, showing me there were alternative ways of looking at the world,’ says Sarah-Jane.
‘Both my parents have influenced me greatly and I found myself in the past years living on a boat and making art below decks; so quite a combination has transpired.’
But there are challenges in all of this.
‘When I was two years old I sailed from New Zealand to the UK and I think this early childhood influence has drawn me back to being on the sea time and again. It is a spiritual home to me and feels a naturally instinctive place to be. At the same time, being on the sea and being deprived of much stimulus is a great place for an imagination to thrive, for there is not, at times, much else going on!’
COVID-19 has stifled Sarah-Jane and Alistair’s current cruising plans.
Instead, they have shifted their energies to fixing up their home on Waiheke, and Sarah-Jane has gone back to concentrating on her art.
An impressive, emerging artist with her own take on creativity, Sarah-Jane combines performance and visual art, while trying to meld it into an ocean-cruising lifestyle.
She’s recently developed a mystery trail for locals to explore on her home island of Waiheke.
She has also produced a series of mixed-media prints which are sold to support the Hauraki Gulf Conservation Trust and the Waiheke Marine Project.
‘The prints are a response to the declining state of the Hauraki Gulf, and the world’s oceans, which I have seen first-hand… but it’s also a celebration of the ocean and the wonderful creatures that inhabit it,’ she explains.
And perhaps the COVID-cut trip was a blessing in disguise.
‘There are better things we can do for the world right now, rather than bugger off and do a jolly,’ notes Alistair.
Sarah-Jane agrees: ‘We have a massive sense of doing something bigger than us, that’s good and wholesome. We want to restart people caring about the environment, as it must be cared for. We want to make a difference.’
Sarah-Jane Blake is certainly adding to the legacy of her parents, and in the most honourable way possible, by combining their remarkable attributes: as artist, explorer, adventurer, and a deviser of new things entirely.
The post On the shoulders of a giant: the legacy of Sir Peter Blake appeared first on Yachting World.
Best bluewater multihulls: Privilège 510 Signature (3 Dec 2021, 5:55 pm)
The Privilège 510 Signature is a serious luxury bluewater multihull perfect for long-range cruising. Toby Hodges and Francois Tregouet find out why
Privilège was the creation of Vendée Globe founder Philippe Jeantot 35 years ago and with its yard in Les Sables d’Olonne has grown to be a leader in the luxury bluewater market. The new Privilège 510 Signature is a great example of a bluewater multihull from the French marque.
Privilège is now part of Hanse Yachts, and the 510 Signature is the first to be launched under its new ownership, though it retains the lines of redoubtable multihull designs Marc Lombard.
The Privilège range starts with this impressive 50-footer, which adapted the hulls and deck of the original Série 5 design.
Lombard has stretched the coachroof, giving good bimini protection and enlarged the portlights, while stowage and volume distribution has been improved. The 510 is designed to take a serious amount of cruising gear – up to six tonnes of it in fact.
An 88sq m square-top mainsail, mast raked aft and bowsprit for Code and downwind sails give the 510 its performance.
The excellent helm station now has a fixed windscreen and all lines led to hand. Finish quality including the electrical installation is first class and a Privilège trademark, the admirable full beam (26ft) forward cabin, is sumptuous. Larger windows in the saloon, with slimmer mullions, offer a near 360-degree view from the living quarters.
The list of finish choices is also substantial, giving a high degree of customisation, with two master/two guests, one master/three guest, and four double cabin layout options.
Like many builders, Privilège is enjoying a bulging order book at the moment and waiting times for a new build are lengthy, though they are ramping up production considerably to meet ever-increasing demand.
Privilège 510 Signature price
ex VAT: €1,035,000
Yachting World is the world’s leading magazine for bluewater cruisers and offshore sailors. Every month we have inspirational adventures and practical features to help you realise your sailing dreams.
The post Best bluewater multihulls: Privilège 510 Signature appeared first on Yachting World.
Webinar: Knut Frostad on digital sailing (2 Dec 2021, 11:20 am)
In the fifth webinar in the Bluewater Sailing Webinar series Knut Frostad considers the freedom offered to bluewater cruisers by the digital revolution
Don’t miss the final Bluewater Sailing Webinar series by Grand Large Yachting, in association with Yachting World. In this latest episode, former Norwegian Olympic sailor and legendary offshore circumnavigator, Knut Frostad talks digital sailing: A freedom factor on board.
Knut spent many years as a professional sailor, racing in the Olympics and later four times around the world in the Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Race, twice as skipper. More recently he spent 18 months cruising with his family on an Outremer 5X. Knut’s normal day-to-day job is as the President & CEO of Navico, a world leading provider of marine electronics including B&G for sailing and C-Map cartography.
Don’t miss this opportunity to navigate technical waters with Knut Frostad, who you can watch live at 12pm (GMT) today here. Sign up to this link to also receive the replay video, which you can watch at any time.
Bluewater Sailing Webinars
Following two successful seasons, the Grand Large Yachting group (parent company of Outremer) is running a 2021 edition of its popular Bluewater Sailing Webinar series,, in association with Yachting World.
The programme includes six free sessions (all conducted in English), from September 23 to December 2.
The webinars will be live-streamed every fortnight on Thursdays at 1300 (CEST).
To watch and participate in the live Q&A session, register at: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/67/38lvghn0
Alternatively, you can catch up on past webinars by on Yachting World’s YouTube channel.
Upcoming webinars in the series are:
• December 2: Digital sailing – the freedom factor, with Knut Frostad
Yachting World is the world’s leading magazine for bluewater cruisers and offshore sailors. Every month we have inspirational adventures and practical features to help you realise your sailing dreams.
Best Inflatable Paddleboard: 8 of the best iSUPs (2 Dec 2021, 10:32 am)
Stand-up paddleboard instructor, SUP racer and paddlesurfer Duncan Slater takes a look at the best inflatable paddleboard in various different styles
It might come as a surprise to discover that the vast majority of the stand-up paddleboard (SUP) market is inflatable. In fact, in most conditions good quality pump-up boards can perform every bit as well as their solid counterparts. As such, to a degree, the best inflatable paddleboard can be considered a synonym of best paddleboard.
If you’re not specifically looking for an inflatable paddleboard, be sure to check out our guide to the best paddleboards on the market.
An inflatable SUP (or iSUP) is the obvious choice for stowing aboard a boat or yacht – and here we look at eight of the best inflatable paddleboards for a whole range of different uses, from beginner-friendly all-rounders to specialised surf, race and even whitewater boards…
How much air pressure does an inflatable paddleboard need?
Air pressure is key. You really must find a board that recommends inflating to an absolute minimum 15psi of pressure – ideally 18psi or more.
The harder you can pump an inflatable, the more it feels and behaves like a solid board.
Cheaply constructed boards won’t paddle effectively as their build quality, seams and valves just won’t take the pressure to inflate hard enough.
Whereas if your warranty covers you for 20psi+, performance can be akin to a solid board.
What’s the difference?
So not all boards are created equal – but even beyond basic build quality and adequate air pressure, board design and dimensions have a huge impact on how an inflatable paddleboard performs and what conditions and/or specialism it best suits.
Basically, width provides stability yet also creates drag, while length makes a board directional yet harder to turn.
An all-round board might be c.11 feet long by 32 inches wide, a waveboard will be shorter and more rounded in planshape, whereas a tourer will be longer with more parallel rails, a raceboard longer still and very narrow for optimum speed.
Here we look at examples of some of the best inflatable paddleboards for various different specialisms…
What else will I need?
Of course, if your board’s inflatable you’re going to need a pump! Most iSUPs will come packaged with a manual high-pressure pump; generally you get what you pay for in terms of quality and hence ease of inflation.
All boards come complete with a fin too, which is essential to keep you tracking in a straight line.
Also essential, but this time for safety, is a quick-release leash to keep you attached to your SUP – whereas in most situations a buoyancy aid is entirely optional.
Finally, you will also need a paddle: most entry-level and all-round packages will include a basic adjustable paddle, but as some of the boards featured here are a little more specialised, they won’t necessarily come complete with one.
Best inflatable paddleboard
Red Paddle Co 11’0 Compact Inflatable Paddle Board
Best inflatable paddleboard for travel
Red Paddle were the pioneers of high-quality inflatable paddleboards and they remain the most innovative brand out there, with an extensive product range – in fact, all eight of the boards featured here could easily be Red designs, so no apologies that we’ve included three!
Red Paddle’s Compact packs down into the smallest backpack on the market: half the size of most inflatable paddleboard packages.
Yet folded into that space is a real do-it-all board with a truly top-end finish.
This 11′ x 32″ Compact is an ideal all-round size, while the 9’6″ x 30″ would be better for small surf and the 12′ x 32″ more suited to flat-water and touring.
Superb for stowage and transport, pricey yet super-high quality with a 5-year warranty.
Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence.
Gladiator Pro 10’6″
Best inflatable paddleboard on a budget
If you’re really just after a tender for your yacht or boat, or maybe an occasional beach toy or splashabout platform, then a basic 10’6″ x 32″ design would do the job perfectly well.
While nowhere near as all-round as the marketing might have you believe, this standard SUP design is fine for learning, playing about on and covering shorter distances.
Although this size of board is ubiquitous, the build quality varies massively between brands – so it’s often false economy to buy the cheapest thing you can find online.
But if price really matters to you, Gladiator offer the best constructed ‘budget’ range on the market: this 10’6″ Pro is double-skinned, good for 20psi of air pressure and comes with a 3-year warranty.
Red Paddle 13’2″ Voyager
While few go to the extremes of carrying much kit or overnighting from their paddleboards, arguably the most popular form of recreational paddling is ‘touring’: basically covering a route on flattish water.
For this purpose a relatively long board that’s not too wide is ideal – length for glide and enough width for comfort without sacrificing much speed.
Many manufacturers offer some form of touring board, but Red Paddle’s Voyager remains the inflatable market leader.
In recent years Red have cleverly built some vee into the hull, which combined with a twin-fin setup provides extra stability.
This 13’2″ x 30″ Voyager would suit experienced riders, the 12’6″ x 32″ is more all-round, while the new 12′ x 28″ is a perfect size for smaller paddlers looking for a pacey cruiser.
Starboard All Star Airline
Although the top-end SUP racing scene is almost exclusively solid, semi-carbon boards, a suitably rigidified inflatable can be surprisingly competitive – especially over longer distances and endurance courses when absolute top speed is less of a factor.
While several pedigree brands produce impressive inflatable raceboards, Starboard probably offer the widest range on the market right now.
This 14′ x 26″ All Star would be the best choice as an adaptable yet competitive racer: they also offer a super-charged 14′ x 24.5″ for lighter, more experienced racers, and a 14′ x 28″ for heavier, less experienced riders, plus a dedicated 14′ downwinder – and a pair of 12’6″s for the shorter race category.
Red Paddle Whip
Best inflatable paddleboard for surf
Solid boards reign supreme in the surf too – but again, suspend your disbelief and a well-designed inflatable can more than hold its own in the waves.
Of course it won’t carve rail-to-rail turns quite like a solid, but a pump-up will catch just as many waves, charge down-the-line brilliantly and turn perfectly well off the back foot.
For the vast majority of budding SUPsurfers, an inflatable is arguably a better choice as it’s more robust and less prone to injure you or anyone else in a wipe-out.
The best exponent of the genre is Red Paddle’s Whip; an 8’10” x 29″ single-fin round-tail with Red Paddle’s patented rail stiffening battens, which combined with its capacity to take 20psi+ of air pressure makes it super-rigid for that solid-board feel.
Freshwater Bay Compact Tourer
For flat to choppy water paddling, the ideal all-rounder is 11’+ and 30-32″ wide to provide the optimum mix of speed, stability and manoeuvrability.
This Freshwater Bay Compact Tourer is a brilliant example, at 11’5″ long and 32″ wide its glide is good yet with over 300L of volume even heavier riders will have no trouble with balance.
Build quality and finish is excellent for the price: double-skinned, drop-stitched and an impressive maximum air pressure of 30psi.
Hailing from the Isle of Wight and sold complete with paddle, pump and bag, this would be a great all-rounder to stow aboard a yacht as it will ably turn its hand to whatever conditions you might find from any harbour or mooring.
Decathlon ItiWit Tandem
Multi-person boards aren’t commonplace in paddleboarding, yet it is a lot of fun to paddle in company and a few manufacturers do produce quads and tandems.
The best value you’ll find is this Decathlon ItiWit at a penny under six-hundred quid – although be warned that doesn’t include a pump, leash or paddle, so do budget for those too unless you already have your own.
At 15′ x 35″ this is relatively short and wide for a tandem, so while it won’t be the fastest or most directional it will be stable and pretty manoeuvrable.
Well put together for the money and good for 17psi of air pressure, so robust and rigid enough to work nicely on the water.
Optimised for two-person paddling, although a board this big could take a small family at a push.
NRS Quiver 10.4
Whitewater river paddling really is a very specialised discipline indeed, more popular in North America and mainland Europe than the UK.
Inflatable boards rule in river-running for reasons of durability and safety, as they will inevitably spend time bouncing off boulders, rocks and riverbanks.
NRS have a 50-year history in whitewater kayaking and rafting, so are a safe bet if you’re ready to throw yourself downriver on a SUP.
This 10’4″ is a sturdy, voluminous, 35″ wide twin-fin design, boasting extra rocker for charging rapids, eddies and ferries.
Stable and responsive, it pumps to an impressive 20psi – complete with pressure release valve to avoid over-inflation – and comes with a 3-year warranty.
Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Head to Amazon’s dedicated sailing page for more marine products.
Video: Onboard the JPK 39FC – 40 foot French cruiser (2 Dec 2021, 8:30 am)
Improved form stability and more interior space key features in the JPK 39FC, the latest cruiser from French yard best known for their offshore racers
Although best known for its extremely competitive smaller offshore racing boats, this Breton yard also has a range of serious, yet fast and lightweight, cruising yachts of which the JPK 39FC is the latest. Toby Hodges took it for a test sail to find out how she performed.
The 39FC is the company’s second generation model in this size bracket, following the existing 38FC. The new design has fuller forward hull sections that increase form stability and improve interior space, plus a distinctive reverse sheer. The latter is an inherently stiffer shape and adds internal volume in the middle of the boat, while keeping the ends light.
This extra interior volume gives enough space for an optional three cabin layout, an arrangement that wasn’t offered for the 38FC. Both layouts for the new boat have a large linear galley to starboard, while the two-cabin model gains a bigger heads compartment, as well as additional stowage space in the saloon.
A combination of a fixed windscreen and removable canvas hard top gives good protection for crew at the forward end of the cockpit. Deck layouts share many of the attributes of JPK’s racing yachts, which are configured for easy, efficient sailing. A choice of two fixed keels or a ballasted centreboard are offered.
A huge amount of effort, knowledge and experience has gone into developing this design and optimising the balances between performance and comfort. The result is a fast boat that’s beautiful to sail and well thought through in every respect. The JPK 39 will be enormously appealing to anyone with a competitive sailing background who is accustomed to top-notch deck gear and equipment.
At the same time it provides attractive accommodation with enough comfort to appeal to non-sailing guests and family members. The two-cabin version offers sufficient stowage, both on deck and below, to live on board in a civilised manner for extended periods.
There’s an options list to tailor the boat to your own needs, but a downside to the JPK 39 FC is that it’s clearly not only me who likes this new design – lead times already extend to more than two years!
JPK 39FC specifications
LOA: 11.72m / 38ft 5in
LWL: 11.0m / 36ft 1in
Beam: 3.98m / 13ft 1in
Draught (standard keel): 2.15m / 7ft 1in,
Draught (lift keel): 1.30-2.70m / 4ft 3in-8ft 10 in
Upwind sail area: 82m2 / 880ft2
Price: from €205,100 ex VAT
Yachting World is the world’s leading magazine for bluewater cruisers and offshore sailors. Every month we have inspirational adventures and practical features to help you realise your sailing dreams.
The post Video: Onboard the JPK 39FC – 40 foot French cruiser appeared first on Yachting World.
Is Alinghi making an America’s Cup comeback? (1 Dec 2021, 7:15 pm)
Is Alinghi making an America’s Cup comeback? Bertarelli's famous team aren't giving anything away
Entries opened for the 37th America’s Cup today, December 1 2021. Despite the oldest trophy in sport having neither a confirmed date, nor an agreed venue, the Cup holders reported that multiple challenges were received on the first day.
Kevin Shoebridge, COO of Emirates Team New Zealand commented: “The Defender, RNZYS & Emirates Team New Zealand, have had very positive initial interest since the release of the Protocol of the 37th America’s Cup, feedback and interest from prospective teams, both existing and new has been very encouraging.”
The official release goes on to say: “Soon after the entry period opening several challengers were received by the RNZYS and Emirates Team New Zealand.”
Rumour, naturally, is rife as to who those challengers might be. Who is throwing their hat into the ring to take on Defenders Emirates New Zealand, and the Challenger of Record, Ben Ainslie and Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS Britannia?
Alinghi’s name has been back in circulation for a few months in connection with a comeback for the 37th Cup, and the New Zealand Herald today reported that they were among the first two teams to pay the initial $1.47 million entry fee.
The Herald also reported that the Swiss team is trying to secure the purchase of a previous generation AC75 as a practice boat – although that would be true of any team, apart from those which already have them, namely American Magic and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli.
Alinghi is neither confirming nor denying the report. A team spokesperson told Yachting World that they had an official statement on the matter. Amusingly, it simply says:
“The America’s Cup remains as exciting as ever when it comes to secrets and speculations. The Alinghi Sailing Team is following closely all developments with the 37th America’s Cup. We will be in touch soon with further news.”
It’s clear that the Swiss syndicate, owned by Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, is enjoying the rumours and machinations of this current America’s Cup cycle just as much as anyone else.
The Alinghi team made a huge impact when it launched into the Cup world to win in 2003, the first European team to do so, and the first team ever to win on their first attempt.
The manner in which they won was certainly controversial, with stars of the winning New Zealand team, including skipper Russell Coutts and tactician Brad Butterworth, switching allegiances to the Swiss team shortly after the All Blacks won in 2000 in Auckland. Alinghi went on to defeat New Zealand by an ignominious 5-0 in 2003.
The Swiss team successfully defended the Cup in 2007 in Valencia – widely regarded as one of the most successful America’s Cup events in modern history. They were finally defeated in 2010, when Alinghi’s giant catamaran lost to the Oracle USA 17 trimaran in a Deed of Gift match.
America’s Cup rules difficulties for Alinghi?
Were Alinghi to make a comeback, a repeat crew recruitment drive is unlikely to be open to them this time around. Emirates Team New Zealand may have only announced one major signing – Nathan Outteridge – leaving key players such as Pete Burling and Blair Tuke not yet confirmed as part of the sailing squad, but the strict nationality rules of the new Protocol will rule out a similar strategy.
New rules specify that crew must also be passport-holders for the country they represent, or have spent “548 days between (but excluding) 17 March 2018 and 18 March 2021” in that country. So if Alinghi were to enter the Cup, which nationality would they represent?
Since the 2010 Cup the team has been competing in the Extreme Sailing Series and T35 series with a largely Swiss crew, so has plenty of existing talent. Were they to seek sailors with previous AC75 experience, that pool is largely limited to Italy and the USA.
There has also been widespread speculation that an Alinghi Cup entry will be closely aligned with Red Bull Formula 1. They are based in Milton Keynes, which probably makes that avenue of discussion something of a dead-end, given Bertarelli lives on the rather more glamorous shores of Lake Geneva! Needless to say, there is certainly sufficient depth of talent in British sailing to put together a second Cup squad. We continue to watch with interest.
World’s coolest yachts: IACC America’s Cup yachts (1 Dec 2021, 8:30 am)
We ask top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times. Olympic gold medalist and America's Cup sailor, Tom Slingsby, picks the IACC America's Cup yachts
“I was obsessed with the Version 5 America’s Cup boats back in the early 2000s, I used to sit there and stare at the TV,” recalls Tom Slingsby. Version 5.0 of the IACC America’s Cup yachts rule was issued in 2003 and governed the boats that were used for the 32nd America’s Cup in Valencia in 2007, the last Cup to use the IACC rule.
The boats were lighter, faster, and carried more sail area with a deeper draught keel. Eleven Challengers raced from nine countries, including fleet racing in a series of Acts. The 32nd Cup was successfully defended by Alinghi.
Each IACC yacht raced with a crew of 17, with a guest 18th man spot. “I was extremely fortunate. I was able to be the 18th person and the guest on one of the Oracle boats in 2007,” recalls Slingsby.
“For me, those things are just the perfect blend of technology, beauty, and as a tactical sort of boat I think they were beautiful to watch.”
IACC America’s Cup yachts stats rating:
Top speed: 19 knots
Adrenaline factor: 80%
Australian Tom Slingsby is one of the most successful sailors on the water today.
Tom Slingsby is CEO and skipper of Australia SailGP team, leading the series heading into the Sydney final.
ARC yacht abandoned after fatality mid-Atlantic (30 Nov 2021, 6:14 pm)
Tragedy mid-Atlantic as a crew member in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is fatally injured
A sailor taking part in this year’s Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (the ARC) was fatally injured, and his crew mates rescued 500 miles west of the Canaries.
Max Delannoy was sailing the ARC aboard the yacht Agecanonix, an X-Yachts X4.3. Delannoy, 73, was struck by the boom but the yacht’s crew were able to prevent him from falling overboard.
On a Facebook page set up for those following Agecanonix’s crossing, family member Stéphanie Barrière reported: “Our dear Max was a victim of an accident last night, when he was just taking the helm for his night shift, the boom violently hit him in the head. Philippe, who was in the cockpit, was able to hold him back from falling into the water, but he died suddenly.”
The three-man all-French crew were sailing Agecanonix as part of the ARC IRC Racing Division. They had opted for a course to the north of the rhumb line route to Saint Lucia, aiming for more consistent breeze and to avoid the light winds affecting the southerly route close to Cape Verde. Their strategy had seen Agecanonix move up to 1st place in Racing B division on November 25.
A MAYDAY call was made from Agecanonix around 0000hrs on 26/27 November requesting a medical evacuation. Tragically, injured crew member Max Delannoy was declared dead before any outside help could be provided.
MRCC France Gris-Nez initially controlled the incident, before passing over to MRCC Ponta Delgada in the Azores, as the closest station to the Agecanonix.
At the request of MRCC, the 300m cruise ship PV Mein Schiff 1, diverted to evacuate skipper Philippe Anglade, who was also injured, his son Jean-Philippe Anglade and the body of Max Delannoy.
PV Mein Schiff 1 arrived at Agecanonix’s position at 2130 UTC on November 27. Conditions were challenging, with an easterly Force 8 wind blowing, and rough seas of 4-5 metres.
The 300-metre ship was positioned to create a lee for the rescue operation. The ship’s lifeboat was deployed and attempted an approach towards the Agecanonix. With winds gusting over 40kts the rescue operation had to be aborted. PV Mein Schiff 1 then remained on station waiting for the weather to improve and for daylight to break.
At around 1400 the following day, November 28, MRCC Ponta Delgada reported that the rescue operation was successfully completed, with both crew and the deceased safely on board. The PV Mein Schiff 1 set a course for Funchal, Madeira.
The Agecanonix was abandoned at approximate position 29° 3.71 N, 026° 30.38 W and continues to be tracked by MRCC via the on-board YB tracker.
In their statement on the incident ARC organisers World Cruising Club added, “Our thoughts are very much with the Anglade and Delannoy families during this sad and difficult time.
“World Cruising Club would also like to express their sincere gratitude to all the staff at the MRCC’s involved in coordinating the incident, and in particular to the Captain, officers and crew of PV Mein Schiff 1.”
First look: Infiniti 52 – DSS foil 50 footer (30 Nov 2021, 9:12 am)
The Inifinit 52 will take advantage of a transverse DSS foil to increase power without the drag penalty of a beamy hull and is the first boat designed to do so from scratch
The first DSS foiling Infiniti 52 has emerged from the shed at Composite Builders in Holland, Michigan.
This design is intended to transform offshore racing, combining speed without the need for a big team and therefore reducing overall campaign costs.
It’s the first raceboat designed from the outset for use with transverse DSS (Dynamic Stability System) foils. These offer a jump in both stability and speed, without the complexity of other types of foil.
The foil extends to leeward of the hull and, as speed increases, the lift from the foil translates directly into righting moment. This means that a boat fitted with a DSS foil can produce the same righting moment as a boat with either much greater beam (and so more drag) or a heavier keel (and so more weight).
The Infiniti 52 follows the success of Infiniti 46R, Maverick, which has shown an impressive turn of pace also using DSS foils – though not quite the same transverse system employed on the Infiniti 52.
The first boat has been rigged by NZ Spars and Rigging. It’s currently being shipped to Europe for sea trials with four times Volvo Ocean Race winner, Doyle Sails’ Stu Bannatyne.
The second example is already in production, while the third is scheduled for delivery in time for next year’s Newport-Bermuda race.
Infiniti 52 specifications
LOA: 16.0m 52ft 6in
Beam: 4.5m 14ft 9in
Draught: 3.6m 11ft 9in
Displacement: 7,400kg 16,300lb
Upwind sail area: 175m2 1,880ft2
Price: from €975,000
Treat yourself to luxury escapism courtesy of diYachting (29 Nov 2021, 2:55 pm)
A crewed charter in the Caribbean offers luxury escapism, charter with diYachting and relax & unwind or dial up the adrenalin
Take cocktails with breakfast or opt for yoga and a market-fresh fruit platter. That’s the joy of luxury yacht charter – you make your own rules, set your own pace and decide on the programme that suits you best.
As winter’s grip on the northern hemisphere tightens, so thoughts naturally turn to escape.
After a year of restrictions, what could feel better than the freedom of the ocean, with the sun on your skin and a world of experiences lying in wait. And with the Caribbean sailing season now under way, there’s no reason not to turn thoughts into action.
Of course, there are charter companies of all hues and to suit all budgets. diYachting is a boutique set-up which deals exclusively with luxury, crewed charter, with particular expertise on the sailing side.
The yachts they represent may not be cheap, but it does promise an experience whose benefits will last long after the salt has washed from your hair and the Caribbean glow has faded on your skin.
Its small fleet of carefully hand-picked yachts all meet diYachting’s exacting requirements for fine-dining, good looks and top-flight service.
With at least a dedicated skipper and chef on board every yacht (bigger boats mean more crew), your holiday will be tailormade – just for you.
Adventures can be as large or as small as you want. The skipper can help you put in some serious miles with the Code sail on a windy day to reach a new island. Or ready the tender for some wakeboarding before breakfast, followed by kitesurfing to an islet for a picnic lunch.
Seabobs, dive kit, waterslides – many toys can be rented if they are not already aboard.
On a diYachting holiday, expect your tastebuds to be in permanent raptures. The team will send you a preference sheet before you embark to prepare for any wishes or dietary requirements.
From grilled lobster on a beach barbecue to a mouthwatering fusion of locally sourced ingredients – your private Chef will make every meal an unforgettable treat.
With beds turned down at least once a day, and the highest quality bed and bath linen, diYachting crews aim to create that five-star feeling aboard.
It means there’s nothing to distract guests from the pursuit of relaxation and finding that inner calm that comes with the soothing sound of water lapping at the hull.
There’s a romance to this time you’ll spend afloat. Away from bustle and concerns, you can create a life within your life, with the space for everything that escapes you at home.
diYachting’s sailing boats in the Caribbean this winter range from the 157ft schooner Arabella down to the 44ft catamaran Alize, with prices for the week from £5,000 to £50,000.
Whether you’re coming with the kids, or with 30 friends, this is one experience no-one will forget.
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First look: Arcona 415 – electric production yacht (29 Nov 2021, 9:06 am)
The Arcona 415 comes with electric propulsion as standard, continuing the brand's move towards more eco-friendly production yachts
The new Arcona 415 is pitched as the first series-produced yacht with electric propulsion as standard.
Arcona already has a long history of developing boats with optional electric motors, dating back to the 380Z (for Zero emissions), which was launched in 2015. As well as the electric motor, this boat was fitted with a large array of solar panels, including some that were laminated into the cloth of the mainsail.
Since then, much has changed to make such a yacht more practical. The cost of solar panels is continuing to fall, for instance, and there are now more options for regeneration of electricity using the propeller when sailing.
However, arguably the biggest and most important advances have been in lithium-ion batteries. These are gaining 20% more power each year, while remaining the same physical size and cost. Today you can therefore buy a battery pack with double the power of one four years ago, for the same money.
As with other designs from the Arcona yard, the 415 is a powerful performance cruiser. It’s based on the existing 10-year-old Arcona 410, with updates and modifications including a more open transom and larger windows, both in the coachroof and hull.
The standard motor is a 15kW Oceanvolt unit that gives equivalent thrust to a 50hp diesel. A 19kW bank of lithium-ion batteries is fitted as standard. There’s also a service bank of two 90Ah AGM batteries. “Electric is here to stay,” says Arcona’s CEO Urban Lagnéus. “Our performance cruisers will always sail beautifully, but in light winds, when you need to use the engine, electric propulsion is the way forward.”
Arcona 415 specifications
LOA: 12.2m / 40ft 0in
Beam: 3.9m / 12ft 10in
Draught: 2.0, 2.2 or 2.5m / 6ft 7in, 7ft 3in or 8ft 2in
Displacement: 7,800kg / 17,200lb
Price: €345,347 ex VAT
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