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Hello from Sail-World Asia


Things that suddenly disappear, or change.


Guy Nowell - Blue 728

SuperFoiler Championship in Sydney - photo © Andrea Francolini

Dear Recipient Name

One minute it’s bigger than Ben Hur (according to the SuperFoiler website). ““SuperFoiler Grand Prix is the ‘F1’ of hydrofoil sail-racing. There is no other entertainment product like it in the world. The SuperFoiler is a highly advanced, purpose-built machine that drives unrivalled performance.”

“The world’s best sailors agree that our IP and ambition exemplify leadership in the new combined dimension that is flying and sailing. Our aim is to deliver dynamic racing, create rich content as well as develop new on and off-water experiences.”

And the next moment the whole shemozzle is on the bricks. If your specs don’t go as small as the small print in the pic, then this is what it says:

“Expressions of interest sought. High speed hydrofoil raceboats and IP for sale.

Superfoiler Grand Prix. Assets and intellectual property of the creators of the SuperFoiler available for purchase. Includes eight one-of-a-kind SuperFoiler* boats with access to parts, moulds, IP, race circuit, and sponsorship rights.

*SuperFoilers require additional work to complete.

For Information Memorandum contact Kevin Chan of Worrells Solvency & Forensic Accountants on (02) 9249 1200 or via email: kevin.chen@ Expressions of interest close 5.00pm 20 March 2019

So sorry, the deadline has passed. What went wrong here? Answers on a postcard, please.

2018 WMRT Match Cup Norway - Day 2 - photo © Drew Malcolm
2018 WMRT Match Cup Norway - Day 2 - photo © Drew Malcolm

We received another strange announcement yesterday The World Match Racing Tour (sold off last December by owner Håkan Svensson, who attempted to convert what was once “the path to the America’s Cup” into “the path to selling more M32s”) now has new owners, but we aren’t being told who they are. WMRT has been “under new ownership since 01 January 2019” but the identity of the owner(s) is Strictly Secret Squirrel. Furthermore, WMRT is going back to Sweden for a last lick at a regurgitated M32 programme in staging a winner-takes-all World Championship “final” for the WMRT 2018-19 season. Why on earth they should do this is a bit of a mystery. Having waved goodbye to title sponsor Aston Harald (builders of the really quite excellent M32) last year, many thought this was a good opportunity to start afresh. The AC went off to play with multihulls; conveniently, the WMRT followed. Now the AC is back to monohulls (sort of) so that excuse is dead.

What the WMRT is really all about is match racing - one of the many arcane niches in the wonderful sport of sailing. Time was when hopeful crews turned up in Bermuda for the Gold Cup, or San Diego for the Con(gressional) Cup, and thrashed it out in whatever boat was thrown at them. Some of the events that were eventually united as a series under one umbrella were events with long and illustrious histories that didn’t take kindly to being told that their event was henceforth going to be sailed in a different boat, provided. Some declined. Any attempt to turn the WMRT into a one-design event was always going to diminish its stature.

Now the OD merchants are off the headline, and Messrs XYZ (whoever they might be) have the chance to take the WMRT back to where it came from and start over. So why on earth go back for another Aston Harald event? It doesn’t make sense, but we like the WMRT a lot, and look forward to seeing it resurrected in a proper form as soon as possible.

And here’s another thing we don’t understand. Why has the combined IQ of the Royal Thai Navy and YRAT (the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand, chiefly famous for keeping their scoring systems on floppy discs) decided to have a dinghy regatta (Sattahip Regatta, 24-28 April) just a few days before Top of the Gulf Regatta (1-5 May). Sattahip is the RTN base some 11nm from Jomtien Beach, home of Ocean Marina and the Top of the Gulf Regatta. In local terms, this is akin to the Royal Southampton running a regatta that ends two day before Cowes Week, and for the same classes. One school of thought says that this is a great opportunity “for some training before the big event.” The flip side says that one event will dilute the other, although we couldn’t say which way round that will be. However, Sail-World will be on station at TOG, which is one of the serious and major regattas in Thailand, and we will be keeping an eye on fleet numbers.

Incidentally, the Sattahip Regatta will include racing for the Vega Rudder Trophy that commemorates the voyage of His Late Majesty King Bhumiphol Adulyadej, single handed, in an open dinghy, from Hua Hin to Sattahip: 52nm across open water. Hats off to His Majesty.

Singapore Yacht Show 2018. - photo © Guy Nowell
Singapore Yacht Show 2018. - photo © Guy Nowell

The Singapore Yacht Show is just around the corner (11-14 May) and once again we are asking ourselves what is the real function of boat shows – apart from enjoying looking at boats that I will never be able to afford. Boat shows in this part of the world have long ceased to be just 'boat shows'. They are multi-faceted Lifestyle Events, meaning that they are selling watches, champagne, and nouveau aspiration as much as things that float. Today we have the internet, and that means that anyone can check out the specs, the photos, and the movie of practically any boat on the planet without leaving home. Boat shows are no longer the place to go see what’s new. So why I should need to perspire freely under the afternoon sun in Singapore in May while looking at some boats that look remarkably similar to those I looked at last year is highly questionable.

New boats, of course, are always “revolutionary” and “all new design.” This sort of language is merely the PR fluff writer’s stock-in-trade; when did you last see truly revolutionary design in a boat (foiling sailing boats excepted). Really? Pointy at the front, square(ish) at the back, and if you want to go faster and this is a motor yacht, then install bigger engines. (Note: ‘revolutionary’ and ‘edgy’ are also code words for ‘horribly ugly’). At the end of the day all that “cutting edge design” stuff comes down to the colour of the cushions and the fabric on the sofa. The real function of boat shows, a friendly dealer/broker tells us, is to collect new contacts. “We don’t need to see our existing customers – they are on our contact list anyway - but we love to meet new people. Occasionally someone goes mad and buys a boat at a show, but it doesn’t happen often. When companies announce that they have sold a boat at a show, it usually means that something has been signed off after months of discussions and negotiations.”

Boat shows are social occasions, too. All those ‘First Time in Asia’ launch events at which the dealers complain to the brokers about the cost of boat shows - and the brokers agree. Boat shows are like a whole lot of office parties all happening at once, with the serial invitees picking and choosing which ones to attend on the basis of expected quality of wine on offer.

Someone is enjoying themslves! Boase Cohen & Collins Interschool Sailing Festival 2019 - photo © RHKYC / Guy Nowell
Someone is enjoying themslves! Boase Cohen & Collins Interschool Sailing Festival 2019 - photo © RHKYC / Guy Nowell
From changeover pontoon to start line... not far. Boase Cohen & Collins Interschool Sailing Festival 2019 - photo © RHKYC / Guy Nowell
From changeover pontoon to start line... not far. Boase Cohen & Collins Interschool Sailing Festival 2019 - photo © RHKYC / Guy Nowell

After the resounding success of Hong Kong Raceweek, and the stony silence from the Asia Open Laser Championships in Singapore, the next small boat event hereabouts was the Boase Cohen & Collins Interschools Sailing Festival – 3-boat team racing in Fevas, Picos and Fusions. 155 students in 22 teams from 17 educational institutions in Hong Kong, and a schedule of two round robins and 100+ races over two days. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the breeze could shut off for one thing, and it did. Light breeze on day one, and the RO just managed to squeeze in 48 races. No breeze at all on day two. As the day wore on and the flat calm continued, punctuated by heavy downpours, the race schedule gradually became more and abbreviated until there were fewer than half a dozen races during the day. Take the top scorers from the one and only round robin, and fire them off as a two-team final. Oddly enough, team racing at near zero speed is almost as nail-biting as doing it with 10 kts of breeze. Best of all, everyone was having fun. How many kids can you fit in an Optimist? And can you still paddle it? There may not have been too much actual racing during the day, but there was plenty of watery activity and a lot of good, wet, fun. There are plenty of grown-ups that could take a leaf out of this particular behavioural manual.

Standing by on 72.

Guy Nowell

Four dinghies put through their paces in Valencia Sea Trials
From 11-15 March 2019, the D-Zero, Laser, Melges 14 and RS Aero were put through their paces at Sea Trials for the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy Equipment for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition.

12 Metre Worlds will harken back to America's Cup days in Newport
When the 12 Metre World Championship comes to Newport, R.I. this summer (July 8-13), the significance of the venue will not be lost on sailing buffs, or for that matter, on sports historians in general.

Swan One Design Yachts about to start a new exciting regatta year
In 2017, Nautor's Swan launched the pivotal The Nations Trophy as a focal biennial event in the world of Swan One Design activity.

Protector - 300x250   Selden CX & GX Furling Systems 600x500
Less than a month to go until inaugural Hong Kong to Puerto Galera Yacht Race
Hong Kong to Puerto Galera Yacht Race will be the second longest Category 1 offshore race in Asia; second only to the Club's Hong Kong to Vietnam Race and will take competitors on a 650nm passage to Puerto Galera on the island of Mindoro.

The Ocean Race enters new era with global launch event
The Ocean Race revealed its new brand identity and confirmed two team entries during an online launch event hosted in Alicante, Spain.

MDI Philippine Hobie Challenge 2019
Ten intrepid teams sailing to five islands across four provinces in five days marked the 30th anniversary of MDI at the Philippine Hobie Challenge 2019. MDI was the title sponsor of this 19th edition of the adrenaline-filled 'raid' regatta

WindBot-PRO-300x250   Zhik 2018 Kollition 300x250
World Match Racing Tour extends 2018 season
The World Match Racing Tour, under new ownership since 1 January, has announced an extension to the 2018 season in order to complete the World Championship following its sale by Aston Harald in December.

Rolex Fastnet Race's most complete pantheon of offshore race boats
The most impressive collection of offshore racing hardware from across the globe is set to gather off Cowes for the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race

World Youth Champion exits early to contest Olympic classes
Current World Youth Single-handed champion Josh Armit (17yrs) writes about his transition from the youth classes to Olympic classes and the challenge of juggling that process with school.

Rooster GETSEASMART 300x250   PGR19_300x250
World Sailing Olympic One Person Dinghy Sea Trials Evaluation Trials Footnote from RS Sailing
The Evaluation Team asked the manufacturers and Classes taking part not to release reports during the trials in order to avoid biased views influencing the panel. The RS Aero team complied with that request...

Podcast: The Most Futuristic and Retro Boats of the RYA Dinghy Show 2019
In our second podcast about the RYA Dinghy Show, Andy Rice and Mark Jardine discuss some of the boats that caught their eye. From top-end speedsters like the Lithium International Moth and the foiler for beginners - Flying Mantis.

Capri Classica: The first bespoke regatta for classic schooners
The ISA, the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia and the Yacht Club Capri, with the support of the International Maxi Association (IMA), have launched the Capri Classica which will take place over 8-12 May, just before Capri Rolex Sailing Week.

Guy Nowell -  Yellow 100   North Sails 2019 - Helix - 600x500
World Sailing: Olympic Single hander trials underway in Valencia
Sea Trials for the selection of Equipment for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy Events commenced on 11 March in Valencia, Spain.

Boase Cohen & Collins Inter-School Sailing Festival 2019
In what has become one of the most hotly-contested team racing events in Hong Kong, the 17th Boase Cohen & Collins Inter-School Sailing Festival was held this weekend.

2019 Sailor's Regatta at Phuket Yacht Club - Overall
There were three tight starts in the IRC class today with Megazip and Uminoko pushing each other to achieve an advantage at the start line. Uminoko's spinnaker handling was much better and as a result their downwind performance improved greatly.

Predictwind - Iridium 250   Gul 2018 October - Code Zero 300x250
2019 Sailor's Regatta at Phuket Yacht Club - Day 2
After a short delay due to lack of wind, the PYC race committee and PRO Matt McGrath got off three windward-leeward races in a light breeze (5-8 knots).

2019 Sailor's Regatta at Phuket Yacht Club - day 1
Principal Race Officer (PRO) Matt McGrath staged two starts, the first for the three monohulls in the competition and the second for the six multihulls that were racing.

Update from INEOS TEAM UK skipper Ben Ainslie
Update from INEOS TEAM UK skipper Ben Ainslie as we mark 2 years until the start of the 36th America's Cup.

HALLSPARS_MAST-&-BOOMS_SW_300X250-battens   Hyde Sails 2017 March 300x250
And now for something completely different - The International Moth story
Over the last year or so, there have been a couple of key themes that have kept reoccurring in the articles that I have written for your reading. One is on the fascinating topic of innovation and how it has driven – and been driven by dinghy development.

Invisible Events. Why reporting is a good idea.
When there's a regional championship for one of the biggest dinghy classes in the world taking place on your patch, you think there's going be some race coverage.

All-female winners recognised in YJA Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the Year Awards
Two firsts marked the 2018 Yachting Journalists' Association Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the Year Awards: all-female winners and a tie for the YJA Yachtsman of the Year trophy.

BandG Asia Triton2 300x250   SOUTHERNSPARS_MAST-&-BOOMS_SW_300X250-MISSY
Guy Nowell - Blue 660


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