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Sign up for Bart's Bash


The latest sailing news from Asia and the world.
 06 Sep 2017

Sign up for Bart's Bash

Bart's Bash 2016. (Sailability HK).  Guy Nowell ©
One way or another, the fourth Bart's Bash Regatta is likely to be the biggest event in the sailing world the weekend after next (16-17 September). In case you have forgotten, this is the global event inaugurated in the memory of Andrew ‘Bart' Simpson who died when the AC72 Artemis ‘crashed and burned' in San Francisco during the run-up to AC33. Bart's Bash aims to get as many people out and sailing the same sort of race, all over the globe, in the same 24hr period, making it the world's biggest regatta, and raising funds for the Andrew Simpson Foundation at the same time.

In Hong Kong, the first race of the RHKYC's Autumn Regatta (Saturday 16 September) is designated as a Bart's Bash event. Sign up here to participate and donate: There is also lots more information on the RHKYC website If you are sailing in the RHKYC Autumn Regatta, please join in – you are going to be there anyway! Check here to see if your club is involved in Bart's Bash – the list includes six clubs in China, plus HHYC, LBC and Discovery Bay in Hong Kong. The more the merrier!

Women in the VOR. Spanish Olympic gold medallist Tamara Echegoyen and Team SCA favourite Sophie Ciszek.   © María Muiña / MAPFRE

An interesting story in The Times (UK) concerning women sailors and equal pay has stirred up some controversy – I have been seeing it on my Facebook page. The next iteration of the Volvo Ocean Race (2017-18) allows for male, female, and mixed crews, with different numbers allowed for each. One (male) crew that we know of has rejected any notion of a mixed team, calling it a “social experiment,” and attracted a good deal of opprobrium in the process. The subject is not simple, and definitely involves questions about experience; if we were able to see the pay slips of all the men in the VOR we would probably find variable rates of pay; whether such discrepancies are also governed by gender is another matter. I can think of any number of women sailors who are worth a good deal more salt than some their male counterparts, but if – as is suggested – women are being hired at lower salaries as a cost cutting measure, there's definitely something wrong. You'll have to make up your own mind:

Match Racing Super League - Match Race Germany 2017  Match Race Germany

There's an interesting development on the world match racing scene: the Match Race Super League ( Last year the World Match Racing Tour came under the ownership of Aston Harald, manufacturers of the M32 catamaran, and (almost) all WMRT events were sailed in their ultralight and ultrazippy cats. There was a declared intention to set up regional M32 ‘Academies' around the world, with regional championships that would lead to the world series; the price of entry was the purchase of a few boats and paying for training courses that gave match racing hopefuls a driver's licence that would allow them to compete. The one-world-one-design did not sit well with some of the long-established regattas that really preferred to use their own boats for their events – the Gold Cup in Bermuda, sailed in IOD's, and the Congressional Cup contested in the Catalina 37S being examples. It was argued that with the America's Cup being sailed in multihulls, and the WMRT advertising itself as “the pathway to the AC”, catamarans were now a more appropriate boat in which to race for the top prize in match racing.

Now, however, the future of multihulls in the AC is up in the air (although not yet announced). Additionally, some people consider that sailing a number of different boats during the series constitutes an additional test of sailors' skills. Enter the Match Racing Super League. Different boats sailed at different venues, all monohulls. Does this sound familiar? World Sailing presently recognises four ‘Special Events' in sailing – the America's Cup; the Volvo Ocean Race; the Extreme Sailing Series; and the World Match Racing Tour. With MR Super League sanctioned by the Match Racing Association, and ‘supported' by World Sailing, is the supremacy of the super-specialised WMRT under threat?

Sir Peter Ogden's JV72 Jethou - today's big winner. - Day 2 - Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2017  © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi

And lastly, because we all like something good to look at, some boat porn in the shape of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Sardinia, sailed out of the august environs of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. No comment required: just enjoy the pictures.

Standing by on 72.

Guy Nowell, Asia Editor

Maxi Edmond de Rothschild – Debut flights
The fruit of nearly three years of work, the study and build combined, the 32-metre giant fitted out by Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild epitomises the daring and entrepreneurial spirit continuously demonstrated by her owners.... [more]

Turn the Tide on Plastic add 4 more sailors to Volvo Ocean Race squad
Volvo Ocean Race,
The multinational quartet, all 30 or under, earned their places after an intense trial period in Lisbon, Portugal and will be part of the Turn the Turn squad that takes on the round-the-world race, starting 22 October 2017 from Alicante.... [more]

America's Cup - Potential Australian backers of Cup Challenge named
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ,
Columnists writing in The Australian Gossip have suggested that a group of wealthy Australian businessmen could be interested in mounting an America's Cup Challenge. Australia has not had an entrant in the America's Cup for 20 years, and by the time the next America's Cup rolls around, it will be 38 years since Australia won the 1983 event in Newport RI.... [more]

Iain Murray joins Australian Sailing as Performance Director
Richard Gladwell, NZ,
One of Australia's most accomplished sailors, Iain Murray has been appointed to the role of Performance Director of Australian Sailing according to a report on Fox Sport's website. No formal announcement had been made but that is expected on Monday. Murray will start on October 4.... [more]

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Day 1 coastal race images by Max Ranchi
Max Ranchi,
Photographer Max Ranchi provided this gallery of images from day one... [more]

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Opening day's action images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery,
Photographer Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from opening day in Porto Cervo, Sardinia... [more]

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Day 2 action shots by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery,
Photographer Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from day two... [more]

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – More images from Day 2 by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery,
Photographer Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from day two... [more]

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Day 2, Race 2 images by Max Ranchi
Max Ranchi,
Photographer Max Ranchi provided this gallery of images from day two... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - First look around the Super 60
Richard Gladwell/,
Have a look behind the door at Persico at the prototype of the 60fter to be used in the next Volvo Ocean race is to be used. The foiler is expected to fly a metre above the water and will have eight adjustable flap on its foils, plus a canting rig. Volvo Ocean Race's Richard Mason, himself a veteran of four Volvo Ocean Races, gives a guided tour of the mockup... [more]

J-class - Elizabeth Meyer recalls how the revival began
CNN Mainsail,
Elizabeth Meyer is the founder of the contemporary J-class fleet, which has just completed its inaugural world championship in Newport RI, following a similar event ahead of the 35th America's Cup Regatta. Her story was recounted on CNN's Mainsail program in July 2014, and is an interesting read against the two J-Class regattas which have just been staged.... [more]

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup sets celebratory tone
With the organizing club, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), marking its 50th anniversary this year, there is an evidently positive and celebratory mood among the owners and crew despite strong winds having kept boats tied firmly to the dock over the past two days.... [more]

49er and FX World Championship - Go big or go home
Club 49er & Nacra 17,
The Portuguese tradewinds were in full howl this morning over Matosinhos, Portugal as Day 5 dawned on the 2017 49er/FX World Championships. With the top 20 qualifiers advancing to the gold fleet semifinal round and the remainder battling for silver, only the teams who could keep their boats upright would avoid falling in the results.... [more]

America's Cup - Peter Burling on the Cup, the Olympics and the Volvo
Peter White, Bay of Plenty Times,
Peter Burling has had so many accolades - including a few marriage proposals - since he brought the America's Cup back to New Zealand that it takes something out of the ordinary to impress him. On Monday, nearly 1900 students performed a powerful haka in his honour at his old school Tauranga Boys' College that hit home to him on a deeply emotional level.... [more]

Huge host of talent to challenge for Opel Finn Gold Cup in Balaton
Robert Deaves,
The entry list includes the great and the good, the old and the young, the new and the experienced. Balaton has also attracted sailors from across the age ranges with the Masters, Grand Masters and Grand Grand Masters, and even former Legend, champions in attendance.... [more]

The world's biggest windward/leeward race
Groupama Race,
Though considered a race in paradise, like previous editions the sixth biennial Groupama Race around the island of Noumea starting on June 17, 2018 will prove tactically difficult for all crews who accept the challenge.... [more]

2018 Extreme Sailing Series ready for take-off
Extreme Sailing Series,
The Series will continue to build on the trend of the past four years that has seen the average size of racecourses grow, while maintaining the proximity of the foiling action to the shore.... [more]

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