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Shattered dreams - Australia Newsletter


Shattered dreams

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Alex Thomson ceases racing in the Vendée Globe - photo © Alex Thomson Racing

Dear Recipient Name

It's impossible not to feel sorry for Alex Thomson having to pull out of the Vendée Globe. He cut a dejected figure in the cockpit of his Hugo Boss IMOCA as he made his way towards Cape Town following the damage to his starboard rudder.

Having spent a couple of days repairing the structural damage in the bow in stiflingly hot conditions, maintaining a positive outlook the whole time, the rudder damage proved impossible to fix, leaving him no option but to retire from the race.

Alex has spent the best part of 20 years chasing victory in the Vendée Globe, suffering damage to the boom clew in the 2004/05 race and a cracked hull in the 2008/09 race, forcing him to retire in both. Then in 2012/13 he finished third, followed by a second place in the 2016/17 edition, despite breaking his starboard foil after just 13 days at sea. Surely 2020/21 was the year he was going to go one better and become the first non-French sailor to win the event? Sadly, it wasn't meant to be this time, but hopefully he'll be back to give it another shot in 2024/25.

Today a clearly distraught Alex recorded this video in which he said, "I'm normally a very positive person, but if I'm honest right now I feel pretty broken... We've come so close before and this time I really thought it was possible. I have the boat of my dreams and we've put together a campaign which I'm extremely proud of and despite the setbacks of the last week I still thought it was possible... I've given my life to this sport and it's a very difficult pill to swallow."

Zhik 2020 Black Friday - MPU   WASZP 2020 - Win the 1000th boat - MPU Animated

British yachtsman Alex Thomson, skipper of 'HugoBoss' leaves Gosport for the start of the Vendée Globe  - photo © Mark Lloyd /
British yachtsman Alex Thomson, skipper of 'HugoBoss' leaves Gosport for the start of the Vendée Globe - photo © Mark Lloyd /

Alex's story and positivity has led to him building a fan base around the world. David Schmidt,'s North American Editor, messaged me soon after the news came through and was similarly gutted that Alex had to pull out of the Vendée.

The race itself has clearly captured the sailing world's attention. November has been a record month for and with half a million unique visitors to the websites, which is astounding at a time so many events are off, and areas of the world are in lockdown. We so appreciate that you've chosen our websites to digest your sailing news, and we're grateful for the incredible amount of feedback and contribution we get from you all. Our team is hugely passionate about what we do, so hearing about that same passion you all have for our sport is what keeps us motivated. Thank you.

ALT Composities 2020 West System 1 - 300x250   Ensign 2020 - Bavaria C42 - 300x250

Charlie Dalin on Apivia takes the lead in the Vendée Globe - photo © J.M.Liot / Apivia / #VG2020
Charlie Dalin on Apivia takes the lead in the Vendée Globe - photo © J.M.Liot / Apivia / #VG2020

Retirements are an inevitable part of the Vendée Globe, and hitting UFOs (unidentified floating objects) is sadly a hazard of sailing fast through our oceans, and the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, which had started a Jules Verne Trophy record attempt, turned back to Lorient on Friday after damage to the huge foiling trimaran.

EWOL 2020 - Propellers - 300x250   FFI - Try a fifteen - 2020 600x500

Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - Jules Verne Trophy - photo © Eloi Stichelbaut / polaRYSE / Gitana S.A
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - Jules Verne Trophy - photo © Eloi Stichelbaut / polaRYSE / Gitana S.A

The other leviathan, Sodebo Ultim 3, sailed by Thomas Coville, François Duguet, Sam Goodchild, Corentin Horeau, Martin Keruzoré, François Morvan, Thomas Rouxel and Matthieu Vandame, holds a slim lead of just 6.8 nautical miles at the equator over Francis Joyon's reference time from 2017 in IDEC Sport. You can track the team here.

Flagstaff 2020 - Oceanis 30.1 - MPU   GCM Mariners Diary 2020 - MPU

Sodebo Ultim 3 crossing the equator in their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt - photo ©
Sodebo Ultim 3 crossing the equator in their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt - photo ©

Time is counting down rapidly until we see the America's Cup teams go head-to-head in the Prada America's Cup World Series Auckland and Prada Christmas Race, taking place 17-20 December.

While all four teams have been practising in the same vicinity, they are forbidden by the rules to engage in head-to-head sailing, so this really is the first opportunity to see who looks fast and who has a lot of work to do ahead of The Prada Cup Challenger Series, taking place 15th January to the 22nd February, and then the America's Cup itself from 6th to the 21st March.

Henri-Lloyd 2020 Nov MPU SW   Highfield Boats - Sailing - MPU

Emirates Team New Zealand sail their AC75 Te Rehutai on the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand - photo © Hamish Hooper / Emirates Team New Zealand
Emirates Team New Zealand sail their AC75 Te Rehutai on the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand - photo © Hamish Hooper / Emirates Team New Zealand

We understand that there should be practice racing ahead of the Prada America's Cup World Series, which is likely to take place from December 8th, and Richard Gladwell,'s New Zealand Editor, will be out on the water to catch the action.

Prada America's Cup World Series Auckland - Double Round Robin - photo ©
Prada America's Cup World Series Auckland - Double Round Robin - photo ©
Prada America's Cup World Series Auckland - Two Knock Out Stages - photo ©
Prada America's Cup World Series Auckland - Two Knock Out Stages - photo ©

In many ways sailing is very lucky to have these events taking place, so we need to spread the word amongst our non-sailing friends to show the world just how far sailing has come.

Back in September I tried to gybe a WASZP inside a day of sailing it, recording a video of the experience. It was great fun, and led me to want to do more in the boat, which is something a lucky sailor will be able to do if they win the WASZP #1000 competition. Photos and a video of the boat itself were released last week and it really does look stunning! This is definitely a competition worth entering!

WASZP 1000 sneak peak - photo © Marc Ablett
WASZP 1000 sneak peak - photo © Marc Ablett

There have been a few other events and series taking place around the world. Two which really caught my eye this week were the RS:X Europeans, which included some seriously strong gusts on day 2, and the teams who made it onto the water for race 2 of the 18ft Skiff NSW Championship on Sydney Harbour. The race was called off after only three teams managed to make it to the start line in Rose Bay, but it was incredible to see veteran skipper John Winning tackle the 40+ knot gusts in such a powerful boat.

J Composites 2020 - MPU   JS Yachting 2020 - 600x500

RS:X Europeans at Vilamoura, Portugal day 2 - photo © Joao Costa Ferreira / Osga_photo
RS:X Europeans at Vilamoura, Portugal day 2 - photo © Joao Costa Ferreira / Osga_photo
Hard work shows on the face of the Yandoo skipper - 18ft Skiff NSW Championship Race 2 - photo © Frank Quealey
Hard work shows on the face of the Yandoo skipper - 18ft Skiff NSW Championship Race 2 - photo © Frank Quealey

Through the rest of 2020, during the festive period, into 2021 and beyond our team on and will continue to bring you the latest from all the events taking place around the world in the sport that we love. Thank you for reading our websites and please continue to give us your feedback and share the sailing news with your network of friends!

Mark Jardine and Managing Editor

MIA 2019 300x250 3   Marine Auctions 2019 600x500

Kevin Escoffier (PRB) activates Distress Beacon, Jean Le Cam alters course to assist
Kevin Escoffier, 40, who is racing in third place in the Vendée Globe solo non-stop around the world race, positioned some 550 nautical miles SW of Cape Town, has triggered his distress beacon.

News from X-Yachts - Launch of the X56
Yesterday late in the afternoon, the X56 was launched for the very first time! It was a tremendously glorious sight to see the new beauty hit the water!

A message from Alex
Alex Thomson speaks for the first time after his dreams of Vendée Globe victory end in heartbreak.

Navico 2020 fun MPU AUS   North Sails 2019 - Helix Top-Down Furling 600x500
Vendée Globe Day 23 morning update: The big chill
The leaders of the Vendée Globe fleet are now in a strong south-westerly flow approaching the Cape of Good Hope. Leader Charlie Dalin, is expected to cross the first great Cape this afternoon.

PredictWind's new weather routing algorithm
We are excited to announce the release of PredictWind's new weather routing algorithm with completely new code that offers unparalleled performance.

Extreme Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship tests crews at Middle Harbour Yacht Club
Middle Harbour Yacht Club's Sydney Short Ocean Racing Championship coincided with Sydney's record-breaking hot weather weekend, 28 crews enduring 40 knot gusts for race two and brutal temperatures in the low 40s both days of the longstanding annual series

Pacific Sailing School 2020 - MPU   Pantaenius 2019 - AmRad - 300x250 - SW WEBSITE
2020 MC38 Season Act 6 at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club
Middle Harbour Yacht Club's Lazy Dog team closed out the 2020 MC38 calendar with a third series triumph, giving Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart's crew the overall season trophy from six acts.

18ft Skiff NSW Championship on Sydney Harbour - Race 2
Fresh North West winds over 20-knots, with gusts up to 40-knots prior to race time, cast doubt over the Australian 18 Footers League being able to stage Race 2 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today

52nd NS14 Nationals at Gosford Sailing Club - Preview
Gosford Sailing Club are holding the 52nd NS14 Nationals 28th Dec to 31st 2020. A quality fleet is expected with several travelling from as far as Tasmania.

Race Yachts 2020 600x500 v4   Rolly Tasker Sails 2019 600x500 MPU v5
Emirates Team NZ online clothing store - Foiling good Black Friday deals
Emirates Team New Zealand shop is offering some foiling good deals on selected items as part of Black Friday - but this offer extends through to November 30. Here's a great chance to do some high value Xmas shopping or get your fan gear for the Xmas Cup.

Alex Thomson ceases racing in the Vendée Globe
After incurring damage to the starboard rudder of his boat, British sailor Alex Thomson has ceased racing in the Vendée Globe and is now sailing his boat towards Cape Town.

Public voting open for the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award
The World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award celebrates the effective execution or ongoing delivery of high-impact, highly-replicable sustainability initiatives, aligned to World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030.

Ronstan 2020 - Sailmon MAX - MPU   Sail Exchange 300x250 Used Sails
The Gitana Team interrupts its Jules Verne Trophy attempt
After three days at sea on their first round the world record attempt, Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier have this evening taken the decision to interrupt their record bid and return to their port of registry.

Vendée Globe: Rudder damage on Hugo Boss
Alex Thomson Racing have issued an alert describing rudder damage to Hugo Boss which is reported to have occurred around 1900hrs UTC this Friday evening.

Prada America's Cup World Series and Prada Xmas Cup format announced
In less than three weeks four international teams from New Zealand, Italy, United States, and Great Britain will line up for Prada America's Cup World Series Auckland and the Prada Christmas Race (December 17-20).

Sailing Raceboats 2016 RS Feva 300x250   Sea Sure 2020 - MPU
PlanetSail 36th America's Cup Analysis: The Boat to Beat
If there's one hard fact in a sea of uncertainty, this is identifying the team that needs to be beaten to win the America's Cup, the current Defender representatives, Emirates Team New Zealand.

Bollé Australia Match Cup at Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
Tom Slingsby's Sail Racing Australia, with crew Will Ryan, Sam Newton and Ben Lamb have won the inaugural Bollé Australia Match Cup, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this week.

Weta reaches new sales milestone and first Australian Nationals are go!
The Weta Trimaran has been increasingly popular in 2020 and has hit another sales milestone with 1300 sold worldwide.

Selden 2020 - Furlex electric - MPU   Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW MPU
Doyle Sails sign significant three-year partnership with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
RNZYS has announced a three-year partnership agreement with world-renowned sailmaker Doyle Sails. The significant partnership agreement includes Doyle Sails being recognised as the ‘Official Sailmaker of the RNZYS, Home of the America's Cup'

2022 ORC/IRC World Championship to be in Porto Cervo, Sardinia
The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) are pleased to announce the next biennial ORC/IRC World Championship will be held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy.

America's Cup Rialto: November 26 - Two boat testing on Course E?
Two of the America's Cup teams ventured out onto the Hauraki Gulf, in the aftermath of yesterday's gale and heavy rain. With both sailing, maybe closer than the rules allow on Course E in the Tamaki Strait. Plus the latest video from Gilles Martin-Raget

Vaikobi 2020 - MPU 2   Vetus-Maxwell 2020
WASZP 1000 sneak peak
We are now at the half-way mark of our historic WASZP #1000 competition and we can assure you there are some fantastic slogan entries rolling in. So they should be with the chance to win the amazing limited edition GOLD WASZP 1000.

Flying Fifteen websites ransom hacked
Flying Fifteen International (FFI) regret to advise that the Flying Fifteen International and UK Flying Fifteen Class Association websites have been ransom hacked along with numerous other websites in a cyber attack that hit data centres.

Damage to the port foil of Thomas Ruyant's LinkedOut
While lying in second place in the South Atlantic, some 72 nautical miles behind leader Charlie Dalin (Apivia), Thomas Ruyant last night sustained damage to the port foil of his IMOCA LinkedOut.

we are marine 2020 - 20 AUD off - MPU   Webasto AUS 2020 MPU 4
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ ranked third on Global Power list for AC75 development
In the 2020 Sports Technology Annual Review and Industry Power List published this month, Emirates Team New Zealand has been ranked at #3 on the Global Power List by the STA Group and the English Institute of Sport.

No limit to 2Unlimited in TasPorts Maria Island Race
Greg Prescott's modified Farr 40 2Unlimited, skippered by Oliver Nicholas, took line honours in the 73rd TasPorts Maria Island Race, sailed in Tasmania from 13-16 November, in one of the slowest races for some years.

2021 RORC Caribbean 600 - Race update
The 13th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is scheduled to start off Fort Charlotte, Antigua on Monday 22nd February 2021.

Wichard Pacific 2020 - Swivel and Halyard Locks - 300x250   X-Yachts AUS X4 - 1
3 months until Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta 2021
We are now at the pointy end of arrangements for Heaven Can Wait 2021 - the 15th running of this great fundraising regatta, and I am pleased to say that all is going smoothly.

The 18 Footer Spectator Ferry
When Mark Foy formulated his plan to popularise sailing as a sport on Sydney Harbour in 1892 a critical component of his plan was a spectator ferry, which would become a floating grandstand to give patrons a close up view of the action-packed racing.

2020 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race offers something for everyone
The 76th running of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be different this year with COVID-19 restrictions in place around the world

38 South - Sun Fast 3300 - MPU   Allen 2020 - A2031XHL - 600x500
America's Cup: 170 years of the America's Cup by Virtual Eye
Many media formats have been used to try and explain the leaps between the start of the America's Cup in 1851 through to the present - in the sailing class and technology of the day. None bridge the gap as well as this piece from Animation Research Ltd

America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ release build video of Defender
Emirates Team New Zealand have released a rare video showing the construction of their second generation AC75, built in the team's dedicated construction facility on Auckland's North Shore.

America's Cup: An inside view of Emirates Team New Zealand like you've never seen before
Prime time Television New Zealand magazine show, Sunday, embedded a reporter into Emirates Team New Zealand for six weeks. The America's Cup champions gave her complete access to the team.

Barton Marine 2019 600x500   Boat Books Australia
French photographer Gilles Martin-Raget, winner of the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image of the Century
The international jury decided to honour the French photographer Gilles Martin-Raget and his image of the Orma 60 Fujifilm II trimaran, taken during the Course des Phares 2002.

Pacific Sailing School update: Sailing, Regattas and Holidays
Join us for an evening with Wendy Tuck, as she shares her incredible sailing story as the only woman skipper to win the Clipper Round the World Race and backed up for the Maiden voyage.

Getting back OutThere this summer
Last weekend AFL Legend Brendan "Fev" Fevola hit the water at Sandringham Yacht Club with his daughter as a part of Australian Sailing's OutThere Sailing 'Bring a Friend' campaign.

C-Tech 2020 Battens 300x250   Doyle Sails 2020 - Pure Brilliance 300x250
Martin Keruzoré wins the Mirabaud Sailing Video of the Century
The 2020 edition of the Mirabaud Sailing Video Award has been adapted to reward the best videos filmed since 2000. Martin Keruzoré (Air Vide et Eau Productions) wins the main prize with his video Vues du Large, selected by the international jury.

Lifting rudder now an option on OK dinghy, thanks to Sea Sure and Ovington Boats
Sea Sure, the Warsash based manufacturer of dinghy transom products like pintles, gudgeons and rudder stocks, has collaborated with Ovington Boats to design and manufacture a lifting rudder to fit to an OK dinghy.

Bermuda and Italy selected to host first SailGP events of second season
SailGP today announced an updated schedule for the first half of its second season, with the opening events now set for the island of Bermuda and the southern Italian city of Taranto.

ETNZ Black-Friday-300x250   HALLSPARS_MAST-&-BOOMS_SW_300X250-battens
Combined Hobart Clubs Summer Pennant Series - Race 4
Saturday's Combined Clubs Summer Pennant fleet struggled in desperately light winds at the mid-river start in conditions more suited to paddling a kayak than sailing a yacht. 250 - 2014   Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - AUS MPU
Ronstan 2020 - Sailmon MAX - FOOTER

Vaikobi 2020 - FOOTER 2

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