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Pacific Sailing School 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Time to catch breath - Australia Newsletter


Time to catch breath

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Yannick Bestaven on Maitre Coq wins the Vendee Globe 2020-21 - photo © Jean-Marie Liot / Alea

Dear Recipient Name

As if it weren't an already extraordinary time, the start of 2021 has been an incredible one for sailing. The Vendée Globe finish has been simply sensational and the PRADA Cup racing between INEOS TEAM UK and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli kept us all on the edge of our seats.

From the point of view of reporting on the racing, having many of the major events happen in the middle of the night on UK time has been challenging. The irony of feeling jet lagged while in lockdown isn't lost on me...

My last newsletter focused on camaraderie, and this was on display in spades at the Vendée Globe finish port of Les Sables d'Olonne. We saw line honours winner Charlie Dalin being one of the first to congratulate Yannick Bestaven, who took overall victory thanks to his 10-hour time compensation for his part in the rescue of Kevin Escoffier. Then Kevin Escoffier went out on the water to greet Jean Le Cam, who was given the warmest welcome of all and crowned 'King Jean'. The finish itself was sensational and unprecedented, the camaraderie shown by the skippers was heart-warming.

'King Jean' finishes the Vendee Globe - photo © @JeanLecam
'King Jean' finishes the Vendee Globe - photo © @JeanLecam

Marine Auctions 2019 600x500   Team Windcraft 2021 - Dehler - MPU

The Semi Final of the PRADA Cup was somewhat of an anti-climax. Against all the odds New York Yacht Club American Magic managed to get PATRIOT back out on the water after their spectacular capsize, but it was clear that there were issues controlling the boat. The crew looked anything but comfortable battling around the course and went out of the event without winning a race.

The damage to the hull was major but having to remove and test all on-board electronics, replacing components where necessary, was a gargantuan task. Couple that with the near vertical learning curve the teams are on with the AC75s meant that the lost development time alone made this a one-horse race.

Terry Hutchinson's team can leave Auckland with their heads held high with the way they conducted themselves, and the thank-you message on PATRIOT when they relaunched the boat was true class.

New York Yacht Club American Magic's PATRIOT is relaunched after her massive capsize and repairs - photo © COR36 / Studio Borlenghi
New York Yacht Club American Magic's PATRIOT is relaunched after her massive capsize and repairs - photo © COR36 / Studio Borlenghi

Ronstan 2020 - Sailmon MAX - MPU   Race Yachts 2021 600x500 v2

Getting sailing coverage on mainstream media is a constant battle. In Australia the Boxing Day start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race is broadcast (although obviously not in 2020) but in the UK even INEOS TEAM UK's success so far in the PRADA Cup has only gathered the odd bit of coverage on the BBC. As a few sailors have recently commented, if the crew kicked a ball around on deck then they might get more airtime...

In France there's no such issue with the Vendée Globe regularly being national news and it would be fantastic to see this spread worldwide. It was nice to help with a little bit of sailing coverage on BBC World's Sport Today programme talking about the PRADA Cup and Vendée Globe on 22nd January and the Vendée finish on 27th January. They're short features, but every little bit helps getting awareness of our great sport out to a wider audience.

Talking on BBC Sport Today about the Vendée Globe finish - photo © BBC
Talking on BBC Sport Today about the Vendée Globe finish - photo © BBC

Sea Sure 2021 - RED - MPU   Vaikobi 2020 - MPU 1

On Thursday I was delighted to host the first Scaramouche Sailing Trust webinar, aimed at boosting inclusivity in the sport of sailing. The achievements of the programme have been remarkable, using sailing to help engage students, transform lives and create a lifelong interest in a sport that is not common to children at an inner-city state school. Jon Holt and the kids from the Greig City Academy in Haringey, London are inspirational to listen to and you can now watch a replay of the first webinar here.

The Scaramouche team celebrate at the end of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2019 - photo © Paul Wyeth /
The Scaramouche team celebrate at the end of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2019 - photo © Paul Wyeth /

The Vendée Globe finishers continue to pour in, but the remaining America's Cup challengers are hard at work preparing for the PRADA Cup final, which starts on 13th February. The British and Italian teams will battle it out to be the first to win seven races and, judging by how close the racing was in January, it's going to be electric.

PRADA Cup Round Robin 3 - INEOS TEAM UK vs Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - photo © COR36 / Studio Borlenghi
PRADA Cup Round Robin 3 - INEOS TEAM UK vs Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - photo © COR36 / Studio Borlenghi

Webasto AUS 2020 MPU 5   Zhik 2021 Jan - 300x250 SW

In the meantime, Emirates Team New Zealand have been continuing their development apace, with their latest skinny foils causing quite a stir. The speeds these boats have already demonstrated, with PATRIOT clocking over 53 knots while racing, are incredible and the Kiwis may well be pushing this to the next level.

Starboard foil side view -  Emirates Team New Zealand - January 25, 2021 - Waitemata Harbour - America's Cup 36 - photo © Richard Gladwell /
Starboard foil side view - Emirates Team New Zealand - January 25, 2021 - Waitemata Harbour - America's Cup 36 - photo © Richard Gladwell /

All this has resulted in record readership for and We're of course proud of reaching over ¾ million unique users in January, with over 167,000 in the UK and 93,000 in Australia being major milestones for us. We thank every single one of our readers for choosing our websites to get their sailing news fix; it's what drives us on to do more.

In my chat with Sail-World's Australian Editor John Curnow this morning (his Monday evening) he said, "Being just shy of 800k unique visitors to the group's websites for the month of January is certainly wonderful. However, the entire team never forgets that it is you, the readers, seeking the best and most timely information that makes this all possible. We all want to thank you, as well as all the people we contact via email, phone, Skype and WhatsApp who provide the content we turn into the material you read and watch. It's hot in Australia right now, so I'm raising a cold glass to say cheers, thank you, and please stay safe."

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So yes, we did catch breath over the weekend after the incredible start to the year for sailing, but we're right back on it and raring to see what developments are coming out of the America's Cup team sheds in Auckland ready for the next race.

Please continue to send us your reports and feedback on everything you read on and We love reading your thoughts and it helps guide our future.

Stay safe,

Mark Jardine
Managing Editor, &

Highfield Boats - Sailing - MPU   Flagstaff 2020 - Oceanis 30.1 - MPU

Scaramouche Sailing Trust / RYA Webinar 1
Watch this fascinating webinar where Jon Holt, Head of Sixth Form and Outdoor Education Lead at the Greig City Academy, and Hannah Cockle, the RYA OnBoard Operations Officer tell us more about the Scaramouche Sailing Trust and the RYA Onboard scheme.

Armel Tripon completes his first Vendée Globe in 11th place
Armel Tripon entered superbly under sail with his great Provence sun in the mythical channel. He took 11th place in the non-stop single-handed round-the-world race after 84 days, 17 hours, seven minutes and 50 seconds of racing.

The John Westell Centenary, Part 2: An eye for design
In Part 2 of this series of videos telling the story of the life and boats of John Westell, we will see how his eye for a shapely design and his love of speed in a sailing dinghy would become increasingly strong factors behind his thinking.

Road to Gold - Burling & Tuke MPU   Sail Exchange 300x250 2
Zhik appoints Kubus Sports as Netherlands distributor
Zhik are delighted to announce Kubus Sports, distributors of premium technical marine and sports brands, as their newly appointed distributor for the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Information about the Etchells Mould 11
Today, I want to update you on the history and status of the now famous Mould 11, which is owned by the Australian Etchells Association, and is presently licensed to Pacesetter Yachts for it to build Etchells in Australia.

2021 City of Perth Festival of Sail postponed
Swan River Sailing would like to announce that the City of Perth Youth Cup and City of Perth Festival of Sail will be postponed to the Week of Monday the 12th of April just ahead of the State Inter-Club Championships hosted by Royal Perth Yacht Club.

FFI - Try a fifteen - 2020 600x500   J Composites 2020 - MPU
One year on: The Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival
A year ago, the Clipper Race fleet was welcomed by the azure warm waters and white sandy shores of the Whitsundays after spending 19 tough days at sea racing around the coast of Australia.

18ft Skiff Australian Championship on Sydney Harbour - Races 4 & 5
Defending champion tech2 team of Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake holds a slender lead in the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship after today's incredible day's racing in Races 4 and 5 of the series being sailed on Sydney Harbour.

6ty SB20 Tasmanian Championship 2021 - Overall
Chris Dare has successfully defended his SB20 state title on the Tamar River at Beauty Point over the weekend.

North Sails 2019 - Helix Top-Down Furling 600x500   Predictwind - Iridium 250
Vendée Globe Day 84: 24/8!
Bringing the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe to an incredible crescendo eight competitors arrived back in Les Sables d'Olonne within 23 hours and 44 minutes.

6ty SB20 Tasmanian Championship 2021 - Day 1
Victorian Dare, sailing with his son Lachlan and international sailor Ben Lamb, won five from five races in the championship which is being sailed from Beauty Point for the first time.

American Magic concludes campaign for 36th America's Cup
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli defeats New York Yacht Club American Magic 4-0 to earn a spot in the Prada Cup finals against INEOS Team UK.

Boat Books Australia   Cyclops 2020 - Dec2020 - MPU
Sea Sure Competition Spec Trapeze Hook
Based on feedback from Olympic athletes and coaches, our competition spec equipment is a range built up of new and existing products that have had alterations to suit high performance sailing.

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli go through to the PRADA Cup Final
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli finally got the redemption they were looking for and, scoring four points in a row, win the PRADA Cup Semi-Final.

RS Aero Victoria State Championship at the Ronstan McCrae Yacht Club Australia Day Regatta
The Victorian RS Aero class held its state championships at McCrae Yacht Club on the Victorian Mornington Peninsula. The RS Aero Class was strongly represented and as the largest class with 29 RS Aeros competing for their Victorian State Champs

AMS 2020 ROCNA 600x500   MIA 2019 300x250 2
Prada Cup Semi Finals Day 2 - Celebrations for Luna Rossa
Luna Rossa continued on Day 2 from where she left off in yesterday's fresh to frightening conditions. The Hauraki Gulf lived up to its name and provided superb sailing conditions for the foiling monohulls. Here's how the racing unfolded.

Interview with Vendée Globe sailor Boris Herrmann
Well known German 5O5 sailor Boris Herrmann was hours from finishing on the podium after racing around the world single handed in the Vendée Globe when he unfortunately collided with a fishing boat.

Vendée Globe Day 83: 3am Eternal
It was past the witching hour in his packed Vendée Globe press conference when Jean Le Cam shared his own views about the remarkable race fought between - 'this old bloke' - by Damien Seguin - the Paralympic champion born without a left hand.

Allen 2020 - A2031XHL - 600x500   ALT Composities 2020 West System 3 - 300x250
Antoine Mermod, IMOCA Class President, hails 2020-21 Vendée Globe as one of the greatest races
Antoine Mermod, president of the IMOCA Class, hailed the 2020-21 Vendée Globe as one of the class's greatest ever races, after a breathtaking night of drama on the Bay of Biscay that saw the Maitre CoQ IV skipper Yannick Bestaven clinch victory.

America's Cup Rialto: January 29 - "The hardest day we have ever sailed these boats" - Bruni
Luna Rossa joint helmsman Francesco Bruni summed up the first day of the Semi-Finals for the Prada Cup: "Today was the hardest conditions in which we have sailed these boats. There was a lot of wind, big puffs."

Vendée Globe: The Return of King Jean
The return of Jean Le Cam into the channel in the small hours of the morning was one of the high moments of this race so far. He was given the warmest welcome from the Les Sablais people.

Henri-Lloyd 2021 INEOS TEAM UK - MPU   Gul 2020 Tri-Laminate Spraytop MPU
PRADA Cup Semi-Final Day 1
The first day of the PRADA Cup Semi-Final went smooth as silk for Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli which scored the first two points on the leader board against New York Yacht Club American Magic

18ft Skiff Racing livestream moves to a new era
Back in the early 2000s John and Kerrie Winning, along with the late Bob 'Killo' Killick, had a vision of presenting 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour to the world.

Prada Cup - Semi Finals Day 1 Luna Rossa goes up 2-0
Italy's Luna Rossa turned in a commanding performance in fresh winds, close to the wind limit, on the Waitemata Harbour, to win both Semi-Final races. Click this story to see all the videos for the day.

Sailing Raceboats 2016 RS Quest 300x250   Pacific Sailing School 2020 - MPU
Boris Herrmann in the top 5 of the Vendée Globe 2020/21 after collision with fishing trawler
He did it! This morning at 10:19 UTC, 11:19 German time, Boris Herrmann sailed across the finish line off Les Sables-d'Olonne after exactly 80 days, 20 hours, 59 minutes and 45 seconds at sea

Vendée Globe Day 82: Multiple Blessings, All Winners
"There are two winners in this Vendée Globe" smiled Yannick Bestaven sportingly as he warmly greeted Charlie Dalin, the French skipper who hours earlier had broken the finish line of the solo round the world race in first place.

Eastern Region International Etchells Championship at Metung Yacht Club
Over the Australia Day weekend, Metung Yacht Club held the 31st East Gippsland International Etchells Class Championship, also incorporating the International Dragon Class Regatta.

Rolly Tasker Sails 2019 600x500 MPU v5   Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - AUS MPU
Yannick Bestaven on Maître CoQ IV wins the Vendée Globe 2020/21
Yannick Bestaven on Maître CoQ IV has won the Vendée Globe 2020/21 finishing the race at 03:19 UTC on Thursday 28th January in a time of 80 days, 13 hours, 59 minutes and 46 seconds.

Louis Burton second across the line in the Vendée Globe 2020/21
Second across the finish line, Saint Malo skipper Louis Burton was visibly delighted with his race, revealing he had an electrical fire which latterly hampered his performance.

Line honours for Charlie Dalin on Apivia in the Vendée Globe 2020/21
After an immaculately executed race, at 20h 35m 47s UTC this evening, 80 days 6hrs 15mins 47secs since the start on Sunday 8th November, French skipper Charlie Dalin emerged from a damp, misty Bay of Biscay to break the finish line of the Vendée Globe.

Navico 2020 fun MPU AUS   Pantaenius 2019 - AmRad - 300x250 - SW WEBSITE
America's Cup Rialto: January 25/26 - Emirates Team NZ reveals slim-line foils
Emirates Team New Zealand are testing two foils, one new, that are both smaller and quite different from the challengers.

Nice touch: PATRIOT flies again
The NYYC American Magic base has been a hive of activity since their yacht capsized and near sank. Today, with an immense amount of work, and the support of the team in the Emirates Team New Zealand's build facility, PATRIOT was back out on the water.

The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild homeward bound
Just a matter of hours was all it took for the Gitana Team to go from the satisfaction of a record time for its descent of the Atlantic aboard its flying maxi-trimaran to the great disappointment of discovering damage on its rudder.

Vetus-Maxwell 2020   38 South - Sun Fast 3300 - MPU
8 Bells: Bob Fisher - Mr America's Cup
Bob Fisher, the larger-than-life yachtsman, journalist and author crossed the bar peacefully on January 25 surrounded by family. He was 85.

Learn from the Experts Webseries: Spinnaker Hoist
With the boom in shorthanded sailing, the team at J Composites have created a series of videos on help you with your manoeuvres. The first is the Spinnaker Hoist.

Sailing around the world while remaining self-sufficient
They will shortly be finishing. The first boats home in the Vendée Globe will be crossing the finish line off Les Sables d'Olonne on Wednesday.

Selden 2020 - Carbon Masts - MPU   SOUTHERNSPARS_MAST-&-BOOMS_SW_300X250-AGLAIA
PlanetSail: AC75 Crew Work Explained Part 1
The spectacle of an AC75 at speed in flight is breathtaking, but to learn to fly these boats at speeds that have rarely been achieved has meant that teams have had to climb a near vertical learning curve.

Iconic AIS celebrates 40 years progressing sport
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has marked a key milestone, celebrating its 40th anniversary this week.

Tradition alive at the 178th Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race
Kicking off at 9:30am from Williamstown, a strong fleet of over 140 boats raced down Port Phillip toward the finish line in Geelong in the 178th running of the iconic Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race yesterday.

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Vaikobi 2020 - FOOTER 3

Pacific Sailing School 2020 - FOOTER

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