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Art on the Water - Europe newsletter


Art on the Water

Hyde Sails 2022 One Design LEADERBOARD

Ovington 2021 - ILCA 3 - LEADERBOARD

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez day 5 - photo © Ingrid Abery /

Dear Recipient Name

With Act 1 of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2022 now concluded, it was hard not to marvel at the photos coming through from the event.

The exceptional photographer Ingrid Abery sent through her shots, which looked like classical paintings. Thousands upon thousands of square metres of white sail, the stunning French Riviera backdrop, and crews kitted out in impeccable sailing gear. It really is a sight to behold.

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez day 6 - photo © Ingrid Abery /
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez day 6 - photo © Ingrid Abery /

September 2022 MPU   MPU brokerage

These yachts, while incredibly beautiful, are also notoriously difficult to maintain and keep in Concours condition, so what is it that leads owners to commit to them in their droves? Classics are in many ways pieces of art, like a great impressionist painting, and the scenes on the dock would be quite at home in a Claude Monet or Pierre-Auguste Renoir masterpiece.

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez day 5 - photo © Ingrid Abery /
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez day 5 - photo © Ingrid Abery /

Maybe it is better to compare them with classic cars, such as the Ferrari 250 GTO or Mercedes 300SL, but even that analogy is flawed, as so many of these rare cars are transported to shows, and hardly ever driven. The classics at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, and so many other events around the world, are raced... hard. Their crews try to gain every ounce of speed out of them, loading up the rig, pushing the old yachts to the limit.

The white canvas aloft may look the part, but they're every bit as complex as most modern racing sails and mange to drive the classics at speeds never seen when the yachts were new. These are wolves in sheep's clothing. Beautiful wolves, of that there is no doubt, but none of them are out for a leisurely sail.

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez day 6 - photo © Ingrid Abery /
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez day 6 - photo © Ingrid Abery /

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The classic scene is also huge in the United States, with events such as the Camden Classics Cup on Western Penobscot Bay, Maine and the Herreshoff Classic Yacht Regatta at Rhode Island.

2022 Camden Classics Cup - photo © Camden Yacht Club
2022 Camden Classics Cup - photo © Camden Yacht Club

In the UK British Classic Week and Hamble Classics attract healthy entries, with a superb Concours d'Elegance competition at the latter.

20th British Classic Week day 3 - photo © Ingrid Abery /
20th British Classic Week day 3 - photo © Ingrid Abery /

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Then in Australia there are famous yachts, such as the S&S Dorade, which compete in the Classic Division at Hamilton Island Race Week. Classic racing is a global phenomenon.

The famous S&S Dorade - Hamilton Island Race Week - photo © Andrea Francolini
The famous S&S Dorade - Hamilton Island Race Week - photo © Andrea Francolini

There are also a myriad of classic dayboats which are seen around the world. In the Solent, scores gather at Cowes Week, including the XODs, the Portsmouth Victory class, the Bembridge Redwings, the Solent Sunbeams and the Seaview Mermaids.

I remember taking part in XOD Class Centenary event at Cowes Week in 2011, where 146 of the open dayboats took part, where an extraordinary three-quarters of the fleet were built during the previous century!

The huge XOD fleet at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week - photo © Joyce Flanders
The huge XOD fleet at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week - photo © Joyce Flanders

Sea Sure 2021 - Transom Fittings - MPU   Selden 2020 - Furlex electric - MPU

Move up the East coast to Burnham and you'll find the Royal Corinthian One Designs and the Royal Burnham One Designs; go up the West coast and you'll see the thriving Conwy Fife One Designs racing from Royal Anglesey Yacht Club and creating scenes which could grace any wall as a painting.

Conwy Fife One Design 2022 'A' Series race 6 - photo © Ian Bradley
Conwy Fife One Design 2022 'A' Series race 6 - photo © Ian Bradley

Down-under you'll find fleets of Couta Boats, gaff rig centre-boarders which are one of the most iconic of Australia's native boat designs.

ARIEL in her home town of Portland, Victoria - photo © Southern Woodenboat Sailing
ARIEL in her home town of Portland, Victoria - photo © Southern Woodenboat Sailing

Vaikobi 2021 Boots - MPU   Hyde Sails 2022 One Design MPU

Even the small dinghy scene thrives with vintage and classic racing keeping beautiful wooden boats on the water. From the 1930s-built 18ft Skiffs still out on Sydney Harbour, to lost 1950s classes that have been resurrected in the UK, with ribbed International 14s in both locations.

The 93 year old Daring looked stunning and very close to her original set up - photo © Dougal Henshall
The 93 year old Daring looked stunning and very close to her original set up - photo © Dougal Henshall

These may be the days of SailGP, foiling America's Cup monohulls, 50 knot speeds, wingfoils, Moths and WASZPs, but classics are thriving too.

They may take an extraordinary amount of time to look after - and you'd better be good with a varnish brush, or know a good boatyard - but classic yacht owners love their boats and are happy to spend the time on them. Maintaining a classic can become an obsession, and many spend time in winter with their prized classic in barns and under cover, scraping and painting, as a way to wind down from the stresses of work - a cathartic escape.

That brown stuff is wood, and it is glossy because of another thing called varnish, which you have to apply regularly! - photo © Andrea Francolini
That brown stuff is wood, and it is glossy because of another thing called varnish, which you have to apply regularly! - photo © Andrea Francolini

Once again, sailing continues to demonstrate just how broad a pastime it is, and that whatever your passion or preference, there's a place for you.

Mark Jardine and Managing Editor

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HYS Cape 31 National Championship at the Royal Yacht Squadron
The Hamble Yacht Services Cape 31 National Championships took place over the weekend at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. With 21 Cape 31's on the start line it was the biggest fleet yet and definitely the most action we've seen so far.

2022 Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe - Rhum Multi, Rhum Mono fleets rekindle history
The 30 skippers in the Rhum Mono and Rhum Multi categories who are due to compete in the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe 2022 are preparing to set off on the famous solo course across the Atlantic.

Cape Town, Auckland and Punta del Este confirmed ports for the 2023 Ocean Globe Race
Sir Francis Chichester made his groundbreaking one stop solo circumnavigation in 1967 chasing the original clipper ship sailing times around the world. That led to the first ever around the world yacht race in 1968 called the Sunday Times Golden Globe.

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Cup Critiqued: First look at Barcelona as a venue .. Youth and Womens Worlds .. Cup budget cap?
Over the past week, we have gazed into the twin universes of the AC75 and AC40. The AC75 insight was more one of getting a first look at Barcelona as a venue. The jury is still out on the AC40 - but so far it looks very good indeed.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing goes flying in Barcelona
The Swiss challenger for the America's Cup has been putting its AC75 training boat BoatZero – bought from Emirates Team New Zealand earlier this year – through its paces in Barcelona.

Moroz aims to 'go into sixth' at the Formula Kite Worlds
The five-time Formule Kite world champion arrived over a week ago in the Sardinian capital to become familiar with the sea and the winds, in view of the Sardinia Grand Slam.

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Record line-up for Maxi Week at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
'Maxi week' at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez gets under way today for the record-size fleet of 46 yachts.

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - a Maxi showcase
The last of the Classic and Modern yachts cast off from Saint Tropez early this morning, immediately replaced in the little port by an impressive haul of Maxi Yachts, already honing their weapons for the second week of racing at Les Voiles.

Irish Fireball Munster Championships at Killaloe Sailing Club
Noel Butler and Stephen Oram were crowned Fireball Munster Champions after six hard-fought races at Killaloe Sailing Club at the weekend. Fifteen Fireballs competed in the two-day event at the completely re-modelled club on the shores of Lough Derg.

Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - MPU   RS Sailing 2021 - MPU
Third consecutive GC32 Racing Tour overall victory for Swiss team
Appropriately, given it is the longest-standing and most successful catamaran racing team on the planet, Alinghi Red Bull Racing has been confirmed as the 2022 winner of the GC32 Racing Tour.

International Fleet Set to Gather for 2022 Rolex Middle Sea Race
With the start of the 2022 Rolex Middle Sea Race just three weeks away, another fascinating contest beckons. The entry list currently stands at 120 yachts representing 25 countries.

Olympians to compete in sailing's 75th Champions' Cup
2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the Irish Sailing All Irelands or Helmsman's Championship. The 2022 event takes place at Sutton Dinghy Club, Dublin this weekend, 8th and 9th October. To mark this, Irish Sailing made two decisions...

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World Sailing Show Episode 5 recaps the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships in Nova Scotia
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Largest ever gathering of ClubSwan 36s for first ever European Championship
The largest ever fleet of ClubSwan 36s has gathered in the historic Croatian port of Split for a highly competitive event to decide the class's first European Champion.

2022 Lepanto Formula Kite European Championships in Greece - Overall
Lauriane Nolot (FRA) and Max Maeder (SGP) survived a dramatic day of strong winds to become the female and male winners of the 2022 Lepanto Formula Kite European Championships in Nafpaktos, Greece.

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Barcolana Young, the winners are Alberto Avanzini (Juniores) and Nicolò Santoro (Cadetti)
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Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez Act 2 underway: A festival beyond compare
For this second Sunday of Les Voiles, the port of Saint Tropez was the theatre for a very special extravaganza of sail.

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America's Cup: Second AC40 leaves builder bound for INEOS Britannia
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Royal Cup 52 Super Series Scarlino - Overall
Doug DeVos' Quantum Racing won the Roy/lmk al Cup 52 Super Series Scarlino title today in Tuscany, Italy, their third regatta triumph of the five event 2022 52 SUPER SERIES season.

A dazzling finale to Act 1 of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2022
Thousands of square metres of sails have been lowered in a joyous din this Saturday evening after a truly amazing finale to part one of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2022.

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Bo Petersen wins OK Dinghy European title after dramatic final day in Bandol
Bo Petersen has won his third OK Dinghy European Championship at Société Nautique de Bandol, France, after one final race was sailed on Saturday in Bandol. Stefan de Vries takes the silver while race winner Valerian Lebrun takes the bronze.

Project Landspeed: A busy week getting Horonuku to Lake Gairdner
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Cup Spy: Alinghi Red Bull Racing strike cross-swell conditions - Sept 30
As we are now in the month of the 2024 America's Cup Match, the weather conditions and how they are handled by the AC75, are as much of interest as the performance of the Swiss team, who are the only team sailing out of the 2024 America's Cup venue.

Armstrong-FG-6 300x250   SOUTHERNSPARS_MAST-&-BOOMS_SW_300X250-melges
Once upon a time in Saint Tropez...
It was amidst a soundtrack comprising hand canons on the large schooners, sea shanties from the schooner Naema and the drone of bagpipes from the top spreader of the gaff schooner Elena, that sailors returned to port this evening.

Rooster 29er EuroCup Hungary at Balatonfüredi Yacht Club
74 competitors on 37 boats from five nations sailed the Rooster 29er Euro Cup and National Championships. The first three days started with a postponement, but racing took place on all but one day thanks to the patient work of the race committee.

The Ocean Race and Warner Bros. Discovery team up in production, live coverage and distribution
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Lloyd Stevenson - T2Artefact 300x250px 250 - 2014
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Cup Spy: Cup champions test out the AC40 performance edges at 45kts - Day 5
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Golden Globe fleet dive into doldrums, frustrating first test for many
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2022 Hobie 16 World Championships in Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona, Spain - Overall
Congratulations to our 2022 Hobie 16 World Champions, Cam Owen and Susan Ghent from Australia. After a long day of waiting and an eventual abandoned race Cam and Susie took the top spot in an incredibly talented pool of sailors.

Kismet wins Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy 2022
British flagged Kismet won the 11th edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy, the traditional rendez-vous at the Voiles de Saint-Tropez for classic yachts aged 100 years or more.

Lopolight Navigation Lights - It's all about safety at sea
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New ILCA Mainsheet Blocks from Allen
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America's Cup: Recon Diary - Pretty Epic - Sept 28, 2022
Returning to New Zealand from the European summer circuits, Pete Burling and Blair Tuke wasted no time in re-joining the extensive Kiwi testing programme, stepping aboard ETNZ's AC40 for a blustery first taste of the most sensational boat of 2022.

All eyes on Dubai as SailGP edges closer to Middle East debut
As the sun sets on its event in Cádiz Spain, SailGP, the purpose-driven global racing championship, packs up and heads to the region for the first-ever Dubai Sail Grand Prix Presented by P&O Marinas, which will take place at Mina Rashid, November 12-13.

Voting for the 2022 World Sailing Awards now open
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Cup Spy: Tuke gives AC40 the thumbs up - Day 4
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Spain Sail Grand Prix highlights video
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Win for the Wings at Women's Match Race Denmark
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Gul Fireball World Championship at Lough Derg Yacht Club - Q&A with the top ten
What were the actual experiences of sailors at the event and in particular what were the winning techniques and priorities which saw the top teams make it to the podium?

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