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Sailing provides a glimmer of light - Newsletter


Sailing provides a glimmer of light

Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD

Cyclops Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

2020 South & Southwest British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships - photo © Mark Jardine /

Dear Recipient Name

September has been a busy month for sailing in the UK. A few of the major venues, such as the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) and Datchet Water Sailing Club, managed to host major events in a Covid-secure fashion, finally providing substantially sized National Championships for a handful of classes as well as a number of regional events.

Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals day 3 - photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK
Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals day 3 - photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK

The highlight of the month was the Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals, with 70 foilers blasting around Portland Harbour. The class is peppered with sailing legends, and the technology continues to improve apace. A foiling Moth from five years ago looks very different to what we see now; higher wings, deck-sweeping sails and ever-shrinking foils make these extraordinary craft go faster and faster.

Henri-Lloyd 2020 No More Middle Men MPU YY   B&G 2020 Ultimate Sailing System 600x500

Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals day 2 - photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK
Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals day 2 - photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK

In the UK, the leading Moth sailor is Dylan Fletcher, and he dominated the fleet at the Nationals. When he's not sailing his 49er with teammate Stu Bithell (who finished seventh at the Nationals) he's out in his Moth, or bimbling in the boat park. Dylan pays attention to the smallest of details, and his ropework, rig and foils are always in top condition. He's currently lighter than usual as he was preparing for Tokyo 2020 in the 49er, but he's made a few adjustments which compensated for that and during the lighter wind races he simply commanded the fleet, winning one two-lap race by the best part of a leg.

Icom M330GE 300x250   RYA Membership - Accredited 2017

Tom Slingsby sailing on the Swan River in Perth - photo © Martina Orsini
Tom Slingsby sailing on the Swan River in Perth - photo © Martina Orsini

The event was supposed to be the Moth World Championships and it would have been great to see Dylan take on the likes of Australia's SailGP star and defending champion Tom Slingsby, America's Cup and 49er supremo Peter Burling and three-time Moth World Champion Paul Goodison. I'm already looking forward to the 2021 Worlds on Lake Garda and hoping that sailors from around the world are able to attend.

Zhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom MPU   RS Sailing 2020 - RSSS - MPU

Norman Struthers wins the pin during the UKLA ILCA 7 Nationals at the WPNSA - photo © Sam Pearce
Norman Struthers wins the pin during the UKLA ILCA 7 Nationals at the WPNSA - photo © Sam Pearce

The ILCA UK Nationals also took place at the WPNSA, with the new Ovington-built ILCAs having their competitive debut. There is much discussion in the class formerly known as the Laser as to where it is going, and indeed where it has been, but there is no doubting the quality of an Ovington build. The new boats are built to the strictest of tolerances, so while the class now has a different cut of sail, composite mast sections and improved control systems, the one-design ethos will be adhered to.

THL - Sunsail Yacht Ownership 300x250   GJW Direct 2020 MPU

2020 South & Southwest British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships - photo © Mark Jardine /
2020 South & Southwest British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships - photo © Mark Jardine /

The weekend just gone saw the British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships at venues around the country. I again took a trip to Weymouth on Saturday, this time with my eldest son in the passenger seat and an RS Feva in tow. It was blowing dogs off chains, and cold with it coming from the north, but the kids took to it with relish. The standard of racing, but most of all the resilience of the sailors, was exceptional to watch and it was clear they were having fun. There has been a healthy shift in the ethos behind youth racing, focusing on more local events combined with a more relaxed approach, and from what I've seen the philosophy is working. It would be great to see a high percentage of the sailors at these events become sailors for life.

Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - MPU   Harken Reflex Furler

2020 South & Southwest British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships - photo © Mark Jardine /
2020 South & Southwest British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships - photo © Mark Jardine /

Having attended a couple of events at the WPNSA, I was highly impressed with the measures put in place to make the event Covid-secure. It's no small task putting everything in place and the team, led by Peter Allam, have done everything they possibly can to make things as safe as possible. One-way systems, track and trace QR codes, online briefings and the ubiquitous hand sanitisers were coupled with Peter reinforcing the rules during the socially distanced safety crew briefing this weekend gone. It is thanks to the tireless work of event organisers, club staff and volunteers that these events take place, and also to the Royal Yachting Association for their guidelines and liaison with the relevant government bodies.

Pro-Set 300x250   Selden CX & GX Furling Systems 600x500

We're at that time of year when the northern hemisphere season starts to wind down while events in the southern hemisphere ramp up.

In Australia, National Boating Week and a scientific study from award-winning marine biologist has confirmed that boating is good for you, with feel-good hormones (dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin) going up and stress (cortisol) goes down. It's something we all knew already, but it's great to see the Boating Industry Association of Australia promoting the boating lifestyle, hopefully continuing the surge seen worldwide of people actively getting out on the water.

A sight that will never be seen again - five top supermaxis start together - start 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht race - December 2019 - photo © Carlo Borlenghi
A sight that will never be seen again - five top supermaxis start together - start 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht race - December 2019 - photo © Carlo Borlenghi

When it comes to competition, Australia's national sailing events are being severely curtailed by state and territory border restrictions, and Boxing Day's Rolex Sydney Hobart is a major doubt.'s Australian Editor John Curnow looked at alternatives at the beginning of August. As we've found in the UK, just because big national events may not be happening doesn't mean you can't get out and enjoy our great pastime. Local club sailing is the beneficiary of the situation, so let's go and enjoy the water responsibly on our doorstep.

Highfield Boats - Sailing - MPU   Allen 2020 - A2031XHL - 600x500

The Rag is barely touching the water on a wild spinnaker run on Sydney Harbour - photo © Frank Quealey
The Rag is barely touching the water on a wild spinnaker run on Sydney Harbour - photo © Frank Quealey

One regular contributor to both and is Frank Quealey, whose name will be familiar to anyone who has followed the 18ft Skiffs throughout the years. Frank has been building up the excitement to the season, which starts on October 11th, with a series of articles about the various teams and the history of the class. If you haven't already, then I highly recommend taking time to read his articles on our 18ft Skiff page.

FFI - Try a fifteen - 2020 600x500   TMS 2020 August - Sentinel 600x500

Emirates Team NZ crosses American Magic - Waitemata Harbour - September 21,2020 - 36th America's Cup - photo © Richard Gladwell /
Emirates Team NZ crosses American Magic - Waitemata Harbour - September 21,2020 - 36th America's Cup - photo © Richard Gladwell /

In the rarefied air of America's Cup land, the final two teams are making their way to Auckland, via 14 days quarantine in an airport hotel, to join Emirates Team New Zealand and New York Yacht Club American Magic on Waitemata Harbour. The AC75s are being pushed further and further and there was the first unofficial hook-up between the Kiwi and US teams, which's New Zealand Editor Richard Gladwell was on the water to catch. These boats are extraordinary, and seeing two of them racing close to each other takes it to another level. In the absence of many other sporting events, the 36th America's Cup, and the preceding Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series, have the potential to be the spectacle of early 2021.

Times continue to be tumultuous, but sailing continues to be a great way to relieve stress, relax and reset. Wherever you are in the world, take time to enjoy the water in a safe manner.

Mark Jardine and Managing Editor

Barton Marine 2019 600x500   Lennon Thermalite 300x250 1

Rocking the boat
The Merlin started life on the Thames at the end of the second world war. It was designed as a dry-to-sail boat with a lot of deck in contrast to the International 14s at the time which had no deck and the crew bailed out all the way around the course.

ILCA / Laser Summer Series at Queen Mary Sailing Club
Back in May many of us were feeling as if the season was slipping away without any prospect of decent racing. However, all over the country, clubs were working hard to find ways to get back on the water safely.

WASZP GPS Challenge - Current leaderboard
We have had a number of entries over the weekend from many countries and it is getting tight at the top. We have two weeks left of the event window and plenty of chances to grab the win!

Cyclops Marine 2020 - MPU   Marlow 2020 Bio-Baser Dyneema - 600x500
RYA Dinghy Show goes virtual for 2021
The RYA Dinghy Show will become a virtual event for 2021 due to the current escalation of COVID-19.

RORC IRC Two-Handed Autumn Series - Gentoo wins Race 2
James Harayda & Dee Caffari, racing Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, have won the second race of the RORC IRC Two-Handed Autumn Series. Gentoo took line honours in the 128nm race as well as the win on IRC corrected time.

Bookings now open for the RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference
Bookings are now open for the RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference supported by Gallagher, on Saturday 21 November with Ben Ainslie headlining a stellar virtual cast of expert speakers and workshops.

Musto 2017 300x250 Surefooted   Vaikobi 2019AUG - MPU 2
J/24s at the Plym Yacht Club Not Salcombe Regatta
Every year the Plym Yacht Club run a race to and from Salcombe. With Covid-19 restrictions, they decided that racing to Salcombe and back would be unachievable and to put on a quiet cruiser regatta for their local fleet.

2020 K1 Club Racing Championships - Lockdown Nationals
As with most classes, the K1 class association has seen the cancellation of its 2020 National Championships, and many open meetings due to the Covid-19 situation.

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - Sunday in the sunshine
Enjoying a fine breeze and bright sunshine, the splendid arrival in race format of the classic yachts competing in the Yacht Club de France's Autumn Cup kicks off play for Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2020.

Allspars December 2019 MPU   BoatSpeed 2020 MPU
RYA and RNLI call for safety afloat in new videos
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) have joined forces to produce a new series of 'How to' videos with advice and tips on how to safely enjoy being on the water.

Musto's hats, caps and beanies
Whether you're looking for fast-dry fabric, breathable warmth or UPF protection, Musto has appropriate and stylish headgear for all seasons and activities.

18ft Skiffs: Jack Macartney - tech2
The current Australian 18ft Skiff champion Jack Macartney will be back with tech2 in the Australian 18 Footers League's 2020-2021 Season fleet to defend his title and to wipe out the memory of a disappointing JJ Giltinan Championship sailed earlier

Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club MPU   Crewsaver Ergofit MPU
Solo open meeting at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club
Island Barn limited entries to 20 boats for the Solo Open meeting, filling the quota two days before the meeting. With the cold wind and at least one sailor having to isolate at the last minute racing got under way with sixteen boats on the line.

RYA Joining Point Special Promotion - Earn double commission in October
The Joining Point scheme provides a quick and easy way for registered organisations to earn commission when they spread the word about RYA membership and encourage their members and customers to join the association.

Royal Thames Yacht Club Women's Open J70 Championship
Nine skilled women's teams competed at the Royal Thames Yacht Club Women's Open J70 Championship, which took place over the weekend of 19th - 20th September, in champagne sailing conditions.

OLAS 2020 - MPU   Craftinsure 2018 Retina MPU
RS200 Scottish Championship at Castle Semple Sailing Club
It's been a tough season for many of us, but on the 19th of September the RS200 class, after discussions with RYA Scotland, finally managed to have our first event of the year.

Top tips and the latest kit you should always carry when sailing at night
The nights may be drawing in, however, there's no need to shorten your sailing days. Sailing into dusk and through the night can be one of the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences.

Changing Tack in a Changing World
No more middle-men will reduce Henri-Lloyd prices by 40% plus

Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - MPU   YRF2020 - Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 600x500
West Lancashire Yacht Club's 24 Hour eRace 2020
Having considered all the options in early May West Lancashire Yacht Club made the difficult but, as it turned out, correct decision to cancel this year's WLYC 24 Hour Race on the Marine Lake, Southport.

Weymouth Yacht Regatta 2020
Forty boats from along the South Coast enjoyed a hotly contested Weymouth Yacht Regatta including Class racing for J24s, VXOnes and Squibs.

Vendee Globe: Sleep is an essential requirement
In the very specific, rarefied world of solo ocean racing, sleep has a direct impact on safety and performance. In this first part, we begin with the subject of data with Thomas Ruyant.

Gul 2020 Tri-Laminate Spraytop MPU   MS Amlin 2020 600x500
Bayside Marine Topper SW Area Championships 2020 at Brixham Yacht Club
Brixham Yacht Club hosted the first South West topper event of the season on the 12th and 13th of September generously sponsored by Bayside Marine Chandlery.

Hamble River Sailing Club Optimist Open
This weekend saw our younger sailors take to the water in a range of events. Firstly there was the annual HRSC Uncle Bob's competition on Saturday, our annual junior event.

Jules Verne Trophy: Maxi Edmond de Rothschild 40 days away from the start of stand-by
This figure has been on everyone's minds for many months now; 40 days (23 hours and 30 minutes), is the exact time to beat if the crew of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is to topple Francis Joyon and IDEC Sport, the current record holders.

RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club
More than 90 of Northern Ireland's Youth and Junior sailors have taken part in the RYA Northern Ireland youth Championships, which were hosted by Ballyholme Yacht Club.

New study reveals sailing builds resilience in children
School children learn to cope with a host of challenges, stresses and worries in life - just by learning to sail - according to new research commissioned by the Roseland Youth Sailing Trust (RYST).

Fireball and Osprey open meeting at Paignton Sailing Club
Six Fireballs braved a "challenging" forecast and arrived at Paignton SC for the first Fireball event of 2020. They were greeted with an exceptionally friendly welcome, superb facilities, strong easterly wind and swell in the harbour.

D-46 Vendée Globe - Making life on board an IMOCA bearable
The IMOCA fleet has a deserved reputation for exceptional performance, for spectacular displays of awesome speed and power, but it also for being made up of some of the most hostile racing platforms ever used in world sailing.

Stripping and recovering yacht ropes - when, where and why?
The majority of yacht ropes are double braid construction i.e. with a core and braided cover. The purpose of this cover is to protect the core from general chafe, abrasion and UV damage but also to provide grip.

Allen 29er GP1 at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy - Overall
With a 238-day gap between events, everyone was excited to head to Portland and WPNSA for the Allen GP 1. In what would be a thrilling return to racing, strong winds all weekend meant there would be plenty of action for the 74-boat fleet.

A Blocks Newsline Special from Barton
Did you know that our range of blocks includes over 1000 products to cater for every task on boats up to 15m/50ft. We have dedicated this Newsline to helping you understand our range and choose the right blocks every time to control the power aboard.

Handy New Drybags From Zhik
Joining Zhik's range of technical luggage for sailing and watersports, are two different handy dry bags. The perfect Christmas gift?!

International 14 Itchenor Gallon
After an enforced Covid delay to the season, this Saturday 16 boats made the trip to Itchenor Sailing Club for the first major event of the year, the Gallon Trophy race.

Young windsurfers enjoy opening weekend of Regional Junior Championships
Successful regattas were held at Burton Sailing Club and Glossop Sailing Club in Derbyshire, Datchet Water Sailing Club in Slough and at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

The Musto Corsica Collection
No matter where your route takes you, set sail in the knowledge you'll arrive protected, comfortable and stylish with the Musto Corsica range.

RYA GBR eSailing National Champion crowned
Following six months of online racing and over 9,000 sailors battling it out for a place in the final, 16 of the UK's very best esailors took to the virtual waters to battle it out of the title of GBR eSailing National Champion 2020.

Brits dominate at Kite Mixed Relay Euros
The British Sailing Team's riders continued their run of kite medals taking gold and bronze at the 2020 Formula Kite Mixed Team Relay European Championships in Traunsee, Austria.

Merlin Open at Tamesis Club
Saturday 19th September was a busy day for the Merlin fleet with the Sondown Cup, Southcott Cup, Elizabeth Bowl and Porteous Cup up for grabs.

100% Recycled Henri-Lloyd Mav Mid Layers
Perfect for any outdoor activity, Henri-Lloyd's Mav Mid Layers are made from 100% Recycled Polyester and come in a range of styles and colours.

Cadet and U21 RS200 Open Weekend at Waldringfield Sailing Club sponsored by Seamark Nunn
After months of meticulous planning which became a seemingly never-ending series of hurdles to jump and sometimes felt like we might never get there, Waldringfield's Cadet Squadron hosted a joint Cadet and U21 RS200 Open.

Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTER

OLAS 2020 - Footer

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