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We'll take 50%

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 15 Dec 2019 21:00 GMT
L to R: Sir Russell Coutts, Nicolai Sehested, Jonas Høgh-Christensen and Jens Birgersson at the announcement of Denmark SailGP. © SailGP

Last week in Pretty Handy, we noted that it was either going to be the Netherlands or Denmark that got the brand new seventh boat for the second season of SailGP. It was the latter, so we will certainly take that 50% as a pass mark.

There is plenty of sailing talent in Denmark, and supposed 'development teams', Japan and China, took second and third places in the inaugural event this year. All in all it means anything is possible, and thanks to Dick Sargeant for reminding me of that, but you reckon in addition to crew selections in their two weeks of trials before Sydney, they will be watching every piece of video footage that is available!

No announcement on the rest of the SailGP calendar as yet. This will be ahead of the Sydney round, but look for Aarhus to get the nod. "It also seems likely that in 2021 both China and Japan will also be added to the calendar, which will be simply terrific." This was another statement we made at the time, and have not been able to process that one any further right now, but we will dig deeper, for sure.

The other big game also made their own announcement this week, and I reckon we get more like a distinction for this one, as opposed to a mere pass. We spoke of The Youth America's Cup back in May, and we were pretty much there. If we had chatted about a mixed crew, then I reckon we would be in for a High Distinction.

At any rate it is a great offering and one that is certain to bring a lot of added interest to the Cup both now, and into the future, which is exactly how it should be.

No way to treat a lady

So if it is all about grades today, then this has to be an 'F' for fail. Back in Salvage Rights? we looked the plight of the romantically styled SuperFoiler. Seems during the week she was dumped again, this time outside of a Sydney marina. Parties known to the collective were emailed to demand its removal, as it was blocking part of their car park. They could have also paid for it to be safe and secure inside, but instead the marina was told it would be removed on the Saturday. Dear oh dear oh dear... At this rate, SuperFoiler may end up being called Lindsay Lohan.

70s Heavy Rock

Whilst nearly everyone looked to Deep Purple, there were a few who pondered a more serious notion. Australia's bushfires are not going anywhere at this time. Perhaps the only thing that could happen is that they run out of fuel. Sad, but true fact.

We went out on Sydney Harbour on Tuesday, about the same time as the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge was cancelled. At the Bridge end of the Harbour the visibility was well below poor - possibly a G or an H in our academic parlance of the day. Near useless actually. Out nearer the Heads it was clearer, but that Nor'easter just did not have anywhere near enough wallop to tackle the Nor'wester back in at town. Even the significant and cool Southerly change that evening could not clear it for hours and hours.

Thoughts of safety were pretty evident out there, as we watched vigilantly for anything moving in the direction of the foghorns or large Diesels. Two of these belonged to Police launches under way at around 18 knots. Yet it was the former, attached to a Manly Ferry that was performing an all-astern emergency stop to avoid running up the transom of a tanker that sharpened the senses.

Prudence would seem to be the order of the day then. So what does it all mean for Boxing Day and a 165 vessels trying to get away? Even the Sydney Morning Herald was moved to ponder the fate of the impending Big Race this year. CYCA Commodore Paul Billingham says a postponement is on the table, even if the plan of what that might look like is still a work in progress. Abandoning the race is also being considered if such a catastrophic event was to occur again, but then a boat race might be the least of our problems at that point...

Finish on a high

Friend of Sail-World.com, Beth Morely, was out for last weekend's Sydney Hobart Classic Regatta. Around the globe, the coverage of this has been very, very well accepted, and why not when you have all these lovingly attended to vessels showing their stuff, which is still very glamorous by today's standards, perhaps even more so.

Beth also secured a lovely shot of Comanche as she continued her preparations for December 26, which about now is all that many can think of, like whose TV you're going to watch it from. Well, we'll also have it live on the home page of the website, as well as all the latest news and considerations, so thank you in advance for your patronage.

Right oh - here today there are some gems for you to review like the Moth Worlds from Perth, 18-Footers, Finns, The Clipper, AC, make sure you listen to Mark Jardine's podcast with Andy Rice about the biggest stories of the year, The Ocean Race, volunteering, Vaikobi and their new 18-Footer, Brest Atlantique, and certainly there is much, much more below.

Now if your class or association is generating material, we can help you spread your word just by emailing us. Got this newsletter from a friend? Would you like your own copy next week? Just follow the instructions on our newsletter page. Whilst there, you can also register for other editions, like Powerboat-World.

Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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