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Shattered dreams - Newsletter


Shattered dreams

Sea Sure 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Sailingfast 2018 728x90

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."

Henri-Lloyd 2020 Nov MPU YY   Allspars December 2019 MPU

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.

B&G 2020 Nemesis 600x500   Harken Reflex Furler

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.

IC-M37E MPU 2019   Lizard 2020 - MPU

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.

RYA Membership - Pathway 2017   Musto 2017 300x250 Superhuman

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.

Sea Sure 2020 - MPU   Selden 2020 - Carbon Masts - 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.

Vaikobi 2020 - MPU 2   WASZP 2020 - Win the 1000th boat - MPU Animated

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

Zhik 2020 Black Friday - MPU   Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club MPU

In Conversation with Bryan Stewart
Mark Jardine chats with Bryan Stewart, International Sales and Marketing Manager at Vaikobi about building the paddling and sailing brand, increasing distribution, the uplift in participation in water sports and looking forward to a a more normal 2021!

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

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.

Barton Marine 2019 600x500   Lennon Thermalite 300x250 1
RS:X European Championships at Vilamoura, Portugal - Overall
And that's a wrap! The 2020 RS:X Europeans came together in spectacular style with a full planing medal race. Whilst initially held on shore the fleet launched shortly after one o'clock and although the wind was up and down it was mainly above 13 knots.

Vendée Globe Day 22: Be thankful for small merci's
Charlie Dalin, the Vendée Globe race leader, should pass the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope on Monday, the first of the mythical 24,296 nautical miles solo round the world's three Great Capes.

Emma Wilson vows to come back stronger after RS:X Euros heartbreak
Team GB windsurfer Emma Wilson has vowed to bounce back after falling out of contention for a medal at the RS:X European Championships in the final race.

Sailingfast 2018 600x500   GJW Direct 2020 MPU
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

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.

Club Zone: RYA eSailing Winter Club Championships
In this week's Club Zone episode, Susie Moore chats to Adam McGovern about the upcoming RYA eSailing Winter Club Championships and how clubs can get involved.

Highfield Boats - Sailing - MPU   Pro-Set 300x250
The first online match race e-PRADA Cup ready to go
COR36 and Virtual Regatta, the world's leading e-sailing platform, have joined forces to create a unique e-regatta: the first ever on-line Match Race.

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.

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.

FFI - Try a fifteen - 2020 600x500   Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - MPU
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.

Marlow Ropes partner with UK Skipper, Ian Herbert Jones for 2022 Golden Globe Race
Marlow Ropes are proud to announce that they are the Official Rope Supplier for Golden Globe Race 2022 skipper Ian Herbert Jones.

Musto Black Friday Sale: More products, more savings
This year's Black Friday offering just got bigger and better with more savings on even more products.

J Composites 2020 - MPU   Red Paddle 2020 - MPU
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).

Save BIG on Neil Pryde this week at CoastWaterSports
Save up to 50% this week on Neil Pryde at CoastWaterSports, including covers, buoyancy aids, mast & foil bags, Firewire kit, boots, thermal tops, thermalite, hiking straps and more!

Alex Thomson preparing for the Southern Ocean
Update from Ross Daniel, Technical Director at Alex Thomson Racing: "Yesterday evening, Alex decided to take advantage of the light conditions to further reinforce the repairs to increase the safety factors before he enters the Southern Ocean."

TMS 2020 October - Hamma Snaps - 600x500   RS Sailing 2020 - RSSS - MPU
OnBoard sailors get new boat boost thanks to JMST
The delighted sailors have been awarded exclusive use of their own boat for the next two years through the on-going partnership between the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) and RYA OnBoard.

Steve Cockerill discusses his time sailing the Europe
With the resurgence of the Europe class in the UK, ex-Europe sailor and sailing legend Steve Cockerill has recently bought two Europes for himself and his wife to sail!

J/70 World Champion Paul Ward joins Cowes Week Ltd Board
Cowes Week, one of the world's best-known regattas, remains at the forefront of the UK sailing scene and indeed is on the bucket list for sailors worldwide.

Allen 2020 - A2031XHL - 600x500   Marlow 2020 Blue Ocean Doublebraid - 600x500
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.

Vendée Globe Day 20 morning update: First Albatross for Sam as she turns left
Finally, this afternoon I put the indicator on and have officially turned LEFT towards the Cape of Good Hope!

Turning Black Friday Blue...
Henri-Lloyd are turning the tide against Black Friday and encouraging you to only buy what you need. As a way of helping the environment, 20% of profits for the next 24 hours will go towards ocean clean up.

Crewsaver Ergofit MPU   Noble Marine 2020 - MPU
RS:X European Championships at Vilamoura, Portugal - Day 2
Day two of the RS:X Europeans, being held in Vilamoura Portugal, was always going to be a tough day for the 43 men and 31 women competing for the European titles.

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.

Continuous versus Discontinuous Standing Rigging
Regardless of material choice (wire, rod or composite), there are two main types of lateral rigging configurations, referred to as Discontinuous or Continuous rigging.

Gul 2020 Tri-Laminate Spraytop MPU   Seaview Studio 2020 MPU
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.

2000 Class announces 2021 schedule
The 2000 Class is pleased to announce a full programme of events for 2021, after a shortened 2020 season. The 2000 Class will benefit from two series, as well as three coaching events.

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.

Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - MPU   Craftinsure 2018 Retina MPU
Blackwater Sailing Club awarded RYA British Youth Sailing Recognised Club status
Blackwater SC has added to coveted RYA accreditations, being awarded British Youth Sailing Recognised Club status. The club is already a RYA Recognised Training Centre and all members can avail themselves of training provided by qualified instructors.

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.

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.

Cruise Village 2020 - MPU   MS Amlin 2020 600x500
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

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.

RYA welcomes return of grassroots sport in England
The RYA has today welcomed the UK Government's COVID-19 Winter Plan, which presents a programme for suppressing the virus, protecting the NHS and the vulnerable, keeping education and the economy going and providing a route back to normality.

Tradewind Voyages launches programme to iconic destinations
Tradewind Voyages, and its ship Golden Horizon, the largest square-rigged sailing ship in the world, are now on sale. The programme features iconic destinations and rarely visited islands.

HRH Princess Royal, Sir Ben Ainslie applaud resilience of clubs at RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference
HRH The Princess Royal and Sir Ben Ainslie were amongst the key speakers who shared messages of support and applauded the resilience of sailing clubs across the UK at the RYA Affiliated Clubs Conference, this Saturday.

RYA Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024 editions out now
Make sure you're ready for the 2021-2024 changes to the Racing Rules of Sailing with the RYA rules books. The new editions are now available from the RYA shop.

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.

Selden 2020 - FOOTER

WASZP 2020 - Win the 1000th boat - FOOTER

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