The Sixth Annual Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award

#3 is just silly and a photoshop photo certainly does not belong in the top 5. Excluding the helmsman and the guy on his back, the other two were photoshopped in. I like #5 the most and #1 as 2nd


The sixth annual Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image awards were given out last December. Here is a look at the top five photos from the competition as chosen by the public.


Photographer: Jesus Renedo

Number 5




Photographer: Martina Orsini

Number 4



Photographer: Stefan Coppers

Number 3



Photographer: Brian Carlin

Number 2


Winner: Rick Tomlinson


Photographer Rick Tomlinson took home the Public Award for this shot of Team Brunel sailing past Cape Horn during the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race.

I want to win the lottery ….

But only so i can buy a classic yacht and afford the time to do races like this …

In 2001 three friends conceived a grand 21st century sailing tradition for classic yachts – a rally of special friends, old and new. Covering 600 miles from Saint-Tropez to Grand Harbour Marina in Malta, and visiting four of the most exotic ports in the Mediterranean, that event is the Trophée Bailli du Suffren.

video: Twenty Eight Feet – life on a little wooden boat

just the best wee video about sailing and about the boat …..

A short documentary about David Welsford, who has given up the luxuries of land in search for happiness and adventure on a 50 year old wooden boat he restored from a scrap heap. Featuring music from Bahamas, Acres & Acres and Ben Howard!

Director & Cinematographer: Kevin A Fraser
Featuring & Additional Photography: David Welsford
Editor: Shawn Beckwith
Colorist: Chris MacIntosh
Post Audio: Craig Sperry
Producers: Kevin A Fraser & Melani Wood
Acres & Acres
Ben Howard
Salus Marine
Grohmann Knives
Lunenburg Boat Locker
William F White
Splinter Joy

A snappy daysailer between 20-25foot

It’s possible that the Hunter is too sedate for you and the Shaw is bit too hot for you VIDEO HERE and you would prefer a boat that is in between those two. Then the Saffier 23 designed by Dean Hennevanger might just be the perfect boat. I like this boat a lot. It has a nice classic line to it but it is a thoroughly modern design, and telling from the well-prepared promotional package it appears to be exquisitely built by Saffier Maritiem b.v. in the Netherlands.
I do not have a set of lines for this design so I will have to rely upon the photos and drawings to get an indication of the hull shape. At first glance I thought the sheer was too flat. But in the photos it looks just right. The ends are short and the entry is fine. The D/L is 128 and the L/B is 3.18. Draft is only 3 feet, 3 inches with a low-aspect-ratio fin weighing 1,122 pounds with a bulb at the keel tip. In contrast to many new boats the stern is not broad. The transom is attractive and I think I am seeing some deadrise aft. This is a very attractive hull. The promo material says the boat is “unsinkable.” Beam is only 7 feet, 4 inches, so trailering will be easy.

There is room under the foredeck to sleep two. But that’s about it for “accommodations.” An interesting feature of the Saffier is that it comes with a Bellman 8-horsepower electric engine and a folding prop. With one 24-volt, 40-amp-hour lithium battery the engine can run for approximately an hour and a half at three-quarter throttle. There is an option for a second battery.

The cockpit can seat six adults but four would be better. The seat backs are high so you will be comfortable. The self-tacking jib track allows a 10-degree sheeting angle. I’d like to see more but this is one of my pet peeves. Halyards and lines from the mast base run aft under a cover and emerge port and starboard at banks of clutches and winches. It’s a very clean set up. The jib sheet runs up the mast then comes back down to split under the deck in a “German” system so that it can be adjusted from either side of the cockpit. There is an anchor well in the bow. The deck and cockpit sole and seats are either teak or something that looks a lot like teak. Either way, it imparts a nice traditional look.

The rig has aluminum spars, outboard chainplates, single swept spreaders and a standing backstay. There is a short sprit and I assume it is retractable. The mainsheet sheets to a pad eye on the cockpit sole. The SA/D is 25.38, and that’s plenty for some exciting sailing.

If you are looking for a daysailer with discreet auxiliary power, traditional good looks and good performance, the Saffier deserves a long look.

LOA 23’4”; LWL 20’4”; Beam 7’4”; Draft 3’3”; Displacement 2,425; Ballast 1,124 lbs.; Sail area 286 sq. ft.; SA/D 25.38; D/L 128; L/B 3.18; Auxiliary Bellman 2.4kw electric (8-hp).

Americas cup – impressive boats but yawn yawn

Luna rossa (IT shoe maker) and team emirates new zealand (team airline land of the long white cloud) raced yesterday in san fran in the first of the challenger series.

It was good and interesting to see them both out there. It’s clear that ETNZ had superior crew work, acceleration and outright speed but taken individually I think there were no really big gaps (except on the course!). It seemed to me that it was a combination of the three (+penalty+conditions) that contributed to the result rather than any one obvious factor.

I must say however that I thought LR looked a lot more stable when eventually foiling. It seemed to take longer to get there and be of shorter duration but in between she looked rock solid. ETNZ was a couple of knots up but looked a lot more nervous. I wonder if ETNZ are simply that comfortable with their boat and crew that they’re prepared to trial really aggressive foils?

But yawn a 5 minute winning margin and no racing boat on boat was so boring – would have rather seen a one design monohull race. But the boats were impressive hitting 37 knots down the course

VOR – the hardest most extreme sailing race

Keeping up to date on the volvo ocean race. As I sit her on a Friday evening with the wood fire on and drinking a glass of wine I catch up on the Volvo Ocean Race. For me this is an aspect of yacht racing that I never got into myself but which fascinates me in it’s brutal hardship and unbelievable competitiveness ….. Been rooting for Ken Read and Puma since the beginning (and in fact during the last race). At the moment they are deep in the south pacific with 40+knots and GIANT waves crashing all around …. They are hitting 30knots in speed (and that’s with them throttling back to avoid damaging the boats) which on a monohull is pretty freakish. I expect the 24hr record will be broken in the next few days as these 70ft carbon monsters do their designers proud.

Conditions are so extreme on Leg 5 that teams are taking their foot off the throttle, according to Groupama helmsman Charles Caudrelier, who is mindful of the fact that there is a lot more to be lost than won in the Southern Ocean.

Rough Southern Ocean sailing onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil.Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

“I think there is nothing tougher than sailing through the Southern Ocean on a Volvo Open 70. You’re very badly protected; the boats are very fast and wet. We are in the deep end of the pool” – – Groupama helmsman/trimmer Charles Caudrelier

The boats were averaging around 20 knots boat speed on Friday, and four had notched up 24 hour runs in excess of 500 nautical miles, quick enough but not nearly as fast as they could be going if they were not halfway through a race around the world.

“The only way (to keep the boat in one piece) is to slow down,” Caudrelier said on Friday. “We are far from being as fast as we would if the sea state was good – we could be above 30 knots of speed and we are actually around 20, 25 knots. So we reduce the sail area and nurse the boat.

“I think everyone has slowed down; some more than others. It’s for the guy steering to use his seamanship and it’s strategic too. This surely is the most beautiful leg to win, it’s also the one, which can make you lose the Volvo Ocean Race. If you break the boat here…. Let’s look after her.”

Caudrelier said the waves, some up to five metres, were slamming on deck, and each was colder than the one before. Survival suits, gloves, balaclavas and life-line tethers are no longer optional, they are a necessity in the southern lows.

The 38-year-old Volvo first timer admitted that it was tough going – – the cold combined with the stress of driving blind at night made for extremely testing conditions.

“I think there is nothing tougher than sailing through the Southern Ocean on a Volvo Open 70,” he said. “You’re very badly protected; the boats are very fast and wet. We are in the deep end of the pool.

“At the helm, you’re doing all the work and it’s interesting. You got to play with the waves and the wind, you got to nurse the boat, but it’s not easy. At night you don’t see a thing. It’s stressing too because lots of waves come on the deck. But hey – we are attached and we built a little shield with the sails in front of us: it’s not that bad!”

even a £140m lottery win would stretch for this

How to make a small fortune in yachting? …. Start with a large fortune

such a beautiful line through the water …..

A list here of other mega yachts

Bådmagasinet caught the 197” Panamax “Hetairos” in Danish waters shortly after the launch.



Thrilling regatta racing and comfortable cruising were two primary concepts that Baltic Yachts kept in mind while building the ambitious ketch project known as Panamax, now christened Hetairos.

Presently undergoing sea trials, Hetairos, measuring 66.7 meters (219 feet) with her bowsprit, was conceived as a fast sailing yacht. But not just any old fast sailing yacht. Her naval-architecture team of Dykstra & Partners Naval Architects, along with the stylists of Reichel Pugh Yacht Design, drew inspiration from the pilot cutters that regularly plied the waters of Bristol Channel in the UK. These were sailing boats that were incredibly fast, ferrying pilots out to ships en route to ports along the channel. They needed to hold their own against the rough seas and challenging conditions that characterize Bristol Channel.

While Hetairos is purely for pleasure, the megayacht will compete in regattas where competition is fierce. Her construction should be up to the challenge. The hull is comprised of carbon fiber, with pre-preg carbon fiber skins. (Pre-preg is carbon fiber fabric that is already impregnated with resin when it arrives from the manufacturer.) Corecell and Nomex coring are also employed, for weight savings. This makes Hetairos one of the largest composite sailing yachts in the world. She also has the largest composite standing rigging in the world, the design of which was tested in both towing tanks and wind tunnels. Her lifting keel allows draft to range from 3.5 to 9 meters (11 to 29 feet).

When Hetairos is out cruising, she has a few spaces from which the owner and guests can choose to enjoy. There are upper and lower saloons, four guest staterooms (two of which are on the main deck),  In addition, the owner has private access from his aft-situated cabin to an intimate relaxation area. The overall decor complements her classic styling. Wood paneling and white-painted paneling are intermixed with Asian elements, chosen by the owners in conjunction with Rhoades Young.


iPhone iPad app to make your sailing better

Best sailing tool might not be a gps or amazing fitness – it may be post race analysis to see where you are poorest … tactics. This is fascinating for sailors wanting to improve. I was watching a series the other night on my my iPad and it was really interesting to see why the goog always rise to the top. Was watching on particular race series and enjoyed one were a guy who was pretty good had a bad second race start … was interesting to see how he tacked his way out of trouble on the first leg. See their home page here


We’d all like to improve our sailing, but often it’s hard to really know what to improve. On a typical weekend, the good guys are quickly in front and there is no way to tell what they are doing right and you wrong.

Sometimes a race is lost on a “bad leg”, but what actually happened and what went exactly went wrong? Often we never find out. How do we identify our current weakest point of sailing that we should be attending to first? What is needed is information; hard facts, that are often not available to you on the race course.

With the availability of inexpensive GPS tracking devices, such as the QStarz BT-Q1000X,  it’s now easy to record a boat’s track around the course. And with TackTracker, you can play your GPS tracks and watch the race again, as it happened or navigate tack by tack.

But TackTracker is much more than just a player. It is a race analyser, and can give us leg by leg information on how far we have sailed, how fast we were going, and how high we pointed on both port and starboard tack.TackTracker can even deduce the ambient wind direction, and indicate which tack a boat is on at any time, and whether it was close hauled, reaching or running!

Its fun to play your track around the course, and there are plenty of things to learn. The real value is attained when a number of sailors get together and share their tracks with each other. Then you can ascertain who travelled the shortest distance on the windward leg, who was sailing fastest, and who highest. At moments in the race where you may have fallen back, you can see what you were doing in relation to the other boats you were competing with.


A Complete GPS Solution

TackTracker is designed to deliver a complete solution, streamlining and automating the entire process from uploading tracks into the software, archiving and managing tracks, to viewing and playing tracks.

The track browser maintains a library of your tracks organised by date, so you can easily find tracks from past races.  You can select individual tracks, or an event (race) which may contain multiple tracks. As each track or event is selected, it is displayed in the track player.

The track player has a group of navigation buttons at the bottom, which you can use to drive your boat around the course. You can also press “Play” and sit back and watch. Then speed up and slow down the action as required.

The track player lets you pan and zoom with the mouse, or you can turn on “auto zoom” to have the player automatically track the race boats. You can also drag the mouse to create a distance and bearing meter allowing you to assess the separation between boats at any point.

Races are defined in the “Event Editor”, where you set the start time and lay the course marks. This is all done graphically, allowing you to define the course in a matter of minutes. Once the course is defined, all participating tracks are analysed and all race legs computed. The Legs table gives you a summary of all the key statistics for each leg for each competitor.


You can sort the table by any column to compare results for any leg or competitor. Powerful!

TackTracker also has a great range of interactive charts that provide additional insight into your boat’s performance. The speed chart shows boat speed over the course of the current leg, whilst the deviation chart shows how high or low you are sailing to the true course. Together, these charts are an effective visual summary of your sailing efficiency.

The vertical bar indicates your current location. As your boats progress through the leg, the bar moves to the right. Alternatively, you can drag the bar with the mouse, and the boats will follow. (My daughter says this is really cool!)

There’s lots more to TackTracker, but this will serve as a quick introduction.

To learn more, the best thing you can do is download and install the free race player from the Download page. You can watch and interact with races available online that have been recorded at regattas for a range of classes. You can also read the User Guide, available from here.

I hope you have fun using TackTracker and that it helps you improve your sailing.


For a limited time, the TackTracker Player App is a FREE download from the Apple App Store.  Go to the App Store

New! You can now get a TrackTracker Player for your iPhone and iPad. You can browse the online races database and play and review all the racing from the convenience of your handheld device, wherever you are.  You’ll be impressed by the full-featured player with multi-touch panning and zooming and all the familiar graphics from the PC players. Includes a full regatta browser, competitor selection, and leg by leg stats and charts. See stats and charts for any two competitors side by side.

This new player is the first manifestation of a significant investment TackTracker is making in the Apple platform. We now have all the core software running natively in Apple’s application frameworks. Stay tuned for more to come.

iPhone Screen Shots


Searchable Regatta Index. Tap any Regatta to see the Regatta detail, including a photo and list of races.
Player: Note you can tap in the player to hide the top navigation bar.


 iPad Screen Shot

The iPad is a wonderful medium for TackTracker, with plenty of screen real estate for a compelling replay wherever you are.


Rambler mega yacht video

George David’s maxi yacht, Rambler 100 crossed the finish line in Antigua in the early hours of Wednesday morning in an elapsed time of 1 day 16 hours 20 minutes and 2 seconds.

Rambler 100 has broken the monohull race record set by race rival, Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard by nearly four hours.

Two of the world’s most impressive racing yachts have been locking horns over 600 miles of high-speed action in a fight to the finish. Competing against each other for the first time and battling it out to snatch the record for the third edition of the RORC Caribbean 600.

32 other yachts from 15 different nations crossed the start line of the RORC Caribbean 600, off English Harbour in Antigua, Caribbean on February 21st. Most of the fleet is expected to finish over the next 24 hours.

The Rambler crew contained the entire compliment of the PUMA Ocean Racing team which will be competing in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. Tired but elated, PUMA skipper, Kenny Read commented dockside in Antigua:

“That was a lot of fun but hard work for a while. You do something like sail around the world and that is almost easy compared to this because there is no time to take any sleep. You’re taking so many corners and turns, but it is also a gorgeous course, it’s a dream-come-true type of event. I am glad we came and that George invited me. Probably the most memorable part of the course was at night with a full moon at the top of St.Maarten, big breeze and massive breaking waves. It was huge fun and really cool, we came out of there doing 26 knots. It has been a real adventure and both the course and Rambler 100 have been a whole new dimension for sailing.”

Rambler 100’s George David, an avid sailor and member of the New York Yacht Club, has been sailing with Kenny Read for 17 years:

“Rambler 100 is quite a handful, it’s like a Volvo 70 on steroids and this is a big fast race, which favours us,” commented David. “It is part of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series. The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a great race as part of that series. We never took this win for granted, we have carried out some optimisation towards the IRC rating and we really didn’t know how we would perform as this is the first time that the boat has been raced to be IRC competitive. Leopard is a powerful boat and they are a good team that have been sailing together for a number of years.