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North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Leaderboard Newsletter: Did you miss us?


Did you miss us?

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Abell Point Marina - photo © Abell Point Marina

Dear [recipient name]

Well we missed you. Apologies for the somewhat extended hiatus in between newsletters, but it was important to get the new system correct in this new digital era, where simple things like emails can get blocked so quickly. It is also important to have the material present in an appropriate, clear, and easy to understand manner, which is not all that easy across different platforms.

So at any rate, here we are, and we bet you thought we had become that terribly famous African tribe we have written about before. We haven't, and instead bring a wealth of joyous news, counterpoints, descriptions of the work going on around the globe in so many areas, and tales from here, there, and nearly everywhere!

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I was in Airlie Beach for the Clipper Carnival, which was all part of Wondrous Whitsundays. This was an area I'd flown over, but not explored, so it was good to see just part of 74 islands that make up the region off the coast of Queensland. Abell Point Marina really is a Mecca for all types of boaties, and has the most incredible facilities to help you #StayPlayExplore, as they put it.

Abell Point Marina - photo © Joscelyn O'Keefe
Abell Point Marina - photo © Joscelyn O'Keefe

It is true that this is not necessarily the time of year to be there, and indeed it had poured just before we got there. However, if you have time, and can sit out anything untoward that comes along, then cheaper rates are just part of the joys to be had. There are less people, and if it is humidity you seek, then short of Singapore, this could well be for you. Everything is really, really green, as well, so the highlights keep happening.

Abell Point Marina strikes double gold! - photo © Joscelyn O'Keefe
Abell Point Marina strikes double gold! - photo © Joscelyn O'Keefe

Abell Point Marina is not only back after Cyclone Debbie some 10 months ago, it is even better! They totally replaced one arm of the marina, and the parklands on their Western edge as they build new outdoor ceremonial and function spaces are really special and will continue to develop over time. It is little wonder that Paul Darrouzet's dynamic and enthusiastic team are multiple award winners.

Your boat is happy and safe, and indeed you can be so too. The Ocean Club is an on water pontoon with private entertaining facilities along with laundry and personal amenities. Their new restaurant, Hemingway's, has just been rated, and really does bring the conviviality of the place to front and centre. As we head into the season proper soon enough, if you are intending to be nearby, then stop and take it all in, with the Whitsundays adding to the whole equation magnificently.

Hemingway's at Abell Point - photo © Abell Point Marina
Hemingway's at Abell Point - photo © Abell Point Marina

Also it is truly magnificent in the intervening time to receive a note from our good friend, Rosario Passos, who is the Editor of the Bluewater Cruising Association's publication, Currents. She had just undertaken her first, real offshore experience. She described it as 'a very mixed bag, and an emotional rollercoaster'.

Specifically, she commented:

  • Uncomfortable upwind sailing - lots of beating
  • Brief exhilarating moments of downwind sailing!
  • Amazing sunsets and sunrises
  • Amazing dolphin experiences
  • Moments of panic
  • Moments of joy and fun with the crew
  • Moments of undefinable boredom
  • Moments of anxiety
  • Isolation
  • Relaxation
So in the end she has absolutely summed it up, and far from perturbing her about doing more, she's off as soon as she can.

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Completely 'on the other board', as it were, I did not get to see 'The Mercy' when it was on the silver screen. Doh! Internet flix for me... I was intrigued, for it was all about Donald Crowhurst, and I had been captivated by the subject since reading the book so long ago that I do not want to think about commenting on time.

Naturally, there are teary elements to this, and the family has said a bit in the past, too. Yet today with the stigma of mental issues much less than before, it serves as a good mark on the chart, so to speak. I remember even seeing a pic of the plywood trimaran, Teignmouth Electron, that he used in that first Golden Globe Race of '68, on the beach and looking very sad, which really just summed up the whole deal.

What is left of the plywood trimaran, Tiegnmouth Electron - photo © SW
What is left of the plywood trimaran, Tiegnmouth Electron - photo © SW

Of course, the incorrect log led to his own demise, but had repercussions later, for I remember the guy who would have won, but pushed his boat way to hard in order to stay in front of Crowhurst's 'track', and then subsequently fell to the dark night of the soul, much later on when back ashore.

Yes, the book was immense. Of course, it all serves to remind us that the Golden Globe Challenge will start soon enough – July 1, 2018 from Les Sables-d'Olonne, France, to be precise.

Come to think of it, one guy who could certainly raise some good comments on how to keep the space between the ears functioning correctly whilst at sea is the incredible Jon Sanders. He finished his 10th solo lap at the age of 78, and is the only one to have ever completed a triple, and that one was non-stop. I'll ask him that very question when I next speak with him.

Oyster World Rally - photo © Oyster Yachts
Oyster World Rally - photo © Oyster Yachts

So if that last subject matter was 'on the other board', then this next one must be 'running by the lee'. Like many, I was surprised to hear that Oyster had gone into liquidation, for not that long ago they were spruiking the news about their forward order book of over £80m, and reminded us all about just how many Oysters have done or are doing laps of the planet.

Originally touted as unable to secure funding for forward operations, it later became obvious that the real culprit was the insurance claims/payouts for when Polina Star III dropped her keel in 2015. There is some £6.8m still to be settled in the whole affair, as it turns out, with just £400,000 exchanging hands so far. The claims and counter claims, along with the cost of repairing three other vessels similarly affected have dragged on, and are still only likely to be cleared in the middle of 2018.

A celebration of a unique formula on Day 4 - Oyster Regatta Palma 2017 - photo © Martinez Studio
A celebration of a unique formula on Day 4 - Oyster Regatta Palma 2017 - photo © Martinez Studio

Still, KPMG has received 45 expressions of interest in the brand (closing 2/3/18), and I specifically use that term, for Richard Matthews sold 'Oyster' for £70million to a VC organisation, who then on sold it to the 'current' operators (HTP Investment) for just £15million, but Matthews retained the land the factory operates from. There is a good chance he, or parties related to him, is one of the 45 EOIs mentioned earlier. Wait and see. Wait and see.

As it turns out, the Administrators are flogging Oyster Marine Ltd as the primary trading company, with the brand name and trademark, technical designs and drawings and associated IT hardware, build manuals, hull and other production mouldings, shares in subsidiary companies, plant and machinery all up for grabs.

Oyster Yachts - photo © Oyster Yachts
Oyster Yachts - photo © Oyster Yachts

You can find some excellent commentary on the issues around Polina Star III in the material contained at, compiled by her owner, Alexander Ezhkov, with information from her Skipper, Alessio Cannoni, as well as the Surveyors, Ward & McKenzie.

Quite interesting to also read how then CEO of Oyster, David Tydeman, flew to Moscow as soon as was practicable after the incident to personally see the owner and apologise, as well as try to work out a way to get a new build (885) underway for him. He has also recently commented on the information on the website by saying, "I was personally pleased to see that Mr Ezhkov was paid out by his insurers and, in my capacity as CEO of Oyster, we were waiting for those insurers to present their subrogated claim against Oyster."

"The fact that this was not presented was outside Oyster's control, but at no point did Oyster seek to avoid its liability or legal responsibilities. I again express my apology in a personal capacity to Mr Ezhkov for all that he has experienced. I am unable to comment on Oyster's behalf since the Company is now in administration," said Tydeman in concluding.

Oyster yachts will be racing in their own class in the second edition of the Antigua Bermuda Race - photo © Oyster Yachts
Oyster yachts will be racing in their own class in the second edition of the Antigua Bermuda Race - photo © Oyster Yachts

Right. Our last little section must surely be the 'tender'. Not because of lack of relevance or importance, but just merely a reference to the need to have one. I saw a note about inboard or outboard propulsion on multihulls. It was a subject I got into when reviewing a derivation of a very popular cat a couple of years ago.

There is a different noise, and obviously one needs to carry petrol, which has to be considered. But cost, ease and cost of maintenance were considerable, even if they did not quite counter the issue of range. Naturally others were torque delivery, manoeuvring, and electricity generation. At the time, it made sense if you were hopping about Asia, for outboards are prolific there. If you were going out in the big blue, then inboards seemed to be your answer. Yet I raise it all again now with the prevalence of diesel outboards now on offer. Soon they will top an incredible 300Hp. Is it a case of all bets are off, and it's time to reconsider the whole equation? Could be, so if you have something to say on the matter, please email us.

European Yacht of the Year award - photo © Jeanneau France
European Yacht of the Year award - photo © Jeanneau France

Today you will find that we have tales for you about Sail Aid, whales, electronics from B&G, plastics in the water and reused to be on the water, the Seabin solution, Tasmania, the Galapagos, drones, Cook Islands, collecting your boat in France, Ron Holland, sailing downhill, turtles, reefs, Wooden Boat Show, the Race for Water makes the Panama Canal, Mission Océan cross the Atlantic, Solomon Islands, navigating through reefs, new boats of all sizes including Bavarias, Fountaine Pajot and Jeanneau, Kristen Anderson invites us to take the leap, as well as much more.

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So you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top of our website and the drag-down menu, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

In the meantime, do you love being on the oceans? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...

Nigel Calder on Marine Electrical
Boat systems expert, Nigel Calder, talks about the proper design of marine electrical systems, troubleshooting and new emerging technologies.

Panama Canal Transit
In early 1999, we arrived at the Panama Canal, having spent the previous couple of years making our way from The British Virgin Islands via the Island Chain, Venezuela and Columbia to Panama.

Panama to the Galapagos
Galapagos: the name conveys magic. Inspired by Charles Darwin, many dream of visiting these Islands. Our goal was to explore this World Heritage site with its amazing proximity to wildlife.

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World ARC: Last days in the Galapagos
The World ARC 2018 fleet are in their final few days before departure and after a fun time exploring the Galapagos Islands of San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz, the work has begun to prepare for the longest leg of the Rally route

Cruising Club of America names 2017 Award recipients
Webb Chiles (Hilton Head, S.C.), Rich Wilson and Jessica Watson (Buderim, Queensland, Australia) are among Cruising Club of America's (CCA) 2017 award recipients selected for outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing and the history of yachting.

Superyachts, 3Di, Dragons and detailing: We speak to North Sails' Jens Christensen
We spoke to Jens Christensen, who is based out of the North Sails loft in Herlev, Denmark, about the growth of superyachts, how 3Di has adapted to the demand of these vessels, and why the finishing and preventative maintenance is so important.

Special offer on the Second Edition of Cornells’ Ocean Atlas
Jimmy Cornell, experienced sailor and bestselling author, has teamed up with his son Ivan to produce a fully updated and revised second edition of Cornells' Ocean Atlas aimed at navigators planning an offshore voyage.

Winter wonderland - Travels on land
Boating in the Netherlands has come to a standstill as the weather gets really cold. The water on the docks is turned off so the pipes don't burst and David is carting Jerry Cans 250m each way to fill the tanks.

Race For Water Odyssey 2017-2021
The town hall of Panama supports this project considering the prevention and education are the first actions needed to implement a good waste management.

Spotlight on the North Pacific right whale: An interview with marine mammal scientist Jessica Crance
The North Pacific right whale is split into two populations, the western and eastern. The Eastern North Pacific right whale is one of the most critically endangered large whales in the world.

World ARC: Last stop in the Galapagos
The World ARC fleet is currently on their final stages of exploring the Galapagos. They have spent the last week and a half exploring the islands of San Cristobal and Isabela.

New route for 2018 ARC Channel Islands Rally
Following two successful editions ARC Channel Islands, entries are now open for this summer's rally which features a new route for 2018 with Dartmouth as the start port.

Caribbean waters may hold clues to humpback whale populations
Funded by a small grant from NOAA's international affairs office, two teams from the NEFSC's Woods Hole Laboratory traveled to Aruba, Bonaire, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Martin in December 2016.

Three Caribbean restoration and repair projects benefit from first round of Sail Aid UK grants
The Trustees of Sail Aid UK (SAUK) are delighted to announce approval of the charity's first three grants, totalling GBP £15,000, to the Anguilla Sailing Association, the Virgin Islands Sloop Foundation and Adopt a Roof BVI.

Announcing new Zeus3 Glass Helm from B&G®
B&G®, the world's leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist and official supplier of sailing instruments and navigation electronics for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, is pleased to introduce the new Zeus3 Glass Helm series.

The Friday Night Fish Fry, Eleuthera
Here on peaceful Eleuthera Island the folks come out to play for the Friday Night Fish Fry in Governors Harbor. By 8:00pm there were a couple of hundred people eating, drinking and generally making merry.

Seldén launches next generation of Furlex Electric
Seldén Mast is delighted to announce that they are launching the next generation of the Furlex Electric, the most recent addition to their iconic Furlex product range.

Vacuum debris removal
We have already expanded our team significantly over the break with Mike and Damien now heading up our Sunshine Coast operations, Mark and Maura taking on operations in Noosa, Paul and Chris keeping the sausages sizzling each week

Coffey boards 100% recycled Plaswood boat
On London's river Thames, environment minister Thérèse Coffey has boarded the first boat made from Plaswood, a 100% recycled plastic 'wood'.

A view from the top
On a particularly nice, windless sunny day after several days working, we decided to stretch our legs to the top of Mt Sorell's Plateau, which lies just south of the peaks.

Three Solutions to Transform and Protect Your Boat
We are now into the final stretch of winter and it's not long to go until boating season starts. It's important to get your boat ready after it's long winter's nap.

World ARC: The Galapagos Islands
Over the last few days the World ARC fleet have been exploring the island of San Cristobal including the local provided tours to snorkelling and wildlife sites on the northern side of this most easterly Galapagos Island.

World ARC: Across the equator and into Galapagos
Rally Control is currently on the island of San Cristobal and have just been contacted by the first boat Lunatix (X-Yachts Xp50), the first boat to cross the line here in the Galapagos islands.

No fish farm trash
It's just so disappointing! Nine months ago the west Tasmanian community did a full harbour clean up, 80 volunteers including Jack and Jude covered 80 kilometres of shoreline, and this beach was spotless.

New study finds sea level rise has accelerated
Global sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades, rather than increasing steadily, according to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data.

Rise of the Phoenix
After dragging a grapple across the Mavic's last known position the whole afternoon, on the last cast when nearing dusk, Zeus smiled upon us and the grapple caught and hauled up a slightly muddy bird dripping saltwater.

FLIR announces Raymarine Quantum 2 CHIRP Radar with doppler technology
Designed for integrating with Raymarine's award winning Axiom® multifunction displays, Quantum 2 enhances boater's situational awareness by intelligently identifying moving and static targets at both long and short ranges.

Sailors for the Sea and Oceana plan to join forces
Sailors for the Sea and Oceana's boards of directors approved the plan to combine. Sailors for the Sea will file a petition with the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Supreme Judicial Court for approval of the combination under Massachusetts Law.

Selling a boat? Save over £1,300 with an Ancasta Complete Storage Package
Save over £1,300 with an Ancasta Complete Storage Package. Offer available for boats listed with any Ancasta office before the 28th February 2018.

Jon Sanders homecoming celebration in Fremantle
Once in the harbour Sea Rescue helped transfer the press and news cameras onboard to capture the moment, including several friends and crew to help lower and raise the mast under the bridges before motoring up the Swan River to his yachting home.

Satellite - The final chapter
Changed days, we are officially land lubbers. Our beloved Satellite is now in the hands of a new owner. Being liveaboards for three and a half years has certainly been a life experience we will never forget.

Lessons learned from our circumnavigation: Spinnaker vs. Twins
Moving from coastal cruising to bluewater cruising one is faced with new sailing conditions.

Offshore electrical preparation for your yacht
In this course you will explore the best options for preparing your boat's electrical systems for offshore. What do you need to consider for batteries, charging, and power management overall when you are offshore?

Sailing the seas at 71
A past president of the Energy Chamber and chairman of the Point Lisas Industrial Corporation, Peter Quentrall-Thomas is the first Trinidadian to make a solo crossing across the Atlantic Ocean, travelling almost 3,000 miles, non-stop in 19 days.

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