Skip to main content

Short Tacks in Racing News

It’s tough to beat the J/105 when it comes to an affordable high-performance 35ft racer-cruiser that is easily sailed and attracts top-shelf international Corinthian talent.

Keelboats and Bermuda Shorts

It’s tough to beat the J/105 when it comes to an affordable high-performance 35ft racer-cruiser that is easily sailed and attracts top-shelf international Corinthian talent. The class ran its 2014 International Invitational event, which was hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, in late November. After three days of warm-water racing, Peter Bromby and his Chequemate crew took top honors, followed by Jason Owen’s Morning Glory and Bill Lakenmacher’s Passion.

Lightning Strikes Twice for M32 class

Jason Carroll and his Argo teammates made history in early December when they won the Melges 32 Worlds for the second consecutive year, busting the dockside myth that the title couldn’t be won twice by the same team. Carroll and his crew, which includes tactician Cameron Appleton, were joined on the winner’s podium by Edoardo Lupi’s Italian-flagged Torpyone team, and Naofumi Kamei’s Japanese-flagged Mamma Aiuto.

Banque Populaire VII in the Route du Rhum. Photos courtesy of 2014 Route du rhum [/caption]

Route du Rhum record

The fabled Route du Rhum takes place every fourth November and carries singlehanded sailors from Saint Malo, France, to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, a straight-line distance of 3,542 miles. Sailors can compete in a variety of classes, ranging from the tidy Class 40 monohulls to the “Ultime” division filled with multihulls longer than 60ft. The hard part is sailing these vessels through the often storm-tossed Atlantic Ocean. This proved problematic this year for several skippers who struggled to clear the English Channel in rough weather and heavy shipping traffic that contributed to an unusually high attrition rate.

Fortunately for the rest of the fleet, this year’s race provided fast and furious conditions that allowed Loick Peyron, racing aboard the 105-foot trimaran Banque Populaire VII, to set a new course record of 7 days, 15 hours, 8 minutes and 32 seconds at an average pace of 19.34 knots.

Peyron was pinch-hitting for skipper Armel Le Cléac’h, who injured his hand two months before the start. “I never imagined that I would win a Route du Rhum on a boat like this,” said Peyron, who originally planned to race aboard the 39-foot yellow trimaran Happy—a replica of Mike Birch’s Olympus Photos, which won the inaugural race in 1978. “I was able to sail the boat well, but [I] was scared. It is stressful for the boat to withstand such high speeds in bad seas. You have to constantly manage the boat. One night I fell asleep at the helm and nearly capsized.” Good thing Peyron is a light sleeper.



VIDEO: Small but Mighty

This summer has been a great one for sailors everywhere, but in particular for the 87 sailors participating in the Tiwal Cup on France's Gulf of Morbihan. In addition to some great sailing, the event saw a new record on the books--fastest ever assembly of the inflatable dinghy. more


11th Hour Racing Team's Green Mission

“I’ll admit, it’s still hard to watch the boat leave the dock sometimes,” says former Volvo Ocean Race sailor Mark Towill. Since meeting during a Transpac campaign over 15 years ago, he and his teammate Charlie Enright have sailed thousands of miles together aboard two Volvo more


Boat Review: Dufour 61

Dufour, long one of France’s most well-respected builders, has been producing sailboats in La Rochelle since the dawn of fiberglass boatbuilding. Having recently merged with another La Rochelle-based builder, Fountaine Pajot, Dufour has now joined other European mass-production more


The Ocean Race to be “Climate Positive”

The 2023 Ocean Race intends to be one of the world’s first climate positive sporting events, offsetting more greenhouse gasses than are produced. The two-fold effort means cutting emissions by 75 percent and investing in ocean projects that sequester carbon and restore ocean more


Cruising Lake Superior

Almost anywhere a sailor drops the hook someone else has been there before. We are hardly ever the first. That remote Maine harbor without a soul in sight: there’s a lobster trap. The south coast of Newfoundland: the crumbling remains of a fisherman’s cabin lie hidden among the more


Fabricating a Tablet Holder

During the pandemic, I was stuck aboard Guiding Light, a Lagoon 410, in St. Lucia for over a month. During that time, as I worked on the boat, I started by doing a spring cleaning in my spares locker and finding some parts and material that I forgot I had. As soon as I saw them, more


A Catamaran for a New Era

Anacortes, Washington, is an unassuming sea-salty town near the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, and the Betts Boats yard is easy for a passerby to miss. But within Betts’ facilities, the dawn of an era in Pacific Northwest production boatbuilding could be breaking with the more


Boat Review: Xquisite X5 Plus

The Xquisite X5 Plus is a major update of the boat that SAIL awarded Best Large Multihull and Best Systems titles in 2017. The changes were not just cosmetic, but genuine improvements to an already fine boat, making it lighter, faster and less dependent on fuel. The builder’s more