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Contributors EDITOR Andrew Hurst

DESIGNER Stephen Stafford

Viktor Yazykov is about to start building a new boat… something to savour from the best self-taught yacht designer we have ever met


Patrice Carpentier Carlos Pich Tim Jeffery Rob Weiland

Torbjörn Linderson Andy Rice

Giuliano Luzzatto Jocelyn Blériot Brice Lechevalier

USA & CARIBBEAN Dobbs Davis Peter Holmberg Cam Lewis Dee Smith

Ian Walker won his first Mirror dinghy title in 1986, and his latest, racing with daughter Zoe, in 2012. And that’s not all…


Yoichi Yabe Ken Toyosaki

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE Ivor Wilkins Blue Robinson Rob Brown Rob Mundle Julian Bethwaite

COLUMNISTS Paul Cayard Rod Davis

Jérémie Beyou’s Vendée Globe programme is based upon achieving the perfect technical balance between innovation and reliability

AC TECHNICAL Terry Hutchinson David Hollom Steve Killing Andy Claughton Jack Griffin

ACCOUNTS AND CIRCULATION Kirstie Jenkins & Wendy Gregory


Kenny Read like Ian Walker has a formidable back-story. His reward… he now gets to play with the best toys on the planet


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Stu Wilson is one of those Kiwi big boat veterans who has done it all. So, to find him hanging off the wire on a new Rob Shaw flyer…


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The year is 1908 and the Dublin Bay 25-footer Fodhla owned by the Viceroy, Lord Dudley, stays clear to weather of Acushla, later wrecked off the Nose of Howth. The Fife designed 25s were in fact 26ft overall. Nothing changes

upsetting events, but when more than 30 are destroyed in one incident it constitutes ‘an unmitigated disaster’ (the words of RORC member Mike Till). The incident was a late-January fire in Cowes that led to the destruction of five Dragons, seven XOD one-designs (including Mike’s), no fewer than 15 Etchells (half the Cowes fleet) and seven other unique and largely irreplaceable vessels. Thirteen of these yachts belonged to RORC members and we commiserate with them.

The losses of the Etchells were particularly poignant in light of a September world championship in Cowes; their endlessly energetic leader, David Franks, is working tirelessly to ensure replacement boats will be available for all competitors. We look forward to welcoming David and the Etchells crews to some of the lead-in events run from our Cowes clubhouse. These losses triggered a vivid family memory of our father’s description of the sinking of the Dublin Bay 25-footer Acushla, (a beautiful, fitting and onomatopoetic name, the Irish word for ‘darling’). She sank off Howth what must be 60 years ago, hitting and getting wedged on a rock in a falling tide. On a cloudless day the sea drained away and, as her seams took the strain, the caulking emitted what seemed like puffs of smoke into the gin-clear water. Her crew stepped off one by one onto the punts that had gathered to watch her final moments. They turned back to see the last man standing on his dying vessel, her bereaved skipper with his yachting cap held to his heart and tears streaming down his cheeks. Acushlawas never recovered.

Michael Boyd Commodore


Commodore’s letter A those of us taking part. Phaedo3

t last, after a long soggy northern winter, we are going to sea again for RORC’s Caribbean 600, that has again attracted some of the world’s best sailors and most beautiful yachts. Hallelujah! A well-attended evening lecture at our London clubhouse was the perfect appetite-whetter for navigator Miles Seddon talked

us through the course and the many demands on the (usually) lonely navigator. Our esteemed Admiral, Andrew McIrvine – a huge admirer of the race – has again assembled a willing syn- dicate, to charter the Grand Soleil 46 Belladonna. As designated navigator, it was a mite alarming for me to have all but one of our team turn up for the briefing. Miles permits no one near his chart table – a wise restriction. We shall see. This is the eighth edition and all continue to speak highly of the experience – the generally reliable 15-25kt trade winds, warm sunshine, strong competition, the beautiful islands, the huge clear night skies and the generous welcome in Antigua. Let me pay annual homage to the event’s creators – John Burnie, Marc Fitzgerald and Stan Pearson. Thank you, men. From the West Indian sunshine to a sad story from the Isle of Wight… The loss of a beloved yacht must be one of life’s more

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