UK Melges IC37 Class cements its commitment to the Melges IC37 Class rule

With four wins from six races in IRC Class 1 at Cowes Week 2019, the first IC37 to hit the water in the UK has proven its IRC credentials, however attention has now turned to growing a one-design class in the UK, using the proven International Class rule.

The IC37, a 37-foot Mark Mills design, was created to put the power back into the hands of the sailors, rather than the teams with the deepest pockets. The class rules, which restrict teams in a number of sensible, cost-saving ways, are implemented to make the class accessible to more sailors than any previous one-design boat of this size.

“It’s never easy to create a successful rule,” says Sam Pearson from Ancasta Race Boats, the UK and Ireland dealer for the IC37, “but with 30-odd boats sold in the U.S. and nothing but positive feedback from those owners regarding the boat and class rule, we look forward to seeking to change the way we go about our big boat One Design racing in the UK.”

An initial season of one-design events is now planned for 2020.

“The UK IC37 Class association is scheduling a five regatta series, utilising class starts at already established events, while fleet numbers build,” says Ian Atkins, a member of the UK IC37 Class Association. Outside of those events, owners will be free to utilize the boat’s obvious rating potential under IRC and other popular rating rules.

Provisional 2020 IC37 Circuit Events:

IC37 Round 1 – RORC Easter Challenge 10th-12th April 2020

IC37 Round 2 – Poole Regatta 23rd-25th May 2020

IC37 Round 3 – RYS/RTYC Open Regatta – TBC

IC37 National Championship (Round 4) – Cowes Week 8th-15th August 2020

IC37 Round 5 – Royal Southern 19th-20th September 2020

The UK IC37 Class Association welcomes any interested parties to come forward to arrange an inspection of the boat. To book an appointment and discuss the concept with the newly formed Association call Ian Atkins on +44 7785 32382 or email  

Ancasta International Boat Sales, the UK dealer for the IC37 is already in talks with over 20 teams expressing a serious interest, hailing from a variety of backgrounds. Several commitments to the UK Class have already been received. To book a test sail call Sam Pearson at Ancasta Race Boats on +44 7759 424900

dynamic of sailing clubs

There is a fresh and confident breeze blowing through women’s sailing in the UK today, a real can-do attitude is in charge and it is changing the dynamic of sailing clubs up and down the country.

Ever since Tracy Edwards defiantly ignored the establishment by fighting for and racing with an all-female team in the Whitbread race of 1989, the sailing world has been treated to some phenomenal women in action and some inspirational multiple gold medal winning performances by female sailors such as Shirley Robertson, Sarah Webb, Sarah Ayton, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark. Importantly too, it is no longer uncommon to read about women sailors ripping up the rule book or smashing through barriers; Ellen Macarthur’s solo circumnavigation of the globe broke the world record in terms of time and more recently grandmother, Jeanne Socrates, successfully completed her single-handed sail around the world at the age of 76. Kudos to everyone.

But this current fresh and confident breeze is not driven by past glories and subversion of patriarchal rulebooks; this sailing revolution is organic and simple. The fundamental elements underpinning a new and enthusiastic uptake of women’s sailing are simple factors that appeal to all women; fun and friendship.

Over the last decade there has been a proliferation of Ladies Only sailing groups, at club level, providing a relaxed, pressure free environment for women to learn to sail, share experiences and build confidence. These semi-sailing, semi-social gatherings have hit the sweet spot in terms of attracting more and more women out on the water, but most importantly, their success has fostered a continued participation in what seems sometimes to be a dwindling, often male dominated sport. No longer dutifully manning the Club galley whilst the chaps go racing, women all over the UK are ditching the dishes and donning the neoprene, and with it, breathing fresh life into sailing clubs.
Women On Water at Hayling Island

Like women themselves, these groups come in many shapes and sizes, some are more training orientated, others more social sailing, but all share a common model of camaraderie and confidence building. Cathy Bartram of Chew Valley SC runs Lake and Cake, meeting once a month as an all ability women’s sailing group. The format for the sessions is always relaxed with a RIB on watch, and makes use of fun learning games, occasional group training, but more often than not, sees the women simply potter around together. “Importantly” according to Cathy “the sessions are not competitive. Many of our members are intimidated by club racing; Lake & Cake gives a safe environment for them to enjoy the sport. The ‘Cake’ half of the afternoon is equally as important. Women want to develop friendships and not just go sailing for the sake of sailing.” From a handful of women attending 5 years ago, Cathy now regularly welcomes a turnout of around 20 women.

The non-competitive element of these groups is important, many women cite aggression at marks and argy-bargy on start lines by their male counterparts as a major deterrent from racing and often find themselves alienated from post-race chit chat in the Club. It is fair to say that most sailing clubs historically centred their on-the-water activities around racing, offering few opportunities for those seeking a less competitive sailing experience. With no other obvious options, the ‘race or watch’ approach in turn saw few women venture out on the water. It therefore comes as no surprise that, women, now presented with the opportunity to learn the ropes the more ‘chilled’ way are jumping at the chance.

That said, the informal approach is not the only successful formula for these groups. At Hayling Island SC, Linda Stokes originally set up Women On Water (WOW) as a trial to provide a more structured training programme for those with previous sailing experience. At HISC, the women only approach has proved so popular, that by last year, the intake had reached 48 ladies and had moved on to a broader programme welcoming every level of sailing skill from total beginners to advanced racers. Despite taking a less social, more learning structure to her sessions, it is clear to Linda however, that “most ladies do it [WOW] for confidence building, the camaraderie and the relaxed manner that it runs in. Some want to race, others simply want to know how to sail’. Like many of ladies sailing group organisers, Linda is keen to see the women progress, she says of the groups “the biggest issue now is to get them to join the racing on the weekend’. She plans to talk to the other WOW groups in the harbour about hosting a wow regatta at HISC in the autumn.
Women only training sessions at Hayling Island SC – photo © Linda Stokes

The WOW regatta is an idea already in place just up the road at Highcliffe SC, home of the Ladies That Launch. Building on previous ladies only racing ventures with neighbouring sailing clubs Christchurch and Mudeford, the women of Highcliffe SC have decided to extend the invite this year to all women sailors in the area who may wish to race, hosting their first ever Ladies Open Meeting in the middle of June. They hope that this will present an opportunity for women to take their newly built confidence and freshly learned sailing skills and combine this with a fun approach and bring it all to the start line.

Motivation to run these groups is not in short supply either, the natural enthusiasm which abounds within them is quietly seductive, bringing along its own set of rewards. On the South Coast at Keyhaven YC, Nicky Jones has recently assumed the mantle of running their Women On Water group. Being chief energiser and organiser, it has offered up the opportunity for her to show her three daughters that women ‘can’ can sail, can drive RIBs, can handle tough conditions and can meet the challenges of being out on the water. Nicky’s last outing of the WOW group at Keyhaven had over 25 attendees, twice the number found on the club racing start line most weekends. These groups are not to be sniffed at.

In fact, groups are springing up all over the country, Felpham SC WOW group regularly has over 25 women attending sessions including a follow up meal which keen participant Catherine Helmsley says brings “a social/friendship aspect which is as important as the sailing”. Over at Lymington Town SC their recently formed Ladies@LTSC is all about promoting and encouraging women in sailing. The goal is to provide women with the opportunity to helm the keelboat, the dinghies and the RIBs. Group organiser and participant Clare Sleigh is working with Abby Ehler, founder of the Magenta project and Jenny Bennett, both highly experienced sailors. Clare says “The group is about encouraging our female members to get Sailing. We noticed that some women joined as part of the family membership, and then never went near the water. Others joined and then never quite plucked up the courage to put their boat in the water. The group gives the chance to network and set up connections for sailing in the future”. Another informal, relaxed and popular women’s sailing group – simple and successful.

A major boost behind the rise of these groups has been the availability of club dinghies to hire. Not so long ago a major barrier to sailing for women was low boat ownership, but most sailing clubs now offer a fleet of dinghies for rent at reasonable daily rates, immediately making sailing accessible and affordable. For cash strapped, time deficient women, this gives them the key to exploring a sport that was once out of reach. With ladies sailing groups providing rigging help and full training, we now see more and more women buying their own boats as they gain in confidence. With lightweight, comfortable, multi-rig dinghies like the RS Aero on the market, the options for women to go sailing on their terms just keep expanding.

Remarkably it is women of all ages and backgrounds who are lining up to show that they ‘can’. The demographic of the women’s only sailing group is mostly post forty, these are women either returning to sailing after a break for family or career, women who are looking to learn new skills and challenges, women who are recovering from illness and want to make the most of life, women who were dragged along by their friends… the reasons for joining are endless and varied but their volition to sail, share and socialise is undoubtedly unified. With the perfect combination of camaraderie, confidence and no competition, it is no wonder women are queuing up to join in their local Ladies Sailing group.

With organisations out there today like the Magenta project dedicating themselves to the promotion of women in sailing and Tracy Edwards film Maiden set to inspire another generation of women, there has never been a better time to get out on the water. Contact your local sailing club and give it go!

Internet Marketing Sunseeker Yachts

So you think you have your marketing covered.  Your marketing is simple! What do you think marketing is?  Link building on the internet? Printing leaflets and dropping through letterboxes? Paying for an advert in a local newspaper?  Advertising is not marketing.

Sending the right message to the right people at the right time is not buying an email list and spamming the crap out of it!  That’s not to say this doesn’t generate revenue but it is not marketing.

If you are doing your marketing correctly you’ll be generating an interest from activity that captures the details of prospects.  Your prospects will then receive specific messages associated to their original interest.

How you go about provoking an interest from prospects is marketing or deception?  The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how the internet can provide opportunities to attract prospects after searching for your services.  In this case yacht insurance – Sunseeker yacht insurance

The deception in this example starts with a network of websites to attract the attention of boat and yacht owners.  The main site is and

Do a search for sunseeker owners and you’ll find this at the top of the page of Google.

Note the link on the right column (viewed on a desktop)

Yacht Club insurance goes directly to http:// which currently has one sponsor or paying advertiser or client who owns the entire network of links! More about this later, bearing in mind we are looking at superyacht insurance and yacht insurance keywords not sunseekers owners club where the link originate from.

In actual fact there are at least 21 other websites that all reference yachts owner clubs and you can advertise on 10 of them for a special rate!

And it is made clear on http://yachtclubmarketing .com/club-directories/ and on here

The purpose of these websites is not to attract yacht owners but people who want to promote themselves to yacht owners!  The only two visible sponsors and advertisers indicate the network of websites was created solely to benefit these two businesses.  Since 2006 there doesn’t appear to be any other advertisers. Nothing wrong with this if the purpose was to ensure Bishop Skinner Marine Insurance Brokers maintain a first page position on Google for yacht club insurance and current position for yacht insurance on page 2.  

Who set-up this small network of Yacht Clubs and Yacht Owners websites PBS Creative or Boat Shed or Bishop Skinner Insurance?  Or was is Sunseeker, there are many references for the boat builders Sunseeker but then it is the same for each of the boat builders on each respective yacht owners club websites.  What is missing is the yacht owners! No visible signs of activity by actual yacht club owners just a few brands seeking the attention of yacht owners. Marketing by deception or possibly by stealth.  Boat Owners are the clear target audience, the sellers in this interested party are boat builders, boat brokers and finally the insurance broker.

Add your Company to 10 Yacht Club Directories for Only £350 per year or all 21 Club Directories for £500 per year. With the only example being

So we’re back to the Sunseeker Yacht and links to the entire range of available yachts.  

By using this internet marketing method there are a multiple of benefits but only if you have full access to the traffic being generated.  


Portsmouth Harbour Marine launched to help make area a centre of maritime excellence

Portsmouth Harbour Marine launched

The exciting new charity Portsmouth Harbour Marine was officially launched today (4 April 2019) with a remit of promoting marine businesses, skills and participation around the harbour.  

Building on the success of Gosport Marine Scene, Portsmouth Harbour Marine will work with schools and colleges to equip young people with the skills needed for marine sector employment and encourage young people to pursue a career in marine employment and to get afloat for recreation. Its aims also extend to stimulating marine businesses and their networks locally, and promoting Portsmouth’s historic harbour as a destination for all forms of competitive and leisure boating.

Pictured is Caroline Dinenage, Cath Longhurst, Dee Caffari, David Williams and Captain Ian McNaught.

The launch, held at the top of Portsmouth’s Emirates Spinnaker Tower, was hosted by the Chairman of Portsmouth Harbour Marine, Commodore Peter Melson CVO CBE, who says:

“We can’t overstate the need for integrated and cohesive development of Portsmouth Harbour’s marine sector.  By bringing all the stakeholders together under one umbrella organisation, we can work to grow and develop the local skill base for the leisure and business sectors and better support those who already thrive on our shores.

“The concept is a proven one. We’ve been doing similar work under the banner of Gosport Marine Scene for the past six years and have delivered three Marine Festivals as well as the Marine Futures Programme which provides young people with the opportunity to work in the local marine industry and experience going to sea, often for the first time.”

Speaking at the event, Dee Caffari MBE, Professional Sailor, David Williams, Chief Executive, Portsmouth City Council, Cath Longhurst, CEO of Education, Business Partnership (EBP) South and Captain Ian McNaught CVO MNM FNI, Deputy Master of Trinity House all pledged their support for the initiative and warmly welcomed the fact that the new charity objectives will span the harbour’s communities.

All present at the launch recognised the potential of Portsmouth Harbour Marine to make a real difference so that Portsmouth Harbour is seen again as a centre of maritime excellence.

British Grand Prix elite to compete in RORC Easter Challenge

The RORC Easter Challenge is offering free world class coaching from grand masters like Jim Saltonstall, it also kicks off the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s domestic racing season.

Inshore racing is going through a challenging period in the UK with the return of grand prix racing in the FAST40+ class and the more attainable Performance 40s. The FAST40+ class started with boats such as Ker 40+s and GP42s but has evolved its own purpose-built hardware as exemplified by Niklas Zennström’s Rán 7. On the other hand the FAST40+ has an IRC TCC rating band of 1.210-1.270, the Performance 40s are heavier displacement IRC boats with a TCC range of 1.075-1.145.

Both will be out on the Solent in force for the RORC Easter Challenge over 19-21st April.

The coaching facility at the RORC Easter Challenge will enable the crew to fast-track working up their new steed. “We have always found the coaching to be important – it is definitely good to get eyes off the boat,” says Cherry. “For example I’ve never before been involved in string drops. It is hard to get a good camera angle filming that on board, so getting video from off the boat will really help.”

In addition, progressing from the Sun Fast 3600, which Cherry says he could sail singlehanded, to one reliant on a full crew, is going to take some work. “With this you need seven out of 11 doing exactly the right thing at the right time to do it well.”

While seven FAST 40+s are competing at the RORC Easter Challenge, nine Performance 40s are currently entered. As usual these are topped by the duo of King 40s – the Blair family’s Cobra and Roger Bowden’s Nifty – and also Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise, the trio of J/Boats – Journeymaker II, Red Herring and Jackhammer – the Ker 39 Rumbleflurg, plus the two First 40s La Réponse and Olympia’s Tigress.

Wild Eyes found in Australia 8 years after being dismasted

Wild Eyes was found covered in barnacles on New Year’s Even 11 nautical miles south of Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island by South Australia Police

Wild Eyes, the yacht the then 16-year-old American sailor Abby Sunderland was hoping to sail the world singlehandedly in, but had to abandon due to stormy weather, has been found off the coast of Kangaroo Island in Australia. South Australia Police wrote on their website that an overturned vessel found on New Year’s Eve has been identified as Wild Eyes. “The vessel was spotted from the air by a tuna spotting plane about 11 nautical miles south of Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island about 12.30pm on Monday 31 December. The police helicopter (PolAir) was sent to investigate, along with two commercial fishing vessels operating nearby. “The boat was subsequently identified as the ‘Wild Eyes‘, which had been abandoned eight years ago in the middle of the Indian Ocean during a round the world voyage.”, says the press release. Abby Sunderland was attempting to become the youngest sailor to sail around the world solo when Wild Eyes was dismasted in rough seas between Madagascar and Western Australia. Sunderland was rescued on 12 June by a French commercial fishing vessel. Sunderland never expected to hear news of the Wild Eyes, which was found covered in barnacles. The new 25-year-old told ABC Australia that her “heart skipped a beat” when she heard her yacht had been found. “It brought back many memories – good and not so good – but it was neat to see it after so long. It looked a little creepy but that’s to be expected after so long. “I always knew the boat was high quality and very safe, so it doesn’t really surprise me that it’s still floating.” she said. Abby Sunderland set sail from Marina del Rey in California on 23 January 2010 on the Australian-built 40 foot yellow yacht Wild Eyes. The young sailor ran into difficulties shortly after setting sail and had to restart her record attempt from Cabo San Lucas in Mexico 10 days later. She encountered further mechanical problems soon after and had to make an unplanned stop in in Cape Town, South Africa. On June 10 she sent out a distressed signal after her yacht was dismasted. She was rescued two days later by French fishing vessel Ile de la Reunion.

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Noble Marine Insurance

Noble Marine Insurance Brokers has many years experience as one of the UK’s leading marine insurers, providing boat insurance for sailing dinghies, yachts, power boats, narrowboats, windsurfers, rowing boats and jetskis. Visit the Noble Marine website to find details of all policies offered, plus a wealth of other useful information for boat owners. Also available on the website are lists of local sailing clubs, repairers, marine surveyors, boats for sale and much more. Insurance quotations for many boats can be given on-line at any time of day or night.

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