Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Sail-World Asia Newsletter - from Optimists to Superyachts

by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia 28 Sep 2018 19:16 PDT
Close up O-Pro © Richard Gladwell

About 20 years ago I was part of a group of parents trying to teach their children to sail. We weren’t aiming at World Championships or the Olympics - we were just trying to pass on the enjoyment that we got from sailing. That’s all. Most of us thought that having full control of the boat was the most important thing to teach, but we were probably wrong. The most important thing of all is having fun – whether it be a water fight or a challenge (race you to the red buoy and back again). And we (they) were sailing Optimists, which are pretty much shoe boxes with a stick. They are not elegant, or sea-kindly, or performance orientated. We have often wondered why Optimists are fitted with a brake where the bow should be.

Kim Andersen and World Sailing have recognised that "we are losing too many kids from sailing, there is not enough fun, and there are too many kids sailing by themselves for too long on the waster - and it's not enough fun." In New Zealand it is reported that there’s an 80% drop-out rate among young sailors. And then William Mason, son of Mattie (a four times America's Cup winner), asked "Why don't Optimists have a pointy bow, Dad?" and the O-Pro was born. Check out the story.

More vintage design: the competitors in the Golden Globe Race are sailing boats designed before 1988, and using the same or similar technology available to Robin Knox-Johnson when he circumnavigated in Suhaili, 1968-69, the win the original Golden Globe race. Two of the competitors, Abhilash Tomy (IND) and Gregor McGuckin (IRL), were recently rescued from the low latitudes of the Indian Ocean after being rolled and dismasted in a particularly vicious storm. Which makes us wonder – are you better off in a lighter boat that skitters around on top of the water rather than ploughing through it, and maybe tripping over your own bow wave? Ask the designers.

One up for Asia: the superyacht Illusion Plus, built by Pride Mega Yachts in Yantai, China, is not only the biggest superyacht to have come out of Asia – it has just been handed the title for ‘Best Interior Design Award’ at the uber-luxe Monaco Yacht Show. OK so we’re a long way from Optimists and 36ft family cruisers here, but this really is a feather in the cap for the all the constructors in this part of the world who have long been turning out plenty of good product, but languising under the cloud of “Made in Asia” while the European yards (and particularly the Italians) wallow in self-congratulation that is not always warranted. The interiors of Illusion Plus were drawn by Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design (NED), and the boat is priced at USD145m, just in case you are interested. There’s good engineering and good craftsmanship to be had in Asia – and there’s some rubbish too. But there’s rubbish out of Europe too; be sure of it. You just have to know how to ignore the brochures and understand what you are looking at. Congratulations to Yantai and to Illusion Plus for taking home a prize against the toughest competition in the world, and putting Asia on the quality map.

This weekend: Hebe Haven 24hr Dinghy Race. An all-nighter where junior sailors consume too many energy drinks, grownups drink other stuff, and everyone has fun. Three cheers!

Sun is shining, breeze is blowing. Going cruising this weekend; a hello beer for anyone who pitches up in Double Haven.

Standing by on 72.

Related Articles

Environment issues and boat show updates feature
A summary of news relevant to marine businesses across North America Last week, members of Congress questioned NOAA Administrator Dr Richard Spinrad on the agency's proposed expansion of the 2008 North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction rule. Posted on 19 Jun
Marine industry news across all sectors this week
A summary of news relevant to marine businesses across North America Golden Marine Systems, a prominent provider of marine infrastructure solutions, offers crucial guidance to prepare marinas for hurricane season. The company emphasizes proactive measures to mitigate potential damage and ensure safety. Posted on 12 Jun
This week's marine industry headlines
A summary of news relevant to marine businesses across North America The Biden administration issued a press release announcing the Federal Register Notice (FRN) on the proposed modifications to the Section 301 tariffs on imports from China and limited exclusion process for certain machinery. Posted on 5 Jun
A mixed bag of news this week
A summary of news relevant to marine businesses across North America Peters & May, the official transport supplier to the 52 Super Series, announces the successful delivery of a full fleet of yachts from Palma, Mallorca, to Newport, RI, in preparation for two highly anticipated race events hosted by New York Yacht Club. Posted on 29 May
Political involvement in our industry inevitable
A summary of news relevant to marine businesses across North America Recognizing the importance of safe boating practices, the White House is formally acknowledging National Safe Boating Week, issuing a formal proclamation and encouraging all who participate in boating activities to learn more about safe practices. Posted on 22 May
GLOBAL LAUNCH: Maritimo M55 and M600 Black Edition Global Editor John Curnow talked to the team to find out more The eve of the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show 2024 saw the Global Launch of the Maritimo M55 and M600 Black Edition. attended, with Global Editor John Curnow talking with the team to find out more. Posted on 22 May
A mix of news from industry sources this week
A summary of news relevant to marine businesses across North America The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), in collaboration with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), released a significant analysis by independent research firms Industrial Economics, Inc. (IEc) and ITA International. Posted on 8 May
Administration, regulations & advocacy
A summary of news relevant to marine businesses across North America As the leading certification body for the recreational boating industry in the U.S., National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Certification impacts the recreational marine industry worldwide. Posted on 1 May
NMMA announces optimistic outlook for 2024
A summary of news relevant to marine businesses across North America In a new 'Marine Minute', the NMMA President, Frank Hugelmeyer, shares NMMA's take on the current state of the recreational boating industry, including a look at consumer behaviors and demand in 2023 and how that's shaping opportunities in 2024. Posted on 24 Apr
Advocacy event to discuss what affects industry
A summary of news relevant to marine businesses across North America The recreational boating industry is preparing for its highly anticipated annual advocacy event, the American Boating Congress (ABC), taking place from May 8-10, 2024 in Washington, D.C. Posted on 17 Apr
RS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERNorth Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTER2024 fill-in (bottom)