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A classic dichotomy

by John Curnow, Global Editor, 6 Feb 2020 18:00 UTC
Cochrane Pond Road Newfoundland, Canada © Rick Stanley

The weather in our two hemispheres has provided for the greatest of contrasts, and they have unleashed great fury in their own ways. The world watched in awe as Australia burned. They then emptied their pockets to help all those affected, all those who rendered assistance, and to look after sick and injured animals so devastated by the inferno. Around the same time I looked at an article we ran on 12 foot of snow in 24 hours in St John's, Newfoundland, very close to where a good friend lives. If all of that was not enough, there were hurricane winds to go with it. Like wow...

It has also been a great time for sighting new boats across the globe. X-Yachts added the X56 and X60 to their Pure X model lines. The announcements at Düsseldorf, ahead of the first X56 being seen towards the end of the year, included highlighting twin rudders with separate control systems for redundancy, retractable bow and stern thrusters, garage for a 3m RIB, with electric control arm to stow the dinghy athwartships, self-tacking headsail or overlapping Genoa on an electric furler, baby stay with storm jib and Code Zero out for'ard, even a furling Gennaker on the carbon bowsprit. Lots to look forward to for the performance cruiser when this one comes out.

Philippe Briand produced the 60m SY200 concept for the seriously well-heeled sailor who wants to go really fast, and do so with an air and grace only available to an uncompromisingly custom vessel. There is so much to like about it from its al fresco coachhouse roofline to the sliding glass doors access from Owner's Stateroom to transom. There will be a lot of flow into the entire industry from a design like this. Of course she will also have the de rigueur green credentials too. It is also important to note that the development in superyacht deck gear and running rigging means her impressive 3700m2 of rag for off the breeze will be as easy to take as the cocktails from her bar. Where does one sign up?

The Germán Frers penned Hylas 60 is to be unveiled at the Miami International Boat Show from February 13-17, 2020. Back over on that side of the pond the new Amel 60 picked up European Boat of the Year in the Luxury Cruiser category. Fit and finish has always been a hallmark of this choice of weapon for the global cruiser, and comments like five-star hotel accommodation are only going to add to the appeal.

Our Managing Editor, Mark Jardine, was impressed with the Bavaria C42, and also the queue just to get on Bavaria's newest offering whilst he was at Boot Düsseldorf. Seems the queue to order was almost as long too, with Bavaria's Australian Distributor, Ensign Yacht Brokers, having to secure Hull #4 just to get it here in time for the Sydney International Boat Show this July.

Jason Chipp from Ensign commented, "What struck me was her tail. She looks like a small Comanche. As I walked between a Vision 42 to the new C42, you really notice the beam, which is extended on from the shrouds to the transom (widest point) at 4.3m, and this is on a 11.98m hull (LOA 12.38). The seating across the cockpit is immense, and the two aft cabins feature rectangular beds, and the largest in class the class. It is here that she looks like a 55, and she certainly is easy to compare with a 46-footer."

Also penned by Cossutti Yacht Design, the new C42 is in the same vein as her sisters, the 46, 50, and 57, which all adds up for a stylish and a performance-oriented package. There are Bavaria's takes on the chines out aft, and probably very noticeable given her beam is at the transom, then the 'V Bow' as Bavaria calls it, for more interior volume, performance off the breeze, and of course, prevent her from using that wide tail to screw herself up to wind when heading uphill. If she handles like her siblings that we have been on, then she will be balanced and energetic, so good fun all round.

There is versatility in the layout with a two- and three-cabin layout, along with your choice of one or two heads. Bavaria refer to it all as best-in-class volume, sailing performance and attributes that go back to the core values in its build philosophy - namely value, quality, and efficiency. That all sounds typically Germanic, but what doesn't is her ability to offer a carbon rig, deck arrangement for short-handed, and a level of performance hitherto not seen in the brand, and that sounds just terrific. Looking at the polars she'll be in the 7 knots upwind and 11 down at about 140 degrees TWA.

Absolutely on the other board now...

We were pretty impressed when Saildrone did a lap of Antarctica. Recently it was good to catch up with Jenn Virskus, who filled us in on what the company is up to. "We have two very interesting missions going on right now. First, the ATL2MED or Atlantic to Mediterranean. Two saildrones were deployed from the Canary Islands, sailed South to Cabo Verde, completed an eddy survey for GEOMAR, and are now sailing North, connecting nearly a dozen ocean sites for cross-calibration and validation."

The saildrones are currently on their way to ESTOC, just north of the Canary Islands, and will be sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar in the next few weeks. The mission will wrap up in Trieste, Italy. You can read more about that mission at

"We also have five saildrones in the Western Atlantic, taking part in the EUREC4A and ATOMIC missions. This is a massive international effort involving ocean and space agencies in the US and Europe to observe ocean-atmosphere interactions and cloud convection in the North Brazil Current with space, air, surface, and sub-surface observation platforms." You can read more about that mission at

Saildrone also has an Arctic mission with NOAA and NASA to survey sea ice to improve ice prediction and gather sea surface temperature (SST) observations for satellite algorithm development. This is where that picture came from...

"Lastly, in December we announced a public-private partnership (PPP) with the University of New Hampshire (UNH), and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), to advance deep-water ocean mapping capabilities with a new 72-foot unmanned surface vehicle (USV) known as the Saildrone Surveyor. Saildrone COO Sebastien de Halleux discusses the Saildrone Surveyor during his AWS keynote speech.

Don't want to go it alone?

The Down Under Rally have their information sessions coming up this month at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Newport, on Pittwater above Sydney. On February 21 they will hold a two-hour Sailing to and Cruising the SW Pacific Information Session. It is just $15, and you'll cover off things like preparing for the voyage; offshore communications; essential cruising guides for the destinations; sailing in company - to rally or not to rally; where to depart from; the best route and why; what's to see and do; how long to stay; customs and culture.

Their two-day Offshore Cruising and Preparation Seminar is $385 each or $625 per couple, and runs from 0830hrs to 1700hrs on both February 21 and 22, 2020. It is ideal if you are going off for a while or intend to get really remote. They'll take you through preparing the vessel; preparing the people; at sea and offshore communications methods; ocean preparation and emergency procedures workshop; personal health; preparing and maintaining the mind and body; search and rescue; how to contact, response times, authority and scope of SAR; provisioning (food and clothing); sourcing products and services; available discounts; destination research. This course includes getting the real deal from Lisa Blair herself!

Today you will find that we have information for you about pigs in the Exumas, Sea Eagle II the largest alloy yacht in the world, whales, Norway to Ireland, Guatemala, Jon Sanders, The Great Barrier Reef, sailing in Chile, Multihull Solutions have an FP 47 on display at the Pittwater Sail Expo, the World ARC, the South Pacific, Raymarine and CZone tie the knot, turtles and corals, Egypt to Turkey with Hugh and Heather, Tasmania with Jack and Jude, Palau bans toxic sunscreens, as well as much more below.

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. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top of the Sail-WorldCruising home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

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

John Curnow
Global Editor,

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