Welcome to Issue #52 of Sails, as we take a look at SailGP, the new global sailing league launched for the 2019 season. The first event will be held on Sydney Harbour in February.

On the cover is the next generation IMOCA 60 built by Charal Racing Team. Built around its flying foils, this beast is designed for pure performance.

In this issue, we talk to Lisa Blair as she sets out to be the woman to sail solo non-stop around Australia. We also catch up with skipper Bruce Taylor ahead of his latest Sydney Hobart campaign.

Dockside at Cannes Yachting Festival, we bring you the best yachts that caught our eye. All this and more, including our regular Cruising Feature.

To read this edition of Sails Magazine pick up a copy from all good retailers or subscribe online. 

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Editor’s Letter

The sailing elixir offered by Queensland’s delicious trio of tropical regattas; Airlie Beach Race Week, Hamilton Island Race Week and Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week, is the perfect potion for us often stressed and wind-chilled Southerners.

This year I briefly managed to join fellow Sydney refugees on the mighty Hammer of Queensland at Airlie Beach, followed by a few days on Triton at Hamilton Island.

Both experiences reminded me why are so fortunate to be able to take part in this sport.

Turquoise lanes of water like glass, sun that attests you are in Australia, and require vitamin D, breeze ruffling the waves, and first-rate apres yachting activities.

All leave an indelible impression.

We have though, a lot to look forward to in the coming months.

For starters, SailGP, the just announced new global sailing league, will kick-off on Sydney Harbour in February 2019. We’ve had a taste of spectacular foiling action at various sailing venues around the country, but this promises to be something else.

The boats – can they really be called that any more as only a fraction of the craft is in contact with the water- are capable of doing 50 knots. Currently the top speed for anything sailing on the harbour is 38 knots.

The concept will refine the excitement generated by the 35th America’s Cup – high speed short races in stadium settings. The purists may criticise but SailGP will be a hugely entertaining event which will provide a showcase of the technology, skills and athleticism of fast sailing.

Our cover for this issue reflects the rapid evolution technology is bringing across the sport. Charal is the first IMOCA 60 to be designed specifically around its foils, and the video of its speed trials posted on Sails facebook page is a study in raw sailing power.

We also bring you the best new offerings from the big global brands on display at Europe’s biggest on-water boat show in Cannes. If you are planning a long delivery in your new purchase then Peter Neaves’ tips on preparing for and  handling that inevitable storm are necessary reading.

Finally, like many of us I’m getting ready for the appointment with the ocean on Boxing Day. The better you the know the boat and each other, the better you will deal with whatever the ocean has in store.

See you on the water,


Editor Sails Magazine