ESC 2020 Bulletin No4

Hi sailing friends, time for an update.

While Boris and Trump were trying to „out-trump“ each other we had a great
time in Sardinia. We had timed our recce to return before the appropriate
Halloween deadline, however it seems we could have stayed much longer.

Thanks for the texts and messages, it felt like the fleet were along with
us. If you were you would have found Southern Sardinia to be a great areas
to explore. We expect ESC 2020 is going to have slightly longer legs than
what is typical for us, but having researched the typical wind directions
and patterns for that time of the year, we anticipate there to be a good
chance of wind that will allow us to reach our daily destinations in good
time for Reisling and Pimms or „non filtrata“ as I am sure will become a
familiar call at the bars.

Due to a last minute swap, we ended up having Mari Pintau which is Eugen’s
boat for next year. We saw a number of our boats for next year, but it was
end of season so they were in various states of prep for winterisation and
overhaul. I think it is fair to say that cosmetically above decks they
appeared to have been more heavily chartered than their age would say alone,
but mechanically and structurally we had no issues or cause for concern at
all. This may be a little unfair as again they were not being presented in
their best light. What I can say however is they seem to be undertaking a
very thorough approach to winterisation and overhaul as we stepped on our
boat for next year and no corner was being left untouched as can be seen by
the photo attached.

We are taking the decision to go retro and not have spinnakers for next
year. This decision was taken due to combining factors of anticipated better
winds, typical wind directions and not being overly comfortable with the
spinnaker deck equipment that was fitted to our boat and what we could
observe on others. The racing minds in our crew want to say something else,
but we feel this time, prudence is the better call and the bigger boats this
year should shrink the leg distances as well as enjoying tighter racing. We
have two main options for routes next year, but both converge with each
other around midweek. The choice of route will be decided only a couple of
days before we arrive so we will create something that builds in options and
plan B’s.

We undertook a little research into group insurance and waiver options for
next years charter. Arno helped us assess this based on his previous
experience and overall the premium for this was not felt to be attractive.
We are aware that some of our skippers have an annual insurance for yacht
charter which can be used to claim back afterwards if you suffer damage and
therefore deposit loss, however this is as usual separate to the charterers
insurance and cannot be used as a replacement. To clarify the charter
deposit and waiver there are two options:

1. Euro 2500 security deposit (which is refundable at the end and
pending no damage during the course of the charter)
2. Damage waiver insurance of Euro 500 (not refundable) and a reduced
security deposit of Euro 1000.

The choice is down to each skipper as the terms of their own personal
insurances and risk appetite of their crew are all personal and different.
What I would propose however and as a result of some reports of over-zealous
damage deductions last year, is take photos of your boat, at least above
deck at takeover and store them in a way that you can refer back to them as
condition evidence. Our interaction with the charter base was really
positive and they showed no signs at all of quibbling. We explained at the
outset that we had an unfounded bad experience last year and we felt
comfortable that the base manager and his team were playing straight.
Feedback from Sasha from the High Point regatta was also positive. We did
take a look at trip-advisor and noted some negative reviews, which is not
uncommon generally, and it was explained that they had a recent regatta
where the skippers brought back boats that had been significantly mistreated
and individual crew members posted these afterwards. This isn’t our first
rodeo and we are aware that it is always a risk, but we have no reason to
believe that we have an unusual situation in Cagliari compared to other
charterers.

Finally we will probably be anchoring at least two nights due to the lengths
of the legs and in order to try and avoid returning to the same location
twice. We watched a great sunset while we were there and we hope to be
staying in the same bay again next year, wind direction pending. We are
zeroing in on the welcome and prize-giving party and also working on a few
things to add our own UKNL twist. We are planning to be there from Thursday
30th April and I know there have been a few requests for bunks on Friday 1st
May. We will have to advise on this closer to the regatta but there are many
small hotels and B&Bs to stop at so if you want peace of mind earlier then
it may be best to book something now. Coincidentally the Americas Cup World
Series runs from the 23rd to 26th April so we may be able to get a glimpse
of some pretty radical sailing machines while we are there also. The racing
area is just by our charter base and although the racing will be over, there
may be some roll over for the boats practising. Cagliari is the home base of
the America’s Cup 36 Challenger of Record Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team so
could be a spot for us! https://www.americascup.com/en/acws/sardegna

That’s it for now, please get in touch if you want to know anything more.

Enjoy lifting your boats out for de-fouling season.

Mike and crew

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