Some say it’s the combined age of the editorial team…all we know is that Seahorse is 500 issues young and fitter than ever. The bible of grand prix yachting. The only piece of mail that elicits a frisson of excitement. The very best columnists. The greatest photography. The acute snippets. The wit. The humour. The serious. The celebratory. The campaigning. The magazine for those in the know. Those on the outside. The dreamers. The pros. The curious. The wannabes. The also-rans.
Congratulations Seahorse on a magnificent milestone.
RORC’s monthly members publication has been a constant in my life since the 1980’s. It’s the magazine that sold me on grand prix sailing hook, line and sinker. It was the coverage of the 1985 and 1987 Admiral’s Cups that really caught me and drew me in to the sport with fabulous boats all trying to con the IOR rule – Jamarella, Indulgence – my all-time favourite boat Panda – Juno, Pocket Battleship, Pinta, itsanother Purla, I-Punkt, Marionette, Mean Machine, Blue Yankee…the list could just go on and on and I was lucky enough to be living in Lymington opposite the marina and could cycle my BMX over of an evening just to look, watch, hang out like a wide-eyed racer-chaser and marvel at those international teams all vying for one of the great prizes of world yachting. It was anything but a mis-spent youth.
And Seahorse brought me images of those fabulous boats being sailed in anger against glamorous international teams with home-grown heroes of the day like Eddie Warden-Owen, Harold Cudmore, Lawrie Smith, Phil Crebbin, Chris Law – a golden generation that still gives me goose-bumps today – doing the impossible and pushing the boundaries of design and equipment. It was an electric time, endless summer holidays and Seahorse documented it all beautifully. As a window onto an elite world then – an other world – it fired a passion and it still does today.
Then came the ’87 Cup in Fremantle with its wonderful imagery and storylines to die for and whilst minor TV channels in the UK gave us moving images once a week, oh how far we’ve come, it was Seahorse that captured it best and left an indelible impression for months as the Challenger regatta unfolded before the Match itself. The Stars ‘n’ Stripes story was a story of the ages. It transcended sailing and month after month as the regatta unfolded it was Seahorse that built the narrative and delivered the inside story. To me it was the most important medium in the world and even today after considered re-invention it has pulled off that incredible trick of staying highly relevant in a digital age.
Whilst the sailing news projecting websites and opinionated bloggers (!) capitalise on the newsflow on a daily basis, Seahorse remains the monthly summation. It takes the temperature of everything in the sailing world, distilling and concluding in a commanding manner. Columnists are people you want to read but it’s the editorial team, led by the peerless Andrew Hurst and supported by the RORC Commodore of the day, that add the backbone. Is there a more respected editor in world sailing than Andrew? I struggle to name anyone even in the same orbit, constellation or galaxy.
Seahorse has maintained a beautiful format of education, enlightenment, accessible humour and gravitas that is compelling. It has fretted at the digital age but responded with class and its advertisers are second to none in our sport. It’s a powerful platform that doesn’t overstate its case or step over the mark and as a source of the truth and accuracy it stands peerless in the grand prix world.
To me, it’s been so much more than a magazine. I can see a cover from the 1980’s and immediately know what I was doing. It’s almost like a catchy tune of teenage years that catapults me back and triggers great memories. And it brought me racing, endeavour, out-of-this-world machinery, characters, personalities and vital information from all around the globe that expanded my mind and knowledge.
The Onion Patch, the OSTAR, Tabarly, Dinelli, L’Hydroptere, Peyron, Sardinia, International Canoes, Flying Dutchmen, Moths, 12 Metres, IACCs, Cats and Dogs, Bannenburg, Stephens, Farr, Frers, Castro, Lexcen, Bond, Palermo-Monte Carlo, The Whitbread, Flyer, van Richoten, Macarthur, Goss, Conner, Dickson, Murray, Ainslie, Walker, Stead, Stir Fry, Bainbridge, Salter, AC75s, Ellison, Bertarelli, Agnelli, Chieffi, Bertelli, Cayard, Blake, Dalton, Barnes, Coutts, Butterworth, De Angelis, Kusnierewicz, Doreste, Scheidt, Grael, Davis, North, Isler, Reid, Hutchinson, Le Cam, Josse, Cammas, Dalin, Davies, Blyth, Chichester, Knox-Johnston…the list is endless. Everyone has been in Seahorse. Everyone and everything that matters, all that moves the dial and makes our sport so rich and fascinating.
For 500 issues Seahorse has never failed to deliver. Congratulations to the team and to RORC for setting the standards, supporting the sport and giving us so much and more.
And if you haven’t experienced the magic, click the link below and get the best deal anywhere on planet earth. Try it. You might just like it. And I’m not being paid to say so.