Some sailors, it seems, have more get up and go than others ... the editor's welcome to the new May issue of Yachting Monthly

Blessed relief! Spring is in the air, laced with the pleasant aroma of fresh antifoul. It’s time to get out and go sailing. Some sailors, however, have more get up and go than others.

German sailor Susanne Huber-Curphey has just arrived in Tasmania having completed one and a half circumnavigations (p6). Her solo voyage from Maine covered 33,043 miles and followed in the wake of Bernard Moitessier as part of the Longue Route, a non-racing event that must count as the longest ever cruise in company, and quite some sailing feat.

Three women have also just won top accolades for sailing in this country. Tracy Edwards is joint winner of the Yachtsman of the Year award, alongside Nikki Henderson (p7). Edwards was awarded the prize for her work restoring Maiden and establishing The Maiden Factor to promote girls’ education through sailing, while Henderson, who recently skippered Maiden, was recognised for being the youngest ever Clipper Race skipper, then aged 24, and leading her crew into second place. British Optimist Champion Emily Mueller, 15, won the Young Sailor of the Year award. It seems that those with the most get up and go this year are women. Perhaps the prize’s title, Yachtsman of the Year, is itself rather archaic.

At the same time, we remember other visionaries. Former YM editor Paul Gelder passed away recently, but if it weren’t for his determination, Sir Francis Chichester’s Gypsy Moth IV would be a rotten wreck rather than proudly sailing our waters as it does now (p8). So what of us mere mortals? Just getting the boat back in the water can be enough of a challenge, but perhaps the crew you take sailing this year might just be the yachting luminaries of the future.


Gypsy Moth IV (p8)

Gypsy Moth IV was the 53ft ketch designed by Illingworth and Primrose and built by Camper & Nicholson for Sir Francis Chichester. His aim was to race solo to Australia and back, against the time set by the great sailing clippers. He set out in 1966 and achieved his aim, opening the door for the non-stop attempts of the Golden Globe Race just two years later. On his return, Chichester was knighted and Gypsy Moth IV was installed alongside Cutty Sark at the Greenwich Maritime Museum, where she gradually decayed until saved by a campaign, spearheaded by former YM editor Paul Gelder, who died recently.