Mirabella might have been stealing the limelight, both on and off the rocks...

Mightier than Mirabella
Mirabella might have been stealing the limelight, both on and off the rocks, as the world?s biggest sloop, tallest mast and the like but just launched with a lot less pizzazz is the yacht that is truly the world?s biggest privately owned sailing boat and at 300ft a full 55ft longer than Mr Vittoria?s monster. She is Athena, a three-masted gaff schooner built in Holland. We took her sailing

The Royal choice
Among Europe?s crowned heads of state one class of boat has long been a favourite: the Dragon. This year the class celebrates its 75th birthday and so we look at the Dragon as our Modern Classic and join the class in a celebratory 250 boat regatta in St Tropez in the company of five Royals.

Quicker than Ellen

Ellen MacArthur reckons that her autopilot sails her trimaran two or three knots faster than she can. Francis Joyon and VDH sailed round the world with no autopilot breakdowns. They reckon that in the Vendée Globe the difference between a good and a bad pilot is 250kg weight of fuel for the generator. So what does this mean for you and me? We look at the latest autopilot systems

? The best of 2004 ? we look back at a golden year of sailing
? Three beautiful Swedes on test. ? the Najad 380, Malo 36 and the Hallberg-Rassy 37
? Zero to hero ? we bring you the latest from our fast track Yachtmaster candidate
? Great Seamanship ? John Gore-Grimes gets trapped in the ice