Grand Prix Sailing

Nacra 17 Class votes on full foiling for Tokyo




On the 19th of October the Nacra 17 class members assembled for an electronic Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).


Three topics debated were:

a) an update to the class constitution

b) advertising

c) whether or not class members recommend full foiling for 2020 or not


A presentation covering the proposed changes to equipment, pricing, and procedure was shown to 50 members in attendance over the course of 2 hours.

Details of how the boats would be made stronger and more consistent were included. Also shown was three pricing options for a mk 2 Nacra 17 was presented which can be downloaded here:


The three options for equipment going forward are:

a) retrofit a mk1 boat to go full foiling for 7,900 euros

b) Buying a new platform for 14,500 euros, retaining the ability to sell the mk1 platform for a net cost of about 7500 euros

c) Buying a new boat for 24,250 euros, an increase of about 2000 euros from the mk1 price


Following the presentation was a discussion with questions and answers from class members and leadership. At the close the meeting, voting was opened to class members. 89 members voted from the total membership of 132, above the 40% threshold required to form a quorum. All of the motions passed, with the advertising and constitution motions receiving 87% support or higher. the major question of whether to recommend to World Sailing whether Nacra 17 should go fully foiling for the 2020 Olympic or not was a closer vote, but ultimately passed 48 votes to 33, for a 59% support level

As such, the Nacra 17 class has sent a letter to the head of the Equipment Committee of World Sailing with the class recommendation.  Class president, Marcus Spillane, will convey this position at the World Sailing Conference next month in Barcelona.

Equipment of the updated configuration will become available following confirmation from World Sailing Conference of their position on the matter. Teams wishing to get onto the waiting list for mk2 equipment should be in contact with the Nacra Sailing head office.



Five bullet day for 2016 GC32 Racing Tour champion




Photos ©: Sander van der Borch / GC32 Racing Tour



GC32 Racing Tour at Marseille One Design – Overall



Franck Cammas and his crew on Norauto powered by Groupama Team France proved convincingly that their dominance of the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour was no fluke. On this closing day of Marseille One Design, held in at times in ‘top of the range’ conditions, the French team managed a perfect five-out-of-five score line. This left them a massive 24 points clear of American Jason Carroll’s second placed Argo.

On the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour leaderboard, Noruato’s only threat going into Marseille One Design was Sebastien Schneiter’s Team Tilt. The Swiss youth crew finished fourth, enabling Cammas and his crew to claim the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour trophy by a six point margin.

“We are very happy with the work we did and it is a very good circuit for us to spend more time competing in races with this kind of boat,” said Cammas. “The level of everyone has got higher and higher through the year. We were ahead at the beginning, but since then everyone’s got better at manoeuvring and now you have to really fight to win each race.”

The Volvo Ocean Race winner added that Norauto’s perfect scoreline was probably due to their beginning of season training.

“But we improved over the four days too and we’re happy to finish the season like this, with a perfect scoreline.”

For this final day, the forecast promised 9-11 knots, but after an hour on the water waiting for the wind direction to stabilise, much to the pleasure of everyone, it built into the high teens, gusting into the mid-20s. Fortunately in Marseille’s well protected Rade Sud, the flat sea state made for a fast ride with the GC32s fully foiling, frequently hitting speeds in the mid-30s.

The other French team, Sebastien Rogues’ Team Engie had a mixed day, in two races making it a French 1-2, but ultimately finishing Marseille One Design fifth overall. Team Engie was second best scoring boat of the day, a testament to the hard work Rogues and his team have put into improving this season. However equalling their scoreline was the Japanese team Mamma Aiuto! which did well in the two opening races.

Making a late charge today was the Swedish youth crew on Gunvor Sailing, which after a string of deep results, finished second in the final two races.

“We are still improving and still very new in the boat and making a lot of simple mistakes,” admitted Gustav Petterson, skipper and tactician on board. “When it gets stressed, we don’t always know what to do and our timing is not always good. But we were getting better through the day.”

Their learning curve has been steep and this is the first event they have raced without the help several Olympic champions, such as Iain Percy, Nathan Outteridge or Freddy Lööf.

The young Swedes, most with Olympic sailing backgrounds, relished the conditions and saw the Gunvor GC32 hitting speeds in the mid-30s. “On one occasion we were very slow at the bottom gate and some boats were coming in at 25-30 knots, so your heart was in your mouth,” admitted Petterson.

Perhaps most pleased by their performance in Marseille was Jason Carroll, who’s Argo team achieved its objectives displacing Pierre Casiraghi’s Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco from the top spot in the Owner-Driver Championship and claiming fourth overall in the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour.

“But I am most excited to have finished second overall in this regatta – that is very cool and I am very proud of our team for having done that,” said Carroll, a two time World Champion in the highly competitive Melges 32 class. “The owner-driver thing is also great – it came down to this regatta and we did what we needed to do.”




Carroll was unable to repeat his team’s victory yesterday but was generally among the top finishers. “It was really fun today – we had a great time. It was nice – even after having a mediocre start – to battle back and pass a boat or two.”

With Britain’s Alister Richardson calling tactics, Argo’s mainsheet man Anthony Kotoun observed that today in the bigger conditions, success was down to picking the right shifts. Otherwise “it was the most ‘normal’ racing we’ve had this season…”

Of the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour, manager Christian Scherrer commented “Today was a perfect finished to the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour season. It has been fantastic to see how the circuit has developed over the last 12 months and I’d like to thank all the teams and partners who have supported us this year. We look forward to an even more successful season in 2017. There is already a lot of interest and we will be announcing more details about this next week.”



Marseille One Design 2016 Ranking:

1  Noaruto (FRA) F.Cammas – 13 points

2  Argo (USA) J.Carroll – 37points

3  Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) N.Kamei – 41points

4  Team Tilt (SUI) S.Schneiter – 43points

5  Team Engie (FRA) S.Rogues – 49points

6  Malizia – YC Monaco (MON) P.Casiraghi – 52points

7  Armin Strom Sailing Team (SUI) F.Marazzi – 52points

8  Gunvor Sailing (SWE) G.Petterson – 58points

9  Realteam (SUI) J.Clerc – 68points

10  Orange Racing (NER) Laurent Lenne – 89points



GC32 Racing Tour 2016 General Ranking after 10 events:

1  Norauto (FRA) F.Cammas – 6points

2  Team Tilt (SUI) S.Schneiter – 12points

3  Armin Strom Sailing Team (SUI) F.Marazzi – 22points

4  Argo (USA) J.Carroll – 26points

5  Team Engie (FRA) S.Rogues – 29points

6  Malizia – YC Monaco (MON) P.Casiraghi – 29points

7  Gunvor Sailing (SWE) G.Petterson – 32points

8  Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) N.Kamei – 33points

9  Realteam (SUI) J.Clerc – 40points

10 Spindrift racing (FRA) Y.Guichard – 47points

11 Orange Racing (NER) Laurent Lenne – 47points



Near upset for Norauto as Argo excels in Marseille




 Photo ©: Sander van der Borch / GC32 Racing Tour



GC32 Marseilles One Design



Conditions off the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur coast turned light for day three of Marseille One Design, providing a challenge for GC32 Racing Tour competitors and race officials alike.

After leading a race which was cancelled yesterday and coming second in the first attempt to hold a race today, fate finally smiled on Jason Carroll’s US team on Argo. The two time Melges 32 World Champion won today’s only race, held in ‘low rider’ conditions (ie no foiling and no hull flying) with the southwesterly wind speed never exceeding 6 knots.

“Everyone prefers the breeze so you can foil – that’s what the GC32s are all about – but this is part of the game and a race is a race,” observed Argo’s Program Manager, Chad Corning. “It was a tricky race course with a very one dimensional start line. Fortunately we got the start we needed to and that was it – rich get richer.”

Argo now holds a solid third place at Marseille One Design with a six point cushion over Team Tilt in fourth. But for the US team, the real fight is now with Pierre Casiraghi’s Malizia-Yacht Club de Monaco which went into this regatta leading the GC32 Racing Tour’s owner-driver championship.

“It is a big deal to us,” acknowledged Corning. “Winning the overall Championship is not achievable for us this year, so the owner-driver championship is important. And it is also close for fourth overall, so if we can get both of those, we’d be very happy.”

At the end of play today, Norauto powered by Groupama Team France continues to lead Marseille One Design with a consistent 2-2-2-2 scoreline. However the top of the leaderboard came within a whisker of major upset when Naofumi Kamei’s Mamma Aiuto! blitzed the first unsuccessful attempt at the day’s only race. The Japanese team, on which Australian match racer Keith Swinton is standing in for Kamei-san, was a leg ahead of the competition when disaster struck. With perhaps two minutes of sailing to go until they crossed the finish line, the 35 minute time limit for races (as agreed between all the teams) ran out and the race had to be abandoned.

“If that race hadn’t been called off we would be in first. But we are in the hunt and we learned a lot of things about our trim. We’ll go and do the same thing tomorrow.” Swinton acknowledged

As to today’s conditions, the Australian added: “It was pretty light and fairly one-sided track. There was a big emphasis on the start. In that race we got a great start and it was relatively easy from there. It was about avoiding the holes and keeping it moving. It was good to go for a sail in the lighter winds. We hadn’t done any gennaker tacks or, in fact, any light weather sailing at all…”

Norauto skipper Franck Cammas was equally relieved that that race had been cancelled as they had been struggling at the back of the fleet. “It is tricky in these conditions and we are not happy with our speed upwind in the very light conditions, so we have to work on that.”

Nonetheless the former Volvo Ocean Race and Route du Rhum winner is content with their consistent run of second placed finishes that gives them a lead of five points over Mamma Aiuto! going into the final day of racing at Marseille One Design. The French team is also 12 points ahead of Team Tilt, which is the only team able to threaten their top spot in the overall 2016 GC32 Racing Tour championship.

Sunday is the final day of competition at Marseille One Design and on the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour and the forecast is showing 9-11 knots of breeze – more than enough to get the nimble one design catamarans fully flying. However as Argo’s Chad Corning warns of the conditions: “I don’t think we are going to know until we get out of bed tomorrow.”

Follow the live blog from the racing tomorrow at



Quantum Racing Crowned 2016 Champions





52 Super Series – Cascais


Winners of four of the five regattas this season, Quantum Racing were crowned 2016 52 Super Series champions in Cascais, Portugal on Saturday evening. The American-flagged team – who has also won the circuit in 2013 and 2014 – secured their third 52 Super Series title on Thursday with two days to spare, finishing Saturday with an overall aggregate of 140 points after 45 races contested in Scarlino (Tuscany), Porto Cervo (Sardinia), Puerto Portals (Mallorca), Mahón (Menorca) and Cascais (Portugal).

But last year’s champions Azzurra denied Quantum Racing their coveted clean sweep of all five titles. When they won the final race of the Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup in bright Autumnal sunshine and 11-14kts southerly breezes, Azzurra won the Cascais Cup and finish second overall for the season, 59 points behind Quantum Racing.

Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing Team take third step on the season’s podium after a nervous final day showdown against Ergin Imre’s Provezza and Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon. Rán Racing fought back spectacularly from a penalty at the final mark that dumped them into last place, but quickly rallied to a critical fifth place, which ensured they take third for the season. Just as last year’s battle for third overall was decided on the last race of the season, so it was again on the same waters in Portugal. Rán finish on 241pts, Platoon on 245pts, Provezza on 248pts and Bronenosec on 251pts.

On Friday, Provezza had earned a tentative grip of third place but a bitterly disappointing run of 9,9,9 from their last three races saw them crumple to fifth overall on the season’s standings, losing out to Platoon who had brought in John Kostecki as tactician for their final push.

Quantum Racing have set an exceptional level from the start of the season. They served notice of their intentions when they won the pre-season warm up regatta Gaastra Palma Vela. Four different teams led at the opening regatta in Scarlino, Tuscany but it was Quantum Racing who prevailed. Doug DeVos’s team won the 52 World Championship title in Mahón, Menorca in September also. Between last season and this season, Quantum Racing had won six regattas on the hop. But the resurgent Azzurra team were back to their imperious best in Cascais where they won four of the eight races and held the overall title winners to second, eight points behind.

There has been no dark magic nor no reliably boat speed silver bullet for the Quantum Racing crew. Their success has been down to the unrelenting daily grind, seeking perfection on and off the water by the entire team, at regattas and between events.

It has been widely acknowledged by many members of the Quantum Racing crew – not least Terry Hutchinson – that the catalyst for this never ending pursuit was finishing second overall to Azzurra last year.

Similarly when he stood on the dock in the Marina de Cascais, relieved and contented at their final day regatta win, Azzurra’s skipper Guillermo Parada in turn paid tribute to the high benchmark set by Quantum Racing that forced them to up their game. Azzurra made significant gains since mid season, July in Puerto Portals and since then won nine of the last 18 races.

With the top two teams now seemingly on equal terms, a mouth watering opening to the 2017 season is already anticipated in Key West, USA in just twelve weeks time.

The key difference has always been Quantum Racing’s ability to grind out rock solid sequences of top-fours, or at worst top-fives, avoiding the weighty ballast of double digit scores from the basement of the fleet. This year has been the most competitive yet with 13 different boats competing. Ed Reynolds, the long serving Quantum Racing boss who has been at every single TP52 event since 2005 explained:

“The biggest thing that we focussed on this season was never crashing down to a big number in a race.

Everybody seems to focus on two boat testing, trying to be the fastest boat, but more often than not, we’re not the fastest boat out there. But we’re never the slowest boat. Trying to develop sails that are good for racing, and not just to win tuning setups has given us a lot of awareness.

You always hear about shifting gears on boats, well, we really focussed on our first, second and third gear. Getting off the line or when you get into trouble, when you have fine lines or really thin lanes, you have to have a completely different setup than when you’ve got the bow out, sending the boat.

Probably the biggest thing we saw this year was that we were never slow. We weren’t always the fastest boat on the course, and a lot of the other boats were set up to win races. If you look back on our history, we don’t win many races, but we rarely get out of the top four.”

The final day of the season will remain one of the most memorable of the year. Azzurra went into the final race with a lead of three points. They sailed an impeccable first beat – beating bow to bow with Quantum Racing, striving for the smallest advantage. At the top mark Azzurra were just ahead of Sled. Quantum Racing slid to a sixth place finish, their worst result of the regatta.

The overall podium for the Cascais Cup is composed of the same three teams as in 2015. Last year Azzurra clinched the circuit title when Quantum Racing won the Cascais Cup. Both times Takashi Okura’s Sled have finished third at this regatta.

Niklas Zennström was delighted at Rán’s third overall for the season, also lifting the top owner-driver award.

“It was a pretty stressful day. But it also shows how tight the class is this year and I think we had Provezza, Platoon and Bronenosec. Third place overall is the most important thing for us because its also about us being able to race against the best in the world, against Azzurra and Quantum and some of the other really good pro drivers. And so to be third overall for the season trumps being best owner driver.

It was pretty tight, we got a penalty. Then you say ‘shit we’re last’ but you just have to keep fighting. It’s all about fighting til the last second.”

Provezza’s Tony Rey was disappointed to drop so much on the last day:

“We had a great season but today was a tragedy, there’s no sugar coating it. We started off the day in fourth, just a couple of points behind. Bit by bit we closed on Rán over the last two events and ended up as close as you can get. But we couldn’t get it done this afternoon. We bled points throughout the season doing different things here and there and it all came down to today and we couldn’t get it done. But that’s sport and you just have to live with it. We’ve learned an enormous amount, we joke that we’re tired of learning and we just want to go win now.”




Final Standings after day 5 (8 races):

1 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1,2,8,1,2,3,1) 19 pts

2 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,2,3,3,5,3,1,6) 27 pts

3 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (2,6,4,2,2,8,5,2) 31 pts

4 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,7,7,1,6,7,2,3) 38 pts

5 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,1,4,4,1,7,8) 41 pts

6 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,3,8,5,9,5,8,5) 50 pts

7 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (3,4,9,6,3,9,9,9)  52 pts

8 Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (10,10,5,7,10,6,6,4) 58 pts

9 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (6,5,10,9,8,10,4,7) 59 pts

10 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (9,9,6,10,7,4,10,10) 65 pts


Final Overall Standings after 5 regattas:

1  Quantum Racing, 140 pts

2  Azzurra, 199 pts

3  Rán Racing, 241 pts

4  Platoon, 245pts

5  Provezza, 248 pts

6  Bronenosec Gazprom, 251 pts

7  Sled, 275 pts

8  Alegre, 283 pts

9  Gladiator, 342 pts

Consistent Norauto GC32 shines 



Sander van der Borch / GC32 Racing Tour


2016 GC32 Racing Tour in Marseille


After a day and a half of France’s second city being battered by gale force winds, Marseille One Design, the last event of the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour, got going this afternoon with three races successfully sailed.

Following the morning’s thunder and lightning, as the last weather front associated with this system edged inland, so the wind dropped to a more modest 10-15 knots and the first race got away at 1541 after one general recall.

Despite the conditions being more reasonable, the race course on Marseille’s Rade Sud was still a minefield with some giant clouds nearby playing havoc with the wind. As Australian match racer Keith Swinton, here in Marseille helming the Japanese GC32 Mamma Aiuto!, observed: “It was shifty and there were some pretty big holes – 6-7 knots in the big ones and up to 18 knots in the puffs. It was challenging…”

This is Swinton’s first time helming a GC32. Nonetheless the Japanese team won the second race, finding a favourable shift on the final beat that propelled Mamma Aiuto! out in front. Swinton may be new to the GC32 helm, but up until the beginning of 2015 he called tactics on Armin Strom Sailing Team. Compared to then, he observes that there are now: “a lot more boats and everyone is stepping it up, so it makes it all the more pleasing that we seem to be competitive.”

For Marseille One Design, all but one of Mamma Aiuto!’s crew is standing in for regular hands, but this has provided Japanese sailor Federico Sampei (named after Italian film director Federico Fellini) with a chance to compete on the GC32 Racing Tour. Part of the Japanese Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team, Sampei’s only sailing to date has been on a GC32, starting in Japan last December. For his first ever yacht race and he was thrilled: “Everyone tells me it is a big step – I am very much enjoying it.”

At the end of day one, 2016 GC32 Racing Tour leader Norauto powered by Groupama Team France holds first place at Marseille One Design, after scoring a trio of second place finishes today. The French team’s rival for the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour title, Team Tilt from Switzerland, won the first race, but lacked Norauto’s consistency.

“We sailed pretty well in that race,” conceded Team Tilt’s skipper Sebastien Schneiter. “The other two races were a bit more complicated – in the second we got a penalty on the last reach: We were battling with Norauto and they did a few match racing moves on us. And in the last race we were over early at the start.”

Schneiter acknowledged that it hadn’t been their best day, but Team Tilt’s speed was good and they had manoeuvred well. Nonetheless they currently lie third overall, a point astern of Mamma Aiuto!

The final race was claimed by Team Engie, skippered by Sébastien Rogues. Like Team Tilt, Rogues admitted that their performance today lacked consistency with a 8-9 in the first two races.

“We didn’t start well and after, when you are behind, it is difficult to recover. We started better in the third race when we won the pin end.”

With the sun getting low in the sky and the wind starting to misbehave, proceedings were halted after three races. Marseille One Design continues tomorrow, when it is likely there will be a wait until the afternoon for the wind to fill in.

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Azzurra stop the runaway train




Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup


The chances of Azzurra halting the regatta winning run of 2016 champions Quantum Racing were given a boost when the team from the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda sailed to a first and second place in modest breezes beating their American rivals twice.

Azzurra now lead Quantum Racing into the final day of the last regatta of the season by five points. But their tactician Vasco Vascotto considers that their positive progress, having closed the performance gap on the circuit’s benchmark team is more exciting for him than the prospect of winning their first event of a season, which has so far been dominated by Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing.

“It’s very nice for us to feel like all the work we’re doing is taking us in the right direction. For me, that’s the most important thing. This is an important event, and Cascais is a wonderful place, but the most important thing for us is to know that with the next season being just around the corner now we know that our benchmark that is Quantum Racing are not too far away and that we’re going in the right direction.

I’m proud of what we are doing, and it looks as if everything is perfect.

No, actually not perfect, just better.”

The race arena for the penultimate day’s racing was moved east, slightly more towards Lisbon city, in the search for stronger pressure. The resulting race course was complex, with a reduction in wind strength towards the top mark and a right hand shift in the top third of the track. Downwind legs gave a growing advantage to the leaders who worked progressively into stronger breeze.

Vascotto proved particularly adept at reading the breeze. On the first run he held Azzurra closer to the shore and rolled down in extra, heading pressure that allowed them to sail round early leaders Sled. Quantum Racing were bounced by Phoenix early in the beat and finished fifth. Provezza’s third to Rán Racing’s ninth saw the two contenders for third overall for the season swap positions, Ergin Imre’s team getting a taste of third overall.

The breeze remained settled and the course marks fixed for the next race. Bronenosec followed the same strategy as worked nicely for Azzurra in the previous heat. As they made their final tack for the windward mark to claim the lead they left Quantum Racing trailing in their dirty air exhaust fumes.

Slowed momentarily they were rolled by Azzurra which had the luxury of bringing their bow down very slightly on approach accelerating to second place. Vladimir Liubomirov’s crew took their second win of the regatta to move up to fourth on the event standings. Azzurra’s second earned them one more point going into the final day.

The duel for third overall saw Rán Racing seize back third place when they finished fifth to Provezza’s bogey ninth. Just as there was in Cascais last year, the third place battle goes to the wire, Rán leading Provezza by just two tiny points.





Standings after day 4 (6 races)

1 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1,2,8,1,2) 15 pts

2 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,2,3,3,5,3) 20 pts

3 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (2,6,4,2,2,8) 24 pts

4 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,1,4,4,1) 26 pts

5 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,7,7,1,6,7) 33 pts

6 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (3,4,9,6,3,9) 34 pts

7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,3,8,5,9,5) 37 pts

8 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (9,9,6,10,7,4) 45 pts

9 Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (10,10,5,7,10,6) 48 pts

10 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (6,5,10,9,8,10) 48 pts


Season overall standings

1 Quantum Racing, 133 pts

2 Azzurra, 195 pts

3 Rán Racing, 228 pts

4 Provezza, 230 pts

5 Bronenosec Gazprom, 236 pts

6 Platoon, 240pts

7 Sled, 268 pts

8 Alegre, 273 pts

9 Gladiator, 331 pts

10 Paprec Recyclage, 430.2 pts


The Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup will take place from 11-15 October, with races starting at 13:30 CEST every day. Track the boats via state-of-the-art Virtual Eye at or via the app.

Quantum Racing seal 2016 52 Super Series title



Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup



Quantum Racing sealed the 2016 52 Super Series title when they crossed the finish line of the fourth race of the Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup winning the overall season with two days of racing still to be completed.

The American-flagged team has won four out of four regattas this season. And when they crossed the finish line in third late this afternoon with Azzurra in eighth, they now share the same points tally as the leaders of this final regatta this season.

Hard driving tactician Terry Hutchinson acknowledged that their outstanding string of regatta wins this season owes a lot to the pain and frustration felt one year ago when they finished second overall to Azzurra in the chase for the 2015 title.

“I think it took us getting smacked around a little bit last year to understand that we had got to get back to basics.” the visibly relieved Hutchinson smiled, “We had to get back to hard work and due diligence, and to making sure that we put every possible amount of effort forward to be successful.”

The 2016 title is Quantum Racing’s third since the 52 Super Series started out in 2012, adding to their series wins in 2013 and 2014.

“It’s been awesome, such a solid team effort all along.” Hutchinson continued, “For me, this was by far the most rewarding season we have ever had because we’ve shared the helmsman role between Ed [Baird] and Doug [DeVos], and it’s just been a solid team effort all season long.”

Quantum Racing will keep their celebrations on ice, reserved for Saturday night’s glamorous prize-giving. Meanwhile, they brought their clean sweep of all five regatta titles within closer reach when they returned a typical solid pair of two thirds from the testing windward-leewards. As erstwhile regatta leaders Azzurra sailed to a second and an eighth the two are now locked together on 12pts with two days of racing left.

A delay to racing was rewarded with two competitive races, where opportunities for gains and losses were always available in the shifting W’ly to NW’ly breezes which varied from seven to 10 knots.

Azzurra sailed the first beat of Race 3 best and led around the top mark with Bronenosec second. Quantum Racing were hard on their heels but lost slightly at the windward mark when they found themselves shy of the final layline, having to shoot the turn downspeed. Bronenosec gained on the right on the first downwind to lead at the leeward gate holding on to win ahead of Azzurra with Quantum Racing third.

The breeze was slightly further right for Race 4 meaning the course was closer to the shore. Bronenosec led at the top mark from Quantum Racing and Sled. But on the second, final run tactician John Kostecki and strategist Jordi Calafat held Platoon out to the right of the downwind and made a gain from fourth to first.

Azzurra and Quantum Racing are now tied on 12 points, Takashi Okura’s Sled are third also posting a six point day, sailing to fourth and second and Platoon move to fourth overall for the regatta.

The tussle for third step on the 52 Super Series podium sees Rán Racing holding a four points lead over Provezza now. Platoon lie fifth and are now just nine points behind Provezza.




Standings after Day 3, four races

1 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1,2,8) 12 pts

2 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,2,3,3) 12 pts

3 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (2,6,4,2) 14 pts

4 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,7,7,1) 20 pts

5 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,1,4) 21 pts

6 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (3,4,9,6) 22 pts

7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,3,8,5) 23 pts

8 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (6,5,10,9) 30 pts

9 Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (10,10,5,7) 32 pts

10 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (9,9,6,10) 34 pts


52 Super Series – Overall Standings

1. Quantum Racing, 125 pts

2. Azzurra, 192 pts

3. Rán Racing, 214 pts

4. Provezza, 218 pts

5. Platoon, 227 pts

6. Bronenosec Gazprom, 231 pts

7. Alegre, 257 pts

8. Sled, 258 pts

9. Gladiator, 313 pts

10. Paprec Recyclage, 408.2


The Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup will take place from 11-15 October, with races starting at 13:30 CEST every day. Track the boats via state-of-the-art Virtual Eye at or via the app.


Nacra 17 – to foil or not to foil




It has been a difficult Olympic quad for the Nacra 17, the boat designed specifically to be used for the new Mixed Multihull event at the Rio Olympics. As teams familiarised themselves with the new boat, two aspects became apparent: the boats were hard to control and the boats were poorly built.

The control issue had to do with the lack of foil development. Unluckily, the Nacra 17 was splashed 6 to 9 months before cats in the America’s Cup showed it possible to fully foil. The current edition of the boat has lifting C foils that teams can occasionally make balance to give it full lifting from the water, but in an unstable manner. Photographers camped out at weather marks to capture the carnage during the bear away were often rewarded.

Looking forward toward Tokyo 2020, the World Sailing Equipment Committee requested the Nacra 17 class investigate an evolution to full foiling. While there has been interest among sailors for this step, the concern has been whether the notoriously fragile boats could endure the higher loads that foiling blades would inflict on the hulls which already have an extremely short competitive life.

Morelli and Melvin, designers of the boat, were assigned to find the solutions with lead builder Peter Vink. Along with a change to the rudder and daggerboard has come a host of structural upgrades which include moving the daggerboard case forward about 4 inches, and a shorter spin pole and gennaker anticipating much higher downwind speeds.

Two modified boats are now being tested in the Netherlands (see videos below), with class members to vote October 17 on the future. Sailors will get a chance to recommend to World Sailing and Nacra copyright holders if they wish to adopt the fully foiling set-up or remain with the C foils that were used in Rio 2016.

It is hard to see a way forward without casualties. A change to a fully foiling set-up modernises the boat but not without financial expense to current boat owners. To remain with the current foils still requires improved construction, which also impacts stake holders with poorly built boats.

Whatever the outcome, World Sailing must dictate all Olympic equipment be reasonably durable. An Olympic campaign is expensive enough without throw-away boats. When World Sailing selects the equipment for the Olympic Games, they take on a responsibility that the boats will endure the use by their constituents. Hopefully this next quad will be better.


Racing abandoned in squalls




After a long delay waiting for the breeze to build and settle racing at the Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup had to be abandoned on day two after one upwind and part of a downwind. A big, heavy rain squall blew through, bringing a shift in the wind direction of 100 degrees, upending the race course.

The race officer quickly made the decision to abandon the contest. A further wait was finally ended when it became obvious that the leaden, dark rain clouds were continuing to play havoc with the breeze for the foreseeable future.

If conditions allow then the race management team will try to complete three races Thursday and Friday.

A fistful of wins – Azzurra lead in Cascais





Egnos 52 Super Series in Cascais


Quantum Racing may be inching their way inexorably towards the 2016 52 Super Series title, making steady progress towards their end game with a fourth and a second on the opening day, but the 2015 champions Azzurra are in no way giving up without a fight.

Their “gaucho spirit” is alive and kicking as the Roemmers’ family team made the best possible start to the season’s finale – the Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup – winning both opening races. They led at each and every mark in the gentle Southerly breezes to build a four point lead over second-placed Quantum Racing who has Doug DeVos steering.

After a modest start to the season when Quantum Racing came out of the blocks fast, Azzurra’s hard work in late July and August now seems to be rewarded. Their two bullets mean they have won five of the last six races sailed on the 52 Super Series, now visibly having the speed and height to capitalise on Vasco Vascotto’s astute tactics. This contrasts sharply with the early regattas when, as skipper Guilermo Parada admitted, they were being forced into taking big risks to try and win races or hold on to Quantum Racing.

“We made a lot of changes all the way through the boat trying to find more speed, everywhere. We found some issues we had and we are addressing them.” Parada explained on the dock in Marina de Cascais, Portugal. He added:

“We are happy with the way the boat is going now and if we continue like this then we will be able to finish strong this season and set a good baseline for next season.

In Palma we worked really, really hard and in a way sacrificed a little of the result at that regatta to try different things. We made lots of changes every day, before and after every race. Sometimes at ten minutes before the start we were trying things. We put apart the results a little there and Copa del Rey we discovered a lot of things too. We put these things all together and were more competitive in Menorca and hopefully we can carry this on for now and for the future.

The biggest gain is we can hold lanes upwind and change modes. Downwind we never felt we had a problem. Upwind we found we only had one mode and could not hold lanes. In this kind of fleet that was too expensive. So we had to take too many risks and mostly they did not work.”

Azzurra led off the pin end of the start line of Race 1 and were in better wind pressure early, able to lead Takashi Okura’s Sled around the top mark with Ergin Imre’s Provezza in third. There were few passing chances around the course and that was the order across the finish line. Quantum Racing were pressing hard on Provezza’s stern at the finish line.

Azzurra started off the windward end of the line in the second race, which was contested in six to 10 knots of breeze. Quantum Racing did well at the top of the first beat and came around second.

A big shift to the right at the top of the second beat offered a lifeline to Rán Racing, rising to third across the finish line. Gladiator, calling on Ian Walker’s long experience of Cascais – where he lived and trained with Abu Dhabi Volvo Ocean Race Team – went hard left down the last run and pulled up to fifth.

In the battle for third overall for the season it was a good day for Provezza. Their three, four for the day not only sees them third overall at the regatta but has closed Rán’s lead to just two points.





Standings after Day 1

1 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,1) 2pts

2 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,2) 6pts

3 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (3,4) 7pts

4 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (2,6) 8pts

5 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,3) 10pts

6 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (6,5) 11pts

7 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,7) 12pts

8 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8) 16pts

9. Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (9,9) 18pts

10. Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (10,10) 20pts


The Egnos 52 Super Series Cascais Cup will take place from 11-15 October, with races starting at 13:30 CEST every day. Track the boats via state-of-the-art Virtual Eye at or via the app.



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