Johno Fullerton

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First blood to Ashby and Landy on day 2 of A Class Worlds

Glenn Ashby © Gordon Upton / www.guppypix.com

 

Racing started in earnest at the ‘A’ Class Worlds on the beautiful warm waters and beaches of Hervey Bay in Australia.

The weather was a little kinder, following the cancellation of the first day’s racing after all the fleet had arrived at the race areas.

The winds had dropped to a lovely 12 – 18 kts. However, it was swinging 10 to 15 deg all day – becoming a feature of the South Easterly wind direction as it comes over a promontory, and this also results in more gusty conditions.

The effect was to make it seem like sailing on a huge lake, and indeed the lake sailors felt at home. Getting into the correct sequence with the wind swing was a skill few mastered, with even the best getting caught out sailing into headers and holes occasionally.

The skill came in joining the dots of the areas of higher pressure to maximise the VMG. Staying on a constant heading would cost you dearly.

Two courses are run, one each for the two ‘A’ Cat divisions. This is the first Worlds where the two different versions of this 52-year-old development class single-handed thoroughbred catamaran have been separated in a championship.

The Classic, usually the C and straight board, boats that do not foil but sail in a displacement mode and the Open or Foiling division where all the boats are allowed to fly on their foils.

Both types will measure as ‘A’ Cats, but due to their speed differentials and differing sailing angles in higher wind conditions, it was elected to allow a separation of the types into two divisions. Most events run the two together and split out the results, but for the big ones, it is separated for safety reasons. In Hervey Bay this year we have a split of about 70/30. The split meant that many more Classic sailors turned up, as they now no longer feel they had been left behind due to their lack of circus skills or desire to remain in one piece.

This year, the standard of competition has gone to a whole new level. There is a hand full of America’s Cup sailors in the fleet and at least a dozen Olympians, plus Carolijn Brouwer (NED) the current Volvo Ocean Race champion and who was awarded 2018 World Sailor of the year.

On both fleets, the race officers got all their three races away cleanly. The tide flow away from the line certainly helped in that regard. On the Open Course, the superstars lost no time in starting combat.

 

Carolijn Brouwer c Gordon Upton / www.guppix.com

 

The nine-time ‘A’ cat World Champion, and ETNZ winning skipper Glenn Ashby set off like a scalded cat from the pin end and in the first two races pulled ahead to a good lead buy the first mark. He then simply increased that distance on the rest of the fleet. His ETNZ teammate, Peter Burling tried his best to hold onto him, as did the Dutch double world champion Mischa Heemskerk and Burling’s Olympic Gold winning 49er teammate, Blair Tuke. Glenn’s Olympic silver Tornado helm, Darren Bundock tried in vain to keep up also.

But Glenn was having none of it. In the third race, he found himself in a hole, something we can all do with monotonous regularity, so we can take comfort from the fact it happens to the world’s best cat sailor as well.

This dropped him down to 5th at the first top mark. AUS sailor Steven Brayshaw held the lead for a whole lap – something he can tell his grand kids about, and with Misha following before the little Aussie caught them both, passing them as if they were stationary too. He did a 13 min lap on race one, taking eight mins to reach the top mark 1 nm away.

Glenn’s boat was fitted with the latest Exploder Z23 foils, as were the others in his ETNZ team. These had only arrived 48hrs earlier, but they proved good enough for them to chance using them at the Worlds. It is of note, that when these boats foil past, there is always a hum from the foils. All boats except Ashby’s that is. His was silent in this regard.

The other thing the ETNZ guys are doing is dialling differential rudder rake. This is like increasing the downforce on a racing car. The windward rudder is raked to a lesser angle than the leeward one giving the windward hull more grip in the water at the T foils on their tips pull rather than push, and allowing more power to be put into the rig.

On the tack and gybe, they pull a control that reverses it all to the other side. This is pretty sophisticated stuff and requires a good deal of setup knowledge as regards the optimum angles. We saw it in the last America’s Cup, and this is a good example of technology trickle-down from such events.

Further down the fleet, other battles ensued as sailors found themselves amongst their peers on each new tack crossing. Gains and losses where maid, as were mistakes, several on the last gybe before the finish as they tried to thread the needle of a start line after coming in from a fast, shallow angle on their foils. There was no particularly favoured side to the course as the wind was swinging back and forth. Trying to remain in sync was the challenge here.

At the end of the three races, Glenn leads with three bullets. Mischa and Blair traded positions with each other and Mischa came out on top. The reigning World Champion, Stevie Brewin, who was struggling for pace at the previous week’s Nationals, got a second in Race 2 but ended the day in 6th behind Bundy, who in Race 2 had his rudder tangle in the top mark anchor line as he rounded the newly positioned mark. This damaged his rake mechanism. He protested the committee and was awarded average points for that race as redress. Several sailors went for a swim, a few just before the finish at the last gybe under pressure. But none were eaten.

 

Andrew Landenberger – photo © Gordon Upton / www.guppypix.com

 

Over on the Classic course, former European champ and AUS Olympian Andrew Landenberger dominated from former World Champion AUS Scott Anderson. Landy has ‘switched codes’, to steal a term from rugby, and moved onto the Classics. He feels the racing can be closer and more enjoyable as it offers him fewer near-death experiences. This is something we are finding in the A Cat fleet more, especially with the older sailors who’s boats now have a new lease of life in the Classic division.

On his new Exploder Ad3 Classic, he dominated in a similar way to Glenn on occasions. In the Classic, tactics tend to come to the fore possibly a little more, as the actual water has a greater effect on them as they are in it and not in the air.

Landy finished with 3 clean bullets but Scott was continually chased around the course by the ‘Big Swede’ Alberto Farnassi on his old Marstrom. Wind is this guy’s friend so beware when it is blowing, as he’s usually right up there. AUS sailors Matt Johnson and Paul Neeskins finished the day in 4th and 5th.

 

David Brewer – photo © Gordon Upton / www.guppypix.com

 

It was a good hard day of racing for both fleets. The gusts and shifts made for some good tactical and enjoyable racing. It is great to see the ‘normal’ sailors having a good time alongside the superstars on the same course.

The next day promises a little less wind, with three more races are programmed of each fleet. This is fun!

 

For full results: sailherveybay.com.au/live-results

More information on the event website: at www.a-cat.org

 

by Gordon Upton

Glenn Ashby wins A-Cat pre-worlds

 

 

Glenn Ashby won the A-Cat Australian Championship with six wins from seven races to finish 12 points ahead of Pete Burling of New Zealand.

Ashby dominated the 60 strong Open foiling fleet national championship which was also the A-Cat pre-worlds event in Hervey Bay, Australia.

Burling was the only other competitor to win a race, but only once dipped into double figures.

In third place was Holland’s Mischa Heemskerk, and fourth was Aussie Darren Bundock, with fifth Stephen Brayshaw, sixth Steve Brewin and seventh Jacek Noetzel of Poland.

And it looks like this group, plus Blair Tuke of New Zealand and Mark Bulka of Australia will be the main title contestants when the World Championship starts on Sunday.

Winner of the Classic fleet national championship was Andrew Landenberger, counting seven wins from the nine races. Landenberger finished six points ahead of Scott Anderson, with Graeme Parker in third place.

 

2018 A-Cat Australian Championship (top 10) – Open Fleet (60 entries)

1st AUS 111 Glenn Ashby – 6 pts

2nd NZL 7 Peter Burling – 18 pts

3rd NED 007 Mischa Heemskerk – 28 pts

4th AUS 88 Darren Bundock – 30 pts

5th AUS 25 Stephen Brayshaw – 31 pts

6th AUS 4 Steven Brewin – 32 pts

7th POL 1 Jacek Noetzel – 43 pts

8th NZL 777 Blair Tuke – 54 pts

9th AUS 16 Mark Bulka – 65 pts

10th AUS 1065 Thomas Johnson – 67 pts

 

2018 A-Cat Australian Championship (top 10) – Classis Fleet (38 entries)

1st AUS 308 Andrew Landenberger – 7 pts

2nd AUS 31 Scott Anderson – 13 pts

3rd AUS 967 Graeme Parker – 30 pts

4th SWE 59 Alberto Farnesi – 33 pts

5th USA 99 Ben Hall – 35 pts

6th AUS 49 Matt Johnson – 55 pts

7th AUS 67 Trevor Brown – 56 pts

8th AUS 27 William Michie – 62 pts

9th AUS 300 Andy Landenberger – 64 pts

10th AUS 984 Leon McNeill – 66 pts

 

Full results available here

 

by Sailweb at sailweb.co.uk

 

Looking ahead to the A Class Worlds

 

A Class World Championship at Hervey Bay Sailing Club

 

Double World Champ NED Mischa Heemskerk © Gordon Upton

 

As the season in Europe slowly draws to a close on what has been for some, another rather frustrating year of too much/too little wind and with most European class associations are looking towards their final regattas of the year, it is now only some four weeks until the World Championships and the Hervey Bay crowd get their Barbies lit.

What awaits them are sandy beaches, tropical weather, warm seas, migrating Humpback Whales, and if the natives sharing posts to my Facebook page is anything to go by – spiders, snakes, jellyfish, sharks and mythical bears dropping from trees, also apparently lie in wait their European and US visitors!

This year, probably due to the location, we are to be graced by more sailing glitterati than we have seen in many years. Now with an entry list of over 100 sailors booked in. But due to the distance and expense, only 19 European and 13 North American sailors are attending this year, however, their presence will most certainly be felt. This is the first time the two fleets are officially being split into the two ‘A’ Cat divisions for a World Championships and are to sail on separate courses.

This was a superb move by IACA, as it has rejuvenated many fleets around the World whose non-foiling sailors had felt rather left out by the foiling revolution overtaking the class since 2015. As a result of this being an open event, a good sized fleet of 43 Classics and 61 Foilers are looking forward to some great racing action on the waters of the Pacific.

 

Former World Champion and Olympic silver Tornado medalist, Scott Anderson – photo © Gordon Upton

 

Former World Champion and Olympic silver Tornado medalist, Scott Anderson, heads up the 27 strong AUS Classic fleet contingent. Alongside him is another Tornado silver winner, Andrew Landenberger, a former European Champion, is one of the sailors who have started a return to the Classic discipline after realizing it can provide much closer racing and one of many who have possibly decided that they really can’t be bothered with mastering the circus skills sometimes required to sail a foiling boat at that level. Chasing them, particularly if the wind gets up, may well be smiling SWE sailor Alberto Farnassi.

 

Tornado silver winner and former European Champion Andrew Landenberger – photo © Event Media

 

The Classics are also honoured by the presence of the two famous and venerable mast-makers in the persons of Piet Saarberg and Ben Hall. Also making up the Classic fleet will be three Kiwis, three more Americans including Bob Webbon, and Bob Orr, an Italian, a Swiss, in the body of IACA President Charles Beush, and a Brit.

Meanwhile over on the foiling course, several big names are vying for the top dog’s spot. Favourite amongst them must surely be Glenn Ashby again, now going for this 10th World title after his victory as the ETNZ America’s Cup skipper. Last seen in a World Championship at Punta Ala in 2015, he was untouchable at the Warnemunde Europeans back in August, and has to always be the man to beat. However, never say never, and things can happen to the best of us, especially in sailing.

 

Glenn Ashby © Gordon Upton

 

Close on his tail will be a gaggle of other top racers. Current and three times World Champ Stevie Brewin will surely be fighting hard to retain his crown. Stevie was away on a somewhat interesting F18 campaign in the summer, so didn’t race in Germany. But he’ll be back now and up for this one. Stevie’s training mate, Glenn’s

Olympic silver medal-winning Tornado teammate, Darren Bundock, will also be hot in pursuit of his former America’s Cup rival. But he’d better keep an eye out for his wife, the Volvo Ocean race winner and multipal Olympic medalist Carolijn Brouwer, who is also no slouch on the ‘A’ cat. Steve Brayshaw, Brad Wicht and Adam Beatie will also be fighting hard.

 

Three times World Champ Stevie Brewin – photo © Event Media

 

Coming over the Tasman Sea to challenge are another couple of America’s Cup sailors in the shapes of NLZ sailors Olympic and World 49er champion, Blair Tuke, and his Olympic 49er teammate and ETNZ winning helm, Peter Burling. They will be also be up against the larconic Kiwi Champ Dave Shaw, who finished 4th at the Sopot Worlds last time. There will also be a European challenge for podium places from Double World Champ NED Mischa Heemskerk.

Former European Champ Bob Baier is coming from Germany. A couple of handy Polish sailors will also be ready to pounce as National champions Jacek Noetzel and Robert Graczyk are coming over. Two French National Champion sailors of Jean-Luc Le Coq and Emmanuel Dode will also be putting of a good show as will the top Swiss sailor Nils Palmieri and ESP sailor Lago Lopez Marra. All are capable of a top ten finishes.

Not forgetting our other North American friends too. Their strong fleet includes their National Champion Bruce Mahoney along with Larry and Andrew Woods and Michael Krantz, who will be fighting for good places too.

Hence we are expecting some hot racing at Hervey Bay in both fleets. Some results may surprise us, other merely confirm our expectations. Whatever happens though, it won’t be boring, especially if those migrating whales arrive in the start area.

Bring it on!

More details on: www.a-cat.org

 

by Gordon Upton

 

SailGP global racing league unveiled

 

Sir Russell Coutts at the SailGP global racing league launch © SailGP

 

SailGP set out to redefine sailing with the launch of its new global racing league: five grand prix events featuring six national teams on identical wing sailed F50s – the world’s fastest, most technologically advanced catamarans.

Spearheaded by Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts, in season one, SailGP will bring intensely competitive, high-speed inshore racing to fans in Sydney; San Francisco; New York; Cowes, UK; and Marseille, France, as world-class crews compete for the championship trophy and a $1 million prize.

Kicking off in February 2019, SailGP’s inaugural season will feature teams representing six countries – Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States. Each five-person crew will race on identical 50-foot foiling catamarans. A new boat class, the F50 is a redesigned, supercharged incarnation of the exceptional AC50 used for the 35th America’s Cup last year. Twelve months in development at the hands of pioneering technicians and engineers at Core Builders Composites in New Zealand, the F50s are expected to break the 50-knot (60mph/100kph) barrier.

“SailGP is the evolution of sailing,” said Ellison, SailGP founder. “With equally incredible technology across our one-design fleet, we expect to see thrillingly close and competitive racing amongst national teams. And, with a modern, consistent format, SailGP will provide a new opportunity for talented sailors who want to race for their countries.”

“SailGP distills all of the most successful, exciting and relevant elements of high-performance, professional racing, while adding the extra edge that comes with nation-versus-nation competition,” said Coutts, SailGP CEO. “We are aiming to be pioneers of new technologies, boat design, commercial partnerships and global audience engagement. But with every crew on the same groundbreaking F50 catamaran, this isn’t a tech arms race, rather the ultimate test to establish the best sailing team in advanced foiling catamarans.”

Sanctioned by World Sailing, each grand prix will comprise two competition days with five fleet races, culminating in a final match race between the two leaders. After SailGP’s Sydney inauguration in February (15-16), the league moves on to San Francisco in May (4-5), New York in June (21-22), and Cowes in August (10-11), before the Marseille final in September (20-22), which features a winner-takes-all, $1 million championship match race between the season’s top two teams to conclude three days of racing.

“World Sailing is thrilled to be working with SailGP to bring a new, exciting and fan-friendly elite racing league to life,” said World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt. “SailGP is an ambitious project that is spearheaded by an incredible forward-thinking leadership team. We’re excited about SailGP’s commitment to innovate and advance the sport forward and by working in partnership, we will aim to inspire millions more people to fall in love with sailing.”

SailGP was created by Ellison and Coutts, who have been instrumental in the commercial development of competitive sailing. The innovative new professional sailing league – featuring an ongoing calendar of premium global racing among national teams in the world’s most advanced catamarans – will engage the next generation of fans and create a pathway for future sailors. SailGP will be a commercially driven sports property, eventually maturing to a franchise model.

Renowned luxury house Louis Vuitton, which partners with the world’s biggest sporting events and packs the most legendary trophies; Oracle, industry-leading global provider of enterprise cloud computing; and Land Rover, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles, join SailGP as founding partners. Additional details and sponsors will be announced at a future date.

With a primary goal of growing global viewership and broadening its fanbase, SailGP’s broadcast plans focus on comprehensive live coverage complemented by centrally produced highlight programs, and cutting-edge screen applications and services. Whisper Films has been appointed as the league’s host broadcast production partner and will play a key role in delivering a personality-driven broadcast utilising patented and leading-edge immersive media technologies, while Talisman Sports and Media is handling global media rights distribution.

The Great Britain SailGP Team was also introduced to home fans during the London launch. Skippered by Rio 2016 Olympian and world champion Dylan Fletcher, Great Britain’s vastly experienced crew includes Olympic bronze medalist Chris Draper as team CEO and wing trimmer, Olympic silver medalist Stuart Bithell as flight controller, and Olympic champion rower Matt Gotrel and Extreme Sailing Series winner Richard Mason as grinders.

“The concept of SailGP immediately excited me,” said Great Britain helmsman Dylan Fletcher. “This league allows us to compete with and against the best, and to challenge ourselves in every way possible while sailing the world’s fastest catamarans. We have the opportunity to push the limits of our sport, and this is a very proud chapter in my career. What Larry and Russell have created is truly unique, and I am confident it will capture the attention of audiences around the world.”

 

About SailGP

SailGP is sailing redefined. Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and San Francisco, SailGP is an annual, global sports league featuring bold, cutting-edge technology and awe-inspiring athleticism. The fan-centric, inshore racing takes place in some of the most iconic harbors around the globe and culminates with a $1 million winner-takes-all match race. Rival national teams from Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States battle it out in identical supercharged F50 catamarans, engineered for intense racing at electrifying speeds exceeding 50 knots (nearly 60 mph/100 kph).

Visit sailgp.com for more information.

 

by SailGP

 

 

Final day of the WASZP Europeans at Lake Garda 

Photo c Marc Ablett

 

The day we had been waiting for all event finally arrived. 15 – 18 knots of Lake Garda goodness rolled in early from the South and it was all to play for with the European Championship on the line.

Tom Trotman from Australia was in a strong position heading into the final day and consolidated with a 1,2,2 scorecard to take the overall event from Bruce Curson of New Zealand who finished with two bullets in the final two races. It will be fantastic to see these guys go head to head again at the WASZP Games in Perth 2019.

The battle for the overall European Championship was much more intense with 17 year old Nicolai Jacobsen holding a slight advantage over French sailor Pierre Leboucher. In the first race of the day Jacobsen put one hand on the trophy by finishing in second place with Leboucher back in fifth. Then in the second race of the day Leboucher was looking really good and chasing hard only to have a sensational crash, picking up a knee injury that all but dashed his championship hopes. Jacobsen then sailed a smart final race to stay out of trouble and take the WASZP European Championship to Norway.

 

Photos c Marc Ablett

 

The racing was extremely tight and as good as you will ever see on such a high performance foiling boat. With the standard lifting with every race completed, it was amazing to see fifteen boats coming into an upwind gate at 20 knots boat speed.

In other categories, Italian sailor Margerhita Porro won the Women’s Championship from six others, while Jacobsen won the Youth division. In the Masters category it was Bruce Curson from New Zealand and in the 6.9 rig it was young Richard Schuilthie from Malta.

The GPS speed challenge was also hotly contested with the top speed of the week coming from Norwegian Erik Karlsen with 22.9 knots recorded on the final day. The fastest speed we have seen at an event is still 26.1 knots set by New Zealander Nick Olsen at the Australian nationals.

It is pretty special to see how the WASZP has grown in the last 12 months in particular. We had five separate heat winners ranging from a 14 year old, a 22 year old, a 37 year old former Olympian and a 42 year old. It would be hard to find a class of boat where people from all walks of life and all ages can compete together on the same race course and all be super-competitive.

The WASZP class is still in its infancy, but one thing is for sure, the culture and atmosphere around the sailors is amazing. Everyone is willing to help each other and after racing in the rigging area or in the bar the vibe is amazing. The future is certainly a bright on for the WASZP.

www.waszp.com

 

Day 3 WASZP Europeans – The battle is on

 

 

The WASZP European Championships headed to Day 3 with much optimism, the fleet launched at 8:30 am for a 9am start, due to not much action over the first 2 days. The northerly was starting to really funnel in with around 15 knots on the race course.

The start was amazing with 63 WASZP’s all hitting the line at the same time. Norwegian sailor Henrick Haaland had a sensational start in the middle of the line and showed good speed. However by the top mark it was a full on assault from the sailors from down under with Tom Trotman, Jack Abbott, Andrew (Amac) McDougall from Australia and Bruce Curson from New Zealand taking the lead.

Down the run Amac took a low road while the rest stayed up high and were full noise down the first run. Alexander Hoghiem-Dahl was showing some serious wheels posting 21.9 knots in the GPS speed challenge.

Trotman managed to hold on down the second run to fend off Curson by 5 seconds at the finish. Ex-49er sailor Rory Hunter from GBR had a sensational final lap to roar into 3rd place and put the pressure on the overall leaders.

 

 

As the Northerly died everyone headed in for a bite to eat and waited for the Southerly to arrive. It finally drifted in at 2pm and the fleet launched for a 2:30 pm start. Finally the conditions we came for. Tom Trotman led from start to finish in race 3 and won in emphatic fashion from Nicolai Jacobsen who has produced a seriously consistent series to be the first European with one day remaining.

In Race 4 New Zealander Bruce Curson jumped the fleet to lead for the first lap, only for a shift to claim a few of the leaders. Former 470 Olympian Pierre Leboucher from France showed a clean pair of heals to claim victory in Race 4. The French team have improved immensely and are the top performing European nation as we speak.

Race 5 was sailed in around 8 – 14knots, conditions which has typified this series. Again the start was hot and all the key performers were there. This time it was Jacobsen from Norway and Festino from France who were in a battle for the lead. Again a massive shuffle in places up the final work provided some serious entertainment for the spectators. With Trotman powering from 6th to 1st and hold the lead to the finish line.

Overall it is Trotman leading from Curson with leading European entrant Nicolai  Jacobsen in 3rd with Leboucher not far behind. It is all to play for on the final day of the WASZP European Championships.

Overall it was sensational to finally get our event started with a full day of racing, the competitors are tired, but ready to do it all again tomorrow!

 

Day 2 of the Waszp Europeans – It’s not normally like this!

 

 

When have you ever heard this before? “It’s not normally like this here”.

After day 1 not having a breath of wind, day 2 looked to be very promising. With the Northerly dying early and the temperature at 30 degrees, it was set to be an amazing day on the water. However the breeze never quite filled in to the required pressure for consistent foiling, hovering between 6 – 9 knots. It did however provide a different element to WASZP racing.

Since last year the standard has improved quite considerably and the French team burst out of the blocks with Manu Taine leading at the first mark. He was closely followed by fellow countryman Pierre Leboucher, whilst the local Italian sailors from the newly formed Italian WASZP Association, Tommy Ciaglia and Margherita Porro, showed fantastic light air polish to be entrenched in the top six.

 

 

As the breeze got softer and softer, it became a battle of whether or not to try and foil. Bruce Curson of New Zealand made the call early to not foil and it paid off, moving from high teens at the first mark to 4th place overall. Australian’s Tom Trotman and Andrew McDougall did a fantastic job of hanging in there as the breeze faded.

Then the ‘play of the day’ came when Nicolai Jacobsen rounded in 7th place for the final time and popped onto the foils. The Norwegian young gun fired down the run on the puff of the day to hit the lead from Tommy Ciaglia only to fall off the foils on the final gybe to let the young Italian through for the win followed by Manu Taine and Jacobsen who slipped to 3rd.

Top speed of the day on a slow day was by Alexander Hogheim-Dahl, who posted an impressive 16.1 knots in no more than 10 knots of windspeed.

In the evening the WASZP party was held in the town of Malcesine, with team GBR again impressing with their performances off the water.

Today looks to be a much better day with 2 races planned for the morning and 3 races in the afternoon. Hopefully Lake Garda returns to its very best.

by Jonny Fullerton on behalf of the WASZP class

 

 

Waszps grounded on day 1 of Europeans

 

No racing on Day 1 of the WASZP Europeans, but Paul Goodison turned up to give them all some tips for when the wind does arrive.

Over 60 WASZP’s have entered the event at Fraglia Vela Malcesine on Lake Garda in Italy, taking place from 28 June – 1 July.

WASZP European Championships ready to take flight

 

 

From June 28th – July 1st  the largest ever fleet of WASZP’s will assemble at Lake Garda in Italy. The European Championships held at Fraglia Vela Malcesine has been met with a high level of excitement and anticipation by competitors and supporters.

Over 60 WASZP’s have entered the event with anticipation high for the most competitive WASZP event held so far. With lots of interest in the Perth 2019 WASZP Games and many teams taking advantage of the sensational conditions on Lake Garda, the standard will most certainly be high.

Two days out from the event over 50 boats are in the rigging area training and tuning their WASZP’s, taking advantage of class creator Andrew McDougall’s experience as well as chatting with other sailors about technique and tuning.

 

The training camp has commenced with 32 sailors enjoying the advice of coaches from Australia and Norway with a genuine willingness to share information and help others, a feature of the WASZP class which is now becoming engrained in the class culture.

The age demographic is well spread with a group of kids aged 13 – 17 years, a bunch of sailors coming back into the sport aged 23 – 35 years, and a group of masters loving the foiling challenge and the battles within the fleet. This has all created the perfect cocktail of atmosphere amongst the fleet.

 

 

This year’s programme will consist of Championship Racing (up to 3 races per day) and a Slalom event that will be run around the Championship Racing. This will provide the perfect spectacle for the class, racing right in front of Fraglia Malcesine and a large spectator contingent. The colour the WASZP provides is a fantastic contrast against the water and mountains around Lake Garda.

The European contingent will be led by French sailor Pierre Leboucher, a former 470 Olympian, whilst Marcal Costa racing for Spain, the brother of last year’s European Champion Joan Costa. Marcal has no doubt gained some vital information from his brother. The Norwegian fleet has improved significantly and has run a very slick campaign, the kids with another year of WASZP sailing under their belt will be looking to hit the top of the leaderboard. The UK is sporting the greatest number of competitors from a nation with 14 entries and has many young guns amongst them, as well as many families embracing a week of Italian lifestyle.

Joining the 10 European nations will be 3 Australian’s and 1 New Zealander, who have made the trip to Italy to begin their preparations for Perth 2019.

Tom Trotman heads up the Australian charge having placed 3rd at the Aussie Nationals and 4th at the Pacific Games. He has the runs on the board and is looking to improve. Jack Abbott having experienced last years WASZP Games at Campione, is back again fresh off a 5th placing at the Aussie Nationals. Both are keen to test themselves against Europe’s best and entice their European counterparts to compete in Perth’s home waters in 2019.

Lastly, Bruce Curson has made the trip from New Zealand fresh off winning the New Zealand Nationals and a 3rd place at the Pacific Championships, he is primed for a good result.

 

 

 

The Sub Divisions will be well contested, with 24 sailors racing in the Youth Division. (under 18 years). It will be extremely tight and no doubt the kids are looking for bragging rights over their mates by being the best youth foiler in Europe. Nicolai Jacobsen from Norway will be leading this charge with great performances in the recent WASZP Cup Norway events. 13 sailors including Andrew MacDougall (AMac), will be contesting the Master over 40 division and 6 females will be racing which is sensational for the class and shows how diverse and accessible the class is. The last division will be the 6.9m division which will be hotly contested by around 12 – 15 sailors showing the future of the WASZP class!

Racing begins on the 28th of June.

 

Stay tuned via the following links:

EVENT ENTRIES

FACEBOOK

YOUTUBE

 

by Jonny Fullerton on behalf of the WASZP class

 

 

Easy To Fly at the Foiling Week Garda

 

For the first time since its launch, the Easy To Fly (ETF) Class will attend the Garda Foiling Week! The monotype foiling catamaran was created by French skipper Jean-Pierre Dick.

Designed by naval architect Guillaume Verdier, winning designer of the last America’s Cup, the ETF was conceived to fly with 8 knots of wind and with 3 crew members on board.  Launched at the end of 2016, ETF currently sails on European waters with, 4 boats in Switzerland, 2 in Germany, one in Denmark and one in France.

The ETF has a European Championship consisting of 5 qualifying races: the ETF Series 2018. The Garda Foiling Week will be the 4th stage and promises to be a hard battle for the podium amongst the participants, separated only by 7 points.

Jean-Pierre Dick says,

“I am very happy to attend the Garda Foiling Week. Lake Garda is a hot spot for foilers and a breathtaking sailing scenery.

I imagined a human-sized flying catamaran, in between a dinghy and an extreme, in order to provide non-professional teams with the adrenaline of flying.

This year we are rolling out the ETF Series, it is an important step towards the creation of a dynamic class and we are happy Garda Foiling Week is part of it.”

 

The ETF presents at the Garda Foiling Week 2018:

Luna (SUI) / Skipper : Guillaume Girod

Tixwave (SUI) / Skipper : Bernard Vananty

Cool Runnings (DEN) / Skipper : Thorlikd Junker

ABC Arbitrage – Ville de Nice / Skipper (FRA) : Jean-Pierre Dick

 

Rankings of the ETF Series after 3 qualifying races:

1 Luna (SUI): 7 points

2 ABC Aribitrage – Ville de Nice (FRA) : 7 points

3 Tixwave (SUI) : 8 points

4 Cool Runnings (DEN) : 9 points

5 Ste – Catherine (GER) : 14 points

 

ETF Series 2018 : 5 qualifying races in Europe

1 Grand Prix de Nice (FRA) : May 1st-6th

2 Grand Prix de Suisse (SUI): May 31st June 2nd

3 Bol d’Or Mirabaud (SUI) : June 9th

4 Garda Foiling Week (ITA) : June 28th July 1st

5 Martinique Flying Regatta (Fort de France) : November 17th – 24th

 

 

Specifications:

Concept : Jean-Pierre Dick

Architect : Guillaume Verdier

 

Jean-Pierre Dick

After 16 years sailing the world’s seas and taking part in 4 single-handed round the world races, Jean-Pierre Dick has clocked up 6 wins in the IMOCA class. He is the only record-holder for the number of wins in the Transat Jacques Vabre, 4, the most recent in 2017 with Yann Eliès. In November 2017, he decided to change his boat to fly on the Easy To Fly.

 

His main wins :

2 Barcelona World Races:

•2008 with Damien Foxall

•2011 with Loïck Peyron **

4 Transat Jacques Vabre races:

•2003 with Loïck Peyron

•2005 with Nicolas Abiven

•2011 with Jérémie Beyou

•2017 with Yann Eliès

 

Technical Specifications:

Hull length: 8,10 m / 26.6 ft

Beam: 4,30 m / 14.10 ‘

Mast height: 13.70 m / 44’

Draught: 1.20 m / 3.93’

Weight (with sails): 350 kg / 717 lbs

Main sail: 29,5 m²

Jib: 11 m²

Code 0: 26,5 m²

Gennaker: 49,5 m²

Max Speed: 35 knots

 

More info on Foiling Week, entries for the races and booking for activities at

foilingweek.com/garda-2018/

 

 

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