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
Concept : Jean-Pierre Dick
Architect : Guillaume Verdier
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
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
Team Tilt – © Pedro Martinez / GC32 World Championship
On Lake Garda, the Schneiter family’s Team Tilt, managed by father Alex and steered by Olympic 49er sailor son Sébastien, was crowned first ever GC32 World Champion. Apart from a brief falter in the final race, the Swiss team over three days never finished a race lower than fourth, despite tricky conditions, a variety of race courses and wind strengths that Lake Garda threw at the 13 teams.
In the same year as they finished second overall on the GC32 Racing Tour in 2016, Sébastien Schneiter competed in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and last year skippered the Swiss team in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. The young Team Tilt crew returned to GC32 sailing here with maturity.
“We had great team work – it worked really well on board – and short, but good preparation for this event,” explained Schneiter.
“We definitely learned a lot from the Youth America’s Cup. Here we managed to sail fast while staying calm.”
Team Tilt’s performance was all the more remarkable following a disastrous opening day that left them lying 11th overall.
“We were unlucky and we didn’t sail that well,” Schneiter admitted.
“We knew we were much better than that – we were just keen to keep racing to improve our ranking.” Incredibly, the Swiss team turned this around in just one day, leading at the end of day two.
While this was Schneiter’s first World title, this was far from the case with tactician/mainsheet trimmer Glenn Ashby, winning skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand’s in last year’s America’s Cup for whom this is his 17th World Championship title, and his first in a crew larger than two. Ashby was previously part of the Team Tilt crew in 2016.
Team Tilt also claimed the Anonimo Speed Challenge recording the highest average speed of 22.25 knots down the two reach/gybe course. This won them an Anonimo Nautilo GC32 Edition timepiece, to go with the Anonimo Nautilo Bi Color Bronze they claimed for their Championship victory.
On the final day, proceedings got underway early with one race held at 0830hrs in the northerly ‘Peler’ before competitors were sent ashore to wait for the southerly ‘Ora’ to build. After this three more races were held. Winning this morning’s race had put Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Køstner’s SAP Extreme Sailing Team into the lead, but deep results in the last two races caused the Danish team to finish second by eight points. Oman Air completed the podium a further 11 points back.
Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi had a mixed day but good enough to secure fourth, albeit tied on points with Ineos Rebels UK. Bertarelli was also the run-away leader in the Owner Driver Championship, finishing on 88 points to the 129 of Jason Carroll’s second placed Argo.
Ernesto Bertarelli and Alinghi dominated the owner-driver class – photo © Pedro Martinez / GC32 World Championship
Bertarelli praised the race committee for managing to get in 16 races and was proud that a Swiss team had claimed the title.
Ineos Rebels UK had a better day that caused them to gain a place on the leaderboard. Helmsman Leigh McMillan deftly threaded their black GC32 through the fleet to start on port at the committee boat three times and twice this resulted in podium finishes.
Of this first GC32 World Championship, GC32 International Class President Simon Delzoppo, skipper of.film Racing said: “It has been fantastic. We have had a wonderful event. Seeing all the boats together – it has been a great competition with lots of races in varying conditions, light conditions and winds up to 18 knots. It has been fantastic to test all the crews out in different ranges that Garda has to offer. Team Tilt was very consistent – they fought back many times and were always near the lead. They did a fantastic job.”
GC32 World Championship – Final Positions
1st Team Tilt 60 pts
2nd SAP Extreme Sailing Team 68 pts
3rd Oman Air 79 pts
4th Alinghi 88 pts
5th INEOS Rebels UK 88 pts
6th NORAUTO 94 pts
7th Red Bull Sailing Team 111 pts
8th Realteam 129 pts
9th Argo 129 pts
10th Frank Racing 135 pts
11th Zoulou 135 pts
12th Team México 172 pts
13th .film Racing 179 pts
tech2 and Kleenmaid had a great round of the SuperFoiler Grand Prix in Busselton. – photo © Andrea Francolini
Two West Australian skippers have steered their teams to the podium in their home regatta with Perth’s Luke Parkinson (tech2) and Steve Thomas (Pavement) climbing onto the Busselton dais alongside Kleenmaid. tech2 secured a third victory of the regatta to claim the outright win by the slenderest of margins over Pavement.
“I loved the opportunity to be back sailing in WA over the weekend. We had a full range of conditions and this win puts us in great shape for the final in Sydney,” said Busselton’s victorious skipper Luke Parkinson – who thrust tech2 to the top for the very first time.
“It has been a pleasure to sail in such a beautiful location, extremely tight racing it went all the way to the last run of the last race. I am really excited for the Grand Final in Sydney,” said tech2’s mainsheet hand Ayden Menzies.
In what was the most hotly contested regatta to date, Pavement finished four points behind in second.
“Pretty cool for WA to get on top at the home venue. I guess we had a lot of local knowledge,” said Pavement skipper and second on the podium Steve Thomas, “We were stoked to get second – it was a really close race between us and Kleenmaid.”
The regatta also witnessed the breakthrough podium for Olivia Price, Harry Morton and Josh McKnight – who missed out on claiming overall points by just one win. “As a team we’ve been playing the long game, slowly developing our techniques with Sydney being the end goal so this was a really important regatta for us to peak at,” said Kleenmaid mainsheet hand Josh McKnight.
The wash-up is Euroflex’s stranglehold on the championship has slipped after her last placed finish, although her star crew of Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen and Glenn Ashby still hold a two-point lead over tech2. It sets up a thrilling climax to the opening series with the Expr3ss! SuperFoiler Grand Final – Sydney from 23 to 25 March, 2018, to decide the first winner of the Ben Lexcen Trophy.
Euroflex – 19 pts
Tech2 – 17 pts
Pavement – 16 pts
Record Point – 12 pts
iD Intranet – 11 pts
Kleenmaid – 10 pts
Red Bull Foiling Generation Regatta in Auckland – Feb 23 – 25
The brainchild of double Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, Red Bull Foiling Generation seeks the world’s best young sailors to learn and compete in the next wave of sailing: high-speed foiling catamarans. The champions crowned in France, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and the USA will go on to represent their countries in November’s World Final in Miami, USA.
After getting off to a flying start in 2015 and 2016, Red Bull Foiling Generation is back to discover the globes top youth sailors. Developed by sports directors Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, the series gives wings to talented sailors aged 16-20 by introducing them to the type of cutting-edge foiling technology used in the last America’s Cup.
Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour will host the second stop of the 2017/2018 World Series, being held this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Feb 23 – 25) at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
RNZYS Youth Training Programme and RNZYS Performance Programme sailors competing include: Nick Egnot-Johnson, Josh Wijohn, Taylor Balogh, James Wilson, Jordan Stevenson, Celia Willison, Charlotte Porter, George Angus and Mitch Jackson.
Olivia Mackay from Auckland, helmed New Zealand to win the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final in 2016 and has gone on to helm a wildcard boat in the Extreme Sailing Series, and at least 40 previous participants of Foiling Generation are currently in Olympic-class programs for Tokyo 2020.
This week, a new crop of future New Zealand sailing stars have their own chance to shine. Mackay will play coach on-site to New Zealand’s 2018 competitors.
“Phantoms are like no other boat, high paced and loose, it was two of the best regattas I’ve ever competed in.” says Olivia Mackay.
“Getting the opportunity at a world final is always a fun challenge, but in these boats, with this style of racing, it was an absolutely epic experience and a great feeling to represent NZ.”
The City of Sails will see 16 teams of two undergo the Qualification Rounds this Friday Feb 23, followed by Repechage Rounds on Saturday and the Semi Finals and Finals on Sunday.
At each of the national championship events, Red Bull Foiling Generation provides the boats and expert coaching. Each team will race the innovative Flying Phantom, a spectacular multihull catamaran capable of reaching speeds up to 35 knots (nearly 40mph).
All participants gain invaluable experience, as they are coached by Steinacher and Hagara in taking on the demanding challenge of foiling. The Austrian legends are also the masterminds behind the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, where victorious skipper Peter Burling learned skills that helped him to win the 2017 America’s Cup at the helm of Emirates Team New Zealand.
“I always say that it’s like in motorsport: young people start in karts and they keep moving up toward Formula 1,” Hagara explains. “We want to give these sailors a chance to showcase their skills.”
view video teaser here:
Friday Feb 23 – Qualification Rounds
Saturday Feb 24 – Repechage Rounds
Sunday Feb 25 – Semi Finals & Finals
Red Bull Foiling Generation Race Calendar
The race calendar continues in 2018, for a total of six global stops before the climax of November’s World Final: held in Miami, Florida, USA.
25 – 27 October 2017 – La Baule, France
23 – 25 February 2018 – Auckland, New Zealand
29 June – 1 July 2018 – The Hague, Netherlands
13 – 15 July 2018 – Geneva, Switzerland
10 – 12 August 2018 – Achensee, Austria
9 – 11 November 2018 – Miami, Florida, USA
16 – 18 November 2018 – World Final, Miami, Florida, USA
Clean sweep of the event for the Dream Team on Euroflex © Andrea Francolini
The first ever leg of the SuperFoiler Grand Prix has been claimed in emphatic fashion by Euroflex, with iD Intranet and Pavement on the podium. The star-studded Euroflex crew of Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen and Glenn Ashby showed their superiority by claiming victory in all seven races on Adelaide’s Outer Harbour – taking the maximum points into the next regatta.
“Everyone has been on a steep learning curves these last couple of days and the race in Geelong is going to be a next level challenge,” said Euroflex’s Glenn Ashby.
The America’s Cup trio, who boast 24 world championships between them, were tested in the final race of the three-day regatta and trailed iD Intranet for the second time in as many days. But ultimately the class of Euroflex emerged, as they leapfrogged their way to victory.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the tight flat water venue in Adelaide, the hospitality and the weather, it has all been sensational.”
Record Point, who had a capsize on Saturday, continued their difficult run at the regatta after Tom Clout went overboard in the final race of the regatta.
“He clipped his leg on the rudder on the way through which is really not what you want to be doing, a little bit unlucky and not how we wanted to be finishing the event with one man down,” said Record Point’s Phil Robertson.
Clout, an experienced offshore sailor was recovered and continued racing. Leaving Record Point’s kiwi skipper promising to challenge again once racing lights up Victoria.
“We are just not getting it right now. We are not getting it synced up,” said Robertson, “We are fighters so we will be back.”
Euroflex netted 6 points from the Grand Prix Regatta, iD five, Pavement 4, Kleenmaid 3, Record Point 2 and tech2 1 heading into the second leg in Geelong.
This is what happened to tech2 on Saturday:
This was practice on Thursday:
The SuperFoiler Grand Prix is contested over five weekends at five iconic marine locations across Australia (South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales) from February 2018.
The first regatta was held on Adelaide’s Outer Harbour from February 2- 4. The Summer series will see the best sailors from around the world compete onboard six SuperFoiler’s for the Ben Lexcen Trophy.
Live-streaming will continue next week on Saturday and Sunday when the racing heads to Geelong at www.superfoiler.com
RNZYS to host the 2018 Red Bull Foiling Generation 2018 New Zealand © RNZYS
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is set to host the 2018 Red Bull Foiling Generation 2018 New Zealand, which will take place from the 22nd to the 25th February 2018.
Red Bull Foiling Generation provides talented young sailors aged 16 – 20 the opportunity to advance their careers through elite hydrofoil racing. The seven-stop series serves as a great training foundation for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, which caters to competitors aged 19-25.
In 2016 the RNZYS hosted New Zealand’s first Red Bull Foiling Generation, and the first stop of the 2016 World Series. Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson’s new-found foiling talent was undeniable on the Waitemata Harbour, as they took out the New Zealand competition, eventually going on to take the overall 2016 Foiling World Championship in Newport, USA.
The RNZYS looks forward to hosting this fantastic event in February and cannot wait to unleash another batch of fresh foiling talent onto the world stage.
How to enter
A maximum of 16 Teams shall be accepted for the event with the final selection of teams to be made by 15th January 2018.
Teams or individuals may apply online here: www.rnzys.org.nz/sailing-events/red-bull-foiling-generation-2018
by Andrew Delves
Article reproduced from Catamaran Racing – News and Design – www.catsailingnews.com
Renders & Text sent by Viktor Brejcha, who was part of the design team for the inshore Foiler proposal by Schickler-Tagliapietra / www.styacht.com. I remember asking Paul Larsen on the future of sailing and told me how he he was literally flying over the water, not in the terms we see today with modern foilers but literally flying with only mms of Vestas Rocket foils. Check that interview here.
Below comments from Viktor Brejcha on the ST VOR Foiler
“The ST Foiler project was originated back in mid 2015, with some our of the box thinking. we asked ourselves: “forsee the evolution of foiling sailing multihull design will have a parallel track to aircraft design?” & “what can be learned from the evolution of powered hydrofoil boats?” As a partnership between a naval architect and an aerospace engineer, it was a fruitful thought experiment. We knew that a containerized short course racing machine which could exploit the full potential of hydrodynamics to foil early and often, would be attractive. Both the economics and safety of existing and proposed cat designs left room for improvement.
The concept was developed internally in this way and eventually discussed in the Yacht Racing Forum in Malta. The core ideas: canard arrangement, no movement of crew and use of flapped T foils.
Each idea had implications, with their pros & cons. Some of the finest minds at the heart of multihull racing could see the potential. But it was still just a concept. When VOR went looking for proposals for their inshore racer , we knew it was time to go for it.
The concept was fleshed out with additional design hours, VPP work, styling, ergonomics, and flight stability simulations. Ideas were rejected, rethought or if they could not be topped, folded into the project. The result is exciting and coherent in its design choices.
We received rave reviews from VOR, but their fight against the calendar prevented the continuation to a build program”.
Link to the PDF presentation: here
Vote on Foiling Week Award 2017: foilingweek.com/pages/season-2017/foiling-week-awards-2017/nominations-for-foiling-awards-2017-are-open/
Article reproduced from Catamaran Racing – News and Design
GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup
An unforced error caused victory to slip through the fingers of Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco on the final day of the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup, leaving the Swiss Realteam to claim their second event win on the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour.
While summery conditions initially gave way to an overcast sky and rain, out on the Bay of Calvi it was the most stable day with 15-20 knot winds. This enabled one round of the Amonimo Speed Challenge and five races with reaching starts to be held.
In the Anonimo Speed Challenge, it was Jason Carroll’s Argo which made the fastest run today with an average speed of 21.21 knots for the two reaching legs and the gybe between.
“Finally!” exclaimed Argo helmsman Anthony Kotoun. “Yesterday we did a bad one, but today it was good. So yahoo!” As to why they won, Kotoun confided: “This was the first time we have successfully even got close to pulling off a foiling gybe at the mark. And we have won a watch! It’s great to have Anonimo as a sponsor of the Tour.”
Crews and spectators alike today were pleased the race committee was able to set up America’s Cup-style courses with reaching starts/finishes. As the wind piped up to 20 knot for the fourth race, the start became even more of a high-octane affair. Once again the Bay of Calvi’s fish farm formed an obstacle on the left side of the race track forcing boats that went this side to reach into the leeward gate at warp factor. On Argo they hit 36 knots.
Followed her Anonimo Speed Challenge victory, Argo was also firing on all cylinders initially in the fleet racing and posted two bullets in the first two races.
“We got back to our old rhythm and had good communication and good boat handling,” said Kotoun.
Unfortunately, in the third race there was a disaster for Pierre Casiraghi’s Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco as they rounded the weather mark. As Casiraghi explained: “I hit the mark and hooked the rudder and that’s about it…” The starboard rudder ripped off the transom, forcing the Monegasque to retire from the remaining races. “It was just bad driving,” Casiraghi continued.
“The guys did a great job this week. I am sorry for them because they sailed really well.” The regatta had been Malizia’s to lose, starting the final day with a 14 point lead.
With this, the stakes were raised and the two-way fight for second between Realteam and Argo became a battle for the lead. Initially this went Argo’s way, but Realteam winning races three and four, left the Swiss holding a tenuous one-point lead going into the final, deciding race.
“They were just one point behind us, so the boat that won would come out on top,” explained Swiss skipper Jérôme Clerc. “We made a good start and we were ahead at the first gybe, so then we just had to match them.” This they successfully managed, with Argo overhauling Sébastien Rogues’ Team Engie on the final beat to claim second. As a result Realteam, the team founded by Esteban Garcia, claimed the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup by two slender points.
“We were checking where they were,” said Clerc. “We knew we had the chance to do some good races in the strong wind. In fact, we didn’t make great starts but we did manoeuvre well and the team did a good job. It is cool, a great fight with Argo. Now – we are now looking where we stand in the Championship.”
Going into the final event of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour, Marseille One Design, Realteam holds a two-point lead over Argo.
On this occasion, it was Naofumi Kamei’s Mamma Aiuto! that claimed the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup owner-driver prize. Incredibly there are now three teams – Argo, Mamma Aiuto! and Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco all tied on points in the 2017 season Owner Driver Championship going into the last event of the season: Marseille One Design will take place over 12-15 October.
Get the very latest news on the GC32 Racing Tour from:
GC32 Orizza Corsica Cup on the bay of Calvi
Calvi was not making it easy for race officials on the penultimate day of the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup. With the wind blowing 20+ knots in the morning and into the afternoon on the Bay of Calvi, the foiling catamarans were kept ashore until 1530 hrs. Their arrival on the race course then coincided with the wind simply vanishing. Fortunately, patience paid off and finally a light westerly wind filled in, albeit under an overcast sky, enough to complete one round of the Challenge and two windward-leeward races.
The Anonimo Speed Challenge was sailed as usual with guests perched on the front netting of the GC32s and comprised two reaches punctuated by a gybe in between. Despite the sub -10-knot conditions, the nimble GC32s still all put in average speeds of 15+ knots with the Jérôme Clerc-skippered Realteam recording the highest at 18.38 knots, a fraction speedier than Simon Delzoppo’s .film Racing on 18.25.
“I am happy we are the winner of the Anonimo Speed Challenge today,” said Clerc. “It wasn’t the fastest we’ve done because the wind was light, but we managed to fly with the gennaker, so I hope the guests also had some fun. I hope we win the watch!” The skipper of the boat that records the fastest time over the four days of the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup will receive an Anonimo Nautilo watch.
In the fleet racing, .film Racing was also the top scoring boat of the day posting a 1-2, finally breaking Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco’s winning streak. In fact, the Monaco team was unfortunate, as on the final run they came close to falling into a hole on the wrong side of a fish farm, that formed an obstruction on the left side of the course. Noticing this, they had to return upwind to sail around the obstruction, and this enabled .film Racing to gybe early and take the lead.
“We love that fish farm!” quipped .film Racing’s Australian skipper, Simon Delzoppo. “We did plan that – the guys did a good job of picking where the breeze was and the holes in the breeze. We knew if we got out there we’d be sailing into the breeze and so we did. The most important thing today was that it was patchy and you just had to have a real good look at where the wind was. Leigh [McMillan] and Ed [Powys] did a great job at that.”
For race two Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco was back to her winning ways. Pierre Casiraghi returned to the helm of the Monegasque GC32 today, with Sébastien Col back on main sheet. “We had a good start and led the fleet quite early,” said Casiraghi of the second race. “The Australians had to bear off because of the fish farm and the guys on the right had less wind. So it was a good decision and then it was just a case of controlling the fleet and sailing smoothly.”
Casiraghi rejoined his boat today came after his team managed to score five wins from five races yesterday. “There was a bit of pressure after yesterday,” he admitted. “But the boat is going great and the team is good. I am really happy to be back. Tomorrow there could be quite a few races and we’ll try not to come last! Our team is well prepared, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
For the final day of the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup tomorrow, the first warning signal has been brought forward to 1100 hrs CET. The intention is to hold two more rounds of the Anonimo Speed Challenge followed by up to five races. The day will conclude with a prizegiving at 1700 hrs CET.
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5 bullet day for Malizia – Photos © Jesus Renedo / GC32 Racing Tour
GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup at Calvi
The silver flash, that is the GC32 foiling catamaran Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco, put in an extraordinary performance, posting a perfect scoreline on day two of the GC32 Orezza Corsica Cup on the Bay of Calvi, despite ultra-tricky conditions.
While the forecast indicated strong wind and big seas, more marginal than on day one, a smart call by the race management team in getting the boats racing three and a half hours earlier than scheduled, paid off. This enabled five windward-leeward races to be sailed, without yesterday’s big swell, but in winds that ranged from 10-25 knots, at times with significant shifts. It was a day when making calls about the correct side was as vital as crew work, adapting sail choice to wind strength.
Former America’s Cup skipper Sebastien Col, who helmed Pierre Casiraghi’s Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco today and yesterday, said: “I think in the first two races we sailed well, better than the rest of the fleet, and probably getting a bit of luck with a few shifts – but you needed that to win races, because the wind was so shifty. Then by the third race, our confidence had built. Everything was working very well on board.” Calling tactics on board has been young British former Olympic and Figaro sailor, Richard Mason.
To score five wins from five races was exceptional, especially as the Monaco crew did not have it all their own way. The first race, for example, belonged to Naofumi Kamei’s Mamma Aiuto! until the Japanese team fell into a hole in the middle of the race course on the final run, enabling Malizia to blaze into the lead and take the gun. In the breezy third race Mamma Aiuto! again had the bit between her teeth, finishing close behind Malizia, but again not taking the bullet.
In today’s fourth race, it was the turn of Simon Delzoppo’s new team, .film Racing, to enjoy her share of the limelight briefly. She was well ahead at the first top mark and down the run but was forced into a gybe at the leeward gate by Malizia, for which her crew, that includes 2015 GC32 Racing Tour winner Leigh McMillan, was unprepared. The Australian GC32 looked certain to capsize, but a miracle caused them to come back from the brink.
“We all managed to hang on pretty well,” said Delzoppo. “I was steering with my feet up in the air, but I steered all the way through, and then we managed to dump the main and did a bear away. It was pretty exciting.”
This incident was equally exciting for Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco as they were trying to roll around the Aussie team at the gate mark. As Sébastien Col explained: “Initially I thought they were going to capsize on top of us so I went inside them. But then they didn’t capsize!” So [risking that Malizia’s weather hull would land on top of them] I said ‘we have to go fast here!’ It was a tricky moment.”
While Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco has disappeared into the top spot of the leaderboard on 11 points, behind, it is very close with Jason Carroll’s Argo in second and just six points separating second from fourth place.
Morgan Larson, who sailed Alinghi to second place on the GC32 Racing Tour in 2015, is back crewing on board Argo here in Calvi.
“There were a couple of hair-raising moments, but it was a good day. The guys did a good job, making up with my deficit in boat handling. The boat really requires good skills throughout the whole team, because when you do little things wrong it looks really bad. We had a small problem with the sail unfurling in a puff upwind by accident. It feels like you’re making mistakes all day long and giving up points, but the reality is everybody is. It’s very competitive sailing, great to be back.”
Tomorrow conditions are forecast to be more regular in the afternoon when 15-18 knots are forecast. The aim is to return to the schedule with a first warning signal at 1230 for two rounds of the Anonimo Speed Challenge followed by racing with reaching starts.
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