Foiling Regattas

Armin Strom Sailing Team blitzes final

 

GC32s Cowes sdb

Photos © Sander van der Borch

 

Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour Cowes Cup – Overall

 

 

Westerly breeze pumping in at 20 knots and a lively sea on the Western Solent brought racing alive for the final day of competition at the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour’s Cowes Cup.

In the conditions, the five GC32s were able to foil not only on the downwind legs, but occasionally upwind too. Blasting off down the reaching leg after the starts and on to the runs, boat speeds on the one design flying machines at times reached the high 30s.

Most teams had hair-raising moments, the boats either launching or burying if they unintentionally came off their foils. However the Martin Fischer-designed catamarans looked after their crews and, despite the lively conditions, there were no un-toward incidents.

While the racing was close over the first two days of competition, Armin Strom Sailing Team was the form boat. Swiss Olympic Star sailor Flavio Marazzi and his crew relished the big conditions, winning four of the day’s five races, aiding Armin Strom Sailing Team to win the Bullitt GC32 Cowes Cup by nine points.

“It was very nice – much more fun than sailing in under five knots!” observed Marazzi, who has also won windy GC32 regattas in Marseille and Key West.

 

GC32s Cowes fleet sdb

 

In his role as GC32 Class President, Marazzi was pleased with the Cowes Cup, the second stage of the inaugural Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour. “The owners had fun on the water in perfect conditions and the hospitality boat was always full of guests.” The event was the first time corporate guests in the UK, including those from the GC32 circuit’s Reading-based sponsor Bullitt Group, were able to experience first hand what it is like to race on a state of the art catamaran, similar to those used in the America’s Cup, that foil and can sail at nearly 40 knots.

Sultanate of Oman relinquished its grip on the regatta’s lead, partly due to skipper Leigh McMillan breaking his hand in the previous day’s final race. Taking his place was another two time Extreme Sailing Series winner, Paul Campbell-James, currently with the Ben Ainslie Racing America’s Cup challenge.

‘C-J’ approached the GC32 as if it were an AC45 and attempted to sail the smaller one design foiling catamaran in the big conditions without a gennaker. “It was a bit frustrating for us,” admitted mainsheet trimmer Peter Greenhalgh. “To make that work you had to go really quick, which is fairly brutal on the crew…and it is not as stable without the kite.” Sultanate of Oman at one point hit 36 knots.

For the third race the gennaker was being used again, but it wasn’t properly set up and in the third race Sultanate of Oman had been comfortably leading when, as Greenhalgh put it, they were “anihilated’ after they furled the large downwind sail prematurely, dropping them to fourth. By the last race, they had lost touch with Armin Strom Sailing Team and a problem with a winch forced them to retire.

Going into the final race all that was left to be decided was the final spot on the podium with Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi and Seb Rogues’ Engie tied on points. Ultimately the two time America’s Cup winner prevailed, Bertarelli stepping ashore still pumped from a vigorous day on the water.

Nonetheless Rogues was pleased with his team’s performance. “It was really good fun. The conditions were strong and it was the first time for me to do a race in that sort of wind. I was happy because we didn’t capsize!” The Frenchman only transferring to the GC32 class from the shorthanded offshore Class40 monohull in September and he still considers himself a multihull newbie. “These aren’t cruising catamarans – it is a crazy horse!” he declared of the GC32s.

Conditions took their toll on Engie with some minor breakages such as the outhaul on the mainsail that caused them to be slow out of the start on one race. “And when something like that happens in this class – you lose! But I am happy because the team progressed well and quickly,” Rogues concluded.

 

Overall Results:

Pos Team R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 Tot
1 Armin Strom Sailing Team 3 5 1 2 3 1 3 3 1 2 1 3 1 3 1 1 1 35
2 Sultanate of Oman 1 2 5 1 4 4 2 1 2 1 2 2 4 1 4 2 DNS 44
3 Alinghi 2 1 3 4 2 2 4 2 3 5 4 4 3 2 3 3 2 49
4 Team ENGIE 4 4 2 3 1 3 1 5 4 3 3 1 2 5 2 4 3 50
5 Team Argo 32 5 3 4 5 5 5 5 4 5 4 5 5 5 4 5 5 4 78

 

 

By Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

 

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Standby for take off as Lake Garda will soon be full of flying boats

 

FW Moth v Board mo

Photo c Martina Orsini

 

The Foiling Week tm at Malcesine Lake Garda – 1 – 5 July, 2015

 

 

Dozens of foiling craft are preparing for take off at Malcesine, on Lake Garda, to take part in the second edition of The Foiling Week from Wednesday 1st to Sunday 5th July.

Foiling Week 2015 unveils a full programme of foiling activities. A year ago Foiling Week made its debut with a new format of sailing event that brings together the theory and practice of the art of foiling.

During the five days there will be three separate one-design racing regattas, two long distance races, a technical forum and an exhibition of boats and accessories. The event is open to the public, anyone can attend the conferences at the Forum, see, touch and try the flying boats.

 

FP series2

Photo c Flying Phantom class

 

 

One-Design Foiling Regattas

 

The spectacle of the races on the water will be exciting and compelling. The Flying Phantom catamarans and Moth International monohulls have chosen Foiling Week to compete in a stage of their respective circuits of international regattas.

The FoilKite involves an invitational race in which the best riders in the world are invited to participate in order to win prize money up for grabs from Funivie Malcesine Monte Baldo

Flying boats of any kind will race during the final weekend of two ‘Long Distance Races’ on a course to include the venues, Malcesine, Campione and Ponale, Malcesine.

 

Foilkite mo

Photo c Martina Orsini

 

The TFW Long Distance Ora and Peler edition

The race course of 25 nautical miles will involve all the wind and wave conditions that Lake Garda may serve up: The impetuous Peler wind from the north when sailing in the morning, the steep waves of central lake and the powerful gusts of Ora wind from the south in the afternoon at Ponale.

All flying boats can participate in TFW Long Distance Race, the classes racing in their circuit regattas on previous days will join prototypes and other flying boats to compete in what aims to become a classic race on the lake, the TFW Long Distance Race.

 

 

Solent Whisper 5.9m cat

Photo c OnEdition

 

 

TFW Forums

programme: www.foilingweek.com/about/the-tfw-forum/

 

At the Forum designers and builders meet the sailors to share their ideas, projects and achievements. A meeting to exchange ideas, evaluate, compare solutions and develop concepts.

The programme of the forum will take place during the first three days, with current flying boat news, launches and developments, presented by their protagonists, followed by round tables to allow the audience to interact with the presenters, discuss comparisons, understand guidelines that will lead to more amazing developments in the near future.

Topics include the designers of foils applied to IMOCA oceanic monohulls, who will clearly explain the theory of operation of this incredible innovation in ocean navigation.

The designers and builders of modern production flying boats will explain the philosophy that has guided their projects to be used by the average sailor with the same confidence as with sports boats. The Flying Phantom, Wazp, Gunboat G4 will be explained by the voice of their creators, manufacturers and testers.

The secrets of Emirates Team New Zealand foils; the experience of two C Class teams; the creators of new prototypes, the Vampire project, the Whisper and Rave V; renowned designers and engineers in this key technology will share their knowledge and entertain audiences of TFW Forum.

The base of the Foiling Week is Malcesine, at the Fraglia della Vela. The experience of the Fraglia team will support and safely manage the ambitious programme of racing, Fraglia provides the perfect setting for the display of boats and the venue for the Forum. The FVM has been the key partner in the success of Foiling Week since the first edition.

Funivia Malcesine Monte Baldo is the official sponsor of KiteFoil Invitational, the best riders in the world will compete on a course specifically designed for KiteFoil. The Malcesine Monte Baldo KiteFoil Invitational will be the fireworks show of Foiling Week. The KiteFoil are fast and acrobatic. In the TFW Long Distance Races, the KiteFoil with their boards and extremely efficient kites will challenge flying hulls moved by sails and wings.

Carrera is a technical partner of Foiling Week, and will provide helmets and glasses specifically designed for fast and extreme flying boats.

Gac Pindar provides for the second year the logistic support to the event:the company is trusted for the exceptional service and dedication and is the logistic provider of choice for other world renowned sailing events like the Extreme Sailing Series and the Volvo Ocean Race.

Moses HT is the first company in Italy to have invested in the development of foils for kiteboards. Their products are available for testing in water and their experts will give valuable information to fans who will intervene.

The town of Malcesine and the Hotel Association Malcesine will welcome all who wish to attend and participate in Foiling Week 2015. Prize giving and social events during the week will be freshened by fine wines of Drei Donà Tenuta La Palazza Vineyard.

 

Anyone wishing to try the boats and KiteFoil can book by filling the contact form available on the page www.foilingweek.com/about/entry-forms/

 

 

For detailed information on The Foiling Week visit: www.foilingweek.com

 

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Spindrift racing wins the day – Sultanate of Oman the regatta

 

BULLITT GC32 RACING TOUR - Austria Cup - Racing Day 4 - 31st May 2015 - Gmunden (AUS)

Photos © Guilain Grenier / Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

 

Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour – Austria Cup at Lake Traunsee

 

 

Despite the rapid improvement shown over the last two days by Spindrift racing, it was Sultanate of Oman that came out on top to claim the Austria Cup, the opening event of the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour.

Crews arrived in the race centre in Gmunden this morning to a glassy Lake Traunsee. In an attempt to find wind, the race area was transported 12km to the southern end of the lake at Ebensee. Fortunately this proved a success with 8-10 knot winds that were stable, albeit inadequate to get the GC32s foiling. Nonetheless six races were sailed in swift succession.

With Sultanate of Oman out in front, the fight was intense for the remaining podium places between Alinghi, Spindrift racing and Team Engie. This at one point caused a monumental three way match race with boats putting in eight tacks up the 700m long beat.

Alinghi had an up and down day, with two wins and two lower results, but, as on Saturday, it was Spindrift racing that excelled – the only team never finishing off the podium today, a performance that caused them to finish second overall, three points ahead of Alinghi.

“We have been the best for the last two days – which was a nice result,” said a beaming Spindrift racing skipper, Yann Guichard. “The first two days were hard for us, but we improved day after day and climbed the leaderboard to second place. I am really proud of the team – they did a fantastic job.”

 

LT Armin gg

 

 

Guichard, a multihull specialist who this year is campaigning boats ranging from the 40m Spindrift 2 to the 7.3m Diam trimaran, is enthusiastic about the GC32 after completing his first regatta in it. “It is easy when you start, but after if you want to progress you need to spend time training. But it is a really nice boat – you can feel its potential in only eight knots – you can fly.”

Morgan Larson, helmsman on Alinghi, came ashore pleased after a day sailing in better conditions, but unhappy to have been beaten by Spindrift racing. “It was nice to finally work on things that we were struggling with within our team, eg: communication and where to position ourselves. Unfortunately Spindrift had a fantastic day and overtook us, but hats off to them for doing that.” Larson paid tribute to his arch rival from the Extreme Sailing Series, Sultanate of Oman, predicting that the Omani team has set a new benchmark in the class.

The ‘benchmark’ here, despite two deep results today, finished the Bullitt GC32 Austria Cup with an eight point lead. Skipper Leigh McMillan said he enjoyed today’s steadier breeze that made for more ‘normal’ racing and expressed surprise at his team’s victory: “It’s quite unexpected! We hadn’t even used the spinnaker before we came here. We had one day to try and figure out how to gybe, to do the boards, etc. In lighter winds for sure it is easier, a bit more like an Extreme 40 rather than when you are up and fully foiling, so that probably played into our hands.”

 

BULLITT GC32 RACING TOUR - Austria Cup - Racing Day 2 - 29th May 2015 - Gmunden (AUS)

 

 

McMillan is looking forward to the Cowes Cup for the GC32s, taking place over 24-27th June, when he hopes for more wind and the possibility of breaking Alinghi’s new record of 39.2 knots in a GC32. “Getting up on the foils and getting it absolutely rippin’ is great…”

Team Engie put in a sterling effort, finishing off the podium, just four points off Alinghi. Skipper Sebastien Rogues was very satisfied with their performance: “We proved we can match Alinghi and Oman who’ve won the Extreme Sailing Series, so yes, we are happy. I began multihull sailing just four months ago and I’ve been up against guys who’ve been sailing them for 20 years or more. For that I thank my team.”

Having won the GC32 last events in Key West and in Marseille, Flavio Marazzi’s Armin Strom Sailing Team had a disappointing regatta, finishing last which their Swiss three time Olympic Star sailor skipper attributed to the influx of Extreme Sailing Series teams and America’s Cup sailors to the class and their greater experience. “We still have to learn a lot about how to handle this boat and where to put it at the start and how to get off the line in clear air.”

As GC32 International Class Association President, Marazzi commented: “Lake Traunsee is a great location, but we need better wind conditions to show off potential of these boats on foils when they can sail at 30+ knots. This event is always really well organised. I look forward to the GC32s returning in 2016.”

Next up for the Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour is the Cowes Cup over 24-27th June that will culminate in the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

 

By Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

 

 

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Unstoppable Sultanate of Oman!

 

BULLITT GC32 RACING TOUR - Austria Cup - Racing Day 3 - 29th May 2015 - Gmunden (AUS)

BULLITT GC32 RACING TOUR – Austria Cup – Racing Day 3 – 29th May 2015 – Gmunden (AUS)

 

Photos © Guilain Grenier / Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

 

 

Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour – Austria Cup at Lake Traunsee

 

 

On Lake Traunsee, another severely testing day at the Austria Cup, the opening event of the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour, allowed just two races to be competed, but not for want of trying by PRO Anne Mallédant-Vadré.

The opening race – race 10 of the series – took place in the most stable conditions we have seen here – a S/SWerly peaking at 9-10 knots, blowing up the length of the lake. Apart from one tense moment at the top of the first beat, this was led from almost start to finish by the immaculately sailed Sultanate of Oman, skippered by Leigh McMillan.

After a short postponement, a second race saw more of the fluky, unpredictable conditions that have marked this regatta. A big right hand shift soon after the start made the first run heavily port gybe-favoured and it was Spindrift racing that led from the start, until they were overtaken by the Omanis approaching the leeward gate. Going into the leeward gate for a second time, the leaders sailing into less pressure caused a compression. Rounding in fourth place, Armin Strom Sailing Team was the only boat to stay on the starboard side of the beat where she was first to pick up pressure, enabling them to not only lay the final mark of the course but to come in at speed. This fast track enabled Armin Strom to pick off three boats, motoring home to her first ‘bullet’ of the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour. All five boats competing have now won races.

Marazzi, who represented Switzerland three times at the Olympic Games in the Star keelboat, admitted that his crew don’t like light airs, particularly when it redefines ‘fickle’ as it has done to date on Lake Traunsee. “In these short, light air races, it is a big advantage for the teams that have sailed in the Extreme Sailing Series,” he says. “We have slowly figured out how it works and our communication is improving, but we still have to learn. It is good to finally achieve what we’ve been fighting for.”

 

BULLITT GC32 RACING TOUR - Austria Cup - Racing Day 3 - 29th May 2015 - Gmunden (AUS)

BULLITT GC32 RACING TOUR – Austria Cup – Racing Day 3 – 29th May 2015 – Gmunden (AUS)

 

 

As President of the GC32 International Class Association, Marazzi says he is pleased that here the class has an unprecedented heights in terms of its competition. “We haven’t even been close to this in the last two years.” But he is craving a day with winds of 15+ knots when the one design foiling catamarans can really show themselves off.

Top scoring boat of the day was Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli’s Spindrift racing, posting a 2-2. This was enough to leave them level with Alinghi, the team of Bertarelli’s brother Ernesto, but ahead according to the GC32’s tiebreak rules where the boat with the better result in the last race prevails.

“I am happy, but today it was really difficult conditions – really tricky and unpredictable,” said Guichard. “Saying that – our starts and our tactics were very good.”

Key to success on Lake Traunsee is staying in the breeze, but this challenge reached a new level in the two unsuccessful attempts to complete race 12. As Guichard described one moment: “It was bizarre: two lengths behind us there was a southerly wind and one length ahead it was northerly. You just had to try to manage with the wind you had. Sometimes there would be only 10m between the boats, but they would be in completely different winds.” In one particularly extraordinary race both Spindrift racing and Team Engie ended up sailing several hundred metres beyond the leeward gate before they could work their way back to it.

Going into the final day of the Bullitt GC32 Austria Cup, Sultanate of Oman holds a commanding nine point lead, despite posting their first result here off the podium today (a fourth in race 11). So is their secret their two America’s Cup sailors: Emirates Team New Zealand wing trimmer and ten time A-Class catamaran World Champion Glenn Ashby and ex-Luna Rossa crewman Alister Richardson?

“I think we are sailing the boat fairly relaxed and keeping our heads out of the boat,” said Ashby.  “There is obviously a lot of experience with Leigh [McMillan], Pete [Greenalgh] and Nasser [al Mashari] sailing together and Alister and I coming in and looking at the same sort of things. It feels like we are on the same page and its working nicely.”

Ashby is a fan of the GC32: “The boat is great – they are really good fun to sail. They are a bit of a slave ship in 10 knots – having to use the full-sized gennikers, make it a boat handling issue at times, but it forces you to prioritise the important things and put your fireman’s hat on and put out the right fire at the right time in the manoeuvres! But the boats sails really well.”

 

Follow the racing live at www.gc32racing.com

 

By Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

 

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Omani newbies pull ahead on tricky day

 

 

LT D2 gg

Photos © Guilain Grenier / Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

 

 

Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour – Austria Cup at Lake Traunsee

 

 

Downtown Gmunden was graced with a bird’s eye view of competition on day two of the Austria Cup, the opening event of the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour.

Compared to yesterday, the immaculate Austrian lake, nestled among the snow-capped Salzkammergut mountains, today had warmed up with the wind shifting into the northeast, allowing the course to be set up off the model Austrian town. Sadly the wind was even more marginal today, momentarily touching 10 knots, enough for the one design foilers, that resemble mini-America’s Cup catamarans, to fully fly. Despite the challenging, fickle breeze, the race management got five races completed before competitors returned ashore to recover and ready themselves for a Bullitt Group party in Gmunden’s waterside square.

At the start of the day the two old Extreme Sailing Series foes, Alinghi and Sultanate of Oman, were tied in the top spot. But through today’s lengthy bout, Leigh McMillan’s team maintained the best consistency and, with no results off the podium after nine races sailed, at the halfway point of the regatta, holds a six point lead over its Swiss rivals. On a course where it often didn’t pay to lead (showing those behind where not to go), Alinghi regularly was the best starter, but was unable to hang on around the whole course.

“For once we were starting well,” explained Alinghi skipper Morgan Larson. “Sometimes with this lake you find yourself doing the right thing, then the wind evaporates and fills in from somewhere else. It is a ‘lake of opportunity’ and the other guys took a few better opportunities than we did. But Traunsee is always tricky – sometimes you get in rhythm with the conditions and sometimes you don’t. Tonight maybe we’ll have a few more foamy ones. It’s about giving the lake respect and we need to do a little more of that. You just have to chip away, learn from your mistakes, and don’t take it too seriously, because it is impossible to predict here.”

It remains uncertain if Alinghi’s injured mainsheet trimmer Pierre Yves Jorand will return before Sunday. At present highly capable Austrian two time Olympic Tornado gold medallist Hans Peter Steinacher is standing in for him.

After the immaculate Omanis, today Spindrift racing finally came good, scoring the second best result of the day. Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard’s team became the fourth different race winner after claiming race six, (today’s second), showing how competitive this fleet is.

“It was a good day for us, but it was difficult to stay in the wind,” said Guichard. “The game was to find the puffs and to stay in them. Yesterday it was difficult for us to manoeuvre, but now I am happy because today my team did a great job: We were starting well and our tactics were good.

“It is difficult to keep foiling here because the wind is not steady – the puffs come down the mountains, so they are strong, but really short too. For the helmsman it is difficult to keep the boat going fast. ”

French skipper of Team Engie, Sebastien Rogues is earning himself the title of the ‘comeback kid’ making some spectacular recoveries to come home second in today’s third and fourth races.

“We did some good things and some bad things, but the challenge is getting easier,” said Rogues, the 2013 Class 40 champion. Half way through the regatta the mid-fleet in particular is close with Team Engie having dropped to fourth, but is just four points adrift of Alinghi in second, their position not helped by coming home last in today’s final race. On board leading Moth, catamaran and lake sailor Arnaud Psarofaghis, is calling tactics in place of former America’s Cup helmsman Sébastien Col, however Rogues points out: “The tactics are very difficult here because of the gusts. It is very difficult for all the tacticians.”

Like all the crew here, Rogues is crossing his fingers that conditions pick up for the last two days allowing the GC32s to get foiling with greater regularity.

Struggling at present is the Armin Strom Sailing Team of GC32 International Class Association President Flavio Marazzi, which has yet to finish on the podium and has its work cut out to make its impression on the front runners this weekend.

 

Follow the racing live at www.gc32racing.com

 

By Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

 

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Slow start to close opening day

 

LT D1 Team Engie gg

 Photos © Guilain Grenier / Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

 

 

Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour – Austria Cup at Lake Traunsee

 

 

When it looked like no racing would be possible, in fact four races were held on Lake Traunsee, Austria on the opening day of the Austria Cup, the first event on the 2015 Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour. Conditions were light, but enough to allow the one design GC32s at times to foil fully-airborne, occasionally sailing at speeds approaching three times that of the wind.

After a delay ashore in Gmunden, a westerly filled in a quarter of the way down the lake, strong enough for the race committee to get competition underway for the five GC32s. However conditions were challenging, with significant wind shifts and substantial holes in the breeze that caught out even the most experienced crews.

The stand-out performance early on was not one of the established multihull teams, but former shorthanded offshore sailor Sebastien Rogues and his crew on Team Engie (ex-GDF Suez). While he was OCS on the first start, Team Engie fought back into first place to win the opening race of the season.

In race two it was Alinghi’s turn, scoring the day’s only start to finish win – no mean feat in the conditions. But It was not easy with Team Engie hounding the Swiss team around the race course.

Sultanate of Oman claimed the third bout – the third winner in as many races – a strong performance by Leigh McMillan’s team that had only had four days training prior to this their first GC32 regatta.

“It was a fantastic first day for us,” commented McMillan. “It was quite unexpected to win a race and have a really consistent day. It is nice to be on a steep learning curve and learning something every time you go out racing. Our improvement rate is pretty dramatic at the moment.”

The British skipper observed that while it was a ‘snakes and ladders’ day, this was further accentuated when conditions at times allowed some boats to foil and others not. “It is dramatic the difference that makes, but it is swings and roundabouts – you have to keep finding the good bits of breeze and keep pushing hard.”

Yann Guichard and Spindrift racing led race four by an entire leg and were on track to make it four different winners in four races, until the wind disappeared altogether, forcing PRO Anne Malledant Vadre to cancel it.

As the wind re-established, the fourth race was resailed culminating in a match race for the lead between the Bertarelli siblings’ teams: Alinghi prevailed with Spindrift racing second, a small redemption for skipper Yann Guichard after their domination of race four.

 

LT D1 Spindrift gg

 

Alinghi ends this first day tied on points with Sultanate of Oman, but, with two wins, leads on countback. “It was fun to get some real serious racing in,” commented Nils Frei, trimmer on board. “It is very challenging and we are new to Traunsee with its shifty breeze. Sometimes we were foiling which is always nice in these boats, so it was a good day. It is very new for us and there are a lot of things we still have to learn.”

There was drama for the Swiss team prior to the start today when main sheet trimmer Pierre-Yves Jorand had to stand down with an injury. He was replaced on board Alinghi by Austrian two time Olympic Tornado gold medallist Hans-Peter Steinacher, now of the Red Bull Sailing Team.

“I feel proud the guys called me,” said Steinacher, who lives nearby and has sailed on Lake Traunsee since childhood. “It is nice when you normally sail against these boys and now you get to sail with them.” As to the GC32 and his debut on it, he added: “It was hard to sail it on a lake today, but the boat looks good and the competition is going up and up. It is already full-on racing.”

Today was the first occasion that corporate guests have been able to compete in a yacht race on board a foiling catamaran. Conditions allowed occasional foiling and this was enough to leave a marked impression on top Austrian Freeride skier, Mario Gattinger.

“It was my first time on a cat, a great experience,” said Gattinger who has taken part in some of the most extreme skiing, just as jumping off cliffs in the Himalayas and who is best known for his Freeriding films. “I have never been on a boat like this before and it was a great feeling – the sound is amazing!”

 

Racing kicks off at 1100hrs local on Friday. Follow it live at www.gc32racing.com

 

By Bullitt GC32 Racing Tour

 

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Timely announcement by organisers of the Americas Cup

OTU & bremont acea

Photo © ACEA

 

 

Bremont becomes Official Timing Partner of America’s Cup & Oracle Team USA

 

 

 

As Official Timing Partner, Bremont will be present throughout the international television broadcasts as well as on the race course with the Bremont logo gracing the Oracle Team USA catamarans.

Bremont timekeeping will also embark on a very special project to produce a series of timepieces projected to set a new standard in sporting and luxury watch collections.

America’s Cup Event Authority Director Russell Coutts explained, “Bremont partnering with the America’s Cup and Oracle Team USA is hugely exciting because we love what they have done as a business, their products and what the brand stands for. We wanted to work closely with a company that brings passion and expertise to engineering expertise to create world class products.”

As children Bremont co-founders Nick and Giles English lived on a sailing boat built by their father Euan English, an ex-RAF pilot with a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering. He inspired his young sons with his knowledge of aviation, yacht construction and clock manufacture, leading them to form the Bremont Watch Company in 2002.

Giles English, who studied as a naval architect, said, “Nick and I grew up with both flying and sailing in our blood, so it’s a dream-come-true that Bremont has the opportunity to support and promote the amazing story of this world-famous race, the America’s Cup. We are honored to be involved in this prestigious event with such historical importance.”

The adventure, heritage and engineering fundamental to the Cup make the event a natural fit for Bremont. Nick English says, “As with all our partners we will look to learn from them and work closely on a technical level but we also intend to explore the Cup’s rich history.”

From the start of the AC World Series in Portsmouth in July 2015 to the final race of the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in June 2017, Bremont timing will be a key to success.

“Everything is down to the split second now with the boats,” said Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. “Timing is the number one key piece of information for starting and maneuvers, so it is particularly important that we have partnered up with Bremont. This is a company that has a lot of experience in aviation, where timing is everything too, so ultimately I see this partnership as a competitive advantage.”

“The addition of an Official Timing Partner is a key commercial milestone for the America’s Cup,” said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the event. “Along with our recently announced broadcast agreements momentum is building as we head into the summer and towards the first America’s Cup World Series racing in Portsmouth, England in July.”

 

www.americascup.com

 

 

Emirates renews commitment to Emirates Team New Zealand

 

 

ETNZ gmr

Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget

 

 

Emirates airline announced its continued support of Emirates Team New Zealand, which is among the challengers for the 35th America’s Cup, to be decided in June 2017.

President of Emirates airline, Sir Tim Clark, said the airline’s decision was recognition of the success of the team in helping build the Emirates brand globally, as well as signalling further commitment to New Zealand.

“Emirates started its New Zealand services in 2003 and has been naming rights sponsor of Team New Zealand since 2004,” he said. “Our re-commitment for the next America’s Cup challenge, lodged by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in August last year, is testament to the spirit, skill and strengths the team has shown.

“There is also no doubt that our continued support is reflective of the success the team has been in allowing us to get closer to our loyal and potential customers in New Zealand and many other countries and in building awareness of Emirates as a leading global brand.”

“Our investment in Team New Zealand is one of the reasons Emirates has continued to soar in brand recognition, holding the top brand value among all airlines and now being inside the top 200 companies globally on brand value.”

Competition in the next America’s Cup begins in July 2015, with the first event of the America’s Cup World Series, in Portsmouth, England with racing on July 25- 26. There will be America’s Cup World Series events in 2015-16 with AC45 catamarans, and the America’s Cup Qualifiers, Playoffs and Finals in a new AC Class catamaran will be held in 2017, with the final races in Bermuda.

Emirates Team New Zealand chief executive Grant Dalton said the response to securing funding for the challenge had been encouraging.

“We have made considerable progress because the Emirates Team New Zealand brand is an international leader, well recognised in the sport. Emirates airline has been with the team since 2004 and their decision to stay with us is important. We are fortunate to have such loyal and committed sponsors,” said Dalton.

Dalton paid tribute to the many sponsors and suppliers – including Emirates – who have stood by the team in the hard times since the end of the 34th America’s Cup in 2013.

Sir Tim Clark added: “Exposure for Emirates through the team and its global reach has helped put the airline on the map in many parts of the world and with many audiences. We hope there is now the chance of building further on this excellent foundation.

“The features we saw in the team when we first backed it in 2004 are still there. As an award-winning airline we can relate to its drive, focus, competitiveness and desire for excellence in all aspects of its operation.”

Emirates flies three A380 services daily from Auckland to Dubai and beyond via Australia, as well as offering a daily Boeing 777-300ER service from Christchurch.

 

By Emirates Team New Zealand

 

 

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Flying Phantom Series opener at Eurocat 2015 in Carnac

 

FPS Eurocat by pc

 

Photos © Pierrick Contin / www.pierrickcontin.fr

 

 

The Eurocat is one of Europe’s biggest gatherings of racing catamarans. This year, it was also the first event for the Flying Phantom catamarans: The Flying Phantom Series – Eurocat 2015. Whereas the weather conditions were tough during the three days of racing, the race committee managed to launch 6 races for the Flying Phantom Fleet. Out of the fifteen or so Flying Phantoms initially planning to race, seven boats registered.

Among the participants, Franck Cammas was sailing the Team Momentys Flying Phantom with Antoine Joubert. Franck is not a stranger to the Flying Phantom due to the fact he was involved in the program during the research and development phase. Franck was keen to take part in this first event in spite of his very busy agenda that includes his Olympic campaign, C-Class- Catamaran and AC45 racing in the America’s Cup World Series. Sébastien Rogues was crewed by Benjamin Lamotte and was eager to increase his knowledge of multihulls and flying boats as this will be his main activity in 2015. And finally a couple of amateur sailors with crews completed by the Phantom Sailing team of Billy Besson – Matthieu Vandame and Gurvan Bontemps – Benjamin Amiot.

 

FPS Eurocat pc

 

Day 1

On the first race day of the Eurocat, three races were completed. Under a cloudy sky with 15 knots of wind with gusts above 20 knots, the race committee decided to choose a standard upwind-downwind race course instead of the reaching start and finish format. The first race was an opportunity to gauge themselves and to adjust the strategies sailing mostly upwind where they had to choose between skimming versus flying mode. Franck Cammas and Team Momentys took victory in this first race after leading on every leg leg. Unfortunately for Billy Besson and Matthieu Vadame, they were not able to finish the second race and take the start of the third one following a mechanical problem. Race 2 and 3 were won by the duo Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot after intensive battles with Team Momentys.

 https://youtu.be/ka8VCBaDP9k

 

FPS at Eurocat pc

 

Day 2

The weather in the morning of day 2 was not very favourable with a southerly wind blowing at 19 to 25 knots with gusts up to 34 knots. Given these poor conditions, the race director decided not to run the long distance race.

 https://youtu.be/U7DtDd8fL7A

 

Day 3

For the final day of racing, the weather was much milder than the previous day in Carnac. In the morning the wind was blowing at 20 knots, settling down to 17 knots. After a brief wait ashore, the competitors sailed to the race area for the last 3 races of the event. The showdown between the top three teams was really impressive with a lot of lead changes and tactical battles upwind and downwind. In this contest, Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot were the most consistent in their results and with their experience of the Flying Phantom they managed to win two of the three races enabling them to achieve overall victory.

 

https://youtu.be/ANjvCIyOBYc

 

The Flying Phantom Series Eurocat 2015 event was a complete success and was particularly well organized by the Yacht Club de Carnac and thanks to the excellent professionalism of the race committee. This event was a brilliant demonstration of the concept of one design Flying Phantom regattas and paves the way for the future legs in the circuit.

Gurvan Bontemps, winner of the Flying Phantom Series Eurocat 2015 with Benjamin Amiot:

“I’m super happy with the competition. We finish in the sunshine after 3 days of difficult weather. We were all a little bit cautious as it was the first ever flying sports catamaran regatta. We discovered in racing conditions the different sailing modes upwind between skimming, flying and VMG optimization and that was very instructive. The level was pretty high with Billy and Franck, who are world class sailors sailing the Olympic catamaran, reinforcing the challenge and the competition out on the water. All crews had the opportunity to ramp up their knowledge of the Flying Phantom, the manoeuvres and speed… It is just fantastic to cross each other and be able to race in contact in full flying mode. I’m glad to see the result of the work carried out over the last 2 years on the Flying Phantom and looking forward the next races with more boats.”

 

Alex Udin:

“It is great to have our first fleet event. Last year we had only one boat racing. What a success now to have so many boats out on the water. Unfortunately the weather was not easy, as it was hard for the sailors with a lot of wind and rain, but the result is just amazing with six races completed.

“It was fantastic to see the confrontation between the experience of Gurvan Bontemps, the talent of Billy Besson and the competitive spirit of Franck Cammas.

“Having big names from the sailing world racing this week-end was important, but the great mix is also to have professional sailors and amateur sailors: this is very important for us. A good balance of both categories will ensure the success of the series.

“The Eurocat is the first event of the Flying Phantom Series this year. This was also the first real one design fleet race with foiling sports catamarans. Several events will follow in Europe starting with the Round Texel race in early June, Geneva in Switzerland for another One Design event and then back to France for the Raid Emeraude, a long distance race event in St. Lunaire. These will be followed by a few more events before the end of the season. It will be awesome to continue to see these sailors sailing all together on the same boat with the One Design spirit.”

By Alex Udin

 

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Another foiling catamaran circuit planned for 2016

 

FWC cat

Photo © Foiling World Cup

 

 

Foiling World Cup

 

 

Another foiling multihull series is planned for launch off in 2016 with some bold claims.

Close action, engrossing battles, slick commentary, short races, legendary skippers, wild rookies and all starting exactly on time. Sailed in innovative double trapeze foiling multihulls!

The Foiling World Cup plans short course racing, close to spectators and media in sailing arenas around the globe.

The events hope to breath fresh life into city lakes and port regions and create a festive atmosphere around the sailing arenas.

 

Foiling World Cup

 

The new full carbon formula foiling multihulls (20 footers) will have a ‘box rule’ to allow innovation and cost control. Every boat builder is welcome to join the race with his own design.

Events are planed in Europe, America, Asia, Middle East. One lap around the globe. The best male and female sailors in the world will be invited to compete,  open entry!

The circuit will have new racing rules written by the International Foilracing Association (IFA). These rules are specially designed for highspeed foiling and simular to land and ice sailing rules also influenced by F1 Motorsport.

 

More information at www.foilingworldcup.com

 

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Flying Phantom Series opener at the Eurocat

 

Eurocat 2014 FP Class

Photo c Flying Phantom class

 

As each year on the first weekend in May, Carnac Yacht Club will be organizing the Eurocat, one of Europe’s biggest gatherings of racing catamarans. This year, it will also be the first event for the Flying Phantom catamarans: The Flying Phantom Series – Eurocat 2015. Fifteen Flying Phantoms will be taking part in this big event on their very own race course off the main beach and the Yacht Club in Carnac – France.

The races will be completely one-design, so the Flying Phantoms will be racing against each other on a course specifically prepared by the Race Directors. These courses will be laid out to offer a reaching start with a clearing mark in the middle, a leeward gate, a windward gate and a reaching finish after rounding the clearing buoy. Various combinations will be set up in order to vary the races, which are scheduled for Friday 1st and Sunday 3rd May.

On Saturday 2nd May, the fleet will compete in the Eurocat long distance race, which involves crossing Quiberon Bay and rounding the island of Houat. For this event, the Flying Phantom will line up alongside all the other catamarans competing in the Eurocat. Last year, Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot shattered the Eurocat long distance race record improving on the previous time by 24 minutes by finishing after 2 hours, 5 minutes and 20 seconds. Many of the competitors this year will be aiming to establish a new record.

Some of the big names of French sailing will be present for this maiden event in the Flying Phantom Series, including Team Momentys: Franck Cammas – Antoine Joubert, Sébastien Rogue – Christophe Carbonnières, representatives of the Phantom Sailing Team: Billy Besson – Matthieu Vandame; Gurvan Bontemps – Benjamin Amiot, as well as crews from Germany, Switzerland, Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The Flying Phantom fleet will be gathering the week before the event at the ENVSN (The French national sailing school) on the Quiberon Peninsula for two training sessions on the 24th to 25th and on the 28th to 29th April. This will be an opportunity for Flying Phantom owners to take advantage of the know-how acquired by the Phantom International team, in order to improve their technical knowledge of the boat and improve their performance, as they prepare for the Eurocat.

 

For more info on the 2015 series see: www.yccarnac.com/eurocat-2015-.html

 

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