Monthly Archives: July 2016
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week
While Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the 52 Super Series season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma, winning 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week, Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec completed a notable comeback after a disappointing ninth at the Audi Settimana delle Bocche. A nailbiting finish to the final race when they pipped Provezza on the finish line by the length of their bowsprit, gave Bronenosec second overall on a tie-break with Azzurra.
Quantum Racing, led by Terry Hutchinson and Ed Baird, have now won all three 52 Super Series regattas this season. This was the first time that they have led from the first day to the last, even if after both the first and second days of racing they were tied with Bronenosec, then Azzurra. It is the second win back-to-back for owner-driver Doug DeVos who will now miss out on September’s TP52 World Championships due to business commitments.
DeVos’s team won four races from the full programme sailed of ten races, including a victory in Wednesday’s tricky 15-mile coastal race. But, once again, it is their high level of consistency that contributed to their overall success. Their worst score was one fifth place but otherwise every results was inside the hard-driving tactician Terry Hutchinson’s target zone: four points or less from every race.
When Azzurra misfired off the start line for the penultimate race and could only recover to sixth, the second place behind Bronenosec was enough to give Quantum Racing their magical ‘three in a row’ for 2016’s regattas so far, adding to their wins in Scarlino and Porto Cervo. But when they finished second in the last race they extended their regatta winning margin to 12 points.
Overall Quantum Racing increased their lead at the top of the 52 Super Series standings to a very convincing margin but in the challenge for second to sixth there are just eleven points between Azzurra, Platoon, Rán Racing, Bronenosec and Provezza after three events.
“Every victory is really sweet” smiled the victorious owner-helm Doug DeVos, “but what is really fun is to go through the flow of the regatta and the ups and downs. After day 2, which was not the best day for us and we were a little discouraged but we came back the next day and really kept ourselves going. This team keeps itself going with Terry’s leadership. But with this team everyone knows their responsibility and their role. They are very focused. They work well together. They take care of their job and each other. My job is great. I just get to be part of the team and to learn every day.”
“Every day is an amazing experience with all the subtleties of it. Ed is saying ‘you might want to think of this’. It is amazing what they see that I don’t. So it has been fun to learn at these last two regattas. So for example it was how you exit the downwind gate. How you stay consistent in close quarters when you are tacking or gybing. Don’t turn the boat faster than you would normally. Stay on track and keep the boat going fast. That seems straightforward but it is hard to keep doing that all the time.”
Azzurra gave their confidence a great boost ahead of their 2015 TP52 World Championships title defence by winning the final race of the regatta. The 2015 overall 52 Super Series title holders are probably coming to terms with the fact that Quantum Racing have leapt so far ahead this season so quickly, but they have found some more speed here but once more their regatta title challenge came unstuck with one seventh place and two sixth race finishes.
Guillermo Parada the Azzurra skipper-helm commented:
“It’s always nice to finish with a win for the whole team, not only for the boys on the boat, but also for the shore team. Our sail maker Michele Bella and sail designer Juan Garay have been working so hard for the last 10 days, really working night and day trying to modify our sails to help us go quicker. I think they really deserve an applause. Obviously finishing third when you’re tied for points for second isn’t nice but it is what it is. Bronenosec won four races so they deserved to beat us. But we have a lot of info and learned a lot and we still have some fine-tuning to do. So we want to get to the Worlds in the best possible shape.”
And Bronenosec head for Mahón, Menorca and the fourth regatta with their challenge for the second step on the season podium in much better shape:
“We have exorcised the ghost of Porto Cervo where we did not sail very well.” Ado Stead the Bronenosec tactician-strategist grinned, adding:
“We addressed a lot of the issues and we have come here and won four races and taken silver on the podium. You have to be constantly reviewing things, how the fleet is racing what style of sailing is winning regattas. Here there were nine exceptionally good boats. It is then very, very difficult to accept you are in ninth and you have to claw yourself up to eighth and that might make a difference at the end of the season. Our goal here was to get ourselves back to second place in the circuit. We have gone from 28pts back from second to ten now. We have lots to work on. As a team this was an awesome team performance.”
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,1,4,5,1,1,1,3,2,2) 24pts
2 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (1,5,1,8,5,3,8,1,1,3) 36pts
3 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (6,4,2,2,2,4,2,7,6,1) 36pts
4 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (2,7,5,1,3,2,9,6,4,4) 43pts
5 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,6,3,3,7,5,3,9,5,5) 51pts
6 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,9,6,7,6,7,4,2,3,6) 57pts
7 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) (3,2,8,6,4,9,7,5,8,9) 61pts
8 Alegre, GBR (Andrés Soriano USA) (8,8,9,4,8,8,6,4,7,7) 69pts
9 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (9,3,7,9,9,6,5,8,9,8) 73pts
10 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (DNS) 110pts
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week
Quantum Racing stand on the threshold of their third regatta win of the 52 Super Series season after sailing to their fourth win of the 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week regatta. They matched a third place to that victory – their third in a row – and so lead Azzurra by nine points into the final day.
The Bay of Palma lived up to its one way traffic reputation for most of the time. The risk-reward equation for those pressing for the pin end launch was high. But significantly both of today’s race winners – Quantum Racing and Bronenosec – favoured the lower risk mid line starts where they had a better chance of coming away from the gun at maximum speed by staying clear of the jousting and jostling.
Indeed today saw some Portals podium contenders pay dearly for being squeezed from that left end of the start line. Provezza had to take sterns in the first race after the gun and their shiny 1-3-2 sequence is stained by a ninth and a sixth today. Platoon’s third in the first race is paired to a ninth. Azzurra went second and then seventh, while Rán Racing’s 4,2 was second best to Quantum’s 1,3.
Quantum Racing started mid line but had the speed and height away from the line to take an immediate lead. They could then hold on starboard until they wanted to go left, leading Azzurra around the windward mark. The Quantum Racing afterguard – Terry Hutchinson, Ed Baird and Ian Moore got the final approach the top mark just right, making a little extra gain on a final lift, to lead Platoon and Azzurra around the turn. At the leeward gate Platoon and Azzurra went to opposite marks. Vasco Vascotto’s choice of the left (looking upwind) earned a quick gain. Next time they converged they were able to bounce Harm Müller-Spreer’s team back to the right and when they came back a few minutes later Azzurra were clear ahead into second.
Quantum Racing were comfortably clear by the finish but with Azzurra second only added one point to their lead over the 2015 champions.
The 12-14kts sea breeze stayed solid for the second race but with the typical bumpy Palma chop building more. After a lacklustre start to the previous race (a miscommunication between Ado Stead and owner driver Vladimir Liubomirov contributing) the Russian-flagged team debriefed, and had one practice attempt before a winning start to Race 8. They were very quickly able to gain control of the left side of the course, holding those to their left up above the layline with Rán Racing below them taking second around the first windward mark. Quantum Racing worked hard for their well deserved third. Bronenosec’s win sees them third overall, three points behind Azzurra and three points ahead of Provezza.
“We have a foot on the podium at the moment.” Said Adrian Stead of Bronenosec, “But with two more races tomorrow we need to keep working away. Our goal tomorrow: two good starts. We need to keep working on the communication, the starts, getting good launches off the line and see if we can end with a really good result.”
Azzurra looked good early on in Race 8 but were one of the left side group forced to overstand by Bronenosec. They had a penalty for infringing Gladiator. When it was completed they were last, ninth, but did manage to recover to seventh. As much as anything that weighty score enhanced Quantum’s regatta. Azzurra will rue their errors but their position merits neither champagne nor tears.
Quantum Racing remain super-consistent. This is shaping to be the first regatta of the season that they have led every day, even if they were tied on points initially with two different boats on the first two days. But theirs is such a well drilled, well oiled machine at this midpoint of the season, as navigator Ian Moore notes:
“It has been so interesting. At the beginning of the season I have to say we did not really know how it would work out. First of all Doug is doing an amazing job steering the boat. He listens to Terry, concentrates on one thing and does it fantastically well. Ed has really stepped into the role of strategy and makes Terry’s job easier. Terry is helping Doug with the driving and Ed then knows exactly the right input to give to Terry at the right time. The boat is going well and that makes all the difference.”
The drive is always to be top three or four at the first mark. Otherwise life is difficult, as Adam Beashel the Rán Racing strategist explains their second place today:
“We managed to get into our own little lane for a change. That worked for us, working clear air rather than being banged all over the race track like we have been these last two days or so.
It is very tough in the fourth-to-sixth spots. The front guys are trying to push you back and the back guys are trying to close the gap. So we managed to get forwards of the fourth place that meant bigger gaps and therefore bigger smiles.”
Standings after Day 4
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,1,4,5,1,1,1,3) 20pts
2 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (6,4,2,2,2,4,2,7) 29pts
3 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (1,5,1,8,5,3,8,1) 32pts
4 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (2,7,5,1,3,2,9,6) 35pts
5 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,6,3,3,7,5,3,9) 41pts
6 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (3,2,8,6,4,9,7,5) 44pts
7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,9,6,7,6,7,4,2) 48pts
8 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (8,8,9,4,8,8,6,4) 55pts
9 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (9,3,7,9,9,6,5,8) 56pts
10 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (DNS,DNS,DNS, DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS,DNS) 88pts
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week
Two hard earned wins for Quantum Racing elevates the team which is steered by owner Doug DeVos to a lead of four points ahead of Azzurra at the 52 Super Series’ Puerto Portals Sailing Week on the Bay of Palma.
The two teams which have shared all championship title wins over the first four years of the 52 Super Series, two apiece, started Wednesday locked on the same points aggregate. But Quantum Racing were on imperious form around the windward-leeward and coastal courses which were contested, winning both.
Azzurra’s improvements continued with a solid second and fourth. But Ergin Imre’s Provezza went one point better, and was delighted to come away with five points for their day, a third and second which sees them second overall now, even if they share the 20pts tally with Azzurra.
A hot and very long day proved frustrating for some and pleasingly profitable for others. Once again it was the start line which was the most important factor and more often than not it was the ability to get left early which paid the first reward.
The Bay of Palma’s southerly sea breeze – the Xaloc – provided great racing, particularly when it picked up to 16-17 kts during the early legs of the 15 miles two hours coastal sprint.
The first race of the day, Race 5 of the Puerto Portals Sailing Week, saw Azzurra start best on the committee boat end of the start line but Quantum Racing had the best speed off the gun. The two locked together to the left of the course with Bronenosec third. From a tight, compact start there were always going to be those which lost out immediately after the gun. Provezza and Platoon were just two of the top teams which had to take sterns to find clear air. While Quantum led all the way around the course, Azzurra second, Provezza engineered a nicely executed recovery from eighth at the first windward mark to finish third.
For all that the early stages of the regatta’s one coastal race looked like it would be an exciting blast around the Bay in a decent breeze, the notorious transition zone at Illetas – the rocky point to the west of Palma city – proved especially tricky.
After starting beautifully off the pin end of the start line Tony Langley’s Gladiator led all the way around the first half of the course. But as the breeze faded and shifted right, heading the leaders approaching Illetas, Gladiator’s decision to gybe across Quantum Racing’s line left them to the right and unable to get back fast enough to protect their lead when kites had to be dropped in the header.
Quantum Racing stole the lead, extended out on the next long windward leg offshore into the old, stronger breeze and held their margin through the finish line which was set just off the entrance to the Marina del Portals. Provezza squeezed past Bronenosec to get second while Azzurra turned an early seventh place to a ‘counter’ fourth.
With two days of racing to go Quantum Racing lead by four points from Provezza and Azzurra.
The 52 Super Series passed the theoretical half way point of the season with 23 races now sailed and a scheduled 24 still to go. Quantum Racing have a good lead at the top of the overall standings but there are just seven points between second placed Platoon and fifth placed Rán Racing.
Tony Rey (USA) tactician Provezza (TUR):
“Racing on the Bay of Palma it is a left hand race track but you have to be clean. We got a little fortunate that the guys in front of us had to tack for clear air. It was one of these races where the windows open and you are just smart enough to step through them. So we were thrilled with that. It was a huge comeback for us. In the coastal race we even lost the electronics but our navigator, the wizard of Palma, Nacho Postigo, has such a good feel for things we did well.”
Terry Hutchinson (USA) Quantum Racing (USA):
“We did not feel we did our best work yesterday and though we did not do things much differently today we were just a bit crisper in all areas today. We executed two good starts. Gladiator had a glamour start in that second race followed by Provezza and Bronenosec. The coastal race was a hard race.
It has been interesting to see the change in Azzurra’s performance here. They are sailing quite a bit faster here. Bronenosec are going quite fast, Platoon are going well.”
Standings after six races
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,1,4,5,1,1) 16pts
2 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (2,7,5,1,3,2) 20pts
3 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (6,4,2,2,2,4) 20pts
4 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (1,5,1,8,5,3) 23pts
5 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,6,3,3,7,5) 29pts
6 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (3,2,8,6,4,9) 32pts
7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,9,6,7,6,7) 42pts
8 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (9,3,7,9,9,6) 43pts
9 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (8,8,9,4,8,8) 45pts
10 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (DNS,DNS,DNS, DNS,DNS,DNS) 66pts
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week
Azzurra, the 52 Super Series champions of 2015, delivered their best day of this season so far on the Bay of Palma waters where they won the World Championship title and where they built so much of their season-winning points cushion last year.
The team of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda scored two second places from the pair of windward-leeward races which were sailed in relatively steady sea breeze conditions. Super sharp starting was the launch pad for race victories today. Prime position on the pin mark of the start line at the gun was key to the wins of Bronenosec and Provezza.
Azzurra achieved the best balance of risk management at the line up, not pushing too hard for the high stakes big reward position, then, critically showing that they have enough speed to hold their lane of clear air to hold or build on the early gains. On both occasions today Azzurra were second at the first windward mark and then kept it nice and tight to cement their second places.
Platoon, with Markus Wieser and local ace Jordi Calafat combining strengths as tactician and strategist, were nearly as strong, returning two third places.
The 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week leaderboard is surely the tightest yet. Only five points separating the top six boats. Quantum Racing sailed a fourth and fifth today and so are still leading but still only on count back. Now Azzurra and Quantum Racing are both on 14pts. Today’s race winners Bronenosec and Provezza are both on 15pts, Platoon on 17 and Sled on 19pts. Even behind them there are only three points separating Gladiator, Rán and Alegre.
Bronenosec won the pin in the first race of the day, sailing hard and fast at the pin mark, shooting it very slightly, and were then launched on the upwind leg. They had a comfortable lead at the W1 turn and were never challenged. Azzurra were second round and managed the fleet behind them well.
But when Bronenosec tried the same start for a second time they were early and closed out by Provezza which already owned the perfect layline runway to the pin mark. Bronenosec had to bail out from their position with seconds to go, looping all the way back round. From there the scope for a comeback was limited and they could only add an eighth to their Race 3 win.
Provezza had an unstoppable momentum and already looked special half way up the first beat. From the left they crossed the fleet and had a solid lead at the first turn, pursued by Azzurra and Platoon.
In this incredibly closely matched fleet it is so difficult to be as good from one day to the next. More than ever it seems that a bad day is followed by a good day. And vice versa.
Standings after Day 2
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,1,4,5) 14pts
2 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (6,4,2,2) 14pts
3 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (1,5,1,8) 15pts
4 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (2,7,5,1) 15pts
5 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,6,3,3) 17pts
6 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (3,2,8,6) 19pts
7 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (9,3,7,9) 28pts
8 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (8,8,9,4) 29pts
9 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,9,6,7) 29pts
10 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (DNS, DNS, DNS, DNS) 44pts
Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA/ARG):
“Still we are learning every day. We are trying to invent the wheel. And soon I hope we will have a good wheel to be competitive for this season, for the worlds, and for next season. Because here in this fleet when you sleep everyone makes a jump forwards. We are pleased to have a day like this because it means we have made a jump forwards and in the last period we have done something better. I hope we have another good day like this soon.
We are working so hard. I cannot tell you on what. It is very important to maintain the secrets. It is most important that we have more data, to have more ideas to have something better. It is an advantage to the others if I tell you what we have been doing.”
Tony Rey (USA):
“We came away with six points for the day and that is good. We are thrilled. It seems to suit us starting on the pin. But you can tell from the posture of the other tacticians that none of us really knew what side was going to work today. And so it was going to be a bit of a mystery to start with. It really was more of a boat speed day.
We are really fine tuning on the navigation side. Nacho Postigo really is the wizard of Palma Bay and his layline calls are getting to be super accurate. It is a big help when we line up like that.”
Francesco Bruni (ITA) tactician Rán Racing (SWE):
“Things have not been going very well. We have been struggling with starts which have not been great, and tactical calls which were not perfect. I hope it will get better in the next days. But the speed of the boat is good. It is hard right now being at the bottom. It has not been our best performance for sure.”
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week in Mallorca
As Quantum Racing had to fight hard to return their fourth and first place race finishes which ensure they lead the Puerto Portals Sailing Week regatta for the 52 Super Series it was the notable return to form of Sled and Bronenosec after lacklustre performances in Porto Cervo which stood out on the Bay of Palma.
Quantum Racing pretty much carried on from where they left off in Sardinia earlier this month, ferociously consistent and proving the value of every point gained on each race course. But, after their ninth and tenth places respectively at the Audi Settimana delle Bocche, Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec and Takashi Okura’s Sled both bounced back with a strong opening day to the third regatta of the five which form the 2016 52 Super Series.
For both the Sled and the Bronenosec teams there were equally in depth, no holds barred debriefs after Porto Cervo. The conclusions were similar: eliminate unnecessary mistakes, do the basics well and the important self confidence will come back.
In the case of Bronenosec, the need to start better means Ado Stead is now detailed to focus on the execution of the all-important start with owner-driver Liubomirov while tactician Michele Ivaldi keeps his head clear to focus just on tactics – what the breeze is doing, what the opposition are doing, how the fleet is set up – and making clear decisions.
The back to basics approach worked for Bronenosec, tactician Ivaldi reporting:
“You have to start well. We need to trust our boatspeed. Yes we have some new sails but don’t overcomplicate things. Make clean manoeuvres and stay out of trouble. These are the basics. And there is the positive spiral in a team. When you get self confidence you sail better you get more confident and sail better still. It is a positive spiral in any sport. In a sport where the performance is down to the sum of a lot of individuals then that is very important. We needed that boost and we have it.”
Sled’s watchwords – as highlighted by coach Rod Davis after Porto Cervo – are staying clear of trouble, and setting up and starting better.
Both teams proved able to deliver on their post Sardinia learnings. Bronenosec went out and won the first race which they paired to a hard-earned fifth to lie third overall. Sled matched a second to a third, and hold second, tied with Quantum Racing on the same five points aggregate.
The Bay of Palma provided typical 10-13kt sea breeze conditions which cooled, only slightly, the high summer temperatures in the water. The wind for the first race was stronger and more settled. The second contest saw some lighter patches develop and proved slightly trickier.
A first attempt at Race 1 had to be abandoned with Andy Soriano’s Alegre leading. A big cruise ship coming into the Palma terminal split the fleet on the first downwind leg. As usual there are winners and losers in this situation. Soriano’s team had a decent lead and were going fast. On the other hand Tony Langley’s Gladiator were no doubt glad of a second chance after they had torn their A2 kite luff to leech.
Bronenosec were smart out of the trap in Race 1 and were able to execute their game plan to get right early which they did along with Sled. Provezza sailed a strong top third of the beat and only just got around the top mark in second just ahead of Sled with Bronenosec leading. After splitting to different marks at the leeward gate Sled edged ahead of Provezza but Ergin Imre’s crew with Andy Beadsworth helming and Tony Rey calling tactics held to the left of the last run, closer to the Palma/Palmanova side of the track and were able to take second from Sled. A similar back and forth battle had been going on between Quantum Racing and Platoon. Quantum actually stayed well to the right of the run and lost out on pressure for a good few minutes but their choice paid back and they were able to pip Platoon. And, as so often is the case with Quantum Racing, it is the step up from fifth to fourth in that race – as much as their victory in Race 2 – which contributes to their leading the regatta after Day 1.
“That is one you will likely look back on the last day and be glad of. Like we say every place, every point is precious and that was another one gained.”
– Terry Hutchinson (USA) the Quantum Racing tactician confirmed in the post race heat of the Puerto Portals dockside.
Quantum Racing executed a nice second race start, with great speed and good timing to move clear to the right of the course early in the race. They lead at the top mark first time up with Tony Langley’s Gladiator in good shape in second, making the left work for themselves with a good start and good speed with Sled in third and Alegre fourth. At the leeward gate Sled and Gladiator split to opposite marks – rounding bow to bow – and Sled were ahead by the second windward mark. Quantum Racing won with a decent lead, Sled took second with Gladiator holding on to a good third place.
Points are close in the middle of the fleet, three points separating fourth from seventh.
Standings after Day 1
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (4,1) 5 pts
2 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (3,2) 5 pts
3 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (1,5) 6 pts
4 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (2,7) 9 pts
5 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (6,4) 10 pts
6 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,6) 11 pts
7 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (9,3) 12 pts
8 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (7,9) 16 pts
9 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (8,8) 16 pts
10 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Giuseppe Parodi ITA) (DNS/11, DNS/11) 22 pts
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series at Portsmouth
It really was Super Sunday for Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR whose second place in the last of Sunday’s three races gave them the overall regatta win at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth event.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on hand to present the awards and it was a fitting end to an amazing weekend of action for the British fans in Portsmouth.
“I think it’s been a brilliant weekend,” said Sir Ben Ainslie, the skipper of Land Rover BAR.
“For us to race in Portsmouth, in front of our home crowd with the weather playing its part and two cracking days of racing, as a home team to win in front of our home crowd is the best thing we could do.”
The winds on Sunday presented the teams with perfect conditions for the AC45F boats to foil, wowing the tens of thousands of people along the Portsmouth shoreline who had come out to cheer on their favourite teams. The loudest cheers were for Land Rover BAR and it was the British team who took the early lead in race one.
Oracle Team USA led the chasing pack but the crew on board Land Rover BAR had their feet on the gas and kept building an ever bigger lead, using home water knowledge and the cheers of the crowd to help power them to victory in race one, an ominous sign for the rest of the America’s Cup fleet. Behind them, Oracle Team USA were second, Emirates Team New Zealand third, Softbank Team Japan fourth, Artemis Racing fifth and Groupama Team France sixth.
At the start of race two it was Oracle Team USA who seized the early advantage, leading Softbank Team Japan and Land Rover BAR at the first mark. Jimmy Spithill’s US crew were right on top of their game and increased their lead throughout the race, but behind them Emirates Team New Zealand, Land Rover BAR and Softbank Team Japan were engaged in an almighty scrap for second with Artemis Racing and Groupama Team France in fifth and sixth respectively. It was Land Rover BAR in second, Softbank Team Japan in third, Emirates Team New Zealand in fourth, Sweden’s Artemis Racing in fifth and Groupama Team France again in sixth.
Victory for Oracle Team USA set up the final race as a nail-biting conclusion to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth as Land Rover BAR only needed to finish ahead of Oracle Team USA to win the overall regatta honours, and to take top spot in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series standings.
The clock ticked down to the crucial start of race three and it was Oracle Team USA who took the lead off the starting line, just ahead of the British team and the Kiwis on board Emirates Team New Zealand who were watching their series lead disappear ahead of them. The tension was palpable as the British and US teams made their way back down the course, but just after the midway point of the race Oracle Team USA started to edge further away, leaving Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR to defend their second place from Emirates Team New Zealand. That second place was all the British team needed to secure overall victory in the regatta and it was never really in doubt, finally winning the regatta by a single point from Oracle Team USA 82 to 81.
Behind the US and Brits was Softbank Team Japan in third, Emirates Team New Zealand in fourth, Groupama Team France in fifth and Artemis Racing sixth.
The win also put the British team into first place on the overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series leaderboard, overtaking Emirates Team New Zealand who drop to third with Oracle Team USA in second, Softbank Team Japan in fourth, Artemis Racing fifth and Groupama Team France in sixth.
Selected quotes from sailors competing on Super Sunday:
Sir Ben Ainslie, Skipper, Land Rover BAR: “I think it’s been a brilliant weekend. For us to race in Portsmouth, in front of our home crowd with the weather playing its part and two cracking days of racing, as a home team to win in front of our home crowd is the best thing we could do. That was our goal for here, and with our long-term aim of bringing the Cup home, this weekend was just the start of it.
“The reaction from the crowd was amazing and it’s like they now really appreciate what it would mean to bring the America’s Cup back home. Last year at this event we missed the Sunday due to bad weather and this year the weather has been fantastic. The teams have all really upped their game in terms of how they are sailing these boats and today you saw some incredible, really close racing. Now we’re up at the top of the leaderboard, but we have a lot of work to do before Bermuda next year, but we’re performing well and our goal is to bring the Cup home. It may take us a while but when we do, it will be the most amazing event right here in Portsmouth.
“In the last race today we were very aware of the fact we only had to finish within one place of Oracle Team USA to win the regatta, so that was what we were focused on. They were making it as hard as possible, pushing us back into the pack when they could, but to win today is just great, for us and for the 100 or so other people back at the base who are working so hard for our team. It was also great to have the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge here. The Duchess is Patron of our 1851 trust and it means a lot to have them here. We are very proud of our British heritage and to have them here is very special. Finally, I want to thank the fans for coming out in such great numbers and for cheering us on. It has been a great weekend all round.”
Jimmy Spithill, Skipper, Oracle Team USA: “”It was a good Sunday, we won the day, but it just wasn’t enough to win outright. In the end it came down to consistency. On Saturday BAR had a fifth and we had a sixth and that’s the one point that would have made the difference, but it was still great racing. The guys did a good job of fighting all the way through to the end. In the last two races today, we hit Ben every time we could, but we just couldn’t push him back far enough to let a third boat through. Despite that, the guys should hold their heads up. We sailed very, very well today but we have to take our hats off to Ben and congratulate his team.
“The event overall was awesome. I think it’s one of the best Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events. We had huge crowds and today was as good as it gets in terms of race conditions. We had a fantastic time and it was really great to see all the fans, especially the young kids, coming out and supporting all of the teams.
“Last but not least, this is probably the only time I’ve been to the UK and it hasn’t rained, so overall, a pretty good weekend!!”
Dean Barker, CEO and Skipper, Softbank Team Japan: “We felt we had a good event here. We had another podium and I think for our team, it’s about building momentum and developing. It’s been a year since we came here and finished fifth, so we’re very happy with the result. We didn’t sail at our best, but I’m satisfied with the result.
“We saw with BAR and Oracle Team USA that those two teams are quite dominant. We have to fine-tune our boat handling and communication and close the gap but this is a development process for us. We have less than 12 months until the America’s Cup in Bermuda so we will just keep improving and getting better, it really is as simple as that.”
Glenn Ashby, Skipper, Emirates Team New Zealand: “That was a learning weekend for us. We had people in four new roles and really only one guy in his original position, so we just had to learn as much as we could. We managed to get the boat around the track reasonably well and, with the amount of training we did before, the guys did a fantastic job.
“We did cough up a couple of points to the Oracle boys and BAR but with the amount of effort and training they’ve put in, they deserve the points at this regatta. They sailed extremely well, but now the pressure is off us and on them as leaders. We will fight hard for those couple of points separating us at the next regatta in France as the points are so valuable in Bermuda next year, but really, for us, like I think every team, our main priority is the test boat and what will happen next year. If you’re not fast in Bermuda it won’t matter what happened in this regatta.”
Franck Cammas, Skipper, Groupama Team France: “It was very different for us today compared to Saturday. Yesterday in the light winds, the boats weren’t foiling, so it’s a very different technique and we need to improve in the foiling conditions.
“Today we had poor starts compared to yesterday and once you are behind, it is a totally different race. The starts were not good at all today and that makes such a big difference.
“However, it’s very important to have these kinds of days so we can learn in all the conditions. We need more hours on the water in these conditions in these boats, but for us, over the next month we will spend more time in our new boat in the water and work on all of our communication and technique. That will be put into action in France and we are excited about the next race being in our home.”
Iain Percy, Tactician, Artemis Racing: “First I want to say that this weekend has been an amazing event for British sailing. In the 70s and 80s sailing became one of the biggest sports in the UK and now there is a lot of interest in our sport. With that in mind it was no surprise to me that there were thousands of people here this weekend. It bodes well for our sport that both here and in Chicago there were so many people coming out to see our sport and that’s very good news for where we are going.
“However, for us it was a tough weekend on the water. It was Francesco’s first time driving these boats and with the rules in place we can’t do any practice so if you can imagine someone driving a Formula 1 car for the first time, it’s pretty clear that Lewis Hamilton would be quite far ahead. You need time to get used to these boats and we’re not allowed time, so it’s tough. I think frustration is the best way to sum up how this weekend has been. I don’t blame anyone, it’s the way the series is set, it doesn’t help us bringing in a new Helmsman, but that’s how it is.
“The way the conditions were also didn’t help. Every day was a bit different and that means what you learn one day is then not so relevant the next. However despite all that this event was a success, and that’s what is important. The series gives us a chance to showcase what a fantastic sport this is and this event did just that. Hopefully it will turn on more fans as we head to Bermuda in 2017, and, really, our focus is on the boat we will be racing there next year. But next up it’s France and we’ll have Nathan back there and he obviously knows these boats well so it will be a different picture there. Hopefully it won’t be first, last, first, last as it seems we have a bit of a pattern going like that, but with Nathan back hopefully that will end.”
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth Results
1. Land Rover BAR 82
2. Oracle Team USA 81
3. SoftBank Team Japan 69
4. Emirates Team New Zealand 62
5. Groupama Team France 58
6. Artemis Racing 53
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Overall Results
1. Land Rover BAR 367
2. Oracle Team USA 366
3. Emirates Team New Zealand 357
4. SoftBank Team Japan 328
5. Artemis Racing 315
6. Groupama Team France 292
Full results are here – https://www.americascup.com/en/results.html
Photo c Ian Roman
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series at Portsmouth
Hot, sunny conditions and thousands of fans lining the Portsmouth seafront was the backdrop to Saturday’s crowd-pleasing Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series action, the first day of points scoring races on the Solent at the 2016 event.
The home team, Land Rover BAR, led by skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, recovered from a poor first race result to win the second two contests and complete the day at the top of the leaderboard, much to the delight of the tens of thousands of cheering fans lining the shorefront.
“We wanted to perform well in front of the home crowd to give them something to cheer for – it’s an extra impetus. We’ve been training hard, preparing thoroughly and the guys are really fired up for it,” said Land Rover BAR skipper Ben Ainslie.
“It was very tight racing in quite light and difficult winds. We got caught out in the first race, we were in a strong position and then got stuck with Japan and both of us sailed ourselves to the back of the fleet from second and third which was really frustrating.
“But I was pleased with the way we regrouped for the final two races. We fought hard and kept going to come away with two wins; and to top the day in such difficult conditions at our home event was a great effort.”
See the highlights here: https://youtu.be/8EWSw5zt4M0
At the start of race one it was Land Rover BAR and Groupama Team France who led the pack, Softbank Team Japan in third and Artemis Racing, Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand all incurring penalties as they crossed the start line fractions of a second too early. The French team made a tactical decision heading to Gate 2 that really paid off and quickly built a good lead. The battle behind the French was fierce, with boats making contact as the light conditions tested the crews to the limit, but at the finish line it was Groupama Team France in first, Oracle Team USA recovering to second and Emirates Team New Zealand in third. Behind them, a drag race for fourth between Softbank Team Japan and Land Rover BAR was finally settled in favour of the Japanese on a photo finish, with Artemis Racing bringing up the rear in sixth.
Race two was another penalty-fest at the start, with every team except Groupama Team France incurring penalties for crossing the line before the gun, but the pack quickly caught up with the French team and at the bottom mark the home crowd went wild as Land Rover BAR took the lead. Ben Ainslie’s crew strode into a huge lead, and from that point they put on an America’s Cup racing masterclass, making the best use of the light winds to finally finish first, over a minute ahead of Oracle Team USA, who again fought back from a poor start to finish in second. Behind them, Softbank Team Japan finished third, Groupama Team France in fourth and the two boats with new helmsmen in Portsmouth, Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand crossing the line in fifth and sixth respectively.
The third and final race of the day saw another good start for a French team who were the standout performers on the start line today. Land Rover BAR kept up their race two form, but both Oracle Team USA and Softbank Team Japan again incurred start line penalties and were playing catch up from the start. The Japanese team, under the leadership of Dean Barker, made up ground impressively and were right with Groupama Team France at the halfway point of the race, battling with Land Rover BAR for second as the French inched ahead.
However, an incredible fight back from Ben Ainslie’s British boat saw them overtake the French boat at gate 3 and then they found themselves stuck into a huge battle with Softbank Team Japan as they sped towards the final leg. Finally it was another win for Land Rover BAR, an impressive second for Groupama Team France, third for Softbank Team Japan, fourth for Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA in fifth and sixth places in the final race of the day.
Selected quotes from team representatives sailing on Saturday:
Adam Minoprio, Wing Trimmer, Groupama Team France: “Tough conditions today, a lot of light patches and with the sea breezes coming around the Isle of Wight it was tricky conditions out there. However, we’re very happy with our performance today. In all the races today Franck and Thomas (Le Breton, Groupama Team France Tactician) made sure we had really good starts, they worked hard to get us right on the line and I think we were leading at the first mark in all three of the races today. It was a good day for them, wherever we were.
“The level here is world class and even though we’ve obviously made some gains, every other team is also improving. The key is to find those last few percentage gains and make sure we are putting them into action everywhere, not just on the first day of points scoring here in Portsmouth.
“The other pleasing thing about today is that we had to work hard last night on fixing the damage to the boat that we incurred yesterday. We had to lift the boat out last night to work on it and a couple of the shore team worked through the night to fix it, then we had an early start to get the boat back in the water. It was a big distraction, but maybe that’s what we need!”
Dean Barker, skipper, SoftBank Team Japan: “It felt like a bit of a tough day. We were over the line in two of the starts and from there we were battling, we really weren’t error free at any point and I think we have a lot to improve on. We still managed to salvage credible results which I think that was key – in the past we may have let this sort of form drag us down, but here we didn’t. That leaves us still in a position with all to play for tomorrow.
“It was the same for everyone though. We saw yesterday that being strong at mark one is really important here, but even with that you saw a lot of places changing position going downwind. You’d think you were in a good place, but then you could suddenly be vulnerable to other boats closing back in and in the first race we gave up a good position, which was pretty frustrating. Overall though, we gained more than we lost today so it’s not been too bad.”
Paul Campbell-James, tactician, Land Rover BAR: “It was a fantastic day for us. We struggled in the first race but bounced back and to get two bullets in the second and third races was a great result.
“It was quite tricky out there, a real day of snakes and ladders, but generally we were moving forward so we’re pleased with that. It’s an unbelievable event, the amount of people that are here, and to hear the cheers from the shore was absolutely amazing. It gives you that extra bit of pep that helps you pull those sails in a bit harder, and it’s incredible for a sailing event that we can hear support like that.
“The crowd are a big part of it, but also, being the home team, we train here six days a week and it feels like home. That’s helping us, but we also made sure that we were keeping away from other boats, which was the key today.”
Jimmy Spithill, skipper, ORACLE TEAM USA: “It was pretty tough out there, with the conditions and trying to keep clear of the other boats. I thought we sailed better than yesterday, but we still have a way to go. We’ll go back tonight, look at our mistakes and tidy it up.
“It’s difficult to make up ground but the boys kept fighting. We had a tough one in the last race, but it’s all up for grabs tomorrow when it’s double points races, maybe a bit more wind, and it will be great if we can get the boats foiling. But whatever happens we’ll be ready.”
Iain Percy, tactican, Artemis Racing: “It was a terrible day for Artemis Racing. We really didn’t sail as well as we can so we’re disappointed with our performance. We’re frustrated, but fortunately it’s double points tomorrow so it’s still all to play for. A lot of people took some painful lessons today, and we probably took more than our share.
“It is good to be racing in front of such a big crowd, but Britain is a huge sailing nation. I grew up sailing in the 80s here and it was one of the biggest sports in the country. There is just a huge sailing community here and a lot of them came out today and that is great, for all of us.”
Ray Davies, tactician, Emirates Team New Zealand: “It was tough out there, it’s a short course and we were on the big code zero sail the whole time so that puts a lot of pressure on the crew work. I think Land Rover BAR seemed to be more polished than the rest of us on that aspect of racing today and that was the main difference for them.
“One of the keys today was the need to find your own lane because the pack slows you down in these conditions. You keep rolling each other out of gybes and pulling each other back but if you can find your own space and get some clean air there are big gains to be had.”
Portsmouth results after day 1
1. Land Rover BAR, 26pts
2. Groupama Team France, 26pts
3. SoftBank Team Japan, 23pts
4. Oracle Team USA, 23pts
5. Emirates Team New Zealand, 20pts
6. Artemis Racing, 17pts
Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series at Portsmouth
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series returns to Portsmouth this summer, from the 22nd-24th July. This edge of your seat and adrenaline fuelled spectacle sees the world’s best sailors racing the fastest boats, reaching speeds of up to 35 knots just metres away from the spectators on shore.
Six elite sailing teams will be taking part in the racing over the weekend event in order to gain the crucial points needed to take them through to the 35th America’s Cup final in Bermuda next year.
The teams will be competing on state-of-the-art catamaran (twin hulls) with a solid aeroplane wing-like sail and hydrofoils to provide lift and therefore speed. The lightweight vessel can reach speeds of up to 35 knots and was created as a relatively inexpensive boat to transport and sail so that teams could spend as much time as possible on board understanding the new foil-style racing.
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series has a strict one-design boat rule, so each team’s boat is designed to the same set of rules and built from the same yard.
Find out more about the six teams competing to win the America’s Cup:
Land Rover BAR c Lloyd Images
Land Rover BAR (GBR)
Land Rover BAR was launched on June 10th 2014 in the presence of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. The team was conceived by four times Olympic gold medallist and 34th America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the America’s Cup back home to where it all began in 1851. To achieve his aim, he has put together a group of very experienced and determined sailors as well as a high-profile design and management team, including former CEO at the McLaren Group, Martin Whitmarsh. They represent the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes. The team are hoping to continue their winning ways in Portsmouth after taking the 2015 event win. In the overall standings Ainslie’s team lay in second 10 points behind ETNZ.
Oracle Team USA c Sam Greenfield
Oracle Team USA
Oracle Team USA was founded in 2000 by American businessman Larry Ellison and represents San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club. In 2010, Ellison hired the America’s Cup’s most successful sailor in history, Russell Coutts, and finally achieved Oracle’s first win. The 33rd America’s Cup was a Deed of Gift match in Valencia but Ellison’s giant 90′ trimaran easily outclassed the Swiss holder Alinghi. Three years later in San Francisco, the Defender was facing a crushing defeat in the finals against Emirates Team New Zealand when at 8-1 down they staged an historic comeback to win 9-8. The team are currently lying in third place as they prepare to battle on the Solent waters.
Artemis Racing C Sander van der Borch
Artemis Racing (SWE)
Artemis Racing’s trophy collection across all racing classes is second to none with the sailors and designers sharing 61 America’s Cups between them. The team’s principal, owner and founder is Swedish entrepreneur Torbjörn Törnqvist. He is a passionate sailor and successful businessman whose ambition is to win the America’s Cup and bring the oldest trophy in sport to Sweden for the first time. Artemis Racing represents the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS), the fifth oldest yacht club in the world. The team are currently in fourth place ahead of the Portsmouth event.
Groupama Team France c Eloi Stichelbaut
Groupama Team France (FRA)
Team France’s challenge is led by three of the most iconic and successful French sailors: Franck Cammas, Michel Desjoyeaux and Olivier de Kersauson. So far France has not yet managed to assert itself in the America’s Cup but with skipper Franck Cammas’s track record, and long standing sponsor Groupama’s support of sailing in France, the team are keener than ever to promote ‘made in France’ excellence and show just what they are capable of. Team France represents Paris based Yacht Club de France, founded in 1867, shortly after the 1st America’s Cup.
Softbank Team Japan c Matt Knighton
SoftBank Team Japan (JPN)
SoftBank Team Japan, supported by SoftBank Corp. and Kansai Yacht Club, is the first Japanese flagged challenger since 2000. Led by winning America’s Cup skipper Dean Barker, along with veteran Japanese sailor Kazuhiko “Fuku” Sofuku, SoftBank Team Japan is made up of a multi-national collaboration of sailors, boat builders, and support crew from the professional sailing industry.
Photo c Emirates Team New Zealand
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)
Two times winner of the America’s Cup (1995 and 2000) and three times winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup (1995, 2007 and 2013) Emirates Team Zealand has proven to be a leading innovator in sailing, including being the team to successfully develop and bring foiling into the mainstream of America’s Cup and all of sailing. Emirates Team New Zealand remains the only commercially funded sailing team to survive since the multi-challenger event in 2007. The team come into the Portsmouth event in top spot, ten points ahead of Land Rover BAR.
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Photos c Martina Orsini / Foiling Week
Foiling Week Garda 2016
Foiling Week 2016 served up a bonanza of foiling action on Lake Garda from July 5th – 11th. Foiling Week is an annual festival dedicated to all types of foiling boats hosted by Fraglia Vela in Malcesine on the east side of Lake Garda.
The first two days were dedicated to boat tests and trials. Three classes (GC32, Flying Phantom and Moths) held separate regattas over three days of Foiling Week, including the classic long distance race with the entire fleet sailing the same course!
Lake Garda served up hot sunshine with the famous ‘Ora’ southerly overcoming the overnight ‘Pelèr’ northerly during the first two days of competition. (Thurs/Fri)
The Garda Classic, a 20-mile long lap of Lake Garda was set on Saturday with a weather mark set off Campione on the west side of the lake, before returning to a leeward mark half way up the lake between Malcesine and Riva del Garda, to a finish off the event host club, Fraglia Vela Malcesine.
With two start lines, (one for the GC32’s and one for the entire fleet of foiling craft), started in a light southerly which sadly collapsed by the time the leaders reached the first mark. It was a long crawl but 40 foiling craft managed to finish the course in the soaring heat.
The Flying Phantom fleet consisted of 10 teams from 6 nations in the fourth leg of their competitive European circuit. Racing was close throughout but for Tom Phipps and Jon Cook (GBR) scoring 6 bullets in 10 races including one win in the non discardable long distance race. The young British team edged out Benjamin Lamotte and David Fanouillere of France by 6 points. Tom has campaigned for an Olympic place in the Nacra 17 class and is a training partner for GBR’s Rio representatives Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves. He also intends to enter the race for a place in Tokyo 2020 in what might be by then a foiling Nacra 17. Interestingly another British competitor just missing out on selection in Rio, 49er sailor Rick Peacock also raced in the Flying Phantom class finishing fourth.
42 Moths from 10 nations raced in a series of 11 races held on the same course as the Flying Phantoms and Prototypes. As per the Flying Phantoms, the first two days of racing were held in superb foiling conditions with winds ranging from 10 – 16 knots of breeze.
Rob Greenhalgh (GBR) currently ranked 3rd in the world, traded blows with fellow Brit, Dave Hivey throughout 3 days of racing. If it wasn’t for an 8th place in the non discardable long distance race, Hivey would be head to head with Greenhalgh for the overall win. These two sailors dominated racing finishing well clear of third place overall, the popular local Stefano Rizzi (SUI).
Many Moth sailors used Foiling Week as an opportunity to get used to the waters where the 2017 World Championship will be raced.
Current 470 Silver Olympic medallist Stuart Bithell (GBR) competed in his Moth for the first time at a big fleet regatta. Stu scored a number of single digit results ending the regatta in 10th overall. He recognises that foiling classes will continue to be a major part of the future of sailing and is keen to be part of that future whether it be in a Olympic foiling class or as part of an Americas Cup team or professional foiling multi hull team.
Another former 470 world champion, Nic Asher (GBR) has tried his hand at foiling aiming to get noticed for the skills it requires. Nic finished 11th just behind Stuart. Both sailors are aiming to return for the Moth worlds next year in Malcesine.
GC32 Malcesine Cup
Round two of the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour took place on separate courses as part of Foiling Week. The one design fleet expanded to a 10 strong fleet with the majority crewed and skippered by fully professional teams.
After 9 races sailed mainly over the opening two days in glorious Garda conditions, the Swiss Team Tilt helmed by Arnaud Psarofaghis with ETNZ’s Glenn Ashby calling tactics, just pipped Franck Cammas and Team Norauto by one point. The GC32’s also sailed the long distance race held on Saturday but this was not a points scoring race in the final series. The long distance race was won by Orange Team with the jubilant owner and GC32 founder Laurent Lenne on the tiller.
For a full regatta report see: www.gc32racing.com
Vampire Cat – Photo c Martina Orsini
Courses where set for an eclectic mix of prototypes but most of the week was spent on speed runs, trials and just enjoying the opportunity to showcase their wares.
Among the prototypes on show at Foiling Week Garda were a small fleet of S9 catamarans who are gathering pace with small fleets establishing in Italy, the UK and USA.
A very impressive A Class DNA F1 cat (carbon copy of the version with which Mischa Heemskerk comprehensively won the recent A Class worlds).
S9 catamarans – photo c Martina Orsini
Two Cherubs from the UK, were quick on the water, one with a single foil and one with twin foils. Also a Quant 23 scow monohull which was fast on the long distance race.
Others included two Voilavion foiling catamarans from France with a windward canting rig, suitable for singlehanded or double handed sailing. A Whisper catamaran and a tri-foiler design which sports two windsurfer type sails on an old tri hull which showed remarkable speed and manoeuvrability.
Foiling Cherubs – photo c Martina Orsini
Four races were arranged for the Prototypes including the long distance race which was won by perennial Foiling Week returner, Graham Eels with his Vampire multihull from the UK. The Vampire was notably quicker this year and took out the long distance race by a margin.
Coaching and boat trials were available on a number of foilers including the Waszp which had 6 brand new boats ready for their first organised regatta.
Waszp fleet in trials – photo c Junichi Hirai / Bulkhead magazine
Andrew McDougall reports on feedback on Waszp trials:
“We could not be happier with how the boats performed and the enthusiastic response. We had 6 boats trialling on the water, mainly sailed by people who had never sailed a foiling boat. We had sailors ranging from 45kg to 125kg (no, we did not get him foiling!). Most were foiling within minutes and the smiles on the faces when they came in was gold.”
“As the week went on and the word got around, more and more people were lining up for a trial. Many GC32, European Moth, Laser and Moth sailors were among those to fly it. The Waszp is now the talk of the town.”
Before the trials, informal racing was organised with Chris Rashley, Stefano & Gianmarie Ferrighi, Harry Mighell, Francesco Bianchi and Andrew McDougall (AMac). Harry, who has had more time in the Waszp than anyone, won the day with Stefano 2nd and Chris 3rd
Another big element of Foiling Week is the Forum which attracts influential speakers presenting on a whole range of subjects including new foiling classes, equipment, design, safety, coaching and provides a unique opportunity to interact and discuss issues relating to the future of foiling.
There were also a number of trade tents, a photo exhibition and a boat park full of carbon rigs and foils.
A second Foiling Week edition is scheduled to take place in Newport Rhode Island from September 8 – 11th. Newport will hold races including the Moth North-American Championship and the A Class Catamaran Pre-Nationals. The C Class multihulls and the usual mix of prototypes will be on the water at the famous sailing venue.
Standby for more foiling frolics.
Full Results are available via: http://www.myregata.it/en/2016/33/The-Foiling-Week-2016
Press folder for images & videos: www.foilingweek.com/press
You Tube link: https://www.youtube.com/user/foilingweek
Foiling Week facebook: www.facebook.com/foilingweek
Grand Prix Sailing – Fans of Foiling facebook: www.facebook/grandprixsailing
Mike Lennon wins the International Moth Europeans – Photos © Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co.
Mark Jardine of yachtsandyachting.com speaks to Mike Lennon about his win in the International Moth European Championship at Bordeaux, France, developments in the class and deck-sweeper mainsails.
Mark Jardine: You’re clearly going fast right now – you won by a 10 point margin over Chris Rashley who was also second at the International Moth World Championship in Japan. What do you attribute your speed to at the moment?
Mike Lennon: I haven’t done that much competitive sailing this year – I’ve done two open meetings in the UK and that’s it. I’ve been fast in the past; winning the Nationals at Hayling in 2014 and I came second to Chris in the Europeans a few years ago. I’ve always been quick upwind but I’ve struggled a bit downwind generally and that’s always been my achilles heel. So downwind is something I’ve been concentrating on since the Worlds at Hayling in 2014.
About a month ago I switched to a stiffer mast and that really has been transformational to the downwind speed. I then switched out of the A1m type sails I had been working on into the A3m we developed last year, this is a more luff curve oriented sail and works well with the stiffer mast as with enough downhaul and vang the mast will bend until the luff curve is removed, making a full sail flat. This is the sail which both Paul Goodison and Chris Rashley used to take 1st and 2nd at the recent Worlds.
We also now use very powerful controls on the rigs. Last year I used a 12:1 downhaul but now I’m using an 18:1 downhaul and I think I need that with the stiffer mast to get the sail flat. With the fuller sail you do need to start pulling the cunningham on much earlier, in 7-8 knots of windspeed.
I was also using small foils in far lighter wind conditions than I would have considered before, which really worked well on the first day.
Mark: The championship was held on a lake wasn’t it?
Mike: Yes, there’s a lake which runs about a kilometre from the ocean. It’s quite a big lake, big enough to get a course across its width, relatively shifty with the thermal winds running across the lake being the strongest wind direction.
Mark: I noticed last year at the Moth UK Nationals at Stokes Bay that Chris Rashley was sailing the boat much harder than anybody else downwind. Did you find with your new setup you were sailing the boat harder downwind?
Mike: It’s hard to say because Stokes Bay is Chris’s home water and he’s developed a particular technique that gives him an advantage there. People like Dylan Fletcher say they can live with him in Portland Harbour but can’t get near him in Stokes Bay. It’s an aggressive technique and he sails it quite hard, but in Maubuisson it was more about staying in the pressure and soaking off sometimes just to stay in the pressure. It was a very different kind of racing to Stokes Bay in a South Westerly.
Mark: We’ve just had the A Class Catamaran Worlds and this class has seen the deck-sweeper mainsails introduced last year and dominating the top results. I know you’ve been developing a concept deck-sweeper sail for the International Moth – how are your experiments going with that?
Mike: The Moth fleet has been trying to lower the rig for several years and the end-plate effect is something, but it’s not the main thing. The main focus in the Moth is getting the centre of effort down, lowering the rig height and gaining more righting moment. We are restricted by the fact that we need to get under the boom and you need triangulation for the vang, a certain distance from the gooseneck to the kicking strap, and if that distance gets too small then you can’t generate the power in the vang. Some people are already using 52:1 on their vang systems on an 8 sq. metre sail which is crazy.
Earlier this year I tried a mainsheet traveller track on the back of the boat and sheeted effectively from the transom, the mainsheet itself effectively became the vang and you play the traveller, then you only need a 4:1 system and you can get more load in the leech with that than a 52:1 vang system, so it was worth trying, but there are a lot of downsides to it in terms of sailing the boat.
The A Class has a big, stable platform and you can let go of the tiller in the tack and do all kinds of stuff that you can’t get away with in a Moth. I had to have twin tiller extensions so that they stayed in front of the mainsheet and the mainsheet track length is limited by the class rules – you can’t have anything wider that the boat – so the track has to stop where the racks stop so that’s the working range you’ve got.
In theory it would work and you could deck-sweep the mainsail, gaining nearly a foot in rig height and getting an end-plate effect on the deck, but we found no discernible difference in boat speed and it was far trickier to sail.
Mark: Would a wishbone rig, similar to that used in the new Waszp, provide a solution?
Mike: People have talked about it and of course A-Mac’s done that on the Waszp, but you still need to derive huge amounts of leech tension. I just don’t think you’d be able to get the tension that is required. The main thing that overrides everything is getting the right shape – all the other gains such as lowering the rig or getting an end-plate effect are tiny in comparison to having the right sail and mast combination.
The key is being able to flatten your sail upwind and being able to get it full enough downwind – that overrides all other considerations. If you can create a sail that’s really versatile, lower the centre of effort and get an end-plate effect that would be the ultimate goal.
Mark: So that’s your nirvana in sail design?
Mike: Yes, but getting the extras at the expense of sail shape is pointless.
Mark: So what’s the plan for the rest of your season?
Mike: I’ve got the Nationals at the end of August but that’s the next big thing. I don’t travel as much as I used to now I’m an old man and have children. I’ve been sailing since I was 12 and I’m 50 years old now so I don’t have the urge to compete in every regatta under the sun like I might have done 20 years ago. I enjoy the ones I do but I pick them carefully!
Mark: Well you’re still pretty successful at 50 years young!
Mike: I try my best!
Mark: Congratulations on winning the Moth Europeans against such a hot fleet and many thanks for your time.
Mike: Thank you.
International Moth Europeans photos courtesy of Thierry Martinez / Sea&Co. / www.thmartinez.com
Mike Lennon’s ‘decksweeper’ experiment – photo © Lennon Racewear
Article by Mark Jardine of yachtsandyachting.com