Monthly Archives: November 2016

Training partners clinch Pro Tour’s first title with flawless performances

 

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For his rivals it was an ominous warning. France’s Nico Parlier grabbed the inaugural Hydrofoil Pro Tour crown winning every race of the climactic final stop at Rockingham, Western Australia, despite conditions that ranged from light airs to ballistic breezes at the close.

The 21-year-old’s perfect performance, in the face of intense competition, even bettered his stellar record at the tour’s two earlier stops where he competed, and he is already looking forward to next year with relish.

“For sure it’s a great honour for me to win the first Hydrofoil Pro Tour,” he said. “During the whole year we saw that all the fastest riders were at the events. The Hydrofoil Pro Tour has been a really great series with great conditions. We’ve been to awesome venues specially-picked for the riders.”

 

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Nico Parlier (FRA)

 

His delight was matched by his San Francisco training partner, the US’s Daniela Moroz, just 15, who never put a foot wrong. She, too, won every one of her 17 races in the women’s division, in the process pushing many of the leading men racing in the same spectacular 56-strong fleet and also securing the overall Pro Tour crown.

“I’m very happy to win the first Hydrofoil Pro Tour title,” said a beaming Moroz. “It’s so exciting and I’m sure it’s going to be a great step for the tour next year. Hopefully, we’ll get more girls on the start line racing at some of the best venues in the world.”

The final day of four at the stop hosted by The Cruising Yacht Club of WA delivered memorable conditions at the close as the fabled Fremantle Doctor breeze kicked in early and hit gusts of 31kts blowing over Rockingham bay’s flat waters.

Parlier at one point between races clocked his speed at 41kts while testing his pace and angles on his 9m Ozone R1V2 kite and Mike’s Lab foil, a measure of the perfect combination of wind and flat turquoise water Rockingham habitually serves up.

 

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Olly Bridge (GBR)

 

But even with such scorching speed the Frenchman did not have it all his own way. Britain’s Olly Bridge, 19, who took the second podium place at the stop and overall, harried Parlier at every turn and again in the day’s four races thought he would finally get the better of him.

On the first 0.95 nautical miles upwind leg of the two-and-a-half lap course Bridge rounded the top mark in the lead in every race, only frustratingly to see the tables turned by the second leg’s leeward mark, and then have to watch helplessly as Parlier eased away.

Even an unusual crash by Parlier in the gusty conditions as he approached the final windward mark on the penultimate race failed to break the spell. Bridge, riding a Levitaz Bionic foil and 9m Ozone R1V2 kite, was too far behind, and Parlier gathered his board and still squeezed over the line comfortably ahead.

“It was really good racing today, though the last race was a bit crazy in the gusty winds,” said Bridge. “I was ahead in every race at the top mark, but going down wind Parlier was just locked in and gone. In the end I’m pretty happy with the second spot.”

 

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Italian-Colombian Riccardo Leccese pushed the leading pair hard — so hard exploded spectacularly on one downwind leg — but recovered to finish and maintain his high-placed finishes to cement the tour stop’s third podium spot.

Leccese has been a fervent supporter of the tour, but suffered an injury at the San Francisco stop and withdrew, missing the Mauritius leg shortly after, despite a promising start in La Ventana, Mexico, at the beginning of the year.

Frenchwoman, Alexia Fancelli, brought her Pro Tour year to a close with a similarly successful outing, pushing up the order to take the women’s second podium spot, ahead of Russia’s Elena Kalinina. It was an order that was reversed in the year’s overall rankings.

For the the home-grown racers who made the tour’s final stop possible, their chance to share in the glory came with the awarding of the prizes for the Australian Kitefoil Nationals, a division of the Pro Tour aggregating their results from the event’s four days.

source: Hydrofoil Pro Tour Media

 

Overall standings after 17 races (3 discards) Rockingham:

 

Male

1 Nico Parlier (FRA) — 14pts

2 Oliver Bridge (GBR) — 28pts

3 Ricci Leccese (ITA) — 47pts

4 Florian Trittel (ESP) — 57pts

5 Florian Gruber (GER) — 75pts

6 Nico Landauer (URG) — 93pts

7 Guy Bridge (GBR) — 97pts

8 Martin Dolenc (CRO) — 102pts

9 Matt Taggart (NZL) — 111pts

10 Adrian Geislinger (AUT) — 132pts

 

Female

1 Daniela Moroz (USA) — 14pts

2 Alexia Fancelli (FRA) — 36pts

3 Elena Kalinina (RUS) — 37pts

4 Steph Bridge (GBR)— 41pts

5 Gina Hewson (AUS) — 61pts

6 Natalie Flintrop-Clark—85pts

Hydrofoil Pro Tour Overall Winners:

 

Male

1 Nico Parlier (FRA) — 3pts

2 Olly Bridge (GBR) — 10pts

3 Nico Landauer (URG) — 14pts

Female

1 Daniela Moroz (USA) — 54pts

2 Elena Kalinina (RUS) —71pts

3 Alexia Fancelli (FRA) —81pts

 

More Images available @ Facebook Photos Day 4

Event Results: http://hydrofoilprotour.info/results/rockingham/

 

For further information contact Media Team: hydrofoilprotour@gmail.com

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/hydrofoilprotour

 

 

Team Aqua wins Valletta Cup by a point 

 

 

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Team Ceeref wins Championship by a point

 

Again a RC44 season has concluded with impossibly close results: Chris Bake’s Team Aqua won the RC44 Valletta Cup by a point from Igor Lah’s Team Ceeref, but with a two point advantage going into this final event, Team Ceeref claimed the overall RC44 Fleet Racing Championship title for 2016 by a point from Team Aqua.

The final day of the RC44 Valletta Cup brought sun, but the wind off Malta never filled in sufficiently to allow the final races to be sailed, despite the 10 boat fleet venturing out on to the water. As a result Saturday’s positions stand.

“This is a great event,” said the RC44 Valletta Cup’s victor, Chris Bake. “Conditions were tough, but we did really well and Friday obviously was a huge day.” On day two of fleet racing, Team Aqua won three out of three races. “Yesterday was challenging and today unfortunately there was no wind,” he continued.

 

 

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Team Aqua – photo c Martinez Studio

 

 

Team Aqua tactician, New Zealander Cameron Appleton added: “We started strong and finished strong. We had to come here and win this to have a chance and hope that Ceeref – maybe – made some mistakes. But they didn’t.”

Being the longest-standing teams in the RC44 class, it is appropriate that Team Aqua and Team Ceeref should dominate the fleet racing in this 10th anniversary season for the Russell Coutts one designs. As Team Nika managed in 2015, so this year Team Ceeref scored the coveted ‘double’: Victory in the season’s championship as well as the World Championship, this year held in Sotogrande, Spain.

On the dockside, Team Ceeref’s Igor Lah was encouraged to take a victor’s plunge into the water of the Excelsior Marina by his competitor Chris Bake. Of his reaction to winning, Lah said: “Wet! It was a fantastic season and all the other teams are also really great. It was hard, but our team work was excellent. All the guys were brilliant – they did their jobs and this is the result. We didn’t expect it – our goal was only the Worlds, so this is the cream on the cake.”

 

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Team Ceeref – photo c Martinez Studio

 

Of Team Ceeref’s strengths, tactician Adrian Stead observed: “This is Igor’s tenth season in the RC44 class and he knows the boat really well. He steers the boat very well. This week has been painful for him in the waves, because he has a knee operation in two weeks, but he has coped really well with it.

“The boat is going really well with Jon Gundersen and Dirk de Ridder on the speed side and our coaching has been excellent. We feel like we are getting the best out of the boat. We are not the team with the biggest budget, but we make sure we spend it wisely.”

Relative newcomer Alexander Novoselov finished third in the RC44 Valletta Cup on his Katusha with American Andy Horton calling tactics. “I am very happy with the result,” said Novoselov. “We have been fighting well and working hard. We were very close to the leaders.”

However this was not enough to get Katusha on to the 2016 championship podium. This was taken by Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing, which also claimed the 2016 RC44 Match Racing Championship title earlier in the week.

Torbjörn Törnqvist commented: “We performed when it mattered, which was good to see and we’ve definitely made a step forward from the previous season. It’s always sad when the season comes to an end, but I’m looking forward to the event in Marstrand next year.” Sadly the Russian teams, Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team and Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika didn’t manage to repeat the impressive consistency they demonstrated in 2015, when they won the RC44 Match Racing and Fleet Racing titles respectively, although Team Nika claimed this season’s RC44 Portsmouth Cup.

This was also true of John Bassadone’s usually impeccable Peninsula Petroleum, which only reached the podium once this year, finishing second at their home regatta in Sotogrande.

Just four points separated the fourth to seven placed boats at the final season’s tally, demonstrating how close the racing was even in the mid-fleet and how vital it was to achieve a good result here in Malta.

Nico Poons’ Charisma was unable to repeat its success from last season here in Malta, while Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Racing, showed better consistency and finished within 10 points of fifth place.

At to the end of the RC44’s 10th anniversary year, Chris Bake observed: “The boats and the way we are sailing is nothing like 10 years ago. We have all stepped up our programs hugely. The skill level on board all the boats is huge and if you look at the points separations, both in the match racing and the fleet racing, it is a very competitive environment. That said, it comes down to the team, the set-up and consistency. Not all the owners have huge experience, but with the right boat and the right set-up you can really have a lot of fun.”

 

 

RC44 Valletta Cup – Fleet Racing Results

1 Team Aqua – 35pts

2 Team Ceeref – 36pts

3 Katusha – 38pts

4 Artemis Racing – 43pts

5 Bronenosec Sailing Team – 51pts

6 Artemis Racing Youth – 55pts

7 Perninsula Petroleum – 57pts

8 Team Nika – 58pts

9 Charisma – 60pts

9 Aleph Racing – 63pts

 

 

RC44 Fleet Racing Championship Results (5 regattas – 1 discard)

1 Team Ceeref – 9pts

2 Team Aqua – 10pts

3 Artemis Racing – 14pts

4 Katusha – 17pts

5 Bronenosec Sailing Team – 18pts

6 Peninsula Petroleum – 19pts

7 Team Nika – 20pts

8 Artemis Racing Youth – 28pts

9 Charisma – 34pts

10 Aleph Racing – 38pts

11 Black Water – 40pts

 

www.rc44.com

 

 

RC44 Match Racing Tour decided in last breath

 

RC44 VALLETTA CUP

 

In its tensest conclusion ever, the RC44 Match Racing Championship today came down to the very last race of the very last flight, victory ultimately falling the way of Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing.

Match racing at the RC44 Valletta Cup took place in a 10-14 knot southeasterly in the magnificent setting of the Maltese capital’s Grand Harbour, surrounded by the ancient fortified city’s towering ramparts.

All RC44 events begin with a day of match racing, points from which are accumulated across the season. Going into this final match racing day of 2016, it also couldn’t have been tighter on points, with Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika tied in the lead with Artemis Racing.

Bronenosec Sailing Team, Team Ceeref and Team Aqua were all tied, three points behind the frontrunners.

Team Nika, the 2015 RC44 World Champion and Fleet Racing Champion, got off to a strong start today dispatching Aleph Racing and Katusha, before picking up an easy win against Team Ceeref which suffered a terminal spinnaker halyard tangle while rounding the leeward gate. However the Russian team’s winning streak came to an end when it lost its flight four match against Chris Bake’s Team Aqua.

Meanwhile after being on a bye for race one, Artemis Racing dispatched Bronenosec Sailing Team, Peninsula Petroleum and Charisima. Going into the final match race of the season, this left the Swedes tied with Team Nika. The final race would decide the 2016 Championship.

In this Artemis Racing led off the start line, maintained her advantage through a tacking duel up the first beat and rounded the top mark ahead, before a spinnaker sheet issue on the downwind allowed Team Nika to gain the upper hand.

Artemis Racing helmsman, Francesco Bruni explained: “We had a problem with the old spinnaker sheet having a knot in it. Then we overcomplicated things at the gate and made a bad drop, so we were a little bit on the back foot.”

The two boats split at the gate and Artemis Racing picked up a favourable shift that had brought them back into the game by the next cross. Here the experience of the Swedish crew paid, as Team Nika tactician Ed Baird explained:

“We went to lee bow them and it was a little slow. They did a nice job of keeping their speed and then ducked us at the last moment to become the leeward boat. Under the new rules we had to tack away and that put them into the lead again.”

From there Artemis Racing defended well to finish narrowly ahead of Team Nika and to claim the 2016 RC44 Match Racing Championship title. Bruni commented:

“It was great to have such a close match with Team Nika in the last race. It was really intense, like how match racing should be: Very close, lead changes all the time, really good fun. Vladimir and the Team Nika crew did a really good job. They sailed well until the end.”

Having hoped to follow up his success in 2015 with the Match Racing Championship title this year, Team Nika’s owner Vladimir Proshikin came ashore not in the best of spirits.

“I am so depressed, feeling pain,” he admitted. “We made one quite basic mistake when we were ahead. I had to tack lee bow and I didn’t. It was stupid and it could have changed the outcome. It was one mistake and he [Bruni] didn’t allow me to make any mistakes.” He added: “Had I not wanted to win so badly, I would have had a lot of fun…”

With Team Nika second overall, an outstanding day for Team Aqua – joint top scorer today with Artemis Racing – allowed Chris Bake’s team to claim the third spot on the 2016 RC44 Match Racing Championship podium.

With the wind blowing more across Grand Harbour than down it, the start box was shallow and required teams to reappraise their pre-start manoeuvres, perhaps benefitting the more experienced crews. As Cameron Appleton, who helmed Team Aqua today observed:

“There was a lot more reverse circling and picking your time and a lot more shut outs at the committee boat just due to the limited space. So it was a whole different pre-start mind-set and strategy, but we always had a good game plan and were able to execute.”

Today was not only the last day of match racing in the 2016 for the RC44s. Going forward the decision has been made to change to an entirely fleet racing regatta format from next season on.

 

RC44 Valletta Cup – Match Race Results:

Artemis Racing 4-0

Team Aqua 4-0

Team Nika 3-2

Bronenosec Sailing Team 3-2

Artemis Racing Youth 2-2

Team Ceeref 2-2

Charisma 2-3

Peninsula Petroleum 2-3

Katusha 1-4

Aleph Racing 0-5

 

For more information about the RC44 Valletta Cup and racing progress please visit www.yachtingevents.com.mt and www.rc44.com

 

 

Land Rover BAR win Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series

 

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photo © Sam Kurtul

 

 

Land Rover BAR – the British challenge headed by Olympic legend Ben Ainslie – has won the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series with a first place finish at the ultimate event in Japan this weekend.

Ainslie’s team sailed extremely well to secure the overall title with a race to spare. With the overall series win, Land Rover BAR earns two bonus points for the next stage of the America’s Cup (see below).

Oracle Team USA and skipper Jimmy Spithill pushed hard, finishing ahead of BAR in the first race of the day, but Ainslie was able to sail with controlled aggression to a 4, 2, 3 scoreline, and into the overall series win.

“This has been a goal for us for the whole season and for this event. The guys have done an incredible job,” Ainslie said from the water following the second race of the day.

“For us as a new team it sends out a strong message for all our supporters that we can do it.”

For the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Fukuoka, it came down to a tie-break with Land Rover BAR clawing into a tie with Artemis Racing in the final contest, and taking the regatta by virtue of a better result in the last race.

But with attention shifting to Bermuda and the America’s Cup racing next year, the focus was on the overall title and bonus points it confers.

By taking first place on the overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series leaderboard, Land Rover BAR has collected two bonus points to carry forward into next year’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in Bermuda.

With a second place finish on the overall leaderboard, Oracle Team USA secured one bonus point for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers next year.

 

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photo © Carlo Borlenghi © http://www.carloborlenghi.com

 

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Worlds Series Fukuoka Results:

Land Rover BAR, 75 points

Artemis Racing, 75 points

Oracle Team USA, 70 points

Emirates Team New Zealand, 65 points

SoftBank Team Japan, 61 points

Groupama Team France, 59 points

 

 

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Overall:

1. Land Rover BAR — 512pts

2. Oracle Team USA — 493pts

3. Emirates Team New Zealand — 485pts

4. Artemis Racing — 466pts

5. SoftBank Team Japan — 460pts

6. Groupama Team France — 419pts

 

www.americascup.com

 

 

Land Rover BAR team increase their overall lead

 

FUKUOKA, JAPAN - November 19: The LandRover BAR British Americas Cup Team skippered by ben Ainslie shown here in action on the first day of racing. The Louis Vuitton Americas Cup World Series Japan on November 19, 2016 in Fukuoka, Japan Photo by Lloyd Images

 

Super Sunday will be the decider in Fukuoka

 

Hakata Bay in Fukuoka was the scene for the historic first ever day of America’s Cup racing in Japan and it was Land Rover BAR who finished day one of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Fukuoka racing on top, adding one more point to their overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series lead.

The event village was full of Japanese fans and despite a light wind  the six America’s Cup teams put on a show of America’s Cup racing for the first time ever in Japan, and with a win for SoftBank Team Japan among the day’s highlights, it could not have been a better start to America’s Cup action in Japan.

In race one the start was tightly contested but it was series leaders Land Rover BAR who were quickly into the lead. Groupama Team France crossed the line early, leaving them with a startline penalty and putting them back into sixth, but as the boats headed to gate two it was the British team who were stamping their authority on the pack with only Emirates Team New Zealand giving close chase.

The fight at the front grew closer as the boats headed to mark three, Emirates Team New Zealand closed the gap to Land Rover BAR and then edged ahead as they set off on leg four. That lead was short lived, however, as an unexplained and somewhat dramatic move by the Kiwis halfway down leg four gave the advantage to Land Rover BAR, leaving the New Zealanders in second, Artemis Racing in third, Groupama Team France fourth, having clawed their way back after their startline penalty, and Oracle Team USA and home favourites SoftBank Team Japan in fifth and sixth respectively.

In the end, even a late penalty on leg six could not slow up the British team too much, and they duly won the first race of the day ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing, Oracle Team USA, SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France in that order.

Saturday’s second race saw SoftBank Team Japan take the early advantage, streaking into a lead with the boat up on its foils as they headed Oracle Team USA and the rest of the pack to gate two. This time, Land Rover BAR were at the back of the pack, perfectly demonstrating the sheer unpredictability of America’s Cup racing in its modern guise.

Another penalty for Groupama Team France pushed them back behind the British team, but at the front of the pack Oracle Team USA had a brief glimpse of the lead at gate 3 before SoftBank Team Japan regained their advantage as they foiled down leg four. From that point they never looked like losing and as the hometown favourites crossed the line in first place the cheers from the crowd could be heard in Tokyo!

Oracle Team USA finished race two in second, Land Rover BAR, having staged a mighty comeback, were third, Artemis Racing were third and Emirates Team New Zealand and Groupama Team France again brought up the rear.

The final race of the day was race three and even though SoftBank Team Japan had a good start it was Oracle Team USA who rounded the first mark in the lead. Behind them the Japanese and British teams were fighting for second and third and it was Ben Ainslie’s team who took the advantage, moving ahead of Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan crew in third, but only for a short time as the Japanese team pushed themselves back into second on the fourth leg. Halfway towards mark four Land Rover BAR moved back ahead of SoftBank Team Japan who had a halyard failure slow them down and from that point the battle for second place was where the real action took place.

Emirates Team New Zealand had moved up and suddenly Groupama Team France were also in the mix with the Kiwis and the Brits, the race towards second place at the line seeing the advantage change constantly, but in the last race of Saturday it was Oracle Team USA who were celebrating, Land Rover BAR in second, Emirates Team New Zealand in third, Groupama Team France in fourth and Artemis Racing just nudging ahead of SoftBank Team Japan in a photo finish at the finish line in a drag race on the foils for fifth.

The results mean Land Rover BAR heads Oracle Team USA on both the Fukuoka and overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series leaderboards.

With bonus points for next year’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers in play for the top two finishers in the overall series, it’s still all to play for with four teams in with a shot at earning a head start in Bermuda.

 

16/11/19 - Fukuoka (JP) - Race Day 1, Day 1, 35th America's Cup Bermuda 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Fukuoka - Race Day -1

 

Selected team quotes:

Kazuhiro “Fuku” Sofuku, Bowman and General Manager, SoftBank Team Japan: ““It was amazing this morning to walk through the streets and see so many people coming down to watch the event. It was great! It’s such a good opportunity for us to introduce the Japanese people to great sport and also to show people all around the world how beautiful our country is. We had mixed results today but we will work harder tomorrow and with the great support we have here I’m sure it will be a great day.”

Giles Scott, Tactician, Land Rover BAR: “We’re in a really great place. I think we’ve put one point on Oracle Team USA today, we’ve held the lead we came into this regatta with, but it’s double points tomorrow so I don’t think we can rest on our laurels. The way I look at it, you ask any of these guys where they want to be coming into the final regatta, they’d be lying if they said they didn’t want to be in the lead. We’re certainly no different, we’re happy with our lead and I think we’d take that pressure any day.

Jimmy Spithill, Skipper, Oracle Team USA: “I thought we sailed pretty well today. We were on the back foot in the first race, but the boys rallied and you have to be able to come back from those tough situations and we did a good job of that today. I think we have to come out tomorrow and go as hard as we can. It’s so difficult to push one boat back but if there are any opportunities we’ll take them. We’re fighting for the win. We’re not shooting for second place. At the end of the day all we have to focus on tomorrow is winning races.”

Franck Cammas, Skipper, Groupama Team France: “Throughout the day the wind was increasing and in the last race that meant we were able to foil and that was good for the show and for our team as the rest of the day was not really like that. In race three we had improved but we lost places at the last mark. We know the mistake we made but otherwise we were in the game in the middle of the fleet in the final race, the boat speed was good down wind, but there were too many mistakes and we have to avoid that tomorrow.”

Peter Burling, Helmsman, Emirates Team New Zealand: “It was a really tough day. It’s been a while since we sailed in those kind of conditions, I think the last time was Chicago, and to finally get the boats foiling, that’s what they’re designed for and it’s good that the crowd got to see that sort of spectacle. For us, we had a fair bit of rust on, as I say, we hadn’t sailed the boats in those sorts of conditions since Chicago, so there was a fair bit to chip away on and I think that’s why we were sailing better in the last race.”

Nathan Outteridge, Skipper, Artemis Racing: “It wasn’t the greatest of days for us and it progressively got worse I guess, looking at the points, but today was probably about as hard as these boats are to sail. We were pretty happy with our first two races, it was a bit disappointing to lose Ben right at the final mark, and in that last one we probably just pushed a bit too hard at the start, a bit too aggressive trying to get round that first mark in the first two, and got a bunch of penalties because of that. However, we fought hard to get back into it and beat SoftBank Team Japan right there at the end, and got that final point and that point will probably mean a lot tomorrow.

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Fukuoka Leaderboard
(Team Name — Finish Position — Points)

Land Rover BAR — 1, 3, 2 — 27 points
Oracle Team USA — 4, 2, 1 — 26
Emirates Team New Zealand — 2, 5, 3 — 23
Artemis Racing — 3, 4, 5 — 21
SoftBank Team Japan — 5, 2, 6 — 21
Groupama Team France — 6, 6, 4 — 17

 

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Overall Leaderboard
Land Rover BAR — 464 points
Oracle Team USA — 449
Emirates Team New Zealand — 443
SoftBank Team Japan — 420
Artemis Racing — 412
Groupama Team France — 377

www.americascup.com

 

 

Stage set for final races of ACWS

 

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America’s Cup World Series Fukuoka – Practice Day – photo Ricardo Pinto

 

The stage is set for the final weekend of racing in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.

The ultimate event is taking place in Fukuoka, Japan this weekend, the first America’s Cup racing in Asia, and showcase event for SoftBank Team Japan, the first Japanese Cup challenger in 15 years.

Land Rover BAR has a 14 point lead over Oracle Team USA going into the final races in the two-year series.

But with 90 points on offer over the six races scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, the fight for the title is still open.

“It is very close in terms of the overall points. We have a bit of a gap to the other two boats, but in reality we’re going to have to sail really well this weekend if we want to end up on top in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series,” said Ben Ainslie. “We have to do the absolute best we can.”

While second placed Oracle Team USA has their sights set on the top of the leaderboard, the team could be forgiven for looking over its shoulder at Emirates Team New Zealand, who are just three points back. But skipper Jimmy Spithill says the focus is on taking a win.

“We never think about looking after second place,” Spithill said. “We are here for the win. No question, it’s Ben’s to lose but stranger things have happened. We’ll be giving everything we can to try and reach the top.”

The spotlight this weekend won’t only be on the leaderboard. For SoftBank Team Japan, this weekend marks an opportunity to bring America’s Cup racing to Asia and Japan for the very first time.

SoftBank Team Japan sailor and general manager Kazuhiko Sofuku sailed with previous Japanese challenges, but this is the first time he’s been able to race in his homeland.

“I’m very excited to be here and already I feel like this is going to be a really big event,” he says. “There is so much enthusiasm from the media and the fans and I know ticket sales have gone very well. I am looking forward to seeing everybody who is going to come out to see us this weekend.

“For us as a team this could be the perfect way to keep building up our performance. We were third in Chicago and Portsmouth, then second in Toulon and we keep improving so as long as we do that the results will follow.”

On Friday, the teams took to the water for Official Practice racing, with SoftBank Team Japan taking a popular first race win.

Four races were completed in light to moderate conditions. The final race of the day was the designated substitute race, which may be scored over the weekend should conditions not be suitable for racing. Series leader Land Rover BAR took the win, with Oracle Team USA in second place.

Six races are scheduled over the next two days – three on Saturday, and three more worth double points on Super Sunday.

 

 

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series – Overall Leaderboard

Land Rover BAR — 437

Oracle Team USA — 423

Emirates Team New Zealand — 420

SoftBank Team Japan — 399

Artemis Racing — 391

Groupama Team France — 360

 

Follow the America’s Cup on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for live updates of the final showdown in Fukuoka, Japan November 19-20.

 

 

Foiling 101 hits the water

 

 

foiling-101-tri

Introducing the Foiling 101

Foiling for everyone…

The all carbon F101 is an all new foiling trimaran, aimed specifically at those sailors who, for whatever reason, thought foiling was too difficult for them!

The F101 concept originates from the experience of teaching many people to foil in the international Moth class, and addressing the main barriers they faced. So we set about creating a new boat without the design restrictions of a box rule – in this way foiling could be made easier.

Our ethos is simple; to create a foiling boat that anyone can sail.

 

 

 

Technical stuff…

•    Long central hull gets the rudder and main foil further apart, removing some of the limitations and bad habits that other foiling boats suffer from.

•    All carbon construction: main hull, foils, floats, beams, 2 piece mast.

•    Very simple, well thought out control systems.

•    All up weight: 80 kg

•    Sail area: 8.5m2 main + 7m2 gennaker

•    Target crew weight range: 70-120 kg

•    Take off wind speed: 8 kts

•    Target boat speed range: 10-25 kts

 

foiling-101-boat

 

 

Who’s behind the project?

 

 

The F101 is collaboration of some of the major brands within the marine industry:

•    Sportsboatworld.com – worldwide distributors for the SB20 one design Sportsboat.

•    Pro-Vela.com – the world’s first foiling school, and teaching foiling since 2009.

•    Whiteformula.com, one of worlds leading brands for small racing multihulls, also the builder of the SB20 and the Whisper foiling catamaran.

•    Ron Price of Solent University – designer of the Whisper Foiling catamaran.

•    Hyde Sails, Selden Masts and Harken have all been an integral part of the design group.

•    A new company, Foiling World Ltd has been incorporated that will be the trading company for the F101.

 

www.foiling101.com

 

 

 

New format announced for 2017 RC44 Championship Tour

 

rc44-class-scene

 

 

A decade since its launch the RC44 Championship Tour will take on a new racing format for the 2017 season. Adding the highly competitive match racing day, that previously kicked off each regatta, into the practice racing in favour of four days of high intensity fleet racing.

“The bang-bang nature of match racing does a lot to hone the communications and boat handling for the owners and crews in tight situations,” explains Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio. “It will still play an important part in the practice racing, but the new format will now allow the teams to fully focus on their fleet racing game.”

With three to four races per day over a four-day regatta, the RC44 Championship Tour offers the fleet more racing each season than any other owner driven racing circuit.

“The match racing is part of the heritage of the Class and something we are keen to keep in the format of racing. But adding it into the practice day means less pressure on the owners, one less day each regatta which is more manageable with our schedules, but still the same number of races over the season,” added Chris Bake, owner of Team Aqua, who has competed in the Class since 2007.

The 2017 season will comprise of five European events. Starting in Sotogrande, Spain (27 – 30 April), the fleet will return to the iconic Sardinian sailing mecca of Porto Cervo, Italy (29 June – 2 July), before moving onto to the Marstrand, Sweden for the 2017 RC44 World Championship (9 – 13 August).

After three seasons with the fleet Nico Poons, owner of Monaco based team Charisma, commented:

“Next year’s calendar looks good; I’m looking forward to the world championship event in Marstrand. The wilder conditions, with the strong breeze and big sea, really brings out the best in the design of these boats.”

“I don’t know if there is something in the snaps or the heavy breeze, but we always seem to perform well in Sweden,” added Bake with a smile.

The penultimate regatta of the season will be held in the sailor’s favourite stop, Cascais, Portugal (28 September – 1 October), with the season finale in November to be announced in the coming weeks.

“The key aspects that first attracted me to this class still holds true – it’s one-design, it’s a team boat and because of the one-design rule it all comes down to skill to differentiate you from your competitor.

“If you are in sync, this class is immediately gratifying, there is nothing else quite like it. The one-design rule is closely managed so leading the fleet is all the feedback you need. Just look at the points, it’s ridiculous how close the racing is,” Bake concluded.

Still to come the final event of the 2016 RC44 Championship Tour is set to take place in Valletta, Malta next month, 23 – 27 November, where the season match and fleet racing champion will be crowned.

The RC44 Valletta Cup is followed by The Yacht Racing Forum, the leading annual conference for the business of sailing and yacht racing, from the 28-29 November in Malta.

 

2017 RC44 Championship Tour

April 27 – 30 RC44 Sotogrande Cup 2017, Spain

June 29 – July 2 RC44 Porto Cervo Cup, Italy

August 9 – 13 RC44 Marstrand World Championship, Sweden

September 28 – October 1 RC44 Cascais Cup, Portugal

November 23 – 26 to be confirmed

 

 

Flying Phantom Essentiel is unveiled

 

 

fpe-design1

 

 

She is fully foiling, simple and easy to use

 

 

The revolution continues, after the launch of the first production foiling catamaran in the world 3 years ago, over 100 Flying Phantom are now foiling in 26 countries.

The Flying Phantom is a unique racing boat using the finest technologies from the aeronautic industry. Phantom International is now introducing a new range of high-end foiling boat oriented for freeride.

The Flying Phantom Essentiel is an 18’ all around boat easy to use, able to foil in a wide range of conditions and attract new people to foiling. This new boat is based on the expertise Phantom International has built up over the last 5 years being the pioneer in foiling catamarans.

The Flying Phantom Essentiel is foiling with both dagger boards down like we tested on the first Flying Phantom prototypes in 2012.  This foil configuration makes the boat to be more user friendly and less physically demanding for the crew.  She is able to reach 20 knots in 10 knots of wind ! The boat can be stowed on the beach as the dagger can be fully removed from the top. The L shape rudders increase safety for the crew if anyone falls overboard.

The Flying Phantom Essentiel is equipped with optional side wings in place of trapeze to improve crew accessibility.

The boat will be officially launched during the Paris Boat Show in December, production will start early of 2017 for spring deliveries.

The Flying Phantom Essentiel will offer a unique opportunity to a broad spectrum of sailors to enter into the foiling experience !

We look forward to present you this amazing boat.

 

fpe-design2

 

Specifications

Length: 5,5m / 18’

Width: 2,55m (EU road legal)

Weigth: 170kg

Mast: 9,1m aluminum

Hulls construction: Epoxy glass sandwich

Main sail: R Polyester laminate / 17sqm

Jib: R Polyester laminate / 5sqm

Code 0: R Polyester with furling system / 20sqm