Monthly Archives: February 2017

Another bullet for Steve Goacher and Tim Harper in Napier

 

 

21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship at Napier, New Zealand

 

 

Day 3 of the 21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship in Napier and another semi – overcast day with light winds on Hawke’s Bay. For a while it looked like an on schedule start for the fleet of 57 boats but after two general recalls the PRO was frustrated by the persistent shifts in direction from 60 – 100 degrees and had to signal a wait for the breeze to settle.

Race 4 got started mid afternoon in 6 – 10 knots with a flicking breeze which just remained with enough pressure to sail a two lap course of one windward/leeward lap followed by a triangle and beat to the finish.

At the third attempt the fleet got away to a clean start under the U flag with quite a split in choice of upwind strategy. Whilst the middle right upwind had been the best bet all week, finally the breeze shifted far enough into the E/NE sector to tempt enough competitors into trying mid left as an alternative.

 

 

A new leader appeared at the top mark in the shape of Peter Milne & Trevor Williams from Black Rock YC/Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, Australia. Local kiwi crew, Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen from Napier SC were back in the front pack but lurking close behind was yesterday’s winner and former world champion, Steve Goacher sailing with Tim Harper from the UK.

Downwind to the gate the vast majority of the fleet searched for the pressure on the offshore side of the race track. Again Goacher and crew Harper used all his expertise to shrink the lead of the lead boat to a boat length by the bottom gate. Places from 3 – 6 continued to shuffle with Charles Apthorp & Alan Green (GBR/IRE) making good gains along with Brits Greg Wells & Richard Rigg.

Upwind again and another split in tactics, this time the cunning Goacher / Harper combination rounding in the lead to lead the pack on the triangle. The chase pack was close, the Aussies, Milne & Williams holding off Apthorp & Green but early pace setters, Percy & Pedersen dropping off the pace.

 

 

Today the breeze held in pressure but the British team of Goacher & Harper could not be slowed, covering their opponents all the way to chalk up a second bullet of the championship. Apthorp & Green squeezed in at the boat end of the line to snatch second in the final boat lengths to the finish line from Milne and Williams (AUS). FFI Commodore Peter Rooke sailing with Martin Arrowsmith (AUS) sailed an excellent final work leg to cross in 4th with the persistent local kiwi crew, Percy & Pedersen picking up 5th in their 20 year old (Silver) category Flying Fifteen.

However with four races sailed, the overall leaders are Matthew Owen & Andrew Reed from Canberra, Australia who are the only crew to have recorded single digit results by continuing to dig themselves out of difficult positions when buried in the pack. They lead the regatta by 7 points from Goacher & Harper who are chasing their 4th world championship win.

 

 

Matthew Owen describes his tactics

“We actually ended up with three really good starts today if you include the two general recalls, so we were pretty good off the line. We got a great start, turned over and about 50 boats down at the pin end crossed us so we were pretty much back of the fleet 30 seconds in, so we had to chip away quite hard to get back into it. We got a couple of nice shifts at the top but we were on the back foot from the start.”

“At the top mark we just did a few different things to the rest of the pack because it is just such a competitive, similar speed fleet and if you do something different to the rest of the pack the gains can be quite massive, but our whole motto is just chip chip chip. All through this regatta we have not had a good first work so we have had to come from behind.”

Race 5 is scheduled for a 1300hrs (local) start with similar light breezes forecast.

 

 

Provisional Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 4 races)

1 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed – 2,4,7,9 = 22pts

2 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper – 19,8,1,1 = 29pts

3 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland – 7,10,2,10 = 29pts

4 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett – 9,5,10,7 = 31pts

5 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen – 1,6,22,5 = 34pts

6 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood – 5,2,8,20 – 35pts

7 AUS 3859 David Yu / Chris Nelson – 3,1,9,26 = 39pts

8 NZL 3739 Aaron Goodmanson / Alister Rowlands – 18,3,13,17 = 51pts

9 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg – 4,14,15,24 = 57pts

10 AUS 3855 Peter Rooke / Martin Arrowsmith – 31,12,11,4 = 58

 

For full results and more information visit: www.napiersailingclub.org.nz

 

The 21st Flying Fifteen World Championship host club is Napier Sailing Club.

Major sponsors and supporters include: Lexus of Hawkes Bay, Napier City Council, The Food Company, Nelson Signs, Napier Port, GWR, Marineland, Ericksen Honda, Clearview Estate Winery

More photos are available via facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/FFW2017Napier/

 

by Jonny Fullerton, on behalf of the International Flying Fifteen Class

 

Former world champion Goacher steady in the light winds

 

 

 

21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship at Napier, New Zealand

 

Another semi-overcast afternoon in Napier for the second day of the Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship. Just one race held in light Easterly breezes between 5 – 8 knots.

After one general recall the PRO Gerry Martin, started race 3 of the championship under the U flag with all 57 competitors spread across the length of the start line. The first upwind leg was well spread but sailors who got off the line cleanly and into clear air, were keen to get to the middle right of the course, to take advantage of the breeze flicking right in Hawkes Bay.

At the top mark, David Mckee & Mal Hartland (GBR) from Dovestone SC, led closely followed by class stalwart Steve Goacher & Tim Harper from Royal Windermere/Southport SC. Local sailors David Zorn & Graeme Robinson from Napier SC, sailed an excellent first work to round in 3rd. Also in the mix were two boats from Western Australia, Philippa Packer, crewed by former world champion, Dean McAullay from Royal Freshwater Bay YC and championship leader David Yu & Chris Nelson, also from (RFBYC).

 

 

The lead three broke clear to head down the run back to the gate as the breeze softened even more. Slowly the (3 time) former world champion, Steve Goacher soaked down inside McKee & Hartland, to round a boat length in the lead at the gate. Kiwis Zorn & Robinson floated round in 3rd as places changed behind them when the fleet converged under collapsing spinnakers.

The second work became a bit of a soldiers course, although picking the way through the shifts and keeping the boat moving in the light airs required a lot of concentration.

The order was the same at the top mark second time around but on the triangle leg via the wing mark the two lead British boats extended in their own private battle, whilst Zorn & Robinson had to work really hard to hold their third place. Other places in the top ten became much more intense as the breeze dropped below 5 knots. New Zealanders, Murray Gilbert & Jonathan Burgess from Royal Akarana YC in Auckland and the Queenslanders, Ashley Smith & Adam Kingston representing Hong Kong, made good gains.

 

 

Rounding the bottom gate, the leaders had an agonising 1nm leg back to the finish line. Goacher & Harper extended for a bit more breathing space, crossing the line to win their first race of the 21st Flying Fifteen Worlds. Mckee & Hartland settled for 2nd but the biggest celebration waited for 3rd place as locals Zorn & Robinson punched the air taking an excellent 3rd.

“We got a good clean fast start and sailed a short distance to clear the guys to weather of us and flicked on to port and hit the right hand side and were sitting pretty nicely.”

“It was really tense on the last lap especially with Murray and Johno, they are fast downwind, they were right on our tail at the bottom mark last time. But we knew where we wanted to go and knew the line we wanted to take and just stuck with it.”

David Zorn

 

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Smith & Kingston (HKG) had a much better day crossing in 4th and Rob Ward & Bruce Yovich (NZL) from Onerahi YC a very respectable 5th. Overall scores after 3 races leaves David Yu & Chris Nelson (AUS) and Matthew Owen & Andrew Reed tied on 13pts with the ever consistent West Australian former world champions, Nick & Janet Jerwood (SoPYC) in 3rd.

Steve Goacher explains his race;

“We had not such a bad start and a good clean first beat, we rounded the windward mark in second and managed to pass the leader downwind on the first run. I don’t mind the light conditions, they are enjoyable when you are in the front! I grew up sailing on Lake Windermere and we get a lot of light and fluky sailing conditions there.” 

And on sailing in Napier for the first time;

“I have been sailing 15’s since 1991 and won three world championships on the trot, 1995, 1997 & 1999 but I have never sailed in Napier. It has been very testing conditions, last week we had quite big seas and not a massive amount of wind.”

 

Race 4 of the championship is scheduled for a start time of 1300hrs (local time) with a similar forecast of light winds.

 

 

 

Provisional Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 3 races)

1 AUS 3859 David Yu / Chris Nelson – 3,1,9 = 13pts

2 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed – 2,4,7 = 13pts

3 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood – 5,2,8 – 15pts

4 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland – 7,10,2 = 19pts

5 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett – 9,5,10 = 24pts

6 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper – 19,8,1 = 28pts

7 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen – 1,6,22 = 29pts

8 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg – 4,14,15 = 33pts

9 NZL 3739 Aaron Goodmanson / Alister Rowlands – 18,3,13 = 34pts

10 NZL 3542 Rob Ward / Bruce Yovich – 11,29,5 = 45pts

 

For full results and more information visit: www.napiersailingclub.org.nz

 

The 21st Flying Fifteen World Championship host club is Napier Sailing Club.

Major sponsors and supporters include: Lexus of Hawkes Bay, Napier City Council, The Food Company, Nelson Signs, Napier Port, GWR, Marineland, Ericksen Honda, Clearview Estate Winery

More photos are available via facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/FFW2017Napier/

 

by Jonny Fullerton, on behalf of the International Flying Fifteen Class

 

 

West Australians Yu and Nelson off to a flying start

 

 

21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship at Napier, New Zealand

 

The 21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship has attracted 57 competitors from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Great Britain and Hong Kong for six days of racing in Hawkes Bay on the East coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

Day 1 of the championship started with very light airs and humid overcast skies, so the fleet were held ashore for a couple of hours in the hope that conditions would improve. By early afternoon a light Easterly breeze built to allow the PRO to bang off two races back to back.

Race 1 started with a general recall with a heavy presence at the committee boat end. The restart under U flag caught out a couple of competitors but it was the kiwis that emerged at the top mark in a huddle.

 

 

Local sailors Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen from Napier SC, sailing their older (Silver) boat, took an early lead and hugged the right hand side of the course downwind whilst Craig Coulam & Adrienne Rekke from Royal Akarana YC in Auckland and Rob Ward & Bruce Yovich from Onerahi YC chose the left lane.

At the gate, the locals from Napier held their lead but on the next upwind were being pursued hard by David Yu & Chris Nelson from Royal Freshwater Bay YC in Perth and the British pair Greg Wells & Richard Rigg, representing Hayling Island SC & Royal Windermere YC.

As the wind continued to swing, the reach to the wing mark was lengthened and became broader, leaving a tighter reach to the downwind gate. Percy & Pedersen held their nerve to lead at the final gate rounding but the pressure was on for the final beat.

 

 

There was a loud cheer as the locals took the first gun of the championship from Matthew Owen & Andrew Reed from Canberra YC, who had themselves worked their way through the fleet to finish second. Yu & Nelson (AUS) overtook the Brits, Wells & Rigg for third and Nick & Janet Jerwood from South of Perth YC finished a solid 5th.

As the grey clouds gathered and skies darkened, race two commenced in similar conditions. This time David Yu & Chris Nelson got a great start, tucked in close to the committee boat and sailed in clear air up the middle right, whilst Steve Goacher & Tim Harper (Royal Windermere YC/Southport SC worked the left.

The Australians led down the run as the fleet split gybes with quite big separation. At the gate the breeze started to fade and become quite unstable but the Perth crew managed to keep a loose cover on their opponents. The second lap, a triangle, became quite a slog as the breeze struggled late in the afternoon. Aaron Goodmanson & Alister Rowlands (NZL) rom Charteris Bay YC moved up to second ahead of Jeremy Davy & Martin Huett (GBR) from Draycote Water SC.

 

 

The last beat was an agonising crawl to the finish line but Yu & Nelson managed to hold on to take the gun and the overall lead in the regatta. Nick & Janet Jerwood (AUS) worked their way through the fleet to finish 2nd and the kiwis Goodmanson & Rowlands 3rd. Owen & Reed (AUS) sailed a great final beat to finish 4th and Davy & Huett (GBR) 5th.

“Both races were hard work, especially the first one where we had to work our way out of a bit of trouble on the start line but we managed to make the right decisions and have a good day.  We learnt a lot of lessons from the NZ Nationals where we were extremely inconsistent and made a few bad decisions.”

“The last work in the last race when we were leading, we had a few anxious moments because the breeze started going back left and we were on the right hand side of the leading group, but we were fairly confident it would come back because it had been doing that all day, so it was a big relief when that right hand shift finally came.” explained David Yu

 

 

The Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship has 7 races scheduled, running from Sunday 26 February to Friday 3 March.

Day 2 of racing has just one race planned with a start time of 1300hrs (local time).

 

Provisional Results (Top 6 of 57 entries, after 2 races)

1 AUS 3859 David Yu / Chris Nelson – 3,1 – 4pts

2 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed – 2,4 = 6pts

3 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen – 1,6 = 7pts

4 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood – 5,2 – 7pts

5 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett – 9,5 = 14pts

6 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland – 7,10 = 17pts

 

For full results and more information visit: www.napiersailingclub.org.nz

 

The 21st Flying Fifteen World Championship host club is Napier Sailing Club.

Major sponsors and supporters include: Lexus of Hawkes Bay, Napier City Council, The Food Company, Nelson Signs, Napier Port, GWR, Marineland, Ericksen Honda, Clearview Estate Winery

More photos are available via facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/FFW2017Napier/

 

by Jonny Fullerton, on behalf of the International Flying Fifteen Class

 

 

Warm up for the Flying Fifteen Worlds in Napier

 

 

 

 

2017 Flying Fifteen National Championship at Napier, New Zealand

Wednesday 20 – Friday 24 February, 2017

 

The 2017 Flying Fifteen National Championship acted as a prelude to the 21st Flying Fifteen World Championship, hosted by Napier Sailing Club on the waters of Hawkes Bay.

55 competitors from Australia, Canada, Great Britain and Hong Kong took on the kiwis in an early indication of form before the worlds to be held in Napier from Sunday 26 February – Friday 3 March.

Three very testing days of sailing in light and shifty conditions with a huge swell rolling into the bay causing havoc for race management and competitors.

 

 

Day 1 of racing was a soft introduction into things to come with a light 5 – 8 knot breeze from an E/NE direction, but the big swell made it very difficult for competitors to see the end of the start line, let alone the windward mark!. It also proved very testing in mark rounding’s, the gate zones and crosses on opposite tacks. There were a number of general recalls and inevitably the black flag became a menace.

However the team that coped best in the conditions were Ashley Smith and Adam Kingston from Queensland, Australia, who were sailing a Hong Kong registered boat. They picked up two bullets and a fifth to take an early lead.

 

 

 

Matthew Owen and Andrew Reed from Canberra YC (AUS) also sailed well in the light and shifty conditions to score a 4,1,6 to hold second after day 1.

Geoffrey and Tom Bayliss (GBR) from Hayling Island SC were the next best consistent top 10 boat with, (2,7 & 10) results. Top New Zealanders sat in 6th, Aaron Goodmanson and Alister Rowlands from Charteris Bay YC.

Day 2 of the championship delivered unseasonal rain showers and more unpredictable winds from the South East which provided another test for the sailors and race management alike as the fickle breeze swung either side of Bluff Hill, the hill overlooking Napier city and the port. This meant changes in direction up to 60 degrees! and lots of pressure patches.

 

 

Despite a lot more broken starts, two aborted races and more issues with the swell, two more races were finished under dark grey clouds. The British mob started to shine with previous Flying Fifteen World Champion, Charles Apthorp, sailing with Alan Green from Ireland, taking the first race of the day from start to finish from another former world champion team, Nick and Janet Jerwood from (SoPYC) in Western Australia. The Jerwoods counted two seconds to rise up the rankings into contention. The second race was won by Brits, Greg Wells and Richard Rigg from HISC/Royal Windermere YC just pipping the Jerwoods by a nose on the finish line.

Matthew Owen and Andrew Reed (AUS) kept up their consistent low scores as did Ashley Smith and Adam Kingston (HKG) and the kiwis from Christchurch, Aaron Goodmanson and Alister Rowlands.

 

 

After a long wait, the sun came out and the breeze finally shifted back to the East for the last day of racing to allow for a total of 7 races to be sailed. Locals from Napier breathed a sigh of relief as the final race started late afternoon in a more normal 10 – 12 knots in a slightly more regular spread out swell.

With the championship wide open and many of the top 20 boats carrying big double digit scores, it became really important to get off the start line in the first tier and able to get round the crowded top mark in good shape. It then became a case of the rich getting richer and the chasing pack struggling to get clear air and stay in contention.

 

 

Unfortunately for regatta leaders Ashely Smith & Adam Kingston (HKG), they got tangled up in two shocking starts and had to count a 36th and a BFG, dropping them down the pack. There were two new names taking race wins on the final day, race 6 was won by David Yu and Chris Nelson (AUS) from (RFBYC) in Perth and in race 7, the gun went to Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett from Draycote Water SC in the UK.

Whilst a number of the usual front runners also suffered bad results, Matthew Owen and Andrew Reed from Canberra and Aaron Goodmanson and Alister Rowlands (NZL) remained consistent to fight for the title in the last race.

Both got off to good starts at the pin end of the line but the New Zealanders got a bit buried in the pack at mark rounding’s, picking up a penalty but battled back to finish 12th. However the Australians Owen and Reed having recorded their worst result of the regatta (a discarded 12th), stayed focused in the final race to cross second and claim the Open title.

 

 

Goodmanson and Rowlands sailed a very good regatta series to finish second and in a high quality field and Charles Apthorp and Alan Green (GBR) closed out third overall with some consistent sailing on the final day.

Special mentions also went out to second placed New Zealanders, Hayden Percy and Scott Pedersen representing the host club Napier SC, they finished top Silver boat and 13th overall just in front of Murray Gilbert and Jonathan Burgess from Royal Akarana YC in Auckland. in 15th.

First of the Classics in a very respectable 39th overall was Nicholas Heath and Philippa Noon from Cam SC/Grafham Water SC in the UK. They frustrated a number of top fifteen worlds contenders with a 15th in the penultimate race.

Competitors have a rest day on Saturday with the 21st International Flying Fifteen World Championships beginning on Sunday 26 February – Friday 3 March, 2017.

 

 

Overall Results Open Fleet (top 10 of 55 entries, 7 races with 1 discard)

1 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed 4,1,6,6,5,(12),2 = 24pts

2 NZL 3739 Aaron Goodmanson / Alister Rowlands NZL 3,12,(17),3,4,4,12 = 38pts

3 GBR 4004 Charles Apthorp / Alan Green 5,10, (30), 1,12,8,4 = 40pts

4 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg 8, (39),15,7,1,2,9 = 42pts

5 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood 6,16,8,2,2,(18),10 = 44pts

6 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland 9,9,14,5,3,(22),5 = 45pts

7 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett (20),11,9,8,20,7,1 = 56pts

8 HKG 3972 Ashley Smith / Adam Kingston 1,5,1,4,10,36, (56/BFG = 57pts

9 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper 12,6,16,16,9,(19),3 = 62pts

10 AUS 3743 Greg Tonnison / Andrew Jackson 11,13,2,13,23,5,(26) = 67pts

 

For full results and more information visit: www.napiersailingclub.org.nz

 

The 2017 Flying Fifteen New Zealand National Championship and the 21st Flying Fifteen World Championship host club is Napier Sailing Club.

Major sponsors and supporters include: Lexus of Hawkes Bay, Napier City Council, The Food Company, Nelson Signs, Napier Port, GWR, Marineland, EricksenHonda, Clearview Estate Winery

 

More photos are available via facebook

facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/FFW2017Napier/

 

by Jonny Fullerton, on behalf of the International Flying Fifteen Class

 

 

GC32 Racing Tour & Extreme Sailing Series foiling cats to face off

 

Alinghi blasts around the Muscat race track in 2016 © Lloyd Images

The first ever GC32 Championship for the combined fleets from the GC32 Racing Tour and Extreme Sailing Series™ will begin in Muscat, Oman. The ultra high-speed foiling one design GC32 catamarans will be competing at the GC32 Championship from Tuesday 28th February until Sunday 5th March. Racing will take place off Al Mouj Marina (The Wave, Muscat), on the outskirts of Muscat where the event’s host, Oman Sail, has its headquarters.

Run by the GC32 International Class Association in association with OC Sport, the 2017 GC32 Championship is the first of what, will be an annual event.

A team greatly anticipating this first joint venture between the two GC32 circuits is Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi, which has previous experience of both: The former America’s Cup defender won the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series and competed on the GC32 Racing Tour in 2015. Bertarelli, who has been campaigning racing multihulls since the early 1990s, has confirmed that he will helm for the GC32 Championship.

Alinghi’s coach Pierre-Yves Jorand said: “We have been very much in favour of having a common championship with as many boats as possible involved. We are very excited and looking forward to competing with a lot of boats – it will be great fun and good competition. Having that many boats on the start line will be tough.”

Alinghi has competed in Muscat on many occasions and Jorand says the venue is perfect for racing during the northern hemisphere winter. “There’s usually a good sea breeze – 10-12 knots, sometimes building to 15 with a little chop and pleasant conditions in terms of water and air temperatures.”

While Alinghi will sail with its usual line-up, co-skippers Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Køstner have some new crew joining them on board SAP Extreme Sailing Team this season. Both competed on the GC32 Racing Tour last year: British sailor Richard Mason sailed on Malizia-Yacht Club de Monaco while former Match Racing World Champion and Volvo Ocean Race sailor, Adam Minoprio from New Zealand, was instrumental to Norauto’s overall victory.

Jes Gram-Hansen commented: “SAP Extreme Sailing Team is looking forward to participate in the first GC32 Championship. It will be interesting to see how the teams from the two GC32 circuits will compare. We will use the Championship as a final preparation for Adam and Richard to gel with the rest of the team before heading into Act 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series, also in Muscat.”

Travelling furthest to compete at the GC32 Championship will be Team Argo of American Jason Carroll. Argo is a two time World Champion in the Melges 32 class and first joined the GC32 Racing Tour in 2015. Last season they concluded the GC32 Racing Tour on a high, finishing second at the final event, Marseille One Design.

With Ernesto Bertarelli helming Alinghi, Carroll will face some stiff competition to win the GC32 Championship’s Owner-Driver trophy. He commented:

“Team Argo is looking forward to new competition from the Extreme Sailing Series as well as the chance to square off with our old friends from the GC32 Racing Tour. The upcoming championship will be our first trip to Oman, which certainly adds to the excitement. We expect this will be the toughest event to date. We can’t wait for racing to begin!”

Two other GC32 Racing Tour teams making their Oman racing debuts will be 2016 runner-up Team Tilt and Team Engie. Led by Sébastien Schneiter, Team Tilt is gearing up to represent Switzerland in this summer’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in Bermuda and for the GC32 Championship will be rotating through a squad of seven under 24-year-olds.

Schneiter said: “We are looking forward to going to Oman and to sail for the first time with the two circuits together. It will be interesting! We are excited finally to do our first regatta on foiling boats with our Red Bull Youth America’s Cup crew after so much training at the end of last year. We hope to have good conditions there to learn as much as we can as we enter our final phase of training.”

French former Class 40 champion, Sébastien Rogues, will be sailing with his same crew as he had on Team Engie at the end of 2016.

“We have a very good spirit and we want to capitalise on that and progress with this team,” said Rogues who is looking forward to lining up against the Extreme Sailing Series boats for the first time. Rogues says they are expecting the conditions at the GC32 Championship to be relatively light, although they expect anything. “We are ready for the battle. The large fleet will make it a difficult race, but we have prepared for that.”

Another skipper with previous experience of both GC32 circuits is Oman Air’s newly announced man on the helm, Phil Robertson. Last year, the New Zealander skippered Gazprom Team Russia at the Extreme Sailing Series St Petersburg Act and subsequently steered Flavio Marazzi’s Armin Strom Sailing Team to second place on the GC32 Racing Tour at Copa del Rey Mapfre in Palma. However Robertson’s most notable achievement was claiming the US$ 1 million first prize for winning the World Match Racing Championship title last summer.

Oman Air comes with one of the most successful GC32 crews. Pete Greenhalgh, Nasser Al Mashari and Ed Smyth all sailed on Sultanate of Oman, which won the GC32 Racing Tour in 2015.
Phil Robertson commented:

“I have always thought it is a very, very cool concept to have all the boats racing on one start line, the two different fleets and anyone else that wants to from around the world who’s got a boat. So I am excited to hit the start line with so many foiling catamarans.”

 

 

by GC32 Racing Tour

 

 

Record Fleet for 2017 Moth Worlds

 

 

With 6 months remaining, the 2017 Moth Worlds has already attracted a record number of entrants. Earlybird entries closed on Tuesday with 190 competitors from 25 countries registered for the event to be held at the Fraglia vela Malcesine on Lake Garda in late July.

The record lineup features a daunting who’s who of top sailors.

At the top of the list is the Olympic Laser shoot out, with reigning Moth World Champion, 2008 Gold Medallist and Artemis Racing helmsman Paul Goodison (GBR) going up against 2012 Gold Medallist and Oracle Team USA tactician Tom Slingsby (AUS) and 2016 Gold Medallist Tom Burton (AUS).

2016 Laser Radial Olympic Silver Medallist and 2014 Women’s Moth World Champion Annalise Murphy (IRL) leads the charge in the growing women’s fleet against reigning champion Wakako Tabata (JPN) and 2013 Women’s Champion Emma Gravare (SWE).

 

 

 

Among the past champions, 2009 & 2013 Moth World Champion Bora Gulari (USA) makes a comeback to the class after taking time out to compete in the Nacra 17 at the Rio Olympics. Also making a return after Olympic and Americas Cup commitments, dual medallist Iain Jensen (AUS) will be looking to improve on his top 10 result in 2015.

Despite, or perhaps due to the venue, over 30 Australian entrants will make the journey, lining up against a large British contingent. New Moth countries Argentina, Ireland and Finland are well represented, alongside competitors from growing fleets in Poland, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Norway, Canada and Bermuda.

Taking it to the Olympians will be the Moth regulars including 2012 World Champion and current Australian Champion Josh McKnight (AUS). McKnight will debut a new Australian built Moth for the event against the dominant Mach2 and Exocet designs. Also pushing the development envelope is 2015 and 2016 Amlin International and Volvo Ocean Racer Rob Greenhalgh (GBR), who will surely be among the favourites based on recent form. 2016 European Champion Mike Lennon (GBR) will also debut a new design, the Lennon PP Moth designed by David Hollom and built by White Formula in the UK. Not short of innovative ideas, winner of the 2013 Mini Transat Benoit Marie (FRA) returns with a new boat for the event.

 

 

Alongside Marie is a large European contingent, with 3 time Moth European Champion Arnaud Psarofagis (SUI) taking a break from his responsibilities as helmsman on the Alinghi Extreme Series GC32 to return to the Moth. Not to be taken lightly, the local Italian fleet will be out in force, lead by 3 time Olympian and Artemis Racing helmsman Francesco Bruni (ITA).

6 months is still a long time in a Moth, but with entry numbers rapidly approaching 200, anticipation will be building for what will be the largest Moth World Championship ever.

Follow the event progress at www.mothworlds.org/malcesine or find MothWorlds on FaceBook & Twitter.