Monthly Archives: May 2017

Foiling Bay – an event dedicated to foiling boats & boards

 

photo © Benoit Roux

 

 

Key points:

4 days of unique regattas dedicated to foiling from May 18th – 21st.

5 disciplines on the same body of water.

More than 100 competitors of 9 different nationalities.

1st World Foiling Stand Up Paddle Event.

Various onshore activities and entertainment.

From Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st May, Pouliguen Bay – La Baule – Pornichet will host the second edition of the Foiling Bay, a spectacular event that celebrates the foiling phenomenon. This year the Foiling Bay, La Baule’s newest Derby, will host not one but five foiling disciplines in its nautical arena, which is ideal for sailing foiling boats and boards: Flying Phantom, Foiling Moth, Kitefoil, Foiling Windsurf and Foiling Stand Up Paddle, all new boats and boards that represent the future of water sports.

There is no need to be a specialist to enjoy this highly aesthetic and sensational show. This year the event is merging with the legendary Derby Kite and Paddle, a staple of the Stand Up Paddle circuit since the advent of this sport in which the best kite-surfers usually compete.

 

High flying competitions

Thanks to the appearance of foils (large fins which, similar to that of an aircraft wing, with added speed allows the support on which they are fixed to be lifted off the water), the new generation of boats no longer float but fly and reach impressive speeds.

Organised by three of the main clubs in the bay, the Cercle Nautique de La Baule le Pouliguen Pornichet (CNBPP), the Yacht Club de la Baule (YCLB) and the APCC, the Foiling Bay will gather more than one hundred competitors of 9 different nationalities for four days.

The event proposes an ambitious programme, and the level promises to be first class with four stages of the national and international professional circuits: the Warm Up of the European circuit of the Flying Phantom Series, the final regatta of the Brittany Moths Series, the Neilpryde Series – CRX Kite and the Neilpryde Series – RSX convertible to board.

The first three days will be dedicated to technical regattas and the Bay Derby (inshore raid linking the 3 clubs), while Sunday will be dedicated to a knockout speed event, the spectacular “King of the Bay” trophy. Who will sail the highest off the water?

“The Foiling Bay will be the first official event of the convertible RSX monotype concept. We wish to promote this new futuristic windsurfing board in order for it to reach the Olympic Games of 2024. I am very happy that this event is taking place in my homeland in La Baule Bay, there is no doubt it is going to be a wonderful event!” Julien Bontemps, Olympic windsurfing vice champion.

“I am very pleased that the Foiling Bay is being held in the bay of La Baule. This is the first time in the world that we will see so many foiling boats on the same start line. The level of performance is going to be exceptional and the waters of the bay are very suitable for foiling boats. I am looking forward to the first start with my co-pilot JB Gellét!” Sébastien Rogues, ENGIE Sailing Team skipper.

 

The first global Foiling Stand Up Paddle event

This new edition of the Foiling Bay is all the more important, as it will host the world’s first Foiling Stand Up Paddle event. The newest addition to the board-sports family, this discipline attracts all the thrill-seekers. This board is equipped with a foil, that allows the competitors to propel themselves over the water with the aid of a paddle. Whether in the waves or in the offshore swell, the Foiling Stand Up Paddle can reach thirty kilometres per hour and is definitely a new popular discipline.

 

Spectator zones on the water for increased safety

The new ultra fast foiling boats also require greater vigilance. Therefore, for the safety of all, the maritime prefecture has decreed an exclusion zone. This area will be marked and there will be numerous organisers’ boats on the water to help prevent sailing in the area. Spectator zones will be arranged so that the greatest number possible can come to admire the regattas safely on the water.

 

Onshore entertainment

With an entertainment village open to the public, the Foiling Bay promises to offer a great show both on the water and ashore. Located on the beach, in front of the Yacht Club de La Baule, the village is the hub of participants and spectators and is the perfect place for sharing and making new friends.. The regattas will be broadcast live and have live commentary in the midst of many activities accessible to all, enabling children and adults to learn about this latest generation flying machines.

 

Crash & Burn drama on day 2 of practice 

 

 

America’s Cup – Day 2 of Practice Session 5 in Bermuda

 

 

Day 2 of the final week of practice racing before the 35th America’s Cup starts in Bermuda on 26th May saw all six teams enter the fray of competitive races, in what proved an afternoon of highs and lows for Emirates Team New Zealand.

Having sat out of competitive racing on Day 1 of the latest round of practice racing (Monday), when they smashed a rudder before the start, the Kiwi team enjoyed a promising afternoon, winning races nine and ten, overcoming Land Rover BAR and Groupama Team France respectively.

However, it was the scheduled 12th race, a rematch of their duel with Land Rover BAR, that proved the day’s real talking point after the race was abandoned following a collision between the two boats in the pre-start, which resulted in both teams sustaining damage.

Meanwhile, Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling shed some more light on the incident.

“It was a bit of a shame in the last pre-start. We had the leeward end of the line pretty locked down, Ben was quite late and just ran straight into the back of us,” said Burling. “Just unnecessary a week out from the America’s Cup. We are all here to learn and it’s a shame we have a pretty big dent now in the back of our nice boat.

“It went straight in with his windward bow and right down the inside of our leeward hull, so there is a pretty good dent there. You can definitely see it has punctured right into the cockpit right around where my steering wheel is.”

Meanwhile, Land Rover BAR, who suffered a defeat to SoftBank Team Japan in race five before recovering to overcome Groupama Team France in race six, confirmed via their Twitter page that the incident had caused damage to their bow and repairs had already started to take place with the aim of getting back out on the water for practice racing for day three (Wednesday).

Artemis Racing also returned to race action having sat out day one and enjoyed a positive day on the water as they managed to beat Groupama Team France in the fourth race of the day.

 

 

Having enjoyed a perfect run of back-to-back wins on day one, Oracle Team USA endured mixed fortunes on day two, beating SoftBank Team Japan in race 7, before the Japanese team gained revenge in a re-run in race 11 with Oracle Team USA retiring after the first mark.

However, despite the mixed race results, Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill looked at the positives of more valuable hours of practice on the Great Sound.

‘I think we’ve put in more hours than anyone over the last couple of days and we’ve had some really good racing,” he said.

‘It’s taken a huge effort from the shore guys to be able to do that, so our hats off to them.

‘We’re learning a lot about different race situations now. All the teams are racing hard and we’re trying to learn as much as we can from that. So the past two days have been very valuable, even with limited racing.

‘We tried to lock a few design things down for the past couple of days, but we’re still heavily into the development curve. There’s a lot of stuff we want to do and need to do still. But on the other side, I think as a sailing team we still have a heap to do to sharpen up, so getting these hours in has been very valuable.’

Regardless of their results, all teams seem to be in agreement that the practice racing is an invaluable opportunity to gain knowledge of the racecourse and their opponents. SoftBank Team Japan skipper Dean Barker commented:

‘We’ve gotten a good feel for the opposition, everyone has their final parts installed and are learning how to use them. They’re all in that final fine-tuning process ahead of starting racing next Friday and everyone is making gains around the course. You’re starting to see that final pecking order though there’s still a lot that can change before next week.

‘Two surprises over the past two days? One has been how aggressive the practice racing has seemed to become evidenced by a pretty decent collision between two of the boats. Two, I think the way the level has continued to rise. You expected a plateau but the game is on to one up each other right now.”

 

Results

Race 5 GBR v JPN  win to JPN

Race 6 FRA v GBR win to GBR

Race 7 JPN v USA win to USA

Race 8 SWE v FRA win to SWE

Race 9 GBR v NZL win to NZL

Race 10 NZL v FRA win to NZL

Race 11 USA v JPN win to JPN (USA retired after mark 1)

Race 12 NZL v GBR (both retired)

 

Inside Day 1 of the final practice racing period in Bermuda

 

 

Four of the six America’s Cup teams were back in practice race action on 15th May on the first day of the final week of practice racing before the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda starts on 26th May, and the results proved interesting.

In near perfect conditions on Bermuda’s Great Sound, Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA showed their intentions early on with a dominant performance against Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR in race one.

Despite the British boat making a better start, Oracle Team USA quickly found their rhythm and were clearly ahead by the second windward mark, before widening their advantage to cross the finish line over a minute ahead of the British team.

Tom Slingsby, Oracle Team USA tactician and sailing team manager, commented after an 8 hour day on the water:

“It was a long day out there for us, but we wanted to make the most of it. 

 “We did a couple of races, got a couple of wins and then we did some tuning and tried some different tests. We got a lot of answers we needed.

 “We know how much we’ve stepped up our game from the last race period and we see that everyone else has made a similar step. The rate of improvement is skyrocketing in this last month. Everyone is putting on all their race kit, the manoeuvers are getting better and so the differences between the teams are getting smaller.”

Land Rover BAR returned to the water immediately for race two but their fortunes did not improve and they suffered a second successive defeat, this time at the hands of SoftBank Team Japan.

Again, the British boat made a strong start but their lack of straight-line speed proved their downfall as Softbank Team Japan, skippered by Dean Barker, gained a clear lead that they did not relinquish, finishing with a convincing victory.

The two victors of races one and two then faced off in race three in what would prove to be the closest contest of the afternoon.

 

 

Oracle Team USA and SoftBank Team Japan made even starts before the American sailed clear ahead after the windward mark.

It was a lead they did not give up, pressing home their advantage in the closing stages to finish clear of their Japanese rivals and remaining unbeaten for the day with back-to-back victories.

However, fresh from that defeat, SoftBank Team Japan returned to the race course to seal a somewhat routine second victory against a struggling Groupama Team France, who had been out for the entire afternoon but joined the racing action late on in the day.

SoftBank Team Japan Tactician and Sailing Team Director, Chris Draper:

“Everything’s going really well. Like Iain Percy from Artemis Racing said the other day, I don’t think the race scoring to date has flattered our performances, counting races we’ve missed, etc.

“We’re really pleased with how it went today. We’ve not had a huge amount of days in the past 7-8 days and there’s been some massive modifications to the boat.  Big credit to our shore team that we went as well on the water as we did today.  We only had 20 minutes of warm-up before the first race and it went well.”

However, it proved a difficult run for the French team, skippered by Franck Cammas.

Having got out of the starting box behind SoftBank Team Japan, Groupama Team Frances’s chances of winning were dealt a major blow as they suffered a big nose-dive in the run up to the first mark.

 

 

They did, however, manage to restart in their pursuit of SoftBank Team Japan, but the damage to their chances of victory had already been done with the incident all but ending any chance of a competitive contest between the two teams.

As the French team continued to struggle, SoftBank Team Japan eased over the finish line to take a second win from three races.

Meanwhile, Emirates Team New Zealand’s preparations got off to the worst possible start as they suffered a broken rudder before racing began.

 

 

The team confirmed, via their Twitter page, that they successfully replaced the broken rudder an they made it back out onto the Great Sound to continue their own practice program late on in the afternoon.

Artemis Racing did not participate in the practice races whilst a number of upgrades are completed, but were out on the water on board Magic Blue, meaning all six teams were sailing, if not competing, on day one of the final week of practice racing.

 

Results from practice day 1

Race 1   GBR         USA         USA win

Race 2   JPN          GBR         JPN win

Race 3   USA         JPN          USA win

Race 4   JPN          FRA          JPN win

 

Photos © Ricardo Pinto

 

Moth gurus provide their own form guide

 

Bora Gulari and George Peet provide their own form guide leading up to the AC Challengers round. Fuelling the curiosity on who will win the America’s Cup has been a steady stream of videos posted to MyislandhomeBDA. Jason Smith has been following the teams as they practice on the Great Sound, providing nearly daily updates as the teams train and participate in practice races.

Bora Gulari and George Peet, two sailing professionals and longtime Moth racers, are among the experts making notes as the teams learn to sail the new 15-meter America’s Cup Class boat.

“Big thanks to Jason and his commitment to getting the videos up,” said Gulari. “They have been part of my daily morning routine now for quite some time, but I believe that George Peet is the expert in couch coaching.”

Scuttlebutt reached out to Gulari and Peet for their assessment last week…. here it is:

 

 

Defender: Oracle Team USA (USA)

George Peet: You mean Oracle Team AUS?

Bora Gulari: Damn dyslexia.

GP: Overall look good but I think they are lucky they don’t have to sail the challenger series because they would be fighting for third with SoftBank Team Japan. I’m sure they are fast but they look like they struggle with their manoeuvres. Gybes are okay but tacks are average at best. Some grumblings of a lack of hydro power at critical moments – purely from video comments and chat room talk. Perhaps the twist grips on the wheel allow for the helmsman to be a bit “trigger happy”?

BG: There is something eating up some hydro power at a rate higher than other teams, in the last capsize I’m not sure if the wing ever popped.

GP: I have also noticed that in the two capsize vids it seems the helmsman when finishing the manoeuvre is turning the wrong way, and in the last video this is easily verified in the manoeuvre.

GP: They also look like they are the most raked. Most boats look 10’ behind vertical or so and they look more like 15′. They sail with their jib sheet in the highest and second highest hole in the clew board while others are closer to the bottom.

BG: I agree about the rake but you got too much time on your hands if you are comparing jib clew board positions. If they were raked more than the other boats, assuming the foils are in the same relative spots, their habit of more bow down trim would help balance out the boat to be in line with the others.

GP: Verified now they are trying a cycle set-up for tactician Tom Slingsby that is aft of the helmsman. I like this idea and I think if executed properly could be a better set up than NZL with reasons being better comms with helmsman, better race course vision, easier for tactician to get to into steering position for manoeuvres, better power output, and another big one is that the dedication of grinders to winches and hydro isn’t as absolute.

 

 

Challenger: Artemis Racing (SWE)

GP: Videos show them flying high and very stable, rolling the sh#t out of Oracle as well as crushing manoeuvres. The foils look to be the most outboard of any team; can’t tell about the horizontal lifting surface. Top of daggerboard cases seem the biggest – not sure what’s in there but seems to be working.

BG: For sure something is going on underneath that bonnet. I have to believe everyone would be at max beam/righting moment for their foils.

GP: They are 90% on foiling tack and 99% on foiling gybes. Rudders may be max length/depth. They certainly fly high all the time with control. They will be fighting it out with NZL for the challenger spot.

BG: Flying high no doubt. They don’t seem to be as bow down most of the time as Oracle. We have both commented on that they seem to have less spray drag than the other boats, I have not taken any screen shots but I have the perception that their main foil vert seems to have less forward rake when going at pace downwind. Seems to be a fair amount of second element flapping without much sheet movement, maybe using twist instead of AOA to control power in the wing.

 

 

Challenger: Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)

GP: Same as Artemis – flying high, stable and killing it. 98% on foiling tacks, 100 on gybes. For sure the most manoeuvrable boat/team. They haven’t been in Bermuda long, it seems like they are getting new foils this week. Im sure the spy team has some good data on the speed of the other boats so I expect them to be right in the game.

BG: Flying super high, boat handling is impressive looks like they are sailing a moth. The big gull wing foils are impressive too. Same thing as Artemis, the second element seems to be pumping with no AOA (angle of attack) changes. Seems like their last set of foils are either just coming online or they are waiting for them. The kiwi fans are impressive looking at some of the negative Oracle Team AUS hate one sees online (you said it first I’m just copying).

 

 

Challenger: SoftBank Team Japan (JPN)

GP: Seems like they are in the game for the most part. They are manoeuvrable, have a good race record and a solid team. Seems like they are taking the approach of steady paced development with their equipment with an emphasis on sailing their boat. It seems to me like they sail their boat better than Oracle. As far as we know there has been a lot of, if not complete, parallel development of the equipment with Oracle. Like Oracle, they fly lower all the time than Artemis and NZL, also with a lot more bow down attitude albeit not as low and as much as Oracle.

BG: Some solid people in the team, and I believe they have taken good races from everyone so they will be in the game. Do you remember watching the race against Artemis where both boats tacked from starboard to port after the right turn at the bottom? Artemis showed a pretty impressive gain from a good tack. They were the first ones to show foiling tacks and they seem to be quietly chipping away without a whole lot of public media blitz.

 

 

Challenger: Land Rover BAR (GBR)

GP: It’s pretty hard to tell what’s going on with them. They seem slow, gybes are ok, foiling tacks are almost nonexistent. Race record was bad, and based on the videos it looks like they are slow. Again, we don’t know the timelines for foil development and implementation with these teams; may just be they waited as long as possible to pull the trigger on their designs. At the moment they will probably win a couple races, but not likely against Artemis or NZL.

BG: I don’t think there is a lot of ‘wait to the last minute to pull the trigger with the design’ as the gear takes so long to build. They do seem to have some speed issues – maybe they will sort them out by the time the flag drops

 

 

Challenger: Groupama Team France

GP: They look like me at my first Moth regatta, however, the .videos on May 9-10 show a lot of progress with their boat handling. They went from not even really being in the sailing area a week ago to actually going for it now. They pulled off a few foiling gybes and were almost foil tacking. Boat looks like it has stability issues and doesn’t like to fly all the time. Definitely does some “porpoising”. I have them battling it out with BAR for the final spot in the semi-finals. They are a good team and will know how to close out a race if they have even a little bit of pace and get into a good spot tactically.

BG: I have seen the porpoising also – not sure what is happening there. I have not had a chance to watch in the last couple days maybe they have improved a lot.

 

As published on Scuttlebutt on May 15th, 2017

 

 

Switzerland owns the podium at GC32 Riva Cup conclusion

 

Photos by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com

 

Despite an impressive late charge from their compatriots on Team Tilt, Jerome Clerc – steered Realteam to hang on to the lead to win the GC32 Riva Cup by four points after another three race day held in perfect 10-16 knot conditions on Italy’s Lake Garda.

Flavio Marazzi’s Armin Strom Sailing Team managed third place, making the podium of this first event of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour a 100% Swiss affair.

Proceedings got underway on the final day with a last round of the GC32 Racing Tour’s new Anonimo Speed Challenge – an opportunity for the crews to eek out the fastest speed from their foiling catamarans.

 

Photos by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com

 

On the final day of the regatta it was the turn of Jason Carroll’s Team Argo to record the high score of 27.65 knots. However this was not enough to better the speed of Flavio Marazzi’s team which managed 31.02 knots on Friday.

Sadly Team BDA fortunes didn’t go so well after they experienced a capsize while they were not racing. Fortunately they were quickly righted with the generous help of the Argo’s experienced support crew and the US team’s big black tender.

 

Team BDA take a dip – Photos by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com

 

Racing resumes at the GC32 Villasimius Cup, in southern Sardinia over 28 June to 1 July .

 

Final results – GC32 Riva Cup:

1. Realteam (SUI) – Jerome Clerc, 30 points

2. Team Tilt (SUI) – Sebastien Schneiter, 34

3. Armin Strom Sailing Team (SUI) – Flavio Marazzi, 45

4. Team Engie (FRA) – Sebastien Rogues, 54

5. Team Argo (USA) – Jason Carroll, 60

6. Racing Movistar (ESP) – Iker Martinez, 70

7. Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) – Naofumi Kamei!, 73

8. Team France Jeunes (FRA) – Robin Follin, 77

9. Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco (MON) – Pierre Casiraghi, 79

10. Team BDA (BER) – Mackenzie Cooper, 96

11. Codigo Rojo Sailing Team (ARG) – Federico Ferioli, 115

 

www.gc32racingtour.com

 

 

Light airs brings 470 Europeans to a close

 

Light wind meant no medal race was possible in either of the 470 Women or 470 Men fleets on the final day, and the overall standings give both Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes van Veen (NED) and Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE) their first ever European Championship titles.

Final day frustrations for some as any hope of completing a medal race dwindled in the light winds. Whilst the series leaders in both the Men and Women fleets had a handy points advantage and looked assured of victory, a false move could have toppled their gold medal hopes as chasing medal hunters eyed up every opportunity. A week of diverse conditions from the extremes of light wind to demanding ferocity of 30+ knots and 4 metre waves rewarded a deserving leaderboard.

Soon after 1100 hours, the Women’s Medal Race fleet headed to the race track for a scheduled start of 1200 hours, but were swiftly under postponement. Waiting in hope, the teams stayed patiently on the water for around three hours. But by around 1430 hours, with the breeze not materialised but still a possibility, the Race Committee opted to relieve the on-water wait for the women and send them back to shore.

The men’s fleet took to the race track, in anticipation of a race, and if the breeze filled in, there would still be plenty of time for the women’s race to take place after and before the 1630 hours cut-off. The Race Committee did get a men’s start underway, but it was soon abandoned due to the insufficient and unstable breeze.

Teams from six different nations won European Championship medals, with 14 nations featuring in each of the men and women medal race fleets. European Championship medals were awarded to the top three European teams, with prizes to the top eight teams in the overall standings.

Alongside the Olympians and experienced teams, a massive cluster of new faces have made the transition to Olympic sailing in the 470 Class. For the younger teams, many were gaining experience ahead of contesting the 470 Junior Europeans in Italy and 470 Junior Worlds in Japan in a few months’ time.

 

Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes Van Veen (NED-1) win the Women’s title – photo © Mesi

 

470 Women

When the mountain is high, some teams rise to the top and execute a perfect job, which is exactly the performance by world #1 pairing Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes van Veen (NED) here in Monaco.

Speaking after racing, Zegers said, “Last year we were happy with the silver medal, as it was the first time at a big event that we had a medal, but this year the goal was to dominate. We have been working really hard after the Games to come up to the next level, and we are happy that this week has ended,” she smiled.

“It was a really tough week for us. We started off really bad and we made a huge catch up in the end, and we were really glad to see our weaknesses for the next event.”

The pressure of the wait is a challenge in itself, but at elite level it is all part of the experience.

“Actually we have some experience of this,” laughed van Veen. “Also in Rio, the medal race day, the first one it didn’t happen. And you just have to go out on the water, try to look around and keep focusing on what is happening with the wind. So today we tried to keep ourselves entertained, but now it is over.”

Speaking on the winning feeling, she added, “I was very happy with it. But still on the other side we are really focused on the Worlds this year, but this medal is really nice for us.”

With their back to back wins, Zegers/van Veen are already installed as favourites for the years leading to Tokyo.

“Yes, that is what people say,” said Zegers. “But for us it is just important to become the best we can be and the end goal is the Tokyo Olympic Games. We are going to do anything and everything for it. So far, we are just glad to be back and we will keep going.”

A career best scorecard also for Italy’s Elena Berta/Sveva Carraro. Double-digit results on the opening day were soon offset by a string of top ten finishes.

“Now we just want to celebrate. At this moment, I don’t realize what we have done,” said Berta.

“It couldn’t get better to start a new season,” chipped in Carraro. “We have worked very, very hard and we are just super happy.”

Former team mates for London 2012, Agnieszka Skrzypulec/Jolanta Ogar (POL) have relaunched their partnership out front with a bronze medal.

 

470 Women European Medallists:

Gold – Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes Van Veen (NED-1)

Silver – Elena Berta/Sveva Carraro (ITA-6)

Bronze – Agnieszka Skrzypulec/Jolanta Ogar (POL-11)

 

470 Women Overall: (top ten)

1. Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes Van Veen (NED-1) – 49 pts

2. Elena Berta/Sveva Carraro (ITA-6) – 56 pts

3. Agnieszka Skrzypulec/Jolanta Ogar (POL-11) – 62 pts

4. Amy Seabright/Anna Carpenter (GBR-7) – 70 pts

5. Noya Bar-Am/Nina Amir (ISR-11) – 76 pts

6. Silvia Mas Depares/Patricia Cantero Reina (ESP-18) – 76 pts

7. Benedetta Di Salle/Alessandra Dubbini (ITA-74) – 79 pts

8. Gil Cohen/Stav Brokman (ISR-311) – 84 pts

9. Jennifer Poret/Camille Hautefaye (FRA-14) – 85 pts

10. Nadine Boehm/Ann-Christin Goliass (GER-24) – 86 pts

 

 

Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE-350) win the Men’s title – photo © Mesi

 

 

 

470 Men

Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE) have been unrelenting in their pursuit of glory here in Monaco. Whatever the conditions confronting them, they have excelled and dominated from start to finish, never once taking off the yellow leader bibs. Their world #1 ranking remains safe for the foreseeable future, as a European Championship win will increase their ranking points.

Commenting on the week, Fock said, “We had some problems with our gasket in the breezy conditions, but except for that it has been a wonderful week for us. I am really happy.”

“I was nervous when waiting of course, as you always want to race and the medal race is good training. But we managed to do quite well out there with our start, and I think it would have ended well anyway,” he explained in prediction of the outcome if the medal race had not been abandoned.

“It feels really, really good that we are in the right direction and the training has paid off really well, so this is good for the future.

“There was a lot of screaming out there and we are really happy. It is wonderful to have Markus as a crew and he is really good on tactics and boat handling and always supports me. This is a boost for us and hopefully we will get some attention at home. Sailing is not that big a sport in Sweden.”

Dackhammar added, “We have had a consistent and good week that is for sure. We have had a constant progression over the past year and there has been a lot of hours and work behind it. I am relieved. It is amazing, a really good feeling.”

Second overall to Guillaume Pirouelle/Jeremie Mion (FRA) in what has proven to be a hugely successful new partnership. Mion came into the event as defending European Champion, and was delighted at his success here with new helm Pirouelle.

“We didn’t expect to get this result, although for sure we expected to be in the top 10. Through the week we have been learning a lot, and I have been trying to share with Guillaume everything I know,” said Rio 2016 Olympian Mion. “Guillaume has done really well and it has been a fantastic week.”

Mathew Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) finished third overall on the Open European leaderboard, in another to be expected strong form performance. The European Championship bronze medals went to Spain’s Jordi Xammar/Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP), marking a first ever podium finish for the pair at a senior Championship.

“We are really happy.We went home from Hyeres wanting more,” Xammar said in reference to their 8th place finish at the last World Cup event. “We have come here and sailed as we know and now to get a bronze medal is fantastic. This is our first medal together and it looks like we are working well.”

 

470 Men European Medallists:

Gold – Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE-350)

Silver – Guillaume Pirouelle/Jeremie Mion (FRA-76)

Bronze – Jordi Xammar/Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP-44)

 

470 Men Overall: (top ten)

1. Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE-350) – 26 pts

2. Guillaume Pirouelle/Jeremie Mion (FRA-76) – 35 pts

3. Mathew Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS-11) – 36 pts

4. Jordi Xammar/Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP-44) – 40 pts

5. Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE-1) – 50 pts

6. Pavel Sozykin/Denis Gribanov (RUS-5) – 50 pts

7. Vasilis Papoutsoglou/Ioannis Orfanos (GRE-10) – 62 pts

8. Daichi Takayama/Kimihiko Imamura (JPN-4601) – 62 pts

9. Deniz Cinar/Ates Cinar (TUR-890) – 64 pts

10. Giacomo Ferrari/Giulio Calabro (ITA-757) – 71 pts

 

For full results and more see: 2017europeans.470.org

 

 

Jonathan Lobert seals first major Finn title after solid week in Marseille

 

Jonathan Lobert (FRA) –  © Robert Deaves

 

After a fabulous finale to a challenging week, Jonathan Lobert of France won his first ever major title in the Finn class. Ed Wright and Ben Cornish of Great Britain, both survived the Semi-Final to meet Lobert in the Final and secured silver and bronze.

Henry Wetherell made it three medals for Great Britain by winning the U23 European Championship. Arkadiy Kistanov of Russia took silver and Oskari Muhonen of Finland won the bronze.

Like the rest of the week, it was a long day with three races to get in. It started windless and with a long postponement onshore before the final race of the Opening Series could be sailed. Despite the earlier light forecast, it turned out to be one of the best races of the week, with nice waves, 10 – 15 knots, and sunny skies. Though the regatta leaders had already qualified for the Final, they both elected to sail the race. Anders Pedersen of Norway led all the way round for a huge win, to take the overall lead, while Lobert struggled and dropped to second overall.

 

Ed Wright (GBR) – photo © Robert Deaves

 

Nicholas Heiner from the Netherlands, finished second, which boosted him into the top 10, while Wetherall secured the U23 title with a seventh place finish to also make the top 10. This meant that two of the three Croatians, who had all sailed an excellent week, dropped out of the top 10.

After a short wait for protest time, the Semi-Final was sailed just off the harbour entrance in a reasonably steady 10 – 15 knots. Wright broke away out of the start and crossed back ahead of the fleet. However the next shift favoured the right again and Wetherell rounded first from Cornish and Heiner. Cornish took the lead on the downwind and was never headed, while Wright looked out of the race. However he recovered on the second beat and then drew level with Wetherell and Milan Vujasinovic of Croatia. It came down to the last few pumps to the finish line with Wright crossing second by less than a boat length.

So Cornish and Wright proceeded to the Final. The wind dropped off for a while and it started to look doubtful a race could be started, but then the sequence got underway and the breeze returned to 10 – 12 knots at the top mark.

 

Ben Cornish (GBR) – photo © Robert Deaves

 

 

Pedersen was forced to tack away out of the start and was never again in contention as a big left-hander came in. The disaster struck Zsombor Berecz of Hungary when his halyard lock broke. He stopped to fix it but trailed at a distance for the rest of the race. Lobert owned the pin end of the line and was clear ahead when he tacked back, extending throughout the race for a big win. Wright was a clear second while Cornish held off Pedersen for third.

It’s interesting to note that the top four sailors all wore the yellow leader’s bib at some point during the week. However, the best sailor on points was Pedersen, and he was beaten by the format and went home empty handed.

Lobert is the first French sailor to win the European title since Serge Maury won two titles in 1975 and 1976, and only the second French sailor to ever lift the title. He commented, “This morning I was not sure about sailing the final race, but then when I saw the weather forecast I was very uncertain. Then breeze kicked in and I was very tense and I knew I could lose everything from the work of the week.”

 

Zsombor Berecz (HUN) – photo © Robert Deaves

 

 

In the final, “I was really looking to have a line where I could keep on going if I wanted because I saw there was pressure coming but I was not sure if it was the right or left, so I want to make sure I could stay and wait the next shift, so that’s why I was really pushing to save the pin end and go on starboard as long I could. Then I got the shift and I was in front.”

“Winning the Europeans means a lot for me because, first, it’s in France, so I am very happy with this, and for once I am winning a championship. I have been many times second or third, so since I am on the top of the box I am very happy and the funny thing is I am in front of two British. So it’s nice as it’s always the British winning, so for once it’s someone else.”

The main conversation point this week has been the running of new format trials tested here this week. It was the second such test, with the first being in Palma earlier this year. It remains controversial and contested. Hopefully, following the survey that will be carried out next week the class will get a clearer insight into the feelings and thoughts of the class as it moves on to future regattas.

 

 

 

Results after Final

1 FRA 112, Jonathan Lobert

2 GBR 11, Edward Wright

3 GBR 91, Ben Cornish

4 NOR 1, Anders Pedersen

5 HUN 40, Zsombor Berecz

 

Results after Semi Final

6 GBR 71, Henry Wetherell

7 CRO 69, Milan Vujasinovic

8 GRE 77, Ioannis Mitakis

9 TUR 21, Alican Kaynar

10 NED 89, Nicholas Heiner

 

Full results can be found here.

 

More information at 2017.finneuropeans.org

 

 

 

All change as big breeze and waves hit the race track

 

 

 

470 European Championship at the Yacht Club de Monaco

 

All change on race day 4 at the 470 Europeans in Monaco as big breeze and waves hit the race track and upped the pace, in complete contrast to conditions over the first three days.

This is what it is about and the contrasts of sailing are just part of what makes the sport special. The more experienced teams came to the fore, with the biggest gains on the race track going to the world #1 pair of Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes Van Veen (NED) who clambered from leaderboard 16th up to 1st.

Sweden’s mens pairing of Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar continue to dominate in the men, but the points margins are closing in.

Racing was postponed in the morning as waves of up to 4 metres and average wind speed of 25 knots, with gusts up to 32 knots, were too volatile a combination. So, the Race Committee waited a couple of hours until the wind had dropped to 22-23, with gusts of 25 knots, to get racing underway.

Big breeze and sea has meant some shredding of equipment, with damage to boats and a few bent masts, as the gusts powered through.

 

 

Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes Van Veen (NED-1)  – photo © Mesi

 

 

 

470 Women

After opening their series on the backburner, Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes van Veen racked up a 2nd place in the first race of the day. The Dutch led for most of the race, before the Spanish overtook them on the final downwind leg, and with it the world ranked #1 pair moved up to 5th overall just 6 points off Poland’s Agnieszka Skrzypulec/Jolanta Ogar who took the overall series lead. A similar pace in the next race rewarded the Dutch with the race win, and pushed them up to first overall on tiebreak with Poland.

In third place are the vastly experienced team of Amy Seabright/Anna Carpenter (GBR). The women’s scoreboard has compressed significantly, with just 18 points difference between the top ten teams.

Superb boat control from Australia’s young pairing of Nia Jerwood/Monique Devries gave them a 3rd place finish, as they improve their scorecard race by race.

Friday the weather conditions are again light, but there is the added tension of qualifying to the medal race.

 

470 Women Provisional Results: (top five, 7 races)

1. Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes Van Veen (NED-1) – 46 pts

2. Agnieszka Skrzypulec/Jolanta Ogar (POL-11) – 46 pts

3. Amy Seabright/Anna Carpenter (GBR-7) – 48 pts

4. Noya Bar-Am/Nina Amir (ISR-11) – 51 pts

5. Elena Berta/Sveva Carraro (ITA-6) – 51 pts

 

 

Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE-1) – photo © Mesi

 

 

470 Men

On a day when experience came to the fore, it was no surprise to see Olympians taking control of the track. Relishing the breeze, Olympic bronze medallists Panagiotis Mantis/Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) staked out the first win of the day, repeating in the second and consolidated their position on the leader board.

“Today was a strong day, with strong winds,” said Mantis.”It was very difficult, anything could happen, have damage or capsize. We had good speed, so we managed to have two bullets.

Mat Belcher/Will Ryan were leading the second race of the day, but just after the downwind gate their jib wire broke, forcing them to retire from the race, and consequently drop down the leaderboard.

Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar maintain their consistency, racking up a 9,14 to hold them firm at the top. But, the points’ gap is closing in. France’s Guillaume Pirouelle/Jeremie Mion move up to second from their 3,2 scorecard, and Turkey’s Deniz Cinar/Ates Cinar claim third overall.

Three races are scheduled on Friday for the men, with the top ten racing in the Medal Race podium decider on Saturday.

 

470 Men Provisional Results: (top five, 8 races)

1. Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE-350) – 23 pts

2. Guillaume Pirouelle/Jeremie Mion (FRA-76) – 28 pts

3. Deniz Cinar/Ates Cinar (TUR-890) – 34 pts

4. Mathew Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS-11) – 35 pts

5. Jordi Xammar/Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP-44) – 35 pts

 

All change again on Friday with the forecast indicating a drop in breeze down to 8-10 knots. Three races are scheduled for all fleets to determine the top 10 teams who will advance to Saturday’s medal race. 470 Women race first at 1200 hours, followed by Men Gold and Men Silver.

 

For full results and more see: 2017europeans.470.org

 

No racing on day 4 at Finn Europeans

 

Strong winds batter Marseille

 

The fourth day at the Finn Europeans was a long day spent on shore waiting in vain for the wind to abate enough to go sailing. The forecast had already prompted the Race Committee to delay the start to 12.00, but midday came and went and still the venue was battered by strong south-easterly winds and rain.

The sailors sheltered in the tent or displayed typical Finn bravado, but by 15.30, with the wind still hovering around 30 knots, racing was abandoned for the day.

However, Friday is promising perfect conditions, with moderate winds and sunshine. Three races are scheduled.

Racing in the opening series continues until Saturday, with the Semi-final and Final scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

For full results and information: 2017.finneuropeans.org

 

470 European Championship reaches its halfway stage

470 Women’s race 5 start – photo © Mesi

 

 

470 European Championship at the Yacht Club de Monaco – 6 – 13 May

 

Day 3 of racing at the 2017 470 European Championship got underway soon after 1330 hours, with two races scheduled for each of the 470 Men and Women fleets.

One race was completed for each of the men gold and women, before the fleets returned to the shore for around an hour’s postponement due to lack of wind. They headed back out to race again around 1700 hours, but the wind did not play ball, and just over an hour later the fleets were back ashore with all hopes of racing abandoned for the day.

The 470 Men fleet are split into gold and silver for the six race final series, whilst the women continue their single series, with 11 races for all. The top 10 teams in men and women will advance to the double-points Medal Race on Saturday 13 May.

Heightened anticipation here in Monaco not only as the 470 European Championship reaches its halfway stage, but also as preparations build up for the iconic F1 Monaco Grand Prix on 25 – 28 May. Taking place at the same time as Saturday’s medal races is the e-Prix, which uses a modified configuration of the GP street circuit.

 

 

470 Women

Start line ‘argy bargy’ forced the Race Committee to call two general recalls for race 5 of the women’s fleet, before they got away on the third attempt, but not without eight teams taking a black penalty for being over early.

A win for Israel’s Noya Bar-Am/Nina Amir puts them into the lead, with Elena Berta/Sveva Carraro (ITA) stepping up to 2nd, and overnight leaders Mafalda Pires De Lima/Mariana Lobato down to third.

Rivalry on the race course is intense and not just between those pitching for front of fleet glory. The teams from Singapore and Malaysia, Elisa Yukie Yokoyama/Cheryl Teo and Nuraisyah Jamil/Ashikin Sayed have faced each other many times, and are currently 22nd and 24th respectively on the leaderboard. But their rivalry will be at its highest when it comes to one of Asia’s pinnacle events, the South-East Asian Games this coming August in Langkawi, Malaysia. At the previous edition in 2013, Yukie won the 420 Class event and the Malaysians won in the 470 Class.

This time around they will battle it out in the 470, but Jamil/Sayed carry the advantage of age and more experience. Yukie, who won the 2011 Optimist World Championship, joined up with her new crew Cheryl Teo last year, and at 17 years old Teo is the youngest sailor in the women’s fleet.

The world #1 pair of Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes van Veen recovered their mojo, displacing some rivals to claim a 6th place, and move up to 11th overall.

 

470 Women Provisional Results: (top five, 5 races)

1. Noya Bar-Am/Nina Amir (ISR-11) – 19 pts

2. Elena Berta/Sveva Carraro (ITA-6) – 24 pts

3. Mafalda Pires De Lima/Mariana Lobato (POR-14) – 25 pts

4. Amy Seabright/Anna Carpenter (GBR-7) – 33 pts

5. Agnieszka Skrzupulec/Jolanta Ogar (POL-11) – 35 pts

 

 

 

470 Men’s gold fleet start – photo © Mesi

 

 

470 Men

Game on now for the podium battle as the top 25 teams face off in gold fleet, with teams from 16 nations in the hunt. The fight is going well beyond the world #1 pairing of Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE) and the formidable Australian partnership of Mathew Belcher/Will Ryan, who have so far dominated.

Today was the first opportunity for the two teams to face each other, and history shows that the Swedes have never beaten the Australians at an event – so it will be fascinating to see how their performance unfolds as the pressure mounts.

Turkey’s Cinar brothers took the early running in the gold fleet race, leading the Swedes and Portugal’s Costa brothers up the first leg. They held off the threats from behind, as the Swedish duo and then Spain’s Jordi Xammar/Nicolas Rodrigues attacked, going on to claim their 2nd win of the series and move up to second overall, with the Aussies 1 point behind in third.

The Australians’ Rio 2016 campaign was intensive and they have taken a much need six-month break, with Belcher moving back to Australia with his wife and children after being based in Europe for several years. Belcher/Ryan carry an 11 point deficit to the leaders Fock/Dackhammar, who they beat in their last meeting at Sailing World Cup Hyères last month where they jumped straight back to form after their time out.

 

470 Men Provisional Results: (top five, 6 races)

1. Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE-350) – 9 pts

2. Deniz Cinar/Ates Cinar (TUR-890) – 19 pts

3. Mathew Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS-11) – 20 pts

4. Jordi Xammar/Nicolas Rodriguez (ESP-44) – 22 pts

5. Guillaume Pirouelle/Jeremie Mion (FRA-76) – 23 pts

 

Thursday is set to be a breezy day here in Monaco, so wisely the Race Committee has scheduled three races for all fleets. Looking forward to around 14-16 knots, with the 470 Women kicking off first at 1200 hours, followed by Men Gold, then Men Silver.

 

For full results and more info see: 2017europeans.470.org

 

 

470 Women Mafalda Pires De Lima/Mariana Lobato (POR) – photo © Mesi

 

 

Racing wrapped up on Day 2 with all scheduled races completed

 

Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE) take over as new series leaders in the 470 Men and Portugal’s Mafalda Pires Lima/Mariana Lobato retain their lead in the 470 Women.

It could have been a tense day waiting to see if the breeze would to fill in, but the Yacht Club de Monaco has proved to be a relaxing spot. A chilled sailors’ lounge with cafe and cool playlist, boat park overlooking the marina and all-round ambience keep everyone happy.

The race course delivered a lighter swell than yesterday, but again the unpredictable breeze was evident in the scorecards, with consistency hard to maintain. Racing got underway soon after 1700 hours, in a breeze of around 8 knots.

 

470 Women

A massive reshuffle in the 470 Women after the day’s two races, as many of the fleet banked a good result, only to have it offset with a lower fleet finish. Israel’s Noya Bar-Am/Nina Amir took the win in the first race, with team mates Tsuf Zamet/Noa Lasry claiming victory in the next.

Series leaders going into the day, Mafalda Pires Lima/Mariana Lobato (POR), briefly dipped to second overall after race 3, but ended the day where they began out on top, holding a 5 point advantage over Bar-Am/Amir.

Now counting only top 10 results, as the discard kicked in after race 4 to remove their 14th place from yesterday, Gil Cohen/Stav Brokman (ISR) climb to third overall.

 

 

Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE-350) – photo © Mesi

 

 

 

470 Men

Two races for the 470 Men wrapped up the qualification series, and decided the top 25 teams who will advance to gold fleet racing and a shot at the podium. The rest of the fleet will battle it out in the silver fleet.

World #1 pairing of Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar (SWE) were amongst the few teams to post a consistent scorecard, as racing proved to be a day of two halves for some. The Swedes’ 3,1 performance puts them up front, with Mat Belcher/Will Ryan (AUS) dropping to second.

 

 

Day 1 a day of changing conditions

 

Race day 1 at the 470 Europeans dawned bright and sunny, turned to light rain and cloud, before returning to a stunning spring Mediterranean day with blue sky and sparkling waters.

With Monte Carlo as a back drop, racing kicked off soon after 1625 hours in light breeze conditions of around 8 knots, increasing later. The 470 Women fleet are racing a single series and contested two races today, with three races for 470 men who are split into yellow and blue fleets for the qualification series.

The usual leaderboard hierarchy in the 470 Men fleet, featuring race wins to the renowned Mat Belcher/Will Ryan and world #1 pairing of Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar. Over in the 470 women, the race winners suffered a bitter sweet day in each of their other races, leaving room for consistency to reward Portugal’s Mafalda Pires De Lima/Mariana Lobato at

the top of the leaderboard.

 

Womens start – photo © Mesi

 

 

470 Women

Competing at their first ever 470 Championship, and after only two months in the boat together, Mafalda Pires De Lima/Mariana Lobato surprised themselves with their form, taking the lead from a consistent 4,6 scorecard. No pressure of expectation has clearly enabled this pair to shine.

The glory of leading the women’s opening race from start to finish went to Rio 2016 Olympians Barbara Cornudella/Sara Lopez from Spain. They took the advantage off the start line, holding the rest of the fleet behind them to claim what is their first ever race win at a 470 European Championship. A follow-up result of 16th in race 2, gives them 6th overall on the leaderboard.

Race 2 victory went to Great Britain’s Amy Seabright/Anna Carpenter, who came off the pin end of the start line, went as fast as they could and it worked. They sit one point off the Portuguese series leaders, with France’s Jennifer Poret/Camille Hautefaye in third.

The world #1 partnership of Afrodite Zegers/Anneloes van Veen did not have their game exactly where they wanted it, with finishes of 11,8 positioning them in 10th overall.

 

Mens start – photo © Mesi

 

 

470 Men

Mat Belcher/Will Ryan were the last team to leave the boat park this morning, whilst the rest of the fleet were well on their way to the race track. A strategy perhaps; last to leave first to get to the finish? If so, it worked. They picked up back to back wins in blue fleet races 1 and 2, rounding off their day with an 11th in race 3. The series discard comes in play after 3 races, so the Aussies hold the lead by 2 points.

In the men’s yellow fleet, the world #1 pairing of Carl-Fredrik Fock/Marcus Dackhammar are second overall, having matched the Aussies with a win in the opening race, followed by a 2,5.

Battling around the track with the 470 Class maestros were the young Italian partnership of Giaomo Ferrrari/Giulo Calabro, scoring a 3,2,9 to end their day in third overall. Reigning 470 Junior European Championships, they are taking every opportunity to pace their heroes and learn from the best.

 

For full results and more info see: 2017europeans.470.org