The first Australian WASZP Championships proved to me a monumental success with 35 boats and glamour conditions throughout the series, held at the Sorrento Sailing and Couta Boat Club.
Reigning WASZP Games champion Harry Mighell won the series convincingly from Jon Holroyd and another Sorrento local, Tom Trotman. Holroyd and Trotman were locked in a battle for second place and it would have been fantastic to get some racing in on the last day to break the deadlock but mother nature intervened and there was not enough wind to race.
From a Youth side of things it was great to see young Hugo Llewelyn improve dramatically during the regatta, giving the leaders a run for their money with a 2nd place in heat 4. In the Masters, Jon Holroyd sailed an extremely consistent event to claim 1st Master, followed by New Zealander Nick Olson who also had his moments of glory.
Of the Women, Sam England had some great races highlighted by a 4th place in heat 3 and Tess Lloyd improved out of sight over the 4 days and with minimal foiling experience before the event to finish every race and have some great results. It shows the future if very bright for women in the WASZP class.
The 6.9m rigs had some close racing, won by Jack Felsenshall who again pushed hard off minimal foiling time leading into the event. Also very creditable he made it to the Slalom final on a 6.9m rig, showing the versatility of this sail and a great product for lighter guys and girls in the class.
The Slalom racing was a significant highlight of the event with the final being a classic, won on the final gybe by Tom Brewer, there was only 10 seconds separating 1st and 6th in the 8 boat final. This is an event that will carry high prestige going forward and a favourite for the sailors.
The social side of the event was awesome with the beach culture vibe very much alive in the class, with the club putting on food each night after racing and eskies full of beers and soft drinks awarded to the boat of the day to be then shared with the competitors. For the families there was table tennis, beach volleyball and just having a swim on the beautiful beaches in the area. All in all it was a fantastic event with the people involved in this class taking it forwards at a rapid rate.
The class now looks forward to the European Championships from June 28 – to July 1 in Malcesine, Lake Garda and then next January 22 – 28 for the 2019 International WASZP Games in Perth, Western Australia, where 120+ WASZP’s will be expected.
Overall Results: (first three in each category)
1st Harry Mighell
2nd Jon Holyrod
3rd Tom Trotman
1st Hugo Llewellyn
2nd Lockie Dare
3rd Daniel Quinlan
1st Jon Holroyd
2nd Nick Olson
3rd Paul Fleming
1st Jack Felsenshall
2nd Daniel Quinlan
3rd Michael Parks
1st Sam England
2nd Tess Lloyd
1st Tom Brewer
2nd Jack Abbott
3rd Harry Mighell
Full Overall Results >>> http://sailingresults.net/sa/results/Overall.aspx?ID=80154.1.1
Video highlights of day: https://www.facebook.com/waszpgames/videos/242674726272503/
Video highlights of the Slalom race: https://www.facebook.com/lfsportsTV/videos/1680636895331119/
by Jonny Fullerton on behalf of the WASZP Class
Today was the first day of racing in the first ever Australian WASZP Championships. It was absolutely glamour conditions to showcase this new one design foiler that has taken the world by storm!
With 35 boats on the start line it was all to play for, just before the start the breeze kicked in to 15-18knots providing the ideal race track for these boats to showcase some of the most exciting racing seen. The windward leeward courses with gates at the top and the bottom perfectly set by the Sorrento Sailing and Couta Boat Club race committee provided many passing lanes for these foiling machines.
The one design nature of the class meant you could basically throw a blanket over the top 10 and little pockets of fleets developed with super tight racing across the fleet. One of the highlights was the first time to the bottom in race 2 where the top 6 boats approached the bottom mark together with the leaderboard shuffling across the race.
New Zealander Bruce Curson started the event really well with a 1st place to kick his Aussie counterparts into gear. Reigning WASZP Games champion Harry Mighell then jumped the fleet to win the final 2 races to take an overall lead in the championship. Jon Holroyd was the first Master and also had a ripping day sitting on the podium after day one with another Sorrento local Tom Trotman pushing to the front as well.
Sam England had a good day to be 8th overall and lead Tess Lloyd in the Women, while the rest of the fleet had some amazing rides with the top speed recorded up to 25 knots on the downwind.
The first flights of the Slalom were also completed after racing, with the format gaining some serious attention. We will look to slot the slalom in around the remaining championship racing and get our first Australian WASZP Slalom Champion.
Some tired but smiling WASZP Sailors came ashore and tucked into some pizzas and beers, with boat of the day winning an esky supplied by one of the regatta sponsors ‘Willow’ to share out with the rest of the fleet.
Day 2 is looking similar to day 1 before a heatwave hits over the weekend. The race committee will be looking to get another 3 championship races in, before the breeze becomes unstable over the weekend.
Video of day: https://www.facebook.com/waszpgames/videos/241639723042670/
Overall Results >>> http://sailingresults.net/sa/results/Overall.aspx?ID=80154.1.1
by Jonny Fullerton on behalf of the WASZP Class
Star Sailors League Final in Nassau
With racing taking place in a balmy, near perfect 15 knots on Nassau’s Montagu Bay, the ‘take no prisoners’ shoot out on the last day of the Star Sailors League Final saw the fleet narrow to seven teams after the Quarter Finals and to four after the Semis. Finally this left the finals being contested by France’s Xavier Rohart/Pierre-Alexis Ponsot, Britain’s Paul Goodison sailing with German Frithjof Kleen, Brazil’s Robert Scheidt/Henry Boening and the USA’s Mark Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih, the latter crew having ‘fast tracked’ straight through after decisively winning the qualifiers yesterday.
In the final race, Mendelblatt/Fatih led off the line and all the boats heading out to the left. Goodison/Kleen benefitted on the right and coming into the weather mark just squeaked in ahead of the Americans. At the second top mark rounding the Anglo-German duo looked marginally more secure but with veins of breeze coming down the course, the outcome was still far from decided. On the final approach to the finish line, Scheidt/Boening closed, rolling in with more pressure and on some good waves as Goodison/Kleen looked slow. However at the very last moment Goodison/Kleen picked up speed to win by a metre. It was a suitable ending to this ultimate ‘champion of champions’ regatta, where the winners gets to walk away with US$ 40,000 of a US$ 200,000 total prize purse.
Goodison described the final seconds: “I was desperate to soak low to come into towards the pin end (of the finish line) and Frida (Frithjof Kleen) was going ‘You’re Going Too Slow, You’re Going Too Slow – Come Up!’. So there was a little panic. It was a little too close for comfort.” Kleen added: “It is always super hard to protect yourself from Robert Scheidt because he is the best downwind sailor in the world and he caught us up quite well…”
In fact the two time Moth World Champion and his burly Star veteran crewman had become experts at photo finishes having had a similar experience in the Semi-Finals. On that occasion they were in a must-win battle against Germans Philipp Buhl and Markus Koy: The winner progressing to the final, the loser eliminated. Winning that particular race within a race had been especially important for Kleen. “I was working hard to catch the Germans in the Semi-Final! You could see the difference between us – we were rolling more and that helped us,” he observed.
Despite losing the final, Robert Scheidt said it had been a great race. “A lot happened – position changes, tacking on each other, penalties – and then we had a photo finish. We managed to do a good gybe on the inside and we got a little bit more pressure so that when we converged, I thought at one stage that we had got those guys. But in the end I couldn’t go low because I was blocked by the race committee boat. They deserved it and for us to be part of that was really exciting.”
It was interesting to note that three of the four finalists were former Laser sailors who competed at Athens Olympics in 2004. On that occasion Scheidt claimed gold, Goodison was fourth and Mendleblatt seventh. Throughout the Qualifiers this week, Mendelblatt and Fatih had been the stand-out crew but perhaps suffered from coming into the Finals cold whereas the other teams had already warmed up in the quarter finals and semis.
Goodison was delighted by the outcome: “I am over the moon – I didn’t expect this at all.” Given today’s slightly breezier conditions, the smart money had been on the Star veterans, rather than a newbie to the class like him. “This morning we had a look at the trophy and I saw Bart’s name on it (the late Andrew Simpson, who won Star Gold in Beijing 2008 as part of the British Olympic team with Goodison) and Frida mentioned that the top crew got the Andrew Simpson Trophy. Somewhere up there I am sure Bart was smiling on us and making us hike a little bit harder. It is a great honour to race against these guys and I feel so happy to have won and I feel so grateful to have had Frida who has been my mentor, my pain in the ass, my everything for the last 10 days.”
And what will he do with his share of the prize money? “Well, I have a new Moth being built, but I think my family might get some better Christmas presents this year!” concluded the two time Moth World Champion, Laser Olympic gold medallist and now Star Sailors League champion.
Tonight’s celebration will continue at the Nassau Yacht Club with a Gala Dinner, where Dennis Conner will hand out the prizes to the athletes – who will be wearing their Star Sailors League official blazers, kindly supplied by Think Pink.
The sixth edition of the Star Sailors League Finals will take place once again in Nassau, the Bahamas, from December 3rd to 8th 2018.
Highlights of finals of Star Sailors League
Day 4 of the Star Sailors League Finals
After three more races today on Nassau’s Montagu Bay, the full 11 Qualifier races of the Star Sailors League Final were completed to determine which ten of the 25 teams would progress through to tomorrow’s final rounds, when the US$ 200,000 prize pot will be distributed.
There was upset in the first race when another of the Star newbies won, beating the old hands of the former Olympic keelboat class. British Nacra 17 World Champion Ben Saxton, sailing with former Star World Champion Steve Mitchell, managed to hang on to their lead after winning the pin at the start and then fending off a persistent challenge from overall leaders the USA’s Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih.
“We were one boat length ahead for the whole race,” said Saxton. “On the second beat we only crossed ahead of Mark and Brian by two metres – it was awesomely close racing. Then on the last run we had the Poles, Paul Goodison and Mark/Brian alongside of us and it could have gone any way. It was a pretty big celebration when we finished.”
Italian Star veterans Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi claimed the second race, their first bullet of the Qualifiers. But significant to the points tally was four teams being called OCS. This start line error would ultimately contribute to Brazil’s Lars Grael/Samuel Goncalves and London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Freddie Lööf and Bruno Prada from making it past the Qualifiers.
After race two it was time for the teams to get their calculators out, to determine who would make it into the all-important top ten and would continuing and the 15 teams heading home. At this point 10th place was held by Italians Francesco Bruni/Nando Colaninno with France’s Xavier Rohart/Pierre-Alexis Ponsot seven points ahead of them, while a further five teams were all still in with a good chance, up to nine points behind. These included Lööf/Prada and Norwegian reigning Star World Champion, Eivind Melleby/Joshua Revkin.
The day had got off badly for Bruni/Colaninno, in the sixth when they got out of bed, but dropping to 10th going into the final race.
“We couldn’t get our head around the shifts and we are not very fast downwind,” admitted Bruni, adding that with too many boats to cover they just had to sail their best.
“On the final run we knew that Lööf was behind and Lars [Grael] wasn’t in the top three, so it would be pretty close between us and the Norwegians.”
Finally on the last run it came together: “We just pushed hard and finally we had one good downwind where we passed four boats.” Melleby/Revkin’s sixth place to their eighth was enough and Bruni/Colaninno were able to hang on to tenth securing their place in tomorrow’s racing, albeit tied on points with Saxton/Mitchell. “We are very happy,” said a beaming Bruni.
The day became a British double win with Laser gold medallist and two time Moth World Champion Paul Goodison, sailing with German Star veteran Frithjof Kleen, claiming the final Qualifier race. This left them in fifth place overall.
Coming out on top is the class act of the 2017 Star Sailors League Finals – Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih. The American defending champions posted a 4-2-4 making them top scoring boat of the day and leaving them 19 points clear of early leaders Brazilian Olympic veteran Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening. Having won the Qualifiers Mendelblatt/Fatih are fast-tracked straight through to the Finals while Scheidt-Boening bypass the Quarter Finals and move directly to the Semi-Finals.
The remaining eight boats, from third placed Negri/Lambertenghi down, will compete in the single Quarter Finals race tomorrow, starting at 1100. Five then go through to join Scheidt/Boening in the Semi Finals. The top three from this join Mendelblatt/Fatih in the Finals, the winner of which will be crowned the 2017 Star Sailors League champion.
1 Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih — Straight to Finals
2 Robert Scheidt/Henry Boening — bypass to Semi-Finals
3 Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi
4 Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter
5 Paul Goodison/Frithjof Kleen
6 Xavier Rohart/Pierre-Alexis Ponsot
7 Philipp Buhl/Markus Koy
8 Mateusz Kusznierewicz
9 Ben Saxton/Steve Mitchell
10 Francesco Bruni/Nando Colaninno
Highlight video of day 4
Day 3 of the Star Sailors League Finals
Despite a second light day that perhaps should have favoured the lighter crews, US heavyweights Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih posted a solid 1-2 on day three of the Star Sailor’s League Final off Nassau to take the lead overall.
In truth, the US occupation of the top spot was equally down to the impressively consistent Brazilian Olympic legend Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening vacating it after an uncharacteristic error when they hooked the weather mark and had to carry out a penalty turn in today’s second race. This resulted in a 19th place finish and, despite discarding this, the Brazilians are now second, trailing Mendelblatt/Fatih by eight points.
“It was a great day – I am very happy with it. We survived the light air and then some, so that was good,” said a beaming Mendelblatt. “Brian has good movement in the boat, which is key as the big guy [ie crew]. You have to heel the boat right and always be moving with the pressure and the waves. He did a great job of keeping the boat powered up at the right angle. It felt good.”
While they are leading, Mendelblatt was not resting on his laurels, with up to three more races to go tomorrow in the culmination of the Qualifier round, after which all but the top ten are eliminated.
The first race got away successfully under a black flag on its second attempt. This still caused Poles Kusznierewicz/Zycki and the two veteran crews of Szabo/Natucci and Diaz/Sperry to be disqualified – especially costly for the Poles, who were OCS in yesterday’s second race.
With the start line committee-boat favoured, Mendelblatt/Fatih started conservatively by the committee boat and headed out to the right. The lead shifted between the sides of the course with the US team reaching the top mark third behind Franck Cammas and Mark Strube – an impressive performance by Cammas, the French Volvo Ocean Race winner, America’s Cup skipper but Star boat newbie. After a long battle on the final run with the two Italian crews Francesco Bruni/Nando Colaninno and Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi, the Americans found better pressure to roll past their rivals to take their third bullet of the Star Sailors League Finals.
Aside from Mendelblatt/Fatih, the day belonged to the two Italian teams. Francesco Bruni has been out of the Star class for more than a decade, his previous campaign including a seventh place at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Coming into the Star Sailors League Finals he had had just one day of training and yet today he managed to post a 4-1.
In the latter race Brazilian Olympic legend Torben Grael and Guilherme de Almeida had made the best of the start – leaping ahead after tacking on a favourable left hand shift. However it was Bruni/Colaninno who read the conditions the best and were first to the top mark. Bruni said he was pleased with how they had positioned themselves, such as not going all the way to the port layline coming into the top mark.
“We made a good balance between risk and reward.”
This had also paid in the first race when on the first run they had held on starboard longer after everyone had gybed, a move that took them from sixth-seventh to level with the leaders coming into the leeward gate.
“The only bad part of the day was the last part of the first race when we went from first to fourth.” This Bruni attributed to his lack of experiencing of free pumping which was permitted as the wind marginally increased on that leg.
Fellow countrymen Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi were the third stand-out performer of the day posting two thirds, leaving them third overall.
Young German Laser sailor Philipp Buhl continued to shine today on board with old Star boat hand, Markus Koy. Their 9-5 today elevated them to fifth place overall, an outstanding performance considering Buhl has had only five days of training in the former Olympic keelboat before the Finals.
Tomorrow up to three races can be held in this Qualifier round and all of the 25 crews will be gunning to make the top 10 that will enable them to progress through to the final rounds of racing on Saturday.
Highlight video of day 3
Paul Cayard & Phil Trinter on Day 2 © Gilles Morelle / Star Sailors League
Day two of the Star Sailors League Finals in Nassau
A lighter, longer, hotter second day of racing at the Star Sailors League Finals in Nassau, was one of mixed fortunes for the 25 crews competing for the US$ 200,000 prize purse in this international ‘Champion of Champions’ contest.
Italy’s two time World Championship runners-up Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi were the lowest scorers today, while Star newbies, German Laser sailor Philipp Buhl and British Nacra 17 World Champion Ben Saxton, put in stand-out performances with their respective crews, towering Markus Koy and former Star World Champion Steve Mitchell.
US veterans Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter scored two bullets in the first and last races. Yet after this generally high scoring day, Brazilian Olympic legend Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening showed ultra-resilience retaining their lead, two points ahead of Mark Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih.
While two races were held yesterday, today there were four, the start time coming forward to 1100 hrs. The easterly started off lighter at nine knots, dropping to seven for the final race by which time an evil grey rain cloud was veering the wind.
Cayard was pleased with his and Phil Trinter’s two bullets, but less so about his race three 20th.
“We had some kelp round the keel right off the start and weren’t fast, which was strange because we are very fast. Then I made a bad tactical choice to go to the layline on starboard instead of tacking early.”
The Volvo Ocean Race/Louis Vuitton Cup winner was particularly pleased by how their pace downwind has improved.
“On Saturday we were getting our butts kicked. Now we are holding our own. If you can get to the weather mark in good shape and hold your own downwind, you are going to sail good races.”
In the fourth Cayard/Trinter, one of the most experienced crews competing, led at the first top mark rounding only to be rolled downwind by Ben Saxton/Steve Mitchell. The Brits led through the leeward gate only to be overhauled by the Americans on the second beat but still managed to hold second at the finish.
“We were struggling with speed downwind, but today we held our own, which meant we could put a race together,” explained Saxton.
He added they were almost more pleased with today’s second and third races when they successfully fought back from deep starts. After this they finally got a good start, up by the committee boat.
“We punched forwards off the line and then just led the bunch back from the left and tacked in and got a good lane,” said Saxton of the final race.
As to how it feels to be in the Star Sailors League finalists, Saxton adds: “It is an honour to line up against them. I am here because I can raise my game. It is wicked to see how these people put beats together. You can always learn off them.”
Ben Saxton & Steve Mitchell- Day 2 – photo © Carlo Borlenghi
While Saxton came close to winning race four, another 27-year-old Rio 2016 Olympian, Philipp Buhl had successfully claimed the race before. The German crew had been third around the top mark behind two Italian boats – Negri/Lambertenghi and America’s Cup tactician Francesco Bruni/Nando Colaninno. Buhl/Koy had pulled into the lead ahead of Negri/Lambertenghi at the second top mark rounding and held on to the finish.
“I thought I would struggle a bit more, but I’ve been sailing with confidence, maybe because we are sailing above my expectations,”said Buhl.
“I regard it as a super privilege to be invited to race against all these legends. When we won race three I realised we could sail on the same level as Robert Scheidt. That’s something we can be proud of because he’s had two Olympic Star boat campaigns…”
His towering crew, Markus Koy observed that having an ex-Olympic Laser sailor as a Star helm is a bonus.
“They do more course changes and use every wave.”
Italy’s Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi have yet to win a race but today’s two seconds (in races one and three) enabled them be the lowest scoring crew today.
“It was very positive for us and it gives us a bit confidence to do well in the next few days,” said Negri, a two time Star European Champion.
“Tomorrow and Friday conditions will be similar to today’s and then very breezy on the final day, Saturday. This will make it more important to win the Qualification and get a bye straight to the Final – as we did last year. In windy conditions you can get tired and the boat can be damaged easier.”
With five races left to go in the Qualification series, tomorrow three races are scheduled with a start at 1100hrs.
Highlights video day 2 of racing
2017 Star Sailors League Finals – Day 1 © Gilles Morelle
Star Sailors League Finals in Nassau, Bahamas
International sailing’s premier Champion of Champions event got underway in Nassau with the first two races of the Star Sailors League Finals. Racing took place on Montagu Bay, a stone’s throw from the Nassau Yacht Club, this week playing host to the 25 Star teams. Among the all-star cast of sailors here are not just luminaries of the former Olympic keelboat, but three Volvo Ocean Race winning skippers, two Jules Verne Trophy winning skippers, America’s Cup winners plus countless Olympic medallists and World Champions.
On the Bahamas’ holiday brochure blues waters, racing took place in a relatively stable 12-15 knots easterly with ‘free pumping’ permitted.
On the first beat of race one, the boats on the left looked good including old US hands Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter and Mark Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih, but also invited VIP’s like double Moth World Champion Paul Goodison sailing with German Star legend Frithjof Kleen. At the top mark defending champions Mendelblatt/Fatih shows some of their old magic pulling out a solid five boatlength lead with Goodison/Kleen sneaking ahead of Cayard/Trinter to round second. But on the runs, experience paid: Mendelblatt/Fatih held position claiming the first race, while Brazilian Olympic legend Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening outsailed Goodison/Kleen, relieving them of second coming into the line.
“I know Goodie from our Laser days – I think he has got a good set up and a good crew and a good boat,” observed Scheidt. He added that with invited sailors such as his old British rival the line-up here is the toughest to date.
Robert Scheidt & Henry Boening – photo © Carlo Borlenghi
Mendelblatt/Fatih were also showing great pace, finishing comfortably ahead of the chasing pack. “It was pretty good downwind – better than in years past,” said Mendelblatt. “It was unlimited rocking and pumping today. Some guys go really hard and other go smoother. We are one of the smoother teams. Some of the big Finns guys can put a lot into it.”
In the second race, the left also paid on the first beat with Goodison/Kleen putting in another great performance, squeeze in from the port layline at the top mark just inside of Xavier Rohart and his London 2012 crew Pierre-Alexis Ponsot with Poles Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Dominik Zycki third.
On the first run, the French held on starboard gybe and took the lead coming into the leeward gate with Mendelblatt/Fatih also rolling past Goodison/Kleen. Rohart/Ponsot kept their noses clean for the rest of the race which was not the case for many other, including the likes of Mendelblatt/Fatih and reigning Star World Champion, Norway’s Eivind Melleby, sailing here with the USA’s Joshua Revkin all of whom infringed at the top mark and had to carry out penalty turns. Ultimately the Poles claimed third with Scheidt/Boening managing second to finish the opening day leading overall by a point from Kusznierewicz/Zycki, but with just three points separating the top five.
“It was a match – we took the right decision to stay outside at the top mark,” said race two winning crew Pierre-Alexis Ponsot. “Then it was about finding a good space with the waves for the oouching and pumping. Upwind it was hard because it is very choppy so we had to hike very much.”
Fleet ashore on day 1 – photo © Carlo Borlenghi
Coming off the water with the biggest grin was definitely Goodison.
“They have all been sailing for years and I have only down 10 days total,” he said of the competition. Of rediscovering long lost muscle groups after his first ever Star races, he added:
“It is almost like the old Laser days when you were a bit out of practice and not quite fit enough at the beginning of the year. It is amazing to be out there racing with all these guys. I was very worried coming into this that we would be way off the pace. I am very fortunate that this is Frida’s boat (Kleen) and he has a good feel for the numbers. I do a little bit of the ‘feel’ stuff and he does general set-up. Downwind it is very much like sailing a Laser – just the rocking and steering, only I’m not as strong as some of the big guys and can’t pump as hard.”
Highlights video of day 1 of racing
RNZYS to host the 2018 Red Bull Foiling Generation 2018 New Zealand © RNZYS
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is set to host the 2018 Red Bull Foiling Generation 2018 New Zealand, which will take place from the 22nd to the 25th February 2018.
Red Bull Foiling Generation provides talented young sailors aged 16 – 20 the opportunity to advance their careers through elite hydrofoil racing. The seven-stop series serves as a great training foundation for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, which caters to competitors aged 19-25.
In 2016 the RNZYS hosted New Zealand’s first Red Bull Foiling Generation, and the first stop of the 2016 World Series. Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson’s new-found foiling talent was undeniable on the Waitemata Harbour, as they took out the New Zealand competition, eventually going on to take the overall 2016 Foiling World Championship in Newport, USA.
The RNZYS looks forward to hosting this fantastic event in February and cannot wait to unleash another batch of fresh foiling talent onto the world stage.
How to enter
A maximum of 16 Teams shall be accepted for the event with the final selection of teams to be made by 15th January 2018.
Teams or individuals may apply online here: www.rnzys.org.nz/sailing-events/red-bull-foiling-generation-2018
by Andrew Delves
Foiling Week, A Year In Review
Advancing the Community Concept for Innovation
When the Foiling Week set up its first tents along the sparkling shoreline of Lake Garda in 2014, a small group of excitable and tweaky designers, engineers and sailors gathered to share, learn and collaborate. Once all alone in their corners of the sport and the world, this was their moment to go beyond their own visions and advance the new field of “foiling” on the water.
A mind-blowingly short time later, as 2017 comes to a close, Foiling Week is on three continents, there are more than a dozen established foiling classes and the seeds of foiling’s place beyond sailing are sprouting across the world.
Year highlights video
Luca Rizzotti, Founder: “In 2018 we are going for the first time to exciting locations like Sydney and Miami. We look forward to connecting with the amazing Australian and American foiling communities, tap into their latest innovations and spread the know-how around the globe. Garda is also promising to be bigger than ever with many requests from new classes. Finally, we see we are growing alongside our present partners and aim at having more on board to keep the foiling community ahead of the innovation curve, plus seeking impact investments for some of our new ambitious projects.”
At the heart of innovation within the foiling space, Foiling Week sits alone as a forum. But this is not an exclusive club. Forums in Europe, the United States and Australia are now opening up doors and networks that were once, by the very nature of competitive events like the America’s Cup and even geography, barriers to collaboration and development.
Cup designers once muzzled by NDAs eagerly bat around concepts with their counterparts at Foiling Week. Product developers racing to become “first-to-market” in the auto-foiling SUP space are able to explore production and distribution complications together. From the innovator to the end user, there is no doubt that this is a particular moment in foiling that transcends the sparks ignited by classes like the Moth, A Class catamaran and America’s Cup boats.
Foiling Week’s Responsibility
Following the success of the Foiling Week Newport, USA in 2016, the first forum outside of Garda, the event not only expanded to other nations, the 2017 event on that natural playground in central Italy pushed the boundaries of innovative forums into the social responsibility realm.
Though Foiling Week is not an authoritative organisation, its participants are a community of new authorities on this burgeoning area of innovation. And, as the most diverse, intelligent and creative individuals in sailing, they have a resulting camaraderie and drive to improve the sport and the world through their abilities.
Core values for Foiling Week were established in 2017 after the successes of the Safety Forum in Newport. Safety, accessibility and sustainability were each given a day at this year’s Garda event.
As the sun warmed the cliffs, before the clockwork thermal breeze drifted in, the sports’ and industry’s top minds dug deep into these topics with an engaged audience. Olympic gold medalist Jo Aleh and Moth sailor Josie Gliddon, both representing the Magenta Project, lead the accessibility forum by tackling the gender issues faced with women in professional sailing. Gliddon was able to condense the concept that hydrofoiling across the range of sailing craft in the sport increases access to women. In short, with reduced loads, requiring less brute force and more technique-based skills, foiling should open doors for women. But she is quick to point out that the sailing culture lags behind these innovations and some doors are still closed.
Josie Gliddon: “To continue to talk about accessibility for all in our sport allows us to address the equality and diversity challenges we face not just for men and women. We are extremely fortunate to be in a sport where boats can be designed and adapted and I think that we can go much further in this area. Even just small changes can make a difference – putting in extra purchases / ratchet blocks or having extra people on board results in strength and psychical size becoming less of a dominant feature that in turn opens up more opportunities to more people. That can only be a good thing.”
The same forum announced design efforts to allow disabled sailors to foil and gain instruction with a Paralympic champion on hand to lend insight. Legions of tiny boys and girls also donned helmets and life jackets to safely explore this third dimension of sailing.
Sustainability, that mystical term that covers everything we need to do to save the planet, is a value Foiling Week has brought to a tangible concept. Right off the bat, the Garda event offered entry discounts to presenters and participants who carpooled to the lake. Collaborations that highlighted the outrageous inefficiencies in the use of motorboats to run regattas have led to concepts that include automated, solar-powered mark set drones.
As for safety, the Newport forum produced a collection of sailors and race management officials from around the world who, independently, had been creating race management tools and instructional interactive videos to address the growing issues that arise from boats going three- to four-times the speed of previous race craft.
On the Water
The forums now spread around the world have become synergistic moments for the greatest brains in sailing to connect and collaborate on technical and social levels. But Foiling Week has tapped into the child-like excitement these and other participants have regarding exploring and experimenting on the sea with wind and craft.
The most advanced classes in the world are attracted to each Foiling Week venue to host championships and share their progressive crafts with the world. Beyond top designers and engineers, the elite sailors of the world place Foiling Week at the top of their event wish list each year.
Glen Ashby: “For me, to walk around the boat park is absolutely fantastic. There are so many clever people that have worked on a lot of different foiling boats and apparatus over the last few years. For everyone to be able to walk around, share information openly and look at all the different concepts that have been builtis absolutely wonderful.”
Francois Gabart: “I think it is just perfect, the Foiling Week, because there is a lot happening now in the foiling world. It’s good to mix all together.”
One would think that foiling is now established and that there is a plateau, apres’ 2017 America’s Cup, in innovation with these technologies slowing influencing recreational sailing and speeds steadying out for the professional foiling craft. But the Foiling Week has matured, and its free-thinking drive for pure innovation is expanding.
Paul Larsen, one of the fastest sailors in the world having set the outright world speed record aboard Vestas SailRocket, gave Foiling Week a taste of the direction foiling can take the world. A privately funded design challenge has Larson developing a 100-foot transatlantic passenger ship that is a hybrid power/sail. “One idea is to take paying passengers across the ocean in luxury as fast as the Ultime trimaran Banque Populaire,” says Larsen.
This unique project has been combining a fabulous collection of old and new ideas. A Polynesian “proa” style set of hulls means the ship can only sail on one tack and must “shunt” to change tacks.
These fascinating terms tied to the dawn of navigation and civilisation were linked by Larsen to the futuristic concept of “energy farming.” Larson says battery banks store energy generated by hydrogenerators while the wing-sailed craft reaches across through the depressions of the Atlantic then uses this stored energy to power the low-drag hulls through the glass of high pressure systems. The same ship is envisioned to double as transport for commerce, similar to cruise ships efficient use of their holds as dry docks to transport yachts across oceans.
Now, how does the rest of the world learn about what these innovators and collaborators are working on? The Foiling Week! And although this forum has been expanding, a primary aim of the organisers is to push the boundaries of online communication by making all presentations live and archived on as many media platforms as possible. Virtual reality and interactive experiences are also imperative.
Creating more and varied partnerships into the varied spaces outside the marine industry is also a must for Foiling Week to achieve its lofty goals of connecting more spaces and innovators. BMW, Slam, Gurit, Persico Marine, Marlow, Torqeedo and Ingemar have all been rightfully supportive of getting innovators together.
The efficiencies developed by the Foiling Week community fit flawlessly with the direction innovators want to take the world. Individuals like Paul Larsen, Jo Aleh and Jossie Gliddon see an endless horizon of possibilities. So does the Foiling Week.
The first ever WASZP Australian Championships are set to hit Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat club with a bang! The inaugural event will be conducted over the Australia Day long weekend from the 25 – 28 January 2018.
Sorrento on the tip of the beautiful Mornington Peninsula is a watersports mecca and the perfect place for this progressive class to conduct its first major event in Australia.
With around 500 boats shipped worldwide, 70 of which are in Australia, expectations are high for a good fleet. Unlike many ‘traditional’ classes the WASZP provides an environment that is user friendly for everyone. WASZP encourages everyone to come along no matter what level they are at with sailing/foiling.
Sorrento has already set in motion a fantastic program for the event, with both on-water and off-water events catered for. There will be the ‘WASZP Nest’, a place where competitors, family and friends can chill out, play some table tennis, beach volleyball and generally enjoy the vibe and beach culture lifestyle the WASZP encourages.
One of the key features of this event, is it will be conducted as an on-call event. The WASZP will race at the time of day that the conditions are premium, competitors will be notified the night before and a schedule of events for the day will be planned around the best conditions possible. This will allow less down time waiting for the right weather and more time enjoying the hospitality around sailing in world class waters and conditions.
In-keeping with the WASZP ethos the class will be hosting a number of different events throughout the series. Slalom, GPS and Marathon racing will all play a part in the event to complement the Championship Racing. These events will be scored separately meaning we will have our very first WASZP Slalom Champion of Australia to go along with our first WASZP Australian Champion.
These new events make it fun for everyone and allows competitors at either end of the learning curve to compete in different formats. The standard at the top end of the fleet will be first class, with recent WASZP Games champion Harry Mighel competing as well as class creator Andrew McDougall. Two NZ Sailors are making the trip over, Bruce Curson came 5th at the WASZP Games and Nick Olsen has been sailing well. Others who have recently bought boats include AST Laser sailors Tom Burton and Mathew Wearn and former AST 470 sailors Tom Klemens and Tim Hannah.
This goes with a large group of local Victorian and NSW sailors from a range of classes who have been putting significant time into their programs. Leigh Dunstan won the NSW State Championships at Wangi from Sabre National Champion Jon Holroyd, Tom Brewer and former laser radial world champ Tristan Brown were also competitive.
From the team at WASZP and SSCBC we can’t wait to bring this event to the masses and take sailing and foiling to the masses. It is so exciting to see how far this class has come in the last 15 months since production started and now we are building an exciting future leading to the 2019 WASZP Games in Perth.
Visit the events page: https://sscbc.com.au/waszp2018/
It is not too late get a boat for the Nationals with a container special price of $AUD16,200 inc GST there is no better time to get involved.
Jonny Fullerton on behalf of the WASZP class