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Winging an AC72 and island fun—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 18 Mar 2013
Ready for the Challenge: Carlo Falcone’s 1938 yawl, Mariella: Alfred Mylne-designed and Fife built classic Chris Cameron/ETNZ© http://www.chriscameron.co.nz
If you’ve spent any time watching video footage of the mighty wingsail-powered AC72-class catamarans out foiling on either New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf or on San Francisco Bay, you’re familiar with the fact that controlling the wing is an integral part of steering, trimming and controlling the mighty yacht. Onboard Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), this important task falls to Glenn Ashby (AUS), a former Olympic Silver medalist and a multi-time A-Cat World Champion. According to Ashby, driving and controlling a huge AC72 is akin to barreling down the highway in a huge truck.


'Anticipating the next gear change, and executing it well, is where big gains can be made over your opponent,' said Glenn Ashby about the different modes that the wing can be trimmed to. 'Dean Barker, James Dagg, Ray Davies and I work closely on boat speed-effectively managing the speed and angle of the boat. It’s a team effort for best round-the-track speed, and we all need to be on the same page.'


As for foiling, the ETNZ wingman didn’t hold back. 'I’ll never forget looking through the tramp at the daggerboard going through the water-and knowing it was supporting the entire boat and the crew at close to 40 knots. It had been something that we had been working on for a very long time, and to see it at AC72 scale was pretty awesome and a great feeling.' Get the full scoop from Ashby, inside this issue.

Meanwhile, in One Design circles, this week’s big news is that Bruce Kirby, the legendary designer of the Laser, is headed back to court with LaserPerformance, an international Laser builder, over a rights issue (Kirby’s lawsuit also names the International Laser Class Association [ILCA] and the International Sailing Federation [ISAF]). While the different players had reached an arrangement some time ago, Kirby maintains the builders have violated this agreement.

'As a result [of the alleged license violation], boats currently distributed in interstate commerce and in Connecticut are counterfeit, and violate Kirby’s trademark and publicity rights,' said the Complaints document in Kirby’s case. 'Kirby sues for default of contract as well as counterfeiting, trademark infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin, inducement to default on contract, and right of publicity under federal and state law.' More, inside, including counter-arguments from both LaserPerformance and the ILCA.


And for anyone who loves the romance of beautiful lines on the water, be sure to check out the preview of next month’s 'Inn Challenge Trophy' (April 17-18), which is a match-racing event for classic yachts that’s fought-out on the crystal-clear waters off of Antigua. 'After the success of our association over the last two years with the Royal Ocean Racing Club's prestigious race, the Caribbean 600 and other Caribbean regattas, it is a natural development for The Inn to play a more important role in the regatta scene,' said Fabio Giorgi, general manager of The Inn at English Harbor. 'We anticipate that The Inn Challenge Trophy will develop over time and will also become an important fixture on the Caribbean sailing calendar, attracting competitors and visitors from around the world.'


Also inside, get the latest news from Kitesurfing’s 'Salt and Speed' event, check in with the Farr 400 class, and don’t miss the wrap-up report from the sun-soaked Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean. And finally, for anyone in need of a shot of island weather, don’t miss ace lensman Carlo Borlenghi's great image gallery from the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignT Clewring One DesignNaiad

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