Recent sailing news has been dominated by the Sydney to Hobart Race, the America’s Cup and various year-end awards, but the simple fact remains that the next summer Olympics are starting to hove onto the long-term horizon, especially now that our calendars all read 2014. While the reports of water pollution off of Brazil are not encouraging (at least two and a half years out), much better news is that top sailors are embracing the Nacra 17 high-performance mixed-gender multihull, which will see its Olympic class racing debut at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
'The boat is a lot different to any other boat', reported Australian skipper Darren Bundock, who has teamed up with Nina Curtis for 2016. 'It has got the curved foils, and also the double trapeze downwind–where the Tornado and F-18’s only had a single trapeze.'
These extra wires, curved foils and other tenants of modern design obviously make the Nacra 17 an extremely fast class. 'We are getting used to having the helm on the wire, plus the lift that is coming off the centerboards,' continued Bundock. 'You need to control that lift, trying to get the boat out of the water – but if it comes right out, the boat goes sideways, stops and you have to build your speed again.'
Inside, get the full scoop from Bundock and Curtis on what it’s like to sail one of these dual-trapeze rocket ships and what crews are doing to tame the boat’s distinctive bow-up propensity.
Concentrating rounding the mark - Guido Brandt
Also in One Design news, the Laser Radial Youth Worlds are currently taking place in Oman. Here, top male and female sailors have been contending with patchy, shifty winds that seriously test each skipper’s ability to read cat’s paws on the water’s surface. According to reports, a few races had to be abandoned due to lack of wind, but fortunately the RC was still able to get in some good racing.
'The conditions here today were just like they are [back home] in Hungary,' reported Benjamin Vadnai. 'We sail on a small lake where the wind is usually very shifty – it is hard to read the shifts but you have to keep a close eye on the water.'
Racing continues at the Laser Radial Youth Worlds through Friday, so be sure to stay tuned to the website or the latest news, as it unfurls, and be sure to check out the race reports, inside this issue.
L to R: Taylor Canfield, Virgin Islands Sailor of the Year for 2013, Phillip Shannon, President of the Virgin Islands Sailing Association, with the iconic St. Thomas Yacht Club in the background. - Dean Barnes Click Here to view large photo
And speaking of top One Design sailors, Taylor Canfield has been named the 'Virgin Islands Sailor of the Year 2013' after his outstanding performances on the Alpari World Match Race Tour. 'It is incredible how many great sailors have come from such a small island. I am sure it was a tough decision as there are plenty other sailors who deserve this award. This being said, I would not have been so successful in 2013 without my team.' Get the full scoop, inside.
Also, in America’s Cup news, Sir Russell Coutts recently sat down with top New Zealand sports commentator Murray Deaker to share his thoughts on AC35. This video is a must-watch for any Cup aficionado, and offers some interesting insight into how the next Auld Mug will be won and lost. More, inside this issue.
Also inside, be sure to check out the fantastic post-Sydney Hobart Race media including the televise start, don’t miss the preview report for the upcoming Rose Bowl Regatta, and finally-for ocean-racing fans-be sure to check out the digitally restored version of the 1973-1974 Whitbred Round the World Race video.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor - 4:18 PM Thu 2 Jan 2014 GMT
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