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AC changes, Jules Verne success—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond


31 Jan 2017

AC changes, Jules Verne success—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

New framework agreement creates strong future for the America's Cup  America's Cup
For a week in late-January, the international sailing world has seen some huge headlines flash by in several different important disciplines of the sport, from America's Cup racing, to the Jules Verne trophy for the fastest nonstop, fully crewed circumnavigation time, to the Sailing World Cup Miami, which served as the first major regatta of the 2020 Olympic quadrennial.

First, the Auld Mug. For years, America's Cup teams have spoken of the disturbance that's caused by a quadrennial cycle, where a Cup takes place, the world celebrates, and the teams essentially scatter for the next 12-18 months, followed by fervent activity as teams attempt to (metaphorically) put their bands back together for the next cycle. For teams, this made it hard to maintain brain trusts and brawn, and for the sailors, an unsteady paycheck isn't the happiest of horizons to be contemplating, especially if life's more humdrum things such as mortgages, car payments and college tuitions are involved.

ACWS - Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth 2015  © ACEA 2015 / Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

As a result, five out of the six teams that are competing in this year's 35th America's Cup, which will be held this spring in Bermuda, gathered in London at the House of Garrard, where the original Americas Cup trophy was built in 1848, and announced a framework agreement that includes two-year racing cycles for the 36th America's Cup (2019) and the 37th America's Cup (2021) in addition to the (nearly) continuous America's cup World Series cycle, which will start up again as soon as Q4 of 2017.

Additional announcements were also made, including the horizon line for the smaller, fully foiling AC45Fs and a commitment to use the same 50-foot America's Cup Class catamarans being used in the 35th Cup for the next two cycles.

Jimmy Spithill leads Oracle Team USA to victory in the 34th America's Cup.   Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA ©

“We have all seen how damaging that extended quiet period can be for each of the stakeholders in the event,” said Jimmy Spithill, Oracle Team USA's skipper. “What we've done over the past year is to work together to tackle that problem head-on.

“We know that one of the current teams is going to win, so we have found common ground on a vision for the next event, and formalized that into rules now, before racing starts later this year,” continued Spithill. “That means there is now a clear plan in place that confirms the format for the competition using existing boats and equipment as much as possible to reduce costs.”

Team New Zealand racing in Bermuda in the ACWS  Emirates Team New Zealand

Critically, five out of the six teams competing for the 35th America's Cup were involved in crafting this framework, with Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) abstaining. This could prove important in the long term, especially if ETNZ wins AC35, as the Protocol that governs Cup racing is clear about the fact that the winner gets to choose many of the basic rules governing the next Cup contest. It remains unclear as to how this newly announced framework would hold up to an ETNZ win in court.

Meanwhile, in the wild and woolly world of offshore sailing, skipper Francis Joyon (FRA) and his crew aboard the 31.5 meter IDEC SPORT trimaran have shattered the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest fully crewed nonstop circumnavigation, sailing a total of 26,412 nautical miles in 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds, for an average pace of 26.85 knots. This represents a jaw-dropping improvement of 4 days, 14 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds over the previous Jules Verne Trophy record passage.

Maxi Trimaran IDEC SPORT, Skipper Francis Joyon and his crew, break the Jules Verne Trophy record, crew circumnavigation, in 40d 23h 30min 30sec, in Brest on January 26, 2017 - Photo Francois Van Malleghem / DPPI / IDEC Sport
Celebration onboard  © JM Liot / DPPI / IDEC SPORT

Interestingly, this was not Joyon's first bite at the Jules Verne trophy apple.

“We weren't aiming for forty days,” said Joyon about his proud circumnavigation time. “It was something we couldn't even have imagined. Beating the record by a minute would already have been an achievement. Some people thought we were having a laugh trying to take up this challenge with such a small crew. It took us about two and a half circumnavigations to beat the record. That is around the same score for all the boats that have attempted the Jules Verne Trophy.”

Having personally tagged 39.51 knots aboard IDEC SPORT when she was sailing under the livery of Lending Club II with skipper Ryan Breymaier (USA) at her helm on San Francisco Bay in 2015, I can only imagine how much fun (likely mixed with a healthy dose of terror at times) the team must have had ripping around the world at an average pace of 26.85 knots. Hats off to Joyon and company for establishing a fantastic new benchmark!

39.51 knots aboard Lending Club 2  David Schmidt

Finally, in Olympic Class news, the Sailing World Cup Miami (January 22-29) recently wrapped up in Miami, Florida, giving veteran teams a chance to shake off the (metaphorical) dust that has settled on their sails since the Rio 2016 Olympics, while also giving first-timers an eye-opening taste of what an Olympic campaign feels like.

Like many countries, North American sailors were trying new combinations of partners and classes, but, overall, American sailors proved quick. In the Men's 470 class, Rio veterans Stuart McNay and David Hughes captured a proud gold medal, while Luke Muller finished in fourth place in the Finn class and Louisa Chafee and Riley Gibbs finished in sixth place in the Nacra 17 class and Charlie Buckingham and Erica Reineke finished in seventh place in the Laser and Laser Radial classes (respectively). Additionally, Wiley Rogers and Jack Parkin finished in sixth place in the Men's 470 class, Atlantic and Nora-Lucia Brugman finished in eighth place in the Women's 470 class, and David Liebenberg and Ian MacDiarmid landed in tenth place in the 49er class.

Rio veterans Stuart McNay and David Hughes captured a proud gold medal in the Men's 470 class  © Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy / World Sailing

'We had a solid team performance this week in Miami, with eight teams making medal races, and I'm happy with what I saw out of our athletes,' said Malcolm Page, who is serving as chief of U.S. Olympic sailing at US Sailing. 'We have much work ahead of us as a team, but we clearly have a great foundation not only of talented sailors, but of collective hunger for improvement.'

Malcolm Page (left) addresses US Sailing Team athletes for the first time as head of the program.  Jen Edney

North of the border, Erin Rafuse and Dannie Boyd (both CAN) finished in fifth place in the 49erFX.

Get the full report from the Sailing World Cup Miami, inside this issue.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

W.E.S.S Australian 505 Championship – Higgins and Marsh made history
Harry Fisher,
The pair sailed consistently all regatta and managed to hold off the fast-finishing American duo of Mike Holt and Rob Woelfel in IO Integration in second and the ever-impressive Canberra team of Daniel Keys and Daryl Roos in Intergalactic in third.... [more]

World Cup Series - McNay and Hughes (USA) claim third Miami Gold
Will Ricketson,
The final five medal races were held at World Cup Series Miami 2017, Presented by Sunbrella (January 22-29, 2017) on Sunday, capping off a successful 28th year of North America's premier Olympic classes regatta. U.S. Olympians Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) won their fourth Miami medal in the last five years, with three of those medals being gold.... [more]

Six Miami medals as first 2017 World Cup concludes
Lindsey Bell,
Britain's sailors concluded their first World Cup regatta of the 2020 cycle with a six-medal haul as the Sailing World Cup Miami drew to a close on Biscayne Bay on Sunday (29 January).... [more]

World Series Cup - Hitting the right notes in Miami
Stuart Streuli,
A classically trained concert pianist, Afrodite Zegers (NED) is no stranger to the big stage. So when the pressure was at fever pitch in the final race of the 2017 World Series Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella, and the proverbial lights of a live worldwide broadcast at its brightest, Zegers and teammate Annaloes van Veen displayed incredible poise to grab the Women's 470 title.... [more]

Vendée Globe – Destremau closes the door on the Big South
Vendée Globe,
The French skipper, who pit-stopped into Tasmania to check and repair the rig of his TechnoFirst FaceOcean, may have rounded in 18th place 37 days after the race winner Armel Le Cléac'h and four days and 16 hours after his closest rival, the Dutch solo skipper Pieter Heerema (No Way Back), said today he could scarcely believe what he has achieved so far on his 1998 launched Finot design... [more]

18ft Skiffs - Witt takes second win in Australian titles – Race 4
Kimberley Wilmot,
Lee Knapton's Smeg led at the top mark the first time but David Witt's came through on the long reach from Shark Island to Robertson Point to take the lead. After the first lap of the course, there was little change. But after the windward return, there was plenty of action at the front of the pack. Includes full race video from Killo and the Camera Cat team.... [more]

Sailing World Cup - 49er and Nacra golds on first Miami medal race day
Britain's sailors enjoyed a golden double on the first day of medal racing at the Sailing World Cup Miami on Saturday (28 January).... [more]

World Cup Series - Shifty conditions make Medal Races a test of nerve
Stuart Streuli,
With the World Cup Series secure going into the Medal Race, 49er sailors Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stuart Bithell (GBR) sailed a clean race and largely stayed out of the fray. They finished fifth, capping off an impressive start to the Tokyo 2020 quad for this new team.... [more]

World Cup Series Miami - Back in the Brazilian Laser
Brazilian sailing has had superstars grabbing the headlines since the 1980s with Torben Grael and Robert Scheidt. Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze thrust themselves on to the world stage at Rio 2016 taking a thrilling gold in an epic final Medal Race. The skiff girls represent a younger generation and after Scheidt bowed out of the Laser there is a gap to fill.... [more]

Jules Verne Trophy - The fantastic six
IDEC Sport Sailing,
Francis Joyon spent the whole day yesterday talking to the media and meeting the public in Brest, where he moored the maxi-trimaran IDEC Sport after sailing around the world in 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds. Along with his crew of five, he revealed what happened during this circumnavigation.... [more]

World Cup Series Miami - U.S. Boats qualify for Medal Races
Will Ricketson,
World Cup Series Miami 2017, Presented by Sunbrella (January 22-29, 2017) will see the first medal races of the regatta take place on Saturday. On day four, competition was intense as the final berths in each ten-boat, double-points medal race were decided. The United States will be represented in two medal races on Saturday, in the Men's 49er and Nacra 17 classes.... [more]

World Cup Series Miami - Grael and Kunze show their mettle on Day 4
Stuart Streuli,
For Brazil's Martine Soffiati Grael and Kahena Kunze, the fourth day of the 2017 World Cup Series Miami presented by Sunbrella started on a sour note, with a 14th in a 16-boat 49erFX fleet.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race – Dongfeng Team first to start training in race mode
Dongfeng Race Team,
The Chinese team in the next Volvo Ocean Race became the first to take delivery of its newly-refitted race boat today, marking the formal beginning of Dongfeng Race Team's second campaign in the world's toughest fully-crewed ocean race that will start from Alicante in October this year.... [more]

Australian Matt Johnston wins the Virtual Vendee Globe
Gaia Coretti,
On his black and yellow boat, wearing the IMOCA Hugo Boss's colours, Matt Johnston, Mangina-PYR, wins the 2016-2017 Virtual Vendée Globe Edition. At the end of a very tight race and after more than 49,000 km around the world, this virtual sailor arrives ahead of 451,000 players. The New Zealander Derek Watt (NZ-Eligo ‘'IST') and the Frenchman Didier Flament (Didflam) complete the podium.... [more]

Both experienced and untested U.S. boats excel in unpredictable Miami
Will Ricketson,
World Cup Series Miami 2017, Presented by Sunbrella (January 22-29, 2017) saw shifty conditions return to Biscayne Bay, but the world-renowned sailing venue nevertheless yielded up a full day of exciting racing. Americans are battling inside the top ten overall in seven of ten Olympic classes, with one more day of full-fleet action on Friday before the medal races take place on Saturday and Sunday... [more]

Day 3 - Minimizing risk key to success on 'crazy' Biscayne Bay
Stuart Streuli,
For Swiss RS:X sailor Mateo Sanz Lanz, success on the third day of racing at the 2017 World Series Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella was as much about what he didn't do as what he did do. In a gusty and shifty northeasterly breeze that moved about like an over-caffeinated flyweight boxer, Lanz finished first, third and fourth in three races.... [more]

Yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton dies at 96
Paul Gelder,
Mike Peyton, dubbed “The World's Greatest Yachting Cartoonist”, died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. A modest, shy man, he eschewed the spotlight and seemed unaware of the esteem which in sailors all around the world held him.... [more]

IDEC obliterates Jules Verne record and remembering Meaghan van Liew
Brian Hancock,
I have been trying to come up with some kind of superlative to describe the awesome accomplishment by Francis Joyon and his crew aboard IDEC as they totally obliterated the Jules Verne non-stop, circumnavigation record. Let me be clear. When Loïck Peyron and his team aboard Banque Populaire V set the record three years ago it was deemed by many sailing pundits to be almost impossible to beat.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - Melbourne to be a Southern Ocean and Xmas stopover
Volvo Ocean Race,
The Volvo Ocean Race will give sports fans an extra Christmas present in 2017 after adding Melbourne to the route for the forthcoming edition starting in October. The change to the 2017-18 route, announced on Friday morning in Melbourne, means the Race will visit Australia for the eighth time – but for the first in more than a decade.... [more]

Jule Verne Trophy - IDEC Sport lowers record by 4days 23.5hrs
IDEC Sport,
The Maxi Trimaran IDEC Sport sailed by Francis Joyon, Clément Surtel, Alex Pella, Bernard Stamm, Gwénolé Gahinet and Sébastien Audigane won the Jules Verne Trophy, the outright round the world sailing record, this morning. They crossed the finish at 0749hrs UTC on Thursday 26th January 2017.... [more]

18ft Skiffs - Witt jets in to win Race 3 of Australian Nationals
Frank Quealey,
Skipper David Witt flew back into Australia only hours before taking out onto Sydney Harbour today, with his teammates Tom Anderson and Tom Clout to win Race three of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship.... [more]

World Cup Series - USA jumps upward in Radial, Laser and Men's 470
Will Ricketson,
With the second of six days of racing completed at World Cup Series Miami 2017, Presented by Sunbrella (January 22-29, 2017) American sailors are in the top ten in seven of ten classes at North America's premier Olympic-class regatta.... [more]

Day 81 - Three Vendée Globe skippers finish within three hours
Vendee Globe,
Vendée Globe history was made today when three solo skippers crossed the finish line at one after the other within three hours of each other, the closest finish between a trio of boats since the solo non-stop around the world race was first contested in 1989.... [more]

Knocking off the rust on Day 2 of the World Series Cup
Stuart Streuli,
Even sailors who have committed in advance to another campaign traditionally take some time away from the sport after the Olympics. The question is usually how much time is needed to refresh the batteries without getting too stale. Decades ago these hiatuses were usually measured in years. Now it's more likely to be weeks or months.... [more]

Gladwell's Line - New America's Cup interesting, but will it fly-
Richard Gladwell, NZ,
News overnight was that five of the six existing America's Cup teams had signed an agreement outlining proposals for the 36th America's Cup, should one of them win the 166 year old Trophy. Two time winner and the longest competing team in the competition, Emirates Team New Zealand was not one of those gathered in the hallowed halls of The House of Garrard... [more]

Jean Le Cam sixth in the Vendée Globe
Vendée Globe,
After struggling to find funding, under the strapline ‘Yes We Cam' his nationwide initiative secured a late funding package, a mix of crowd funding and sponsorships which ensured he could compete in this eighth edition of the solo non stop round the world race.... [more]

Yann Eliès, fifth in the Vendée Globe
Vendée Globe,
When Yann Eliès crossed the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne at 1513hrs UTC on Wednesday 25th January to take fifth place, the French skipper achieved his primary goal, conquering the solo non stop round the world race which nearly cost him his life during an epic 2008-9 edition.... [more]

New framework agreement creates strong future for the America's Cup
America's Cup,
A vision for the future of the America's Cup has been agreed by current competitors that would see long-sought stability and continuity in the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport.... [more]

Jean-Pierre Dick, fourth in the Vendée Globe
Vendée Globe,
French skipper Jean-Pierre Dick crossed the finish line of the eighth edition at 1347hrs UTC on Wednesday 25th January. The skipper of StMichel Virbac completed his solo round the world voyage in 80 days one hour 45 minutes and 45 seconds. Jean-Pierre Dick sailed 27,857 miles at the average speed of 14.5 knots.... [more]

The RORC Caribbean 600 announces new partnership and record entries
RORC Press,
The Royal Ocean Racing Club has partnered with Rolex SA, adding the RORC Caribbean 600 to the leading Swiss watchmaker's prestigious roster of yachting events around the world.... [more]

World Match Racing - Burling wins and avoids missing plane home
John Roberson,
Peter Burling needed to win the final of the Swan River Match Cup in two straight races, if he was going to catch his flight home, such is the life of a professional sailor. He caught the flight. In a series curtailed due to light winds in the early part of the day, the Kiwi team were under pressure throughout the day, but rose to the occasion... [more]

International Optimist Regatta - Registration open
Carol Bareuther,
Registration is open now for the International Optimist Regatta (IOR), presented by EMS (Electronic Merchant Systems) Virgin Islands at Set for June 16 to 18, this must-do regatta kicks off with the equally not-to-miss TOTE Maritime Clinic, June 12 to 14 and TOTE Maritime Team Race, June 15.... [more]

Golden edition of Antigua Sailing Week
Sailing Week,
This year, Antigua Sailing Week is celebrating its 50th edition. Everybody wants to come to the party and it is not too late to take up the invitation. Eighty-four yachts have already entered and many more are expected to enjoy the memorable occasion.... [more]

World Cup Series - US sailors begin racing on home waters in Miami
Will Ricketson,
Sailing can often be as much of a battle against the weather as it is a contest between athletes, and the 450 top sailors assembled on Miami's Biscayne Bay for World Cup Series Miami, Presented by Sunbrella (January 22-29, 2017) were quickly reminded of this on the first day of racing. With the wind direction often fluctuating across 25 degrees during races... [more]

Sailing World Cup Miami - Rookies prove productive on Day 1
Stuart Streuli,
The French duo of Lucas Rual and Emile Amoros started the day with a pair of seconds before slipping to 16th in the third race. With every team discarding its worst finish, Rual and Amoros have a one-point advantage in the overall standings over Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stuart Bithell (GBR) and two points over Fred Strammer and Trevor Burd (USA) and the Lange brothers, Yago and Klaus (ARG).... [more]

America's Cup - A day in the life of Land Rover BAR on the Great Sound NZ,
This image gallery by Land Rover BAR photographer Alex Palmer gives an insight into a training day for British America's Cup Challenger, Land Rover BAR. Like with the bigger AC72's of the previous America's Cup edition, the British team say that it takes 41 people to get on the of AC45-S test platforms on the water and participating in an on the water test session on Bermuda's Great Sound.... [more]

Tunnicliffe withdraws from Sailing World Cup Miami after WADA rebuff
US Sailing/Sail-World,
Olympic Champion Anna Tunnicliffe (Pittsburgh, Penn.) has withdrawn from competing in the Laser Radial class due to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)'s denial of her expedited request to return to active status in January of 2017.... [more]

Superyacht Challenge Antigua – Magnificent eleven
Superyacht Challenge Antigua,
The seventh edition has attracted a magnificent fleet of Superyachts, to take part in daily pursuit races along the stunning south coast of Antigua.... [more]

Bella Mente Racing - Full steam ahead in 2017
Kirsten Ferguson,
Even though Bella Mente Racing has three Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship titles under its belt along with a slew of other accolades, that doesn't mean it's time to slow down. Quite the contrary, owner/driver Hap Fauth (Naples, Fla.) and his team of world-class sailors are shifting into overdrive as they prepare for another ambitious campaign this year.... [more]

To get to Tokyo, start in Miami- US Sailing Team begins 2020 mission
Will Ricketson,
US Sailing Team athletes have joined over 400 competitors from 43 other nations for the 28th running of Sailing World Cup Miami (January 22-29, 2017), North America's premier Olympic-level sailing competition.... [more]

How to experience Mauritius without breaking the bank-
One of the reasons we at Wildwind thought Mauritius was the perfect destination for our winter base was that it's accessible for varying budgets whilst not compromising on the quality of activities and accommodation. The simplest way to reduce the cost of your flight is to add in a stop en-route.... [more]

Evolving World Cup Series Miami
Richard Aspland,
The first stage of the 2017 World Cup Series sees over 400 sailors from 44 nations competing out of Regatta Park in Coconut Grove, Miami, USA from 24-29 January with some exciting developments to further the experiences of not only the athletes, but for visiting spectators.... [more]

Introducing the Melges World League - Ultimate One-Design Competition
Melges Performance Sailboats,
Melges Performance Sailboats is proud to introduce the Melges World League (MWL), a racing platform that will unite multiple Class circuits for the 2017 season. Designed to increase rivalry and enhance the overall racing experience, the League will include the Melges 20 and Melges 32 spanning the North American, European and Asian regions.... [more]

Bavaria C57 - Something big has arrived
At the boot 2017 in Düsseldorf, Bavaria Yachts presented the new flagship of their sailing yachts' fleet. The Bavaria C57 does not only convince with a new modern design but also with many new innovative details.... [more]

A QandA with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
If you're like me and have arrived at saturation with winter's cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that's designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.... [more]

Vendée Globe – Day 79 – Beyou due, Thomson talks of 2020 vision
Vendée Globe,
Jérémie Beyou is expected to cross the finish line of the solo round the world race this evening to take third place after spending three days slowed by extremely light winds, arriving in Les Sables d'Olonne from the north west.... [more]

A QandA with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women's Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.... [more]


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