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26 September. A notable anniversary.


The latest sailing news from Asia and the world.
 26 Sep 2017

26 September. A notable anniversary.

Australia II wins America's Cup  © JH Peterson
Today, 26 September, is the 34th anniversary of the day that Australia II wrested the America's Cup away from the New York Yacht Club, bringing to an end an unbroken winning streak that had lasted 132 years. With the Men at Work song “I come from a land Down Under” thumping away in the background, and the boxing kangaroo battle flag flying proudly from the forestay, the crowd chanted “Show us the keel, show us the keel...” It had been a classic underdog story. David and Goliath. The plucky Aussie battlers 0-3 down in a best-of-seven series that they came back to win 4-3.

America's Cup matches were sailied in 12M class yachts, which were not specifically fast, but well-suited to match racing. The very first 12M was launched in 1907, and continuous development of the class over succeeding decades meant that there was little room for further improvement in design. Yet enough variation existed so that racing was as much about design and construction as it was about seamanship and tactics. The ultimate expression of this, of course, was Ben Lexcen's winged keel, a design feature that possibly caused more psychological damage to the Americans than it gave physical advantage to the Australians.

Fast forward to today, and the recent 35th edition of the America's Cup was sailed (if that is the right word) in (or on) 50ft foiling catamarans with wing sails, capable of moving at four times the wind speeds, and demanding a huge and continuous input of power (hydraulic pressure), the production of which was a full time occupation for at least half the crew. The racing was fast: so fast, in fact, that some people complained that it was all over in a fizz and a spit. Followers of the AC and spectators seemed to fall into two discrete camps – those who thought that the hitech cats were cool and sexy and definitely the way to continue in the future, and those who yearned for ‘real sailing.'

Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA - 35th America's Cup Match - Race 3 Start - Bermuda June 18, 2017  Richard Gladwell

Some even suggested a return to the majestic J-Class yachts of the 1930s, arguing that yes, they were expensive, but so are AC50 foiling catamarans. Now it has been announced that the next America's Cup will indeed be raced once again in monohull boats, and the debate has opened up all over again.

One side says, “too slow, too boring, doesn't inspire youth and/or the tv audience, not even remotely exciting.”

The other side says “Test match not 20-20, ‘proper' sailing, and who cares about the non-sailing audience?”

The debate on social media is vituperative and often highly entertaining. Is the America's Cup any less of an event if it is not conducted in absolutely the fastest ‘boats' available? Does it lose cachet if the emphasis is on subtlety rather than speed? And does anyone who is passionately interested in sailing really give a damn whether the rest of the world is watching or not? Is it necessary to make the event ‘accessible' to the general public for anything other than box office reasons? Is commercialisation absolutely necessary for the continuance of the America's Cup, or will there always be a couple of eccentric millionaires willing to pour huge amounts of money into the well of prestige, and go after the bragging rights that are The America's Cup?

Standing by on 72.

Guy Nowell, Asia Editor

America's Cup - Switch to monohulls is a step back – Jimmy Spithill
Newshub, New Zealand,
An America's Cup shift back to monohulls could be a step in the wrong direction, at least that's what two-time winning skipper Jimmy Spithill thinks. The 38-year-old, currently promoting his book Chasing the Cup: My America's Cup Journey in New Zealand, famously broke Kiwi hearts by leading Oracle Team USA to a comeback victory over Emirates Team NZ in 2013 off San Francisco.... [more]

Pattaya to become Marine Leisure Hub of Asia
Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show 2017,
2017 Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show to showcase Thailand's marine tourism potential to the world. Boat show to generate more than THB2bn of trade for the marine industry.... [more]

RHKYC Autumn Regatta 2017- a 'challenging' weekend
RHKYC Media/Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
The weather forecast was unappetising – a case of “not very good, and worse” – and there was much speculation as to whether there would be any breeze at all, with two typhoons in the region doing their best to suck the breeze out of Hong Kong.... [more]

SYC rebounds from devastating fire with win at NYYC Invitational Cup
Sean McNeill,
The pinnacle event of the Rolex Yachting calendar in the U.S. wrapped up last Saturday with the Southern Yacht Club putting forth a commanding effort to win the 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.... [more]

Sanya Serenity Coast claims line honours in longest Clipper Race stage
Julia Fry,
Sanya Serenity Coast claimed line honours today into Punta del Este, Uruguay, in the longest ever individual race of the Clipper Race's eleven edition history.... [more]

Rolex Middle Sea Race – One month out
Unsurprisingly, given the history of the race and the country's geographical proximity, Italy provides the largest contingent of competitors with 17 entries. Three of the past five races have been won by Italian yachts and, while defending champion Mascalzone Latino will not be in attendance this year, there is another Italian Cookson 50 in the shape of Endlessgame in the 2017 roster.... [more]

America's Cup - Dalton opens up on boat and options for next Cup
Richard Gladwell, NZ,
Italian media are reporting that the announcement of the Protocol for the 36th America's Cup will take place in Auckland on the morning of the 29th September. Dalton confirmed the details of the yacht will be revealed two months later on November 30, but would not say if it will be a foiling monohull as speculated in the media.... [more]

Six perpetual trophies awarded on final day of Rolex Big Boat Series
St. Francis Yacht Club,
Racing concluded today at the 53rd edition of the Rolex Big Boat Series (September 13-17), hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club on the wind and tide-torn waters of San Francisco Bay. After seven races spread across four days of on-water action, winners were crowned in eleven classes, including six perpetual trophies. En route to determining this year's winners... [more]

Audi J/70 World Championship – Duncan is top of the world
American Brian Keane's Savasana scored a second in the final race, moving up to runner up for the championship. Italian Luca Domenici moved up to third in the final race. Italian Claudia Rossi's attempt to become the first lady helm to win the title was ended with a Black Flag in the final race.... [more]

Rolex Big Boat Series - Images of Pac52's in action on Day 2 + Video
Richard Gladwell, NZ,
Sharon Green was in on the water for the second day of the Rolex Big Boat Series in San Francisco, and caught these images of the five strong Pac 52 class getting its first racing in the prestigious series. San Francisco turned on its usual sea breeze through the Golden Gate providing the champagne conditions for which the Pac 52 was designed to excel. Includes interview with Gavin Brady... [more]

Audi J/70 World Championship – Final day images by Max Ranchi
Max Ranchi,
Max Ranchi provided this gallery of images from final day... [more]

Coutts Quarter Ton Cup - Three wins for Aguila on the Final day
Rupert Holmes,
Speaking after racing Sam Laidlaw was delighted to have finally got his hands on the legendary Quarter Ton Cup. Winds ranging from 5 knots to 27 knots provided a thorough test of competitors at this year's Coutts Quarter Ton Cup. Few teams were able to maintain consistent performance across such a wide range of conditions and for most it was a very high scoring series.... [more]

Gladwell's Line - Get used to Bertelli putting his Stamp(a) on the Cup
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ,
The shock waves from the weekend interview given by the Patron of Luna Rossa, Patrizio Bertelli continue to reverberate around the America's Cup world. Used to the long drawn out series of announcements from the organisers of the 34th and 35th America's Cup, fans and media expected a controlled information release, on a prescribed date, and one which often raised more questions than answers.... [more]

America's Cup - Bob Fisher scans the Challenger scene
Bob Fisher,
OK, the decision has been reached – the next America's Cup will be held in monohulled yachts. The announcement was made jointly by the holders, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and the Challenger of Record, the Circolo della Vela Sicilia, but there were no further details.... [more]

The countdown to Volvo China Coast Race Week is on-
With less then a month to go, sailors are gearing up for the first major Big Boat event of the season; Volvo China Coast Race Week comprising the Volvo China Coast Regatta (13 to 15 October) and the Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race starts 18 October.... [more]

Audi J/70 World Championship - A magnificent start
The world's largest sportboat fleet finally commenced racing at the Audi J/70 World Championship, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, in collaboration with the Title Sponsor Audi, and the Official Sailmaker Quantum Sails.... [more]

Audi J/70 World Championship – Teasing Mistral
Tomorrow, weather permitting, 162 teams will fight to gain the right to race in the Gold and Silver Championship fleet, the big change is that the scores from those races will now count towards the Championship Series.... [more]

Star Sailors League Finals – Top 10 skippers
Star Sailors League,
Xavier Rohart (FRA) is SSL President, not only for his great career, bronze in Athens in 2004, a European title in 2015 and two World titles in 2003 and 2005, but also for the values he shares with the Star Sailors League.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - Rio medalist uses Volvo OR to build into Tokyo 2020
Volvo Ocean Race,
Ireland's Olympic hero Annalise Murphy sees the Volvo Ocean Race as perfect preparation for a gold medal charge at Tokyo 2020. In Rio de Janeiro, Murphy won not only an Olympic silver medal in sailing's Laser Radial class – Ireland's first in the sport since 1980 – but also the hearts and minds of sports fans all over the globe.... [more]

Volvo China Coast Regatta - Entries open
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club has published the Notice of Race and is now accepting entries for the 2017 Volvo China Coast Regatta – Hong Kong's premier Big Boat event. This keenly anticipated regatta offers all a great series of fiercely competitive races in some of the best sailing conditions in Asia.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - Two boat or not two boat-
Conrad Colman/Volvo Ocean Race,
For the first time since 2008, Volvo Ocean Race teams are allowed to undertake what's known as 'two boat testing' – that's where two boats pair up to compare and optimise performance before the race – although for the first time this involves competing teams sparring against each other, rather than teams with two boats training in-house.... [more]

The highly successful Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup has just ended
Breezes from the northwest building to 14 knots gradually came up against winds from the southeast. A dead zone formed between these two fronts and the Race Committee chose to shorten the course and end the day's racing off Capo d'Orso.... [more]

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Day 4 photo gallery by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery,
Photographer Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from day four... [more]

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Photo gallery by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi,
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images... [more]

Gladwell's Line - Olympic Multihull needs to make courageous decisions
Richard Gladwell, NZ,
In a speech after winning the Gold Medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Santiago Lange made an impassioned plea for caution to the class-fiddlers who had signalled their intention to upgrade the Nacra 17 to be a full foiler, rather than the Frankenfoiler that we had seen develop over the just concluded 2016 Olympic cycle.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - First look around the Super 60
Richard Gladwell/,
Have a look behind the door at Persico at the prototype of the 60fter to be used in the next Volvo Ocean race is to be used. The foiler is expected to fly a metre above the water and will have eight adjustable flap on its foils, plus a canting rig. Volvo Ocean Race's Richard Mason, himself a veteran of four Volvo Ocean Races, gives a guided tour of the mockup... [more]

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