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Sail-World NZ e-magazine - Sept 28, 2018 - Foiling 50's and more

by Richard Gladwell, 28 Sep 2018 05:04 PDT 29 September 2018
IMOCA 60 Charal © Charal Sailing Team

Welcome to's New Zealand e-magazine for September 28, 2018

Around 7.00am on Thursday, the detail of the Foiling 50 League will be released in a function in London.

The circuit which will include five regattas will be sailed in six AC50's converted to be one-designs at the Core Builders Composites in Warkworth. It has been an ambitious project to turn a fleet of what was supposed to be near one designs - except for daggerboards, control systems and drag reduction, into a group of strict one-designs, plus building a couple of new platforms.

The fleet will take its lead from the Volvo Ocean Race in terms of how shore support will be handled with a Boat Yard centralised support centre. For the teams it means they just need to turn up, step aboard, go training, or racing, and then go home after the regatta leaving the shore crew to repair and pack.

Many in the mainstream media will see that new series as being a direct affront to the America's Cup, and being a rival circuit. It's not.

The Foiling 50's are in different boats - a wing sailed foiling 50ft catamaran, does not have a lot of commonality with a 75ft, softsailed, foiling monohull - other than the fact that they both foil.

If what we are told by the designers is correct, the the AC75 will be the faster boat - 10kts faster in fact.

The AC75 will be sailed by double the number of crew and will require several of those to be on the "pumps" or grinding pedestals. The AC75 has a Code Zero, the AC50 just the wingsail and three non-overlapping jibs.

The Foiling 50's will compete on a series of 5-10 regatta circuits in a year. The AC75's are set down to sail two World Series regatta in 2019 and three in 2020. Then they have the three month long America's Cup Regatta with all its nuances, intrigue and prestige. The Foiling 50's on what we know ahead of the announcement won't have that long pinnacle event. There is a good chance that the Foiling 50 regatta will have prizemoney - which will turn the heads of the mainsteam media.

The professional sailing landscape does need a Foiling 50's type event to sit between the America's Cup and the other semi and professional regattas - such as the GC32's , the Extreme Sailing Series and the World Match Racing circuit, which does have prizemoney.

With the moves within World Sailing to exclude men above 83kg from Olympic competition, the new circuit will be of real interest to male sailors above 85kg.

Between those three catamaran circuits and the Volvo Ocean Race, no teams were able to build off their existing sponsorship platform and move up into the America's Cup league.

It is much more likely that the Foiling 50 teams will be able to make that jump - if that is what their owners wish to do, or if a commercial team, formed along the lines of Emirates Team New Zealand decides it wants to try and lift the Auld Mug.

The Foiling 50 story we have run in this issue, is we are told by those who are in the know, to be very close to the mark - but of course there will be more announced next week.

America's Cup Bases get go-ahead

There has been significant progress with the America's Cup. The Environment Court delivered its verdict on 3,500 pages of submissions, plans and reports for the creation of the America's Cup bases in Auckland. The verdict came out a month earlier than most expected, but maybe that shouldn't have been such a surprise, given the Hearing set down for at least two weeks, struggled to make it into the second day - the Court only had to sit for seven hours in total. That was a tribute to the Mediation process designed to work through the issues, identify the areas of conflict and agreement, and then work through the resolution process - so the Court was handed a set of signed off agreements, which the panel of two Environment Court Judges assisted by four Commissioners had to look over and decide if they were going to endorse or modify.

The only contentious issue was a paper known as the Design Requirements around which the teams have to work to get their base designs approved by the Auckland Council. Even now, the Challenger of Record does not agree with the Design Requirements, but has to accept the Court's decision. It seemed that there was a lot of cross-purposes talk being conducted - with the teams being very familiar with the practices and base styles used at the last three America's Cups being quite different from the unimaginative semi-permanent three storey high grey boat sheds that were a feature of the America's Cups in Auckland in 2000 and 2003.

A vital point that Court was unable to answer, was the long term fate of the newly created space on Wynyard Point. Many feared that it too would go the way of the Viaduct Harbour - and be turned apartments, hotels and corporate offices if the America's Cup is won by another team. Or as happened in 2000-2003, the base grab got underway between the two America's Cups.

Those who have delved through the submissions to the Court will have noticed that the Crown stated very clearly that they did not wish to be in this position in 15 years time. The vexed issue for the Court was that the Application for the Resource Consent was only for 10 years, and the Court could not make any arrangements or provisions that extended beyond that period (except for the Hobson Wharf extension which is for a period of 35 years). From subsequent discussion we understand that the Crown has insisted that Auckland Council sign off on an agreement that will prevent/restrain the sale of any of the land on Wynyard Point and that it must remain as a marine or other events area, and the only buildings permitted on that space will be of a temporary nature.

Auckland On the Water Boat Show

The Auckland On the Water Boat Show is in full swing, and for the final time in the foreseeable future in the Viaduct Events Centre. It seemed to be a quieter day on Thursday, but was full-on today, Friday and with fine weather in prospect for the weekend, and no school sport it is likely that Saturday and Sunday will also have strong attendance.

The Show is remarkable for the collection of craft that it brings together on the temporary marinas set up in the Viaduct Harbour. You'll never see the likes of it anywhere else in New Zealand. The boats may be expensive, but there's no harm looking and admiring.

In the Events Centre and the under cover areas on Halsey Street wharf there is plenty of interest - covering everything from SUP's to engines to sailing dinghies to marinas to sails and every piece of equipment imaginable.

Both Yamaha and Honda have some excellent deals going over the duration of the Show with Yamaha's having its last day on Sunday. Have a chat to them at the Show.

We have a story in this issue on the O-Pro - a retrofit kit for older Optimist dinghies designed to give them an extended life, create a junior sailing class that will keep kids in sailing - and be a cost effective sailing option for kids who aren't that interested in hard one design racing, and intense coaching and regatta circuits. It's only been online for 24 hours but has attracted massive readership. See the O-Pro for yourself at the Show.

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Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

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