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The Kite Douse

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 9 Dec 2018 14:00 PST
The 'ballet' of the foredeckie! © Andrea Francolini

Drawing inspiration from 'the dance' when Bow1 and Bow2 get enveloped in the kite as it comes down, 'Il Duce' turned in these images. Master photographer, Andrea Francolini, calls it, "A study of shapes - I was thinking of a spinnaker drop whilst doing this. You often see a person behind the kite, or a shadow, so I tried to replicate this in a totally different environment, giving it a twist."

At a conference not so long ago I asked him if his work in Pakistan (My First School), or the many times he went to the old Tokyo Fish Market, inspired his work at sea, or indeed if it was the other way around. Francolini felt that his work ashore provided the angles and light he captures so well, more so than from on the water to the land. So here then is proof that it does also work the other way around, or as he puts it, "Anyway something different, but always sailing related."

So after the peel we power on with the big bag, and there was heaps going on in Sydney during the week. No doubt a lot of it related to that thing coming up at Christmas, The Hobart. One of the places that was certainly 'all hands on deck' was North Sails. Many of the crew are partaking once more in the bluewater classic. From the Sydney Loft, Billy Sykes and Rob Greenhalgh are on the reigning Overall Winner, Ichi Ban, and Matiu Tehau will be on the Ker 46, Patrice. From the Brisbane Loft there are Mark Bradford and Vaughan Prentice on the supermaxi, Black Jack, whilst Aaron Cole will be on the recently-returned-to-Australia R/P63, Voodoo.

In terms of boats, well there were plenty of top names amongst the latest deliveries all waiting to get hoisted for the first time. Yet without any doubt, the sheer mass of the brand new 3Di Raw working sails belonging to the supermaxi, Scallywag, were something to behold. Even the storm jib, which of course these days performs a role downhill as well, looked like it could be the mainsail for a 40-foot production vessel. She will also receive some new spinnakers in time, but for now her old kites will get a full service in readiness for Boxing Day.

Physically laid out on the floor of North Sails' Mona Vale loft was Black Jack's Code Zero after a trim. Apart from its size, the most impressive element was to see first hand how 3Di is altered and/or maintained. Epoxy resin is allowed to set, and then it is as if nothing ever occurred since it first was laid out over the mould, and the heat lamps cooked it all off. Reinforcing pads for stanchions and the like receive a light sand before being bonded on permanently. Little wonder 3Di has done so many laps for the Ultime tris, or the VOR boats, as well as adorning the world's superyachts, and then can be found all the way down to mainsails on 18-foot skiffs all use the wicked technology.

In the office it was early days for new recruits, designer Dick Parker and Noel Drennan who will be heading up One Design, a subject he knows plenty about whether it is Etchells or TP52s. So we'll let them settle in a bit more, then hit them up for a few words.

Sail Sydney was on, too. All manner of dinghy classes were out on two courses on the iconic Harbour. We ran into Nacra 17 crew, Jake Liddell and Emma Jones, who were caught up with back in Oldest tale of them all. Totally full of energy, and also still a little bit in awe of the jump from Nacra 15 to 17, Jones and Liddell were a delight to speak with. Liddell and Jones seemed to be loving learning all the differences and nuances of the foiling Nacra 17 over the low-rider Nacra 15. Liddell commented, "Definitely it is a big jump, but an exciting one as well. There are a lot of interesting things to learn. There are also lots of things that take time to figure out and master. It is also really good also having so many great and talented sailors here in Australia to help us jump along the learning curve a bit faster." Andrew Hawkins' company, Boat Crew Gear, is also assisting another aspiring N17 outfit in Sam Simmonds and Max Von Richter.

Right oh - here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information about the rescue of Susie Goodall (just how did Sir RKJ do it all those years ago?), Transat Jaques Vabre, AC36, 18-footers, gear with Raymarine Element, the Star Sailors League, superyachts in Palma, Crosbie Lorimer delivers a wonderful gallery, Suzzi Ghent brings us to date on racing from Western Australia, IMOCAs, Optis, James Sainsbury's home build Moth, the Extreme Sailing Series, and certainly there is much, much more.

Remember, if your class or association is generating material, make sure we help you spread your word, and you can do that by emailing us. Should you have been forwarded this email by a friend, and want to get your very own copy in your inbox moving forward, then simply follow the instructions on our newsletter page, where you can also register for different editions.

Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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