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Super Yachts at boot (newsletter)

Sailing World Championships, AC40s, J/111 Worlds, Hinman Masters Trophy news

by David Schmidt 15 Aug 10:00 PDT August 15, 2023
US Sailing Team at the 2023 Sailing World Championships - Day 3 © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

While the news cycle has been understandably focused on the devastation and tragedy that befell Maui last week, there are still a few a few bright spots if you look in the right places. This is a great thing about the sailing world: So long as the America's Cup stays out of the New York Superior Court, odds are reasonable that there's buoyancy to be found in stories from the world's racecourses.

World Sailing's Sailing World Championships (August 10-20, 2023) are currently unfurling on the waters off of The Hague, The Netherlands, where sailors from all ten Olympic classes, plus four Para Sailing classes, are engaged in their most competitive racing of the entire year.

In addition, for many Olympic class sailors representing many different flags, this high-level regatta is also a qualifying event for next summer's Games.

While there is still plenty of racing left, and while fortunes can still change, the USA is looking surprisingly good given the team's recent leadership changes. But, as of this writing, the results are speaking for themselves.

In the Formula Kite Women's, Daniela Moroz continues to show off her speed and is sitting in the pole position. In the ILCA 6 class (AKA, the Laser Radials), Erika Reineke is sitting in fifth place out of 110 boats.

Our results are only a bit lower on the pole in the two hyper-competitive skiff classes (49ers and 49er FXs), with Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea sitting in sixth place in the women's division, and Andrew Mollerus and Ian MacDiarmid occupying ninth place on the men's side.

Sadly, Canada is not currently sitting in the top ten in any Olympic class.

Of the four Para Sailing classes, the USA is currently sitting in the top ten in two of them. These efforts are currently being led by Betsy Allison, who is sitting in the pole position in the Women's Hansa 303 class, while Jim Thweatt, sailing in the Men's Hansa 303 class, is in ninth place.

Canadian sailors John McRoberts and Scott Lutes, sailing in the open two-person technical class (RS Connect), are currently in second place.

Sail-World wishes good luck to all sailors who are competing at this high-level regatta.

Meanwhile, the waters off of Barcelona, Spain, saw Emirates Team New Zealand, American Magic, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and INEOS Britannia square off in the first organized racing of the 2024 America's Cup cycle. This three-day event, which unfurled last weekend, was a test event ahead of the first of the Preliminary Events, which will kick off on the waters off of Barcelona in mid-September. Racing took place in the One Design AC40 boats.

American Magic showed off their ability to conjure racecourse powers over the weekend by collecting more than their share of bullets. While this racing is, of course, best described as preliminary, and while all teams are working to unlock the secrets of the AC40 design, this is a good start for the American-flagged team, which suffered a campaign-ending capsize in the last America's Cup.

Much closer to home, skipper Peter Wagner and his Skeleton Key crew continued their dominance at the 2023 J/111 Worlds, which recently concluded on the waters off of the Chicago Yacht Club. While there were only seven boats competing, Skeleton Key managed to rack up five bullets out of nine races, beating out Andrew and Sedgwick Ward's second-pace Bravo by five points and besting Bill and Jackie Baxter's third-place Fireball team by seven points.

And in adult team-racing news, sailors from the New York Yacht Club bested their rivals to take top honors at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Team Race Regatta. This high-level team-racing event determines the winner of the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy, which, this year, went to the New York Yacht Club - McDowell team. They were joined on the winner's podium by teams from Southern Yacht Club and Eastport Yacht Club.

"This is the team that we've sailed with in other Hinman Masters, and they're guys I've known since we were all teenagers," Chris McDowell said in an official event release. "We trust each other, we enjoy being together, we work well with our crews."

Also, this coming weekend marks the start of the Ida Lewis Distance Race, which starts in Newport, Rhode Island, and which takes crews on a tour of the local (and not so local) waters. While this 24-hour event is a classic, and one that all East Coast-based sailors are encouraged to participate in, it also serves as a bit of a yellow light on the sailing season, and it is a great reminder to get out sailing as much as possible before the daylight and the warm weather migrate to the southern hemisphere for six months.

Finally, Sail-World asks all readers to consider ways to help those who lost everything last week in Maui.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt North American Editor

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