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ETNZ at Foiling A-Class Worlds..AC75 Test boat sails..On Board SailGP

18/11/2018


Sail-World NZ e-magazine - Nov 19, 2018 - Route du Rhum..AC75 test boat..SailGP

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Glenn Ashby heads back to the beach at pace - A-Cat World Championship 2018 - Day 1 - photo © Gordon Upton / www.guppypix.com


Dear Recipient Name


Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for November 16, 2018

An eclectic group of mostly sailing media gathered in the Dinghy Bar at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron to farewell Christine Belanger, the First Lady of the Louis Vuitton Cup, who died suddenly in France a month ago.

As one of the speakers, Peter Montgomery noted it was the first, and probably the last time such a group would ever be in the same room together.

Most had a shared America's Cup experience that began over 30 years ago in Fremantle and has had varying degrees of involvement ever since. Only someone with Christine's mana could have drawn this group together, and that is why it will never happen again.

American Magic AC75 Surrogate sailing November 2018 - photo © American Magic
American Magic AC75 Surrogate sailing November 2018 - photo © American Magic

It was a time of stories and reminiscences which always seem to take quite a different turn when it is a media audience.

In un-Christine like fashion, the speeches started very late.

Minutes later a lone sparrow appearing out of nowhere and flew low over the heads of the maybe 80 strong group, returned, paused and made a second pass as if to have a final check.

ARL's Ian Taylor commented that a bird flying over a group on this sort of occasion in Maori tradition was the appearance of a Lost Soul -confirming the thoughts of most.

Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie of New Zealand win the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Finals in Miami, USA  - photo © Predrag Vuckovic
Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie of New Zealand win the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Finals in Miami, USA - photo © Predrag Vuckovic

The timing of her arrival and departure was probably the most poignant moment of the evening no-one wanted to leave. It was an eerie experience which maybe only Kiwis could understand.

America's Cup dominates news

Yes, it has been over 30 years since New Zealand started into the America's Cup game and that unforgettable news item in 1984 which announced that Marcel Faschler had lodged a Challenge with the Royal Perth Yacht Club for the America's Cup.

Suddenly, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Commodore, Rob Green, found himself in the hot-seat, and moved positively and promptly. After a feasibility study by Vice-Commodore and noted designer, Don Brooke, the Challenge went ahead - starting that most significant chapter in New Zealand's sailing history.

Just under 20 years previously, Jim Davern having just taken line honours in the Sydney Hobart, declared New Zealand had a better chance of putting a Man on the Moon than mounting an America's Cup campaign. Ironically it took a Belgian born, Sydney based jeweller to ignite New Zealand's Moonshot.

Chris Brittle (GBR), Grinder,  INEOS Team UK - photo © Harry KH / INEOS Team UK
Chris Brittle (GBR), Grinder, INEOS Team UK - photo © Harry KH / INEOS Team UK

So 52 years after Davern's prediction, shared by many, it seems a little surreal to see two America's Cup stories topping the story rankings in Sail-World, followed by two stories of the yet to be raced SailGP circuit.

They edge out stories on the ruckus over the introduction of the dropping of the Finn from the 2024 Olympics, and the most thrilling finish yet in the Route du Rhum between two Ultime class multihulls being sailed solo. Francis Joyon (62) won the race by seven minutes, setting a new course record.

The story that topped the week came out just after midday last Saturday week, when New York Yacht Club's team American Magic released a high-quality video of their surrogate AC75 - a 38ft monofoiler, being rolled out of the shed, launched and sailing.

The newly announced China SailGP training off Whangarei in the F50 - photo © China SailGP
The newly announced China SailGP training off Whangarei in the F50 - photo © China SailGP

What seemed to be a whack-job of a boat when the AC75 concept was first leaked in the Italian press, suddenly didn't look that impractical after all.

When sailing, the NYYC's test boat seemed to be relatively stable in her flight height, almost flying too high at one point, where it seems likely that she will fall over like a delicate ornament falling off the mantlepiece.

Of course what we can't see is the righting moment generated by the windward arm and foil weighing almost a ton on the AC75 - which just appears to be tucked away waiting to be deployed. Maybe why the AC75 seems so illusional in the eyes of fans, and delusional in the opinion of sceptics.

Katie Love and her Lumix crew on the first windward leg during the final race of the 18ft Skiff Spring Championship - photo © Frank Quealey
Katie Love and her Lumix crew on the first windward leg during the final race of the 18ft Skiff Spring Championship - photo © Frank Quealey

The American Magic HD video gives a much better insight into what to expect from the AC75. The quick take is that the foiling monohull isn't as tricky as the AC50.

SailGP hits sweet spot

Of course, the second iteration of the AC50, the F50, used by SailGP is claimed to be a significant improvement - on the cusp of cracking the 50kt barrier.

The SailGP event has resonated with sailing fans, despite not having yet sailed a race.

Onboard the trimaran IDEC SPORT skippered by Francis Joyon - photo © Christophe Launay / www.sealaunay.com
The cyclors return - Onboard the trimaran IDEC SPORT skippered by Francis Joyon - photo © Christophe Launay / www.sealaunay.com

There have been two SailGP stories in the top four of Sail-World NZ, this past week - a look aboard the F50 sailing off Whangarei, and the announcement of the China SailGP team - to be helmed by Phil Robertson (NZL).

A second Asian team is expected to be announced this coming week - Japan SailGP - with the sailing team expected to consist of a mix of nationalities - including a leading 2017 America's Cup helmsman.

It is hard to put a finger on the immediate success of the SailGP program.

Maybe they have flicked a few of the right switches this time. A strict nationality rule, which for the non-Asian teams means that they have to be 100% national representatives of their flagged entry.

Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie of New Zealand win the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Finals in Miami, USA  - photo © Predrag Vuckovic
Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie of New Zealand win the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Finals in Miami, USA - photo © Predrag Vuckovic

Another factor is that the AC50 now reincarnated as the F50 - continues the intrigue that yachts powered by wind alone can be just as fast as powerboats.

The SailGP seems to have found a sweet spot in the sailing events calendar - sitting between the America's Cup and the GC32 and Extreme Sailing events.

In our eyes a two day event is too short for an event - and too dependent on the breeze co-operating with the race schedule.

World Match racing Tour on the block

The decision of the owners of the World Match Racing Tour to suspend the event and put it on the market is an interesting development.

Event Owner Håkan Svensson had a long pedigree of supporting professional sailing when he bought the World Match Racing Tour in 2015.

Paul Meilhat talks to media on the pontoon in Guadeloupe after winning the IMOCA class - 2018 Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe - photo © Alexis Courcoux
Paul Meilhat talks to media on the pontoon in Guadeloupe after winning the IMOCA class - 2018 Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe - photo © Alexis Courcoux

He started by being a sponsor of Green Dragon in the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race. "In 2013 and 2014 we started the Aston Harald Composite business, and we had bought the rights to build the M32 catamaran from Marström Composite."

"I think we have paid the sailors about 3,000,000 US Dollars over the last three years. We have spent 6,000,000 USD on boats, and each regatta had an average cost of 850,000 USD."

"In total, I am sure the total spend is around 20,000,000 USD."

"Including the Volvo Ocean Race sponsorships in total, we have probably spent some 35,000,000 USD in sailing since we started."

It is very clear that if you are going to get into the startup of yacht racing events - there is plenty of financial downside and not a lot of upside.

Hopefully, SailGP has got their mix right - early indications are that is the case. It will be interesting to see if SailGP can move into the WMRT space.

The jury join Alex on board to hand him his penalty after the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe finish - photo © Alexis Courcoux
The jury join Alex on board to hand him his penalty after the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe finish - photo © Alexis Courcoux

2024 Olympic shemozzle

Meanwhile, the fallout from the decision to introduce the Mixed Offshore Two-Person Keelboat into the 2024 Olympics continues, with the European media reporting that a well-organised lobbying campaign was behind the event switch.

The succession of speakers getting to their feet to support an event that was voted down at World Sailing's Mid-Year meeting in May appeared to be little too well orchestrated to be spontaneous. That has been confirmed by the European sailing media reports.

We have several stories in this issue and more to come next week.

The newly announced China SailGP training off Whangarei in the F50 - photo © China SailGP
The newly announced China SailGP training off Whangarei in the F50 - photo © China SailGP

Readership jumps

Finally, we are pleased to report that Sail-World's readership has increased by 25% since July, and October was another good month.

There's plenty in this edition including the latest moves in the Olympic classes; the Route du Rhum Race including Alex Thomson's terrain closure while leading by over 100nm; Francois Joyon setting a race record in IDEC Sport and battling for closest ever finish - just seven minutes; catch the latest action from the A-Cat Worlds with Glenn Ashby, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke look to repeat their clean sweep of the podium; and a New Zealand crew has successfully defended the Red Bull Foiling Generation title .

American Magic AC75 Surrogate sailing November 2018 - photo © American Magic
American Magic AC75 Surrogate sailing November 2018 - photo © American Magic

Predictwind has announced a new quick forecast feature for their world-leading mobile application; Hall Spars have announced a new Flexi carbon batten - the third in their range, plus Halls are moving to a "ready to go" supply model - which will see stock carbon battens available in three locations around the world, reducing lead times and freight costs; and catch the latest news and success from Doyle Sails; North Sails have their usual weekly review.

Stay tuned for several big news stories expected to break this week.

And for all the latest news from NZ and around the world see below.

Finish of the 2018  Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe - photo © Route du Rhum
Finish of the 2018 Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe - photo © Route du Rhum

Between newsletters, you can follow all the racing and developments in major and local events on www.sail-world.com by scrolling to the top of the site, select New Zealand, and get all the latest news and updates from the sailing world.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

 
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Francis Joyon (IDEC Sport) after crossing the line in Guadeloupe in first place in the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe - photo © Alexis Courcoux
Francis Joyon (IDEC Sport) after crossing the line in Guadeloupe in first place in the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe - photo © Alexis Courcoux

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American Magic AC75 Surrogate shows her foils November 2018 - photo © American Magic
American Magic AC75 Surrogate shows her foils November 2018 - photo © American Magic

 
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The hero is carried ashore - Finish IMOCA60 class - Route du Rhum - November 2018 - photo © Yvan Zedda
The hero is carried ashore - Finish IMOCA60 class - Route du Rhum - November 2018 - photo © Yvan Zedda

 
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Alex Thomson - Hugo Boss - Images after terrain closure on Guadeloupe Island - photo © Alex Thomson Racing
Alex Thomson - Hugo Boss - Images after terrain closure on Guadeloupe Island - photo © Alex Thomson Racing

 
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Alex Thomson's damage visible as he finishes Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe after running aground - photo © Alexis Courcoux
Alex Thomson's damage visible as he finishes Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe after running aground - photo © Alexis Courcoux

A smiling Alex Thomson - even coming second has its compensations - photo © Alexis Courcoux
A smiling Alex Thomson - even coming second has its compensations - photo © Alexis Courcoux


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Malizia II - YCM finished fifth IMOCA in the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe
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America's Cup: Chris Brittle signs up with INEOS Team UK
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Alex Thomson is first IMOCA across the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe finish line
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