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Sail-World: August 14: SailGP at Cowes..Laser vote..AC75's on launch countdown

14/08/2019


Sail-World NZ - August 14: Lessons from Cowes..Laser vote.. AC75's start launch countdown

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AOWBS 2019 TOS

Series winner Team Australia - SailGP Cowes, August 10-11, 2019 - photo © Chris Cameron / SailGP


Dear Recipient Name

Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for August 14, 2019

The penultimate SailGP 2019 circuit regatta has come and gone.

For those who missed it, England turned on a fresh Solent gale, and Day 1 was cancelled 24 hours out from its scheduled start.

Tom Slingsby - SailGP Cowes, August 10-11, 2019  - photo © Sam Greenfield / SailGP
Tom Slingsby led a sailing masterclass - SailGP Cowes, August 10-11, 2019 - photo © Sam Greenfield / SailGP

Day 2, the final day of racing was completed in fresh winds, which were still sufficient to cause some damage and capsizes.

As it always does, the Solent asked plenty of questions of the competitors. Team Australia was a deserving winner - with a team stacked with talent from the 2017 America's Cup. Five of the six Team Australians were part of Oracle Team USA 2017, and one was with their acolyte, Softbank Team Japan.

The Saturday was a blow-out - The Needles - SailGP Cowes, August 10-11, 2019  - photo © Thomas Lovelock / SailGP
The Saturday was a blow-out - The Needles - SailGP Cowes, August 10-11, 2019 - photo © Thomas Lovelock / SailGP

That level of expertise really showed in the fresh conditions off Cowes, as Tom Slingsby and his team could consistently drive their F50 harder, and with more confidence than the other five teams.

To the surprise of no-one, they also became the first team in SailGP to better the 50kt mark during a race.

Three races were sailed on Sunday - and that was pushing life to the extreme - for both boats and crews.

SailGP Cowes was a very rugged regatta, with conditions comparable to Day 2 of the Semi-Finals in Bermuda, when Emirates Team New Zealand pitchpoled.

Great Britain SailGP Team nose dive during the first official race of Cowes SailGP causing extensive damage to their F50 - photo © Chris Cameron for SailGP
Great Britain SailGP Team nose dive during the first official race of Cowes SailGP causing extensive damage to their F50 - photo © Chris Cameron for SailGP

The Australians were not without their challenges, stuffing their F50 into the Solent, on a Practice Day, emerging with a broken wingsail - and an unscheduled test for their shore-team. Fortunately for the Australians, like the Kiwis in 2017, the next race day was called off - providing time for the shore team to turn a workable fix into a quality repair.

While little was made of it at the time, there was gear damage on most of the boats, which impacted their performance, and forced the crews to focus on finishing the race, rather than their place.

Sunday was a day of attrition.

United States SailGP Team helmed by Rome Kirby try to prevent a capsize in the early stages of the first race. United States SailGP Team eventually fully capsize alongside the first mark. - photo © Lloyd Images for SailGP
United States SailGP Team helmed by Rome Kirby try to prevent a capsize in the early stages of the first race. United States SailGP Team eventually fully capsize alongside the first mark. - photo © Lloyd Images for SailGP

Team USA capsized before the start of the first race but recovered well to sail in the next two. The home team, Britain dug in on the penultimate leg of the first race. While they recovered to finish, the damage sustained in the incident was sufficiently serious to force them out of the remaining two races.

At Cowes, we saw a repeat of the issues with the America's Cup World Series that occurred in the lead-in to the 2013 and 2017 Cup.

Running a two-day regatta is very weather dependent. Cowes could well have been a blow-out both days.

It would seem that the only real way to overcome the issue is for the regatta to be spread over two weekends as was the 2017 America's Cup Match.

Strong winds for the Cowes SailGP on Sunday - photo © Sam Kurtul / www.worldofthelens.co.uk
Strong winds for the Cowes SailGP on Sunday - photo © Sam Kurtul / www.worldofthelens.co.uk

The five-day gap also allows time for repairs and recovery - so in a situation where the home team is damaged on the first day - they will be back for the following weekend. Sudden death is all very well but doesn't work in a competition of this type. Teams should be eliminated by a competitive outcome and not a crash.

The seaworthiness of the race boats in SailGP has implications for the 36th America's Cup and the radical AC75 foiling monohulls.

Obviously, there are some very talented people involved in the 36th America's Cup, who will be able to come up with design changes that can be applied between now and the Match if there are issues with capsizing or nosediving.

Australia SailGP Team helmed by Tom Slingsby nose dive in the closing stages of the second race.  - Cowes, Day 2, August 11, 2019 - photo © Thomas Lovelock for SailGP
Australia SailGP Team helmed by Tom Slingsby nose dive in the closing stages of the second race. - Cowes, Day 2, August 11, 2019 - photo © Thomas Lovelock for SailGP

Extrapolating the performance of the various development boats into the AC75 is not a sound practice. As Ben Ainslie told us the INEOS Team UK prototype was designed to be extreme. That was so the crew and designers could gauge the limitations of its handling and performance, rather than just opt for a safe ride.

We won't know if there really is an issue until the AC75's start sailing in the hands of top sailing professionals.

SailGP Cowes put the seaworthiness issue firmly on the America's Cup table.

Typhoon generated waves crash against a seawall in Enoshima, Japan. has the storm passed for the laser class? - photo © International laser Class Association
Typhoon generated waves crash against a seawall in Enoshima, Japan. has the storm passed for the laser class? - photo © International laser Class Association

Laser class rings changes

The other news of significance has been the announcement on Tuesday of the outcome of the Laser Class Rules vote.

Perhaps not surprisingly the outcome was a ringing endorsement of the rule change proposed by the World Council of the International Laser Class Association. Three vote outcomes seem to be in play, but all versions are in excess of the required 66% majority required to pass.

Quite what happens next remains to be seen.

The class rule vote outcome released by the International laser Class Association. - photo © ILCA
The class rule vote outcome released by the International laser Class Association. - photo © ILCA

While the media statement from ILCA says the rule change has been submitted to World Sailing for confirmation as required by Regulation 10, that is only half the story - not even that.

Regulation 10 has no less than 17 clauses and a myriad of sub-clauses. Several of those cover the appointment process for licenced builders.

So the next moves will be watched with a degree of interest. Whether the vote outcome resolves the outstanding issues is another matter entirely.

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's first AC75 leaves the Persico building facility in Bergamo, Italy, August - photo © Bergamo Corriere
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's first AC75 leaves the Persico building facility in Bergamo, Italy, August - photo © Bergamo Corriere

AC75's start the launch countdown

For the America's Cup teams, a vexed era came to an end with the delivery of carbon foil arms to Emirates Team New Zealand.

Although the other teams haven't commented one assumes that it was not an exclusive delivery for the America's Cup Defender.

We are now seeing the first signs of movement in the America's Cup Challenger ranks. Luna Rossa has moved their first AC75 from Persico Marine in Belgamo to the team base in Sardinia.

Images have been floating around the interweb showing what could be a disguised AC75 hull being loaded into the INEOS Team UK base in Portsmouth.

Emirates Team New Zealand unload the carbon foil arms from Persico Marine, Italy - August 14, 2019 - photo © Emirates Team New Zealand
Emirates Team New Zealand unload the carbon foil arms from Persico Marine, Italy - August 14, 2019 - photo © Emirates Team New Zealand

So far only one team has announced a launch date - Luna Rossa was to launch on August 25 but shifted that date to September 9. Emirates Team New Zealand is expected to launch in September - probably after Luna Rossa.

In our interview with INEOS Team UK, Ben Ainslie said they weren't too focused on a date for a launch function, preferring the lower-key approach of just getting the AC75 in the water and going sailing.

Apivia, the new IMOCA60 designed by Guillaume Verdier for Charlie Dahn (FRA) and aimed at the next Vendee Globe after her launching and fit-out at the former U-boat base in Lorient, France - photo © Maxime Horlaville
Apivia, the new IMOCA60 designed by Guillaume Verdier for Charlie Dahn (FRA) and aimed at the next Vendee Globe after her launching and fit-out at the former U-boat base in Lorient, France - photo © Maxime Horlaville

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

Please send your event or any other reports or stories to sailworldnzl@gmail.com with a copy to nzeditor@sail-world.com.

Between newsletters, you can follow all the racing and developments in major and local events on www.sail-world.com/nz or 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

A temporary fence was damaged on the America's Cup base construction site, the remainder of the damage was not an America's Cup asset. - photo © Wynyard Edge Alliance
A temporary fence was damaged on the America's Cup base construction site, the remainder of the damage was not an America's Cup asset. - photo © Wynyard Edge Alliance

 
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Strong winds for the Cowes SailGP on Sunday - photo © Ingrid Abery / www.ingridabery.com
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Strong winds for the Cowes SailGP on Sunday - photo © Mark Jardine
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Strong winds for the Cowes SailGP on Sunday - photo © Mark Jardine
Strong winds for the Cowes SailGP on Sunday - photo © Mark Jardine

 
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Strong winds for the Cowes SailGP on Sunday - photo © Sam Kurtul / www.worldofthelens.co.uk
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