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Sail-World NZ - May 27: Kiwi Medal in Lasers..Am Cup - The BIG Bang

27/05/2019


Sail-World NZ - May 27: Kiwis Medal wins continue..Am Cup's BIG Bang

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Laser European Championship - Day 5 - photo © Neuza Aires Pereira


Dear Recipient Name

Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for May 27, 2019

The NZL Sailing Team has set itself nicely for the 2020 Olympics winning four medals from six events on the European Championship circuit.

The two that did not make the podium were fourth and seventh in their fleets - that is still a very creditable performance.

As discussed in the last newsletter, this group of six classes - all of which are qualified for the 2020 Olympics, are expected to form the shadow Olympic team, with the individual sailors involved expected to be named in the next six months or earlier. The exception being where there are multiple crews in the viewfinder, and the selectors will be keeping a close eye on form - maybe delaying their deliberations and decisions. However in practice the team should pick itself.

Sam Meech (NZL) wins the Silver Medal at the European Laser Championships, Porto, Portugal, May 2019 - photo © Joao Ferrand - Fotografia
Sam Meech (NZL) wins the Silver Medal at the European Laser Championships, Porto, Portugal, May 2019 - photo © Joao Ferrand - Fotografia

New Zealand has solid multiple crew campaigns running in four of the Olympic events - the Nacra 17, Men's Laser, the 49er and the Finn. In fact in three of these events - the Nacra 17, 49er and Finn the crew who qualified New Zealand was not the top boat in the Europeans. The 2019 Worlds which will be held in Auckland in late 2019 for the $9erFX, 49er and Nacra 17 classes will be a crucial selection events for the 49ers and Nacra 17.

Compared to the other top Olympic sailing nations, New Zealand is more than holding its own, winning four medals - a 66% success rate, which is very high. A medal conversion ration of 50% is the accepted norm. With the 2019 European Championship circuit concluded for all ten Olympic classes, the British won medals in five events, along with the Netherlands who also won five. Both won multiple medals in the one event. The Brits in the 49er and Nacra 17 - with the Dutchies doing the same in the Mens Windsurfer.

Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch
Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch

The Danes, Australians and French all won two Medals - in the Australians case they were both Gold - from the Men's Laser and the Men's 470. Winning just a single medal from the 30 on offer were Brazil, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, China and Belgium. Seventeen nations were on the Medal table in Rio after the 2016 Olympics. Tokyo2020 is shaping up to be even tighter.

Looking at the Medal/Event conversion rates, Netherlands medaled in five events and has qualified in five Olympic events for a 100% conversion rate - confirming their place as the top Olympic sailing nation; New Zealand medalled in four events and Olympic qualified in six for a 66% conversion rate; GBR medaled in five events and is Olympic qualified in 10 for a 50% conversion rate; Australia medaled in two events and have Olympic qualified in four for a 50% conversion rate; Denmark won two medals and have Olympic qualified in five events for a 40% conversion rate. The rest taper away from there.

Unless there is a dramatic result posted at the 2019 World Championships by the 470 Women, Laser Radial, and both the Men's and Women's RS:X, New Zealand will be represented in just six classes in Enoshima - down from seven in 2016 and nine in 2012.

So far, the British are the only country to qualify in all ten events for Tokyo from the first round of Qualifying in the 2018 Sailing World Championships in Aarhus in August last year. (Japan is also represented in all 10 events by virtue of being the Host country.)

The European Championships were the second opportunity for Olympic Qualification for all nations only for the Finn class - with all other classes using their 2019 Worlds as the second Qualification Round.

The meeting of World Sailing's Council at the Mid-Year Meeting in London, Great Britain on Sunday 19 May. - photo © Daniel Smith
The beleaguered World Sailing Board during the meeting of World Sailing's Council at the Mid-Year Meeting in London, Great Britain on Sunday 19 May. - photo © Daniel Smith

A foggy future

It is generally recognised that it takes six years to come up to speed in an Olympic class - that period starts now in 2018 for those aiming at Paris/Marseille 2024.

Unfortunately, World Sailing seems to be unable to provide much definition about what is happening, six years out. Three new events - Offshore Keelboat, Mixed Two Person Dinghy, and Mixed Kiteboard - have yet to hold a World Championship.

In both the Windsurfer disciplines, the Council refused to endorse the RS:X for Tokyo2024 at the just concluded Mid-Year Meeting at the Chelsea Football Club.

That reversal of the Board's Recommendation should have been no surprise given that World Sailing's Equipment Committee had thrice recommended against the RS:X, but the Board did not accept that wisdom. This time the current Olympic Champion circulated a letter before the Council meeting questioning why the RS:X was endorsed with such alacrity. To cut a long story short, a Windsurfer Evaluation Trial will now be held, which is expected to include two Windfoiling options.

Day 1  - RS:X, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch
The Council rejected the Board of World Sailing's recommendation to grant the RS:X Olympic status for 2024 . - photo © Sander van der Borch

Both New Zealand and Australia spoke up, saying they had low RS:X sailor numbers. New Zealand won't be represented in the RS:X at the Youth Worlds in Poland this July. Neither has any one qualified in the class for the 2020 Olympic regatta.

Yet another Urgent Submission came from the Board to try and put some shape into the Offshore Keelboat event - supposedly to control an "arms race" developing. That piece of wishful thinking fell flat on its face when members of the Equipment Committee, in an informal discussion, commented that it was a futile exercise trying to stop national Olympic programs from spending massive amounts of money on the Offshore event.

No answers were forthcoming on whether the class used for the new Offshore Event in 2024, would also be retained for the 2028 Olympics. There was no answer as to whether a boat selected in December 2023 as proposed by the latest World Sailing would be able to be built and brought up to Olympic competition standard in six months.

The meeting of World Sailing's Council at the Mid-Year Meeting in London, Great Britain on Sunday 19 May. - photo © Daniel Smith
There were plenty of questions but not too many answers from the Mid-Year Meeting of World Sailing's Council at the Chelsea Football Club, London, Great Britain on Sunday 19 May. - photo © Daniel Smith

Neither could they say if the Offshore event would be like the other Olympic classes - organised around a specific class. Or, if it was more a general test of offshore racing expertise regardless of the chosen class. On the latter basis, every class would change every Olympic cycle.

There was also a deathly silence on the question if World Sailing would allow countries to buy existing boats in the chosen class after it was announced in December 2023.

The Mixed Offshore and Windsurfer situations aside, the Council delivered a paddy-whacking to the Board and Equipment Committee, when it voted to reject their Recommendation for the RS Aero to replace the Laser/ILCA as the Men's and Women's single-handed dinghy events, by margins of 36-5 and 37-4 in favour of retaining the Laser and its 85 nation contribution to Lausanne's universality score for each sport.

36th America's CupAC75 foil arms structure testing at Persico Marine - photo © America's Cup
Mission control consisting of the top designers oversee the structure testing of the 36th America's CupAC75 foil arms at Persico Marine - photo © America's Cup

Foiling arms fixed

Turning to the America's Cup, which looks to be the model of decorum, sanity and organisation compared to the world sailing body, the vexed issue of the structural integrity of the carbon foil arms seems to have been resolved.

For the first time in America's Cup history, we have images and video of the designers for the various teams collaborating in an open environment on the structural testing of a component. When has that ever happened in the Spy vs Spy world of the America's Cup?

Final destruction test- AC75 foil arms - Persico Marine - May 2019. - photo © America's Cup Media
Final destruction test- AC75 foil arms - Persico Marine - May 2019. - photo © America's Cup Media

The videos (we feature four of varying lengths and content) released by AmericasCup.com give a unique insight into the structural testing process along with a graphic and very audible demonstration of what happens in these engineering tests.

The "BANG" when the carbon arm crosses the line from maximum load to disintegration is an unforgettable noise and sight.

The video shows both test sessions in September 2018, when the arm failed at 88% of the expected maximum workload, and again in May 2019, when the arm failed at 188% of maximum working load.

Luna Rossa's AC75 spar arrives in Cagliari, Sardinia - photo © Luna Rossa
Luna Rossa's AC75 spar arrives in Cagliari, Sardinia - photo © Luna Rossa

We also have video, such as it is, showing the first AC75 spar for Luna Rossa being delivered to the Challenger of Record's base in Cagliari, Sardinia. They are the first team to announce reaching this milestone - and indicator that their launch is probably 6-8 weeks away.

The AC75 commissioning process of the hull, rigs and foils is expected to take a couple of months - about the same as the AC72 and AC50 wingsailed catamarans which preceded them as the America's Cup Class.

There is still no definitive word on the state of the Late Challengers - one is believed to be close to pulling out - however, we have been told that several times before by the team themselves, and yet they survive.

The other two are continuing. We expect to have better information later this week.

Mapfre -  Leg 4, 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race January 10, 2018 - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race
Mapfre - Leg 4, The new course will try and reduce the number of Equator crossings - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race

The Ocean Race- course changes

In this edition, we carry the third and final part of the interview with Richard Mason, Executive Director of The Ocean Race. The New Zealander sailed in four editions of the race - the last being in 2011/12 aboard Sanya, before stepping ashore and taking onshore management roles.

In Part 3, we look at the course for the 2021/22 edition of The Ocean Race.

It is expected to be a shorter length - down to 38-42,000nm from the 45,000nm monster of 2017/18. A couple of stopovers are expected to be dropped - reducing to 10 from 12 - including start and finish.

Also covered is how the media coverage will be handled. The Ocean Race's predecessors have always been notable for being on the leading edge of sailing coverage - from the first live radio calls that became a regular part of Peter Blake's race coverage from Ceramco New Zealand. The spectacular drone images from the last race - gave fans their first glimpse of the VO65's at pace flying on and through the Southern Ocean. They were also a wake-up call to the rest of the sport, indeed all sports, just what is possible with this technology and some good training of On Board Reporters, along with the OBR's and their skippers putting the training in.

Chinese New Year - Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15  - photo © The Ocean Race
Although it is a long haul, Asia and China are important to The Ocean Race sponsors and teams, - Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15 - photo © The Ocean Race
For all the latest news from NZ and around the world see below.

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Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

Day 3 - Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch
RS:X Olympic medalist and now top coach, Aaron McIntosh (NZL) on Day 3 - Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019. He finished 8th overall. - photo © Sander van der Borch
 
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Whitsunday Holidays 2018 MPU   racegeek 600x500
 
Day 3 - Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch
Day 3 - Windfoil Surfing, Medemblik Regatta 2019, 25-5-2019 (21/25 May 2019). Medemblik - the Netherlands. - photo © Sander van der Borch

 
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An Italian competitor finds a too small gap at the windward mark - Day 2 -  European Laser Championships - Porto - May 21, 2019 - photo ©  Joao Ferrand - Fotografia
An Italian competitor finds a too small gap at the windward mark - Day 2 - European Laser Championships - Porto - May 21, 2019 - photo © Joao Ferrand - Fotografia
 
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Mettraux Justine, Gahinet Gwénolé, Teamwork - photo © Christophe Breschi
Justine Mettraux (SUI) - the Beneteau Figaro 3 won't be the 2024 Offshore class - photo © Christophe Breschi
Course for the The Ocean Race
 
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Medemblik Regatta attracts 27 WindFoil riders from eight nations
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The other AC
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RS Sailing - Explore 300x250   Mackay 250
 
NZL Sailing Team: Meech fights back in Laser Euros - Day 2
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A strong entry from outside of France for 50th anniversary Solitaire URGO Le Figaro
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470 class confirmed as equipment for mixed two-person dinghy at 2024 Paris Olympics
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Naiad 300x250px_Superyacht   Rooster GETSEASMART 300x250
 
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Pantaenius AUS Smooth Sailing 300x250 JPG   Harken Winch 300x250
 
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NZL Sailing Team: Three medals on offer in Europeans - Day 5
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America's Cup: Foil arms pass stress test at Persico
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