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Sail-World NZ: July 23, 2019 - More Kiwi wins..Laser in crisis..Fastnet tragedy 40 years on

23/07/2019


Sail-World NZ - July 23: More Worlds wins..Laser in crisis..40yrs since Fastnet tragedy

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Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan (NZL) - 420 - Day 5 - 2019 Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships, Gdynia, Poland - photo © Jacek Kwiatkowski / World Sailing


Dear Recipient Name

Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for July 23, 2019

New Zealand's run of success at major world championships continued last week with Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan adding a Gold medal in the 420 Boys event, at the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships.

They added the Youth Worlds Gold to the Silver medal won at the earlier Open 420 Worlds.

Menzies is staying on in Poland, also the venue of the Youth Worlds to contest the 29er Worlds - starting on Friday.

His performance, along with new crew, Sam Street will be watched with great interest.

Is Seb Menzies the next Peter Burling? We might know the answer to that in the next week.

New Zealand finished 9th in the Nations Cup for the Youth Worlds - generally reckoned as a measure of success of a nation's youth development program.

That result must be seen in the context of the British team being 5th and Australia 6th. The Brits returned home medal-less, Australia won two, the Kiwis finished with one Gold medal.

The USA finished in the top three in the Nations Cup for the third year in a row - time will tell if that flows into their home Olympics in 2028.

Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan (NZL) - Day 5  - 420 - 2019 Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships, Gdynia, Poland - photo © Robert Hajduk / World Sailing
Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan (NZL) - Day 5 - 420 - 2019 Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships, Gdynia, Poland - photo © Robert Hajduk / World Sailing

Laser gone from Olympics?

Of course, the elephant in the room with the Youth World results is that they are now largely irrelevant in the 2024 Olympic context and beyond - thanks to the turmoil triggered by World Sailing in its Olympic Event selection, which has effectively destroyed the pathways from the Youth Worlds to the Olympic classes.

That thinking is top of mind of the International Laser Class Association, whose members have just over a week to determine if the class remains Olympic.

Laser Performance through its company Velum owns and controls the Laser Trademarks - the stylised Laser logo  and the Sunburst insignia  - photo © Laser Performance Europe
Laser Performance through its company Velum owns and controls the Laser Trademarks - the stylised Laser logo and the Sunburst insignia - photo © Laser Performance Europe

They are voting on a class rule change, described by an ILCA Vice-President as "an insurance policy". If passed that change will enable the Laser World Council to break away from trademark agreements for any new class builders. The rule change will give the class back to the sailors and will allow the ILCA World Council to appoint builders who comply with World Sailing's FRAND policy.

The situation cannot be summed up accurately in a couple of sentences - and a lot of research has gone into a story setting out the differing views and with video of the two informal class meetings held in Spain and Japan.

 Sam Meech (NZL) - Day 4, World Laser Championship, Sakaiminato, Japan July 2019  - photo © Junichi Hirai / Bulkhead Magazine Japan
Sam Meech (NZL) - Day 4, World Laser Championship, Sakaiminato, Japan July 2019 - photo © Junichi Hirai / Bulkhead Magazine Japan

For the change to be passed, 66% of the membership must approve. However, the European Int Laser Class Association does not support the rule change - and about 65% of the class members fall under the EurILCA umbrella.

Complicating matters is the post in social media by the European builder (Laser Performance Europe) that they have signed all agreements and returned these to World Sailing for countersignature.

Sail-World NZ queried LPE as to whether they had signed agreements supplied by World Sailing, or if they had created new agreements and signed those and "sent them to respective parties to countersign". We asked that question on Friday night (NZT) - while we got an acknowledgement of the online chat record, we have not yet had an answer to our question.

Taipei jumps out of a big wave - World Laser Championship, Sakaiminato, Japan July 2019 - photo © Junichi Hirai / Bulkhead Magazine Japan
The smaller sailing nations will be the hardest hit if the Laser is dropped from the Olympics in 2024 - World Laser Championship, Sakaiminato, Japan July 2019 - photo © Junichi Hirai / Bulkhead Magazine Japan

Sources close to ILCA put the chances of the class meeting World Sailing's requirements to remain an Olympic class at 25% or less.

A week is a long time in politics - whether the situation is turned around before the August 1 deadline set by World Sailing remains to be seen.

An informal meeting held at the Women's Laser Radial Worlds in Japan, on Friday night, and posted online earlier today, did not indicate that there had been any change in the position of the three trademark holding parties and their respective builders.

Nick Egnot-Johnson - Governor's Cup Final - Day 5, July 20, 2019 - photo © Andrew Delves
Nick Egnot-Johnson - Governor's Cup Final - Day 5, July 20, 2019 - photo © Andrew Delves

Governor's Cup win.

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron teams filled four of the top five spots on the leaderboard at the just concluded Governor's Cup at Balboa YC. First overall was Nick Egnot-Johnson RNZYS PPPKNOTS Racing, who prevailed on a 2-2 score ahead of the final race, to head off series favourite Leonard Takahashi RNZYS PP Pacific Racing Team. Fourth overall was Frankie Dair RNZYS YTP. Dair raced under the burgee of the California Yacht Club, and fifth (Jordan Stevenson RNZYS PP Vento Racing).

We are carrying reports from both RNZYS and the event organisers in this edition. (Open the lead story and the others in the event will appear below starting with the regatta preview).

The Fastnet Rock - photo © Rolex / Daniel Forster
The Fastnet Rock - photo © Rolex / Daniel Forster

Fastnet remembered

In just over a couple of weeks, it will be 40 years since 15 souls were lost during the tragic 1979 Fastnet Race.

There were 339 entries of which 303 started. Prior to the 1979 Race, there had been only one instance of life being lost - in the 1931 race.

A rapidly deepening depression moved across the Fastnet area on the night of August 13/14, 1979.

Nineteen yachts were abandoned (and recovered), five were lost, believed to have sunk.

Condor of Bermuda was first to finish and took set a new race record - 1979 Fastnet Race - photo © Alastair Black
Condor of Bermuda was first to finish and set a new race record - 1979 Fastnet Race - photo © Alastair Black

The official inquiry says the storm was at its peak between 0000-0800hrs on August 14, reaching Force 11, and maximum wave heights of 40-44ft. Search and rescue aircraft on August 14 reported winds of 60-65kts (most yacht anemometers topped out at 60kts), and waves height of 50-60ft.

Roger Vaughan was aboard the maxi Kialoa III (Jim Kilroy) and had been tasked by Life magazine assignment to profile Kilroy. Sailing with Kilroy in the Fastnet Vaughan hoped to provide a special insight into the 57 yr old property mogul.

Instead, Vaughan, a noted sailing journalist, found himself in a race that "evolved as a journey to the edge of disaster – [that] caused my report to become a more comprehensive picture of how people in such a dire situation react, and what they contemplate."

Kialoa III sailing close hauled in 20kts of breeze - photo © Eric Sckweikardt
Kialoa III sailing close hauled in 20kts of breeze - photo © Eric Sckweikardt

Kialoa III (79ft) had rounded Fastnet Rock, in the Irish Sea, ahead of the storm and was in a race for line honours with another maxi, well known in New Zealand, the 77ft Condor of Bermuda (Bob Bell). She had Peter Blake co-skippering along with another New Zealander Geoff Prior.

They were an hour behind Kialoa III at the Rock. Vaughan describes how, with a very shrewd and daring piece of navigation during the night saw the round the world racer chop 90 minutes out of Kialoa - going on to set a race record that stood for a very long time.

After reading Vaughan's piece, his editor at Life gave him three months to expand the piece into a book, published as "Fastnet: One Man's Voyage". Now on the 40th anniversary of the tragic and remarkable race, Vaughan is republishing his book.

15 people died and four yachts sunk during the 1979 Fastnet Race  - photo © Alistair Black
15 people died and four yachts sunk during the 1979 Fastnet Race - photo © Alistair Black

"Not a word has been changed from the original book," he said." I thought about rewriting parts of it, making a few changes, adding a few updates, possibly cutting a few inflammatory bits, but I ended up being convinced it is important to maintain the book as a period piece that reflects the politics, the culture, and the state of affairs at the time it was written."

In this edition we have an extract from "Fastnet: One Man's Voyage" which is available on Amazon, $15.95, or click the following link to go directly to the Amazon link for 'Fastnet: One Man's Voyage" click here to buy 'Fastnet: One Man's Voyage'

A Royal navy helicopter hovers above the yacht Camarague - 1979 Fastnet Race - photo © Daily Telegraph
A Royal navy helicopter hovers above the yacht Camarague - 1979 Fastnet Race - photo © Daily Telegraph

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

 
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America's Cup Champion Glenn Ashby reviewing the Junior classes race fleet - Midwinter Series - Wakatere BC, July 2019 - photo © Richard Gladwell
America's Cup Champion Glenn Ashby on his windfoiler, crosses the Junior classes race fleet - Midwinter Series - Wakatere BC, July 2019 - photo © Richard Gladwell
 
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Leonard Takahashi - Governor's Cup Final - Day 5, July 20, 2019 - photo © Andrew Delves
Leonard Takahashi - Governor's Cup Final - Day 5, July 20, 2019 - photo © Andrew Delves

 
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RS Feva Worlds 2019 - Follonica, Italy July 2019 - photo © NZ RS Feva Associatoon
RS Feva Worlds 2019 - Follonica, Italy July 2019 - photo © NZ RS Feva Associatoon

 
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AC75's racing in the America's Cup World Series - Cagliari, Sardinia - photo © America's Cup Media
AC75's racing in the America's Cup World Series - Cagliari, Sardinia - photo © America's Cup Media

 
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Comanchefinal approach through the Molokai Channel during sunset. - Transpac 50 - photo © Sharon Green / Ultimate Sailing
Comanchefinal approach through the Molokai Channel during sunset. - Transpac 50 - photo © Sharon Green / Ultimate Sailing
 
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Day 5 - Cascais 52 Super Series Sailing Week - photo © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Day 5 - Cascais 52 Super Series Sailing Week - photo © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series

 
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