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Predictably unpredictable - Sail-World.com USA newsletter

27/07/2021


Predictably unpredictable

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Emma Wilson (GBR) in the Women's RS:X on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition Day 2 - photo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing


Dear Recipient Name

Tropical storm Nepartak was supposed to arrive on Tuesday in Japan, but when our man in Enoshima, Sail-World.com's New Zealand Editor Richard Gladwell, opened his curtains at the Hotel Wing International the breeze was relatively light, accompanied by a shower of rain.

'Snakes and Ladders' is the term that has been used to describe the sailing results so far at Tokyo 2020, which is hardly surprising when the inshore Enoshima and Kamakura courses are used in an offshore breeze.

 
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Pete Burling & Blair Tuke during the opening 49er races at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition - photo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Pete Burling & Blair Tuke during the opening 49er races at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition - photo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

The form book was thrown out of the window as the 49ers kicked off their racing. When you talk about favourites, then Pete Burling and Blair Tuke are the stand-out names: reigning Olympic champions, six-time 49er World Champions, two-time America's Cup winners. At Rio 2016 their worst race result was a seventh, which they discarded, but in the first race of Tokyo 2020 they finished twelfth in the 19-boat fleet...

In the ILCA 7 or Laser class (I'm confused as to what it's called at this Olympics) overall leader after six races Cypriote Pavlos Kontides looked like he was putting a consistent series together, only to record a 20th in race 5. He bookended this result with bullets and is still leading both with and without a discard.

 
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Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition Day 3 - photo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition Day 3 - photo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

There are classes where sailors are knocking in consistent results. In the ILCA 6 / Laser Radial class Denmark's Anne-Marie Rindom is at the top of the rankings. Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey had a stunning start to their 49er FX series with two bullets and a sixth.

The podium battle is developing nicely in the Women's RS:X with just two points separating France's Charline Picon, Great Britain's Emma Wilson and China's Yunxiu Lu. In the Men's RS:X Italy's Mattia Camboni leads, but Switzerland's Mateo Sanz Lanz and The Netherlands' Kiran Badloe are hot on his heels. The windsurfing is some must-watch racing, as long as you can access the TV coverage... something I'll come on to later.

 
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Josh Junior (NZL) crossed Giles Scott (GBR) on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition Day 3 - photo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Josh Junior (NZL) crossed Giles Scott (GBR) on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition Day 3 - photo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

The two America's Cup stars of the Finn fleet have work to do if they are to medal in the class's final outing in the Olympics. Defending champion Giles Scott scored two ninths, and New Zealand's Josh Junior scored a twelfth and tenth in the opening two races on Tuesday. The top three was identical in each race with Turkey's Alican Kaynar first, Hungary's Zsombor Berecz second and Spain's Joan Cardona Mendez third.

A couple of weeks ago I said it was going to be A strange Games at a strange time, and that the form book may as well go out the window, but the gusty and shifty conditions have made the racing extremely difficult, with those able to adapt quickly to the wacky races rising to the top.

 
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TV or not TV?

In previous years we've been extremely lucky in the UK to have multiple streams available to watch from many different sports thanks to the BBC, but for this Games the IOC awarded the pan-European rights for the Olympics to Discovery. Ron Chakraborty, Lead Executive, Major Events at BBC Sport, wrote an apologetic letter about this online, but it does beg the question of how people will now 'stumble' upon coverage of sports they don't know, or usually get to watch.

I am strong believer that the Olympics should be free-to-air. As stated by the IOC 'The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.' To achieve this the coverage should be as accessible as possible, rather than requiring a short-term subscription.

Sadly, with this approach, the mainstream TV coverage will naturally gravitate towards sports that a country is good at, and sailing will probably only get a look-in at the Medal Race stage, apart from brief mentions in dispatches.

49er fleet under an ominous sky on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition Day 3 - photo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing
49er fleet under an ominous sky on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition Day 3 - photo © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

 
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America's Cup merry-go-round

The New York Yacht Club stunned the America's Cup world this week by aligning with the Stars+Stripes syndicate for the 37th America's Cup. This leaves Hap Fauth and Roger Penske's American Magic, together with Skipper Terry Hutchinson, out on a limb. The logic of this can only make sense if a big-money backer has approached the club, saying they want to start with a clean slate.

There is no doubt the American Magic syndicate will find a club for their campaign, which does at least mean there should be two US-based entries for the next Cup, wherever that might be held. If the rumour-mill is to be believed then the current front-runners are Cork, Ireland and Valencia, Spain. As always with AC rumour, this should be taken with a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper and probably a splash of vinegar to boot.

The New York Yacht Club American Magic team applaud the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team after the PRADA Cup Semi Final - photo © Sailing Energy / American Magic
The New York Yacht Club American Magic team applaud the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team after the PRADA Cup Semi Final - photo © Sailing Energy / American Magic

And the grass roots...

When I'm not making sure the news from Enoshima is published as quickly as possible, I'm trying to both sail and help with the junior racing and activities at Keyhaven Regatta Week. It's being immense fun, and we had our own shifty and gusty conditions for the three races on Sunday, where I was sailing Frankenlaser II (sadly, the first Frankenlaser has been retired after developing a hull crack between the daggerboard case and mast foot which I deemed beyond repair).

The juniors are always chomping at the bit to get on the water, with some already giving the adults a run for their money in the main racing. Many clubs around the world have their story of a young sailor who has risen through the ranks to the Olympic level, and I can think of a couple of locals I've seen who could make the grade, but ensuring they have fun when they're young will surely help them along their path in sailing, whatever route that takes.

Juniors racing down the river soon after their start at Keyhaven Week - photo © Mark Jardine
Juniors racing down the river soon after their start at Keyhaven Week - photo © Mark Jardine

For all those who help out with junior and youth programs at their local clubs, especially those who introduce non-sailing families to the water, I extend a big 'thank you'. Sailing is a stronger, richer and more diverse sport thanks to you. Who knows, one day you could be saying 'I taught that Olympian or America's Cup star to sail'. The goal should always be for them to have fun, but some with that competitive instinct and talent will rise to the top!

All-in-all, sailing news this week is predictably unpredictable, but we'll make sure you can read all about it on Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com.

Mark Jardine
Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com Managing Editor

 
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US Sailing's Roble, Shea (49erFX) and Muller (Finn) start strong at Tokyo 2020 Olympics
With the addition of the 49erFX skiff and Finn heavyweight dinghy fleets to the sailing action off Enoshima, Japan, American sailing fans were able to watch three additional U.S. athletes competing near the front of their fleets at Tokyo 2020.

An interview with Drew Freides on winning the 2021 Melges IC37 Nationals
I checked in with co-skipper Drew Freides, via email, to learn more about his team's win at the 2021 Melges IC37 National Championships.

Perfect start for Alican Kaynar as Finns begin racing at Tokyo 2020
Turkey's Alican Kaynar made a perfect start to his third Olympic Games with two bullets on one of the most difficult course areas in Enoshima.

 
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition - Day 3
The excitement kicked up a gear on the third day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition as the women in the 49erFX Skiff put on a display of high speed boat handling and fast-thinking tactics.

Rolex Fastnet Race: A class apart
The fleet showing the biggest growth within the Rolex Fastnet Race is the Class40. Currently 39 of these mini IMOCAs are entered, a significant increase from the 19 that competed in 2019.

2021 ILCA 6 Youth World Championships at Circolo Vela Arco - Day 1
Morning thunderstorms held the fleets ashore for day one of the 2021 ILCA 6 Youth World Championships in Arco, Italy in the northern end of Lake Garda. The typical south wind never developed, but a nice 10-12 knot northerly breeze allowed two races.

 
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Bermuda Gold Cup to return in 2022
Organizers for the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's Bermuda Gold Cup match racing tournament regret to announce that the 2021 regatta will not be held.

Tokyo2020: Late rules change on wind recording wrong foots many teams.
Two weeks ago, after two previous interpretations, World Sailing finally made a definitive ruling on the use of electronic devices - laptops, tablets and similar - for wind data logging on board coach boats for the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta.

Edgartown Race Weekend: Doublehanded sailors Read and Leech win coveted Venona Trophy
Sailing doublehanded on the Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 Alchemist, Rhode Islanders Ken Read (Portsmouth) and Suzy Leech (Jamestown), collected a boatload of trophies for their 'Round-the-Island ('RTI) Race performance at the annual Edgartown Race Weekend.

 
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Marstrand, Sweden to host International Dragon Gold Cup 2021 by Yanmar
When Pedro Andrade and his crew lifted the historic Dragon Gold Cup on the 14 June 2019, little did they know it would be more than two years before they would be called upon to defend their title.

Pascual remains top-10 in RS:X at Tokyo 2020 Olympics; Finn and Skiff events set to begin
American sailors fought through a wide range of conditions on day two of racing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with breeze strength ranging from the high teens to the low single digits.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition - Day 2
There was more wind than expected for the second day of racing at the Olympic Sailing Competition which was just as well as the lumpy, confused wave pattern made it hard to get into the groove.

 
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Entry open for Pensacola Yacht Club's Melges 24 Bushwhacker Cup
The Notice of Race for the Pensacola Yacht Club's 2nd 'annual' Melges 24 Bushwhacker Cup [delayed one year by the pandemic and Hurricane Sally] has been posted and entries are now open.

Tokyo2020 - Day 2 - Snakes and Ladders on Sagami Bay
In contrast to the opening day, Day 2 of the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta was conducted under grey skies, possibly signalling the arrival of tropical storm Nepartak, in the coming days.

Hit Maximum Speed with Cyclops Polar Support
The "smart" range of wireless load sensors from Cyclops Marine — smartlink and smarttune — have been helping sailors learn and repeat their fastest settings with live and logged load data since the company announced their arrival last year.

 
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Father-son sailing and Division 1 and 2 winners crowned at Transpac
By now the stories of massive waves, sustained high speeds, and record runs coming into the docks at this year's Transpac are starting to sound routine.

PlanetSail Great Britain SailGP Review Show
For the first time in SailGP's history a team was sent off for dangerous driving as the umpires issued a black flag, but this was only part of the action in Plymouth.

Widnall's Javelin wins IODs & Coveted Cressy Trophy in Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta at Marblehead
There were mere points between the top boats in several classes and one tie that needed to be broken on the morning of the final day of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta at Marblehead Race Week.

 
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Tokyo2020: Images from Day 1 - Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X
Images by Sail-World's Richard Gladwell from the Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X courses from Day 1 of Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta sailed at Enoshima, Japan.

Tokyo2020: Day 1 - Light winds prove to be a great leveller
It is hard to know what the take-out from the first day of racing at Tokyo2020 should be. Certainly the pre-series favorites were scattered well through all the fleets, particularly in the Mens and Womens One Person Dinghy

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition - Day 1
After two weeks of training in steady onshore breezes, the sailors were dealt a very different and more difficult hand for the opening day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition.

 
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Singlehanded classes open racing at Tokyo 2020 Olympics; Team USA 9th overall in Laser, RS:X
American sailors are in the top ten overall in two events, with Laser athlete Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) and RS:X sailor Pedro Pascual (Miami, Fla.) both in ninth.

Exhausted and elated, waves of teams are finishing strong in 51st Transpac
Having start dates staggered this year over five days and near-perfect strong breeze over the 2225-mile course has resulted in the first big wave of competitors coming across the finish line at Diamond Head today in the 51st edition of Transpac.

Inspired, the latest from Rooster®
Last weekend saw SailGP land in Plymouth with the Inspire programme in full swing. For us, SailGP Inspire is absolutely what it's all about!

 
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Nearly 200 boats parade San Diego Bay for Dutch Shoe Marathon
There's nothing quite like the sight of the Dutch Shoe Marathon. Two hundred boats parading in sequence for 7.2 miles down the San Diego Bay sporting every color of the rainbow.

Measuring boats: it's not a popularity contest
You can't win an Olympic medal in sailing without having a fast boat. Just like in motor racing where winning comes from a combination of man and machine working together in harmony, the same is true in Olympic sailing.

Gladwell's Line: Touchdown in Tokyo ... Kiwi politicians exile Team New Zealand
No two Olympics are the same, and Tokyo2020 will be notable for having been conducted against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, and may well be the circuit-breaker that returns international sport back to normality.

 
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Pyewacket wins Barn Door Trophy and sets 24 hour record in Transpac
Five days, 16 hours, 53 minutes and 20 seconds since starting off San Pedro in Los Angeles last Saturday, the team on Roy Disney's turbo Volvo 70 Pyewacket crossed the finish line at 2:53 AM at Diamond Head to be first to finish in this year's Transpac.

Alain Leboeuf named as new President of the Vendée Globe
This week the Board of Directors of SAEM Vendée unanimously elected Alain Leboeuf as the new President of the Vendée Globe.

J/22 World Championship at Corpus Christi Yacht Club - Overall
Jeff Progelhof's Schitzen Giggles went wire to wire to secure the title of 2021 J/22 World Championship, racing J/22 hull #24.

 
Road to Gold - Russell Coutts MPU   Doyle Sails 2020 - Cruising Confidence 300x250
 
Tokyo2020: Burling and Tuke ready for another Olympic journey at Enoshima
There's an email exchange between Peter Burling and Blair Tuke from 2008 sitting in the Maritime Museum that represents the start of one of the most successful partnerships in sailing history.

Stars+Stripes cuts deal with New York Yacht Club's Challenge for 37th America's Cup
The New York Yacht Club has taken an initial, but significant, step toward establishing a sustainable franchise that can both win the 37th America's Cup and provide a road map for the Club's future involvement and for how international sport's oldest comp

Oakcliff OC86 wins Line Honors in Chicago Mac
Oakcliff christened it's new 86 foot maxi yacht, OC 86, in the 112th Chicago to Mackinac Island Race. The race began upwind in 15 knots of breeze.

 
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"Avocado Power" fuels elite sailing race as the "World Avocado Cup Regatta" returns to San Diego Bay
The World Avocado Organization (WAO) and the historic San Diego Yacht Club will host the second edition of the World Avocado Cup Regatta on July 31 - August 1, 2021.

Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac - Slower than usual, but still satisfying
Chicago YC's 112th Race to Mackinac was a slow race along its 289.4 nautical mile course from Chicago to Mackinac Island, with primarily upwind wind angles that saw the breeze going from decent at the starts to completely dead at some points.

Brute force over ignorance
In the boating world, way back in 1860 or so, William Froude came up with the displacement hull speed formula; knots = 1.34 times the square root of the LWL in feet. What was probably more telling though, was the displacement to length ratio.

 
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Keeping it cool for the Tokyo Games - what are the sailors wearing?
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Dare to dream - IRC Four in the Rolex Fastnet Race
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A natural fit: Henri-Lloyd's support of the Dragon Gold Cup
The Dragon Gold Cup is an event steeped in history, presented by members of the Clyde Yacht's Conference in 1937 and won by Sweden's Rolf Billner that same year. It is one of the most prestigious trophies in yachting.

Commodore Mary Bacon inducted at NOSA's annual meeting
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Best value to strength available on the market
Allen's 60mm dynamic range is an ideal choice for keelboats, catamarans and dinghies. Offering the best value to strength ratio on the market. Suitable for a wide range of applications from jib sheet to mainsheet systems and everything in-between.

IOC elects Brisbane 2032 as Olympic and Paralympic host
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505 UK National Championship at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy
Light winds plagued the 505 UK Nationals in Weymouth, with the first two days seeing no racing at all, then four races packed into Monday, and only a single race possible on the final day.

Colligo Dux Standing Rigging featured on 59º North's SPICA in the 2021 Gotland Runt Offshore Race
Having been an early-adopter of Colligo Dux with our first boat ARCTURUS I knew what we were getting into and was excited to learn from the mistake we made on that boat ten years ago and apply them to SPICA

An interview with Alex Nugent on the 2021 Edgartown Race Weekend
I checked in with Alex Nugent, who serves as co-chair of the Edgartown Yacht Club's Big Boat Race Committee, via email, to learn more about the 2021 Edgartown Race Weekend.

Hurco machining centre raises productivity at Sea Sure
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America's Cup: Dalton pleased with outcome of massively compromised event
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