Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 33
Swan Sardinia Challenge delivers a spectacular celebration of sailing
Four days of intense racing in the spectacular setting of southeast Sardinia came to a conclusion on Saturday with the final places decided at the Swan Sardinia Challenge.
The crystal-clear waters off Villasimius were witness to 10 hard fought and ultra-competitive races, with fortunes across the three one-design classes varying rapidly on each leg of the racecourse.
The Swan Sardinia Challenge was able to celebrate a successful regatta at what was a new venue for the Nations League, with the Marina di Villasimius providing a warm welcome alongside the support provided by the Regione Sardegna, the town of Villasimius and the Marinedi Group.
Giovanni Pomati, Nautor Group CEO said: "This is our first time in Villasimius, and it’s been an amazing 'first'! Watching 26 boats competing in this beautiful setting of a natural park. A full programme of 10 races with excellent wind conditions from 8 to 25-plus knots has been quite a show. We want to thank the local authorities and the Marina di Villasimius for hosting us and for gifting us with great special moments during this event."
Marcus Brennecke's well sailed Hatari emerged at the top of the ClubSwan 50 leaderboard, holding off persistent and determined challenges from Louis Balcaen's Balthasar and August Schram on Stella Maris.
"We are very, very happy," said Brennecke. "It’s the result of lots of different elements coming together. First, there’s the crew – we are sailing together the whole time, we don't make a lot of changes, and we are very consistent with the same crew for the third season, plus we get along very, very well. They are obviously good sailors but also, we have lots of fun.
"And we try to optimise everything, a little bit here, a little bit there, we do our training and do our best to try to sail very consistently."
Meanwhile a string of five back-to-back race victories in the ultra-modern ClubSwan 36 class helped Richard Thompson's Black Seal secure a well-deserved though tight win ahead of Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio's G-Spot – who had won the ClubSwan Racing season's opening event in Tuscany in April – and Edoardo and Vanni Pavesio's Fra Martina.
A delighted Thompson said: "It's great – as much relief as delight because you know we had already had a decent lead going into this morning and really the only people who could beat us were ourselves, but we managed to avoid that, so that's fantastic and everyone did a great job.
"It was a fantastic day's sailing; in fact the best day's sailing I've ever had in a ClubSwan 36 in terms of wind and sea conditions and we recorded a top speed of 21.5 knots today which is pretty fast. I 've got to say it's not as scary as it looks. You're slightly scared but you're very exhilarated and actually the boat handles so well in a breeze."
And he added: "We just really focused down on the simple things and tried to make sure we do all of them really well and not complicate our lives, and somehow that worked pretty well."
Alinghi Red Bull Racing wins hotly contested TF35 Mies Grand Prix
Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi Red Bull Racing triumphed at the end of a thrilling final day of the TF35 Mies Grand Prix, which came down to a match racing battle with closest rivals Realteam for Léman hope over the last three races of the series.
Bertarelli's Swiss America's Cup challenger team went into the day ahead, tied on points with Realteam for Léman hope, but with the confidence of having won the Genève-Rolle-Genève long-distance race yesterday.
In today's opening race, it was Jérôme Clerc and his crew on Realteam for Léman hope who led the fleet until the final cross to the finish line. When the dark blue hulls of Alinghi Red Bull Racing skimmed ahead to claim the win, putting Realteam in second and Guy de Picciotto's ZEN Too in third.
"The racing was very close all weekend. Congratulations to Realteam, Yilliam and Spindrift, who sailed well," said a beaming Bertarelli on the dockside at the end of three days of intense competition. "Realteam and Spindrift especially have given us a lot to work on and a hard time on the race course. We are happy to finish just in front of them."
Thousands honour Vendée Globe skippers in Les Sables
Tens of thousands of partying, passionate Vendée Globe race fans and well-wishers lined Les Sables d’Olonne’s Grand Plage, the main sea front promenade, last night (Friday) to honour the heroic 2020-2021 skippers. Emotions and celebrations suppressed by the pandemic for over a year came bursting to the fore and the joyous celebrations carried on late into a beautiful early summer night.
Carried along the seafront on two floats, 28 of the 33 skippers, were greeted by a raucous public as the parade passed nearly two kilometres along the Georges-Clémenceau promenade. It was the perfect way to honour the skippers on the eve of the official opening of the race village of the Vendée Arctic race, the first qualifying race for the Vendée Globe 2024.
The colourful parade of street artists, acrobats and musicians shared the theme of the four elements, earth, water, air and fire.
Clutching the Vendée Globe trophy throughout last night’s parade, the race winner Yannick Bestaven was probably the skipper most of the crowd wanted to see. Smiling broadly he acknowledged, “It's great to see so many people turn out and it is nice to share that with the public. It is thanks to these people that the Vendée Globe received so much media coverage and so we owed them this party that we had not been able to do because of confinement. It's a real joy. And of course, there are plenty of memories that came back, but I'm mostly focused on the future. The fireworks after the parade reminded me of my finish, certainly. It was wonderful. To relive that with all our friends of the Vendée Globe, it was great.”
SGP Insider – Crossover: An exclusive interview with kitesurfing phenomenon Daniela Moroz
Sailing an F50 catamaran for the first time is a daunting prospect for even the most experienced of sailors. Terrifyingly high top end speeds, internal organ crushing g-forces during manoeuvres – to say nothing of the ever-present threat of a major wipe out – make simply existing onboard a major challenge.
However, for American kitesurfing phenomenon Daniela Moroz – a member of the United States SailGP Team – dealing with the speed and intensity of the action on the US boat was less of a problem than for most rookie F50 sailors.
Born and raised in San Francisco, California Moroz – now 21 – won her first Formula Kite world championship in 2016 at the age of 15 and has since claimed four more world titles in the high performance foiling class.
It’s no real surprise then that she was not phased by the turbo acceleration and blistering pace of the F50.
“I’m comfortable hanging out at the back of the boat at such a high speed – I obviously trust our skipper very well – it has been an incredible experience and the speed has just been a cherry on top for me,” she says.
When, prior to the SailGP Season 2 grand finale event in San Francisco earlier this year, Moroz found she had a little free time on her hands during the training days and could not resist lining up against the fleet on her foiling kiteboard.
It turned out she could give the multi-million dollar cats and rockstar crews a pretty good run for their money.
Tip & Shaft – French Ocean Racing: Competition between banks Is hotting up
From the Arkea Ultim Challenge to the recent Banque Populaire Grand Ouest Trophy and so including the Transat CIC and the CIC Normandy Channel Race and of course including the Figaro, Class40, Imoca and Ultims in the colors of Credit Mutuel, Arkea and their competitors, the sponsorship battle is hotting up between major players in the French banking sector who see a great value in partnerships in offshore and ocean racing sailing. Tip & Shaft investigates.
Sailing has always attracted partners from the banking sector starting out with pioneering brands like Credit Agricole - sponsor of Philippe Jeantot from 1983 to 1991- but head and shoulders above the rest is Banque Populaire which started out in sailing in 1989 with Francis Joyon. "In 2000 we became a partner of the FF Voile. We then decided to become 'the sailing bank' as there is a tennis bank (BNP Paribas) and a rugby bank (Societe Generale)", recalls Thierry Bouvard, sponsorship ans patronage director at BPCE group. They are now sponsors of Armel Le Cleac'h in the Ultim and Clarisse Cremer in the Imoca. But Banque Populaire are also present in the territories via their regional subsidiaries, particularly in the West of France where Banque Populaire Grand Ouest (BPGO) supports both sailors and events.
Flying Nikki official launch in Punta Ala
A rapid sequence of emotions. This is the best definition of the official launch of FlyingNikka that took place today in Punta Ala.
"I'm extremely happy to officially present the FlyingNikka project in Punta Ala, this is a location I am particularly attached to, especially during such an incredible event as the 151 Miglia", claims Roberto Lacorte, the Ship Owner and helmsman of this new, astonishing racer full foil. Roberto is also the man behind this really challenging project. "
Today marks a milestone for our team, and for the Italian sailing movement as well: I'm really proud and satisfied to say that we are the first team in the world that was able to imagine, design and build this kind of boat. And the best is yet to come. In fact, it is coming, and we are more than ready to make FlyingNikka fly".
Almost 19 meters, with two T-shaped foil arms, FlyingNikka is the evolution of the AC75 used in the last America's Cup and is designed for long offshore sailing regattas.
This is the first racer in the Mini Maxi Category that can sails in a full foil mode, the first example of a new generation of racing boats that aims at winning all the greatest, international classic regattas in real time, as well as "crashing" all distance records of the most important routes.