Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 20
Monday February 14
Sail-World – America's Cup: American Magic prepares to pack-out of Auckland
The last remaining Challenger from the 36th America's Cup is packing up their base and preparing to leave Auckland – writes Richard Gladwell.
American Magic, representing the New York Yacht Club has pulled all their equipment out of one of their temporary bases, and it is now being dismantled. The roof was dismantled on Wednesday.
Sail-World attempted to contact the team for comment, but did not get a reply.
Sail-World previously reported that the team had been trying to obtain quarantine positions in Auckland, so they could start sailing from September 17, 2022 - the first permitted sailing date for an America's Cup team who competed in AC36.
Those requests were all bounced by the New Zealand Government. However the same body did get caught, admitting DJ's as entitled to special exemption. With one being able to enter New Zealand on three different occasions, when the MIQ Lottery attracts up to 20,000 New Zealanders hoping to draw one of 3,500 spots offered. the inequitable lottery system has since been suspended indefinitely.
By sailing out the New Zealand summer, American Magic would have then been able to make a decision as to whether to re-locate to their US Base at Bristol RI, or go to the venue for the next America's Cup.
The venue for AC37 is expected to be announced on March 31, 2022.
Yachting New Zealand – Aleh teams up with Meech for Olympic bid
Jo Aleh always insisted she hadn't retired as a high-performance sailor and will now make a tilt for a third Olympic medal, this time teaming up with Molly Meech in the 49erFX.
The 35-year-old, who won Olympic gold (2012) and silver (2016) with Polly Powrie in the women's 470, has spent most of the last five years coaching, but the draw of Olympic class sailing has remained.
Aleh is taking on a new challenge this time around, switching from the 470 in which she achieved so much success to the 49erFX, the women's skiff class used at the Olympics.
She will at least have an experienced hand beside her, having teamed up with 2016 Olympic silver medallist and former 49erFX world champion Molly Meech.
Meech and Alex Maloney announced late last year they were looking for new challenges after 10 years sailing together and Meech was also this week named as one of 10 recipients of a new Prime Minister's athlete scholarship internship pilot programme running in 2022.
"Luckily enough for me, Molly was floating around and is brave enough to come sailing with me," Aleh said. "To have someone who’s been there, done that, it's going to save us a lot of time, for sure.
America’s Cup – Ineos Britannia | Meet the Crew: Neil Hunter
Meet 26-year-old Neil Hunter, a force to be reckoned with as he enters his third America's Cup campaign.
To get the latest news from INEOS Britannia direct into your inbox, sign up to the team's exclusive newsletter now here.
Neil Hunter is no longer the new kid on the block. At age 26, Hunter is already entering his third America’s Cup Campaign, a rarity for sailors of his age. From being the last sailor to be recruited on to the team’s AC35 campaign (through the Youth America’s Cup), Neil is now an integral member of the AC37 team, proving his strength and skill as a sailor along the way.
Hunter himself hails from a sailing background, inspired by ambitious sailing parents. It is his own determination, however, alongside physical and mental strength that enabled his career to take off. In the first edition of INEOSBritannia’s ‘Meet The Crew’ series in the team’s AC37 campaign, Hunter joins us to look back on his childhoodand talk us through how he reached the upper echelons of sailing in the America’s Cup.
“Growing up on the Isle of Arran, I have been sailing my whole life,” said Hunter, as his father was a professional yacht skipper and his mother, Sally Hunter, helped make history as part of Maiden in the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race. Fast-forward to 2022, however, and Hunter is already writing his own history, not only being one of the youngest members of INEOS Britannia’s sailing squad, but already having the notable experience of two America’s Cup campaigns under his belt.
The Irish Times – Irish sailing’s Olympics campaign laid bare by new report
Irish Sailing has welcomed a report into its cycle from the Rio to Tokyo Olympic Games that outlines missed targets for athletes and also deals with the confusion in relation to an illegal harness that resulted in disqualification from two races in Japan.
The review, which is expected to be published this week, also concludes that the High Performance Programme (HPP) has been successful and has created the basis for a positive future for the sport.
Commissioned by the board of Irish Sailing and conducted by high-performance coach Gary Keegan, who Andy Farrell brought into the Irish rugby squad last autumn to work on mental skills, the review says Irish sailing did not hit set targets.
“It was felt that Tokyo was a disappointing Olympic Games which did not deliver on the high expectations post-Rio, as outlined,” it says.
In an absolute sense it is a failure, but by only looking at the failure is not understanding the process of how the sport works
“Fewer boats qualified than the expected targets and the performance of the boats which did qualify was disappointing. However, the performance of the 49er crew was a highlight, given that they were first-time Olympians and suffered a disqualification for two races.
“Their performance augurs well for the future. Sailing is one of the top three funded sports in Ireland and the expectation was to have four boats qualifying, two in medal contention and one Olympic medal, but that wasn’t achieved.”
Sailing World – Rebooting the US Olympic Sailing Team
Paul Cayard is now in charge, and he's got a bold plan to get the US team back on top for 2028 – writes Kimball Livingston.
When Team USA left Tokyo empty-handed, we were reminded that Olympic sailing is one corner of our sport that can generate as much controversy—OK, almost as much—as America’s Cup. But Team USA is changing.
Oh, you’ve heard that one before?
Let’s give it a think. Paul Cayard is the latest hopeful to step up as executive director of US Olympic Sailing and talk transformation. He’s taking on a firing-line job with guaranteed slings and arrows, and few guaranteed rewards, and it’s a job that won’t pay what he could be pulling in elsewhere. But once upon a time, Cayard was the kid who took a business degree to prepare himself as a professional sailor. And he studied languages because the work is international. And when he became a top dog on America’s Cup teams, he hauled sails with the boys because that says team. Cayard is Mr. Credibility.
His assessment: “When the Olympic game was bring-your-own, the US kicked butt. Then ISAF changed the rules to allow corporate sponsors, and other countries embraced the change. That was 1989, and it was a quantum shift. Before, the only full professionals were the Eastern Bloc sailors who were ‘in the military.’ The US didn’t match that shift. Until recently, we still played bring-your-own. To go to the ’04 Games in Athens, I spent $250,000, and I could afford that because I had a career under my belt. Our young people today don’t have that luxury as they try to compete against someone like Iain Percy who, as a gold medalist, gets paid that much every year to sail for the UK, with funding through their national lottery.”
More money. More coaching. Yadda, yadda and, of course, that’s all on the agenda. But ask Cayard about practical steps and you get answers. They’re about developing robust structures to support young sailors as they grow, promoting opportunities to sail in Olympic classes, partnering with the college sailing system, and building strong Olympic-classes competition inside the USA.
Let’s take them one at a time.
Tip & Shaft – Boris Herrmann: I want to get into the right frame of mind to win
Fifth in the 2020 Vendée Globe, Boris Herrmann very quickly started a new campaign with more means and a new boat designed by VPLP and built by Multiplast, which is due to be launched “at 10 a.m. on 19th July,” he promises.
Tip & Shaft talked to the German about this project, and as the One Ocean Summit comes to an end in Brest, about the environmental concerns that are dear to him.
The One Ocean Summit ends in Brest on Friday. Does such an event help move things forward or is it just a place to show off your good intentions?
That’s a good question! I took part myself, spending several hours at a forum concerning observing the ocean with the Imoca class. I think the weak point in these meetings is the commitment from civil society and ordinary people. Of course, President Macron and some other leaders are here, so there are articles about the summit, but it lacks the emotional side, a way to get the man in the street involved so that he will understand that this affects him. As far as that is concerned, the Vendée Globe is a good way to offer this subject a powerful means of communication.
How long have you been really concerned about the topic of preserving the oceans?
In 2010-2011, we did the Barcelona World Race with Ryan Breymaier on Bilou’s boat (Roland Jourdain’s ex Veolia), and due to the presence of ice, we had to sail further north than planned and add a great distance to our route. The result was it took us 100 days whereas we had only taken 85 days of food aboard. Ryan lost 25 kilos. That left its mark on us and led us to think about the problems of global warming, even if I had always been interested in this subject and in fact did studies in sustainable management.
In your ocean racing project, what exactly do you invest?
In 2008, I met Martin Kramp, a German who lives in France and who developed a sensor for racing boats with Yvan Griboval. We stayed in contact and the day I get my own project up and running, I contacted him to offer to take his laboratory aboard to measure the levels of CO2, the salinity and the temperature of the ocean. We found donors to install it in 2018, and it worked well. That gives our team a lot and everyone is interested. We also set up a CO2 emission compensation programme thanks to an NGO in the Philippines, who plants mangroves, the advantage being they grow more quickly than trees, absorb more CO2 and create an ecosystem. We launched the Malizia Mangrove Park and planted more than 500,000 mangroves over 18 months with the aim of reaching a million. Now, making up for the emissions is not enough and what is important, is the transition and innovations to limit the carbon footprint.