Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 19
Monday February 7
Sur in English – Malaga America’s Cup venue bid hinges on completion of new Qatar-funded marina development
Malaga's candidacy to host the America’s Cup, the most important sailing tournament in the world, could hinge on whether or not the redevelopment of the San Andrés marina backed by Qatar’s Al Alfia fund is completed by 2024 – writes Ignacio Lillo.
"The port of San Andrés could be inaugurated as a base for the America’s Cup, it would be something extraordinary," said Ramón Calderón, the Al Alfia’s fund’s representative in Spain. "If it is confirmed, we have to start work very quickly at the port to have it ready for the start of the regattas.
“If we start in the summer, it could be ready by December 2023. I assume there will be no problems with permits because this would be a great success for the city," he added.
Emirates Team New Zealand – Hydrogen foiling America’s Cup chase boat in fitout preparing for launch
The construction of the boat was started in August 2021 at the team’s North Shore build facility, the appendage construction is in its final stages and the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powertrain installation is underway at the team’s base in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.
The ETNZ Hydrogen project powered by Toyota has been an important one for Emirates Team New Zealand who, as Defender of the America’s Cup, have committed to driving hydrogen innovation in the marine industry through working with clean technologies.
“The Hydrogen project has been a completely new challenge across the board for Emirates Team New Zealand designers, builders and engineers,” said Head of Design Dan Bernasconi.
“These types of projects are extremely beneficial to keep the guys pushing the boundaries, continually learning and approaching problems with different perspectives, which all help to keep raising the bar in our design approach to the 37th America’s Cup which is also progressing in parallel.”
The prototype foiling boat is 10 metres in length, and approximately 5200kg displacement, the cruising speed will be 30-35 knots with a top speed of around 50 knots and will carry 6 crew members with a range of between 150-180km generating approximately 440kW peak power via a 400V DC system powered by the Hydrogen Fuel Cell.
America’s Cup – AC40s in production
Just over 11 months since Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC75 ‘Te Rehutai’ crossed the finish line to claim the 36th America’s Cup, its younger sister class- the AC40 is already in production.
While much of the world was having a well-earned break during the transition from 2021 into 2022 the 7 axis CNC machine at McConaghy Boats production facility was working 24/7 carving out the tooling for the hull of the new class. The AC40 hull shape is based on that of Te Rehutai- but is already a generational step forward incorporating a number of developments learned after the completion of AC36 last year.
In usual America’s Cup fashion, the AC40 design and production timeline has been highly condensed yet achievable due to a global collaboration led by Emirates Team New Zealand design team with Dan Bernasconi and Richard Meacham central to the management of the production process with Mark Evans Group Managing Director of McConaghy Boats.
“While the genesis of the AC40 project comes from the familiar design and innovation of the people within the Emirates Team New Zealand design department we have really had to push the limits by utilising a combination of the best of the New Zealand Marine industry as well as key offshore partnerships.
“Specialised elements like the rigs are being built by Southern Spars and the boat building talent we have at the ETNZ build facility are producing the foil arms. We also have a great partnership utilising the production power of an organisation like McConaghy Boats in China for the hulls, decks and fit out as well as North Sails Marine group with the aero package.” said Meacham.
Ineos Britannia – A bold Protocol with Giles Scott
The 37th America’s Cup Protocol was revealed this past October with an emphasis of an evolution of the previous Protocol, rather than revolution.
The new Protocol, which sets the foundations and rules of participation for all teams in the 37th America’s Cup, was published alongside the latest version of the Class Rule, the document which specifies the requirements for each team’s race boat.
These two documents together total over 150 pages between them, and they are by no means simple or easy to understand.
This brand-new series, ‘A Bold Protocol’, will break down and explain the key elements of this innovative and forward-looking AC37 Protocol.
To begin, we will be delving into the areas of the Protocol that will make the biggest impact to the sailing team. To explain more, we caught up with our senior sailor and double Olympic Gold winning medallist Giles Scott, who was Tactician onboard the team’s AC75 in the 36th America’s Cup.
Second Generation AC75
With new tweaks and revisions designed to improve the AC75s performance, there is plenty in the new Protocol for Scott and the wider sailing team to get their teeth stuck into. Perhaps the most important thing for them, however, is not a change at all but the fact that for the second straight America’s Cup, the team will be racing in the AC75 class.
“Every America's Cup that I've done so far”, Scott explained, “it's been a first-generation boat. To be able to step into this 37th America’s Cup with the foundation already in place in terms of what has been done in a AC75 before is pretty cool. It’s great to know that we'll be able to launch a boat and we should, in theory, be able to send it from day one.
“When the class got released five or so years ago now, there were a lot of people that questioned whether or not it was even going to be possible for a boat like that to work. It’s ended up being an amazing boat to watch and it’s certainly the best way I’ve ever sailed so I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this class.”
Whilst the AC75 will continue for a second generation, that is not to say that there are no notable changes to the class itself. Together with the Defender Team New Zealand, the INEOS Britannia team in their role as Challenger of Record has been working hard to tweak the AC75 to improve its performance, particularly in the light airs.
Sailing World – How to win your next race
For a couple of years, I’d been watching the results for Club 420 racing, and two names always kept appearing at the top: Cordelia Burn and crew Sarah Moeder, from Bay Head YC in New Jersey – writes Steve Hunt.
I really wanted to know how they managed to win almost every Club 420 event they entered, some by wide margins. Since they were an East Coast team and I coach on the West Coast, I’d never seen them race. But this past July, at the 2021 Club 420 Nationals in New Jersey, I got my chance.
There, I observed and got a few great videos of Burn and Moeder implementing their winning strategy, and as luck would have it, I got to coach our group of West Coast sailors along with coach Sarah Burn, Cordelia’s older sister, who also dominated the C420 class until she moved on to college. Sarah told me her younger sister was pretty conservative on the starting line, seldom started at an end, avoided major errors and was very fast. In watching them, that’s exactly what I saw.
We were coaching a big group of mostly West Coast sailors, which included the eventual winners of the event, Piper Holthus and Sophia Pearce, both on a team I started coaching during the pandemic called NB4T, or Newport Beach 420 Team, based out of Bahia Corinthian YC.
Holthus and Pearce followed a similar starting strategy to Burn and Moeder: They were also really quick around the track and sailed super-smart upwind legs. After the first day, they were in the top of the fleet.
In our evening debrief, Holthus, the skipper, provided a succinct explanation of their upwind sailing strategy that was nothing short of brilliant in its simplicity. Their decision-making mostly involved the compass headings and the crew calling percentages to layline.
Two teams, two great approaches. Here’s how Burn and Moeder managed the starts and Holthus and Pearce called the first upwind legs.
11th Hour Racing Team – 2022 season schedule revealed
Two transatlantic crossings, extended time in the USA, and plenty of training in preparation for The Ocean Race 2022-23 – the upcoming 12 months will be busy at 11th Hour Racing Team.
After a packed double-handed race schedule with two boats in 2021, it’s time to switch gears and focus on our main goal: The Ocean Race 2022-23. With the recently announced race schedule and the start date of January 15 confirmed, we have a little under 12 months to go until Mālama is set to cross the start line in Alicante, Spain.
Plenty training is on the menu for 2022, mostly run out of our French base in Port-la-Forêt, Brittany, France.
“2022 is our year for testing reliability and pushing performance,” commented Mark Towill, 11th Hour Racing Team CEO. “We have the newest boat in the IMOCA fleet, and the first that is specifically designed for crewed racing. The Ocean Race will be an unforgiving 31,700 nautical mile [36,500 miles or 58,700 kilometers] marathon around the planet. We need to ensure that no stone is unturned in our quest for success.”
World Match Racing Tour – Pandemic restrictions delay 2021 WMRT final
London, UK (31 January, 2022) Organisers of the World Match Racing Tour today announced the postponed 2021 WMRT Final scheduled for 15-20 March in Shenzhen, China will not be able to go ahead to ongoing border closures and Covid-19 restrictions in China.
Despite the event organisers being fully prepared and ready to welcome competitors and officials to Shenzhen in March, it has not been possible to secure the necessary travel visas to China in time for the event, combined with the current minimum 21-day quarantine period for all event participants on arrival in Shenzhen.
“It is obviously disappointing we are not be able to travel to China for the first Shenzhen Bao’an Match Cup in March,” commented WMRT Executive Director James Pleasance. “Sadly, the current rules on securing travel visas to China, as well as the minimum isolation period on arrival have made it impossible for us to go ahead with the event.”
The Tour organisers are continuing discussions with their event partner in Shenzhen and local authorities over the coming weeks to explore the options of hosting an additional event to the season later in the year when competitors and officials will be allowed entry to China.
In the meantime, the 2022 WMRT season will start as scheduled in April with the Ficker Cup (13-16 April) and Congressional Cup (18-23 April).
Shirley Robertson Podcast – Jonno Macbeth
Shirley Robertson this month talks to a man that has sailed in a remarkable six America's Cup campaigns, as she sits down to chat with New Zealand grinder Jono Macbeth. As the pair discuss, Macbeth's career in sailing was in no way scheduled, starting after a chance encounter with the legendary Sir Peter Blake. Team New Zealand had just won the 1995 America's Cup in San Diego when Blake invited a young Macbeth to join an exciting new venture in Auckland. The pair first met after a random encounter at an Auckland kayak shop....:
"I was down in a squat position and I was about to try and pick up this fridge all by myself and I hear this big booming voice behind me..."Do you need a hand?" And without turning around I said "Yeah, that'd be good mate", and glanced over my shoulder and low and behold there was (Sir Peter) Blake, standing over me, arms folded."
What followed is one of the most exhaustive Cup careers in the sport. Blake invited Macbeth to join the team, and since that first Team New Zealand defence of the Cup in 2000, Macbeth has been a regular feature competing for the illusive trophy, and has lived through some of the modern era's most fascinating campaigns.
Macbeth stayed on at Team New Zealand as Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth left the team to sail with ultimate 2003 Cup winners Alinghi, and then again sailed in the Cup match after New Zealand won through the exhausting 2007 Louis Vuiton Challenger Series in Valencia.
As the future of the Cup went through the courts, and a Deed of Gift match looked likely, Macbeth joined Russell Coutts at BMW Oracle, and began sailing the monster 90ft trimaran that would ultimately win the two team Deed of Gift battle in Valencia. It was a fascinating period, as designers, sailing teams and shore crew all came to grips with the introduction of the wing sail.
Jono's story spans almost two decades of Cup campaigning - Part 1 wraps up after that Deed of Gift victory, before Part 2 gets underway in San Francisco 2013.
RC44Cup – Fleet back to full strength for 2022 season
For its 15th season, the 44Cup will see ten teams on the start line for the first event of 2022 in Lanzarote, hosted by Calero Marinas in Puerto Calero over the 9 - 13 February.
Alongside the long-term regulars within the fleet, the new additions have come about thanks to the 44Cup's own boat, which was made available last year for teams interested in joining the circuit.
Moscow-based lawyer Valeriya Kovelenko first tried the RC44 at the World Championship event in Scarlino 2021 and has committed her team ArtTube to the fleet by purchasing a boat for the 2022 season. Kovelenko is the circuit's first female owner-driver and is supported by her experienced crew led by tactician Igor Lisovenko.
Taking the guest helm of the 44Cup's class boat for event one in Puerto Calero will be Melges 32 World champion Christian Schwoerer and his team La Pericolosa. "After two worlds titles in the Melges 32 class we are looking for a new challenge", Schwoerer explains. "When the opportunity came up to join the 44Cup for one event, we did not have to think about it. We are extremely excited to jump on one of the coolest boats in the race sailing world and look forward to continuing to grow as a team".
From Lanzarote, it's on to a favourite venue for the fleet – Cascais, Portugal from 11 - 15 May. At the end of July will be the 44Cup Marstrand, where the locals and sailing fans on this famous Swedish summer holiday hotspot will be rooting for Artemis Racing and her Swedish owner-driver Torbjörn Törnqvist.
Among the enthusiastic group of owners, who remain staunchly committed to the one-design yacht there are a few changes in tactician for the 2022 season that will see fresh challenges for the fleet on well-known race courses.
On Peninsula Racing, British double Olympic gold medallist Giles Scott joins owner John Bassadone. Standing in for Hamish Pepper on Nico Poons' Charisma will be fiery Italian Vasco Vascotto, while on Vladimir Prosikhin's Team Nika Francesco Bruni will call tactics.
In mid-October, it is on to the Slovenian seaside town of Portoroz for the 2022 44Cup World Championship. The team to beat this season is Chris Bake's Team Aqua, having won the 2021 44Cup championship for the season, the 44Cup Marstrand, and successfully defended their RC44 World Champions title in Scarlino last October. However, it won't be easy with closest rivals Igor Lah's Team Ceeref powered by Hrastnik 1860 and Hugues Lepic's Aleph Racing chasing hard.
The fifth and final event of the 2022 44Cup will see the fleet leave Europe for the first time since 2016 and head to the Middle East for a regatta in December. The full announcement of the final event will be made at the end of February.