Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 6

Monday September 20

Cup Insider – It ain’t over ‘til it’s over

Thursday September 16: The three cities hoping to host the 37th America's Cup have all been frontrunners in recent weeks. But with hours to go to the deadline does Emirates Team New Zealand have a viable bid on the table?

It’s the nature of yacht racing that nothing is ever certain. Victory is never assured. No matter how big your lead around the last windward mark, the race is not won until you make it down the final run and across the finish line ahead of the fleet.

The three shortlisted venue bid teams for the 37th America’s Cup know must surely know what I’m talking about. Ireland, Saudi Arabia, and Spain have all at some point led the race to host the next edition of yachting’s premiere event, expected to take place in 2024.

But on the eve of the announcement deadline set by the Defender Emirates team New Zealand none of the three have yet managed to poke their bow across the finish line.

Spain’s Valencia-based bid looked strong for a good while.

The Mediterranean city successfully hosted the 32nd and 33rd America’s Cups and seemed to tick the boxes on TV-friendly time zones and the potential for huge spectator numbers. But in the end they just couldn’t get access to the government money, and that forced a reluctant and disappointing retiral from the race late last week.


America’s Cup – Host venue update: Timeline for decision is extended

Following a very close 37th America’s Cup (AC37) Host Venue selection process consisting of three compelling and professional international proposals, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) together with Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), announced today that they are extending the selection period for the shortlisted offshore venues to continue to work through final details and provide further information required for their respective bids.

RNZYS Commodore Aaron Young said: “For the benefit of both the 37th America’s Cup and the eventual host venue, we would rather allow some more time now so we make the right decision as opposed to a rushed decision.”

ETNZ and RNZYS believe it is both prudent and responsible to extend the deadline in which the offshore venues can continue to progress negotiations after Covid lockdown in New Zealand has made it impossible for ETNZ team members to visit the venues. It was originally planned to carry out essential face to face meetings and to provide final team feedback to act on Origin Sports Group’s recommendations.


NewstalkZB – Grant Dalton: Auckland will 'always be in the mix'

The prospect of the next America's Cup being defended on our shores remains a possibility.

It comes as the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Team New Zealand have extended the selection period for the three shortlisted offshore venues.

They are Spain, Ireland and Saudi Arabia.

Team New Zealand Chief Executive Grant Dalton told Mike Hosking the extension will also give them time to see if it's possible to hold the next event here.

"I mean Auckland will always be in the mix, to even really be asked whether it is sort of an unusual question."


Kiwi Home Defence – Celebration of the 37th America’s Cup in Tāmaki Makaurau

Open Letter to Aotearoa New Zealand - 17 September 2021

We are very pleased to hear today’s news that the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Team New Zealand team are taking more time to resolve the location of the America’s Cup

Match in 2024 and that they are now seriously considering celebration of the 37th America’s Cup at home in Tāmaki Makaurau.

We feel very strongly that the defence of the America’s Cup should be held at home. There has always been the support and funding here for this. We are passionate supporters of our great sailing team.

We have written to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Team New Zealand offering to assist with funding for the ‘at home’ defence of the America’s Cup. We have offered to meet with the Squadron and Team NZ at any time.

We look forward to working with the Government, the Auckland Council, the Squadron and Team NZ to ensure the home defence. We have offered to join the Government in providing short-term funding support for the team whilst the longer-term funding and supporting arrangements are finalized with private supporters, the Government, the Auckland Council, the Squadron and the team.


Sailing World – From Doubehanded to Singlehanded

Francesca Clapcich and Jesse Fielding started out with a goal of an Olympic doublehanded effort, but now they must work together, in insolation – writes Dave Reed.

Mixed-doublehanded distance racing was supposed to be the next great Olympic discipline. Sailing’s equivalent of the marathon, the International Olympic Committee recently nixed it. This, of course, was bad news for fledgling teams with dreams of Paris 2024. One such squad was that of American sailor Jesse Fielding and Francesca Clapcich, the 33-year-old two-time Olympian and Volvo Ocean Race veteran from Trieste, Italy. In the summer of 2020, Clapcich and Fielding had kick-started a campaign with the backing of a private donor and State Street Bank. Their two-boat Beneteau Figaro 3 training was going full-speed when the Olympic rug got yanked, as did most of their funding. Now what?

Their backers were still keen to support a mixed-­gender offshore team, so off to France they went with one last handful of dough to the University of Shorthanded Sailing and a Vendée Globe Ph.D. Over the spring and summer of 2021, with a mixture of doublehanded and singled races on State Street-branded Figaro Beneteau 3s (Fearless for Clapcich, Opportunity for Fielding), they cut their teeth as both teammates and quasi rivals, earning the attention of the elites and future elites of shorthanded sailing.


The Ocean Race – Boat building industry comes together to drive action for the planet

A new survey by The Ocean Race has found an overwhelming number of people working in the sailing and boat building industry want the field to become more sustainable. 90% of respondents feel that not enough is being done to reduce the environmental impact in their area, with three main barriers to change identified: a lack of technical knowledge of alternative materials, lack of funding for research and development, and concern that sustainable developments could affect boat speed.

The results of the survey are being shared today, 14th September, at The Ocean Race’s Innovation Workshop on Sustainable Boat Building; an event developed in collaboration with 11th Hour Racing, Premier Partner of The Ocean Race and Founding Partner of its Racing with Purpose sustainability programme. The third in the series of workshops on this subject brings together 100 participants, including boat builders and designers, sailors, NGOs, universities, sponsors and federations, to tackle the main challenges that need to be met for the boat building industry to become more sustainable. Among the participants are some leading innovators in alternative materials, including Greenboats, CompPair Technologies Ltd., Bcomp and GS4C.

The aim of the event is to get industry-wide commitment to collaborate on a roadmap of activities that can be implemented immediately. Actions will be identified in this workshop and build on outcomes of previous workshops, along with industry studies.


The Royal Gazette – Tre Maxwell fulfils lifelong dream after memorable SailGP opportunity

Tre Maxwell fulfilled a lifelong dream after becoming the latest Bermudian to play a vital role in SailGP’s second season – writes Sam Murley.

As one of the successful candidates of SailGP’s Inspire Careers pathway programme, the 22-year-old – who completed the Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Programme – was handed the opportunity of hands-on work experience within the wing department over the course of the season’s latest event in Saint-Tropez, France.

That meant being entrusted with the responsibility of actively helping to construct the wings of each team’s foiling catamarans, an admittedly intimidating but truly rewarding and memorable experience for sailing fanatic Maxwell.

“I started sailing at 10 years old and pretty soon I knew I wanted to be involved in major events like the America’s Cup and more recently SailGP,” he said.


Tip & Shaft – How the boom in offshore racing is generating jobs … and talent scarcity issues

Ultimes, Imoca, Class40, Minis, the projects are multiplying, calendars are expanding. And so it seems that more and skippers and boats want to find a place on the different starting lines. The very specialist offshore racing recruitment market is under severe strain. Teams, yards, suppliers, all are looking for solutions. Here is an overview.

Actually the numbers are pretty crazy, regardless of the class. This year, two new Ultims were launched (Banque Populaire XI and SVR Lazartigue). In the Imoca class already eleven new post Vendée Globe 2020 boats have already been announced - for Charlie Enright (just launched), Jérémie Beyou, Kevin Escoffier, Yannick Bestaven, Armel Tripon, Boris Herrmann, Maxime Sorel, Jörg Riechers, Thomas Ruyant, a sistership of the former L'Occitane and a new Arkéa-Paprec ... and it is almost certainly not over.

As for Class40s, 12 new boats will have been launched this year, around another ten should follow in 2022, while there will be 46 boats at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, 55 (according to the notice of race) next year on the Route du Rhum.