Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 17
Monday December 13
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award – French photographer Loïc Venance wins main prize
Paris, December 9, 2021 - Some of the world's greatest yacht racing photographers gathered in Paris this evening for the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award prize giving.
Among them, French photographer Loïc Venance, winner of the main award thanks to his picture of french sailor Jeremie Beyou in the Vendée Globe, and Patrick Condy (UK), winner of the Public Award.
No less than 126 photographers spanning 24 nationalities participated in the 13th edition of the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award.
Their photos illustrate the sailing season’s highlights, including the Vendée Globe, the Olympic Games and the America's Cup, as well as SailGP and other more popular events such as the Fastnet race, Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Mini Transat and sailing regattas all over the world.
Born in Paris in 1975, Loïc Venance studied photography at the Ecole de l'Image (Gobelins). He joined Agence France Presse (AFP) in 2001 and covered numerous subjects in France and abroad, including Lybia, Bolivia or Thailand. Venance started to work in sailing in 2016, covering offshore races such as the Vendée Globe, Route du Rhum or Transat Jacques Vabre.
"I am very happy to have won this prize, which is clearly an international reference in sailing photography, and to have my photo chosen among so many high quality images," said Venance.
Ineos Britannia – Moving Parts | Martin Fischer, Chief Designer
Moving Parts is an INEOS Britannia series looking at the invaluable work of different members from across the team.
When INEOS Britannia revealed the core to lead the British challenge for the 37th America’s Cup one of the most notable new additions to the team was the highly renowned naval designer, Martin Fischer.
Fischer, as was announced at the time, has moved over from the Italian Challenger Luna Rossa where he has spent the last two America’s Cup campaigns, to lead the design concept for INEOS Britannia’s 37th America’s Cup campaign as Chief Designer.
It’s been a long journey for Fischer to get to this point, whose marine background includes spending 14 years working on the design of hulls and appendages for numerous projects, including beach catamarans (F18, A-Cat, C-Cat), ocean racing multihulls (Groupama-2/3, Sodebo, Banque Populaire). He has also been involved in a Volvo Ocean Race campaign (Groupama-4). Fischer may be a keen sailor himself, but a career in the marine industry was not always what he had planned.
“I grew up in Germany and lived there for the first nearly 40 years of my life”, Fischer reflects, “my background is as a physicist. I studied physics with a focus on fluid dynamics and then after that I did a PHD in geophysics, which led to a career in climate research. I worked in that area for around ten years, but boat design always interested me and at some point, I made the decision to do that full time”.
Fischer’s interest in boat design no doubt comes from his own personal background. A keen sailor in his own right ever since he was a young boy, he’s always retained an interest in just what it exactly is that makes a boat go fast.
“I got into sailing in the classic way”, he explained, “my parents were sailors and when I was about eight years old, I started in an Optimist. I liked it a lot and continued throughout my youth. Then, when I was about 18, I started sailing in the A-class. The A-class is an open class, and that’s what sparked my initial interest in boat design.
“I was particularly fascinated by quick boats, especially catamarans. The speed really interested me. I thought it was amazing how fast one could go just with the power of wind, and I would always try to push that to the limit as much as possible. Where that fascination comes from, however, I don’t know!”.
After over a decade in the marine industry designing boats across numerous classes, Fischer eventually found his way to the America’s Cup, being a core part of Luna Rossa’s design team for two campaigns. It was in Auckland, New Zealand, after Luna Rossa’s 36th America’s Cup campaign ended, that Fischer first had the idea to look to move over to a new challenge with INEOS Britannia.
Yacht Racing Life – First eight cities unveiled for expanded SailGP Season 3
SailGP returns in its third season with additional new teams, more iconic cities and thrilling racing as it reaffirms its status as the most exciting and purpose-driven racing on-water. The future has never looked brighter for SailGP as it expands both its competitive roster and enviable list of global event locations, whilst returning to some fan-favourite destinations that attracted thousands of fans in Season 2.
Once again bringing the sport’s best roster of athletes together, the global championship welcomes two new franchise teams for its third season, with Canada and Switzerland set to expand SailGP’s reach to new audiences. They join teams from Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States.
SailGP Season 3 has been expanded to include ten grand prix events, with seven regattas taking place in 2022 and the remainder in the first quarter of 2023, with the season expected to finish in April 2023. The championship kicks-off for the second straight year in Bermuda with the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess.
From there, the ten-nation fleet will head to a new SailGP destination in North America and include a home race for Jimmy Spithill’s U.S. team at Chicago’s Navy Pier on Lake Michigan in June. Both Bermuda and Chicago are two year deals that will see the league return in Season 4.
The fleet will arrive in Europe for the summer with four European events planned. Following successful events in Season 2, SailGP will return to Plymouth – Britain’s Ocean City – in late July, the iconic French destination of Saint-Tropez in September and then later the same month Cádiz, in Andalucía, Spain.
In addition, the fleet of hydrofoiling F50s will revisit Denmark, but this time, the capital city of Copenhagen will host the ROCKWOOL Denmark Sail Grand Prix. Racing for 2022 will conclude with another new addition to the calendar as SailGP hosts its first Middle Eastern event in Dubai, UAE presented by P&O Marinas on November 11-12.
Season 3 will continue into 2023 and include an event in New Zealand as part of a major four-season partnership with New Zealand Major Events.
SailGP – Fans brought closer to the action than ever with SailGP Insights
SailGP is proud to officially launch SailGP Insights, a new online dashboard which provides fans with vast amounts of data from the identical hydrofoiling F50 catamarans that feature in the purpose-led, global racing league.
SailGP Insights perfectly complements SailGP’s broadcast partners’ coverage, enabling fans to access in-depth information about the world’s most exciting racing on-water, while watching the live event feed.
Every second of every race of each SailGP event will be tracked by SailGP Insights, and fans can follow all eight teams on the dashboard to discover and understand key in-race statistics and incidents, with all the data pulled from the boats in real-time.
SailGP Insights is powered by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), delivering real-time data to fans worldwide – as well as the eight teams themselves and SailGP’s broadcast partners.
SailGP Insights will be available for the very first time at the Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG, to be held in Sydney on December 17 and 18.
Sail-World – America's Cup: Dalts' outrage versus Dunphy's doggedness - former Team NZ Exec Director chimes in
Alan Sefton is a leading yachting journalist, author, yachting team organiser, longtime Peter Blake confidant, and one of the key managers involved in five America's Cups beginning with the KZ-7 challenge in Fremantle. He worked with Michael Fay in the 1987, 1988, and 1992 Challenges, and then with the Peter Blake led 1995 and 2000 America's Cup Challenges and Defence - an era which included two wins.
When I first read the ETNZ media release that accompanied Grant Dalton’s address at the annual meeting of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the thought that sprang to mind (and to misquote William Shakespeare) was: “Methinks thou dost protest too much.”
And then I got to the part where the release writer crassly used the name of Sir Peter Blake to help vindicate ETNZ’s use of surplus funds from the commercial exploitation of the Cup event to help fund the defender’s on-the-water campaign.
While it is correct that Team New Zealand 2000 used surplus monies from the event to help fund the on-the-water defence, that was not a decision of the late Sir Peter Blake alone. That was not the way he operated.
As with most if not all other courses of action, this decision on funding was taken by the management team of Sir Pete, Scott Chapman and Alan Sefton, and approved by TNZ’s five-man board of directors.
With due modesty, I know a little about such things having been involved at the front end of five of New Zealand’s Cup campaigns, advising the now Sir Michael Fay on his inaugural challenge in 1987 through to, with the late Sir Peter Blake, forming Team New Zealand to win the Cup in 1995 and then successfully defend it in 2000.
And, it is important to keep things in perspective
In 2000, we were dealing with several millions of dollars only when Team New Zealand’s total budget, for defence and event, was just under $60 million. The only central government money involved was a $200,000 commercial deal for Tourism New Zealand to use the Cup marks and wording in international promotion of the country.
Times most certainly have changed.
I have, like most, been watching on with increasing frustration while Messrs Dalton and Dunphy have conducted an unseemly media spat over whether Dalts has to look overseas to generate, through event fees, the funding needed to keep Emirates Team New Zealand alive and to stage the next edition of the Cup.
Sailing World – The race to break the speed record
The outright speed record remains pegged at 65, but several efforts are underway to take it much higher – writes Kimball Livingston.
If Alex Caizergues succeeds at breaking the speed sailing world record in 2022, it will be his third time around using a kite, but otherwise completely different from his first two records.
Those marks—50.57 knots in 2008 and 54.10 in 2010—were set when foiling boards were continually upping the 500-meter mark, sometimes more than once a year. Caizergues’ 2010 run added 3 knots to what the famed trimaran L’Hydroptere had shown us only a year before.
But all those efforts ran into cavitation trouble at about 52 knots, that point when flow over the foils boils into vapor—the point at which control vanishes. For his early records, Caizergues used a hydrofoil to lift him above the water. Now, with his Syroco team based in Marseille, France, he intends to use a hydrofoil to hold him down.
We’ll come back to that.
Nine years after Paul Larsen’s record run at 65.45 knots in Sailrocket, the French Syroco team has rivals in Switzerland following what they believe is a more conservative path. The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is a public research facility where the speed quest caught fire with student engineers and professors, including some who helped develop L’Hydroptere back in the day.
SP80 is the team name, taken from the goal of achieving 80 knots, a goal shared with Syroco. They have a kissing-cousin relationship, competition aside.
Afloat – Yannick Bestaven wins French Sailor of the Year award
48-year-old Yannick Bestaven, the winner of this year's ninth edition of the Vendée Globe has won the French Sailor of the Year Award in Paris.
Before his title of Sailor of the Year presentation, Bestaven was awarded the Legion of Honour by the President of the Republic of France for his victory in the non-stop solo round-the-world race,
Yannick is respected in France for his 'availability', his commitment and his ability to share his passion beyond sports performance.
Yannick was born in Saint Nazaire, then spent his childhood in Arcachon. He was introduced to sailing from an early age.
Yacht Racing Life – The IMOCA 60 skippers itching to return to the class
There is nothing like an IMOCA sailor who is stuck on land. Just ask Pip Hare, the British Vendée Globe finisher who did not take part in the Transat Jacques Vabre as she and her team continue preparing their new boat for next season – writes Ed Gorman.
Hare, who finished 19th in the Vendée Globe on debut on Medallia, now has the old Bureau Vallée 2 (formerly Banque Populaire VIII) on her hands and she can’t wait to get back on the racecourse next year.
We asked her what it was like watching the Transat Jacques Vabre from the sidelines and she summed it up in one word, without hesitation: “Horrible,” said the sailor from Poole on the English south coast.
“It’s been interesting for me to be on the other side of it,” she added, “kind of just the whole thing of waking up every morning and the first thing you do is reach for the Tracker and see what’s going on.”
Did she feel detached from what was going on out there on the Atlantic? “I guess so, yeah,” she replied. “For me, especially, you kind of imagine where you would be, where you would be sitting within the story of that race. But it is very much a feeling of being on the outside looking in.”
Her fellow Vendée Globe competitor, the French sailor Clarisse Crémer, who won the hearts of her fellow countrymen and women when becoming the fastest women to sail solo around the planet, is another IMOCA athlete currently “between boats.”
Crémer will be taking possession of the current APIVIA after next year’s Route du Rhum. In the meantime, she will be on the crew delivering the boat back to Lorient from Martinique, where she has been working on behalf of Banque Populaire.
The 31-year-old sailor, originally from Paris, has been looking on the positive side of not being able to take part in the Transat Jacques Vabre – the chance to rest.