Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 7

Monday September 27

Yachting Monthly – Medallia: Pip Hare’s 2024 Vendee Globe IMOCA 60

British Vendee Globe skipper Pip Hare has officially named her new IMOCA 60 Medallia. She shares how she is adjusting to her first foiling yacht – writes Katy Strickland.

No one was more surprised than Pip Hare when the CEO of software company, Medallia stepped in to sponsor her 2020 Vendee Globe campaign, months before the race start.

She admits she had been Googling ‘How do you go bankrupt’ just days before Leslie Stretch contacted her with his offer.

A keen solo sailor who keeps a Beneteau 41.1 in San Francisco Bay, Stretch said Hare‘s track record as ‘an intrepid offshore sailor’ meant sponsoring her campaign to race around the world in a 1999 vintage IMOCA 60 was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up, and ‘it was an easy choice to sponsor her again in 2024.’

Hare certainly shone in 2020-21. She was the first British skipper to finish, taking 19th place, and won legions of fans for her enthusiastic race reports, as well as the respect of seasoned Vendee sailors like Jean Le Cam.

Sponsorship for 2024 has meant a newer boat and the need for Hare to learn new skills.


RTL Today – Arctic sailing race planned in Canada to highlight climate change

A French sports group on Saturday announced plans to launch a sailing race in the thawing Canadian Arctic to raise awareness of global warning.

Due to kick off in 2023, the North Pole Race will see ships sailing from Quebec to Vancouver along the Northwest Passage, a sea route through the Arctic Ocean along North America's northern course.

Crews will sail on special aluminium boats designed for polar waters, according to Herve Favre, president of the French group OC Sport.

These ships will have to be "fast enough to make the crossing in two months, because the window is not large," between the summer period free of ice and the return of winter precipitation, Favre said, according to a story published in the Montreal daily La Presse.

"The North Pole Race will make the world population aware of sustainable development and the importance of acting now to save our environment," Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume said last week, when the race was first reported.

Quebec City's municipal government said in a statement that the North Pole Race will bring together teams from 10 countries, including Canada, China, Russia, France and Denmark. Each team will consist of a scientist, an experienced skipper and citizens of the country it is representing.


Sailing World – The Making of Mālama, 11th Hour Racing’s Ocean Flyer

From the hull shape, to the dynamic foils, durable sails and advanced systems of 11th Hour Racing’s IMOCA 60, every area of this around-the-world machine has been optimized. Now it’s up to the sailors to get it to its full potential – writes Mark Chisnel.

“The marine environment is harsher than any other, even outer space; the salt, wind, sun, and incredible force of water work to corrode, break down, or tear apart everything onboard. It’s the reason why the marine industry is always chasing stronger and lighter materials and construction techniques.

“This has led to some very unsustainable solutions, and we must now start to rethink them. We have a design opportunity to make better design choices, choices that could echo or ripple out through other industries. This is a remarkable milestone as we work to change the narrative around sustainability in the marine and maritime industries,” says Jeremy Pochman, co-founder and CEO of 11th Hour Racing.

Pochman is talking about the launch of the brand new IMOCA 60 designed and built for 11th Hour Racing Team. Taking the lead for many of those choices were Charlie Enright on behalf of the sailing team and the naval architect, Guillaume Verdier.

In this, the second of three articles, we’re going to look at the choices the team made as they worked to optimize the boat’s performance. Later in the series we will look at the approach the team took to its construction, and in particular, building the boat, and managing the team’s operations—as sustainably as possible.

The crew of 11th Hour Racing Team will spend much of its time belowdecks protected from the elements with maneuvers and helming assisted with an advanced autopilot system.Kristi Wilson

More than a hull

What better place to start than the hull shape? Charlie Enright explains the priorities for the design of the new boat as such: “In our experience, in The Ocean Race a lot of the leg starts and finishes are upwind, not something that Vendée Globe sailors typically experience. So, we really tried to make an all-around boat with no weaknesses, and once we felt like we had that we tried to enhance its ability to VMG [Velocity Made Good] downwind, basically, without taking away or detracting from the overall objective of an all-rounder.

“One of the priorities – and we learnt it a little bit with 11.1 [the team’s first boat, the 2016 Hugo Boss] – is to be able to quickly get on the foil,” said Verdier. “The quicker you go on the foil, the quicker you lift a big portion of the weight of the boat. So, you want a lot of heave [vertical] stability, so that has been quite a priority. The other priority was really just the safety of the boat. There is going to be a lot of water on the deck and you don’t want to put people at risk so I think that would be the ultimate priority.”


ABC News – It was like a funeral at the New York Yacht Club when Australia II won the America's Cup after 132 years

A weepy, funeral-like procession in midtown Manhattan and an empty champagne bottle turned upside down: two striking images from the day the US lost the America's Cup for the first time after more than a century of dominance — exactly 38 years ago – writes Jason Dasey.

The New York Yacht Club in mourning might be the last place you'd expect a visiting Australian to try to gatecrash.

But that's where I found myself on that fateful night: borrowing an oversized blue blazer, jumping in a yellow cab to West 44th Street and talking my way into the members' only enclave.

And all because an elitist yachting competition had somehow captivated our entire nation.

It was on September 26, 1983, that Australia II completed an improbable comeback over US boat, Liberty, winning race seven at Newport, Rhode Island, for a 4-3 victory overall, having trailed 3-1.

Back in Australia, a nation celebrated, led by a champagne-soaked prime minister in Perth.

After a night of watching the drama on television, Bob Hawke effectively declared the following day — a Tuesday — a national public holiday, saying: "Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum."

Three hundred kilometres south of the racing off Rhode Island, the New York Yacht Club was in a state of shock, unprepared for the end of a winning streak — the longest in sports — dating back to 1851.

There, more than anywhere else, at the club's home since 1901, the impact of Australia II's triumph was being felt. As uplifting as the result was for underdog Aussies 16,000 kilometres away, it was, in equal measure, devastating for those supporting the losing favourite.

This moment in history coincided with my first trip — a backpacker-style vacation — to the United States. I'd started the marathon journey from Sydney with Australia II headed for a noble defeat but arrived in New York City with John Bertrand's crew pulling off the near impossible.

The America's Cup was the last thing on my mind when air tickets were booked several months earlier.

In holiday mode, joining some fellow Australian journalists in a Manhattan bar, someone remarked what a great story it would be to sneak into the New York Yacht Club to see how the members were handling the shock of losing the cup.


Cup Insider – Damning revelations from Emirates Team New Zealand sink Kiwi Home Defence campaign

Hopes of the 37th America’s Cup taking place in New Zealand in 2024 have gone up in smoke overnight after a devastating broadside from the Defender Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) blew gaping holes in credibility of the Kiwi Home Defence (KHD) campaign led by Auckland businessman Mark Dunphy – writes Justin Chisholm.

The KHD initiative had appeared to be gathering some momentum in the last week, despite assertions by Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton that the group’s consortium of un-named backers included two rival billionaire team bosses Ernesto Bertarelli (Alinghi) and Larry Ellison (Oracle Team USA).

Dalton also fingered Dunphy as being behind an attempt by fellow Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) member Doctor Hamish Ross it said aimed to coerce the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) into legal action in the New York Supreme Court to try to depose Ineos Team UK and the Royal Yacht Squadron Ltd. (RYS) as the Challenger of Record for AC37.


Stuff – America's Cup: Mark Dunphy continues funding bid, disputes Team NZ claims

The businessman hoping to help fund an America’s Cup defence in Auckland says he’s pressing on, despite the cup rights holder Team New Zealand closing the door on him – writes Todd Niall.

Mark Dunphy has rejected allegations made by the team that he and an Auckland lawyer, Hamish Ross, had worked together to try to get the rival New York Yacht Club to unseat the defender’s chosen challenger of record.

Team New Zealand on Wednesday night released extracts from an email written by Ross to NYYC, and on Thursday Dunphy confirmed he had been copied into the email chain.

The email outlined a scenario in which NYYC could challenge the validity of Team New Zealand’s chosen challenger of record – an important partner in the next defence – and, if successful, take over that role.

“Hamish Ross was not and is not representing Mark Dunphy on this or any other matter. Mr Dunphy did not ask Dr Ross to send the email,” said Dunphy in a statement.

When Stuff contacted Ross on Wednesday night, the cup legal specialist said he could not comment as he had not been able to contact “Mark”.


Stuff – New poll favours Team NZ defending America's Cup offshore without public money

A new poll shows New Zealanders don’t want the America’s Cup defended at home at an increased cost to the tax payer – writes Duncan Johnstone.

The poll, commissioned by Team New Zealand to gauge public sentiments as the hosting process intensifies, showed there was just 26 per cent of respondents in favour of the champion syndicate defending the America’s Cup in New Zealand “with significant increase in public/tax payer investment”.

In contrast, 50 per cent supported the notion of Team New Zealand defending the Cup offshore without any Kiwi taxpayer money at all.


Irish Examiner – Ireland launches bid to host sailing grand prix

Ireland has launched a bid host the fastest sailing league in the world – writes Neil Michael.

Fáilte Ireland chiefs and officials from Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council are in talks with SailGP, the global sailing grand prix series started by former America’s Cup yacht race winners Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts.

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, the Fine Gael Dún Laoghaire TD, initiated discussions around a bid in January.

Although Dún Laoghaire is the likely venue, Cork – which is vying to host the next America's Cup – is also being considered.


The Race Around – Registration opens for inaugural 2023 event

With two years to go until the start of Class40’s official round-the-world race, The Race Around’s organisers 5 Ocean Sports Marketing and their US counterpart Manuka Sports Event Management are delighted to officially open registration, publish the event’s preliminary Notice of Race and welcome three new commercial partners to the race’s growing partnership portfolio.

Sam Holliday, Founder and Managing Director of The Race Around, said: “It’s a great feeling to bring this race to life after months of hard work behind the scenes. Over the past 12 months we’ve spent time really digging into the detail of what makes a round-the-world race a success and we think we have all the ingredients to build something of significant note.”

15 places in solo, 15 places in double and 5 wildcards

Due to The Race Around being limited to 35 entries, the Organising Authority has reserved 15 places for each respective category (solo and double-handed) while retaining five wildcard entries to be used at the organiser’s discretion.