Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 29
Stuff – America's Cup: Team NZ more beatable in Barcelona claims Luna Rossa star
Luna Rossa star Francesco Bruni senses increased vulnerability in Team New Zealand with their decision to defend the America’s Cup in Barcelona.
Bruni, who co-helmed the Italian syndicate with Australian Jimmy Spithill in the Cup loss to the Kiwis at Auckland 2021, believes giving up home advantage makes Team New Zealand “more beatable”.
Team New Zealand won The Match 7-3, overcoming a spirited start to the series by Luna Rossa on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour but now head to Spain for their next defence.
Seeking financial security, Team New Zealand have signed with Barcelona in a $128m hosting deal for the 2024 regatta.
“The Kiwis have given up the home factor, preferring to put the economic part first,” Bruni told Palermo-24h.com.
“The defender is always the defender, but from a logistical point of view, we have an advantage, because getting to Barcelona is certainly less complicated than moving to Auckland.
“I am convinced that the New Zealanders, in Barcelona, can become more beatable.”
Luna Rossa co-helmsman Francesco Bruni believes Barcelona offers increased hope to beat Team New Zealand.
Bruni said there were other things to consider that could even the playing field and increase the competitiveness of the challenging fleet.
“The weather conditions will be varied and there may be some waves compared to Auckland, as we will be racing in the open sea. It is also an important variant for the purposes of boat design. Even for this reason it is difficult to predict favourites,” he told Palermo-24h.com.
Pensacola News Journal – American Magic sailing team returning to Pensacola to train for next America's Cup
The New York Yacht Club's American Magic team is returning to Pensacola this year to train for the next America's Cup – writes Jim Little.
Local supporters of the team are looking to partner with the team and promote Pensacola through the most viewed sailing race in the world.
Supporters also want to capitalize on Pensacola hosting some of the world's best sailors over the next five years with the goal to drive interest in sailing with Pensacola at the center of a pipeline for future performance sailors.
"This is the brass ring (of professional sailing) being put in Pensacola's hand," Tom Pace, commodore of the Pensacola Yacht Club, told the News Journal on Friday.
Pace said the team is committed to training in Pensacola for the 2024 America's Cup in Barcelona, Spain, as well as the next America's Cup in 2027.
World Match Racing Tour – Denmark’s Jeppe wins 2022 Ficker Cup title
Jeppe Borch (DEN) and Team Borch Racing have won the 2022 Ficker Cup regatta, in a rousing upset over defending champion Emil Kjaer (DEN) Blue Sails Racing in the finals.
Peter Holz’ (USA) Windy City Racing took third and Dave Perry (USA) fourth, in this World Match Racing Tour WS Grade 2 qualifier event hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. Both Borch and Kjaer will advance to the Congressional Cup regatta next week, joining a top-notch field of international foes in the battle for the prestigious Congressional Cup trophy and Crimson Blazer.
Kjaer had dominated the Ficker Cup round robin series, with only one loss – to Borch – in the final match. But Borch had come out swinging as well and finished the round robins 10 - 4.
The Dueling Danes are no strangers: Borch hails from Roskilde Sailing Club and Kjaer from the Royal Danish Yacht Club in Copenhagen, less than an hour apart. The teams have been amiable sparring partners for years and were frequently seen huddled around the same breakfast table at LBYC this week.
Kjaer had won the 2021 Ficker Cup and qualified for Congressional Cup, finishing mid-fleet. But for Borch it remained elusive. “Congressional Cup has been one of our all-time goals, for many years, and if Ficker is how we get there, then that’s what we are here to do.”
Sail–World – America's Cup: AC40 first images of hull exiting the mould
Emirates Team New Zealand have released the first images of the AC40 one design foiling monohull, as it exits the building mould at McConaghy Boats in China.
The new hull is the first of eight AC40's on order. The first hull will go to Emirates Team NZ, as Defender and the second to the Challenger of Record, INEOS Britannia.
Other hulls will be sent to the teams in order of entry. Several teams are taking two AC40's which will be multi-use boats for the Women's America's Cup teams, the Youth America's Cup teams, and the America's Cup teams themselves, as race boats in the Preliminary events, for testing purposes - where they may be modified, and for the development of match racing skills.
Emirates Team NZ appear to have already embarked on developing their team to enter the Womens America's Cup - and this group looks to be the first Womens team to sail their AC40.
The Yacht Racing Podcast – Damian Foxall
Justin Chisholm’s guest on the latest episode of The Yacht Racing Podcast is Irish around-the-world yachtsman and ocean health advocate Damian Foxall.
When it comes to ocean racing achievements Damian sets the bar pretty high. He has six editions of the The Ocean Race under his belt, as well as wins in the double handed Barcelona Race, and record setting non-stop runs aboard monster sized maxi catamarans like Steve Fosset’s PlayStation and Cheyenne.
Damian grew up on a farm in Ireland close to the water and spent his childhood and teenage years on the water with his friends sailing a range of craft from windsurfers to dinghies.
Over the last few years, as the Sustainability Programme Manager for the 11th Hour Racing Team he has been instrumental in demonstrating how performance, sustainability, and business can merge into a successful and replicable model for the marine industry and beyond.
Yacht Racing Life – Increased interest in Classe Mini brings new challenges
Organisers of this year’s Classe Mini series are having to deal with an unprecedented demand for spaces for the 2022 series which recently kicked off with several events in the Mediterranean.
Surpassing last season’s record of 90 participants, 2022 has seen a further surge in interest as organisers try to accommodate both the prototype and production boat classes.
There have been spikes of interest in the past, such as a decade ago, when the flagship, biannual, Mini-Transat was oversubscribed. Set against these peaks and troughs in popularity, class organisers recently met to discuss ways to satisfy demand without changing the integrity of the series.
Amélie Grassi, the new president of the Mini Class, believes that the increased interest shouldn’t lead to a wholesale expansion in class numbers.
Amélie Grassi said: “This influx into Classe Mini is quite cyclical and we see peaks in participation, then it drops off again. The first question we asked ourselves was: ‘Can we increase the number of participants in the Mini-Transat? Or increase its frequency?’. Such a scenario is complicated to manage and we already have a very substantial fleet and it’s tricky to do more than that.
“In terms of timing, we looked at whether it was possible to make the Mini-Transat annual but overall, we’re happy with the preparation cycle of staging it every two years rather than increasing pressure on the class, the organisers, the host cities and their partners.”
The board decided to try and fairly distribute access to the races for the different events so competitors can compete in their first choice races this year.
It’s not hard to understand how so many newcomers are attracted to the development class series as a way to gain experience and follow in the footsteps of professional sailors who were ‘born in Classe Mini’.