Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 15
Monday November 29
Next edition of The Ocean Race to start January 2023 in Alicante, Spain
The start date for leg one of The Ocean Race 2022-23 has been confirmed with both IMOCA and VO65 fleets scheduled to burst from the starting blocks on Sunday, 15 January 2023 from Alicante on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.
There will be race activity throughout 2022, with teams building their campaigns towards prologue racing as well as with The Ocean Race Legends, sustainability and youth programmes ahead of the assembly period in Alicante late in Q4 of the year.
Then, in January, the start of leg one will see the fleets racing away on one of the greatest challenges in sailing and the toughest test of a team in sport – over 31,000 nautical miles (57,000 km) around the planet.
“This marks a change for The Ocean Race, as we adjust to the challenges of this new world with a more compact and exciting race route than ever before,” said Johan Salén, Managing Director of The Ocean Race.
“We are pleased to have been able to work with our partners in Alicante, which has been the home of the Race since 2009, to agree on a start date for leg one that takes advantage of the Christmas and New Year holiday season and allows for maximum stakeholder opportunities in the week leading up to the start as well.”
Cup Insider – Cork keeps Irish America’s Cup dream alive with new cheaper proposal
The dream of staging the 37th America’s Cup in Cork, Ireland is still very much alive – writes Justin Chisholm.
Far from giving up on the quest to secure the government funding required to bring the international regatta to the city, the bid team in Cork have put forward an impressive and – importantly – less expensive alternative proposal.
Having received a lukewarm government response to an initial plan to base the AC37 team bases and race village on privately owned land, the group is now pitching the much cheaper option of using publicly owned land to host the international event.
The new proposition would see the technical area and team bases for the 37th America’s Cup located at Tivoli Docks, a site within the Port of Cork deep water commercial shipping facility situated on the River Lee (see header image).
Meanwhile the event’s public access race village would be located separately upriver at Kennedy Quay (below), close to the city centre and the main train and bus stations.
Stuff – Bid to force Team NZ to defend America's Cup in Auckland teetering
A bid to try to force the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Team New Zealand to defend the America’s Cup in Auckland appears to be teetering – writes Duncan Johnstone.
Former Team New Zealand director Jim Farmer, QC, with the support of some RNZYS members, has managed to get the club to have a special general meeting to vote on a motion “…that the America’s Cup be defended in the waters adjacent to the City of Auckland”.
They required 25 members to have the numbers to force the issue and it’s understood they had several more than that.
But revelations by Stuff on Thursday that Mark Dunphy, the businessman behind the Kiwi Home Defence campaign, has had his lawyers present defamation papers to Grant Dalton and Team New Zealand, appears to have some of those members getting twitchy.
Sailing World – The Afterlife of Jim Brady
Professional sailor Jim Brady was at the peak of his career when he tacked and joined the corporate world, but lessons learned on the racecourse have done him well – writes Mark Chisnell.
Jim Brady had the kind of sailing career that ambitious young Optimist sailors dream about—world champion, Olympic medalist, America’s Cup tactician and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. But these days, you’ll find him pottering with the family in his picnic boat on Portland’s Casco Bay.
Brady grew up in Florida, son of an Air Force pilot and colonel. “We were fortunate enough to live on the water in Florida, so I always had an interest in being not just in the water, but on the water as well,” he says. It was his father that introduced the family to sailing with the purchase of a Hobie Cat when Brady was 8 years old.
“One thing led to another, and I guess this was probably about 1978 when the J/24 came out and was starting to become a popular boat. A guy named Mark Ploch, who was a top 470 sailor at the time (now owner of Doyle Sails in New York City) had just moved to town and was starting a sailmaking loft. He approached my dad and said, ‘Hey, how about you buy half of this J/24, and I’ll take your two sons as my crew and help teach them how to be good sailors?’”
It was a fantastic opportunity for the young Brady. Together with Ploch they won the J/24 Midwinters in their first year in the boat; Brady was just 15 and living the dream. “I also bought a Laser and went on to the youth national championships. The best I did there was second. I kind of jumped into it with full force between the J/24, the Laser on my own, and at the same time, leading up into the 1980 Olympics, I started sailing in a Soling and ultimately joined a crew with Ed Baird as the helmsman and Steve Calder as the middleman.”
The United States boycott of the Moscow Olympics put paid to that campaign, but it was still something to be competing for an Olympic berth in your teens. A lot was down to Clearwater, a hotbed of competition at the time. Apart from Ploch, Vince Brun, Peter Branning and Steve Calder all lived locally, and both the guidance and the competition were excellent.
DMARGE – America’s Cup shake-up good news for Australia’s return to international sailing
While it's not confirmed yet, Australia has its greatest opportunity in years to return to the America's Cup – writes Max Langridge.
The number of sailors permitted onboard the yachts during races has been reduced from 11 to 8, and all 8 must now either be a passport holder of the country they compete for, or to have been present in the country for two of the previous three years prior to 18 March 2021.
Previously, only 20 per cent of the race crew needed to be from the country they were competing for.
Essentially, this could mean we see a return of an Australian racing team. Australia was previously represented by the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, which was confirmed as the Challenger of Record for the 35th America’s Cup. However, eight months after submitting the challenge, the yacht club withdrew its Team Australia squadron, citing new protocols being too hard to prepare for when no dates or venue had been decided upon.
An Australian team was then notably absent from the 36th America’s Cup, with a lack of required funding to be truly competitive being the main culprit.
Dalin & Meilhat crowned IMOCA 60 World Champions for 2021
They may have finished in second place in the Transat Jacques Vabre to LinkedOut, but no one can doubt that Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat on Apivia have been the dominant force in the IMOCA Class this year and today they were crowned IMOCA champions for 2021.
Dalin and Meilhat took part in three of the four races in the 2021 championship. They skipped the Ocean Race Europe but won the Rolex Fastnet Race in August, repeated that feat in the Défi Azimut 48-Hours a month later and then followed up with a highly competitive performance in the Transat Jacques Vabre.
For Dalin, 37 and originally from Le Havre, this has been an impressively consistent season after taking line honours in the Vendée Globe when it is easy for teams to go off the boil as the double-handed calendar begins. But he and Meilhat, 39, got together early on and built a formidable partnership based on a warm friendship and a shared competitive intensity.
“It’s been a welcome double-handed year after the solo round the world race,”said Dalin after being presented with a unique trophy at a ceremony on the dockside at Fort de France on Martinique in the presence of young sailors from the Martinique Sailing League. A wooden model of an IMOCA, the trophy was designed and created by Thomas Van Winde Kens, a building architect from Brussels.