Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 28
World Sailing – Tita & Banti overall winners of Hempel World Cup Series at the 51 Trofeo Princesa Sofía in Mallorca
Palma Bay witnessed 10 gold medal winning performances on Saturday 9 April, the concluding day of the Trofeo Sofía Mallorca. With 1,015 competitors, this regatta made for a glorious start to the Hempel Sailing World Cup Circuit of 2022.
Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) take the overall title as winners of The Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca as well as dominating their Class, the Nacra 17 catamaran
The Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca was the first major international event for Olympic sailing classes since the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo
Racing concluded on Saturday at one of one of the largest Olympic regattas in the world with more than 1,015 sailors, 779 boats and boards, representing 62 nations
The regatta marked the Hempel World Cup Series debut for four brand-new high-speed foiling events with top speeds of 40 knots (46 mph or 75 km)
Nacra heroes Tita & Banti win overall in Palma
Palma Bay witnessed 10 gold medal winning performances on Saturday 9 April, the concluding day of the Trofeo Sofía Mallorca. With 1,015 competitors, this regatta made for a glorious start to the Hempel Sailing World Cup Circuit of 2022. This week also marked the start of a new Olympic cycle towards Paris 2024, and a vital opportunity for the world’s top sailors to make a statement of intent.
With 11 to 15 knot winds from the north-west, the offshore breeze blowing off the Bay of Palma set up the final day for tricky conditions where the sailors would have to keep their wits about them. The regatta was blessed with great wind all week, with all 10 events completing a full schedule of races.
The Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca is unique among major multi-class Olympic regattas in delivering an overall winner. This year’s winners are Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) who take the overall title from Palma as well as dominating their division, the Nacra 17 catamaran. The winner is the boat with the lowest average points after dividing the total points in the regatta series by the number of races completed (including any discard). The Italians won nine of their 13 races, convincing overall winners.
Emirates Team New Zealand takes flight in hydrogen powered foiling chase boat
Just one week after Emirates Team New Zealand first christened their hydrogen powered foiling catamaran ‘Chase Zero’, the 10m prototype was up and foiling around the Waitematā harbour in Auckland today.
Chase Zero has been progressing through a highly measured and stringent commissioning process with every element of the Hydrogen powered boat tested independently and collectively before bringing it up to foiling flight mode with the ETNZ developed autopilot in control of the ride height.
“This is just our second day on the harbour”, explained Project Manager Geoff Senior. “And if I am honest, we are always pretty conservative with our commissioning timeframes, but everything has worked amazingly off the bat, maybe one or two small gremlins to work out of the system as always, but we didn’t expect it to all be up and foiling as quickly as we have got it today out here.”
It is the same harbour that in late August 2012 saw Emirates Team New Zealand first introduce foiling to the world of the America’s Cup in their AC72 catamaran yacht, which changed the face of sail racing globally. And now, just under 10 years later the team is introducing hydrogen powered foiling chase boats to the America’s Cup also. The common theme is obviously foiling.
“Travelling at 50 knots on the water requires a lot of power, and so foiling, like in sailing, was an obvious choice for us to reduce drag and therefore help to extend our range to around 180km on one fill of hydrogen which is stored on 4 tanks onboard, two in each hull.” said Design Coordinator Dan Bernasconi.
The green hydrogen is stored in gas form at a maximum pressure of 350bar. The tanks are made from a plastic liner, wrapped in carbon fibre for the required strength. Each is capable of holding 8kg, giving a total capacity of 32kg when full.
Infiniti 52 - electrifying DSS performance straight out of the box
The first Infiniti 52 Tulikettu has been undergoing sea trials in the Solent, following delivery to her new Finnish owner Arto Linnervuo, in anticipation of a busy offshore racing program. Already during her first sea trials she has hit 28+ knots, with more than 30 anticipated and she has impressed her crew with her easy speed and bow-out attitude.
Designed by Hugh Welbourn, the Infiniti 52 is the first foil assisted high performance/racing yacht developed for semi-custom production. A brand new entry to the race boat market’s busy 52ft sector, it is unique in several ways. Firstly it is one of the few designed from the outset specifically to be campaigned offshore, rather than inshore windward-leeward racing.
But most significantly it is the only 52 fitted with a Dynamic Stability Systems (DSS) retracting lateral foil, the same technology as used on Canova, Sailing Yacht of the Year at the 2020 Superyachts Award and the Quant 23, the 2016 European Yacht of Year.
To recap DSS’s benefits: when the foil is deployed just beneath the water to leeward, it provides ‘righting moment on demand’; providing more lift the faster boat (and foil) pass through the water, just like adding crew weight to the rail or ballast to the keel. The net result is a significant speed boost.
The Infiniti 52’s DSS foil isn’t designed to make the boat fly, but it does significantly reduce displacement and drag, again increasing speed.
Most importantly, 15 years old, the DSS system and the subtleties of the foil’s shape, section, aspect, curvature and location are now highly refined (in CFD, tank testing and, most importantly, verified through 10,000s of race miles).
Understated and over-delivering, it remains the simplest, most reliable foil system, requiring no complex rake or other mechanical controls: It is deployed (via a rope on a winch) and left to do its job, no hydrodynamics PhDs or Olympic medals needed. It was these features, together with not wishing to take the overly large step into a fully flying yacht, that attracted Tulikettu’s owner (see his comments below).
A Future for Formentor: 11th Hour Racing Team and Save The Med partner up to restore Mallorca’s marine ecosystem
11th Hour Racing Team and Save The Med Foundation have launched an innovative partnership dedicated to the regeneration of the marine ecosystem in Mallorca’s Formentor area.
The grassroots organization works to protect one of the world’s most fragile marine environments and has been selected to join the Team’s global legacy grantee network. The US-based offshore sailing team will race through the Mediterranean Sea in the first and last legs of The Ocean Race 2022-23, a 32,000 nautical miles (60,000 km) round-the-world race.
“Through our legacy grantee program we collaborate with sustainability champions in the different waters we will sail through in the round the world race,” explained 11th Hour Racing Team CEO, Mark Towill. “Our goal as a team is to inspire positive action and long-lasting change for ocean health and thanks to their local expertise and network, our grantees help us identify areas and activities crucial to this mission. Save The Med’s work and engagement in the Mediterranean Sea is nothing but exceptional and we are thrilled to support the preservation and regeneration of natural marine ecosystems through this grant.”
Formed in 2019, Save The Med works to protect and regenerate the Mediterranean Sea, one of the world's most fragile marine environments which has been significantly affected by human impact.
The legacy grant project will be focused on the Formentor area on the Tramuntana coastline in the north of Mallorca, home to one of the most diverse marine wildlife seascapes in the Mediterranean with over 500 underwater species living in 20 habitats. The open sea of the Cape of Formentor stands out as part of the migration route for marine mammals, tuna, manta rays and other large fish. As a result of decades of overfishing, increased pollution, and mass tourism, a lot of these species are endangered with extremely low numbers.
“The underwater world around the Cape of Formentor is absolutely mind-blowing but this precious natural environment has been wounded and needs time and space to recover,” said Bradley Robertson, Save The Med president and co-founder. A passionate diver, Robertson explained how 11th Hour Racing Team’s grant will help to preserve the area for future generations. “Save The Med firmly believes that any human-created problem can only be solved by involving this very same species - humans. Instead of imposing rules and regulations that might not be viable in the long-run and alienate island residents who have been depending on fishing and tourism for generations, we have chosen to actively collaborate and support each other.”
Over the upcoming 12 months, Save The Med’s scientific team will continue to research the coastal ecosystems of the area. In parallel, the organization will work with the local community to raise awareness around the importance of protecting and regenerating the sea. The joint work of NGOs, local experts, scientific researchers, and marine technicians will be the backbone of the project, which promotes the regeneration of the area’s marine and terrestrial ecosystem as its “ultimate goal”, according to Robertson.
Sailing World – What Makes A Raceboat Tick￼
Andrew Palfrey explains the primary function of key controls in a way that applies to a broad range of boats, using the build of two International 5.5 Metre Class yachts in Cowes, UK, to help illustrate his points.
In this series of technical articles on various components of rig and sail control, Palfrey will generically explain the primary function of key controls in a way that is relevant to a broad range of boats, using the build of two International 5.5 Metre Class yachts in Cowes, UK, to help illustrate his points.
Launching this series with mast alignment is appropriate, as it really is the foundation of the overall rig setup. Starting with placement of the mast step, from a fore-and-aft perspective, the boat’s designer will have determined where that should be in order to properly balance the boat for best performance on all points of sail.
Making Complex Mast Alignment Simple
During initial sea trials of a prototype, this mast step position—or the balance of the boat that derives from it—is a top priority. So, while this position is critical, let’s trust the designer got it right, or the team involved in sea trials gave accurate input as to the balance and overall performance of the boat and the correct position (or at least a narrow range) is settled upon.
The transverse position comes down to care taken by the boatbuilder. When I am involved in a new build, I always endeavor to be there on the day the mast step is positioned. Likewise, if I am tasked with setting up a mast on an existing boat, the first thing I will check is the transverse positioning of the mast step, as this will be a key driver in performance symmetry from tack to tack.
On a new build, such as our 5.5, the mast step is placed into position while the boat is still on its level planes—the hull is level, the keel is dead vertical and the mast port in the deck will have been cut in the exact center of the deck. Or, if the mast port is molded into the deck, the deck is accurately placed before being bonded to the hull. Then, using a laser or plumb bob down from the center of the mast port, the centerline for the mast step arrangement is established. If you are having a new boat built and only inspected the build process once, this is the time.
On an existing boat, if you are having trouble setting up your mast symmetric from tack to tack, or you have noticed that it performs better on one tack than the other or has a different feel/balance from tack to tack, check the rig’s alignments. It’s not difficult to do and certainly easier to check than foil symmetry and foil alignments.
The Ocean Race –The incredible technological laboratory and its ‘French Heritage’
In part two of this series devoted to the history of the French in the round-the-world crewed race, IMOCA and The Ocean Race revisit the technological evolution that has coloured a race, which witnessed the first French victory in 1985-86 and the burgeoning career of a certain Franck Cammas.
When Mexican Ramon Carlin snatched glory in 1974 on the Swan 65 Sayula II, others were keen to emulate his performance. Cornelis ‘Conny’ Van Rietschoten, a Dutch industrialist, began construction of a 20-metre Sparkman & Stephens ketch, a near sistership to Sayula, albeit made of aluminium, with a longer waterline and carrying more sail area. Named Flyer, the ketch secured victory in the second Whitbread Round the World Race (1977-78) in 119 days.
By then the race had grabbed the attention of young naval architects, like New Zealanders Ron Holland and Bruce Farr, Frenchmen Philippe Briand, Gilles Vaton, Michel Joubert and Bernard Nivelt, as well as the Argentinian German Frers. The Whitbread was not just a fantastic technological laboratory, but also a wonderful showcase for the major yards responsible for production cruising yachts like Nautor Swan, Bowman and Camper & Nicholson. Some of the more notable innovations tested in the rigours of the Whitbread race included fractional rigs, rigid vangs, honeycomb core bulkheads and twin steering wheels.