Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 32
Yacht Racing Life – IMOCA 60s ready to take on The Ocean Race 2022-23
IMOCA boats in The Ocean Race is a big departure and a new adventure for the Class – some even call it a revolution – but it is happening in less than eight months time, with at least four highly competitive international teams now confirmed on the startline and the prospect of more to come – writes Ed Gorman.
The buzz among skippers committed to the first ever participation of IMOCAs in what is regarded as the unofficial world championship of fully-crewed offshore ocean racing, is that this event will mark the start of a new era with many more boats taking part in the race that follows the 2023 edition.
Paul Meilhat, the skipper of the new foiler Biotherm, which is currently completing construction at the Persico yard in Italy, has always been one of the most enthusiastic IMOCA skippers about The Ocean Race. He is relishing the chance to show how it can work for IMOCA teams on both a commercial and sporting level.
“I was one of the first who believed strongly in this race three years ago,” he told the Class this week. “I think The Ocean Race is exactly the event that meets the needs of our programme in the IMOCA 60s, which has always been dominated by French sailors and the same racetracks. I believe this really will be a mind-opening revolution for the Class."
Meilhat has no doubt that momentum is going to build as far as the IMOCA Class and The Ocean Race is concerned. He predicts that the 2023 race will lead to an explosion of interest as skippers, sailors and commercial partners see the benefits of the opportunities it offers, alongside all the other solo and double-handed races in the calendar. “I am sure that in four years time, there will be 20 boats in The Ocean Race – maybe even more,” said the 2018 Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe winner and last year’s IMOCA champion, who is also committed to the next Vendée Globe.
Alongside him on The Ocean Race startline, off the Spanish city of Alicante next January, will be the charismatic German skipper Boris Herrmann in his new VPLP-designed Malizia-Seaexplorer, which is due for launch in mid-July. Herrmann also sees a perfect fit between The Ocean Race and IMOCA.
“IMOCA in The Ocean Race is the future,” he said. “This race will put IMOCA on an international platform and create a wider following. We have been pushing for this for a long time as it adds so many elements: not only a great international circuit for our partners, but the opportunity to sail together with a team and to push boats through the Southern Ocean. This creates so many learning opportunities and can only make the Class and the teams stronger.”
The Yacht Racing Podcast: Rosalin Kuiper
Justin Chisholm’s guest on the latest episode of The Yacht Racing Podcast is Dutch offshore sailor Rosalin Kuiper.
Kuiper has just been announced as a member of Boris Herrmann’s Team Malizia IMOCA 60 crew for the upcoming edition of The Ocean Race which sets off around the world in January 2023.
As you will hear in the interview the young Dutch sailor has a fantastic back story. Whereas lots of people just dream of being a professional sailor and racing around the world Rosie came up with a plan and went out on her own into the world and made it happen.
The Ocean Race – ‘GUYOT environnement – Team Europe’ confirmed as fourth IMOCA entry
A new IMOCA team is confirmed to participate in The Ocean Race 2022-23. The campaign sees French offshore sailor Benjamin Dutreux joining forces with Offshore Team Germany Olympian Robert Stanjek, the same combination that raced to victory in the inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe last summer. Jens Kuphal and Alice Potiron will provide team management.
“The Ocean Race Europe was a great experience for all of us working together for the first time and I think now, with a new boat, we can look forward to a great race around the world with this team,” said Benjamin Dutreux, who will be racing the same IMOCA he plans to use for the next edition of the Vendée Globe.
“This race is a true international race. We have been focused on the solo races, but now we have a different story to look forward to and we are happy to begin this new challenge with a crewed race, around the world, and it will be a great opportunity to learn about each other and our boat.”
SailGP launches ‘SailGP Technologies’ spin off aimed at delivering technology innovation ‘from sea to space’
With a DNA in high-speed racing, SailGP Technologies officially launches today to deliver leading edge, applied innovations from sea to space. With award-winning capabilities in design, manufacturing, engineering, software and systems, SailGP Technologies will lead the way in high-performance, sustainable design and applied technologies.
With the main facility based in Warkworth, New Zealand, SailGP Technologies is rooted in decades of experience at the forefront of cutting-edge sail racing. Most recently developing the high performance F50 catamarans that power the world's fastest growing, purpose-led global racing league – SailGP.
The continual development of design tools, techniques and methods to revolutionise the race at sea, will now be applied to similar engineering challenges across water, land and space.
SailGP Technologies CEO, Sir Russell Coutts said: “With over two decades of experience at the forefront of design and technical innovation, now is the right time to launch SailGP Technologies. We will not only apply this expertise to other sectors, but also use it to help create a higher-performing, greener and better future.”
Sail-World – Lake Garda sees strong start in GC32 for Alinghi Red Bull Racing
The two Alinghi Red Bull Racing boats got their GC32 campaigns under way this weekend in the stunning surroundings of Lake Garda, Italy.
Here is all you need to know:
Lake Garda in Italy is one of the preferred playgrounds of sailors, due to its regular thermal winds, splendid setting at the base of the mountains and flat water. However, this time the conditions were trickier. Between heats blessed by magnificent sunshine and a steady northerly wind, rain and storms occasionally spoiled the fun. Despite varying conditions, 18 good races were played out during the four days of the regatta on the first stage of the 2022 GC32 Racing Tour.
It was the first competition where both Alinghi Red Bull Racing boats took part: SUI 8 (yellow), helmed by Arnaud Psarofaghis and SUI 15 (red), helmed by Maxime Bachelin. This GC32 championship, as well as the TF35 races, are the two pillars for training in the lead-up to the America's Cup. The team fared well: Alinghi Red Bull Racing SUI 8 won the competition by 19 points from Team Rockwool Racing in second place. Fellow Swiss team Blackstar completed the podium, while Alinghi Red Bull Racing SUI 15 finished fourth.
Bachelin, 24, said: "We managed to improve after each race, and we regard the results of this first regatta very positively. Several things came up in the course of the competition that demanded our attention and we were able to focus on them. The conditions are really particular here, it comes down to working with the whole team to make the right choices. Every piece of information is important. It was a great opportunity to be able to work with the other Alinghi Red Bull Racing boat, to do all the debriefings together. We learned lots from them! Personally, I had a really good time, especially with the progress we made. Can't wait for Lagos!"
Stuff – America's Cup: British to use cyclors for Barcelona 2024
Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup syndicate appear certain to be going down the “cyclors” route for the next edition, with veteran grinder Freddie Carr confirming he has had to reinvent himself.
Team UK have announced the retention of the colourful Carr for his sixth Cup campaign, and he is up for the challenge in more ways than one after a frustrating campaign at Auckland 2021 ended with defeat in the challengers’ final to Italy’s Luna Rossa.
“After New Zealand, I felt I had a huge amount of unfinished business. To be able to come back as a cyclor and challenge again for Britain means everything to me,” Carr said as his signing was announced on Wednesday.
The Team New Zealand cyclors were central to their 2017 America’s Cup win at Bermuda 2017 and are allowed back in the rules for 2024.
52 Super Series – Quantum Racing claims victory at 2022 season opener in Baiona, Spain
American owner-driver Doug DeVos steered Quantum Racing to overall victory at the ABANCA 52 SUPER SERIES Baiona Sailing Week lifting the first regatta title of the five which comprise the tenth anniversary season of the world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit.
Four times overall champions since the circuit started in Barcelona in May 2012 Quantum Racing managed to impose themselves as the circuit visited the rugged Atlantic coast of Galicia on the north west corner of Spain, responding best to the challenges and demands of a completely new, dynamic race course area.
The picturesque Ría de Vigo served up a welcome variety of wind conditions, from seven to 24 knots over the eight races which were contested. The first four days were sailed in northerly winds but today’s showdown finale for the first time encountered a demanding SW’ly sea breeze.
With a hard won second place behind Andy Soriano’s Alegre in Race 8 Quantum Racing may have secured the Baiona regatta title by seven points but there were some distinctly nervous moments when a Race 9 was started in a gentle breeze and the champions elect were judged to be over the start line early.
Rounding the top mark in ninth with Phoenix first it looked like the regatta leaders had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory until the race was abandoned in the fading, wildly shifting breeze.
The American flagged team, which many consider to be the enduring benchmark operation over the ten year history of the circuit, actually record their first regatta win since Cascais in 2019 and tactician Terry Hutchinson’s first TP52 regatta win since 2018. With three wins and two seconds in their aggregate tally of 19 points from the eight races Quantum Racing are clearly in excellent shape in terms of both boat speed and crew work.
Cup Insider – British America’s Cup Challenger Ineos Britannia to set up training base in Mallorca, Spain
Sir Ben Ainslie’s British America’s Cup Challenger of Record, Ineos Britannia, will set up a training base on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca this summer as the UK syndicate ramps up its sailing operations ahead of the 37th America’s Cup in 2024.
A formal announcement is expected later this week but the Ineos Britannia team principal confirmed to Cup Insider this weekend that the team is well advanced with plans for the training base in Palma which Ainslie said he expects to be up and running later this year.
In previous America’s Cup campaigns the British team, which was then based in Portsmouth in the UK, trained on The Solent – the narrow and congested strip of of water separating the British mainland from the nearby Isle of Wight – as well as in Cagliari, Sardinia.
The British base wil be located in the Porto Pi area of the Palma marina district with easy access to the Bay of Palma – a popular regatta venue for the Olympic classes as well as superyacht and grand prix racing fleets like the TP52 class, whose 2021 World Championship was hosted at the nearby Real Club Nautico de Palma (RCNP).