Yacht Racing World Newsletter – Issue 12

Monday November 1

Cup Insider – Nathan Outteridge to return to the America’s Cup after signing with Emirates Team New Zealand

America’s Cup holders Emirates Team New Zealand have confirmed that Australian Olympic gold and silver medallist Nathan Outteridge has signed with the team to help bolster their Defence attempt during AC37, expected to be in 2024 at a yet to be decided venue.

Outteridge – who lives in Auckland with his wife and young child – won gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the 49er class alongside crewmate Iain Jensen.

Taking the silver medal back then was the Kiwi duo Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. The Kiwis who went on to turn the tables on the Outteridge and Jensen at the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil before.

Outteridge skippered the Swedish entry Artemis Racing in the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco and at the 35th edition in Bermuda, when Burling and Tuke spearheaded an Emirates Team New Zealand victory.

With Artemis choosing not to mount a challenge for the 36th America’s Cup Outteridge was snapped up by the organisers as an expert TV pundit and commentator for the regatta which saw a Burling and Tuke Defend the Cup with ETNZ.

Outteridge excelled in his new media role but most people – including him – would have preferred he was behind the wheel of one of the revolutionary new AC75 foiling monohulls doing battle daily out on the Hauraki Gulf.


Forbes – Watch the Persico F70 racing yacht ‘fly’ on water

A regatta racer, a daysailer, a hyperboat... the Persico F70 can be described in many ways. A new concept from Pininfarina’s nautical department – behind projects such as Oceanco’s Kairos concept yacht, Rossinavi’s Super Sport 65 and various Princess yachts including the innovative R35 and the X95 models – is a high-performance hydrofoil boat that’s designed to “fly on water”.

Created in collaboration with Italian shipyard Persico Marine and design consultancy Carkeek Design Partners, the super-fast, light-weight, 70-foot vessel is both innovative and stylish. Made from carbon composite, she features full-foiling technology, as seen on the America’s Cup AC75 foiling monohull models; plus a sleek exterior and a contemporary interior that provides comfort whether the owner wishes to race or cruise.

Daniele Mazzon, chief yacht designer of Pininfarina Nautical, reveals that inspiration was drawn from the AC75s to “create a yacht as stylish as it is high-tech.”

He says: “As the F70 is a high-performance boat that flies above the surface of the water, an aerodynamics study was essential to ensure exceptional performance. On the Persico F70, we have combined the hydrodynamic expertise of Carkeek with the aerodynamic know-how we have developed over the last 50 years in our own Wind Tunnel.

“Indeed, the interiors are open space with a series of structural rings, creating a perspective illusion that emphasizes the length and width of the boat and expresses a dual passion for daysailing and racing performance.”


Tip & Shaft – Transat Jacque Vabre Preview: Ultim and Class 40

Seventy nine duos, that is a record entry for the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre which starts next Sunday, November 7.

And as before every big race, Tip & Shaft has mustered a posse of experts to assess the fleets and predict who will be successful. In this case we have Francis Le Goff, the race director, Jeanne Grégoire, director of the Pole Finistère at Port-la-Forêt, Tanguy Leglatin, coach at the Lorient centre, Emmanuel Bachellerie, the former general director of the Ultim 32/23 class, Halvard Mabire, president of Class40, and sailors Michel Desjoyeaux and Maxime Sorel, the engineer / navigator Antoine Koch, the designer Sam Manuard and the journalist Jacques Guyader (Ouest-France). Kicking off with the part, the Ultimes and the Class40. Imoca and Ocean Fifty will follow next Friday.

This year the Ultimes are back on the Transat Jacques Vabre. And in the opinion of all our consultants, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier), which has won all the official races since Brest Atlantiques back in 2019, including a good showing on on the Fastnet this summer, is THE boat to beat. "More than just the favorite, it is for me the reference,” explains Emmanuel Bachellerie. “It is the first Ultime designed to fly back in 2017, they first validated the platform then refined the aero and recently made a lot of work on the appendages. The project is mature."

Jeanne Grégoire, who observed all five starters at the end of September during their training out of Port-la-Forêt, adds: "They start like on a Figaro! Franck and Charles have enough high level sailing experience across the offshore and oceanic disciplines to be able to transfer all their skills to this big machine, it's impressive.” “Now they sail by instinct and experience, it is second nature to them they never seem to hesitate", adds Jacques Guyader who had the chance to sail aboard the Verdier flying machine.

Can the more recent Ultime designs challenge the supremacy of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild over the 7,500 miles course? "The strength of Gitana 17 lies both in their mastery of its flying mode in medium airs and in its qualities in the stronger breeze. It goes very well in a sea and is reassuring with its higher freeboard. But the level is fantastic and Franck and Charles will not have it all their own way", promises Antoine Koch, who worked alongside Guillaume Verdier on the design of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild. He sees Banque Populaire XI (Armel Le Cléac’h / Kevin Escoffier) as the most serious opponent.


Yacht Racing Life – Britain’s Alex Thomson steps down from racing and turns focus to the next generation

British sailor Alex Thomson has announced he won’t compete as a skipper in the 2024 Vendée Globe, the solo, non-stop race around-the-world, but doesn’t rule out returning to the race in 2028.

Thomson has competed on the IMOCA circuit for 19 years including five successive Vendée Globe’s with two podium finishes and numerous world records.

“I have had the privilege to compete and race IMOCA 60s for almost 20 years. I love the sport but it’s now time for me to spend more time on land, with my young family. My wife Kate has single-handedly raised our children for the last 10 years whilst I have pursued my dream. Now I want to support Kate and allow her the same opportunity that she has given me. This doesn’t mean that I am retiring, just changing my role, from spending most of my time at sea, to spending more of it on land.”

“Aside from being a skipper, I have always believed that it is my role to be an ambassador for our sport, telling the story to an international audience. In the last 20 years we have sailed to every corner of the globe, from Russia to Mexico, Canada, Australia, and Taiwan and even up the River Yangtze to Shanghai, China! There is a huge global fanbase who follow and love the Vendée Globe. I want to continue to promote the sport, tell the story and share my knowledge and experience, but with a focus on the next generation,” said Thomson.

Thomson and his team 5 West Ltd will remain together.

“The goal has always been to win the Vendée Globe, which to me remains the toughest sporting challenge left in the world today, and we haven’t accomplished that yet. This is the start of a new chapter, with a new skipper, and we will provide him or her with all the tools, knowledge, experience and environment to win.”


Yacht Racing Life – World Sailing launches campaign to reinstate sailing at 2028 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles

World Sailing, the international federation for the sport of sailing recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), today officially kick-started their campaign for sailing to be reinstated at the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles (USA) in 2028.

The governing body has outlined a set of strategic priorities to support the growth of the sport by 2023:

  • Increase worldwide participation to 45 nations on 6 continents

  • Increase youth participation (below the age of 30) to 20% of total athletes

  • Grow the number of female participants to 30% and, ultimately, to achieve gender parity

Focusing on diversity, inclusion, affordability, development, and increasing the number of open and Para sailing events are all part of World Sailing’s framework to build on the success of Para sailing.

“We know that other major sports looking for reinstatement are already drawing up their bid plans,” commented David Graham, CEO of World Sailing. “We know that IPC President, Andrew Parsons, has already publicly declared that the IPC will be looking at potential ‘new sports’ following the successful introduction of new, youth-focused sports at Tokyo 2020. We are on track to achieve our strategic priorities by 2023 and we are taking nothing for granted.”


Stuff – America's Cup: Forces trying to undermine Team NZ and their backing club

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron claims forces are “deliberately attempting to undermine” its partnership with America’s Cup holders Team New Zealand – writes Duncan Johnstone.

RNZYS commodore Aaron Young has issued an update to club members on the rocky ride to get the next America’s Cup regatta organised, with Auckland looking increasingly likely to miss out on hosting the defence of the Auld Mug to an overseas destination.

Young’s message came with a long list of answers to frequently asked questions about the state of play.

The squadron remains confident it has dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s in the legal workings of its position as trustee to sport’s oldest trophy.

This comes as there are increasing whispers of a legal challenge to try to keep the defence in Auckland, that could question the squadron’s paperwork.

“The RNZYS is confident that it has fulfilled (and continues to fulfil) its fiduciary duties and obligations as the trustee of the America’s Cup. Such suggestion needs to be put in context given it originates from those who are deliberately attempting to undermine the partnership between the club and ETNZ in relation to the America’s Cup,” the squadron said.


IDEC Sport – Francis Joyon postpones his Discovery Route record attempt

On stand-by in Cadiz since the end of September, Francis Joyon and his crew, composed of Antoine Blouet, Bertand Delesne, Christophe Houdet and Bernard Stamm, have decided to interrupt their wait for optimal conditions to attempt to beat the Discovery Route record, and to postpone this attempt until next spring.

Francis is naturally frustrated, but has no regrets, as no suitable window of opportunity to beat the very demanding reference time set in 2013 by Yann Guichard and the maxi trimaran Spindrift, was available during the month of October. Francis and his comrades will quickly bring the maxi trimaran IDEC SPORT back to Brittany where she will undergo a winter refit at the Multiplast shipyard in Vannes to get ready for a new attempt in March or April 2022.

"This is the first time in my career that I've interrupted a stand-by without having attempted to set a record," admits Francis Joyon, "It's a strange feeling, but after a long month of waiting, and no interesting prospects on the horizon for the next 15 days, we've decided to interrupt our adventure, and to postpone it until next spring."