2019 HYS FAST40+ National Championship, título para Ran.


© Sportography.tv

Fuente info FAST40+

HYS FAST40+ National Championship for the HYS Cup

Rán win HYS FAST40+ Nationals for the HYS Cup in fantastic Solent conditions.

25 August, 2019.

Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán has won the HYS FAST40+ Nationals for the HYS Cup with a commanding performance over three days of racing on a sun-drenched Solent.

The expertly sailed Swedish entry took the HYS Cup with 7 wins in 8 races, their apparent stroll to victory belied by the constant pressure applied by a highly-competitive fleet that snapped at their heels throughout the three-day event.

A beaming Zennstrom said: “Everyone is very happy and also the reality is that we have a very good series. I think we were very consistent and everything worked out well, we made very few mistakes, and when everything works well it is easier for our tactician to do a good job.

“The fleet is closer this year than ever before, so everyone is stepping up their game, and this is what you see in this class it’s at a really, really high level now. All the teams are learning from each other – it is getting tighter and tighter. I think it’s only going to get tougher.”

He added that the highlight of the Nationals for them was their comeback from being OCS on race 4 to grab a last-gasp win: “When almost every race is counting you have to really focus, though I think we also got lucky with a shift on the race course, but that was the nicest race for us for sure.”

Behind Rán the other podium places were hotly contested, with Niall & Olivia Dowling’s Arabella – the only other team to take a race win – earning their place on the second step thanks to a 3-4 final day scoreline, and Tony Dickin’s Jubilee snatching the final spot by a single point from Steve Cowie’s Zephyr.

The impressive Jubilee started the final day in fifth place but delivered two solid seconds to climb the leaderboard.

“We managed to get two good starts, got to the top mark in first or second, and managed to consolidate and get two seconds,” said Dicken. “As we keep saying in this fleet it’s always closely fought and there’s no room for mistakes, as we found out on Saturday. Today we were able to do what we needed to do to nick it.”

After racing the crews gathered at Hamble Yacht Services’ Events’ Centre for the prize-giving. Speaking shortly before presenting the FAST 40+ National Championship Trophy and the HYS Cup to Rán, HYS Director Nick Griffiths said: “We are keen supporters of the FAST 40+ Class and the conditions over the three days have been fabulous – we’ve been blessed, it’s what you wish for.

“HYS has been historically at the centre of yacht racing and we have always had a close association with the leading events with a large proportion of the race boats in this part of the world kept at HYS, so with the FAST 40+ Class the premier class in this country it’s a natural fit for us.

“Some of us were instrumental in getting the class going in the early stages, and the mix of professional crew with amateurs is providing a really nice standard, especially with some very good young sailors who are coming through and getting the chance to race at a very high level, it is very good to see.”

The FAST40+ fleet returns to action for the penultimate event of the 2019 season with the One Ton Cup in Le Havre from September 19th to 22nd.

Stay up to date with all the action through the FAST40+ Class Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FAST40UK/ and the official web site:www.fast40class.com

2019 HYS FAST40+ National Championship, día 2.


© Sportography.tv

© Sportography.tv

Fuente info FAST40+

HYS FAST40+ National Championship for the HYS Cup

DAY TWO
24 August, 2019.

Unbroken sunshine and steady conditions greeted the second day of the HYS FAST 40+ Nationals, with some significant changes to the leaderboard setting the scene for what is set to be a tight contest in Sunday’s finale.

Niall & Olivia Dowling’s Arabella has moved up to second place after a day of improving results, with a 7-5-2 scoreline to add to their first day victory. They are, however, tied on 16 points with Steve Cowie’s third placed Zephyr after the day’s two windward-leeward races and a 12-mile round-the-cans course.

Both boats have leapfrogged ahead of current FAST40+ season leaders Girls on Film, with Peter Morton’s team surrendering their overnight second place with a highly untypical 6-7-6 scoreline to finish the day fourth on 20 points , a discard having now come into play.

Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán meanwhile continued her imperious form to go clear at the top of the table with three straight wins. This string included an impressive fightback after being OCS – and dead last – at the start of the first race to take a last-gasp win, snatching victory in the last gybe from Tony Dickin’s fast improving Jubilee.

Full Results

“We led all the way and we thought we had Rán at the line,” said Dickin. “But that was just our perspective, so that was a bit frustrating to be honest having led all the way round – we will just go back tomorrow and have another go.

“We took a penalty in the second race and that cost us – in this fleet if you make a mistake and pick up a penalty you are going to end up at the back and that’s exactly what happened,” he said reflecting on Jubilee’s 2-9-5 scoreline for the day which saw them finish fifth overall on 21 points.

“We will have to sail well to achieve a podium place at the end as it’s very competitive and everyone seems to be on their game, but we will do our best.”

Aside from Rán the most consistent boat was Zephyr, posting results of 3-3-4 which included a comeback from eighth place at the top mark in the second race. Skipper Ian Marshall put their current podium place down to the Scottish team’s overall high standard.

“It’s primarily the crew work which has improved tenfold – they are being consistent now and we are all working as a team, it’s all clicking together, we are performing much better and we are all really enjoying it – we are all getting on really well, it’s just great fun.

“If we continue the way we are sailing now then we should be OK and hold on to a podium place, but we are not counting anything just yet.”

Also in contention for a top-three finish is Arabella. A delighted Niall Dowling said: “We’re surprised to be where we are considering our start to the day, but it seemed that a lot of the boats who had a good day yesterday took a while to warm up today – one small mistake and you were out of the back of the fleet.

“Perseverance was the key, and we had a great battle with Elvis, which is a sistership, around the course. It was a great day overall. As for our final position I never take anything for granted – I never look behind me in this racing I just keep looking ahead,” he added with a laugh.

Filip Engelbert’s Swedish team on Elvis remain in contention for a strong finish with 22 points, while Ed Fishwick’s Redshift and James Neville’s Ino XXX both enjoyed close racing as a sparkling second day came to a close.

Stay up to date with all the action through the FAST40+ Class Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FAST40UK/ and the official web site:www.fast40class.com

2019 HYS FAST40+ National Championship, día 1.


© Sportography.tv
Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán

Fuente info FAST40+

HYS FAST40+ National Championship for the HYS Cup

DAY ONE
23 August, 2019.

Day One of the HYS FAST40+ Nationals started an hour late but it was worth the wait. Three windward leeward races were held in 10-12 knots from the east with glorious sunshine producing fantastic conditions in the easter Solent. Racing was highly competitive, especially in the last race, which featured a course of six legs, all of less than one mile.

Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán won two of today’s races to lead the championship after the first day. Peter Morton’s Girls on Film scored a 2-2-4 to finish the day in second, and must take a bow for the manoeuvre of the day, pulling off a text-book gybe peel to replace a torn spinnaker. Niall and Olivia Dowling finished the day in style winning the last race to make third after three races. Steve Cowie’s Zephyr scored a 3-6-3 to finish the day in fourth position.

Full Results

“It was nice to be back out racing and the conditions were good, although we thought there would be less wind initially today,” commented Niklas Zennstrom. “The first two races, we didn’t get a good start and we had to avoid some contact. With the tidal situation, today was all about going right at the start, so it was a busy race track. Rán is a great boat to sail, very responsive and the rudder is so far forward because the boat is so wide, so not very forgiving. So when it all goes well it is very rewarding. We did have one problem with the take down system but the crew recovered the situation very well and we didn’t lose much. With such small margins it is easy to lose places in this fleet, so we had a good result today and we are very happy.”

“We got a great start in the last race, and the crew sailed exceptionally well for that win,” commented Niall Dowling. “I knew we had Rán in second but I never looked back,I left that to Ian (Budgen) and Campbell (Field) who did a great job on the laylines and tactics. After a wet and windy Cowes Week, today was beautiful sailing.”

Ian Marshall on the helm Steve Cowie’s Zephyr was mopping out the bilges after racing today – it’s all hands to the pumps for the Scottish team. “The moral on board was good this morning after the owners’ meeting,” commented Ian Marshall. “There is a great commitment from the owners for 2020, and we showed our appreciation by going out to do the best we could today. We got two good starts for the two podium finishes but got locked out by Girls on Film and Rán for the poor result in Race 2. Our speed seemed very good compared to the other teams today, which bodes well for tomorrow.”

After racing the FAST40+ fleet enjoyed a barbecue at HYS Event Centre, the competition is intense on the water but all the sailors enjoy a good get together, which is very much part of the ethos of the class.Racing at the HYS FAST40+ National Championship continues tomorrow Saturday 24th August, 2019.

Stay up to date with all the action through the FAST40+ Class Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FAST40UK/ and the official web site:www.fast40class.com

Regata Palermo – Montecarlo. El maxi Vera del argentino Miguel Galuccio, favorito en tiempo real.


© Carloni – Raspar / CVS
Miguel Galuccio’a maxi Vera is favourite for Palermo-Montecarlo line honours.

The Ambersail 2 team racing their VO65 would prefer a stronger forecast.

The fleet from the 15th Palermo-Montecarlo race sets sail from off Mondello and the Circolo della Vela Sicilia clubhouse

Fuente info IMA

Vera leads away on a challenging Palermo-Montecarlo race

Press release issued by the International Maxi Association
21 August 2019

Palermo-Montecarlo, the fifth and final event of the International Maxi Association’s Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge 2018-2019, set sail from Sicily at midday today with crews anticipating a long, tactical race north along the Sardinian and Corsica coasts to reach the Principality.

This is the 15th running of Palermo-Montecarlo, originally designed by the Monaco Consul and the City of Palermo Sports Council, to ‘unite two historically friendly cities through a yacht race’. Today the route takes competitors past Porto Cervo, where they are obliged to pass through a gate set by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda that works in association with the event’s main organising clubs, the Circolo della Vela Sicilia and the Yacht Club de Monaco. From there navigators have the choice of passing through the Strait of Bonifacio and up the west coast of Corsica to Monaco or, if conditions dictate, sailing the longer course east of Corsica.

Today Palermo-Montecarlo is one of the Mediterranean’s most up and coming offshore races, with 51 boats competing this year, ranging from 30 footers up to the Reichel/Pugh 83, Vera of Argentinean and Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge favourite, Miguel Galuccio.

Despite a light forecast for the start, the fleet got off at midday with a welcome northwesterly gradient/sea breeze of 10-12 knots making for a beat away from the Mondello beach and Palermo’s dramatically mountainous shore. The maxis started at the leeward end of the line and Vera rapidly edged out into the lead.

“It is a very interesting course,” observed Galuccio prior to leaving Palermo’s Marina di Villa Igiea this morning. “We did the 151 Miglia and the Rolex Giraglia and this is a bit longer. Having Bouwe on the team for this type of race will be interesting, a new experience for me,” he adds, referring to his tactician, round the world race veteran Bouwe Bekking.

Being the scratch boat is also a new experience for Galuccio with the pressure now on them to fend off challenges from the other maxis and even the competitive TP52 @robas2 of Frenchman Gérard Logel. “Of course it is a good thing that we could get line honours, but it will be competitive,” continues Galuccio, who is sailing his first Palermo-Montecarlo, as is Bekking.

The Dutch sailing legend was reluctant to make any predictions of what would happen in the race. “In this part of the world, you have forecasts, but it is more a case of what you see.

“I expect that we’ll go west to see if we can get around the little ridge. If we can, then there should be a light running breeze and we might make a little gain, but there will be a lot of snakes and ladders in this race. It is always tempting to sail the direct course, but that just looks like it will be too expensive in the long run.” As to the option of leaving Corsica to port, Bekking says “you would have to be very brave! Good luck to anyone who goes that way!”

At the time of writing Vera was making 11 knots, taking the most extreme westerly route in an attempt to remain in the breeze, albeit some 45° off course.

Hoping for more breeze than forecast was the crew on the VO65 Ambersail 2. The Lithuanian team competed in Palermo-Montecarlo two years ago on their VO60 and skipper Raimondas Šiugždinis admitted this morning: “This boat is not ideal for the forecast. We would prefer 30 knots! We will do the best we can.” The boat has a particularly intense racing program, campaigned by three crews and is fresh from competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race and is next heading to the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo over 1-7 September.

Another heavily campaigned boat taking part is the Marten 72 Aragon of Dutch joint owners Andreas Verder and Arco Van Nieuwland. They sail with a mix of family and pros including top French navigator Oliver Douillard – another Palermo-Montecarlo first timer. “It is a typical Mediterranean race. The forecast is very light so we have to be opportunistic and take what we can see,” Douillard advises. “A lot will depend on position and timing. It could be downwind to Porto Cervo. After that there could potentially be a northeast wind to the north of Corsica. We could sail direct…”

A smaller Marten 68, also largely with a family crew, is Cassiopeia. Hungarian Kristof Nobilis is racing with other family members Kornel and Barna while son Demeter is registered as skipper. The boat competed in the Palermo-Montecarlo two years ago and this time is only being sailed seven up, so everyone on board is “doing everything. It is fast and you don’t need a huge crew,” as one crew explained, adding their approach is more for pure enjoyment compared the other well known Hungarian maxi team, Márton Józsa’s Reichel Pugh 66 Wild Joe.

Having not quite managed to mount a campaign for this America’s Cup, Renato Azara is competing in the Davidson 69, Adelasia di Torres, better known as Pendragon VI. Azara, who has not done the race before, has onboard a mix of amateur sailors and pros, such as Slovenia grinder Iztok Knafelc and an international cast including Omani pro navigator Sami Al Shukaili. Azara’s campaign has a cause, similar to that of Oman Sail, in trying to get Sardinians, especially children, to rediscover their maritime heritage. Sardinia was a major Mediterranean seafaring nation as long ago as the Bronze Age. Plus “sailing is one of the best sports because it involves all the natural elements – the sun, the sea, the wind,” explains Azara. “It helps to build kids mentally and physically and help them learn to make choices.”

The competitors have a tricky race ahead of them to Monaco. At this early stage the entire fleet has chosen to err heavily to the left of the race course where there is believed to be better pressure tonight.

For more information on the International Maxi Association visit www.internationalmaxiassociation.com

For more information and to following the yb tracking visit www.palermo-montecarlo.it

SSAB ORC European Championship 2019. Resultados de la regata offshore.


© Felix Diemer
Class B series leader Sportsfreund from Germany.

Fuente info ORC

Offshore race results are in at SSAB ORC European Championship 2019

No change in class leaders, but two inshore races held today

Oxelosund, Sweden – After a long day yesterday for Classes B and C and one that drifted into the night for some teams in Class A, the offshore race results are in with some new names at the top of the race results but the leaders in each class remain unchanged at the SSAB ORC European Championship 2019. This race was important because it is not discardable in the series results.

While over 2 hours behind the first finisher One Sailing Finland’s TP 52 Zer0emission, Erik Berth’s Swan 45 Tarok 7 from Denmark still managed to slide into the finish on a dying breeze after nearly 12 hours of racing with just 1:20 to spare to win the race on corrected time and earn another bullet on her leading scoreline of 1-2-1.

In Class B racing on a shorter course, the wind was not quite as in danger of dying so the racing remained close right up to the finish. Being the fastest-rated boats in the class, the Farr 40′s needed about 15 minutes of space between them and the rest of the fleet, but were unable to save their time so Jens Kuphal’s Landmark 43 Intermezzo from Germany won the race by a margin of 46 seconds to the current series leader, Axel Seehafer’s X-41 Sportsfreund, also from Germany. Intermezzo is recognized in this fleet as being ex-Santa, Claus Landmark’s Class B Gold medalist from Norway in last year’s Offshore World Championship in The Hague.

“This was an interesting race,” said Sportsfreund tactician Jesper Radich. “We did not have a Code 0 for reaching like the others, so we had to be aggressive at switching from the jib with staysail to the A3 with staysail when the conditions were right. This is a tough class, so doing this right was really important.”

And in Class C one of the faster-rated boats did save their time to win by the greatest margin of all the classes. Max Augustin’s Farr 30 H.E.A.T from Germany corrected out over runner-up and reigning ORC European champion Katariina II from Estonia, Aivar Tuulberg’s Acrcona 340. With a 4th place in the long race, Class C leader remains Kodutarve OU’s J/112E Matilda 4 from Estonia on scores of 1-1-4.

This morning dawned with overcast skies (but no rain), the first all week, with a southerly 10-14 knot breeze in the course area and a return of the Baltic bumpy sea state. Race managers have courses set for another 2 races to continue the series.

Results when they become available will be found at the event’s scoring page at https://data.orc.org/public/WEV.dll?action=index&eventid=EURO19.
Photo galleries for the event can be found at https://orc2019.oxss.nu/media.
For more information on the SSAB ORC European Championship 2019, visit https://orc2019.oxss.nu.
More on ORC rating systems, ORC certificates and events can be found at www.orc.org.

SSAB ORC European Championship 2019, regata offshore en marcha.


© Felix Diemer
Soto 40 Scamp 27 off to a fast start from the first mark.

Tracker image of Class B traversing the Swedish coast off Oxelosund

Fuente info ORC

Offshore race progress at SSAB ORC European Championship 2019

Perfect breeze and sunny skies produces a fast and close race

Oxelosund, Sweden – On Day Two of the SSAB ORC European Championship 2019 the fleet of 70 boats are enjoying a sunny Swedish summer day racing offshore in the open Baltic Sea on courses traversing back and forth along the rocky coast. Class A is racing 79.0 miles, Class B 68.2 miles and Class C 60.6 miles, and after a start at 10:00 this morning they are expected to start crossing the finish line in the harbor of Oxelosund starting at sundown.

While racing under handicap using Coastal/Long distance course ratings, and therefore exact standings are difficult to calculate, some early favorites are emerging as leaders in corrected time based on the AIS tracker data seen at http://www.sailracetoday.com/orc2019.

At 1700 local time Erik Berth’s Swan 45 Tarok VII from Denmark has the lead over Bernhard Buchwald’s XP 44 Xenia from Germany and Karalow Witold’s Soto 40 Scamp 27 from Poland. Leading in elapsed time is One Sailing Finland’s TP 52 Zer0emission.

Class B is much more contentious, with clusters of boats pushing each other around the course. The lead pack has three Swedish Farr 40′s vying for the lead: C-J Marnell’s Farr 40 Warpath, Jonas Andersson’s Stormtrooper and Johan Ekroth’s Hurrykanen, and at 1700 Warpath had the lead in both elapsed and corrected time. Next in line in corrected time looked like two Finnish teams: Power Reach’s Sinergia 40 Adela, followed by Sakari Laulajainen’s Salona 37 Ramdata.

And in Class C the racing in corrected time and in the main group is very tight, with Mathias Haufe’s Esse 990 Finesse in the lead, followed by the elapsed time leader Holger Streckenbach’s modified Melges 32 Old Jug, who currently is launched out well ahead of the pack and will likely beat everyone into the harbor finish. And in third in corrected time is another fast boat, Max Augustin’s Farr 30 H.E.A.T.

Final results when they become available will be found at the event’s scoring page at https://data.orc.org/public/WEV.dll?action=index&eventid=EURO19
Inshore windward/leeward racing resumes tomorrow, with the first start of two planned races scheduled for 11:00 CET.
Photo galleries for the event can be found at https://orc2019.oxss.nu/media.
For more information on the SSAB ORC European Championship 2019, visit https://orc2019.oxss.nu.
More on ORC rating systems, ORC certificates and events can be found at www.orc.org.

SSAB ORC European Championship 2019, comienzo ventoso en Suecia.


© Felix Diemer
Mats Bergryd’s new Shogun 50 Lady Killer powered perfectly in the promotional fun race out of Oxelosund Harbor.

© Felix Diemer
Two teams from Estonia, Postimees (left) and Sugar (right), power through today’s Baltic bump to hold their lane in Class C

© MarcS
The racing in Class B was tight, with little room available on the short reach to the offset mark.

Fuente info ORC

Windy start to SSAB ORC European Championship 2019

Two inshore races completed in 18-22 knots, with twilight promotional race held for harbor spectators

Oxelosund, Sweden – The clear windy conditions today on the Baltic Sea produced extremely close racing and a suitably exciting start to the SSAB ORC European Championship 2019. Two windward-leeward races were held in 17-22 knot puffy and shifty conditions, with race managers hitting their target of about 1 hour duration for each race.

The 1+ hour commute from the harbor to the course area had teams leaving the marina early this morning to meet the first start time at 10:00. Maybe the coffee had not kicked in yet, because both Classes A and B as well as Class C started without general recalls and any need for the Black flag to control the fleet.

This does not mean, however, there was no aggression on the water in both of today’s two-lap 6.2-mile races: in fact, in the first race the reigning Class C World Champion team on OU Leitvaagen’s Italia 9.98 Sugar helmed by Sandro Montefusco, tangled with another mixed Estonian-Italian team, Aivar Tuulberg’s Arcona 340 Katariina II, the reigning ORC European Class C champion.

In their first port-starboard cross in the first leg of the first race, Sugar’s cross on port by 1.5 meters was judged too close by the jury in a protest, so Sugar was given a DSQ for this race. This decision then handed the series lead on scores of 1-1 to Kodutarve OU’s new J/112E Matilde 4, also from Estonia. And yet another Estonian team, OU Laanekas’s CYD 37 Postimees Sailing Team, has also elevated in the standings to second on scores of 3-4, and Katariina in third with 2-6. Teams from Estonia currently occupy four of the five top positions in the series in Class C.

Class B’s 25 entries raced two two-lap 6.5-mile courses today, sharing with the eight entries in Class A. Axel Seehafer’s X-41 Sportsfreund from Germany had a good day, winning both races in the class. The first was won by only 13 seconds after an hour of sailing to Michael Berghorn’s X-41 Halbtrocken 4.0 and Jens Kuphal’s modified Landmark 43 Intermezzo also from Germany – the two were tied to within a second in corrected time. In Race 2, however, Sportsfreund was able to break free of the pack and expand their margin of victory to 1:34 over runner-up Halbtrocken. In series standings after two races, Sportsfreund has only 2.0 points, Halbtrocken 4.5 and the modified X-41 Premium skippered by Meelis Pielberg from Estonia is in third on 8.0 points.

Erik Berth’s Swan 45 Tarok VII from Denmark and One Sailing Finland’s TP 52 Zer0emission traded victories today in Class A, with Tarok prevailing in Race 1 by a mere 3 seconds after 1.5 hours raced on the 3-lap 9.6-mile course. In Race 2 the Finns won by 37 seconds on the same course, so overall standings have them leading on 2-1, the Danes in second on 1-2, and Karalow Witold’s Soto 40 Scamp Twenty Seven from Poland in third on 6-3.

Today’s racing ended with an optional and promotional Sprint Race held in the early evening for the 1000 or so spectators lining the shore of Oxelosund Harbor. The site of dozens of boats in both pre-start maneuvers and taking off under spinnaker out the ship channel was a spectacular site for all. After a light air start, the fleet sped off under reaching sails, led by Mats Bergryd’s Shogun 50 Lady Killer outfitted with specialty reaching headsails on furlers that were perfect for this very short twilight race. This new custom Swedish racer/cruiser won the short race by 49 seconds, and has earned a new AIS system provided by event sponsor True Heading.

Racing resumes tomorrow at 10:00 CET with the start of the Offshore Race designed for a 12-hour tour of the Baltic along the southeastern coast of Sweden. Class A has a 79-mile race to complete, Class B a 68.2-mile course, and Class C a course of 60.6 miles. Weather is forecasted to be favorable, with a continuation of the southwest breeze at 10-20 knots.

AIS tracking of boat positions can be viewed at www.sailracetoday.com/orc2019.
For more information on the ORC European Championship 2019, visit https://orc2019.oxss.nu.
More on ORC rating systems, ORC certificates and events can be found at www.orc.org.

SailGP Cowes, Tom Slingsby con Australia gana en un día de condiciones extremas.


© SailGP

© SailGP

© SailGP

© SailGP

Fuente info SailGP

AUSTRALIA’S TOM SLINGSBY DELIVERS MASTERCLASS IN EXTREME CONDITIONS AT COWES SAILGP

11 AUGUST 2019NEWS

Tom Slingsby and the Australia SailGP Team accept their prize in front of British fans
COWES, UK – August 11, 2019 – In extreme conditions at the European debut of SailGP, Australia’s Tom Slingsby proved once again that he is the one to beat in the league’s first season. The Australia SailGP Team dominated the field with a sweep of the races while becoming the first crew to break the 50-knot speed barrier in sail racing. Meanwhile, Rome Kirby’s U.S SailGP Team capsized in dramatic fashion and Dylan Fletcher and the British team took a violent nose dive resulting in boat damage that prevented them from finishing racing.

The stakes were higher than ever on the first and only day of racing in Cowes, as the last chance for teams to put points on the leaderboard before the final in Marseille, where the SailGP championship trophy and $1 million awaits the season winner.

In front of a packed crowd at the SailGP Race Village at Egypt Point, Slingsby set a new sail racing speed record, clocking in at 50.0 knots while crossing the finish line of the first race. It marked the first time in sail racing history that a boat broke the 50-knot speed barrier.

Earlier in the week, the Australian team sustained damage to its wing in practice and was unsure whether it would be able to race today, but Sunday morning saw all damage repaired and Slingsby raring to go. The team, which only had a couple hours of practice in its boat this week, made a deal with the French, who loaned the Aussies their boat in exchange for some training with Slingsby onboard.

“We were on the start today with a couple of hours sailing compared to a lot more sailing from a lot of the other teams. I was definitely worried,” said Slingsby. “It was hairy out there. It might have looked easy, but it definitely wasn’t. We just did our best and concentrated on ourselves. We heard other teams were having issues and it could have so easily happened to us.”
The United States SailGP Team capsized within 30 seconds of the start of race one, but surprisingly was able to compete in the rest of the day’s racing with quick assistance from the SailGP tech team. Despite a tough day, Kirby’s American team was able to climb the leaderboard for third place overall.

The Great Britain SailGP Team wasn’t as lucky. On the penultimate leg of the first race, the team dug its bow into the water, sending flight controller Chris Draper tumbling over Stuart Bithell in a dramatic crash. No injuries were sustained, however, the boat was too damaged to sail for the remainder of the day. Fletcher was massively disappointed, having had high hopes at his home event after breaking the 50-knot barrier and winning two of two practice races earlier in the week.

“We were sat there before the start of the racing watching the floods of crowd come in, it was amazing to see all that support and we were really looking forward to going racing,” said Fletcher. “Then, when we went bow down and that was us, game over for the day. We are so disappointed for ourselves but also the fans that came out to support us.”
Teaming up with the Australians paid off for Billy Besson and the French squad, which had its highest score yet, finishing second in the last race of the day, ahead of Japan and the United States.

Australia Japan China Cowes

“It was good for the moral, the work we did the last week here in Cowes was really great and we did a great job,” said Besson. “We will be pushing more for the last event in Marseille.”

Phil Robertson of the China SailGP Team also had his best finish yet on the Cowes racecourse, with a second-place race finish and third overall placing, making serious gains in stability and speed since New York.

“Wild…that was an absolutely crazy day,” said Phil Robertson. “The team is pretty happy with how we finished up, it was a pretty good day all in all. The big thing we learned this week was how to handle the boat a bit better and how to keep the boat safe as well on days like today.”

Nathan Outteridge was at the top of the leaderboard, one point ahead of the Australians going into Cowes, but, by the end of the day, the team was trying to hold its own and keep the boat in one piece. A crash down from the foils in race one caused Japan to break one of its grinding pedestals, drastically decreasing performance. Outteridge will have to close a gap of four points to be on par with Slingsby in Marseille.

“The main thing looking ahead to Marseille is to make the match race, and the goal will be to win that match race,” said Outteridge. “Today was a big step for us in securing that. Yes, we didn’t beat the Australians, we didn’t take a race off them here, but we extended our overall lead on the Americans.”
SailGP’s final stop for Season 1 is in Marseille. Fans can expect the racing to be fierce, with three full days of competition planned, an ultimate winner-takes-all match race for the SailGP championship trophy and $1 million purse.

Full Cowes SailGP results here

SailGP Season 1 current leaderboard here.