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Posts Tagged ‘World Championship’

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The monster breeze that broke ribs in at least four sailors (and rigs on four more) on Thursday gave way to picture-perfect Garda conditions for the first day of post-qualifying action at the Worlds. Worlds social media/video host Randy Cunningham gets up above it all for a birds-eye view from an ultralight in this fun highlight reel from Day 4 of the Moth Worlds.  UK, Aus, and Kiwis own the entire top ten, with Cup sailors owning much of it…results here with racing beginning soon over here.  Photos by Martina Orsini here.

 

 

July 29th, 2017 by admin

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We were all set to deliver our own Moth Worlds prognostications (late, as usual), but then we ran across this piece on The Foiling Week’s blog from flying scribe Neil Baker, and we knew we wouldn’t be able to do much better.  So we pulled some excerpts to post here – with a Day 1 cancellation meaning it’s just in the nick of time – and advise you to head over to the original pieces (Part 1, Part 2) if you want the rest of the story.  Shoutout to “Randy Cunningham,” the funniest on-air personality in sailing, in the Worlds intro video above, and tune in to the Worlds video feed for more gems from his generation’s Mouth of the South.  Here’s Baker:

On Any Moth Worlds:

Why is it horrible? Well mostly it is the crushing realisation that you have to deliver. Its high noon in the racing stakes and you have nowhere to hide now. You have to make good on what you’ve invested training, in brownie points with the wife (or husband!) and of course in carbon. Moths have that extreme element for sailors of trying to calculate the biggest bang for your buck when buying your kit for a season, and also figuring out the best time to do it so that you haven’t, quite literally, blown your wad too soon. It can be frustrating to buy something new, like a high lift foil, only for someone to release a newer better one a few months later. Of course most annoyingly for one still stuck at the desk looking over a London train station…the really horrible element this week is the self-gratifying pictures of people already on their way or even already at the best sailing spot on the planet, lake Garda, filling social media feeds with increasing regularity.

On Garda:

The wind is like clockwork (touch wood) and the Italians are superb hosts. The pasta always seems to be ready just when you’re going sailing?? The coffee is good enough to make even the most committed Melbournian barista swoon, and for those of a “Patonator” type persuasion, an Aperol Spritz is the finest post sales recovery beverage you’ll get anywhere in the world. The water is also Pan flat when the Orais blowing. Less so when the evil northerly wind is blowing and if we get some f that again it will no doubt separate the men from the boys. If it happens before the gold fleet selection is made it could really change the make up of the fleets.

On Gear Evolution

The kit has changed in an imperceptible yet highly effective way. 2012 was a year when gains were increasingly marginal around the foil horizontals despite a lot of the focus being in that area. There have only been small improvements since. However, many other areas have progressed. Aero tramps, lower mast stumps and stiffer EVERYTHING. Adjustable wands have gone mainstream and then moved onto become telescopic and hang off the Bow sprits to give the boat extra stability and much more control in waves. The foil verticals have got thinner and stiffer and the sails have evolved to a whole new level with Carbon battens being de rigeur. Of course there have been a few howlers along the way, the less said about the twin wands idea the better,one can only assume those guys were trying to make up for something. We also don’t see too many wing sails either although that was partly because it was found they didn’t measure.

On Boats

Exocets have gone from just single figures in 2012 with just one in the top 10, to being the boat of choice for many. They even finally managed to win the worlds in 2016 at the 5th attempt (took long enough!). Does that mean they’re the best…we’ll find out. Cookie has taken the Rockets into the solid state design and they are going like, erm, something fast that flies, wait, it’ll come to me, and Mach 2 have continued to make small, incremental but effective improvements. There are a few other new designs coming through, we might even see the Lennon “Thinnair”doing well although it’s not raced yet. The Voodoo is getting there and now has some good sailors developing it, we still don’t know what the heck Josh McKnight is going to turn up with. Really, between the big builders, the margins are now very fine. We don’t know which design will win, we know that a Wazsp won’t so stop ****ing asking. One thing we can be certain of is that the best sailor will still probably carry the win. Actually, one more thing we can be certain of is Simon Owen-Smith, the mothies SoS. The most important bit of Moth Kit will be there and he will be busting his ass off for everyone to keep them on the water. Buy that man a beer, I doubt Aperol is his thing, although you never know.

On Fleet Talent

If anyone can name an event with the quality of fleet to match this then I’d like to see it. There really is a depth of talent here that is eye watering. In fact it’s enough to make you cry if you spend the majority of your week trying to do an honest days work flogging lubricant to the over 50s. The majority of Dinghy sailors never get to race against the best in the world. A few occasionally get to race against an Olympian, the odd one of us gets to race against a medallist. At the moth worlds in 2017 you’ll be banging on the toilet door just before launch o’clock, complaining at the wait, with a good chance that it’s someone you’d normally go a bit weak at the knees about if they sailed within 200 metres of you at the round the island race.

On British Hopes

First to go is the current holder of the world championship title, the UK. In fact that very World Champion is Paul Goodison who is turning up fresh from the AC and, knowing nothing about how much time he’s had to sail, he’s definitely got a good chance, he is pure quality. Another strong UK sailor will always be Rob Greenhalgh; usually well prepared and driving some primo, slightly experimental kit, you’d be a fool to bet against him. However, time in the boat is also a challenge for him of late. Well that’s what he’ll tell you anyway. Sadly the current UK champ, Dylan Fletcher, is not available. As member of the GB Olympic squad he’s being marched off to Kiel to continue the relentless Olympic cycle. Far be it for people to have a break in the first year of the cycle. It’s a real shame as Dylan was unbelievably fast at the UK nationals. Still, his Solid State Rocket, not to be confused with a skate park for mice, is coming and will be sailed by none other than former Euro champ Cookie himself. Now we’ll find out if it’s the boat or the sailor eh Cookie? No pressure. There are plenty of other strong UK contenders but it’s unlikely they’ll fight for the title. Ben Paton has already reserved 4th place and Rashley has moved on to some kind of sunsail holiday, or is it Nacra sailing, it all looks the same.

On The Other Big Moth Nation

From the Australian contingent we’ve got a huge bevvy of talent coming, including former Moth world champions Josh McKnight and Nathan Outteridge , Americas cup sailors like Tom Slingsby and Iain Jensen and of course long time Worlds contenders like Scott Babbage and Rob Gough. Whilst many of them have been heavily involved in the AC, or several other types of boat, they’ve all got some great kit and will no doubt be loving the idea of getting stuck into racing at Garda. Rumour is a few of the AC sailors went straight from the Cup to Malcesine to get practicing. Commitment like that shows why they are so much better than the rest of us. I’d have been happy to just get away from boats for good I expect.

Again, read the full breakdown at The Foiling Week here.

And if you want to know Sailing Anarchy’s picks, here they are:

First: Pete Burling

Second: Paul Goodison

Third: Rob Greenhalgh

July 25th, 2017 by admin

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A couple of days of Lake Garda gorgeousness saw 149 sailors take the line at the Italian Nationals – a/k/a the Moth Pre-Worlds, which starts Tuesday.  A few unknown names like Burling, Outerridge, and Slingsby are enjoying the low-pressure environment, while Paul Goodison took five straight bullets to beat up on second place Rob Greenhalgh.  Check back tomorrow for some form guide action and a podcast with absentee 2x World Champ Bora Gulari about the fleet. Photo by Martina Orsini with results here and some good action over at the Moth Worlds facebook page.

 

July 23rd, 2017 by admin

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Yachting’s dirty little secret is the nearly complete lily-whiteness of the competition in almost every venue, which is why we get stoked when we see stories like South Africa’s Abenathi Jim and Sibu Suzatu taking the first podium in major competition for an all-black South African 470 crew.   Jim took 20th in the Rio Olympics along with decidedly unblack crew Roger Hudson, and in his first big event with new crew Suzatu – the pre-Worlds in Greece – the duo took third spot in a tough 44-boat pre-worlds fleet.

Props to Hudson – now the team’s performance coach – and RSA’s RaceAhead Foundation for grinding it out in the long slog to diverse participation at the top of the game.  And props to the International 470 Class for finally joining the latter part of the 20th century with the introduction of carbon-fiber masts following the 2020 Tokyo Games.

After three days of Worlds, the RSA team is just outside the top ten, while top US team Stu McNay and Dave Hughes sit just outside the podium spots. Results here, and some great photo galleries of the teams are over here (reminding all of us just which fleet has the best looking women in sailing).

July 10th, 2017 by admin

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Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 9.45.32 AMIn an interesting bit of offshore racing news dropped today, ORC announced that the first-ever Offshore Racing World Championship will take place in the Netherlands in 2018 under a joint IRC/ORC scheme.  It’s a fascinating conclusion (subject to change, of course) to a conflict that nearly came to blows at World Sailing’s Annual Conference in Barcelona late last year.  Our own reporter watched Stan Honey scold the IRC and ORC representatives and send them off without their supper to work out their issues, and it seems they’ve reached that agreement to try to mend offshore wounds and bring handicap ocean racers together.

We all know the sport has been in trouble for a long time, and with a few noteable exceptions, handicap racing is struggling harder than any other sector to stem its losses, which result as much from unhappiness with handicap rules and complicated, competing ratings systems.  That’s why we applaud the ORC and IRC brass for putting aside their self-interest and doing right by the sport for once. Now, if the boatbuilders and classes would just follow their lead, we might start getting somewhere!

Here’s the Worlds site, and here’s the ORC release. Max Ranchi photo of the last ORC Worlds.

 

February 9th, 2017 by admin

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It’s just two weeks into registration, and with 182 entries on the official list, the 2017 Moth Worlds has already broken the all-time fleet size record! Earlybird entries closed on Tuesday with sailors from 25 countries registered for the event to be held at the Fraglia vela Malcesine in late July.  Thanks to an off-year for the Olympics and the rapid growth of the wide world of foiling, the record lineup features a daunting who’s who of top sailors.  Thanks to Class Prez Scott Babbage for the reminder, and credit to Thierry Martinez/2012 Moth Worlds for the photo from the last time the Moths hit the World’s Best Sailing Lake.

At the top of the list is the Olympic Laser shoot out, with reigning Moth World Champion, 2008 Gold Medallist and Artemis Racing helmsman Paul Goodison (GBR) going up against 2012 Gold Medallist and Oracle Team USA tactician Tom Slingsby (AUS) and 2016 Gold Medallist Tom Burton (AUS).

2016 Laser Radial Olympic Silver Medallist and 2014 Women’s Moth World Champion Annalise Murphy (IRL) leads the charge in the growing women’s fleet against reigning champion Wakako Tabata (JPN) and 2013 Women’s Champion Emma Gravare (SWE).

Among the past champions, 2009 & 2013 Moth World Champion Bora Gulari (USA) makes a comeback to the class after taking time out to compete in the Nacra 17 at the Rio Olympics. Also making a return after Olympic and Americas Cup commitments, dual medallist Iain Jensen (AUS) will be looking to improve on his top 10 result in 2015.

Despite, or perhaps due to the venue, over 30 Australian entrants will make the journey, lining up against a large British contingent. New Moth countries Argentina, Ireland and Finland are well represented, alongside competitors from growing fleets in Poland, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Norway, Canada and Bermuda.

Taking it to the Olympians will be the Moth regulars including 2012 World Champion and current Australian Champion Josh McKnight (AUS). McKnight will debut a new Australian built Moth for the event against the dominant Mach2 and Exocet designs. Also pushing the development envelope is 2015 and 2016 Amlin International and Volvo Ocean Racer Rob Greenhalgh (GBR), who will surely be among the favourites based on recent form. 2016 European Champion Mike Lennon (GBR) will also debut a new design, the Lennon PP Moth designed by David Hollom and built by White Formula in the UK. Not short of innovative ideas, winner of the 2013 Mini Transat Benoit Marie (FRA) returns with a new boat for the event.

Alongside Marie is a large European contingent, with 3 time Moth European Champion Arnaud Psarofagis (SUI) taking a break from his responsibilities as helmsman on the Alinghi Extreme Series GC32 to return to the Moth. Not to be taken lightly, the local Italian fleet will be out in force, lead by 3 time Olympian and Artemis Racing helmsman Francesco Bruni (ITA). 

6 months is still a long time in a Moth, but with entry numbers rapidly approaching 200, anticipation will be building for what will be the largest Moth World Championship ever. Follow the event progress here or find MothWorlds on FaceBook & Twitter.

 

 

February 3rd, 2017 by admin

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From 13 to 18 years old, this Mudratz Racing-produced crew is the youngest-ever Melges 24 Worlds team.  They’re also fun, smart, and great at telling their story, and we enjoyed chatting with them on the eve of the final day of the biggest sailing event of their young lives.  Enjoy this uplifting 20 minute Skype chat with the future of the sport of sailing, with lessons for anyone who cares where we go over the next 50 years in sailing.

 

December 3rd, 2016 by admin

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It’s not going all that well for the current Melges 24 World Champion (while the US 470 team is showing the rest of the fleet their asses aboard Conor Clarke’s ultra-fast Embarr). Here’s the midweek report from Chris Rast’s EFG Bank team (thanks to Swiss Performance Sailing). Pierrick Contin photo with full galleries, interviews, and live video that’s so bad it’s fun to watch – all here.

Sailboat racing is a funny thing. You can feel so prepared for the first day of racing and still fall short. The EFG Sailing Team did not have such a great day out on the water. We had a few problems downwind and at times didn’t find the fastest upwind mode. Nevertheless, no one on the team gave up and we stayed focused until the finish of the last race of the day.

So what do you we do now? WE FIGHT! It has been only three races and we have another nine races to go. Anything can happen in this fleet and the forecast is for lighter wind over the next few days.

The winners of the day were Conor Clarke and his stellar crew including Dave Hughes and Stu McNay. They were the fastest and smartest boat how there. They are closely followed by Airforce One with Bora Gulari on the helm and Jonathan McKee on Tactics. We are looking forward to applying some of our learnings to tomorrow’s racing.

Time for a good night sleep and dream of better day.

Title inspiration thanks to Migos.

 

December 1st, 2016 by admin

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Perhaps no sailing team in the world is inspiring more young racers than the Mystic River Mudratz.  Full of Anarchists and driven by some very clever industry-insider parents, the New England-based youth sailing initiative continues to give anyone who sees them hope for the future.  But now, their hope for competing at the Melges 24 Worlds may be in jeopardy, and if there was ever a cause that deserved your help, this is it.  Here’s a note from one of those co-founding parents:

“You will never forget the day you break your first rig” were the words of encouragement from world-renowned pro sailor and Race Officer Anderson Reggio.  Unfortunately for our team of youth sailors… it happened on the very last day of practice!  After a full season that started back in May, the kids were finally getting the art of blow-through-jibes while ‘sending it’ off of waves in 18-22 knots last Saturday.  We had a foiling UFO and Waszp in town for demos that morning, and the kids were inspired to just go faster and faster…  the day could not have been going any better, until…BANG!

With the Melges 24 Worlds under 30 days away, our boat probably cannot be fixed in that time.  These kids have scratched and clawed their way to respectability with over 20 days of racing and 40 days of practices.  As guest coach Charlie Enright shared with them one night this past July “The hardest thing about big events – is getting to the starting line”.

We have fundraised relentlessly to cover travel costs and even lined up a final tune-up in Miami with former Rolex Sailor of the Year Stephanie Roble.  These kids have worked so hard and are dying to become bright future members of our adult sailing community.   Does anyone have a Melges 24 they would consider chartering to us?

The Mudratz are celebrating our three year anniversary while all this is going on.  If you are interested to see what this team is about check out the video here.  If you don’t have a spare Melges 24 lying around, PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING OUR TEAM TO HELP US GET BACK ON THE LINE!

October 30th, 2016 by admin

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After a very strong Marstrand finale to the inaugural World Match Racing Tour,  our friends in M32 World have been extremely quiet, with no firm announcements for the 2016/17 WMRT season other than a teaser telling us there would indeed be another million on offer for the winner of the series. This week, we found out what they’ve been up to: First, and as you can see by the titillating video above, they’ve gotten International Class status from ISAF and the inaugural M32 World Championship will be sailed on the Devil’s Island immediately after the Tour finale in Marstrand.  While future M32 Worlds will be qualified events, this first year is first-come, first-served, and capped at 25 boats, so get registered now.

Far more importantly, M32 World announced that the Volvo Ocean Race will now feature the M32 cat for Pro-Am and guest racing at 8 of the VOR Stopovers. Each boat will be branded like one of the teams and sailed over the course of the stopover, allowing non-stop sailing action for spectators and VIP/hospitality guests.  Instead of a two days of in-port and pro-am racing, those eight stopovers will now be full of racing action – a move that pleases both VOR, the teams, and the local vendors while increasing the crossover between long time circumnavigators and inshore cat racers.

 

 

October 14th, 2016 by admin

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