2014 CSN Boat of the Year: Flying Phantom

Image: Nicolas Felix. Video Jeremie Eloy / Wanaii Films (If any doubt on why boat of the year just see this video...)  In 2013 the Nacra 17 was definitely the boat of the year on the impact generated in the Multihull World plus the great lively performance the 17 provide to the new breed of Olympic Mixed crews.
Some asked why not the FP, and I remarked that it was still in the proto / pre poduction phase.
In May I had the chance to see and sail the FP at Carnac, seeing this boat flying along the Goldfish super tender was a truly surreal experience, in the sense of it was too perfect, too stable , too good be true, it looked like a smooth rendering.

Early in the year Americas Cup teams started to test the beast and later ordered a pair of FP of their own. Philippe Presti (Oracle sailing coach) sailed it at St Lunaire, and at Carnac it was Nathan Outteridge & Loick Peyron turn (Artemis). These guys had the experience to determine how good and stable the FP was, and just seeing Loick's face after his flight plus his comments were a reassurance of what we all have seen in videos and I was seeing live at the moment.

Then the most indicated and experienced pilot of them all, Nathan Outteridge (who else has AC72 /AC45 Flight hours, a Moth World Title and a Master degree in A-Class foiling as he showed at Takapuna?)  went for a sail, and his face also denoted a a huge grin. At the end of the day I jumped over the FP and with Nathan at the helm  for a 24knots in 8-9?knots true wind.

If seeing it was great, flying the beast was out of the scale. But the surprise was how easy (in those perfect 8-9knots flat conditions) was to maintain the boat airborne. You may say that having Outteridge at the helm was the reason, but when some 12-14 years old kids got the helm , it was clear our impression was correct, it was literally too easy.

Long sitance Racing +17knots and waves it is another story of course.

The Flying Phantom project was conceived by Martin Fischer and Alex Udin in 2011 as a contender for Santander Olympic trials in parallel with a new F18, but the flying part of the  project was not an 'easy ride', several design iterations and feedback with Groupama Team C-Class  were needed to found the right foils to provide the rides described above.

The FP project first post , path and history since the first renders can be found right here in csn on the Flying Phantom Label.

Along the FP, Fischer designed a bigger sister 32' Flying Cat, the GC32, that had a low start and went to a similar design process phase to finally achieve some spectacular rides in 2014.

Today the FP is in full production schedule with Oralce & Artemis already sailing theirs.

So which is the best way to close 2014 for this project? Nothing better than getting the current Nr 1 Catsailor, Billy Besson , who will be flying and racing the FP in 2015 along F18 World Champ and frequent FP flyer Mathieu Vandame, and shoot best video so far of the new foiling beachcat breed. 

The intention of Phantom International is to create a OD racing circuit , but is going to be interesting to see the production FP at the major long distance Raids like Carnac & Round Texel along the  boat from Nacra that followed the FP, the Nacra 20FCS with plenty more hours & tuning in the bag for both camps.

St Barth Catacup 2014: 3rd Day by Easy Ride Videos

F18 Arg Nats 2014: Cruz Gonzalez Smith & Mariano Heuser Champs

No racing today due to lightning storms and lack of wind so all stays a reported yesterday. After 8 races Cruz Gonzalez Smith & Mariano Heuser are crowned for the second time Argentine Champs.

Previous crown was in 2010. 3rd title for Mariano who won in 2009 with Miguel Saubidet.

2nd place for Pablo Volker & Esteban Daneri, & 3rd for Agustín Krevisky & Billy Lopez Segura.

In the end the F18 experts and recently crowned US Vice Champs got ahead the two former dinghy World Champs (Volker & Krevisky) confirming they are today the Nr1 F18 local and top 2 Continenal crew.

4th place Esteban Blando & Nico Cuagliotti scored yesterday 2,2,2, 1 but their four first results in light winds were too poor to aim higher.

St Barth Catacup 2014: Lagraviere & Jarlegan Champs

All images Pierrick Contin. Morgan Lagraviere & Arnaud Jarlegan won the 2014 St Barth Catacup Edition. Lagraviere is a former 49er sailor, and current Safran IMOCA 60 skipper.
He started sailing together with World Champ Arnaud Jarlegan at this 2014 Eurocat at Carnac, and I wrote that Morgan had an excellent coach for the F18 onboard. They won the Long Distance in the water, but were OCS. Although the Catacup is more a full party in paradise, some serious racing happens every year, Lagraviere and Jarlegan won over Cammas & Mathieuw Vandame, and Besson-Riou, like if you were looking talent among this 7th edition fleet...

More pics later, full reports and gallery at www.stbarthcatacup.com

 The final standing of the 2014 edition of the St-Barth Catacup
1- FRA 124 (Architectonik) Morgan Lagravière and Arnaud Jarlegan
2- FRA (ODP1) Franck Cammas and Matthieu Vandame
3- 17 (Nikki Beach) Billy Besson and Marie Riou
4- USA 80 (St Barth Properties) John Casey and Colin Page
5- FRA 901 (Diamond Genesis) Emmanuel Boulogne and Vincent Boulogne

F18 Arg Nats 2014, Day 2: Gonzalez Smith-Heuser lead after 8

Pics taken by Sofi Tedín. Perfect day with a flat North East 8-12knots. Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser showed their level &  experience today  to grab the lead from a closed packed top 4 teams, scoring 1,5,1,2 to lead by 3 pts over Volker-Daneri, with Krevisky-Segura and Blando-Quagliotti within 4/5 pts from the leaders. All 4 teams have chances yet to crown themselves 2014 Arg Nat Champs. Tomorrow we might have light winds again so it is anyone's game. 4 Races scheduled. With 10 races a second discard will be on.

Not much to say on personal experience today, as we suffered a Direct Hit at the gate buoy, we were going upwind already when two boats came together barking each other for space, one hit the buoy and then hit our hull at the shroud anchor position, full vertical snap plus an horizontal one. The hull didn´t explode cause the C2 destroyer bow 'aimed' perfectly to the subdeck/frame "crossroads" and the Infusion 09 is one of the best series as remarked yesterday.

Pity for Leandro with so many little days on the F18 and his recently acquired boat. I don´t get why people instead of complaining and shouting for priority (on another boat, we were ahead spi down already upwind) while going full speed, they just need to avoid dangerous situations luffing hard and missing the gate/buoy traffic before smashing any boat.

Top ten below. Full at  Results . http://yachting.cnsi.org.ar/Resultados/2014/F18ARG_23-11-14.htm

Pl Sail Crew From T 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 1785 Cruz Gonzalez Smith & Mariano Heuser YCA 17 3 2 3 -9 1 5 1 2
2 1248 Pablo Volker & Esteban Daneri CNSI 20 2 1 2 -5 3 3 5 4
3 6 Agustin Krevinsky & Eduardo Lopez Segura CNP 21 6 3 1 1 5 1 4 -9
4 2016 Esteban Blando & Nicolas Cuagliotti CVR 22 1 6 8 -10 2 2 2 1
5 1636 JP Sucic & JK Copani YCA 33 4 4 5 3 6 4 -8 7
6 666 Ian Rodger & Franco Gentile CUBA 40 7 5 4 2 9 7 -10 6
7 27 Federico Ferioli & Lucas Gonzalez Smith YCA 53 5 -12 7 6 10 8 12 5
8 1709 Christian Vilate & Martin Otero CUBA | YCA 54 9 7 6 8 7 10 7 -11
9 747 Juan Faustin & Nicolas Aragones AGUILA | CNSI 59 12 11 9 (dns) 4 dns 3 3
10 59 Federico Reim & JM Benitez YCA 73 8 8 11 11 12 6 (dns) dns

St Barth Catacup 2014: Day 3

All Images Pierrick Contin. Prix Remax for Lagraviere-Jarkegan.
1- FRA 124 (Architectonik) Morgan Lagravière / Arnaud Jarlegan
2- FRA (ODP1) Franck Cammas / Matthieu Vandame
3- FRA 5 (Marché U) Frédéric Duthil Frédéric Moreau

Results, pics & more info at www.stbarthcatacup.com
Below Manu Duclos interview with Billy Besson & Marie Riou

F18 Arg Nats 2014, Day 1: Dignhy World Champs battle for the Lead

Image: Volker&Daneri - Some weeks ago two Argentine crews went storming the US Nats 2014, several bullets and great performance for both teams, Smith-Heuser were 2nd only after racing was cancelled due to lack of wind, as were winning all in calm weather racing.
So you must think they came here and gave a bullet fest in our local fleet right? Not the case, and not cause they aren´t that good, in fact they are top 1-2 historical crew here, currently holding 3rd place in this Nats and can win in the end, but our fleet is super competitive.

Today we had a low start waiting 2 hours for wind , that finally came in, 4 races held in tricky 1 trap to full floating , strong current conditions where former Opti World Champ Agustín Krevisky, with Billy Lopez Segura as crew, and former 420 World Champ Pablo Volker, sailing with 57yrs old super crew Esteban Daneri, battled for the lead.
Some scores need to be updated that will modify top 2 order, but either way the two are leading the pack.

I'm racing with a rookie ex mono/dinghy sailor Leandro Marquinez, he invited me to helm as his brother was working abroad delivering some top notch Juan K yacht, he  is crewing and learning fast, past weekend he could trap downwind for the first time on an F18, on a 16knots perfect SouthEast with high chop, I told him: "You bought an F18 for this... and I left the IT office for this too!!"

He was Nuts with the boat and the F18 sailing, his recently bought Infusion 2009 with long daggers is still super competitive (09 is one of best Inf build series too) and we managed to score a decent 6, (The Inf 09  has speed for better final perf) in the last race ahead of the US Vice Champs. As always great competitive racing in the F18, Event continues tomorrow and on Monday.

Full resutls at http://yachting.cnsi.org.ar/Resultados/2014/F18ARG_22-11-14.htm

St Barth Catacup 2014: Day 2 Video Wrap-up

Day 2 Wrap Up By Easy Ride Videos / St Barth Catacup

St Barth Catacup 2014: Day 2

Holland Composites & DNA updates

Images: DNA & Mischa Heemskerk | PJ Dwarshuis has been supporting back CSN for some years now, and thanks to his, Peter Johnstone's Gunboat and other brands support plus Alex invitation I was able this year to travel twice to France to cover directly and participate in two great events like the Eurocat at YC Carnac and the 100 A-Cat European at Cercle Voile Bordeaux.
DNA has set the pace for new production line and fast delivery contributing to the A-Class growth, this was possible thanks to the support of his main bussines unit, Holland Composites, currently building the carbon supercruiser Gunboat G4.

Latest DNA/HC developments by PJ
"Sailing fast cats caught my attention in the early ‘80s and after graduating from the Delft Technical University as an industrial designer I was very keen on establishing my composite boating company (Holland Composites) in 1992 to explore new lightweight production techniques. Building >15 meter yachts with carbon prepreg since 1994, we have made quite a bit of progress since those early days. Not just the yachting industry, but even more in the building and industrial industries where we developed many very innovative products.

The A-cats were a hobby and when things got more serious in 2010 after having developed a new design with Arno Terra and Rudo Enserink, I thought

St Barth Catacup 2014: Day 1

St Barth Catacup Day 1 Images by Pierrick Contin. Like a good French wine his shots keep getting better over the years. Couldn´t find results yet, updates later. Official Web http://stbarthcatacup.com/gbr/
Video by Manu Duclos / Easy Ride Videos , Manu works with Théo Reynal , together they provide top quality vids & short films , tough thing to do, delivering  this kind of edition on a daily basis. Check their on the water rib/tender shots, definitely the most stable clips available.

Event Report:  - 51 boats on the starting line Saint-Barth Catacup 2014 -
"Saint-Barthelemy, November 20, 2014 – The first day was somewhat challenging for the racers who had to face headwinds of 15 to 20 knots and 2 meter-high waves. While some teams prefered to skip the race due to the heavy conditions, others had to abandon due to capsize or injury. But overall, two nice races with a well aligned fleet on the starting line. The sporting level for the top racers was very high and the first 5 battled it out well."

The winner of Design Affairs Prize is Franck Cammas and teammate Matthieu Vandame (ODP), followed by Morgan Lagravière and Arnaud Jarlegan (Architectonik). USA’s Mike Easton and Matthew Whitehead, who are both newcomers at the St-Barth Cata Cup, impressed with a 3rd place finish.
The US team performed well on the first race day with Mike Easton and Matthew Whitehead finishing 3rd overall."

Full results at stbarthcatacup.com/form_document/nom_a2970a1416530764b1.pdf
For more information visit the website of the race www.stbarthcatacup.com

St Barth Catacup 2014: Cat, Wind, Surf

All images by Pierrick Contin from St Barth. Good to see Billy Besson, current Nr 1 catsailor, also surfs. Click pics for bigger size. Official Web at stbarthcatacup.com/

Below prep Day video by Manu Duclos / Easy Ride Videos

New 20' Foiler from New Zealand

Today I was writing about custom projects and the great info available nowadays when Bruce Beca from Fast Fibres ltd , located in New Zealand saw the previous Open project post and sent his own 20' Foiling custom machine. He also commented he was able to use CSN as one of his sources for his new project. 
Happy to help in any way to new boat builds. The platform and hulls look good, in the same converging line I remarked in previous post.
Details on the 20' Foiler by Bruce Beca / Fast Fibres New Zealand: "I just read

Open Designs 2015

Many have read about the F18 OP, I've wrote a lot on the project but worked even more on research & development in the background even to date. A great group also contributed & provided feedback:  Ralph Moolenaar & Ronan Currid, Francesco Moretei, Sanyi Roka and Andrew Gallagher.

After the first CFD tests of my initial lines, where a negative rocker section was recommended by Ronan to reduce wake drag, Ralph did several additional simulation runs, and I continued to refine the cad to date, and to a point I think it is ready to be built. I'm also talking with some top local riders for final feedback as we want to target BA 2016 Worlds and race with this new design.

A known experienced builder confirmed he will build the hulls in Europe, and the the work is scheduled to start in January 2015. The goal will be offering a cost effective platform , as hulls only and a complete builder branded alternative + an epoxy/nomex hulls version for those wanting to go for the FP path.
Will confirm more final details later with more updated renders of the V2 hulls after we've defined how we are going to implement the whole building project. As for the cads as I mentioned , it will be released afterwards.

In the process I started sailing A-Class and participated at Bordeaux Europeans where we gathered 100 boats, 5 from Arg. We all got hooked with the experience, and we are forming a new local  fleet.

The A-Class is the Nr 1 custom design & builder Class but no open or updated free Cads are available to my knowledge. I've been  asked on available designs for custom projects by people also wanting to enter or build their own As.
So I decided to go for it, starting with

Saint Barth CataCup 2014: November 19-23

7th Edition of the St Barth Catacpup will start tomorrow and Pierrick Contin is already there to supply the usual top notch material from Paradise. Besson & Cammas will be racing this edition. More info at stbarthcatacup.com - 2013 Edition was won by Cammas-Vandame on a Cirrus R.

Check below the excellent videos from Easy Ride Videos by Manu Duclos. His shots are cinematographic style and super steady. With the personal experience and seeing some Vid Pros struggling at Carnac this year plus some researching I've been doing past weeks to invest in a video camera, and I can tell you it is not 'easy'  nor cheap to achieve this level & quality filming from a rib/boat, some of best beachcat / F18 video shots ever, if not the bests.

In Memoriam: John Moret

Image: Steve Arkely / www.sailshots.co.uk - John Moret & Paul Smissaert -- Dutch Catsailor John Moret passed away some months ago, and I asked Gunnar Larsen to send some words on him as it was clear he was a popular & known sailor in the Netherlands. From the distance I can only say that 30years of Catsailing and such a numbers of friends remembering him were a Life well lived without a doubt, as when the time comes the only thing we left behind is the legacy of good memories in our friends and family.
"John Moret, was a very special multihull Fanatic. He sailed cats for over 30 years and when going to any regatta John was always the one helping people out when they had trouble with their boats.

Unbelievable social and unselfish person that loved the sport and lifestyle of Catsailing as none. He also was closely involved in setting up his boat with the curved foils before Nacra launched the F20 Carbon in 2010.

At his funderal friends and family had set up his Nacra F18 Infusion and his coffin, with John in it, once more was on his own boat! An example to many people in life, great to have around and we will miss him dearly! But we believe that john will SAIL ON!!

Cheers, Gunnar

New 28' Foiler from Switzerland

Just received this. Will update more info later. More details at www.fp-factory.com/
Better to change the FP name though, as we are all using it for the Flying Phantom.

Perfect Shot by Pierrick Contin

Image by Pierrick Contin above is one of the best captured technical images I've seen so far of a foiling cat. Benjamin Lamotte & 15yrs old Arthur Boc-ho at St Malo. More at FP FB.
Pierrick is currently at St Barts Catacup, event he helped to become what it is today when he started sending material some years ago, not many knew of this event beyond the French F18 Fleet, until he started spreading the 'word'. I met Pierrick at Carnac in May, and it was a pleasure to learn some photography tips directly from a Master Pro.

Stay tuned coming days for his pics from Paradise.
Contin also has submitted another FP great puc to the Mirabaud Yachting Image of the Year: http://www.yachtracingimage.com/gallery/contest-2014/pierrick-contin-2/

A-Class: German Nats 2014 Short Film

Another excellent production by Catarina Jentzsch & Filmography by Johannes Obermaier for the German A-Class , sound Mix by Linus Nickl. Pics are great and the must  have if you want to promote your class & events. But this takes the game to another level. Full HD in Vimeo http://vimeo.com/111867513

The event was won by Thilo Keller on his Arrow MKII catsailingnews.com/2014/08/a-class-german-nats-2014-thilo-keller.html

The German Assoc, Catarina & Johannes are the same people behind the original 2011 Masterpiece http://www.catsailingnews.com/2011/10/class-german-nats-short-film.html

Volvo Ocean Race 2014: Cape Town In Port Race Live

A-Class: DNA Flight Control by Mischa Heemskerk

Past weeks we posted a video from PJ Dwarshuis, Dna builder, cruising smoothly on his Dna and new 'Z' autoclave built foils. Now Mischa Heemskerk, who was part of the new foils development, shows the stability of the Dna platform while airborne. Current rudders are Exploder Ts though.
I think development is reaching a point of good stable flights, you still need to learn the technique but PJ has a good point with the bike, surf, windsurf or snowboard learning process.  We might see even further control towards Punta Ala 2015 Worlds.

AC35: Ben Ainslie Racing AC45 Foiling Gybe

Ainslie had an impressive performance in the last ACWS Series. Now preparing his own team AC45 for next World Series where Cammas, Outteridge, Spithill, Ainslie, Ashby & Barker and Draper will put on a Show for the ages. Bermuda is a confirmed venue: americascup.com/en/news/125_Bermuda-to-hold-Americas-Cup-World-Series-event-in-2015.html

Grand Prix l'Armistice 2014 @Bordeaux: Haineville-Hainveille 1st

A-Class: Sailing the Exploder

Liked this boat since day 1, and after seeing it at Bordeaux and finally sailing here in BA, it has confirmed my good vibes. I've Been sailing the Exploder A14 almost every day past weeks. At Bordeaux Europeans in June I sailed & raced the Scheurer G6. This Exploder has 80cm rudder blades, at Carnac the Arg guys rode the 60cm ones. The 80cm were used by Jason, Landy, Brewin and others at the Europeans, and as reported Jason flew super stable with our current conf.
The Exploder got 2nd and 3rd with Waterhouse / Brewin.

These longer rudders feel little bit more draggy, in expense of more control to

Vid: Franck Cammas Flying the Phantom @St Malo

Sent by Phantom International. Cammas saying he will be continue his C-Class campaign, where Phantom foiils were developed, and he is also looking forward to foil Team France AC45 in the next World Series. The AC45 fleet racing is going to be the best thing we've seen so far from this new Era.
More info at phantom-international.com/2014/11/franck-cammas-flying-in-saint-malo/#!

Autumn Cup @Hellecat: F18s racing against latest Tech

All Images Danny Broersen / Hellecat.nl - Excellent Full gallery at Hellecat FB - This year at the Eurocat, I reported live that the F18s were giving the FP a run for her money in test sails and in long distance competition in upwind mode. This even+ performance for the F18s was upwind and non flying downwind conditions for the FP. Once foiling downwind the FP was gone for good in the long distance Eurocat racing.

Now in Netherlands the Nacras 20FCS are starting to compete along the F18s.

Next year will be an interesting one as the Nacras and FPs are being delivered in numbers, and I will report first hand here in BA about mixed course racing among F18s  , Nacras & FP. I also intend to travel again to the Eurocat.

Hellecat Autumn Cup (Texel Rating score) report by Jorden Veenman & Frank de Waard from F18 Team Compass:
"We raced against the F20fcs from Peter Vink and Xander Pols during the Autumn cup in the Netherlands. Also against the normal F20 carbon, Nacra17, A-class and 16 with curved boards. 

We think it's great development in those classes, but in the past year there was a lot of discussion here and at the F18 Worlds going on about where to go with the F18. Suggestions such as foiling or lighter build boats came trough.

The Autumn Cup contains 4 Sundays of sailing. We had all types of conditions from 5 knots up to 30. It is for sure is true that the foiling boats are very fast and spectacular to watch, but the competition we had with the F18's kept us busy with ourselves pushing the boat as fast as possible every race.

In the end it turned out that the F18's beat the foiling boats almost every race, as well as the light wind races as the heavy wind races were we even finished in front of the F20 FCS with 30 knots, not only on handicap.

We realised the F18 is still a very competitive boat against the foilers, and I think the most ideal boat to sail in the biggest range of windspeed. As you can see in the top 8 results below the F18 did very well out of 45 boats.

We decided to go on next year in the F18 as we think it’s still the most fun, competitive and spectacular class to race.

1 Rik Duinmeijer/Corstiaan Alessie F18
2 Jorden Veenman/Frank de Waard F18
3 Xander Pols/Stefan Dubbeldam F20FCS
4 Remco Remeijer/Maxime Hillen F18
5 Arjan Baas/Roderick Gort F18
6 Walter Minderman/Gardi Minderman F16
7 David van Nispen/Emma van Welij F18
8 Peter Vink/Mischa de Munck F20FCS

ISAF Youth Multi: SL16 confirmed for 2017

The current Youth Multihull , the Sirena SL16, was confirmed for 2017 Youth Worlds. In May 2015 the recommendation for the Nacra 15 will be addressed once more for a possible 2018 change.

ISAF Council has agreed on the following events for the 2017 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship:

- Boy's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
- Girl's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
- Boy's Two Person Dinghy - 420
- Girl's Two Person Dinghy - 420
- Boy's Windsurfer - RS:X with 8.5 sail
- Girl's Windsurfer - RS:X with 8.5 sail
- Open multihull - Sirena SL16
- Boy's Skiff - 29er
- Girl's Skiff - 29er

Lets recap: For cost & wide use you already have the H16 & SL16, if you want performance path for the Nacra 17, you have the best combo on the Formula 16, as there is no need to go buying a dedicated brand as many NAs in USA, Europe and Asia already have F16s at disposal.

Yet a new Class is re inventing the wheel, when several NAs and even Nacra were already pushing the F16 for Youths performance racing.

The  Nr 1 Youth performer that has achieved top Olympic campaign  & A-Class level is Jason Waterhouse. And he reached current performance sailing Hobie 16 as a kid, then F16, F18 towards Nacra 17 and the As:  catsailingnews.com/2014/10/jason-waterhouse-interview-youth.html .

So who really needs another invented Class for the youths...?

A-Class Development: Dario Valenza will launch Paradox V3

After some radio silence in the official IACA web due to the transition the builders and sailors are experiencing in the Class, I started publishing again builders work within current rules at A-Cat.org

Still much development left to find a perfect solution, if any can be found in the A-Class , but it is interesting to see how different concepts arise as I exchange info with several builders.

Some are looking for more stability as the speed while flying is much greater and control is needed to offer a production A that can be sailed by most.

Others are refining foils to minimize drag at the expense of less control. In the end we are seeing refinements of the latest Js, Zs (Stepped DNA board) plus the new life of Fischer 'L' rudders concept from the 'Mayfly'. Dna, Paradox and Exploder are all testing new refined versions.  

Arno Terra is now putting his experience in the DNA project with a new collaboration with Dario. Good for Arno that was a key part of the team set the new production and flight standards within the Class. 

I'm sailing the Exploder quite often and it is clear the boat has potential to foil in 8-10knots. But we are still learning techniques and winglet / foil fine tuning and trimming.

I contacted Dario Valenza from Carbonic boats for a report on his latest Class legal developments, he sent a nice Q&A combo. Full version available at www.a-cat.org/?q=node/474
Q&A by Dario Valenza
Q: Where are you at with development and what can the market expect?
A: Tooling for our V3 platform is well underway and our foil testing continues. The new hulls emphasise handling. They are designed for a wide range of trim angles so pitch attitude can easily be adjusted for best foil lift without degrading hull performance. We have concentrated on windage reduction of the whole platform, streamlining the cross-structure, sealing the trampoline to the hulls and lowering the profile as much as possible. Good dynamic range also helps reduce wetted area in light winds but still allows easy ‘unsticking’ for transition to foiling.

The new boat will have an updated version of our rotating bearings in the hull and deck. These can be swapped out easily and quickly to accommodate any new foil shape, an important consideration in preserving the value of the platform. The rotating bearing is a correct mechanical solution that supports the foil well through a range of angles. Having a plain opening shaped with filler is proving problematic structurally for other manufacturers since it point-loads the foil. And it is restrictive because the foil can only match the opening in one position. Finally we have added a precise single-action rake control mechanism to the top bearing. We are using a wormdrive which is more accurate

Hobie 16 South Americans: Mex, Bra & Ven secured Panams qualy.

Images by Assoc Brasileira de Hobiecat. - Armando Noriega & Andrea Dutton maintained lead also in the 3rd Day of the 2014 Hobie 16 South Americans & Panams 2015 Qualifier. Noriega is a long time Hobie sailor , former North American Champ and Panam Silver medalist with his Sister Pamela, who also is female World Champ 2004 sailing with her mother. Armando Sr is one of the leading forces of the Mexican and Caribbean Hobie Class. 

With that pedigree Mexico went to Pernambuco, Brasil searching for a spot in next Panams putting pressure to the South American countries looking aiming for the same goal.

Brasil put two crews in qualifying position and Venezuela got the final assigned spot, along Mex, US, Guatemala, Puerto Rico & Canada will participate in Toronto.
The effort was not enough for the rookie Argentine crew against some of the top riders in the continent.

Full results not available . Top 3 Results:
1st -  Armando Noriega/Andrea Dutton (México) 21 pts
2nd - André Montenegro Henriques/Isabelle Crispim (Brasil) 22pts
3rd - Bernardo Arndt/Diogo Zabeu (Brasil) 24pts
4th -  Yamil Saba/Gonzalo Cendra (Venezuela) 27pts

Report in Portuguese at Assoc Brasileira de Hobiecat at www.abchc.com.br

Route du Rhum 2014: Win & Record for Loick Peyron

It was not about the size, Loick Peyron showed experience and knowledge can overcome the sheer power of the 40mt Spindrift 2 helmed by Yann Guichard. Peyron keeps adding trophies to his own sailing record.

And Route du Rhum was one of the missing crowns in his shelf.  The intention for this edition was not to break a record but to sail a vintage design without electronics, as he told us in his interview some months ago.
Images, video & Report by Route du Rhum / Banque Populaire.
Arrival & Prize ceremony at album at Route du Rhum FB

Peyron Wins Route du Rhum 2014 in Record Time
"Thirty two years after the first of his seven attempts, French ocean racing star Loick Peyron won the mythical Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe this Monday morning (TU) when he crossed the finish line of the solo race from Saint-Malo France to Pointe-a-Pitre at 04:08:32 TU/05:08:32 CET/00:08:32 local

The lone skipper of the 31.5m (103ft) Ultime trimaran Maxi Solo Banque Populaire VII completed the 3542 miles course in 7d 15h 8m 32s.
His elapsed time is a new outright record for the course passage which was first raced in 1982, breaking the 2006 reference time set by Lionel Lemonchois (7 days 17 hours and 9 mInutes) by 2hrs 10mins 34secs.

Peyron sailed the 3524 NMs theoretical course at an average of 19.34kts. In reality he sailed 4199NM at an average of 22.93kts.
Looking relaxed and on good form physically, Peyron acknowledged, pledging to be back in four years time on the little yellow boat:

“It is a very nice victory but a team victory. I was not supposed to be on this boat two months ago. I was supposed to do the Rhum race on a very small yellow trimaran which will be the case in four years time, I will be back. But it is not a surprise because I knew that the boat was able to do it. I knew that the team was able to help me a lot.”

Skipper of the 14 man 2011-2012 Banque Populaire crew which holds the outright Jules Verne Trophy sailing non-stop around the world record, Peyron has a longstanding special affection for La Route du Rhum as it is the Transatlantic race which launched his solo ocean racing career as a 22 year old. Until today he had finished fifth twice and was forced to abandon three times in the ORMA 60 trimarans in 1990, 1994 and 2002.

"The last day was difficult, from the early hours off the Désirade, there was a lot of maneuvering to be done. It's been seven editions for me! This is an exceptional situation, to stand in for Armel and to be able to skipper such a beautiful boat. This victory is thanks to Team Banque Populaire, as whole team we did this. I never imagined that I would win a Route du Rhum on a boat like this. A race like this is never simple and that is what is so exciting and incredible about it. It is also very stressful for the boat to withstand such high speeds in bad seas. I was able to sail the boat well but was scared. This is what the multihull game is all about. You have to constantly manage the boat. One night I fell asleep at the helm and nearly capsized the boat. This is a great victory; possibly one of the nicest and breaking the record is the cherry on top of the cake.”

At the age of 54, his Route du Rhum triumph is another new summit for the sailor from La Baule, Brittany who turns his hand with equal skill to all disciplines of sailing from foiling Moth dinghies to the giant multihulls as well as the America's Cup.
Ironically he was only enlisted two months ago to replace skipper Armel Le Cléach'h who injured his hand.
“ Armel is here but he does not want to be here on the pontoon. But he is here and in fact we spent the week together. We were talking all the time, before and during the race, and he gave me so much help.”

Maxi Solo Banque Populaire VII's win was built from the first night at sea. After negotiating a difficult upwind section Peyron was the first to turn off Ushant, perfectly timing his key passage through the front. He opened his lead in almost all sections of the course, except momentarily when he lead into a bubble of light winds under the Azores high pressure system. But his approach to Guadeloupe regained distance and when he crossed the finish line second placed Yann Guichard on the 40m Spindrift was 180 miles astern
“ It was really tough, but I am really impressed by the job that Yann Guichard has done since the start. His boat is bigger, this boat is big but it is nice.”

It is the second time in a row that the race has been won by the same trimaran which was designed by VPLP. In 2010 Franck Cammas won on the same boat when it was Groupama, in a time of 9 days 3 hours

His win is all the more remarkable for the fact that Peyron stepped in for the injured Le Cléac'h only two months ago and many times pre-start in Saint-Malo he voiced his concerns about the magnitude of the physical challenge he faced, playing down any suggestions or expectations.

In fact Peyron had originally planned to sail this Rhum in a tiny 11.5m trimaran called Happy. But his vast experience and technical skills on multihulls filled the gap, complemented by the accomplished skills of his routers ashore – who plot his course for him – Marcel van Triest and Armel Le Cléac'h. His two ‘guardian angels' kept his course fast, simple, smooth and safe."