May 24, 2012

AC45s @Venice, behind the scene: Q&A with Lamberto Cesari

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Lamberto Cesari is along Vittorio Bissaro multiple youth F18 world Champ and also they were 3rd at the 2011 Worlds at Balaton. I named them the 'Dark Horses' for that season and they delivered. Now Lamberto is working on some personal projects  and he has left racing F18 in the 'Pro' mode, but he will still be sailing. He was at Venice this past week and he managed to get onboard Emirates Team New Zealand AC45 thanks to Grant Dalton. Below some details of the event and his other sailing projects like the C-Class Challenge Italia for next LAC. Photo left: Onboard the AC45 for a ride.
He also has personal blog  All Photos Copy Right: Lamberto Cesari

- How did you get onboard the AC45s? 
It´s a long story: we have been in contact with Grant in September 2010, when they decided to start the AC challenge because they were planning to train on F18s. Later they hired Glenn and they had training on the A-cat. But we kept in touch and they kindly invited us in Venice.

- Did you manage to helm it?
Only with the rub beside me driving to the starting line. I cannot really say that I helm it as I would have like to, unfortunately.

- How was the feeling on the rudders and overall impression?
The overall impression is that it is much more similar to a big F18 than I expected. And very hard for the whole team, helmsman included.

- Did you get a ride on any race? If so , how was it?
I was onboard on race 3 of the second day. We were 3rd after the first mark and we were able to keep our position, getting really close to the second at the end. It was very cool: Dean made a great move to go on the first line before the start (like a real cat-sailor). The first leg was so exciting and all the race was like the F18s: tactic, strategy, tacks, jibes: it´s the same way thinking

- The feedback I got from Arnaud is that the controls of the Wing are easy, but you need to get things right in higher winds.I guess on lighter stalls and drop dead situations are as challenging, how did you saw those conditions?
I saw the boats only till 12-13 kt and I was onboard with 8-9 kt, which means full power on the wing. I think that compared to the soft sails it´s a big advantage to have a stiff sail and fixed mast on the waves. Of course in light wind you have to focus on the speed using the wing, fore sails, crew in the right way (like our F18 boats ), and Loick was the best in doing that (he was in front of me and took the lead over ETNZ)

- The AC45s were moving with 3-5knots? although Barker was annoyed , I think you can learn a lot from those conditions.
Is it annoying sailing in 3-5 kt with the F18? If you are leading probably not as much as if you were far behind... I think it was impressive (as you said) how they managed to race with no wind (2-3 kt I would say). Anyway I still believe that you learn to sail multihulls in these conditions only on small boats, like F18, F16 or A Cat.

- Here we have lots of F18s race on that range, and they are quite good to learn . Have you race F18 in World for ie in that light weather?
Yes, many races in Italy are in light wind, and of course in Balaton we experienced also this range. I think if we take the same boats (like the AC45), boat handling and team positioning became crucial. And here some AC team still have to improve. On the other hand on the AC72 will be less important.
It's very funny how in light wind the helm stays on the "old" side till the boat is started again like F18s.

- Yes, to me all the inertia and tactics as you say, quite familiar , you can relate to very well, that is why I like them so much beyond all the technology on wings and else.
I have been talking about this with grant but he told me that now the focus is on the ac72

- How was the crowd atmosphere? Lots of people was there seeing the races right?
It was great. In Venice they all remember the AC challenge of "Il Moro di Venezia", but people from all around Italy came. As Grant said, "only in Italy and New Zealand you can experience something like this
(I might add Argentina if we had a AC Challenger!)

- Tell me about this Italian F18 sailor being responsible of taking the ACWS to Venice
His name is Alberto Sonino, he was one of the first Hobie Pro Team (Tiger World Champ in 2000), Hobie 16, F18, Tornado, 49er and Maxi Trimaran sailor, in 2004 he stopped his sailing career to run his own business: building a "nautical centre" on an island of Venice
 Still in touch with the sailing world, with a very good network, he managed to organize the Extreme 40 in 2009 and the AC now and next year

- How is Vittorio doing with Carlo? the video made by Martin Flores was really good, they looked quite coordinated.
It´s impressive how fast Carlo is learning. Still something to improve, but in two month he made really good job with Vittorio. In August I will sail the Wildcat Europeans in France with Carlo, because he wants to learn helming! (after something like 20 years helming it´s very strange for him to be crew!)

- How about the C-Class Italian Challenge?
The guys are working very well, we have a great team. Waiting to have two boats ready for sailing for the summer. I am very looking forward to learn the wing-trimming

- You will match race there also, any experience?
I have been team racing on Optimist. On catamarans we only had some training on lake Garda and the Bolster Cup.

- How was the MR at Venice? I followed some good races on the virtual eye.
Unfortunately I have seen only the first day and it was very confusing with three or four matches on the racecourse. It seems that after the start you can only wait for a mistake of the leader...

- Tell us about your new projects 
Now I am working in Vienna, and I'm training some local Wildcat team at Neusiedlersee on the weekends. But I'm still doing some F18 races for fun!

Besides I am organizing a Teamrace in Italy following the suggestions of Mischa de Munk and I am cooperating with a sailing webtv to promote multihulls and olympic classes.
All photos Lamberto Cesari.

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