Apr 28, 2014

Eurocat 2014: Flying Phantom in Detail

Eurocat 2014 @Yacht Club Carnac, Multihull Land (aka France)

After this event for years from the distance, this year I had the opportunity to visit Carnac. Great to see the youth activity all over the place.
I also met part of the RSBC Youth Squad.
Competitors are starting to arrive and I will be covering  the event the whole week along some tests on the Flying Phantom.

Images I took from the Club and from La Trinité-sur-Mer where Sodebo & the modified Spindrift are currently anchored.

For more info on the Eurocat check www.yccarnac.com/usa/regates/eurocat-2014.html

Apr 27, 2014

Nacras @Hyeres 2014: Bissaro-Sicouri Champs

Images: Laurens Morel . Flashback: In 2011 Vittorio Bissaro was third at the F18 Balaton Worlds, where Bundock-van Leeuwen were crown champs. Before the event I labeled Vittorio & Lamberto  the 'Dark Horses'.
In 2012 Silvia Sicouri went to an AC45 event in Italy to cheer for Bundock, who was racing with Oracle team. She was his Nr 1 fan at that event.

To follow their Olympic dream  Vito & Silvia started racing together, and this season they went  matching their skills against Bundock in the Nacra 17 Olympic Class.

At Palma they were 2nd behind Besson-Riou and in front of Bundcok-Curtis.
Did good again at Hyeres, in  position for anoher podium. In the final day Darren & Nina entered the Medla Race with a 7 point lead, so it was, at first glance, a second place aim race for the Italians

But Bissaro & Sicouri decided to go for it , and a second in the the MR gave themselves a chance to win the event, ending the decisive race ahead the other contenders for the title, Besson & Marie Riou. 

Bundy had it served, but 'blew it' as he wrote himself, not before of course the Italians put pedal to the metal to end the championship with 72pts , tied with the Frenchs. In the end the Medal Race places defined the Crown favoring  ITA200.

Vittorio & Silvia are now looking the World from above, putting themselves in a position of  more pressure & responsibility to inspire other young sailors, that will root for them and follow their path.

Just like they did themselves a few years ago with those like Darren and others...
Congrats to both!

Full Results at http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/regattas/hyeres_2014.php?view=fleetevent&rgtaid=16343&evntid=31270#results

Apr 24, 2014

Hyeres 2014: Day 4 is '3B' again : Bissaro, Besson, Bundock

Image by Robin Christol - Check his  Day 4 gallery at his Flickr Web
At Palma the final result was Besson, Bissaro & Bunock... Marking three stages of the most competitive cat racing we've seen in 20 years, with past, present and future eras represented by these 3 crews.

Now at Hyeres the same teams are showing the way to enter the Medal Race.
Vittorio Bissaro & Silvia Sicouri are leading after 11 races with 41pts,  but only by 2 points ahead of Besson-Riuou and Bundock-Curtis both with 43.

It seems Bissaro has left his 'Dark Horse' era himself, and together with Silvia are holding high the Italian flag in Olympic Multihull Class.

Full Results at http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/regattas/hyeres_2014.php?view=fleetevent&rgtaid=16343&evntid=31270#results

Apr 22, 2014

Hagara & Steinacher: Tornado Legends Flying the Phantom

Nice to see these two powering up the FP, they will keep sailing till they are 90! just like their Tornado pal Santi Lange, currently 53 and racing N17 at Hyeres. //
Sent by Alex Udin. - Flying Phantom testing with two times gold medalists
"Twice gold medalists and members of the Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team, Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher came to Brittany, St Lunaire, birthplace of Phantom International, for two days of epic sailing accompanied by the new upcoming contender Austrian helmsman Thomas Zajac.

The two world-renowned sailors and  Red Bull Youth America's Cup  sports Directors enjoyed both sportive conditions with a strong off shore breeze and gusts of up to 25 knots on the first day followed by calmer weather with moderate sea on the second day, which still gave them the chance of experiencing high speed

Mike Sanderson & the SL33 Foiling at Auckland

Sent by Andreas Labek

Nacras @Hyeres 2014, Day 2: Saxton-Diamond lead after 6 races.

Image Thom Touw , Full gallery at  www.thomtouw.com . Day 2 Full results after 6 Qualifying races at sailing.org/worldcup/regattas/hyeres_2014
Ben Saxton & Hannah Diamond showing the work done by the British team is paying off big time, with 3 crews in the top ten. Ending the qualifying series above Besson-Riou is a serious message to the Frencc crew that continue own the fleet since last year. Bundock-Curtis already in the hot zone in a comfortable third place.

Usual top ten crews like Buhler-Brugger, Vaireux-Audinet, Zajac-Frank & Bissaro-Sicouri follow the top 3 spots.
Santiago Lange (53) & Ceci Carranza with a good comeback to the Olympic multihull,  14th overal and several top ten results.
Esteban Blando & Euge Bosco (16), the new hopes of the Arg team doing a good job too in 25th overall with a final 3rd in the 6th race of the day, Blando is helming his 2nd event on the Class and Euge comes from the 49erFX. Gonzalez Smith bros grabbing also the Gold fleet at 37th overall. Qualifying event for the Arg teams so lots of pressure there and the toughest part is yet to come for them and the entire fleet with the Finals starting tomorrow.

Some Dutch teams are back with Renee Groenveld-Krol and Mulder-de Koning, but not near the total domination they had in the launch season first events.
Renown French crews like Cammas-de Turckheim and Petitjean-Backes 11th & 20th each. One absent top sailor in the french team is Mattheu Vandame, that got injured at Palma.
More images later at CSN FB.

Video report by Bundock-Curtis at http://youtu.be/jgNzuJxb66E

Pos Nation Sail Number Crew Race Points
1 2 3 4 5 6 Total Net
1 GBR GBR60 Ben SaxtonHannah Diamond 1 4 2 -5 1 1 14.00 9.00
2 FRA FRA 1 Billy BessonMarie Riou 2 1 1 -19 1 5 29.00 10.00
3 AUS AUS64 Darren BundockNina Curtis 1 -4 4 3 2 1 15.00 11.00
4 SUI SUI41 Matías BühlerNathalie Brugger 3 2 -10 1 7 2 25.00 15.00
5 FRA FRA65 Moana VaireauxManon Audinet -7 3 5 1 3 3 22.00 15.00
6 AUT AUT35 Thomas ZajacTanja Chiara Frank 4 5 1 6 -9 2 27.00 18.00
7 GBR GBR58 Pippa WilsonJohn Gimson 7 1 2 3 6 -16 35.00 19.00
8 ITA ITA200 Vittorio BissaroSilvia Sicouri 5 -7 7 2 3 6 30.00 23.00
9 GBR GBR56 Lucy MacgregorAndrew Walsh -14 2 4 8 5 4 37.00 23.00
10 NED NED213 Renee GroeneveldSteven Krol 4 6 6 -10 4 4 34.00 24.00

Nacras @Hyeres 2014, Day 1: Besson & Riou lead

Image Yvan Zedda. Full Results after 3 races held on Monday at www.sailing.org/worldcup/regattas/hyeres_2014
Video Report by Bundock-Curtis here
Top ten below. 

Apr 20, 2014

Nacra F20c FCS: Q&A with Ferdinand van West & Peter Vink

Image: Danny Broersen. // With the race foiling frenzy post Americas Cup, plus the drive from from other beachcat projects like the Flying Phantom, Nacra decided to upgrade their flagship F20 Carbon to play in this new flying game.
A foiling 20' for a company like Nacra is like the Corvette, a niche aspirational product and a good marketing move to promote the brand.
Every kind of sailor has their targeted Multihull, so analyzing these boats (along the FP) as if they will create a class or they will sell for the hundreds is nonsense.

The real deal here is to develop and literally play with latest technologies, offering interested customers a Flying ride for their money.
As the Americas Cup has fallen into the Multihull realm for good, projects like the Nacra FCS are of great interest for the major leagues as shown with the FP and Oracle head coach, Philippe Presti.

Nacra puts another production racing foiler available to all with the wallet to buy it, although I have not seen pics or videos of the final production boat, the one above is published in their FB page, they already have confirmed orders.

I've been talking with Fer van West for a while, and some weeks ago he told me the FCS project was ready be to launched. Peter Vink, oNacra / Performance Sails head manager along Gunnar Larsen, sent the FCS renders some weeks ago, so I took the chance to know more about the F20. Peter talks on the commercial aspects, and Ferdinand goes full in detail on the technical aspects.

Congrats to Nacra again for pushing the limits and supporting young designers like van West.
Fer has left his sailing career (49er & a too close call for the F18 Title in 2010 with Hugh Styles) to follow his design goals, and now is working along one of the major design studios in the industry like Morrelli & Melvin. More on MM after AC35 rules are published.

Nacra F0C FCS Features:
- Boat length 6.20
- Boat width 3.20
- Carbon mast Length 10.45
- Area mainsail 21.00
- Area jib 5.20
- Area spi 28.00
- FCS carbon main foils  ,  FCS carbon T-Rudders , - FCS carbon rudder stock system
- FCS foil trim system

Q&A on the F20C FCS with Peter Vink & Ferdinand van West from Nacra:
-CSN: When Nacra decided to launch a production foiling 20?
Peter Vink: The final decision to launch the Nacra F20 carbon FCS was made in October 2013

- When the boat will be available for the customers?
We will be delivering the first Nacra F20 carbon FCS to customers in beginning May this year

- Which is going to be the price range?
The MSRP for an full option, ready to sail Nacra F20 carbon FCS will be € 31250

- Are you selling an upgrade kit? If so, any modifications will be needed to older boats?
Yes we are, Many Nacra F20 carbon are sold worldwide and we offering an upgrade kit for these customers. The upgrade kit has also a new dagger board case and instructions how to install these new cases.

- How about the boat construction? Has it changed from the previous version? I have reports on high loads for the Flying Phantom tests and the new flying A-Cats.
The curved foil design boats are already pretty much dealing with these loads when the boat is sailing max powered up and is sailing for ~90% on the foils, like the Nacra 17s skimming over the water downwind. These high dynamic loads are now becoming more constant static loads, so we made some small updates around the dagger board case to make sure the boat can handle the dynamic loads plus the more constant static loads in full foiling mode.

- Are you guys going  to the Eurocat? If not , when the boat will be launched at a long distance event?
We will be in Carnac but it will be too soon for the Nacra F20C FCS. We expect to receive the first production foil sets end of April or beginning May, just not in time for Carnac.

- Are you doing the Texel 2014 with it?
Already 8 of our FCS customers entered the round of Texel so we will have a small one design Nacra F20 Carbon FCS fleet at Texel.

- Who worked on the R&D ?
At the start of the development of the FCS system only Ferdinand and I with some back-up from Pete Melvin. After the final decision was made to make a production version, the team increased with the full engineering team from Nacra and Morrelli & Melvin

Technical details by Ferdinand van West. Fer Sailing images (N17, F18, F20c) by Laurens Morel & Jasper van Staveren - //
- Little background on how you left racing and end working for Nacra and MM.
Fredinand van West: After sailing the 49er and the Nacra F18 for several years, I decided to get my master degree in Maritime Engineering at the University of Southampton, in 2011. I graduated in Yacht and small craft, and my dissertation was about the structural analysis of the Nacra F20 carbon C-curved Foil, which I did in collaboration with Nacra.
Since 2008 I have been sailing for Nacra in Team Boskalis. 

I was also involved in the development of the Nacra Infusion MK2. Peter Vink got me more involved with the technical development of the newer projects so I ended up working part time for the company on various projects since 2010. After graduating in Augustus 2012, Nacra offered me to get more involved with the Nacra 17 project.
At first on the Class related tasks, and later I got more involved on the technical side. Through Nacra I got in contact with Pete Melvin and one thing led to another.

- How you do achieve control and safety rides, making it that simple?  The F20c will feature rake dynamic controls as the FP or the Hydros, that has a more complex setup?
At Nacra we have a couple of company principles called Plug & Play and KISS. Our goal is to make the systems as simple as possible, to operate and to maintain, but at the same time efficient for the best performance.

- Have you moved forward the daggercase? If yes, why?
Yes we moved the dagger board case a bit forward for a better balance between the hydro and aero forces. We believe you don’t want to have the board to far forward, because you want to keep the pressure on the foils which gives you better control over the boat. At the contrary, it’s also important not to place the dagger board case to far backwards, for the couple moment between the foil and the elevator. Also you want enough separation to prevent distortion at the elevator caused by the main foil.

- How do you fit the L daggers in the new F20?

Apr 18, 2014

Formula 18 Nordics 2014: Registration Open

The Nordic F18 fleet (Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark)  is growing each year. In 2013 they had 40 boats racing the event: catsailingnews.com/2013/09/formula-18-nordics-2013.html

The 2014 Nordics will be held on August 15-17th, at Vallensbæk Sailing Club (Copenhagen)
NOR & Registration Link available at vallensbaek-sejlklub.dk

Formula 18 @San Francisco: Sequoia Open report

Report sent by Cherie Sogsti / SFF18.org: "Inaugural Sequoia F18 Open a hit in SF Bay Epic racing conditions greeted Formula18 sailors in Redwood City, California last weekend for the inaugural Sequoia F18 Open on April 12th. There was a little bit of everything in the four races PROs Dustin Fox and Heather Ouellette pulled off: memorable gusts, tight starting lines, a few ebb-tide waves, fights with marks, a 360 penalty turn and a capsize to top it all off.

Apr 17, 2014

Back to the Olympics II: Flying the N17 by Lange

Image: Francisco Vignale. www.franciscovignale.com -- Past week we had an interview with Darren Bundock on his return to the Olympic Arena. Now for Hyeres we'll see another ex Tornado medalist returning to the rings field. Santiago Lange will be racing with Cecilia Carranza, (former Laser olympian) this second stop of the 2014 Isaf WC Series.
Before going to Europe I had a chat with him, as always really down to earth & humble guy for being one of the best Arg sailors ever, with several World Titles, 2 Olympic Medals and some AC campaigns under his belt.
Argentina will have 3 Nacra 17 crews at Hyeres, and maybe a 4th for Santander. 

This is going to be an interesting match up for Santi against the new guys, although this will be his first event on the Nacra 17 Class. Ceci , now crewing  had a good N17 season last year as helm.

Hyeres WC starts this April 19th. Event websites: 

Entry List swc.ffvoile.com/swc2014gbr/competition/listing-sailors.aspx

On the pic , we've seen the Nacra 17 going airborne, but this is the best still picture so far. Taken by Francisco Vignale published in Santi's FB
It also shows how fruitless is to trying to ban foiling/flying with constant curved foils and no winglets.

Apr 16, 2014

GC32 News foils: Pics by van der Borch, details by Fischer

All images Sandervanderborch.com  / GC32 Click for slideshow & HQ.--
If the Flying Phantom was the boat being tested fully and showed excellent stable flight performance past months, now the GC32 takes that game to the 30' realm. This boat is demonstrating improved foiling even from the AC72s, taking account the breeze they are foiling upwind. Check video I published two days ago at catsailingnews.com/2014/04/gc32-new-wings-performing.html
There is also no doubt that the Extreme Series sould migrate their foils too next year, maybe they'll change the boat?

Sander van der Borch is at location taking some incredible pics as always, Also I asked FP & GC32 designer, Martin Fischer, to describe in short these new foils.
"Hi Martin,
Here are some comments on the foil development carried out for the GC32:
For the GC32 we wanted a foil set-up that:
1 -  Allows downwind and upwind foiling in moderate conditions
2 -  Allows proper racing with foiling boats
3 -  Provides good safety margins and proper foiling at a reasonable price

We therefore went for a configuration that has a relatively low take-off speed (upwind foiling in moderate conditions) and that is inherently very stable in heave and pitch. We are aware that a very stable configuration with a low take-off speed has a lower top speed, but compared to a non-foiling setup we are quicker anyway at high speed. 

So the goal was to configure the boat such that she can beat her non-foiling competitors even in lighter winds. This approach is similar to what we did on Groupama-C for the Little Americas Cup.

To do proper racing with a foiling catamaran it is important to be able to concentrate on tactics and not only on "keep flying". On a boat without hydraulics it is therefore important to achieve stable foiling without permanently adjusting the foils. The usage of the foil adjustment on the GC32 is basically a "set and forget". The crew can adjust the foil rake during sailing and they will obviously use that possibility to adjust for the wave and wind conditions and as a function of the true wind angle, but there is no need to permanently trim the foils.

We achieved this by working a lot on the strut (vertical part of the foil) and tip (horizontal part of the foil) angle and on the wing section shape used in different areas along the span of the foil. The engineering was done by Brett Ellis from Sydney."

Martin Fischer

Copyright Catsailingnews.com

All Terrain Foiler

Apr 14, 2014

Artemis back to training at SF

Glad to see this team with Ian Percy and Nathan Otteridge holding together for another campaign, with some new faces including AC Youths sailors.

'Radikal T26' Tri by Perspective Design

Phil Roullin from Perspective Design sent a link to their FB Page showing the progress of their Radikal T26 Trimaran. The first boat is matching the render with smooth modern lines. They have built the entire set of molds, hulls are full carbon with Infusion laminate process.

Folding system a la Farrier is becoming standard, and provide a versatile alternative for Marinas and transport as featured also by Tony Grainger's new Trimaran line.

We will get more details with Phil soon. Check their T26 FB page here.

More pics below.

A-Cat: Q&A with Hervé Ledue, French Champ & Europeans coordinator

Local knowledge. Besides being the 2013 French A-Class Nat Champ, Hervé is also coordinating efforts for the incoming Europeans to be held a Cercle Voile Bordeaux from June 20 to the 29th. There are more than 100 boats confirmed already and the limit this year will be 120-130.
Last year he beat Heemskerk , Chris Field and other top guns at Hyeres to take the French Crown. Now he is dedicated to organize this 2014 Europeans that are going to be a key event for the Class in terms of defining a future long term path.
For the first time also fleets will be split and Hervé is expecting to fill the 130 boat mark.

Read his Q&A at  http://www.a-cat.org/?q=node/388

Apr 13, 2014

Ruler of the Seas

GC32: New Wings Performing & foiling Upwind

This is looking pretty good, with the AC72s, C-Class and the Flying Phantom design & testing experience behind, the GC32 gang (Macca, Mischa Heemskerk and others) is achieving some impressive out of the box flights on their newest foil setup,  inherited from cats mentioned above.

They flew in 6 knots with the L rudders days ago, and now they've upgraded to the finished T ones. They even end foiling jib/spi only on at halyard failure returning to shore...
So now you have the 18-20s plus the 30' foot production range covered. Nice work from the GC32 Team. They can match up now with the TNZ SL33s now.

Check GC32 website at www.thegreatcup.com & www.facebook.com/GC32Racing 

Apr 12, 2014

Gunboat: Engineers, Designers & Prod Eng required.

As I know many industry students and pros check this web, I asked Peter Johnstone if he wanted to post this search here too. Glad to know they are in full business looking for more people.
Contact Gunboat and send your CV to kmiller (at) gunboat.com 

If you're hired don´t forget to give me a call in the future to get a ride on the G4..!

Apr 10, 2014

Back to the Olympic Arena: Q&A with Darren Bundock

All images Jesus Renedo www.jesusrenedo.com . Click images for slideshow.  | All being said about Bundy by now, so just go ahead and read this quite interesting Q&A on his return to the Olympic Class with Nina Curtis.
CSN: Second event on the Nacra 17 and already in the podium with the toughest fleet till date. How do you feel about the new Olympic Class now after being present in the last T medal at Beijing?
Darren Bundock: I like the new Olympic class and from the current fleet sizes (72 entries in Palma & 82 registered for Hyeres) it is working. The boat is fun and its exciting, especially downwind. For me I'm just enjoying racing again and having fun after the Americas Cup. Olympic sailing is where the real racing is.

There are a few boats that are sailing really well and I guess after 12-18months in the class they should be. Billy and Marie (FRA) were the stand outs on how they sailed & then Vittorio & Silvia (ITA), Thomas & Tanja (AUT), Iker & Tara(ESP) & Matais & Natalie (SUI) are clearly the fastest boats on the race track. These boats are setting the standard and we are currently far from their level just yet. We have some work to do.

It is evident that the class, rules and enforcement has a long way to develop compared to the Tornado to handle the pressures as the Olympics approach but this should develop with time, I feel this is the biggest hurdle for the class right now. The class also needs to consider how to handle the fleet sizes if ISAF insists on split fleets as the system used in Palma is not the fairest and once qualification is over Silver fleet get shafted with the race schedule and conditions. This won't encourage the participation and big fleets for long. I feel the F18 four fleet round robin system is much fairer and way more efficient on the trapezoid course.

I am getting the feeling I am representing the older generation with a lot of the Tornado fleet now on coach boats. I remember when my original crew and I was referred to as the kids in the Tornado class when we first started campaigning.

The mixed sailing seems to be working and the boat park is much easier on the eye than the old Tornado boat park.

- How about the boat itself? You wrote that you rather like it.
I think the boat is ideal for what ISAF is trying to achieve and that being mixed sailing. It is a challenging, modern and as we saw from the images from Palma quite spectacular. I am quite impressed with the boat and find it a lot of fun to sail and its easy to get around on shore. I am loving the double trapeze downwind and the boat feels very fast. I don't think anyone is getting the most out of the boat just yet. From the short period I have spent in the class there seems to be so many different modes to sail the boat and it is important to be changing gears as the breeze changes and also the water state. The curve boards are for sure the feature that makes this boat and and with the addition of some small lifting T rudders the boat would have be amazing.

- Is the N17 setup sensitive to min changes, and how is compared to the T ones in terms of fine tuning and getting diff performance results.
The Tornado and the Nacra 17 are two completely different boats.
The Tornado was half a meter longer so greater waterline length, 40cm more width and righting moment making the platform more stable. The Tornado had a more tear drop mast section so the mast rotation is not so critical. The T was 30kg heavier and the main difference is the very inefficient centreboards compared to the longer curved lifting daggerboards of the 17.
Don't get me wrong I loved sailing the Tornado and miss it but the 17 is

F18, Cirrus R: New Sails test

Good video (Click image or check below) to see sails & mast behavior from the top. Manu also put a tell tale near the mast cam where the apparent is well marked. Manu Bolougne is training and racing for a while with his son Jean, and they went about 2 weeks ago to test their new Performance Sails set,  that are going to be the factory delivered brand from now on with the Cirrus R.

Apr 9, 2014

F18 Eurocat 2014: May 1-4 @Yacht Club Carnac

Image by Franck Guicquaid, Eurocat 2011. The F18 Class has many big events, but the Eurocat is always the first of the season and part of the Grand Slams of the IF18CA. Where all new designs and teams are tested looking towards each annual Worlds, that this year will be held in Ireland , check 2014.f18worlds.com for details.

The Eurocat also has C1, C3 & C4 Classes where F16s, Tornados, and other 20 footers like  M20s, Nacra F20c participate together in the Long Distance event. This year the FPhantom will be there too to aim for the Raid crown.
Last year we didn´t had many pics from the org but I might be reporting live this year for the first time, so I will try to get some good ones. Such events must have a Pro taking images though.

Check NOR & Schedule at Yatch Club Carnac www.yccarnac.com/usa/regates/eurocat-2014.html