Sep 23, 2014

Shockwave F18 MKII launch @Ireland Worlds 2014: Q&A with Emeric Dary

All Images Jasper van Staveren @Bangor, Ireland Worlds 2014. The Shockwave F18 is back to competition and to the top ten in an F18 Worlds after being 1st tied in pts in Belgium Worlds 2009. Later some issues on the laminate core selected for the build cause the boat to stay standby for a while, until Sirena-Voile acquired Loday-White. Now they are offering an improved version: the Shockwave 'MKII'.
Emeric Dary with David Fanoulliere sailed it at Bangor F18 Worlds 2014 with an excellent top ten result after only few days of receiving the new rig/sails.

The Shockwave already performed since its launch as mentioned above in 2009, when I labeled Wilson & Lynch as favorites for that year.
Glad to see this Loday-White design back as a top competitive alternative for all those wanting to race in the F18 Class. As always more choices = more boats and sailors on the water, which  is the ultimate goal of any Box Rule class, encouraging boat and cat builders to deliver their own F18s.

Below a detailed interview with Emeric Dary on the boat and his F18 Worlds experience at Bangor.
- CSN: Why it took so long to launch an MKII version?
Emeric Dary: The company Sirena Voile became Loday Whites’ owner in 2012. Since this milestone their strategy has been focused on the sailing school for catamarans, a safer and more valuable market.

There was also a great management effort needed to keep competitive prices producing their boat in the UK and in France. This year they finally decided to come back on the racing field by accomplishing a competitive version of the Shockwave (MKII)

- Remind us about the concept behind this Loday/White design
ED: The philosophy of the designer, Yves Loday, was to design a top performer  F18 while remaining more accessible than other designs for weekend sailors, allowing to achieve good performance with very few sailing practice hours.

- Which are the changes / improvements of this version?

ED: The main evolution are Daggerboards, they are at the maximum class rules lenght now.
This change allows much better performance in medium winds. It was previously the boat weakness and it now became its strenght, The new daggerboard profile section also allows less drag.

Rudders have changed too, the dimensions are very similar but the shape has been improved, it avoids some spinout phases that sailors have met on the mk1.

The hull shape is 99% the same, the only change is on the outerback angle, where the footstrap is, on the Shockwave we use the footstrap very late, but once in, it allows a better body balance, and the crew can apply his weight a bit more on the back in strong condition.

The factory had also reviewes the building process to produce the hulls stiffer than before.
The forestay bridles are more forward, so the gap between the mast and the jib is bigger, it makes the jib more tolerant and allows the mast rotation to turn further.

- Which are the factory rig & sails offered?

Out of the factory, the boat is now equipped with a Cirrus mast, and a Performance Sails Main. North sails jib and spinnaker remain the same.

The boat is still available in a configuration with the original Selden mast with lighter fittings and longer spreaders, and a 2014 version of the North Sails Mainsail.

F18 Worlds Ireland
CSN: You had a low start at Bangot  but you guys started to score top ten results
What you guys changed / improved to get into rythm?
ED: Indeed, we had the chance to improve our performance level as the championship progressed.
We arrived in Ireland with a training deficit compared to the best sailors. And we didn’t knew so well how to use the new rig configuration we had just received one week before. (Cirrus mast and SI main) At the end of each day we enjoyed observing that we were sailing a bit faster.

As you know, the first boat lengths after the start are crucial. We managed better starts, ensuring fresh winds during the first leg, and it really helped doing better.

- How was the feeling of the MKII in the mixed conditions you had in Ireland?
We felt it great ! We have to put the things into perspective because we were the only experienced team sailing with this design, and it is hard to be objective evaluating the strenght and weaknesses of the Shockwave from our own sailing style.

Upwind : During the championship compared to the top 20, we didn’t feel that much comfortable on the first upwind. When we met boats pointing high, we needed wider speed revive angle and didn’t feel so well when a fast boat was putting us under pressure.

We worked on doing room under our wind to turn this difficulty into a speed gain opportunity, it worked pretty well.
Pulling the helm going under the crazy pointer was usually a great move to overtake our competitors seeing them on the backside a minute later was very pleasant.

A notable wind range strenght upwind is between 6 and 10 knots, the boat with its volume and daggerboards gives all the power needed to go on an early trapeze.

Downwind : During all this week in Ireland, the downwind was really sheer pleasure.
Whatever the tactical choices done, we were always better placed at the bottom mark.
Every races finishing with a downwind, it was and excellent feeling.

When following the fleet in a straight line we had no speed gain but always a better driving angle potential, once again it was important to be well positioned compared to the fleet, jibing at a good time to have room to make our own road.

The most tremendous gain were in the light wind and in the breeze. The performance level of the boat was really impressive.

In the breeze the Shockwave doesn’t cut the wave but literally flies over it. Gains were crazy, the crew was on the footstrap later than the others. The safety of the boat gave us a lot of margin to attack harder than the others. Laying up a lot of power we were sailing much lower than the top boats, we scared a lot of them coming back very fast.

Those gains could be relied on the hull shape/volume, the daggerboards positioned more on the back than the other design, and also to the North Sails Spinnaker which directly helps going deeper.

- How long you've sailing this MKII version?
I entered the F18 thanks to Sirena Voile which offered us an excellent part-exchange deal from a SL16 to a Shockwave MKI, we discovered the highest level events on this boat.

Last summer we ordered a brand new one with a lot of improvements, the main changes were the daggers and rudders, they really changed the way we could sail. A better pointing potential and big gains in the medium winds. The boat has been sailing pretty fast, scoring a 2nd and a 3rd place at the Costarmoricaine.

At that moment I started sailing with a top crew, David Fanouillère (F18 Youth Champion in Hungary) which helped a lot to go further in the boat potential. Improving a lot of details.

Luckily, we had North Sails involved, developing a 2014 version of the Mainsail, which allows a better acceleration and a flatter sail profile in the breeze. This change was very positive, we won local events and scored a 5th place at the Eurocat in Carnac using this sail.

We felt that there was still some gain left to do using a stiffer mast. The standard mast from selden is light and has a great aerodynamical profile but was much softer than the others, and was asking a lot, being very sensitive to the mast rotation set.

At this time Sirena Voile has decided to go further into the Shockwave development and took the decision to use a Cirrus mast. We wanted an accomplished and failure safe mainsail, fitting to the mast, in order to perform directly without spending time in sail development.

This big change has been pretty efficient. As soon as we are trapezing, we have the feeling that the mast lateral stiffness helps the boat to accelerate faster. Moreover the mast prebend is easily adjusted by the diamond tension and allows a very polyvalent profile.

- How was the event, from the distance look challenging on the high breeze and calm weather racing.
ED: We met a very changing weather in Bangor, tricky, even for the best tacticians. But we also met a very good race committee, who used all of the wind potential to make a 15 fair races championship.

Because of that, before going on the water it was difficult to decide about rake or batten settings, and the best choice was to set a polyvalent boat.
Tactical aspect was predominant and we felt it was especially crucial to get the head out of the boat and watch all around.

I imagine that from the distance you perceived it, Northern Ireland was a very convivial destination, listening to many people who were there, it was the most convivial ever lived.
It was thanks to the Irish team, as much volunteers as racers involved. All of them have been really kind and helpful.
But also thanks to the competitors, there were much fewer boats than in Italy, according to me this event was like a class spirit reborn, people enjoying to sail against each other and appreciating to share their passion of racing.

All the sailors who sail for fun and quit the annual F18 event should come back. This year it was not only a battle for a score, it was real conviviality moments.

I have no doubt that the 2015 German team knows about it and will organize their event making this conviviality aspect a priority in Kiel.

-  Plans for the future ? We need to have a Shockwave team in Buenos Aires 2016..
We will be sailing for sure the next Formula 18 world, otherwise we could feel depressed.
Buenos Aires will be a great adventure, a great destination in our round the world sailing experience, it is an expensive trip being European, but we really want to be a part of it.

I believe you could see several Shockwave. there are many people all around updating their MK1 version, and I believe that we tempted other sailors to sail on this wonderful boat.

About the future : In France we are lucky to have an high level fleet, at the Worlds, 6 of the 10 first boats were french. This is a great group dynamic to improve, it really encourages us all to go out and sail.

We could also take part to another class, a big sailing event, the « Tour de France à la Voile » has changed from monohull to 24 feet Trimaran. This event gives a great media excitement and it is a great opportunity for talented catamaran sailor to perform against the best offshore celebrity. You could see some well-known F18 faces on this race.

(This event as reported will be sailed in the DIAM 24 Trimaran

More info on the Shockwave at

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