[Source: Phantom International] Philippe Presti, the French Olympian and coach of the America’s Cup champion ORACLE TEAM USA, has visited Phantom International in Saint Lunaire – France for some foiling sailing sessions on the Flying Phantom with the Phantom sailing team.
“The purpose of my visit in Brittany was to try the Flying Phantom. You saw with the last America’s Cup we started to foil upwind and downwind and now we want to explore foiling with small boats. We are thinking it will be very good for the design of our future Cup boat.
Both sailing days were great and good sailing sessions. With up to 20 knots of breeze and swell, it was really enjoyable, of course in addition the business side of it, it’s a lot a lot of fun. In my career, I’ve started with very slow boats with the Finn dinghy and I really enjoy the changes. Sailing is a world where when you change boat you change world and I really enjoy to discover new stuff and foiling is really exciting.
This was one of the most exciting days sailing a boat I have had for a while.
The idea of buying boats for Oracle Team USA would be to train our sailors to fly; at the moment we have the big boat and we can fly on the AC72, but it is extremely hard to handle it term of logistics.
Onboard people are the helmsman, trimmers and others grinders but not all of them are really involved in the flying and in the way of foiling the boat. So the idea of sailing these small boats will be to help the guys to understand physically what is needed to fly in a stable way and this is why we want to use this boat as one of our training platforms. I believe we will learn a lot of things in terms of hydrodynamics and this could change our thinking about the big boat. The learning curve is so steep we are just at the beginning of the foiling and every month we are discovering new ideas or behavior so the Flying Phantom will help us to understand how to sail the big one.”
“We were very happy to have Philippe at our base in Saint Lunaire for these 2 days, it was very helpful for us to get him onboard and to have his feedback on the Flying Phantom. He discussed a lot with the team, which was useful for us, to be able to rely on the huge experience of Philippe. In addition, we shared our vision on foiling and the impact on the future of sailing and this reinforced our motivation to develop the Flying Phantom Class with specific events and provide also the ability for youth sailors to access foiling boats in a competitive environment. We are very proud to have ORACLE TEAM USA among our first customers and look forward to see the boats foiling in Sydney.”
Philippe Presti will go back to his coaching role with ORACLE TEAM USA and will soon have two Flying Phantom boats for skipper Jimmy Spithill, tactician/sailing team manager Tom Slingsby and the rest of the team to practice with at the team’s training session in Sydney, Australia.