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Diam 24 a new boat for the Tour de France à la Voile

Posted on 27 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

After the Ecume de Mer (1978), the First 30 (1979 to 1981), the Rush Royale (1982 and 1983), the Sélection 37 (1984 to 1991), the JOD 35 (1992 to 1998), the Farr 30 (1999 to 2010) and the M34 (2011 to 2014), from next summer 2105, the Diam 24 will be the new boat of the Tour de France à la Voile,

Like the previous boats, the Diam 24 is one-design boat. But the true revolution that A.S.O chose to establish lies in the fact that the Diam 24 is a 7.25m trimaran ! This sport boat was designed by VPLP and built in Port La Forêt (France) by Vianney Ancelin. Since its launch at the Paris Boat Show in December last year it has already seduced many renowned French sailors.

A circuit has also been created including various events like the Grand Prix Guyader, the Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale, and the Raid Emeraude in Saint-Lunaire. Michel Desjoyeaux, François Gabart, Vincent Riou and Sidney Gavignet are just some of the the first people who have shown their interest in this multihull.

A controlled budget for easier access to the event

The Tour de France à la Voile needed a new breath of life. For a few months, A.S.O has led a large survey with stakeholders from the sailing industry (skippers, crew members, project managers, institutions, partners…). They had three priorities : firstly, to offer a boat that would make the participation to the event much cheaper. Secondly, to choose a one-design boat which also has a circuit, which means a boat that has a life outside of the Tour de France à la Voile.  « We wished to start from a blank page in order to have a maximum of opportunities, without closing any doors. The budget for taking part in the event quickly appeared to be the key point, as well as the desire of many competitors to move to multihull racing, for more speed and more spectacular show on the water. The Diam 24 costs about 55 000 euros ready to sail, which is one third of the cost of the M34, and it entirely fulfills the two objectives. It offers a perfect budget positioning, with the opportunity to attract a large range of teams, from the corinthian to the elite crew. For the top teams, it will be a complementary platform to their main projects, on an event that they enjoy, and that offers their partners great possibilities in multiple places, both on the race village and from an hospitality point of view, the Tour de France à la Voile being, through its format, a summer tour along the french coasts », declared Jean-Baptiste Durier this morning in Nice.

Closer to the public

The Diam 24 is a fun, fast and spectacular boat, and on top of that, it will sail closer to the public. It was one of A.S.O main objectives since they bought the Tour de France à la Voile in 2012. To reinforce the « show » aspect of the Tour de France à la Voile. The idea is to set an itinerary around France, with some iconic places of the French coast, like the « Château du Taureau », in Roscoff, or the island of Porquerolles near Hyères. « We will alternate two types of races in each stop. Some coastal races, on Day 1, that we can adapt depending of the weather conditions, and that will showcase the wonders of our coasts, and some inshore races, on Day 2 on a sailing stadium mode. Our will is to bring the show closer to the shore and the spectators, and to create an entertainment program on land so that the public can understand what’s going on on the water, with a very well thought out visual and audio background. People like multihull sailing because it can be very spectacular. That’s also what guided our choice », said the director of the Tour de France à la Voile (name ?) The Diam 24 will have 3 or 4 crew onboard and can be lifted out of the water and dismantled in an hour only. From a logistical point of view, it is a perfect format for the Tour.

A mix of top sailors and corinthian sailors, the essence of the Tour de France à la Voile

The teams of the Tour de France à la Voile have welcomed the Diam 24 announcement with enthusiasm. They know this is the opportunity to revive the sporting aspect of the event, following on from the large reorganisation operated on land for the last two years (increase of the Race Village, creation of a set of publicity cars and of an entertainment hub on the beaches). Some key sailing figures who haven’t taken part for many years could consider coming back along the french coasts , like Michel Desjoyeaux, François Gabart, or Vincent Riou, who won everything this year on the Diam 24 circuit. « The future of sailing, in general, is the multihull. I am absolutely sure of that », explained François Gabart.  And for Michel Desjoyeaux, « the objective is to have more boats and more sailors on the Tour de France à la Voile. The Diam 24 complies with the necessary flexibility on a mobile event along the French coasts, taking into account the timing priorities for the entertainment on land ! »

The Corinthians are also very by the new series that should keep developing this year. Paul Adam, President of the Ligue Haute Normandie who initiated the Normandy-Acerel M34 campaign, who just won the Corinthian ranking this year, is supporting the Tour’s evolution :« The Tour de France à la Voile needed to be rejunevated. We are heading torwards a more attractive type of sailing, that is also a show for the spectators. The lower financial conditions will encourage the smaller teams to come back to the event ». The new course will be revealed during the Nautic – Paris Boat Show in december, as well as a few competitors already involved for the next edition. The objective is to offer a diverse fleet, gathering various families of sailing, olympic sailors, offshore sailors, professionnal crew members, and corinthian teams. The Tour de France à la Voile is en route towards its future on three hulls !

Quotes from :

Michel Desjoyeaux skipper :
« The Tour is a model in french crew handed sailing. Many young sailors have grown to top level racing and became pro after sailing on the Tour. Multihull sailing is clearly part of the french sailing and technological culture, and now it is finally going international ! It’s great gather the two and revive this major event. The objective is to have more boats and more sailors. The Diam 24 complies with the necessary flexibility on a mobile event along the french coasts, taking into account the timing priorities for the entertainment on land ».

Vincent Riou, skipper of the 60’ monohull PRB :
« The Diam 24 is a light and fun sport boat. It’s full-on and it’s going to be a great show. I was looking for another boat on top of my 60 foot monohull. It’s an easy campaign to take on. The Diam 24 series has just started and it already attracts top people. And the Tour de France à la Voile is also an institution. I think the Diam 24 can rejunevate the event. It will be a great campaign to do the Tour on a multihull. I just love the idea ! »

Daniel Souben, skipper of Courrier Dunkerque 3 :
« We are at a time when the Tour has some difficulties despite the level of the competitors and the excellent media cover. We don’t have enough teams. So we can’t refuse the opportunity to rejunevate. The solution they found should allow attract many teams to the event and facilitate the mix of professionnals and corinthians. It will be a different format as we are going to lose the offshore legs. But it will bring some new competitors including a younger generation and some people from the multihull world. The Diam 24 in the Tour is a good thing, from a communication point of view, but also from the budget point of view. It’s definitely worth trying ».

Eric Hainneville, President of the Diam 24 class :
« The introduction of the Diam 24 as the new boat for the Tour de France à la Voile is a bit stressful for me, as a president of the Class. The bar is set high right from the start. We just want to be good enough so that no one is disappointed. As a sailor, it’s a fantastic project. I think it’s a recognition of the multihull as a proper racing platform. Sailing a multihull requires real sailing abilities. The America’s Cup helped a lot in this recognition. With Vianney Ancelin, we wanted a sensationnal boat, for a reasonnable price, simple and easily accessible. It was a real challenge. This boat will attract other types of sailors, both on the pro and on the corinthian side. It will give the Tour de France à la Voile a new dimension. I think it’s fantastic. There is a real mutual trust amongst us, the sailors, the class, and the race organisers ».

Nicolas Honor, project manager of Oman Sail :
« The fact that A.S.O is changing the boat is a good thing. Unfortunately today, the entries are decreasing every year on the Tour de France à la Voile. A.S.O had the courage to do something about it. Regarding Oman Sail, our project is more offshore sailing orientated, but we also have our MOD70 so the Diam 24 could be an interesting platform for us. We can readjust our omani sailors training program. We are more than 50% sure to do the Tour de France à la Voile again next year. But there are still some question marks because the Oman Sail program for next year hasn’t been established yet for the various circuits we are involved in. In brief, if we have an opportunity to do the Tour on a Diam 24, we will take it ».

Sidney Gavignet, skipper of Team Oman Sail :
« Moving to multihull is simply in the mood of our time. This change was necessary. To find a more affordable platform is logical considering the economic situation. I think the competition will be homogeneous. The big teams will prepare like big teams do and then we will have some sailors who don’t come from offshore sailing but from the sport multihull. I trust A.S.O to make the right choices ».

François Gabart, skipper of Macif :
« I did my first Tour in 2002 or 2003 and at the time I was sailing on Tornado. On the Tour I discovered offshore sailing, nightime racing, sailing with the tides and current… But I thought monohulls were a bit slow. AT the time I remember I told myself that it would be great to do it on small multihulls ! Therefore I think the evolution of the Tour de France à la Voile is very positive. And the future of sailing in general is multihulls. I bought a Diam 24 before even knowing it would be the new Tour boat. It’s an excellent boat, very accessible, both from a budget point of view and from a technical aspect. The Tour will be more popular, for the public and for the competitors. The mix has always been the Tour’s strength ! »

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Joint statement from the teams

Posted on 26 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Following the announcement of Team Australia – representative of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Challenger of Record of the 35th America’s Cup – of its intention to withdraw from the competition, the teams Luna Rossa Challenge, Artemis Racing, Ben Ainslie Racing and Team France – jointly with the yacht clubs they represent – confirm their full support to the event, regardless from the host venue that will be selected.

The four teams, who have so far made clear their involvement, also reiterate their commitment to co-operate in a constructive way with the Defender to the sporting and commercial success of the 35th America’s Cup, with the aim of bringing this event to the peak of the world’s professional sport in terms of media, show, public and the intense sporting competition which has always characterised the America’s Cup.

The teams look forward to establish a constant dialogue with the Defender Oracle Team USA with the intent to fully preserve the principle of “friendly competition between foreign countries“ – one of the core elements of the Deed of Gift that rules the America’s Cup – and to co-operate actively with the Defender to adapt the rules where need be and outline the America’s Cup World Series calendar, as well as the format of the Challengers’ Selection Series and of the America’s Cup finals.

Max Sirena, skipper of Luna Rossa Challenge, declared: “All the elements for the success of the event are there: after the 34th America’s Cup it is no longer questionable how spectacular the full foiling wing-sail catamarans are! Neither is questionable the excitement, intense competition and high-adrenaline this racing offers! ”

Ben Ainslie, Team Principal of BAR, commented: “We are really focussed to help build a successful and sustainable America’s Cup for the future. The America’s Cup is about pushing the technical boundaries of the sport through continued innovation. The AC62 will again be incredibly exciting to watch, both on and off the water, all the ingredients you need for a great sporting event.”

Iain Percy, Team Manager of Artemis Racing, stated: “The next America’s Cup is likely to be the most competitive, exciting and sustainable ever. We cannot wait to compete.”

Franck Cammas, skipper of Team France, declared: “We believe that the format of the next America’s Cup will bring a friendly but fierce competition between the best sailors on the most spectacular machines the America’s Cup has ever seen. The 35th America’s Cup will confirm a new era for sailing, but also for the sport in general and the related technologies, with the most intense competition possible and Team France will be proud to be part of it !”

Luna Rossa is standing strongly behind the America’s Cup organization

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Team Brunel strikes first blow in the Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 23 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Team Brunel] On Saturday July 19th the starting gun was fired for the Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race. The 670 mile yacht race led the fleet in three days around the Canary Islands.

After the start Team Brunel took the second place in the first contest between three brand new VO65-racers. The Spanish Team Campos of skipper Iker Martinez took the lead shortly after the start and the ladies of Team SCA started last. Sunday morning Team Brunel grabbed the lead from Team Campos. After that Bouwe Bekking and his men built their lead rapidly to over 10 miles.

Monday morning the Dutch boat doubled their lead at the Spanish team to more than 20 miles. “We are sailing at the most southwestern tip of the archipelago. At this time we could not see Team Campos and Team SCA. Last night we were smoking,” navigator Andrew Cape reported from the boat. It was enough for the victory in the first Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race. Team Brunel crossed the finish line at full speed in a pitch black Monday evening for the coast of Marina Rubicón at Lanzarote.

Rokas Milevičius: “The race was really fun, with various conditions. We had strong wind, light wind, no wind and we sailed up- and downwind. We knew exactly what to expect, because Andrew “Capey” Cape has done this race before. He did a great job in preparing the race. We knew where the wind would die and where the wind would increase. The speed of the three VO65’s was almost the same during the beginning of the race. After the start we sailed a few miles close together. During the first night we had a lot of wind up to 30 knots.

We were pushing harder than Team Campos and Team SCA. We did some good sail changes, and after rounding Lanzarote we took the lead. At sunrise we could not see the Spanish boat anymore. But a few miles later we were parked in an area with no wind. We hoped that they would not overtake us from behind, but they parked first. Luckily we found the first wind. Clearly Capey has given us the victory.”

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The myth of the “commercially sustainable” America’s Cup

Posted on 22 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

According to Forbes Magazine’s list of the 50 richest Australians, Bob Oatley is sitting in 33rd place with an estimated fortune of US$830 million, as of January 2014, which at the current exchange rate is approximately €615 million.

No matter what currency you express it in, for the average person, that is a boatload of money and thousands of times what most of us would ever earn in our entire lifetime. Nevertheless, there is a tremendous difference between being very rich and being able to finance an America’s Cup campaign, and this is something that, apparently, Bob Oatley and his son Sandy, misjudged when they filed their challenge for the 35th America’s Cup last September.

It’s difficult to conceive how such an accomplished businessman wouldn’t see nearly a year ago that with an estimated cost of more than €100 million to run a competitive campaign and have a serious chance at beating Larry Ellison, it is financially a no-brainer. One cannot spend a sixth of one’s fortune on a yacht race, regardless of its appeal and the resulting status achieved, as well as the bragging rights. In fact, there were a number of knowledgeable people that, off the record, would also express their bewilderment during the 2013 Sydney Hobart race.

There will not be any Team Australia taking part in the 35th America’s Cup. Photo copyright Andrea Francollini

Most probably, the Oatleys thought they would be able to gather around them more wealthy Australian businessmen and corporate groups that would fund a national drive to take back the America’s Cup to Sydney. The final match in San Francisco might have been one of the most exciting and thrilling races but the entire event was a commercial disaster. None of the sponsorship and funding goals were achieved and a mere three challengers competed. We have commented on this many times and we will not go over that issue again. Still, it is interesting to remind ourselves of the budgets the four teams had last time, according to Bruno Troublé: Oracle Team USA spent €250 million to successfully defend the America’s Cup. Artemis Racing had a budget of €160 million, Luna Rossa had at its disposal €100 million while Emirates Team New Zealand reached the finals with €80 million.

As a result, the Oatleys started their negotiations with Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison at the €100-million barrier and unless they were able to negotiate a protocol that would substantially reduce costs compared to the 34th America’s Cup they had embarked on a mission impossible. After, allegedly, tough negotiations that went on for months, the result was quite surprising, to say the least. Not only did the Australian challenger agree to hand the Defender unprecedented rights, they put on additional burdens on the challengers that made the, already scant, commercial appeal even smaller.

Just the fact the challengers will have to compete in two different parts of the planet makes the logistics and finances prohibitive. In addition, marketing departments will have to make their pitch in the corporate boardrooms without even guaranteeing that their team will make it to the top four! Let alone the fact that before the end of 2014 they will not know the venue of the next event and the venue of the Challenger Selection round robin will not be announced before February 2015!

It seems that reality settled in on Saturday when Team Australia announced their withdrawal from the America’s Cup, stating, among others that “ultimately our estimate of the costs of competing were well beyond our initial expectation and our ability to make the formula of our investment and other commercial support add up.”

As of today, there are four potential and credible challengers that are, or could be, able to provide the initial US$3 million required for the entry. They are Luna Rossa, Artemis, Ben Ainslie Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand. There is talk of the possibility of a French or Chinese entry but we doubt they will be able to get the necessary funding.

The case of Ben Ainslie is an example of the impossibility of getting off the ground without the strong support of either a government or a group of wealthy financial backers. The world’s most successful and most accomplished sailor, a living sports legend in his own country couldn’t have started his campaign without £7.5 million of government funding and the contribution of seven founding shareholders. We aren’t saying that this is negative, it’s simply a fact.

We were criticized in the past for pointing out this but when the team that wrote the rules of a competition bows out because they consider it to be extremely expensive what should the rest think? It appears Russell Coutts is doing an excellent job though. Despite the PR to the contrary, the only task he has is to retain the America’s Cup, nothing more. So, with one of the five potential challengers out, achieving that goal became a bit easier.

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Photo gallery: Day 2 of the Moth World Championship

Posted on 21 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Spectacular shots from the second day of racing at the Moth World Championship by top sailing photographer, Thierry Martinez:

Day 2 of the 2014 Moth Worlds. Hayling, 20 July 2014. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez

Day 2 of the 2014 Moth Worlds. Hayling, 20 July 2014. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez

Day 2 of the 2014 Moth Worlds. Hayling, 20 July 2014. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez

Day 2 of the 2014 Moth Worlds. Hayling, 20 July 2014. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez

Day 2 of the 2014 Moth Worlds. Hayling, 20 July 2014. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez

Day 2 of the 2014 Moth Worlds. Hayling, 20 July 2014. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez

Day 2 of the 2014 Moth Worlds. Hayling, 20 July 2014. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez

Day 2 of the 2014 Moth Worlds. Hayling, 20 July 2014. Photo copyright Thierry Martinez

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Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh at the Moth Worlds

Posted on 21 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: International Moth World Championship] Racing started around 1pm after the Westerly sea breeze came in. Blue fleet made up for their lost race from Saturday and then sailed two more races in the best of the breeze.

Yellow fleet were too far East to get the full effect of this and only managed a single race in what was a long day on the water for them. The race team moved Yellow fleet further west once Blue fleet were sent ashore, but the gradient and sea breeze were cancelling each other out and racing was abandoned for the day.

Robert Greenhalgh (GBR) was the man in Blue fleet who managed to stay up on the foils more than anyone else. Only top Australian helms Nathan Outteridge and Scott Babbage were able to keep in touch at all with Greenhalgh in the first race of the day.

Robert said after the racing, “Confidence is high – that’s three wins in a row and I was leading the race which was abandoned at the end of the day. In the light airs today it was very important to get off the line and after that I was very happy with my speed.”

David Cambell-James on the leeward mark boat took particular note of Robert’s start in Blue race 3 particularly, “He started on port at the pin end and crossed the fleet comfortably. He was off.”

Chris Draper ended his day on a better note with two 5th places after pushing it a bit too hard in the early Blue fleet race, “I was pushing it a bit hard downwind and speared it in just before the finish. To make things worse Simon Hiscocks just got past me on the line.” Draper’s 12th in race 2 is currently his discard, with his other counting result being a 6th.

Stevie Morrison has been consistently getting results around 15th and was happy with his day on the water. After finishing 50th at the nationals, he had some setup advice from Nathan Outteridge which has helped his foiling stability immensely. Even so, Stevie said the top guys can pull a new piece of kit out of the bag to gain a bit more pace, or as Nathan jokingly said at the bar having a beer with Stevie, “You just need to spend to win in this fleet!”

With only 3 or 4 qualifying races completed so far, depending on which fleet each helm is in, qualifying has been extended into Monday with the reserve day on Tuesday now being used for Gold and Silver fleet racing. Sunday’s Yellow fleet will head out early to make up for their lost race.

The overall results to date are tricky to show with the fleets out of sync. Of the Brits, Robert Greenhalgh is looking good with 3 bullets and an 8th and Chris Rashley has 1,2,1 in his three races. The Antipodeans are also looking strong with Josh Mcknight scoring 3,1,3, Scott Babbage with 2,2,3,4 and Nathan Outteridge scoring 3,2,2 after his gear failure before race 1 of the series gave him a DNC.

There are a few more who’ve been knocking in results in the top ten such as Rob Gough (AUS), Ben Paton (GBR), Andrew McDougall (AUS), Tom Offer (GBR) & Christopher Rast (SUI). With the light winds set to continue into the week, this kind of consistency could well be key to getting a podium result.

The stunning weather does make the racing very watchable from the Hayling Island beach. Why not come down, bring a set of binoculars, some suntan lotion and ice cream money to enjoy the unique sight of 138 foiling Moths battle it out in UK waters.

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Robertissima Crowned 2014 Melges 32 European Champion

Posted on 21 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Melges 32] Unstable racing conditions did not allow for a final race at the 2014 Melges 32 European Championship making overnight leader Roberto Tomasini Grinover and his Robertissima team newly crowned 2014 European Champions! Aboard with Tomasini Grinover was tactician Vasco Vascotto and crew members Federico Michetti, Giovanni Cassinari, Gunnar Bahr, Simone Spangaro, Steafno Nicolussi and Armin Raderbauer.

“We are delighted with this outstanding results, special thanks to all the crew, the sails and the boat were just perfect,” said an elated Tomasini Grinover. “We won here, repeating our victory in Talamone against a really strong fleet. After nine races and gaining leadership on Day Two, then defending our position up until the very end, we are so proud of what we have achieved so far.”

A hard fought battle between Richard Goransson’s Helly Hansen Inga From Sweden and Valentin Zavadnikov’s Synergy GT team has also come to a close, respectively finishing second and third overall. Naofumi Kamei’s Mamma Aiuto! finished fourth and Alessandro Rombelli’s Azimut by STIG was fifth.

Racing in the fleet for the very first time ever, Claudia Rossi aboard Wilma finished an impressive sixth overall out of seventeen entries. “Sailing the Melges 32 was an amazing experience – a really fantastic boat to race between so many high level crews,” commented Rossi post racing. “I managed to grow a lot, even in the windy conditions and inside a close race course, I am fully satisfied with my first time sailing the boat. I only started sailing ten months ago. I will be back soon in the Melges 32 fleet.”

And with the close of the fourth act of the 2014 Audi-Tron Sailing Series, another examination of the overall Series Ranking is in order. Still on top is Zavadnikov, followed by Mauro Mocchegiani aboard Fratelli Giacomel Audi e-Tron in second, followed by Edoardo Lupi on Torpyone. With only one more event remaining (Genova), Zavadnikov maintains his significant lead, but points remain tight for second through fifth.

Roberto Tomasini Grinover is the brand new Melges 32 European Champion. Photo copyright Carlo Borlenghi

TOP TEN RESULTS (FINAL – After Ten Races, One Discard)
1.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima; 3-4-3-2-2-1-2-5-[6] = 22
2.) Richard Goransson/Morgan Larson, Helly Hansen Inga From Sweden; 5-[15]-1-9-1-3-1-[5/SCP]-2 = 27
3.) Valentin Zavadnikov/Michele Ivaldi, Synergy GT; 4-1-2-3-3-[13]-4-7-3 = 27
4.) Naofumi Kamei/Manu Weiller, Mamma Aiuto!; [12/SCP2]-10-6-1-7-7-6-1-1 = 39
5.) Alessandro Rombelli/Freddy Loof, Azimut by STIG; 10-8-4-[14]-10-2-5-4-7 = 50
6.) Claudia Rossi/Nicola Celon, Wilma; 2-5-7-10-[15]-5-14-6-4 = 53
7.) Roberto Mazzuccato/Gabriele Benussi, Margherita; 8-[13]-11-8-6-6-3-3-[15] = 58
8.) Aurturo Di Lorenzo/Matteo Ivaldi, Malafemmena; [16]-7-8-6-4-9-8-8-9 = 59
9.) Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio/Hugo Rocha, G Spot; 11-2-10-[15]-5-12-7-10-14 = 71
10.) Pavel Kuznetsov/Evgeniy Neugodnikov, Tavatuy; 9-11-15-11-8-4-[16]-11-5 = 74

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