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Ready to Race at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015!

Posted on 19 January 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Premiere-Racing] Key West has been a flurry of activity for the last four days as sailors swarmed into town for the annual race week that is being held here for the 28th year. Quantum Key West 2015, which begins Monday on the aqua waters off the southernmost point of the United States, has attracted 115 boats in 10 classes and competitors have been busily preparing and practicing.

Curious tourists looked on with interest as crew members loaded huge sail bags onto the mini maxis that are berthed at the docks in front of the Hyatt. Bella Mente and Shockwave are powerful 72-foot racing machines that require a crew of 18 professionals to race. They will square off in IRC 1 along with Numbers, a 66-footer that returns to the regatta for the first time in several years.

Minneapolis skipper Hap Fauth and his team on Bella Mente will be seeking to repeat as class champs. Veteran pro Terry Hutchinson, who was just named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year for the second time in his illustrious career, joins the team as tactician and is one of many new crew members on Bella Mente Hutchinson has helped owners to victory in the Farr 40 and TP52 class at this regatta, but this will be his first time racing a maxi off Key West. He will rely heavily on the recommendations of navigator Ian Moore as Bella Mente draws 17 ½ feet. “It’s going to be different because there are certain areas of the race course that we cannot go,” Hutchinson said. “That affects your decision-making as a tactician. Half the challenge is to not run aground.”

Shockwave is hoping to avoid the difficulties that prevented it from finishing one race and competing in two others a year ago. Skipper George Sakalleris shook his head when recounting the mishaps, which began with hooking a lobster pot on the way out to the race course. Paul Cayard, a member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, is the new tactician aboard Shockwave. “That’s one of the wonderful things about having this program, it gives you an opportunity to race with some great sailors,” said Sakalleris, a resident of Framingham, Mass. “Paul Cayard is certainly one of the best and we are very happy to have him aboard.”

Numbers was a regular competitor in Key West for many years under owner Dan Meyers, who steered the boat to victory a few times. Work commitments have prevented Meyers from participating the last few years, but he has chartered his boat to Gunther Buerman for Quantum Key West 2015 Buerman is grateful to have also gotten many members of the old Numbers crew, including renowned tactician Brad Butterworth. The four-time America’s Cup winner knows the boat extremely well and was eager to get her sailing again.

Sakalleris said Shockwave and Bella Mente cannot afford to get into any match racing battles and forget about the smaller boat. “There might be situations when (Numbers) can hurt either one of this. If we pick a fight with each other, she could sail right past us.” Continued Premiere Racing volunteers working the crane at Truman Annex are busier than usual this year as the four high-tech catamarans in the GC 32 class are dry-sailing, meaning they are hauled out of the water at the end of each day’s racing.

These are foiling catamarans capable of doing 30-40 knots in the right conditions. One mistake could lead to a catastrophic capsize and testament to the danger of racing in the GC 32 class is the fact the sailors wear helmets. “The level of stability is so much lower from what you have in a keelboat. You have to make fine adjustments in everything you do in order to keep the boat under control,” said Jason Carroll, skipper of Argo. “Whenever you’re going that that fast there is a chance you can hurt yourself if something goes wrong. We’re still learning this boat so there is a chance we could stick the nose in the water.” Most of the boats competing in Quantum Key West are berthed at Historic Seaport, either at The Galleon docks or Conch Harbor. Walking the long and winding floating piers at The Galleon is like going to a boat show as the slips are filled with Melges 24s, J/111s, Swan 42s and such sleek designs as a Ker 43, Mills 43 and J/125.

Those latter three are among 11 boats competing in IRC 2 with the Swan 42s and High Performance Rule entries also being scored separately as a sub-class. Spookie, a Carkeek 40 sailed by the husbandwife team of Steve and Heidi Benjamin is defending champs in HPR. They will be challenged this year by two newcomers – Tonnerre 4 and True. Skipper Peter Vroon recently took possession of the Ker 51 previously known as Varnua, which he said had a solid track record. The Netherlands resident said he wanted a slightly larger platform than Tonnerre de Breskens, which he successfully campaigned the previous six years. True is a Kernan 47 that that is farly new to skipper Leo van den Thillart of Newport, R.I. This will be the first round-the-buoys regatta for van den Thillart since modifications were made to the boat, which enjoyed some success under the name of Katana.

“This year is a bit different since we have combined with the IRC fleet. We’ll have more varied competition between the two boat types, which I think is good,” Benjamin said of the HPR entries. The Melges 24 class has doubled in size since last year and will feature 13 entries, including six from foreign countries. Michigan skipper Thomas Ritter steered Tramp to second place at Quantum Key West 2014 and admitted it will be tough to repeat that performance with several strong programs joining the fleet this year.

“I think the two Norwegian boats will be very serious competitors. Mikey (Kevin Welch) has historically done well while Steven Boho has been very religious about campaigning The 300,” Ritter said. “Of course, there’s always a surprise. You get here and think you have the fleet figured out, but as the week develops something completely different happens.”

J/70 is the largest class in the regatta with 54 boats and features a who’s who of top professionals. This is the third year the popular sport boat has competed in Key West and Tim Healy is the two-time defending champ. The North Sails executive is the clear-cut favorite again after capturing both the J/70 World Championship and North American crown. “We have another real strong fleet down here this year and I think there are a number of boats that are capable of contending,” Healy said. “The class is maturing and people are learning how to sail the boats better.”

J/111 and J/88 are new one-design classes in Key West and feature seven and six boats, respectively. Cleveland skipper Rob Ruhlman steered Spaceman Spiff to victory in PHRF 1 class last year and is looking forward to racing exclusively against sister ships. “Most people would rather race one-design as opposed to PHRF or any other rating system. Coming from a Lightning background, that is certainly my preference,” said Ruhlman, who hasn’t done enough J/111 racing to handicap the fleet here. “There just hasn’t been enough one-design competition in this class to be able to say there is a clear favorite.” continued PHRF 1 features a pair of hot new designs in the Farr 280 and C&C 30. Those two speedsters will be challenged by more established designs such as a J/122 and Farr 30. Robin Team sailed his J/122 to victory in this class two years ago while finishing second in 2014.

PHRF 2 features another past winner in Tangent, a Cape Fear 38 owned by Gerry Taylor of Annapolis. Taylor missed Key West last year for the first time since 2004 and is thrilled to be back racing off the Conch Republic. “I’ve always loved sailing in Key West,” Taylor said. “The competition is top-notch, the regatta management is first-class and you can’t go wrong with high wind and warm weather.” It doesn’t hurt to almost always be in contention as well. Taylor captured class honors in 2011 and 2013 while finishing second several times. That history makes Tangent one of the pre-regatta favorites in PHRF 2 class, which includes such divergent designs as a C&C 121, J/105 and J/80. “There are some different boats in the class than we have seen in the past so it will be interesting to see how we match up,” Taylor said.

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Sailing Champions League 2015 is taking up speed

Posted on 24 December 2014 by Reporter

[Source: Sailing Champions League] One week before Christmas 20 representatives from eight nations met at the office of the SAILING Champions League in Hamburg to discuss the future of the international club competition. Among them top representatives of leading sailing clubs, associations, agencies and sailing teams. A main part of the meeting was to enable the start of national sailing leagues following the model of the German league “Segel-Bundesliga” as well as to define the structural framework for the cooperation between the national leagues and the SAILING Champions League.

A complex of rules was passed and an international Steering Committee established. Interests of the national leagues were bundled, the rule set defined and the worldwide expansion of the vision of the sailing leagues was pushed forward.

The Steering Committee was elected by the club representatives in Hamburg: Six countries will be representing the interests of the league for the season 2015 – Germany, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy and Great Britain.

An overview of the role and responsibilities of the Steering Committee of the SCL:
– Licensing of national leagues
– Qualification for the SCL as well as the distribution of “Wild Cards”
– Definition of the SCL event schedule
– Sending a “Technical Delegate” to ensure the quality of the events on site
– Supporting the search for sponsors
– Access to associations and clubs

A simple “Rule Book” will be created to be used as a guideline, how to carry out national sailing leagues. This includes the essential principles, that have to be fulfilled by a national sailing league to qualify for the SCL. But the leeway will be big enough for the countries to create a league with the local resources and conditions. Examples: minimum number of clubs, one design boat classes, number of sailing league events per year, on-water judging, short race formats – pretty much the characteristics of the innovative league format.

At the moment, three potential clubs presented themselves as organizers for a SCL event: the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo on Sardinia, the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London and this year’s host, the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub in Copenhagen.

Following Germany and Denmark, nine further countries are probably establishing a league: Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Austria, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

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Entries open for 2015 ORC Championship events

Posted on 24 December 2014 by Reporter

[Source: The Offshore Racing Congress] The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) is pleased to announce that final approvals by national authorities have been made so that the Notices of Race and the entry process is now open for the 2015 ORCi World Championship in Barcelona, the 2015 Volvo Estonia ORC European Championship in Parnu, Estonia and the 2015 ORC Sportboat European Championship at Lake Balaton, Hungary.

Over 27 June – 4 July 2015, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (RCNB) will host the 2015 ORCi World Championship from its base in Port Vell in the historic heart of the world-class city of Barcelona. Organizers anticipate this ISAF-sanctioned event to be extremely popular, so to retain a high level of quality both on the race courses and at the venue, a limit has been imposed of 120 boats eligible for Pre-Entry.

Invitations will be extended to Pre-Entries based on the yacht’s and its skipper’s racing records, particularly in previous ORC Championships, as well as the chronological order received. No additional Pre-Entries will be allowed after the initial entry closing date of 15 May, but any Pre-Entries cancelled or not confirmed can be replaced from the waiting list the organizers will create for those not accepted at the initial entry closing date.

Registration fees for each class are at a discount for pre-entries until 15 February 2015, then they increase until 31 March, at which time they increase again until entries close on 15 May. Pre-registration is now available on the event website at

Three classes will be formed using the ORC’s new CDL system of class divisions, with Class A entries being between 17.00 m and 11.60 m, Class B between 11.60 m and 9.70 m, and Class C being between 9.70 m and 8.50 m. Each class will have its own start and separate results will yield a World Champion in each class.

“This club is 140 years old, and we have a long history of hosting world-class racing. So we are very excited at having the ORC championship fleet come to Barcelona,” says Joaquin Barenys, Chairman of the Organizing & Events Committee of RCNB. “We are going to have some new and innovative features to offer, such as a reliance on web-based solutions for registration, scoring, and other functions to make these processes fast and efficient. We think this will be a very popular regatta, and encourage all interested entries to pre-register early to be part of this great event.”

With its beautiful bay and beaches on the Baltic Sea, Pärnu is the official Summer Capital of Estonia and will be the host of the Volvo Estonia ORC European Championship held over 10-16 August 2015. Organizers from Pärnu Yacht Club and the ESS Kalev Yacht Club have been in the planning phases on this event for over a year already, and are ready to welcome a strong turnout of 70-80 entries from throughout Europe.

Class divisions will be using the same CDL system as described above for the World Championship, with three classes competing for each of three 2015 European Champion titles, except boats eligible to compete in Class C will have to be between 9.70 m and 8.00 m in the CDL scheme. Pre-Registration is open now at, with a discount on registration fees offered until 31 May 2015, then increased until 11 July, and then doubled from the early discount rate after 11 July.

“Pärnu has so much to offer visiting sailors,” says Jüri Sõber, Commodore of Pärnu Yacht Club. “We welcome teams to come and experience the great sailing conditions, the excellent facilities of our club, and the warm hospitality of the town.” More information about Pärnu and its surrounding region can be found on the event website.

After a 5-year hiatus, the ORC Sportboat European Championship has been revived with organizers from the Balatonfüredi Yacht Club hosting the event for 19-24 May 2015 in Balatonfüred, the touristic, cultural and sailing center of Lake Balaton, Hungary. The Balatonfüredi YC is one of the oldest sport clubs in Europe, dating back to 1867, and each year organizes numerous national and international regattas.

Entries to the ORC Sportboat European Championship must comply within the ORC Sportboat Class rules, which state the boats to be between 6.0 – 9.0 m in length, weigh less than 2.0 tons, have a displacement/length ratio in measurement trim (DSPM/LSM0^3) of less than 4.50, and have a crew which is at least 50% ISAF Group 1 (amateur) sailors.

“We are excited about hosting this championship, and invite all sportboats to come to Lake Balaton for what we expect to be a fantastic few days of racing,” said Gábor Csernussi of the Balatonfüredi YC. The NOR, entry information, and more details about the event can be found on the event website at Entries received before 31 March 2015 are eligible for a €200 discount on the registration fee.

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Key West Race Week 28th edition begins January 18

Posted on 18 December 2014 by Reporter

[Source:Premiere Racing] High-speed foiling catamarans, powerful 72-foot Maxi yachts, innovative High Performance Racing designs and large classes of exciting sport boats are heading to the Florida Keys. Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 will once again showcase the full spectrum of sailboat racing amid the beautiful setting of aqua-colored waters and warm sunshine.

Many of the world’s best sailors will come to the Conch Republic for the 28th edition of Key West Race Week, being held Jan. 18-23. For the fourth consecutive year, Quantum Sail Design Group will serve as title sponsor of the iconic event, which is organized by Premiere Racing.

“One important thing Key West has done for Quantum: It’s brought us closer to our clients,” said Farley Fontenot, a managing partner for the international sailmaking company. “We are a company that wants to help sailors achieve their goals. A week in Key West gives our professionals a great opportunity to get out on the docks and interact directly with clients and do whatever possible to help them improve their boat’s performance.”

Fontenot will be on hand to provide coaching for Doug and Dalton DeVos in the Melges 32 class and will be joined in Key West by Quantum professionals sprinkled throughout the fleet, which will feature as many as 11 classes consisting of boats ranging from 23 to 72 feet.

A touch of the America’s Cup will come to Key West for the first time with the addition of the GC 32 class. GC stands for ‘Great Cup’ and the state-of-the-art foiling catamarans mimic the larger models used in the most recent America’s Cup by providing an airborne racing experience. “These boats are fun and fast,” said Chad Corning, program manager for skipper Jason Carroll and the Argo team. “The GC 32 can achieve speeds of 40 knots in 20 knots of breeze going downwind, which is exhilarating.”

“Key West is a really good venue for these boats because it has generally flat water along with big breeze,” Corning said. “Aboard Argo, we are still learning the boat and refining our techniques so this event is a crucial steppingstone in our preparations.”

From a spectator standpoint, the most majestic racing machines in Key West will be those racing in the Maxi 72 class, which typically requires a crew of 17 to race. Minneapolis-based skipper Hap Fauth and his crew aboard Bella Mente return after capturing class honors in 2014 and will do battle with a pair of familiar foes in Numbers (Gunther Buerman, Highland Beach, Fla.) and Shockwave (George Sakellaris, Framingham, Mass.).

Terry Hutchinson, a veteran of multiple America’s Cups and a former Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, recently joined the Bella Mente as tactician. Hutchinson, who has competed at Key West almost every year since 1991, has spent most of the past decade calling tactics aboard a TP52 and Farr 40 at this regatta.

“This is the first time I’ll be racing a boat of this size in Key West so it will be interesting,” Hutchinson said. “We’re going against two strong programs loaded with great sailors so it will be fun, challenging racing. If it’s light air, we’ll have our hands full with Shockwave, which won in those conditions off Copa del Rey.”

One-design racing continues to increase in popularity worldwide and there will be several strong classes at Quantum Key West 2015. For the third straight year, J/70 will be the largest class in Key West with a whopping 38 boats entered so far. Jud Smith (Africa, Marblehead, MA), Mauricio Santa Cruz (Bruschetta, Brazil) and Carlo Alberini (Calvi Network, Italy) are among many well-known skippers that will be competing this year.

One of the nice storylines of the regatta is the resurgence of the Melges 24 class, which is showing a significant increase in entries over last year – a positive sign for this iconic sport boat class. “The Melges 24 is experiencing a grass roots revitalization and Melges sailors are always excited about sailing in venues such as Key West, which has long been popular with the class,” said Peter Craig, President of Premiere Racing.

Brian Porter (Lake Geneva, WI) and his team on Full Throttle have enjoyed significant success on the Melges 24 circuit for a sustained period of time and will certainly be a favorite in Key West. Bora Gulari (Detroit, MI) is another accomplished skipper and a threat to win any class in which he competes. Premiere Racing is very pleased to have a pair of J/Boat classes making one design debuts at Key West Race Week. To date , the J/111 has attracted seven boats while J/88 has six on the scratch sheet. Cleveland skipper Rob Ruhlman steered Spaceman Spiff to victory in PHRF 1 last year and is looking forward to one design racing against other J/111s.

“I think it’s absolutely outstanding that we have a one-design start and we are very excited about the
caliber of competition,” Ruhlman said. “It’s really a great class because the boats are so evenly matched.” This will be the 13th Key West for Ruhlman, who is president and CEO of Preformed Line Products. Ruhlman started coming to the Conch Republic in 1994 with a Tripp 26 and has also raced a Mumm 36, Farr 40 and 13D5 in the regatta. “It’s January and I get the heck out of Cleveland!” Ruhlman said when asked what he loves most about
Key West. “Seriously, the whole event is just fantastic. I think the format has greatly improved over the years. Not much has changed on the water… the race management is still top-notch. However, some of the off-water tweaks the organizers have made over the years have been for the better. There is a sense of camaraderie at Key West that you don’t find at other big events.” The Farr 280 will make their Key West debut next January. Four boats will battle for one design subclass trophies within a larger PHRF class.

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Comanche loses to Wild Oats XI SOLAS Big Boat Challenge

Posted on 09 December 2014 by Reporter

[Source:CYCA] A large spectator fleet watched Bob Oatley’s 100 foot maxi Wild Oats XI declare that Sydney Harbour is still her back yard, the brand new, revolutionary American upstart, Comanche notwithstanding.

Wild Oats XI sliced across the finish line beside Fort Denison 1 minute 22 seconds ahead of Comanche for yet another line honours victory in the annual SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, having led the fleet for much of the race.

Fellow Sydneysider Matt Allen steered his 60 foot Ichi Ban fifth across the line, behind Black Jack and Perpetual Loyal to win the race on handicap. Nicholas Bartels’ Terra Firma won the PHS class.

Skipper Mark Richards steered Wild Oats XI to a perfect start and quickly accelerated ahead until a fouled first spinnaker set allowed Comanche and Perpetual Loyal to ease past her on the approach to the first mark, with Peter Harburg’s blisteringly fast Volvo 70 Black Jack making up the quadrella.

The four boats weaved across the Harbour under spinnaker as they raced towards the first rounding of Fort Denison. As the giant yachts furled their spinnakers to beat around the fort, Wild Oats XI and Comanche were neck and neck. A daring cut between the Australian boat and the Pinchgut rocks gave the Americans the edge, until Wild Oats XI reasserted herself, clawing her way to a lead she would not relinquish again.

With the Rolex Sydney Hobart just weeks away the win will be a big confidence boost for Oatley, Richards and the crack crew aboard Wild Oats XI. She has dominated the ocean classic since her triple record breaking/line honours/overall winner triumph of 2005, a feat she repeated in 2012, but 2014 is shaping up as her greatest challenge yet .

Despite annual modifications and upgrades nine years is a venerable age for a racing yacht, and now she must not only beat arch rival Perpetual Loyal, she must outrun the just launched Comanche and Ragamuffin 100.

The light conditions no doubt helped the cause of the pencil thin Wild Oats XI, as did the tight course. The new generation 100 foot maxis are powerful, wide beamed beasts, and this was not a day for pushing a wide hull through the water.

Bob Oatley will enjoy today’s win, but he will be well aware that the winds will be stronger offshore, the seas bigger and more suited to the big power hitters than the harbour. And each week the crew on Comanche will learn more and more about their brand new, radical boat and how to sail her.

“We were very impressed with Comanche,” Richards conceded after the race. “The conditions suited us rather than her. They went upwind very well. They pointed very high.“

With her huge beam Comanche should be fast downwind, but in an essentially upwind and close hauled race today she gave little away to Wild Oats XI.

“We were very pleased with how the boat went upwind,” Comanche’s skipper Ken Read said. “Every day we sail this boat we learn a huge amount. That is why you will see us out practicing so much before Boxing Day. We could not have been happier with how Comanche went. She was designed to do exactly the opposite of what we had today”.

“This boat is a beast. Do we know how it will handle (the tough conditions off the New South Wales coast and Bass Strait), will it stay in one piece? We have no idea.”

It was a disappointing day for Perpetual Loyal. Another big, beamy beast, she matched Wild Oats XI and Comanche early on for boat speed, but soon lost her way. “We’re improving though,” quipped skipper Anthony Bell. “Last year we shredded a spinnaker. This year we just tied it up in knots.”

While the big boats are all focuSsed on line honours, Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban is all about winning the Rolex Sydney Hobart outright, on handicap. Launched just weeks before last year’s race the 60 footer has undergone a number of modifications recently. “We’ve seen a big improvement in performance,” Allen said.

He was delighted with how fast the boat went, giving little away to the bigger, canting keeled Black Jack all day.

The win will be a real shot in the arm for team Ichi Ban, though like Wild Oats XI, they too know that the real challenge lies ahead. Winning the Rolex Sydney Hobart is an even bigger challenge than winning line honours.

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Gothenburg to host ACWS event in 2015

Posted on 26 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source: Artemis Racing Team] Artemis Racing and the City of Gothenburg are set to host an America’s Cup World Series event during the last weekend of August (28th – 30th) 2015.

Beginning in the summer of 2015, the circuit will feature all of the America’s Cup teams racing in one design AC45 catamarans, providing an early opportunity to win points that will carry forward into the next stage of the competition.

The overall ranking position in the America’s Cup World Series will determine the starting points score of the teams in the America’s Cup Qualifiers in 2017.

“It’s super exciting to announce that the America’s Cup World Series is coming to Sweden next year. It will provide a great opportunity for Artemis Racing to showcase our sport and our America’s Cup program” said Iain Percy, Artemis Racing’s Team Manager.

“There is an incredible momentum within the group right now, and we hope that the Swedish public will be out in force to cheers us on. We’re really looking forward to showing them what we can do next August”, said Fredrik Lööf, 3 time Olympic medallist and tactician for Artemis Racing.

Max Markusson, Event Manager at Göteborg and Co, commented “Gothenburg is a city with a proud maritime history and next year will see a summer of global sailing events. It’s a historic occasion with not only Volvo Ocean Race in June, but also America’s Cup World Series in August. Artemis Racing are taking on an incredible challenge and for us the races will provide a global platform to showcase the city by the water, and it will be a spectacular event for the people of Gothenburg”.

Max Salminen, Olympic Champion and grinder for Artemis Racing, said “It’s amazing what’s happening in sailing right now with the move to foiling boats. The AC45 is definitely the most exciting boat I’ve ever sailed, it’s just an incredible feeling when it lifts up and takes off.”

“Having a fleet of foiling AC45s racing in Gothenburg will be a spectacular sight and one not to miss”.

Racing will take place either on the Gota River close to the city centre, or at Långedrag, and the race village will be located in Frihamnen.

“One of the goals of the America’s Cup World Series is to connect our teams with their fans,” said Harvey Schiller, Commercial Commissioner of the America’s Cup. “This event in Gothenburg will bring the racing close to shore. and allow Swedish America’s Cup fans an opportunity to experience the speed, power and excitement of America’s Cup racing in person.”

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Fast foiling ride for Billy Besson and Matthieu Vandame

Posted on 24 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source:Phantom International] Phantom International is proud to announce that Billy Besson and Matthieu Vandame are joining the Phantom Sailing Team for the 2015 season. To celebrate and seal this collaboration Billy and Matthieu enjoyed a fast foiling ride with the Flying Phantom in the sea off Saint Malo – FRA.

Billy and Matthieu are sport catamaran specialists. Billy was twice Olympic catamaran world champion in 2013 and 2014 with his teammate Marie Riou, 2013 Formula 18 World Champion and finished second in the International C-Class Catamaran championship. Matthieu was 2012 Formula 18 World Champion with Olivier Backes on the Sail Innovation Phantom F18 and crewed for famous skippers such as Franck Cammas and François Gabart. He is also pursuing an Olympic campaign with Audrey Ogereau.

In 2015, the Phantom Sailing Team will therefore be a 2 boat team with Billy Besson – Matthieu Vandame and Gurvan Bontemps – Benjamin Amiot. Both crews will compete in the 2015 regatta season and will foil the Flying Phantom around the world.

Billy Besson: “The Flying Phantom is a fantastic boat and very well optimized. With this technology, we can feel the spirit of the last America’s Cup inspiring us. This boat really represents for me the new generation of multihulls. The feelings you get onboard are very good, it is shorter than a C-Class catamaran but the speed is great and the stability amazing due to the design of the foils. All the details are optimized and even if I was sailing the Flying Phantom for the first time, it was a great pleasure to foil and I was as comfortable as if it was my own boat: superb sensations.

It is important for us to be part of the Phantom Sailing Team, we are very positive and looking forward to 2015. Next year will be an exceptional year with all the Flying Phantom boats that are appearing. We will have a big fleet and definitely great regattas. Both Matthieu and I started sailing sport catamarans a long time ago on non-flying boats, but today this is a unique opportunity for us to move to the foiling world. I’m also thinking of all the young sailors that have the chance to become part of this new era. They will be able to learn foiling from the basics at the beginning of their learning process and it will be very impressive in the near future.

In 2015, in addition to the Flying Phantom season, we are continuing our commitment to Olympic catamarans with our teammates. The Olympic Games in Rio are in sight and we will do every thing to master the racing and bring back a medal.”

Matthieu Vandame: “After some foiling sessions, I really think that we are at the beginning of a new evolution for sailing. New sensations, new ways to sail with foiling: I feel lucky that it is happening now and that we are not too old. Sailing with Billy is a good opportunity, as he is a reference in the world of sport catamarans. His experience with foiling boats will ensure we make progress in our handling of the Flying Phantom, with the maneuvers and also learn how to act based on what we feel. Furthermore, I greatly appreciate Billy, as we have known each other for 15 years and we also share a lot of time with the French sailing team, which is very enjoyable. I’m really looking forward to 2015 in order to compete with the Flying Phantom and start the first racing regattas in front of a flying fleet.”

The next rendez-vous for the Flying Phantom and Phantom International is the Paris Boat Show that will be held at the Porte de Versailles from December 6th to 14th. During this event, the 2015 Flying Phantom Class events calendar and some fantastic news for young sailors will be announced. Come and visit us and meet the team at booth M49-Hall 1.

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GC32 Racing Tour 2015 dates and venues announced

Posted on 21 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source:GC32 Class] For 2015, its third season of racing, the GC32 foiling catamarans are to compete around Europe on a five event circuit known as the GC32 Racing Tour.

Representing the state-of-the-art in catamaran design, the GC32 is attracting considerable interest due to its conceptual similarity to the AC72 and AC62 foiling catamarans pioneered in the America’s Cup. However as the GC32s are smaller one designs with soft sail rigs, they provide both professional teams and private owners with the opportunity to experience airborne catamaran racing and all the excitement of the larger AC catamarans, but on a much more modest budget and on boats that are far easier to handle while still having the potential to achieve top speeds approaching 40 knots.

The 2015 GC32 Racing Tour schedule:

27-31 May: Austria Cup – Lake Traunsee, Austria
24–27 June: Cowes Cup – Cowes, UK
30 July–2 Aug: TBA – Germany
27-30 August: Trofeo di Roma – Rome Fiumicino, Italy
10–13 September: Marseille One Design – Marseille, France.

The season kicks off on the mountain-lined Lake Traunsee in Austria, where the boats will be based out of Gmunden at the northern end of the lake. This will be the third occasion the GC32s will have competed on the picturesque lake after a successful event this year when the line-up featured sailors from the Luna Rossa and Oracle Team USA America’s Cup campaigns.

Christian Feichtinger, CEO of the Traunsee event’s organisers PROFS Marketing, said: “We are very excited about the latest development of the class. It has proof that we took the right decision two years ago when we started with GC32 races on Lake Traunsee. The past two events were quite successful, but we can´t wait to see more boats and more action on our waters. We believe that this is the best sailing product on the market right now and we are proud of being part of it.”

After two GC32s competed in the 2014 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, with one claiming line honours in what was one of the lightest events on record, the GC32 Racing Tour returns to one of world’s most historic race courses – the Solent. Here, during the circuit’s UK stopover, racing will take place over three days before the grand finale in which the GC32 fleet will once again race around the Isle of Wight. While the Round the Island Race was first held in 1931, this course was also famously that of the first America’s Cup held in 1851 (when it ran in the opposite, clockwise direction).

Mike Peskett, Race PRO of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race commented: “The Island Sailing Club is delighted that the GC32 class will be attending the 2015 edition of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race and that the Club will be also running the UK leg of the GC32 Racing Tour. As organisers of such an iconic yacht race, we continually work hard to broaden its appeal to our worldwide audience, followers and race partners.”

Full details of the GC32 Racing Tour’s German stopover will be announced soon, but will be followed at the end of August by a new event being held off the beach at Fiumicino, just 8km from the centre of the Italian capital, Rome. With Italian sailing fans being enthusiastic supporters of the America’s Cup and fielding their own team, the Trofeo di Roma is certain to attract the crowds.

The GC32 Racing Tour once again will culminate at Marseille One Design, where the GC32s will participate alongside other foiling classes. Backed by the Ville de Marseille in the build-up to the French Mediterranean city becoming European Capital of Sport for 2017, racing will once again take place on the waters of the Rade Sud to the south of Marseille’s main city centre. At the end of Marseille One Design the GC32 Racing Tour champion will be decided.

In 2015 Marseille will also be the venue for an early season training regatta both for teams and race management, a ‘Pre-Event’ to be held over 16-19 April.

Didier Réault, Deputy Mayor of Marseille in charge of maritime affairs, commented: “The Marseille One Design 2014 showcased the extraordinary progress that has been made in sailing via your amazing GC32s. On behalf of the City, I am delighted that your class association has chosen to host its first gathering of the season at the Roucas Blanc Nautical Arena in April 2015. I’m also especially thrilled that you’ll once again round off your European tour in our harbour, within the context of the Marseille One Design 2015. In fact, we’re imagining that at the end of this final race in September, some of your crews might winter and train in Marseille as they wait for the warm-up sessions to kick off on our waters once again in the spring of 2016.”

The standard format for each event will be to run between six and eight races each day. However PRO David Campbell-James is being permitted some flexibility with the race schedule to include speed trials, long distance races and other formats at his discretion. As always there will be an opportunity for VIPs, journalists and corporate guests to sail on board the GC32 foiling cats during racing as a ‘sixth man’, provided conditions permit this.

GC32 Class Manager, Christian Peer concludes: “In the name of everyone involved in this Class, I would like to thank the organisers for their support and trust. The 2015 schedule is covering great sailing markets and most of our teams next year will sail once in their home waters. We thank Laurent Lenne for his support and look forward to seeing new teams coming to join us for 2015. All in all we are very happy with the current situation.”

A minimum of six to eight teams will compete in all the events with new participants already signed from across Europe and the USA in addition to GC32 founder Laurent Lenne’s SPAX Solutions team and Marwin Sailing Team of Swiss Olympic Star sailor Flavio Marazzi. Details of the new teams will be announced over the next weeks.

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