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Quality fleet for Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014

Posted on 30 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Maxi yacht Rolex Cup] A collection of some of the world’s finest, fastest and most famous Maxi yachts will gather in Porto Cervo, Sardinia for the 25th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup from 31 August – 6 September, an occasion which marks the 30th year of the relationship between event organizers Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) and title sponsor Rolex.

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup always welcomes new, cutting edge designs for whom the ultimate proving ground is the event’s myriad of challenging and rocky racecourses. Last year the eye-catching launch was Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’s Wally Cento Magic Carpet 3. In 2014 another highly successful businessman passionate about sailing arrives in Porto Cervo with a new build. Niklas Zennström recently launched the Mini Maxi Rán 5 and seeks to continue his impressive run of success at the competition.

The appearance of Rán will add intrigue to an already mouth-watering Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship. The class is continuing to grow, not only in numbers but in quality, as rivalries intensify. Zennström won three of the four championships to date with his former Ran 2, now competing as Robertissima III and helmed by Italian Roberto Tomasini Grinover. Hap Fauth’s United States entry Bella Mente is the only other boat to have won the title and will seek to better last year’s fourth place finish when poor performance in the longer coastal races cost her a podium place. Andres Soriano’s Alegre finished second last year in the boat’s debut at the event. Denied by mere seconds in 2013, a year on and with greater confidence in their boat’s potential,Alegre will be one of the favourites. Completing the roster are some great boats and experienced crews: Rán 5 will come face to face with Sir Peter Ogden’s latest iteration of Jethou and United States entries Caol Ila R and Shockwave, class winner at the recent Copa del Rey.

Five boats are set to take part in the J-Class which made its return to the event last year. A mix of replicas and restorations of original 1930s designs, this year’s fleet comprises LionheartRainbow,RangerShamrock V and Velsheda. In comparison to the slick, carbon fibre, stripped-out racing boats, the J-Class provides a more genteel and elegant approach to sailing. Handling these boats is not easy though – loads are huge, complicated, everything needs to be executed precisely by up to 40 skilled sailors.

The 67m (220-ft) Hetairos set the record as the largest ever boat to compete at the event in 2012 when her immense 62.5m (205-ft) mast dwarfed over most of the fleet. The largest boats outside of the J-Class – where Lionheart measures 43.7m (143-ft) and Ranger 41.6m (136-ft) – are the two Supermaxis Firefly (35m, 115-ft) and Viriella (36m, 118-ft). A near 40-strong fleet is expected to take part comprising boats from around 15 different countries.

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Big Fleet Racing In Store For Audi Melges 20s On Lake Garda

Posted on 21 August 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Melges20 Associoation] Riva Del Garda, Italy – More than 50 Audi Melges 20 teams will compete this weekend at the Riva Del Garda edition of the 2014 Audi-Tron Sailing Series, the fourth act of the five-part European program that also serves as a prelude to the World Championship. The Worlds is scheduled to take place in late August (25-30) in the same location, hosted by Fraglia Vela Riva, organized by B.Plan Sports & Events and Melges Europe.

In Riva, the International Class is proud to present representation from nine countries including Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Russia and the United States. Italy is best represented with 23 entries, followed by Russia with 7, Monaco and the U.S.A. share 4 each.

Much is at stake in Riva Del Garda. For 2014 Melges 20 Audi-Tron Sailing Series leader (after three events) Dario Levi aboardFremito D’Arja with crew members Nicolo Bianchi and Stefano Lagi, will attempt to sustain their lead. On the newly presentedWorld Ranking stage, Richard Davies and his Section 16 team comprised of two-time Olympic Bronze Medallist and U.S. Sailing High Performance Director Charlie McKee as tactician along with the young and highly skilled Matt Pistay, will work exceptionally hard to push past Wes Whimyer’s Slingshot (not present in Riva) and place some space between themselves and the rest of the fleet on the scoreboard.

 

The general Entry List is long and well-endowed. Reigning Melges 24 World and European Champion tactician Gabriele Benussi will call the shots on Guido Miani’s Out of Reach, while fleet newcomer Corrado Augusta’s Customly will employ America’s Cup Luna Rossa team member Pietro D’Ali. Alessandro Rombelli’s Stig will feature Danielle Cassinari, and sailing with Roberto Martinez on Audi g-Tron Fratelli Giacomel is none other than Enrico Fonda.

On the family side of the fleet, Russ Lucas will sail his very famous Shimmer Audi Melges 20 with the help of multi-world and national champions Harry Melges and Federico Michetti. Russ’ daughter Grace Lucas, a recent graduate of the College of Charleston and an extremely accomplished young sailor will sail on Shimmer 2 with the talented husband and wife team of Chris and Dani Rast.

Racing officially commences on Saturday and concludes on Sunday. Six races are scheduled.

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Three new World Champions!

Posted on 10 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ORC World Championship] As if an intentional counterpoint to the light winds found during most of this week, the final day and final race of the 2014 ORC World Championship had strong gusty winds, alternating rain and sun, and the same steep choppy waves that are so famous for Kiel. In these conditions new champions were born and the remaining podium positions filled after nine races among the 151 entries from 19 countries in this event. In all, the podium was filled with teams from Italy, Germany, Estonia, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

On the strength of their domination of Class C and the Jury’s dismissal of an attempt to re-open a protest last night against them and two dozen other entries, Giuseppe Giuffre’s Low Noise from Italy knew they had earned their third World title crown and did not have to brave the wind and rain today.

I have looked to the GPH for the positioning in the fleet to remain in Class C,” said designer Matteo Polli, whose optimization work has helped get the Low Noise team into the winner’s circle. “The M37 has always been performing very well in medium-heavy conditions but the challenge has been to improve in the light conditions. In 2011 I designed the new keel and that has been a huge step in this direction. Then after the big changes in the VPP I decided to go heavier with a little bow down trim. I know it may seem strange but this has helped even more in the light winds.”

Enfant Terrible sailing to ORC World Championship. Photo copyright Segler-bilder.de

While not quite as dominant in Class B as Low Noise was in Class C, Jaak Jögi’s X-41 Forte was in a similar situation last night when they too learned they won the title for their native Estonia and would have the day off. While Jögi is not new to winning – he was the 2006 X-99 World Champion – their preparation strategy focused more on the software than the hardware, as well as sensible big fleet sailing tactics.

“We did not know before the worlds what to expect, even if it was clear that the X41 fits well in the ORC system,” said Jögi. “With a good performance we were hoping for a top 6 position. We sailed very conservatively, and have avoided taking risks, so it was good speed and good starts that led us finally to success. In Estonia we have some good competitors and we have training a lot at Wednesday regattas at home.”

Jögi’s Gold medal team included Alar Volmer, Kalev Kaal, Marko Nuud, Olaf Sylla, Ando Raud, Kalev Vapper, Tammo Otsasoo, Martin Kaal, and Indrek Rajangu.

With the winners determined, the remaining fights in these classes were to fill the remaining positions on the podium. In Class B this could not have been tighter, with the Bronze and Silver medal winners ending up tied on points and an extremely close margin in corrected time that just a few seconds different could have produced a completely different outcome. Peter de Ridder’s Dutch Swan 45 Checkmate’s third place in this final race was only 4 seconds ahead of Christopher Opielock’s Corby 38 Rockall IV in fourth, and only 15 seconds ahead of Milan Hajek’s Czech Beneteau 40.7 Three Sisters in fifth. Even the slightest change could have deprived de Ridder and his team of their Silver medals, or even the Czech team their Bronze medal performance.

In Class C, the race for the Silver and Bronze medals was also quite close at times, although Patrik Forsgren’s modified Beneteau 36.7 Team Pro4U from Sweden and Martin Nilsson’s Salona 37 Vencom had a good enough margin coming into the day to only need a top ten finish to earn their respective positions on the podium.

This left Class A to provide the real excitement of the day to produce their winners. Claus Landmark’s Landmark 43 Santa from Norway had been leading all week on some impressive scores earned in the first few days of racing with no discards yet applied. But as soon as steadier conditions prevailed and the discards dropped the worst scores, this lead started melting away to be only four points coming into today.

The strong breeze and big waves were just what the lighter boats were waiting for all week, so even with a 100 seconds/mile corrected time margin owed to Santa, Alberto Rossi’s TP 52 Enfant Terrible from Italy defeated not only them but all the others, planing and non-planing alike. With this first place and an additional several points between them and Santa, Enfant Terrible won their third World Championship title in four years.

“I think ORC racing is very good, very close, the system is working well,” said Rossi, who is also active in the Farr 40 Class circuit. “We have many different types of boats here, but when they are sailed well anyone can have the chance to win.”

Rossi’s Gold medal team this week included Lorenzo Bressani as Tactician, Daniele Cassinari, Francesco Mongelli, Gabriele Benussi, Claudio Celon, Nicholas Dal Ferro, Matteo Stroppolo, Massimo Gheraducci, Federico Giovannelli, Samuele Nicolettis, Matteo Mason, Roberto Strappati, Marco Carpinello and Saverio Cigliano.

With Santa claiming the Silver medal prize, another planing race boat, Heinz-Peter Schmidt’s GP 42 Silva Neo, earned Bronze and finished as the top German boat in the event.

Corinthian Trophy winners among all-amateur teams in each class included Kai Mares’s Immac One4All (6th in Class A), Checkmate (Class B), and Team Pro4U (Class C).

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Destopnews 2014 N°32 English Sailing Updates

Posted on 08 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Destopnews 2014 N°32 English Sailing Updates

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Grand start of the 33 Copa del Rey MAPFRE

Posted on 05 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Copa del Rey MAPFRE] The bay of Palma has confirmed its excellent reputation as a race course on the opening day of the 33rd Copa del Rey MAPFRE. The wind conditions allowed the teams to sail the two races scheduled for all classes. The first leaders of the week are Americans “Shockwave” and “Quantum Racing”, Italian “Hurakan”, Russian “Tsaar Peter”, and the Spanish “Rats on Fire”, “Movistar”, “Puerto Deportivo Benalmádena” and “Herbalife”. The regatta will keep going until next Saturday.

The wind arrived on time for its appointment at the Bay of Palma, and the fleet was able to fulfil the program sailing two races in its debut in the 33rd Copa del Rey MAPFRE. Finally 117 boats crossed the starting line at 13h00. The wind blew from the south with a speed of approximately 8-12 knots.

14 teams took today’s victories and eight lead the provisional classification in the different classes: “Shockwave” in Gaastra IRC 0, “Hurakan” in Gaastra IRC 1, “Tsaar Peter” in Gazprom Swan 60, “Quantum Racing” in Barclays 52 Super Series, “Rats on Fire” in BMW ORC 1, “Movistar” in BMW ORC 2, “Puerto Deportivo Benalmádena” in Nespresso X-35 and “Herbalife” in Herbalife J80.

Gaastra IRC 0
The Mini Maxi fleet started the week with a good feeling for the American teams on their arrival in Europe. George Sakellaris’ “Shockwave” opened their scorer with a victory and was second in the next race, returning to the Real Club Náutico de Palma as the first leader of the week. It’s followed by Andres Soriano’s British “Alegre”, winner in 2013, who made it ​​up for his last position in the first race of the day with a win in the second one. Third is another American, Hap Fauth’s “Bella Mente” (2-4).

Gaastra IRC 1
Giuseppe Parodi’s Italian TP52 “Hurakan” leads the class after a third and a first place today. Behind it’s French “@robas” (2-3) and “Team Vision Future”, winner of the first race and fifth in the second.

Gazprom Swan 60
Today was the debut of the Gazprom Swan 60 class in the Mediterranean. In the fight for the world crown, the defending champions, Russian Vladimir Liubomirov’s “Bronenosec”, began winning the first race, but a fourth place in the next race relegated him to the second place in the provisional overall; behind Sergey Borodinov’s “Tsaar Peter”, who finished third and first. Chinese “Windward” (4-3) is third.

Barclays 52 Super Series
Doug De Vos’ “Quantum Racing”, the defending champion in the Copa del Rey MAPFRE, starts leading the championship. The American boat skippered by Ed Baird, current world champion in its class, has been the most consistent of the fleet, finishing second and first, and leads by five points over its archrival “Rán” (1-7) and “Azzurra” (3-5), both with eight points.

BMW ORC 1
In the most crowded class, BMW ORC 1, today was a favourable day for the Swan 45, which have taken the top four positions. Rafael Carbonell’s “Rats on Fire”, skippered by Manuel Doreste, reminded their rivals his status as defending champions, and if in 2013 led with an iron fist from the second day of the competition, this year starts the week with both victories of the day. It’s followed by Dutch RW Bol’s “No Limits” (3-3) and German Christian Plump’s “Elena Nova” (5-2).

BMW ORC 2
Enrique Terol and Pedro Campos’ “Movistar” also begins defending the title with authority. If in 2013 the Galician boat won six out of ten possible victories, in the start of the 2014 edition already has two victories. In both races was followed by Joan Cabrer’s “Airlan Aermec”, second ahead of Lluis Blanchar and Carles Rodríguez’s “Varador 2000″.

Nespresso X-35
The Nespresso X-35 one-designs start the week showing how equal is the fleet. Italian Alessandro Sollerio’s “Lelagain” won the first race of the day and José Luis Maldonado’s “Fyord – Valencia Luxury” won the next one. But the first leader is Javier Banderas’ “Puerto Deportivo Benalmádena” skippered by Dani Cuevas, who was the most regular after a third and a second place.

Herbalife J80
Magnificent duel in the one-design class Herbalife J80 with two boats tied at the top of the classification. “Herbalife” skippered by Javier Padrón returned to shore as the first leader, followed by José María Van der Ploeg’s “Factor Energía”. Both alternated in the first two positions (2-1 for the leader and 1-2 for its rival). Third is Carlos Martinez’s “Movistar” (3-5).

The competition returns tomorrow, with two scheduled windward-leeward races for all classes at 13h00.

The 33rd Copa del Rey MAPFRE is organized by the Real Club Náutico de Palma and will take place from August 2nd to the 9th, 2014.

Provisional Classification 33rd Copa del Rey MAPFRE:

Gaastra IRC 0
1.- Shockwave, USA, George Sakellaris, 1+2=3
2.- Alegre, GBR, Andrés Soriano, 5+1=6
3.- Bella Mente, USA, Hap Fauth, 2+4=6

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Record fleeet starts on Monday at 2014 ORC Worlds

Posted on 04 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ORC] At 10:55am on Monday 4 August, the first Warning signals will sound for the first race on three separate course areas here in Kiel for the start of the 2014 edition of the ORC World Championship. This offshore World Championship sanctioned by ISAF features a record-setting turnout of 151 boats from 19 countries, and has attracted some of the world’s best sailors from the Olympics, America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, and other high-level events.

Multiple World Champion Markus Wieser, for example, is sailing this week on Harm Muller-Spreer’s new Carkeek 47 Platoon, one of the favorites among the 27 boats racing in Class A. The crew list on this team reads like a big-boat sailing list of all-stars, with numerous alumnists from numerous America’s Cups and Volvo Ocean Races. However, Platoon was not on the starting line today for some light air practice racing due to an incident that occurred in the blustery 20+ knots and choppy seas on the Kieler Bucht yesterday.

“The strop on our headstay broke,” explained Weiser, “but no one was hurt and we managed to keep the rig up. So today we replaced our composite headstay with one made of rod that we brought in from Denmark, and we are ready to go for tomorrow.”

Pre-start practice action on Bas de Voogd’s Coin Coin, photo by Pavel Nesvadba/Ranchi

Weiser and his team missed the opportunity to tune up against the 2011 and 2012 Class A ORC World Champion, Alberto Rossi and his team from Italy on his TP 52 Enfant Terrible, who have been here in Kiel training for the past week. Not only is Rossi is coming off a victory in the Farr 40 West Coast Championship in Santa Barbara two weeks ago, but, like Platoon, Rossi has loaded his boat with a talented crew of veterans from numerous America’s Cups, all led by 3-time Melges 24 World Champion Lorenzo Bressani.

Among the 58 teams competing in Class B, among the favorites is a team who has not entered an ORC World Championship before, but a month ago proved themselves by winning the International German ORC Championship held here during Kieler Week. Christopher Opielok has raced at the Admiral’s Cup, so he knows what it takes to compete at a high level, and the team on his Corby 38 Rockall IV have been working hard to improve even more since last month to take a championship title. While Rockall is campaigning in Germany this year, Opielok is racing under the Hong Kong flag for his adopted home.

Two other favorites in Class B are well-traveled teams from the Czech Republic and from Finland, as both were racing in the Med only weeks earlier at the ORC European Championship. Milan Hajek’s Beneteau 40.7 Three Sisters finished fifth in Class B at the event Valencia, but in April won Class 1 in Majorca at Palma Vela. Jani Lehti’s new Next 37 Audi Quattro from Helsinki also missed the podium in Class B in Valencia, but the team has upgraded to larger symmetric spinnakers for this event and may be poised to take advantage of conditions which are looking light for the week.

In Class C there are 66 teams and numerous local, regional and continental champions who will fight hard for a World Champion crown. Coming off a hard-earned victory in Valencia, and a few weeks prior to that at the ORC Mediterranean Championship in San Vito Lo Capo, Giuseppe Giuffre’s M37 Low Noise from Italy has momentum to do well in this class, but he will face last year’s Class C champion who is closer to home: Mikhel Kosk’s NM 38 Sugar 2 from Estonia.

2013 ORC Class C European Champion Sugar 2, photo by Pavel Nesvadba/Ranchi

But even closer to home is Jurgen Klinghardt’s German X-332 Sport patent 3, who won their ORC World Championship title in nearby Flensburg in 2010, and Salconia, Max Gurgel’s Salona 37 RK, who is the reigning ORC German Champion in his class.

Both Class B and Class C will be split into two groups and race from tomorrow through Thursday for the top 30 positions to determine who will be in the Gold Fleet to race for the World Championship titles in these classes for the final two days of racing. So, the fleet will change each day as results determine the class splits for the following day.

Wind conditions tomorrow are expected to be a light northwesterlies, but Principal Race Officer Stefan Kunstmann hopes for two races to get the week started. Kunstmann will be managing the Class B course, while Eckart Reinke will be running Class A and Fabian Bach will manage Class C.

“This is a very impressive fleet for our 16th World Championship,” said Dr. Wolfgang Schaefer, Chairman of the German Offshore Sailing Committee and Vice-President of ORC. “The format of racing, the number of boats, and the level of talent will test everyone’s skills, so the winners will have truly demonstrated themselves as champions.”

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Perini Navi’s Perseus^3 to carry largest sail ever built

Posted on 29 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Perini Navi Group] Perini Navi Group, a leader in the design and construction of many of the world’s largest sailing and motor yachts, is proud to announce the successful completion of mast stepping aboard their most recent launch, Perseus^3, hull # 56 of the Perini Navi sailing fleet. The sloop rigged Perseus^3 boasts one of the world’s largest carbon fibre masts. Its was delivered by the spar maker Future Fibres and assembled at the Perini Navi facility in La Spezia.

The 75.8m carbon fibre mast stands among the 3 tallest rigs ever built in the world and in the words of Future Fibres “we have managed to produce a tube with a perfect exterior surface and a flawless Clearcote gloss Carbon finish with zero filler – which can add up to 3 per cent to the weight of a mast”. The mast weight is optimised at 16.4 tonnes.

The 23.4m carbon fibre furling boom has been manufactured using pre-preg carbon improving structural performance and weight, compared with standard wet–laminate construction. The boom features a new mandrel furling and locking system, as a result of extensive testing and prototyping.

Future Fibres standing rigging comprises Carbon fibre for the laterals, while the fore and aft stays are made of a combination of Carbon, PBO and Kevlar.

Perseus^3 will feature an exclusive Rig Load Monitoring System that through a series of strain gauges constantly detects the loads acting on the rig components.

The Sail wardrobe of Perseus^3, in the words of Robbie Doyle, founder of Doyle Sail Maker: “is one of the most unique and challenging ever created”.

The dimensions of the asymmetricals and the Code 0 are such that the fabric available on the market was not capable of providing the necessary characteristics of strength and lightness, therefore special new fabrics were created after extensive R&D activities.

The complete sail set exceeds 10,000 square metres, among which the A2 with its 2,602 square metres is the largest sail ever built.

For the handling and control of the impressive sailing system, Perseus^3 features the new generation of Perini Navi captive winches and furlers. The Jib winches pull a maximum load of 30 tonnes and have a maximum line speed of 40 metre per minute. Electric variable speed motors and furlers, duly synchronised and monitored by the Perini Navi Automated Sail Handling System, dramatically improve furling and deploy times while speeding the tacking and jibing time by over 75% compared to vessels of the previous generation.

Technical Features:
Mast: 75.8m Carbon Fibre by Future Fibres
Boom: 23.4m Carbon Fibre by Future Fibres
Standing rig: Lateral Rigging in Carbon Fibre Aft and Fore Stays in Carbon+PBO+Kevlar

Sail Inventory:
Main Sail 808 m2 The mast features 4 main sail locks: 1 full hoist + 3 reefs Batten car system Cunningham ram
Reacher 1,160 m2
Blade 706 m2 with carbon vertical battens
Staysail 370 m2 On soft hanks and removable torque cable
Code 0 1,804 m2 On the biggest torque cable TDF ever built by Future Fibres
A2 2,602 m2
A3 2,173 m2
Spinnaker Stay sail 721 m2

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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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