Archive for the ‘Sailing’ Category

America’s Cup Multihulls AC45 Race for the first time

March 27th, 2011 No comments
BMW Oracle AC45s out training

BMW Oracle AC45s out training

The AC45 is a 45 foot “training” version of the eventual 70 ft Americas cup catamaran that will contest the next America’s cup. A few days ago the new fleet of training boats met up for their first fleet race – here is some footage from New Zealand TV.

I have welcomed the move to multihulls for the next America’s cup – they truly present a more interesting sailing experience and anyone who follows this blog will know that I have a passion for them.  My first true multihull experience beyond a Hobie cat was to take part in some of the Fomula 40 events – any multihull could take part as long as it fitted into a 40 foot container!  We had some truly exciting and fast (for its day) racing, but these new Extreme 40 and now the AC45 cats take the racing to a new level!

The wingsail, difficult to manage in port, is way easier to sail with although I doubt it will survive a capsize as well as the Extreme 40 more conventional rigs do.  When you get to the big boats, however, capsizing is a terminal event anyway so it doesnt matter as much.  The wing is also way more efficient than a conventional rig – as was demonstrated so ably by BMW Oracle in the last Americas cup when they walked all over the way prettier Swiss Alinghi entry.

Some more footage here from Oracle.

I for one cannot wait to see the big boats out on the water – thats when we will really see how this next America’s Cup will come together.  One thing is for sure – the demand for super fast RIBs (chase boats) will be high as these beasts will move very fast even in quite choppy water!

Bring it on!

Thomas Coville sets sail in spectacular style

February 1st, 2011 No comments

Thomas Coville set sail on Saturday on an attempt to beat the round the world single handed record yesterday and almost ended the voyage within sight of the start line!

Coville nearly comes unstuck

Coville nearly comes unstuck

Sailing a 100ft trimaran around the world single-handed is no mean feat, but I doubt he would have wanted this sendoff!  Rounding Ushant with a helicopter following and filming the big trimaran caught a gust and started to trip over her toes.  Happily she settled down again and he was able to continue on this 17000 mile trip around the world which he hopes to do in less than 57 days 13 hours and 34 minutes.

Sodebo finds her feet

Sodebo finds her feet

We wish Thomas safe passage and good luck on his voyage – keep your eye on for updates.  For video footage of the departure and the near-capsize please visit

The future of Sailing from the Moth Worlds

January 7th, 2011 No comments

One has to look no further than the Moths to see where sailing is heading.  Forget giant mulithulls and the America’s cup – to my mind there is nothing more beautiful and exciting than seeing these little dinghies come out of the water and take on an entirely new perspective and speed.

It’s not just that they are so much faster than their water borne siblings – its also the beautifully symetrical balance achieved by canting to windward and allowing the sail and the wind to carry the weight of the crew.

We saw some of this mast cant on the BMW Oracle AC trimaran, and you see it a lot on the ORMA 60s and grand priz multihulls, but nowhere is it quite so obvious and pronounced as in the moth class and of course on the windsurfer – the origin of the concept.

I think mast cant has been restricted on bigger boats because of the physical difficulties in achieving it, and perhaps with this new genre some of these will be addressed to produce an entirely new way to sail fast across oceans on a large boat.  Cant wait!

34th Americas Cup Training Boats

November 29th, 2010 No comments

Work has now started on the scaled down 45 foot catamarans that are the “training” boats for the next America’s cup.  The boats will all be built to the same design by the same team – this is for the introductory races (called the Youth Americas Cup) and will pro0vide some cat experience for the teams (although one has to wonder why they didnt just merge with the Extreme 40 series).

Here is a video of the boats being put together in New Zealand.

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags:

Multihulls back in the Olympics?

November 18th, 2010 No comments

So it looks like the insane decision to drop the multihull from the olympics could be reversed.  I will be one of many sailing fans around the world that applaud this re-emergence of common sense in the ISAF.

In fact the decision is not yet made – it has to be finalised at the ISAF md year meeting in May next year – but the indications are that there will be a “Mixed Multihull” class – effectively this means one male one female on the boat. It is unlikely that it will be a Tornado – there are more modern and faster potential boats – but it will be a fast cat around 18 foot long. The full list of events proposed for the 2016 games are:

  • Men’s Board or kite board – evaluation
  • Women’s board or kite board – evaluation
  • Men’s one person dinghy – Laser
  • Women’s one person dinghy – Laser Radial
  • Men’s skiff – 49er
  • Women’s skiff – evaluation
  • Mixed multihull – evaluation
  • Mixed two person dinghy (spinnaker) – 470
  • Women’s keelboat – Elliott 6m (format of racing TBC)
  • Men’s 2nd one person dinghy – Finn

The video above shows the Tornado in action – surely a better spectacle for those all-important TV viewers than many of the slower classes. With the emergence of the Extreme sailing series on 40 foot catamarans, and of course the recent announcement that the next Americas Cup will be fought in multihulls, there is no doubt that multihull sailing provides a fantastic spectator experience and is at the pinnacle of the sport in so many respects.

It was shere lunacy that caused the Tornado to be dropped from the 2012 games and there are many regretting the decision.  Bring it on!

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags: ,

Its a Cat!

September 13th, 2010 No comments

The next Americ’a cup will take place in 2013 on a Catamaran (with some sort of centre hull).  It will be 72 foot long and will have a wing sail. As we have seen already in the last cup, this promises to be a beast of a boat, fast and furious.

A new 45 foot version of this wall also be launched as a training ground for the AC.  Called the “youth americas cup” this seems to me to be out to compete with the Extreme 40s series.

More information on the boat here.

The future of Sailing

July 26th, 2010 No comments

This video shows the speed of the Foiling Moth against other boats – there is no doubt that foiling is where its all going.

I have followed the progress of foiling multihulls for a number of years and came close to buying one.  There are two production multihull foilers at the moment – the Hobie Trifoiler which was the fastest but broke a lot and is no longer made and the Windrider Rave.  Both of these have been clocked in excess of 40 knots!

On another note – I am certainly not the only one out there that sees Sunday’s F1 race as simply a travesty of justice.  Ferrari should be stripped of the places in the race. If they had not implemented team orders arguably Vettel would have given Alonso a run for his money while he was hindered by Masse.  I dont disagree with DC views that team orders happen all the time anyway, but surely if there is a rule you should be forced to stick to it? Perhaps they should do away with that rule and simply accept that its a team sport not an individual one?

Categories: Arthur, Formula 1, Sailing Tags:

Sailrocket meets L’Hydroptere

June 10th, 2010 No comments

A very interesting blog article by Paul Larsen from the Vesta Sailrocket speed team on his thoughts having sailed on L’Hydroptere in the Solent.

“Whilst all this happened I was imagining what it would be like lining up for a crack at the 500 meter run onboard this boat. I feel I can honestly say this. That boat is truly on the edge at high speed. To me it is fun… but not what we aspire towards with our own project. At 50 knots I can cleat off the wing and let go of the controls. I couldn’t help but feel that Hydroptere felt like three boats forced to fly in close formation.  When it gets upset by chop or ferry wakes it seems to fight itself as it wracks, yaws and nods around. This is not fast. Once it shakes itself free of all this and settles down to smooth formation flying again, you can feel it accelerate as the internal fight subsides. Foils are effective brakes when they are not in harmony. The torsion that those large foils put on the beam must be significant and to keep them in harmony must be a large engineering problem in its own right. To ride this thing at record speeds must be one of sailings finest balancing acts. She goes her fastest when she is flying the windward foil but when you look at what her motion is when she does this you quickly see that it has issues. The problem is that when she rolls, she goes from riding flat on three foils to sitting on two foils that are diagonally offset. If she just rolls to leeward then she risks lifting her ‘T’ rudder out of the water and losing all pitch stability. I guess it all depends on how she is trimmed at speed i.e. does the T rudder pull down or create lift… or neither in that it just follows the surface piercing front foils.”

Read the entire article here :

L'Hydroptere on the Solent

L'Hydroptere on the Solent

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags: ,

Tres Cool – Syz and Co catamaran

June 8th, 2010 No comments

What a beautiful boat – Lake Geneva sure is the breeding ground for hte world’s best looking multihulls!  You may remember a rather nice 90 foot catamaran called Alinghi which orignated here not so long ago?  Well here is her smaller foiling cousin – not technically correct since there is no relationship except that they are both on the same lake, but you get the idea.

Syz and Co Catamaran on Lake Geneva

Syz and Co Catamaran on Lake Geneva

Syz and co built this rather beautiful catamaran to go for outright speed records and contest the Bol d’Or Mirabaud (the annual long race on the lake).

For outright speed the foils may be the way to go

For outright speed the foils may be the way to go

We wish them luck with their endeavours (with more than a twinge of jealousy!).

The 50 day Barrier Tumbles!

March 21st, 2010 No comments

It wasn’t that long ago that the Jules Verne Trophy was started with the idea being to sail around the world, crossing the equator, as fast as possible.  80 days was the original magical number to beat – loosely based on the “Around the World in 80 Days” story.

Today Groupama skippered by Franck Cammas shattered the record with a phenomenal circumnavigation of 48 days 7 hours 44 minutes and 52 seconds. In the process they have not only sliced 2 days 8 hours, 35 minutes and 12 seconds off Orange 2’s five year old record but they have become the first to take this record below 50 days.

Groupama Triamaran (c) Yvan Zedda

Groupama Triamaran (c) Yvan Zedda