America’s Cup racer turned commentator, one design keelboat champion turned two times Volvo Ocean Race skipper, Ken Read is President of North Sails and was in Antigua last week sailing in the J Class. Tip & Shaft caught up with Read.
The most recent boat in the IMOCA fleet, Corum L’Epargne was due to be launched on 21st March in Port-la-Forêt. Tip & Shaft talked to Michel Desjoyeaux, as with his company, Mer Agitée, he was the project manager for the construction of the Juan Kouyoumdjian designed boat.
The World Championships of the 470 class (March 16-21), the giant Trofeo Princesa Sofia Olympic regatta (March 27-April 4), the Sailing World Cup Genoa (11-19 April), the 44Cup Portoroz (22-26 April), the GC32 Racing Tour in Oman (25-29 March), the ACWS Cagliari (22-26 April), these events are all either cancelled or postponed. In France the list of events to be rescheduled include Easter’s Spi Ouest France, the Massila Cup, the SNIM, the Solo Maitre CoQ The coronavirus outbreak is affecting the whole of the competitive sailing world. Tip & Shaft takes a view.
Britain’s Abby Ehler has three Volvo Ocean Races round the world under her belt. Since last year she has moved from mainly offshore roles to sail on the 52 SUPER SERIES as the only full time female pro sailor in the grand prix inshore fleet, racing as mid bow on the Plattners’ Phoenix team. Late last year she completed the first Transatlantic of a modern IMOCA in fully crewed ‘Ocean Race’ mode. Tip & Shaft caught up with Abby in Cape Town…..
2019 will be remembered for the arrival of the first Class40 scows and the victory of one of them, Crédit Mutuel, in the Transat Jacques Vabre, The 2020 Class40 season will see the launch of at least two new 40-foot boats, while many others have changed their name. Tip & Shaft looks at this lively market and the programme that lies ahead for this season.
In February, American Magic suppliers Helly Hansen took a very small media group behind the curtain in Pensacola, Florida to see the winter training base of American Magic. Tip & Shaft’s Andi Robertson found skipper and executive director Terry Hutchinson in excellent spirits despite the frustration that these incredibly complex AC75s are spending so much time in the yard and not enough time on the water, but – as he says – it is the same for everyone. The complexity and science create opportunities and American Magic are doing all they can to seize them with both hands.
There was another step forward in Februray in World Sailing’s selection process for the equipment to be used in the new mixed double offshore event in the Paris Olympics in 2024. The international federation published a list of the twelve boats presented by builders, who will be able to compete for the bid to tender when it is launced. For the yards, it is time to move their pawns forward as they look ahead. Tip & Shaft looks at what is going on.
All eyes will be on Sydney at the end of next week where Season 2 of SailGP kicks off with seven teams, two new. Tip & Shaft caught up with Russell Coutts, soon aged 58, CEO of Sail GP and four times winner of the America’s Cup.