REIN­VIG­O­RAT­ING RAC­ING

Yachting World - - Front Page - Elaine Bunt­ing Ed­i­tor

A rev­o­lu­tion has grad­u­ally been gath­er­ing pace in sail­ing. We have seen it with the mi­gra­tion of the Amer­ica’s Cup to foil­ing cata­ma­rans, then with the ‘mous­tache’ ap­pendages on the new­est gen­er­a­tion of Vendée Globe mono­hulls and now on the new In­finiti 46, which uses the re­tractable DSS foil sys­tem.

While a ques­tion mark hangs over the dura­bil­ity of foils dur­ing this Vendée Globe, make no mis­take: the genie is out of the bot­tle. In one shape or an­other, foils for mono­hulls and mul­ti­hulls alike are here to stay, and one day soon will touch am­a­teur sail­ing too.

A dif­fer­ent kind of trans­for­ma­tion is hap­pen­ing in the Volvo Ocean Race. The new CEO, Mark Turner, has made po­ten­tially far­reach­ing de­ci­sions, among them a rule change to nudge teams to in­clude women sailors (see page 8). For too long, pro­fes­sional sail­ing has been well adrift of changes in society and the work­place. Turner sees that such a sit­u­a­tion can sit ill with the pub­lic and spon­sors.

This should in­flu­ence other races to mod­ernise – or grad­u­ally ren­der them ar­chaic if they don’t. This is a prime area where pro rac­ing should learn from what has been hap­pen­ing nat­u­rally in am­a­teur sail­ing, in­clud­ing the suc­cess­ful Clip­per Race. A more equal bal­ance is ex­actly what is needed to help rein­vig­o­rate the pop­u­lar­ity of the sport. Twit­ter @elaineb­unting Ever sailed round the wrong mark? Many have made this mis­take, but it’s rare when the mark is ac­tu­ally an is­land. Yet crew of MOD70 Phaedo3 did ex­actly this while lead­ing the Rolex Mid­dle Sea Race, mis­tak­ing Li­nosa for Lampe­dusa. “An own goal”, they said of this un­com­fort­ably high-pro­file blun­der The new AC50 Amer­ica’s Cup class boats launch af­ter Christ­mas. Although de­signed to a box rule, there are ex­pected to be sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in wing con­trols and foils, no­tably vari­able bend foils. The turkey will barely be cold be­fore the real race be­gins to be the team that best masters all these con­trols

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