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13 - 19 May 2019 / Weymouth, UK

2019 Volvo European Championship

Final Day Highlights

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In Olympic circles nobody talks about having a bad day. The cliched quote most often heard in post racing interviews is about lessons learned. Unless the lesson can be explained, don’t believe it, despite how often the phrase is repeated.

Another phrase often repeated is that of the steep learning curve. Can one cliche be false while another is true? With the Nacra 17 moving to foiling post Rio, everybody is on the steep learning curve, but what does that mean?

Hyperspeed

Check out the racing from Kiel Week 2019. Thanks to great coverage, flat water, and some top teams, we get a chance to look at teams sailing differently.

When the wind speed was 15-20 knots and flat water, teams were sailing upwind between 9.5-11 knots of boat speed. Then check out what Paul Kohlhoff and Alica Stuhlemmer (GER) pull out of the bag as they jump into hyperspeed.

As we can see, after a few settings changes, the team leaps into a fully foiling mode and push up to 13.5-15 knots. With the boat speed trackers on the top left of the screen, you can see them jump up to 12.5 knots, and then get really flat and trapping hard and surge all the way up to 15 knots. The coverage switches to the tracking view, and we can see that they were sailing just as high as previously, and then they settle down to a lower angle after they get off the foils and return to the previous upwind mode.

This is ridiculously quick upwind. At the start of the beat they are neck and neck with the Spanish team of Pacheco and Trittel, and by the end of the clip they have a 200m lead. Sure, they got a shift and a puff, but we don’t see the distance between the Austrians and Spanish change very much at all.

So the real question here is if a team can go 30% faster upwind, why wouldn’t they do it all the time?

When we asked Kohlhoff about the mode, he said it’s really just a tool they are practicing to use. In this instance, they tacked just before this clip in a header and a puff. So they used the angle and increased windspeed to get across the course and solidify their lead over the Spanish they rounded at the same time with.

“It’s a really risky mode. Plenty of times we try it and lose out on the others just as much as we gained there. It’s really just something that works in a truly narrow window,” said Paul.

So, the real question is, are the German’s being coy with their new tool and trying to hide hyperspeed from the rest of the fleet, or is it simply a tiny window where this mode will work? No doubt the fleet will be working over time to figure that out!… the steep learning curve.

Spinnaker Hoists

Another area where the fleet is figuring out the best techniques is in the hoist. Watching 49er and 49erFX racing, there is really just one type of straight set if there is no traffic around. Teams will use their momentum to sail deep after powering through the beam reach. At the low point of the turn, the spinnaker gets pulled up as quickly as possible while in the slight wind shadow of the main, and then as it reaches the top of the mast the skipper will head up to fill it as the crew grabs the sheet. Job done.

Now check out three different example of how top teams set, all in the same windspeed and without pressure from other boats.

This method is most similar to how the 49ers set, in this case demonstrated by Kohlhoff and Stuhlemmer. During the offset, Stuhlemmer pulls out the tack and then as soon as they pass the offset mark she rushes into the boat and pulls up the spinnaker as quickly as she can. Kohlhoff then starts to get the boat foiling, and off they rush to get settled into their foiling mode. This is a spinnaker centric method, where getting it up is the priority.

In our next example, check out Bissaro and Frascari (ITA) taking foiling as their primary focus, with the spinnaker the secondary focus. Here is first the same angle we saw from the Germans, followed by the onboard footage.

Maelle Frascari is putting her focus fully to getting the boat foiling and stable with just two sails. Only once she thinks the foiling is stable does she move to hoist the spinnaker. This hoist is not error free, as they fall off the foils a bit, but you could see this method providing opportunities for passing lanes and also VMG gains if foiling can be maintained.

Our final example is the leverage centered approach. In this case, Zajac and Matz both stay trapezing through the whole hoist. There is a quite a bit of freedom for how ropes can be led on the Nacra 17, and clearly the Austrians have led their halyard to the windward side, and are able to have Matz stay on the wire while hoisting. It’s not the stable foiling like we saw from the Italians, but is sort of a bridge between the two other methods.

The bottom line is that when people talk about the steep learning curve, the Nacra 17 fleet is on it, with multiple innovations occurring consistently.

WoMan Overboard

One more bit of nifty boathandling comes to light after a somewhat scary incident in race 2. Bissaro and Frascari (ITA) are pressing downwind when after a gybe, Frascari falls overboard having missed her trapeze clip. What’s scary is just how quickly things go from normal to an emergency.

The helm, Bissaro, remains fully calm through the recovery. He immediately heads up violently to maintain a short distance to Frascari, and then slowly heads upwind with the gennaker flapping violently. Nevertheless, he does a perfect windward pick up out of the water ensuring there is little chance of running over the WoMan overboard.

While they retired from this race, after a breather Frascari felt good enough to return to racing, and got just a bruised foot from the incident. It could have been much worse, but the quick pick-up was a nice bit of boathandling.

Nacra 17 Sailing

The Nacra 17 fleet is 1 year away from our first Olympics as a foiling boat. Latch on to all of our channels to ride the wave to Tokyo…

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The Academy is a multifaceted business.  The driving force and focus are the sailing events, but to sustain the facilities and business the WPNSA has several other revenue streams;
 
• Squad training through the RYA and class associations
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WPNSA has close links with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) working with them in many significant events such as the Sailing World Cup and Youth National Championships.  In addition, WPNSA is the training base for the British Sailing Team.
 
Our History
 
The Royal Yachting Association had been trying for decades to secure a suitable site locally to make the most of these natural advantages, but the opportunity came when in 1999 it was announced that the Royal Naval Air Station at Portland was to be closed.
 
A group of local people established a not-for-profit company to take the vision of a national centre of excellence for the sport of sailing forward and with the support of the Royal Navy, the Royal Yachting Association, the South West Regional Development Agency, Sport England and all the local authorities in the area, this idea started to take shape.  The Academy started sailing operations on the site in March 2000.
 
After initially operating from the disused military buildings and facilities, in 2003 the Academy was in a position to start construction work on redeveloping the site.  At the same time the London bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was gathering momentum and the Academy was selected as part of the sailing venue in the bid to the International Olympic Committee.
 
Construction works were completed in the spring of 2005 and HRH The Princess Royal formally opened the new Academy buildings on 9th June 2005.  Less than a month later London was selected as the venue for the 30th Olympiad.  This impressive facility had therefore moved from starting sailing operations on the site to being part of an Olympic venue in slightly more than five years.  Once the decision had been made to award the 2012 Games to London, plans were put in place to further enhance the facilities to bring them up to the standard required by the International Olympic Committee.  The Olympic Delivery Authority then funded further marine works to meet these standards.  These works, consisting of additional reclamation of the harbour, new slipways, construction of a breakwater and pontoons were finished in 2008, on time and on budget, making the Academy the first of the 2012 venues to be completed.
 
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Notice to Competitors #7

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Sailing Instructions

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For official entry portal and details, CLICK HERE

Notice of Race

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Measurement Timetable

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Nacra 17 Race Management Guidelines

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Support Boat Regulations

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Change to Sailing Instructions #1 (Nacra Class Rules)

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Change to Sailing Instructions #2 (3 Changes)

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Information from Jury

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Addendum Q

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Addendum Q Information

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Standard Penalties

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Change Notice #3

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Question and Answer #1

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Notice to Competitors #5

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Notice to Competitors #6 (Flight Assignments 13th May)

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CHANGE TO SAILING INSTRUCTIONS #3

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Notice to Competitors #8

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SI Change #4 (Time Corrected)

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Notice to Competitors #9 (Flight Assignments 14th May)

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Notice to Competitors #11

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Notice to Competitors #12

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Notice to Competitors #13

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Notice to Competitors #14 (Flight Assignments 15th May)

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Notice to Competitors #15

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Notice to Competitors #16

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Notice to Competitors #17

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SI Change #5

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Notice to Competitors #18

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Notice to Competitors #19

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Notice to Competitors #20 (Flight Assignments 16th May)

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Notice to Competitors #21

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Notice to Competitors #22

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Notice to Competitors #23

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Notice to Competitors #24

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Change to SI’s #7

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Notice to Competitors #25

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Notice to Competitors #26

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Notice to Competitors #27

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Notice to Competitors #28

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Notice to Competitors #29

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Change to SI’s #8

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Notice to Competitors #31

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Change to SI’s #8 (Code of Conduct)

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Notice to Competitors #32 Course Allocation Change. (Assignment of Fleet to Racing Areas)

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Notice to Competitors #33 Course Allocation Change. (Assignment of Fleet to Racing Areas)

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Notice to Competitors #34 (Breach Of Support Boat Regulations)

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Notice to Competitors #35 (Failure to Tally – 18th May)

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Change to SI's #11( Racing Schedule - Day 7 – May 19)

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Notice to Competitors #36 (Change to Coaches Briefing 19th May)

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Notice to Competitors #37 (Medal Race Inspections)

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Notice to Competitors #38 ("U Flag Rule" )

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Notice to Competitors #39 (Tracker Collection 19th May)

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Day 4 Highlights

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Chesil Beach Clean

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