The New Zealand crew of Alex Maloney and Molly Meech have written one of the opening lines in the Olympic history of the 49erFX, with their win in the first ISAF World Cup regatta in which the class has competed.
Since being selected last May as an Event for the 2016 Olympics, the 49erFX has staged significant acceptance around the world, becoming established in 21 countries by November.
Maloney and Meech were one of the crews used to develop the new 49erFX, and have had more time in the new Olympic Womens skiff than most, however they were up against some of the top Australian Women sailors, and having got to the front of the fleet, their task is to hold that position until 2016.
Also off to a good start was the Mixed Multihull crew of Gemma Jones and Luke Stevenson, placing fourth in the Viper class. The Viper ran a close second to the Nacra 17 which was selected for the new Mixed Multihull event in the 2016 Olympics. But as it is already an established class, many crews have jumped into the Viper to get an edge for when the Nacra 17 becomes available.
One of these was 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist and World Champion in the Tornado class, Darren Bundock (AUS) and Carolijn Brouwer (BEL), also a top Olympic competitor in the 470, Laser Radial and Tornado classes. Not unsurprisingly they gave the rest of the fleet a sailing lesson, winning eight of the ten races and finishing second in the other two. But fourth is a very creditable place, in what was one of the most competive fleets at the regatta.
Another top performer was Torrin Bright finishing second overall in the Mens Kiteboard, being sailed for the first time at an ISAF World Cup. The Mens event attracted a big field, just two competitors competed in the Mens Windsurfer (RS:X), and there was no event for the Womens Windsurfer - a reflection on the indecision that permeated the International Sailing Federation for six months, until the RS:X was reinstated as an Olympic event just a month ago.
We have reports on the racing from Sail Melbourne in this edition of Sail-World.com's newletter
In the Monsoon Cup, being sailed in Malaysia, New Zealand's Phil Robertson has finished second in a closely fought final which went to five matches, before the Waka Racing crew lost to fast rising star Taylor Canfield of the US Virgin Islands. With the series at locked at 2-2 Robertson looked to have the final vital start locked up, but lost the advantage right in the final seconds, allowing Canfield to take the lead off the line, and they were never headed. Canfield's lead was reduced to ten seconds at one point, and it seemed that Robertson might be able to break through from astern, but Canfield showed his class and eased away.
The Monsoon Cup was the final in the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Robertson and the Waka Racing crew's performance was sufficient to lift them into third place for the year - a very creditable performance.
Gilmour vs. Gimour (Peter nearest the camera, son David in the other boat) SubZero Images/Monsoon Cup
The Monsoon Cup marked the final WMRT match racing regatta for Australia's Peter Gilmour. Doesn't seem like it was that long ago when we competed against a young Peter Gilmour in the 1982 Soling Worlds in Fremantle. Then, he was marked to be come one of the stars of Australian and World sailing. And 30 years on, Gilmour has certainly achieved all he promised to be, and more. Most importantly he has sailed very hard, but fair, and leaves the WMRT circuit with the respect of the sailing world for a great career, which hopefully is a long way from being over.
As most will be only too well aware, Auckland was hit by a tornado on Thursday while both AC72's were out sailing.
The winds were reported by the team to be around 26kts, and Emirates Team NZ took the opportunity to really push their AC72, given the time they have left on the clock.
In this edition we have a video from the day - which is very impressive - showing footage of the AC72 sailing in excess of 40 kts, plus a photo gallery from Chris Cameron.
The last shot in the gallery, is one we have blown up - showing a closer view of the twist the ETNZ AC72 is carrying in her wingsail - which is truly impressive - along with the smoothness of the twist - given that it is done by a series of flaps which are worked independently but in unison. The wingsail on Emirates Team NZ is a very impressive piece of engineering and design, indeed, as is the whole boat.
The key point in the video is the way that the AC72 drops her bow into the waves occasionally, but always the daggerboard/hydrofoil does the work and lifts the bow back out almost immediately. None of the will she? Won't she? That we have seen with Oracle Team USA.
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