The 52 SUPER SERIES is the world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit and a new season gets underway in Menorca. With a record fleet and new boats and sailors this five-event circuit will be gripping. Staying in the Mediterranean we travel to Marseille for the Hempel World Cup Series finale to see who will be stepping onto the podium across 10 Olympic classes. There’s also high drama on Lake Geneva at the Bol d’Or Mirabaud as a storm rips across the course. The World Sailing Show takes a rare trip underwater in the Seychelles to explore the depths with Nekton Mission which is looking at global environmental data capture. Plus, the million-dollar boat race hits New York as SailGP reaches the halfway stage in the battle for sailing’s biggest cash prize.
• The new giant Sodebo Ultime sails for first time
• The 2019 52 SUPER SERIES kicks off in Menorca
• The climax of the Hempel World Cup Series, Marseille
• SailGP heads to New York at the halfway stage
• Sustainability and eco-exploration from under the sea
• Bullet-storm hits Bol d’Or
• The maxis take on the Rolex Giraglia record
52 SUPER SERIES kicks off in Menorca
The 52 SUPER SERIES has become the world’s top grand prix monohull series with the boats refined at the cutting edge of technology as designers seek marginal gains in seconds per mile. And the sailors are top of the game – America’s Cup, Olympic and round the world racers stack the crew lists.
With just one new boat launched this year, the new class of 2018 were anxious to see if they had been left behind as the fleet assembled in Menorca for the opening event on the 2019 circuit. They didn’t have long to wait – the brand new Russian Bronenosec took the first race…
Was that the shape of things to come or would the reigning champions Quantum Racing find a way to prevail? Or any of the other all-star casts that grace the 52 SUPER SERIES field.
Hempel World Cup Final, Marseille
With the Tokyo Games a little over a year away the stakes in World Sailing’s annual World Cup tour are rising… this is the competition that brings together returning medallists, new Olympic hopefuls and the big players across the ten Olympic classes. They’d been racing in Japan, the USA and Italy, before arriving for the final in Marseille – winners crowned and progress to Tokyo marked by silverware… those who fall short heading back to the drawing board to reset campaigns and work on improvements.
Marseille will host the sailing events in the 2024 Paris Olympics so as well as bringing meaning to current campaigns, there was also an eye on the next five-ring cycle. And the southern French venue served up a tasty opening with fresh breezes and a challenging chop.
Who would prevail? The established big names and medal winners, or newcomers with an eye on a shot at the Tokyo games?
The Million Dollar Race heads to New York – SailGP Round 3
New York provides a stunning backdrop for a sailing contest, but the question as SailGP rolled into town for the third of five events – was whether the weather would provide the racetrack that would enable the cream to rise to the top. The answer was provided by the first spectacular moment which wasn’t long in coming. As the wind spiked down from the New Jersey shoreline, the British were caught out and flipped onto their side just minutes before the first race. From there it was a crowd-pleasing foil-fest as the Australians led by Tom Slingsby and the Japanese by Nathan Outteridge sailed majestically, only being bettered once by Rome Kirby’s home team in Race 5. But with Slingsby’s Australia SailGP Team having taken rounds 1 and 2, could the Japanese get back in the game and begin a comeback that would put them in with a shout of the million-dollar prize come September and Marseille?
The new Sodebo 3 – first sailing pictures of an innovative beast
The World Sailing Show brings the first pictures of Tomas Coville’s brand new 32-metre Ultime Sodebo 3 sailing. The boat has many innovative features, the most visible being the cockpit which is forward of the mast. With foils on the daggerboard and T-foils on the ends of the rudders, this is a beast of a machine and Coville will be hoping it will help him take the round the world record to under 40 days.
Saving the Seas… under the seas
And The World Sailing Show heads under the sea for the first time in an occasional look at environmental and sustainability missions. The Nekton Mission is based in the Seychelles gathering data and mapping the reefs in an effort to contribute to the saving of the seas. Broadcasting live news bulletins raised awareness of the mission and The World Sailing Show was given a unique insight.
Storm spikes Lake Geneva classic
In other news the Bol d’Or is frequently a sedate day-long race up and back on Lake Geneva… not this year. Amazing footage of a massive spike of a storm which hit the 450 starters. Less than 200 made it through in a race that will be remembered for a long time.