Archive for the ‘Racing’ Category
Charleston Race Week has quickly become one of the largest Regattas in the US, held annually in mid-April. This year Doyle was well represented, winning both the Viper 640 and Ultimate 20 Classes, and taking a close second in the hotly competitive J/70 Class. The One Design fleets got in eight races over two days before racing was called off prior to start time on Sunday due to high winds. Vipers had 33 boats and J/70 had the largest fleet of 55 boats.
For the second regatta in a row, Brad Boston and his team of Lee Shuckerow & Eric Vigrass sailed Jackpot to a win. The win was impressive considering the regatta featured some serious breeze on Friday. With a 33-boat fleet, the teams worst race was a 5, giving them a close win in a very competitive event. This is now the 4th year in a row that Doyle powered boats have won Charleston Race Week.
In the Ultimate 20 fleet, both BJ Jones and Brad Lawson utilized full Doyle Inventories to take first and second in the class. Doyle began producing Ultimate 20 sails in 2006 and has been successful ever since. Doyle-powered boats have won the U20 class at Charleston Race Week for three years in a row now, in addition to numerous North American and Regional championships.
Friday featured puffy and fresh 10-25 + knot south winds which made for some challenging races. Much of the time the upper level winds were mixing down to the surface with big puffs and full planing conditions. Upwind required heavy air tuning and trim techniques in the big blasts. On Course 2 the left side generally paid off on the windward legs especially near the windward mark. Downwind was more about finding the pressure lanes to stay planing. Getting consistent good starts and having the speed to hold a lane to the favored left side was what paid off. Boats that got flushed to the right off after the start missed the port tack lefties on second half of the beat and the leaders would then get away on the runs.
Saturday featured lighter 7- 15 knots N – NE winds and some big velocity and wind shifts throughout the day. The currents although always a factor were not as critical a play as the shifts and velocity. Although the right pressure would fill in on a few beats on course 2 there was some good lefty pressure on the top of the beat on most legs. Because of the incoming tide the fleet spent a lot of the beat on port tack and once again it paid to be fast and high on the boats nearby and win the one on one battles. The wind lightened gradually during the day which required easing the rig between races.
Jud Smith , Doyle One Design Manager , sailed Peter Duncan’s , J/70 “Relative Obscurity” with team Tom Blackwell, Greg Marie and Quinn Ziatyk to a consistent 2nd place overall with all but one top 4 finish. Tim Healy and his team won the regatta by 2 points. Henry Filter and his team on Wild Thing was 3rd overall.
Peter Vessella and his team placed 9th overall sailing their first regatta with Doyle One Design sails. Michael Glover, with Collin Kirby, Reese Wilkins and Robby Wilkins, sailing their first J/70 regatta on “Lucy”, were the third Corinthian finishers.
Many of the same teams will be racing at Annapolis NOOD in early May.
We have updated the tuning guide and some other notes on the J/70 which can be found here.
Below is a video of Jud Smith and crew leading the fleet around the leeward mark – quite a good feeling in a 55-boat fleet!
The St Barths Bucket is one of the highlights of the superyacht sailing regatta calendar and a fleet of nearly 40 spectacular superyachts are gearing up for four days of racing in the 2013 St Barths Bucket which runs from the 28 – 31 of March.
A spectacular fleet of Doyle powered yachts will be out in force at the Bucket. Look out for 30m Leopard 3 and 38m P2 in the les Gazelles class; 62m Athos, 43m Koo, 52m Prana, 45m Salperton IV and 29m Symmetry in les Mademoiselles; and 48m Andromeda La Dea, 38m Axia, 34m Blue Too, 56m Rosehearty, 56m Zenji and the largest yacht in fleet, the 88m Maltese Falcon, in the Grandes Dames des Mers.
Salperton IV and Athos are fresh from victory at the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2013. Salperton was the overall winner, securing a win in Division A overall, Division A’s cruising division, and the Boat International Media Trophy. It really was Doyle’s regatta as our customers Bolero and Athos also tied for first place in Division B. With such recent wins under their belt and in very good racing form, both Athos and Salperton IV will be ones to watch in the Bucket.
Doyle Sailmakers is a proud sponsor and long-time supporter of the Bucket regattas and Doyle has supplied sails to yachts built by the world’s sailing yacht builders including fellow sponsors Alloy Yachts, HJB, Perini Navi, Royal Huisman and Vitters. Increasingly, Doyle and Stratis are being seen as the sails of choice for anyone looking for a performance focused yacht and racing success.
A large contigent of Doyle’s Superyacht team is at the Bucket, traveling from many of Doyle’s 80 lofts around the world. Richard Bouzaid and Jud Smith are racing on P2; Robbie Doyle and Nick Bonner on Axia; Glenn Cook on Athos; Peter Grimm on Panthalassa; John Baxter on Blue Too; Quinny Houry on Salperton IV; Matt Bridge on Leopard; Phil Maxwell on Prana; Andrew Schneider on Zenji; Richard Hulston on Koo; and Justin Ferris on Ranger.
We will be updating our news and Facebook throughout the regatta, so please tune in to see the latest!
Below is footage from onboard P2 during last year’s St. Barths Bucket.
Doyle Sailmakers, based in Salem, MA, has recently announced that it has been awarded the contract to supply the complete sail inventory for the upcoming 60m performance sloop under construction at Perini Navi. The inventory encompasses a staggering 10,200 square meters (110,275 square feet) of sail area including what will be the world’s two largest spinnakers. The yacht is scheduled for completion in early 2014 and will make her debut at the 2014 St. Barths Bucket.
The order reinforces Doyle’s commitment and expertise in engineering some of the largest projects in the Superyacht industry including the sails aboard Maltese Falcon and M5, two of the world’s largest and most sophisticated sailing yachts. Essential to the success of this program will be the contribution of Doyle CFD’s analysis which is being used to model all aspects of the sail shapes and loading, completely integrating data from the boat’s hull and rig in real sailing conditions. This will ensure that the sails as well as the associated hardware are all up to the task of propelling this yacht through the water.
After several months of discussions, the final inventory was decided on after reviewing a number of possible combinations with an eye on smooth sail crossovers for an aggressive racing schedule the boat has planned. For upwind sailing, the boat will have a 840 sqm mainsail which is complemented by a range of headsails – a reacher, a blade jib, a working jib, and then a Code 0 for light air conditions. The upwind inventory will be constructed of Doyle’s proprietary Stratis membranes which have proven themselves on many of the world’s most glamorous Superyachts. This technology will enable Doyle’s engineers and sailmakers in Salem to construct high performance sails with minimal weight.
Downwind is where the boat will really shine. “We looked at every material available for these spinnakers and realized that there wasn’t anything in existence that would deliver the performance we were looking for,” explains CEO Robbie Doyle. “We partnered with Dimension Polyant to develop a new high-performance Polyester spinnaker fabric that is reinforced with Dyneema for durability and burst strength.” The new cloth allows the sails to be light and soft like a traditional spinnaker yet has tensile strength on par with other, heavier options. The addition of Dyneema to the cloth will ensure that the sail resists tears, essential to success on the Superyacht racing circuit. The boat will have two spinnakers, one measuring in at 2448 sqm and the other at 2170 sqm. In addition, she will be equipped with a 643 sqm spinnaker staysail set with a top down furler.
“With this project we are fortunate to take everything we have learned in the last 30 years on both Superyachts and Grand-Prix race boats and put it all together in one package,” comments Doyle. “We are extremely excited to be working with the project management team at Perini Navi, Future Fibers and Ron Holland Design to see this through its completion.” The order caps a string of good news for Doyle Sailmakers in the Superyacht arena, highlighted by the recent debut of the 50m Sloop Ohana, new inventories for the 52m Prana, 45m Artemis, and the launch of the 40m Perini Navi Sloop State of Grace with a full Doyle inventory. When the 60m performance sloop launches next year, it will be spectacular to see her perform.
This years Bacardi Miami Sailing Week featured some of the top international talent competing in a number of the most exciting One Design Classes. At the end of the Regatta, Doyle One Design customers came away with wins in the Star and Viper Classes, and secured a second place finish in the new J/70 class after a unfortunate start to the regatta.
Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih got off to a rough start with an OCS in race one but, after five days of racing, were able to rebound with wins in the last two races to take home the Bacardi Cup. The regatta saw a wide range of conditions forcing teams to constantly adjust, making the win that much more satisfying against some of the Star class’ top competitors. “Winning the Cup again means a lot to me; it’s really great because winning any big Star regatta is not easy at all! I am very happy to have had Brian with me. He is a great crew and wanted to have his name on the Tito Bacardi trophy. The Bacardi Cup is a great event and now, with the addition of all the other classes, it’s even more satisfying.”
The regatta was also the debut of Doyle’s latest Star mainsail design, a new bi-radial cut which until now has not been proven in the Star class. After months of development, the new layout shows improved shape-holding through a wide range of conditions, in addition to being easily tuned. Jud Smith, head of Doyle One Design explains that “we moved to just two sections in the sail, each made up of radial panels. There are a number of benefits that we have realized – the radial bottom section helps handle the transition from the deepest parts of the sail into the clew smoothly while at the same time the radial gores in the clew help support the mast down low giving it a more even mast bend. Along the leech, the two radial sections essentially act as a catenary and evenly distribute the leech load.” The result is a very smooth, tunable sail that can perform in a wide variety of conditions.
In the competitive Viper Class, Brad Boston, Eric Vigrass and Shannon Bush sailing as Team Jackpot were able to win the regatta by winning 3 of the last 4 races, giving them a solid victory in a hotly contested class. Despite trailing early in the regatta, the strong finish helped them jump past some other past champions in the class. The sails he utilized were the standard Doyle sails that have proven durable and easy to trim for a number of years now.
The J70 fleet of 20 boats got in 9 races over 3 bright sunny days on Biscayne Bay for Bacardi Miami Race Week March 7-9. After just one shortened light air race the first day, the breeze filled in for the last two days, blowing 6-15 knots to get in 8 races. Eight of the twenty boats did not make the time limit in the first race when the wind shut off which was an unfortunate starting point for many of the contenders. Saturday featured a NW to NE wind that gradually built to 10 -12 knots as it shifted to the right. Sunday the NE breeze shifted right again during the morning race 7 before settling in from the E-NE with some puffs that featured one planing leg.
Going into the final day of racing both Brian Keane and Will Welles had a commanding lead over the pack and appeared unreachable. There was still a group of 4 boats with a realistic shot at a podium finish. The race committee hailed that they were going to attempt to sail three races that day. Doyle customers Peter Duncan, Mark Ploch and Amy Neill started strong on the final day, rounding the first mark 1, 2 and 3. Brian Keane just beat out Ploch to win and Duncan got third after being caught on the persistent shift on the run. Wells caught back up to 8th but that still gave Keene a big cushion going into the last two races.
Off the line on Race 8 the usual suspects were in the front row but Wells was OCS and had to go back. Duncan and Neill were 1,2 at the first mark again and Duncan held onto win Race 8 with Keane second allowing him to clinch the regatta win. Welles was unable to get back in contention and sailed his throw-out. Going into the final race Duncan was only one point behind Wells with four boats within 5 points of second. So 2nd – 5th overall came down to the last race.
At the start of race 9, the wind shifted left and the fleet tacked onto port on a big lefty. Wells rounded 6th with Duncan in 7th. The fleet planed off on starboard for the first half of the run which allowed Duncan to get inside of Wells and jibe to windward. Duncan covered Wells on the second beat and run to the finish to clinch second place on a tie breaker.
Amy Neill sailing “Nightmare” from Chicago with Rich Sterns , John Baxter and Zach Mason had two 6th place finishes on the last day to clinch a 13th overall. This was Amy’s first time ever steering or skippering any boat in any regatta. Amy used the same Doyle One Design sails as Duncan and Ploch and showed some of the greatest upwind speed straight out of the blocks.
Congratulations all around on a competitive regatta!
Sailing in a wide variety of conditions, Peter Duncan and his crew Tom Blackwell and Jud Smith won the Etchells Mid-Winter Regatta in commanding fashion, besting their closest competitor by 20 point and only finishing outside the top 10 once in the 60-boat fleet. The regatta was the largest of this winter’s Jaguar Series, with everyone bringing their A-Game for the final event. The win pushed them up to 4th overall in the Jaguar Cup, where they joined Doyle customers Shannon Bush and Senet Bischoff in the top five overall.
The regatta was light on Friday, very breezy on Saturday, and then Sunda featured a range of conditions, forcing everyone to adjust gears throughout the regatta. The team utilized Doyle’s AP Main the entire regatta, and the latest NLM (Light-Medium) Jib on Friday, while the DCH proved its worth in Saturday’s big breeze as well as on Sunday. Downwind, the team was able to use the AP Radial Runner in most of the races, and broke out the VMG Cross Cut spinnaker in the lightest legs.
“We were fortunate to have all of our practice pay off,” explained Jud Smith. “Our team has been training in two different boats – the J/70 and the Etchells in preparation for Etchells Worlds in Italy in June as well as a full circuit in the J/70. With our divided focus, being able to jump back into the boat and excel feels great. Our latest sails are easier to adjust than ever, and changing to the inboard jib lead has greatly improved our pointing ability – essential in the big-fleet starts.”
2013 Etchells Mid-Winter Regatta
Having proved her mettle for inshore racing, Shockwave, driven by owner George Sakellaris followed up her recent Key West victory with a near record breaking performance in the 2013 Montego Bay Race. Stretching 810 miles Ft. Lauderdale to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Shockwave and her crew were able to complete the course in an impressive 2 days, 11 hrs and 23 minutes and missed the course record by a mere 58 minutes. On corrected time, she also won the IRC division.
The race started in light wind that went down to 2 to 3 knots the first evening. The following day, Shockwave made big gains towards the record reaching along Eleuthera and Cat Islands, averaging 20 knots with her Code 0. After rounding the tip of Cuba she hit a high of 26.4 knots using her newest A4 spinnaker and was on pace to beat the record only to be thwarted by a lightening wind that shifted aft as she approached the finish, protecting the record set by Titan 12 in 2005.
The Reichel/Pugh designed, McConaghy built Shockwave is powered by a 100% Doyle Sail inventory tailored to match the boat’s performance curve using the latest analysis and insight from Doyle’s in-house CFD and design team. For this regatta, Shockwave was utilizing her 2-year old offshore race main – the same sail that carried her to victory in last year’s Newport-Bermuda Race. “The success of the sails we are using is a clear indication of the durability and strength of the Doyle Stratis laminates,” tactician Robbie Doyle pointed out. The Code 0, an ultra-light Doyle Stratis sail with curved radial seams for super-precise shaping and strength, was used for about 50% of the miles sailed and once again proved to be the most versatile and easy to handle headsail in the inventory. By combining practical experience with cutting edge design resources, Doyle’s team has been able to deliver sails that clearly enrich the performance of the boat and the crew.
Next Team Shockwave will head to the Mediterranean for the PalmaVela regatta in May. Be sure to Like Team Shockwave on Facebook to stay up to date with her activities.
For complete race results, visit the event website.
For information on how Doyle Sailmakers can help your next project, contact your Local Doyle Loft.
When Alex Thomson made the decision to use Doyle Sails for his third Vendée Globe attempt, he bucked the trend of the pack as the only Doyle skipper in the fleet. It was a decision that Thomson and his team believe paid dividends in his race. “At times I was surprised by the performance of the boat and my ability to keep up with the newer generation boats and I put a lot of my pace down to the sail design program run by Richard Bouzaid at Doyle Sails NZ,” said Thomson, after finishing the race.
Thomson won a podium position with third place after a race time of 80 days 19 hours 23 minutes and 43 seconds. With that result he also became the fastest Briton to sail a monohull around the world, trumping the previous records of Dame Ellen MacArthur and Mike Golding. His performance was exceptional, staying part of the leading group throughout the race despite racing in an old-generation design.
Credit: Christophe Launay | www.sealaunay.com
Hugo Boss was powered by a full inventory of Doyle sails, produced by the New Zealand loft and designed by Richard Bouzaid, Head of Design at Doyle Sails NZ. Almost all the sails were made from Stratis laminates, using light weight taffeta and carbon and technora blends, rather than Kevlar or spectra fibres that are more commonly used on these types of sails. “The sail program is a critical part of any sailing campaign but no other race demands performance and reliability over a 28,000Nm race track,” said Thomson.
Chris McMaster, Managing Director of Doyle Sails NZ, and Bouzaid worked closely with Alex and his team throughout race preparations and through the race itself. “The relationship with Alex Thomson Racing has been longstanding and everything we have done over the last five years has been working towards this goal,” said Bouzaid. “We were constantly working to develop innovative sails that would give Alex an edge over his competition.” Prior to the race Bouzaid spent significant time sailing on board Hugo Boss with Thomson, including undertaking a Transatlantic crossing and sailing from the UK to the Mediterranean. “All this helped give us a deeper understanding of how hard it is to sail these boats, and the kind of sails they need to help them be sailed single handed,” said Bouzaid.
“When we started this project together, Doyle made it clear that they wanted to do it properly and gain the right experience before the main event,” said Thomson. “Together we built seven mainsails, over 20 upwind jibs and more than 30 code sails in the quest to find the right blend of material, weight, performance and reliability. We did not always get it right but we were always committed to finding the limitations, defining the boundaries and developing from there. We were also able to benefit from Doyle’s investment in Sanya’s Volvo 70 program and Mike Sanderson’s experience in the IMOCA and Volvo world.”
Credit: Christophe Launay | www.sealaunay.com
“We are looking forward to continuing working with Alex Thomson Racing,” said Bouzaid. “We have lots of new ideas to move forwards with and the team are great to work with in that respect. They are always open to innovation and new ideas.” Thomson too is looking to the future. “The great thing is we are not stopping here, there is always more we can do and I am looking forward to debriefing with Doyle Sails NZ and refining the product further so that all of Doyle’s customers can benefit from the investment we have made. My sincere thanks to everyone at Doyle for their commitment to our project and helping me attain third place in the world’s toughest sporting event,” Thomson concluded.
To find out how Doyle Sails can help with your next challenge, contact your local loft.