Posts Tagged ‘Mike Sanderson’
In the fastest Vendee Globe in history, after 74 days at sea Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss has taken out second place, gaining a coveted podium space and finishing just 16 hours behind race winner Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire. This is Thomson’s second consecutive podium finish in the Vendee Globe, considered the toughest sailing race on earth, after finishing third in the 2012-2013 edition.
Doyle Sails is extremely proud of their involvement in Thomson’s campaign as sail supplier to Hugo Boss. “We have lived and breathed every minute of this race and we think Alex has done an incredible job,” says Mike Sanderson, CEO of Doyle Sails New Zealand. “We’re so proud of what Alex has done in so many ways and are pleased to have played our part in helping him achieve this amazing result.”
Arriving into Les Sables-d’Olonne after completing the race in 74 days 19 hours 35 minutes and 15 seconds, Thomson provided a nailbiting race throughout with highs and lows and first place all to play for right until the final stages. Having lead the race for most of the early stages Thomson suffered a huge blow when he damaged his starboard foil on the 19 November 2016, limiting the boat’s performance when on the port tack and costing him an approximate 20% of the boat’s speed. Despite this setback he continued to push, keeping constant pressure on Le Cléac’h until the very end, maintaining a formidable drag race over the final week and finishing just hours apart – an incredible feat in a race spanning over two months at sea.
During his 74-day race Thomson broke a number of significant records along the way including the world record for greatest distance sailed solo in 24 hours, with an average speed of 22.4knots, made all the more impressive as this record was set in the final few days of the race. Thomson also set two new race records in one day, for the fastest time to reach the Cape of Good Hope, completing this stretch in 17 days 22 hours and 58 minutes (5 days and 48 minutes faster than the previous record) and for the fastest time from the Equator to the Cape of Good Hope, passing in 8 days, 15 hours and 56 minutes (previous record 12 days, 2 hours and 40 minutes). Thomson is now also the fastest Briton to circumnavigate the globe on a monohull, beating his own record set in 2012/2013.
Throughout the race Thomson has paid tribute to his sail inventory, citing it as a key influence to his performance during the circumnavigation and one of his main advantages over the other competitors. “Aside from our foils the one place where we are completely different to the other IMOCA 60’s is our sails, which obviously play a huge part in this race,” says Thomson. “The Stratis product lends itself brilliantly and I would be very surprised if anyone has anything as light and as durable as we have; if you want something different, something fast, if you want an edge, it is best not follow the crowd.”
Hugo Boss carries a full suit of Doyle Stratis ICE sails as part of a long term relationship between Doyle Sails New Zealand and Alex Thomson Racing. Thomson and his team worked closely over several years with Richard Bouzaid, Head of Design at Doyle Sails New Zealand, to develop the inventory carried by Hugo Boss. Doyle’s involvement included extensive sail design team input during the design phase of both the boat and aero package as well as significant on-the-ground support during the construction and sail trial phase of Hugo Boss, and Thomson believes the time invested has paid significant dividends in the result of the race. “The sail plan that Richard developed for us has made a big difference and is the reason I was able to stay at the front of this race with the others after we lost the foil, says Thomson. “I appreciate all the work the team has done; Richard cares, he seriously cares, about this campaign and he put a lot of his time and effort into it and we wouldn’t be where we are without him.”
“It’s hard to say enough really of what Alex – and all the sailors in this race – have achieved; it’s been a privilege to work with him and his team over these two race cycles and I’m excited for the future,” says Bouzaid. “After careful consideration of the new IMOCA 60 rule we developed a different sail combination than presumed, different to the other teams, and that in combination with the whole approach we’ve taken together over the last eight years, has helped achieve this great result. The cool thing is that this is just the beginning.”
As well as the sail configuration itself Thomson is full of praise for the durability and reliability of his Doyle sails. “In terms of performance, even after nearly 75 days at sea in these hugely challenging conditions my sails are still like they are brand new,” he says “The reliability of the product is just brilliant and I think that’s where Doyle really are different to everyone else and it’s a big reason why we choose to work with Doyle – it’s the service, product and the relationships and the fact the team really cares and brings significant added value to the campaign.”
With the first of the competitors now safely back in port the race continues. Hungarian sailor Nandor Fa on Spirit of Hungary, also powered by a Doyle STRATIS inventory, is currently lying in eighth place, over 500nm ahead of his nearest rival, in another testament to the durability and performance of a Doyle inventory. “We’re so pleased to have worked with both Alex and Nandor and hope to keep showing that when it comes to high performance sails there is an alternative choice,” says Sanderson.
Mari Cha III has completed 5000 miles in just over a month of cruising with her new Doyle Stratis ICE sails, and her Captain Christian Lay has given us his take on how the new additions are performing under pressure.
The yacht was fitted with a full wardrobe of high performance ICE sails, created at Doyle Sails New Zealand’s Auckland loft, and the 44-metre yacht has been putting her new sail inventory through its paces. With the light, durable sails, Mari Cha III has found no loss of stability in arduous elements, delivering better performance and longevity.
“One of the big things we have noticed is how much easier the sails are to use than our previous ones. They set really easily and hold their shape so well,” says Lay.
“All the little details that we customised for this boat have made sail handling and manoeuvres, such as reefing, so much easier. The boat is very clearly faster. The service leading up to, getting hold of and then commissioning the sails cannot be faulted.”
Doyle Sails New Zealand’s Matt Bridge says the company enjoyed the process of producing the high-performance sails for the yacht.
“This was the first set of Doyle sails for Mari Cha III and working on such a well-known yacht was a really satisfying experience for us,” says Bridge, superyacht sails coordinator, Doyle Sails New Zealand.
“There was also a nice synergy for us, given that Doyle Sails New Zealand’s own Mike ‘Moose’ Sanderson, sailed onboard Mari Cha III during her record-breaking TransAtlantic crossing in 1998,” says Bridge.
ICE is a new generation UHMWP sail fibre first applied to the marine industry by the Doyle Stratis team, and tests have shown an exceptionally high resistance to flex fatigue, with ICE retaining its initial shape longer than other sail membranes.
“Dealing with the mizzen staysails and big code sails is now really easy and we can get rid of the 900 square meter Code 0, in about 10 seconds, which allows us to sail the boat harder and more aggressively with a smaller crew,” says Lay.
“We have already done 5000 miles with them in a little over a month and had every configuration possible in winds up to 40 knots. There have been no issues with stretch, chafe or wear. We have pushed them downhill with boat speeds into the mid 20 knot region and then done big round ups in big breeze to get them down. The new batten system hasn’t broken one yet which is a big improvement for us.”
“In short I think it’s fair to say that we are pretty bloody happy with them and I am now thinking about which other sails we need to buy for the upcoming adventures. Oh – and for the first time – we have some decent sail bags that are strong enough, big enough, which have enough hand holds and look cool with the names on,” ends Lay.
To learn more about the unique Stratis ICE fiber, please visit here.
The 2013 edition of the Coastal Classic saw more than 160 yachts of all shapes and sizes line up for the 119nm race from Auckland to Russell. The race was hotly contested, particularly in Division 6 where visitors Team Australia were aiming to claim victory over title-holders Team Vodafone, who had taken line honors for three years previously. With the pair considered to be the fastest yachts in Australasia, it was all to play for.
It was a strong race for the Doyle powered boats with good performances in all divisions, including podium positions by handicap in six of the divisions. Team Australia took line honours with a time of eight hours and 15 minutes, nearly 40 minutes ahead of Team Vodafone, winning the Duke of Marlbourough Cup for the first boat to finish, and the Alexander Flynn Trophy for first multihull to finish. Omega 8, which features a full Doyle inventory, came first in Division 1 and was also the overall winner of the race. Both yachts were carrying Doyle’s innovative new Stratis carbon ICE sails, as well as Stratis carbon technora mains, and the results speak for themselves.
As well as the overall successes, there were excellent divisional results. Division 2 saw third on the line and second place by handicap for Outrageous Fortune, which carries a partial Doyle inventory. In Division 3 R N B, with a full Doyle inventory, took first place (line and handicap), Division 4 saw first place (line and handicap) for No Worries, which has a partial Doyle inventory, and Division 7 first place on the line forCharleston, which also has a partial Doyle inventory.
Below we have race reports from Simon Kidd, of Doyle Sails, who was racing on overall winner Omega 8, and from Mike Sanderson, Head of Sales at Doyle Sails, who was racing with line winners Team Australia.
Omega 8 – overall winner and 1st place in Division 1
Race report by Simon Kidd
It was always going to be a great race for Omega upwind, with pressure and the breeze backing later in the day. We started well ahead of the starting gun with preparation on the boat, which is half the battle, dropping the rudder to service the bearing and undertaking several other small maintenance jobs. For the sail inventory we added a new Stratis ICE Code 2 headsail, which we carried from North Head up the coast, and also a new Stratis carbon technora mainsail.
With a large fleet off the line there was some urgency to set the Doyle A3 laminated gennaker and we made a nice jump on the other 40’s down to North Head. We had a good run up to Sail Rock with a long port tack and couple of short starboard tacks. Just after Sail Rock a squall came through and we ended up bareheaded for a couple of minutes before settling back into a slightly cracked jib top and then into the Code 0 which carried us through to the Cape Brett. The 40 fleet was locked together with Mojo, Power Play, Pretty Boy Floyd and Lawless all metres apart as we cleared the Brett.
Omega was in her element with an 150% overlapping headsail we laid pretty much through to the Black Rocks, having taken advantage of the incoming tide and then a long starboard tack through to Tapeka Point. A short tack and we laid up to the finish just as the breeze started to die, with the tide changing as we finished. Skipper and owner Scott McLaren was delighted with the result and very complementary of both the crew and also the Doyle sails that powered Omega to her win.
Team Australia – First place on the line, and third place by handicap in Division 6
Race report by Mike Sanderson
It’s a long time since someone brought a boat all the way from Australia for the Coastal Classic and so when owner Sean Langman and his team made noises about bringing their very cool ORMA TrimaranTeam Australia over for the 2013 event it was pretty exciting news. Team Australia is, like local boat Team Vodafone, an ex French ORMA Class box rule boat, maximum length, maximum beam, maximum mast length and that’s about it… they were developed for a combination of round the buoy Grand Prix events and single and double handed Trans-Atlantic racing. Until the creation of the AC 72 they were the most developed large multihull in the world.
Team Australia started their campaign by setting a new bench mark for the Trans-Tasman sailing record, crossing from Sydney to Auckland in 2 days 19 hours 2 mins 45 seconds. Their new record, now ratified by the World Speed Sailing Association, has set the bar very high for others to try and have a crack at. Once in Auckland, with the crew recovered from their Tasman ordeal, we set about getting her ready for the Coastal Classic. This entailed the guys removing all the offshore equipment and most excitingly the fitting of three new Doyle sails to compliment the new Mainsail we fitted late last year prior to their successful Sydney-Hobart record run. Ahead of the Coastal Classic Team Australia got a new Radial Stratis gennaker, and replaced both the primary headsails, the “Solent” and “Trinquette.” These new sails were utilizing our very latest technology with both the Jibs being Stratis carbon ICE. All the sails went straight on and fitted like gloves and were “sweet as,” to use the words of one of the crew.
Race day came around and I think I was the most excited person in Auckland, with the prospect of an upwind beat to Russell, knowing we had two brand new jibs in our arsenal.
The start went well, with Sean’s years of skiff sailing paying good dividends. We won the race to North Head but soon after Team Vodafone got through us by just carrying bigger sails. Team Australia is less powerful then Vodafone and so we decided to go with the smaller Trinquette jib. During the reach to Kawau Island we struggled to hang on to them as their added power let them slip away. Around Kawau we cut the corner on them and were right back into it… we then exchanged a couple of tacks and with the wind forecast to go left, we protected that side and were starting to pay good dividends. Just as we were about to tack and clear ahead the $10 lashing that held the Solent Jib up snapped and we had the jib fall on the deck. There is no halyard for this sail, it gets hoisted on a Gennaker halyard and then lashed, so we had to change down to the Trinquette and set about to catch them up.
Whangarei Heads was always going to be an interesting landmark to get past in a Westerly breeze. We saw Vodafone go wide and so hit the beach. This paid off big time and while they were struggling offshore in light winds and headed breeze, we were smoking down the beach. From the time we got past them through to when we finally rounded Cape Brett I believe we were just quicker, as we reasonably quickly extended our lead out to nearly 40 minutes from there it was a blasting reach into the finish..
All in all it was a very satisfying win for Team Australia, we certainly had had our share of obstacles along the way! A big thanks to Sean and the Team Australia team for putting their faith in Doyle Stratis sails to power their amazing boat, and thanks also to our team for delivering. Let’s hope Sean can bring the boat back next year to have a crack at defending our title!
Breakdown of leading results from Doyle-powered yachts
V5 – third
Wired – fourth
Omega 8 – first, and first overall for the Coastal Classic
O’Sinnerman* – third
Outrageous Fortune* – third
Frenzy – fourth
Outrageous Fortune* – second
R N B – first
R N B – first
No Worries* – first
Wild Oats* – third
No Worries* – first
Wild Oats* – second
Heaven N Hell* – third
Team Australia – first
Team Australia – third
Charleston* – first
*Partial Doyle Inventory
“Project 392 is a highly optimized performance design, which makes Stratis sails the perfect fit for this project,” said Mike Sanderson, Director of Sales for Doyle Sailmakers New Zealand, sole suppliers of Stratis laminates to the Doyle Group of Sailmakers. “The Stratis range was designed specifically with performance cruising and racing superyachts in mind and is ideally suited to this innovative ketch.”
For 392, Stratis will continue in their established superyacht aero programme with Southern Spars, having previously collaborated on projects including the newly launched 50m-performance sloop Ohana and the 58.4m-sloop Kokomo III amongst others.
“Not only are we proud to be working on such an exciting project, but it is a pleasure to be working directly with Royal Huisman for the first time, and to collaborate with the Hoek Design office once again,” said Sanderson. “It is also great to have the opportunity to work with Allan Prior of LLC Yacht Management and Jeremy Pochman.”
About Doyle Stratis
Doyle Stratis was developed in 2001-2002 when Doyle Sails realized that it was time for a new generation of sails. Designed with superyachts in mind, Stratis sails are the ultimate choice for performance yachts.
Stratis pre-impregnated fibre technology provides unmatched flexibility in fiber orientation, accuracy of placement and superior lamination. All fibers are load bearing, converging to every load point on the sail. This layout produces stronger, lighter sails that are much smoother when set. The sails hold their shape better with significantly less stretch and will last longer than conventional panel sails.
Doyle Sailmakers is continually developing its laminated sail products in terms of design, development and manufacture. Our research department continues to experiment with new fibers, adhesives and techniques with the aim of offering our clients the best product possible while our design department uses the latest computer technology and design tools to develop shapes and structures for faster sails.
Michael gave us some feedback after the boats first regatta with the new Doyle sails:
“After deciding to invest in a full Doyle New Zealand inventory for the Living Doll, no one could be happier. The work spent in the design phase was time well spent, all the sails were used right out of the bag, and they all fitted perfectly.
“The performance gain in the boat was night and day from previous regattas. Having Richard Bouzaid, and Mike Sanderson sailing with us not only lifted the intensity of the sailing on board, but also gave everyone a huge insight into the level of detail that goes into these sails, trim and rigs. The sail shape analysis that was done throughout the regatta by Richard after sailing each day, comparing race trim photos to the designed sail shapes, gave the team a good base to discuss modes, trim, areas to improve etc.
“Thanks to the team at Doyle.”