Sail GP Event at Plymouth UK July 17/18 2021

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John Perry
AYRS Chairman
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:39 pm

Sail GP Event at Plymouth UK July 17/18 2021

Post by John Perry »

I previously mentioned the SailGP Event to be held at Plymouth on 17/18 July in the 'News' section of this forum (do we have too many overlapping sections on this forum I wonder?) but I am now thinking that the weekend of this event could be an opportunity for an AYRS gathering - (subject to the virus restrictions being fully eased at the time).

The SailGP events are for the F50 Catamarans that have been developed from the boats that contested the America's Cup during 2019. They are now essentially a one-design class but the design rule is not frozen, rather it is further developed each year by consultation with the racing teams which number eight at the time of writing. These boats have two element rigid wing sails and an 8.8m beam so they are difficult boats to handle on shore - presumably there is a plan for handling the boats on shore at Plymouth but I cannot guess what that plan might be! The F50 racing should be spectacular to watch, the speeds possible are on a par with those achieved with the AC75 foiling monohulls.

I wonder if any AYRS members are thinking about coming to Plymouth during the weekend of this event, if so then at the very least perhaps we could book a table for a meal together on the Saturday evening. If any members are thinking of sailing to Plymouth at the time of this event then I am hoping that an on-water gathering will be possible, perhaps a waterside BBQ - living just outside Plymouth I will see what I can do about arranging visitors moorings. As for watching the racing from the water, it is not yet clear what, if any, provision will be made for this, the best vantage point may be from on-shore (or of course from your own house watching YouTube after the event) So if you are thinking of being in Plymouth that weekend, with or without a boat of any kind, do let me know and we will see if we can set something up - email chairman@ayrs.org

John Perry
AYRS Chairman
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: Sail GP Event at Plymouth UK July 17/18 2021

Post by John Perry »

I now have a list of seven members who plan to visit Plymouth for SailGP - more welcome - email chairman@ayrs.org. The Social Secretary of Cargreen Yacht Club has offered us the use of the club's BBQ equipment on the evening of Saturday 17 July and they are prepared to open their bar specially for us so I am hoping that even if members visiting Plymouth prefer to do their own thing for watching the racing they will meet together on the Saturday evening. I hope there will also be CYC members present on the Saturday evening to make it a larger group - I have sugested to the CYC social secretary that it could be on the CYC program of events. Cargreen Yacht Club is above Saltash on the Tamar estuary - the website is http://cargreenyc.org/. This is all of course subject to any covid restrictions but I understand that CYC has covered space set up outside where we can meet, eat and drink.

Details of how to watch the SailGP racing from either Plymouth Hoe or from the water are available at https://www.visitplymouth.co.uk/whats-o ... w-to-watch. Note that you do need to book in advance (before 17 July) even if you choose the free option to watch from Plymouth Hoe. If watching from on-shore then there may be alternative vantage points to Plymouth Hoe, perhaps at Jennycliffe or Staddiscombe Heights or even from Edgecombe Park on the Cornish side, but my guess is that Plymouth Hoe is as good as anywhere and there will be a commentary broadcast there.

We cannot make detailed plans for the weekend at this stage since we don't know how people would like to watch the racing, or whether they would like to do this individually or as a group, or whether anyone intends to bring a boat to watch from the water or come for a sail before or after the event. So do let me know what your plans are for the weekend and I will try to co-ordinate. If anyone is planing to bring a yacht to Plymouth for this weekend then CYC offers visitors moorings - see http://cargreenyc.org/moorings/visitor/.

John Perry
AYRS Chairman
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: Sail GP Event at Plymouth UK July 17/18 2021

Post by John Perry »

A quick report:- Superb weather for this event, more sun in the west country than we have had for ages. Light wind, but enough to get the SailGP boats foiling with full crew. I was recovering from a minor injury at the time of the event so had to miss the first day of racing and the gathering we had planned for AYRS members at Cargreen Yacht Club. However, I understand that a small party of AYRS members did get to Cargreen and enjoyed a waterside BBQ on a lovely summer evening.

On the second day of racing I could not get to Plymouth Hoe, the 'official' view point, but did get to a point on the road a bit south of Jennicliffe and we watched from the roadside. I am pretty sure we got a better view from there than we would have done from the Hoe, it was closer to most of the action and also at a greater elevation. This was the first time I had seen the F50 catamarans other than internet video and they do sail well, even in the light winds we had this weekend. With these winds many family cruising yachts would be motoring whereas the F50s are foiling on all courses to the wind - they only occasionally dropped down on the water if they misjudged a tack or gybe. Although the fleet is eight identical boats the fleet spread out quickly during each short race - big gap between the leader and the tail enders in every race. And the lead can change completely from race to race - we saw Japan win a race then come last or next to last in the following race. We thought the final race with just three boats was the most exciting with lead changes during the race, the other races on Sunday seemed more of a procession. I can't comment on the tactics, not having done any sailboat racing myself.

Great Britain won one race on Sunday, to loud applause from spectators all round Plymouth Sound, but they just failed to get enough points to be on the starting line for the final race. Australia won the final race and hence the regatta.

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