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Sail GP Cowes

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:23 pm
by John Perry
The SailGP event scheduled for 14 to 15 August at Cowes is still being advertised, presumably the organisers are hoping that the current restrictions will have been relaxed by then. If the event does go ahead, then, given suitable weather, it should be spectacular. I noticed that if you wish to watch this event from your own boat you need to register your boat by 1st May, so I have just done that, even though I have no more idea than anyone else when we might be allowed to make journeys for the purpose of going boating.

The sailGP events are sailed with the F50 hydrofoil catamarans which are derived from the craft used for the previous America's Cup races (AC35) but now built to a standard design for 'one design' racing, unlike the America's cup which has always been restricted class racing. The F50s are claimed to be the fastest racing sailboats in the world, a claim which may well be justified since speeds just above 50knots have been measured. Sailrocket is of course faster but is hardly a racing sailboat and if you think sail boat racing means two or more boats racing on open water then windsurfers and kitesurfers sailing on an artificial 'speed canal' don't count either. Mind you, the actual speeds of the new AC75 hydrofoil monohulls are at present known only to the competing teams although speeds just over 50knots have been mentioned - how they will compare with the F50 is an interesting question. If I had to guess I suspect they would be a bit slower - they dont have multiple element wingsails, just a jib, they dont have 'hard' wingsails and they don't have computer controlled 'flight control systems'. Wonder what others here think?

Re: Sail GP Cowes

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:06 pm
by John Perry
We are now into July 2020 and the SailGP website is still giving 14-15 August 2020 as the date for F50 catamaran racing based at Cowes UK. However, if you look further into the website you find that the whole SailGP program has been postponed to 2021 with seven events rather than five planned for 2021, this to make up for the loss of 2020 events. There is confirmation that one of the 2021 events will indeed be held in the UK but no date is given at the time I am writing this.

The F50 catamarans are among the fastest of sailing boats, even if you include the fastest windsurfers and kitesurfers and they may well be the fastest of all if you only consider boats capable of high performance under a fairly wide range of conditions on the open sea. So I am hoping that when they do get to the UK I might get to view them sailing. If other AYRS members are interested in this perhaps we could even make this a group day out or weekend away?