‘Wonderful experience’ for 5.5 Metre crews as light winds continue on Day 2 in Cannes
September 27, 2017
Three races were sailed on the second day of the 39th Régates Royales Cannes Trophée Panerai on Wednesday in very light conditions on the furthest course area to the east of Cannes.
New Moon, BAH 21, (Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger and Peter Vlasov) dominated the day with a third place and two firsts to take the overall lead. The first race was won by Otto, SUI 209 (Bent C. Wilhemsen, Andreas Dyhr and Luka Strahovnik), with the two teams now on equal points at the top.
The fleet again had a long wait on the water before enough wind filled in from the south-west to be able start a day of very close racing.
Vlasov was philosophical about the day.
“Most of it was painful, but I think the race committee made the best of it.”
“In the first race we had a bit of tree on the keel. We had no boatspeed at all and we reversed before the second start and up it came and then things were good. The second race was the best one for us, but we had good starts in all three races. In the third race we dominated or led the whole way, except on the last leg, when Otto came romping up from below us, though we made one mistake and sailed with a loose outhaul and that hurt us. But it was a short leg.”
He said that in light winds, there is no substitute for time on the water. “You don’t get good at light wind sailing unless you do lots of it. When it’s blowing 6-7 knots these boat fly and there is more room for mistakes. What happened today, albeit painful, is just wonderful experience for us as a team and your boat handling skills go up and up and up. You have to do days like today to get better.”
The Alain Marchand deisgned and sailed CinqueCinque (Alain Marchand, Louis Rol, Fanny Brouchoud) is now up to third after three top three placings today.
Marchand said, “We are more or less happy with the day. We got a second in the first race. It was not so easy as the wind was not so strong and we are better in the heavy conditions than very light winds. This boat goes better when it's more windy. But it was good for us.”
“We are more or less the same crew at the regattas, and we also sail on other boats together. We finished eight at the worlds this year, which was a good result for us.”
At the time of its design, the 5.5 Metre design was a considered innovative, and fostered innovation and development of other monohulls. Even designers of the 12 Metres for the America’s Cup drew inspiration from the lines of the 5.5 Metre. In the 70 years since, more than 800 boats have been built in 33 countries to more than 130 designs. The racing is intensely competitive, attracting top helms from around the world. Since its first world championship in 1961 the 5.5 Metre has been regarded as one of the world’s premier keelboat classes.
Most of the boats in Cannes are Wilke hulls from Switzerland.
Vlasov explained, “My personal opinion is that I applaud anyone who does a non-Wilke boat construction. It’s great for the class. Diversity looks good and is great.”
“But Wilke has it down to a science when it comes to hull design and functionality, and simple is good at the end of the day. Our old boat, Silver Fox, was a wonderful David Heritage design and it’s great when you get it all set up properly with adjustable lowers and adjustable spreaders, but if you don’t have it right the boat doesn’t go, so New Moon proves that this type of design is all round fast and that the design is right in the corner of the that magic envelope.”
CinqueCinque, SUI 227, is an innovative boat by any standards, with hydraulically adjustable shrouds, and a forward canting mast with swept back spreaders. This allows the boat to have no runners, which makes tacking and gybing easier. It also looks like a vastly different boat altogether.
He explained, “This boat is a completely different concept. We have a light boat rather than a heavy one. We have maximum sail area, and a keel with a bulb, so we can sail with a light crew. These are the main differences on the boat.”
“It’s a very simple boat but very powerful, so we need to have a little bit of wind for that.”
“We have hydraulics to pull the shrouds, the lower shrouds and the forestay at the same time so we can adjust the tension of the rig and we can push the mast forward using the spinnaker.”
“The other boats only use block and purchase, but we decided to have a very simple boat and we can tack without doing anything. We can always stay with the same trim."
In addition “We have a small display on both sides of the console in the middle of the cockpit and it always shows the forestay tension in kg, so we can adjust using this so we always know the forestay curve. And we have a small digital measurement system showing the trim tab position, and that’s different from the other boats.”