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The next Volvo Ocean Race promises to be one of the closest in the history of the event. So after a four stage offshore practice session, how do the seven teams rate their prospects?
Gitana 17, the world’s biggest foiling tri took her maiden flight.
A team of teenagers from an inner London school took on their first Fastnet, while the 80 year old J Class mounted its first ever world championships.
And then there’s a first glimpse of the future as we go behind closed doors to see the Volvo Ocean Race’s new foiling offshore racer.
Add a round up of key world championships and this month is all about firsts.
· Volvo Ocean Race Preview
· World Championship reports
· First flight for Gitana 17
· Teenagers take on the Fastnet
· J Class Worlds
· Into the future - Volvo Super 60
Volvo Ocean Race Preview
There were no points that would count towards overall victory in the next Volvo Ocean Race that starts in October, but that didn’t stop seven teams going flat out in the four stages of Leg Zero, the preamble to the 45,000 mile race.
Just 39 minutes separated the entire fleet at the end of the 600 nautical mile Rolex Fastnet race, the second of four stages that made up Leg Zero.
So as the start date for the Volvo Ocean Race proper loomed the World Sailing Show found out how teams felt about their prospects.
World Championship report
The next Olympic Games may be three years away, but time is ticking for the Nacra 17 class as teams get to grips with life on hydrofoils. So where better to practice than under the spotlight of a world championship.
The 49er and 49erFX had their worlds in Portgual, while the Laser Radials turned out in force in Medemblik, Netherlands and the Finn class ventured to Hungary for their championship event.
First flight for the maxi trimaran Gitana 17
She is the biggest sailing foiler ever launched. Designed to set a new solo record around the world she has already taken more than 170,000 man-hours to create. So little surprise that there was an air of tension for her maiden sail. Would she fly?
Teenagers take on the Fastnet
Among many eligible contenders, this has to be the best Fastnet story of 2017.
A group of eight teenagers from an inner London school in a deprived area where few have any knowledge or interest in sailing, mounted a campaign to compete in the legendary Fastnet Race. Led by an inspired geography teacher the students didn’t just learn to sail, but immersed themselves in raising sufficient support to restore and campaign a 45ft racing yacht from the 1980s. Their story is remarkable.
J Class Worlds
Eighty years after its creation, the elegant and historic J Class laid on its first world championships. Newport Rhode Island provided a fitting and spectacular venue. But while winning was the goal, witnessing the event was the real prize.
Into the future - Volvo Super 60
The start of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean race is upon us but there are some who are already planning the future for the next race. The World Sailing Show goes behind closed doors where an offshore foiling monohull, codenamed the Super 60, is taking shape.