September 29, 2017

New Moon, BAH 21 (Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger and Peter Vlasov) clinched the 5.5 Metre title at the Régates Royales Cannes Trophée Panerai as well as winning the 2017 French Open with another clinical performance on the final day.

The forecasts of some better wind proved to be false and again the fleet was kept onshore before a light south-easterly built during the morning to a sailable 4-5 knots. Once again the fleet were on the course area furthest to the east in the Juan Gulf, and once again they had less wind than the spectacular classic fleet in the Bay of Cannes.

New Moon excelled again to win both races, and the week, comfortably. The first race was sailed in 3-5 knots, which dropped for the second race from four down to 2 knots. Otto, SUI 209, (Bent C. Wilhemsen, Andreas Dyhr and Luka Strahovnik) was second with CinqueCinque, SUI 227 (Alain Marchand, Louis Rol, Fanny Brouchoud) in third.

Helmsman of New Moon, Mark Holowesko, commented, “We managed to have two great starts and took the lead early in both races. Boat speed was a great help too, to maintain the lead in both races. Winds were out of the south and shifting by 10-20 degrees with pressure differences all over the course. We feel like we improved over the week to handle these light conditions and are very happy about our result. SUI 209 was sailing well and we had some great battles.”

He spoke about what makes the boat attractive to him. “They just drive so well upwind. It’s incredible, the feel of the boat. It has such great momentum and the way it tracks upwind and its angle so close to the wind. It is just a dream to drive that boat upwind; an amazing feeling.”

“I normally race a Star and it’s a completely different feel. This boat, once you get it into the groove it just drives itself upwind. You try to stay out of the way as much as you can, but it’s just so beautiful to drive.”

“The boat is not heavy at all, you can just goose it up to the wind. Also there is a trim tab on the back of the keel, like a second rudder, that you adjust upwind to give you lift, and it’s fun to have that on the boat. The boat just climbs. Sometimes if you pinch too much you don’t get the height. You can also use it on the downwind to come down to a mark but not as often.”

“When you get that in the right spot in a sweet breeze the boat just climbs. If you take it off or don’t have it on you can feel it on the rudder. Once you put it on it just changes the hydrodynamics behind the keel and it’s much easier to steer, and it’s a lot of fun. Trying to figure that out if you’re new to the class is very difficult to get right.”

New Moon, also accumulated the lowest points for the 5-Nations Cup (Modern category), one of three annual perpetual prizes in the class. The other two winners in 2017 are Canadian boats, Nantoria in the Classic category and Summer in the Evolution category.

The 5-Nations Cup consists of regattas in Italy (Alpen Cup), Germany (German & Dutch Open), Canada (North Amercian Regatta), Switzerland (Swiss Championship) and then the French Open at the Régates Royales Cannes Trophée Panerai.

The 5.5 Metre sailors now get a week off before the fleet assembles next weekend for the final international regatta of the year at Lake Thun, Switzerland.