Happy Thursday! Check out the latest Rolex Film: The Rolex Spirit of Yachting with highlights from Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo, The 2017 Rolex Maxi Worlds and Bella Mente.
Video Credit: The Rolex Spirit of Yachting 2017/Here We Go Films
BOTIN PARTNERS SIGNED AS EXCLUSIVE YACHT DESIGN FIRM FOR NYYC AMERICA’S CUP CHALLENGE
Bella Mente Quantum Racing (BMQR) is pleased to announce it has signed an exclusive agreement with Botin Partners Naval Architecture to design the yacht it will sail in the 36th America’s Cup competition, which is scheduled to take place in Auckland, New Zealand, in early 2021. The syndicate will represent the New York Yacht Club, which has returned to the America’s Cup arena after a 15-year absence.
Botin Partners is one of the world’s most reputable yacht design firms, with a unparalleled track record of success across many classes, particularly large monohulls. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron announced just over a month ago that the next America’s Cup will be sailed in the AC75 monohull.
“Botin Partners has been the premiere monohull designer for the last decade,” said BMQR CEO/Skipper Terry Hutchinson. “We have had a great relationship with the Botin design office through five TP52s, and it just feels like a natural fit.”
BMQR is the combination of two successful American keelboat programs, Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente Maxi72 program and Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing team. Over the past decade, Quantum Racing has sailed Botin Partners’ designs to five world championships in the TP52 class (above). Locking in the design team early allows BMQR the opportunity to begin development of its AC75.
“Any good team needs to learn how to communicate and understand each other,” said Hutchinson. “This takes time. The ability to start assembling this team now is critical as we have ground to make up against the established teams.”
Marcelino Botin, the founder and president of Botin Partners, has extensive experience in the America’s Cup having been the principle designer for Emirates Team New Zealand from 2004 to 2011, including the 32nd America’s Cup when ETNZ won the Louis Vuitton Cup and narrowly missed defeating Alinghi in the America’s Cup match.
“Our ambition is to win the America’s Cup, and BMQR, with the New York Yacht Club as challenging club, has in our view the best chance to achieve this goal,” said Botin (at right). “We have enjoyed a long relationship with many of the members of this team and feel very comfortable working with a group that has proven over the years to be extremely competitive.”
With just a rough outline of the rule currently available, Botin said his immediate focus is on finalizing his design team. The bulk of the design parameters for the AC75 monohull will be released at the end of November with the rule finalized by March 31, 2018. Botin is hopeful the defending Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, represented by Emirates Team New Zealand, creates an America’s Cup class that balances performance with maneuverability.
“One important factor is proximity,” said Botin. “The boats need to have similar speeds and be capable of engaging in typical match-race maneuvers. A fast boat is desirable, but it should also be reactive at lower speeds. We would like to see upwind starts with all the pre-start strategy that goes with it. A light displacement monohull would be the perfect platform for these situations.”
Photo credits: Nico Martinez/52SuperSeries.com, Courtesy of Botin Partners
Bella Mente has had a busy week after arriving back at the Port West Palm Beach this past weekend. She currently has been moved from the slings into the cradle! We are happy to be back in the USA! (? Captain Peter C Henderson)
CAMPAIGN FOR 36TH AMERICA’S CUP PAIRS TWO SUCCESSFUL AMERICAN RACING PROGRAMS WITH NEW YORK YACHT CLUB
After a decade and a half away from sailing’s flagship competition, the New York Yacht Club, represented by Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association, will challenge for the 36th America’s Cup. The New York Yacht Club held the ornate silver trophy from 1851, when it was won by the yacht America (above), through 1983—a run often known as the longest winning streak in sports. The Club regularly challenged for the trophy in the years that followed the historic loss to Australia II off the coast of Newport 34 years ago, but had remained on the sidelines since its last challenge with Team Dennis Conner for the 2002-’03 America’s Cup.
The challenging syndicate will be led by two of the most successful American yachtsmen of the last decade: John J. “Hap” Fauth (Naples, Fla.) and Doug DeVos (Grand Rapids, Mich.). Since 2005, at the helm of three successive yachts named Bella Mente, Fauth and his team have reached the top of the podium in numerous distance and buoy races at venues in North America, Europe and the Caribbean. Fauth is a three-time world champion in the Maxi72 class.
DeVos and the Quantum Racing program have set the standard for excellence on the 52 Super Series circuit, and its predecessor, the MedCup, with overall series wins in 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016. One common link between the two teams is Bella Mente Quantum Racing Association Skipper and CEO Terry Hutchinson, a two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and veteran America’s Cup competitor. Hutchinson, like Fauth, is a long-time New York Yacht Club member.
“The America’s Cup has always remained close to the heart of the New York Yacht Club, even in the years where we didn’t participate as a challenger or defender,” said Commodore Philip A. Lotz (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). “For this cycle, a lot of elements have come together in the correct way for the Club to enter another challenge. First and foremost is the desire of two great American sailors and businessmen, Hap Fauth and Doug DeVos, to take aim at sailing’s ultimate competition. We know they will mount a competitive effort that is respectful of the Club’s long history with the Cup and the competition itself. Second, we have confidence the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, represented by Emirates Team New Zealand, will host a world-class regatta that honors the spirit, tradition and majesty of this great event.”
Fauth (far right, with Terry Hutchinson, on board Fauth’s 72-foot Bella Mente) started sailing on Long Island’s Great South Bay as a young boy. He sailed through his graduation from Georgetown University, where he was captain of the sailing team, but put the sport on pause while he built a career and raised his family. He returned to the ocean in earnest in 2003 and bought his first large race boat in 2005. Much of his sailing over the past decade has been in the very competitive and technically demanding Mini Maxi/Maxi72 class.
“The America’s Cup is sailing’s most complex challenge,” says Fauth. “Winning takes a complete team effort, and I’ve always found tremendous satisfaction in bringing together a group of individuals in pursuit of one goal. With a return to a more traditional style of yacht and the windward-leeward courses with which the vast majority of racing sailors are intimately familiar, the 36th America’s Cup represents a unique opportunity to re-engage the grass roots of the sport and re-energize American sailing. A lot of what we’ve built with the Bella Mente program, and what Doug and his team have created with Quantum Racing, will go into the foundation of this campaign. But there’s still a tremendous amount of work to do over the next three-plus years. I’m excited to get started.”
For Doug DeVos (left), sailing is a family tradition that started with his father Richard DeVos, the co-founder of Amway. Doug, the current president of Amway, and his siblings grew up sailing the Great Lakes on their father’s boats. These days, Doug can often be found sailing with his son and daughters, passing along the passion and skill he absorbed from his father. He’s also an industry stakeholder as an owner of Quantum Sails, one of the world’s leading sail manufacturers. The Quantum Racing program has acted as a test bed for sail design and construction technology, with Doug DeVos and son Dalton DeVos serving among the team’s stable of helmsmen. An America’s Cup challenge is a natural evolution for the program. It’s also a return to the competition for the DeVos family. Richard DeVos was the chairman of the New York Yacht Club’s America II syndicate, which fell just short of the semifinals in the 1987 challenger eliminations in Perth, Australia.
“Building Quantum Racing from scratch into a program synonymous with hard work, team spirit and success has been tremendously satisfying, and I’m eager to take everything we’ve learned there and apply it toward sailing’s ultimate test,” says DeVos. “Between Hap, Terry and myself, we have the nucleus of a successful campaign, both on the water and off. We’re honored to represent the New York Yacht Club in this historic competition.”
Even though entries won’t officially open until January 1, 2018, and the class rule for the AC75 won’t be finalized until early spring, there are many pivotal decisions ahead for this team. The return to monohulls will enable the team to pool the technological resources of two elite sailing programs and get a jump on the competition.
“The decisions we make over the next six months will play a significant role in determining the ultimate success of our campaign,” says Hutchinson, who sailed as tactician for Emirates Team New Zealand in the 2007 America’s Cup match, the last to be contested in monohulls. “The early support of Hap, Doug and the New York Yacht Club puts us in a very strong position. But we can’t take anything for granted. The race for the 36th America’s Cup has already begun.”
Photos: New York Yacht Club Archives, ROLEX/Daniel Forster, Nico Martinez/52SuperSeries.com
Question: Contact New York Yacht Club, Stu Streuli
A quick overview of the ROLEX Maxi 72 World Championship in Porto Cervo
Posted by Doylesails.eu on Friday, September 15, 2017
Mike Sanderson takes a look back at the 2017 Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship racing in Porto Cervo, Italy and recaps the event with Doyle Sails EU!
#bellamenteracing #maxiworlds #maxi72 #moose #mikesanderson #TakeMeBackTuesday
Ciao Italia! Bella Mente Racing has officially departed the Port of Olbia, Italy for the USA today! Thank you for a great season in the Mediterranean!
(Photo Credit: Bella Mente/Oliver Dickens – September 25th, 2017)