2016 Equipment Evaluations Wrap Up

Light winds meant that the final day at the 2016 Equipment Evaluations in Santander, Spain wrapped up earlier than expected.

The decision to cancel the day was made at the 09:30 sailor briefing, but after eight days of evaluating the seven multihull and six skiff boats the panel have enough information, sailor feedback and data to discuss what boats are appropriate for the 2016 Rio Olympic Sailing Competition.

The manufacturers now have the task of dismantling all of their equipment to take back home where they will assess and review how their week went.

Moving forward, the Evaluation Panel will finalise their reports and decisions will be made in the not so distant future.

Thanks for following the blog throughout the trials and we will keep you further updated with ISAF news items in the build up to the ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in Stresa, Italy from 3-6 May.

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Day 4 Kiteboarding Report – Courtesy Of IKA

Day four here in Santander looked like a lay day which gave the ISAF evaluation panel for the kiteboarding format trials the opportunity to present their first conclusions to the 18 sailors from 10 nations and four continents.

An equipment presentation then took place in the boat park before the evaluation panel hit the meeting rooms for further discussions and fine tuning of course options.

Around 14:00 a 6-7 knot seabreeze filled in which allowed the kiters to head out to the course area and race the multihulls and skiffs. They took also the opportunity to have a chat on the water with ISAF resident Goran Petersson and Vice President Teresa Lara and explain equipment and tactics on the water.

2011 slalom world champion Damien Leroy and 2011 course racing world champion Johnny Heineken spent over an hour to explain our sport to Goran and Teresa.

Today was also a showcase of high performance – the skiff and multihull evaluation panel confirmed wind readings of 6-8 knots max and the kiteboards hit the courses with the other boats with more than 25 knots boatspeed and amazing upwind angles.

The ISAF kiteboarding trials will conclude today with the simulation of all course options for a full event setup. This will be a box course for the opening series, a box slalom course for the final series, and a short track course with a reaching start for the medal rece series.

The ISAF evaluation panel will then prepare their report to the for the Mid-Year meeting in Stresa, Italy, beginning of May 2012.

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Wind And Waves Test Sailors

Sailors and manufacturer boats were tasted today by 15 knot winds and big waves as sailing took place outside of the channel for the second day running.

Racing took place in both the skiff and multihulls allowing sailors a chance to push themselves and their boats further than they had done so over the previous days of trials.

The day gave the ISAF Evaluation Panel an opportunity to see the boats in trickier conditions and lots would have been learnt by not only the panel, but observers, sailors, media and manufacturers.

At the close of the day the Viper Team presented their case in front of the panel. All of the manufacturers have explained why they think their boat should be selected for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition and the presentations and question and answer session has allowed the panel to get down to some finer details.

Just two days of trials remain for the skiff and multihulls so hopefully we will see some more action in Santander Bay before reports and decisions are made.

The kiteboarders had a productive day on the water with new courses trialled. Having a mix kites, multihulls and skiffs within Santander Bay today was a pleasure to watch and we will try and get some kiteboarding footage up in due course.

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All Set For 12:00 Launch

We are all set to launch at 12:00 here in Santander as we plan to venture out of the channel again and into the Bay of Santander.

And just in time, some of the multihull footage uploaded just in time, check it out below.

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What Do Sailors Do When They Wait For Wind?

Whilst we wait for the wind to fill in here in Santander the sailors have found another way to occupy themselves, and that’s a makeshift game of volleyball in the carpark.

The Hobie Cat trailer is being used as one of the uprights with a piece of rope tied to the centre wall.

On what sailors do whilst they wait for breeze at major competitions, Evaluation Panel member Nadine Stegenwalner (GER) said, “I stay close to the boat park but don’t get mixed up in the crowd so I can stay focused.”

So, what we want to know is what you get up to whilst you wait for the breeze. Comments welcome 🙂

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Day Two Kiteboarding Report Courtesy Of IKA

With the sunshine and warm temperatures the wind arrived as well at the second day of the ISAF kiteboarding format trials in Santander, Spain. After the morning briefing, the whole kiteboarding fleet headed over to Playa Sardinero the prepare their equipment and to be ready as soon as the wind kicks in.

Unfortunately it took until 13:00 before the wind stabilized in direction and strength to allow a course to be set. The race committee announced to firstly go for two standard windward/leeward course races to have a baseline before testing all the new course options on the agenda.

Both races went underway in light conditions between 6 and 9 knots on a two lap course with a leeward gate to give everybody an idea of todays kiteboard course racing abilities. Then the race committee quickly changed the course to a standard downwind slalom with a reaching start – in the meantime the sailors headed out to the race courses of the multihull and skiff evaluations to race these nice new boats. Coaches and spectators were impressed on the board speeds and upwind angles of the kiteboard sailors

A full round of Slalom went underway then with the reaching starts proving to be tricky, but a lot of action on the gybing marks and also some crashes and tangles.

In the later afternoon the whole fleet and the ISAF staff headed back to the CEAR sailing center then to get feedback from the sailors on the formats tested today and different options that could be taken into consideration.

Tomorrow will see the evaluation of the two new racing formats short track and enduro in different configurations. After the feedback from the sailors the evaluation panel will then look into further testing of the most successful formats.

In general we receive overwhelming interest here, not only on the land were some of our sailors showased their equipment in the morning to the multihull and skiff sailors as well as coaches and MNA reps, but also on the water were the kiteboarding races draw a lot of interest from the supporting boats for the multihull and skiff evaluations.

Racing continues tomorrow with a good forecast for the whole day which should allow to finish the first step of the trials and then investigate further racing and scoring options.

The ISAF kiteboarding format trials will end on Sunday March 25, and the ISAF evaluation panel will then prepare a report to the ISAF midyear conference in Stresa, Italy.

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Glorious Conditions As Sailors Vacate The Bay

Today saw the multihull and skiff sailors move out of Santander Bay and into more challenging conditions outside of the bay.

And it was glorious sailing conditions for the multihull, skiffs and kiteboarders with a steady 10 knot breeze and glorious sunshine.

Unfortunately I missed my ride on a RIB today and spent the day on shore allowing time to take in Santander for what it’s worth. And with the sun beating down on the channel and snow-capped mountains in the background it was a professional photographer’s haven. Unfortunately something I am not.

Sailing finished later today due to the fabulous conditions and a reception was held at City Hall with the mayor of Santander, Iñigo de la Serna, who spoke about the ISAF Sailing World Championships which head to northern Spain in 2014.

There are some great plans for the 2014 ISAF Worlds and with the mixed multihulls and women’s skiffs on the menu it’ll no doubt attract the general public.

Just three days remain in the 2016 Equipment Evaluations and tomorrow is set to be a challenging day for the sailors with big winds predicted.

To sign off I leave you with this shot.

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