Saturday, 02 May 2015 09:00

Own a Mega yacht, go racing 

It’s time to sit back and watch the exciting Wally Class 2015 season with the Gaastra Palmavela, Mallorca Spain. Founded in 1999, the Wally Class is the association of the Owners of Wally Yachts, and organises races exclusively between the fast cruisers branded by Wally. It’s one of the IMA (International Maxi Association) divisions, and is the world’s largest fleet of performance yachts over 80 feet. This season sees the highest number of participation since in founding.

The number of yachts on the starting line ranges from nine at the inaugural regatta of the year Gaastra Palmavela (29 April/3May) , to 11 at Menorca Maxi (27-31 May) and Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (6-12 September), while the record number of 14 yachts is expected at the season ending event Les Voiles de Saint Tropez.


Wally fleet at the Voiles de Saint Tropez 2014

“The increasing number of Wallys supporting the racing division of our brand reflects the passion for the sailing competition that has marked super yachting in the last few years - explains Luca Bassani, Wally Class President and founder- "Today it’s very common, almost essential, to own a mega yacht and go racing.! I strongly believe that we contributed to this new passion, showing to Owners that comfortable cruising yachts can offer great enjoyment also on the race course”.

“A winning formula of our Class since the beginning, is the Owner driving rule, that encourages the Owners to steer their yachts, otherwise they get penalised"-continues Bassani- "In this way, we prevent the typical situation of the racing circuit when super professionals become the actual Owners of the yacht, confining the real Owners to spectators. I think that the big attraction of sailboat racing, compared to many other team sports, is that the Owners are into the action and share the fight".

"As in any racing class, the most difficult task is to find the appropriate rating system that agrees with everybody.  “After having tested several different ratings"- explains Paolo Massarini, Wally Class Secretary – "we adopted the pure IRC. Nevertheless we constantly monitor other measurement systems and compare them with IRC, in order to evaluate options that can provide any improvement in ratings. Every year we measure and weight each Wally that takes part in the racing season to avoid any objection, because during the winter many Wallys undergo modifications to improve the performance and cruising capabilities.”

An additional unique feature of the Wally class are the race results. “Since the beginning, we have timed the passages at each mark and made the relevant classification at the end of every leg, providing the yachts with detailed data of their performance throughout the race",says Bassani. "Being a long time passionate racer, I know how important is this information, to evaluate the boat and crew performance in order to improve. This data gives an objective insight on the gains and the losses. Along with the timings, we record the wind speed at each passage that is essential information for the race analysis".

A novelty of the coming season is the live tracking system, available in the Wally website and on the event monitors onsite: “While in the past I personally was on board the chase boat taking the times"- explains Massarini- "this year we adopt the TracTrac system to gather the race data of each yacht. This system also provides the standings in corrected time at the marks, offering the competitors and the spectators the exact position of any Wally at the roundings.”


Ryokan 2 and Kenora racing 2013

Magic Carpet Cubed

Magic Carpet Cubed is the reigning champion of the series, and she will have to fiercely defend the title: the competition is going to be tough and tight, with top level crews and fast yachts on the water, including Galma; Genie of the Lamp - that is celebrating 20 years!; Inti; J One; Kenora; Magic Blue; Nahita; the newly refitted Open Season - that features new length, new keel, new sails; Ryokan 2; Sensei; Tango G; Tilakkhana; Y3K.   

The show is guaranteed. Stay tuned.

 

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