2023 – Thanks for this!
As the saying goes: “Those who change remain true to themselves.” In keeping with this wise phrase, the past year brought many changes and ensured that we did indeed have to remain true to ourselves. Most of these changes were initiated by us in order to move closer to the goals we had set ourselves. However, some changes were brought to us from outside, which meant that some things turned out differently than expected over the course of the year.
RC44: Successful second season
Looking back, we can definitely speak of a successful ’23 season. After all, 2023 was our first full year sailing our yacht #27. In addition to the fact that we were a newly formed team with a new yacht in a class that was new to us, we also chose sails from a designer who was also new to the RC44 class. We managed to improve continuously and gradually improve in all positions. At the respective debriefings, the points that needed to be improved were defined together as a team. It became increasingly clear that we would have to change the positions on board again during the current season and make individual changes. Even though changes in the crew are rather disadvantageous and it is primarily important to maintain continuity by avoiding personnel changes as far as possible, we had to bite the bullet in order to take another step forward as a team.
Seen in this light, we consider 2023 to have been a successful year, as the results we achieved showed us exactly where we needed to make the necessary changes to finalise the team’s shape.
Now we need to close the final gaps as far as possible and fine-tune our manoeuvres and processes again in order to improve our position in the rankings in 2024.
GC32: Quite a mixed bag
Whilst sailing the RC44 yacht was a lot of fun, the moments of frustration on the GC32 catamaran were all the greater …
Having just started the new year full of verve, we were by no means discouraged by the first bad news during the winter refit: While the catamaran was being dismantled into all its individual parts in preparation for the upcoming season, our boat builders discovered a break in the rear cross-connection during ultrasound measurements. A repair scenario was immediately worked out with the yacht designers and the area was sanded down by hand, carbon layer by carbon layer, until the laminate core was still intact. The area was then prepared for re-lamination. Fortunately, we were able to organise carbon pre-preg material thanks to our contacts with the Sauber Motorsport team.
While we were able to save our foiling catamaran from major disaster with a little luck and a lot of insistence, the GC32 Racing Tour “sailed” into chaos: Unfortunately, due to the confusion in tour management, only one of the five events originally planned for 2023 was ultimately held. This was no longer a real racing tour. And due to the guidelines of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), this one regatta could not be held as a world championship. Having started the 2023 season with the ambition of defending the 2022 World Championship title, the cancellation of the 2023 World Championship was rather unfortunate. The fact that we are still the reigning world champions is a small consolation, but we would rather have sailed to a new title than simply keep the old one.
We had no choice but to tackle the only remaining regatta as if everything was going to be fine: as soon as the starting signal for the first practice race was given, the fun quickly began. And with it came a competitive spirit. As we had to change two positions on board our GC32 catamaran due to various impasses, we had little time to get back to 2022 form. This was painfully noticeable. We were defeated by Team Rockwool, who were better able to capitalise on the conditions and are known for sailing extremely fast in stronger winds. We finished the event satisfied with our 2nd place.
In the coming year, the Black Star Sailing Team will prioritise the RC44 class. One reason for this is that the teams in the GC32 class were unable to agree on dates and regattas for the coming season, or even to invest time in the further development of the yacht. This prompted us to decide not to sail the GC32 catamaran at all in 2024.
Instead, we’ll be getting going all the more in the 44Cup in 2024: we’ll be starting again in Lanzarote with our RC44 yacht, where we finished the season this year. The highlight will certainly be the upcoming world championship, which we will hold in Brunnen on Lake Uri. We are of course looking forward to welcoming our supporters on site.
Our thanks goes to you!
2023 was a year in which many things turned out differently than expected or planned. Especially when things get a little rough, you realise how important it is to receive support. This year was also a great experience for us to see what great fans and sailing enthusiasts we have behind and around us, who support us and stick by us. We would like to thank you for that.
We would also like to thank all our sponsors and partners for their loyalty and generosity.
Finally, we would also like to thank our families, relatives and friends. Your consideration and support, and above all your cheering and encouragement in difficult situations, is worth a lot to us.
As already mentioned, we have big plans for the coming year. We still need your support for this. Please share our content and recommend us to others. We appreciate any form of support.
We are still counting on you in 2024.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Black Star Sailing!