martedì 28 febbraio 2012

Happy story: Millennium 40 "Flying Cloud"

The Flying Cloud History it's a beautiful story of passion and sport, the starting ingredients were:
- a fast boat with an horrible rating
- a group of amateurs passionate sailors with lot of miles and regattas under their belly, the SVELARE TEAM
- the wish to make the boat competive, with the help of the original yacht designer Marco Lostuzzi and the experience and touch of the magician of boat optimization PP-PROJECT: Paolo Pastorino and  Patrick Costa.
- a Sail making company, ELVSTROM SAILS ITALY, that accepted the challenge to make this boat fast and winning against it's rating.

Flying Cloud was launched in 2005 as a Fast Cruiser, and moved from Trieste to Genova,  making all the circumnavigation of ItalyOnce in Genova the boat was used as a fast cruising boat for 2 years, taking part only in some occasional regatta in which the boat prove to be fast in real time, but fight against it's rating.

From 2007 the Svelare team came on board and the boat transformed from a relative cruising boat to a racing boat.
Flying Cloud participated to all the major event in the North West area , finishig in real time often in the first boat, but than sliding back in the compensate ranking. The boat won many line honour in its class, as two MILLEVELE, the big regatta held in Genoa and patrocinated by the Yacht Club Italiano, that normally feature more than 300 boats.

Moreover, the boat was a real rocket under 8 knots of wind and in these conditions  was really competitive against all the other boat even if they are 50 footers, but start to slide back when the wind strengthened. In regatta Like the Giraglia Rolex Cup or Trofeo Pirelly the boat was not constant in result, making good and bad result in the same series, keeping us often exhilarated and frustrated in the same day.

The TROFEO ACCADEMIA NAVALE of 2009 was the watershed, we arrive at the first regatta of the series prepared but not more than the other guys around that have some America's Cup sailor onboard calling tactics or helming. This reggatta was raced in 8 to 6 knots of wind and we won with a major separation in IRC compensate time. The next day  the wind goes up and we make a complete mess, failing conduction, tactics and manoeuvres. For the rest of the series we won other 2 regatta with less than 8 knots and we arrive from 12 to 16 in the other with more wind, among 20 boats


Paolo Pastorino was onboard to make the proper evaluations and after this event we decided to make an analysis of our point of strength and weakness:
- we have too much sail area, this keeps the rating hi and does not help with strong wing
- the boat is tender 144 kg/m of RMC for the ORC Certificate, and its hard to be sailed to its speed potential, even downwind broaching its more than an option.
- the mast profile its too small and we are in trouble in controlling the sail shape in more wind.
- we fight to keep our lane in more wind against the opponents

but we also know that:

- we enjoyed a lot time spent together onboard
- we have a fast boat, with strong performance in low wind
- we can keep our time to make a proper study and make modification, and we know pretty good guy to hel  p us
- It's time to make some refitting on the boat, but we are in low budget
- we have a Soundtrack,  "se mi lasci non vale" by Julio Iglesias, that is our Lucky Charm

So we decided to came back to the original Yacht Designer and make an optimization study, the aim was to becoming competitive under the IRC rule.

Marco Lostuzzi make some design and some Trial certificate, and it was clear that we have to change the sail plan. At the beginning we though about changing the mast, but than Marco Lostuzzi, came out with a brilliant set of ideas:
- we shall keep the old mast (no expenses for a new mast)
- cut out one meter of the mast from the top, (the mast was really fractionated so we can afford to do that)
- take out the jumper that became un-useful (better Rating and less weight aloft)
- create a big crane to fit a mainsail with a big head (better rating and better efficiency)

According to the designer we don't know how the boat will perform in real with all the modification, so if we went wrong we can get back and  order a new mast with the old measures.

In Autumn with the help of PP-Project we start to make the modification to the mast, and to solve the problem of keep the lane we decided to change the rudder with a bigger one (keeping the old Axe) and to fair the keel to designer template.

During the transformation we decided also to add 120 kg of lead in the boxed keel and to add some stratification to the boat to make it stronger,
other minor job was done and so we finish with the old Millennium 40 but with:
- a new sail plan
- an newly  old transformed mast
- a new rudder
- a new faired keel with more weight below.

In the meanwhile with the support of Lostuzzi YD and Paolo Pastorino, ELVSTROMM SAILS ITALY studied and designed the new set of sails:
- Main:  we decided to go with a mini-square head (50 cm) since that we have shortened the P we want to keep the sail area not far from the old one (we lost only 2 sqm.), we also decided to shorten the E to keep a better aspect ratio, this sail is far more efficent than the old one.
- Jibs: we made a new light and a new medium. We decided to make the sail with a big roach but go down with Luff Lenght and LPG, this sails are more powerful but pay less under IRC,
the medium was designed far flatter and  slightlly smaller  than the Light, to help the boat with more wind
- Gennaker: since our concern was to loose our performance in the range 4-8 knots where we were really competitive, we designed a really specific VMG Gennaker,

We went on water in late spring and the first regatta was MILLEVELE 2010 in Genoa. This race was held in 6 knots of wind and we were really concerned about ouf performance in that range of wind, .....that was not the case, we arrived 4th in the general classification among 350 boat, and we lost the 3rd place from Kora 4 (  swan 42 CS winner of the swan cup) with Paolo onboard for few meters for our tactical mistake. Naturally we won in our class.

Since than we tune the boat and the sail and we have found this year the proper tuning for all the sail range, the boat became easy to sail with wind and keep better against it's rating, we improved our speed and angle in high condition. Its still a rocket with 6 knots of wind. Moreover it became more competitive under ORC also. 
In 2011 we made a good 2nd place at TROFEO ACCADEMIA NAVALE in LIVORNO, with strong competitors
we won the MILLEVELE in our class,
we make some good regattas at ROLEX GIRAGLIA CUP, and we lost the 4th place in the 245 mg regatta, in the last 5 miles
We won the 2011/2012 WEST LIGURIA WINTER CHAMP, that is one of the more competitive championship in Italy both on IRC and ORC, Overall and in Group A.

We love the successfull plans, but we know that there is still a lot of work to do..... but for the moment its time to thank:

SVELARE TEAM for their joy and committeemen in sailing on Flying Cloud
MARCO LOSTUZZI, for having designed such a beautiful boat, and to have studied such a brilliant modification
PP PROJECT, for their experience, the perfect execution of all the modification, and the help in tuning the boat
ELVSTROM SAIL ITALIA, for their perfect and durable sail, 2 year old and still perfect
MIRKO my father, that is the motor behind Flying Cloud, and have trusted in us while we cut, sand and glue his beautiful boat.
GIULIA, my girlfriend that let me go out sailing with my mate, without getting too much angry
and last but not least......JULIO IGLESIAS for our Soundtrack and Talisman......


Davide Noli (owner and mainsail trimmer)