I a c c 120 italian cup 2012

Hello to all,
this weekend was held the IACC 120 Italian’s Cup 2012. Two beautiful days of sailing and fun. Unfortunately algae of Lake Mirabilandia have severely affected the performance of many teams, but the top six teams notoriously stronger still managed to occupy the top six places in the final standings.
For the full report of the event, the beautiful videos and photos you can go on the official website IACC


for the translation,videos and photos here: http://iacc120cup.altervista.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=484

Best regards.


Hi All,

My personal update in addition to Matthias report, as many know I finished NZL-92 some weeks ago and tested against Jaguar on launch to see if she was going to be suitable for this year’s IACC 120 Cup. I had made second rig using square head main & groovy foiled tapered mast, this would be the first time I have tried this as previously I’ve been using pin head main & 12 mm round mast using loops on the luff.

Unfortunately I had 5 week business trip which ended the day before the Cup which meant that landed home in Germany after 10 hour flight, packed up Jaguar and ETNZ 92
and then drove 900 kms to Ravenna to arrive 3 am on Saturday morning for fleet racing, following 40 winks in the car the sun rose and it was race day ! Forecast was for light wind and I was raring for two days solid sailing.

A new skipper from Rome, Emanuele Tatti was there & had not chance to complete his BMW before Ravenna & I offered Jaguar to him for the weekend to experience his first AC 120 racing, the smile on his dial (face) was enough justify the option of forgoing the use of Jaguar (Pin head main) if the new square head rig for ETNZ 92 did not work, at this point I kicked myself for bringing ETNZ 92’s pin head rig along, but I was confident the untried new rig would have slight advantage in light air.

A pleasant surprise was the weighing of boats this year and was interesting to see the results and everyone was within the scope of the rules, Matthias had made up a beautiful tank for measuring boats LWL, however it was unable to find suitable levelling of the tank and no fresh water was available as Lake Mirabilandia (Ravenna) is a salt water lake, so LWL was measurement was scraped.

Then it was into the water for practising & tuning settings in 2-3 knots, after stepping the mast back 5 mm I found helm balance and quickly started sailing abreast of the other boats to see if I was on the pace, upwind was looking good but no noticeable speed difference but downwind was disaster as I watched others slowly draw away with 4-5 boats lengths over 200 meters hmm … my main leech was folding on occasions figured I had over-looked something in sail settings and starting tweaking here with no change, at this stage I began to regret lending Jaguar with pin head main but, what the hell I was going to make the best of this once a year event anyway.

My biggest weakness was lack competition sailing back home sailing alone that was quickly evident with first fleet racing, I was losing sight of ETNZ 92 on crowded start line and consequently incurring penalties in first 3 races, then I was getting into the swing of things with clean starts and pacing the leading pack off the start line then my lack of tactical experience came through as I was occasionally mistakes and losing ground beating as the wind was slowly dying down to 1-2 knots.

Race 4 the wind came up again to around 4-5 knots and with it came the dreaded weed that ignited few tempers and then Matthias (SUI 100) lost his brand new keel & bulb just after the start and SUI 100 was laying on its side like slain gladiator, fortunately he had spare keel fin & bulb on hand to continue racing….but you can guess why I brought my boat in straight after the race to check if had locked in my keel. :rolleyes:

Race 5, managed a strong second placing but it was more to due to keeping out of trouble going around the cans as others were contacting each incurring penalties at the buoys… when I managed to get a clean starts I could stay with the leading packing beating upwind and reaching but then coming to downwind leg just lost so much distance it was frustrating.

Come the traditional Italian lunch break with good wine and salami with BBQ sausages I had chance to look around and chat with other skippers and noticed that Matthias had same rig as ETNZ 92 with new mast & sails, after exchanging opinions I quickly observed Matthias was using loops on his groovy mast and not tube in the luff groove as I was, when asked why he explained how the tube in the groove does not allow the main luff to bend off the mast squarely causing convex curve of the main along the luff when running …. Well there I was my problem !! with poor running performance, I thought about cutting off the main sail luff tubes that sit in the mast groove and retying loops but had no motivation to start surgery on the rig without the use of a suitable sized table.

After lunch I then tried sailing downwind with the windows 3/4 open and that helped keep the main from folding but ended up running mid pack for rest of the day.

Sunday arrived and arrived at the course to find absolutely no wind and managed to tackle 30 min sail tuning lesson from Gabriele Tancini BMW 71, this guy is a master with golden touch on sail settings, I learnt so much little tweaking tips it was amazing. Then with occasional puffs that motivated 3 starts in the morning, but it was long slow slog between the buoys and my concentration was gone with the wind, after lunch switched over to sailing Jaguar and was pleased could open the windows downwind and managed to run with the leading pack until the wind died, I must admit I don’t enjoy sailing with so little air as like watching paint dry creeping around the course at times and my concentration was not the best with lack of sleep over last 3 days travelling to get to the event.

Eventually it was clear the wind had gone for the day and match racing was cancelled and top places from fleet racing determined the Cup winner which was Luca with Sholsholoza RSA-09, who was also recently crowned Italian IOM champion, congratulations Luca ! I wish to take this opportunity to thank the organisers for great event management and wish the gods will look favourable upon us all next year with more wind and NO weed please sirs !

Lessons learnt : Practice, practice, practice, practice and more practice weeks before each event

Attached Photo’s were by Emanuele Tatti, thanks Meme :slight_smile:

Cheers Alan

Hello Alan,

What an absolutely brilliant Report !!!.
Reading it I could almost “feel” your fatigue!.
A very enjoyable trip all the same.


Thank you Alan,
Thank you for reporting your experience.
I see in the last picture that one boat managed to go “nose down” while I understood from your report that the wind was around 4-5kn or is just a simple optical effect ?

Yes that was ClaudioV new Magic Urca AC 120

I did not pay lot of attention to his boat but my brief observation that it was running in the top six boats in light air where it appeared most suited

But once the wind speed got up it looked like it was having trouble trying to stay on top of the water

But in all fairness I would invite ClaudioV to give us his own report otherwise he may carry out the threat he joking made to me at the beginning of the regatta if I beat him ! and I didn’t

If my memory is correct it won race # 13

Ach so !!!

Well it’s the weekend after Ravenna and time to validate the “technical” problem (aside from my lack of race practice)

I had made two rigs for NZL-92, one pin head main rig which is my standard sails that I use with round mast using main/mast loops and decided to try square head main with groovy mast for the first time.
Prior to going to Ravenna I had no time to test the square head rig & no space in my sail box to take 3 rigs with (the other was for Jaguar) silly me !

As I reported I had lot of trouble going down wind in light air with the leech folding with the windows open.

Later talking with Matthias (SUI-100) who had same square head rig and mast, I saw he was not using the mast groove to attach main luff to the mast ? he explained how the main sail luff tubes don’t allow the main to square off downwind …the penny dropped immediately to my problem. This morning I set-up both rigs statically to check issue and the pictures speak for themselves.

My question is to anyone using groovy mast with main sail luff attachement, how do you over come this problem ? otherwise I will revert to cutting off the mail sail luff tubes and going with mast loops for this rig.

Cheers Alan

This is very difficult to avoid, I have the same problem with my boats. Since they are much larger though there is more load on the main which helps.
I’ve been experimenting with new mainsails that have actual batten pockets instead of taping the battens to the sail. So far this is looking promising.
The idea is to allow the batten to float from side to side in the pockets, I’m also alternating sides. I’ll post a picture of this soon.
Here’s a little video of some light air testing with my old mainsail set up (scroll towards the end and you’ll see I have the same problem as you).

Main picture from head looking down:

Hi John and thanks for the feedback, very nice sails you have.

I’m using 75 micron Melinex so the light weight does play a big part.

Looks like I’ll cut off the tubes and revert to using loops.

Thanks again Alan

Hi John,
I toke your main and inserted some question marks.
Along the leech there is a sort of continuous reinforcement and probably containing something else !
Some seams are exhibiting a deformation or just optical effect ?
Thank you

I was very concerned about this effect when i was designing my mast and sails. My solution was two fold. First, I ensured that there was no way any sail material was going to make it into the groove. Second, i had to make sure the material used to create the pocket for my spline, had no rigidity. In the end, I used sailmakers tape to attach dressmakers ribbon to form a pocket running the length of the sail. The more rigid sail material is a good 5 mm out from the groove. The ribbon is incredibly flexible, but my penilty is that i have a 3mm carbon rod down the whole length of the mast, in the grove, holding the ribbon pocket, which adds weight. The side benefit, is that i seal the top of the ribbon pocket, and that acts as a fixed point for uphaul that will not effect shape.


The leech reinforcement is a strip of PSA Xply film. I get this from Dimension Polyant (for the sail loft) all the patches etc on my sails use it.

The deformation up top is actually caused by the batten tension pulling on the bias of the fabric from the leech end of the batten to the head point. This sail has the battens attached with tape and covered over with film. My newer mains (testing the external pockets & alternating sides) have much less of this issue. I’ll post up a pick this week.

Gidday Grav,

Thanks for your feedback, I’ve been considering options.

Mast Attachments.jpg

Currently I’m using 2 x 5 mm carbon rod with thin sail tape, it’s flexible but not enough with light sail material in light air.

Then thought about using beads and measured the luff tube inside the mast and it’s only 2.5 mm inside diameter. Need to search for 2 mm beads with hole through it and run Kevlar line through it, but I’m concerned the Kevlar line (which is taped to the main) will not hold without slipping in heavy winds :confused:

Finally decided to stop pulling my dingy and settle for loops, lot less fuss !!

Cheers Alan

Hi Alan,
I could give few considerations about Italian Cup and mine 2 boats because a participated especially to test the new design solutions
I arrived in Ravenna after 5 test session for Magic Urca NZL132 and 1 with White Urca AUS 29 (that has the same mast + sails of Magic Urca).
Saturday was the first day with the possibility of comparing mine boats with other AC120, so I utilized Saturday to optimize sail set up. Unfortunately, in Saturday afternoon a big amount of seaweeds in regatta field haven’t allowed a lot of good possibilities of true tests making the results a little bit casual.
This problem happen also at the second boat but my friend Claudio Felcini is a very good skipper skilled to cope with difficulties and at the end of Saturday he collect 4 first places with White Urca AUS-29.
In the middle of Sunday morning I arrived to obtain a very good setting … and in the first regatta of the afternoon my boat won very well starting in first place and arriving in first place leaving the other in the back at a good distance … after that always seaweeds in every regatta, also in the last one where I was first till one buoy to the finish line and ten my boat remained hanged in the lake in an island of seaweeds: after that the competition was stopped.

For the Nose down problem that someone notice… I think that the boat is quite perfect because the hull is designed to gain quite 150mm of fwd part in downwind starting from 6-7 Knots.
And It happens as planned: the boat is very fast in this condition because the hidro-dinamic shape is very good for speed in downwind, in fact (as is possible to see in Photo sequence referred to your image) I’ve gained 5 position in downwind part of that regatta especially when the gusts are more than 7 knots (I suppose few gusts quite 10-12 knots)

If you see in the photo album of Zio Meme (Emanuele Tatti, Thanks a lot!!) on IACC120 Italian site were you got your photo http://iacc120cup.altervista.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=482&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=20#p5582 and http://www.mpmbikersklan.it/appo/Sabato_7.rar

You could see in the download the complete sequence: IMG_3758 I turned the upwind buoy at 8th place and at the downwind buoy I turn in 3rd position at IMG_3773

In IMG_3765 NZL 132 reach Alan and Germany team, then IMG_3766 pass over Germany.

IMG_3767 is yours.

At the end, in IMG_3768, you’d see USA 71 nose down and Magic Urca pass over also Tancini’s boat

And at the end… turn the buoy just rear Nardo’s boat in 3rd position

For that reason … I’m very happy. Downwind with light air and also with a good wind condition the boat is very fast. The shape of the reverse bow allow also a little “nose down” without penalizing speed like you’d see in real AC multihulls.
The particular mainsail system with sprit allow a good shape also in all the surface of the sail without utilizing any batten that it is very good in light and strong wind conditions but to obtain good performance need a precise set up.
The jib Boom with ball bearings works perfectly all the time also in light air without static counter balance.

Considering that I finished the competition at the 3rd place and my friend Claudio Felcini with White Urca at the 4 th I’m very satisfied… first time that we participate with 2 new boats with a lot of different technical solutions and we arrived closest to Gianluca Nardo (2012 Italian Champion of IOM) and Tancini Moreno (2nd in Italian overall IOM ranking) sometimes winning against them…
So I arrived just behind the 2 best Italian skipper in ISAF ranking… And considering that I’ve never been in Italian ranking at that level and that are at least 4 years that don’t participate to a competition… it is sure that I’m a skipper not at them same level… quite impossible to beat them or to do best for the moment.:wink:

Anyway for me AC120 finish here, the 2 boats will be put on sale: new Urca Project has been started.

Hi ClaudioV,

Thanks for your personal Ravenna report, does not surprise me that it took you some time in finding correct sail settings, I looked at your rig very closely and it looked some what “delicate” with all those adjustments :confused:

As you read in earlier posts I too had sail problems with a new rig that I didn’t try before arriving at Ravenna, I’ll will never do that again :rolleyes:

I take my hat off to you and Claudio Felcini (Claudio is popular name in Italian sailing circles uh!) :stuck_out_tongue: actually when I left late Sunday afternoon he was 3rd on the scoreboard in front of you, so you must have improved very late in the day, but you both did very well for first time at AC 120 regatta, it’s a pity you given up the challenge of possibly improving next year.

There are two new boats coming out of Rome for next season and two more new boats coming from central Europe (total 4) to join us next year and with those from Italy that could not make this year, looks like next year will be a big one !

I just pray that we get some more “constant wind” and that see-weed problem is resolved for next year.

Wishing you all the best in your next venture & hope we have opportunity to sail together some time in the future under better conditions, both technical and weather wise.

Cheers Alan