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Old 18-07-2010, 06:10 PM   #1
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39 years ago on July 18

Exactly 39 years ago Sunday, July 18, 1971, in waters between Italy and Corsica took place the tenth edition of the Viareggio-Bastia-Viareggio, a race that already had become a classic offshore in the Mediterranean. The battle for the world title was already in full swing and in that year would have seen opposing the American Bill Wishnick and 1970 champion, Italian Vincenzo Balestrieri. The two had clashed since the first races in South America in January and before the Viareggio race, the score was in favor of Wishnick with three wins to two.
Both drivers had three boats to address the long circuit of races for the World Championship, which took place between the United States, South America and Europe, with some events taking place in different continents in a few days difference between the 'one or the other.
The Boss of O'Novas of Wishnick had Mercruiser engines;
the old Bertram 32 ', another bot of 32'e a 36' respectively Boss O'Nova II and III both Cigarette of the Aronow’s new yard.
Wishnick entrusted engines and boats expert Bobby Moore.
The Black Tornados of Balestrieri were also with MerCruiser treateds by Jack Stuteville who already had joined the team the year before for the victorious season.
The boats were a 32' that the Roman had conducted the previous year, and in 1969 was one of the legendary The Cigarette, Aronow exactly what they used in Europe to win the world title.
This boat was used to dispute the two South American races and the United States World Championship events.
Then there was a 31'customized, as was also a Cary 32' of 1969 and that Balestrieri had to change to be fast in the races with calm seas. That was cut to reduce of a foot at the beam in length and substituting the deck in fibreglass with a new one in lightweight plywood.
Finally, a new Cigarette 36 'that was used only for a couple of races in Europe after Viareggio.
Viareggio's race was the turning point of the championship.
The three races that preceded the Viareggio-Bastia-Viareggio, the European Trofeo Napoli and the Pescara-Makarska and the American Hennessy Grand Prix they had seen a double triumph of the Cigarette 32' Boss O'Nova II of Wishnick, in the firsts two and for Balestrieri two second place had brought the two pilots only three points away to Wishnick-39 points and 36 points Balestrieri.
Until then no one else was vying for the title.
In the world USA, Bob Magoon was the man of the moment with his new Cigarette 36', Aeromarine I, who rode the powerful new V8 Kiekhaefer. In Europe alone, and usually British Tommy Sopwith could rival the duelists, but even having a Enfield 37'6 new boat designed by Shead with MerCruiser engines, the driver did not seem willing to fight for the title as so proudly and fiercely did the year before.
Last time the route had been changed from what was done since 1969, when the organizers decided to add the original traded directly between Viareggio and Bastia and back, a first part of 'coastal' between Viareggio, a buoy in front of the port of Marina di Carrara-the Isle/lighthouse of Tino that it towering entrance to the west of the Gulf of La Spezia so loved by poets Shelley and Byron.
Now dubbed the Tino the boats returned directly to Viareggio and then point to Bastia on the original route. The return from Bastia was made through the west and east respectively of the islands of Capraia and Gorgona to Viareggio for 78 miles. The total distance traveled thus became of 203 miles.
The weather predicted for the sea on the morning of July 18 under the Gorgona 2-3 and 3-4 in the notoriously difficult stretch between Gorgona and Capraia and wind of 25-30 knots from southwest; the fearsome ‘Libeccio’ wind.
At 10.00 there are 21 boats that depart out of 22 present, because “Enfield Avenger” of Sopwith and Shead problems with the injection of one of its two MerCruiser is still in its docks. The Englishman had requested a delay of half an hour to the start of the race, with the approval of the other competitors, but the organizers were worried about the weather worsening and thus deny the request.


Below: pics from the Pescara-Makarska race where are the protagonists of the Mediterranean races. The "Aug!" of Valentini,"Black Tornado" 31' of Balestrieri,"Boss O'Nova II" of Wishnick and the "Andy Pandy" of Bonomi.
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Old 18-07-2010, 07:40 PM   #2
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Balestrieri as befits is quick to start and when the little black and white boat acrossed the start line it was already well ahead Wishnick whose navigator was the French actor Philippe Leroy, which alternates him the cockpits of the American and the Roman boats because it is preparing a thriller movie about the offshore circus.
Follows by Ronny Bonelli with Attilio Petroni and Franco Statua on “Lady Nara” on one of the first Cigarette 36 'built powered with the usual MerCruiser 496 but with the new injection system of Lucas and a cooling of the lubricant with the radiators on aft deck . Then with Eligio Valentini in “Aug!” a one-off 33’ in fiberglass designed by Angelo De Meis, a former employee of Levi and built by the little shipyard Roseto enhanced with a pair of Mercruiser 475.
Next follow two new cats 33' designed by Mike Trimming and constructed in aluminum by Intermarine. They are “Sir Cat” of Cosentino and “Nicopao IX” of Mondadori, both on a pair of Mercruiser and stern drives. Then the “Miss WD-40” of the German Doctor Oskar Trost former “Dimpy Sea” a Delta 32' Levi design modified by Zarcos with two BPM from 900 hp total, the Banana Jet Castoldi a single cab SIAI-Ambrosini aluminum with a BPM Volcano and jet drive unit of Franco Castoldi, the “Snoopy”,a 27 'Magnum full deck cabin of the English George Green powered with a Mercruiser 475 hp,the “Andy Pandy” of the rookie Carlo Bonomi, a San Marco 32’ hull in timber with two Mercruiser 482, the “Budda Blitz II” of Gennaro Russo a Gagliotta 28’ hull in timber with two Volvo Penta 400 hp total and Aquamatic Volvo stern drives as the “Roar 117” of Buriassi, a 33' mono hull cruiser of Cantieri del Garda wooden and Aifo diesel, the “Roar 33” of G.B. Frare a boat similar to Roar 117, the “Budda Blitz I” of Salvio Grande another Gagliotta but 23' with Volvo Penta, and the “Camaro Sport” of Salvatore Gagliotta, Gagliotta hull with a pair of diesel 100hp each. The starters completed the “Sagace” of La Ferla a mono-hull motor yacht of the yard in Viareggio San Lorenzo, powered by two Caterpillar diesel 360 hp each, and the UFO-Codelco of Mario Caprara and the designer-builder Riccardo Mambretti, a cruiser with a forwarded cockpit and outboards engines, two Mercury 135 hp each, “Moluste” of Giorgi and the “Gnam VI” of Emilio Mangini a Gemini mono-hull 28 'of yard Cosca with two BPM Vulcano, the “Blue Tornado” former Magnum 28' of Balestrieri in 1969 and now drove by the owner of the yards Tecnomarine, Moreno Maestrelli and finally the small “Snoopy” of Giulio Torroni an Acquaviva in timber with two Mercruiser 165 hp each.
Competitors face a troublesome sea with waves abeam to the island of Tinos and the subsequent return to Viareggio. In this section, shortly after the start, Mondadori opens a list of withdrawn because of problems with an engine for a broken water pump. Bonomi also have problems with its engines already battered after Pescara-Makarska and leaves. Torroni follow the same fate for the posting of the base engine, then the Maestrelli Magnum loses pouring fuel from a tank in the bilge that makes the boat like a molotov, Giorgi for breaking an engine, Mambretti with problems to one Mercury and himself, so that should go to hospital with cracked ribs, a bruised lung and a face full of blood for a blow on a wave.
Mangini also leave for problems with the hull and the spouses Trost whose compass jumps away after a blow on a wave would have to navigate at sight for 80 miles to Bastia, which is not advisable in that sea. Sopwith can fix engines and parts ,at full throttle already inside the port and point the bow on Tino with officials left off the fact that it is against the rules because the starting in speed from the docks.
It has been about thirty minutes from the official start.
At the same time Balestrieri has just tacked the Tino and now pointed the bow directly on Viareggio on the lead but still hounded by Wishnick that appears to control the Roman and Bonelli, whose 36'shortly after tacked the Tino accuses steering problems that forced the crew to keep the boat on course. A cheerful little thing if you think they are only the beginning of the race on a sea certainly not favorable.
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Old 18-07-2010, 08:01 PM   #3
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After 50 minutes of race Balestrieri turns first at Viareggio and pointed the bow toward the Gorgona and Bastia with a handful of seconds ahead Wishnick and Bonelli, then vacuum. Cosentino's cat who is assisted by Mel Riggs quarter turns 10' by his former teammate, but after about a mile bows against the waves crush a stern drive and turn the boat to find refuge in the port of Viareggio. Fifth in turn Viareggio Valentini twelve minutes after the first, then more detached, Green, Russo, Buriassi and. .. Sopwith!
Here what wrote about in "L’Avventura dell’ Offshore" -'Meanwhile Sopwith is lonely and angry protagonist of an amazing race. Her long hull stands up well to the sea and in a staggering gait cancels the delay at the start, and climb over most opponents and gradually approaches the leaders’.
Meanwhile Balestrieri and Stuteville not arrive at Gorgona. They must stop ; their 31' is grinding the deck, bulkheads laminated burst and so are the beams. Let it go back hoping not to take water aboard.
Close the turn at Viareggio Castoldi, Frare,Gagliotta and the slow "Sagacious" of La Ferla. The "Roar 117" of Buriassi must repair in Gorgona with a leak in the hull, perhaps due to impact with floating debris. The other Roar reached Gorgona after the loss of a blade of a propeller. This may be because the island-prison is allowed only port boat in distress.
After two hours of battle against the bow waves and 78 miles of a sea force 4-5 at 12:50 Wishnick and Bonelli reach Bastia. The “Lady Nara” taken for an impact to the beam of a wave is forced to turn a large, close approaches Wishnick and earns about half a mile on Bonelli. Sopwith crosses off the two heads already returning to Capraia and turns third just ten minutes after. Every comment is unnecessary on the race of the most famous English driver and his beautiful and effective boat.
What remains of the 'Invicible Armada’ turns to trickle in Bastia. Survivors are; Valentini and his "Aug!" which accuses the oil circulation troubles and two miles after is forced to stop for 25 minutes to replace a fan belt of an engine. Then go Green, Castoldi, Grande and Russo that has been lingering from a hard impact with a wave that almost destroyed the boat and his ribs.
La Ferla at Bastia is not recorded because out of time, apart from the problems of the boat and the sea is also stumbled terribly strong wind ‘Libeccio’ that however made him a glorious enterprise. The return of the two islands of Capraia and Gorgona and an annoying sea stern does not change positions, although Sopwith try to catch a lame Bonelli.
Wishnick get a view of Viareggio and pass the finish line 6'45 ahead Bonelli after about 4 hours and 27’ at an average speed of 45.4 knots. Sopwith was behind the stern of Bonelli's only 1'25 "and the race was clearly his without that delayed start.
That 37' English boat two years after returned to Viareggio will take his revenge by winning with Shead and Colonel Hoare under the name "Unowot”.
Follow others that have turned to Bastia in the same order. Won in OP II Salvio Grande with the small “Budda Blitz”. The C II saw winner Green with the cruiser Magnum 27' "Snoopy".
Ranking of the World Cup now sees Wishnick depart significantly from Balestrieri is now 12 points behind. The Italian champion will try to remedy immediately going to win in the Cote d’Azur with the new 36' but it will be a chimera-victory because in Sweden with the stern drives sinking also lose the ability and desire to contend to Wishnick the Title abandoning dispute the rest of the races.
Wishnick find yourself like a sea at Cowes and worse but his race will be much less bright.
But with the further victory-the fifth- at Oregrund the American will secure the world title in 1971.
For Bonelli instead his crew and the 36 ' will give him physical pain along with the satisfaction of having won the race with sea harder than the whole story offshore memories.
A year of hard seas that distant 1971.
Fate has willed that this year Bill Wishnick has left this world and to his memory that is dedicated this my story.

Marco Bertini
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Old 18-07-2010, 08:22 PM   #4
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The two cats in aluminum Intermarine designed by Mike Trimming, "Sir Cat" of Cosentino-Mel Riggs and "Nicopao IX" of Mondadori. Both do not finish the race but due to problems with stern drives and engines.
The new "Lady Nara" Cigarette 36' of Ronny Bonelli portrayed here in another race with rough sea, the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes that itwill win. At the stern of the boat the Team Firebird of the Milanese publisher had placed a pair of heat exchangers for oil cooling.
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Old 18-07-2010, 09:13 PM   #5
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"Snoopy" of the English George Green portrayed here in Viareggio in 1972 was a Magnum 27' similar to that burned at Aronow in 1968.
The "Blue Tornado" of Maestrelli was a Magnum 28' with a unique rounded deck. It was of Aronow; ensure that the badges of APBA Championships won that were in the sides of the deck in front of the cockpit even though there is no news that there has Aronow raced with it in at least one race in 1967-68. Maybe it was a sparring boat. However it was bought in 1969 by Balestrieri that the Italian drove in some races that year before being purchased by the Pisan builder of motoryachts.
The "Gnam VI" was a boat of the shipyard Cosca that was famous in the early of seventies building boats with Levi design.
"Moluste" was a cruiser of 27' built by the yard Giorgi of Pesaro Mercruiser who had two no-competitions Mercruiser.
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Old 18-07-2010, 09:37 PM   #6
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The bottom of a Roar an hull Hunt type 33' that shows the flap in the stern but still has the drive shafts. And "Roar 117", still a 33' Cantieri del Garda. These yards evolved in the years to follow these boats for Class 2 Diesel, until they get to win and scoring records in this class in 1975-76.
The "Banana Jet" of Castoldi which began experimenting with the use of jet he built,as alternative and secure transmissions.
The "Buddha Blitz II" was one of several boats built by Gagliotta for Class 2. These boats had varied sizes and in particular this was a 25'. But all mounted engines Volvo Penta and the first stern drives units Aquamatic of Volvo to which Wynne sold the patent.
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Old 18-07-2010, 09:50 PM   #7
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Viareggio-Bastia-Viareggio – X° Trofeo Elica D’Oro – July 18 1971

1st - W.Wishnick(USA)-R.Moore-P.Leroy – “Boss O’Nova II” – Cigarette 32’-MerCruiser in 4h 27’45” 3/5 at 45,4 nm
2nd - R.Bonelli(ITA)-A.Petroni-F.Statua – “Lady Nara” – Cigarette 36’-MerCruiser in 4h 34’53”
3rd - T.Sopwith(GB)-D.Shead-R.Hoare – “Enfield Avenger” – Enfield Marine 37’-MerCruiser in 4h 36’18”1/5
4th - E.Valentini(ITA)-?-? – “Aug!” – Roseto – MerCruiser in 6h 29’34”
5th - G.Green(GB)- ?-? – “Snoopy” – Magnum 27’-MerCruiser in 6h 51’24”
6th - F.Castoldi(ITA) -?-? – “Banana Jet” – Ambrosini – BPM
7th - S.Grande(ITA)-?-? – “Budda Blitz I” – Gagliotta 23’ – Volvo Penta
8th - G.Russo(ITA) -?-? – “Budda Blitz II” – Gagliotta 25’- Volvo Penta

Starters 22 – Finishers 8


1971 World Championship after the 8th race on 16

1st W. Wishnick (USA) – 48 points (4 victories + 2 second places)
2nd V. Balestrieri (ITA) - 36 pts ( 2 victories + 3 second places)
3rd R. Magoon (USA) - 19 pts ( 1 victory + 1 second place + 1 third)
4th D. Silvera (BAH) - 13 pts (1 victory + 1 third )
5th E. Valentini (ITA) - 7 pts ( 1 third + 1 fourth)
C. Bonomi (ITA) - 7 pts ( 1 third + 1 fourth)
7th M. Trimming (GB) - 6 pts (1 second)
R.Bonelli (ITA) - 6 pts (1 second)
9th F. Bunge (BAH) - 5 pts (1 third + 1 sixth)
10th F.Barbot (RA) - 4 pts (1 third)
S. Shere (USA) - 4 pts (1 third)
T. Sopwith (GB) - 4 pts (1 third)
13rd R. Martin (USA) - 3 pts (1 fourth)
W.Meyers (BAH) - 3 pts (1 fourth)
E. Mangini (ITA) - 3 pts (1 fourth)
F. Castoldi (ITA) - 3 pts ( 1 fifth + 1 sixth)
E. Lecarreaux (USA) - 3 pts (1 fourth)
18thR. Rabe (USA) - 2 pts (1 fourth)
R. De Witt (USA) - 2 pts (1 fifth)
M. Caprara (ITA) - 2 pts (1 fifth)
M. Fortney (USA) - 2 pts (1 fifth)
G. Green (GB) - 2 pts (1 fifth)
23rd S. Grande (ITA) - 1 point
G. Torroni (ITA) - 1 point
M. Adler (USA) - 1 point
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Old 18-07-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black_Tornado View Post
.
here the caption of the pics in post #2


Below; the "Black Tornado" 31' with Balestrieri and Stuteville. At the debut race in Naples the scrutineers misled the irregular output of the engine exhausts from the deckhouse above the deck of the new 31', but then it was resolved politically.
"Enfield Avenger" had problems with the new injection systems that not a little frustrated the ambitions of winning of Sopwith.
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Old 19-07-2010, 11:00 AM   #9
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Nostalgia

Blimey,Marco have you lost the key to get out of the darkroom,a bit more detail maybe!!!!!

Now there`s a bit of history to savour for them what can appreciate it.

I take it this is part of your VBV manuscript.

Keep it coming old boy.
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Old 19-07-2010, 12:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYING FISH View Post
Blimey,Marco have you lost the key to get out of the darkroom,a bit more detail maybe!!!!!

Now there`s a bit of history to savour for them what can appreciate it.

I take it this is part of your VBV manuscript.

Keep it coming old boy.
No more details Graham!!! I have the key.
If you're referring to the technical data of this boats that is the best I managed to pull out from my archives.
Considering the harsh and often impossible work in the darkroom to decrypt these damn journalists writing about everything and the opposite of everything!
Other than Enigma of the Jerries U-Boat!
In fact there is errors .. but Jon forbids me to continue to correct my posts!
My concern that my English is at least understandable with so long concepts. Please let me know if something is unclear and will try to explain it better. Thanks.
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Old 19-07-2010, 01:25 PM   #11
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What a wonderful race story & so much detail, both of boats & their crews.
Will we ever see such days of racing again I wonder ?
Well done Marco !
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Old 19-07-2010, 02:39 PM   #12
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Great job Marco. Thank you.
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Old 19-07-2010, 03:34 PM   #13
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Following a scolding by Graham (but right) I will come back into the darkroom to perfect this work and give you a complete list of participants and the various steps of the race.
I will continue to tell other races and I hope to find time and strength to do so.
Yesterday I spent exactly 15 consecutive hours in the darkroom, computer script trying to prepare and arrange the photos, do translations into English and post it all, with the fan at full speed, but not exactly focused on me but on my poor computers that with this "long hot summer" it block and off! Saturday I had off to 03:30 (already on Sunday morning).
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Old 19-07-2010, 10:40 PM   #14
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Your efforts are heroic Sir.
I salute you !

Thank you so very much for imparting this information to us all.

Martin
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Old 19-07-2010, 10:46 PM   #15
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tech

Its great to read about the technical aspects of these old racers there was so much devolopment going on back then, It makes todays racing which seem to outlaw anything that can,t be brought from a major manufacturer to be used.
I,m sure this is to the demise of offshore powerboat racing removing any chance of mavericks getting in a race .

thanks Marco
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Old 19-07-2010, 11:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosworth mirage View Post
Its great to read about the technical aspects of these old racers there was so much devolopment going on back then, It makes todays racing which seem to outlaw anything that can,t be brought from a major manufacturer to be used.
I,m sure this is to the demise of offshore powerboat racing removing any chance of mavericks getting in a race .

thanks Marco
You are right.
See, it's the same thing that happened in F1.
The sixties and seventies were prolific of ideas.
Each team official (few) or private (many) brought forward their ideas and the cars were very different from each other, so that you could recognize each other from afar.
Think you can do the same thing today?
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Old 20-07-2010, 08:15 AM   #17
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Tech stuff

I would love to try but the usual budget constraints wont allow it, I will have to stick to quad racing (20 year old LT 500r 2 stroke)for max adrenaline per £
and trying to get my rib to go fast enough and for long enough for a good mission,hoping to try for the channel isles later this year.

Thanks again for yor hard work, without this stuff getting posted it may well disappear for ever. Its a shame J F hasnt talked some of the older racers/riggers to post some technical articals with there views on stuff like prop design/drive configeration/hull and boat setup etc as there info could really help the younger boaters to keep the sport going .

Great work Marco
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Old 20-07-2010, 09:29 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=cosworth mirage;185178]

without this stuff getting posted it may well disappear for ever. Its a shame J F hasnt talked some of the older racers/riggers to post some technical articals with there views on stuff like prop design/drive configeration/hull and boat setup etc as there info could really help the younger boaters to keep the sport going .

QUOTE]

Just to inform you,this stuff hasn`t been lost ,but is as we speak being scanned (i.e. the old reports and articles going back to it`s beginings in the early sixties) and their is quite a bit of it,15,000 pages in fact.So far approx 30% has been done,and JF is primed to unleash it on Boatmad.
The films in the Gallery achieve only minimal hits for some reason,which considering the work that goes into getting them on the site and their historic value is sad,but hopefully those who do look at them appreciate them for what they are.
With regard to the technical aspect,there are not many books or papers on this.The papers that are, can get bogged down in the theory,and it`s usually the guys who just get on and design/build /test who achieve progress.
A lot of the early technical work has been superseded by standard equipment such that for instance,you can race a boat without tabs,have bolt on drives,etc so a lot of experimentation is not required.
Rarely do designers publish their life`s work,so this data has to be gleaned bit by bit from what little has been referred to.You really want to know first hand from the people that have been involved in racing,for you can go to U.S. sites for example and find a lot of papers written on fast craft by people who have never been near a raceboat.
Some of the few respected people that have written on this subject are Levi and Buzzi,with Bill Maloney (Sorcerer boats) writing a few articles for the magazines.

And as a footnote for Marco,you weren`t being scolded,it was just a tongue in cheek comment at the vast amount of detail in your report.It always amazes me how you can draft that in English.I should think after that,you needed a wipe down with an oily rag.
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Old 20-07-2010, 09:33 AM   #19
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Superb!!
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Old 20-07-2010, 10:09 AM   #20
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Thankyou...

Brilliant, Marco... Thankyou so much.

Your efforts at translation are amazing... and far better than any of us could write in Italian !

I remember reading a short report about this race... and if anyone ever doubted the abilities of Sopwith and his team - to start half an hour late and finish within 8.10 min (if my maths is correct!) of the winner was no mean feat!
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