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French Claim European Mixed Offshore Title as Ireland's Fogerty & Glenny Make L30 Debut

15th September 2020
Susan Glenny and Conor Fogerty raced at the Eurosaf Mixed Offshore event in Italy Susan Glenny and Conor Fogerty raced at the Eurosaf Mixed Offshore event in Italy

France has claimed the inaugural European Mixed Offshore Title in Italy in which Ireland's Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny made their debut in the L30 keelboat but unfortunately did not finish the one race event. 

Fogerty says he is still 'licking his wounds' after the top-level event, claiming that 'only three hours sail time on the boat before the main event wasn't ideal'.

"We had issues onboard which augmented under pressure. I would have at least expected a fifth or sixth, but we were set on finding big holes in a light breeze", the Howth sailor related to Afloat.

Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny - Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny - the Irish pair say it was an amazing learning experience in a brand new boat and on a colourful race track that presented all of the favourite wind shut downs, complex currents and Mediterranean thermal affects

In the end, the race was a close and long duel between French team Benjamin Schwartz and Marie Riou against Íker Martínez & Natalia Via-Dufresne (ESP) with the French finally on top. "It was a hard and complicated race where we made some risky choices that turned out to be some bad ones and some good ones", so the first feedback of Benjamin Schwartz. The French took the lead from the Spanish team during the last night with a risky decision to sail away from the leading boat and the rest of the fleet. "In the morning we found ourselves at the top of the fleet from where we controlled the race for the last few miles back to Genoa“, explained Marie Riou.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the Spanish team to cross the finishing line on second place after leading for many many hours. It was up to the Belgians Jonas Gerckens and Sophie Faguet to claim silver around 80 minutes after the French gold medalists. Third and with a slight bitter taste in their mouths, the Spanish Martínez/Via-Dufresne cut the line at 10:52 a.m., returning from a remarkable performance as they maintained the lead of the race until just a few hours before the finish and dictated the pace to the entire fleet for almost the entire course of the race. Just a few minutes after the Iberian crew, the national team Claudia Rossi and Matteo Mason finished a long race in pursuit of the first three. They tried and never gave up by sailing an excellent race, especially since they were making their debut on the L30.

L30 Mixed Offshore European Entry ListL30 Mixed Offshore European Entry List

What's the L30 like offshore?

Fogerty says from his brief experience the L30 is an 'interesting concept, twin wheels, lifting rudders and keel, not to mention a possible configuration of Gennaker, J1, J3 and main all flying at the same time......'

Conor Fogerty & I have expressed our hope to represent Ireland in the new mixed offshore keel boat class that will have its inaugural year as an Olympic class at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Fogerty & Glenny have expressed a hope to represent Ireland in the new mixed offshore keelboat class that will have its inaugural year as an Olympic class at the Paris 2024 Olympics

The former Ostar winner says he has some misgivings with the L30 as an offshore boat, "Any one design is going to be fun, and the L30 ticks that box, but Offshore? Shorthanded? It's too busy for a 30-ft and not set up for shorthanded racing, the twin wheel configuration cuts you off from the tools to trim your sails, even the autopilot is 10ft away on the coach roof. I also wouldn't be happy in a big breeze, due all those retractable underwater foils"

The L30 - a fun boatThe L30 - a fun boat

He adds "It's a fun boat, lots of sail, but needs a crew and I think they should stay coastal and leave Offshore to tried and tested methods of offshore boats".

Just how strong the teams were at the event is shown by the fact that even the seventh team crossed the finish line within four hours of the winners; only one team didn’t finish.

  1. Team FRA 65h 46min 37sec
  2. Team BEL +1h 19min 19sec
  3. Team ESP +1h 31min 39sec
  4. Team ITA +1h 41min 47sec
  5. Team GER +2h 28min 31sec
  6. Team NED +2h 39min 36sec
  7. Team GBR +4h 09min 49sec
  8. Team IRL DNF
  9. Team MON DNS
Afloat.ie Team

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Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat

For the first time in sailing's Olympic history, a Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat event will be on the slate at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition.

The Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat will join kiteboarding, windsurfing, multihulls, singlehanded and doublehanded dinghies and skiffs, promoting the diversity of the sport. This, in turn, will support World Sailing's desire to promote and grow universality in all disciplines and increase female participation with gender-equal medals and athletes.

Offshore sailing is the ultimate test of endurance, skill, discipline, navigation and critical decision making.

Embracing a major part of sailing in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will enable new stars of the sport to come to the forefront.

Qualification

Offshore sailing is a universal discipline that every World Sailing Member National Authority (MNA) can participate in.

Up to 20 nations will be on the start line at Paris 2024 and sailors from every continent will be represented. To qualify for the Olympic Games, continental qualification events will be held and competition for a spot will be hotly contested.

Equipment

For qualification events, World Sailing will approve a list of one-design boats that are already regionally available and can be accessed as a charter boat. Boats will be equalised to ensure fair competition.

For Paris 2024, World Sailing's Council will select a list of different Equipment it considers to meet the key criteria by 31 December 2020 and then make a decision on the Equipment, selecting from the list, no later than 31 December 2023.

MNAs, Class Associations and Manufacturers have all been invited to propose Equipment for the list and a World Sailing Working Party will evaluate each proposal. A recommended list will be presented to Council for approval in November 2020.

This recommended Equipment list will ensure that event organisers, MNAs and the sailors have opportunities to train and compete in Equipment that is readily available and affordable within their continent and country. It will also ensure each MNA has a fair opportunity to prepare for qualification events and eventually, Paris 2024.

Format

Starting and finishing in Marseille, the Mixed Offshore event is expected to last for either three days and two nights or four days and three nights off the French coastline and whoever crosses the finish line first will be declared Olympic champion.

The race course and length will be announced in the lead up to the start so the competition can take advantage of the latest weather forecast. Current options proposed include long and short courses heading towards the West and East of France.

Safety and Security

The French Navy and Mediterranean forces have extensive experience of supporting major oceanic sailing races. They will provide safety and security at Paris 2024.

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