Vento di Sardegna at VELAFestival: find out about the Oceans’ ace catcher


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wind-of-sardiniaOn the dock at the TAG Heuer VELAFestival, the large pool of “cult” boats does not only include vintage hulls (such as the Goletta America, the Nave Italia or the legendary Wianno on which President Kennedy used to entertain himself): there are boats that, although anagraphically young, are already considered mythical in the racing world. One of these is Vento di Sardegna, the Open 50 that Umberto Felci designed in 2006 for Sardinian sailor Andrea Mura.

wind-of-sardinia-navigationTHE CATCHER BOAT IN THE OCEAN
A boat that, in the Ocean, has won everything there was to win: in 2010 the Route du Rhum (from Saint Malo, Brittany, to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. Never had any Italian made it); in 2012 the Two Handed Transatlantic Race(Twostar: from Plymouth in the UK to Newport in the U.S.) both in real and IRC plywood setting a new all-time record for crossing the Atlantic from East to West in 13 days 12 hours and 47 minutes (the previous record was set in 2000 by Dame Ellen MacArthur with the Imoca 60 – King Fisher in 14 days and 19 hours); also in 2012, she triumphed at the Quebec – St. Malo finishing first overall among monohulls, setting a new record for crossing in 11 days 15 hours and 59 minutes, lowering the previous record of about 25 hours set in 2004 by Giovanni Soldini. And that’s not the end of the story: 2013 saw her win in real time at Ostar. In short, Vento di Sardegna and Andrea Mura did not fail the appointments that mattered. Credit to the sailor from Cagliari and credit to the performance Felci’s boat has in its ropes. Now they will try to replicate their success at the 2014 Route du Rhum, scheduled for November.

umberto fernsTHE DESIGNER’S WORD
On the Vento di Sardegna website, this is what Open 50 designer Umberto Felci says: “The design of the 50-footer was born after an in-depth parametric study of the international Open regulations in relation to different types of hulls and sail plans. The result is a boat whose key characteristic is that it is extremely all-around and easily manageable in navigation. The design is focused toward seeking the highest performance and ease of use in wide swaths, particularly those between 100° and 160° of apparent wind.

In these situations, speed is mainly provided by the extremely small displacement, sail area, and hull shape characterized by very powerful sections. Speed at so-called “power” gaits, on the other hand, is achieved by an additional increase in righting moment given by about 1,000 liters of liquid ballast that also contribute to longitudinal trim. In the design phase, it was also necessary to take into account the demands made by the new safety regulations and in particular to meet the new stability requirements imposed by Fico (International Open Class Federation). One of the choices practically “obliged” by these new rules is the adoption of the canting keel, a detail of delicate design and use that, however, not only facilitates the triggering of a positive moment when the boat is capsized and thus ensures the complete self-righting of the boat, but also guarantees very high performance at carrying gaits and more simplified management possibilities than liquid ballast alone.

The wheelhouse is derived directly from the one developed for our latest Mini 650 prototype. In fact, the rudders are external all-carbon with special steel fittings. The sail plan is particularly flexible and related to the need for extreme speeds at wide swells or imposed course. It is planned to use a fixed bowsprit to tack some headsails and thus advance the center of thrust. The carbon mast is equipped with double flaps and quarter spreaders at the broadside, according to the state of the art for this type of boat. The construction is completely composite. Pvc and Kevlar sandwich for the hull and Pvc and carbon sandwich for the deck and structures. The appendage configuration is characterized by the adoption of an extremely thin pivoting keel made of special steel and equipped with an end bulb.

The rudders are the characteristic electric twins, and at the bow a special movable “canard” configuration gives the necessary flexibility of use to adapt the configuration to different gaits and weather conditions.”

Length 15.24 m + 1.45 m bowsprit
Width 4.73 m
Displacement 7.50 t
Draught 4.10 m
Sail area upwind 240 sqm
Gennaker head 280 sqm

andrea mura - wind of sardinia 2010WHO IS ANDREA MURA
Andrea Mura was born in Cagliari, Italy, on Sept. 13, 1964, and has a long and prestigious sports history: eight years on the FIV National Team, three Olympic campaigns, and one America’s Cup campaign as a mainsail trimmer on the Moro di Venezia. In 2006 he put the Open 50 Vento di Sardegna on the water. In Mura’s sights, among others, were the Route de Rhum, won in 2010, the Two Star and Québec-Saint Malo in 2012, and the Ostar, won in real time in 2013.






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