An old boat from 2004 wins the World Mini Maxi Championship. But in fact an Italian has remade it


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Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016
Like taking an “old racing/cruising boat and modifying it to win a world championship. It’s a beautiful story with a happy ending that ended in Porto Cervo last Sunday, Sept. 4.
. A 2004 boat, Atalanta II, completely redone this year by an Italian, designer Umberto Felci, won the most prestigious regatta in its class, the “Mini Maxi” World Championship.

A good story because the challenge that one was borderline impossible: to make a 12-year-old 21-meter mini maxi modern and competitive. A feat that had already been attempted by the 100-foot Australian Wild Oats of the late Bob Oatley, launched in 2003 and continually modified over time enough to be unbeatable by even the youngest hi-tech behemoths. Not many people believed in this operation, but Atalanta’s owner and helmsman, Carlo Puri Negri, who was in love with his boat, believed in it, and with him his trustworthy man, Elio Petracchi, a sailor sailor who has been working with the finest Italian boats for decades.

yandy146763“NOW WE ALSO FLY”
“The old Atalanta was a phenomena upwind, but at carrying gaits Bruce Farr’s initial design was not exactly lightning fast,” summarizes Petracchi. He continues: “Now we are at the level of boats that are ten or more years younger than ours. Before we didn’t glide except in strong winds, now with 20 knots we ‘fly’ too.” Much of the credit for this second life of Atalanta II goes to the Garda studio of Umberto Felci, an Italian on the crest of a wave. He designs, among other things, the entire range of the French shipyard Dufour, has just launched the new Grand Soleil 58, star of the just concluded Cannes Boat Show, whose water lines and entire Ice Yachts line he designed.

In summary, the work done on Atalanta II is unbelievable; the boat was literally sliced by changing the shape of Atalanta II’s hull in the aft part, particularly in the last 6 meters. “To achieve this, we decided to operate from the outside, making a second partial shell of about 40 square meters that was assembled to a structure coupled to the original shell,” Felci says. The result, corroborated by success at the world championship is that, in Felci’s words, “Performance has improved, giving rise to a more taut, load-bearing hull shape in the aft section. A lower and wider stern on the water with increased waterline length, prismatic coefficient (i.e., the ratio of the volume of the hull to that of the prism confined to it) and longitudinal inertia, as well as righting moment between 15 and 25°. These important changes resulted in improvements in both critical displacement speed and glide speed.”

Atalanta_2015-CFR-Sail-Plan-204x300BUT ALSO THE CREW…
“The increase in righting moment,” the designer continues, “optimizes upwind performance while the increased waterline length and new stern exits improve those at carrying and fast gaits.” The sail plan has also been increased from the original plan (see drawing), and the bulb has also been changed, which is now “torpedo-shaped” with draft that has increased from 4 meters to 3.70 meters. Credit also goes to the crew aboard Atalanta II in Porto Cervo where in addition to owner Carlo Purti Negri and the trusty Elio Petracchi (questuano I’ve already’ done 5,400 miles on this boat!) there were among others, Gabriele Benussi on tactician, Nevio Saladin on mainsail, Matteo De Luca on bow and Andrea Caracci on navigation.



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