How did the boat that won the Barcolana move without wind? It’s controversy on the web

Take a look at these two videos that are circulating on the net and are eliciting “j’accuse” from many sailors:
the only boat that moves at the start in the absence of wind is the very boat that won the Barcolana, namely Way of Life, the former Maxi Jena, by Gasper Vincec.



The Barcolana is the regatta of controversies(HERE we compared it to the Palio di Siena) and as expected the most disparate accusations have started from the people of the web: some say “Engine!” (engine), suggesting that the Slovenians used the engine (which in racing, especially on larger hulls equipped with electric winches, can be turned on for battery charging and hydraulic systems, and the system on maxis by the way does not allow simultaneous use of the canting keel and propulsion), those who instead accuse them of “pumping” (in the onboard video you can see crew members running from tack to tack to create roll), which is prohibited by Rule 42 of the regatta rules, which we discuss below.

Is this a repeat of the “Esimit case,” the ex-Alfa Romeo boat that in the 2013 edition of the Barcolana by using its canting keel to “pump” managed to move without wind and was accused of committing an improper maneuver?

Were the Slovenians incorrect? Or just smart and good? We leave the comments to you.

Eugene Ruocco



42.1 Basic rule

A boat must race using only the wind and water to increase, maintain or reduce its speed, except when allowed by rules 42.3 or 45 (45 does not concern us here, we are talking about hauling, mooring and launching, ed.). Its crew members may correct sail and hull trim and perform other acts of seamanship, but must not move their bodies in any other way to give propulsion to the boat.

42.2 Prohibited actions

Without limiting the application of Rule 42.1, the following actions are prohibited:

(a) pumping: repeated flailing of any sail, achieved either by caulking and easing it or created by vertical or transverse body movements;

(b) Rolling: repeated rolling of the boat, produced by
(1) body movements,
(2) repeated sail or drift corrections, or
(3) from steering the boat;

(c) thrust: sudden forward movements of the body, abruptly interrupted;

(d) rudder: repeated movement of the rudder that is made with force, or that serves to move the boat forward, or prevents its backward movement;

(e) Repeated turns or knockdowns that are not related to changes in
wind direction or tactical considerations.

42.3 Exceptions

(a) A boat may be rolled in order to facilitate its steering;

(b) The crew of a boat may move their bodies to exaggerate the roll that facilitates the steering of the boat during a tack or downswing, provided that, as soon as the tack or downswing is completed, the speed of the boat is not greater than it would have been in the absence of the tack or downswing.

(c) Except when upwind and “surfing” (rapid acceleration by coming down on the leeward side of a wave) or gliding is possible, the boat crew may caulk the sheet and retaining of any sail for the purpose of initiating surfing or gliding, but only once per wave or gust of wind.

(d) When a boat is more to windward than close-hauled, and is stationary or moving slowly, it may helm to bring itself onto a close-hauled course.

(e) A boat can reduce its speed by repeatedly moving the rudder.

(f) Any means of propulsion may be used to render aid to a person or other vessel in distress.

(g) To free itself from a grounding or collision with another boat or object, a boat may use the force applied by the crew of either boat and any device other than a motor for propulsion.

(h) The Sailing Instructions may, under specified circumstances, allow propulsion using an engine or any other method provided the boat does not gain a significant advantage in the race.



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