Professional sailing in a bubble

Published on December 19th, 2022

The proliferation of people getting paid by boat owners to compete in amateur recreational events has complicated the sport, but there are examples of boat types that flourish in a bubble where the approach to competition is similar among the participants.

In that category, alongside the RC44 and TP52 is the M32 catamaran class which provides high performance racing for those that can afford it as the crews tend to be a who’s-who of professional sailors

The North American contingent of +/- 10 boats will have four Miami, FL events from January through April before the road show moves north for four events in Newport, RI which includes the 2023 World Championship on September 25-October 1 (2023 schedule).

Starting in January, for the first Miami Winter Series event, the M32 class will have live streaming drone footage. This raw feed is being supplied for umpires calls and coaching debriefs in hopes of making the racing more equitable for all teams giving everyone access to quality drone footage.

“In the past it was a challenge to distribute high resolution footage to all teams when they hit the dock but with the availability of 5G technology, all footage will immediately be online ready to view” says Felipe Juncadella at Uptop Media. “An added benefit is that race fans will be able to watch the live feed as well.”

With an increasing fleet size and reaching starts where the boats hit the “go” at 20+ knots, the starts are a challenge. Together with the Vakaros instrument, the class will begin initial testing of automated start and OCS systems in Miami.

“Calling the line for the M32 fleet is among the hardest things I have done on a Signal Boat,” says class PRO Mattias Dahlstrom. “For a long time we have looked for a realistic system with the performance we require for the starts and I’m happy that we will start testing this winter.”

The Class maintains a demo boat to introduce people to M32 racing.

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