Wally Class season on the starting blocks: 14 yachts registered for the 2017 racing series
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 3:54 PM
Today starts the racing season of the highly competitive Wally Class that counts the participation of 14 yachts, after a busy winter of upgrades that involved naval architects and hyper specialized professionals.
The number of yachts on the starting line ranges from 12 at the inaugural regatta of the year Sail Racing Palmavela (3-7 May), to 10 at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta (Porto Cervo, 30 May-3 June), 12 at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (Porto Cervo, 5-11 September), with the peak 14 at the season ending Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, the event that counts Wally as one of the main sponsors since its inception.
“The Wally Class confirms to be the world’s strongest division of racing superyachts and we are very proud of this result. Our passion for the sailing competition dates back to 1999 when large boat racing was prerogative of the maxi racers, exclusively developed for this purpose but on the brink of extinction. - says Luca Bassani, Wally Class President and founder, and avid racer himself – At that time we had eight yachts on the water, who had already successfully competed in the most important Mediterranean regattas. I realised it was time to create the ad hoc organisation for the regattas of our boats, and founded the Wally Class to supervise the racing activity suitable to the Wallys. With such an organised class, year after year we succeeded in having at the events a separate division with its own standings and rating system, as well as the full control over the selection of the courses.” concludes Bassani.
Despite the high standards of the competition , the Wally Class strictly maintains the original and successful ProAm formula encouraging the owners to steer their yachts, otherwise they get penalized, while the rest of the crew has no restrictions and is mostly made of super professionals further raising the racing level.
“To ensure the fair racing, the Wally Class rules carefully regulate also the cruising soul of the participating Wallys.” explains Paolo Massarini, Wally Class Secretary “And require the measurement of the yachts by an official measurer before the start of the season, to guarantee compliance with their ratings after the winter works.”
This year the fleet welcomes the new wallycento#4, who will join the Wally Class at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. At the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the Class will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the timeless competitor J One, former Magic Carpet, launched in 1997 and still at the top of the leader board.
The battle in the forefront of the course will see again the hard fight among Open Season (reigning champion of the series for the second year in a row), and the two wallycentos Galateia and Magic Carpet3 (third in the 2016 racing series) plus the fourth wallycento in the second part of the season. The rest of the fleet includes Galma, Genie of the Lamp, J One, Lyra (second in the 2016 series), Magic Blue, Nahita, Ryokan 2, Sensei, Tango G, Tilakkhana, and Y3K.
At the end of the season, the Wally Class Trophy is awarded to the winner of the series, determined using the high point scoring system.
This system rewards the results according to the number of participants: the higher the participation, the higher the score because the competition is stronger. The Wally with the highest number of points wins the Wally Trophy, a triennial challenge trophy offered by North Sails and designed and carbon fibre manufactured by the renown yacht builder Steve Marten of New Zealand.
The Wally Class organisation keeps improving the service for the competitors introducing this year the implemented tracking system, that monitors each yacht performance gathering the relevant data during the race, to allow the teams to review and deeply analyse their performance.
This innovative system, specifically developed by the Wally Class together with TracTrac, the leaders in live tracking of sports, generates also the live viewing of each race to follow the competition from the mobile devices through the Wally Class App (available in both Apple Play stores) and from the desktop computers though the Wally web site dedicated section.