ARCI Mini 650: a fine second place for Sideral 857
21 June 2015

Sideral 857 is well on the way to qualifying for the 2015 Minitransat 6.50 solo transatlantic yacht race. After a hotly contested struggle for the lead, Sideral 857 skippers Andrea Fornaro and Raffaele Fredella eventually finished a close second behind Andrea Pendibene, Italian navy mini-class specialist and Giovana Valsecchi, although the talented Tuscan team have every reason to be satisfied with their performance considering the fact that their boat was rigged for completely different weather conditions and that, despite the light breezes and frequent calms, they chased first place throughout the race, holding off the competition for long periods of the regatta. Indeed, throughout an opening beat accompanied by a steady Force 4–5 breeze, Sideral maintained a lengthy advantage over the rest of the fleet, a result which can be considered a fair indicator of her potential position at the end of the qualifying campaign. Especially designed by Millenium, the entire set of sails used by Sideral 857 has been carefully created using the very latest techniques and materials. Mainsail: A clearly defined square top sail with round fibreglass batons for lightness and strength, this sail uses lightweight finishes and materials to retain the original shape of the sail even when reefed, not an infrequent occurrence in Mini 6.50 racing. The result is a high performance yet stable sail, especially designed to facilitate quick and easy reefing with the ever-troublesome problem of wear and tear on baton pockets being avoided by the use of double luff tapes. Solent An interesting challenge for the Millenium sail designers, as the shape of the Argo 650 rig foresees a considerable overlap of the mainsail and the use of batons allows considerable roaching on the leech, features which necessitate some containment in design in order to facilitate tacking. The result is a powerful sail which gives a great boost to tired sailors on windward stretches, especially in unstable and/or strong winds, and ensures a great performance on the reach. Made of Millenium Pentex, the sail is reefed using a system of zips. A2 maxi spinnaker: An asymmetrical maxi spinnaker which covers the entire surface of the area of the hull, this sail is both powerful and stable on runs (thanks to its specially designed spinnaker pole),  a must in Mini 6.50 racing as it allows excellent automatic handling downwind even in choppy seas. A4 spinnaker: Slightly smaller than the A2 maxi spinnaker, this sail is especially cut to enable spilling. Designed with a tight luff and more open leech to facilitate sailing closer to the wind, especially in strong breezes and choppy seas, the sail is also easily reefed. Code 5: A true heavy air reaching sail, the Code 5 offers excellent performance in impossible winds and extreme conditions. Made of nylon with Dynema core luff tapes and slim rimmed grommets, this is an essential sail for all ocean racers. Code 0 The greatest challenge in terms of sail design, this powerful but difficult to handle sail gives a real boost to 6.5 metre hulls on light wind beats in flat seas but is also extremely viable on close reaches in stronger winds. Made of Millenium pentex, the sail is fitted with no tangle ropes and furler systems. Congratulations to Andrea and his sail design team.]]>