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Back to Business at Benalmádena

Chris Davies on 20th April 2022

The reigning S450 World Champions Nico Bertels and Francis Ciccio Notschaele are aiming to kick off the defence of their title this weekend at the opening round of the 2022 UIM Pleasure Navigation World Championship in Benalmádena, Spain.

Their Bernico FTX27 has now undergone a serious amount of fine tuning since it raced in Como last year. Back then they both knew that in the rough its balance was not ideal and that during the winter months a lot of work would need to be carried out back at the Bernico factory.

Notschaele told PRW that


We never really got the chance to get the maximum out of the hull. The boat needs to improve in the turns, so we needed to tweak the chines to give us that added stability. Because the chines are located at the extremity of the hull bottom, they will have the maximum effect in preventing the hull from heeling over. Combining this stabilizing effect with that of persuading the water to flow cleanly away from the hull to reduce the frictional resistance will give us a significant improvement in the performance of the hull. Last season we also had to take on board 200kg of addition weight to meet the class rules which no doubt upset the balance, so now we know where that weight needs to be placed.

Bertels also felt he wasn’t comfortable with the boats speed and that additional propeller testing would be needed if they were to stay ahead of the opposition.


Following their last training session, the pair reported that the boat felt easier to drive after the hull fine tuning and that they now have the right props and engine height sorted out.

Notschaele said


We found even with race weight an exceptionally good improvement in overall speed. We are now a lot more confident than we were at the start of last year’s championship, even so we are definitely not going to underestimate the opposition.

With a moderate breeze expected along the Spain’s Costa del Sol coastline this weekend it could be an eventful opening round to this year’s UIM Pleasure Navigation World Championship.

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