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ICCCC 2013 – Day One Highlights

ICCCC 2013 – Day One Highlights

What is the C-Class all about? Hows that for a summary.

Video courtesy of Sailing Anarchy.

Falmouth Fog Foils Little Cup Opener

Photo © Meredith Block

Photo © Meredith Block

By Alan Block

Mylor Bay, UK (22 September 2013) – Light air and a rare, zero-visibility sea mist put an early end to day one of the 2013 International C-Class Catamaran Championship today after three abandoned races.  “We don’t sea that kind of fog often, but there was just no way to run safe races with such terrible visibility,” said local catamaran expert Brian Phipps.

One race was abandoned after less than a minute due to a big wind shift, but when the fog lifted shortly afterwards to reveal a beautiful, sunny day and 6-knot breeze, smiles shone throughout the fleet.  Minutes later, Christian Pavey aboard 2010 Little Cup winner Canaan port-tacked the fleet in the second start of the day, sailing off to a big lead in the first leg.  As Franck Cammas’s Groupama chased Peavey down, the fog rolled in again, and within ten minutes the entire fleet was lost.  “We had no idea where the mark was,” said Cammas.  “When our tender found us we learned we had sailed more than a mile away from it.”

The race was quickly abandoned, with the rest of the afternoon spent herding together the wayward flock before the fleet returned to the Restronguet Sailing Club beach in convoy.

Look for more news, photos and videos later this evening.

Racing begins at 1100 GMT on Monday and continues through Saturday, when the new C0-Class Champion is crowned.  Fans can track the event with live video coverage of every race, tracking, and an extensive stream of visual and social content on Facebook, Twitter, and Vimeo.

Links

Event Website:  http://theflyingboats.com

C-Class Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ICCCC.2013

Little Cup Live Video @ UStream: http://www.ustream.tv/user/cclasscats

Live Tracking @ Sailracer: http://events.sailracer.org/eventsites/little_americas_cup.html?180313

HD video @ Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/cclasscats

C-Class Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/cclasscats

Hashtag: #LittleCup

The first HD movie for the 2013 Little Cup is now live on vimeo at http://vimeo.com/75119607

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By Alan Block

Mylor Bay, UK (21 September 2013) – In 1959, Rod McAlpine Downey and John Fisk from the Royal Highland Yacht Club launched a challenge against Long Island’s “Hellcat”, the catamaran called by Yachting Magazine ‘the fastest sailing boat in the World.’  McAlpine-Downey and Fisk drew heavily on the America’s Cup Deed of Gift in their proposal, and Fisk suggested the courses be just like a ‘Little America’s Cup’.  That race would launch more than half a century of racing some of the most advanced sailing designs in the world; the competition known as the C-Class Catamaran Championship.

Little did the British duo know that it would take fifty-six years for the “Big America’s Cup” boats to adopt the speed and advanced aerodynamics of her 25-foot cousin, and as Oracle Team USA desperately fight back against Emirates Team New Zealand in San Francisco, 11 of the most advanced wing-sailed catamaran in the world will line up Sunday morning for the first race in the 2013 “Little Cup.”

Those who’ve watched the phenomenal coverage of the San Francisco event will be familiar with the C-Class Cats; the AC72 owes its heritage directly to the ultra-light, carbon-fiber, wing-sailed Little Cup boats.  And with AC-72 style foils now on the 25’foot C-Class boats, the Big Cup finally gets to contribute some technology to the Little Cup.

11 teams representing 7 nations will race three days of qualifying heats in Carrick Roads and Falmouth Bay, with the two top performers advancing to the one-on-one match-racing finals, and the remainder of the fleet racing for the 3 to 11 spots.  For the first time in a long time, two-time International C-Class Cat Champ and Little Cup Defender Fred Eaton and his Team Canada comes in as an underdog.  “We’re here to compete against some of the best sailors and best designs in the world, and some of the new boats here are extremely exciting,” said Eaton.  Like most of the fleet, the Canadian team sees both Hydros and Groupama as real threats, and they’ve got a long road ahead if they plan on taking the Little Cup trophy back to Toronto’s Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

Those four boats – Hydros 1 and 2, Groupama, along with the Canadians’ Fill Your Hands rely on hydrofoils to lift the boat above the water, and not only on the downwind leg.  “We’re still learning how to foil the boat properly upwind, but when you get it right, it’s worth a five-knot boost with no change in your angle,” said Hydros skipper Mischa Heemskerk.   With Mischa clocking in at 34 knots downwind – or over 3 times the windspeed – it’s a new day for C-Class Catamaran top speeds.  The rest of the fleet, including 2010 Little Cup Champion Canaan, rely on conventional curved or straight foils for maximum efficiency, but don’t count them out.  “In testing Canaan still looks like the fastest light-air C-Class boat ever,” said Groupama co-designer and Challenge France team principal Benjamin Muyl.

The fleet also includes two American boats; Steve Clark’s Aethon and Cogito, Norman Wijker’s Airbus-sponsored Invictus, and longtime C-Class enthusiast John Downey’s ex-Alpha C-Cat, now known as Sentient Blue.

While the technology has marched onward, one thing remains constant on the eve of the Little Cup:  Absolutely anything can happen, and no one knows precisely what will.

Fan Guide

The International C-Class Catamaran Championship has commissioned a complete media experience for the hundreds of thousands of C-Class fans around the world; like the 2010 event in Newport, RI, every race of the 2013 regatta will be streamed live on video with professional commentating from a some of the legendary names of the Class via the C-Class’s UStream Page, with daily highlight reels featured on the event’s Vimeo page. New for 2013, races can also be tracked in real time via the EADS/Sailracer.org interface.  Also new is a complete social media experience focused around the event’s Facebook page; C-Class media experts will push a stream of photos, videos, interviews, and written commentary to those who ‘Like’ the C-Class page.

Racing begins at 1100 GMT on Sunday and continues through Tuesday.  After a rest-and-regroup day on Wednesday, two boats will match up for three days of Little Cup match races to name the new C-Class Champion, while the remaining 9 teams will battle for positions on fleet racing courses.

Links

Event Website:  http://theflyingboats.com

C-Class Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ICCCC.2013

Little Cup Live Video @ UStream: http://www.ustream.tv/user/cclasscats

Live Tracking @ Sailracer: http://events.sailracer.org/eventsites/little_americas_cup.html?180313

HD video @ Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/cclasscats

C-Class Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/cclasscats

Hashtag: #LittleCup

The first HD movie for the 2013 Little Cup is now live on vimeo at http://vimeo.com/75119607

2013 ICCCC – Warm Up Week Highlights

Some highlights from the 2013 ICCCC warm up week.

When Worlds Collide

C-Cats Pre-Launch

Groupama, Aethon, and Cogito on site in Falmouth for the 2013 ICCCC

The board is set and the pieces are moving.

Welcome to Restronguet Sailing Club, home of the 2013 International C-Class Catamaran Championship. It has been three years since the C-Class last got together, and way longer than that since this many were in the same place at the same time. There are 10 boats set up on the lawn at the moment, nine of which have already gotten their feet wet. The closest the C-Class has ever come to this level of participation was seven entries at the 2010 ICCCC in Newport, RI. However of those seven programs a number were not really ready to compete at a high level. That is not the case this go around. You have to go back to the early days of the Class, when nations were still holding trials to determine who challenged for the Little America’s Cup, to get a time when this many teams were competing in C-Cat, the world’s most technically advanced racing catamaran.

Going through the tents you come first to Switzerland’s team Hydros. The Swiss have been in Falmouth for over a month training with their big black machines and sailing team of Jeremy Lagarrigue, Billy Besson, Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij. Up the hill you will find Challenge France, the French team out of Quiberon headed by Benjamin Muyl and wielding Patient Lady VI. Next you arrive at Fred Eaton’s team Canada, with new build Fill Your Hands helmed by Eaton with crew Magnus Clarke, and 2010 champion Canaan piloted by Billy Gooderham with Christian Pavey on the wing. They are sharing a tent with Steve Clark’s Cogito Project, who have both Aethon and Cogito on site and ready to go. Clark and Oliver Moore will be on board Aethon, while ’96 and ’04 winner Cogito with a new wing is in the hands of Lars Guck and Max Kramers.

Moving further along the line and you come to Alpha, the 2007 champion sold to Groupama last October, and now in the hands of the Spanish program headed by John Downey and Sito Aviles. Then there is Groupama itself with their green foiler and All-Star squad of Franck Cammas and Louis Viat. This does not include England’s own Team Invictus, who are feverishly working to get their wing finished for day one. Portugal’s Team Cascais, headed by Tony Castro, is also on the entry list with their new build Wild Horse, however they are not yet on site.

Measurement is already underway, and all the teams with the exception of Invictus have gotten in the water despite unfavorable conditions throughout most of warm-up week. The Swiss have been sailing out of Falmouth since July. The Americans and both French squads took advantage of brief weather window Wednesday evening. And the Canadians have been out twice, though they experienced some unpleasantly exciting moments this morning.

The event officially kicks off on Sunday with the first warning signal set for 11:00 AM. There are nine fleet races scheduled between Sunday and Tuesday. Wednesday is a scheduled layday, then the top two finishers from fleet racing match race for the Championship while the rest fleet race in the Petit Finals. There are as many designs and different modes of thought as there are competitors. Who is favored? Unknown, but everyone looks fast.

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