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Posts Tagged ‘Foiling’

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Aside from a precious few standouts, mainstream US news does a pitiful job of covering sailing – a sport that can be arcane and esoteric for anyone not born to it, and one that comes with a presumption of rich, white douchebaggery.  So when a local newspaper in the middle of nowhere publishes a full feature on a small Moth regatta, it stands out. And when that reporter – the area’s most senior journalist – captures exactly what happened, it’s a small miracle.  It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, though: New York Times reporter and longtime SA’er Chris Museler joined the fleet recently, and between his knowledge and new US Moth Class media queen Lara Dallman-Weiss’s enthusiasm and social media skills, we expect plenty of new interest and solid growth over the next 12 months.  And pieces like this one can only help.

Some sailors will tell you that if you want to go fast, you should get a power boat. That presumes that boats with sails are, by nature, pokey.

But not all.

Consider the Moth.

ofpmf 2015A small boat capable of 30 knots, Moths fly above the water thanks to hydrofoils.

Moths are the kind of boat that makes you look twice, their hulls held aloft by hydrofoil legs, high above the water that other boats ply.

In mid-November there was a chance to see Moths in action in Pamlico County waters. For a few days, just off of Steve Benjamin’s newly-opened Minnesott Beach Sailing Center, the Moths zipped along several feet above the Neuse River.

Steve knows about sailing a boat fast – in early November he’d placed 2nd in the World Etchells Championships in Hong Kong – but these Moths were faster still and he’d invited the Moth sailors to come here for a weekend Moth camp with an important mission. It would be their one last training and practice in advance of a December regatta in Bermuda where they’ll face sailors with Americas Cup experience.

The Neuse was perfect for practice this time of year says Anthony Kotoun, the US champion Moth boat sailor. That’s because the river has the same kinds of sailing conditions he and other Moth sailors expect to encounter in Bermuda.



November 25th, 2015 by admin

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Try as they might, French marketeers just don’t have a handle on the art of the publicity stunt.  Brian Hancock mentioned it the other day, and now the video is in of Julbo eyewear and Franck Cammas becoming the first humans to foil around the Horn. While they accomplished their goal, is it wrong for us to be completely underwhelmed?  ‘Cause we are.

We also wonder what it says about the Flying Phantom that Cammas chose to go with the Nacra 20 FCS instead of the boat he helped to develop.  Was the FP not up to the task for the first stunt we’ve ever seen from the Man in Green?

Hey – at least they added their names to the record books – and got a nice big spread in GQ-France.  Clicky above for the video.


November 23rd, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 12.36.41 PMThe latest vaporware C-Class comes from Norman and the folks at Invictus; more of a double-hulled moth than a Groupama-style foiler, it’s got centerline appendages and a wand.

Is this the leap that could end the French dominance of the Class, or just another crazy dream from a team that’s struggled to find pace in every event?

Some are skeptical…learn more in the thread here.


November 5th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 9.41.26 AMThe wide-open development world of the Ultimé trimarans means ultimate secrecy, especially when it comes to the most important performance part on the boat: the foil.  And sure enough, after months of testing and sailing with only highly edited photos and videos making it to the public, the J-foil on Macif has finally been revealed.  It’s fat, short, and looks like it’ll survive a whale or seal filleting session well enough, but will it be fast enough to bring wunderkind Francois Gabart RTW gold?

With the even more extreme near-sistership Banque Pop IX not far behind, we fully expect quite a bit about these rockets to change before their solo round-the-world race begins in a couple of years.  In the meantime, this monster is off to Le Havre to compete in the doublehanded TJV in just a couple of weeks; here’s a pretty sexy video promo for their challenge.   Thread here.


October 13th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 10.20.32 AMConflicts and family requirements mean that Sailing Anarchy will miss the C-Class Catamaran Championship for the first time in a long time, and we’re sorry to say that, unless something huge changes, our absence means the live On-The-Water Anarchy coverage you came to depend on in both Newport (’10) and Falmouth (’13).  Fortunately, there are plenty of long time Anarchists racing their high-tech cats in the event, and the student-run Rafale Project team takes a break from setup for the Little America’s Cup in Lake Geneva to send in this report from the paddock.

So far it’s been a lot of very long days leaving our house at the crack of dawn, to avoid the Geneva traffic, and leaving SNG well past sunset most days! But it’s been a real blast for everyone in the team. It has also been fun reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

Personally I have been humbled by the welcome we have received from the Hydros foundation team, the people at SNG and all the other competitors. It reminded me again why I love this class so much and why I keep wanting to get back into it despite the stupendous effort it takes to get there.  The fact that one of the foil specialist from the Groupama team took time out of his busy day to come and see us, give us some advice and lend us some of their equipment to improve our foils is a testament to the spirit of the class that unites us.

The buzz around the Little Cup village definitely helps getting through the day. Everyone is helping everyone and sharing tools, exchanging advice, knowledge or even helping each other launch and retrieve the boats.  But our arrival here has also been the time for a serious reality check! It took us a couple of days to prep Rafale for our first day out.  There was still a big job list left from our last sail in Montreal. Yesterday we spent 4 hours on the water in light wind. Upwind performance looked not too bad, but Marc and Trevor were really struggling to find the right mode downwind.  We learnt a lot from out first sail though, and clearly we still had a lot of work to do!!!

Then came our second reality check in the form of Franck Cammas’ green missile. There is no other word for it! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a C class going this fast, let alone in this kind of wind conditions. I admit it was a bit demoralising for everyone, I think especially for our sailing team.  But that only lasted for a short while. As usual, the team picked itself up and carried on. Today as every other team went out in even lighter conditions we focused on improving the boat. As I write this, back at HQ, I feel quite confident we have made some drastic improvements. We completed most of our rework on the hydrofoils and rudders, reviewed our control system, changed the setup of our element 2 morphing tab and cleaned up the rest of the wing aero. The latter 2 items should drastically increase our downwind performance. There has been little time to look at other boats and gauge the competition. Still there are lots of interesting designs and ideas. I will have to try and post some pics of some of these.

Team Norgador has some nice improvements to the Hydros boat they are chartering. They have bigger version of a moth ride height control that looks pretty neat. And I do like their end plate. It’s really clever! This would have my vote vs. End-plating to the tramp… These guys deserve a lot of credit for putting this effort together is such a short period and with such limited resources!  Sentient Blue / former Alpha is looking as good as ever in the hands of its new team. Will be interesting to see how they fare if the conditions are light!

Cogito looks nice too in the Axon racing paddock. Iast time I saw her wing, it was in bits on the NYYC lawn after the Steve’s unfortunate capzise. But she looks great now with the wing rebuilt! What an amazing piece of C class history! Who knows how the team’s local knowledge will play out.
I haven’t had a chance to look at Steve’s boat in details yet. I’m very intrigued to find out the details of their setup. It’s exciting to see something radical pop up!

As for Groupama, well their deck looks more like a fighter jet cockpit than a C-Class! I’ve never seen so many control lines and indicators in such a small space! I hope Franck likes spaghetti!!! I kind of wonder whether they will be rigging missile pods on the wing tomorrow or canons on their foils!!! More seriously though they are clearly not taking things for granted and they have been working as much as everyone else to prepare their boat. I’ve seen a few different foils being tested back to back…

The last team, Team Gstaad yacht Club has been a bit conspicuous by their absence… Their tent is being used as the scrutineering bay so no space for them yet. But I kind of wonder whether they will arrive with some surprise tech on their Hydros boat.  Anyway this is going to be a fun race come Monday!
In the meantime we have a lot of work to get Rafale ready, and hopefully tomorrow we can line up with some of the other boats to see how our improvements look.



September 10th, 2015 by admin

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post-738-0-92394000-1440703775With the Little America’s Cup fast approaching (and the entirely expected but still sad withdrawal of Rob Patterson’s Canadian team, the guy whose dominance nearly killed the C-Class checks in with his latest idea for taking the Cup back to the USA, and in a competition that may be more floating than foiling, it’s clever as a motherf^%&ker.  Meet the SNAKEfOIL, and hit the thread for the full details on Steve Clark’s entry and the full field of competitors.  Teammate and family member Dave Clark explains the foil.

The intent of the SNAKEfOIL is actually not to get foiling sooner. There is no judge awarding points for simply being out of the water more. The boat has exited the water in light winds sooner than would be expected, but that was mainly a function of maxing out the foil trim and was on final analysis simply wasted energy picking up the boat. It definitely brought it below a fast catamaran’s displacement-mode speed for that wind. In fact, I believe my dad’s intent is the reverse of your assumption. The SNAKEfOIL (named for the board head’s resemblance to that of a cobra, the caps bit is a self deprecating joke i.e. “snake oil”) is a seven foot long slightly recurved straight board with a tightly curved head that acts as a cant control. This means that the board can be Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 10.11.27 AMreverted to a cant angle of zero and simply zip along in displacement mode on the leeward side and be fully retracted from play on the windward side. This solves too problems in wind speeds where foiling is pointless. First, it eliminates the excess drag found in the horizontal component of a stereotypical catamaran hydrofoil when in displacement mode. This excess drag was poison to hydros in light air and Mischa went to arguably radical lengths to combat it. Second, the unretractable component of the stereotypical catamaran hydrofoil is a pain on the windward side in light air. It juts out sideways and drags just as you are starting to build speed and fly a hull. Ideally, the SNAKEfOIL should make it possible to glide along in sea-hugger mode in light air and foil in good breeze. That said, if the breeze is light, my money is on Cogito. She’s the best boat for a drifter in the event, Benoit Marie knows what he’s doing with the stick and Benoit Morelle is a seasoned veteran of strange lake geneva breeze. Let’s bit forget that this is a boat race. I hope I’ve brought some clarity to all this.


August 28th, 2015 by admin

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The Little America’s Cup may have lost a lot of its shine, but if you think the world’s most open development class (and the boat that birthed the modern America’s Cup) is done giving lessons to the world’s high-performance thinking, you’re dead wrong.  Here’s the latest Anarchist team to send in their update for the upcoming Little Cup.  Get to know Team Norgador over here.

On September the 12th, a historical event will take place, and it will provide a unique opportunity to watch genuine flying machines, a cradle for spacecraft technology.  Two seasoned sailors are at the helm of this “interceptor aircraft”, and communication, commitment, know how, fortitude, mental endurance – these are the ingredients of our recipe. Share with us these values, so this very project –our project~~, this challenge is lead to success.  “You are about to hear the heartbeat of our earth to the tune of wind, water and clouds.”

-Jean-Pierre de Siebenthal, CEO, Team Norgador

August 24th, 2015 by admin

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First there was moth.  Then AC72.  Then C-Cat.  Then there was GC32, then SL33, FP, FCS20, Stiletto, that orange scow thing, and the hits keep on coming.  What do they all have in common?  You aren’t going to race across the ocean in one.

That changes today, because the first ocean-ready racing foiler is now flying (with apologies to the floating museum that is Hydroptère). Spend a minute with the modified Mod70 Edmond de Rothschild with L-foil and T-ruddered joy in her first-flight video above to see what’s coming, and if you like this, just wait til you see the 105′ foiling singlehanded Macif and the even more extreme Banque Populaire behind her in a few months.


July 30th, 2015 by admin

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This one is a bit excruciating to watch unless you are a foiling fanboy, and we admit our fanboyness for AMAC’s new Waszp thanks to the decent shot we think it has to be a game changer.  So here’s 46 minutes of Andrew introducing his price-point, one-design foiling moth to the world at The Foiling Week.


July 2nd, 2015 by admin

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Long the place for the dreamers and tinkerers to play, the evolution of top-end sail racing has finally made winged catamarans not only technologically interesting, but actually cool.   How else do you explain all the good looking youth engineers throwing their souls into the Quebecois Rafale Little America’s Cup project? Here’s an update from Canada, and head over to the thread for the latest likely entry list and chatter about the Little AC.

Our hulls are in the last stage of fabrication, i.e. just adding the daggerboard cases. Plateform assembly should be well advanced by the end of the week, depending on a few missing bits and pieces.  A prototype set of our hydrofoils has been tested by the Mystere Composites team on their Espadon Air Design 20ft catamaran. Results have been very encouraging with some good speed and stability. Our set of foils and rudders are being built as we speak by the Mystere team.  The wing is also at an advanced stage of completion. The front element is 90% complete. The flap / rear element is 60% or 70% complete. Most of the wing assembly should be complete by next weekend.

We are on track to be hitting the water on the weekend of July 4th and 5th. We should have 1 months testing and debugging before we ship the full kit to Switzerland.  There are still some questions marks on some key elements, especially shipping and budget. We are keeping our head down and hoping for the best.

I have to give a big shout to all the people who have supported us and helped us get this far, especially all our sponsors who have trusted us to deliver! We hope to make a good showing in Geneva and make them proud.  Overall I have been really impressed by the resourcefulness of the team and what we have manage to achieve considering where we started from. Few would have given us much chances of making it this far. For sure we have had to make many compromises along the way to save time and/or money. The result will be a boat that is slightly heavier than we would have liked but it’s not a bad effort for a first attempt. It will be a tremendous plateform to work from in the future.

 The team keeps some update and uploads regular photos on our Facebook page, accessible also from our website (



July 1st, 2015 by admin


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