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Posts Tagged ‘Foiling’

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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 (http://etsclassc-rafale.ca/)



July 1st, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 7.54.48 AMProviding nearly all the answers to the numerous reasons why normal humans don’t buy moths, Amac’s new Waszp website went live today.  We hear it will be a while before the boat’s really figured out, but as the only guy to have ever been successful at selling production foilers, we wouldn’t bet against him!  Check out the cheaper, easier, beach-launchable details over here and talk about it here.


July 1st, 2015 by admin

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2015 A-Class Catamaran North American Championships

US A-Class Presidente Bailey White gives us the goods on the biggest regatta of the US season for the foiling singlehander, along with a controversial and exciting new direction for the extremely healthy US and Canadian Class.  Thanks to Walter Cooper for the great shots, and get in on the rules debate over here.

The A-Class Catamaran North American Championship is entering its last day here in Panama City, Fla., and I can guarantee no one wants it to end. We’re not sure what the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club sacrificed to the weather gods to get it, but every day has had perfect, solid breeze – not too much, not too little, and you can see how the new foiling guys are improving each day.

2015 A-Class Catamaran North American ChampionshipsThe leader board pretty much solidified after day one, with previous North American A-Cat Champ, iceboat world champion and Moth sailor Matt Struble, last year’s NA champion Bruce Mahoney, and USACA president Bailey White going 1-2-3 respectively.  Struble returns to the fleet after a two-year absence and is using Ben Moon’s A-Cat. In yesterday’s perfect foiling conditions, as soon as he and Bruce Mahoney rounded the top mark, their event turns into a match race on foils. These guys just have another gear, going lower and faster than anyone else. In yesterday’s six – 10 knots and flat water, at times they finished five minutes ahead of a very competitive fleet.

But more on the regatta report later … let’s talk about the yesterday’s excellent class meeting for Canada and USA members. We have voted to suspend the Class Rule 8 for two years.  That’s the rule that limits foiling technology for the Class.   We have not modified any other rule, and this is a change just for our two countries, designed to give us the information we need to make a proposal to the International Class members.

The A-Class is the fastest growing and possibly largest foiling class of any kind in North America, with almost 50 foilers coming online in the last 9 months, We now have people aged 20 to 70 foiling at the regatta, and our new change means    we can now put foiling boards in from the bottom, eliminating all other restrictions to encourage members to experience the incredible sensation of flying.

2015 A-Class Catamaran North American ChampionshipsSo, what does this mean? Whether you have a new boat or an old boat, you will be able to fly in the A-Class.

In addition, at our skipper’s meeting, we unanimously approved having a fixed spectator boat in the middle of the fleet. Yesterday a gorgeous 50-foot trawler hosted Panama City commissioners and guests so they could enjoy the action up close. This is one progressive community, where the City is actively pursuing hosting major events here – there is the support of the mayor, city commissioners and the local businesses to entice sailing to their area.

It’s not too late to check in to the action. Today’s the last day of the North American Championship, and racing kicks off at 12:30 CT. Superstar sailing PR Laura Muma and her team are sharing updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages, and testing out the new Twitter Livestream app, so you can watch the starts and roundings as they happen.

May 23rd, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 10.20.50 AM The world’s first outward-facing J/foil made its debut last week, and Morgan Lagraviere seems to have the Open 60 Safran going pretty well.  This little shot is a screen grab from the video here of the shakedown cruise, and be sure to check out the 2016 Vendee Globe thread to keep up with the very latest news.  For a bonus foiling story, check the Google Trans of a very comprehensive Voiles et Voiliers interview with Gitana’s Seb Josse here.


May 21st, 2015 by admin

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Florida 300 Day 1John Casey checks back in from the first real foil-off between the FLying Phantom and his Nacra 20 FCS. His photo, and of course our title reference to one of the funniest shows of the 2000s.

If you’re having a light conversation with someone and they say, “Hey, you should come down to the Keys for a sail,” you meant yesterday.  The sun was peering down on us, the wind was around 12 knots with low puffy clouds drifting over the shore and the water was about the same balmy temperature as the wind. It was absolutely pleasurable.

The real story of our day came courtesy of large clumps of sargasso lining up on their march to shore, just hanging out waiting for us. Yes, they play havoc with our daggerboard boats, but a unique and surprising thing happens when the FCS foils through the weeds; they slice right though them. What we thought was going to be the biggest hindrance on this flat water leg from Islamorada to Key Biscayne was actually helpful to us, as the slower boats had to clear their boards far more often.  We called our day ‘mowing the lawn’.

The Nacra performed brilliantly as we foiled the entire upwind/close reach day except for a couple lulls and when we had to pinch up high to get over the sandbar protruding from Elliot Key. We finished in exactly four hours. The powerful sail plan definitely helped in the lighter conditions, as the curved board Nacra 20 Carbon arrived to the beach in second place 20 something minutes after us. It’s really all about sawing that mainsheet as well. My crew, Colin Page, played it like a tug-of-war anchorman all day. Sail trim is so important for the balance you need to stay smooth on the foils.

The tried-and-rock solid Nacra 20 crew of Steve Lohmeyer and Jay Sonnenklar are leading the biggest fleet of Nacra 20s.

For more action, check out the Florida 300 site, and stay tuned for my final report over the weekend.


May 15th, 2015 by admin

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