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Posts Tagged ‘Little AC’

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We are both stoked and scared about the just-round-the-corner 2015 Little America’s Cup; stoked to see ultra-enthusiast Jeremie Lagarrigue (Hydros.CH) making so much happen in advance of next summer’s event on Lake Geneva – a sexy new logo, sweet promo videos like this one above, an ultra-organized committee pulling in sponsorship and working to encourage competitors, and plenty of behind-the-scenes work to make the event as interesting as Jeremie and his team.  But we’re very afraid after seeing that this morning’s Press Conference – the first thrown by the Organizers for next year’s event – was almost entirely in French.

By this time, all SA readers will know that your Editors are avowed Francophiles.  Thanks to Mr. Clean, Ryan Breymaier, Ronnie Simpson, and dozens of other contributors, no English-speaking website has done more in-depth coverage of major French races than we have over the past 5 years, and more than 100,000 Frenchmen click on SA every month whether they can speak English or not.  And of course, no culture has done more for the advancement of high-performance multihull development than the Franco-Suisse; they are responsible for more big racing multihulls than any other; without them, we’d never have the ORMA 60, the MOD-70, the BOR-90, the Alinghi 90, the America’s Cup 72, or dozens of other world-leading and groundbreaking boats.  But there’s a real danger in letting things “turn Franco-Suisse,” especially in the context of one of sailing’s most historic classes.  With all due respect to the original slogan so enjoyed by the urban aware, “once you go French, very few come back.”

Note the Open 60 and its governing body IMOCA; founded by an American, a Swiss man, a French woman, an Italian, and an Englishman, it was originally intended to be a truly international group to govern the sport’s premier solo racing class.  Within 8 years, it had been almost entirely taken over by French-speakers, with a tiny handful of non Franco-Suisse ever getting to the table – a problem so grave it forced IMOCA to bring in Sir Keith Mills’ OSM organization last year to try to internationalize and invigorate the stagnating class. Note the MOD-70; a brilliant idea and a spectacular boat at a surprisingly low price, killed almost before it began by it’s developer and the Franco-Suisse organizing body’s overreliance on French marketing and sponsorship infrastructure during trying times. Note the ORMA-60; a perfect example of too many eggs in one basket, with a fleet almost entirely destroyed in one race along with a dozen sponsors’ goodwill and interest in ever sponsoring big oceanic multihulls again.  ORMA’s death led to the new prominence of the record-breakers, because there weren’t enough good sponsors left to build another big multihull circuit.

With Jeremie and team putting major effort into winning the next Little Cup, Cammas joining the Lake Geneva fleet to defend his title, and few credible non-French challengers waiting in the wings, we’re definitely afraid of the Little Cup becoming Le Petite Coupe forever.  Selfishly for our Senior Editor, it would mean a few nice trips to France or Switzerland every few summers to cover some great racing in one of the world’s most interesting boats.  Democratically, it would mean a major loss to the world of the truly ‘international’ competition that’s marked the Little AC for more than half a century.  If you want to bone up on that history, have a look at the Team Invictus page here.  And if you’d like to skip ahead to Steve Clark and the English-language portion of this morning’s press conference, go here.

Confused by the title?  Damned kids these days don’t know shit.

 

April 30th, 2014 by admin

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Groupama C was clearly in a league of its own in last week’s Little America’s Cup, the Team Hydros foilers were quite a bit faster and deeper on several downwind legs. Had they had more time and less misfortune, we might have seen the first Swiss-owned (and Dutch or French helmed) Little Cup champion.

Here’s a 22-minute walkthrough of their incredibly sweet ride, narrated by beach cat phenom Mischa Heemskerk, with a tip of the hat to Magic Marine and Camera Lens Rentals for their support.  Stay tuned for the Groupama walkthrough and the overall highlight reel coming soon…

October 9th, 2013 by admin

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Those of you vainly searching for Americans inside the Oracle team can take solace in the fact that OTUSA lead designer Dirk Kramers  is indeed a US citizen, as well as being incredibly humble despite his awesome success.  Never one to rest on his laurels, Kramers jumped on a jet almost immediately after the San Francisco win to check out the new foilers in the Little Cup and cheer on son Max aboard Cogito.  Clean and Olympic multihuller Will Howden caught up with him to ask him about the rumored “Herbie” system, about Oracle’s incredible improvement, and what he thinks about the future of Cup designs.

October 1st, 2013 by admin

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With Franck Cammas and Louis Viat sitting on the beach with a comfortable 2-0 lead, Billy Besson and Jeremy Lagarrigue on Team Hydros went out to try to even the final match against Groupama C for the Little AC Championship.  They didn’t last long; in 15-18 knots with some wicked puffs off Mylor Harbor, Besson lost a control on his rudder and pitchpoled, destroying the wing and handing the 2013 Little Cup to Franck Cammas, who became the first-ever French C-Class Champ.  We’ll have a long story about the event along with a pile more photos from Mer and a must-view ‘reality show’ video story of the Little Cup coming over the next week or so.  Video of the crash here.  Results here.  Meredith Block photo with a full gallery here.

September 30th, 2013 by admin

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Jeremy Lagarrigue helped Franck Cammas get up to beach cat speed back in 2008, the duo taking second at the F-18 Worlds.  Cammas is returning the favor by crushing Lagarrigue’s Team Hydros C-Cat, going up 2-0 with an average victory of almost half a leg.  They both chat to Mr. Clean in this video here, and a big thanks to Magic Marine for our gear and for their support of our coverage.

 

September 27th, 2013 by admin

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If it wasn’t for Franck Cammas, Oracle would likely have never won the DoG match.  He owned the Volvo Ocean Race with Groupama 70.  He owned the ORMA fleet with Groupama 2. He owned the ocean with Groupama 3.  And now he owns the C-Class with Groupama C.  Is there anything Franck Cammas can’t do?  Well, he clearly can walk on water, so maybe not.  Next stop for the French superstar:  The America’s Cup?  You heard it here first.

Meredith Block photo, with some awesome galleries from Falmouth here and thanks to support from Cameralensrentals.com (use the code “CCLASS” to get 15% off your next lens rental).  For a full preview of the finals, check out Willy Clark’s take over here, and for dozens of interviews, lots of chat, and the latest links to the live feed and more, go to the thread.

September 26th, 2013 by admin

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The first day of actual racing at the Little America’s Cup certainly didn’t disappoint; a mix of the kind of carnage you’d expect from the most bleeding edge of development classes and incredible high-speed, high-flying action from the dominant Franck Cammas and Groupama C.  The Rev Petey is back in action too, as you can tell from this incredible highlight reel from Races 1-3 of the 2013 C-Class Cat Champs.  Enjoy, and be sure to check out a full day’s racing, broadcast live by Clean and team beginning at 1100 GMT – right here. 

The full video from races 1-3 are here.  Part One here, and Part Two here.

 

September 24th, 2013 by admin

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No racing on Day One of the Little AC, but still too much sailing for Team Cascais, which snapped its front crossbeam on the way out to the course.  It was a big success for them just to get here, and they’re evaluating their options for a repair this morning.

You can follow the action all day on the Ustream (video) and Sailracer (tracker) links below, and stay tuned tonight at around 1830 GMT for a live talk show with the designers and builders of some of these incredible machines.

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 highlights and interviews @ Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/cclasscats

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

Hashtag: #LittleCup

Day One Highlight Reel: https://vimeo.com/75189924

 

 

September 23rd, 2013 by admin

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Live Video streaming by Ustream

If you’re into wings, foils, and technology, you’ve been waiting for this for a long, long time.  If not, you owe it to yourself to check out the 2013 Little America’s Cup.  Technically known as the International C-Class Catamaran Championship, it’s the best thing about sailboat racing, and thanks to Clean and the team, along with Magic Marine and the Canadian C-Class Team, it’s live every minute of every race from today to Saturday.

Pics, interview, amd much more at the event Facebook Page.  Like it, share it, and enjoy.

 

September 22nd, 2013 by admin

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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 Downings 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

SA Thread:  http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=144228

 

 

September 21st, 2013 by admin

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Team Canada’s Little AC ride Fill Your Hands may have inspired helm Fred Eaton and crew Magnus Clarke to fill something during an early-morning testing session for the International C-Class Cat Championship next week.  In 15 knots of wet Falmouth breeze the boat’s foils ventilated going into a gybe, with the ensuing splashdown sending Eaton into the water and Clarke around the bow. Eaton was fine but the crew not so much; the slender carbon dolphin striker sliced deep into Magnus the Marine Mammal’s calf to the tune of seven big stitches.  We’ll have an update later on his condition (though he’d probably still race if his leg was sliced clean off), and news galore throughout the next 12 days.  Easiest place to keep up with the event: The Multihull Anarchy thread and the Facebook page.  Look for photo galleries, interviews, boat tours, and details on the live schedule beginning tomorrow.  Photos from Meredith Block/C-Class.

 

September 19th, 2013 by admin

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If the last few weeks has contributed to an obsessive need for you to watch foiling catamarans racing through big wind on your computer screen, we’re happy to inform you that you’ll have a full week of it coming up this Sunday with the Little America’s Cup.  Formally known as the International C-Class Catamaran Championship, the Little Cup will feature 11 teams from all over the world with some of the most advanced racing craft ever developed; in some ways far more advanced than the ‘real’ AC.  

Clean, Mer, Petey and a cast of famous and not-so-famous guests are digging the On-The-Water Anarchy cameras out of the shed to bring you live, hilariously and expertly commentated video action from every race at the 2013 Little Cup, along with our infamous ‘Cocktail Hour’ live talk shows, piles of interviews, and highlight reels put together by some brilliant folks in the UK.  We expect to have trackers, great photography and plenty of updating on Facebook, too.  So keep watching here, and for everything C-Class, hit the 2013 International C-Class Championship thread and bring yourself up to speed. If Facebook is more your speed, Like the Little AC page here.

Like the Minista below, the UK’s Team Invictus have had a tough road to the starting line.  Here’s the update from their skipper and the fastest sailor on the water – Paul Larsen:

SundayThe start line is often the first finish line.

It’s past midday on Sunday here in Bristol. The shed is full of various wing parts in heater inflated bubble tents. To say we are a bit late is a massive understatement.

This is yet another big ol’ mission just to make it to the start line. I didn’t want it, nobody did. I had no idea what I was walking into 13 days ago. Basically, for one reason or another, Helena and I walked in just as things had fallen apart. We had come to hopefully help a little bit to get the last bits together and help the team along. What confronted us was obviously going to require substantially more input. We had a main spar with the ribs attached to it… and that was it! No flaps, no moulds, no leading edge and no control systems/linkages’hinges… just CAD drawings.

My first reaction was to keep walking. This would mean that there would be no British boat at this event. That was unthinkable. We had to have a go. We went to the pub and began hatching plans. As long as there was a chance… we would have a go. We began pushing on.

None of us wanted to stand next to a piece of junk. It’s obviously not going to be as good as it could be… but the old girl might be alright. The platform seems OK and there are some aspects of the wing that I am interested to see. We don’t have the time to re-design everything to fit the schedule so there has to be some shooting from thew hip and acceptance of what we have.

Keep it in mind that this needs to be in Falmouth getting rigged on Tuesday.

We had to come up with a quick way to make a 3D curved leading edge so we used polystyrene blocks, a skilled carver and then Dan (from Independent Composites) did a great job of fairing and skinning. In fact Dan and the boys have been ripping into it. They made the large lower flap and have let us take over the workshop for the weekend.

Thankfully the National Composites Center (NCC) in Bristol did the MDF tooling for the top flap and Helena and I went and built that there with Nick Hewlings. The mould came off the machine last Wednesday afternoon. We used a quick method of sealing surfacing the mould involving putting the whole thing in a ‘envelope’ vacuum bag which we then sucked down onto the mould and used as a surface to actually laminate onto. Unbelievably… for some reason this bag sort of dissolved during the cure and is now structural i.e. part of the laminate. We were so lucky that it held its vacuum and that it didn’t result in the part being permanently stuck in the mould. None of us have ever seen that before . So we’ll be sailing around (hopefully) with a vacuum bag still on the upper flap.

We just don’t have any time to get hung up on one process. It’s all a bit mad. At times I wonder what the hell I am doing here. We shouldn’t still be doing things this way. I guess when it all looked a bit too much I began to wonder if we really could do it. I’m still wondering.

The parts are all coming together. The flaps are a bit heavy but then we haven’t finished cutting them down.

Anyway, here we are. It’s getting warm in here. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. The picture of us cutting out the holes in the lower flap was taken around lunchtime today.

Monday:  All the big pieces are together. The little bits are turning up and the trailer just arrived. The Harken order is on the way direct to Falmouth and the Marlow order is still being chased. The daggerboards are curing under a heater just off camera.

Helena is trying to hook up live tracking. This will all be loaded in the trailer tonight and should be in Falmouth in the morning. It just has to be that way.

Tuesday:   Invictus has once again… left the building. Well, actually there is still quite a bit of building to be done… but she’s out of the shed anyway.  This boat and this team, in one form or another, are why the event will be in the UK this year. We felt that she simply had to be down there mixing it up with her Brethren on home waters.

Goodbye Dan, Leighton Mitch and Nick from the NCC, thanks so much for going the extra mile and helping to get rid of us:)  We still have a lot to do but the overall spirit in the team is good. We turned a corner. Let’s see what happens now.

Next stop, Falmouth and the 2013 ICCCC.

September 17th, 2013 by admin

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We grabbed C-Class firestarter Fred Eaton on his way back to the mainland last week for a little chat on the upcoming C-Class Cat Champs in Falmouth; the super-intense but very quiet helmsman talks about the level of the biggest fleet in Little AC history, his training regime, and a tiny little bit about the Fill Your Hands.  The reveal comes very soon; until then, get to know the decade’s most influential C-Classer.

 

August 16th, 2013 by admin

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As the world waits for our video exposé on the Little AC defender’s new ride “Fill Your Hands”, her crew and wing trimmer checks in with a definitive answer to the foiling question.  Note too that the C-Class finally has their website rolling along; it’s all coming together for the world’s coolest sailing event…now let’s hear from Magnus:

So basically if you ain’t foiling you’re screwed is what everyone’s saying? Well that was basically what happened at the big AC and it seems to be the case here. It could be that the foiling boats suffer greatly upwind with the rest of the junk they have to carry around, perhaps not. Either way, once you turn the corner, the benefits of foiling to some extent or another are rather obvious.

Even last year with FYH we were doing foil assist and the difference was massive in simply how much easier it was to sail the boat. That and it didn’t slow down in wave troughs, etc. There is a photo of us just cruising along earlier in this thread, Fred and I are just sitting to windward with a relatively high degree of righting moment, sailing decent angles downhill. Canaan in the same conditions, about 13 kn TWS was having a wee bit of trouble for the boys. They had not sailed it in that condition before and she was being a little nosey on them, e.g. risking going down the mine. So they were not exactly at 100% performance. but in those conditions, on Canaan, you would have been limited by pitching moment, not heeling moment. In other words, the boat would go over the handlebars long before it would fall over sideways for lack of righting moment. So really two years ago, our team was basically limited by how far back you could stand in the bus and still sheet on without stuffing it. so FYH was going about 25% faster on a VMG basis, even in those conditions.

Fast forward to even partial foiling. The bow simply doesn’t go down…..all that often. So when you get into waves the boat is basically just sailing straight through the water, through the back of a wave and out the other side with no heave, or change in altitude. The faster you go, them more stable it is because more and more of the weight of the boat is taken on the foils and if they are properly immersed all the time, the lift they provide is not changing all the time with each passing wave, so the boat is not pitching, it’s not heaving it’s just sailing. Now all of a sudden, you can start piling on some wing load. In retrospect that day I was being a pussy, I could have easily gone out on the wire and just hammered it on the sheet and we simply would have gone faster and probably lower.

Once you go to fully foiling, things change a lot, everything starts to go backwards as anyone who has sailed a moth will tell you. The puff hits, sheet in and step forward, don’t ease and stand back or you will go into orbit right away. So foiling means a bunch more complication on the boat. I think that’s one reason the C-cat crowd has followed the AC guys in not having “active” controls on the boat. If you can set up the geometry to create dynamic stability in flight, you save a whole lot of complexity on the yacht. Off Yer Rocker was a great execution of a stable foiling platform, but it came at the cost of a lot of bells and whistles. If you can fly with minimal controls and settings to sort out, it’s an elegant solution.

Back in 2011 at an ETNZ meeting, about the third big design meeting, some of the guys put up two intersecting curves showing drag in displacement and drag in foil mode and where they crossed over. Above a certain speed, downhill in particular it was obvious that the next cup was going to be won not with wings but with foils. At the time I was not sure if that would be the case for C-cats because by comparison they have a lot less horsepower. But seeing where we are now and the breeze the venue will hold its obvious that there will be ample power to foil for those that wish to.

The challenges however for foiling are many. One, you go really fast, which simply means you have the opportunity to land really hard, which with a wing can be really bad. kind of hurts the body too.

Stable flight, well it’s not all that easy without active controls like wands. Keep in mind the big boys have no less that one crew member dedicated to adjusting ride height with rake control etc on their main foils. We can adjust pitch and sheet far faster, but main foil angle is a big very important input for good flight. so a boat this size, needs an exceptional base line set up to foil happily.

Loads go way up. Upwind used to be our maximum load condition on foils, now it’s downwind. The foils are longer, way more loaded and so strength is an issue even with fantastic amounts of carbon and very careful build procedures, breakages happen. We have had some failures in shall we say, in very short time frames. It seems sailors are bred to destroy shit quickly. Then the loads on the platform go up too. When you fly a boat on a foil it has a ton of twisting force on the platform, this gets translated into the main beams which also now need to be stronger. everything is more loaded up now all the way around the course.

It’s very difficult to totally strip the system down to something as simple as our bench mark which is Canaan. You need to be able to adjust a bunch of stuff, much of it under load, to get a slippery, strong and controllable yacht. This all adds weight, complexity and cost.

Finally there is only two pairs of hands on the boat. The number of strings has gone way up, and new skill sets are required to operate the gear in a sensible fashion. It gets a bit taxing on the crew at times.

Flip side to all this, SCARY PERFORMANCE!!!! when the boat lights up OMG!!! hang on for dear life.

To answer your second question, how you trim the boat out, wait and watch, when you figure it out let us know too, we’re still learning a fair bit about it…

Meredith Block photos.

 

August 8th, 2013 by admin

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Yesterday Mr. Clean became one of just a handful of folks to ever helm the 2010 Little America’s Cup winning Canaan, widely believed to be well under 350 lbs. and the lightest C-Class ever built.  And as light and fast as she is, Fred Eaton and Magnus Clarke’s ride for the September Little AC is quite a bit faster…we’ve got the no-punches-pulled tour of the fully foiling Fill Your Hands on video but we can’t show it to you for a couple of weeks; we’ll have as detailed a report as we’re allowed on both boats from Clean today. Meredith Block photo and more in the thread.

August 2nd, 2013 by admin

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Multihulls still haven’t figured out how to fly upwind, and that means the optimal foil shape for upwind floating is completely different from the horizontal surfaces required for downwind aerial stunts.  That’s led to complicated S-shapes, C-shapes, L-foils, and all sorts of hybrids like the Swiss Hydros foiling C, but leave it to two-time Little America’s Cup champs Fred Eaton and Magnus Clarke (along with ETNZ designer Steve Killing) to take a step back and do it the right way; with double boards per side.  This lets the C-boats keep their traditional close-windedness and uphill efficiency (Jenny Provan shows how it’s done above) while going full flight & fury downwind.

Keep an eye on the already stellar 2013 Little AC thread; every few years, it’s the most interesting discussion in sailing – at least for the techno-obsesssed, like us.

July 6th, 2013 by admin

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