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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.


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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