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Posts Tagged ‘Little America’s Cup’

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image001One of the most dominant players in the history of the C-Class and Little America’s Cup has once again lost his way. The first day of the Little AC saw a familiar site to those who’ve watched the past few C-Class events – the capsize and destruction of Steve Clark’s Aethon.  We’re not going to try to tell you the story; for everything Little Cup, head over to the thread.

The photo montage of Aethon’s destruction is here, the spirited discussion on whether the C-Class is headed for another dormant period begins here.  Luka’s been doing a solid job of free onsite coverage on his Facebook Page here.

For live virtual reality coverage of the event, go to the Hydros Youtube channel.

Mysterious title shout to 80′s post-punkdom.

September 17th, 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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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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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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According to several America’s Cup designers, the wing-loving world owes a huge debt to the C-Class.  Were it not for some 40 years of wingsail development in the C, they say, we’d probably still be decades away from wingsails on AC boats.

Fortunately, that’s not the case, and here’s your final look at the full, 17-minute video story of the 2013 Little America’s Cup/International C-Class Catamaran Championship from Petey Crawford/Penalty Box Productions.  Huge thanks to Magic Marine, Team Canada, Paterson Composites, Camera Lens Rentals, and Team Invictus for all your support!

If your interest has been piqued by this most awesome of all catamarans, be sure to hit the 2013 thread and ask the boys how you can get into the Class for the 2015 Little Cup in Lake Geneva.  We’ll be there, and we hope you will too.


November 1st, 2013 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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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 anything about foiling cats has you intrigued, here’s the video for you. It marks the return of the On-The-Water Anarchy “Cocktail Hour”, and Clean, along with co-host Simon Shaw, grabbed the designers and builders of the three foilers in Falmouth to talk about their design decisions, the Little Cup, the Big Cup, and the future of foilers.  This is some good shit, and you can download it at the Ustream link if you want to watch it offline.

More live racing today.

September 23rd, 2013 by admin

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