Fred Eaton and Magnus Clarke on the ever sexy Canaan C-Class catamaran caned the competition today with a clean sweep of all three races of the second, much lighter day of the Little AC. Downwind they were just ridiculous, with Fred showing his skiff trapping skills and Magnus bumping the hull up at every chance. Upwind Glenn Ashby and Jimmie Spithill on Alpha kept trying to get inside, but the Canaan crew put the bow down and went for boatspeed every time, not worried about being passed.
The biggest meaning of today’s wins definitely isn’t the points Canaan gained, but the message sent. There was even a little precurser to the Match Canaan followed Alpha on starboard down the line to the pin and tacked for leeward boat advantage for the port start. Canaan will face Alpha in the best-of-nine series for the I4C tomorrow and Saturday, and Alpha has to come up with something to match Canaan’s performance. Or do they? It will be a match race after all, and the tactics will change significantly. Ashby and Spithill will likely attack during the prestart at every opportunity to get a penalty on Fred and Magnus. What is the defense? Canaan knows they are faster at this point, so they may try what has worked for them in the past: Run away prestart and make all of their gains during the race. With the points stuck back on zero, tell us your opinion and pick your horse here.
The complete bummer today is the French team sailing Patient Lady VI who ate it going downwind on the way to the course, obtaining some damage when their windward daggerboard went through the wing. Over the past week they’ve spent long hours every night tweaking almost every aspect of the dated wing to make it more competitive. Today, they achieved their highest speed yet right before the flip.
Invictus is sitting in a solid third place. Orion missed all the races yesterday due to breakage, and Invictus beat them two out of three today. Since there are five boats left with two racing in the I4C, it’s likely we will see a three boat fleet race for the next two days. Orion did pitch it on a screaming reach on the way to NYYC from the racecourse and sustained some damage to their wing, but they’ll be sailing tomorrow. Word is they were drag racing Matt Knowles’ Moth when they bit it.
On the Water Anarchy live coverage starts tomorrow just before 1100, when we’ll give you the lowdown on all the racing on Justin.TV. You can check out the full guide to the recorded races, interviews, and panel discussions here, and if you go to littleAC.com, you can watch the video while checking out the tracker. One thing is for certain, this championship will be intense.
One final thing: Thanks to all of you who’ve been watching, encouraging, and supporting us and our coverage of this awesome spectacle. Special thanks to the C-Class, Canaan, Fred and Magnus, HBI Boats and their new HBI 30, Layline, Ashby Sails, Red Gear Racing, and the US A-Class Catamaran Association, and a ton of appreciation to the sailors and team members down here giving us such great access (Ashby helped commentate during his own race today over our onboard microphone), and to the New York Yacht Club for getting ahead of the curve with their strong support for a class that represents both prestigious history and the most cutting edge of the sport. Meredith Block photos, and check out some great ones from Christophe Launay here.
Watch it here: