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.