Canaan Dominates Today’s Racing in International C-Class Catamaran Championship
Day 2 August 26, 2010
NEWPORT, RI, August 26, 2010 -- What a difference a day makes. Today was all Canaan all the time at the International C-Class Catamaran Championship at the New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court. The stars today were the Canadian defenders Fred Eaton and Magnus Clarke, who won all three races, while Alpha, yesterday’s leader, sailed by Australians Glenn Ashby and James Spithill, finished second in all three races. In point of fact, Canaan has won four straight races, winning the last one on Wednesday.
These two teams will match-race tomorrow and Saturday to determine the winner of the International C-Class Catamaran Trophy in play since 1961. This is the 25th iteration of this regatta.
Missing from today’s racing – indeed the competition – was Aethon, sailed by Steve Clark and his nephew, Oliver Moore. Seconds into yesterday's first start, Moore fell overboard and Clark crash landed into the wing, which unfortunately suffered significant damage. They had to drop out of this much anticipated regatta.
Before today's first race Patient Lady VI had some rigging failure, they were towed in to shore and the crew headed back to the race course to observe in an effort to build their knowledge base of the C Class cats. Orion and Invictus completed all races, often sailing close, but Orion punctured their wing just before reaching shore.
The teamwork seemed cohesive on Alpha, and often they were pointing higher than Canaan. The Canadians however spectacularly overtook the Aussies at the first windward mark of the second race and demonstrated familiarity with their boat, their tactics and their boathandling.
In the fifth race, for example, the Australians started on port tack, ducking Invictus and Orion and then had to cross Canaan on starboard. This they were able to do with, perhaps, a thin boat length to spare. However, the Aussies ended up over-standing the weather mark, forfeiting the lead to Canaan. Then it was what became so obvious today. Canaan was able to sail lower and faster downwind – a devastating combination. Adios Alpha!
Fred Eaton is looking forward to the match-racing that begins tomorrow. He recognized, however, “We have a big target on our back. Now we enter into the game they know how to play.” Alpha crew-member James Spithill was helmsman on the BMW Oracle trimaran, which won the 33rd America’s Cup; Glenn Ashby has an Olympic Silver Medal in the Tornado Class and is a 10-time A-Class Champion.
So, the Aussies claimed Day 1 as their own, today the Canadians...and we're all eagerly awaiting tomorrow's forecast to see the course and how they'll approach Day 1 of Match Racing for the trophy.
Cannaan (CAN 9) 6 points
Alpha (AUS 1) 8 points
Invictus (GBR 38) 16 points
Orion (CAN 8) 25 points
Patient Lady IV (FRA 2) 28 points
Aethon (USA 104) 35 points
Day One of Match Racing Sees Two Winners in the International C Class Championship
FULL RESULTS and PHOTOS: www.nyyc.org/cclass <http://www.nyyc.org/cclass>
NEWPORT, RI, August 27 -- The wind was light and patchy on this first day of match-racing in the International C-Class Catamaran Championship. Canaan, the black cat raced by the Canadian defenders Fred Eaton and Magnus Clarke, was in her element yesterday, winning three of three races.
Today, was not so smooth. After a significant shift to the south the seabreeze filled in at 12 knots and the third attempt to run a race was a success. More of a success for Alpha however, sailed by Australians, Glenn Ashby and James Spithill.
At the approach to the line Canaan stalled, losing the start and six legs later the first match-race. 1-0 for Australia. In the fleet race designed for the French, British and second Canadian entry, Orion retired. Invictus, of England, crossed the finish line first, and despite powering around the course, just milliseconds after crossing the line Patient Lady VI’s wing tumbled.
The Australians again took the start of the second race. The beat up to the windward mark just north of the Pell Bridge saw them round ahead of Canaan, but not by much. A boat length or two. The Canadians, however, passed the Aussies in a diminishing breeze on the downwind leg and then they were off. Canaan finished ahead of Alpha, by over a minute.
“Not bad for a couple of hosers from Canada, eh?” says Eaton with a humble grin.
A twist-control repair to the Aussie boat paired with a dying breeze curtailed racing for the day. The score is now 1-1 and racing is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning for the final day of the championship.
Move Over Monohulls, Multihulls Are Flying
NEWPORT, RI, August 28, 2010 -- If wing technology didn’t have everyone’s attention after BMW Oracle Racing’s victorious 33rd America’s Cup, it definitely does now. The high speeds and almost instant acceleration of cambered foils had members of America’s Cup syndicates, top designers, and all sailors in awe.
Canadian C Class Catamaran Team of Fred Eaton, Magnus Clarke, Steve Killing, Rob Paterson, and Rossi Milev have been along for the entire ride, one way or another. Clarke, Paterson, and Milev took six months off from their C Class program to manage wing protection for the largest wingmast ever built for a race-boat: BMW Oracle’s (223 foot) 68 metre-tall wing. Reunited in March, their team brought four wings to the International C Class Catamaran Championship hosted by New York Yacht Club on Narragansett Bay this past week.
“Upwind the camber is moderate, but downwind with the flap set at 40 degrees, the wing will produce almost double the force of an equal area soft sail,” explains Killing.
Eaton and Clarke raced Killing’s latest design, Canaan, to a thrilling victory today in the final day of match racing.
Thrilling for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that they sparred with two of sailing’s most accomplished sailors and proven match-race experts, James Spithill and Glenn Ashby.
"It's fun to sail with your buddies because you mostly sail on your own in the class, and because the guys in the class are universally interesting, “ says Eaton. “They are interested and passionate about sailing high performance boats and I appreciate that because I am too. We rarely get to race these boats. There can't be that many of them since we're all trying to make it a fleet of one — we're all trying to make the other guy's boat look slow. The C Class is a great exploration of yacht design."
Eaton’s interest in developing his fleet of cats was in large part inspired by American Steve Clark’s 11-year hold of the class trophy in Cogito. Eaton arranged with a French team to race Patient Lady VI, the Australians Ashby and Spithill to race his 2007 C Class trophy winner Alpha, and a second Canadian entry of Rob Paterson and Dan Cunningham to race Orion.
Over the years England’s Team Invictus has been percolating a program with the help of Airbus engineers and the UK’s finest multihull sailors. The UK sailing team of Paul Larsen and Gordon Kaiser made it round the buoys this week, which Clark unfortunately did not — both of Steve Clark’s boats and new wings were damaged right before the event commenced, and the second boat only minutes after the first start.
At the outset of racing, the older Alpha appeared better equipped to handle the heavier air and the Ashby/Spithill team took the lead. The newer Canaan was in her element in the lighter conditions at the end of the week.
The next C Class Championship is slated to be raced in Weymouth, England, date to be determined.