Little America's Cup ready to GO

With all eleven teams measured and ready to go racing in Falmouth Bay, the 25th C-Class International Catamaran Challenge Trophy (Little America's Cup) will start at 11:00 Sunday 22 September. Hosted at the Restronguet Sailing Club in Mylor, Falmouth. Teams from seven countries are taking part in the event, Canada, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, the USA and Britain.

The teams 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. 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.

C-Class International Catamaran Challenge Trophy - Boats and Crew:

TEAM CANADA - Team Principal: Fred Eaton
CAN 9 - Canaan
Helm: Billy Gooderham
Crew: Christian Pavey

CAN 10 - Fill Your Hands
Helm: Fred Eaton
Crew: Magnus Clarke

TEAM SENTIENT BLUE - Team Principal: John Downey
ESP 8 - Alpha
Helm: Luke Patience
Crew: Sito Aviles

CHALLENGE FRANCE - Team Principal: Benjamin Muyl
FRA 2 - Patient Lady VI
Helm: Gurvan Bontemps
Crew: Gwenole Gahinet

GROUPAMA - Team Principal: Franck Cammas
FRA 7 - Groupama C
Helm: Franck Cammas
Crew: Louis Viat

TEAM INVICTUS - Team Principal: Norman Wijker
GBR 38 - Invictus
Helm: Tom Phipps
Crew: Cedric Bader

TEAM CASCAIS - Team Principal: Antonio Reis
POR 25 Wild Horse
Helm: Diogo Coyolla
Crew: Nuno Barreto

HYDROS LOMBARD ODIER - Team Principal: Jeremie Lagarrigue
SUI 1 - Hydros Lombard Odier 1
Helm: Billy Besson
Crew: Jeremie Lagarrigue

SUI 2 - Hydros Lombard Odier 2
Helm: Mischa Heemskerk
Crew: Bastiaan Tentij

COGITO PROJECT - Team Principal: Steve Clark
USA 104 Cogito
Helm: Lars Guck
Crew: Max Kramers

USA 105 - Aethon
Helm: Steve Clark
Crew: Oliver Moore

And here's the photo evidence of 4 nights in the shed getting covered with glue and resin and blood, sweat and tears. Great work from the Invictus boys and girls, and a great shot from Helena Darvelid.

The event website