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Little America’s Cup

Ashby and Spithill dominate 1srt day racing in Newport

Steve Clark’s and Oliver Moore’s C-Class Cat makes spectacular capsize in race 1

jeudi 26 août 2010Redaction SSS [Source RP]

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The nor’easter departed New England today – more or less – and is off to ruin Canada for a couple of days. Its departure – better late than never — gave the half-dozen winged multihulls sailing in the International C-Class Catamaran Championship at the New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court a chance to stop talking and start performing. As if they needed any other encouragement.

Wednesday’s racing took place near Half Way Rock, north of the Pell Bridge, to minimize the remnants of the seas and breeze from the northeast. The wind at the start of the first race was 16 to 20 with puffs pushing it a bit higher. In the first race, Alpha, sailed by Australians Glenn Ashby and James Spithill, had a brilliant port-tack start. It was a shot over the bow. Ashby is an Olympic Silver Medalist and nine-time, A-Class, world champion ; Spithill was helmsman on BMW Oracle’s wing-sailed trimaran that won the recent 33rd America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup .

Certainly a major story line was the first-leg capsize of Aethon, Steve Clark’s and Oliver Moore’s C-Class Cat. This was a new boat for Clark, an American, the absolute prime-mover in the class, who held the International C-Class Catamaran trophy for 11 years, from 1996-2007. Clark has been as important to the class as Tony DiMauro was to the previous generation. These boats motor — on the sunny side of 20 knots — and the disturbed air off a freighter set off a chain reaction that resulted in a capsize and the loss of the wing.

There would be other casualties as well. Orion, sailed by a Canadian team of Dan Cunningham and Rob Paterson, dropped out of the first race with a broken chainplate, and the venerable Patient Lady VI, sailed by the French team of Antoine Koch and Jérémie Lagarrigue, had rudder problems. All were accounted for. Indeed, Patient Lady VI returned to finish the second race and the third.

Ashby and Spithill were passed on the first leg by the event’s defender Canadians Fred Eaton and Magnus Clarke. Then it was a full-on rumble between these two cats, both designed by Steve Killing, and indeed, both owned by Eaton. Anyone who ever said that multihulls can’t match race was forever silenced by this display.There were passes galore – the absolute essence of racing. The winning margin was two seconds in the Australians’ favor.

The second race, in 12 to 14 knots of wind, was less dramatic with Ashby and Spithill leading Eaton and Moore around the course. The third race of the day was won by the Canadians, Eaton and Clark.

- Press info Michael Levitt / NYYC /

Voir en ligne : Photo(s) Christophe Launay /

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