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International C-Class Catamaran Champ

Fred Eaton and Magnus Clarke will all Thursday races

Match racing begins today to determine 2010 champion

vendredi 27 août 2010Redaction SSS [Source RP]

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What a difference a day makes. Thursday 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.

- Press info Michael Levitt /

Voir en ligne : Photo(s) Christophe Launay /

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