When AHPC launched their F16 bet, Olympics were not in sight for them, beyond entering a new class, the goal also was providing a test bed for their new C2 F18. The Viper performed even before Bundock and Brouwer joined the party, but with them the australian builder got themselves the higher exposure and top results a small company needed to compete one on one with Hobie and Nacra. An F18 World Title for Bundy and Jeroen, plus the the F16 first Worlds, latest Olympic bid and Carolijn on her Viper showing several F18s the way at Texel and Thai regattas, has put AHPC on the limelight.
Beyond any speculation, for mandatory mixed any F16 is the favorite choice as wrote before, but if selected I think it will only last as long as the Mixed option remains mandatory or if ISAF grants a 2nd spot for an Open option in 2020, leaving the door open for a Female & Open/Men combo.
The performance is there, the class too, lets see what ISAF is looking for Rio 2016.
I have a full report from Brett on Lfoils too, will publish later, I think they are taking them to Santander to show off as an alternative, but their official bid is equipped with their proven standard daggers.
Press Release Viper Class
"It's the boat with bite and attitude to burn and now the Viper is preparing for the start of its most important race to date _ making it onto the 2016 Olympic sailing program in Rio.
Already a big hit with sailing's Generation Next as well as current and past champions, the high-performance Viper will strut its stuff at the International Sailing Federation's Multihull Evaluation Trials for the 2016 Olympics at Prince Felipe High Performance Sailing Centre in Santander, Spain, from March 17-25.
This is the chance for a boat already turning heads for its results on the water to win over a new legion of fans looking for a class to showcase sailing's future, its willingness to move with the times, its desire to be high-performance and media savvy and its desire to create a level playing field for men and women.
The Viper also embraces "universality'' thanks to its relative low cost for its performance output, with older classes able to feed into the class and plans being discussed for a future series involving sailors from all regions and emerging nations.
"It's the "skateboard" class of sailing, the cool one, the edgy one, the one that is creating a buzz on and off the water but still proven,'' said former world sailing champion and multiple Olympian Carolijn Brouwer, part of a skilled team of experts and sailors behind the boat and its exciting plans for the future.
"It's the future of sailing, the class that is young and fresh but at the same time high-performance. It's a new, edgy look for sailing that ticks off the boxes, on and off the water, and is a proven performer with a long list of fantastic results in major regattas.
"But perhaps one of its best attributes is that it doesn't discriminate in any way. I have won regattas as a skipper with a male crew and others have beaten me with a male skipper and a female crew.
"It's a boat for the changing times of sport. And we believe that quality is more than a match for quantity.''
As elite sailors, Brouwer and former multiple world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Darren Bundock have focused on making the Viper a boat that impresses not only on the water, but on the result sheet, in the boat-park and in the headlines.
The class have at their disposal a team of technical and coaching gurus along with media and marketing experts to ensure the Viper and its sailors are big hit on and off the racetrack. Coaching, expert technical advice, media training, promotion and a social media campaign are all part of the classes plans as it looks to attract a new legion of sailors, fans and followers to the sport of sailing.
"We believe this is the right boat for sailing to show it's future, that it moves with the times, that it is fresh, appealing and media friendly. In short, that sailing is both fun and cool,'' Bundock said.
"The Viper shows the sport moves with the times, that it looks forward not backwards and that it is willing to embrace change for the better.
"The America's Cup has undergone a major facelift and the type of sailors involved in this prestigious event in the future are the same ones who are already cutting their competitive teeth in the Vipers.''