Mar 30, 2014

The Innovator & Surf/Sail Legend: Hobie Alter passed away.

Some old fashioned conservative people at times forget about the roots of things they try to keep still & freezed. But if it weren´t for innovative characters like Hobie Alter, the reach Surfing and Catsailing have achieved would have been pretty limited, and both sports/lifestyles quite less popular.

I've been reading surfing history since a kid, and one of the key developments that got more people into the sport was the introduction of light foam core boards.
This foam was developed by Gordon Clark (from Clark Foam) & Hobie Alter, that produced and sold the first foam surfboards back in the 60s.

Surfers back in those days were complete waterman, and Alter went expanding the thrill he was getting out of the sea by building a 14' catamaran. The Hobie 14 was the first boat of the Hobiecat line that changed for ever the sailing scene.

Just like Herreshoff in the 1900s, Alter went challenging the status quo and pursued to get his two hull vessel as popular as his 'Hobie' surfboards. He was the first in the surfing industry to launch specific models, having Phil Edwards (one of the most talented surfers / shapers of his time) as his pal, helped the marketing plan.
Some year ago I saw some factory clip from Hobiecat where Phil was featured shaping an scaled model of the Hobie 18. Phil & Mickey Munoz also helped Hobie with the H16 development. Hobiecat is a Surfer bred & born company.

I got involved into sailing directly to the Hobiecat 16. Previous the H16 my only sail experience was windsurfing. Lets face it, even now there is not much appeal from those not having a traditional sailing background to get involved into sailing as a sport beyond cats. Multihulls are still the sport best asset to attract current & future generations.
You can certainly backtrack the success and exposure of the last Cup in Multis directly to Hobie Alter, among others.

Hobie was always looking for new things, just the other day I wrote on a N20 Foiling article, that he was one of the greatest innovators in both sports.
Here a list of some of his developments from the Surfing heritage Foundation:
The Innovations of Hobie, part 1
The Innovations of Hobie, part 2

Check his history video below. Thousand of sailors & surfers, (even skateboarders)  are in debt with him.
Hobie Alter replicated the Surfer culture & style into sailing, he made it cooler, faster and available to a wider audience.
That was his greatest achievement. 

A book on his life was recently launched. Check & for more info.

Hobie Alter passed away yesterday but his legacy will remain Alive till the end of times.

Mar 26, 2014

A-Class: Askell freeride @Quiberon

Back to the Basics. Between all the info I've been publishing, I tried also to put things in perspective.
I liked the A before flying and I pushed the local guys to buy before airborne winning boats.
Thibault Laudren sails the french Askell A-Cat , built by Dorian and Joris Le Pluart. He nails the core idea and shows us how much fun is sailing these boats either way in the video above.
Sent by Thibault Laudren -
"Looking at all the comments and news going on these days around the A Class dilemma about flying, I just thought it would be nice to have a bit of a change in the thread and show what really A Class sailing is about at this time for most of its class members, for most of us cat sailors really.

The 95% non pro-sailors and

St Barth Catacup: 2014 Registration

Registration for this event will last 20 mins. So hurry up to get a spot among the 50 limited entries. In 2013 Franck Cammas & Mathieu Vandame won racing a Cirrus R .  Most exclusive event in the beach cat racing scene we got to known thanks to Pierrick Contin images. Video above by Manu Duclos
"On November 19-23, 2014, Saint Barthélemy will once again fall under the spell of the St Barth Cata Cup. As this

Mar 24, 2014

F18: The good Life by FRA18

Yesterday we have some excellent 10-12 knots flat conditions here at BA and we went out with 10 F18 of our local club for some training races. After sailing the A-Cat some days ago, many returned to race with the F18 'Tanks'! But these tanks have some smooth & powerful ride.

A versatile catsailor must be able to race with finesse in the A and also maintain the intense work & ryhtm needed to sail the F18, specially by the crew. Super fun and intense sailing.
But Vincent Blin had even more fun in his 2013 season... check his wrapup video below. Yt here

Nacra F20 FSC 2014: Production Flight

Grainger new Trimaran line: Cruise, Race & ...foil ?

Mar 22, 2014

Extreme Series Muscat 2014: The Wave 1st

Good breeze for the final day. Above TNZ clip.
Full report & results at
Final Day Replay at Here

Extreme Sailing Series 2014 overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 19 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) 18 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 16 points.
Full Table at

Mar 21, 2014

Falcon F16: Belgian Youths training at Hyeres

Check how fast these kids are going. The Royal Belgian Sailing Club has been making an intense and professional project training youths. Gill de Bruyne has been providing the Falcons for some years now. Gill is the European dealer for Falcon Marine:

G4: Foiler Racer Cruiser

Updated renders on the Gunboat G4. This is by far the most ambitious project going on the Multihull World. Jonhsntone is aiming high. Future St Maarten  regattas will get even more interesting...
G4 detail at

There are also some other 20-25 Cruiser-Racers going for some airtime too. Next week we will publish details about the new Tony Grainger Trimarans.

Mar 20, 2014

Extreme Series Muscat: Day 3 Live

Light winds at Muscat. First Class lineup though. Alinghi leads, TNZ 3rd. Full report and results at

Day 3 Live below

Mar 19, 2014

Extreme Series Muscat 2014

Live Broadcast Tomorrow. Day 1 text reporting and Twitter .
Barker returns to helm TNZ x40.

Mar 18, 2014

Raid du Goëlo St Quay Portrieux 2014 by Contin

All images Pierrick Contin/ . Full gallery at Phantom Int fb

A-Class: Mike Drummond on Rules & Devel

Continuing with the series of qualified builder/designers positions Mike Drummond sent his personal view on current scenario. On the C boards continuous radius proposal I must point out that Raphael Censier went airborne / jumping /flying or whatever you want to call it without J boards and even winglets in his first tries.
Only way to ban foiling now in the A-Class is to return to short straight boards, this is an indisputable fact.
Mike Drumond's view.-
Rule 8a Development
I was a member of the Technical Committee which drafted the 1.5m tip-to-tip rule 8.1 in 2009. For better debate on any future rule changes, it is instructive to review the reasons for this rule and why boats are now foiling.

Timeline of foil development
In about 2000 the class voted not to allow foiling and a new rule was introduced "No hydrofoils permitted".

2004. The class started using canted straight boards which produce vertical lift. They became normal and if "no hydrofoils" was interpreted as "no vertical lift" 90% of the fleet would be illegal.

2008. The Technical Committee was asked to propose a rule to replace “no hydrofoils”, but with several constraints - to allow existing boats that already produced lift; be open enough to allow development; be easily measured; as well as not allow foiling.

The first problem is that a boat can fly with straight, vertical board - albeit briefly, without control and not especially fast. A racing rule such as "at least one hull must be in contact with the water" relies on protests during racing for enforcement and is outside the scope of the TC.

Mar 17, 2014

F18 Worlds @Bangor: Lower entry fee period extended

Image Jasper van Staveren /
"Following the exchanges held between Ballyholme YC Organising Committee and Class Representatives during recent Official 2014 Launch in Bangor, and considering Eurocat event in Carnac is a benchmark for a large number of F18 sailors, it has been decided to extend the cheaper entry fee period to 11th May"

Worlds official website
See 2014 F18 Worlds NoR Amendment 1
It has been decided to allow entry for the event at the cheaper rate to be extended. 
Therefore in NOR 5.3 and NOR 5.4 – replace “1st  April 2014” with “11 May 14"

The NOR now reads

5.3 Late Entries received after 11th May, 2014 shall be £320.00 per boat.
5.4 Late Entries received after 11th May, 2014 for under 23 teams shall be £160.00 per boat. 

Ballyholme Yacht Club Race Committee 
10 March 2014

AC35 & A-Cats: Pete Melvin Interview by

Interview from last month, but didn´t published much on the AC lately and while waiting for AC35 official rules where a 60-65 foot flying cat is expected to be chosen, it is worth to see this interview made by Richard Gladwell / Sail-World NZ at past A-Cat Worlds.
Interesting comments by Melvin on the As too.

Strange (!?) that no monohull is discussed this time...
Left: I wanted to figure out how much small the 60 is and I made a simple hull sketch comp. Must watch interview below.

A-Class: Open letter by Lallo Petrucci

Open letter sent by Lallo Petrucci from  Bimare. We've published several builders positions on opening
the rules and towards foiling, Petrucci aims to keep things as they were previous the J daggers proposing a constant foil radius.  The objective side on Lallos comments  is that the Class had some excellent Formula leveled racing, where any design with a good sailor on board could aim to win.
The main aspect of the foiling transition we are seeing now, is that the Class will have a period where that formula leveled racing will need to be built again while the optimal flight solution arises within current rules.

It is clear that current positions just wont go away after what we've seen at Takapuna , and some Nat Assoc must put through the formal channels a new proposal, to be seconded and if support achieved then voted with a 2 / 3rds in favor to be passed. Meanwhile the rules will stay as they are and development will continue. 

Here in Arg, the 7 boat fleet recently formed is growing by 5-6 additional A-Cats being bought right now.

Open Letter by Lallo Petrucci.

IACA Committee's President
IACA Committee's Members
IACA Technical Committee's Chairman
IACA Technical Committee's Members
Chairmen of the National A class Associations

IACA Webmaster

"As a founding member of the Italian A Cat Association, perhaps the oldest national A cat association, and even more as the founder of BIMARE, the first boatyard worldwide to have started “mass” production of A class catamarans (back in 1973), I think we have the right to make public my position regarding the debate which is dividing A class members into the so called foiling and the non-foiling “gangs” .

Although I'm  not part of the Technical Committee, (incidentally I have never been invited to hold any position in it so far), I consider to have the duty to defend the interests of hundreds of BIMARE customers, who have made an essential contribution to the development of the A class all over the world in these last 41 years.

Therefore I formally submit to the IACA Committee, to the IACA Technical Committee and to the Chairmen of each A class National Association, a proposal to revise ASAP the A class box rule in order to avoid that the our loved class lives the months before the next Europeans in France and the following full year in a state of complete stalemate.

It seems in fact that a few would like to wait until the routine WGM scheduled during the 2015

Nacra 17 @Palma Pre event: Iker Martinez- Tara Pacheco 1st

Mar 15, 2014

A-Cat: Dario Valenza testing TNZ foils

This looks good, although check the dagger position below the front beam. We've seen this in small cats many times and every time it was needed to be placed back again on its drawbacks like tack efficiency and rudders extra load. Leeward hull/foil at 1:00

But Dario is having fun and some smooth foiling sessions, he also developed a solution to insert a smiliar dagger from the top. But this one is just placed/glued from below.

Dna tested something similar while going for the Js, check here
Lets see how developments goes, and the key will always be at the racing course.

Mar 14, 2014

Nacra 17 @Palma Pre event: Arenal training Camps Trophy

Image by Jesús Renedo/ . Palma pre event for the Nacra 17 fleet. As last year great images by Jes'us at CSN fb page.  There is a brand new N17 , unused , in Europe contact Lucas at lucasgsmith gmail com.
Results afte 2 races at

Mar 13, 2014

F18 Worlds Bangor 2014: C2 Charters by Goodall Design

Today I went back sailing the F18 in some perfect flat 8-9knots. Pretty relaxed & smooth session. I still have the F18 OP on schedule. And might get some good builder in Europe to offer it in the future too. Meanwhile if you are traveling to Northern Ireland for the 2014 Worlds, the Goodalls are providing charter boats deals. Good on them promoting and offering charter alternatives, pasts years were quite hard to get quotes or even find one. Full Details below:
 World Championship Charters
"Goodall Design, in conjunction with Goodall Design Ireland is proud to announce we will be offering brand new 2014 C2s for charter in Ireland for the World Championships!!!
All charters include delivery to the venue, beach rollers and stern supports, insurance and current F18 Measurement certificates. Goodall Design will also have staff on site to help you setup your boat. Contact Tim Breen at Goodall Design Ireland for further charter information.

Now for the really Big News…. These charter boats will be sold at the World Championships at unbeatable prices. You can buy a regatta old C2 with beach rollers, stern supports and current F18 Measurement certificates, for the same price as you would for a 3 year old boat!!! Contact Tim for more information!!

Gunboats Racing @St Maarten

Gunboat Elvis at St Maarten . Sent by Rachel Jaspersen "Now that the boats are all scrubbed down and looking forward to their next adventures, we have had the time to go through the 1000's of pictures and movie clips and yes we have discovered not only that Elvis is back in the building, but also some gems of photographs not yet out there.

Gunboat have not set ourselves up a Vimeo channel so that our videos can easily be watched on mobile devices, check it out here: Gunboat Vimeo Channel

Then look here to see if Elvis is really back in the building:
Keep watching our Facebook page for more pictures and videos "
Pictures © Ocean Images.

Nacra 17: 70 Entries for Palma 2014

70 Entries is quite a number, we put the Nacra 17 as 2013 Boat of the year and clearly the fleet numbers are confirming the success of this new class.

Bundock, Cammas, Besson and many more will be present. 2X Olympic Medalist & Tornado World Champ Santi Lange, will be participating at Hyeres.

Image left by Jesus Renedo from early Dutch visitors.
Entry List Here

One of the Arg crews is selling a brand new unused boat located in Europe. If interested please contact Lucas at lucasgsmith gmail com

Mar 12, 2014

Modifying Spindrift 2 for sailing 'Solo'

Since last December a team of 20 is working at Spindrift boatyard to adapt the Maxi trimaran 'Spindrift 2' for the 2014 season, which includes the North Atlantic crossing the record attempt  and the Route du Rhum in Solo mode.

AMong the modifications they are cutting the mast and adding a bike on deck. Work will continue until April
More info at

Mar 11, 2014

Vid: Oracle & Team Australia training AC45s @Sidney


F16 Australian Nats 2014

Full Viper fleet this year. Crown for Dan & Nath Van Kerckhof. Additional pics at

Additional images here
Results below.

P Sail No Skipper Crew Tot R10 R9 R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1
1 AUS218 D Van Kerckhof N Van Kerckhof 12.0 1.0 1.0 3.0 [15.0Q] 1.0 2.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 [15.0S]
2 AUS261 P Pietromonaco J Wierzbowski 14.0 [15.0O] 2.0 [6.0] 3.0 2.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 2.0 1.0
3 AUS294 J Felsenthal H Rietman 31.0 4.0 6.0 [8.0] 4.0 4.0 4.0 3.0 [7.0] 4.0 2.0
4 NZL215 M Bursa C Haynes 34.0 3.0 3.0 4.0 2.0 [12.0] 8.0 [10.0] 6.0 3.0 5.0
5 USA28 D Carlyle S Razeng 40.0 [15.0F] 4.0 1.0 5.0 8.0 7.0 7.0 3.0 5.0 [15.0S]
6 AUS345 T Rietman G Rietman 43.0 5.0 7.0 2.0 [15.0Q] 5.0 6.0 5.0 9.0 [9.0] 4.0
7 AUS313 B Goodall E James 50.0 7.0 9.0 9.0 [15.0Q] 3.0 3.0 6.0 5.0 8.0 [15.0O]
8 NZL324 M Stichbury-Coop A Green 51.0 6.0 8.0 7.0 6.0 7.0 5.0 [8.0] [15.0F] 6.0 6.0
9 AUS243 J McDonald J Hendrickson 52.0 2.0 5.0 5.0 1.0 10.0 [12.0] 9.0 [15.0F] 10.0 10.0
10 AUS290 M Floyd S Floyd 66.0 15.0C 15.0C [15.0F] [15.0F] 9.0 9.0 4.0 4.0 7.0 3.0
11 AUS287 T Salt J Shue 81.0 [15.0F] 10.0 12.0 [15.0F] 6.0 11.0 11.0 10.0 12.0 9.0
12 AUS289 L White C Alderson 85.0 [15.0F] 11.0 10.0 [15.0F] 11.0 10.0 13.0 11.0 11.0 8.0
13 AUS244 N Penno F Bismark 91.0 15.0C 12.0 11.0 [15.0F] 13.0 [15.0F] 12.0 8.0 13.0 7.0
14 AUS113 S Hutchison M Ball 100.0 8.0 13.0 13.0 15.0F [15.0S] [15.0F] 14.0 12.0 14.0 11.0

Mar 10, 2014

A-Cat first rides at BA

This weekend I had the first rides on the DNAs that arrived to BA. So after years of publishing F18s in our muddy river waters you will now start seeing the A in the same environment. 

6-9knots flat, excellent conditions for a first sail. The DNA felt Super responsive, powerful and features a quite rigid platform.
I liked specially the downwind runs , quickly grabbing pace and accelerating where I felt I was near to push for some little air.  But I didn´t had straps and preferred to wait till next time thanking Juan Faustin for letting me his black 'Stealth'  ARG 44.

With a little more wind Juan and Sergio went playing around, they have some hours already from Punta del Este, and started going for high lift , they achieved some jumps but it was clear they needed more wind.

I windsurf  quite often and liked how the A reacted to body/leg trim. You can push the A in a similar way you work your Formula board / FW big sail.

Dario Valenza in his Carbonicboat blog describes the technique to get current boats airborne, interesting how he insert the technical aspects of the dynamic/kinetic trim, but for the majority of sailors it is just grabbing the pace & feeling of the boat and reacting accordingly to get more speed , just like Windsurfing.

That was the major aspect I can differentiate from an F18, those 180kg against the 75kg of the allows you to push the boat around, and seeing the foiling videos from Nathan at Takapuna is clear that current flying mode requires sailors ability  which I think should remain key whichever direction the class decides to follow as for ie having active trims like wands, shouldn´t be allowed in my view.

Whichever the case I had a great sailing and floating ride! Still need to sail the boat in more breeze though but it was a pleasure to sail in that wind range.
I pushed the guys for some years now to get these weapons and last September they went for them. Having PJ providing a semi production line it was possible to buy 7 boats at once on reasonable delivery times.
All now extremely happy and enjoying the rides, and this will continue with or without racing air time.

More boats might be coming to, maybe some Exploders that are being negotiated right now. Guys are asking me for info and getting budgets all over the place.
What I can say is that many equipment and prices options are available today. In fact, in Europe you can get a top performer A-Cat for less than an F18, and that should be taken in account by many.

Gunboat Fleet Racing at Heineken Regatta 2014

Above Gunboats racing at Heineken Regatta 2014. The problem for these Gunboat owners is going to be when the flying G4 enters the race... that will bring the Cruiser-Racer Multi to another level.

Report below by Louay Habib. 
More pics at Gunboat fb
Results at

Gunboat Grand Finale
"The closest contest in the ten year history of the Gunboat Class played out to dramatic conclusion on the last day of the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta. Shifty winds with a massive rain squall provided high drama for the decisive race for the Gunboat fleet. Right from the start line, in Marigot Bay, the battle was on. Coca de Mer and Slim came in on Port with Tigerlily, Tribe and Elvis choosing starboard. All five Gunboats hit the line in unison and something had to give. Gunboat 66, Slim fouled Tigerllly and returned to restart.

Once again Gunboat 62, Elvis got the mojo going and made the top mark first, leading the fleet across the Anguilla Channel. However, Gunboat 62, Tribe chose to play the current and shifts along the St.Maarten shore line and came out smelling of roses, making a massive gain,

A huge rain squall at Blowing Rock caused the fleet to compress

Mar 6, 2014

Flying Phantom: Gabart goes for the Foiling Tack

We didn´t saw this at SF if I remember well. This is the foiling Tack by Francois Gabart training at ST Lunaire, if planets get aligned I might be testing the FP soon. Cammas is getting competition to helm in the ACup Team France? After adopting TNZ conf the FP is pushing now the next level of things to come for AC35. Full sequence left by Phantom International.

AC35: Team Australia launchs their AC45

Images by Andrea Francolini. Team Australia making their first steps towards AC35. Being the Challenger of Record , and through some agreement they will surely get lots of support from Oracle that went to Sidney to train with them.
Good to see the Aussies having their own team, although many of their top multihull riders are already taken by others, they won´t be short of talented resources. Official FB page at

F18 Worlds Ireland 2014: July 4-11, Ballyholme Yacht Club

Olivier Bovyn went to Ballyholme Yacht Club, Bangor Bay, Ireland to check the venue for the 2014 F18 Worlds.

Billy Besson & Jeremy Lagarigue are defending champs, hope we can have them racing after a full 2013 for them with the C-Class Hydros Project and the Nacra 17 campaign for Billy with Marie Riou.
Candidates for this year are Gurvan Bontemps & Benjamin Amiot.

Some of his pics left. Check complete info for the event at
Camping seems to be available this time near the Club. More images by Bovyn here

Ballyholme YC official web at
Tourism information
Bangor area

Schedule Below:
Saturday 28th June   Irish F18 National Championships Day 1
Sunday 29th June   Irish F18 National Championship Day 2
Friday 4th July   1200 - 1830 Registration & measurement
Saturday 5th July   0900 - 1830 Registration & measurement
Sunday 6th July   0900 - 1300 Registration & measurement
  1400 Warning Signal Practice Race
  1830 Opening Ceremony
Monday 7th July   0900 Competitor's Briefing
  Racing Qualification Day 1
Tuesday 8th July   Racing Qualification Day 2
Wednesday 9th   Racing Qualification Day 3
Thurdsay 10th   Racing Final Day 1
Friday 11th July   Racing Final Day 2
  1800 Prizegiving Ceremon

Mar 5, 2014

Hobie 16 Worlds @Jervis Bay Wrapup: Back to the Golden days

Report sent by Steve Fields"After one and a half years in the planning, and with a 38 year legacy to uphold, Hobie Cat® Australasia has successfully held the world’s largest Hobie 16 World Championships in Jervis Bay, NSW Australia.

This global event, which was supported by The Hobie Cat Company World-Wide, The Shoalhaven City Council and Destination NSW, saw 901 Athletes from 24 countries travel from across the globe to Huskisson in Jervis Bay to compete in the 16 day regatta.

Hobie Cat Australasia built the 60 Hobie 16 catamarans sailed in the event, and Hobie staff and a crew of volunteers worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure the event went off without a hitch.
NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, congratulated Hobie Cat Australasia on hosting the hugely successful event.

“The Hobie 16 World Championships was a major regional event on the 2014 NSW