In the International C-Class Catamaran World Championship, following the two sessions of match racing contested this Thursday in Falmouth, Franck Cammas and Louis Viat aboard Groupama C weren't giving the Swiss team on Hydros any chances. Better in the pre-start phase, faster over the course, the French crew secured two bullets with panache.
It now remains to be seen whether or not the strong breeze expected on Friday and Saturday will enable the organisers to launch further races...
In the meantime, let's not deny ourselves a good thing and give Groupama sailing team the credit it deserves: the ability to design, build, fine tune and then race one of the most fantastic machines to fly across the water: the C Class, a kind of AC72 scaled down to a third.
Indeed, that's the appeal of this class with its highly restrictive measurement: to give free rein to the talent and imagination of naval architects, engineers and sailors to design the fastest catamarans in the world. The upshot of this is that in just seven knots of breeze, Groupama C reached the speed of 21 knots, which is three times as fast...
Equipped with foils and a canting wing mast, Franck Cammas' catamaran hasn't given its rivals any opportunities. And the Swiss on Hydros can't say the contrary despite a long night of work yesterday in a bid to adopt some of the ingenious devices seen on Groupama C, such as the canting mast.
It remains to be seen how the wind Gods will behave on Friday and Saturday before we learn if Groupama C will have to compete further or instead wait quietly in port for the latest World C Class Champion title, alias the Little America's Cup. Indeed, in excess of 20 knots of breeze, the Race Committee won't be launching any starts, thus respecting the class' rules, which are not dissimilar to those that prevailed in San Francisco over recent days...
If this is the case, then the results from the three days of fleet racing will prevail.
Franck Cammas: 'It was a great day. Despite our influence upwind, I was also keen to win the start phases. We did just that in both races, which is a good thing. It's a shame the fog moved in so soon as I'd have really liked to have continued racing'.
Louis Viat: 'We won both races by a sizeable margin. We were surprised almost. Franck certainly did a good job before the start. It's always easier to win when you're in the lead at the start'.