by Lulu Roseman
The Formula 18 Catamaran Worlds are set to take place in Long Beach, California from the 8th-15th September, 2012 and Easy Tiger Racing Team's Chris Way and Rod Waterhouse are set to compete. The competition is expected to be hotter than ever among the 122 strong fleet that features some of the world’s best multihull sailors including Olympian and America’s Cup (Oracle Team USA) sailor, Darren Bundock (AUS), fancied local Olympic silver medalists Pease and Jay Glaser (USA) and 2011 F18 Australian Champion, Team Objective’s Jason Waterhouse.
Chris Way and Rod Waterhouse at F18 Worlds 2011, Hungary Sail Number 392
Easy Tiger’s Formula 18 Racing Team is based at Pittwater on Sydney’s Northern Beaches where the pair have been training on their Hobie Wildcat F18 in preparation for this event.
Team Tiger’s Chris Way has had a great year so far in several one-design monohull classes. He won the Platu 25 Coronation Cup at the Top Of The Gulf Regatta in Thailand in May and narrowly missed out on podium finishes in both the Farr 40 and Melges 32 Australian Championships. Most recently he won Chester Race Week (Canada’s largest annual keel boat regatta) in Canada on the J/111 Blast with a team of Eastern Canadian champions.
Skipper Rod Waterhouse, is a past Masters World Champion in the Hobie 16 class and a multiple Worrell 1000 Champion. The Worrell 1000 is a 1,000-mile beach catamaran race between South Beach, Florida and Virginia Beach, Virginia sailed on various classes of high performance multihulls.
'I’ve been itching to get back out on the F18 catamaran with Rod for some adrenalin fuelled multi-hull action after a season dominated by monohull racing. The goal for Rod and myself is to finish in the top ten and we’re also going to have a crack at the Masters title,' Way said.
'The regatta venue is fantastic and we have chartered a brand new C2 catamaran (same design as current F18 world champion, Darren Bundock), so there are no excuses,' he added.
The calibre of the fleet in this Worlds will be even better than last year in Hungary with the addition of some very good American and Argentinian sailors.'
On the weekend, Way and Waterhouse finished 11th among a fleet of 30 in the Labour Day Regatta hosted by the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach which essentially served as the pre-Worlds regatta.
'We had two great days on the waters of San Pedro Bay. The wind conditions were nor’ easterly sea breezes that built to 20 knots by the late afternoon with a bit of a swell and a choppy sea state. It made for some screaming downhill rides.
'We are getting used to the conditions. It has been a while since Rod and I have regularly sailed in 20 knots with such a sea state so it is taking a bit of getting used to.'
The Formula 18 catamaran is an ISAF class ‘box rule’ 18-foot catamaran limited primarily by sail area and length. This dinghy is a two-man trapeze boat with spinnaker, self-tacking jib and high aspect main that is capable of reaching speeds up to 30 knots.