The two Hydros crews representing Switzerland during the C-Class World Championship were finally able to race in Falmouth (U.K.). After a first day cancelled due to fog and capricious winds, the sailors could finally do the first races of the Little Cup next to the Restronguet Sailing Club today.
Once the fog gone, both Hydros C-Class Catamarans along with their eight competitors were finally able to go to the racing zone in the bay in a pretty strong wind between 16 and 18 knots. Right from the very start, the English boat of Team Invictus capsized and set the tone of the race which was going to be quite intense.
The two Hydros flying catamarans with wingsails, fiercely defending the Swiss Flag and their partners, were powerful, but the wind constantly going up made the adjustments difficult as testified Jérémie Lagarrigue, project manager and crew member of Hydros: 'I was focusing on the balance of the boat, and the adjustment of the foils, but it was really difficult to control the wing at the same time and to hold out on Groupama, steered by Franck Cammas, who was impressive upwind. We have very powerful boats and perhaps a little bit too powerful for this weather.' The result is encouraging and worthy of the work accomplished by all the Hydros team over the months of preparation: SUI 1 (Besson - Lagarrigue) finished second and SUI 11 (Heemskerk - Tentij) third.
The wind went up a notch for the second race, almost up to 20 knots. A violent gust surprised SUI 11 while flying. Their C-Class capsized which seriously damaged the wingsail and forced the Dutchmen to go back to base. SUI 1 finished second again not far behind Groupama C.
A third race ended the day in the same conditions. The match Groupama C - Hydros 1 was launched: upwind, the French were a bit better, downwind, it was the opposite. The wind was too strong for either a subtle strategy or navigation. The debate was closed for the day: three second places for Hydros 1, and very strong feelings for the crews.
'It was incredible! At 30 knots, the boat is sailing but no mistake is allowed. It is a constant attention. We had some frights, and it requires a lot of energy to handle these situations' Billy Besson said, obviously relieved by the results of the day.
On its side, Mischa Heemskerk is affected, emotionally; the damage on the wingsail of his C-Class will have consequences: 'We know that’s part of the game, but we have been investing our energy on this project for more than nine months. We will do everything to repair, but the damage is not minor. I really hope to be able to go back sailing quickly! '.
The technical team is now working on the C-Class in order to evaluate the importance of the damage and start the repairs.
Overall after three races :
1. Groupama, FRA, Cammas/Viat, 1-1-1-3pts
2. Hydros, Besson/Lagarrigue, 2-2-2-6pts
3. Fred Eaton, Eaton/Clarke, 4-3-3-10pts
4. Sentient Blue, Downey/Aviles, 5-4-5-24pts
5. Challenge France, tbd, 6-5-4-15pts
6. Hydros II, Heemskerk/Tentij, 3-DNC-DNC-27pts
7. Team Cascais, tbd, DNC-DNC-DNC, 36pts
7. Project Cogito, Guck/Kramers, DNC-DNC-DNC, 36pts
7. Fred Eaton, Gooderham/Pavey, DNC-DNC-DNC, 36pts
7. Team Invictus, Phipps/Bader, DNC-DNC-DNC, 36pts
by MaxComm Communication
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9:04 PM Mon 23 Sep 2013GMT
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