Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

The Byte CII moves towards Youth Olympics 2014

by John Curnow on 29 Oct 2012
Singapore’s Darren Choy ahead of Germany’s Florian Haufe in Race 7 of the Byte CII One Person Dinghy 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) SPH-SYOGOC / Alphonsus Chern http://www.byteclass.org
Ordinarily, you would not get too fussed by 80. However, in regards to Canadian Ian Bruce and the single handed Byte CII dinghy, there’s more than enough reason to get a tad inspired.

Ian has just commenced his 80th year on the planet and still works anywhere from 8 to 16 hours a day, so racking up an 80-hour week is quite easy to do.

Now the Byte CII owes a lot to the same number.

How, you say? Well, back in 1969 Ian commissioned Bruce Kirby to design the ‘known-around-the-globe’, 205,000 unit selling boat, originally known as the Weekender, now revered as, the Laser.

The Laser builder Ian, designer Bruce and sailmaker and the very first Laser sailor Hans Fogh were all around the 80kg mark, which is the absolute sweet spot for a Laser sailor.

At that mass, the sailor can throw the Laser around downhill and extract all the required performance, as their core muscles get a caning for their day out on the water.

There’s that downwind wiggle that comes as part of the Laser sailing skill set and you only have to watch the videos
of five-time Laser World Champion and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, the truly amazing Tom Slingsby, to see just how much the top sailors throw the boat around.

Problem is, if you’re a kid or petite woman, you could be close to half that sort of mass and you just don’t get to sail the Laser in the same way as your heroes.

You drive it around like a ship and then as you grow, which applies only if you’re young, you end up changing your technique to account for the extra activities you can now carry out successfully.

Ian Bruce was aware of the problem and his Byte design was in 1996 the first dinghy class to receive ISAF recognition, he had changed the weight band as well as the construction method, delivering a smaller, lighter and stronger dinghy.

The Byte is a 45kg GRP/Foam sandwich vessel that had a 5.4m2 mainsail and was ideally suited to a sailor around the 55kg mark, +/-15%.

In 2004, Ian updated the Byte with a two-piece carbon stick, (that is where the CII comes from) with a glamour, see-through, Mylar sail that was easier to exhaust in the squirts, looked cool and went hard even in the very lightest of breezes.

The lightweight sailors were back as the Masters of their destiny.

Indeed this cross pollination has not only generated many a happy sailor in a boat more suited to their size, but ultimately a true global class.

The Byte CII largest fleets are in Canada, Singapore, Bermuda, Great Britain and Switzerland.



In 2010 it was chosen as the boat for Youth Olympics and for 2014 in Nanjing, the Byte CII has got the nod, once again.

As Ian explains ‘This boat can be what I call part of the structured part of yachting. Parents will be able to buy this boat to get their children enlisted in a national program, to get them on a national team and pointed in the direction of the Olympics.

‘You know, what a lot of people don’t realise, is that when a kid finally comes out of the Optimist he or she is a hell of a lot more technical than we give them credit for.

‘The progression from the top end of the Optimist into the next arena can be a downward spiral until they have gone through two or three years, when finally they are up in weight and starting to learn something new.

‘I really believe this is where the Byte CII will make its mark. All of the kids that were sailing the boat who had come out of the Optimist and other qualifiers for the 2010 Youth Olympics just fell into the boat, and just as quickly, fell in love with it.

‘The young sailors found out they could do all sorts of things that they didn’t know they had the ability to do and it was a just such a joy to watch.’

‘Now that the Byte CII is the dinghy choice for the 2014 Youth Olympics, it will certainly help a lot of countries get their plans rolling.

‘Prior to the announcement there were many countries saying that they would really like to put this boat in their program, because it’s a perfect boat for youngsters transitioning out of Optimists but not big enough for Lasers. But the countries could not afford to take the chance, because if a different boat was picked for the Youth Olympics, then they’d have to go and get another boat or just scrap these boats and it simply wasn’t going to happen. Malaysia is set to buy 20 boats as a result of this great decision.’

Ian Bruce, rising 80 has now stepped back from the manufacturing and distribution coal face.

The long time Asia-Pacific Laser manufacturer Performance Sailcraft Australasia (PSA), after receiving permission from ISAF, acquired the Copyright and worldwide building and marketing rights to the single handed Byte and Byte CII dinghy in 2012.

The Byte CII is now produced by Zim Sailing, Rhode Island, USA. Nautivela SRL, Milan Italy, Xtreme Sailing Products Singapore, Zou Intermarine Qingdao, China, Armada Boats, São Paulo, Brazil and by Performance Sailcraft Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia.

Ian is now a very proud Byte Class President.

He concludes - ‘There is a strong path forward for the Byte CII and it is becoming part of the extended youth sailing family.

‘I really feel we did a phenomenal job over the last few years, running six major events on six continents and that is probably why ISAF were over the moon. We were enormously supportive of them and they are quite open in saying that they want to see the boat used again.

‘There has already started to be a solid rush on boats. Countries are going to commit and we will have enough time to try and put something together, which is more than just a bunch of charter boats being made available to countries to go and run their elimination qualifiers.

‘The boat is going to be perfect for Nanjing, as the Youth Olympics are being conducted on quite a small lake.
‘They will be racing in three to five knots and the Byte goes like a rabbit even with that little wind.

Just one more reason why it’s a great one design dinghy.’

See bytecII.com and byteclass.org for more information.

Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearNorth Technology - Southern SparsNaiad

Related Articles

A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar
Caleb Paine on winning a US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award
I talked with Caleb Paine about his recent US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award and about his Olympic plans. On August 16, Caleb Paine broke the longest-running medal ceremony dry spell for American-flagged Olympic sailors since the 1930s when he captured a bronze medal in the Finn class at the Rio 2016 Olympics. I recently caught up with Paine on the phone to talk about his proud US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award and about his future sailing plans.
Posted on 10 Mar
A Q&A with Lloyd Thornburg about his love of fast boats and racing
I recently caught up with Thornburg to learn more about his program, and to gain insight into racing MOD70s offshore. Not too many world-class sailors hail from the high deserts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, but Lloyd Thornburg isn’t your average sailor. The 37-year old investor flies the New York Yacht Club’s burgee from his fleet of raceboats that have included a Gunboat 66, a MOD70, and a Farr 280. I recently caught up with Thornburg to learn more about his program, and to gain insight into racing MOD70s offshore.
Posted on 8 Mar
So what’s it really like?
For ages now, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and 24-hour runs For ages now, well it seems like that anyway, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and incredible 24-hour runs. In their own very unique way they totally represent the technical avant-garde, and thank God for that. Where would we be without their impressive shapes, wonderful rigs, and now of course, foiling magic.
Posted on 6 Mar
JJ Giltinan 18ft - Kiwi Champion the subject of two protests in Sydney
Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings on Friday Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings Friday morning in Sydney. She faces two claims - both from Appliancesonline (David Witt). The first is an attempt to re-open the Hearing held on Wednesday morning after Yamaha was suffered damage in Race 3 as a result of a collision with a give way yacht, and Yamaha received redress of average
Posted on 3 Mar
A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb