World Championship of IC Boats - Travemuende, Germany.
A large fleet of International Canoe sailors are expected to descend on Travemuende Week for tough international competition this July, after the 2010 edition of the regatta provided a final dress rehearsal for the visiting class.
The class association decided three years ago that the Eighteenth World Championship of IC boats was to take place during 2011 Travemuende Week (23 – 30 July). They will be joined by the Taifun canoes, who will be sailing their German Open. According to the class up to 60 competitors are anticipated, with Canoe specialists from USA, Canada and Australia able to fill shipping containers with boats it looks set to get crowded on race area Charlie. The European class is spread mostly across Great Britain and Sweden whilst in France the number of fans is growing steadily.
Although the narrow dinghies have an exotic appearance on the water, thanks to their unique ‘sliding seats’, they can actually look back to a 150-year-old tradition. The class is internationally integrated in the International Canoe Federation (ICF) and nationally to the German equivalent DKV, whilst it has been part of the German Sailing Federation DSV since 1974. As far back as 1882 the first regattas were held with the former paddle boats having been equipped with a sail.
Today, the 5.2 metre-long sailing canoes which carry a sliding seat are divided into various disciplines. Both Taifun and International Canoes (IC) carry a mainsail and jib (total sail area: 10 sqm) and only differ in their type of sail: IC using battened sails. Additionally, the AC class further increases the sail area with a gennaker of up to 24 sqm. With this the 1.3 metre-wide hulls can only be kept upright through the unique system of a sliding seat, which is moved to windward during each tack, which positions the athlete’s body weight two metres away from the hull centreline to counteract the sail power. This system is far more efficient than a trapeze and speeds the small dinghies under given wind conditions at up to 26 knots (about 50 km/h).
Even though Canoes are an open construction class the hull measurements were strongly limited until 2009. Since then designers and builder have had the opportunity to vary the hull widths between 0.74 to 1.01 metres. There is also a lot of room for manoeuvre when it comes to the sail design. However, at the same time the class has remained established as a one-design which makes a direct comparison of sailing performance possible. In order to attract youth sailors to the class, but not test them too far, youngsters will be able to sail the Taifun with both a skipper and crew to compete against the experienced single-handed racers. Travemuende Week