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Little America's Cup - Seven teams set to compete in Geneva + Video

by Sail-World.com on 14 Sep 2015
LITTLE Cup - 27th Little America's Cup - Lake Geneva, Switzerland Little Cup Media
The LITTLECUP 2015, the 27th Little America's Cup sailed in 26ft wingsailed foiling catamarans to the Int C-Class Catamaran rule, was launched officially Saturday evening at the club of twice winner of the America's Cup, Société Nautique de Genève.

The opening ceremony ended with a red illumination of the Jet d’Eau Fountain.

Compulsory training racing sessions was held Sunday, September 13 so that teams could test their new battleground before getting down to the nitty gritty tomorrow in the qualifications.

The event’s sponsors and main partners, Lombard Odier, the SNG and the Town of Geneva, joined Steve Clark, Chairman of the C Class in expressing their support of the LITTLECUP and its competitors during the event’s opening ceremony. In a symbolic gesture to the inhabitants of Geneva, the opening of the 27th Little America’s Cup was marked at nightfall by the illumination of the Jet d’Eau Fountain in red, emblematic for C Class, being hosted in Switzerland for the first time.


The Int Class only has seven rules - Overall length of 25 feet (7.6 m), beam of 14 feet (4.3 m) and total sail area of 300 square feet (28 m2) to be sailed by a two-man crew, they must be catamarans and have a sail number.

The racing and event had its genesis in 1959 when the American periodical 'Yachting' sponsored a 'One of a Kind' regatta. The most successful catamaran in this event was 'Tigercat' designed by Bob Harris of New York, which was considered by many to be the best in the world.

In Great Britain, John Fisk, together with Rod MacAlpine-Downey, had won the R.Y.A. 'One of a Kind' series with their Thai Mk IV.

Downey and Fisk considered their boat superior to the Americans and a friendly challenge was issued, and the format's similarity to the America's Cup resulted in the competition's unofficial nickname: the 'Little America's Cup'. After 1997 the event became officially known as the International C-Class Catamaran Championship, however its name 'Little America's Cup' is still strongly associated with this event - and arguably it spawned the current version of the America's Cup.

One team in the 35th America's Cup, Groupama (skippered by Franck Cammas) is competing in the Little America's Cup. Groupama are the defending champion.

The class began in 1961 after UK catamaran designer McAlpine-Downey became aware of a challenge from America that claimed they had 'the fastest sailboat' Rod answered the challenge and simple rules were agreed. The challenge had to come from a recognized yacht club and consequently was taken up by John Fisk on behalf of the Chapman Sands Yacht Club of which he was Commodore and friend of Rod. The challenge was successful and the trophy went to the UK where it stayed for 8 years.


After a few sessions earlier this week to familiarize themselves with Lake Geneva, on Sunday September 13, the teams met each other for the first time in a fleet training session. With one day to go before the start of the qualifications, the tension and concentration are tangible in the paddocks of the LITTLECUP Village.

'Here we are' enthused Race Director, Denis Horeau, 'after nearly two years of intense preparation, able to admire the racing of these highly technological catamarans on Lake Geneva'.

The seven teams have worked day and night in order to line up at the start with their finely-tuned C Class yachts, honed for top performance.

Each day, the course will be set in the area of the Petit Lac in the most favourable wind conditions for racing to be held between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. in front of the SNG, in Versoix or off Hermance. At the end of the four days of qualifying fleet races, the two winners will battle it out in match racing finals.

Follow the racing tomorrow in situ from the Quai Gustave Ador or on YouTube, where racing will be broadcast live using a tracking system and 3D Website

Groupama:



Steve Clark:



Groupama - ashore:



Sentient Blue, Thomas and Filip Walczak :








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