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Team Invictus launch new C Class Cat at the Advanced Engineering Show

by Sarah Myatt 30 Oct 2015 00:10 PDT 4-5 November 2015
Team Invictus C class flying boat 'Canopus' (GBR039) © Team Invictus

Team Invictus are an all-volunteer team who have determined to win one of sailing's most high tech events – the C class Catamaran Championships. C class racing began in the early 1960's as a series of match races. Over the years the class has been at the forefront of technology and design, inspiring the creation of the World Speed Sailing Committee, and influencing America's Cup design.

The UK dominated the early history, but since then has failed to make a mark, and so Team Invictus have set out to bring the cup home!

C class catamarans are marvels of engineering, and so it is appropriate that the team have chosen the Advanced Engineering Show at the NEC on 4&5th Nov to reveal "Canopus" (GBR039) a C class flying boat, designed from the outset as a foiling catamaran. Both highly radical and innovative in its design, offers a credible challenge against Groupama's current domination (winners of the C class catamaran championships 2015).

Canopus's performance is a mix of design and technology, enabling a super-light craft to travel at well over 3 times the speed of the wind. The team are helped in achieving this engineering feat through the sponsorship of suppliers of advanced materials. The hulls, which may see potentially high crash loads if the boat suddenly comes off the foils, will be developed using Chomerat C-Ply shallow-angle NCF materials which come in very light aerial weights.

For the wing sail, the very light weight of the boat means extremely low loads, and so the wing weight is driven almost entirely by how light the structure can be built. To help achieve the lightest wing possible, the team are helped by Sigmatex's new Spread Tow Fabrics and Evonik's Rohacell foam cores, bringing the overall weight of the wing to around 40kg. Both Sigmatex and Evoniks products can be seen at their stands at the Advanced Engineering Show at the NEC.

Team Invictus will be displaying their 2013 craft, "Invictus" (GBR039) at the Advanced Engineering Show at the NEC on the 4th-5th November and welcome visitors to come and find out how they plan to bring home the trophy.


Canopus is built with one aim, to win the C class championships, but the team also see her competing at other major events such as Foiling Week, Weymouth Speed Week, and maybe even the Bol D'Or!

The Team Invictus all-volunteer team began in 2002, formed by Airbus engineers Mark Bishop and Norman Wijker, with the rest of the team being drawn mostly from Airbus in Bristol. The team were also lucky enough to be able to call on the dynamic talents of speed sailor Paul Larsen who helmed Invictus at the 2004 and 2010 championships. In the beginning the team were outclassed by the experienced boat designers in the USA, but gradually they have built a foundation of knowledge that has allowed them to compete at the highest level of this design-led class.

This achievement was acknowledged by awarding Team Invictus the honour of hosting the 2013 championships in Cornwall, which attracted an unprecedented 11 boats and saw the first real competition that was decided by foiling.

The winner of the 2013 championships, and the recent event in Geneva was Franck Cammas on his amazing C class catamaran, "Groupama". This boat is regarded by many as one of the most advanced sailboats on the planet, and has raised the bar for all competitors up to the ceiling; with Cammas's world class sailing skills and a professional design team, this is what Team Invictus's weekend warriors are facing.

Get involved

So if you would like to meet the team or find out more, come and visit the stand at the NEC, and if you are able to help in our quest, we would love to meet you. Email

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