So here we are at the ancestral home of Eurocat, one of the biggest cat events in Europe and the world! 2011 see’s 350 cats out on the bay comprising everything from the smallest to the fastest in platforms. We’re here to help two of Singapore Sailing’s National sailors make qualifying for the Youth Worlds in Croatia in July. Jen U and Peter Wong have previously only ever sailed a Hobie 16 and so in coming to France have had to learn a new platform with more strings as well as get acclimatised to a different weather pattern as well.
Thankfully, Jen U and Peter did some sailing within the Cat Fleet at Changi Sailing Club before departure. This included a couple of races onboard the mighty Nacra 20 Carbon. Okay so that’s like going from a Beetle straight into an F1 car bu there is nothing like a baptism of fire to get you going!
Carnac is a beautiful village setting where the whole town is behind the event. It is great to see everyone so enthusiastic about cat sailing. The weather plays a big part with nice wind and sunshine that you can sit in and not burn yourself to a crisp!
Really good to see all the new designs from all the big manufacturers and one thing is for sure, designs older than a couple of seasons now look really dated! The ‘in-look’ platforms include the Nacra 20 Carbon, Hobie Wildcat and the Cirrus R. Nacra launched an updated Infusion with the Mark II but the thing going against it is the Mark I look. That’s unfortunate as it is a really well sorted boat.
The F18 is the premium class here so much attention is diverted in their direction. Coming soon is a new F16… I can’t say what it is but I can tell you that it will look exactly like a Nacra 20 Carbon that has been shrunken!
I did enjoy a walk around th eboat park looking at hull forms. I can tell you that flat bottoms are in! Teh Cirrus R takes this to new extremes with its angular aggressiveness and pronounced rocker line. The Cirrus is visinly fast on the water and floats without much hull in the water at all. That job is left to the high aspect low camber foils and it is a combination that appears to work very well.
Yacht Club Carnac is a great Club that churns out two world championship events per year! They accomplish this with 13 full time staff and a host of part timers and volunteers. That is on top of a huge training set up that is probably responsible for some of the biggest names in multihull sailing on the planet. It makes our Club with its 5 receptionists and a cast of dozens seem rather lethargic and inefficient. There’s much to learn still!
The racing at Eurocat is divided into the F18’s and everything else. It is split into two different race areas with the premium F18 fleet having their own area while the slowest (Hobie Dragoon) and the fastest (Formula 20) share another area.
Next year we would like to see more sailors from the Changi Cat Fleet take part in a few major regattas and Eurocat should be one of them. Put it in your calendars now.
More pictures on interesting bits coming up…