Cat fleets sprung up all over Southeast Asia during the 80’s on the back of Hobies growing popularity. At the end of the 80’s The King’s Cup Regatta in Phuket became the regions biggest cat event. Over the course of the events history, we’ve managed to claim the title 6 times on various platforms including the Hobie 16, Nacra 5.0, Nacra 5.7 and Nacra 5.8. Unfortunately cats were dropped from the event otherwise we would have loved to take the new F16’s there!
Although we’d experienced many platforms, the best was yet to come…it was a prompting from our “Flying Doctor” that really got us sailing in high gear. Dr Michael Chia had purchased an Inter 17 from us and about a year later came along with the “I’d like a lighter faster platform” request. At that point we only knew of one such thing – the Taipan.
The first shipment of Taipans arrived an 2000 and things changed. Until that point, we had trouble getting sailors to upgrade from the Nacra 5.0 to more performance platforms – “too heavy, too hard” was the common reason.
With the Taipan, things were different. We now had a platform that would easily embarrass the biggest cats in an easily handled package. The Taipan is now a 20 year-old design…and still one of the fastest cats you can hope to sail.
The sport of cat sailing is constantly evolving and the Viper is one of the modern tools we’ve seen that really excites sailors with its ‘above class’ performance. It’s a high performance piece of wizardry that has really inspired our sailors.
Quite apart from just importing zippy catamarans, we’ve put a lot of effort into sailing. After about 10 Raids up the Malaysian coast we embarked upon our longest record..sail a Nacra 5.0 from Singapore to Phuket and back – an Epic for sure! It definitely proved how robust little Nacras are!
With the introduction of Southeast Asia first Nacra 20 we see another trend developing toward this type of speed machine. It’s a heavy platform but has a long waterline, an efficient wingmast, a huge spread of downwind sail power and the ability to carry two very heavy guys far and fast!
The Nacra 20 will introduce long distance performance cat sailing to our fleet – that’s way exciting for us! Stay tuned…