Little America's Cup

Check this solid wing rig out

Have the aussies got it right???

i dont know , but it sure looks wierd

It’s different. How would they measure it?

Can you really call it match racing? Are the boats really “matched?” As far as the smaller ones (36/600, USOM, 50s), I have never seen two that were close enough to do a fair match race. One boat always had an advantage in speed because of hull design or skipper skill. By hull design I’m talking about a mongooseII against a seawind.

“Usually” (?) in match racing, they do stick to one-design boats, to remove any advantages or disadvantages from the equation. Sail area, keel depth, weight, length and beam are some of the more common areas where they try to keep identical. In the case of this class - after the big “blow-up” there are now two different class championships. You have the the Sea Cliff Yacht Club run event which moved from “C” Class boats to the Formula 18HT small beach cats. More boats, but most if not all were production and built to a fairly tight set of rules/specifications. Then there is the “C” Class Championships where the class is really “Developmental” but also controlled by a basic “box rule” - like 25 foot length, 300 sq. feet of sail area and 14 foot beam. While this event tries to keep the basic physical dimensions the same - they allow for a lot of development within those few parameters to encourage new ideas.

Within the R/C world - the closest to the "C Class development box rules is the F-48 and to some extent the Mini 40 multihull classes - where a “box dimension” and few restrictions allow development and innovation. In the monohull side of things, there are a few more restrictions - but the 36/600, and the US1Meter classes are about the most open. I also would include the “M” Class and the 10 Rater, but perhaps to a lesser degree of development. In a nutshell, (my opinion) unless the class is a very strict one-design (Laser and Soling 1 Meter come to mind) most classes all allow some degree of home building/modification. Maybe only to rig, or maybe only to hull, but generally most have set limitations within their rules determining which areas you can go.

I suppose, even the F-48 class is a bit restrictive, since they require 2 or more hulls !

Once you try to compete between classes as you have noted, without a good, well established handicap system, it is pretty difficult to match race boats or compare their performances.

As to “skipper skills” - One thing you need to realize, is that “MATCH” racing is supposed to show differences in skipper’s skill ! They try to take boat performance out of the equation as much as possible. The idea is that if the two boats really are equal, than it SHOULD be the skipper’s skill that determines the outcome. Yes - boats can be identical - and it is the skipper’s skill that determines the winner.

[:-spin]Rather than thinking of it as MATCH-RACING, it may be better to think of this contest as similar to NHRA Drag Racing.
The basic class rules are laid out to encourage clever design and engineering to build the fastest thing on water around the bouys.
You still need a skilled skipper and crew but history shows us some forward thinking in past years.[:-propeller]

Do it NOW before it`s too late.

Good point - and excellent comparison!

I think to have real “match racing” between r/c yachts, you will either have to throw the rulebook away or reinvent all the rules to make things more compareable to regular match racing. I agree that most of the time, people try to “drag race” their boats around the course. That’s not “match racing!!” What that means is that in order to protect your ‘advantage’ or keep the other guy from getting away, you will have to be about to make more drastic maneuvers and other things, like protecting a mark- forcing the other boat into a foul Or maybe even a penalty for being too far ahead! Of course the latter part implies a handicap system.

The basic problem is that most people think yacht racing means getting to the finish line the “fastest.” In yacht racing, it really means just getting there “first.”

That’s why I don’t “race.” I just sail.


Many groups have very successfully done RC match racing. There is an annual series in Washington DC (on the reflecting pool in front of the Washington monument) where they do an elimination series in CR914s. Here in detroit we had a series last summer for Victorias. I have also heard of match racing using EC12s, ACs and many other well matched boats. These series all use the establinshed ISAF match racing rules (which include some important differences from the standard fleet racing rules).

However, this discussion is focused on the C class catamaran series known as the little americas cup which is less about one design match racing and more about technology development “drag racing”.

  • Will

Will Gorgen

According to Steve Clark on Sailing Anarchy he is adding hydrofoils to the American defender! (Or is he just saying that?)

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

Got a link to that doug? I couldn’t find it…

Luff 'em & leave 'em.

Go to the SA forums page; click on the top"Sailng Anarchy" forum; scroll down to Dennis Conner’s Cats by “Tugboat” and click on the last post. Scroll up from there until you see Steve Clark’s post about adding foils…
Then call the British Challenge guys and tell them!
There is a lot of history of adding foils to cats unsuccessfully resulting in marginal gains,if any.The overall beam(14’) limitation is a significant drawback and so is the requirement- I would assume- to have them retractable.I’m not sure if they may have any minimum wind racing rules which could eliminate the need for getting rid of them.
The biggest drawback is the narrow(for a foiler) maximum beam which increases loading a lot and therefore drag. Will be interesting if he just thru this out or if he is serious…

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

i think that match racing meens something different thing to different poeple. if you look at the americas cup. it is match racing. one against one, but you should looked at it as teams. same with the rc section. was algihini realy faster than oracle? or was coutts better than dickson. was there aproblem with the design? all of this comes in to play. in the rc world. each skipper has to use his know how. in tuneing the boat. racing the boat. you cannot look at a one desing and say the each boat is the same. I for one , will put my own little touches to a hull. so match racing is realy the person driving the boat. if i get beat. i learn. each time i put a boat into a reggatta i learn something . the helps me become a better sailor

Doug; Got it, he ain’t giving away much, and its on the second boat…

Luff 'em & leave 'em.

That picture of the OZ wing sail is interesting, but misleading. The trailing edge section is not all the way installed into its actual racing position. It fits over those posts coming out of the front section, which move from side to side like a trim tab, and thus generate sail ‘depth’.

The interesting thing about their sail is that the front section is a monocoque as opposed to a frame and cloth (like a rc plane)

I don’t see how it will be able to generate twist (like cogito’s wing) but the shape is high aspect parabola and looks good.

BTW Cogito had ‘foils’ last time as well since the daggerboards were asymmetrical and canted, thus providing some lift. This time around, we will see. I haven’t been around the boat since '98 and won’t see Steve until this summer- if at all.

Thanks for the pics!


This might be a bit late and just show my ignorance [:-banghead] but isn’t Match racing normally between just 2 America’s Cup as opposed to fleet racing and class racing ?

One way to really test the abilities of the individual skippers is to pool all the boats and have a draw so that each skipper sails a boat he has not sailed before,then the race is more about sailing skills and tactics rather than straight line speed.Why should the guy with most money (to buy the most up-to-date state of the art gear etc) win all the time.[?] That’s always been the major failing of the America’s Cup as a true competition.

I’ve learned, That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
(what am I doing here?)lol

Good points/question Koala -

But similar to all of the variety of classes in auto racing… Drag Racing, Sportscar, F-1, NASCAR, and in a fleet on r/c sailors (sometimes even old ones) Demoliton Derbys!

The C-Class is basically a box rule with open development.

America’s Cup is a formula rule with limited development.

Lasers are strict one-design.

Any could be raced in Fleet Racing - or as match racers, but a few are rather limited and fair better in one or the other. The C-Class as this topic was following could be best called a “Drag Race”.

A little bit of tactics, but more emphasis on true boat speed over a closed course. He who shows up with the fastest and most reliable boat wins. What a novel approach to racing !

Nothing artificial to restrict speed, yet just enough to keep boats “similar” (not identical).

It’s been a few years since the last post, but here is a great interview with Magnus Clarke going over details of “Fill Your Hands”. Wing sail foiling with two man crew? I hope NBC Sports carries this event!


Thanks, Hew ------ I miss Magnus terribly, as he was one of the leading guys to offer information, as well as build a Formula48 back when he was racing out of Toronto. Wonderful guy and as seen in the video - he knows what is going on, and is willing to share it. Good to see he is still involved (I lost touch when he moved “down under”) and hopefully there will be some video and some posts from our UK friends. Best wishes to Fredo and Magnus for a successful regatta.