Beach cat across the Atlantic

Two Italians are to attempt the Bouscholte-Navarin record in a custom built cat

Monday December 1st 2003, Author: Maurizio Giuggioli, Location: Italy
While Francis Joyon and Jean-Luc van den Heede are well on their way into their round the world record attempts, two Italians, Andrea Gancia and Matteo Miceli of Team Tris Ocean Cat are about to embark on an attempt on the catamaran transatlantic record. The record they are after was from Dakar to Guadeloupe - a distance of 2,700nm - set in 1999 by Hans Bouscholte and Gerard Navarin with a time of 15 days 2 hours and 26 minutes aboard a 19ft cat.

The record, recognised by the WSSRC is the most signficant of the long distance records established by beach cats.

Transatlantic crossing in small cats kicked off in 1986 when Daniel Pradel
and Tony Laurent set the first time aboard a Hobie 18, sailing this route in 18 days and 22 hours. Later the same year Laurent Bourgnon and Frederic Geraldi completed the same passage, but they were two days slower.

In order to have the best chance of improving upon the time of Hans Bouscholte and Gerard Navarin the two Italians have prepared their attempt with the utmost care. First, they were able to secure big sponsorship for their project. Then they chose not to go for a modified production catamaran but to have a special cat designed and built for the purpose.

Their 20ft long cat, designed by the young Spanish architect Sito Aviles Ramos, is one foot longer than the orange painted Nacra 19 prototype sailed by Bouscholte and is optimised to sail flat on the water at 25 knots. The other features are similar to the 1999 Nacra 19 - 11m carbon mast, wings etc.

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