New crew for Darren Bundock
Former Olympic sailing rivals Darren Bundock and Will Howden have forged a formidable partnership to take on two former team-mates at this week's famed Eurocat regatta in Carnac, France.
Multiple world catamaran champion and two-time Olympic medallist Bundock will jump aboard the C2 Formula 18 with Howden, who represented the UK in the Tornado in Beijing, at the three-day regatta which starts on Friday.
Now based in The Netherlands, Australian Bundock and Howden will square off a strong international fleet which includes two sailors they both know well and have raced with and against for more than a decade.
"Glenn Ashby was my sailing partner at the last Olympics Games and Mitch Booth has sailed with Will in the past at many catamaran regattas so we all know each other well, along with everyone’s strengths and weakness','' Bundock said. "But Will and I believe we will have an edge at the Eurocat regatta because of what we will be racing.''
For the first time, Bundock and Howden will race a C2 Formula 18 together in the 24th editions of the annual catamaran festival on the Brittany coast of France.
Eurocat is expected to attract around 300 crews and doubles as the season opener for catamarans and is one of the most prestigious events on the international calendar. It is in this regatta that Bundock has decided to unveil his new C2 Formula 18, the boat he and another multiple Olympian, Carolijn Brouwer, are now importing to The Netherlands and Belgium. The Eurocat regatta will boast seven C2 Formula 18's with Bundock setting his sights on the catamaran making a big splash during its European race debut.
"We may sound cocky given the domination of the more established Formula 18's in this regatta in the past but I really do believe the C2 has the potential to cause a major upset,'' Bundock said. "It's a great boat, Will's a great crew and we both want to make a mark at the Eurocat.''
But Bundock's lead-up to the event has been hindered by the recent air transport crisis due to the eruption of a volcano in Iceland with the multiple Olympian having little time on the water to train with Howden due to the late arrival of his sails.
"Will and I will only get on the water once before the regatta which isn't ideal but we have had a lot of experience in the past sailing together so we are pretty confident of gelling quickly. We know the competition is going to be tough with so many world champions and Olympians racing but we'd love nothing more than to make some waves out there.''
In the last decade Bundock has won more Eurocat titles than any other skipper in the world with victories in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008.
"Every win is really special because this is such a prestigious regatta but I must admit, winning on a C2 would be really special because I really believe this catamaran is one of the best on the market right now,'' Bundock said.