Christophe Launay Photography /

Light and fickle

Canadians and Aussies level on tricky day of match racing at the Little America's Cup

Friday August 27th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States

The wind was light and patchy on this first day of match-racing in the International C-Class Catamaran Championship. Canaan, the black cat raced by the Canadian defenders Fred Eaton and Magnus Clarke, was in her element yesterday, winning three of three races.

Today, was not so smooth. After a significant shift to the south the sea breeze filled in at 12 knots and the third attempt to run a race was a success. More of a success for Alpha however, sailed by Australians Glenn Ashby and his crew, BMW Oracle Racing skipper, James Spithill.

On the approach to the line Canaan stalled, losing the start and six legs later the first match-race: 1-0 to Australia. In the fleet race designed for the French, British and second Canadian entry, Orion retired. Paul Larsen and Gordon Kaiser on board Invictus crossed the finish line first, and despite powering around the course, just milliseconds after crossing the line Patient Lady VI’s wing tumbled.

The Australians again won the start of the second race. The beat up to the windward mark just north of the Pell Bridge saw them round ahead of Canaan, but not by much - a boat length or two. The Canadians, however, passed the Aussies in a diminishing breeze on the downwind leg and then they were off. Canaan finished ahead of Alpha, by over a minute: “Not bad for a couple of hosers from Canada, eh?” says Eaton with a humble grin.

A twist-control repair to the Aussie boat paired with a dying breeze curtailed racing for the day. The score is now 1-1 and racing is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning for the final day of the championship.

From Christophe Launay/



Patient Lady VI wing repairs - courtesy of Helena Darvelid/Team Invictus,


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