Eleven C-Class teams set to do battle in the UK

James Boyd Photography / www.thedailysail.com
The Little America's Cup prepares for Sunday's kick-off in Falmouth
While the ‘big’ Little America’s Cup attempts to draw to a conclusion in San Francisco with scorn universally being poured on the maximum wind limit, the Little America’s Cup (technically the International C-Class Catamaran Championship) is set to get underway in the more docile location of Falmouth in the UK. This is the first time the event has been held in British waters since 1969 and for fans of birthdays, 2013 represents the 50th anniversary of when the event was first sailed in the UK. Ironically, while the America’s Cup itself may have only been held in the UK just the once, before taking up its 132 year tenure in the US, the Little America’s Cup went in the opposite direction: It was first held in 1961 in Long Island Sound, when John Fisk and designer Rod McAlpine-Downie, sailing Hellcat II, challenged the American Wildcat team and won, kicking off a British winning streak in this event that lasted...a whole seven years. While the 1960s events were held in Thorpe Bay at the opposite end of the country, in Essex, this year’s event is being hosted by Restronguet Sailing Club at Mylor, famous for being where one Ben Ainslie got his first experience dinghy racing as a child. Despite it being late September, around the time of the autumn equinox, the weather seems to be behaving, despite a freak hailstorm having occurred here earlier this month that left Falmouth looking as though deepest winter had set in. No doubt spurred on by the big America’s Cup being sailed in wing-powered catamarans (which iconically the Little America’s Cup and the C-Class pioneered the use of back in the early 1970s), this year’s event sees the biggest turnout of teams ever to have taken part. An unprecedented 11 C-Class catamarans are competing from eight teams and seven