The British wing

Invictus Challenge
Helena Darvelid / Vestas SailRocket
Invictus Challenge
Bristol-based Invictus Challenge is back on the water and ready to contest this August's Little America's Cup
While BMW Oracle Racing may have been strutting around the 33rd America’s Cup race course with their 68.5m tall solid wing sail, in the UK another multihull with a solid wing has been taking shape – albeit on a rather more modest scale. In 2004 Norman Wijker, and his co-workers from Airbus in Bristol who form the Invictus Challenge, made it across to the International C Class Catamaran Challenge in Bristol, Rhode Island. This event dates back to the 1960s when it was officially the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy (ICCT) but better known as the Little America's Cup. However, in 2002, the trustees of the ICCT abandoned the C-Class catamaran in favour of F18HTs, so the 2004 event was more a case of ICCT holder Steve Clark attempting to breath some life back into and C-Class racing the Little America’s Cup. Since then the ICCCC/Little America's Cup (I believe we can call it that again now that ACM’s legal rottweilers are no more) was held again in Toronto in 2007 and prised off the American defenders by Canadian Fred Eaton. Now in August 2010 the event is to take place again, hosted this time at the ancient home of the BIG Americas Cup, New York Yacht Club in Newport, and the Brits will be back... While BMW Oracle’s towering wing alone had an acreage of 600sqm, Invictus’s C-Class catamaran has an altogether more manageable 300sqft (27.87sqm) on its 25 by 14ft platform. The C-Class challenge is also quite different – 300sqft is the maximum sail area both upwind and down and bumping up the sail area with the addition of kites for the runs is prohibited. Therefore the challenge is beautifully pure and unique in the sailing world – simply to come up with the most powerful, efficient and manageable sail plan within