Father of Canaan

Christophe Launay Photography / www.sealaunay.com
Designer Steve Killing talks us through the development of Fred Eaton's C-Class Canaan
Yesterday demonstrated that once again the top dog in the rarified world of C-Class catamarans are the present defenders from Canada, Fred Eaton and Magnus Clarke aboard their immaculate Canaan. Eaton’s C-Class cats now number four and this excludes Patient Lady VI following its sale to Antoine Koch’s French team. He had two boats built prior to the 2007 Little America’s Cup - the unsuccessful foiler Off yer Rocker, and their winning machine, Alpha. In this cycle they built Orion, being raced by Glenn Ashby and James Spithill in Newport this week, following it up with the ultimate masterpiece Eaton and Clarke are sailing this week - Canaan. The man behind the design of all their C-Class catamarans, although this is far from a one man effort with crew Magnus Clarke in particular involved with the design of the wings, is Canadian, Steve Killing. While the focus for the last Little America’s Cups has been primarily on the exotic solid wingsails the boats use, this time around there has been much more development with hulls. The hulls of all the Canadian boats have had even less volume that Steve Clark’s benchmark Cogito. Over the four C-Class cats that they have built they have experimented in particular with volume distribution and the degree of rocker. “Orion is a very good boat in flat water – it has tiny bows and a lot less rocker in the hull,” says Steve Killing, by way of comparison with their latest Canaan. “It goes through waves well and doesn’t pitch very much, but we found the drag of going through the wave is greater than going up and over, which is why it is not our number one boat. In flat water it is quite potential.” Compared to Alpha, the two new boats Orion and Canaan have more volume in