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The Little America’s Cup

As the 34th America’s Cup winds down to a thrilling finish, there’s another America’s Cup going on that is likely off your radar: the International C Class Catamaran Championship, also known as the ‘Little America’s Cup’ which is taking place right now in Falmouth, England. In 1959, two Englishman threw down a challenge against the New York based Hellcat, which was claimed to be the fastest sailboat in the world at the time. What has ensued since then is more than 50 years of thrilling racing that has done nothing but push the performance envelope and drive innovation.

In fact, much of the current AC72’s DNA is derived directly from the C-Class cat which has seen carbon-fiber wing-sailed catamarans for years. With seemingly everything on the planet being modified to foil in the past year, the C-Class is no different. These guys have been playing with the boards for years. When engineering daggerboards and foils, there’s almost no one better than Franck Cammas. Former around-the-world record holder and Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper of Groupama 3 and Groupama, Cammas is now well on his way to adding the C-Class champion to his über-impressive rockstar resumé. With arguably the most advanced foils in the fleet, Groupama C has seen speeds over 30 knots, while foiling.

With two out of three qualifying days completed, the French Groupama C has dominated to claim five wins and a second in the 11-boat fleet. Firmly in second place is Swiss entry Hydros. After the next day of fleet racing, the top two will match race for the title while the rest of the fleet will race for positions 3-11. Follow the foils on the event website.

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No one thought it would ever come down to the 19th race! © Gilles Martin-Raget / ACEA Thanks to an improbably spectacular America’s Cup, Oracle’s improbably exciting comeback from an 8 to 1 defecit, and the improbably dazzling AC72s, today’s final showdown between Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand is one for the ages of not just yacht racing, but all of sport.