The Wild Bunch !

The Wild Bunch !
2013 Worlds in Marina di Grosseto

Friday, 11 April 2014

Austria becomes an official F18 country


This year we have a newkomer in the F18 class: Austria. We spoke with their president Philipp Belcredi (45 - Vienna):

“We are happy that we have started our F18 National Class Organisation. It took about two years before we could start our own class. Together with the Austrian Hobie Cat Class Organisation we created a F18 scene with approximately 50/60 boats. About 20 boats are active in most regattas in Austria. Nowadays we have, besides Hobie Cat, also a Nacra dealer in Austria, so we don’t have issues with spareparts for  our boats at all.  And we notice that F18 sailing is getting more populair every year. Maybe you wouldn’t expect immediately, but the conditions for sailing in Austria are just perfect! We have some really nice lakes here with a perfect breeze. For example the Neusiedler See, where often international regattas are being held. So if you’re around, let us know and we’ll show you around.

We are also busy arranging transport to the F18 Worlds in Ireland. We often do this in collaboration with ‘our neighbours’, the German F18 class organisation. But of course we hope to see you all there! If you’re looking for our class website, that’s in progress. As soon as it’s online we’ll inform you guys of course.”


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Available: NOR US F18 Nationals

From 19 till 24 October 2014 the US F18 Nationals will be held at the Corpus Chrisi Yacht Club

This regatta promises to be a great event at a fantastic venue! The NOR is now available, hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Hobie Alter, a legend in surfing & sailing, will be missed

Hobart “Hobie” Alter, who started out shaping surfboards, and ended up shaping a culture, passed away peacefully at his Palm Desert home on March 29 surrounded by his loving family. Born on October 31, 1933 in Ontario, California, he was 80 at the time of his passing. The International Hobie Class Association published a Hobie Alter Tribute.

Our condolences to the Alter family and Hobie's loved ones. He will truly be missed.


Saturday, 29 March 2014

'We're there when the class needs us' - Interview with Goodall Design


A new week, another interview with one of the F18 sponsors. This time we spoke with Brett Goodall, General Manager at Goodall Design. Last year they had a rebranding and changed their name and logos from AHPC (Australian High Performance Catamarans) into Goodall Design. This year they will show their new design on the water during the F18 Worlds in Ireland.


First we are curious why Goodall Design directly said yes to sponsoring the International F18 Catamaran  Association. “The F18 Class is been the largest and far reaching catamaran class for the last 10-15 years. They have provided us and many other manufactures, a strong market to provide boats and product info. The least we can do is give back when the class needs us. In the last few years the class has seen some difficult times, but we believe the class has a lot to offer the catamaran sailing community and with united front and clear organization the F18 will forge strongly into the future.”


But how does Goodall Design see the future of F18 sailing? “There are a number of challenges and threats to the F18 that the class need to acknowledge and create action plans around. Some of these are technical advancements in catamaran sailing and others are new classes such as the Olympic Catamaran. It is important that the class management works with manufactures and sailors to create clear, transparent long term plans consistent with growing the class. If this is done then sailors confidence will grow and will continue to invest in the class.”


What will be the focus of Goodall Design on F18 sailing in 2014? “Historically we have been a very “advancement” based brand… always looking to do our product better. While this is still the case, we are focusing a lot more this year on sailor engagement at all levels. We want our customers to enjoy their sailing as much as we do. Buying an F18 is not like buying a coffee table from Ikea, you want to know setup, maintenance and most of all the little tricks the top guys do that normally doesn’t make it to the club sailors. We are working on a number of media to bring this information to sailors. 

We have a new YouTube channel with a lot of tips & tricks, an owner’s corner on our website and we are setting up new dealers around on a regular basis with the best training on our products to help customers with any questions they may have.”


Charter C2s at the Worlds?
“Right now we are in the process of organizing a container of charter C2s for the F18 World Championships in Ireland. There’s a lot of interest because this will allow sailors from other continents and regions to attend World Championships who may not have been able to without this service. The only way this type of service is possible is with local support from our dealer network and the ability to liquidate the boats after the event. We are offering an amazing deal on post worlds C2s available through Goodall Design Ireland.”


Are there new F18 developments at your company? “We are extremely happy with the performance of the C2. We believe it is the fastest and best packaged F18 on the market. Aside from the incremental changes we make every year, we have no intention of releasing a “new” F18. The class needs stability from manufactures and the last thing sailors want to see is a new design, just for the sake of a new design. There are a number of good F18 products on the market for sailors to choose from and it’s time for the manufactures to allow the market to stabilize.”
 
Last but not least, we’re hear some rumours about a ‘special team’ at the F18 Worlds in Ireland. Any chance you can give us an update about that? “No sorry, not yet. You’ll have to be patient.”

For more information about Goodall Design please visit their website 
 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

St.Barth Cata Cup 2014 almost open for registration


Quick.., write down Saturday April 5th 2014. That day the registrations will be open for the 7th edition of the St. Barth Cata Cup 2014. Make sure you claim your slot this year!

On November 19-23, 2014, Saint Barthélemy will once again fall under the spell of the St Barth Cata Cup. As this exceptional regatta celebrates its 7th edition, the number of sailors who want to participate continues to grow! The organizers Ana, Hélène, Jeff, Vincent, & Thierry share their ever-growing enthusiasm for the success of the St Barth Cata Cup. The proof in the pudding: online registrations sell out at the speed of light! The members of the non-profit associations, Saint Barth Multihulls and Centre Nautique de St Barthélemy, plus the solid public relations & marketing team, are determined to make this event a success with a wave of their magic wand.

The competitors come from around the world to be enchanted… France, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Canada, The United States, and Australia, as well as Puerto Rico, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, and Saint Barthélemy. Hélène Guilbaud, one of the organizers confirms: “We have always enjoyed having a large number of nations represented and hope to keep up this truly international spirit. For this 7th edition, we had requests from South America (Chili and Argentina) and the Canary Islands. We hope to facilitate connections for these teams via our partner, RMP Caraïbes.”

More than just a sport, Formula 18 racing is a lifestyle
The emotions felt by the competitors when racing are extraordinary, and those passionate about F18 racing are avid voyagers seeking new destinations and competitions. And since the destination of Saint Barth is so attractive, they are happy to make the voyage with their families to follow their passion.

The ambiance and hospitality typical to the island are in fact among the b points of the regatta. Arrivals that are properly celebrated, races on crystal clear waters, and festive evening events create a wonderful atmosphere for the participants. “Every year the number of people who want to be on the starting line continues to increase,” says Jeff Ledée, with deserved pride. However it is necessary to limit the number of places, as he explains:“We want to continue to guarantee a maximum quality for the participants. Our experience over the past six editions has taught us the limits we cannot exceed in order to maintain all the ingredients for the continued success of the St Barth Cata Cup.”

Got to the official website and try get your ticket for this amazing adventure!

Pictures by Pierrick Contin

Friday, 21 March 2014

'Time to turn the tide' - Interview with Nacra International

The International F18 Catamaran Association is pleased that various boat builders and sail makers are willing to sponsor the class. Not only we want to thank our sponsors, but we’re also curious about their vision of the future of Formula 18 sailing. The first interview is with Gunnar Larsen, Commercial Director Nacra International.


When we were approached to sponsor the F18 class we immediately said yes. Not because it would be only in our own interest, but because we believe that all donated money to this class will be spend in the right way. Especially when you have a good look at the amount of time the International F18 Class Association spends on representing all interests we didn’t hesitate at all!

Time to turn the tide
Nacra has a long history as a boat builder and sail maker. In the last couple of years the F18 class has been wandering and also been criticised, but sees that all players are trying to turn this tide. We have a clear vision on the future of multihull sailing: F18, AC72, the Olympic Nacra 17 and Hobie 16 are the calling cards of the multihull scene. But, because of that we all need to be careful. Keeping costs low in the class should have priority e.g. by keeping purchase price and the price of spare parts (also with damage) low, so everyone can keep up with the F18 class. Not only the professionals, but the ‘enthusiastic family sailors’ in particular.

F18 class is growing
We’re very pleased to see the F18 class is growing in South America. About six years ago there were no F18’s at all, nowadays approximately 100 boats are competing in various South American countries. Thanks to some local initiatives F18 boats have been bought and the initiators started their own competitions. Their goal was to participate at the Worlds… and so it happened.

Prevent lengthy grey areas

As mentioned before, Nacra’s view on the F18 future is to keep the class as steady as possible, especially for the sailors. Prevent expensive Research & Development, because in the end the sailors have to pay for this. Besides the high costs to upgrade your boat, we often experienced lengthy grey areas about the legitimacy. A quick response on all new developments from the F18 Measurement is desirable to keep the fun factor in the F18 class. The box rules are the framework of the class, and should not become a playground.


Empowering sailors by plug & play solutions

In 2014 Nacra hopes to increase their visibility in more countries. Focus is to help National F18 Class Associations with their promotion of the class. We also provide plug & play solutions for amateurs, so sailing will be their main focus instead of boat settings, trim, etc. We have plenty of team riders who’re willing to help. ‘Empowering sailors’, that’s what it’s all about.

Small upgrades, big gains

All small updates we did on the F18 MK2 till September ‘13 are now standard on the new boats and available as an upgrade kit. The new rigging makes it more easy to handle the boat. Also our sails have been revised. The new mainsail and jib have more power, the spinnaker is more hard-wearing thanks to new shaping.

For more information about Nacra please visit www.nacrasailing.com.

Monday, 17 March 2014

2014 Worlds: cheaper entry fee period extended!

Following the exchanges held between Ballyholme YC Organising Committee and Class Representatives during recent Official 2014 Launch in Bangor, and considering Eurocat event in Carnac is a benchmark for a large number of F18 sailors, it has been decided to extend the cheaper entry fee period to 11th May...
See 2014 F18 Worlds NoR Amendment 1