‘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.