LITTLECUP 2015: the elite of technology-driven sailing meet this September in Geneva
The countdown has begun. In less than three months, a new chapter will unfold in the fantastic human and technological adventure that is the LITTLECUP. Steve Clark, President of the C Class, has tasked the Hydros Foundation with the organisation of the 27th LITTLECUP, which is now entering the final stretch.
For the first time since it was started in 1961, the competition will be held on a lake, and not at sea. The spectacular LITTLECUP races will run for a week from 12 to 20 September on the Petit Lac and around the home waters of the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) in Geneva.
Right from when it first took place in 1961, this International C Class Championship – known as LITTLECUP after its big brother, the America’s Cup – has symbolised fundamental research and ground-breaking technological development on a human scale. Today, the catamarans fly at up to three times the speed of the wind, culminating in a record of 34 knots (62.94 kmph). Tomorrow’s technologies are tested, compared, and approved during this competition. Year after year, this sporting challenge plays host to the biggest names in international sailing as well as their head designers in search of innovation.
By opting to hold this major competition in Geneva harbour, Hydros hopes to further develop the C Class as well as strengthen the international reputation of the Lake Geneva region and Switzerland as a whole in the world of sailing.
A village for the event
The LITTLECUP village, which will be set up near the SNG, will welcome visitors throughout the event. The freely accessible facilities will allow visitors to follow the races live from the banks of the lake or via social networks, and provide access to the paddocks where the teams will prepare their boats.
Taking both a fun and educational approach, the village will also include a pool of model boats where visitors can sail radio-controlled hydrofoils, as well as two exhibitions in French and English retracing the history of hydrofoils and the most important developments in sailing on Lake Geneva.
The new format, which focuses on involving the general public and providing access to the event, gives the LITTLECUP its international dimension with respect to demonstrating cutting-edge technologies aimed at achieving energy efficiency in the areas of boating and marItime transport.
Nine highly qualified teams, including three from Switzerland
Nine teams (three Swiss, two French, two Canadian, one American and one German) are set to battle it out on Lake Geneva. Franck Cammas (sailing team Groupama), winner of the LITTLECUP in 2013 in Falmouth, will return this year to defend his title. Switzerland will be represented by the following teams:
Norgador (skipper: Jean-Pierre de Siebenthal / crew: Arnaud Psarofaghis) A solid, talented team and a strong contender, boasting an impressive track record in the Extreme 40, the Youth America’s Cup, D35 and Moth International.
Gstaad Yacht Club (skipper: Billy Besson / crew: Matthieu Vandame) An outstanding team for a major club from the mountains looking to take on a new challenge at an international level with the LITTLECUP.
AXONProject.ch (skipper: Benoît Morelle / crew: Benoît Marie) The dream of taking part in the LITTLECUP has come true thanks to the meeting of the experienced and passionate team and Steve Clark, who will put a legendary C Class vessel at the team's disposal.
The other teams taking part are:
Groupama Sailing Team (FRA) – skipper: Franck Cammas / crew: Louis Viat
Société Nautique de St Tropez (FRA) – crew selection process currently under way
Team Paterson Composites (CAN) – skipper: Billy Gooderham / crew: Christian Pavey
Rafale – Ets (CAN) – skipper: Marc Farmer / crew: Trevor Tej Parekh
Sentient Blue (GER) – skipper: Nils Bunkenburg / crew: Thomas Paasch
Cogito 2015 (USA) – skipper: Steve Clark / crew: Michael Costello