LITTLECUP – A COMPETITION GRAND IN STATURE
From 12 to 20 September 2015 Geneva hosted the LITTLECUP. Unique in the world of international sailing, the LITTLECUP gathers the fastest catamarans in the world. Lombard Odier was the principal sponsor of the event.
Founded in 1961, the LITTLECUP – or C-Class World Championship – is a testing ground for catamarans of the future and a truly high-level competition where tomorrow’s technologies are trialled and compared. A sailing event not to be missed, the LITTLECUP was organised this year by the Hydros Foundation and – for its 27th edition – played host to some of the great names in international sailing, who will prove their mastery of the seas on these technological gems, capable of sailing - or flying - at three times wind-speed. This will be a unique event on Lake Geneva.
A resounding victory for Franck Cammas
From left to right : Alexis Lombard (Hydros Foundation/Lombard Odier), Bibiana Jurado (Hydros Foundation), Franck Cammas (Groupama Sailing Team), Patrick Odier (Lombard Odier), Louis Viat (Groupama Sailing Team), Jérémie Laguarrigue (Hydros Foundation)
After a week of sailing, often struggling with capricious weather conditions on Lake Geneva, Franck Cammas and Louis Viat of Groupama claimed top position on the podium of the C Class LITTLECUP. Patrick Odier awarded them the trophy, adding: “Our Firm shares the values of high performance, overcoming challenges and developing talent with the Hydros team. We salute the drive, competitive spirit and sportsmanship that these sailors have demonstrated with their boats, which have themselves fully lived up to expectations.”
Highlights of the competition
- 12 September - The race is on ! : Video of the opening ceremony
- 16 September - Jousting on the water : Video special on three days of fleet races
- 18 September - End of the fleet races : France and Switzerland reach the finals
- 20 September - Frank Cammas : winner of the 2015 edition
The ultimate high-tech yachts
The C-Class rules are simple. That is what makes the race so interesting and so difficult at the same time, and forces the designers to use the most innovative techniques and materials. They state that the boats must be catamarans whose dimensions do not exceed a length of 7.62 m (25 ft), a beam of 4.26 m (14 ft) and a ‘wing’ or sail area of 27.8 m2 (300 sq ft). Each catamaran has a two-strong crew.
Instead of classic sails, these technological gems are equipped with a solid carbon sail weighing in at a feather-light 70kg, allowing a performance gain in the region of 30-40% over regular masts. Not only do these catamarans have wings in the air, they also have wings in the water, better known as foils, which enable the boats literally to take off and fly above the water once they reach a certain speed. So friction with the water, which actually represents 80% of a boat’s drag, is considerably reduced, meaning that C-Class catamarans can reach staggering speeds.
But what makes the event even more unique is that teams share know-how, plans and technological secrets at the end of the race so that all competitors start off on an equal footing in the two-year run-up to the next one.