France wins NACRA-17 world event
SCHEVENINGEN _ The NACRA-17 world championships _ the new Olympic mixed multihull for the 2016 Rio games _ held at the North Sea resort of Scheveningen drew 66 teams from 24 countries. France won the storm-shortened event, ahead of Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The July 21-27 event ended without a medal race due to incoming thunder storms on the final day.
In 2012, the International Sailing Federation picked the Dutch-made Nacra 17 as the new Olympic mixed multihull class for the 2016 Rio games. Mixed teams are new to Olympic sailing. The last Olympic multihull event took place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Tornado.
The world championship lured the cream of the world’s catamaran sailors, all of whom have their eyes firmly on Rio. Only one team per country per class can qualify for the Olympics. The Netherlands fielded 3 teams: one that won the 2013 ISAF World Cup in Palma de Mallorca, another that won silver there and bronze at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands. At the world championships, coach Sven Karsenbarg wanted to see at least 1 Dutch team end in the top 8. In the end, 2 did so.
The Nacra 17 is a design of Morelli & Melvin, a California studio with a vast track record in creative, sound, safe, fun and fast multi and mono-hulls that works both ends of the spectrum. It has helped design the AC-72 cat and has also worked on standup paddle boards. Nacra stands for North American Catamaran Racing Association. The class originated in the USA in 1975. In 2007, its current owners Gunnar Larsen and Peter Vink bought the brand and moved it to the Netherlands. It is made in variety of cat sizes and styles _ from resort hire boats to performance racers.
All the Nacra-17s that will race at Rio will come straight from the Nacra factory in Scheveningen where 17 people assemble the cats. The vacuum-injection fiberglass hulls are made in Asia. Specifications:
Length: 5.25m; Beam: 2.59m; mast: 9.10m; material: epoxy / glass / carbon. The top-10 finishers at the 2013 world championships:
1- France: Besson/Riou, 20 points
2- Britain: Saxton/Diamond, 23 pts
3- Switzerland: Buhler/Brugger, 43 pts
4- Netherlands: Groeneveld/Begemann, 44 pts
5- France: Vaireaux/Audinet, 48 pts
6- Australia: Waterhouse/Darmanin, 50 pts
7- Netherlands: Delnooz/De Koning, 51 pts
8- Italy: Bissaro/Sicouri, 52 pts
9- N Zealand: Jones/Saunders, 56 pts
10 – Austria: Zajac/Frank, 58 pts