Hosted over five days by the Federation Francaise de Voile in Quiberon, the first stage of evaluation for a new youth multihull for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships drew together top-level young sailors and industry specialists alike.
Specific aspects that the new boat should have include twin trapeze, asymmetric spinnaker and no centreboards, and be a high performance boat able to be sailed by girl and boy crews between 12 and 19 and weighing in between 120 and 140 kg.
Seven different designs were present in Quiberon and over the five days of the event were tested by young sailors from France, Great Britain, Greece, Holland and Germany in a variety of conditions. Designs came from the 1992 Tornado Gold Medallist Yves Loday, who along with Reg White, was demonstrating the Stream (based on the Spitfire), and also had a hand in the SL 16, SL 15.5, and Dart 16 Sport. Other designs included the Hobie 16 Race, the KL Booster, the Nacra Blast and the Hobie Max. The Hobie 16 was used as a benchmark control
After measurement of the seven contenders, the following four days involved speed and course racing, with each pair of sailors sailing each of the seven designs.
The first day of trials dawned fresh and cold, and following the finishing of measurement in the morning, sailors set out in the test boats in a dying breeze of 10-knots in the afternoon to begin speed and fleet races. Unfortunately, the fleet races had to be abandoned, but things hotted up on the following day with more breeze and more chop off the west coast of France.
That format of Speed and race tests continued throughout the week, with high points being some epic displays of downwind control from sailors in the stronger breezes (as well as some epic wipe outs). Whilst this was going on, the evaluation panel met with each manufacturer to discuss business plans, class association structures and other details.
Full details of the trials, and daily reports are available by following the links below.
After Cold Morning Start, First Speed Tests Undertaken, 29 October 2003
Measurement Underway, Before First Speed Tests This Afternoon, 28 October
Strong Conditions Prevail, 30 October 2003 http://www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=5717
Speed Tests and Racing Underway Yesterday, 30 October 2003 http://www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=5714