The Board of Trustees for the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy (ICCT) yesterday announced a call to Defenders and Challengers for the ICCT to be held at the Sail Newport Sailing Center in Newport, Rhode Island September 27 through October 2, 2003.
The match race format will be held in F-18HT's. Up to 10 Challengers (non-US) and 10 Defenders (US) will be accepted. The Defenders and the Challengers will sail a round robin elimination series over the first three days of the event with the winner of each series competing in a best four out of seven series for the Trophy.
The ICCT was last sailed in 1996 when the US won the Trophy back from Australia. Since it has been 7 years without a defence the Trophy has reverted to the custody of the Sea Cliff Yacht Club. John B. Dawson, Jr, Chairman for the ICCT Trustees stated that, "The time has come to revive the trophy and to promote friendly international match racing competition as called for in the Deed of Gift. Catamaran classes have grown dramatically - we want to increase the reach to a broad field of Cat sailors and emphasize skill and strategy on the water."
The ICCT trustees have chosen the F-18HT Class as the boat for this year's competition. The Bimare F-18HT is the 2003 Sailing World (US Sailing Magazine) Boat of the Year and has been selected for this year's US Sailing's Multi-Hull Alter Cup as well as the XXI Worrell 1000 in May. Bryan Dougherty, ICCT Trustee said that, "We are delighted that the F-18HT will be the boat for this year's competition. It is sailed internationally and is readily accessible to crews. The great news is that we will have brand new Bimare F-18HT's in Newport for the challengers and defenders. In essence, once the challengers and defenders have satisfied the requirements, all they will have to do is show up. Fully equipped boats and sails will be waiting for them".
The Deadline for Entries is June 1, 2003. The ICCT is very much like the America's Cup in that the winner will bring the Trophy to their country and yacht club and host the following year's event. Bimare F-18HT's will also be provided for the 2004 ICCT to ensure the event's continued success and consistency from year to year. The Trustees expect more entries than the available 10 Challenger (non-US) and 10 Defender (US) spots; therefore a critical factor for the entrants will be their sponsoring club's ability to host the next defense should they win.
There is an all inclusive entry fee of $6,000 per team that provides for the boat & sails for the event as well as access to the boats for the week preceding the event. Michael Angelo Petrucci, Chairman of Bimare said, "We are proud and excited to be involved in the ICCT... Additionally Bimare and the F-18HT Class have established a 'buy, charter, borrow, steal hotline' for sailors who wish to compete but do not currently have an F-18HT. We will coordinate with our class's world-wide network as well as fellow builders to assist qualified competitors to gain access to F-18HT's in the months leading up to the event."
The International Catamaran Challenge Trophy was created in 1961 to stimulate international catamaran racing. Sea Cliff Yacht Club, established in 1892 on the North Shore of Long Island, New York organized the first match race for the trophy in 1961 and commissioned the creation of the trophy. For additional information including applications, a history of the ICCT, a copy of the Deed of Gift and more on F-18HT's go to either of the following websites.