Sept. 7, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif.
Cats come full circle back to Long Beach
Multihull sailing history comes full circle with the GLOBALTECH Formula 18 World Championship to be hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club from this weekend through next week.
It’s the class’s first world championship ever contested in the USA and, more specifically, on the Southern California waters where multihull racing first thrived in the 70s.
Measurement and inspection start Friday for 118 entries from 13 countries and five continents. Racing goes off on Tuesday, with as many as 15 races scheduled through Saturday on the open ocean outside the breakwater.
Racing will start at noon, conditions permitting. There will be practice races Monday starting at 3 p.m.
The first three days of racing will sort out the fleet into Gold and Silver groups—the former competing for the grand prize on the weekend.
Long Beach is where one of the competitors grew up and won an Olympic silver medal in 1984. Jay Glaser, a multihull sailor to the bone, was crew for Randy Smyth, as he is now for Pease Glaser, his wife, also an Olympic silver medalist in women’s 470 and partner in their successful Glaser Sails company in nearby Huntington Beach.
“Southern California was always the hotbed of multihull activity,” Jay Glaser said. “We go to different places in the world and think, ‘Why do we leave Long Beach?’ It has some of the best sailing in the world, for sure.”
Dropping the Tornado catamaran from this year’s Olympics was a blow to cat fanatics around the world, but the picture brightened last spring when the Nacra 17 catamaran was added for Rio de Janeiro in 2016, with a new Olympic wrinkle: mandatory mixed crews of one male and one female.
“Having the catamaran back in the Olympics is fantastic,” Glaser said. “The new boat seems to be a good choice, and having people sailing mixed, that will be interesting. I’m not sure how that will turn out, but hopefully it turns out well.”
Might he and Pease give it a go for Rio?
“Uh … no,” Glaser said, smiling.
But it’s likely that many of the competitors will be racing with Glaser sails, as several world champions do. Since they specialize in small boats, they haven’t made any for the America’s Cup teams, but that event has boosted interest in multihulls, which has had many skeptics.
“When people see the racing they think it’s different, but it’s still racing,” Glaser said. “[Some thought] it would just be a parade and nobody will pass … but it’s exciting and things are happening all the time, and there are plenty of opportunities to pass and it’s still about boat handling, going the right way and sailing your boat.”
Glaser is certain that this will be his and Pease’s best effort in the F18 Worlds.
“It’s also our first,” he said.
The other headliners include defending champion Darren Bundock of Australia. Bundock also has Olympic silver from 2000 and 2008 but was shut out of this year’s Games when organizers went strictly monohull.
No problem for Darren. He has just advanced to sailing much larger multihulls for Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts’ defending America’s Cup team, Oracle, as a coach and helmsman on the AC45s.
Meantime, the multihullers didn’t quit but took another direction by developing not a new boat from a single design or manufacturer, per se, but a formula for a common class: the Formula 18.
The racing will be tracked on the Kattack website by courtesy of the title sponsor.
GLOBALTECH is a multi-faceted engineering consulting firm dedicated to finding cost-effective solutions to Automation & Control projects. GLOBALTECH’s highly experienced engineers provide the professional skills necessary to consult to the energy industry world wide on projects of varying degrees of complexity.