There was a huge upset in this year’s America’s Cup race – the UK won while the favourites didnʼt even reach the podium.
At least not here in Comox, where Compass Adventure/Hobie Cat hosted a two-day regatta to celebrate the America’s Cup (the longest running sailboat race).
“Catamarans are the new boat of choice for this most prodigious race,” notes Compass Adventure head sailing coach Andrew Robinson. We have eight Hobie Wave catamarans and there are only eight contenders for the America’s Cup, so that took our interest.
“We used a new race format, the one used for the AC 45 catamarans where the start and finish were reaches. For the non-sailors that is so that the race is exciting no matter where you watch. It is fast, fun and attracts spectators to a sport that is usually not that much fun to watch unless you are involved.
“Power boaters and large motor yachts were stopping to watch the racing, something Iʼve never seen here,” said Robinson. “In our case the start finish line was just off the Goose Spit beach and the tactical part was directly in front of the Comox boardwalk, a great vantage point.”
The competitors had incredible sailing conditions. Day one was for the most part 20-25 knots which was a challenge even for the seasoned racers. Each boat, single-handed, was masterfully sailed by these youth sailors.
“I have not seen a better display of sailing skills and excitement for a long time, sailing just got fun again,” said Robinson.
The competitors raced two long days having 15 races in total. There were two divisions. Division A was the advanced group and division B the junior level.
Division A: 1 Damian Parlee (representing UK). 2 Nicolas Parlee (representing Italy). 3 Brian Cherry (representing Switzerland).
Division B: 1 Kaden Glenwright (representing Canada). 2 Joe Taylor-Harding (representing USA). 3 Geoff Hynds
– Compass Adventure