Ed. Note: Thanks so much to Karl for providing these peeks at how the other side of the Atlantic boats. We hope to hear more from him! If you’re out and about and what to share a little of the world with those of us planted in the Northwest, email email@example.com.
So finally onto the dinghies. The 5o5 and Finn classes had show boats there to raise awareness, and I’ve already talked about the beach cats. But quite cool to see was a new two person skiff that is designed to be a bit more kindly and One Design than the I-14, though leveraging the skiff knowledge that has expanded with new materials and designs over the last 15 years. I’m not thrilled with the name: Sea-Up (http://www.sea-up.fr/) but I spent some time talking with Paolo Bua of Truc Design (Truc in French means “stuff”) and it looks to be a very cool skiff. Weighing in at less than a 49er , (and also 20cm shorter) it has a very nice clean cockpit but one with enough of a raised gun’l that you can take a novice out and have them sit on the gun’l rather than trapeze all the time. The gun’l is also shaped as a tunnel so that all the lines that get scattered through the floor of many a dinghy aren’t there, and for that “foot off the gas” mode there are hiking straps for the skipper so that no-one is forced out on the trapeze.
Like the 49er the jib is self-tacking and like an I14 the launcher is under the foredeck. They will be having demo days near Marseilles this summer – hopefully I can give you a sailing report then.
One last note as I sign off. Probably the most interesting and unique boat at the show was the Revolution 22. Designed by David Raison of the Mini Transat “Scow Bow” fame – Raison has taken his basic very successful Mini design (it just finished 2nd in this years Transat and might have won had it not broken its sprit 300nm from the finish) raised the coach roof a bit, and formed it in aluminum to build a handy, quick and powerful 6.5meter cruiser. The reasoning being that “cruisers don’t beat upwind” – so why not have cruising shape designed for reaching?