A Day in Infamy: a First for Multihulls
15 February 2010 | Valencia, Spain
My love affair with Multihulls began so long ago when I was invited to a collegiate race in Toledo, Ohio sponsored by the local sailboat dealership that was attempting to market beach catamarans to rising college graduates. It worked. Although I had been raised on traditional wooden hulls, designed by some of the best names in yacht design and was transitioning to small dinghy racing, I had no idea something quite so glorious as flying & skipping across the water was possible...until the day I flew a hull~
Nothing in my mono-hull, one dimensional upbringing compared to this....this was beyond exhilarating.
The winds were light the morning I grabbed my crew and set out for a wonderful day on these new fast-cats. It took us some time to figure out how to make her go in light air, but it became apparent that our weight and agility had everything to do with finding her 'sweet spot' of power. In our exuberance, we took her to the edge and promptly fell over, which was the greatest learning curve as a skipper....'one must learn the delicate balance of unleashed thrust and then reining her in for maximum velocity'.
When everyone had given up for the day and headed for the showers and libations in the clubhouse, I remained on the beach, watching and waiting. Scanning the horizon for a breath of air and gazing upon the line-up fleet of potential energy sitting at rest on the beach. Ah-ha, it finally rose, a warm-evening off-shore breeze caused a clatter of halyards on the steady group of masts. One rocket-boat was still rigged and was rocking in the new breeze, awaiting someone to reach her in time for lift-off. Another sort had been waiting for the breeze at the other end of the beach, our eyes met and we knew we had to set off to feel the sensation of catamaran flight. I will never forget that first evening flying a hull in a trapeze over the cool Lake Erie waters as the sun set and the off-shore breeze connected two strangers and took them aloft~
It is with that same feeling of pure aesthetic adrenaline that I watched the 33rd Americas Cup and remembered that first time. Multihulls are pure potential energy and I was honored to see the spectacle for my first witness to an Americas Cup match. And beyond the international venue, the multihulls of the world trembled in their amas as the attention was focused on their magnificent power, beauty & grace. The Americas Cup has been won back to American shores by a multihull~