In July 2014, Ballyholme Yacht Club will host the F18 World Championships. This is possibly the most prestigious event to come to Bangor in over 20 years with many world famous sailors involved in the class and hopefully will be visiting next summer.
The F18 catamaran class is the largest two-people competitive multihull dinghy class in the world. In 2013, over 320 sailors in over 160 boats represented 26 countries at their World Championships in Marina di Grosseto, Italy. The class is strongest in France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, UK and USA with many teams from South America and Australia as well.
The class is over 50% professional and semi-professional sailors with the rest amateurs. Many are multi world champions, Olympians and winners of global events such as the Vendee Globe, Jules Vernes trophy or competitors in the 2013 America’s Cup. Names to hopefully look out for include:
- Darren Bundock – 2 Olympic medals, 14 world championships including F18, Team Oracle 2013 America Cup sailor
- Franck Cammas – Volvo round the World Winner, Transat Jacques Vabre, F18 World Champion
- Glenn Ashby - Olympic medallist, multiple F18 world champion, ETNZ America Cup sailor
- Mitch Booth – Olympic medallist, Multiple world champion, America Cup helmsman
- Francois Gabart – Vendee Globe Winner
- Grant Piggott – Hurricane European champion in 2007 at Ballyholme amongst many other trophies, sailmaking and Nacra UK
- Hugh Styles – multiple cat champion, Extreme 40′s, UK Laser radial coach but who states his favourite boat is the F18. 2nd in 2013 in Italy.
Mulithull racing has had great coverage in 2013 with the America’s Cup in San Francisco.
The speed and performance of the multihulls grew a huge audience and the F18 class will benefit from this, being the natural feeder class to the larger catamarans such as the Extreme 40′s and the AC34 classes. We hope that some of Ben Ainslie’s proposed UK team for AC35 will be building up experience at the world’s in Ballyholme.
We also hope to see all of our local Irish and GB multihull sailors and friends sailing, many of whom have been to Ballyholme before on numerous occasions. Ballyholme plan to make the F18 party in 2014 the biggest one yet, which will be some feat considering the successes of the Hurricane Europeans in 2003 and 2007, and the many other events we have hosted over the years.
Ballyholme Yacht Club (BYC) will host the event in July 2014, starting on 28th June and finishing on 12th July. It will start with BYC hosting the Irish Multihull Championships as a test event on 28 / 29th June. Irish, UK and professional teams will arrive on the first weekend using this and the next week for training.
Measurement starts on Friday 4th July with a practice race on Sunday followed by the Official Opening. The Championship will then be held over five days in an area off Bangor Marina and Ballyholme Bay as close to the shore as feasible to provide a spectacle. The Prize Giving and Closing Ceremony will be held on Friday night. There will be three major social evenings with bands etc on the Saturday nights, with social events every evening from Friday 4th July.
BYC are looking for large number of volunteers – both on the water with rescue and committee boats, and on-shore before and during the event. If you would like to help them please email email@example.com
. They will also need many boats to host press, visitors, spectators, committee boats and RIBS. Please contact their event chairman David Taylor if you would like to help out firstname.lastname@example.org