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AFLOAT: Capsize drama for Olympic ace Luke Patience
The London 2012 Olympic silver medallist had swapped his 470 dinghy for a high-speed C-Class multihull to compete in this week’s event, which is officially called the International C-Class Cat Challenge (ICCCC).
Patience and John Downey’s team, Sentient Blue, had made an 11th-hour entry into the competition.
After a heavy sea mist caused three abandoned races on Sunday due to zero visibility, Sentient Blue got off to a strong start when racing got under way on Monday and were fourth on the 11-boat leaderboard after day two of the event.
However, the class is known as the ultimate test for the latest, cutting-edge sailing technology and a capsize on Tuesday caused major wing damage to Patience’s team’s multihull.
They were unable to take part in the last day of qualification racing on Wednesday and are unlikely to be able to make the repairs in time to return to the competition for the Little Cup.
Dubbed the Little America’s Cup, the ICCCC is sailed every three years and timed to coincide with the America’s Cup – where almost triple the size AC72 catamarans are racing in San Francisco Bay.
Patience has long-term plans to challenge with Sentient Blue in the 2015 ICCCC held in Geneva, Switzerland.
The 27-year-old, who lives in Weston, said: “The boat got broken beyond reasonable repair this week, which was a nightmare and such a shame.
“However, I got four races on the thing and loved it. “I would like to be back for sure and the vision is to challenge for the 2015 LAC.”
He added: “Who knows, I could be helming an America’s Cup boat one day in years to come.”
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