The tradition of rivalry between Great Britain and the United States in the field of yacht racing resumes this week (7-14 October) in the historic harbour at Weymouth, on Britain's south coast.
GV Weymouth coastline with yachts sailing.
GV Crossbow II with crew checking rigging.
CU Mr. Tim Colman, designer and skipper of Crossbow II, speaking into walkie-talkie.
GV Slingshot sails past Crossbow II.
SV Slingshot cutting through water in high speed.
GV Crossbow towards camera and past.
GV Slingshot with Crossbow II in background.
SPORT: SPEED SAILING
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Background: The tradition of rivalry between Great Britain and the United States in the field of yacht racing resumes this week (7-14 October) in the historic harbour at Weymouth, on Britain's south coast. Some of the world's strangest but fastest yachts have gathered to make straight runs over a 500 metre course (546.8 yards).
SYNOPSIS: Weymouth is the venue for high-speed runs in an effort to beat existing speed records. Crossbow-Two of Great Britain holds the open class record of 33.8 knots (38.89 miles per hour, 62.59 kilometres per hour). This giant catamaran is designed and skippered by tim colman, who followed the lines of traditional Pacific catamarans.
From the United States comes the main challenger for the speed title, Slingshot, an ingenious single hull with out-riggers for crew and sail controls. The two main contenders romped around the harbour in a display for the public before the trials started in earnest. Despite only modest winds, it became clear that the two would prove formidable opponents.
Slingshot, helmed by Karl Thomas of Michigan, did not find enough wind to show its best from.
The reigning champion needs stronger wind than this to lift one of its hulls out of the water and achieve its highest potential speed. The craft relies on only two mainsails, and the skipper crouches in a small cockpit in the right-hand hull. Slingshot is not her only challenger. An entry from the Kanazawa Institute of Technology in Japan had already reached good speeds in trial runs.
The events are organised by the royal Yachting Association, and include classes for smaller yachts down to the spectacular wind-surfer type. But the trans-Atlantic challenger is tipped to attract most attention during the speed week.