SPORT - Carbon is king in 14s
Sailing legend Uffa Fox once said: “The only place for weight is in a steam roller.” Uffa passed away some years back, but his mark on sailing continues in many forms and his significance in a class like the 14-footer is large. Mind you, some young-buck sailors may say “Uffa who?” but they will learn.
When Uffa was near the height of his boat designing/building powers, his achievements were as much about minimising weight and maximising strength, as they were about fast hull lines.
Uffa counted the Prince of Wales as a mate and he ruled when winning boats were built in wood, but that was at time before carbon became king in high-performance sailing.
“Exactly what Uffa would have said about carbon is impossible to say, but it’s a sure bet he would have considered carbon a regal product and remarkably appropriate for a boat like the 14.
And it is perhaps fitting that carbon spar maker CST Composites is the major sponsor for the International 14 World Championship to be raced on Sydney Harbour this summer,” CST Composites said.
The I14 national president in Australia, Stewart Vickery said the partnership “couldn’t be more appropriate”.
“The I14 class has a long history of using leading-edge technology that dates back more than 100 years,” said Vickery.
“Light and strong… 14s love it. Always have and always will.”
CST managing director, Clive Watts said:
“CST's involvement with the I14s started when Grant Geddes won the worlds in 1999 with our CST3 mast. It was an exciting time for our fledgling company and proof that our investment in technology had been worth it.
“Since that win, the I14s have been a proving ground for CST, with a catalogue of winning rigs over the years. In that way, the I14s are really a part of our heritage, it's where we made our name, and has been the launch pad for CST's growth to supplying the wide range of spars that we do today.
“One of the great things about the I14's is that they're a truly international class, there's been some great regattas in locations all over the world and we're proud to be able to sponsor the 2010 worlds in our home town. They're also a real development class, and that's what allowed us to build our foundations,” said Watts.
The CST Composites International 14 World Championship event begins on December 28 with Teams Racing and then the World Championship Invitation Race on January 3, 2010, followed by Heats from January 4 to 11 out of Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club, Sydney Harbour.