S20 Champion Charlie Ogletree

Represents US

in Little America's Cup

and Wins!

LITTLE AMERICA'S CUP


Organizers of the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy (ICCT) have announced the event's competitors, which makes its return with a new format after a hiatus of more than seven years. The event, better known as "The Little America's Cup," will take place September 28-October 3, 2003, fromvSail Newport's facility at Fort Adams. This match racing competition is being sailed in F-18HT catamarans - mutihulls that go three times the speed of monohulls.

 

There are confirmed challenges from four foreign teams ­ three of whom hail from the Adriatic resort of Rimini in northeastern Italy. Representing Club Nautico Rimini will be Alberto Sonino with crew Edward Canepa, and Daniele Saragoni with crew Teo Di Battista. Massimiliano Sirena, with crew Paolo
Bassani, will represent Vela Club Marano Riccione. Hoping to unseat the "Rimini Challenge to the Little Americas Cup" are John Pierce and Suze Davis. The pair represent Mumbles Yacht Club in Swansea, South Wales, United Kingdom.

 

Four American teams have hopes of becoming the ultimate Defender at the conclusion of the elimination series. John Lovell (New Orleans, La.) with crew Charlie Ogletree (Houston, Texas) representing Southern Yacht Club; Lars Guck (Bristol, R.I.) with crew Jonathan Farrar (Miami, Fla.) representing Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club; Mark Murray (Newport, R.I./Pensacola, Fla.) and crew Charles Barmonde (Newport, R.I.) representing Team 1/Sail Newport; and Barry Moore (Beverly, Mass.) with crew Eric Anderson (Andover, Conn.) representing Sea Cliff Yacht Club. Last sailed in 1996 when the U.S.A. was victorious over Australia, the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy was donated in 1961 by the Sea Cliff Yacht Club, located on the north shore of Long Island (N.Y.), to promote catamaran match-racing between nations. Previously sailed in "C" Class catamarans, the revamped series will feature the F-18HT catamaran for the first time. New, fully equipped Bimare F-18HTs will be provided to all
teams. Much like the America's Cup, the winner will bring the trophy back to their yacht club to host the 2004 event, which will also feature provided Bimare F-18HTs to ensure consistency.

 

On September 28-30, the four foreign "challenger" teams and the four American "defender" teams will each sail an elimination round robin match-racing series. After a layday on Wednesday, October 1, the winners of the respective Defender and Challenger eliminations will compete head-to-head in a best four out of seven series for the Trophy on Thursday and Friday, October 2-3. - Media Pro Int'l

 

 

LITTLE AMERICA'S CUP
Plenty of breeze and plenty of action were on tap for today's final races to conclude the elimination series for the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy (ICCT). The sight of F18HTs flying along Narragansett Bay was in stark contrast to their ability to seemingly stop and start on a dime. Even veteran race committee member Pam Kirk (Portsmouth, R.I.)
couldn't get over the speed with which these catamarans can accelerate. "I was counting down to the start and there were no boats in my peripheral vision at four seconds," said Kirk. "I kept thinking 'do they know we're starting, do they know we're starting,' and then bam, they flew past me from behind." Events which feature match racing using catamarans are a rarity, so while this 23rd running of "The Little America's Cup" is proving
exciting to watch, it is also challenging the participants ­ more familiar with fleet racing -- to think outside the box.

John Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and crew Charlie Ogletree (Houston, Texas), representing Southern Yacht Club, were undefeated in the round robin and received a bye for the semi-final round. They continued their undefeated streak with two wins over Chris Brown and CF Oliver to be named the Defender.

Alberto Sonino and Edward Canepa appeared to have the edge as they maintained their series lead through the conclusion today of the Challengers round robin, posting a 6-2 win-loss record over Daniele Saragoni and crewTeo Di Battista at 4-4. Saragoni and Di Battista then went 2-1 over Sirena and Bassani, to pit the two teams representing Club Nautico Rimini against each other for the finals. Pulling off an upset, Saragoni and Di Battista went 2-1 over Sonino and Canepa to become the Challenger. - Media Pro Int'l.

Racing for the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy will continue after tomorrow's planned lay day. The Defender and Challenger will compete head-to-head in a best four out of seven series for the Trophy on Thursday and Friday, October 2-3.

NEWPORT, R.I. (October 2, 2003) – While the temperatures dropped on Narragansett Bay, action on the race course heated up as competition for the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy (ICCT) resumed today after yesterday’s planned lay day. The Challenger (Italy’s Daniele Saragoni and crew Teo Di Battista, representing Club Nautico Rimini) and the Defender (John Lovell of New Orleans, La., and crew Charlie Ogletree of Houston, Texas, representing Southern Yacht Club) faced each other on a windward-leeward course (three times around) for three matches in breeze upwards of 23 knots with temperatures hovering in the low 60s. It was “rugged going,” according to ICCT Trustee John Dawson of Sea Cliff Yacht Club, organizers of the event, “especially for those who went swimming.”

In race one Lovell and Ogletree were in the lead only to hook the windward mark, which allowed Saragoni and Di Battista to pass them and get on the scoreboard with the first win. In the second race, the Americans held the lead until the second downwind leg when, with the spinnaker out, they hit a wave and capsized, opening the door for the Italians to pass them on their way to the finish line.

In race three, Lovell and Ogletree capsized on the starting line and despite getting their cat back up quickly, the time elapsed was enough to give a half leg lead to the Italians who had sustained a pre-start penalty which they performed on the first leg. Showing plenty of determination, Lovell and Ogletree ran them down in the puffy and shifty conditions to win their first race of the day. The final two races of the day saw even starts with both boats jockeying upwind. The Americans were around each mark first, albeit with the Italians right on them. In both instances, Saragoni and Di Battista crossed the line only 10-15 seconds behind Lovell and Ogletree, who ended the day 3-2.

The winner of the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy will be determined tomorrow when the final two races are sailed in this best four-out-of-seven series between the Defender and Challenger.

 

NEWPORT, R.I. (October 3, 2003) – The sight of five 12-Metres sailing up Narragansett Bay would be impressive any day of the week. Today, however, the 12s seemingly ushered in the breeze that had kept competitors waiting under a postponement flag for the concluding matches of the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy (ICCT). For the first time since 1976, it would come down to the final match in this best four-out-of-seven finals before the champagne was uncorked to spray the winners and award "The Little America’s Cup" for the 23rd time since the event was created in 1961.

Today’s action was again set off Goat Island providing a perfect view of the competition. In the first race, the Challengers (the Italian team of Daniele Saragoni and crew Teo Di Battista, representing Club Nautico Rimini) appeared to have control of the start as they took a slight lead off the line on the windward-leeward course. The Defender (John Lovell of New Orleans, La., and crew Charlie Ogletree of Houston, Texas, representing Southern Yacht Club) caught up by the first mark just as a 140’ motor yacht cruised onto the course requiring both cats to maneuver around the slow-moving vessel. By the end of two very tight laps around the course, the Italians were first to the finish line by 15 seconds over Lovell and Ogletree to tie the score at 3-3.

In race two, which would be sailed three times around the course, Lovell and Ogletree crossed the start line first and never looked back as they opened up a sizable lead on the Italians. Undaunted, Saragoni and Di Battista whittled down the distance and by the last leg had closed the minute and twenty gap to five seconds for a nail-biting finish close behind Lovell and Ogletree.

“I’m very excited by this win,” said Lovell after he had warmed up. “Saragoni definitely had an edge with the boat, as this is only my third time in an F-18HT, which is much narrower than a Tornado, making it harder to gybe downwind and less stable in general.” Comparing the differences between the F-18HTs used for the Little America’s Cup, and the Tornado that the two-time Olympians spend most of their time racing, Lovell also noted the difference in their teamwork required by match racing in catamarans. “The crew does most of the work, I mostly steer while Charlie drags me around the course. I learned a lot from this event”.

Complete scores and background on the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy, better known as "The Little America’s Cup," can be found online at www.icct2003.org or www.littleamericascup2003.org.