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International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Chris Hampe at the 2013 Europa cup. Photo: © Loch Lomond SC"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: GBR303 at the 2011 Worlds © Robert Muller ex German web site

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Johan Elfström (SWE101) at the 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Mark Goodchild at the 2014 Worlds © David Thompson

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Canoes starting at the 2008 Billy No Mates. From Left, Gareth Caldwell, Robin Wood, John Nixon. © James Close, JEC Creative.

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Canoe Park at Richmond YC at the start of the 2014 Worlds. Photo: © Willian Gutoff

International 10 Sq.m. Sailing Canoe

For over one hundred years racing sailing canoes has fascinated, exasperated, intrigued and even infuriated some of the world’s great sailors. The voyage includes the earliest known recorded planing boats, the second longest standing international sailing event, and the ability to go upwind like a stiletto through butter.

The key features of the Canoe are its relatively small but highly efficient rig, its long, slim and lightweight hull, and of course the sliding seat.

How do you sum up the appeal of the International 10 Square Metre Sailing Canoe in four short paragraphs? "The dry fly of sailing"? (Uffa Fox) "one of the most interesting things that God let man make"? ( L Francis Herreshof) "Oh [deleted]!"? (nearly everyone who’s ever sailed one)?

For well in excess of one hundred years racing sailing canoes has fascinated, exasperated, intrigued and even infuriated some of the world’s great sailors. Along the way decked canoes have provided the earliest known recorded planing boats, the second longest standing international sailing event, an enormous amount of idiosyncratic fun and the ability to go upwind like a stiletto through butter. Sailors who become smitten with the class’ unique challenge often stay sailing them for decades.

The key features of the Canoe are its relatively small but highly efficient rig, its long, slim and lightweight hull, and of course that sliding seat. The "plank" is key to the experience. There’s something very unique about sailing your boat from your perch some feet from the windward side, and while all is going well its a surprisingly relaxing experience. Physically its generally less demanding than a trapeze or wings, but it does bring some extra handling challenges.

No boat can be all things to all men, and its pointless to pretend that this is a mass market boat. But then Château d’Yquem is not a mass market wine, and a pre war blown Bentley is not a mass market car. Some special things are, well, just special, and, unlike the wine or the car, this one isn’t unreasonably expensive...

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International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Alistair Warren and Dragonfly (GBR317) out for a blast on the blown off last day of the 2013 Europa Cup, in which he was runner up. © Jim Champ 2013

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Peter Ullman at the Leeward Mark at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Scarlett O'Hara at the 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: GBR310 at the 2011 Worlds © Robert Muller ex German web site

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Michael Leitch at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: GBR308 at the 2011 Worlds © Robert Muller ex German web site

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: International Canoe

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Mark Goodchild (GBR 265) - This is how it works. 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Chris Maas at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Simon (superteeth) Allen at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: start sequence race 3 at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Local hero Del Olsen (USA 253) in front of the skyline of San Francisco at the 2014 World. Photo © Robert Muller (slightly edited)