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

Image: Todd Twigg, Simon Allen at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

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

Image: Peter Ullman and Dave Clark fighting hard for a place at the 2014 Worlds in San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

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

Image: "Great Spray Effects. Frederik Steimann (GER68) at the 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: Steve (USA) Clark. The man whose vision led to the exciting collection of new designs at the 2014 Worlds. Photo © Robert Muller

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

Image: "Now which bit of boat is where in that photo? Paul Hignett considers plumbing the depths of Loch Lomond with racing blown off at the 2013 Europa Cup.. Photo: © Loch Lomond SC"

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

Image: Steve (GBR) Clarke, Alistair Warren at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

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: "Ready About! (Tacking for the Windward Mark) Chris Maas (USA246) at the 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: USA 246 at the 2011 Worlds © Robert Muller ex German web site

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

Image: Chris Hampe mid gybe at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

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

Image: "Nice light! But I can't identify the boat. 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: USA 246 at the 2011 Worlds © Robert Muller ex German web site

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

Image: "Contrast! A 3 Masted Schooner in the backgrouns as Frederik Steimann (GER68) blasts upwind at the 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: "Purple Thrills by name and by nature... Arne Stahl (GER76) at the 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: Alistair Warren taking Dragonfly (GBR317) off the beach for a blast on the blown off last day of the 2013 Europa Cup. At this point he's about 10 yards off the shore and has got to tack to clear the pier the photographer is standing on. © Jim Champ 2013

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

Image: Mark Goodchild cutting through the waves at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. © Robert Muller

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

Image: GER 75 at the 2011 Worlds © Robert Muller ex German web site

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: Conversation Piece at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller