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

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

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

Image: "The mountains of the Llyn Peninsula behind, and Brett Holly (AUS1) at the 2017 Worlds, Pwlhelli. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: "Just about the most dramatic IC photo I've ever seen. Emma Grigull (GER65) at the 2017 Worlds, Pwlhelli. 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: International Canoe

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

Image: Michael Leitch (CAN 30) at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

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

Image: "Windward Mark Action Colin Brown (GBR319) Peter Ullmann (GER79) at the 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: "Blue Horizon Behind Blue Horizon John Ellis (GBR318) at the 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: "John Robson (GBR283) at the 2017 Worlds, Pwlhelli. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: Mikey Radziejowski at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

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

Image: Robin Wood on his way to winning the 2008 Billy No Mates © James Close, JEC Creative.

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

Image: David Clark at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

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

Image: "Todd Twigg (USA248) at the 2017 Worlds, Pwlhelli. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: "Alistair Warren (GBR317) at the 2017 Worlds, Pwlhelli. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: "Robin Wood (GBR329) at the 2017 Worlds, Pwlhelli. Photo: © Robert Muller"

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

Image: Frederik Steimann at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller