Europeans love their cats, as in catamarans, particularly the French.
Each year the Eurocat is held off Carnac, France, and it routinely draws an armada of catamarans for four days of racing and a distance race named Voiles et Voiliers, organized by the Carnac Yacht Club.
The distance race was held May 3, and for Flying Phantom — an 18-foot foiling cat — it was an opportunity to confront a fleet of 169 boats and some of the top French and European sailors.
At the start of the race, around the island of Houat, winds were reported to be easterly at 5 to 15 knots. Flying Phantom, sailed by Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot, smoked the competition.
Click play to see Flying Phantom under way, filmed two weeks before the race.
Flying Phantom reached a speed of about 25 knots for a long leg along the Quiberon peninsula and took a tremendous lead.
The last stretch was slower, but Flying Phantom flew across the line, completing the 22-nautical-mile course in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 20 seconds — 20 minutes ahead of the second-place boat.
The Phantoms Sailing Team shattered the Eurocat’s long-distance race record by 24 minutes, 54 seconds. It had been held by a Nacra F20 sailed by Peter Vink and Sven de Laaf in 2010.