New F18 Capricorn bursts onto scene at New South Wales State Titles

Sailing the Capricorn - Chris Caldecoat and Pete Langman
James ogilvie
The new Capricorn F18 catamaran is the hottest F18 design on the world multihull scene. The Capricorn F18 is the newest design from the pen of the Hobie Wildcat catamaran designer Dr. Martin Fischer, and is built in Australia by Performance Sailcraft Australia. It showed impressive speed, taking first and third place and an older Capricorn with new PSA appendages second.

In first place, racing his new Capricorn with crew Pete Langman, was Chris Caldecoat, the General Manager of PSA.

Caldecoat was naturally pleased. ‘It was really fun racing. We had three race wins and a fifth and a sixth; two drops.

Because it was such short course racing it doesn’t take much for something to go wrong and you drop back. When we got our nose in front we were gone.'

Sailing the Capricorn GEN 2 - Chris Caldecoat and Pete Langman
James ogilvie

'As we expected the Capricorn is constantly quick whether it is upwind, downwind or without too many major rig changes. Also its buoyancy. It is really safe downwind.'

'We were leaving our foils down the whole time; just constantly powering the boat up and moving forward. We have still got a lot to learn. We were quick and still learning and experimenting so the boats are getting quicker.'

While Caldecoat is a top 20 F18 sailor, he is generally not a podium player.

He was obviously pleased to win. ‘I have been racing the F18 for a long time but I have never managed to win a title and it has taken 12 years. I had to do it on my own boat.’

In second place was an older modified PSA Capricorn, with new PSA centerboard and rudders, sailed by Grant Rogers and Neil Moxon.

Sailing the Capricorn GEN 2 - 2012 Moth World Champion an Josh McKnight and crew of 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nina Curtis
James ogilvie

In third place, with three wins, was Josh McKnight, the 2012 Moth World Champion and Nina Curtis, the Olympic silver medal match racer , finishing off today with a one, two and one.

McKnight commented, ‘The new Capricorn from PSA is very impressive. The boat was really stiff and really quite responsive and we went really, really well in the first race, which was quite light. I was a bit worried about the boat. I thought it might struggle as the breeze picked up but it just seemed to have an extra gear when the breeze picked up again so it was really impressive.

'Chris ‘Kringle’ Caldecoat has done a lot of work on the boat and put a lot of time into it. It is going really well and should be really quick for the nationals.

'Nina Curtis and I are looking at whether we could do a Nacra 17 Olympic campaign together.

'We are trying to work out at the moment if we will be suitable together. At this stage it is our first ever hit out. Nina has never sailed a cat before and that was a big learning experience for her and we have never sailed together either so it was all a big learning experience but it seemed to go quite well and we seemed to work well together.

'We had a really tough first day but we seemed to get our act together for the second day with a one, two, one.

Nina has certainly never sailed a cat with a spinnaker before so it really was a learning experience for her but she was actually really good. We won the first race but unfortunately got disqualified for hitting the finish mark.

'Looking towards Brazil, I have got my Nacra 17 on the way but it will arrive a little later than everybody else’s but I think with this Capricorn programme we should be in very good shape.

'The F18’s are bigger and heavier, because of their box rule and everything is just a little bit more physical so it should mean that when we get into the Nacra it is all quite easy and second nature.’

The Capricorn is a big step forward, so it’s easy to see why the orders are flowing already.

Full Results:
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RankBoat NameClassSail NoHelmCrewClubYSR1R2R3R4R5R6R7TotalNett
1stCapricorn OrangeF18AUS 6Chris CaldecotPeter LaugmanSLMASC67.55.0 DNF1.01.0(7.0)6.01.0(10.0 DSQ)31.014.0
2ndBent and TwistedF18AUS 888Grant RogersNeil MoxhamYBSC67.53.0(4.0)3.01.0(5.0)
3rdCapricorn JoeF18AUS 10Josh McKnightNina CurtisSLMASC67.55.0 DNF(6.0)(8.0)
4thKnot CrazyF18AUS 010Trevor LowderGreg ChambersKCC67.5(5.0 DNF)
5thFeral CatF18AUS 211Brett WhiteLachie WhiteSPASC67.5(5.0 DNF)
6thSueBoF18AUS 60Chris BrewinRichard BrewinKCC67.54.0(7.0)(6.0)
7thSilverfoxF18AUS 207Peter LaneGreg WyersKCC67.52.0(8.0) DNF)43.025.0
8thFlying FishF18AUS 1023Leanne GouldStuart MortonKCC67.51.05.0(9.0)8.0(10.0)
9thCatapaultF18AUS 41Grant MaverJason ElliotKCC67.55.0 DNF(9.0)
10thMagicalF18AUS 751Kyle AmadioSam WoodsKCC67.5(13.0 DNC)(13.0 DNC)13.0 DNC13.0 DNC7.
11thHello TigerF18AUS 1980Brad LovegroveMurray MakinKCC67.55.0 DNF10.0(11.0)10.0(11.0)10.010.0 DNF67.045.0
12thNorselecF18AUS 018John FlewinDave LeaKCC67.55.0 DNF11.010.0(13.0 DNC)(13.0 DNC)13.0 DNC13.0 DNC78.052.0

Sailing the Capricorn GEN 2 - 2012 Moth World Champion Josh McKnight and crew of 2012 Olympic silver medallist Nina Curtis
James ogilvie

Sailing the Capricorn GEN 2 - Chris Caldecoat and Pete Langman
James ogilvie