Saturday, November 7, 2009

Look Ma, No Rudder (No Paddle Either); Patin a Vela

Hobie Alter is most often credited with coming up with the beach catamaran. Amazingly, the Catalan sailors in the most North East province in Spain (bordering the Med) have been racing a beach cat, the "Patin a Vela" since the 1920's. This catamaran has no rudder, no paddle, no daggerboard........ you tack by running forward to the mast and steer by ooching the body. And these guys race in big waves and big breeze on the Mediterranean! You can make an on-the-fly adjustment on the rake of the rig (it does look like they are pulling on some string during a tack) but for the most part it's all where you put your body that makes the difference. You just have to watch the videos.

This one shows how you tack a Patin a Vela;

This one shows how athletic these catamarans are;

And even the Patin a Vela catamarans seem to attract those showoffs who love to fly a hull (nice beach babe tucked into the video as well).


Marinero said...

Great, someone is paying some attention to this wonderful sailing vessel.

This patin a vela is also available elsewhere

We sail it a lot in Belgium

Gert said...

The top video shows a Patin Junior : a smaller model aimed at young sailors from 11 - 17 years old. The Junior behaves more nervous in the waves. Juniors sail there own championships in Catalunya, and from 2011 on we will organize the Belgian Championship Patin Junior as well.

Jim said...

Hi Tweezerman,
Really like your second video wish i could do that my brother races in Patin a Vela and has a trophy !
Thanks Jim

Immunization Schedule said...

It's great to be out in the blue ocean. The feeling is different. The air, the scenery. Aww.. I love them!

Anonymous said...

I used to sail these in Palamos in (shudder) 1969.

Couldn't handle gybing without a leg in the water tho.

Sensational experience