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CST exhibits at JEC Europe 2014

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CST Composites will be exhibiting for the third time at the JEC Europe Composites Show. JEC Europe is the biggest composites exhibition in the world. You can find us at stand 7.2 F6 on 11, 12 and 13 March 2014.

CST Composites will take the opportunity to showcase its capabilities in filament winding, pultrusion and composites fabrication.

In attendance will be our Managing Director, Clive Watts, our General Manager, Chris Dixon and our Director of Strategy & Business Development, Mark Sterbic.

CST Composites sponsor 2014 Contender World Championships

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Since the idea was conceived, the Contender Class has always been the pinnacle in sailing. Drawn up by one of sailings most famed designers, Ben Lexcen, the International Contender was just that: a possible successor to the Finn dinghy for the Olympics.

Designed by a world class naval architect for a world class competition, the International Contender is still very much a world class boat. This will be proven once again during the 2014 CST Composites Contender World Championships.

The Belmont location just north of Sydney, has held National and World championships from nearly every class over the years, and now, one more will be added to the list. Running from January 19th to 25th, the regatta will present the cream of the international crop and include a large number of entrants sporting the latest CST Composites gear.

2014 CST Composites Contender World Championships

2014 CST Composites Contender World Championships

Over the years, CST Composites has been dedicated to providing the highest quality products to the contender class. Our rectangular booms are made from continuous winding of a single piece of carbon fibre which eliminates any seams or messy overlaps, whilst keeping the stiffness uniform and compliant to the design specifications. Not to mention giving the spars our iconic and unique look.

The same process is applied to our one-piece Contender masts. With no joins or sleeves, the mast leaves the factory with the exact bend and stiffness characteristics as designed. Not to mention being lighter than the two piece alternative.

With the 2014 World Championships just around the corner, CST Composites is proud to be a major sponsor and wishes the best of luck to all competitors.

Great start to 18’ Skiff Australian Championships

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One of the sailing worlds most famous boats is in the limelight again with the first race of the 18’ Skiff Australian Championships done and dusted. In a light and fickle SE breeze, a battle royale lasted the whole race between Asko Appliances and Panasonic Lumix. Asko eventually claimed the victory but with both boats being a part of the CST Composites team, it was a great start to the year and a great start to the Australian Championships.

Great start to 18’ Skiff Australian National Championships

Great start to 18’ Skiff Australian National Championships

CST Composites has been a staple of the 18’ skiff recipe for many years, providing masts, booms, spinnaker poles, wings and even structural tubes to the fleet, assisting them in their constant quest for the ultimate racing machine. For the 2013-2014 season, CST Composites has supplied the Australian boats with 8 new rigs which includes 5 different variations of stiffness and layout.

In keeping with the unspoken 18’ Skiff credo, innovation is the name of the game which is why there have been and always will be variation between rigs in all areas. Whilst there is no major game changing differences like the groundbreaking rotating wing-mast we developed last year, the performance differentials between the latest spars and slightly older designs can still be measured.

In most cases, CST Composites works directly with the sailors to ascertain exactly what each team is looking for from their new gear and we tailor the design to suit their preferences and maximise their performance. It is this attention to detail that CST has become renowned for and this focus compliments our desire and passion for innovation. We believe that this is a winning combination and that belief is echoed with the sheer quantity of winning boats around the world who use and recommend CST Composites for their gear.

With the J.J. Giltinan 18’ Skiff World Championships just around the corner and 30 of the world’s best teams from six countries about to descend on Double Bay, CST Composites are gearing up for what will most likely be the most hotly contested world title in history!

2014 International 14’ Skiff Nationals

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CST Composites continue to ratchet up the victories in the I14 class with Brad Devine and Ian Furlong recently taking out the 2013-2014 Australian National Championships with our spars. This makes it 5 wins for Brad and Ian in the National Championships and a further 4 World Titles in a row. It seems that an International 14’ Skiff powered by CST Composites is almost untouchable!

In this year’s Australian Nationals, not only did CST Composites help the winning boat achieve the ultimate victory, but of the top 10 boats in the fleet, 7 of them sported gear from CST Composites.

2014 International 14’ Skiff Nationals

2014 International 14’ Skiff Nationals

So why is our gear so popular? Why does our gear keep winning? CST Composites exerts every effort when designing and innovating in order to conceive a spar that can be married to a suit of sails with maximum efficiency.

This fastidious approach to every step of a project from start to finish is what sets CST Composites apart from the rest. It means that we can produce spars that are stiffer, more durable, lighter and optimised to provide the best profile to design a sail to.

Our latest rectangular booms have been adopted by the fleet faster than almost any other class. Already the stiffest booms in the market, our latest model sports laminated vang attachments and glue-on fittings has eliminated the need to drill holes or bolt anything to our booms, thus keeping them even stiffer! With no room for compromise in such a highly competitive fleet, the innovative spirit that has kept the I14 such a strong class links perfectly to the enthusiasm and passion that keeps CST Composites at the forefront of design.

16′ Skiff Australian National Championships

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The 2014 Australian 16’ Skiff National Championship was a regatta of contrasts! Not only was the weather wild in both extremes of sunny vs. cloudy and windy vs. calm, but the recent changes in the class rules allowing for composite spars is still in the process of being accepted fleet-wide.

However, following this regatta, the case for composite spars now appears adamant as the Brydens 16’ Skiff repeated history, cementing the advantages of carbon fibre firmly in the class. The trio of Peter Mackie, Lee Knapton and Ricky Bridge won the last nationals hands down using CST Composites masts for their #1 and #2 rigs, as well as a boom and spinnaker pole.

16' Skiff Australian National Championships

16′ Skiff Australian National Championships

Using the same masts in this year’s Nationals, the Brydens team won every single race, notching up their 3rd National Title. Our masts are made as a single section, which mean that there is no sleeving and as such, no additional weight and no compromise to the bend profile. Our masts are not the longest in the fleet, but as the saying goes, it does not matter how much horsepower you have, it is how much of the horsepower can be effectively used.

At CST Composites, much research has been undertaken in developing our 16’ skiff range of gear and we have managed to create a rig layout that is shorter but faster than any other in the fleet. The additional speed not only comes from our meticulous approach to design, but also, using a smaller yet more efficient rig reduces drag, windage and weight, all of which are key ingredients in a regatta-winning recipe.

Since finalising our 16’ skiff range of spars, we have opened up the market by selling the exact same rigs and spars as used on the 3 X National Champion boat, Brydens Compensation Lawyers. CST Composites masts have won 4 out of the last 5 National Championships, so turbo charge your boat and contact us today!

McNicol’s Nifty New Nacra Toys

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CST Composites has been supporting the Australian Sailing Team for roughly a decade. When the Nacra 17 catamaran came onto the Olympic scene, we started development! Renowned Olympic sailor and coach Euon McNicol contacted us with a special request for a new set of tiller extensions for his Nacra 17 Olympic campaign with Lucinda Whitty.

Nacra 17 Tiller Extension

Nacra 17 Tiller Extension

McNicol and Whitty used our products in the recent 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne to achieve the silver medal. They finished only 8 points behind fellow Australians Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis in a fleet that is studded with World Champions and Olympic Medal winners.

Latest Glue On Fittings

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Point-loading is a carbon spars worst enemy. To prevent it, CST Composites are at the forefront of innovation. We are constantly striving to design better products. The latest product to emerge from the skunk works of our design and engineering facility is a new range of boom hangers to suit our various dinghy and skiff booms.

New Boom Hangers

New Boom Hangers

These new fittings are the latest in our range of glue on fittings that eliminate the need to drill holes and fit bolts. When we make a product, we design it with very specific stiffness and strength characteristics. These numbers become less accurate as the carbon layup gets changed. An example of this change is drilling a hole. This severs strands of carbon which weakens the overall structure and alters the bend characteristics of the tube.

Point-loading is a major cause of breakages

Point-loading is a major cause of breakages

Point-loading is a major cause of breakages

Point-loading is a major cause of breakages

In order to combat this, we have been constantly upgrading our products, steadily altering fittings to eliminate the need for holes and improving our already established range of glue on fittings. These new design advancements are constantly producing better products, making them smaller, lighter, more robust, more versatile and stronger than ever before.

The latest glue on fittings are a set of boom hangers that are typically used for mainsheet blocks. This new fitting is incredibly strong, withstanding loads in excess of 1,200kg, but are also low profile, which is important when tacking a boat with a low boom height and also important to ensure block-to-block sheeting achieves the desired centreline boom position.

These hangers withstand in excess of 1,200kg

These hangers withstand in excess of 1,200kg

Glue on mainsheet hangers look slick

Glue on mainsheet hangers look slick

In addition, we have designed an incredibly simple product that makes it extremely easy to install yourself, and also incredibly easy to operate to replace blocks etc. This leads to another advantage of the glue on design which is the extremely high surface area contact. This spreads the load experienced by the fitting through a very wide area of the spar, vastly reducing the risk of failure. It also means that the fitting remains very securely attached as there is more surface to surface contact which improves cohesion.

This large surface area for loading is crucial to consider where carbon fibre products are concerned. The number one enemy of a carbon spar is point loading. This can occur through use of attaching fittings with bolts through the carbon product, or using a thin line around the tube with blocks attached to that. This presents a very small area of high load which can cause catastrophic failure of the carbon tube. This is where our glue on products come in, as the high surface to surface contact greatly reduces the risk of failure through reduction in point loading.

Brydens Crowned as 16′ Skiff State Champions

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Another impressive victory to add to the CST accolades came from the Brydens 16’ Skiff Sailing Team as they took out the 2013/2014 State Championships earlier this year. Lee Knapton, Peter Mackie and Ricky Bridge sailed a brilliant series and are full of praise for their CST Composites spars.

Brydens 16' Skiff powered by CST Composites

Brydens 16′ Skiff powered by CST Composites

“The masts aesthetically looks superior, with the new spreaders, clear coat finish and glued on fittings. We are really happy with the way the masts set up in the boat with both #1 and #2 rigs demonstrating very similar bend profiles” – Ricky Bridge

The 16’ skiff class is a class draped in history and with a set of rules stricter than almost any other skiff class in the world, the 16’s have managed to preserve an incredibly high level of competition where other classes may have struggled.

With the 16’ skiff class making the move to carbon spars only recently, there has been a lot of scrutiny on the new developments and CST Composites is proud to be leading the fleet and setting the bar high for any other competitors (sailors or manufacturers!) who wish to compete within the fabled and historic class of 16’ skiffs!