On the Move
26 A-Cats from Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, Missouri, Rhode Island, Virginia, North Carolina, and Louisiana competed in this fourth regatta of the 2009 A-Class Catamaran Florida Winter-Spring Tour. Lars Guck gave a clinic on Friday which consisted of off the water boat setup/boat handling techniques and on the water short course racing. In ideal winds of 6-18 knots, Lars ran 12 races (short, 2 lap type) and several extra practice starts. There were many sailors new to the class who enjoyed the drills and learned a ton. After sailing, Ben Hall showed the group the fine points of bend testing a carbon A-Class mast.
The first day of racing on Saturday was demanding with a wind range of 10-22 knots from the northeast with significant shifts. PRO Steve Olive with an enthusiastic group of junior sailors from the Edison Sailing Center, set long courses (1.4 mile weather leg) which made for a great combination of tactics and boat speed. Ben Moon dominated (2,2,1,1) the 4 races of the day with Woody Cope (1,6,2,7) 2nd and Randy Smyth (5,4,5,4) winning the duel with Ben Hall (3,5,6,5) for 3rd. The day was complete with monster puffs that capsized and pitch poled a number of competitors. All in all, an awesome day of racing.
Sunday’s racing was unfortunately cancelled due to high winds so Saturday’s results stood as the final.
A-Cats are definitely alive and well with new fleets emerging in North Carolina and Wisconsin. At this event we welcomed Harken CEO Bill Goggins racing his first event on a new EVO HT and current ISAF Team Race World Champion Peter Levesque who borrowed Ben Hall’s spare Flyer (family deal, Ben is Pete’s father-in-law). So far, a total of 40 sailors have participated in the Florida Winter Tour with the final regatta coming up in Gulfport, April 18-19. These events lead up to the A-Cat North Americans which will be at Fort Walton Yacht Club, May 11-15. 40-50 boats are expected for this event.