The 2011 US Trimaran National Championship was sailed last week out of the Pensacola Beach Yacht Club in Pensacola Beach, Florida. The fleet was comprised of two groups. Twenty (20) Corsair and Farrier design trimarans raced with class and PHRF scoring for class and overall awards and ten (10) Weta trimarans raced as a one design class for their southeast championship. The PHRF fleet completed six races over four scheduled days of racing. Two were point to point distance races and the remainder were W/L buoy races. The Weta fleet raced the same format but were able to complete two more buoy races than the PHRF fleet. Conditions were great for the event with sunny skies, comfortable temperatures, two days of racing in 8-15 knots and one day in 4-8 knots. Racing on Day 3 was cancelled after a strong cold front pushed through with 22-25 knot winds even though almost right after the cancellation, the winds moderated to a perfect 12-18 knots!
In the PHRF fleet, there were several classes scored: PHRF A, PHRF B, Dash 750/Sprint 750, F-27, and overall. Randy Smyth won PHRF A with his F-25C, John Achim won PHRF B with his F-27, BobHodges won the Corsair Sprint 750/Dash 750 class on his Sprint 750, and John Achim also won the F-27 class. In the overall scoring, Randy Smyth took first followed by Bob Hodges, Don Wigston (Dash 750), Cliff Farrah (Sprint 750), and Tom Reese (C-28R).
In the Weta class, there was a two way battle all week between Jim Leonard from Birmingham, AL and Weta designer Chris Kitchen who had traveled to the event from New Zealand. The two finished the series tied and Jim won the overall on the tie-breaker. It was the first time Kitchen had been beaten in a regatta and the very friendly Kiwi was very happy with the quality of the competition. 3rd -5th in the fleet overall was taken by sailors from Ithaca, NY with Richard Stephens followed by Eric Magnuson and Ben Arthur.
The regatta had an active social schedule with a loft night at Schurr Sails, a speed clinic by Randy Smyth, a rigging clinic by Zern Rigging Services, a lunch at Key Sailing, and a regatta banquet dinner at a local Pensacola Beach restaurant. The Pensacola Beach Yacht Club served as regatta headquarters and served up food for competitors on the opening night and during the final awards.
It is hoped that this regatta will start re-gaining the popularity it had in the past. Formerly just the Corsair/Farrier Trimaran Nationals, the format of the event has been broadened to include all trimarans so the Wetas were very excited to join in this year. There are some solid established PHRF multihull fleets around the country and it’s hoped moving this event from region to region each year will increase participation towards the 65-70 boat fleets the event has seen in the past.
Finally, a big thanks to regatta organizer and PHRF PRO Bert Rice and his great race team and the members of the Pensacola Beach Yacht Club who made this event happen. Hope to see more trimaran sailors racing this event in 2012! – Bob Hodges.