AClass USA 230

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  1. AClass USA 230

    WetaFest-Alter Cup Begins This Week

    The opening day of the 2018 US SAILING Multihull Championship hosted by the Fort Walton Yacht Club was blessed by the champagne sailing conditions of a 10-16 knots seabreeze on Choctawhatchee Bay. There were 41 competitors (33 singlehanded, 4 doublehanded) racing 14’ Weta trimarans with four races completed. Racing was tight amongst the top five at the end of the day with only a 7 point spread between the first and fifth place boats. Mike Krantz from Flowery Branch, GA is in the lead with 4 points. He is followed by Dave Bernsten (San Francisco), Randy Smyth (Fort Walton Beach), and Bob Hodges (Covington, LA) with 7, 8, and 9 points respectively. Jonathan Weston (San Francisco) rounds out the top 5 with 11 points. The forecast for Friday’s racing looks challenging. A cold front has passed the area and light northeast to east winds are forecast for most of the day so the light air specialists in the fleet are looking forward to challenging the front runners. A stronger easterly gradient is forecast for Saturday and that is forecast to veer to a stronger southeast gradient with rain on Sunday, the final day of racing.
  2. The 2018 US Sailing Multihull Championship (aka the Alter Cup) begins this coming Wednesday with racing scheduled for Thursday through Sunday. The event is being held in Weta trimarans and the host is the Fort Walton Yacht Club in Fort Walton Beach, FL. This event is being held concurrently with the annual Weta class spring Wetafest regatta. Nearly 40 boats are pre-registered. At last count, 5 boats are racing double-handed which the Weta class rules allow for championships. On Wednesday, Randy Smyth will be conducting a Weta racing clinic to kick off the event. Fort Walton Yacht Club is one of the best places to race a sailboat especially in the spring and the forecast this week is spectacular with light winds forecast for the first two days of sailing with breeze picking up on the weekend so the event should be a good test of racing the Weta in a range of conditions. I’ll post daily updates here starting on Thursday evening. Bob Hodges Weta 1003
  3. AClass USA 230

    Super Foilers

    And you are exactly right. I spent the first 1/3rd of my sailing life sailing and racing Finns, Lasers, Lightning’s, Snipes, Thistles, and the occasional PHRF race but my passion was small boat one design. The high performance bug bit when I got into windsurfing and racing sailboards (plus it did not hurt that about 1/3rd of the sailboard fleet was hard bodied females!). What impressed me the most about racing a sailboard was that for the most part you just went faster as the wind picked up almost in a linear manner on all points of sail while racing a dinghy you never really went faster upwind after about 10 knots of wind and very limited downwind on how much the peformance increased as the breeze picked up. This meant the boats got less fun to sail and just loaded up more. I experienced the same (as what I observed with sailboards) when I started racing catamarans (Prindle 19 followed by Tornado to A-cat to foiling A-Cat now). When you get into racing boats that go this fast, at first you are consumed with the mechanics and keeping the boat on its feet. But once you get comfortable, the same tactical mind applies with the exceptions that you have to have a bigger view of what is going to trend during a race leg and really looking ahead in crossing situations and mark roundings. I believe this kind of perspective is the reason you hardly ever see any protests in multihull racing because the sailors are thinking way ahead and the consequences of a collision are more severe. So every time I hear that fast high performance sailing is just drag racing to laylines, I know it is usually from someone with little to no experience racing a true high performance sailboat. In the Superfoiler discussion, I also think what a lot of critics have missed is that this concept was brought to market pretty fast and it looks like the sailors are getting more experienced at taming the boat at every event. I think the racing has been quite exciting to watch. I’ll be 60 this year and look forward to another decade of racing an A-Class. It’s discouraging how many sailors I experience in their 40’s and 50’s who won’t give a high performance class a try because they have convinced themselves they are too “old”. This mindset seems much more prevalent in the US.
  4. AClass USA 230

    Super Foilers

    By watching the actual race replays, they get it right +90% of the time and the thrill/spill aspect of the racing and the boats is what makes it attractive to the non-sailing public. If your opinion of high performance sailing whether in multihulls, skiffs, or soon to be 75’ long AC foiling monhullers is a non-tactical, nothing more than a drag race to the next “pitch pole” kind of race, then it’s reasonable to assume you have no experience with this type of sailboat racing. Embrace diversity, limit uniformity.
  5. AClass USA 230

    Super Foilers

    Related to the FP and the “retarded” comment, the European and Australian/New Zealand sailing communities embrace high performance sailing WAY MORE than the US sailing community. I think the US sailing community is to a significant degree scared of high performance sailing so how do humans react to something they are scared of? They bash it and try to de-legitimize it. It’s no wonder the US is no longer competitive at the Olympics and has pretty much disappeared from the high end offshore sailing circuits.
  6. AClass USA 230

    Randy Smyth Rescued

    Glad he is OK. Always pushing the boundaries, I admire him.
  7. AClass USA 230

    what's wrong with this picture

    C’mon guys, it’s a PHRF race!
  8. AClass USA 230

    Best moment of the AC35 trophy presentation.......

    It's a competition between yacht clubs in name only. I don't disagree that it would be symbolic for the first thing to have happened would have been to have the GGYC commodore present it to the RNZYC commodore but I still think it was very appropriate for Glenn to be the first to speak on behalf of the entire team.
  9. AClass USA 230

    Next USA Team

    Matt Struble is equal or better in any foiling craft to the list above.
  10. That would be Glenn Ashby being called to the podium as the first to speak on behalf of TNZ. He was undoubtedly the brains, motivation, and maturity of the sailing team. We A-Class sailors are so proud of you Glenn, good on you mate!
  11. AClass USA 230

    How long before TNZ is denounced as evil?

    Ummm........Dennis Connor defended in 1988 and Koch/Melges defended in 1992, both successful.
  12. AClass USA 230

    Heros on FP 6/6/17

    Regarding the subtitle that not a one of us "give a Goddamn" about the protection of sea mammals, a big Fuck You to the editor as I have been a donor to Sea Shepard for the last 10-11 years and I am sure there are many SA'ers who also offer monetary support. The editor's rants are boring and insulting. It's why I visit SA about 1/4 of what I used to in the past.
  13. AClass USA 230

    Weta anarchy

    I totally agree with Peter on this. The Weta is one of the most forgiving boats I have ever sailed if you use proper sailing technique. Most of the pitchpole capsizes I've seen seem to show the sailor too far forward. It's quite easy and comfortable to sit on the center hull cockpit seating behind the amas and you can be pretty happy sailing with the chute out right here in 20-25 knots of wind. I sail on Lake Pontchartrain and we get 2' up to 4' chop in anything over 15 knots and I am always impressed with how our Weta handles those conditions downwind but again it takes proper weight placement. I've beam reached in 15-20 knots in big chop also with no issues and the trick is weight aft with the jib slightly eased to unload the leeward ama bow.
  14. AClass USA 230

    Foiling A Cats..... In chop

    Looks like you are easing sheet too much once the boat foils and that is probably what is causing the "teabags'. When the boat starts foiling, sheet on and bear away and when you turn back up just use a slight ease of the sheet. It's kind of counter-intuitive to what you are used to doing.
  15. AClass USA 230

    that time of the month

    All kidding and satire aside, the way PHRF is administered in this country has IMO contributed to the general decline in sailing. PHRF fans point to weeknight beer can racing as a barometer of their success and while I give them credit, what I see are relatively few boats packed with a boat owner and a lot of non-boat owners who only really do weeknight beer can racing and some take it the point where they actually believe they are WORLD CLASS sailors. Look at how the sailing industry has declined in this country because no one is really buying boats and I believe PHRF feeds that beast. At our clubs on the gulf coast, new sailors are typically pointed to the POS club boats that are in poor shape or pointed to the PHRF crowd to become rail meat. I'm on the Gulf Coast and OD sailing is pretty much dead. They recently voted in the Viper 640 as the GYA interclub boat but most clubs will only have one boat with something like 10-20 sailors that want to sail it, Not really a OD class building scenario. I don't see things getting better unless you can somehow get OD sailing growing again in popularity and people willing to invest in a boat to have skin in the game. I've done plenty of work as a district chairman and a class president in two OD classes. I'm close to 60 years old and more ready to go cruising for a while. I hope the situation improves.