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When Monsters Ruled the Beach


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I was looking at the revived Worrell 1000 site and I see that the race is being held using Formula 18 boats.   That's a great choice, and those are some seriously advanced machines.   

It reminded me though of the excitement of the beach cat scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the Worrell was in full swing and the beach cat market was still much bigger in the USA, with several companies battling for the King of the Beach, and in typical American style - yes, size was a factor!    Without further ado: When Monsters Ruled the Beach:  the over 18' beach cats of the 1980s and 1990s.

NACRA 5.8 - 1982 - Stepping beyond the bounds
The first NACRA, the 5.2 was 17" long, still a foot shorter than the Hobie 18, but none the less a faster boat, albeit a lot more complicated and somewhat less beachable with the long  daggerboards (ask me how I know!).   By 1982 it was time for the category killer, and NACRA came out with this 19' weapon.   They got something right.  The boat is still in production in Australia (albeit with modernized sails), and is one of the largest one-designs down under. 
LOA: 19'  Beam: 8' (not 8'6")  Weight: 390 lbs  Sail Area: 241 sq. ft.
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Prindle 19 - 1985  - A big fast boat for traditionalists
Looking a bit like a scaled up Hobie 18, and using the same retracting centerboard, the Prindle was their salvo in the battle of the over 18" beach cats.  It enjoyed a strong following and success in racing, where it's rival was always the NACRA 5.8   It was Prindle's swan song as a manufacturer.  After their acquisition/merger with NACRA, the new company did not continue with the Prindle brand name.   The boat had a reputation as quite robust and fast.
(19'2" X 8'6"   390 lbs.  Sail Area: 247 sq. ft. 

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The still sexy lines of a Prindle 19, this nice looking 1985 survivor pictured on the beach, and  offered for sale in Oklahoma for $3,600 recently. 

NACRA 6.0 -1988 - First of the modern giants  
Not to be outdone by Prindle (who they shortly thereafter merged with to form Performance Catamarans) NACRA answered the Prindle 19 with the NACRA 6.0 - a full 20' x 8.6" platform    NACRA had already experimented with beyond 8' beam with the 18 squared , so they had some background with big boats.  The 6.0 was designed to meet the revived (1985) Worrell 1000 20' rule. 

20' X 8.5"  420 lbs.   Sail Area:  264 sq. feet   (Originally no spinnaker, I believe the "NA" was the spinnaker upgrade, with the distinctive forward spreader)

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Tom Roland designed the original NACRA, the 5.2 in 1975.    By 1988 Roy Seaman had taken over the pen for the NACRA 6.0. 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSYd1pGN9szy-XkIu9FPFz picnacra60105c.jpg
he still lovely lines of a 1995 NACRA 6.0, recently sold in Texas

The Hobie  Cat 21 - 1987 Too much of a good thing 
While the developing idea of "Formula 20" (along with the Worrell rules) kept the performance beach cats caged in at 20 feet LOA,  Hobie, who had always been big into recreational sailing saw an opportunity to go hog wild and built a giant beach cat for pure fun.    The Hobie Cat 21 came in several editions SE and SC (Sport Cruiser), with various goodies. including a front trampoline.   The "wings" were a big Hobie thing at the time, the Hobie 17 single-hander came standard with them.   At 10 feet across it needed a tilting trailer to transport, which along with the girth didn't help popularity.  It lasted only 3 years in the market. But one might say some of it's DNA lives on in Hobie's rotomolded Getaway, albeit in a diminished format.  
LOA: 21' 4"  Beam: 10'  Weight 639 lbs.  Sail Area:  Main: 229 sq.ft.  Jib: 88 sq.ft.  Asym Spin: 312 sq,ft,

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Finally a beach cat answering the question: where do we put the beer? 


Hobie Miracle 20 - 1991.The Empire Strikes Back
Hobie seemed to have finally taken up the challenge of Nacra, Prindle and Supercat and left behind their 60s design vocabulary with the 20.   It was 19' 7" long, with a 195 sq. ft main, 55 sq.ft. jib, and huge 226 ft. asymmetrical spinniker.  This stuff is common now, but not then. At 420lb it wasn't *that* much heavier than a Hobie 18. 

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Supercat 221992 -  The Beast from the East 
Off on the East Coast designer Bill Roberts had developed the Supercat as an early alternative to the Hobie.   A 15' and 17' were both popular.   By 1992 Roberts seemingly decided to enter the giant beachcat war with his own statement, the Supercat 22'.   Living and sailing in California I never saw one of these, although there were a couple of the older, smaller Supercat's around.  Robert's went on to build even larger beach cats: the RC-30.    Roberts restarted as Aquarius Sails and still sells a lightly updated version of the beast, and other Supercat designs, under slightly modded names. 
LOA: 22'   Beam: 12"  Weight: 475 lbs   Sail Area: 362 sq. ft.

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Pictured here in the 2009 Key Largo steeplechase, a point-to-point beach cat race, which it won. 

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G-Force 21- 1989 The sound of a different drummer
G-Cat had made their mark building fun off the beach cats in the popular 16 and 18 foot lengths.  Their original hull design was boardless, like the Hobie 16, but in place of the Hobie's asymetrical hulls the G-Cats employed symetric hulls.  The G-Force 21 kept this unusual design as it super-sized it.  At some point in the1990s the rules for at least one running of the Worrell 1000 were changed  to allow production boats up to 21" - and the G-Cat got in on the fun, and finished second (against Randy Smyth, who then as now was pretty hard to beat). 
LOA: 21'  Beam: 12'   Mast height: 31' 
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The front tramp made it an interesting mix of simple, comfortable and fast.  
Not many were made, and like the SC-22 I've never seen one in real life. 


CODA:  After the age of giants
Most of the giants are gone, indeed most of the companies that built them are gone!  Today we have the F-18, a very successful class that is perhaps near the ideal for a towable, beach cat with a maximum beam of 8'6"  (towing limit in the USA).    

NACRA alone has continued to evolve their NACRA 6,0, into todays Nacra 20 Carbon FCS.  It's a beautiful boat and frequently wins line honors in European point-to-point races like the Round Texel (and a very expensive one at a cool $50,000).   But it's rarity, focus, expense and exotic construction somehow separate it from the vintage boats of the Age of Giant Beach Cats. 

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NOTES: 
1. Sailboat Data .com
has specs on a lot of these boats.  (I don't know how accurate they are) https://sailboatdata.com/

2.  There were a variety of rating schemes at use at the time.   Today the SCHRS  (Small Catamaran Handicap Rating System) seems to have won out as the most up-to-date and universal data set.   Many of the boats discussed are rated there.  (Site seems to be down at the moment). 

3. It's interesting. Formula 18 seems very healhty, judged by their web site and many events.  Formula 16, perhaps less heathy, and active in fewer places. The main Federation web site seems to be gone, which can't be a good thing.  Formula 20, meanwhile, never really took off - and the B Class didn't thrive either. 

4. Of course, the original oversized beach cat is the Tornado - originally designed to meet the IYRU "B Class" rules of 20 ft. LOA,  10 ft. beam and 235 sq. feet of sail, it won the test the IYRU held.  It was then selected as the Olympic multihull, and from 1976 for 9 successive Olympics, ending it's run in 2008, was the only multihull in the Olympics.  The first (and only) time I saw one was around 1985, on a trip to Bermuda.  It was inspirational!  The first - and some would argue - still the greatest of the 20 footers.  It got a new sail plan in 2001, inspired by the antics and innovations of it's cousins, I am sure. 

291px-Tornado_catamaran.svg.png

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Left out the Mystere 6.0 :-)  I had the privilege of racing in the Catamaran Racing Association of the Chesapeake (CRAC) when open races still attracted sizable fleets.  Nacra 5.8s and 6.0s, Mysteres, Hobie 20s, Prindle 19s, and the old single-trap Tornados mixing it up with the occasional Nacra 18 Square.  A good sailor on any one of these might beat any of the other brands.  Fun times; pretty much went away along with the 100-boat plus Hobie events :-(  

ps:  I'll take the A Cat over any one of these for ease of setup and moving on the beach :-)

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I'm still enjoying my Nacra 5.5 (ex 18 sq) with a bunch of local og's.  Our group has owned and sailed most all of the above and now sails P19s, 18.2s, Tornado, Acats, Darts and even a Weta.  I've sailed on plenty of boats but in the right conditions there really isn't anything more fun than a good beachcat.

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13 hours ago, mundt said:

I've sailed on plenty of boats but in the right conditions there really isn't anything more fun than a good beachcat.

Yup. There are dryer experiences, you could foil for more speed, and some folks want the thrill of matching shirts with fellow rail-meat... but for broadest grins at 10-20 knots, for my paltry dollars, beachcats are the best!

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On 12/6/2020 at 5:42 AM, FoilingNim0s said:

The A-cat truly wins in terms of ease of use. It's crazy to see how much design has changed since the 80s. I guess we have to thank the America's cup for that... 

For beach cats, aside from foiling, which is obviously a breakthrough, has the beach cat really changed that much?   I can see it both ways.  Lots of small changes add up, but also it's not that different? 

I'd argue that there was more change between the Hobie 16 and the NACRA 5.2 than between the NACRA 5.2 and the NACRA Infusion. 
And how much difference is there really between the Infusion and the Evolution?  

The reverse wave piercing bows have made the boats look different, finally.  

Ye' olde banana boat: 1971

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NACRA 5.2:  1975   The modern architecture established? 

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NACRA Infusion :  2008  -  33 years of refinement

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The NACRA Evolution: 

Nacra F18 Evolution | East Coast Sailboats

Maybe Tom Roland doesn't get enough credit for how good his design of the NACRA 5.2 was.  The "Evolution" is well named. 
The much loved Hobie 16 was an evolutionary dead end.  Hobie kept trying to borrow design notes from it for 20 years, but finally gave up with the Miracle 20,  which, let's be honest, looked a lot like a NACRA.    With the Tiger I believe they licensed an existing boat from the French designer.  


Getting back to the Worrell 1000 -- here's the breakdown of the boats by brand/model: 

  • 4  --  NACRA Evolution
  • 3 --   NACRA F-18 / Infusion 
  • 2 --  Goodall C2
  • 1 --  C3 
  • 1 --  Edge
  • 3 --  unspecified F-18

It's interesting to me how confident so many people are in the Evolution.  I guess some people are getting experienced with them, but  I've wondered if it's really a better design for the open ocean than the older Infusion.  I notice no one (as far as we can tell) is entering on a Hobie Wild Cat.     Maybe I'm just still looking at the reverse angle wave-piercing hulls with a too much skepticism still.   But the Wild Cat did get a reputation for preferring smoother water as I recall. 

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On 12/6/2020 at 5:42 AM, FoilingNim0s said:

 I guess we have to thank the America's cup for that... 

Stars and Stripes 1988.    I think the C-class really developed the wing-sail up to the point that it could be used on Stars and Stripes. 

Stars&Stripes88+bdef.jpgOracle-72-S&S--SL.jpg

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That is cool!  Which one is your boat?   
I just grabbed all these off the net, because Sailing Anarchy does a lot better with URL's than uploads! 

*A belated thank-you to all the people providing images to this thread* 

And, here's a couple pictures of the missing Mystere 6.0 

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Aa for specs or history - it's a bit of a mystere ! 
I think my location in Santa Cruz during the Age of Giants meant that I 
saw a lot of West Coast manufactured cats:   Hobies, NACRAs and Prindles, 
and not very much of anything else (except I do remember the Supercat 17, but they Supercat was owned by Boston Whaler at one point, so they had serious distribution. 

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thanks for the great writeup, the Nacra 5.8 is indeed going well in Aus, we had 21 on the start line for the National titles last January and were expecting a lot more this year at Hervey Bay for the Nationals but due to Covid that has been put off for a year.IMG_4059.thumb.JPG.f7d69914d408539214758551f6c3d5fa.JPGIMG_4153.thumb.JPG.5fcada33fdee74dbdff9d73739ed4ac4.JPG

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  • 3 months later...

The way i remember the past is that the Tornado came out first in the late 60's, taking the fastest production sailboat honor from the Shark (also 20x10).  My first crewing gig was on a Tornado 1968. The hobie 14 came out also late 60s.  Tornado wasn't used much in the Worrell since it isn't good to run up on the beach at full speed because of the centerboard gaskets for one thing.

There was a 10m foot wide alfa cat from the guys that made nacras before the 5.2 came out.  The 5.2 being more like a tornado as an answer to the popular hobie 16.  we destroyed the naca 5.2 fleet in sfo multihull championships with a hobie 18 in the late 70s.  Also beat a bunch of 5.2s with an gcat 5.0 in hurricane gulch earlyn 80s.

Prindle with Richard Loufec made the 19 as a tornado training boat- very similar hulls, crappy centerboards, but a bigger rig.  Smyth and others put a asy on the 19 and won the Worrell.  There were 2 -19s and some nacra 5.8s all with asy rigs that year.  The asy was rigged off the leeward bow in the beginning.  I raced 1 of of the 2 boats in the fleet w/o a spi. and got crushed.  I later realized that if we had tipped over with that front tramp on, we would not have been able to get back on the boat very easily after re-righting.  A very dangerous situ.

The worrell was started on H16s by Mike Worrell, and was non stop in the beginning.  The race lasted for nearly a decade on regular hobie 16s, IRRC.

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From the side, my current trimaran looks a lot like these 19 footers.  But it weighs double or more.  Little doubt which is the more exciting ride.  image.thumb.png.075a303405af0ada88b1b78f87d35bd0.png

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Miami to Key Largo was always fun too......huge number of boats at the start. Bill Roberts in the RC33 used to cream everyone.

Worrell was the stuff of legends. My 6.0 was still my favorite cats (just behind the Prindle 18.2)...........really was a great boat in the in the ocean.....

We all kept our boats on the beach anchored with a 5 gallon bucket of concrete buried in the sand, ahhh, the good 'ol days!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great read!  A few things, some of which fit with the Worrell and some not, and likely a few goofs...

The Nacra 6.0 didn't come factory with a spin.  Spins were definitely added for distance racing. There was the 6.0, the 6.0 Express (A Randy Smyth creation) and the NA.  The NA for both the 5.8 and 6.0 brought the bow foil with a bigger jib.  On the 6.0 the NA also got a taller rig with double diamond wires.  The Express had a taller rig and perhaps a spin, but not sure if it was an official Nacra model.  Most 6.0NAs have had spins added (they certainly did for the Worrell).  I loved my 6.0NA probably the most out of the cats I've had, even without a spin.  One nice thing about the 5.8, 6.0, and the I/N 20 is that they tolerated heavier crew weights. 

The Prindle 19 was more akin to a scaled down Tornado.

The Hobie 20 class didn't have a spinnaker, although you could add a kit from Hobie I believe.  The 20 is also a sweet sailing boat, in a different way than the 6.0, and not as tough (at least mine wasn't).

The Hobie 21 in it's two versions - the SE and SC.  The SE is the one with the 10 foot beam (not counting the wings).  You didn't use a tilt trailer - it had curved beams that telescoped down to a trailerable width.  The trailers usually had sliding supports to help manage the process.  The SCs (Sport Cruiser) went to a straight beam at a trailerable width (with the wings removed).  The 21 SC was featured in a supporting role in the ProSail Formula 40 series (find those and watch if you haven't).

Non-Worrell - In the time of wings at Hobie you also had the 18 Magnum and the 18 SX.  The Magnum was simply an 18 with wings added (two different versions).  The SX fitted longer wings, a taller rig with mylar main, and a spinnaker.  Still a great knock about beach boat.

IMO I'd say that Nacra didn't really evolve the 6.0 into the current 20, except to say that the boats are similar in length.  The one really deserving boat not featured above is the Inter-20 (or Nacra 20 as it was renamed).  This boat was so different from the N6.0NA that I don't think you could call it an evolution.  The same, by the way for the transition from the Nacra 20 to the current Nacra 20 CF/FCS, so different I wouldn't say evolve IMO.

The Inter/Nacra 20 became the boat for distance racing in the US for years.  Worrell 1000, Tybee 500, Atlantic 500, etc.  Insanely buoyant bows, a tall carbon fiber mast, spinnaker, and typical Nacra toughness.  Probably one of the best bang for the buck boats on the used market for a used performance sail boat, again IMO. A lot of these boats have done duty in the big races and still provide a solid platform for good sailing (mine is one of these).  The F-18s have now edged these out as the distance racing class, which in some ways feels a little sad, but that's where the action is these days.

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I would say that the Inter20 was the first boat to be designed with a spinnaker in mind [Rather than retro fit]? or was it the very early F18s? The inter20 predated the inter 18 but maybe the dart Hawk was before the i20?

 

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"The Hobie 21 in it's two versions - the SE and SC.  The SE is the one with the 10 foot beam (not counting the wings).  You didn't use a tilt trailer - it had curved beams that telescoped down to a trailerable width.  The trailers usually had sliding supports to help manage the process.  The SCs (Sport Cruiser) went to a straight beam at a trailerable width (with the wings removed).  The 21 SC was featured in a supporting role in the ProSail Formula 40 series (find those and watch if you haven't)."

 

And of course, it's hard to keep SE and SC straight - it is the SE that had the role in the ProSail series, not the SC.  The SC came with a smaller rig and a cubby for camping gear and cooler, not a good config for a series like the ProSail...

 

 

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1 hour ago, teamvmg said:

I would say that the Inter20 was the first boat to be designed with a spinnaker in mind [Rather than retro fit]? or was it the very early F18s? The inter20 predated the inter 18 but maybe the dart Hawk was before the i20?

 

Certainly one of the first in that new breed, if not the first.  Around that time the Tornados were transitioning to the updated rig, The Hobie 21 SE and Hobie 18 SX were there.  But those might be considered add-on updates versus a boat designed from scratch with a spin as part of the package.  Not sure of the timing relative to the F-18 development and boats like the Hobie Tiger.  Certainly one of the things that made the I-20 package more appealing to some was the end pole snuffer, which certainly simplified spin handling from the bag launch days but does add windage, with a mid-pole design coming later.

 

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1 hour ago, kbcH20 said:

Certainly one of the first in that new breed, if not the first.  Around that time the Tornados were transitioning to the updated rig, The Hobie 21 SE and Hobie 18 SX were there.  But those might be considered add-on updates versus a boat designed from scratch with a spin as part of the package.  Not sure of the timing relative to the F-18 development and boats like the Hobie Tiger.  Certainly one of the things that made the I-20 package more appealing to some was the end pole snuffer, which certainly simplified spin handling from the bag launch days but does add windage, with a mid-pole design coming later.

 

I got my Bim F 20 cat boat (10.50 m mast), designed with a spinaker, in 1989, the Ventilo F20 cat boat (11 m mast) appeared a little after. They were much faster than original Olympic Tornado and soon, Sailing authorities knocked them with unfair rating !

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22 hours ago, patzefran said:

I got my Bim F 20 cat boat (10.50 m mast), designed with a spinaker, in 1989, the Ventilo F20 cat boat (11 m mast) appeared a little after. They were much faster than original Olympic Tornado and soon, Sailing authorities knocked them with unfair rating !

Cool!  We are a bit behind around here it seems...

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2 hours ago, mpenman said:

cat trax man, what you thinking :D

Pretty sure they were thinking they didn't want to sail 300 miles with them on board as required by the rules ;)

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Ain't that what the trailer trash is for, drive the truck, the trailer and the cat trax.........I need to get back to that.......frigging looks like fun...

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On 4/7/2021 at 6:35 PM, mpenman said:

multihuler, we may be game. What's that in your yard?

25ft x 14ft,  all carbon Morrelli C class, turbo charged, converted with 39ft Marstrom mast, 400 lbs, over size main, head sails, screecher, phrf approximately -80

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/8/2021 at 11:21 PM, multihuler said:

25ft x 14ft,  all carbon Morrelli C class, turbo charged, converted with 39ft Marstrom mast, 400 lbs, over size main, head sails, screecher, phrf approximately -80

How many years has it been mothballed? 

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     I think the boat that we built for the 1987 Worrell was a good candidate for a Monster that Rules the Beach. It was a Supercat 20 with an absurdly huge all carbon rotating wing mast that was way too heavy for the boat. We had rushed it to completion in the wee hours of the morning the day of the start in Ft Lauderdale. The boat had not even gotten wet before the starting gun for the Le Mans type push off the dry sand to the shorebreak! The race committee had weighed it in just a half hour before the start (as well as my mate and myself) and there was a lot of doubts about the rig (and our sanity to shove off in that rig). I think if there had been more time between the weigh in and the start the RC would have not permitted us to sail. We had good speed over most of the fleet (Smyth excepted) in the light reaching conditions on the first leg and much to our surprise we saw Randy dismasted on the beach about 30 miles from the start in the afternoon. We hollered at him as we breezed by but were rewarded with our own dismasting about 20 miles later! The underengineered mast hounds and pivot for the mast had just folded up and we washed ashore at Lake Worth Beach. I thought we were going to get arrested by the lifeguard/sheriff who paddles out to tell us to just keep paddling under our jury rig and not to dare come ashore at the very crowded Municipal swimming beach at the pier. We worked well into the second night making repairs and got back under way around midnight. 

    That was just the start of our woes...

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Memories come flooding back.....

Our entry in the '87 event was slightly less of a monster, as a Hurricane 5.7 (19ft by 10ft beam), but with a big wood and carbon wing mast.  Randy had made us a huge Code sail, with the tack attached to a strop between the bows.  In the light stuff we could drop the tack down and go close to the wind, sheeted to the rear beam.  We had to use a extra purchase on the halyard to get enough luff tension.  After 2 legs we started to take on water...beached to bail out and realised we were twisting the hulls with the loads and cracking the skins.   The solution was to buy a aluminium pole and glass this across the decks to take the compression....still bent up about a foot in the middle!  Set the record on one of the legs and finished 2nd to Roy in the Worrell 20 class!  When we got the boat back to the UK, Reg took the foredecks off and found that the internal structure had almost disintegrated!   

Crazy times!

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I started Hurricane and Tornado sailing in the UK just as these races were coming to end - the stories, like the one above, seemed crazy and world's away from the very orderly inland/lake based Hurricane events I was racing. Gutted I never got to do one - the whole experience just sounds awesome; part Mad max, part Joshua Slocum.  

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On 5/26/2021 at 4:11 PM, Desert Wings said:

Memories come flooding back.....

Our entry in the '87 event was slightly less of a monster, as a Hurricane 5.7 (19ft by 10ft beam), but with a big wood and carbon wing mast.  Randy had made us a huge Code sail, with the tack attached to a strop between the bows.  In the light stuff we could drop the tack down and go close to the wind, sheeted to the rear beam.  We had to use a extra purchase on the halyard to get enough luff tension.  After 2 legs we started to take on water...beached to bail out and realised we were twisting the hulls with the loads and cracking the skins.   The solution was to buy a aluminium pole and glass this across the decks to take the compression....still bent up about a foot in the middle!  Set the record on one of the legs and finished 2nd to Roy in the Worrell 20 class!  When we got the boat back to the UK, Reg took the foredecks off and found that the internal structure had almost disintegrated!   

Crazy times!

At least you bought your aluminum crosstube for the repair! I was the guy who replaced your pit crew and glassed it on after our Supercat 20 wing dropped and we got dropped from the race for not making the next checkpoint by start time the next morning. Same thing happened to Randy that year. We (our sponsor pit crew) cut down an aluminum street sign the night before to build a new jury rig boom. I was asleep in the back of the truck when I heard them start up the gas powered pipe saw and was sure we would all end up in jail that night! We came close to getting arrested earlier in the afternoon just paddling the crippled SuperCat into the crowded public beach. Do you remember my insane skipper? I certainly remember yours... Not so insane actually but I did lust after his smokin hot girlfriend. Your Hurricane on Steroids was an impressive beast on the beach. I think we would have died on our SuperCat if we had made it to the later stages of the race. The Russian team on the stock Tornado were a riot too.

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Crazy times....so many things happen during a Worrell that get lost in the fatigued brains of the participants!  Thanks for helping out, a brilliant repair.   Insanity wasn't a requirement, but a tenuous grip on reality was.....the foggy legs up by the outer banks were pretty crazy given no navFound out they aids!     I was the skipper, but I agree, my crew Mark's girlfriend was hot!!

In the last stage of the race (North of Kittyhawk), we were beaten up by a Tomcat F14....the guys from Oceania (Norfolk) had heard of my supersonic connections and decided they would give us a surprise.  It was fairly breezy close reach, so we were a bit busy...the guys crept up behind us in approach config (wing extended, flaps and slats extended), then lit her up when over the top of us, pulling up into a vertical climb about 1/4 mile ahead!  We nearly fell off the boat!  The guy who did it came to the end of race do...found out they would tail chase us after Wilmington when we were flying South to MIA from IAD.   

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I used to cruise on my Tornado and had a biplane do a loop over me while I was trapeezing. When I finally looked down I was very much about to fall into the main. Not that impressive compared to what happened to you, but your story took me back.

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Felix Dennis grouped these Fs together... it seem to relate to more than just spending: "If it flies, floats or fornicates, always rent it." 

As a poet, I'm sure he was aware that the quote has better meter and rhythm with one syllable words, but he was smart to make it more publishable to wider audiences... it alliterates just as well either way.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

That big G-Cat was indeed a sleeper. Hans the designer/builder was a real character too! I think he and his crew shadowed the St Pete/Isla Mujeres Race on a G-16 which was way more ballsy that any individual Worrell 1000 leg. 

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yo ricwoz,

Nice presentation at the beginning of the thread.  That was a lot of data to put together.

  I do not like the term monsters though.  We are only talking .6 meter difference between a monster and a 5.2, or about a foot and a half from a hobie 16 to an F18.  Also you left out all the Texel stuff.  It was also the worlds largest cat race in the past.  Bill Roberts on a Super Cat 20 held the record there in the 80's.  Tornados and H16s held the record before that.  IIRC the Worrell 1000 rules for the open race years were 20x10 which kept out he wider 20' boats like the supercat.

For me the monsters would be the big storms that we had to sail through in the distance races like the Worrell.  We had a big storm near hatteras blowing us out to sea with 40-50 knt. winds or whatever.  One boat broke their mast way out there and got rescued.  Sometimes we had lightning...monsters throwing electricty.  When i was a youth cat sailor in the 60's, there was a C cat around on the beach sometimes that was sold by Reg White.  Sharks (20x10) too.  So, Tornado cats are not monsters.  They are just B class cats, which a H16 would technically fit in the B category because it is too wide for an A cat.  C cats are the biggest beach cats(unless they bring a D to the beach).  There were some great races on those C cats a few years back.  Alternatively you could call the the asy. spi the monster of the 90's beaches, because that was the big change in cat history.

Another big change, other than foiling, is the monster dagger boards of the F18.  The designers of the 60's liked centerboards, or no boards because they were paranoid about hitting sandbars,- or what have you at high speeds.  I think some of the early C cats even had centerboards.  The Tornado can be beaten by an F18 because of those monster daggerboards.  Once that spi is up the slight waterline difference prolly doesn't make that much difference off the wind.  The waterline advantage does not make up for the low efficiency centerboards of the Tornado upwind.

As for the Gcats, they were fast off the wind in the days before the asy.spi., but there is so much power in the spi, that the flat bottoms can really take off and the only advantage of the deep V hull is comfort in cutting thru the waves instead of hitting them with a flat bottom.  The G5.0 did go to windward well, but not as well as daggerboard boats of today.  Hans sailed his Gcat 5.0 from St. Pete to the Yucatan at least once back then....that was a long distance leg.

I still think sailing the 1000 miles up the east coast in 3 days is the monster achievement.  Landing on a dark beach in the middle of the night then taking off right away through the surf, maybe in a storm....ppl are way too much into so called safety these days to race like that.  Most classes have wind limits that are lower than wind speeds that lots of cat races were held in, during the 70's, 80's.  Many Hobie 14 and 16 ,even tornado worlds and nationals were held in 25+ winds besides the notable distance races having some big winds.  Also Howard Hughes was considered a nutjob back then, where as today his actions concerning "health safety" are forced upon us, and considered normal....

happy sailing

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1 hour ago, david r said:

.  IIRC the Worrell 1000 rules for the open race years were 20x10 which kept out he wider 20' boats like the supercat.

nope. a good friend of mine, years ago, bought a super 20 that did the Worrell. IIRC the rules were run what you brung.

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5 hours ago, david r said:

I still think sailing the 1000 miles up the east coast in 3 days is the monster achievement.  Landing on a dark beach in the middle of the night then taking off right away through the surf, maybe in a storm....ppl are way too much into so called safety these days to race like that.  Most classes have wind limits that are lower than wind speeds that lots of cat races were held in, during the 70's, 80's.  Many Hobie 14 and 16 ,even tornado worlds and nationals were held in 25+ winds besides the notable distance races having some big winds.  Also Howard Hughes was considered a nutjob back then, where as today his actions concerning "health safety" are forced upon us, and considered normal....

happy sailing

The fitness of these sailors is mind blowing to me, I do all of what we term off the beach distance races in South Aus and the biggest is only about 40 miles along the river and through the lower lakes, after doing that race if it’s gusting around 28 knots I’m rooted, admittedly I’m an old fart. In one race on the Nacra 5.8 my missus and I got hit and rolled backwards and over again by wind that I guess was about 40 knots in the river and I ended up washed on shore, I can’t imagine getting the missus to sail with me again if that happened out at sea taking me away from land. I take my hat off to everyone that’s done the big Worrells, Texas races etc

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I love these big cats and kind of lust after one. Thanks for the rundown!

I crewed on a Tornado (old rig) a bit - fastest I've ever gone on a sailboat for sure - over 25kt. A few years ago I had a couple of rides on an F18, which I'm pretty sure was faster. I wonder how fast some of these others are. Is there a list of their ratings somewhere?

Modern cats are amazing, but have become too precious for knock-around beach sailing, especially in surf. For me, a G-Cat, Prindle 19, or H21 is more appealing, and I would buy any of them.

 

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From 2017 Portsmouth tables:

 

  • Marstrom 20 58.0
  • ARC 22 57.0
  • RC-27 56.5
  • RC-30 53.1
  • C Class (Wing Mast) 57.7
  • Formula 18HT 60.0
  • F18 62.4
  • Tornado 59.0
  • Hobie 21 64.4
  • SuperCat 20 65.0
  • SuperCat 20 tall rig 63.8
  • A Class Cat 64.5

Love my ARC-22. It weighs only slightly more than a Hobie 18 (not the 950 lbs of my RC-27). But no, I definitely wouldn't sail the RC-27 through the surf. Maybe the ARC-22 though.

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We did the 70km Goolwa to Meningie race in South Aus in February 2021, here’s an onboard video of me and my missus on our Nacra 5.8 for anyone that’s interested, the blue sails is Marstrom 20, the black spinnaker knocked over by the gust is a Tornado, the green spinnaker that comes up on us later is a Taipan 5.7 with spinnaker and definitely is worthy of this thread. To understand what’s happening the race is from the end of the Murray river up the river, across the top of 600km square lake Alexandrina, through a creek called the Narrows, through the middle of 150 square kilometre lake Albert in adverse wave to wind with big lulls and good gusts, this race was in wind between 4 knots and 28 knots. Monos and non trailerable multihulls head of earlier and we race through them. The race runs again the third Saturday in November 2021
 

 

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On 7/16/2021 at 3:46 PM, hannibalhouse said:

045C37DB-1F75-4493-8DEC-9FF0FE285D03.thumb.jpeg.0ccb525739777d1a33b0c180bc1d40df.jpeg

Randy on Nacra 20 “finishing” a day’s run in Worrell 1000 at Cape Hatteras coming in thru 10 foot breakers under main alone.  Do you know how difficult this was?

image.jpeg

What was even more difficult was that the tramp lacings were also broken and 3 of the 4 "push button adjust" trap handles had exploded, along with various other boat issues. That was a brutal day. The team I was ground crewing for ended up on Portsmouth Island and never finished. The next leg was cancelled and the boats trailered to Kill Devil Hills where the surf was still big but the wind had died out and was coming from dead offshore. That claimed a couple more boats.

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On 3/30/2021 at 8:36 AM, teamvmg said:

I would say that the Inter20 was the first boat to be designed with a spinnaker in mind [Rather than retro fit]? or was it the very early F18s? The inter20 predated the inter 18 but maybe the dart Hawk was before the i20?

 

Actually the Inter 18 did pre-date the 20 because all NACRA did in building the 20 was stick 2 feet in the middle of an I18. They never recalculated the rocker and I'm relatively certain this was why you occasionally got the boat stopping rear beam slap, too much rocker. That said I loved the Inter/N 20, it was a great ride with the exception of that condition specific beam slap.

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 Do you know how difficult this was?

Good quote...First off, there are 2 ppl on that I20.  The crew seems to be holding a bag of full of something to act as weight on the wire.  The wind is howling offshore it looks like, so they either have to land with the boards down or send the crew to leeward to get the up, or ride in on the back of a wave with the board down.  I wonder if that is Keith Notary as crew.  Anyway, good luck beating back into the beach with no jib and no boards in high wind.  They really need to ride in on the back of a wave because of the extreme angle of the beach.  There was a vid of a boat riding a wave in, and piledriving the bows into the sand only to capsize on the beach and do damage.  I don't know if that was the same year.  Those boats are not meant to play in the surf, and most of the owners of them are not really surfers.

Great action shot from the 1000....RIP surfingbeach cats

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On 7/20/2021 at 10:32 AM, USA 007 said:

Miami Beach  - Pre-start of the last Worrell 1000

 

 

Picture 005.jpg

The last one was in 2019. We were there for the preparatory day, spent some time talking with the Waterhouse family.

 

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13 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

The last one was in 2019. We were there for the preparatory day, spent some time talking with the Waterhouse family.

 

They may have called it a Worrell, but it wasn't really a Worrell unless Mike was standing on the beach.

Hotels loved it when we rinsed the sails in the pool...

 

Pool Sail.jpg

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On 7/15/2021 at 10:50 PM, blurocketsmate said:

I love these big cats and kind of lust after one. Thanks for the rundown!

I crewed on a Tornado (old rig) a bit - fastest I've ever gone on a sailboat for sure - over 25kt. A few years ago I had a couple of rides on an F18, which I'm pretty sure was faster. I wonder how fast some of these others are. Is there a list of their ratings somewhere?

Modern cats are amazing, but have become too precious for knock-around beach sailing, especially in surf. For me, a G-Cat, Prindle 19, or H21 is more appealing, and I would buy any of them.

 

This is probably bit of a thread de-rail, but was the speed on the T GPS verified? I ask as my top speed on a Nacra Inter 20 is a little over 23kts surfing down a wave off Hollywood beach in the 2010 Tybee. Top speed on a top spec F18 is a little under 21kts in flat water, 20-25kts of breeze. Point is, it’s tough to get these boats over that 21-23kt speed without foil assistance. The F20c and a modern A can do it, because of the foil lift. Maybe a T in the right conditions will get close, definitely one of the best boats ever designed and built!

There is certainly some truth to the durability argument, but if you can find a mint condition Hobie Tiger or Nacra I-20, they are pretty durable. Many of the modern F18’s (Edge comes to mind) are also pretty bomb-proof. It’s just hard to drag a fresh bottom through the sand, no matter the boat!

 

 

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11 hours ago, USA 007 said:

They may have called it a Worrell, but it wasn't really a Worrell unless Mike was standing on the beach.

Hotels loved it when we rinsed the sails in the pool...

 

Pool Sail.jpg

 

On 7/20/2021 at 10:32 AM, USA 007 said:

Miami Beach  - Pre-start of the last Worrell 1000

 

 

Picture 005.jpg

Awesome boats, insane race, even crazier participants!! Would have been epic to go around Hatteras on the I-20!!

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This is a fun history subject for me, so i watched all the youtube vids on the worrell 1000, and checked a bunch of sites including the new w1000site linked in the original post.

The great shot of Team chicks beach off Hatteras was either 1997, 1998, or 1999 according to the site.  It does look like all the data has been condensed and reformatted, so there could be mistakes.

 

chart.png

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On 7/22/2021 at 10:16 PM, F18 Sailor said:

This is probably bit of a thread de-rail, but was the speed on the T GPS verified? I ask as my top speed on a Nacra Inter 20 is a little over 23kts surfing down a wave off Hollywood beach in the 2010 Tybee. Top speed on a top spec F18 is a little under 21kts in flat water, 20-25kts of breeze. Point is, it’s tough to get these boats over that 21-23kt speed without foil assistance. The F20c and a modern A can do it, because of the foil lift. Maybe a T in the right conditions will get close, definitely one of the best boats ever designed and built!

There is certainly some truth to the durability argument, but if you can find a mint condition Hobie Tiger or Nacra I-20, they are pretty durable. Many of the modern F18’s (Edge comes to mind) are also pretty bomb-proof. It’s just hard to drag a fresh bottom through the sand, no matter the boat!

 

 

Not GPS, but pre-GPS, a timed run between buoys at 23kt average. We had a gust over the run where others were saying we surely hit over 25. I was certainly not driving!

I'm sure modern boats are durable. It's really about dragging a fresh bottom over the sand, nicking/scratching impeccable boards/foils, etc. We raced H16 and H18, on boats good enough to win with, and we used those boats without worrying too much.

Thanks for the other speed info.

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On 7/24/2021 at 7:52 PM, blurocketsmate said:

Not GPS, but pre-GPS, a timed run between buoys at 23kt average. We had a gust over the run where others were saying we surely hit over 25. I was certainly not driving!

I'm sure modern boats are durable. It's really about dragging a fresh bottom over the sand, nicking/scratching impeccable boards/foils, etc. We raced H16 and H18, on boats good enough to win with, and we used those boats without worrying too much.

Thanks for the other speed info.

im a fat guy, and i have regularly hit 20 on my well abused Supercat 17, with a beach bottom and old sails. verified on my Garmin Marq watch.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/22/2021 at 10:18 PM, F18 Sailor said:

 

Awesome boats, insane race, even crazier participants!! Would have been epic to go around Hatteras on the I-20!!

It was. Best part of the entire race.
Might be the time for you and DL to get your well earned shot (on an F18 anyway).

 

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On 7/21/2021 at 12:54 PM, david r said:

 Do you know how difficult this was?

Good quote...First off, there are 2 ppl on that I20.  The crew seems to be holding a bag of full of something to act as weight on the wire.  The wind is howling offshore it looks like, so they either have to land with the boards down or send the crew to leeward to get the up, or ride in on the back of a wave with the board down.  I wonder if that is Keith Notary as crew.  Anyway, good luck beating back into the beach with no jib and no boards in high wind.  They really need to ride in on the back of a wave because of the extreme angle of the beach.  There was a vid of a boat riding a wave in, and piledriving the bows into the sand only to capsize on the beach and do damage.  I don't know if that was the same year.  Those boats are not meant to play in the surf, and most of the owners of them are not really surfers.

Great action shot from the 1000....RIP surfingbeach cats

It was Jason Sneed in '98. My guess is he had to throw their bag with gear over his shoulder because the tramp was blown out. The extra righting moment certainly didn't hurt that day.
  Keith did the next one with Randy. Keith ate pies for a couple of weeks before the race and they both had to "bulk" up (lotsa water right before) to make minimum weight. Mike Worrell did a long presentation before weigh in and they were both squirming. It was right funny. We never had a "minimum" weight problem ... ever.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, some details for the cat history freaks:

The Hobie 20 a.k.a. Hobie miracle 20 was "designed" by dutchman Jack Groeneveld, an entrepeneur who formarly had been in the Prindle scene and later started importing the Hurricane 5.9 to  the Netherlands. Whenthat dealership came  to an end he redesigned the hurricane widening the platform adding nacra style daggerboards. Hobie America and Hobie Europe were not on terms at the time, hence the Miracle 20 appeared the Dutch boatshow without rudders as the Hobie America connection would be to obvious.

 

About the design of the Inter20. In secret Nacra had been working on what we now know/do dat remember as the inter20. Then came the dart Hawk. Nacra had underestimated the potential of F18 as a concept. Faced with a serious change in the beach cat market (the Hawk -designed as the Hurricane Hawk and quickly bought by Laser performance to be sold as Dart Hawk - was an instant succes and Hobie Europe had swiftly bought the Jean Valler designed Alado and after some necessary changes had rebranded it as the Hobie Tiger) Frans Dingerdis CEO of the Dutch importer at the time ordered to shorten the inter20 prototype ( just cut out the middle 60cm) and this would become the not so elegant but after serious flaws had been solved in it's first year (the leaky hulls actually fell apart, spinaker poles were too short, the f18 class illegal carbon spreaders were so wide that they destroyed the job, the jib cleats were mounted on bendy plates and the main only performed only above 1 knots, the rudder casting wasn't ready at the launch of the inter 18 so they used the old nacra castings die the slender rudder blades and last the daggerboards were all but straight) fairly succesful inter18.

The original inter20 did not have enough rocker for the harsh North sea conditions ( one of the 2 prototypes was sailed at my local club here in the Netherlands) so they redesigned it with more rocker, which turned the inter20 into a much more manoeverable boat with at lot less tendency to pitchpole.

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Thanks for the scans Jack!

    In the year by year list of the Worrell races I have to disagree about the note for 1987 that says that the Coast Guard rescued the Prindle 19 Team Graphiti after hitting the Oregon Inlet bridge.  What actually happened was that they sailed across the inlet in the fog and light air and encountered the North Jetty and jibed back to the South, the way they had come from. The tide was coming in which pushed them West so that they next almost ran up on the South jetty. Another jibe and the current had pushed them even further to the West and almost to the bridge. They told me that by that time they had realized that the incoming tide had embayed them so the were now close hauled trying to sail back out into open water but the light onshore breeze resulted in them approaching the causeway for the bridge sailing backwards! They didn't realize that they were backing up and they were making a slight wake but then they heard a large diesel engine approaching really fast and looked over their shoulders to see what they thought were spotlight high up on the tuna tower of a big sportfisherman. It was running 45 mph southward from their perspective and they couldn't believe that a boat would be running that fast in zero visibility. As the lights and exhaust note disappeared to the South they then thought the could hear the sound of a big wake coming from astern which is what one would expect. Soon the could see what they thought was the whitewater of the breaking wake but then the pilings of the causeway materialized from the gloom and the wake was actually the tide rip boiling around the pilings! So they realized that what they thought was a big stupid fast sportfisherman was actually a big truck up on the causeway! 

   Their mast hit the span above as they tried to back their way between pilings and the cat turned broadside against a piling and basically got folded in half around the pile but not before they managed to activate their little EPIRB beacon and tie a line to it and toss over a truss under the bridge and haul it up. I think they managed to get another line around the girder above and tried to climb up but realized that they would be sitting in fish shit with no way to get on the top of the causeway due to the overhang.

    The race committee had called that leg of the race due to a couple of other boats that had capsized or otherwise gotten into trouble and all the ground crews were ordered to load up and head south with VHF handhelds and try and locate the boats still out on the course and tell them to just beach the boats right where they were and they would get hall passes the next day to trailer their boats to the waypoint with no penalty applied to their overall time. My team had already finished the leg but for some reason I volunteered to drive our van with the wives of the Graphiti Team to go look for their husbands. I made sure my team sailors were tucked in to get some much needed rest and took off heading for Oregon Inlet Coast Guard station. As we crossed the causeway we got a few frantic VHF MAYDAY calls from the Graphiti boys and the wives just freaked out! I could clearly hear the CG response to the faint MAYDAY calls and told them who we were and would come to the station. Then the wives really started bawling and crying and I was doing my best to calm them down. 

    At the CG station I mentioned getting a stronger VHF signal about halfway across the bridge and that is when the CG decided to launch a rescue boat and run from piling to piling to check for the boat which was long gone by then. We jumped back in our van and joined a CG van and we drove/walked down both sides of the bridge looking to see if we could spot the boat or the sailors but they had opted to stick with what was left of the cat and had ridden it to shore and were lost in the fog until they made it to the beach. The Coast Guard boat had found the ropes hanging down with the EPIRB in hopes of getting a signal out but no sign of the crew. I'm am not sure what had happened to their VHF but the steel and concrete up where the EPIRB was hanging was blocking out any tracking signal.

      We jumped back in the van and drove down to where we saw that rescue boat and there was no consoling the girls at that point. The US Park Ranger had shown up by too by then and I was surprised to recognize the Ranger as an old friend from my days running the Windsurf concession at the National Park Campgrounds in St John, USVI. I sent the wives back to the station with our van and jumped in 4WD with the Ranger and we headed up the barrier island North along the beach. We didn't go far until we saw the bedraggled sailors stumbling down the waters edge and it was the biggest relief you could imagine. A few minutes later we were back at the now unlocked NPS locked access gate (Coast Guard didn't have a key!) and joined the CG van for a ride back to their station. A quick reunion with the wives and we all drove back North to the race waypoint and all jumped in the Hot Tub with adult beverages to hear one of the best sea stories about their ordeal. Somehow my team hear the news and joined the fun in the tub and it was quite a night. Eventually the skipper on my team who was a real prankster got a few of those mini shampoo bottles from the hotel room and slipped them into his trunk pockets and gat back in the pool. He had just bought a round of drinks for all hands and he elbowed me and show me one of the bottles as he took the top off and handed me one too. As the shampoo hit the Jacuzzi jets the tub turned to suds and foam and things got even crazier and bathing suits and bikinis were shed. The hotel management soon showed up and shut down the fun as our impromptu Suds Party was frowned on even more that rinsing sails in the hotel pool!

What Really Happens at an Ibiza Foam Party - Barcelona Blonde

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5 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

SNIP

What Really Happens at an Ibiza Foam Party - Barcelona Blonde

I feel cheated that my browser can not access the link.

 

Show me tits.

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