Worrell 1000 - 2022 Official Results & post-race analysis

I made this by combining several different charts from the official site at https://worrell1000race.com

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What worked: 

1.  Almost everything, at least from the spectator's point of view.   The multiple daily video feeds on Facebook and Instagram were fantastic.  Bev is to be congratulated on her coverage, it was amazing.  Knowledge, enthusiasm, and good quality video, It was highly professional. 

And that goes for the whole race (again, from the spectators point of view).  Watching the race referee give briefings it was clear that it was a very professionally run event.   This was reinforced at the awards ceremony, where you got a chance to see how many people and how much time went into organizing the event.   It may have started as a drunken bar bet but it has evolved under the current leadership into something really spectacular. 

2.  Getting 13 boats to the starting line is a big accomplishment, especially given the long lapse, and the small number of entries in 2019.   13 is a pretty typical number of the race, with only 4 being over 20.  (25 the high mark) 

3.  From this point of view the Formula 18 was a big success.  The various makes and models seemed competitive, and I think that adds a little fun to the event over a strict one-design rule.  I make some criticisms of the F18 below, but it also is probably one reason 13 boats showed up and were broadly competitive.   A big step up over the mixed Nacra 21 FCS and F18 boats of 2019. 

4.   All 13 boats finishing is a credit to the racers, the spirit of cooperation that existed between them, but also the race organizers for building and managing it in such a way that it is possible. 

What should be looked at: 

1.  The Elapsed Time scoring is central to the race.    A question can reasonably be asked if the six hour DNF penalty is too harsh.  Perhaps not normally, but in this case it was quite unfortunate.  It turned a head-to-head race into a bit of a foregone conclusion. 

When the vast majority of the fleet (9 of 13 racers) are forced to retire due to conditions, one can argue the leg should have been cancelled.  (As the leg the following day was, albeit the conditions were not the main factor cited by the race organizers. . What resulted from sailing in  conditions that were way to severe for the boats (even given this is the Worrell), is that the few people managed to get through it without breaking down or beaching had an overwhelming advantage from there out out, due to the massive 7.5 hour penalties assessed vs. the leaders. 

Which would be another way of arguing that Randy Smyth's complete domination of the event in almost any other race you can think of would have seen him taking home the trophy.  Here he got 3rd place.   Fair enough, rules are rules, they were clear.   But are they good?    Should the time penalty for DNS/DNF be reduced from the current: last place finisher + 6 hours?   It's a pretty savage penalty. 

2.  Two teams had sailors separated from their boats.  In one case both sailors got separated, and made their way to shore.  The boat, on it's side drifted further, but eventually also beached without a lot of damage.   In the other case I believe another team plucked the fellow from the drink.  There is the making of a tragedy in this race.  Is it only luck that we didn't have someone lost at sea, or were things like homing beacons on vests in place?   Hopefully that latter.   Everyone watching is very happy that all competitors were safe, but there were some really scary moments.   I'm not saying that there was a deficiency in anyway.  The safety record was 100%.   I'm saying it's a more dangerous endeavor and ever technology that's possible should be used to mitigate it.   Still: three people ended up in the sea!  Maybe a chase boat shadowing the fleet would be a good idea.  Maybe even the Coast Guard could do this, it seems like it might be a good training exercise for them. 

3.  Even discounting the Day 2 debacle, many boats were plagued by equipment failures.  By my count two masts were broken, one was knocked down (demasted, not sure if it was salvageable), many boards were broken.  Rudders seemed to be a particular problem with many crews losing blades, connectors.   Not only does this impact the racing badly, it's a serious safety concern.  (See above) 

Given that I think it's fair to look at the Formula 18 and ask if it's the right boat for the event.    For more than 20 years the Worrel was run on a variety of 20 foot catamarans.   Initially it was a very open box rule that allowed for custom boats, then it was a "Production 20 foot cat" rule, and then finally a one-design race in the last three years of the race before the long hiatus: 2000-2002, when the Nacra Inter20 was used. 

We didn't get blow-by-blow coverage back then, and it's somewhat in the nature of the event for things to break, but still my sense is that the older 20 foot boats were better suited to the race.  I don't remember reading about multiple mast breakages on the Inter20, for instance. 

There is also the issue of crew size.  The F18 class association says the boats were designed for crews of between 115 to over 150 KG (253 to 330 lbs). Here are the class rules:  

The minimum combined crew weight is 115 kg

(b) Crew weighing less than 150 kg combined shall carry extra weight equal to half the difference between their actual weight and 150 kg.
Etc.  I take it from this the boat is quite weight sensitive, such that the difference between a 253lb crew and 330lb crew is normally compensated. 

According to Healthline.com the average American man age 20 and above weighs 198 lbs.   2 X 198 = 396 lbs, quite a bit over the ideal crew weight for the boat.  (I'm guessing here, but I think the F-18 may have been designed with mixed male-female crews in mind).    

A larger boat seems like it reduces the impact of weight, and is probably better matched with the weight of the crews that we are seeing in the Worrell, which were all men this year (although women have participated in the past) and includes a lot more stuff (safety equipment, food, water, navigation stuff) than the usual around-the-cans race. 


Again: I was merely la spectator.  I am a long time Worrell lover, but never competed.  Many others on the forum have much more experience in the event and distance catamaran racing.  I offer these comments in the spirit of informed constructive criticism, with all due credit and appreciation given to everyone who competed in, organized, managed or volunteered in making it happen.     Great job and congratulations on a spectacular success. 

 

 

MultiThom

Super Anarchist
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Benicia, CA
F18 seems a good boat for the race given that all of them finished albeit with broken stuff.  6 hours would still be OK if you allowed a reefpoint in the mainsail, then DNF would be skippers choice.  Was fun watching from the sidelines.  

 
I think it’s great that people aren’t out of the race if they don’t complete a leg with just the penalty, the time penalty needs to be large to be fair on the people that complete the leg, it’s unfortunate that Randy’s mast broke but it did

 

F18 Sailor

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Annapolis, MD
The F18 was never designed as a mixed male-female boat. It was designed around two average French males; that is 2x 170 lbs = 340 lbs, pretty close to the minimum crew weight of 330lbs in the class rules. Anything less and you have to carry lead to help level the playing field. That being said, the F18 is a bit under powered compared with the Nacra Inter 20 or F20carbon, but that certainly wasn't the problem in this years race!

I go back and forth with what the right boat is for this race. I think the F18 is it; it was designed with raid sailing in mind, and is generally a fairly strong boat. 10 days of surf launching is hard on any rudder system, and hitting debris on the course doesn't help. But overall the boats have held up. They are are also available; for less than $20k you can get a boat and complete the race, if not compete with the top teams. You can't say that about the F20 carbon, which is certainly approaching $50k for a new one in todays dollars for a c-board version, and there aren't many (any) used ones around.

 

david r

Anarchist
586
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pond
Agree that the race was well managed and well executed.  Was enjoyable to follow from afar.  Here are some quick notes.

Weight issue:  The race used to have a 300lb weight minimum which was an increase form the 285 minimum of the H16 class.  I seem to remember caring a couple pounds of weights the time I sailed it on a H16.  The crew form Ruddees and clean sailors had a giant protrusion from their back.  What were they carrying back there, and was it done for righting moment?

Penalty issue: With out the penalty system, boats would be out of the race if they missed a checkpoint.  It has to be a large penalty because the winner should make all the checkpoints and actually sail the 1000 miles.  This way there can be more boats sailing into VA beach.

type of boat,  The faster the boat the sooner the leg is over.  Too fragile a boat won’t make it to the finish.  Inter 20 had a good record, but I doubt that they still build them, and I think Mishca beat the 20’s with a Tiger one year.  The masts breaking sucks.  Could there have been a bad batch of masts?  They said the 13th boat didn’t finish because their mast broke.  One mast broke on camera just from the boat laying on it’s side in micro surf, in a place that should have been supported by the diamond wires.  Presumably Ruddees broke theirs just from loading it up with the downhaul/hiking.
The old Prindle 19 with Spi. Was a good boat; big mainsail, pivoting centerboards.  Not sure how they would do if the wind is 20-25 on the nose with that big main and crap boards though.  A second rig like the Aussie 18skiffs have would be cool, but expensive.

Does the historical race data still exist somewhere?  They used to have record times for each leg, and lists of competitors for the different years.

 

Rasputin22

Rasputin22
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     The Prindle 19-2 was and may well still be an optimum design for the Worrell. Randy had built a custom P-19-2 for the Pacific 1000 and it was being sailed well by a Califonian crew with a sensible small chord carbon rig but Oregon Inlet Bridge chewed it into pieces in the fog.

     The year I was there on a Supercat 20 but the big carbon wingmast we built for it was way too ambitious (although we did have reef points) but the boat was too big to manhandle about especially in the surf. Randy had a custom 20 with wingmast that was very similar to the yellow cat in that it had a planing bottom, forget the designers name. The Hurricane was a Tornado with extra 2 foot beam and wallowed in the surf due to the excess beam and I did the mod to add a forward crossbeam as the bows were about to fold in on them. The Russians that year could have won if they had a spinnaker on a stock Tornado.

    Roy Seaman really hit the sweet spot that year with his outlandish hiking racks which let him drive sitting on the trap without giving up stability by having his (seasick) crew perched way out to windward. I am still amazed that they had no mishaps with that Rube Goldberg boat in the surf. I still think Roy is probably the ultimate waterman with his surfing experience and his design craftsmanship. 

    You won't catch me back out there though...

 

Lost in Translation

Super Anarchist
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Atlanta, GA
The crew form Ruddees and clean sailors had a giant protrusion from their back.  What were they carrying back there, and was it done for righting moment?
For the Tybee's I did and I assume for the Worrell, sailors wore camelbacks with drinking tubes to stay hydrated.  The SI's specifically allow these and similar hydration systems for the Worrell.

 
The F18 was never designed as a mixed male-female boat. It was designed around two average French males; that is 2x 170 lbs = 340 lbs, pretty close to the minimum crew weight of 330lbs in the class rules. Anything less and you have to carry lead to help level the playing field. That being said, the F18 is a bit under powered compared with the Nacra Inter 20 or F20carbon, but that certainly wasn't the problem in this years race!

I go back and forth with what the right boat is for this race. I think the F18 is it; it was designed with raid sailing in mind, and is generally a fairly strong boat. 10 days of surf launching is hard on any rudder system, and hitting debris on the course doesn't help. But overall the boats have held up. They are are also available; for less than $20k you can get a boat and complete the race, if not compete with the top teams. You can't say that about the F20 carbon, which is certainly approaching $50k for a new one in todays dollars for a c-board version, and there aren't many (any) used ones around.
Great points.   I agree that the Nacra 20 FCS is pretty expensive and exotic for this race.    I also think that over time the 20 x 8.5' format was a lot more popular than the 20 x 10' or 20 x 12'.    

And the F18 was a lot more successful than the F16 , maybe just because it's the sweet spot, size wise, but the F18 rule also specified the boat to keep the price down, limiting  the amount of carbon fiber and such.  (You can see this easily on the Nacra site, the older Infusion is $5,000 less than the F-16 boat).   

So, an updated Inter20, not a Nacra20 FCS would be a good choice.  But not having a real Formula 20 federation, and the attempts to form one always suffers between all the older boat owners trying to grandfather their boat in, that's a problem. 

  • High Zoot, Big Beam, Expensive, First To Finish boats = Nacra 20 FCS,  or to generalize it maybe a set of updated "B Class" rules.  Developmental

    AND  (two different classes) 
     
  • More affordable, technology arms race limited,  8.5" beam, updated class that had 100s of boats inthe early 00's
    Raid optimized, deals with heavier crews, more seaworthy in big conditions, etc.   Taking the many lessons F-18 teaches us. 
    = Formula 20 "Worrell" class 

Even Nacra should like it.   They would sell a lot more "Inter20 Gen Z" than they every will the FCS. 

 
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F18 Sailor

Super Anarchist
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Great points.   I agree that the Nacra 20 FCS is pretty expensive and exotic for this race.    I also think that over time the 20 x 8.5' format was a lot more popular than the 20 x 10' or 20 x 12'.    

And the F18 was a lot more successful than the F16 , maybe just because it's the sweet spot, size wise, but the F18 rule also specified the boat to keep the price down, limiting  the amount of carbon fiber and such.  (You can see this easily on the Nacra site, the older Infusion is $5,000 less than the F-16 boat).   

So, an updated Inter20, not a Nacra20 FCS would be a good choice.  But not having a real Formula 20 federation, and the attempts to form one always suffers between all the older boat owners trying to grandfather their boat in, that's a problem. 

  • High Zoot, Big Beam, Expensive, First To Finish boats = Nacra 20 FCS,  or to generalize it maybe a set of updated "B Class" rules.  Developmental

    AND  (two different classes) 
     
  • More affordable, technology arms race limited,  8.5" beam, updated class that had 100s of boats inthe early 00's
    Raid optimized, deals with heavier crews, more seaworthy in big conditions, etc.   Taking the many lessons F-18 teaches us. 
    = Formula 20 "Worrell" class 

Even Nacra should like it.   They would sell a lot more "Inter20 Gen Z" than they every will the FCS. 
I wasn't discussing the F20 FCS. I was discussing the F20 carbon-same hulls, but c-boards and essentially standard F18 rudders. The FCS would be brutal for beach landing/launching.

I agree that an updated Inter 20 is probably the ideal boat for the Worrell, but right now the closest thing that exists in a production boat is the F20Carbon. Move away into any sort of custom boat and the price goes through the roof and you risk another F18HT debacle. 

Unfortunately I don't see an updated set of B-class boats or a Formula 20 class taking off. The only U.S races that allow these boats right now are the Steeplechase, Miami-Key Largo and New England 100. 20' beach catamarans just aren't that popular. I think the F18 has taken off because of good, consistent leadership in Europe (where Nacra, Cirrus and eXploder are based), an effort to keep the costs under control (primarily through sticking with an aluminum rig, and limiting the use of exotic core materials in the hulls), a good set of rules, weight equalization allowing smaller teams and heavier teams to sail on a level playing field, and finally, running many successful events at great locations. For example, this year we have the following:

1) Worrell 1000

2) F18 Europeans on Lake Garda

3) F18 Raid Worlds as part of the Swedish Archipelago Raid

4) F18 Worlds in Clearwater, Florida

5) St. Barth's Catacup.

Of those events, only 1, the Worrell, might chose to sail a different boat in the future. 

 
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david r

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pond
My first thought on an alternative to F18 was the nacra 17.  Possibly the original version if ppl dont want to go down the foiling road.  Weren't they(ver1.0) supposed be a little faster downwind because you can double trap?

There are not many production cats being made that will fit the bill, from what i see on the internet.

the original web page for worrell 1000 is on the wayback machine, but the link to the records for each leg is dead.  The second web page they made has working links on the wayback version, so i did see the the veterans hall of fame page that goes through 1998.

here is a screen shot of the page that had dead links...

Screen Shot 2022-05-25 at 1.19.54 PM.png

 

Sailabout

Super Anarchist
The F18 was never designed as a mixed male-female boat. It was designed around two average French males; that is 2x 170 lbs = 340 lbs, pretty close to the minimum crew weight of 330lbs in the class rules. Anything less and you have to carry lead to help level the playing field. That being said, the F18 is a bit under powered compared with the Nacra Inter 20 or F20carbon, but that certainly wasn't the problem in this years race!

I go back and forth with what the right boat is for this race. I think the F18 is it; it was designed with raid sailing in mind, and is generally a fairly strong boat. 10 days of surf launching is hard on any rudder system, and hitting debris on the course doesn't help. But overall the boats have held up. They are are also available; for less than $20k you can get a boat and complete the race, if not compete with the top teams. You can't say that about the F20 carbon, which is certainly approaching $50k for a new one in todays dollars for a c-board version, and there aren't many (any) used ones around.
F18 was designed around an overweight boat due to the skill set of Hobie builders...

 

Ventucky Red

Super Anarchist
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     The Prindle 19-2 was and may well still be an optimum design for the Worrell. Randy had built a custom P-19-2 for the Pacific 1000 and it was being sailed well by a Califonian crew with a sensible small chord carbon rig but Oregon Inlet Bridge chewed it into pieces in the fog.

     The year I was there on a Supercat 20 but the big carbon wingmast we built for it was way too ambitious (although we did have reef points) but the boat was too big to manhandle about especially in the surf. Randy had a custom 20 with wingmast that was very similar to the yellow cat in that it had a planing bottom, forget the designers name. The Hurricane was a Tornado with extra 2 foot beam and wallowed in the surf due to the excess beam and I did the mod to add a forward crossbeam as the bows were about to fold in on them. The Russians that year could have won if they had a spinnaker on a stock Tornado.

    Roy Seaman really hit the sweet spot that year with his outlandish hiking racks which let him drive sitting on the trap without giving up stability by having his (seasick) crew perched way out to windward. I am still amazed that they had no mishaps with that Rube Goldberg boat in the surf. I still think Roy is probably the ultimate waterman with his surfing experience and his design craftsmanship. 

    You won't catch me back out there though...
Prindle 19-2 same as the Prindle 19 MX?

 

Rasputin22

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Not sure about that. I may have confused the Prindle 18-2 which was the asymmetrical hulled version with the quadrant centerboards with the P-19 which I am not familiar with.  

 

DtM

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For what little it is worth, I think that the DNF "penalty should be last plus 1 or 2 hours.

The effective 7.5 hours amounts to about 8.5% of the total elapsed time of the winner that is an impossible mountain.

I know my figure is just as random but you have a chance to still win. Just like you do if you have a DNF in a usual fleet regatta.

 

martin 'hoff

Super Anarchist
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For what little it is worth, I think that the DNF "penalty should be last plus 1 or 2 hours.

The effective 7.5 hours amounts to about 8.5% of the total elapsed time of the winner that is an impossible mountain.

I know my figure is just as random but you have a chance to still win. Just like you do if you have a DNF in a usual fleet regatta.
Maybe the race needs a "drop".

 




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