As part of our growing relationship with St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, I’m ‘guest blogging’ on their website. Here’s my first installation:
John Casey, who is a U.S. Multihull Champion, has fallen in love with St. Barts, too! I am pleased to present his first guest blog with hopes of more to come.
With St. Barthélemy’s rich sailing tradition, being discovered by Columbus in 1493 and used by French pirates to stash Spanish galleon spoils, the eight square mile island has remained a number one world sailing destination.
When I first arrived from Florida in 2009 to sail in the prestigious catamaran regatta, the CataCup, I was taken aback by how unique the island actually was compared to other Caribbean destinations. There was not a piece of trash anywhere. There was no McDonald’s or Subway. There were no people milling around with nothing to do. It felt like a productive island. We arrived at an open island villa built on the side of the mountain. It felt as if the structure itself admired the view as much as I did. At that exact time I thought, “This is a place for me!”
Last weekend I drug the Cirrus R F18 out to Sarasota for a little training on the bay. Since we bailed on the Macho Man long distance race because of attendance and security issues at the host club, we decided to do a little impromptu training session. We made the decision to go on Thursday and still ended up with five F18s to train with in absolutely perfect 15 knot breeze and baggy shorts water. We were joined by three junior teams from the Sarasota Youth Sailing Program and Karl and Beth Langefeld on their infusion with Glaser sails. A big thanks to David Hillmyer for taking these vids on his i and setting up the short course for us at the end of the day!
Dalton and I upwind training fly-by
Our upwind trim
The morning session was just straight-lining with rig and sail tuning. With a three-mile fetch down Sarasota Bay we were able to work on our Cirrus settings some more, and the junior teams were getting faster. I’m really happy to help this top rate program (the only one of it’s kind for multihulls) get better and show the rest of the country where the new cat mecca is.
Karl & Beth upwind training
Ravi & Eric making adjustments
The afternoon session was some more straight lining and some short course racing. After racing, we had a debrief about everything top to bottom and I was able to answer some really great questions.
Dalton and I finishing the first short course race. Darn port dagger keeps slipping!!
Finish between Ravi & Eric and Karl & Beth
We all learned a thing or two Saturday and I’m really impressed with how the program is coming along.
Last weekend the Cirrus R debuted at the Tradewinds regatta with Bret and Kenny earning a second place, throwing a 4 and ending with a bullet. They told me how it sailed on Saturday and we made some small adjustments and their performance shot up on Sunday. When I asked Bret how it sailed he said, “It’s like we were on a whole different boat than anybody else, especially downwind where we were lower and faster!” Dalton and I start training on Sunday on the road to F18 Worlds in September 2012.
Photo Credit: Leandro Spina
Hey, would I post it if it wasn’t friggin funny? A Tampa, FL news station contacted Robbie Daniel for an interview about the new AHPC C2. So they came down for a little ride in the light breeze, but Robbie must have wanted some wet t-shirt action. They edited out the sound when Robbie was yelling, “Sheet out, sheet out!” Check it.
I’m finally sitting down, albiet for a few minutes before we push off the dock on the SIG 45 catamaran in St. Tropez. This silver ship is destined for Valencia for the start of the 33rd America’s Cup. We have had some weather issues with the GRIB and weather files showing 35-50 knots on the nose with some short steep 10+ foot waves. We’ve sat on the dock long enough…what the hell…we’re going for it anyway and will stay close to shore. Here are a few pics of the boat and surroundings. I’m actually a bit excited to get out on the water after quite a winter of total ice. I’m donning the drysuit now and we did our final safety check. Time to rock it through the night!
Well, today is Boxing Day in Australia which means the start of one of the most interesting monohull distance races start from Sydney to Hobart. Even though I’m a multihull guy, I’ve always dreamed of doing this race. Even before I read Fatal Storm, I was enthralled by the history of the race.
Now, they allow up to 100 footers, and many of the maxis down under have been stretched to meet the rule. These mega speedsters also have canting keels and a ton of downwind sail area. They are like proas now. The amount of tweaking to find the right combination between daggerboard, cant and trim is a whole new aspect of sailing. Hey, the engine is more accepted now too I guess. I have a hard time mentioning though that as the world is trying to go more green, sailing is going more brown.
Here is the official site of Sydney-Hobart. This race has top of the line tracking, which makes for a fun easy day after eating a ton with close friends and family after Christmas!
I’ve got to go have a barbeque where I’m making a real American sauce!
This cat, built by LeBreton Yachts, is my kind of carbon cruiser! This is a nice vid to watch full screen.
While at the Rolex Regatta in St. Thomas last year, I met Jeff Ledee and Vincent Jordil from St. Barthelemy. They told me about a race on and around their island in November called the Catacup. I was intrigued to say the least. I saw Vincent again at F18 world championships in Belgium, who reminded me of the race. I had always kept in contact with Jeff, and I finally pulled the trigger to come over during summer. I was able to get some friends from Holland to sign up, and our new adventure was created. With Carrie Howe racing with me, I knew we’d have some fun on the course as well, just as we did during the 500+ miles of the Tybee.
Finally the day arrived. As I flew in the small plane from St. Maarten n to St. Barth, I noticed the island’s small size, with lush trees so plentiful I could only guess where the streets were. I also wondered what type of history could befall such a tiny place of eight square miles of rock and luscious scenery rising far above the clear turquoise water. I thought of pirates, battles between countries vying for the opportunity to use the small port of the island, and goat fur covered marauders invading from small boats, running through the breakers with handmade axes held high above their heads.
What amazes me is there are so many beautiful rocks jetting out of the surface of our planet, with histories so numerous. There is no way for any one person or society to document everything. This French island was first recorded in history when Columbus found it on his second voyage in 1493. He named it after his brother, Bartolomeo. The first settlement here didn’t get very far, and it was soon sold to the Knights of Malta. I don’t know how much a bargain it was, due to the fact that the Carib Indians took back what they thought was theirs and destroyed the settlement with cannibalistic impunity.
When I wrote about the Global Challenge and had the idea of putting loser’s heads on the ends of poles, I didn’t know the next place I sailed actually has such a thing in its history! Well, the Carib Indians put the heads of the settlement’s dwellers on the ends of poles at Lorient beach to keep any pesky travelers away. Now the idea of heads on poles doesn’t seem so appealing. I snorkeled at that beach!
In 1793 the French settled on the island again, some even from Brittany, the site of the next F18 Worlds. Spanish galleons passed through these parts, so French buccaneers used St. Barth as a stash for their newly acquired Spanish booty. This leads to my favorite pirate name of all time, Monbar the Exterminator. It is believed his treasure is still hidden on the island somewhere, possibly underneath my very feet as I walked, or under our daggerboards as we sailed.
The British took the island over by force for a short time, but it reverted back to a French possession until it was sold to Sweden in 1784, who made it a free port. The island prospered under this structure. The Swedes also named the capital city Gustavia, and also left a beautiful cemetery as a reminder.
The French then bought the island back and in 1946 (historical year in the world as it relates to demarcation of land) it was made a collectivity of France along with Guadeloupe, St. Maarten, and Martinique, which together comprise the French West Indies.
Although through time there were battles for this island using cutlass and cannonade, our battles fought on these waters required, unbelievably, not as much skill. I’m sure there were races around this island by square riggers long before, but they had to dodge musket and cannon fire along the way. Not to mention, if we lost, we would live to see the fair winds blow the next day.
When I arrived at the airport I was greeted by no less than four event organizers, who helped all of us out the entire eight days of our visit. I was greeted by Christophe, a brown haired, blue eyed burly Frenchman who looked as if he could wield a sledgehammer just as easily as a pen. He took my bag and tossed it into his open Jeep Wrangler with a flick. And we were off, driving through the winding terrain like a thirsty horse on its way to the water bucket. I could tell he knew his way around the island straight away. He spoke broken but very good English with a thick French accent, whipping through blind turns while explaining our surroundings. He struck me as a French Brando or Hemmingway, the way they probably oozed easy living and fair rules of life on islands.
Cristophe’s Creole styled home is exceptional, hand crafted by Christophe himself, made with Brazilian wood so heavy it won’t even float. He said he made the house heavy because of the hurricanes. Double doors from the bedrooms on both sides of the house open into the focal point, the swimming pool. The house sits atop a cistern of rain water almost all the way up the mountain. It was a pleasure to take a shower in this water as it was not too hot or too cold, but a comfortable temperature. It felt natural.
Most nights, we stayed here instead of going out late, opting to have a ti’punch by the pool. The only sounds were crickets chirping and palm fronds rubbing from the sweeping night breeze. While staring at the endless stars we pontificated with Cristophe on philosophy, religion, politics and a little sailing, like French savants must have hundreds of years before.
Oh the racing, I got a bit off track. We thought there would not be as much sailing as a normal regatta. We were wrong. The first race led us clear around the island and took about 4 ½ hours, with multiple lead changes, huge pressure differences and shifts, and marks to round laid close to shore. More than once we had to just look around and take in the beauty. Sometimes we were almost too close to the cliffs and rocks. As the swell moved and crashed over the rocks, the boat was pulled closer to the pounding.
The race management was very professional for the regatta. After a general recall, they immediately put up the black flag, which peaked our interest and we knew we were racing. The first leg of the races always had a beat to a mark close to shore. There were crazy mix-ups there. One boat would have the lead and get close to the mark, only for the breeze to shut off and allow the fleet to get close or even pass. Many times, the first boat to the mark rode the pressure down the course and enjoyed a large lead for the rest of the race. Half of the fun of doing the races was figuring out which rock to round and where to go next! It was refreshing.
The day after the regatta was over, we sailed to an island off the coast of St. Maarten for lunch. I sailed with Jorden since Carrie had to leave that day. The breeze was only about 10 knots but we had fun coasting over the waves, switching off steering, and ooching the waves as hard as we could. While on this island I practiced more of my conversational attention skills with mostly naked women, thinking, “look her in the eyes, look her in the eyes.“ I failed miserably. After a little more rum and a fine tropical lunch we sailed back to the port to put the boats in the container for the long trip back to France, where we’ll pick them up.
Much thanks to Christophe and Pascale for their great hospitality, to Jeff and Vincent for their efforts to get us over there, and the many people who helped run this very professional regatta in the relaxed setting of the French West Indies! Let’s get a container from the U.S. next year!
Special thanks goes to Bastiaan Tentij, Jorden Veenman, Vincent Huntelman, and everyone who helped load our boat into the container since we couldn’t make it!
For some reason, when I think of the name Global Challenge, I picture a race where the loser’s heads are lanced on top of broken spars while the winner and race committee dance on a hand carved stone altar surrounded by a hot magma moat.
In the real world, last week wasn’t so hardcore, but heads did roll. There were plenty of broken/fallen masts and wipeouts in the breezy conditions of Gulfport, Florida. It was one of those regattas where we sometimes had to completely stop concentrating on sailing and watch the show. Dalton and I took turns saying, “Dude, look over there. They’re eating it huge right now!” Followed by, “Oh Damn!” If we were close enough we asked if they were okay as we smoked by. Eric Witte and Tripp Burd had a couple good sticks. One was upwind when they were leading. We were all overstood to the top mark when they put on a stunning pitchpole display. In another race, they somehow ended up with both bows pointing to the sky after a wipeout.
The first day of racing opened with a puffy, switchy southeasterly rolling over what seemed like all of Florida before it went through our sails. To our west, Hurricane Ida was still threatening out in the Gulf of Mexico, which added to the tension of the racing, not to mention it brought great winds! We came out with a Bull in the first race under fast moving finger clouds. Robbie Daniel and Taylor Reiss showed their incredible downwind speed straight away. We were launched in the first beat. After rounding, I saw a boat behind us that was just sailing a deeper angle with speed downwind. I expressed my displeasure to Dalton about it, although we were going pretty good also. Luckily, upwind we had more speed and went on to win. We had spinnaker halyard problems for the next race, which grew as the racing progressed, culminating in a not so perfect day for us. The premium for the day was more about hitting shifts and pressure than boatspeed, which was expected in the small bay surrounded by large condos.
The next three days had crankin’ northwesterlies that frothed up the blue water bay. Small showers coasted by and the temperature dropped as a front moved in after Ida passed. When the wind was from the right the large condos on the north shore came into play and we sailed on what was coming down around them. Very tactical. Ron Burgundy would have been proud of us cuz we kept our “heads on a swivel.” Conditions were constantly changing. However,sometimes there was a train to the left to hit the pressure not impeded by the condos. We did have our Cunningham blow out one race and the strap holding the mainsheet to the mainsail let go in another. I let the expletives fly when the strap broke because we were winning the race. We ended up with a six in that one. These were annoying but easily fixed problems, which we learned from. For the last races these three days, the race committee, who did an excellent job all week, sent us on an extra lap. Dalton and I put the pedal down and were able to hold off the pack on those. The Vipers were absolutely flying upwind and down. I still have a smile on my face from the speed sensation.
Summing up the spirit of the event, Chris and Dan broke their mast downwind in the last race of the fourth day, and as we “smoked” by they cheered with their hands in the air. Long live the Teletubbies! (they weighed in at like 410 and were a damned freight train upwind in the breeze).
Again and again, I’d try to start with a tactical advantage on Robbie. Often times, I could hold him down on the first upwind leg only to see him fly with abandon downwind. Obviously, it’s better to sail these boats with less crew weight……..if you are good enough to hold on upwind. Robbie and Taylor were. We were about 325 and Robbie and Taylor about 285. They were blazing fast on their Viper. Below is a video of us coming down on top of them at the start.
For the last day, the pressure dropped as a high moved in and Ida passed to our northeast. Even if we were close to Robbie and Taylor in points, which we would have been without the breakages, we would not have been close to them in the lighter breeze. For instance, in the first race the pin was favored and we won it. We saw left pressure and a shift. We hit it, tacking and crossing the fleet with Greg Goodall tacking right on Robbie three boat lengths under us. Robbie proceeded to shoot out from underneath Goodall. We had the pressure first, but it was only about seven knots. We punched slightly forward on Goodall, but Robbie was double trapped and sailed in front of us right to the mark! Dalton and I looked at each other and shrugged. What else could we do? We actually laughed about it.
In the last race, Dalton helmed our Viper. I needed crewing practice too since I’ll race with Carrie Howe this week in St. Barthelemy for the Catacup. We set up underneath Greg Goodall and Kelly Kreuger at the pin, who were in a tight battle with Ollie Jason and Patrick Gilles for third. Greg and Kelly needed two points to get on the podium. They were fighting all the way down the line with Greg using us and other boats as picks before we all landed on the pin end. With the pressure on, Greg and Kelly performed and ended up snatching the trophy with determined sailing.
In the end, the Globe and the Challenge both spun in the right direction. Robbie Daniel and Taylor Reiss definitely earned the victory with excellent boatspeed, tactics and consistency. Thanks to Dalton Tebo for his excellent crew work, Greg and Brett with AHPC, Robbie and Jill with Red Gear Racing for helping us get to the regatta, and Robi and Christa for all the great photos and vids!
Here are the Full Results
Cheers from US Airways flight 1555 to St. Maarten on the way to St. Barth! I don’t have many superstitions, but I always have a Bloody Mary on a flight and I haven’t crashed yet. More to come this week to dust off the site stagnation!
The first time I saw curved foils was on an ORMA 60. C-Class cats have been experimenting with/using them. Also, A-Class cats are using them regularly. I had a chance to sail a Marstom A-cat with the curved foils and it sailed like a dream. Now, the big Tris (including BMW/Oracle) are able to contral the angles of the boards!
I’ll tell you this, I’ve never seen a crew jump forward on a bearaway!
On a real quick note, this is my 101st story!
Now on the the important stuff. Last week and this week we have been doing corporate entertainment for Volvo Trucks Netherlands. This is considered the top level of corporate entertainment and I happen to agree. We have two ribs with supercharged 275 hp power plants that give rides while the Extreme 40s sail with 4-6 guests on board.
As soon as I left my place on Thursday morning, I saw flags ripping sideways and tree limbs bending. I knew it was gonna be a good day. When we arrived in Muiden, Bastiaan Tentij went up the rigs to check the fittings and make sure the boats were safe to sail for the day. These are the pics he took while up the rig.
This is a great view of the width of the boat (28 feet) and the support rib that rips up the water while we sail.
What a perfect view of the Muiden marina on a sunny day, which was only slightly cold on the water after we were out for a few hours. The trick is, don’t get wet………right.
This day, we sailed with a reef in the main in 20-25 knots. On one of the runs with the gennaker up, we were clocked at 70 kph or 37.9 knots! That is a record for the 40! Here is a vid taken by Bastiaan of one of the runs that were exactly like the record run. Video gives no justice to the speeds these boats attain. The smiles on the guests faces tell it all. I really enjoy giving the guests a taste of proper sailing. I always hope they enjoy it as much as me. Enjoy
I have to go to sleep to get ready for more action tomorrow, but here are a couple of vids of today’s fun! The first video is Andrew “Macca” Macpherson and Ferdinand van West flying a nice hull with me on the rib filming. The second is Mischa Heemskerk, Mischa de Munck and me at the helm on the 40. Tornado Sport sure builds some nice machines, including the 40 and Extreme Rib.
Wepro 1-3 in the Wildcat Fleet! Oscar and Wybe sailed an excellent series in the big wind. Congrats! We lost a tiebreak to Jorden and “Little” Mischa to earn third place. They are coming along quite nicely. Our three teams have been training together this year, so standing together on the podium was a great feeling. Definately a fun series in the large waves and current of Zandvoort. Any time it is sunny and warm here, het is gezellig!
Olympic medalist and beauty, Marcelien de Koning, did an excellent job with the trophy presentation, even though when she asked me in Dutch how my “Dutch was coming” I froze. Haha, an opportunity to talk and I say only one word!
Like every Dutch Hobie event, the party was incredible with a barbeque that was second to none. I was just a little pissed on Saturday afternoon from the free mixed drinks at the bar served by some lekkere hapjes.
And the sun sets on another great event…..
It was an incredible weekend of sailing with a few rediculous crashes. Here is the aftermath of one…….
No, this boat is not smiling
The bow is bent like Wanderlei Silva’s nose…well, he just had surgery to fix it, but I’m not sure surgery will save this one.
You know it was a hard impact to completely bend the stainless steel rod which keeps the spinnaker pole from compressing upwards.
The North Sea Championships were held last weekend in Knukke at Royal Belgium Sailing Club. This is a top rate catamaran club! When you walk in straight from the beach, there is a large shiny laquer coated wooden bar….sailors paradise. The wide planked floor has a fresh coating of sand brought in by thirsty sailors. The walls are covered with old sailing pictures of races lore. Of course, no clubhouse here is complete without a Heineken sign adorned in a place of significance.
When I drove over the last hill before the club, I had a perfect view of I don’t know how many cats, many in almost perfect alignment with the same mast rake. Very nice symmetry. The clubhouse is completely surrounded by catmarans of different makes and models, but the bulk of the fleet is Hobie 16s. This operation is so good, they have Land Rovers to pull the boats up from the beach!
The racing last weekend was pretty difficult. The current here is very strong, so it is premium to know what is going on with it. There is a bigtime balance between pressure and direction of the wind against speed and direction of the current. Almost every race on Saturday and Sunday were different because of the changing current and conditions.
The Wildcat is a definite step up from the Tiger. We had more options on the course because of the speed and pointing ability of the boat.
This will likely be a very technical World Championship with the boatspeed to be able to get out of situations. There will be tricks teams find out about the conditions/current that will make big gains. I’m not going to count how many times I say, “How the hell did that just happen.” If there is lighter breeze during the Worlds like last weekend, there will be a lot of lead changes, making exciting action. We all know who the frontrunners are, so all that is to be done is the racing. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post follow-ups, but…well….my track record isn’t very good, eh.
After her champaign voyage in Texel, I know she floats. Now, how fast can she go? We have a lot of sailing to do to find out, but that’s one of the most fun parts about sailing!
After 40 years of cat sailing Gerard Loos finally landed the perfect sponsor.
I started by them in Ronde Texel and couldn’t concentrate for the first leg of the race. I think they’ll have a hard time at F18 Worlds with the crowd of boats that will be around them at all times.
The best part is…it’s on both sides! Who wouldn’t want a sponsor like Sapph?
I said I’d do it, so here is the second installment of the Delta Lloyd Gate Race.
Last Tuesday I awoke to find light already penetrating my curtains at 5:30 AM. Ahh, must be summer in Holland. I went to sleep relatively early to be ready for some corporate sailing mixed with a small race as the VOR boats sped by. As I peeled the covers off, the chilled breeze from an open window (my only window) opened my eyes faster than the capaccinos I’ve become a little too accustumed to. Breeze is the operative word here though. I was out the door after a hot shower excited to get back on the 40.
Don’t feel like you’re the only one in the world who has to wait in traffic, cause here it is always a pain in the ass to get anywhere in the morning. With my patience it was a long ride that gloomy morning in the Passat to Schevengin harbor. When I arrived I shot a look at the dock to see the Tommy Hilfiger Extreme 40 sitting pretty and ready to rock.
She was floating next to the Extreme 30 RIB, which is a whole different story. Incredible boat, fully cocked!
The problem this day was too much wind. There were slight showers and nice pressure of about 18 or so knots in the North Sea. 18 knots is no problem on the 40, just about at reef point, and we fully ready to send it! The problem is, safety is a priority with guests on board, and we had some important people to take out that day, including the incredibly beautiful Susanne Dijksterhuis from the popular show Wannahaves.
We paced around the dock, triple checked everything on the boat, put the reef in and had coffee at Watersport Schevenignen while we waited for the green light. After lunch we got the call to proceed to the North Sea. When we left the harbor we were treated with these conditions:
That’s Pieter Jan Postma first in the shot. He’s The Netherlands’ answer for the Finn in the Olympics. Then there’s Sander Speet riding the wet chair on the rear beam and Andrew MacPherson at the helm. The waves don’t look big in the shot, but Tommy H was bucking and bending in the waves. We were in doubt about continuing for about 20 seconds, but there was no way we were going back. The toughest thing about sailing these rockets in waves is slowing them down. We held back and the waves and wind started decreasing quickly.
The bad part was that when we arrived in Hoek van Holland to do the race, the wind had dropped down quite a bit. We shook the reef out and took the guests out for some hull flying, but the wind for the race crapped out. The seabreeze did develop later in the day and the sun came out, which made for an excellent reach back to Schevenigen….
Photo Taken From ClubRacer
Congrats to these two guys! Of course, Coen de Koning is a world class sailor, and the current defending F18 World Champion. Tice Visser is an up-and-coming young crew with the attitude and determination to become the best. This new team (their first season together) really started to gel this week and are very consistent already.
The overall winner was decided by adding the scores from the Dutch Open and Ronde Texel with the Ronde counting double, like a medal race. Well done!
Like usual, here’s something to tide you over; a video I took before the start of the VOR in Alicante. This is a perfect time to show this one. It starts with our Team Alicante boat and ends with the Telephonica leaner. These things are so wide you could play tennis on em. Real machines. Well, downwind anyway haha. Oh, V79 on the YouTube site is my typo. All the controls on YouTube are in Dutch and I’m too lazy to change it. Deal with it. Thanks
Mischa and I played around on the Wildcat in excellent conditions in the North Sea today. After picking up Pasha the Passat from Hugo this morning, I made my way to Noordwijk and threw my sailing gear in the bag, ready for Mischa Heemskerk in his black and white Renault. The sun was blaring with light, but not the sunburn heat I’m used to in Florida. When he drove up, I noticed the small leaves on the surrounding trees begin to tremble in breeze. A light northwesterly was developing. After the short ride from my “home” to the beach, we lugged our gear over the light brown sandy dune to see the almost motionless sea begin to flicker with the disturbance of breeze. The sky was perfectly blue, with only very high wispy clouds. The beach was already bustling with white skinned Dutchies, ready for one of the best beach days this year. The air was filled with frizbees, and paddleballs. This was going to be quite a day!
We quickly removed the cover to the Bulthaup Wildcat F18 and ran the sails up in anticipation of the day’s club racing.
We went straight to the racecourse and took the start. The breeze was building, and the waves were increasing to a couple feet. The Wildcat took the waves well, and before we knew it we were twin wired with all of our 172 kilos (378 lbs) keeping the boat flat. We were actually on the trapeze before any other boat. The inverted bows knifed through the waves upwind, and downwind the boat had plenty of power to sail a deep line.
The helm of the boat is very neutral and sensitive to the slightest movements. The stock mainsail had plenty of twist to drive us through the chop. The wingmast was very stable and had no pumping. I still have the picture in my head of the bow slicing through the water and throwing up spray to leeward. We were grinning and laughing all day, teetering the line between serious racing and joyriding.
The focus today was to have fun on the water after sailing for about 48 hours in the Tybee last week, but we were amazed the Wildcat was happy to carry our weight around the course at such great speeds. We finished with a 1-1 for the day, and we learned quite a bit more about what makes this boat go fast. If you’re thinking you’re too heavy to sail an F18, maybe you should take another look at the Wildcat.
You can’t have a beach picture in EU without a nuthugger in there. This is a pic of a few of the boats that hit the course today.
In this world of “get the latest and greatest,” Sander de Boer shows he has the balls to race the older design and still try to kick some ass. With a little love and attention these are still really fast boats! It doesn’t hurt he has an Olympic medalist and World Chamion at the helm for him in the big events this year. Good luck!
Racing this weekend was a big step for our team. We have been working on our boathandling and communication skills. This was a class event with 45 boats, but I see it as training. Finishing positions mean absolutely nothing. Of course, we put the boat together from scratch on Friday, and by the time we had the boat in our spot at the club on Saturday afternoon we had it worked out a little more. The one thing I didn’t check was rudder toe, and it was toed in 2 1/2 cm on Saturday, Damn! Let me tell you, there was a lot of weather helm and the boat wouldn’t go downwind worth a shit. We still did okay though. You know, it’s not all about the rudders; placement on the course and boathandling/trim has a lot to do with it.
I think my weak point lately has been the overall picture of the conditions, so Carrie coached us on Saturday focusing on that. She is an excellent coach, and she really helped me understand what was going on. I saw a bit of the same conditions today and we reacted really well. On the first race we were in the top five, only to have a lot of problems, so we bailed out of the race to work on some things. We came back in the next two races with avengence being top three at the top mark and falling a bit by the finish (still work to do). In the last race of the day we were leading going into the (last) gate and thought there was another lap, so we went back upwind, only to see the fleet go to the finish, so we finished 8th! Big ouch. However, it is a statement that we are a force to be reconed with.