Scores tighten at A-Class Catamaran North Americans
Published on May 20th, 2015
Panama City, FL (May 20, 2015) – The 2015 A-Class Catamaran North American Championship delivered two more races today as the breeze picked up to almost 17 knots, delivering spills, thrills, and impressive recoveries for the 41 competitors in St. Andrews Bay, Panama City, Fla.
After two days and five races, the top five leaderboard remained static although the scores tightened up. Matt Struble’s string of bullets came to an end in race two, when Bruce Mahoney and Struble came battling into the leeward gate, with Struble on port. When Struble gybed, his bows dug in and capsized. Thanks to a quick recovery and one more lap he saved a fourth place finish. Struble sits in first with eight points; Mahoney with nine.
Birthday boy Bailey White, also known as the U.S. A-Class “presidente” is in third with 18 points. Christopher Brown is one point behind in fourth overall and Tracy Oliver with 34 points rounds out the top 5.
While the foiling sailors continue to refine their techniques and equipment settings, Ben Hall is on day three of the same with his new Barracuda 3 design. “Right now, foiling is like having one foot on a banana peel, and the other on an oil slick,” he said. “I’m still trying to figure out that transition zone that is good for foiling or not, but how can you not be having fun out there.” Hall is currently in 10th place.
Ken Marshack in sixth place overall, is pleased his day involved no breakages today. “Yesterday on the last race my tiller broke, which made for a tough last leg as I couldn’t trapeze out,” he said. He is sailing a DNA with C-boards, and recently added winglets, which is helping steady the boat out. “I’m finding in the windier conditions like today, the closer I stay to the top foiling boats. Doing the Wild Thing downwind seems to be working for me.”
In a display of camaraderie and seamanship typical of A-Cat sailors, Patrick Burger, today came to the rescue of fellow sailor Nigel Pitt. When Pitt got separated from the boat on a capsize, Burger immediately scooped him up and delivered Pitt back to his boat. This act comes on the heels of his frightening day yesterday when before race one he learned his wife and mother in law were in a car accident and he immediately returned to shore. Thankfully other than serious bruises, all are OK. Needless to say, he is looking forward to the remainder of the regatta drama free.
Racing is scheduled on May 19-22.
Report by event media. Photos by Walter Cooper.