Struble Repeats at A Class North Americans

Published on September 15th, 2016

Newport, RI (September 15, 2016) – The final day of the 2016 Zhik A Class North American Championship completed a 9-race series, with reigning North American Champion Matt Struble dominating the Overall and Foiling Division to retain the title. Ken Marshack won the Classic (non-foiling) Division.

Report by Michael Levesque:
We arrived at Potter Cove and began setting up for Race 8. The wind dropped significantly, delaying the arrival of the fleet. We were just north of the Pell Newport Bridge, with a northeasterly breeze, and the weather marks at the southern end of Gould Island.

After a few issues with anchors, we started Race 8 at noon. One OCS boat, who returned. Wind was 8-10 knots from 035, and we ran a Course 4 (back to 2 laps) with a distance of 1.2 NM.

Trouble with an anchor at the weather mark, but we thought it was resolved (more on that in a moment). Right shift to 040-045 on the run, so we posted a Charlie at the gate and set the new weather mark at 040 degrees.

Matt finished in about 33 minutes, almost half a leg ahead of the rest of the fleet. As others in the fleet arrived, we quickly realized that the moving mark had affected several boats (and no way to know how many). While the mark boat retrieved and reset the mark prior to anyone rounding, it clearly affected laylines and caused boats to make extra tacks.

After consulting with SN and the class, we decided that due to the issue of fairness, we would run two more races and abandon Race 8 ashore, under RRS 32.1(e). We needed the two races to get to 9 for the second throwout.

Up went L over C, and a sign indicating two more races. Not a lot of happy campers after that…

So, we added line to the weather marks, reset the bottom end for 040, the top at 0.9 and started Race 9 at 1331 with 7 knots of breeze and an all clear start. Lars led all the way around and finished in 37 minutes, then headed in. The last finisher came in 48 minutes.

After a 2-minute break, we spun right into Race 10, starting in 7-10 knots and everything else the same, with another all clear start. We had a charlie to shorten the second leg down to 0.7 as the breeze started to decrease to 5-7 knots. Mark Miller finished in 32 minutes, and the last boat crossed the line 10 minutes later.

Another beautiful day on the water, heading in to take care of paperwork and get ready for awards.

Editor’s note: While 10 races were completed, because of the abandoned race, nine races are scored.

Racing on Narragansett Bay was on September 12 to 15.

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