Monday, June 16, 2014

Formula 1 on the water...

I just finished a week in Manteo assisting with the A-Cat North Americans. My impression is that the class is as techie as the Moth and at the top level has as strong a talent pool as the Moth. At the Takapuna worlds in February the foiling development took long strides due to the efforts of some cup sailors. That regatta was won by class stalwart Glenn Ashby. The NA Champ Bruce Mahoney finished 16th.

The A-Cat class claims the moniker "Formula One on the water," which was also used by the moth in years past. But the A-Class rule limits racing to a max wind of 22 knots. This past week saw a windiest day of 18 knots and there was lots of difficulty in boat handling from mid-fleet on down. In race 4 almost 50% of the fleet recorded a lettered score. Certainly in top regattas the moth is capable of much windier conditions. Even I can manage reasonably competently in up to 25 knots. So I suppose the moth talent pool is, if not deeper, certainly wider than that of the A-Cat.

Bruce Mahoney had brought back some of the latest gear from NZ and had moments of foiling, but by and large I didn't see a huge difference between the boats capable of sustained flight and those with the older C-boards. There was no doubt in my mind that the moth would have certainly been faster in any breeze from 10 knots on up. One of the most impressive aspects of the regatta was the well done media package. Each day there was a professionally done video by Richard and Rachel from Ocean Images. It was fun to see the action from afloat, from the drone and even from a helicopter. Mr. Clean's SA video reporting seemed primitive in comparison.

Preliminary video

Practice race

Day 1

Day 2 (no racing, but an explanation of foiling)

Day 3 (with some helicopter video)

Day 4

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