All Images Rod Harris / USACA . Full gallery at Rod Harris fb. - Another North Americans for Matt Struble after his win last year. In 2015 Matt sailed a lent Exploder, grabbed as was and went learning to foil and winning the event, just like I might grab my car and go to the Club, easy stuff, no worries.. (?!)
For the 2016 NA edition Matt came little more prepared, 'little' if can be said about building you own A-Cat platform. At Panama City the battle was against Bruce Mahoney (who didn´t participate this year) and at Sail Newport another sailor/builder like Lars Guck put the pressure over the current top North American A-Class sailor.
In the end it was a 2nd consecutive title for Struble (Custom A). Guck (Melvin A3, own built) finished second and Bob Hodges (Exploder) in 3rd place. Bora Gulari (Dna F1) was racing for the podium but a capsize and mast broken after turtle denied the Moth & Olympic sailor the chance to sail the whole event. Bailey White racing the new AD3 had some issues also an missed several races.
Check equipment details for top two boats in previous NA post: catsailingnews.com/2016/09/a-class-north-americans-2016-newport_14.html
For the Classics sub rankings Ken Marshack won over Rush Bird , both also in the top ten (6th & 10th) plus salig in the Great Grand master category, confirming the rule the great 'life racing span' the Class has along the floating boats racing no problem in a foiling fleet. Check Phil Muyzers win also at the first Belgian Nats held 2 weeks ago.
Check results below and report by Matt, including the discarded race which he won by 7 mins.
More info on the event go to US A-Class Assoc
Lets see if we can have Lars and Matt racing at Sopot with their custom and own built A-Cats, along Bora and the other top US sailors. Lars went to Punta Ala but his boat was stuck on the US container, nevertheless racing a lent boat he finished 12th overall.
Matt is also sailing Moths, and past week he participated in the Moth NAs and the Foiling week.
Like we did in 2015 NAs I contacted Matt to know from his experience on the racing course and the Moth sailing also at the TFW.
Matt by now might be the fastest sailor in North America and right there at the top also globally, add to his titles the 2016 Ice Yachting North Americans.
2017 A-Class & Moth North Americans will be held at San Diego Yacht Club, more details soon.
A-Cat NAs 2016 & Foiling Week Report sent by Matt Struble:
The Foiling Week Newport 2016 --
Matt Struble: "Foiling Week / Moth NA’s was really interesting with the forums in the mornings and sailing in the afternoon.
We raced around the buoys and a distance race on Saturday, with a run what you brung format. Around the bouys, Bora makes sailing a moth look like an art form, pretty impressive. I was using foils that Doug Halsey and I designed and built.
This added a little more interest for me to see how my boat speed lined up with the best guys. In the Moth NA’s I finished second and was very happy with my result and what I had learned. The most interesting and exciting day was the distance race, where there was one start and you sailed what you brung. 17 mile race into the open ocean and then back up Narragansett Bay around an island and back to the New Port harbor.
The wind was 5 - 12 knots and all over the place directionally. I led a fair bit of the race and was just passed near the finish by the Phantom and Nacra with the light shifty wind inside the harbor. The three boats finished about 3 seconds apart. Upwind the moth was king for angle and boat speed, down wind in under 10 knots the catamarans were faster with there spinnakers up. I never thought I would distance race my moth, but it was very fun.
The Moth NA’s ended Sunday and the A cat NA’s started Monday. No rest or tuning for my A cat program, I assembled the boat and went racing.
A-Cat North Americans
After last years NA’s I began construction of the boat I sailed this year. I moved the daggerboards forward, incorporated a Glaser deck sweeper sail, and cleaned up the controls. Four days of racing, with three of them with winds 15-20 knots and one 5-12 knots.
All the top boats were there with DNA F1, latest Exploders, home built and good sailors. I had a good couple of days winning the first 5 races with good upwind speed and very good downwind angle and speed.
Upwind was really fun to experiment with foiling and managing control with the conditions. Downwind was extremely challenging with the sea state, wind speed, and boat speed. In these conditions it was very difficult to foil for long runs and was quite physical. Overall, I am very happy with how my new boat performed in all conditions.
The last day I sailed the first race that was later thrown out do to RC problems on the water. My boat was able to foil downwind when the others were floating and this was very satisfying for the entire project.
I won that race but the SI’s said they could only race two races on the last day and the breeze was lighter finished a long way in front and was talking to the RC after my finish. The RC confirmed they would only run one more race, so instead of waiting around, I sailed in. Later I heard they would throw out the race, but I could use two throw outs anyway, so no problem. In the lighter air, my boat was really fast.
Overall a great year and can not wait for the 2017 NA’s in San Diego. San Diego will host the 2017 A cat and Moth NA’s in early October, so make your plans.
I would like to say thank you to the folks who have helped me out in the Moth / A cat fleet:
- Glaser Sails
- North Sails
- Zhik sailing gear
A-Class North Americans 2016 - Top ten below, full results at sailnewport.org/
|4||47||Matthew Keenan||Foiling||41||14||5||7||5||4||3||3||(23.5 Tie)||(26)|