Sep 13, 2017

2017 North Atlantic Championships @Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club

Text & pics sent by Bailey White, great complete report written by Larry Woods & Matt Keenan -
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Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club, just outside New York City
September 11-12, 2017
By Larry Woods, CAN 44

Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club hosted the second annual A Class North Atlantic Championships this past weekend, and while "Irma" set her eyes on our winter sailing grounds, 24 A sailors with a good mix of foilers and classics, gathered in New Jersey for what proved to be an amazing but challenging weekend of racing. Many arrived a day or two early and had blustery conditions, practicing across from Manhattan with the NYC skyline in the back ground to this picture perfect sailing location.

Saturday morning first gun was delayed an hour as the RC had a misbehaving motor, and as the perfect breeze slowly faded, the gun went off and the classics showed their stuff. They lead for the first lap with several foilers right there in the hunt. At the gate, the breeze started filling in from
behind and the fleet suddenly was all together again as we rounded and head back up wind. Five minute later it was full on, and continued building, as the foilers showed their stuff, launching around the second windward mark and blasting for home. Larry Woods came from behind on the last downwind leg to take first.

The breeze continued to build all afternoon, and not from the normal sea breeze direction, but instead from the northwest, which also added the challenge of close and steep chop. Both the foilers and classic were up to it and in the building breeze all showed fantastic speed and skill.

Newcomer and Sandy Hook local Mark Modderman showed great speed and enthusiasm at his first A cat regatta on a classic and had some fantastic results.

Races 2 and 3 had awesome winds and tons of lead changes and super close finishes, where groups for two and three foilers were within boat lengths of each other closing in on the finish. Chris Brown, Tracy Oliver, Michael Christensen all in wall of cats foiling within feet of each other right to the last jibe. During one of the races, just after the finish line, Michael, hit a rather large marine animal, and flipped, with Tracy taking the top of the mast right on the top of his helmet. (so glad you were wearing it). The other two Woods brothers were right there in the hunt as well, and Andrew, at his first A Cat event on his brand new Exploder taking a couple of seconds showed great speed and huge cajones, pushing hard in the choppy condition. It did cost him during one race with a spectacular pitch pole and Tarzan trip around the bow after a nice little rub on the forestay. All good though with just a couple of bruises to show for it.

The final race on day one was started in 18-20 ++ and it became a question of when to try and foil and when to go conservative, lots of stuffs and lots of drama, but Larry managed to take another one.

SHBYC knows how to put on a show, great location, more beer than you could drink and more food than you could eat, T-shirts and event an A Class souvenir glass for everyone, all included in modest entry fee. We all hung out in the club house, the Pergola, covered patio areas, the many RV's and trailer hotels, ate, drank and laughed as the sun went down. Special thanks to Matt Keenan for being the driving force behind this awesome event.

Day two stared with 18-24 but the forecast was to calm down near noon so the AP went up for about an hour before we hit the beach. A few decided to stay on shore as 7 boats had to be put into a container right after, on their way to San Diego on Monday morning for the North Americans. Andrew Burnett and Mark Skeels and a couple others spent the entire day organizing the racks for the container which made life for the rest of us easy at the end of the day.

The first gun went off in strong but manageable breeze, and still a good size chop. Again close racing with Larry and Matt changing leads a couple times between the top and bottom of the course, with Larry just edging out at the line. The final race, the breeze started to lie down a bit and Tracey Oliver and Michael Christiansen got a good lead. Tracey took a bit of a spill and Michael and Andrew Woods took advantage finishing 1st and 2nd, with Larry and Matt on their heels.

Most improved sailor of this event was Michael Christensen , who has been trailing hard for the past several weeks and it showed. In the end he and Matt were tied in points, with Matt taking second the tie breaker. Another mentionable was new comer and local Mark Modderman who stayed out for at least 3 more hours after racing was done, feeling the addiction that the A class can have. He came in with a rather large irremovable grin on his face. I am sure we will see more of him in the very near future.

Be sure to put Sandy Hook on your schedule next year. It is an amazing place to sail and to just hang out. Their hospitality is incredible, and the facilities picture perfect. Should have no trouble topping 30 boats next year once the work gets around. Make the effort to come and you will never regret it!

Mark Christensen perspective (new sailor in the class in 2016):
Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club second annual A Class North Atlantic Championships was held this past weekend. Many thanks to Matt Keenan for organizing and running one of the best events that I have attended.

Matt extended an invite to all to show up early if possible to train in almost perfect conditions for foiling. I arrived on Thursday and by that afternoon there were four A’s out on the water in 15 to 18 Kts. The wind eventually built to 20 gusting 23+ with Matt and I foiling for what seemed to be miles. Friday was another bluster with at least a dozen more boats on the water. It’s a perfect venue with NYC as the backdrop.

Saturday, the RC got off four races, with the first race starting off in 10kts and building. By the time we got to the weather mark we were all on the wire and the wind continued to build all afternoon leveling off at 18 to 20+Kts with Larry Woods dominated in these conditions. I had many races chasing him downwind as well as upwind and if it was not for the many double hull stuffs while foiling in a 3 foot chop he probably would have won all the races. In the third race there was no catching Larry, however Chris Brown and I had a Port/Starboard call right at the finish line with myself having to give way for third place.

The conditions provided additional challenges while foiling, you had to drop down to skim mode in order to keep from burying both hulls and sometimes you could find a flat spot and rip a good one. By the time race four came around the wind leveled off with gust over 20 Kts. I found myself on the heels of Larry going through the final downwind gate with Larry opting to go out on port tack and I on starboard with Tracy Oliver on hot pursuit. We ended up going around the weather mark in the same order and we all foiled on starboard tack to the lay line.

This finish would turn out to be interesting, as I was just about to finish, when a porpoise (Flipper) surfaced while I was completely up on foils. With no time to react, my leeward board hit, while I crossed the finish line in second place. I ended up capsizing after the finish and when Tracy went below me the top of my mast hit him on top of his head. I was very thankful he had a helmet on, however he still ended up with a knot from the impact.

Sunday, we woke up to what Sail Flow reported to be 17 gusting 21Kts, we all knew it was higher. RC postponed for the conditions to lay down a bit. When we eventually made it out to the starting line for race five, the conditions were still heavier then what was on the beach. I made a rookie mistake and was late 10-15 seconds to the start of race 5, however conditions were favorable for making up distance.

Today they made the port end of the line favored and I of course was still making way to the committee boat end. Todd Woods took advantage of this and went across the fleet with a slight lead. I ended up chasing Todd around the course. The last time around the weather mark, he popped up on foils and I was maybe getting to close. Todd had a double stuff and I barely missed his transom, I would end up finishing forth behind Todd. Getting late in the day, knowing there was a container to be loaded to go to the National’s, we would have one more race. Race 6 went off with wind conditions being a solid 14 to 16 Kts.

I would end up second to the weather mark with Andrew Woods maybe 50 feet on my stern. We both had ground to make up and went through the bottom gate in the same order heading to weather on starboard tack. Andrew tacked first and I went to the lay line. I would end up first to the weather mark on the last lap with just enough distance between Andrew and I that there could be NO mistakes. Right behind us there was Larry and Matt, so Andrew and I both foiled to the lay line with one jibe left to the finish. I went first, hoping that the gust would stay and could rip a couple good ones (Foiling) low enough to make the finish. I was finally rewarded with a bullet that I have been chasing for months.

Photos taken by cell phone here

Results by Division

Classics









Place Sail Number Skipper Division R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 TOTAL
1 1108 Mark Modderman Classic 9 13 12 11 7 6 45
2 108 Bob Orr Classic 14 9 8 9 DNS DNS 65
3 308 Warren Mitchell Classic 22 OCS 15 14 9 8 68
4 BILL Bill Kast Classic 17 11 13 13 DNS DNS 79
5 356 Mark Miller Classic 13 DNF 14 12 DNS DNS 89
6 224 Ben Hall Classic 11 OCS 10 DNS DNS DNS 96
7 225 Rob Gruber Classic 8 14 DNS DNS DNS DNS 97
8 328 Gideon Amos Classic 16 16 DNS DNS DNS DNS 107
9 355 Jonathan Raser Classic 20 19 18 DNS DNS DNS 107
10 352 Tom Burnley Sr. Classic 19 17 DNS DNS DNS DNS 111
11 1193 Mike Nolan Classic 23 18 DNS DNS DNS DNS 116
12 228 Ross Barna Classic 24 DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS 124






















Place Sail Number Skipper Division R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 TOTAL
1 44 Larry Woods Foil 1 6 1 1 1 3 7
2 113 Matthew Keenan Foil 2 1 6 4 2 4 13
3 37 Michael Chirstensen Foil 6 3 3 2 4 1 13
4 22 Andrew Woods Foil 4 2 4 5 6 2 17
5 135 Tracy Oliver Foil 5 5 7 3 5 5 23
6 66 Todd Woods Foil 7 OCS 5 7 3 7 29
7 193 Christopher Brown Foil 3 4 2 6 DNS DNS 40
8 1023 Dean Mayke Foil 12 15 16 10 8 9 54
9 293 Ron Roth Foil 10 7 9 8 DNS DNS 59
10 268 Andrew Burdett Foil 21 10 11 DNS DNS DNS 92
11 290 Mark Skeels Foil 15 12 17 DNS DNS DNS 94
12 116 David Clapp Foil 18 8 DNS DNS DNS DNS 101

































Place Sail Number Skipper Division R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 TOTAL
1 44 Larry Woods Foil 1 6 1 1 1 3 7
2 113 Matthew Keenan Foil 2 1 6 4 2 4 13
3 37 Michael Chirstensen Foil 6 3 3 2 4 1 13
4 22 Andrew Woods Foil 4 2 4 5 6 2 17
5 135 Tracy Oliver Foil 5 5 7 3 5 5 23
6 66 Todd Woods Foil 7 OCS 5 7 3 7 29
7 1108 Mark Modderman Classic 9 13 12 11 7 6 45
8 193 Christopher Brown Foil 3 4 2 6 DNS DNS 40
9 1023 Dean Mayke Foil 12 15 16 10 8 9 54
10 293 Ron Roth Foil 10 7 9 8 DNS DNS 59
11 108 Bob Orr Classic 14 9 8 9 DNS DNS 65
12 308 Warren Mitchell Classic 22 OCS 15 14 9 8 68
13 BILL Bill Kast Classic 17 11 13 13 DNS DNS 79
14 356 Mark Miller Classic 13 DNF 14 12 DNS DNS 89
15 268 Andrew Burdett Foil 21 10 11 DNS DNS DNS 92
16 290 Mark Skeels Foil 15 12 17 DNS DNS DNS 94
17 224 Ben Hall Classic 11 OCS 10 DNS DNS DNS 96
18 225 Rob Gruber Classic 8 14 DNS DNS DNS DNS 97
19 116 David Clapp Foil 18 8 DNS DNS DNS DNS 101
20 328 Gideon Amos Classic 16 16 DNS DNS DNS DNS 107
21 355 Jonathan Raser Classic 20 19 18 DNS DNS DNS 107
22 352 Tom Burnley Sr. Classic 19 17 DNS DNS DNS DNS 111
23 1193 Mike Nolan Classic 23 18 DNS DNS DNS DNS 116
24 228 Ross Barna Classic 24 DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS 124

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