Aug 19, 2018

The 2019 Worrell Reunion Race; a Crucible Reborn

Photo: Mike Worrell gazes out over the Jensen Beach checkpoint on May 8, 2001 – Credit Walter Cooper Photography //

John Williams have been racing and working for the US Catsailing scene for years, including 2012 F18 Worlds org at LA, plus his involvement in H16, and F16 Classes. Official CV reads: "John Williams is a four-time national champion catamaran sailor, a former member of the US SAILING Development Team, represented the United States at the 2011 Pan American Games, and will be the principle race officer for the 2019 Worrell Reunion Race. "

John is one of those key guys you need to have in any fleet to get things going, and it's no wonder he has been appointed as PRO for the coming Worrell Reunion Race, a regatta to honor and relive the Legendary Worrell 1000.

We will be following this project with great interest. Official web . Below some insights on the new Worrel sent by John Williams.
John Williams
18 August 2018
Seal Beach, CA

The 2019 Worrell Reunion Race; a Crucible Reborn
“What do you think, Johnny?”

I stood, leaning against the boardwalk’s wooden rail, squinting against the blowing beach sand. The onshore breeze was a flag-snapping 20 miles per hour and the surf seemed to roil rather than break. I was gripping my VHF radio a little too tightly. I’d been reminding myself to not grind my teeth when Mike Worrell casually matched my posture against the well-worn rail with a smile and a mild tone that didn’t at all reflect my internal DefCon 3 anxiety.

“Will you race them in this?” I asked.

Mike didn’t answer right away. He turned to look out across the shoreline, but it seemed to me he wasn’t seeing what was in front of us. He was thinking. Maybe he was replaying in his mind the hundreds of other mornings he’d stood on a beach with a decision to make. Maybe he was thinking about what he’d had for breakfast. It was an uncharacteristically private moment with a busy man.

“Let’s see what it looks like in an hour,” he said in that unmistakable drawl, patting my shoulder in encouragement and walking away.

It was May 8, 2001 in Jensen Beach, Florida and I was working for the Tommy Bahama Sailing Team in the Worrell 1000 – a brutal, punishing year in the almanac of the endurance sailing race from South Florida to Virginia Beach. The course was 1000 miles of open ocean on a beach catamaran that tested, and sometimes broke the men and women that dared the challenge. It was only my second time at the event; I’d previously been the manager for a 1st-year team that made it to the finish line. That experience and some good friendships had been enough to land me the manager position for a much higher profile team with significant resources. I learned that more hands don’t always make the work easier, but the experience solidified for me that the race was something special. I knew I wanted more.

In 2003, a cascading series of circumstances saw the event cancelled. There were bad feelings, broken hearts and broken friendships that year. People lost money, confidence and sponsor relationships. In the intervening years between the last event in 2002 and Mike Worrell’s death in 2010, other events were organized and attempted, and Mike himself worked doggedly to rekindle the fire from ashes. Events like the Tybee 500 gave offshore distance catamaran sailors a “fix” for a time, but nothing approached that pinnacle – the Worrell 1000 remained the Tour de France, the World Series, the Super Bowl of the beachcat community. There are catamaran sailors in the current fleets who weren’t yet alive the last time the Worrell 1000 was run, but even they have heard of it.

Now a dedicated core group has resurrected that spark. The 2019 Worrell Reunion Race is a reality in a way that previous organizing efforts couldn’t quite achieve. The team has been quietly working for a year with strong headwinds from an aging fleet’s long memory and understandable skepticism. The focus has been not “if,” but “how?” They decided to focus on the logistics; nailing down checkpoints, dates, permits… whatever had to happen to make the race possible, with a hope that if it were built the fleet would come. The mistrust, the old resentment, all were set aside as unresolvable without the tangible: a start line and a race committee. Maybe in the end, the strongest driver was simply that the clock was running out – nobody’s getting any younger and it seemed like now or never.

Like any family reunion, I expect there will be some tension. But that’s going to fall well short of the nostalgia, stories and warm greetings between old friends, and that’s the part the new blood will be left with after the beach is cleared and the last trailer leaves the parking lot in Virginia.

And now, inexplicably and beyond any imagined future, I’ll be standing in the Florida beach sand next May with a decision to make. And it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone whose voice will be in the back of my mind…

“What do you think, Johnny?”

Aug 18, 2018

Nacra 15 Europeans 2018 @Lake Como: Cittadini & Romairone 1st

Photos by Arg Team. Official images from Laurens Morel available at Nacra Racing fb.-
What a joy seeing a new generation of Argentinian kids racing cats, and even to this level. Dante Cittadini & Teresa Romairone have shown this season (their first racing one) they have some serious talent. Past months they finished 4th at the first Nacra 15 Worlds, later they won the Nacra 15 Youth Worlds and yesterday they crowned themselves 2018 Nacra 15 European Champs.

Just spoke with Nico Aragones, who along Nicolás Schargorodsky , is coaching Dante & Teresa.
The Arg team has been training hard this winter in Buenos Aires, alone of course as no N15 or youth fleet available yet. That hard training in the cold choppy waters payed off big time for their newly learnt catsailing handling, but is clear the kids have grownup competition skills of their own. The've previously sailed Optis & 29ers, which was the standard path for perf sailing in Arg.

The Nacra 15 Europeans were defined in the last race. BEL, ITA & ARG all had chances for the title.
The Italian crew scored a bullet in R12, putting them in good position  for the last one. The Arg crew needed to finish two pts ahead of them and wait for Bel to score +7.

Last race the Southamericans were 5th, Ita just behind in 6th. Both team pursuing the leading pack , both managed to improve their positions to 2nd and 4th, 100mts to the finish line and Spagnoli-Fava got into right of way situation and were left to 8th place, with Demesmaeker-van Eupen getting a 9th the Arg team thought they finished the regatta in 2nd overal.
It was until they reached shore they realized they've won the event.

Impressive display under pressure for Cittadini & Romairone, crowning a season to remember and sill looking forward to the 2018 Youth Olympics to be held here in Buenos Aires.

Although we always criticized the N15 selection as Youth Multi, it seems the participation and close relation to the Nacra 17 heritage is providing a good competitive platform for the kids to make they way up.

We are watching future World & Olympics champs on the making without a doubt.

Final results not published yet, below transcript from a photo sent by the Arg team.
Updated final results thanks to Pieter Oskam link here

Pos Flag Helm Crwe R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 Net
1 ARG146 Dante Cittadini Teresa Romairone 4 2 x15 6 4 5 2 x7 7 2 4 4 2 42
2 BEL133 Henri Demesmaeker Dominique van Eupen x15 1 8 5 2 4 1 1 5 5 2 x11 10 44
3 ITA29 Andrea Spagnoli Guilia Fava 10 x18 5 x24 3 2 4 2 8 1 3 1 8 47
4 SUI83 Arnaud Grange Marie van der Klink x37 3 2 12 6 6 5 4 4 x31 8 2 13 65
5 NED27 Laila van der Meer Bjarne Bouwer 7 x12 x24 9 7 1 10 3 6 3 4 5 11 66

Aug 14, 2018

Nacra Multi Europeans 2018 @Lake Como: Day 1 by Laurens Morel

F18 Raid Worlds 2018: Video by van Staveren

Jasper van Staveren went to Erquy to shoot the 2018 Raid Worlds, and his photos gave life to the scenery of Erquy as we've never seen before.
While taking pics, Jasper also did some video takes that can be seen in clip above.

Aug 12, 2018

Nacra17 Worlds 2018 @Aarhus: Tita & Banti World Champs

Nacra 17 Worlds 2018 @Aarhus: Medal Race Live (Cancelled)

Live stream schedule: RSX Medal , later Nacra 17.
Live SAP tracking here

- Racing cancelled, positions remains as they were after 13 races completed on Friday.
Our view of the event later tonight.

Aug 10, 2018

Nacra 17 Worlds Aarhus 2018: Live Stream (Laser Medal / Radial / N17)

Laser Medal Race, later Radial and after them Nacra 17 Gold Fleet. Racing status for each fleet plus SAP tracking links here.

Later our report & pics, above you can review race 11 Live stream replay after Laser & Radial Medal Races. Check Top ten after 13 Races Gold fleet, Complete list here:

Aug 9, 2018

Nacra 17 Worlds 2018 @Aarhus: Nathan & Haylee Outteridge lead

Photo SAiling Energy / World Sailing. Nathan & Haylee Outteridge enjoying the ride today.  The Rookies are leading the 2018 Nacra 17 Worlds being held in Aarhusm, Denmark.
Scoring plenty of  top tens is the key for the Ausrtalian talented bros.
Today someone commented how this two are leading with so little time in the Class, but their perf is not being pulled out of luck. Nathan is a Master foiling A-Cat & Moth sailor and Haylee has top 5 experience in the 49er Fx Class.
On an interview some months ago the commented last time they sailed together they had 5 & 10 yrs old. Two decades later they are sailing together again and leading the most exciting Olympic Class.

Today the Outterdiges started with a bullet, later a 3rd and sinished the day with another 5th place. While previous leaders, Lange & Carranza had a bad for them with  11,ufd & 13. The Argentines were relegated to third overall by Cenholt & Lubeck (5,21,3 for the day).

Brazilians Albrecth-Nicolina Sá maintain a good overall 4th position.
Tita & Banti had a perfect regatta start, a so so middle stage and the Italians return to the top 5 arena today finishing 3,5 & 2. Try to review Race 8 tracking, they were 26th and progressively gain positions for an impressive 3rd coming from behind.

Then from 6th to 10th overall there is a tight fight in points to obtain a medal race spot. Tomorrow will be last 3 Final stage races, plus the Medal Race to be held on Saturday.

Speakin of the most exciting Olympic Class today my eyes were hurt badly after seeing the 470 crew antics, say what!? That's sailing? Along the Finn and Laser handling and speed no wonder Sailing risk its place in future Olympic Games.
All Ok with those Classes, but clearly not the ones to show as the pinnacle of the sport nowadays or to attract new generations or grant Sailing a place in the biggest sport gathering.

- Nacra 17 Races follow up & tracking replay links here

Overall top ten after 10 races, complete results available here

Nacra 17 Worlds 2018 @Aarhus: Day 5 Live Tracking Link

Photo: Sailing Energy / World Sailing. Lange & Carranza, current leaders looking ahead to the Gold Fleet races.
- Race 8  Live SAP tracking will be available here. 8knots reported by tracking wind sensors.
- Nacra 17 Races follow up & tracking links for coming ones here
- Current & live updated positions here
- Status for rest of  the Classes here

- Live stream for the day here

More info/updates later.
Overall top ten after 10 races, complete results available here

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