Jul 5, 2012

F18 & AC45 Racing @Newport

F18s at Newport. Report below by Jeff Dusek.

MV:Which other class of beachcats can be put along the AC45 series other than the F18? I like the A-Class and maybe will test one at LA, but the F18 it is still the Flag Ship of multihull Racing.
Report by Jeff Dusek
USF18 Eastern Area ACWS Demonstration Event

Over the weekend of June 30- July 1, the USF18 Eastern Area Fleet had the tremendous opportunity to stage a demonstration regatta in front of the crowds attending the ACWS Season Finale in Newport, RI. With the excitement for multihull sailing being generated by the new format for the 34th America’s Cup and the America’s Cup World Series, our fleet felt the ACWS Newport was an outstanding opportunity to show off the thrill of Formula 18 sailing.

The format for the event was simple- the F18 fleet would race on Saturday and Sunday morning from 10 am-12:30 pm, immediately before the AC45s took to the water, and mere feet from the spectators lining the shore at Ft. Adams. With launch facilities at Sail Newport and Jamestown Boat Yard, the Eastern Area Fleet stepped up huge with 18 boats turning up to entertain the crowd before the America’s Cup racing began for the day.

AC45 wings as the perfect backdrop. Photo from Lindsay Smith. Saturday started off with a light Northwest wind making life very difficult for the volunteer race committee. Keeping with the spirit of the demonstration event, a course was set parallel to the Ft. Adams shore, making for some high intensity reaching starts and a blasting spinnaker reach in front of the spectators.

Left: Annie Gardner and Eric Witte showing the Oracle boys how it is done! Photo from Carol Vernon. As the morning progressed the legendary Newport seabreeze began to fill, creating chamber-of-commerce hull flying conditions for the sailors and spectators alike. After six races, and with floating billboards making their way onto the course, racing was called for the day and crews joined the thousands of spectators watching the AC45 racing.
Figure 3: Sam Adelman and Chris Titcomb reveling in the famous Newport seabreeze. Photo from Lindsay

Sunday morning started light, but the seabreeze began to fill early, allowing for six more races to be completed in a growing southerly. The races were challenging, with extremely short courses placing a huge emphasis on starting and managing the corners of the course. Just as the AC45s experienced during their racing, the current played a tremendous role in decision making, and choosing how far to push into the shore on a short windward leg was a critical moment. As the breeze built on Sunday, the top boats were completing each two-lap race in just under ten minutes, pushing crews to the limit!

Overall, the weekend was an event few of us will soon forget. Six races were completed each day, with an average length of fifteen minutes. With the leeward mark mere yards from the shore, the sounds of screaming fans accompanied every rounding and spinnaker douse. Packing up the boats after racing, I received incredible feedback from people who arrived early for the AC events and enjoyed watching us racing. While multihull sailing might not be for everyone, I hope we showed that the F18 Class is THE place to be for performance small boat sailing on the US East Coast.

Last, I want to thank everyone who made our event possible. Sail Newport and Jamestown Boat Yard were incredibly accommodating, allowing us to launch on one of the biggest weekends Newport has seen. The Fort Adams Sailing Team loaned the fleet a RIB and marks for race committee, and I cannot thank them enough. Finally, the biggest thanks goes to the RC of Kerry Sullivan, Stephen Reed, and my lovely wife Lianne for running twelve great races in challenging conditions amidst a spectator fleet that grew into the hundreds.
See you all in LA!
Jeff Dusek
USF18 Eastern Area Rep

Team Sail Number Boat Type Points (12 races, one throw-out)
Easton/Burd 11 Infusion MKII 15
Merrick/Burd 281 C2 32
Tartaglino/Burd 1563 Infusion MKII 42
Gardner/Witte USA C2 52
Reed/Dusek 753 Infusion MK1.5 59
Boueilh/Picard CAN R C2 60
Giuliano/Giuliano 94 Capricorn 86
Riccardi/Scanlon 215 C2 90
Adelman/Titcomb 1405 Infusion 92
Zellmer/Valante 685 Infusion MKII 96
Andrepont/Funk 1273 Infusion MK1.5 116
Denton/Denton 856 Infusion 129
Malesci/Orioli 122 Nacra F18 130
Vadasdi/Lewinstein 147 Capricorn 148
Garbero/Gerbero 245 C2 163
Helmar/Helmar 882 Infusion 165
Toland/Hurwitt 1586 Infusion MK1.5 166
Fleury/Angle 1713 C2 185

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