Oct 29, 2013

F18 Americas Continental: Report by Annie Gardner

Main Image Tim Wilkes www.timwilkes.com | Continental event report by Americas Cup , Windsurf & Cat sailor helm Annie Gardner. She was also presenter at the last ACup broadcast in San Francisco, and it was glad to have someone that could rely on the experience of sailing Multis in 20knots. Sailing with Eric White as crew Annie ended 13th in the historic first Americas Championship.  
With the Volvo Ocean race having Carolijn on a 100% girl Team, and with Annie been part of 95 America3 women team, it is not that crazy to think on an all girl challenge in Multis led by Annie for next Cup...?

By Annie Gardner - Zhik F18 America Championships. "Congratulations and many thanks are due for a great event, the Zhik 2013 F18 Americas Championship. Last week the Sarasota Sailing Squadron showed the F18 sailors what Southern Hospitality is all about! The volunteers were constantly doing everything they could to make the sailors feel welcome. Cold beer on tap, Red Bull on ice, food galore, photographer TIm Wilkes and Cattraks recording our races, and smiling faces from the locals who were quite happy to share their facilities. The weather couldn’t have been any better if someone ordered it. Warm winds, warm water, a cold front passing through mid week bringing strong winds, race courses in the bay and ocean, and 17 races in 5 days to ensure the best sailors would rise to the top.

Going into the last race, Mike Easton/Tripp Bird were a couple points ahead of Gunnar Larsen/Ferdinand van West. They started close to each other and were neck and neck around the first lap. With the lightest race in the regatta taking place, anything could happen and the two teams split at the gate. Easton/ Bird went left with a course change going left, and it paid. But it was a real nail biter watching it closely from behind!

The Florida youth teams of Taylor Reiss/Matt Whithead and Ravi Parent/Sam Armington were very impressive placing 3rd and 4th overall. With the Red Bull Youth Americas Cup completed, AC35 looking like multis again, and the 2016 Olympics on the horizon, there’s plenty for these youngsters to think about when it comes to their sailing futures.

The Argentinians Cruz Gonzalez Smith/Mariano Heuser and Juan Faustin/Nicolas Aragones finished 5th and 11th, Robbie Daniel/Enrique Rodriguez were the fastest masters in 8th, and Sandra Tartaglino/Alex Shafer were the top mixed team in 12th.

There were Olympians, Americas Cup sailors, coaches, sponsors, and new F18 sailors all competing so overall it was a broad mix of talent and great racing throughout the entire fleet.

When it was over, everyone was satiated, tired, and better sailors for having so many races. Big smiles all around, and hats off to all who competed, and all who hosted and supported the best event all year!" .----