Sep 13, 2016

A-Class North Americans 2016 @Newport: Matt Struble leads

Matt Struble (2015 NA Champ) leads the 2016 A-Class NorthAmericans being held at Sail Newport 4 races races completed. Second place for Lars Guck and 3rd for Moth World Champ/Nacra 17 Olympic sailor Bora Gulari.
Matt is racing his own designed/built platform with Dna foils. Need to confirm Lars yet, but he should be on a custom also and Bora racing a Dna F1. Bailey White, AD3  (3rd 2015) had 2 dnf for the day with rigging issues it seems.
Bob Hodges is sailing a case modified Exploder A14 with Z5 foils and new rudders.
Edit: Lars replied: He is saling a Melvin A3 he built himself at his  Lars Inc boat shop in Bristol. Foils also built by him designed by Andrew Gaynor.

Really good having Matt sailing his custom platform, being telling many friends that now with proven foils older boats can be retroffited or modified, you don´t need to spend a fortune on a new platform if you are on a budget. Of course Matt's platform has to be reliable and solid to be performing, and you need to design & build it right if you go for your own custom, but it is not mandatory to buy a new boat to lead a big regatta, like say a North Americans?

Eitherway, custom or production you need to be as talented as him, Lars , Bora  and the rest to fight for the title.

There is always a group of sailors buying new boats (when any Class is going to a positive drive) thus filling the market with cheaper used options. Investing in new foils is relatively cheap, and cutting your sail will not get you bankrupt.

Official web: - Report available at USACA fb. Edit: Results just published at
More info and pics when available. Photo left not from the event: Matt's custom platform equipped with a Glaser Deck Sweeper.

Edit: Official Report below results just came in by Mike Levesque, which is also the PRO of the regatta.

Top ten below: Full results here
Pos Sail Sailor
Sub D 1 2 3 4 Tot
1 37 Matt Struble Foiling 1 1 1 1 4
2 58 Lars Guck Foiling 2 2 3 2 9
3 61 Bora Gulari Foiling 5 3 2 3 13
4 44 Larry Woods Foiling 7 4 4 4 19
5 39 Bob Hodges Foiling 3 8 6 6 23
6 47 Matthew Keenan Foiling 14 5 7 5 31
7 56 Andrew Gaynor Foiling 13 7 5 14 39
8 10 Ken Marshack Classic 9 12 8 11 40
9 50 Tracy Oliver Foiling 8 11 17 8 44
10 57 Andy Kolb Foiling 12 13 10 9 44

Day 1 (Monday):

After the lengthy AP ashore, the wind did a 180 at around 1400, enabling the fleet to sail out without being towed. The wind filled on the course as the first boats arrived.

After a short delay (rescuing a capsize and helping a mark boat with a wrapped prop), we started the first race in 10-13 knots of wind, 2-lap course with a distance of 1.2 NM. 9 boats retired, due to breakdowns and damage from collisions. Several capsizes as well. The leading foilers finished in about 30 minutes.

With similar breeze, we stretched the course for Race 2 out to 1.4 NM. Due to a cargo ship transiting through the left side of the course, we held the start, then got them going. Three additional boats didn't start, and two more retired. Lots more capsizes. The foilers still finished in under 35 minutes!

Everyone was smiling at the finish line, as the sun was setting. Then began the journey home, a beat of several miles into a lightening breeze. We spread out and followed the fleet, and posted sentries ashore. The stragglers arrived in the harbor with the last bit of light in the western sky. It was a beautiful evening for a sail...

Day 2 (Tuesday):

After a brief meeting to discuss everyone's enjoyment of the view of Newport Harbor at dusk, and a quick reminder about rocks and safety, we launched and set up a bit further north to set up a longer course for the 15+ knots of wind that greeted us at Halfway Rock.

After a short delay to wait for stragglers, we started Race 3 with 2 OCS boats, but quickly realized that we had a starting flag error, and some of the fleet held back. Clearly unable to successfully general recall the fleet (they were launched), we abandoned and chased them down with every available asset (two mark boats, a safety boat, and two Everglades boats). That drill cost 30 minutes.

Shaking off the embarrassment, we restarted, all clear, with no issues. Course 4, distance 1.6 NM, bearing 195. Leaders finished in 41 minutes, last boat in 55 minutes. Other than a quick M flag to deal with a drifting finish line (which fortunately affected no one due to the spread at the finish), this was a great race.

With lots of attrition (some before the start of Race 3), and a building chop, some sailors approached asking for one more (not the three scheduled). After consulting with the class leadership, and considering the planned party (45 minutes away to Ben's house), we decided to run Race 4 as a course 5, sending them home after an upwind finish.

We adjusted the starting line for a shift to 205, set the weather marks at 1.2 NM, squared the gate, and were ready to go. The AP for this was longer than we'd all prefer, but with the long courses, I'd insisted on the large marks (8 foot tetrahedrons), and with depth of 60 feet or more, nothing gets moved quickly or easily.

Race 4 launched with no issues. Leaders finished in 39 minutes, last boat in 58 minutes. Long upwind sail home, and all were home by around 1630. Very happy sailors in the field afterwards, even over the ever-present drone of grinders...

With similar conditions forecast for today, and no distant party scheduled tonight, we intend to run three races today.


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