Nov 29, 2017

A-Class: 2017 Woods Regatta Report at Lake Lanier

Sailing photos Kirk Jockell Photography - Addtional pics pulbished yesterday, complete gallery  here,

Regatta report sent by Bailey White / US A-Class Assoc.
2017 Woods Regatta Report at Lake Lanier
The “Eh Y’all Watch This” Winter Series Kickoff
The 2017 Woods Regatta is one for the history books in many ways: excellent turnout, a classic boat winning overall, talk by Peter Block, and a 75 mph unexpected storm.

Sailors started to arrive Tuesday evening with the club open for camping, RVs, and off the beach sailing. Bruce Mahoney led classes Wed, Thurs, and Friday. Class members as far as California, Colorado, Rhode Island, and Toronto came to practice and race.

The fleet has a wide-ranging composition made up of DNAs, eXploders, Nikitas, EVOs, Flyers, and others. It is great to see so many different boats and approaches, and in light air, the older boats are generally quicker.

When Saturday racing came, the sky was overcast with light winds and offered very marginal foiling. With about 35 boats starting, it was critical to get off the line well and keep a lane. Those who tried to foil too early lost out.

Race 1 was largely firmly planted to the water, with little ability to foil for anyone. Race 2 and Race 3 had runs or portions of runs that some could foil in light airs and even nice breeze where many flew, but no one ever sailed both runs on the wire all the way.

With flat water and many modes of sailing, the racing was a great test for all sailors. The wily fox, Nigel Pitt, hit corners and showed his light air prowess on his 2012 DNA C board boat to come out first overall after Day 1 with Bailey in second.

Breakouts by division showed a slightly different order with Bruce first foiler and Nigel first classic.

Saturday evening was very special. Peter Block, past United States A-Class President, presented his perspective on the history of the class. Peter has more experience than any other current sailor, having attended 25 North American Championships in a row with his first one in 1967. Using a collection of photographs, he described the development that has taken place over time, with innovations like winch-controlled flexible masts, boomless sails, hull shapes, and more evolving to what we have today.

Peter lives on the lake at Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Lake Hopatcong is the birthplace of the A-Class in the United States, with sailors there building their own boats until 1985 when the first commercial boats were purchased.

Saturday brought another surprise. At around 11 PM, a 75 mph storm passed through the club unexpectedly. The storm lasted only moments but shook all that were there. As sailors started to walk the dry slips, beach, and lawn in a light rain, we found many boats damaged. Some had tipped over and broke rigs. One had broken its tie down line and vaulted with another boat about 50 to 75 meters over 420s and onto a concrete ramp, severing most of a bow. Another had pitch poled on the pavement and was frozen with just its starboard bow on the pavement the rest of the boat suspended on others. Another blew through a wood fence and broken its mast in two places. Somehow one of its daggerboards came to rest on its upside down tramp. One boat was strapped to a heavy steel trailer and managed to lift the trailer and metal sailbox to 45 degrees before being pulled back down. That trailer saw its metal box blown open even though it was latched closed.

On Sunday morning we decided after convening a skippers meeting to freeze the results as of Saturday due to the extensive overnight damage and run additional races on Sunday. Andrew Woods won convincingly on his new AD3 eXploder with a smaller fleet.
Full results below: