Sep 20, 2018

Hullspeed A-Cat North Ams 2018: Bruce Mahoney 1st

Sailing pics by Peter Slack, full gallery here.  Sponsors HullSpeed & Seastreak. Complete & detailed report always by the US A-Cat sailors sent by Bailey White / US Class Association.

Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey hosted the 2018 Hullspeed A Class Catamaran North American Championship. Regatta chairman and competitor, Matt Keenan, did an outstanding job in organizing this event. There were 43 entries from 16 states and Canada, with a highly diversified fleet of Foilers and Classics.

Sandy Hook has a great view of New York City across the water. It’s a special place. The fleet has migrated towards RVs over the last few years and this photo shows some of the rigs at the event.

Four days of racing were scheduled. Day one arrived with absolutely no wind, and fog, so PRO Matt Hill kept the fleet on shore. Day two was a great day of racing with four races completed. Winds ranged from 7-12 kts which gave both Classics and Foilers a chance to excel.

Bruce Mahoney, the favorite, and last years champ, showed his domination over the foiling fleet. Matt Keenan and Larry Woods at times brought the pressure on, but Bruce continued to have an extra gear to push him towards a string of bullets for the day. Keenan and the Canadian, Larry Woods enjoyed pushing each other all over the course. On race two, the breeze subsided slightly and they both found themselves completely on the wrong side of the course, trying to make the foiling pay in the marginal conditions. Unfortunately, the foiling fleet was plagued with some breakages for the top contenders. Bailey White was off the water after two races with the head torn out of his sail. Andrew Woods had an equipment failure that caused him to miss the final race, and Mike Krantz set up a new trapeze system that did not treat him well, costing him two tillers and three of the four races.

Bob Webbon won the day in the Classics with an impressive performance (2,1,1,2) which included a overall win in the second race, a light air affair. Close behind Bob were Craig Yandow, Woody Cope and Ben Hall. The racing between the top classics is very tight. With Constant lead changes, its truely anyone's game until the finish line.

Unfortunately, shortly after the fleet returned to shore, John Keenan took Craig Yandow to the local hospital for emergency surgery on a ruptured aorta. Craig is now in recovery, and we are all keeping him in our hopes and prayers for a full recovery. The fleet rallied to support him and take care of his things while he is away.

Day three’s conditions were sportier than day two with northeast winds of 12-19 kts. Bruce Mahoney extended his winning streak with another great performance. At times, Bruce was able to foil upwind, sailing lower, but very fast. For the three races, Matt Keenan bringing some pressure again, but not enough as Bruce edged him out around the course once again, leading to another string of bullets.

Woody Cope owned the day in the Classics with three firsts. His upwind speed was amazing as he was first, boat for boat, at the weather mark in two of the three races. Ken Marshack had a great day (2,2,3) with very good downwind speed. He commented that it would have been nice to compare his downwind speed with Woody but since Woody was so far ahead there was no chance. Hall and Webbon traded places in some very tight finishes.

Mark Skeels found out that rigging does indeed need to be replaced after 10 years with his XJ while his new eXploder is on order for Worlds in Australia. He watched his mast fall in the first race that day. Tony Vandenoever had an unplanned visit with the leeward Navy pier and its security staff. He came back with only a few scratches.

Overall results in the Foilers were:
1. Bruce Mahoney
2. Matt Keenan
3. Larry Woods.

Classic results were:
1. Woody Cope
2. Bob Webbon
3. Ben Hall.

- Full results available at USACA Fb -

Gear used in the top 3 was consistent this year:
● Top 3 foilers all used eXploder AD3 boats with Z22s and cassette rudders, Fiberfoam masts (tapered or straight), and Mischa or Bryt sails.
● Top 3 classics all used Nikita C board boats with Mahoney composite trampolines, Fiberfoam or tapered Riba masts, and Sail Technologies or Landenberger sails.

Woody was the recipient of the newly created North American Classic trophy which was crafted by Craig Yandow and Ben Hall.

Overall the Foilers took the top three spots but interestingly the Classics were 4,5 and 6.
Once again the were no protests filed for the whole regatta.

One of the most exciting things about this year’s North American Championship was the number of new sailors to the fleet. The class recognized each with a gift and offered prizes throughout the results and even for correct trivia answers.

On the social side of the things this regatta got an A+. There was something organized for every evening with dinners, parties, Shipwreck Rum and one special treat. Event sponsor Seastreak High Speed Ferry treated a group of 60 sailors, wives, and girlfriends to a round trip excursion to New York City. It was a misty night with the new Seastreak catamaran ripping along at 37 knots! The New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty were totally breathtaking.

The Sandy Hook Catamaran Club was a gracious host for 12 RV’s and many campers. It made it really easy for the sailors to hang out together. No question that this class is doing well and has a truly great group of sailors.

Thanks to HullSpeed Marine Coatings, Seastreak Ferry, Shipwreck Rum, Ronstan, and FSE Robline for making the regatta possible with your generous contributions.
Canada and the USA are sending a total of 12 boats to Australia for the Worlds. All are packed and loaded. See you there.