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Steeplechase Catamaran Race 2016, Final Results

Added by DamonLinkous on Dec 11, 2016 - 04:39 PM

2016 Steeplechase Catamaran Race, December 10-11, Islamorada to Key Largo and Back.

The 32nd running of the Steeplechase was a challenge, and that’s just as it should be. This years event was won by the Team of Jamie Livingstone and Kenny Pierce on a Tornado in a fast total time for the two days of 7 hours, 48 minutes. Second was Ralph and Pat Cole on a Nacra 20 Carbon followed up by James Zelmer and Joe Velwave on a F18 (with a team name “Hobie 21”).

Special mention to the F18 team of David Reed and Mark Herendeen who, despite being demasted during day one, were able to recover and race the second day back from Key Largo. In the true spirit of endurance beachcat racing, other teams provided the needed parts and help to get them back on the water for Sunday’s start.

More pictures and info on the Facebook Page

 https://www.facebook.com/thebeachcats/

Winners of 2016 Steeplechase Catamaran Race

 



Steeplechase 2016, Storm Threat Day One

Added by DamonLinkous on Dec 11, 2016 - 03:33 PM

Steeplechase Catamaran Distance Race, Islamorada Florida December 10-11 2016

Catamaran distance races are always exciting but the sailors planning to enter the 32nd running of this event had to consider very high predicted wind speeds and possible storms in the 120 mile path of the two day race.

Seven teams started the race Saturday morning, headed for the first day finish at Key Largo. This was an experienced bunch, with a variety of boats, two F18’s, a Nacra Carbon 20, Tornado, Nacra 6.0, Nacra 20OD, and a Hobie 21. 

The actual conditions at the start were nice 12-18 winds from the SE but once the Magnificent Seven  headed out the the winds greatly increased causing one team to turn back. A little later the team of David Reed and Mark Herendeen lost their mast due to a shroud failure. They were able to tie off to a crab pot and call for help and were rescued with no injuries.

 


Key Sailing Wins Second Florida 300

Added by DamonLinkous on May 18, 2015 - 02:02 PM

2015 Florida 300 Presented by Waves Surf Shop, Race Recap by Damon Linkous from TheBeachcats.com

The second running of the Florida 300 is concluded and the teams and support staff are either back home or on to their next adventure. For most of the 300+ miles of coastal racing, with surf starts and landings, the teams experienced excellent conditions for their powerful beachcats. No long distance beachcat race is without it's challenges and problems and this Florida 300 was no exception. There were gear failures such as teams Cat In The Hat and SSS Racing who both broke shrouds while racing, and boats capsizing in the rough surf including Team Lupe Tortilla capsizing and de-masting their new Flying Phantom foiling cat arriving at Vero Beach. See more below.

First, the winning team on corrected time for both the overall and open class win was team Key Sailing with Kirk Newkirk and Tom Whitehurst sailing a Nacra 20 Carbon. Kirk and Tom were defending their win from last year and promised to return. Team Royal Yellow with Steve Lohmeyer and Jay Sonnenklar won the I20 fleet and came in second overall. The Foiling Fleet was won by Team Rocket with John Casey, and Colin Page sailing the awesome Nacra 20 FCS

Complete Final Results for the 2015 Florida 300 Here

Key Sailing Wins the 2015 Florida 300

There are many stories from the beach over a four day endurance race like this but the big intrigues from this race was how the new foiling designes would handle launching and retrieving through the surf, and how fast would they really be over long distance compared to the non-foiling beachcats.

The second question had an interesting direct comparison available for reference since the Nacra 20 FCS sailed by Team Rocket and the Nacra 20 Carbon sailed by Key Sailing are virtually the same boat with the exception of the foils. Both boats share the same hulls and rig on a 20ft. x 10.5ft platform, so the speed increase provided by the ability to foil could be observed. The foiling FCS was first to finish every leg beating the non-foiling Nacra 20 Carbon by an average of around 30 minutes despite the foilers starting 5 to 10 minutes later. The shear speed was observed on the water with more than one team commenting on the amazing site of the foiling boats blazing past despite some rough conditions in the open Atlantic.

Some questions still remain about the viability of racing these beasts "off the beach" because after the first two legs of low surf conditions, Vero Beach produced large steep difficult surf. The problem for the foiling boats was the need to turn into the surf and get beach wheels under them before being pulled onto the beach. When the surf was low this was still diffucult as anyone who has stood in even knee-high surf knows how hard it is to maintain your position against the incoming waves. Holding onto a large beachcat and getting the beach wheels underneath while in the surf takes a lot of effort and coordination. It also means that the crew of the arriving foiler must perform a 180 degree turn as close the beach as possible so that the ground crew is in shallow enough water to maintain control.

At Vero Beach we got to see what can happen when the turn is completed a little to far from the beach. When Team Lupe Tortilla turned they ended up with the boat just out of reach of the waiting ground crew, this caused them to miss the opportunity to pull the boat back before the next large wave hit the Flying Phantom while boards and rudders were already pulled up. When the wave hit the boat was turned and immediately flipped first on it's side and then completely inverted, breaking the mast in several pieces in the process.

See Pictures of The Surf Capsize Here

Other teams had hardships along the way and overcame them, Team Cat In The Hat was demasted during the 3rd leg when a shroud broke but with the help of Team Key Sailing was able to re-rig the boat and complete the final leg. There were bruises, cuts, scrapes, sunburns and "saddle sores" from long hours in the trapeze but thankfully no serious injuries and no boats lost, even the Flying Phantom will be back foiling soon since the main damage was the broken mast and they do have a replacement available.

That's it for the 2015 edition of the Florida 300 for now.

Discuss the race or ask questions at.
http://www.thebeachcats.com/forums/viewforum/forum/9

See all the pictures from the race at
http://www.thebeachcats.com/pictures?g2_itemId=109100

Florida 300 Website
http://florida300.com/florida300

Visit the Florida 300 on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/sailseries?ref=hl

Footnote: Are you ready for an adventure like the Florida 300? Let's here you comments and questions in the forums.


2015 Florida 300 Final Leg

Added by DamonLinkous on May 16, 2015 - 08:47 AM

2015 Florida 300 Presented by Waves Surf Shop, Report by TheBeachcats.com

Team Lupe Tortilla Flying Phantom Gets Rolled in the Surf photo copyright TheBeachcats.com

It's been quite a journey working my way up the South Florida coast from Islamorada to now waking up at Vero Beach, Florida. The first two days were picture postcard "chamber of commerce" days and day 3 was much the same except for the small detail of much more wind and a storm cell that crossed the race path. The winds were mostly steady 17 to 20 but some isolated thunderstorms caused much higher winds and challenging conditions along the leg.

The Flying Phantom is out of the race after having an unsuccessful beach landing at the Vero Beach finish. John Tomko, skipper of Lupe Tortilla and many times winner of the Great Texas 300 and other endurance races, successfully rounded up into the heavy surf and was just moments away from landing safely as all the ground crews rushed to grab the boat. Unfortunately they were in just a bit too deep water for the help to get hold of the boat so they had to stay in the surf backing in "one wave too many" and that wave flipped the boat over in the surf snapping the mast. All the ground help wrestled the turtled Flying Phantom onto the beach, it's high tech foils and t-rudders sticking up in the air.

It took some hard work in the surf to get enough of the mast, sails, and rigging cut away from the boat so it could be dragged/carried out of the water. I've got a bunch of pictures in the Florida 300 photo albums showing the sequence. It's a shame photos can't show the height and steepness of the surf very well. We had been standing on the beach all day watching it build. Every third or fourth set of waves piled up into a steep 6-8 foot wall/roller and that's the kind that got them.

Pictures from the crash and the aftermath and all the other landings and events of the day are in the "Day 3" album in TheBeachcats.com photo albums.

2015 Florida 300 Photo Albums

The other drama of the day that was happening at the same time was that team Cat In The Hat with Larry Ferber and Jackson Smith de masted about 7 miles short of the finish when they broke a shroud. Luckily for them they weren't injured in the resulting mess and were able to make it to shore. Jackson was able to text the ground crew that they were alright and drifting towards shore, and the Kattack locator gave their position. Ground crew and volunteer helpers were able to locate them and retrieve the boat and the Key Sailing team provided parts and assistance repairing the boat. I wouldn't be surprised to see Cat In The Hat back on the line this morning.

Other than the problems found by Cat In The Hat and Lupe Tortilla all the other teams arrived safe and unbroken performing excellent surf landings. The most impressive sailing feet I witnessed was the incredible surf landing of team Rocket on their 20 foot foiling beachcat Nacra 20 FCS. With the large foils under the boat that cannot be pulled completely out like the non-foilers the boat needed to make a 180 degree turn into the surf right at the shoreline. Turning two far out by even a short distance would leave them exposed to the tall breaking waves and waiting too long would put them onto the beach. The skipper John Casey was able to execute a perfect turn as close to the shore as it was possible to float the boat, putting them in reach of the multiple ground crew that got the beach wheels under and pulled the boat up to safety with no damage.

Key Sailing leads the race after three legs with a 37 minute corrected time margin over the open class but only a 5 minute margin for overall victory lending some extra drama to the final leg from Vero Beach to Cocoa Beach. Be sure to watch live and track the race, links are at the end of this report.

There were many stories of pitch-poles and and very difficult conditions all along the course. Tom Whitehurst, crew for the leading team Key Sailing had a trap wire break and almost got separated from the boat but was able to hold on and get back on board with help from Kirk Newkirk. Before their bad luck at the finish team Lupe Tortilla told me that had pitchpoled the Flying Phantom at speed while on foils sending it flipping forward so hard that the mast hit the water ahead of the boat. It's a testament to the toughness of both the crew and the boat that they were able to continue to the finish after that.

Today the Florida 300 teams are joined by additional competitors racing the one-leg from Vero Beach to Cocoa Beach for the Dogfight. There are a mix of Hobie 16's and G-Cats with the notable entry of Hans Geissler, creator/builder of the G-Cats sailing the leg on his personal G-Cat 5.0 with squaretop.

Report by Damon Linkous of TheBeachcats.com

Track the race
http://florida300.com/tracking

Live video/audio feed from the starts and finishes.
http://florida300.com/live

Discuss the race at
http://www.thebeachcats.com/forums/viewforum/forum/9


2015 Florida 300 Presented by Waves Surf Shop - Day One

Added by DamonLinkous on May 14, 2015 - 09:07 AM

2015 Florida 300 Presented by Waves Surf Shop - Day One - Islamorada to Key Biscayne, Florida - May 13, 2015

The big question from Day One involved the two foiling beachcats, the 20 foot Nacra 20 FCS of team Rocket and the 18 foot Flying Phantom of team Lupe Tortilla, would they be so much faster than the Florida 300 competitors that they would run away from the fleet?

Day one opened with a beautiful clear morning on the beach at the Islander Resort in Islamorada, Florida. The competitors were doing final prep and gearing up looking very focused and "in the zone", not a lot of talking as the experienced teams slid their high performance catamarans into the sea.

The start at Islamorada is unique in the four leg race, since the shoreline doesn't lend itself to a beach start the race committee setup a traditional upwind starting line offshore. The leg started in steady winds from the South South-West at 15 mph, clocking more Easterly during the day allowing for the shortest possible route to Key Biscayne. After the start most of the teams opted to hug the shore while three preceeded out a while before tacking. It wasn't long before the boats were pretty much lined up along the Upper Keys and it was a march to the finish with Rocket in the lead followed by Lupe Tortilla then team Key Sailing closely behind.

About 20 minutes after the start team Key Sailing had a tiller tendon come apart so they had to slow down and create a repair using what they had onboard. Sticky gauze tape from the first-aid kit was used for the repair and it held up all the way to the finish. The repair time slowed them down considerably and the defending champions found themselvs at the back of the fleet, not a position where they have spent a lot of time!

In the meantime, after the start all the team crews left Islamorada and started their own race to arrive at the finish line on the beach in Key Biscayn at the Silver Sands Beach Resort before their teams. Being able to live track the fleet using the Kattack tracking software that each boat carries helped take some of the stress away.

It wasn't long at all after the race committee arrived and setup the finish line before the first boat was in site. It was Rocket, and according to the Kattack tracker Lupe Tortilla was next along with Key Sailing a little behind.

In a little while team Rocket with John Casey and Colin Page finished in just 4 hours and 27 seconds followed by Lupe Tortilla in 4 hours, 33 minutes, and 35 seconds. With the tremendous amount of seaweed in the water it was a really fast time for Islamorada to Key Biscayne. Since the two foiling boats are sailing in their own class and not eligible for the overall Florida 300 win, the issue of who would win the first leg of the Florida 300 still remained.

Team Key Sailing had come into view earlier just trailing Lupe Tortilla but was able to pass them before the finish. After overcoming their early mechanical difficulties they finished leg one in first place in 4 hours, 29 minutes, 36 seconds.

So the answer to the big question of how fast will the foiling boats be in a race like this is probably still to be answered. While wind conditions were ideal for most of the race the heavy seaweed caused all the teams to constantly have to slow down and clean up their foils. This was particularly an issue with the inverted T shaped rudders on the foilers.

 

See full day one results
http://florida300.com/florida-300-news/130-florida-300-presented-by-waves-surf-shop-day-1

Track the race
http://florida300.com/tracking
mobile version
http://florida300.com/mtracking

Live video/audio feed from the starts and finishes.
http://florida300.com/live

Discuss the race at
http://www.thebeachcats.com/forums/viewforum/forum/9



2014 Slip To Ship Regatta Pictures

Added by DamonLinkous on May 27, 2014 - 01:50 PM

The 2014 edition of the Slip To Ship Regatta was held this past Memorial weekend at Ocean Springs Yacht Club and was a big success. With over 50 entries in the various classes it was a record attendance for the regatta since the club was completely destroyed by hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Complete detailed results will be available soon, in the meantime enjoy some pictures from the event in this years photo album here.

http://www.thebeachcats.com/pictures/?g2_itemId=108254

 If you have pictures you are willing to share with the community please create your own albums inside the 2014 Slip To Ship album and upload your pictures. If you haven’t tried this before, there are instructions in the FAQ here. http://www.thebeachcats.com/faq/Photo%20Gallery/how-do-i-upload-photos/ 

Preparing for first race. 


Newkirk and Whitehurst Win Inaugural Florida 300

Added by DamonLinkous on May 23, 2014 - 08:05 AM

Key Sailing Wins Florida 300 

Florida 300 2014 Results

Team Key Sailing on a Nacra Carbon 20 drove to victory over the other 20 foot carbon boat in the race, Team Marspeed by 24 minutes after four days of racing.

Congratulations to all the racers for accepting the challenge and the bar is set for everyone who thought about entering, but did not.

Below are the complete result details starting with the overall, click on Read More to view day by day results.

Results are Final

Florida 300 OVERALL

Rank

Boat

HelmName

CrewName

Class

Rating

Elapsed

Corrected

1

Key Sailing

Newkirk, Kirk

Whitehurst, Thomas

Open Class

57.9

21:13:37

1:12:39:41

2

Marspeed

Moss, Bret

Casey, John

Open Class

58

21:37:27

1:13:16:59

3

Waveyhaven

Tomeo, Charles

Dowd, Mike

F18

62.4

23:52:41

1:14:15:58

4

Royal Yellow

Sonnenklar, Jay

Lohmeyer, Steve

N20

59.3

22:51:09

1:14:32:14

5

SolarWind

Ingram, Dave

Ingram, Bob

F18

62.4

1:0:32:01

1:15:19:00

6

Team Cat Fever

Hart, Todd

Tebo, Dalton

F-18

62.4

1:0:42:34

1:15:35:54

7

Turtle Mojo

Macdonald, Dick

Herendeen, Mark

F18

62.4

1:1:09:22

1:16:18:51

8

Royal Orange

Page, Colin

Green, Evan

N20

59.3

1:0:15:19

1:16:54:10

9

SMS Racing

Steiger, H.M.

Sawyer, Chris

N20

59.3

1:1:26:48

1:18:54:42

10

Cat In The Hat

Ferber, Larry

Smith, Jackson

N20

59.3

1:2:53:34

1:21:21:01

11

Knot 2 Slow

Norvell, David

Jackson, Dustin

F18

62.4

DNF

 

11

Royal White

Greene, Terry

Runge, Chris

N20

59.3

DNF

 

Footnote: Let's here the stories from the race in the forums.


St Francis Spring Dinghy a Weta angle

Added by miranda934 on Mar 20, 2013 - 01:31 AM
The weather pattern in SF switched from winter (cold/no wind) to spring (cold/wind) just in time for the Spring Dinghy at the St Francis YC last weekend. There were 9 Wetas racing, tucked in between Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, doing windward leewards with a starboard roundings and offsets to help cope with the tide. With a strong ebb on both days, it was classic SF racing!  Just to weather of Alcatraz, there is some ebb tide relief behind the island and this is generally where we started our races.  Just after the start we’d barrel off on starboard tack to the stronger ebb.  Once you hit the tide line it was like sailing into a river where the short, sharp chop would build.  Once in the strong ebb, we’d do our best to maximize boat speed and let the ebb pull us to weather.  Downwind we’d look for a path with less ebb (not likely) and then surf our Wetas downwind in the strongest breeze we could find. That was the plan anyway!

F18 Worlds Day Three Report

Added by DamonLinkous on Sep 15, 2012 - 08:10 AM

Day Three, Long Bach, California, Report by Jeremy Leonard

The Globaltech F18 Worlds in Long Beach, CA now in its 3rd day, has been one of those sailing events that people remember and talk about for a long time afterwards. The results from yesterday determined which sailors would be designated to sail in the Gold Fleet and which sailors would be sailing in the Silver. With over 120 boats registered, you can bet that the competition was fierce all over the track. The start of the first race for the Gold Fleet was one of the most aggressive, well-sailed starts that I’ve ever witnessed in sailboat racing. The fleet was tight, and just about every boat was exactly on the line as the gun fired. The caliber of sailing skill is extremely high here in Long Beach, just as you would expect at a Worlds event.

The wind has ranged from light, around 6 knots on the first day, to two epic days of perfect sailing conditions breeze in the high teens, sun, and a slight wind chop. The breeze has been in the range where one error can cause a spectacular wipe out. Sailor john Bauldry pitched his boat so violently, that the mast broke as it slammed the water. To make matters worse, as the boat tumbled, the mast caused a minor injury to one of the other boats sailing nearby. Luckily the injured crew is OK and recuperating well. Bauldry received a new mast, and with the help of many of his competitors, was able to get his boat back together and will be sailing tomorrow. There have been a handful of breakages, crashes and other damage that have been keeping the on-site fiberglass repair guys in work.

The Alamitos Bay Yacht Club has been an epic host to the madness that several hundred cat sailors can bring, and the RC has done a great job keeping the race courses together. The hospitality of the club combined with the sand, sun and weather, you really can’t go wrong.


Great Texas 300 Day One Report

Added by DamonLinkous on Jun 14, 2012 - 10:15 AM


The first of four legs of the Great Texas 300 sailed Wednesday June 13th was a 100 mile drag race up the coast of South Texas. The leg was won by local Texas sailor and four time previous winner John Tomko with crew Ian Billings on a C2 F18. Right on John's heals (only 1 minute 27 seconds after 100 miles) was John Casey and Dalton Tebow from Orlando sailing the Cirrus F18.

 


Read more for leg one race results and schedule.

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