2014 Tradewinds Midwinter Open Cat Championships
On Water Photos by Rick White and
Easton & Burd Win Carlton Tucker Memorial at Tradewinds
The award is given to the winner of the biggest class at the Tradewinds Midwinter National Open Cat Championships held at the Islander Resosrt in the Florida Keys. There were cool temperatures and lighter winds for the weekend, rather than the normal 80 degrees and 10-15 mph Tradewinds. Six classes participated
For the second straight year, the Tradewinds were hosted by the Islander Resort and Islander Watersport on the Ocean Side of the Florida Keys in Islamorada, Florida. And what a great venue this has turned out to be, with a huge, broad beach for rigging and playing, and crystal clear, sparkling water to sail on.
The reason for the name "Tradewinds" is because the Florida Keys are on the upper edge of steady winds that blow from the eastern quadrant year around.., usually in the 15 mph range in the winter, and 8-12 mph in the summer. This year the Tradewinds sort of decided not to blow -- the winds stayed predominantly out of the Western arena. This made the winds a bit lighter than normal, but on the good side, the seas were not as choppy as they would be out of the normal direction.
Folks started arriving on the scene all during the week, tweeking their rigs and sails and getting thawed out in the Florida sun from the harsh and bitter winter everyone has been enduring in the northern, frozen tundra areas. By Friday the A-Cat regatta was winding up and the registration began. The regatta ended up a bit short of last year's 60 boats -- only 55 this year. The F18 and Wave Class had the most boats attending.
There were two course: the Yellow Course was for Spinnaker Boats and High-Tech Boats, with included the F16, F18 and A-Cat, while the Orange Course were the non-spin boats, i.e., Wave, H16, and Portsmouth boats.
Racing was light the first day, and almost perfect the second day, but on the final day, wind was simply non-existant. Races were abandoned just after 11 am so folks could pack up and get on the road.
Racing began on time on the Orange Course, but the Yellow Course was pretty far out and there were too many stragglers for the first race to not postpone. Soon the high-speed boats finally arrived and races got underway.
The A-Cats started first in what was pretty light winds -- right around 5-7 mph. Martin Hamilton won the first race, followed in by Jeremy Herrin, Ben Hall and Larry Ferber (only 4 boats in the class). For the next three races Herrin rattleed of two bullets and second to take the lead in the regatta. Ben Hall won a race and took the rest in 2nd place.
Most of the fleet retired half way through the second day, with Herrin winning overall, Hall in second, Ferber in third and Hamilton in fourth.
The F18 class
Mike Easton and Tripp Burd pretty much dominated the class and easily won overall, winning the Carlton Tucker Memorial Trophy for first place in the largest fleet of the Tradewinds. This is the second time this team has had that honor.
In the lighter air on the Saturday, this team took three aces and a third place to hold a solid lead overall. Todd Christensen and John Hoag were constantly up near the front of the fleet and ended the day one point ahead ofTodd Riccardi and Dalton Tebo, who were in a tie with Ken Marshack and Arielle Darrow.
The winds filled in beautifully on Sunday with winds 12-14 mph, which was perfect spinnaker hull-flying off the wind. After the weather mark the sky simply filled with colorful cloth and they headed downwind for the leeward gate. Christensen/Hoag won the first race, followed in by Marshack/Darrow, Easton/Burd, Brooks Reed/Mark Herendeen.
For the rest of the day Riccardi/Tebo got their act together and finished the last three race 3-2-1, to take second place overall. Christensen ended up third overall.
The F16 Class.
This was a case of almost a non-existant class.., only two boats: Gina and Matt MacDonald and Knox Rodgers and John Adams. The MacDonalds won every race, but most interestingly was they started with the F18 and won boat for boat a few times.
The fleet got in three races, but because the shortened course for the last race was not done properly and half the fleet was materially prejudiced, the race was thrown out. John Sherry was in the lead with four points. But, this was not a runaway, as Leah White was one point behind with a bullet and a fourth. Behind her by one point was Ray Matuszak with a 5th and a bullet. Chris Duckey was another point behind Ray with a 4-3.
The second day of racing, the fleet made up for the lack of races on the first day, getting in six races for a total of eight all together.
The first two races Leah White won with Sherry settling for second place. Meanwhile Matuszak, and Duckey had some bad finishes, really mixing it up.
For the next four races Leah White went 4-1-1-2 to win overall with a total of 11 points. Sherry took 1-2-10-4, but still ended up in second overall with 15 points. Matuszak had a 6-9-2-1 to grab the last spot on the podium. Ducky ended up in fourth overall. Perennial winner of this event, Dave White, could only get up to 5th place overall.
For this class the real racing was for second spot, as Dan Borg and Tina Pastour dominated with all bullets except for one second place spot. Meanwhile, Sean and Kathleen Tracy had the second spot after the first day ahead of Ken and Cheryl Hilk. On the second day they both gave battle, with the Hilks edging out the Tracy family by one point.
Jerry Pattenaude and Sue Bennett showed up with the dreaded Shark Catamaran and pretty much dusted the rest of the fleet. Hans Evers and Brian Hollenbeck sailed their Hobie 20 to a solid second spot. Ralph and Pat Cole sailed a G-Cat 6.1 and took third spot overall, followed in by Chris Stater on an F16, no Spinnaker, then Clause Schmid and Oscar Garcia-Coni on a Nacra 6.0NA, and Jeff and Ian Glen on a Tornado
Take a look at pix posted on Facebook and Youtube by Lucy Blais. She is a professional photographer and the pictures are available, if you are interested.
Photos randomly placed. On water shots taken by Rick White
For more pictures from John McKnight, Commodore of CABB, Click here
2014 Tradewinds Midwinter Nationals