Thirty eight A-Class sailors participated in what was probably the best St. Petersburg HELLY HANSEN-SAILING WORLD NOOD regatta we have supported since the event invited A-cats to participate. With three days of perfect Florida weather and a total of nine races with breeze ranging from 5-14 knots, it was just about the perfect regatta weekend. Bob hodges reports.
Racing kicked off with three races on Friday. The first race was in 5-7 knots with the entire fleet in float mode. The second race saw 6-9 knots with Chris Batchelor and Bob Hodges pushing the limits of light air foiling on the 1stdownwind with Mahoney and the rest of the crew joining in on the 2ndand final downwind leg. The final race of the day saw 9-11 knots and the top foilers took advantage. Saturday was simply perfect A-Class sailing with 10-12 knots for the first two races and 11-14 knots for the final two races. Bruce Mahoney dominated the foiling fleet even though Hodges kept him looking over his shoulder a couple of times. Bob Webbon continued to lead the classics fleet but Messr’s Hall, Cope, and Bird were keeping his hands full. On the final day, it almost looked like a no sail day until about 30 minutes before the drop dead time when a nice seabreeze filled in. Two more races were sailed again in perfect 10-14 knot conditions but with some surprisingly big chop especially in the last race that made the foiling challenging at times. Both Mahoney and Webbon sealed the deal in their respective fleets but were still challenged by the rest of us mortals.
This was a good showing for our class as we were easily the largest class represented at the event even with the foiling/classics fleet splits. A productive warmup for the NAC, it should be a great event in October. A BIG thanks to Emmanuel Cerf who as always was going above the call of duty to support all of the sailors at this event. We are so lucky to have someone like Emmanuel in our class.
See Y’all in Miami, Sarasota, and Panama City.
Photos - Phil Pape - https://www.philpape.photography/p327111242
Justin Cheney - https://www.philpape.photography/p327111242