Bill Hardesty Wins MBYC Cat Fight I
Five F-18 boats sailed in Mission Bay Yacht Club’s first Cat Fight for 2016 in San Diego on March 19-20 under sunny blue skies with temperatures in the 70’s. The F-18’s sailed in a combined spinnaker cat fleet that included four Nacra-20’s, one N-20 Carbon and one F-16. This article focuses on the F-18’s. The wind was light for both days of the regatta but four races on Saturday and three on Sunday were achieved in a moderate swell on the ocean off Mission Beach. All the starts were exciting with the number of boats on the line and their different capabilities. One start with a last minute left shift left the fleet scrambling to get across the line. All the races were windward/leeward courses twice around with a downwind finish. The most unusual event of the regatta was when a baby sea lion jumped onto the swim platform of the R/C boat and remained there for several races not perturbed by the starting signals and the boats sailed right by.
Bill Hardesty just joined the F-18 fleet two weeks prior to the event with the purchase of a C2. As would be expected for the 2012 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year with 13 World Championships to his credit, he came up to speed for how to sail the boat with his wife Mandy very quickly. Bill set the pace with consecutive bullets for all seven races amongst the F-18’s and also won overall under the handicap rules. Steve Stroebel sailing with Trent Steward from Utah followed with six second place finishes and one third. Jason Moore and Albert Serrano took third amongst the F-18’s followed closely by Jeff Collins sailing with his son Matt. Scott Miller with his son-in-law Austin Helton who was only able to sail on Sunday rounded out the F-18 fleet. Cat Fight II is around the corner scheduled for the weekend of May 14-15. We are expecting a better showing of F-18’s with potentially 10 boats and hoping for better wind.