United States F18- 2013 Year in Review
With fleets on both coasts, the Great Lakes, and in the Gulf, the Formula 18 class has grown to be one of the strongest in the United States. Hosting the 2012 World Championships at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach, California showed the world that the USF18 fleet is strong, passionate, and rapidly improving. Building on the momentum gained from such a competitive international event, 2013 proved to be a banner year for fleets throughout the country. As the year draws to a close, and we prepare to welcome in 2014, take a moment to look back at the highlights from this season.
Happy New Year from the USF18 Class Association- may your 2014 be the best year yet!
San Francisco Bay Fleet Report:
Fleet growth and the phenomenal 34th Americas’ Cup.
We had a year of classic windy racing conditions with the Golden Gate Bridge and Americas Cup as spectacular backdrops.
Our fleet grew again substantially this year, crossing the twenty-boat mark. Not bad, from a three boat fleet in 2009. New members came from existing dinghy classes and from rediscovered passion for cat sailing ignited by the 34th Americas Cup.
The season began with racing right under the Golden Gate Bridge. The season kickoff regatta included four boats from Team Artemis and this set the stage for racing throughout the season with Americas Cup boats often in view as we charged around buoys in the standard San Francisco windy conditions. Everywhere we sailed the Cup was a topic of conversation and often the big cats could be seen practicing or racing off in the distance. It defined the year for us.
After a strong season of racing, we ended with the spectacular AC Open Event in which we were invited to set up racing in front of the grandstands of the Americas Cup Village on the day of the finals for the LV Cup. Truly unforgettable.
We are all looking forward to a terrific 2014 season with the prospect of even bigger fleet starts and continued participation from the many AC Stars that are often seen these days continuing their San Francisco experience.
Join us anytime. San Francisco F18 Website
Northern Area Fleet Recap:
2013 has been a busy and eventful year for the USF18 Northern Area. Being somewhat Great Lakes centric, the Catamaran Racing Associations of Michigan and Wisconsin (aka CRAM and CRAW) both offered a full schedule of sailing starting in mid-spring and going through early fall. Add in the regattas of our friends north of the border (Ontario Racing Catamaran Association along with CANF18) and you had a diverse listing of events which to choose from. You could almost sail every weekend throughout the season if you wanted to. Each regatta was unique in flavor and were way too much fun…plus as a side bonus you got to race.
CRAM had nine regattas in and around the lower peninsula of Michigan with a three others out of state or country on their schedule. The season started with the Crescent Sail Yacht Club Regatta in early May and ended with the Higgins Lake Regatta in late September. CRAM’s 2013 signature event was the three day Caseville Regatta on Lake Huron in July…definitely Great Lakes racing at it’s best. The Caseville event also serves as the CAN-AM Cross-Pollination Cup. Many Canadian boats traveled to Caseville and the US boats reciprocated at ORCA’s Burlington Beach Bums Regatta in August. A perpetual trophy was awarded to the overall winner. Full 2013 ORCA results can be found at http://orcaevents.org/
The F18 fleet within CRAM was consistently the largest class to participate all season long and they are adding at a minimum, two new boats for 2014. Congratulations go to Claus and Jessica Schnabel for winning the F18 season high points on their Capricorn. Full 2013 results can be found at http://cramsailing.com/regattas/results. Ten events are on the schedule for 2014, so start making your plans now. The 2014 schedule can be found at http://cramsailing.com/regattas/schedule
CRAW (with F18 members from Illinois and Minnesota) had nine regattas throughout Wisconsin beginning with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Regatta in mid-May and ending with the Madtown Throwdown in mid-September. CRAW’s premier event of the year was the Central Coast Catamaran Championship (C4) at the Racine Yacht Club in early August. This four day event also served as the USF18 Northern Area Championship. Eleven F18 teams competed with John Bauldry/Beata Gintere taking 3rd, Guy Selsmeyer/JJ Johnson placing 2nd and Robbie Daniel/Gary Chu winning the class. It was a hard fought event in great conditions. Congratulations to all. Overall 2013 CRAW results can be found at http://crawsailing.org/ CRAW’s 2014 schedule has not yet been published.
Our members are also very mobile and many in this region are not adverse to traveling for major events. It’s not uncommon to see enclosed, double or triple stack trailers of boats hitting the interstates for some serious and fun road trips. Three CRAM boats jump started their 2013 season by making it down to Islamorada in the Florida Keys for the F18 Midwinters (aka the Tradewinds Regatta) in January. Several Northern boats along with several from the Northeast Area combined for a good, regional F18 showing at Hobie Fleet 204’s annual Madcatter Regatta in Syracuse, NY in May. Many Northern teams crossed the border and competed in the CANF18 National Championship at the Etobicoke Yacht Club in Mississauga (Toronto area), Ontario in August. The year culminated with a large contingent of CRAW and CRAM boats competing at the inaugural Zhik F18 America’s Championship in Sarasota, FL this past October.
Our sailing season up here may be shorter than other parts of the country but our passion for sailing and racing is unequalled. Always the ambassadors for the F18 class, we are looking forward to promoting, growing the membership in the region and continued success for 2014.
Live Slow and Sail Fast.
USF18 Northern Area Rep/Vice-Chairman
Pacific Northwest Fleet Recap:
The Northwest F18 fleet had a great year in 2013! We had 8 events from April through October with attendance ranging from 6 to 14 boats. Racing was generally held in the Seattle and Vancouver BC areas, with a couple of events on Whidbey Island and in Anacortes. Seven NW teams made the trek all the way to Sarasota for the inaugural America’s Championship Regatta. At the annual USF18 class meeting the NW was also designated as its own area, separate from the previous “western” area, a sign that the fleet is strong and growing.
This year was the first year the NWF18 fleet calculated an overall fleet champion, and to no one’s surprise the team of John Hoag and Todd Christensen on Shrek 3 came out on top. Coming off their win in the silver fleet at the 2012 Worlds, they demonstrated their years of cat sailing prowess by consistently placing in the top 3 at nearly every event. Second overall was the team of Ian and Joy Sloan on JoyRide, while Brian Hunt and Seamus Woodward-George on Team Storm came in third. Three different designs in the top 3 demonstrated once again that it isn’t the boat that makes the difference in the F18 fleet, but the sailors.
Next year’s calendar has expanded to include a couple more buoy racing events, as well as a 3 race distance race series. Some of the boats that attended the America’s Championship Regatta will return to Florida to participate in the Tradewinds Regatta before the boats return to the Northwest. Racing starts a bit earlier in 2014, and the NW fleet has a fleet championship regatta planned for mid-September. There is already talk of the trailer heading south to Corpus for the NA’s. We are looking forward to another great season in 2014. Happy New Year from all of us here in the NW area!
Eastern Area Fleet Recap:
The Eastern Area fleet had another great year in 2013, with a full regatta schedule and strong finishes by fleet members at national and international events. The fleet’s season started in April with spring training out of Sail Newport in Newport, Rhode Island. Despite the cold, teams took advantage of the early season practice to shake off the rust from a long winter, and to introduce interested sailors to the thrill of F18 sailing. After four weeks of great practices, the spring season concluded with fleet members leading a clinic for Sail Newport youth sailors, an event that proved beneficial and exciting for everyone involved.
The hotly contested Narragansett Beer Eastern Area Summer Series started in late May with the Madcatter Regatta in Syracuse, New York, which was won by Todd Riccardi and Brendon Scanlon on their C2. The Madison Regatta in early June saw a strong fleet of 16 boats, with Mike Easton and Stuart MacNeil taking the win after two days of tight racing on Long Island Sound. The Hampton Beach Regatta followed Madison with a smaller fleet battling extremely shifty conditions on the New Hampshire seacoast. Sandra Tartaglino and Tripp Burd handled the conditions best, taking the win over Mike Easton and McKenzie Wilson as both teams tuned up for the Nacra 17 Worlds.
July was a busy month for the Eastern Area Fleet, starting with Todd and Brendon taking another victory at the Statue Race at Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club. The Newport Regatta is a perennial fleet favorite, and this year’s event lived up to expectations, with guests Ben Moon and Hunter Stunzi sailing exceptionally well on Sunday to take the win. The Hyannis Regatta once again served as the USF18 Eastern Area Championship, with Bob Merrick and Tyler Burd taking the title, followed by Brooks Reed and Jeff Dusek in second, and Todd Riccardi and Brendon Scanlon in third. As in years past, the fleet made an effort to take junior sailors out for a blast on Lewis Bay following Saturday’s racing, introducing the young sailors to the incredible excitement of an F18.
In August, the fleet returned to the waters of Narragansett Bay for the New England 100- a two day distance race that is one of the highlights of the season. This year’s event saw a fleet of 16, including 13 F18s, race completely around Aquindeck Island. With variable winds, strong currents, and numerous fleet convergences, the race was a test all the way around the island. In the end, it was John and Peter Giuliano taking the victory for the F18s, and overall.
The Eastern Area Summer Series concluded with a fantastic weekend at Roton Point in September, won by Mike Easton and Tripp Burd, and a gnarly HPDO at American Yacht Club in October, won by Anthony Boueilh and Maxime Loiselle. Following HPDO, nine members of the fleet headed south for the Zhik F18 Americas Championship regatta in Sarasota, Florida. After a great week of racing in a world class fleet, fleet members Mike Easton and Tripp Burd emerged as the Americas Champions and USF18 National Champions!
Overall, it was another great season for the Eastern Area fleet, and with a full schedule of events confirmed for 2014, we look forward to an even better year. Please see the Eastern Area section for more information, upcoming events, and fleet contacts.
Summer Series Results (top 5 events):
- Bob Merrick and Tyler Burd
- Pete and John Giuliano
- Brooks Reed and Jeff Dusek
- Mike Easton and Tripp Burd
- Todd Riccardi and Brendon Scanlon
Most Improved: Jan Majer and Karl Funk
All the best for the new year!
USF18 Eastern Area Representative
Southern Area Fleet Recap:
For many in the USF18 fleet, the warm water and sunshine of the Southern Area is the perfect place to start and end the sailing season. Each January, the Tradewinds regatta in the Florida Keys serves as the USF18 Midwinter Championship. The 2013 event was held out of the Islander Resort in Islamorada, and a fleet of 15 boats enjoyed three great days of sailing on the Atlantic Ocean. The championship was won by Jason D’Agostino and Dalton Tebo, closely followed by Sandra Tartaglino and Matthew Whitehead, and Christopher Slocke and Bryan White.
The Southern Area circuit continued in February with the F18 fleet returning to the St. Petersburg NOOD regatta. After a very chilly weekend of sailing, the 12 boat fleet was won by Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead, showing great speed to win 4 of the 5 races for the weekend. Taylor and Matt continued their string of successes, taking the USF18 Southern Area Championship at the Spring Fever Regatta in dominating fashion, winning 5 out of 7 races on the very tricky Lake Hartwell, Georgia.
With several of the top USF18 Southern Area sailors gearing up for Olympic campaigns in the Nacra 17, the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club’s Caterwaul Regatta offered a great opportunity for the F18s, Nacra 17s, F16s, and 20 footers to race together on one course and in outstanding conditions. Top F18 for the weekend was Andy Humphries and Michael McNeir, with Taylor Reiss taking the overall regatta win on his Nacra 17 with Olympian Sarah Lihan as crew.
The highlight of the 2013 season for the Southern Area fleet was the Zhik F18 Americas Championship hosted by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron. It was the inaugural Americas Championship, an ISAF recognized continental championship for the International F18 class, and the largest USF18 event of the year with 56 boats on the line. Sarasota served up chamber of commerce conditions for the week, allowing for 17 races to be run on Sarasota Bay and in the Gulf of Mexico with conditions ranging from 5 to 20+ knots. At the end of a very closely contested series, it was Mike Easton and Tripp Burd taking the Americas and US National Championship titles, with Taylor Reiss and Matt Whitehead winning the Jr. Division, and Robbie Daniel and Enrique Rodriguez taking the Masters Division.
The Southern Area season concluded with the 29th edition of the Key Largo Steeplechase, December 14-15 in the beautiful Florida Keys. Five F18s were in attendance to battle for the F18 perpetual trophy, donated for the 2012 event by Karl Langefeld. After 110 miles of racing, it was Karl and crew Jeff Dusek taking the F18 fleet victory, with Laura Muma and Dave Ingram second, and Dick MacDonald and Mark Herendeen third.
The Southern Area fleet looks forward to starting off 2014 with the Tradewinds Midwinters on January 18-20 at the Islander Resort. Come escape the cold, shake off the Holiday rust, and start the new season sailing in paradise!
Mid-Western Area Fleet Recap:
The highlight of the Mid-Western fleet for the 2013 season was the 11th running of the annual Great Texas 300 long distance race. Compromised of four legs and 300 miles along the Texas Gulf Coast, six F18s participated in the 2013 race, making up most of the seven boat fleet. Winning the F18 division and the event overall was the C2 of John Tomko and Ian Billings, with Shannon Galway and Jonathan Atwood second, and Steve Piche and Juke Ball rounding out the podium in third.
The Mid-Western fleet looks forward to hosting the 2014 USF18 Nationals in Corpus Christi, Texas October 20-24, 2014. Hosted by the Corpus Christi Yacht Club and with the promise of warm water and big breeze, the Nationals is certain to be an event not to miss. Come join us in Texas to experience one of the best catamaran sailing venues in the United States!
Happy New Year from the USF18 Class Association!
See you on the water in 2014!