April 26th, 2018
I haven’t posted here in a while, and I was going to let someone else write about this, but a good friend of mine (Bert Rice Sr.) said I better get off my ass and get it done. So Bert, this one is for you.
There are some great articles on the racing we had at this year’s Alter Cup/US Multihull Championship/WetaFest in Fort Walton. Smyth won the Alter Cup an unprecedented 5th time, and for the first time on a trimaran. Krantz duked it out with him and missed the win by 1 point with some amazingly tight sailing. Hodges, who recently took over as Weta Class President, was solidly in 3rd place transitioning easily from the A Class. Weston traveled from the West Coast to school us all on how a big boy can get it done on a small platform with his 4th place in the variety of conditions. And Keith came down from NY and took 5th in the testing conditions. As the founder of WetaFest, it was fantastic to see the event continue to grow and evolve. Here is the formal write up from USSAILING http://www.ussailing.org/multihull18-final/
But for me, this regatta will really be remembered because it was the first time that my daughter beat me on the water. Not in a single race, but in the series. Not in flat light breeze, but in a mix that saw half the fleet retire due to wind and sea conditions. Not because I let her win (I was nice to her once in the first race, and she glared at me... then she sat on my wind as we approached the upwind mark on a tight lay line... game the hell on), but because she sailed a better regatta than I did. As the youngest competitor and a woman, she kicked the crap out of most of us.
For those of you who have kids that sail, you will know how it felt. A mixture of disbelief, pride, joy and the realization that I couldn’t do anything about it! I’m still smiling... and on a diet.
She came in 10th overall in a fleet of about 40 mutihull sailors from North America, and should have been higher, as she would have had a second place finish in the final race if the committee had finished the race at the leeward mark. Instead, she and Smyth launched from the fleet in the dying breeze, and finally stalled out 100 yards from the upwind finish. They were at least 1/2 mile from the rest of us - where we bobbed around wishing we had beer.
She showed her stuff, and it was pretty impressive - I say this as both father and competitor. She has grown up to be a killer.
We won our first regatta in our Corsair years ago, and many of you will remember her from racing with me and Brian Harrison. Her first singlehanded regatta was 2 years ago at Juanna’s, where she started with 99 other multi’s. She’s 17 now, and as a junior in HS is having a blast sailing anything she can get her hands on - but she lives for speed, the trapeze and competition. Whether sailing a Gen 1 Nacra 17 or playing on a 420, it’s amazing how quickly kids learn, and I cannot thank all the different influences she has had in her sailing life... Smyth, Gulari, Krantz, Hodges, Barkow and most recently Benvenutti in the Viper 640 class... You all make her want to be a better sailor, and the intrest and advice you have given her has made all the difference. We are pretty lucky to know and sail with you all.
Bert - I know you understand how I feel about her - I know Bert Jr. kicked your ass back in the day and I can still see the smile when you watch him from the race committee boat. I think Cam had her first race with you as PRO, and you must have made her enjoy it... miss you bud.
Here are a few photos from the sailing: The shrimp boat is my new favorite of all time.
Coolest regatta ever...
By Cliff Farrah