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ISAF A-Class North American Champs - Sailors of all ages in the hunt

'ISAF A-Class North American Championship 2014'    © Ocean Images

With wild shifts and fickle Southerly breeze all day, the largest fleet in the history of the International A-Class Catamaran North American Championship sailed a challenging two-race day in the waters of Croatan Sound. The Outer Banks provided the usual warm weather and bright sunshine, but the big attraction to sailors - the near-constant 15-knot breezes the area is so well known for - didn't make an appearance.

ISAF A-Class North American Championship 2014 -  © Ocean Images  

Instead, sailors contended with everything from dead calms to 12 knots of South wind, and wily veterans like Tampa's Woody Cope sailing light-air weapons like his Nikita design thrived, the soon-to-be 66 year old riding a five - one scoreline to second place on the day behind Houston’s Bruce Mahoney in his state-of-the-art DNA catamaran. 'I’ve got to teach this younguns a lesson every now and again,' Cope said, though he credited his A-Cat friends from Tampa for much of his speed. 'I’ve been getting beat by these guys for so long, I guess finally something rubbed off on me,' said Cope.

ISAF A-Class North American Championship 2014 -  © Ocean Images  

At the other end of the age spectrum but also from Western Florida, 18-year old Jeremy Herrin nearly won the day on a boat he built in his garage with his dad. The high school senior trailed the winning Mahoney over the line by seconds in the first race of the day, and he was ahead halfway through the second race. 'At first I thought my carbon shroud had broken, but then I saw the full tang attachment had pulled through the deck and I knew my day was over,' said Herrin.

'Fortunately, I only lost one race, and I’ll have it fixed by the morning and hopefully no more trouble after that.' Herrin’s DNF in Race two puts him all the way back in 28th position; something that should be remedied tomorrow. 'We have a drop coming in after five races, so I’ll need to make sure I have no more big gear problems and I should be in a pretty good position,' said Herrin.

ISAF A-Class North American Championship 2014 -  © Ocean Images  

A minimum of three races is planned for Thursday, the second day of this four-day regatta, with more Southerly breeze of up to 15 knots on forecast throughout the day.

ISAF A-Class North American Championship 2014 -  © Ocean Images  

Top five results of the day:
1. USA 311, A Cat 18', Bruce Mahoney , Houston, TX, USA - 1, 3, ; 4
2. none, A Class 18, Woody Cope , Tampa, FL, USA - 5, 1, ; 6
3. AUS 11, DNA 18, Ben Moon , St Petersburg, FL, USA - 4, 2, ; 6
4. Bas Clas, DNA 18, Bob Hodges, Covington, LA, USA - 3, 9, ; 12
5. el Presidente, DNA A Class 18, Bailey White , Atlanta, GA, USA - 11, 4, ; 15

ISAF A-Class North American Championship 2014 -  © Ocean Images  

ISAF A-Class North American Championship 2014 -  © Ocean Images  

by Ocean Images


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3:45 AM Thu 12 Jun 2014GMT

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