Please select your home edition
Marine Resources 2022 - LEADERBOARD

An interview with Conner Blouin on the 2021 Waszp North American Championship Regatta

by David Schmidt 3 Dec 2021 12:57 PST December 9-12, 2021
Hattie Rogers during the 2021 WASZP European Games © Anna Suslova / 2021 WASZP European Games

It's hard to argue with foiling: It's fast, it's fun, and it's sailing's future. The trouble? Cost. Some development-class boats require borderline arms-races commitments when it comes to foil development, and it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to move from platform to platform as a sailor advances, leaving some would-be foilers in the dinghy park rigging their Lasers.

Enter the Waszp, a One Design foiler that measures 11" LOA, carries 7'5" of beam, and weighs 100 pounds (sans sails).

The Waszp was designed in 2016 by Andrew McDougall and is being built by McConaghy Builders. To date, McConaghy has produced over 1,200 Waszps, which closely resemble Moths. They are available in three configurations: standard-rig Waszps, Waszp_X 5.8s and Waszp_X 6.9s (think Laser, Laser Radial), with the difference being sail area and cross bars.

This means that the same boat can be enjoyed by sailors aged 11 all the way to adult masters just by swapping rigs.

Not surprisingly, the class has rapidly attracted sailors on multiple continents and is generating great racing. Take, for example, this year's Waszp North American Championship Regatta, which is being hosted by the Davis Island Yacht Club, in Tampa, Florida, from December 9-12, 2021.

I checked in with Conner Blouin, regatta chair of the 2021 Waszp North American Championship, via email, to learn more about this exciting foiling affair.

What kind of entry numbers are you seeing this year? Also, are there any notable geographical concentrations to this entry list? Ten to 15 [competitors]. A lot of sailors from the East Coast and a few Canadians will be joining us.

Weather-wise, what kind conditions can sailors expect to encounter off of Tampa in early-to-mid December? What are the best-case and worst-case weather scenarios?

Tampa that time of year typically gets great Waszp weather. 10-20 knots.

Do you see local knowledge playing a big or small role in the regatta's outcome? Can you please explain?

I don't think local knowledge will play a role.

Do you have any teams that you're eyeing for podium finishes? What about any dark horses who you think could prove to be fast, once the starting guns begin sounding?

I would look for Sam Blouin and Austin Powers as big players at the event. Kyle Rogachenko will also be a strong player.

How many races do you and the other organizers hope to score over the course of the regatta?

We are shooting for six races a day, and a grand total of 24.

Obviously organizing and running a big regatta amidst a still-churning pandemic isn't easy. Can you tell us about the biggest logistical and organizational hurdles that you've had to clear to make this happen?

Just getting the word out about the event as it was last minute. Sign ups have been good, and we are glad to see some Canadians coming.

Can you tell us about any efforts that you and the other regatta organizers have made to try to lower the regatta's environmental footprint or otherwise green-up the regatta?

I cannot speak to this.

Is there anything else that you'd like to add, for the record?

We are excited for it to be a great event. I'm hoping to set a record number of races, and hopefully aim to set the standard format for Waszp events in the States moving forward.

Related Articles

At the front of the fleet.
Handy position to be in. no matter whether it is icy pole sticks in a drain, or ocean racers at sea. Handy position to be in, no matter whether it is icy pole sticks in a drain, or Grand Prix boats out in the big blue. Since my last ditty, I noticed that three podiums in the one race were all powered by North Sails... Posted on 16 Jan
Martin Kullman on The Southernmost Regatta
An interview with Martin Kullman on The Southernmost Regatta I checked in with Martin Kullman, regatta chairman of the 2022 edition of The Southernmost Regatta, via email, to learn more about this warm-water event. Posted on 13 Jan
Jason Sanchez on the 2022 Bluster on the Bay
David Schmidt interviews chair of the Hobie Class Association of North America I checked in with Jason Sanchez, chair of the Hobie Class Association of North America, via email, to learn more about the 2022 Bluster on the Bay regatta. Posted on 11 Jan
Dayboating for 410 nautical miles
The juxtaposition of go-fast boats to dayboating in classically styled, outboard powered boats... So the juxtaposition of go-fast boats to dayboating in classically styled, outboard powered, resin-infused vessels served as a marvellous exclamation mark for the passage of time. Posted on 10 Jan
America's Cup U-turn, 16ft Skiffs shine
Mark Jardine looks at what's been making the news so far in 2022 America's Cup land never fails to deliver on drama, and the past week saw plenty of it as American Magic confirmed their intention to compete in the 37th America's Cup (AC37), representing the New York Yacht Club (NYYC). Posted on 10 Jan
The Twelve Days of FiveO Christmas
It is time to vote for your favourite 505 photo The 5o5 class grabbed the media spotlight with the '12 days of 5o5 Christmas'. The premise was simple, for instead of calling birds, pipers a piping and French hens, there were twelve superb Christophe Favreau photographs. Posted on 7 Jan
Conti and Hendrick on the 2022 Duwamish Head Race
A Q&A with Dean Conti and Charles Hendrick on the 2022 Duwamish Head Race I checked in Dean Conti and Charles Hendrick, who serve as chair of the 2022 Duwamish Head Race and commodore of the hosting Three Tree Point Yacht Club (respectively), via email, to learn more about this classic Pacific Northwest winter event. Posted on 5 Jan
Sydney Hobart, Magnus Olsson Prize, #TeamSeas
Read David Schmidt's first North American editorial of 2022! The Pacific Northwest might have been buried under snow and unseasonably cold temperatures over the holidays, but things were decidedly warmer in Australia with the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Posted on 4 Jan
Sterling effort.
50 crews made it through the first night in the washing machine to reach ye olde Hobart Town. Singling out the Two-Handers in the Hobart is in no way belittling any of the 50 crews who made it through the first night in the washing machine. Posted on 2 Jan
Life through a lens
Could augmented reality help avoid serious collisions? We spend much of our time on our smartphones, snapping away photos at this, that, and everything, and increasingly our phone cameras are giving us tips about suggested focus points and camera modes. Posted on 26 Dec 2021
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERCyclops 2020 - SmartlinkNano - FOOTERDoyle Sails 2020 - By Sailors For Sailors 728x90 BOTTOM