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'Double the Fun' leads Pensacola Yacht Club VX One Winter Series

by Talbot Wilson 6 Feb 17:36 PST February 19-20, 2022
Off to the races... Race 1 of the VX One Midwinter Championship saw a clean start with only one OCS competitor,— Trevor Parekh's #123 [315] ‘Bro Safari' —which was the winner of the Winter Series #1 sailed in mid-December. © Talbot Wilson

Regattas #1 and #2 of the 2021-22 VX One Winter Series at Pensacola YC are history. Going into the final regatta of the series set for February 19-20, 'Double the Fun' with Newport RI skipper Hayden Bennett and crew Estaban Forrer has a 2.55% (13-point) lead over 'Counterproductive' sailed by VX One Class President Chris Alexander out of Gulfport MS YC with Madeline Gill and Ricky Welch trimming and hiking.

'Merica' from Mobile AL Bucaneer YC with Paul Kleinschrodt, Karl Kleinschrodt and Georgia Huffstetter is in third 15 points further back. It's 443 for 87.2%, 430 for 84.65% to 415 for 81.69% after 16 total races in Winter Series #1 in December and #2 in January.

Based on the VX One Class scoring system for the series, It isn't points that count; it's the highest percentage that wins... each boat's actual high point performance vs. the possibility of winning first place in every race. And... Yes, this scoring involves some extra math, but it's done with a custom Excel spreadsheet.

The raw scores are converted into a percentage based on the number of boats that finished each race. The actual cumulative score of each boat is divided by the potential perfect high point total each boat would have had by finishing first in every race it sailed. The highest resulting percentage will win the series competition. A win in a 40-boat fleet is worth more than a win in a 35 boat fleet.

'Double the Fun', 'Counterproductive', and 'Merica"' were 2-3-4 in the Winter Series #1. First place in that regatta went to Trevor Parekh and Alex Heinzemann in 'Bro Safari'. Then in Winter Series #2 it was 'Counterproductive' first, 'Double the Fun' second and 'Merica"' third. Tight racing in the series and in each regatta.

The VX One fleet has ranged around 36 boats entered for event #1 and #2. Entries for #3 had reached 40 by February 1st and more are expected as new teams traveling for events down in South Florida stop in for a warm-up tune-up. Pensacola entries are being accepted on Regatta Network.

Bennett, the series leader, commented on racing so far saying. "The racing in Pensacola has been exactly what you want. Square race course, tight competition, different conditions day to day and big fleets for each event so far."

Bennett continued, "The first event was a pleasant surprise with warmer temperatures, and mid-range wind speeds allowing for lots of lead changes and very tactical, challenging sailing forcing teams to get their head out of the boat and try to connect the puffs down wind."

"The second event," Bennett added, "gave us fresh breeze with lower temperatures (maybe a bit cooler than what we were expecting) allowing for the heavier 3-up teams to extend upwind. For the larger 2-up teams the goal was primarily to stay in contact upwind and use their acceleration advantage on the downwind legs."

"So far we have had a great experience with both the club and Pensacola at large. PRO Hal Smith has been putting great racing together and excellent communication both on and off the water. We are starting to find our way around and during the off days exploring what Pensacola has to offer. We can only hope to get the same great racing in the last event next month and fingers crossed for 70 degree weather."

Bennett has been part of the VX ONE class since its inception. He was part of the initial R&D and build team and now works with Streamline marine as an importer/ distributor. He has had the privilege of sailing with many members of the fleet and scored podium finishes at multiple regattas.

Racing for the final event of the VX One Winter Series is on schedule for the first warning at 1055 on Saturday February 19. Awards for Winter Series #3 and the Winter Series overall will be presented soon after racing concludes on Sunday February 20.

MarkSetBots, Streamline Marine and Pensacola YC partnered to bring the tech-advanced, remote control racing marks to the Series.

Full daily results are posted here

VX One Winter Series information will be posted at www.pensacolayachtclub.org/Racing, and on the VX One Class website.

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