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2023 A-Class Midwinters at Upper Keys Sailing Club

by Axel Issel 26 Jan 00:55 PST January 18-21, 2023
Chris Brwon flying a hull during the 2023 A-Class Midwinters © Mike Austin

39 A-Cats gathered at Rowell's Park in Key Largo, FL to race for the 2023 A-Class Midwinters organized by Upper Keys Sailing Club. The regatta counted with the support of Monroe County Park & Beaches, Zhik and Ronstan.

Seven races were held in Blackwater Sound from January 18th through Jan 21st in 6 to 10 knots of wind. The event counted with the presence of sailors from Argentina, Canada, Virgin Islands and 11 US states.

Local sailor Bob Webbon, multiple North American Champion commented, "Blackwater Sound is the best A Cat race course in the world. We are delighted that Monroe County Parks supported our class allowing the fleet to return to Rowell's Park. This ensures the event and the class will keep growing."

Some of the highlights of the regatta includes: the return of the A-Cats to Rowells Parks after years of hiatus, Ben Hall who dusted off and revisited his Foil Wing developed for the 2007 Worlds at Islamorada, the quality of the food and social events for participants, and that the race attracted several new sailors to join the class. In addition, the regatta was honored with Bill Richnow from TX as PRO, only PRO in the world with 3 A-Class Worlds under his belt, who ran a very professional race on one of the best racing grounds known for A Cats in the country.

Christensen from Sarasota, FL posted, "This regatta will come down in history as the best food ever..."

In this 2023 Midwinters edition, due to light wind conditions, foilers and non-foilers boats were in constant battle with no clear advantage over one another. The Perpetual Midwinters Trophy was engraved with repeated winners Mahoney and Webbon for Open and Classic fleets respectively.

Video on Instagram here.

The A-Class is a development class that keeps growing a very competitive and busy fleet across the country with several regattas year round. The A Cat is a 100% carbon fiber 18 foot Catamaran, that weighs only 150 Lbs including almost 14 m2 of sail area in a 29.5ft carbon fiber mast. Is common to see the A Cats foiling above 24kts in 12 kts of wind. The A Cats compete in 2 divisions, foilers and non foilers, usually scoring the 2 classes separately and overall results. Since all boats race together at the same time on the same course, the fleet keeps races packed, busy and very competitive. The foilers (open class) usually benefit from stronger winds, but in less than 10 knots of wind, the classics (non foilers) run a small advantage due to less drag due to non foiling appendages. For 2023, the A Cat Classic was chosen for the Alter Cup to be held in Pensacola the first week of October.

Overall Results:

Foiling Fleet

PosHelmSail NoBoat NameClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1Bruce MahoneyUSA 311 Mahoney Projects[1]1111116
2Bailey WhiteUSA 320 Lake Lanier Sailing Club LLSC3322[7]2315
3Francisco VenetucciARG 111 Yacht Club Rosario243345[10]21
4Palmer OliverUSA 336 Bubbas boat yard 564[8]24526
5Larry WoodsCAN 44The Cross trainerBBCC42648[12]731
6Richard StevensUSA 294 LLSC[8]58666435
7Michael ChristensenUSA 37Ronstan USSSS9[OCS]7RET33241
8Matthew SmythUSA 447AcatFwyc61255[13]71247
9Todd WoodsCAN 66OODBBCA[11]1099510649
10Axel IsselUSA 449Flor3Upper Keys Sailing Club (UKSC)77[OCS]1099951
11Jeff BrauchUSA 9Dream number 9TPYC138[OCS]71213861
12Marty McKennaUSA 261VeritasWest River Sailing Club10[13]11111081161
13Bill VIningUSA 6DNA F1LLSC129[RET]DNC1111RET77
14David BradlyCAN 29Too OutrageousNepean Sailing Club141110[RET]DNCDNCDNC86
15Mark HerendeenUSA 143Realestateinksolutions.comSpace Coast[DNC]DNCDNCDNC14141392

Classic Fleet

PosHelmSail NoBoat NameClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1Bob WebbonUSA 165ApocalypseUpper Keys Sailing Club (UKSC)141111[7]9
2Ken MarshackUSA 192 UKSC/ Red Gear Racing212[4]32313
3Chris BatchelorISV 15 None[9]23345421
4Jeff LoSapioUSA 439 West River Sailing Club3345[13]11632
5Greg MatthewsUSA 444No ExcusesUKSC46[10]8510134
6Patrick StadtUSA 79HIGHWAY STARMelbourne Yacht ClubRDGRDGRDGRDG24[14]34
7Bobby OrrUSA 4Mystery to MeWest RIver Sailing Club75119[15]3237
8Tony VandenoeverUSA 358Sarasota TaxiSarasota Sailing Squadron5[13]56129845
9Christopher BrownUSA 193 IHYC[OCS]1292681552
10Valdek KwasniewskiPOL 120 SSS1191210[16]7554
11Matt MorrisUSA 434The Juice is LooseRogue Sailing / Rudder Club8881310[20]1158
12Andrew BurdettUSA 268 Upper Keys Sailing Club (UKSC)61516[RET]812966
13Ben HallUSA 77AlbatrossBokeelia/Bristol16116111917[DNF]80
14David IngramUSA 427Chapter OneMelbourne Yacht Club1414157[20]181684
15Bill KastUSA 232Jozin2sailNOYC1210712[DNC]DNCDNC89
16Philippe LaurentUSA 459 WSC/RGR10[18]141618161892
17John SchieferUSA 122MojitoUpper Keys Sailing Club (UKSC)13[RET]RETDNC7131293
18Ethan SalkindUSA 1192 UnAf151617171414[OCS]93
19Warren MitchellUSA 308 OHSC1817181417[21]1397
20Mark BatchelorUSA 17 CRAM[OCS]RETRETDNC1161099
21Woody CopeUSA 310 Gyc1771315[DNC]DNCDNC100
22Joey BakerUSA 16 Great Lakes Yacht Club19191918[21]1917111
23Chris BoltonUSA 148 PRSA[RET]RETRETRET915RET120

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