Extreme2 Wins in Miami

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In the first stand-alone event in class history, Dan Cheresh and his team on Extreme2 won the C&C 30 Miami Ocean Challenge, the second event in the class’s 2016 tour and organized by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club and sailed in the waters off Miami. Cheresh raced with tactician Mark Mendleblatt, Dave Shriner, Bryn Crawford, Pete Crawford, Nick Ford, John Gluek, and Sam Tobio. Conditions for the three days of racing varied from a blustery 18-25 knots and huge seas on Friday, to moderating 12-16 knot conditions yesterday to 9-4 knot conditions today.

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Team Extreme2: Mark Mendleblatt, John Gluek, Pete Crawford, Dave Shriner, Nick Ford, Sam Tobio, Bryn Crawford, Dan Cheresh

Despite having won four races out of ten sailed, victory did not come easy for the Extreme2 team. Ahead in points going into today and ahead in the first race of the day, the team suffered a broken spinnaker sheet on the downwind leg to lose three boats and earn a 4th place, ceding the lead to Jim Madden on Stark Racing Mad VIII who own the race and took the series lead by two points. This was followed by a win in Race 9 to Madden’s second place, which closed the gap to one point, thus making it an exciting showdown in the final race for the series win.

Both boats set up near the signal boat at the start, with Madden in early control to leeward. But Cheresh at 10 seconds found a gap, sheeted in, and accelerated perfectly to take a narrow but decisive lead at the start. And when Madden tacked to get to the right, Cheresh simply covered, the two not focused at all on how their other rivals were making gains on either side.

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Team Stark Raving Mad: Chris Busch, Steve Natvig, Jim Madden, Dylan Vogel, Tony Rey, Alden Winder, John Wallace

One rival in particular, John Heaton on Hooligan, found both pressure and a shift all by themselves in the right corner, tacked and crossed the fleet with the largest margin of any in the series, a lead they held all the way to the finish to win their one and only race of the series.

Extreme2 meantime had extended their lead into the pack to finish second, putting Madden back to fifth their worse finish in a consistent scorecard of finishes no worse than third. This was the racing style all weekend: every team had an outstanding winning race, while having to accept others in the no-discard series.

In third on the final podium position was Nigel Biggs and his mixed English, Irish and Welsh team on Checkmate XVI. Biggs explained this event was worth the commute back over from the UK after Key West: “The racing was fantastic, we all have gotten a little better since Key West, and these boats are great to sail. I look forward to our next class racing event.”

David Cullen, Curtis Florence, Cian Guilfoyle, Nigel Biggs, Bubbles Hyland, Neil Mackley, Simon Pritchard Jones

David Cullen, Curtis Florence, Cian Guilfoyle, Nigel Biggs, Bubbles Hyland, Neil Mackley, Simon Pritchard Jones

“These boats are really fast, stable and the competition is really tightening to where one mistake can really cost you,” agrees Cheresh. “But I also like how the camaraderie is developing in this class, its becoming really fun. I look forward to our next class event at Charleston Race Week.”

For more information and results, visit www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1506.

Racing to Cuba

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“It was a bucket list experience,” says Bob Moran of the Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba. “I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

cuba6After finishing fourth in the one-design fleet at Quantum Key West Race Week, Moran and his team spent four days preparing his C&C 30 One Design BobSled  for offshore racing. This included loading up the life raft and safety equipment, beefing up the onboard electronics, and storing all the gear needed to accommodate a six-person team for a week in Cuba.

The Conch Republic Cup began with a 90-mile offshore sprint race from Key West to Varadero, Cuba. Winds for the race ranged from 15 to 23 knots from the north, setting up perfect downwind conditions for the C&C 30.

cuba1“It was fantastic. It was the best sailing,” says Moran. “You know those days when you go out, and you have a great run and you wish you never had to go upwind?  Well, we didn’t! We just kept going.

“A lot of boats didn’t even jibe – they just sailed the rhumb line,” he says. “We jibed twice and then followed the rhumb line in and passed everybody. We crossed the line second, right behind a J/125. But we corrected to first.”

Hemingway Marina, Havana, Cuba

Hemingway Marina, Havana, Cuba

How was it crossing the Gulf Stream in a 30-foot boat?  “The boat was sturdy and actually more comfortable in the crossings than I would have guessed,” says Bob. “The seas were confused, so it was not a dry ride. There were leftover waves coming from the starboard bow, as well as the waves from behind. And it was dark.

“We had the biggest waves I’ve sailed this boat in; we saw up to six-foot seas,” he says.” We were surfing at 18 knots in the pitch black in these waves. It sounds scary, but it was fun. Once you got settled in, you could time the waves to surf. And the boat loves going downwind. When you’re going fast, the foils are incredible. When sailing in breeze, you have incredible control.”

This first race finished in Varadero, which Moran describes as “like a European resort, or a cruise ship stop. There were resorts, and a very nice marina.” But, he added, “We decided that this didn’t count as ‘Cuba.’ “

While in Varadero, the team competed in a buoy race, finishing sixth. Two days later, the fleet raced the 70 miles from Varadero to Havana. “When we got to Havana, that’s when we hit culture shock,” he says. “We were totally off the grid. Our phones didn’t work and the internet didn’t work. They just don’t have the infrastructure. But getting there, it was the best racing any of us have experienced.

cuba10“There was just barely enough wind for a start – it was almost slow motion,” he recalls. “The breeze built over the day, then some showers came through that left glass-outs for a little while. The speedo was at 0.0 knots. Then the breeze built to about 15.” This was when BobSled began a match race with the J/125 Double Trouble. “We crossed jibes with them, then sailed off and didn’t see them for an hour, and when we jibed back we crossed just ahead of them again.  The last 15 miles were a drag race at night into Havana. We finished seven minutes ahead of them after 10 hours of racing. It was really exciting. We beat them and got line honors – none of us expected it.”

cuba2In Havana, things looked very different from Varadero. The marina was made up of cement docks, some of them with exposed wiring. “It’s more dilapidated than you can imagine,” he says.  “The roads are torn up; you’ll be driving, and then have to turn around and find another way.” But, while the infrastructure was very rough, “the people were incredibly friendly, welcoming and helpful.”

While in Havana, the BobSled team rented two 1950s convertibles for a tour of the city. “These cars haven’t had a true spare part in 50 years,” says Bob. “The cool thing is how resilient the people are with what they have; how they keep those cars running is amazing. They look beautiful outside but the inside is literally hand-made pieces. Their ability to improvise is amazing.”

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Tyler Raven, Michael Coe, Grady Byus, Bob Moran, Andrew Callas, Onno Schenk

The regatta was cut short for team BobSled when a huge cold front was predicted to hit at the scheduled start time for the race back to Key West, resulting in a last-minute schedule change. “They announced on Wednesday that the race would start on Thursday instead of Friday,” says Bob. “We didn’t have time to provision – you couldn’t just run out and get stuff.” So the team opted out of the race and had a leisurely sail home ahead of the anticipated weather. “It turned out to be a great ride,” says Bob.

“Overall, the sailing was great, and Cuba was as different as any exotic country I’ve visited,” says Bob. “We couldn’t have asked for better conditions for the boat. I wanted a one-design boat with a good fleet that could do the occasional sprint race when conditions were right…Wow! We hit the nail on the head with this boat.”

Watch the video from T2PTV here.

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Possible routes from Key West to Varadero, according to BobSled’s routing software just before the start.

Open House March 5

On March 5, 2016, USWatercraft will open the doors to our Rhode Island factory for a behind-the-scenes look at the unique combination of high-tech construction and master craftsmanship that goes in to the build of each of our extraordinary brands. Visitors can take a guided tour of our factory and learn about our process, meet our team of boat building experts, and ask questions one-on-one with our customer service team.

As the builders of True North Yachts, Alerion Yachts, C&C Yachts, and North Rip Boats, we produce luxury power and sail brands, as well as grand-prix racing sailboats and dedicated sport fishing boats. While very different boats in purpose, they share a common denominator – each hull is built to exacting standards, using the high-tech, efficient resin-infusion construction process for which we are known. The result is the highest level of performance for its designed purpose. You will also visit our carpentry shop, where modern CNC machining meets old-world craftsmanship, resulting in some of the most beautiful interior work available.

Tours run every hour, with the last tour starting at 3:00pm. Finished yachts are also on display throughout the day, and several of our industry partners will showcase their latest products.

In addition, you can enter to win a one-day fishing charter on Narragansett Bay aboard the North Rip 30, led by Captain Jack Sprengel of East Coast Charters.

The event is free and open to the public. Bring your friends and family! Click the link below for address and map.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP.

Schedule
Doors open 10am
Tours every hour, last tour begins 3:00pm
Drawing for North Rip Charter at 3:30pm
Vendor Fair open until 4pm

Finished Yachts on Display
Alerion Cruising 41
Alerion Sport 30
Alerion 28
Alerion 20
North Rip 30
North Rip 21
True North 34 Outboard Express
C&C 30 One Design
J/22

Models Under Construction
C&C 30 One Design
Alerion Express 20
Alerion Express 28
Alerion Sport 30
Alerion Express 33
Alerion Cruising 41
True North 38
North Rip 21
North Rip 30

Dramatic Finish in Key West

Onne van der Wal photo

The debut of the C&C 30 One Design class at Quantum Key West Race Week could not have been more exciting. Frequent lead changes, five different race winners over the 10-race series, a squall in the final race, and the drama of a come-from-behind victory are the compelling story lines from the week.

The winners! Walt Thirion, Nick Ewenson, Geoff Ewenson, Lara Dallman-Weiss, Dave Flynn, Collin Kirby, and Hobie Ponting. Max Ranchi photo

On the first day of racing, Walt Thirion and his team on Themis and Dan Cheresh and Extreme2 traded wins in Races 1 and 2, foreshadowing a week-long battle. While other teams made strong charges on different days — Bob Moran and BobSled, and Nigel Biggs and Checkmate, each won two races, and Angus Davis and Nyabinghi won one — in the end consistency paid off for Themis and Extreme2 in the no-throw-out series, and their two-boat battle continued until the final race.

Extreme2 held the lead through Race 6, but struggled with finishes of 1-8-7 in Races 7, 8 and 9, while Themis scored a scorching 2-1-2.  “We won the first race today and thought we had good wheels,” said Cheresh at the end of that day, “But we got caught on the wrong side of some shifts in the other two races. This is a tough class, and if you get behind it’s hard to fight back.”

With only one race to go and four points to make up on the final day of racing, Extreme2 ran out of runway. Their second-place finish to Themis‘ fourth in the final race, Race 10, gave the win to Themis by two points.

“The one-design racing in our class was excellent. It was a lot tighter than previous events and we had a lot of different winners. All the boats are getting better, which is good to see,” said Thirion, who lives in Colorado and bases his boat out of Annapolis. “We did a good job of getting off the line in most races and made smart decisions on which side of the course to take. Racing at this level is all about minimizing mistakes and our team executed well all week.”

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Ed Feo and team on Loco. Onne van der Wal photo

The battle for third place was also a cliffhanger. On the final day of racing, when a squall came through the course and teams experienced the wildest conditions of the week, Ed Feo and team Loco finished two places ahead of Bobsled to break a tie for third. “We used the medium jib on the last day, while a lot of teams used the small jib,” says Feo. “We felt like we had unbelievable speed upwind. When we were going it the right direction, we had great speed with more power in the chop.”

“The racing in this class has been fantastic,” said Cheresh, who is also president of the C&C 30 One Design Class. “We traded the lead in races with lots of teams all week, and everyone was getting better and better as the week wore on. The spirit in this class is also great, where everyone is focused on not only winning, but having fun together, too.”

Feo agrees, “We bought the boat for point to point racing in Southern California, but we had such a good time sailing in the class that we’ll stay on the East Coast to race as we work toward growing our one-design fleet in California.”

Next up for the class is the Miami Ocean Challenge, hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, in February. From there it’s on to Sperry Charleston Race Week, followed by the Sailing World/Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD regatta.

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