National Champions

This past weekend Sam Armington and I sailed up in Racine, Wisconsin competing at the 2013 Formula 16 National Championship and after four long days and fourteen grueling races we came out on top of the competition! We won seven of the fourteen races which gave us a decent buffer early on in the regatta and which gave us one simple task for the remainder of the regatta: hold that lead. The conditions were excellent, race management was very efficient on and off the water, and the locals of the venue embraced us traveling sailors with a warm welcome.

For the first three days of the regatta we were greeted by a northerly breeze that ran near parallel to the shore that later shifted farther to the right, reducing the effect the land had on our race course. The wind strength was within the range of 5-10 knots while we were racing, yet we still had a large amount of swell build up. This provided interesting conditions that allowed for surfing waves both upwind and downwind. Consistently high boatspeed was a key factor that helped keep Sam and I up in the front of the pack and once we were up there it turned into a battle between the top boats.

On the final day of the regatta we had a significantly stronger breeze, ranging from 10 knots to gusts in the upper teens, that was from the opposite direction, the South. The chop quickly built up and made for some fun mark roundings, downwind legs, and spectacular wipeouts by a few of the competitors. After the final day's racing we took the boats completely apart and loaded the trailer, preparing it for its long trip to Corpus Christi.

This regatta had a great turnout of competitors with a large amount of the F16 sailors within the youth age bracket. We also had a team travel all the way from Europe to compete with us. Gunnar Larsen decided to join us this weekend and he helped bring the level of competition up a notch. I learned a lot this past weekend both on and off the water, however Gunnar brought to my attention the importance of still having fun in the midst of all the competitive racing. Without having fun athletes end up hitting plateaus and brick walls in their careers that they cannot overcome.

This regatta would not have been possible without many people who help organize transportation, housing, and the regatta itself. A huge thank you goes to the Chu family for housing not only myself but over a dozen other sailors this past week. Also, without the coordination and organization of Red Gear Racing I would not have had a boat to use at this event nor would I even have come to this event. Jim Zellmer, my multihull coach in Sarasota, also plays a huge part in my development as a sailor and as an individual and without him I would not be where I am now in my sailing career. And, of course, nothing I do in my life would be possible without the help and support of my family. I have one more regatta this summer before school starts: the US Youth Championship in Corpus Christi, TX. Time to gear up for that event

Preparing for a mark rounding in heavy breeze.

Heading upwind on the practice day.

The final results.
After browsing a few of the sailing websites that I regularly check up on I discovered that and the US F18 class website both included reports about this past weekend's event. If you have a moment check out these articles as they provide a different perspective and additional information about the F16 National Championship/Central Coast Championship.

Catamaran Racing, News and Design

US Formula 18 Association website

Also, if you have not already seen this site, the actual regatta site had several daily reports about the weekend's racing. C4 Regatta Site

During the 2013 F16 Nationals one of the media reporters came over to the sailors who had just arrived on shore after each day's racing and interviewed the top teams. Here's what we all had to say!

Interview from day 2

Interview from day 3

Interview from day 4