VX One UK National Championships at Royal Forth Yacht Club, Edinburgh 10-12th Sept 2016

img_3821 img_3823 img_3822 img_3824Royal Forth Yacht Club, in Edinburgh, welcomed 9 VX One’s for their 2016 UK national Championships over the weekend of 10th– 12th September. Crews attended from all over with representation from Torquay, Ullswater, Lock Earn, Tynemouth, Edinburgh and even Switzerland.

Racing began on the Saturday, in a light to moderate southerly breeze. Windward / leeward courses were set on the Forth, with excellent conditions welcoming the non Scottish visiting boats. It was Beat Steffan, from Switzerland, crewed by Chris Turner, who revelled in the conditions, producing a clean sweep of 1st places on the opening day’s 3 races. Completing the podium on day 1 was Kevin Anderson and Edmond Clarke from Ullswater, followed by local RFYC boat Willpower (Will Davies and Donald McLean). The day ended with an excellent commodore’s reception in the clubhouse.

Day 2 bought more wind and sunshine. With wind increasing to moderate to strong, the VX One’s showed some exhilarating sailing and handling skills, with speeds of 20+knots recorded. Five back to back races were held, in anticipation of even higher winds expected on the Monday. The son and father team of Monian and Adrian Peach, from Torquay, and Nathan Bachelor, finished the day with three 1st places, which moved them up the leader board. Anderson/Clarke and another family team from Ullswater (Donald, Charlie and Kathlyn Chandler) also took a 1st each. Steffan/Turner and Anderson/Clarke had solid string of performances during the day, leaving the top 3 boats ending day two overall with only 3 points separating them. The class dinner was held in the evening, with RFYC once again providing an excellent meal and hospitality.

All was to sail for on the final day, and as expected, the wind strengthened again, with winds gusting to 30 knots. The last two races were held to decide the final podium positions. In the end it was the Peach/Peach/Bachelor who deservedly won the UK Championships, followed by Anderson/Clarke and Steffen/Turner completing the podium. The Chandler’s won the top family prize (outside of the podium) in 4th.

Huge credit must go to Royal Forth Yacht Club and John Robertson (PRO) for laying on a fantastic event, both on and off the water, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. The VX One Class continues to build a strong reputation of having a great boat that produces some tight and adrenaline filled racing, supported by extremely friendly owners. The class now looks forward to next year, with events being planned for the Nationals, Inlands, Scottish Series in Tarbert and an inaugural Gold Cup event at Riva del Garda in August.

VX ONE North Americans on the shores of Lake Michigan

2016 VX ONE North Americans September 23 – 25 hosted by Macatawa Bay Yacht Club in Holland Michigan.

VX ONE’s lined up on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan to race the 5th North American Championship. VX ONE teams came from locations spanning North America from Massachusetts to Louisiana to California and one South American team from Chile.

Racing took place in beautiful Lake Michigan with perfect wind conditions for full hiking upwind and fast planning offwind legs.

Close racing between teams of various weights yielded many position changes in each race.

Day one we had winds growing from 9 to 12 knots and after four races the team of John Potter/ David Guggenheim led the fleet with 3 wins and a 8th, followed by the team of Sam Padnos/Grant Goman/Charlie Sligh with two 4th’s and 2nd’s and the team of Tim Pitts/Joe Ferra with two 2nd’s an 11th and a 1st.

Day Two we had winds starting at 13 knots and diminishing to 10 knots. Three more races were completed with the team of Emily Billing/Matt Haddon/Justin Howard winning the day with two firsts and a third, followed by the Teams of Sam Padnos/Grant Goman/ Charlie Sligh and Phillip Norris/Anthony Norris/Eden Nykamp alternating a very consistent 2-5-6.

On day Three with two more races required to complete the series five teams were in contention for the title. Winds averaged 12 knots and as usual racing was very close. The day was won by former N.A champion Christopher Alexander/Brad Winslett with a first and a 3rd, followed by Phillip Norris/Anthony Norris/ Eden Nykamp with a 4th and a 2nd and John Potter/ David Guggenheim with a 2nd and a 5th.

With racing completed John Potter/David Guggenheim were crowned North American Champions with Sam Padnos/Grant Goman/Charlie Sligh finishing second and Phillip Norris/Anthony Norris/ Eden Nykamp finishing Third.

Awards took place on the grounds of Macatawa Bay Yacht Club with recognitions given to our oldest crew at 64 years and our youngest at 12 years of age. Several family members and juniors made up the crews for event.

The North American fleet will be heading south for the Sarasota for the Winter Series, Miami Bacardi Cup, St. Pete NOOD and Charleston Race Week.

Full results are on:  yachtscoring.com

Cleveland Race Week

As the city of Cleveland prepared for its first championship win in 52 years, 92 one-design boats were welcomed at Edgewater Yacht Club for the 36th annual Cleveland Race Week from June 17-19. Ten fleets competed. Saturday morning started with AP onshore due to light winds and after a valiant effort by the Race Committee, no races were sailed as winds died throughout the afternoon. Sunday morning, entrants woke to decent, but shifting breeze with winds out of the southwest shifting north throughout the afternoon. The Race Committee was able to get in two races for the series. Winning the VX One fleet was local Jeff Eiber’s This Side Down with 2 points. For complete information, click here.

VX Ones at The Silvers Marine Scottish Series

AT7A50651 AT7A40057 AT7A40030The Whitsun weekend brought around the Silvers Marine Scottish Series, and for the second time the VX One fleet having its own class start. Six VX Ones made the trip to Tarbert, Loch Fyne from as far afield as Aberdeen, Darlington and Rhode Island. The weather was not typical Scottish Series–light winds and sun were the norm for the regatta, ideal for the après sail beer and scallops. Racing was dominated by the USA father and son team of Brian and Hayden Bennett. They were consistently quicker in the light to medium breezes encountered. The fleet was appreciative of the ‘chalk talks’ put on by these two during the regatta, enabling all sailors to up their game and learn some of the nuances of rig tuning the American way. Best of the rest was another family affair–brothers Jono and Benji Shelley finished second in Abracadabra. In third place, having had been adjudicated a photo finish with Abracadbra in race one was The Lead Sled sailed by Neal piper, Euan Dunn and Nathan Batchelor. Interestingly all boats but one were crewed by members of the same family, four of which were father and son combinations. First under 18 was Rhys Lewis sailing on Battlecruiser from Ullswater YC. Next regatta on the 2016 VX One circuit is the Inland Championship at Ullswater YC on 25/26 June.

Buccaneer Spring Regatta

Six VX Ones were greeted at Buccaneer Yacht Club on Saturday with light air and three long races. Kevin Northrop won the day with a 3,1,1. The breeze initially looked like it intended to shift hard right and let the seabreeze fill, but the northeasterly held on until the second half of the third race. The races were challenging, and it was great practice to transition the boat through ever changing wind direction and velocity. The long races also emphasized the importance of making decisions early since separation between boats was extreme at times. This made it tough to consolidate gains; finding leverage was easy as pie. Sunday’s forecast looked dismal as the southerly was forecast to be fighting the northerly again. To the competitors delight though, the northerly actually built into a healthy 10-12 knots by the second race. The races were shortened to about .8 miles (from 1.25 the day before), and the fleet stayed close and competitive. Two races were completed. In the end, Kevin Northrop with 10 points was awarded first overall on a tie-break with Chris Alexander. Dustin Brennan stayed right in the mix with 13 points. Buccaneer Yacht Club did a fantastic job on the hospitality front. Low entry fees, some excellent grilled chicken, and cheap drinks at the bar made for great atmosphere after racing each day. The VX One fleet will certainly keep this stop on the circuit for a long time to come! Results are available at http://bucyc.com/resources/2016-BucYC-Spring-Regatta-Final-VX-Results.pdf. (Thank you to Chris Alexander for the report.)

VX One Success at The Grand Prix Ecole Navale

VXOneGrandPrixThe Grand Prix Ecole Navale is one of the most famous French sailing events, organised annually by the French Naval Academy. Sailing is spread across three sites centred around Crozon, catering for over 1500 sailors in a variety of classes. Ovington Boats and the French distributor Carre Distrabution decided the GPEN was the perfect platform to hold the inaugural VX One Euro Cup. The French Navy organised everything from the racing to the accommodation and evening entertainment. All the sailors have to do is turn and enjoy themselves; everything else is done for them. The VX One fleet hosted sailors from the UK, Belgium, France and USA. Racing started on the Thursday, and with a marginal forecast the committee did their best to get things moving. Despite three starts, the wind either dropped off or switched through 180 degrees making a finish impossible. After several hours on the water, it was finally decided to abandon and return to the bar. Friday was scheduled for an early start, however again due to light winds sailing was postponed until mid-day. The fleet launched at 1pm with good breeze all the way out to the race course. Eventually though, the wind gods decided it wasn’t to be, meaning another early retirement to the bar. With a solid forecast for the Saturday, the final day of racing, it was all to play for! An early start by all saw the first race getting under way by 10am. Nathan Batchelor and Andy Weatherspoon set the pace winning the first three races. The rest of the positions swapped and changed, the most consistent results coming from the USA boat of Brian and Hayden Bennett, and Gerard Daugey and Christian Chapelin in FRA192. In theory, going into the final race the second two steps of the podium were going to be fought out between these two boats. However, under the radar, three young French sailors normally making their mark in the European laser fleets were lurking ready to pounce. The stage was set then for the final race. A shift and strengthening in the breeze meant a change of course, this time covering 7 nautical miles. First out the blocks were the USA boat closely followed by two GBR boats. This is how the positions stayed for the first lap, but a split in the fleet (half going left whilst the other half chose to go right) would cause a re-shuffle of the pack. The GBR boat of Anne Noble, Lester Noble and John McAfee would see themselves slip from second to fifth, with Gerard and Christian (FRA192) passing Nathan and Andy (GB179) for second, and the three young Laser upstarts moving into fourth. Just as all looked to be done, Gerhard sailed the wrong side of the finish mark, handing second back to Nathan and Andy with the French youngsters finishing third. USA 208 led from start to finish taking the win. The prize-giving was held in the spectacular Navale Academy. All sailors from the event were in attendance, treated to a sit-down evening meal before a podium ceremony for each fleet. The atmosphere was electric with stories and anecdotes from each race being shared through the course of the evening. Final results saw Nathan Batchelor and Andy Weatherspoon take the win, second place went to Brian and Hayden Bennett, with the young French boat coming a solid third. The event was an outstanding success, great racing, great hospitality and new friends that no doubt we will see again.

Charleston Race Week

Eighteen classes with 243 boats competed amid breezy conditions at Charleston Race Week 2016, held April 15-17 in Charleston, SC, including eight VX Ones. Kevin Gillman’s GiddyUp notched all firsts and seconds for 7 net points in six races. Both John Potter and Greg Fisher’s Chuck Wagon kept all of their scores in the top three, but it was Potter who edged out Fisher for second place (10 points to 11). For complete results, click here.

BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival

The third and final day of the 45th BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival delivered the fleet with a light easterly of 8-12 knots throughout the morning, becoming a little lighter towards the end of racing. New to the Spring Regatta this year was the VX One fleet. Tim Pitts (USA), fleet chairman, who took third overall in class racing on Cruzan Rhode, said, “It was absolutely perfect, we enjoyed everything from the weather, to the conditions, the hospitality here was just great. We had 11 boats sailing all weekend in premium conditions. Jeff Eiber on This Side Down (USA) sailed extremely well and deserves every bit of his win. The courses were perfect, the race committee listened to all our input and it’s probably the best-managed racing we’ve had and we’ll be back next year.” This Side Down, VX One fleet overall winner and recipient of the first VX One Caribbean Cup, was the family team, Keven and Jeff Eiber with their 22-year old son Emery. “Certainly sailing together as a family this week has been the highlight. It is such a challenge every time (LOL!), but the highlight is that we did it!” For complete event details, visit http://www.bvispringregatta.org/.

Wind Was the Word in St. Thomas

The real story of the 43rd St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR) was wind. Lots of it. Gusts blustered over 30 knots all three days with 6 to 8 foot seas. Yet combine these conditions with 80-degree weather, bright sun and bathwater warm turquoise seas and it’s a recipe that racers on the 67 entered boats relished. It was a test of the Class Rules in the VX One Class. Class Rules for regattas call for no starts when the median wind speed exceeds 22 knots. Class vice-president and St. Croix native Tim Pitts called for an increase in that limit to 27 knots. As a result, the Class raced all three days. “We’re maturing as a Class, and although anything over 25 knots is challenging, the skill level is there to handle it,” said Pitts, who now lives in Newport, RI, and is responsible bringing the VX One fleet to the Virgin Islands. “On the other hand, it’s kind of ironic to invite your friends down and beat them in my own backyard. Still, although I’ve been on several STIR winning boats, this is the first time it was my boat that won.” For full information about the Round the Rounds and St. Thomas International Regatta, including results, photos, social schedule and more, please visit www.stthomasinternationalregatta.com.