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Moth & A-Cat North American Championships come to San Diego South Bay

by Emily Willhoft on 19 Aug 29 September - 1 October & 5-8 October 2017
The Moth North American Championship will be held in San Diego at the end of the month © SDYC

For the first time ever, this fall the San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) will host the both the Moth and A-Cat North American Championships back-to-back. The events will feature high-speed sailing on South San Diego Bay, off the beaches of Coronado at Crown Cove, in one person International Moth Dinghies and A-Cat Catamarans.

The Moth North American Championship will occur first, with three full days of sailing from September 29-October 1. When looking at both registration lists, competitors will travel from as far as New Jersey, Florida, and Canada to race in these high-performance events.

Matthew Knowles from Newport, Rhode Island, has participated in six Moth North American Championships and plans to attend this year's event in San Diego. "San Diego is the new hot spot for Moth sailing in the US. Matt Struble has done a great job growing the fleet, and we are thrilled to be racing North Americans in San Diego this fall. It is hard to think of a better spot to race some of the fastest boats around."

Another Moth sailor, Bora Gulari, who has competed in 8 prior North American Championships, is eager to race this fall. "I am excited to get back to San Diego on my Moth. It is a great location to sail and it has been a while since the fleet was there. With the local fleet coming back strong, it's time for us to return. I look forward to coming to the event."

This event will feature a high level of competition as two competitors on the registration list, Zack Downing from San Diego Yacht Club and Andrew Brazier from Royal Canadian Yacht Club, recently sailed in the 2017 Moth World Championship in Malcesine, Italy held in July.

Downing stated that racing in the Moth Worlds in Italy was a great learning experience. "I'm hoping to employ everything I learned about Moth tactics and boat setup at the North Americans in September to put together complete races and improve my consistency. My boat just arrived from Worlds and I'm looking forward to getting out on the water as soon as possible to start preparing. I'll be making a few changes to my boat before the event as well. The local fleet has sailed out of the racing venue a couple times and there are usually perfect Moth sailing conditions in South Bay."

After the Moth North American Championship, the A-Cat North American Championship will follow with four days of action-packed sailing from October 5-8.

Clearwater, Florida resident Robbie Daniel sails in many A-Cat Championships, including the A-Cat Worlds in Key Largo, Florida in 2007. "Getting the chance to sail A-Cats are like mixing the fun aspect of beach cat racing, with the high level of Olympic sailing. I sailed in San Diego for the 2008 Olympic trials. Sailing the exciting foiling A-Cat here brings back all those great memories. These boats and this competition, at a legendary location like this, will make for an amazing event."

Though the final format of the championship will depend on the daily conditions, race organizers have scheduled three races on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and two races on Sunday.

Matt Keenan, who sails out of the Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, will also travel across the country this fall to compete. "Personally, I am looking forward to my second North Americans and first A-Class event on the West Coast. It will be exciting to see the whole class come together once again for some exciting and tight racing."

Keenan also shares what he's practicing on in the months leading up to the championship. "With so much innovation in the class lately I have been focusing purely tuning and keeping the boat speed consistent on the foils, both up wind and downwind. The person who can find their groove and keep the boat high and dry on the foils, will likely be the next champion."

Regatta Chairman Matt Struble, is not only organizing both of these events, but he has also won the A-Cat North Americans in 2015 and 2016. "The Moth and A-Cat North Americans will be the high performance events of 2017. The rich sailing history of San Diego Yacht Club is very helpful when organizing and running the North American Championships for boats that fly. San Diego South Bay is known as foiling heaven due to the lack of weeds, wind speeds between 10-15mph, small waves, and warmer water."

SDYC Commodore John Reiter looks forward to hosting both events and propelling the modern style of sailing that these events will showcase.

"The sharp end of the development of our sport is with foiling boats, and we're proud here at SDYC to help run great examples of this shift. Our membership has been on the bleeding edge of technology going back over one hundred years, with innovators designing and building some of the fastest racing designs and equipment of their time. While we're not famous for flying boats, we are famous for pushing the limits of the sport and hosting incredible events. We welcome the athletes of all styles of sailing and hope their time here in America's Finest City is productive, competitive, and most of all rewarding."

The awards ceremonies will be held at the Loews Coronado Hotel after the completion of races on Sunday, October 1 and Sunday, October 8.

Eligible boats may enter online by paying the entry fee and completing and submitting the Official Registration and Entry Forms by September 20, 2017 (Moths) and September 27, 2017 (A-Cats).

SDYC would like to thank event sponsors; Harken, North Sails, Sailcloth Technology, Velocitek, and California State Parks.

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