Beetle Cat sailors braved calm water, sunny skies and mild temperatures to compete in the first ever Beetle Cat Midwinter championships last week. Sandwiched between two rain-soaked days, Sunday, Dec. 9, featured great sailing and spectating conditions with a north to northeast breeze at 12 tapering to 5 knots and sunshine giving way to clouds by evening. The event was hosted by the Kickemuit Catboat Association in the Kickemuit River.
The regatta format was similar to college style racing with two divisions. Each boat owner invited a second team to sail in the other division and boats were swapped back and forth.
Mole Minder, in her 34th season, won the day helmed by owner Chris Museler in "A" division and by Neal Fowler sailing "B" division. Solid finishes over the 10 total races proved to be the winning combination for the syndicate edging out second place Ignus Fatuus, helmed by owner Mike Mills in "A" and Mike Zani in "B".
Close and competitive racing was the feature of the day. There were half a dozen photo finishes with at times four boats abreast running to the finish of the 20 minute windward/leeward x2 courses. A spectator and race committee-friendly race course was set with the pin end of the line on shore making for interesting and tactical starting strategies. Up the beat, the Kickie brewed up race changing windshifts with big differences in pressure across the course allowing for some big comebacks.
The group hopes to repeat this post-season sailing again next year.
Final Results: (A/B/Total)
1. MOLE MINDER (14/14/28) Chris Museler, Marley Mills, Isabella Museler, Tristan Tamulaites, Wake Zani, Neal Fowler, Charlie York
2. IGNUS FATUUS (18/13/31) Mike Mills, Moxie Mills, Mike Zani, Wake Zani, Pluto
3. (tied) REMINDER (10/24/34) Tim Fallon, Olin Guck, Karen Fallon, Nina MIlls
3. (tied) PONYO (25/9/34) Jesse Smith, Parker Colantuano, Lars Guck, Avery Guck, Maya Mills
5. ZOU ZOU (22/26/48) Jeff Gonsalves, Charlie York, Grainne Coen, John York, Meredith Collins and Owen Collins
6. HANALEI (27/23/50) John Riley, Brian Welsh, Galen Riley
7. LABRADOR (24/30/54) Chris Murray & entire family minus the Labrador(s), John York, Grainne Coen
(Report from Kickemuit Catboat Association)
Read named North Sails president
Back from his Volvo around-the-world racing, Ken Read has returned to sailmaking. North Sails announced last week that the Seekonk native will rejoin North Sails in the role of president in early January, 2013. He will be based in Rhode Island (North has a facility in Portsmouth) and will take over for current president Gary Weisman who has served at the helm of the world's largest sailmaker for 16 years and plans to retire within the next four months.
"This is an important and exciting time in the world of sailing, sailmaking and in the history of North Sails,” said North Technology Group CEO Tom Whidden. ”We are absolutely thrilled to have Kenny back in the mix transitioning into the role of North’s president."
Read, who got his sailing start at the Barrington Yacht Club and was a high school all-American at Providence Country Day in East Providence (which didn't even have a team at the time) started working for North Sails in 1996 but has taken four sabbaticals to go sailing. He skippered PUMA’s Mar Mostro during the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race and il mostro in the 2008-09 edition. Prior to that he skippered two America's Cup teams for Dennis Conner on Stars & Stripes in 2000 and 2003.
"Sailing has been my lifeblood since I was very young and it's such an honor to return to what I consider the marine industry's top brand" said Mr. Read. "But I also want to help the sport of sailing grow here in the United States and around the globe. He said his travels to places where "sailing is equivalent to football and baseball here in the U.S. and I will work hard to help make our sport more visible.” .