2015 National Championship
by Brad Ruetenik
Santa Barbara, CA May 15-17, 2015
The 2015 I-14 US Nationals was held out of Santa Barbara Yacht Club on May 15-17. This event was held in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Skiff Fest which this year included a fleet of 29ers, as well as the 505 class' Pacific Coast Championships. Ten I-14s made the journey to SB, of these there were three Henderson built Bieker 6's, two Bieker 5's, a Canadian built Killing 3, the British built 'Hoff', which is sister ship to Pamela from the UK, the 'Shu 2' built of wood by Steve Shumaker, a Bieker 3 'Miss Match', as well as a Biker 2. It was a light breeze event throughout most of the weekend. Thursday a few boats were getting ready for some practice sailing when a rare, and much needed, So Cal. rain squall passed through sucking most of the breeze away with it making for very light air sailing later in the afternoon.[more...]
2015 San Diego Super Cup
Seven I-14s came to SDYC on Apr 11-12 to participate in the San Diego Super Cup. 49ers, 49erFX and 29ers were invited as well, however there was no participation from those fleets this year. Super Cup racing is short course windward / leeward racing with a mid leg gate which must be honored both upwind and downwind. This puts a premium on boat handing and starting, and decreases a pure boat speed advantage. The course is set close to land to allow for better spectator viewing. With a busy weekend occurring at SDYC, a last minute race committee was cobbled together by Summer Green. This was a different set up than the RC is used to as we set a leeward gate which also acts as a start / finish line, there is a 'floating RC boat' which lines up and starts the fleet on a 3 min 'college' type start. The legs are 1/4 - 1/3 mi. and have a mid leg gate which is approx. the size of the start line if not smaller which must passed through upwind. The weather mark, and then return through the mid-leg gate on the downwind leg, leeward gate and repeat. Most of the races are in the 15 min. range with the emphasis on boat handling and lay lines, as well as the physical challenge of getting these boats around the course with sets, gybes, and douses. Sat. had breeze a bit more left than the usually sea breeze and in the 6-10 kt. range. [more...]
2015 San Diego NOOD
by Brad Ruetenik
Five boats made it to the SD NOOD, unfortunately several boats that had planned to sail were stuck in Container Jail. The boats returning from Geelong Worlds were held hostage by the West Coast shipping/dockworkers strikes. The five boats that did make it to SD enjoyed Santa Ana breezes and hot temps.
The Santa Ana are famous in SoCal for strong offshore breezes and hot dry atmosphere. These winds make for puffy, unstable conditions which are much different from the normal predictable sea breeze. There is mixing of the breezes and a fight to see who wins, the offshore or onshore with a line drawn in the sand and occasionally a no man's land between the two breezes with little or no breeze. Fortunately the offshore was strong enough most of the time to win and we generally had hot offshore breezes between 6-16 kts. from 280-305. The 14s were slated to start third, after two larger and significantly slower fleets of Vipers (14 boats), and J-70s (17 boats). We also had to contend with Ultimate 20s (9 boats), Fast 20s (3 Flying Tiger 7.5s) and a fleet of Buccaneers (6 boats). We had to sail through these fleets every race which made for challenging sailing with lots of traffic and often not being able to go where you would like. Interesting and challenging sailing, and made for some very wide eyes on some of the other fleets when they realized how much faster we were going than their lead assisted craft. [more...]
2014 US National Championship
by Paul Galvez
It was decided a couple of years back that the 2014 I-14 US Nationals would be held at the High Sierra Regatta on Huntington Lake. Two years later and we are now in a major California drought and Huntington Lake is not looking so good anymore. With historically low water levels unseen before, this put the 2014 National Championship in uncertain limbo. What to do. Enter the always accommodating Richmond Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay. Great venue, great people, and it was a no brainer. This was the same venue of the wildly successful and windy 1997 I-14 Worlds and host to this year’s International Canoe Worlds. With an already packed summer schedule, RYC welcomed us with open arms and it was quickly decided our Nationals would coincide with the RYC Totally Dinghy Regatta and Wylie Wabbit Nationals. Problem solved.
Team Newport Adhesives and Composites (Paul Galvez and David Liebenberg) were one of the first teams to arrive earlier in the week. I barely made it as I just got back from a Baja adventure, narrowly escaping the clutches of Hurricane Odile by [more...]