International 14 US Class

International 14 US Class

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.  Sun. was slightly further right and 8-12, with flatish water both days other than boat chop, as well as boat traffic through the course.  The races were run off Harbor Island just east of Tom Hams so as not to enter the channel, nor interfere with a few other short race courses out on the bay.  Of the seven boats, six were from SoCal. including five San Diego boats, and a former World Champion down from Seattle.  Three new or newish Bieker 6s, a 10 yr. old Biker 5, two home built boats one of carbon and one of wood, and a 12 yr. old Bieker 3.  Entry fees were $1.00/ft per boat and two of your favorite Six-packs of Micro brewed beers so as to have refreshments for the fleet on returning to the boat park after racing.  Sat. we had 8 races including a last race back to the dock which was a 'crew drives, three feet on the dock' race.  There was lots of close racing throughout both days with great boat on boat interaction.  Windward kites occasionally smothering leeward boats with resulting crashes and people swimming, fouls and circles were observed across the course.  In this close racing we allow boats to contact marks so as to keep the races moving.  At the end of day one there was a tie between Former World Champion Kris Bundy of Seattle and Local San Diegean Brad Ruetenik with Ruetenik taking the day on a count back from the last race.  Jamie Reid from the UK, via Long Beach, had great starts and upwind speed on his home built reverse bow 14 (I believe partially designed and built by George Nurton amongst others) but seemed to get run down on the downhills by the Bieker 5 and numerous Bieker 6 boats on the course.  Local San Diegean Terry Gleeson, just back from the Worlds in Geelong AUS, was in third 11 points back.  Back in the boat park we helped each other back up the ramp and got into the entry fees, great beer mostly from SD county, but some others brought in as well.  A debrief was completed over said beers, per routine after 14 racing, with tips about boat handling, tuning etc. to help get all the other boats up to speed as well.  Sun. started with slightly more breeze and a little more right towards the normal than the prior day.  Again the course was set in similar fashion and an additional 4 races were held.  Apparently, Gleeson/Sjostedt didn't go as hard as the rest of us on Sat. with the late night wine and rum tasting the the Ruetenik household in North County.  They came out firing and won 4 races on the day.  Ruetenik/Brown had 9 points and Bundy/Shenstone 12 on the day.  Ruetenik held on to take the SDYC Super Cup 2015 with Bundy in 2nd and Gleeson in 3rd.  The awards were dispensed which included a Jug on American 'Moonshine' to Gleeson for 3rd, an engraved I-14 mountable bottle opener for Bundy in 2nd, and the right to not have to drink any of the Moonshine to Ruetenik for 1st.  We then knocked off more of the entry fee of Microbrews while de-rigging the boats.  Thanks again the The RC of Susi Graf and Mike on Sat. and Ian Trotter and Jim on Sun. as well as Jack Salerno on the chase boat and on water beer delivery vessel.  Next stop Santa Barbara for the U.S. Nationals in Mid May.
Skiff Sailing motto - Sailing is a water sport, I like the water, I don't mind getting wet when I sail.  Take the challenge!

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