Force 5 Class Association

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Home Regattas Racing Results 2011 North American Championship Results
2011 North American Championship Results

Friday we started day one of the regatta with a nice 40 minute sail down the Thames River and a quick left to get out to our course on Fishers Island Sound. There is a good bit of commercial traffic on the river and you have to keep your eye out for really large boats that don’t turn as quickly as a Force 5. This also provides for some fun surfing if you time it just right. The wind was light and we postponed on the water for about an hour. Then, the sea breeze filled in enough for us to sail around a couple of races. We had lunch on the water and then snapped of three more races. Bob Cullen was out to an early lead winning all but the second race and finishing second in it. Fred Meno was close behind in second place but 11 points behind. Tom Welsh was in third place.

Saturday was day two and we got a little more wind and got it a little earlier. Playing against the waves and the power boat wakes makes for interesting sailing. By the time I figure in the waves, swells, wake, tide, current, wind and where everyone else is around me, I have far exceeded my third grade math skills. Fortunately for me, I could just follow the boats in front of me and not think that much. Interestingly, when I didn’t follow them, I dropped way back at the finish line. Go figure? Again, Bob Cullen wins a few races (6, 9 and 10). Our victors in races 7 and 8 are Peter Young and Mr. Oryniak. Everyone enjoyed good racing and really great conditions. Not too much wind so you couldn’t eat your lunch but enough to really get out there and race. Just like Friday, we spent about 7 hours on the water. We got in a lot of on the water time at this championship!

Here is a great video from day two. Even when the wind isn’t really blowing, you can do a little swimming. About 1:14 into the video, you’ll see some interesting footage.

Art of the Death Roll

Sunday marked day three and our final day of the regatta. We started a little early with first signal at 1000 instead of 1100 as it had been on the other days. We’ll lunch when we get back to shore. Good thing too as the wind had picked up to a very nice 12-15. This meant much bigger seas and the whole combination of waves vs. wake was stepped up a notch. When the combination of wave and wake seems larger than your boat, keeping the boat under the sail is much more challenging. Upon arriving at the course, I was ready to quit! I was worn out and really thought I was just plain lucky I hadn’t been swimming yet. How big is this lake? Much bigger than Hartwell back home. We never get these waves. I messed around and skipped the first race and then sailed the next two and headed to the cold beer. Much different from my day was that of Fred Meno. Fred put on a clinic with 4 straight bullets. Man was he fast. If we had a couple more races, I think he would have caught Bob Cullen. Bob got progressively slower and it appeared his boat was sinking. This was confirmed back on shore when we couldn’t lift it out of the water onto the beach. After much draining, we rescued his boat. Indeed this was our short day with only 5 hours on the water and 4 races. Coming in a couple people capsized as the puffs up the river were wicked. (I understand folks in Boston describe everything as “wicked”.) I think my last 5 minutes of trying to reach shore I felt like George Jetson “Jane! Get me off this crazy thing!”

So, it was all fun even the adventures of wind, wake and wave. When the dust had settled, Bob Cullen had his tenth F5 NA championship. Fred Meno had just missed out on his third NA top spot and Peter Young had made his fifth appearance on the podium. We had a total of 25 skippers and that is more than we have had the last few years. Let us hope this growing trend continues next year in North Carolina where we will sail on Albemarle Sound.

Thanks to the Thames YC and all the volunteers who made our 2011 F5 NAs the great event it was. We look forward to returning to New London again in a few years.


2011 North American Championship - Thames Yacht Club - New London, CT
Place Sail # Name Total
1 3099 Bob Cullen 31
2 8048 Fred Meno 35
3 7814 Peter Young 61
4 1111 Tom Welsh 61
5 3052 Courtney Young 68
6 7 John Barrere 68
7 6990 John Erhard 95
8 777 Keech 129
9 7966 Knecht 130
10 5 Oryniak 144
11 7901 Chris Zofchak 173
12 347 Sitty 178
13 7684 Pakenham 186
14 505 King 186
15 151 Schall 193
16 51 Geer 193
17 6511 Stahl 194
18 3205 Joe Healy 214
19 37 Dave Costanzo 219
20 8047 Brian Hampton 233
21 50 Casey Cullen 236
22 1172 Byron Hicks 242
23 1101 Bowes 272
24 1950 Jay McNamara 312
25 8000 DJ McCabe 313