Ed & Shannon made a clean sweep of the 2016 Buccaneer North American Championships.  Despite racing in such a talented field (competing against multiple past champions) they managed to do something that has not been done in class history.  Congratulations!

 

Here’s their story:

BNAC 2016 – From Ed and Shannon
Thanks to the event organizers and a great race committee, we feel BNAC 2016 went off nearly
flawlessly. After getting a call that the original venue wasn’t going to work out, the members of Fleet 15
in Kenosha really stepped up. Racine Yacht Club were great hosts and everyone I spoke to felt welcome.
We are already talking about attending Niantic BNAC 2017. Get it on your calendar!
Atrevida’s BNAC 2016
The first two days of racing gave us nearly identical conditions and 4 races each day! SE breeze 5-10 and
a mild wind driven chop. It was a pleasant day on the water, but the chop was formidable. We don’t get
a lot of SE breeze around here, at least not typically. But SE breeze generates some pretty consistent
breezes with only slight wind shifts.
Starts:
The pin paid off almost every race. The RC set up the line with about a 10 degree favor to it (to spread
people out away from their nice boat). Also it was a pretty long line. Which meant after a short jog to
the left to get out into the lake where there is typically more breeze you would just about lay the
windward mark.
Windward:
Starboard tack was a little easier than Port tack. The waves (like in most venues) were more head on
when on port tack and on the beam when on starboard tack. So when sailing on port we tried to keep
our leads forward, sails slightly eased, VANG OFF and the telltales streaming straight back. I also tried
holding the tiller as still as possible even though we were slamming through a bunch of chop (remember
everyone else is too so stay calm).
On Starboard tack we could trim in a little tighter and point the boat up a little more as the waves/chop
were in a more favorable direction.
On both tacks we tried to compress our weight as much as possible (“You almost can’t be too far
forward!” said Randy Shore of Quantum Sails) and tried to keep the bow in the water to reduce slapping
(slow), also keeping the boat as flat as you feel comfortable with is important.
Downwind:
Keeping the boat moving was difficult in the waves. Often the sails would flog and slap which made it
easy to over trim them. Having eased sails down wind was crucial, I tried to keep the vang loose and the
mains leach open while Shannon tried to get max rotation on the kite. Good communication was
critical, we often corrected each other if I was sailing too low or I thought the kite could be eased some.
On Fridays Race:
Friday brought some storms through and the RC managed to get a race off in a short window after the
wind settled in. The wind was probably about 15-18 knots and this race was reminiscent of BNAC 2015.
Key notes were having enough vang (with some Cunningham) on to flatten the mainsail. Also keeping
enough mainsheet tension to keep the headstay taught was critical. So if we found ourselves eased off
the main, we would also crack off the jib to balance the boat a bit better. Ease – Hike – Trim was the
mantra in puffs to keep the boat flat and fast.
Summary:
We didn’t have the greatest starts, but our boat speed was good and great boat speed makes you look
really smart. Fleet 15 is a great fleet and sailing against some great Bucc sailors throughout our season
really pays off.