I took a few pictures while sailing in the Sun Cat Nationals, but almost all of these pictures come from our race committee, Tom, Don, and Fred aboard Don’s PDQ 34 catamaran. Thanks guys!
After sorting through Don’s pictures, Tom’s pictures, and my pictures, I narrowed it down to my favorites. There were 98 of them! I’m just a catboat jib trimmer and I’m not posting that many pictures, so here are my favorite favorites!
There were some great pictures of the boats arriving and checking in, but let’s get right to the racing! Catnip got the best start in race one, clearing the line a boatlength ahead of Wily Conch and Zeek. We were all late enough to give Tom Scott plenty of time to put down the air horn and pick up his camera.
Indy Anna and About Time did not quite make it into this shot of the first upwind leg. From right to left, we have Frisky coming across the line, Zeek out beyond Cattail, and Wily Conch sailing over the top of Catnip. As we overtook Catnip, Zeek tacked and attempted to cross our bows on port tack, but seeing he could not make it, ducked instead.
Great picture by Tom Scott showing Wily Conch and Zeek at the upwind mark!
Panoramic shot of the lead boats on the first reaching leg, again thanks to Tom S.
Sun Cats love reaching so our race committee thoughtfully provided a reach mark about a quarter mile off the starboard side of the committee boat. Heading to the reach mark at left are Wily Conch, Zeek, and Catnip.
Here are the three lead boats approaching the reach mark. Shots like this one were not possible in years past. Thanks again, Don, for bringing your nice, stable boat with a flybridge and your long lenses!
Here’s a shot of Wily Conch heading upwind as Zeek and Catnip approach the downwind mark.
The finish line pictures from race 1:
Wily Conch finishing first in race one.
Catnip finishing second in race one.
Zeek finishing third in race one.
Cattail finishing fourth in race one.
Frisky finishing fifth in race one.
Indy Anna finishing sixth in race one.
About Time finishing seventh in race one. They could not get those speed wrinkles out of that sail, but finished about ten minutes behind Wily Conch and had a good time doing it!
Tip for newbies: after finishing a race, head straight to the committee boat and make a close pass if you want some good pictures of your boat under sail!
Pete and I were both wearing grins all day!
There were so many great shots of our boats between races that I had to reject most of them, but Don got a couple of great action shots as Zeek tacked toward the starting line for race two.
Dale aboard Zeke completing his tack and reaching behind to sheet in for the start, helm still hard over. High Sun Cat drama!
Catnip and Zeke once again got the best starts in race two, but the fleet got across the line together in a tight enough pack to all fit in this picture.
In a replay of race one, Wily Conch caught Catnip and held off Zeek to take the lead around the upwind mark.
We kept our lead around the course, but the pack was always right behind. At right is Wily Conch tacking across the fleet toward the finish line to win in race two.
There was heated action in the fight for second place, as Zeek attempted to perform a McLemore on Catnip. He missed, possibly observing the Sun Cat Class rule against scratching boats, or possibly because hitting an outboard on a moving boat is not that easy!
With Catnip duly intimidated by the near-miss, Zeek was able to power-tack away toward the finish line.
Zeek nosed out Catnip to take second place in race two. It’s the Sun Cat Nationals. We don’t care if someone is able to pull off a roll tack and exit the tack going faster than he entered it.
The rest of the fleet beating upwind toward the finish line in race two. From left to right are Frisky (7th place), Indy Anna (5th place), About Time (6th place), and Cattail (4th place).
Pete and I took another victory pass by the committee boat after race two. I’m mainly posting this one for the fans of the Trailer Sailor forum because it’s a good picture of our TSBB burgee.
The first two races were one lap, but for the third one we did two laps around the course. Indy Anna was a bit eager and crossed the line before the horn. The picture at right shows part of Indy Anna sticking out in front of Catnip’s mast. Zeek and Cattail also got very good starts in race three.
The Sun Cat fleet on the upwind leg just after starting race three.
The race went about like the previous two, with Wily Conch clawing into the lead on the first leg and Zeek and Catnip battling it out for second and third. Those positions were held to the finish and I have posted enough pictures of the blue Sun Cats, but here’s a nice shot of Catnip making a splash as she goes across the line to take third place in race three.
The real action happened further back in the fleet, as Don brought out the orange drifter sail on Frisky to try to close the gap on Cattail.
The strategy appears to have worked, because here they are beating their way up the last leg to the finish line.
Cattail tried to tack away and make a run for the finish line.
The finish looks too close to call in this shot taken from the bridge of the committee boat by Don.
But Tom Scott enhanced this shot he took looking straight down the finish line by painting in the line across the water. Clearly, Frisky edged out Cattail to take fourth place by an extremely long nose.
That’s all the racing action I have to report. Indy Anna sailed a good race in race three, but was scored DNS (Did Not Start) due to the false start. About Time was scored DNF (Did Not Finish) in race three. I did not notice them dropping out.
A few more pictures just for fun. First, a rare shot showing the crew on Indy Anna, who reported spending most of her time relaxing below and snacking during the races. The life of a catboat jib trimmer can be rough.
A nice picture of Tom and Else sailing Cattail by the committee boat.
I took quite a few pictures using my iPhone during the races, but they have mostly served to make me happy we had Don on hand with a good camera. Here are a couple that I found worth publishing. First, a shot of the rest of the fleet as seen looking over the stern of Wily Conch. It is surprisingly difficult to get all of the boats in one picture! They are a bit hard to see, but between Zeek and Cattail are Frisky, Indy Anna, and About Time. Catnip is on the far right.
Here is a shot of the start/finish line and a few catboats. I’m including this one because it’s a pretty good shot of Don’s boat.
In closing, a couple of panoramic shots courtesy of Race Committee Chairman Tom Scott. First, the four lead boats sailing upwind toward the finish line in race one.
And finally, a panoramic shot of the 2013 Sun Cat Nationals fleet shortly after the start of race two (I think).
It was great fun having 7 Sun Cats together on the water, so thanks to the newbies and the repeat offenders for coming out! And once again a big thank you to our Race Committee for all your work and all the pictures!