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Final report by Mark Pressdee
2008 F16 Catamaran Global Challenge Four doubled handed and nine single handed teams from USA, Holland, Belgium, Thailand and UK arrived at Mumbles Yacht Club on 8th August for a four day, twelve race Championships.

Unfortunately, the first two days of racing were postponed. Even the relatively calm conditions of Swansea Bay were deemed unsuitable for safe racing with gusts in excess of 30 knots being recorded combined with a boat breaking sea state. On Sunday Competitors were invited out on the Clubs safety boats to see for themselves what the conditions were like in the middle of the Bay and those that participated in this offer were unanimous in thinking that the correct decision had been made by the PRO John Shapton.

On Monday 11th August the wind had abated enough for five shortened races to take place. During the first of which the sea state which started out to be Ďtrickyí settled down and the whole package of wind and sea proved to be an excellent test of seamanship and endurance. In fact by the last race the Bay was producing near perfect Catamaran conditions if not for the slightly gusty conditions which peaked around 18 knots.

Throughout the day the fleet was diminishing due to tiredness and the occasional breakage. This was also the case for Chris Sproat and Rosanna Jury who were hotly tipped to win despite it being their first time sailing a F16. All those that continued to race were really enjoying the competitiveness of the racing and especially amongst the top half of the fleet where John Pierce, Gueert Ruesink his crew Joanna Lienti and Hans Klok all took bullets. John Alani also deserves a special mention as being one of the only teams who didnít capsize during the racing and this put him in third place overnight with Geert/Joanna and John P in second and first places.

Early Tuesday morning the conditions were such that the competitors werenít that enthusiastic to rig but by 09.30hrs the sun was out, the wind had dropped to 12-14 knots and the Bay looked very inviting. The first of four races was started and instantly Paul Warren and Anne Powter were laying down the gauntlet leading the fleet to the first mark, this was a bitter sweet pill after a frustrating previous night procuring and fixing a replacement rear beam. Although, by the end of the race it was Geert/Joannaís consistent upwind and downwind speed that gave them another bullet with Paul/Anne in second followed by Gill de Bryne and Kathleen Vandenbulle in third. Prior to race seven the current holder of the F16 Global Challenge Trophy had to retire from the competition in order to make his ferry crossing back to Holland. The race started with the fleet splitting into three groups, left side, middle and right side. However, neither favoured the other and they all met at roughly the same time at the windward mark. During the course of the race there were six differing leaders but at the end Geert/Joanna took the bullet. Gill/Kathleen second and John P was third followed by Paul/Anne.

Race eight and Mark Pressdee completed a clean Port tack flier crossing the whole fleet. However, the race will be remembered for the ensuing thunder, rain and extremely heavy hail shower which engulfed the fleet on the fourth lap. At itís peak the visibility was down to 10 meters and it was if the safety car had come out onto a Grand Prix circuit as all the competitors were just happy to reduce speed and look out for one another. The after mouth of the squall was much needed bright warm sunshine. Again Geert/Joanna took first place followed by John P, Gill/Kathleen. Proceeding the final race you could sense both John P and Geert/Joanna were carefully doing mathematical permutations in their minds to forecast what they had to achieve in order to win the Global Challenge Trophy. To no ones surprise the racing was really close. However, Nick Moore who lead the fleet for the first part of the race lost some ground on a run where there were big gains to be had if you caught the right gust. John P and Geert/Joanna exchanged places on several occasions during this race but eventually John P took line honours, Gill/Kathleen were second Geert/Joanna finished third.

Prior to the prize giving neither team were 100% sure of the outcome, nine races had been sailed and two discards could now count. In the end only one point separated them and John Pierce was the Victor with 11 points and all the competitors received various goodies from the competitions sponsors which included CoolFlow specialist coolants, South Wales Marine, Sailwave sailing scoring software and MP Multihulls.

Overall Results: 1st John Pierce GBR 11pts. 2nd Geert Ruesink NED & Joanna Lienti USA 12pts. 3rd Gill de Bryne & Kathleen Vandenbulle BEL 20pts. 4th John Terry GBR 39pts. 5th Mark Pressdee GBR 42pts. 6th Nick Moore THI 45pts. 7th John Alani GBR 45pts. 8th Hans klok NED 52pts. 9th Paul Warren & Anne Powter GBR 56pts. 10th Paul Alani GBR 64pts.

ENTRIES § as of 7th August


1 Mark Pressdee Mumbles YC GBR 555 Stealth
2 Hans Klok WV Zandvoort NED 111 Blade
3 Simon Longstaff Grafham Water SC GBR 553 Stealth
4 Gill De Bruyne & Kathleen Vandenbulcke VVW Heist BEL 666 Blade
5 Rob Alani Leigh on Sea SC GBR 527 Stealth
6 Paul Warren & Ann Powter (Blade Watch!) Datchet Water SC GBR 801 Blade
7 Geert Ruesink & Joanna Lienti (USA) WSG NED 9 Blade
8 Nick Moore Datchet Water SC GBR 505 Stealth
9 John Terry Rutland SC GBR 556 Stealth
10 Dave Tugwell Datchet Water SC GBR 554 Stealth
11 Wayne Richards Datchet Water SC GBR 506 Stealth
12 John Pierce     Stealth
13 Chris Sproat & Georgina Burke Stokes Bay SC   Viper
14 John Alani Leigh on Sea SC GBR 538 Stealth


PRACTICE RACE AND APRES EVENT CRUISE § Mark Pressdee, 5th March
The 2008 Global Challenge officially starts on Saturday 9th and finishes on Tuesday 12th August. However, a practice race will be arranged on Friday 8th start time around 11.30. All the racing will take place in the confines of Swansea Bay. The prevailing winds are South Westerly and the bay is usually well protected from the Atlantic swells by the Mumbles Head. Due to this the sea state can remain relatively flat and the wind isnít too shifty either!! However, there are some local phenomena due to a couple of valleys positioned around the Bay. The wind can often funnel down these valleys producing areas of higher pressure which can be advantageous to those who can spot such benefits. The races will be taking place during a neap tide cycle so the currents will be negligible and therefore will not effect a racer's strategy. However, in saying all this if the wind blows from any Easterly direction then everything apart from the current is the opposite. Launching and recovery is usually easy as the two concrete slips (ramps) are in the lee of the land, again it only becomes more challenging when the wind is blowing onshore (Easterly). The boat park itself is all tarmac and is shared with a coffee shop and ice cream parlour you take your choice of refreshment dependent on the conditions. If anybody is still willing then on the day after the Championship we could sail down the Gower coastline to Oxwich - a beautiful long sandy beach with a pub/restaurant tucked away in the corner. We can either stop for a pub lunch, have a BBQ or just turn round and sail back to Mumbles? As for the clubhouse those of you who went to Zandvoort will be disappointed to learn that it has two changing rooms!!! One for each sex. There is also a galley which will be serving breakfasts and evening meals during the event and not forgetting a bar and pool table. Mumbles itself also offers numerous other shops, pubs and restaurants to suit various tastes. There is also a yacht chandlers should you have forgotten something or just wish to tinker. Should you have any further queries or news in regard to this event then please donít hesitate to contact me. mark@sailwave.com. See you soon, Mark.
INTRODUCTION § Mark Pressdee, 3rd March
The 2008 F16 Global Challenge will be hosted by Mumbles Yacht Club 9-12 August 2008. The club is located just West of Swansea, Wales, UK and is locally known as the gateway to the Gower Peninsular. Many of itís members are experienced and qualified in race/safety management and there is also a large contingent of keen volunteers who act as a friendly and reliable support team. Over the past fifty years the club has been a popular choice for catamaran and dinghy world, european, national and weekend regattas. As the current club Sailing Captain, member of the F16 PR Team and a very keen F16 Racer, I hope this event will be well supported and that as many of you as possible will make the effort to attend what we hope will be a truly international event, held in a magnificent location with some of the friendliest sailors I have ever met. Iím therefore looking forward to meeting new and old friends alike and buying you all a drink or two.

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