Co-owner Robby Greene writes:
I have finally gotten the chance to sail the boat. Tragically it was in the same race as the one that involved the sinking of Cynthia Woods (she apparently dropped her keel and capsized and then sank) with loss of life (Roger Stone died while heroically helping to save the lives of his crew- he ushered the last one out from down below and was then trapped inside as the boat sank). It was a rough race that did test the make up of the boats a short description of our trip follows.
The Regata De Amigos is a 630 nautical mile race starting at Galveston, Texas, and finishing in the town of Vera Cruz, Mexico, located just north of the Yucatan peninsula. We were last to start, approximately 20 minutes after the PHRF class that started first. The conditions remained fairly constant for the first two days, beating into a steep confused sea of 5-8 feet with winds in the high teens and low twenties. We used two reefs and our 100% jib for the first day and a quarter, managed between 7-10 knots. At this point we opened about a 50 mile lead on the second place boat, a J44, although he was on the rhum line and we were about 30 miles to the west of it. As expected, the wind lightened to about 15-18knots and backed slightly and the seas became less steep and confused. We shook out one of the reefs and were able, over the next day to climb back to the rhum line, averaging between 10-16 knots. After two and a quarter days of racing we had a little more than a 100 mile lead.
At about 80 miles north of Vera Cruz the wind clocked to right on the nose, lightened considerably to less than 10 knots, and continued to lighten to drifter conditions as we approached Vera Cruz. The J44 closed to within 50 miles of us as we finished, but it was still enough for us to capture the course record for both multihulls and monohulls at 3 days and 2.5 hours (about eight hours off the old record).
This was a pretty rough race and a good test of both the boat and the gear, although it was far from extreme conditions. It was not the most favored of conditions for a planing boat, as our greatest speed differential with the other boats is most likely to be off the wind. Nevertheless, the F-35c was very fast even at this point of sail and with these conditions, perhaps in part due to its very light weight and ability accelerate well in tough sea conditions. Another factor that was certainly helpful was the ama foil that created considerable lift to weather as well as lifting the ama out of the water to reduce drag. The boat handles much like a dingy and this too really helped over the seas. Overall it made for a memorable ride that all of us (a crew of six including my brother, Wally Greene, Cal Herman, Roy Newberry, Cal Herman Jr. and Nick Underwood) and we were happy have a part in it.
Skipper, F-35c, 'Blue Moon'