Gib Charles Wins 2017 Mutineer Nationals
Gib Charles, a long-time Mutineer and Buccaneer sailor from Union Sailing Club in Colorado, won the 2017 Mutineer Nationals in his Nickels Mutineer “Blue Heeler”. Gib out sailed six other racers to take the 1st place trophy in the Gold Fleet. Dave Tonkin and his daughter Ava from Tampa Sailing Squadron in Florida took second place in “Kraken”. Dave’s boat is the newest Nickels Mutineer in the world, having been manufactured in March 2017.
The Silver Fleet winner was Chloe Lawson sailing Scurvy Dog out of Browns Creek Sailing Association in Alabama. Chloe is also the winner of the “Bill French” Junior National Championship Award which is named after Bill French, and given in his honor by his son and daughter-in-law, and long time Mutineer racing team, Ernie and Carol French. Chloe is the first recipient of this perpetual trophy.
The Nationals were held at Brown’s Creek Sailing Association on Lake Guntersville in Alabama and were attended by racers from Florida, Texas, Colorado and Alabama. Racing was scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday but was cut short a day by Hurricane Nate, which blasted Guntersville with 25+ mph winds, and heavy rains on Sunday. Four races were run on Saturday amid light and variable breezes. Six races were held on Sunday with medium and fairly steady winds, producing a slight chop and good competition.
The race committee presented challenging courses and a well-run regatta. Special thanks go to the Brown’s Creek Sailing Association and to the Lake Guntersville Chamber of Commerce for their support and southern hospitality.
The 2018 Mutineer National Championship will be in the fall of 2018 and will be hosted by the Grapevine Sailing Club on Grapevine Lake near Dallas, Texas.
Houck and von Summer Win JY15 NA Champs
The 2017 JY15 North American Championships was held September 23 – 24, 2017 at Duck Island Yacht Club in Westbrook, CT. The 28th annual event attracted a strong fleet of 18 boats for two days of competitive racing and experienced pretty much the full range of possible conditions over the nine races comprising the regatta.
Two recent Dartmouth sailing team graduates, Scott Houck and Hollis von Summer, brought great talent to the class and dominated the two day event to take the 2017 North American title. Not only was Scott Houck new to the class, it was his first time in the boat which makes it an even more impressive victory against JY15 veterans such as Paul-Jon Patin, Mark McCarthy, Mark Allen, Bud Rogers, Seth Barrows, Chris Vann and many more.
As newcomers to the fleet, Hollis and Scott focused on the basics, clean start, hike hard, head out of the boat, and stay on the lifted tack. The pressure and direction was super visible on the water, making it critical to “connect the dots” between each new breeze line. Being able to hold a lane for a while off the line was crucial as starboard seemed to be the favored tack most of the day.
The team also found success by taking a little leverage out to a side, which helped avoid getting “ping-ponged” back and forth in the middle. As the breeze dropped throughout the first day of racing, the current became more of a factor, although Hollis and Scott got caught “overplaying” the current more than once, which suffice to say was quite sub-optimal.
The second morning of racing arrived, and after a short postponement on land the southwest breeze started to fill in. While the velocity ranged from a pleasant ~8kts to near zero, the shifts were much longer and less dramatic than the day before. Starts were arguably even more crucial, so Hollis and Scott finished more or less in the position that they started in.
Pinching upwind was deadly, and hitting powerboat chop from the sound could park your boat unless you bore off and eased through it. The current was flowing upwind all day, creating brutally long and painful downwind legs. Though they never attempted this, a few brave teams sought current relief by sailing a long course out toward Duck Island before gybing back on a reach to the leeward mark – a strategy that paid off if done correctly. Hollis and Scott were not so adventurous and focused on sailing on a reach toward the next pressure and using the puffs to go wing-on toward the mark.
Source: Bill Nightingale, JY15 Class President
BNAC 2017 Concludes, Atrevida claims 3rd straight championship at Niantic Bay YC
Ed Montano, sailing with Trevor Bach claim the third straight Buccaneer 18 Class championships for the “Atrevida” crew. Ed, who has won two previous championships sailing with his wife Shannon said after winning, “This is more than a racing class, this is family”.
Ed & Trevor sailed the most consistent regatta of the fleet finishing no lower than 4th in the regatta. Though the team which seemed bulletproof after their dominating win in 2016 (9 straight first place finishes) knew early this regatta was going to be more challenging.
The first race of the series was won by Western Carolina Sailing Club’s Ronnie & David Ashmore on “Vespula”. It was a light air start to a very diverse regatta. “We played the middle and wanted to sail conservatively” said Ed after the first day, “we knew the corners would pay off big, but being on the wrong side would be more costly than playing it safe”
This regatta was sailed by multiple previous winners, including David Spira with Ty Whitman sailing “Altitude” and Montano’s fleetmates John Weis and Jay Foght sailing “Blind Squirrel”. Weis and Foght are consistent leaders in the class, and make great sparring partners for Montano. Spira has amassed 7 championships so far in his career, topped only by class legends Greg & Duane Cole, a father son team who’ve claimed 8.
In addition to the past champs, several other teams showed promise, and have been on the rise. “American Spirit” sailed by Jeff Neurauter and Heather Howard who were 3rd in 2016 are light air specialists whose keen course awareness and all around speed make them a threat in any condition.
By the end of the first day Ed & Trevor had won one of the five races and held onto a commanding lead on the fleet due to deep finishes by the rest of the leaders. It looked like they were going to run away with it.
Saturday however brought new stronger winds and new challenges for Atrevida as “WASABI” sailed by Jimmy Yurko & Evan Scot claimed first in three of the four races sailed, including an exhilarating triangle course in planing conditions where only the leaders opted to carry their spinnakers on the fast reaches. This performance pulled them within a point of the leaders.
Sunday’s conditions were a repeat of Friday morning. The light breeze was oscillating from the north and northwest providing big shifts and challenges for the fleet. It was obvious that the fleet was eager to go out and race, as everyone got to the course early, and the aggressive starts for the first race of Sunday prompted the race committee to start the remainder of Sunday’s races under the U starting penalty flag. Anyone who crossed the starting line during the final minute of the starting sequence would be penalized and disqualified from the race.
Atrevida and Blind Squirrel had strong performances in all three races. Atrevida held first and Blind Squirrel climbed to second for the regatta.
Beyond the leader board there was much to talk about. Scott & Logan Mogle were plagued with equipment breakdowns which kept them from competing on day 1, and consequently finished 15th in the regatta…however these newcomers to the class have had their boat just one year, and are clearly sailors to watch. Their scores DO NOT reflect the limits of this team’s capabilities, but only the beginning. Scott & Logan led the fleet at many mark roundings and were all around fast on the course. We can expect to see much more of them in the very near future. Michael Birnbaum sailing with Tony Chapman showed he’s got what it takes to get out to the front of the pack by grabbing onto a 3rd place finish in race 12. Dave Johnson & Elayne Hunter are fleet leaders and innovators in Alaska’s fleet that now has 12 Buccs racing weekly, we can expect some awesome coming from them.
The bottom line is this fleet is filled from bottom to top with great people, great leaders and great friends.
Yes, he is a good man, and a pirate!
Conte Wins Lightning North Americans
Wrightsville Beach, NC (September 25, 2017) – The 2017 ILCA North American Championships for the Lightning class was held at the Carolina Yacht Club on September 22-24.
On Saturday (Sept 23), defending North American champion Todd Wake put the hammer down with a 2,1,2 to take a strong lead. Through six races, he led with 8 points, scoring nothing worse than a second. Masters NA champion Marvin Beckmann climbed up to second with two race wins.
After 2 days of light to medium breeze, the final day put every team to the test with Hurricane Maria induced heavy breeze and growing in scale swells. The Race Committee successfully knocked out 8 total races and was well prepared for all conditions.
Congratulations to Javier Conte (ARG) and his team for winning the Championship and George Harrington and his team for winning the Presidents Cup.