Last September Robert Berg (MI) purchased a Swan 42 in Bermuda. She was renamed "To the Moon" and that is exactly where Robert Berg and the crew are right now. The results are in and "To the Moon" has won not only her Section, but the Division as well as the 106th Mackinac Cup.
This is the oldest freshwater race in the world and covers just shy of 290 nautical miles (333 statute miles) in Lake Michigan. It starts in Chicago and ends up at Mackinac Island (MI). "To the Moon" won with a corrected time of 42:11:45 - almost 1.5 hours ahead of the second place boat in her section.
Berg, representing the New York Yacht Club, had not done this race before, but always wanted to, so he studied up and did a lot of research which led him to the Swan 42 as she had a good rating. After sailing from Bermuda to Annapolis she was worked on for several weeks before she was trucked to Michigan. It was his daughter, Katie, a student on the Sailing Team at the University of Florida, who was the inspiration to do the race a year ago and as Berg says, "We are all still shocked."
"The race was fairly uneventful and we took a different course based on what the weather dictated," Berg said. "There were no storms, but there was extensive fog and the winds ranged from 5-15 knots," he added. "It wasn't one design, but we still had fun!", he chuckled. Katie was a member of the crew and among the outstanding crew was Richard Clarke from North Sails who was the tactician.
Asked about future plans, "To the Moon" will do a local regatta, the Ugotta Regatta, out of home yacht club, Little Traverse, this coming weekend. Berg is not ruling out defending his title in 2015 in the 107th running of the Chicago to Mackinac Island Race.
Awards are yet to be handed out and photos will follow shortly.
"Hoss", owned by Glenn Darden and Philip Williamson (TX) is the 2014 Swan 42 U.S. Nationals Champion. Over three days of racing and after 11 races with no discard race, she had three first place finishes in generally light conditions and another three races were top five finishes. With no discard race, each one was a step closer to the championship, a title that had alluded them for the past several years.
Darden and Williamson made some changes to their program this year - among those was crew composition and re-assignment. "We are feeling very good about winning this national championship," Darden enthusiastically said.
Teamwork was key with "Hoss's" success and Paul Bregenzer, Steve Frazier, Ervin Grove, Reese Hillard, Mark Kroening, Carl Merrill, Marnie Merrill, Moose McClintock, Peter Philpott, and Scott Tompkins are to be congratulated.
Leonardo Ferragamo (ITA) and "Cuordileone" had their best performance ever in the Swan 42 in the US here at this year's Nationals. While collecting five 2nd and 3rd place finishes, they won Race 9 - a fine cap to their 2nd place finish in Nationals this year.
Phil Lotz (FL) and "Arethusa" have previously won Nationals here in Newport. This year they placed 3rd, only two points behind "Cuordileone". Lotz stated, "It was a good regatta and great to get 9 races in over the course of three days. "Congratulations to "Hoss". He added, "Our team enjoyed the ability to sail so much together as a warm-up to the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia in September." "Arethusa", Cuordileone" and two other 42s will board a ship bound for Italy tomorrow morning.
Next up for several boats in the Med is Copa del Rey in Palma, Mallorca (ESP). The US boats will participate in the NYYC Annual Cruise and Queen's Cup (RI), Ida Lewis Distance Race (RI), and the One Regatta in Marblehead (MA).