"Mahalo" Wins Nationals, "Impetuous" Will Represent the NYYC at the NYYC Invitational Cup Team

Day 4 of the Swan 42 U.S Nationals looked questionable from the onset with dense fog that kept the fleet ashore in postponement.   The fleet was then sent out of the bay to sit again in another postponement that would ultimately send the fleet back into the bay.  With twenty minutes remaining on the clock to be able to even start a final race, the start sequence went into effect and the first attempt was a general recall.  With a five-minute window remaining to get the race started the boats were off.   The course was a W5 at 190 magnetic degrees with a finish upwind.  

Royal Thames Yacht Club’s (GBR) BETTER THAN… with Charter Helmsman, John Greenland, led the entire race with Paul Zabetakis’s (RI) IMPETUOUS in second.  Both of these boats had clear lanes while the rest of the fleet had congested mark roundings and many placement changes within the fleet.   BETTER THAN…  won Race 9 with IMPETUOUS 2nd and Charter Helmsman, Colin Gordon (CT) and APPARITION 3rd.

With a 4th place in Race 9 Charles Kenehan’s (MA) MAHALO held onto the lead she had since Day 1 and she claimed the 2015 Swan 42 U.S. Nationals title (2-2-1-2-3-5-1-1-4).   Kenahan said of his win of the Enchantress Trophy, “Our core crew had not been together since the Rolex Swan Cup last year and we were all very excited to be back together. Our tactician, Mark Mendelblatt, gave us great starts throughout the regatta and that gave us clear lanes where we could really focus on our boat speed. The first big win for MAHALO was the NYYC 160th Annual Regatta last year which was pretty special in itself, but winning the Nationals gives me and the crew an enormous sense of accomplishment. We have worked very hard together as a team for two years and it is a real privilege for me to sail with all of them.   MAHALO is now chartered to the Eastern Yacht Club (MA) for the NYYC Invitational Cup and we will be back on MAHALO for the American Yacht Club’s Fall Series (NY).”

Seattle Yacht Club (WA) and Charter Helmsman, Andrew Loe, and HOSS, and Royal Thames Yacht Club’s (GBR) and BETTER THAN… maintained their 2nd and 3rd place finishes at Nationals.  HOSS was also awarded the Corinthian Trophy for sailing with an amateur crew.  This was an important practice for both teams since they will be competing in the NYYC Invitational Cup in September.

Race 9 was a nail-biter, especially for those Swan 42s trying to gain the one NYYC slot to represent the NYYC at the Invitational Cup in September.  A mere four points separated the top three NYYC contenders going into the last day of competition.   Chris Culver’s (CT) BLAZER was ahead by two points over Zabetakis’s IMPETUOUS and three points ahead of Gordon’s APPARITION.   At the end of the day, a clean race by IMPETUOUS gave Zabetakis the win by two points over both BLAZER and APPARITION.

After thirteen races in the NYYC 161st Annual Regatta in June and the Swan 42 U.S Nationals, and too many lead changes to count, Zabetakis will for the first time experience the Invitational Cup as a competitor as opposed to Chairman of the Event and administrative manager since its inception in 2009.  “It was a hard fought win against three outstanding teams led by three exceptional helmsmen,” said Zabetakis.  “The competition on the water was as intense as the spirit of friendship and collegiality was off the water. It will be an honor to represent the NYYC in September,” he added.


"Apparition" and Mahalo" Winners Today at the Swan 42 U.S Nationals

The Swan 42 U.S. Nationals in Newport (RI) featured perfect conditions on Day 3.  Three races were held to maximize the optimal conditions.  Winds were 12-16 knot from the Southwest with choppy seas.

Race 6 was won by Charter Helmsman, Colin Gordon (CT), with APPARITION.  Races 7 and 8 were won by Charles Kenahan (MA) and MAHALO.

Andrew Loe (WA), Charter Helmsman, of HOSS took Seattle Yacht Club’s entry to a 2-3-2.  “We came here to practice for the Invitational Cup in September,” stated Loe.   He went on to say, “We have been practicing on the days between Sail Newport and Nationals focusing on starts, boat speed and boat handling.  We feel more experienced now and are working on details with this well set up boat.”  As for the IC he said, “We are returning this year for the IC with most of the same team from 2011 with the exception of maybe two new crew members”, he noted.

QUINTESSENCE, owned by Roger Widmann (NY) had a best finish of 5th in Race 8.  “We had a decent start and went right where we had better breeze with a 10 degree lift and we stayed away from everyone else,” he said.   “This is such a competitive fleet that you have to fight hard to stay in the game,” he added.  “Almost every mark rounding is a pinwheel of boats,” he said.

Barry Sampson (GBR) and LONG ECHO had a best 3rd place in Race 8.  “We finally got our start together.  Most of the crew has sailed with me before and today we settled into the boat.  My crew consists of eight young guys from Itchenor Sailing Club and I feel a certain responsibility for them when they have limited vacation time,” he said.   He added, “Today really lifted our spirits.”

Currently MAHALO is in first place in Nationals with HOSS second and Royal Thames Yacht Club’s (GBR) BETTER THAN… in third. 

Racing continues tomorrow.  The awards for Nationals will be handed out tomorrow as well as the NYYC team announced to represent the host club at the Invitational Cup.  As of today there is a four-point difference between the top three teams competing for this slot.

Results:  http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eid=1329

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