"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.