John Mollicone and Tim Healy Win J24 North Americans
Newport sailors John Mollicone and Team Healy, co-skippers of a local J24 narrowly won the J24 North American Championship on Sunday. The Mollicone/Healy Team Helly Hansen finished with 50 points in the 10-race series, only two points ahead of Matias Sequel and crew of Chile.
“We did a really good job grinding back,” Mollicone said. “We found ourselves in a lot of tough spots but were able to slowly chip away and pass boats.” He noted the intense competition, saying “Everyone stayed really calm and cool, even if we were deep.”
On the last day of racing, the Newport team struggled to stay ahead of the other 46 racing boats.
“It was really tricky with lots of outgoing current,” Mollicone explained. “The breeze was unstable so it was really difficult sailing.” He added.
Neverthless, Mollicone and Healy emerged victorious to take home the first place trophy. He added, “Today, things weren’t looking good for a while, but we just kept our composure," he said.
Also onboard Team Helly Hansen were Newport-based Fleet 50 sailors Collin Leon on the mast, Geoff Becker as trimmer and Gordon Borges on the bow.
Mollicone and Healy trade skipper positions and their team has a string of wins to their credit. The team is the current world champions coming off a win in Ireland last month. The same Newport team also won the 2012 North American Championship last November with the same crew.
Other Newport sailors finishing in the top ten include Will Welles onboard Cougar n fourth place and Pipe Dream’s helmsman Mike Marshall who finished fifth. Bob Kinsman, also of Newport, finished tenth.