04-Aug-2013

Newport Regatta and Bacardi Sailing Week

NEWPORT, RI (July 16, 2013) - Just under 1,000 sailors gathered at Sail Newport this weekend for the annual Newport Regatta® featuring the  BACARDI® Newport Sailing Week. A total of 148 races were run over the three-day event for 260 boats.

The Newport Regatta® was started 29 years ago by Sail Newport as a Shields event and since then has grown to become one of the largest One-Design regattas on the East Coast. Twenty-one classes of boats speckled the East Passage and Rhode Island Sound from North to south on five areas of racing including: 2.4 Metre, 12 Metre, 49er, 505, A Cats, Byte CII, Etchells, Farr 30, F-18, J/22, J/24, J/70, Laser, Laser Radial, S Class, Star, Sunfish, Swan 42, Vanguard 15, Viper 640 and VX One.

The Newport Regatta® started on Friday with racing for three classes including Stars, Vipers and 505s. 
The brisk northeasterly breeze combined with an outgoing tide presented the racers with challenging conditions on their Potter Cover racing area.

On Friday, gorgeous weather greeted the three classes racing on Friday with a stiff Northeasterly breeze and outgoing tide making the Potter Cove racing area challenging for the competitors. For the 505 class, the regatta served as their East Coast Championship. At the end of the event, Michael Komar of Newport was the top racing 505 sailor with a fourth place finish overall.

On Saturday, the conditions were light and choppy with a east/northeast breeze. However, local sailors and J24 co-helmsman John Mollicone of Newport and Tim Healy from Jamestown and their crew started what we be a domination of the entire weekend with all first place finishes and their third consecutive year of first place at the Newport Regatta® and the District II J24 Championship.

“Saturday was tricky,” Mollicone said. “We had a long course because we were sailing with the Swan 42s, Farr 30s and J70s. We like long courses, but there were lots of holes,” he added.

Team Helly Hansen with Mollicone/Healy, who co-skipper the boat, have a collection of championshiop titles between them. Together with crew members Gordon Borgess )Providence, RI), San Rabin (Salem, MA) and Geoff Becker of Annapolis,  kept the boat moving fast and made no tactical or boat handing errors.

Strong starts and consistently fast boat speed were the results of a cohesive team who has been together for many years.

“We have so much time together on the boat it’s second nature to us,” Mollicone said.

On Sunday, conditions improved further, in spite of a dismal sailing forecast and short postponement ashore, to a strong 10-knots which eventually filled in with a 15-knot seabreeze.

As the top performing boat in the entire event, based on a scoring formula, the team also won the Dr. Robin Wallace Trophy.  Mollicone has won the trophy in two previous years as well.  The team also because qualified for the U.S. Adult Sailing Championship for the Clifford D. Mallory Trophy.

In the Farr 30 Class, Newport sailor Jim Richardson and his team on Barking Mad won the regatta and captured the North American Championship.  This is the second North American trophy for Richardson who also won in 2010.

With only five points behind Richardson, and two points from second place, Pieter Taselaar of Newport finished third.  Both Richardson and Taselaar will compete in the Farr 30 World Championshop this week in Newport.  Sail Newport will host and manage the regatta scheduled for racing to begin on Wednesday through Saturday.

Local sailor Phip Hallowell collected silver on Sunday after winning the VX One New England Championship at the Newport Regatta. Hallowell sailed fast on the two days of racing but snatched the title by posting wins in the last two races on Sunday.

Joining other Newport sailors, Phil and Wendy Lotz won the largest class of boats in their Viper 640. Two subdivisions of Vipers sailed in the regatta. Those boats who sailed three days, such as the Lotz’, and another subdivision comprised of boats which sailed only Saturday and Sunday. The collection of scores from the two-day division determined the Atlantic Coast Championship.

The Lotz’ won the first race in the largest fleet of 28 boats and went on to win a total of six races. A second place and third place finish put the Lotz’ at the top of the three-day event with the Newport Regatta® trophy locked in.

“It was a competitive field,” Lotz said.  Although in a comfortable lead on Saturday, “We ended up on the wrong end of the line,” he said. The team made sure to then cover their closest competitor to keep a hold on the lead.

“It was the right thing to have done,” Lotz said, “we were very happy to have won the three-day series. (Cory Silken photo of Team Lotz to left)

Other top local  sailors won class trophies based on the two days’ of racing results: Gunther Buerman drove the majestic 12 Metre KZ3/New Zealand to win three of four races which earned him the Grand Prix Classes’ first place trophy. Also, Newport’s Ben Quatromoni won six of 11 raced to win the Vanguard 15 honors and Walter Bopp of Jamestown steered his S Class Mischief to a first place win.

Jeff Siegal of Newport, who recently won an Etchells regatta in Newport two weeks ago, finished second overall as the top local sailor in that fleet.  Also, two local sailors finished third as top Newport sailors in their classed including Paul Zabetakis on his Swan 42 Impeturous. In addition, Lynne Shore, a Olympic Gold Medalist sailor, finished third in the Laser Class.

“Sailing events are exciting but they are also an economic boost to the local economy,” Sail Newport Executive Director Brad Read. Read noted that over 900 sailors traveled to Newport from 17 U.S. states and five countries including the U.S, Canada, England, Germany and New Zealand.

For more information, visit: www.sailnewport.org

Local Youth Sailor Best in Nation

“No one else could catch him,” Sail Newport/Brenton Cove Racing Team Opti Coach Joakim Karlsen (Newport,RI)  said of Luke Ingalls who recently won the USODA National Optimist Championships.  The 13 year-old Ingalls, who raced in his first regatta only two years ago in Sail Newport’s Youth Challenge, dominated the fleet of 300 top level youth sailors in the Nation at the championship event on Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe, Michican.

“I was really excited because I have been working really hard.  it was great to feel that two years had finally paid off,” Ingalls said.

The young sailor has trained at Sail Newport with Karlsen when few Newport sailors are on the water putting in hours of training between February and May and September through November.

During the summer months, Ingalls sails with the Brenton Cove Racing Team (a partnership between Ida Lewis Yacht Club and Sail Newport) and also with a local team of sailors from FAST and the Sakonnet Yacht Club.

In his 13 foot dinghy,  Ingalls faced varying conditions, light and shifty to gusty and 15-knots, then more tricky shifts over the four-day event. The first two days were qulaifier, then a day of Medal Racing, then the group was split into championship fleets.

Ingalls had single digit scores on the first couple of race days but suffered a ten-point equipment penalty for no loop in his bowline (a regulation enforced by USODA). However, with a drop race, he was able to discard the penalty points.

“I knew I had to sail well and I worked what I had practiced over and over.” Ingalls said. He said he focused on PIN starts and playing every shift.

Not all the races whent well, on day three he posted a 17 and began to feel the pressure. “I knew I could drop tht race but It wasn’t until the next race when I won and it was a great comeback that was great for my self esteem,” he said.

By the last day of racing, Ingalls focused on the only boat that could capture him and covered the opposing sailor for the remainder of the last race.

“Luke definitely has a lot of natural talent,” Karlsen says, but his performance ability comes from the extraordinary amount of hours he practices.”

"He is extremely focused on the details and is so fast he can get out of virtually any sitution out there” Karlsen added.

A total of thirteen sailors from Newport attended the event. Other local sailors who finished in the top fifty in the nation included Justin Callahan of Newport who finished 13th. Nearly all of the young Narragansett Bay sailors qualified for the US Team Trails in the Spring of 2014. That event is for the selection of the top Optimist sailors who will represent the U.S.A at events around the world

For more information: www.USODA.org

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