FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Jake Fish, US SAILING Communications Manager
CLEARWATER, Fla. (October 22, 2009) - US SAILING’s 2009 U.S. Multihull Championship (USMC) featuring 20 elite multihull teams racing on the Gulf of Mexico off Clearwater Beach came to an exciting conclusion on Thursday. The team of John Casey and John Williams prevailed in a close series of races to claim the Alter Cup.
After being blown out on the practice day and the first scheduled race day on Sunday, teams competed for four days in ideal conditions. Steady offshore breezes in the 9 to 14 knot range made for a fast and exciting set of nine races Thursday. Principal Race Officer, Fairlie Brinkley, and Beach Captain, Robbie Daniel, kept things moving at a brisk pace.
Competition was tight throughout the fleet and many positions were not decided until the final race. The last heat of the day had Casey (Longwood, Fla.) and Williams (Long Beach, Calif.) leading Mike Easton (Lexington, Mass.) and Tripp Burd by only two points in the battle for first place. The team of Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.) and Jamie Livingston had a narrow two point margin over John Tomko (Canyon Lake, Texas) and US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member, Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), in the fight for third.
On the first beat Casey and Easton went to the left while most others went right. Shortly after tacking onto port a spreader arm on Easton’s boat failed causing the mast to fold over ending Easton’s bid to snatch the championship away from Casey. As soon as the mast fell, in a sign of good sportsmanship, Casey and Williams stopped to make sure Easton and Burd were alright. Easton responded to their inquiry with, “What are you doing? Go win it!” At the finish it was Tomko, Casey and Spina nearly overlapped at the line, giving Tomko his third place finish in the Championship.
After the medals were awarded Casey had this to say, “To win the Alter Cup has been a dream for me since I was a child, and now to have won it twice is just amazing. I was really impressed with the Viper and organization of the event, both on and off the water. This multihull championship is special and unique. There is no other catamaran regatta like it in the world.”
This year’s regatta saw a large number of young sailors. Nearly a quarter of the fleet was under the age of 20 including two skippers. The F16 Vipers were supplied by Australian High Performance Catamarans.
First held in 1987, the U.S. Multihull Championship is sailed annually in a different multihull class at a different venue around the country. The U.S. Multihull Championship, sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A., is part of US SAILING’s National Championship series.
For complete results, photos, and daily reports from the event, please visit the event website at http://championships.ussailing.org/Adult/USMHChampionship.htm.
For more on Australian High Performance Catamarans visit their website at http://www.ahpc.com.au.
About US SAILING
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING) is the national governing body for sailing. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the organization provides leadership for the sport of sailing in the United States. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
About Rolex Watch U.S.A.
Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America's Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics preparation, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, offshore, one-design and women's events.