MARION, M.A. (September 26, 2009) – A dyeing easterly was creating some anxiety for Chip Johns’ race committee on Saturday’s racing at the U.S. Team Racing Championship, hosted by the Beverly Yacht Club. With the completion of a round robin pending, Johns’ needed to get a number of races finished so the event could move into gold, silver and bronze groupings. After multiple delays, with many races postponed or abandoned, a new breeze from the south-west filled and the races could be completed.
Silver Panda, which lost their first race on Friday, finished with a loss on Saturday, but is seeded first on the leader board going into the quarterfinals. They will sail the next round in a best of three knock-out series format.
The only team without a win on Friday, Team Extreme, is now standing in fifth place and will race fourth place “les courtsies”. Team Extreme member, Stu McNay (Chestnut Hill, Mass.), is sailing the regatta at his home club, here in Marion. The team, which all attended Yale University, is only sailing together for the second time, as a team of six. McNay, a member of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG), recollected that it was nice for everything to be so familiar. He also expressed that the support of volunteers from the club, that made all of the visiting sailors and officials, feel so welcome, was just great.
The first team with a shot at Silver Panda is STHED, who represents Annapolis Yacht Club. Collegiate All-American, Joe Loe (Annapolis, Md.), when asked about facing Silver Panda in the quarter-finals Loe stated, “The tough thing about this regatta is, you either face the Panda in the finals or earlier on and you either beat them or not.” Loe continued. “The attitude is - bring it now or bring it later, and see what happens.”
Conditions for Sunday are calling for big breeze to 25 knots out of the south. With the open waters of Buzzards Bay, competitors can expect big steep chop with an outgoing tide. Similar to Friday, the top teams will be the ones that mange their team racing skills and put a premium on boat handling, in the conditions.
This years field includes eight US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) members, five former ICSA College Sailors of the Year, and three former ICSA Quantum Women Sailors of the Year.
A total of 16 teams, sailing in Vanguard 15s with a three-boat / six-sailor team format, are vying for US SAILING’s George R. Hinman Trophy in Sippican Harbor for three days of racing. The championship is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A., LaserPerformance, Dry Creek Vineyard, Sail Proud, and Kattack. This event attracts the best team racers in the country, with competitors selected based on their team resumes.
Complete results, daily reports, and photos from the U.S. Team Racing Championship are available on the event website at http://championships.ussailing.org/Adult/USTRChampionship.htm.
To follow the action live using Kattack tracking, go to http://americanregatta.com/regattas/2009/usteam/.
For video highlights of the 2009 U.S. Team Racing Championship, go to Sailgroove at http://www.sailgroove.org/videos/coverage/view/235627-hinman-us-team-racing-championship.
- Race report contributions made by Chris Petracco.