FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
US SAILING Communications Manager
DETROIT, Mich. (September 19, 2010) – Shawn Bennett’s team carried over the momentum they gained from defeating three-time U.S. Match Racing Champion Dave Perry in the semifinals yesterday. Sunday morning they upended number one seed Taylor Canfield in the finals. Bennett defeated Canfield convincingly, 3-0 to win his first U.S. Match Racing Championship and the Prince of Wales Bowl.
Bennett and crewmates Adam Roberts, Tom Purdy, and Melissa Purdy Feagin went a perfect 5-0 in the semifinal and finals combined. They won last seven races of the championship. Team Bennett finished the event with an 11-3 record. Two of their three losses came to Canfield and Perry in the round robin stage. Canfield (St. Thomas Yacht Club) and crewmates Sergie Lie and Matthew Hamish finished 10-5.
“It’s a surprise more than anything,” said Bennett. “I think the conditions came together for us. I’ve sailed a lot of Melges 24 which are similar. The crew did a great job on calling the puffs. Taylor is a great starter but we were able to sneak by him.”
Bennett was quick to compliment his crew after the win. “Tom Purdy was on bow and did an excellent job getting the sails up and down. Adam Roberts was trimming. He’s a 470 sailor and did a great job too. Melissa Purdy Feagin connected the puffs for us and I think that made a huge difference.”
Mike Buckley (Hyannis Yacht Club) defeated Perry (Pequot Yacht Club), 2-0 in the petit finals to take third place. Buckley and crewmates Jack Jennings and Mark Pinney finished the championship with an 8-6 record, while Perry was 7-6. Perry's crew consisted of Chris Museler and Michael Rehe.
“Dave nearly caught us out there in the second race,” mentioned Buckley. “We were probably a leg ahead at one point, and he got to a boat length behind us so we just sustained the pressure and didn’t tack just because he tacked. He could tack in a puff and you could tack in a lull and find yourself losing ten boat lengths.”
“It’s great to be here in my first U.S. Match Racing Championship,” said Buckley. “It is fun to race against Perry, Canfield, and other guys I’ve sailed against in college. There are a lot of sailors here new to match racing.”
The U.S. Match Racing Championship is a US SAILING Adult National Championship hosted this year by Detroit’s Bayview Yacht Club. Ten teams sailed in Ultimate 20s on Detroit River in this International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade 3 event.
Bennett qualifies to represent the U.S. in the 2011 ISAF Nations Cup. He’ll also receive an invitation to race in the 2011 Knickerbocker Cup and 2011 Ficker Cup, Grade 2 events and World Tour Qualifiers.
The U.S. Match Racing Championship is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A., Dry Creek Vineyard, Hobie Polarized, and Gill North America. Visit the event web site for final standings, daily recaps, photo galleries, and more.
1. Shawn Bennett - St. Francis Yacht Club
2. Taylor Canfield - St. Thomas Yacht Club
3. Mike Buckley - Hyannis Yacht Club
4. Dave Perry - Pequot Yacht Club
5. Mark Johnson - Neenah Nodaway Yacht Club
6. Chris Nesbitt - Balboa Yacht Club
7. Brad Funk - Lauderdale Yacht Club
8. Kent Colpaert - Bayview Yacht Club
9. Leonid Vasiliev - Oakcliff Sailing Center
10. John Pearce - Ithaca Yacht Club
About US SAILING
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. 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 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. 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.
About Gill North America
Gill NA, with headquarters near Atlanta, GA is the sole distributor and licensee of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America including Caribbean, Central America, US and Canada. Gill is an apparel and accessories leader in the worldwide marine industry for over three decades and specializes in high tech, breathable waterproof clothing. The company tests, designs and markets a variety of performance-oriented, award-winning apparel and accessories for virtually every type of boating activity with product lines that include foul weather gear; interactive layering systems; footwear; gloves; bags; junior gear; scholastic gear and team wear. Available through hundreds of dealers nationally, Gill NA is the sole distributor and licensee of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America, where it is the top selling yachting clothing brand. For more information on Gill NA, visit the company website at http://www.gillna.com/or contact Lance Jones at Gill NA, (678) 730-5581 5581 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Dry Creek Vineyard
Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard is located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley, just outside of the charming wine country town of Healdsburg. The winery is known for producing some of California’s finest Fumé Blancs and Zinfandels. In addition to these “flagships,” Dry Creek Vineyard is also known for excellent Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. In 1997, the family released a new vineyard designated Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate Endeavour vineyard. Then, beginning with the 2004 vintage, the family introduced a new proprietary blend called The Mariner. Each wine has redefined the concept of terroir as the winery continues shape their portfolio for future success. Dry Creek Vineyard owns over 200 acres of vineyard land, primarily in Dry Creek Valley and the Russian River Valley. For more information on Dry Creek Vineyard please visit www.drycreekvineyard.com.
About Hobie Polarized
Hobie Polarized is a leading designer, developer, marketer and distributor of polarized eyewear. The brand’s innovative lens technology allows total glare reduction, 100% UV protection, enhances contrast and provides optimum visual acuity. The company’s products are sold worldwide and are used by watermen at all skill and lifestyle levels. The Hobie Polarized headquarter is located in Plainview, New York. For further information, please visit the company’s website at www.hobiepolarized.com.