US SAILING Communications Manager
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (September 24, 2011) – On Saturday, two short races were completed on Chesapeake Bay at day two of the 2011 U.S. Offshore Championship, hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy Squadron in Annapolis, Md. After five races total for the Championship, skipper Steve Travis (Mercer Island, Wash.) of the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle and defending champion Bruce Kuryla (Milford, Conn.) of the New York Yacht Club are tied for the lead, with Travis leading on the tie-breaker.
Less than stellar conditions and light wind didn’t stop the seven teams from competing at a high level on Saturday. Travis had a one point lead over Kuryla after three races on Friday. However, after his team finished last out of seven in the first race of the day, followed by a second place finish in race five, Kuryla managed to tie Travis with a pair fourth place finishes. Kenneth King (Charleston, S.C.) of Charleston Ocean Racing is four points behind Travis. His team finished second and seventh today. The U.S. Naval Academy Team skippered by Colin Nevins (Annapolis, Md.) won race five. Geoff Longenecker (La Jolla, Calif.) of the Southwestern Yacht Club won race four today.
PRO Bruce Bingman demonstrated uncanny patience with the weather and an innate sense that something would develop even after a lengthy postponement. He and the fleet were rewarded with a light northeasterly that never exceeded seven knots and at times was below five. The lingering stalled weather system currently parked over the area kept the powerboats at home and allowed for smooth water and viable racing.
After struggling to find their game Friday, Longenecker sailed sharp to win race four, the first of the day passing King and his Charleston Ocean Racing Club team on the final run.
Travis and Kuryla each had start trouble and were forced to circle around at the pin. Travis came back strong with pressure from the left to round second while Kuryla went right which yielded no benefit. Travis’s luck ran out at the leeward mark when his spinnaker halyard jammed requiring a crew to tend to the situation. This sent them to the back of the pack. Kuryla managed to make gains on the run to stay in the game. They managed to finished fourth.
The breeze held sufficiently compelling Bingman and his Race Committee team to square up the course and start race five in 5 to 7 knot winds. Travis got a clean start and tacked to the right in search of the beginning flood. Kuryla got tangled up with King at the start but sailed a strong beat to round second. Nevins finally found some juice to round third. Travis and Nevins jibed out into the bay towards better pressure while Kuryla fell into a hole to the west and dropped back. Travis led at the leeward mark and opted left for the second upwind. Seeing the increased upwind current to the right, Nevins chose the left gate looking downwind and trucked it to the right corner. At the weather mark, the right paid off again allowing Navy to round first followed closely by Travis with both boats now over 200 yards ahead of third place. Navy dominated the ensuing jibing duel down the run to win by 150 yards over Travis. Nauber and crew had another solid race to nail another third. Kuryla held on for a fourth while King and crew suffered their worst race of the series finishing seventh.
The U.S. Offshore Championship is hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Squadron in Annapolis, Md. Each team consists of a crew of nine, including one skipper and seven crew members, plus one U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman provided from the varsity offshore racing team. Teams were invited based on resume. A minimum of five members from each team (including the skipper) must have raced together in at least five regattas.
Seven buoy races are scheduled and a low point scoring system with no drops will be used. Racing is scheduled to begin at approximately 10:00 a.m. on Sunday (race times are subject to change). A distance race is planned for Sunday, weather permitting.
The Lloyd Phoenix Trophy will be engraved with the winning skipper's area and name, and will remain in the Sailing Hall of Fame at the United States Naval Academy. US SAILING medals will be provided to the skippers and crews of the top three teams.
Visit the event website at bit.ly/ussoffshorechamps for daily recaps, standings, results, photo galleries and more. To get up-to-the-minute updates from the Championship, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/ussailing.
The U.S. Offshore Championship is a US SAILING National Championship event sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. and Gill North America. The Championship is a Sailors for the Sea - Clean Regattas certification event.
About US SAILING
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth 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 us at 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. For more information, please visit us at www.rolex.com.
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/orcontact Lance Jones at Gill NA, (678) 730-5581 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.