Sunday, September 20, 2015

Team Bennett Sweeps Last Chance USMRC Qualifier

J/22 sailing San Francisco Bay (San Francisco, CA)- Shawn Bennett and his team of Kurt Wessels, Melissa Feagin and Tom Purdy went 14-0 on September 5-6, beating each competitor twice to take the overall win at the Last Chance Qualifier for the US Match Racing Championship. St. Francis Yacht Club hosted the event under a bright blue sky and warm sun that graced San Francisco’s city front over Labor Day weekend. By winning, Team Bennett secured an invitation to race at the USMRC finals to be held October 10-12 at the Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay, NY.

After brief shore delays on both days, racers enjoyed spirited matches sailing the one-design J/22s in winds ranging from 8 to 14 knots with a fading ebb tide turning to light flood. Also racing was Nicole Breault, who recently qualified with her team for the USMRC finals by winning the Women’s Match Racing Championship in Newport Beach, CA last month. She had this to say about the regatta:

St Francis YC match race crew- Shawn Bennet“Shawn (Bennett) and his team are really fast, and they are aggressive when they need to be. I’m sure, like us, they had some tough races where they had to work hard for the win. John Horsch and Bruce Stone are great Bay Area sailors, and Clinton Hayes is assistant coach of the Stanford Sailing Team. Plus, the collegiate teams of Chris Weiss, Pearson Potts and Antoine Screve were scrappy and smart, revealing a solid future for US match racing. The racing was super fun this weekend, and a good tune-up for the finals next month.”

This was the third Grade 3 match racing event hosted in 2015 by the St. Francis Yacht Club. With its combination of identical J/22s, consistent winds and professional race management, the Club has attracted teams from around the country as well as top-ranked umpires—including two International Umpires—both of which are key factors in achieving this grading.  Sailing photo credits- Chris Ray.
For more St Francis YC J/22 Match Race sailing information