Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ingham Crowned J/24 NA Champ By A Nose!

J/24 North American winners
(Charleston, SC)- Winning the 2018 41st edition of the J/24 NA’s was Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS crew of Swedish goddess Marianne Schoke, Max Holzer, Justin Coplan and Quinn Schwenker. There’s was not an easy win as it took until the final day, final race, and final leg for the Shakespearean drama to play out for them to win on a tie-breaker over Will Welles’ BOGUS from Newport, RI.

Day One- Strong Start
After four races, Welles’ BOGUS got off to a solid start in attempting to earn his fourth consecutive North American title. Following a 3-5 in the first two contests, Welles banged out two bullets to end the day with 10 points. Carter White’s YOUREGATTA notched scores of 4-1-3-8 for 16 points and second place. John Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN held third place with 18 points.

Under clear skies and in breeze between 5-10 knots, Mike Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS opened the Championship with a victory, with Mollicone and Welles behind him. White moved up to the top spot in race two, in front of Robby Brown’s ANGEL OF HARLEM. Welles took the next two battles, ahead of Mexican Kenneth Porter’s MONSTER FISH and White in race three, and Aidan Glackin’s MENTAL FLOSS in the final duel.

Day Two- Light & Goofy
While three teams were tied on points for second through fourth place, they were all looking up at Welles’ Bogus that kept a hold on the top spot with 13 net points in six races so far. A harbor postponement started the day. Racing got underway at 1400 hours in winds of just 6 knots.

BOGUS recorded a sixth in Saturday’s opening race, but able to discard it and add a third in the day’s only other contest, to lead the fleet. Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS leapt up the leaderboard into the silver position, although he shared a tally of 20 points with White’s YOUREGATTA and Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN.

In the first race of the day, Mark Laura’s BABA LOUIE from Seattle, WA crossed the finish line ahead of James Howard’s CLASSIC and Travis Odenbach’s HONEYBADGER. Ingham made his move in the next battle, as the breeze increased to 10-12 knots. Following him were Mollicone and Welles.

J/24 Nautalytics winning North AmericansDay Three- Anxiety-ridden Finale
Ingham’s NAUTALYTICS came on strong down the stretch to edge out reigning Champion Welles’ BOGUS and win on a tie-breaker.

Ingham entered Sunday’s racing seven points behind Welles. A NAUTALYTICS bullet in the day’s first race, followed by a third, put the pressure on Welles, who recorded a 17 with a scoring penalty (his discard) and then a 5 to tie the two teams on points at 24.

Ingham broke Welles’ three-year North American Championship winning streak from 2015-2017, and it was actually Ingham who held the title prior to that in 2014. Mollicone’s HELLY HANSEN completed the top three overall with 30 points.

“We were third and Will was fourth at the last rounding of the last race,” recalled Ingham, knowing he needed to put one more boat in between them to secure the Championship. “We match raced the final leg. John Mollicone passed Will, and we maintained!” Ingham noted how tough a venue like Charleston can be due to the current and big shifts. “It’s a heads-up venue. You’ll have bad moments, but the teams who survive those moments will excel. We definitely picked a bad side a bunch of times, but we recognized it and got out. The key is reacting quicker than the next guy.”

Rounding out the top five were White’s YOUREGATTA in fourth and Argentina’s Nicolas Cubria’s ELVIS in fifth, by virtue of winning the last race!

Finally, of the two women’s teams entered, Erica Beck Spencer’s SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM from Portland, ME was 1st followed by Amy Kubie’s LONESTAR.  For J/24 NA race results and regatta information   For more Charleston YC host information Add to Flipboard Magazine.