Optimist North American Team Racing Championship 2013

Published on July 8th, 2013

Hamilton, Bermuda (July 7, 2013) – USA Team #2 and Singapore emerged as eventual winners in the Optimist North American team racing championship after numerous hard fought battles on the flat waters of Hamilton Harbour on Sunday. The one-day regatta was staged on two short courses separating the North American countries (NA Championship) from the non North American countries (Nations Cup), racing for two different trophies. Over 50 races were sailed.  Teams were seeded using individual results from the fleet racing after five races.

On the North American course the final came down to third seed USA 2 (Shawn Harvey, Matt Logue, Ryan Hennessey, Louisa Nordstrom and Eduardo Mintzias) vs. the fifth seeded USVI team (Scott McKenzie, Teddy Nicolosi, Mateo DiBlasi, Christopher Murphy, Ryan Hunter).  The final is typically a best of three series.  Race 1 of the finals was won by USVI by way of a tie break while Race 2 saw another tie but this time USA 2 were given the nod.  The third and final race saw USA 2 win convincingly and with it came the championship, the fourth Optinam title in a row for the Americans.

On the Nations Cup course third seed Singapore (Samuel Neo, Shyn Ee Phua, Jodie Lai, Isaac Tang, Serzen Gurung) smoothly sailed through their competition and met fifth seed Argentina 2 (Carmela Berger Maurette, Juan Pablo Cardozo, Matias Dietrich, Alejandro Formica, Inaki Aitor Gurmindo) in the finals. The Singapore sailors were able to clinch the Nations Cup with two straight wins over the South Americans. 
For a number of years a team race day has been included in the Optinam schedule.  This fast paced, double elimination format features short but exciting races requiring a completely different strategic mindset. Sailors work as a team to block, assist each other and attempt to force the opposing team into a penalty situation. The team with the lowest tally of their finishing order wins the race.  Countries field 4 boat teams but use a 5th sailor to rotate into the line-up as needed.
Monday is a layday for the 176 Optinam sailors.  They will return to fleet racing in the great Sound on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 9 and 10.
Photo of Team USA 2 celebration by www.optiphoto.com
Submitted by Somers Cooper
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