Extreme2 wins C&C 30 Miami Ocean Challenge
Published on February 21st, 2016
In the first stand-alone event in class history, Dan Cheresh and his team on Extreme2 have won the C&C 30 Miami Ocean Challenge on February 19-21, the second event in the class’s 2016 tour and organized by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Miami, FL.
Cheresh raced with tactician Mark Mendleblatt, Dave Shriner, Bryn Bachman, Pete Crawford, Nick Ford, John Gluek, and Sam Tobio. Conditions for the three days of racing varied from a blustery 18-25 knots and huge seas on Friday, to moderating 12-16 knot conditions yesterday to 9-`4 knot conditions today,
Despite having won four races out of ten sailed, victory did not come easy for the Extreme2 team. Ahead in points going into the final day and ahead in the first race of the day, the team suffered a broken spinnaker sheet on the downwind leg to lose three boats and earn a 4th place, ceding the lead to Jim Madden on Stark Racing Mad VIII who own the race and took the series lead by two points. This was followed by a win in Race 9 to Madden’s second place, which closed the gap to one point, thus making it an exciting showdown in the final race for the series win.
Both boats set up near the signal boat at the start, with Madden in early control to leeward. But Cheresh at 10 seconds found a gap, sheeted in, and accelerated perfectly to take a narrow but decisive lead at the start. And when Madden tacked to get to the right, Cheresh simply covered, the two not focused at all on how their other rivals were making gains on either side.
One rival in particular, John Heaton on Hooligan, found both pressure and a shift all by themselves in the right corner, tacked and crossed the fleet with the largest margin of any in the series, a lead they held all the way to the finish to win their one and only race of the series.
Extreme2 meantime had extended their lead into the pack to finish second, putting Madden back to fifth their worse finish in a consistent scorecard of finishes no worse than third. This was the racing style all weekend: every team had an outstanding winning race, while having to accept others in the no-discard series.
In third on the final podium position was Nigel Biggs and his mixed English, Irish and Welsh team on Checkmate XVI. Biggs explained this event was worth the commute back over from the UK after Key West: “The racing was fantastic, we all have gotten a little better since Key West, and these boats are great to sail. I look forward to our next class racing event.”
“These boats are really fast, stable and the competition is really tightening to where one mistake can really cost you,” agrees Cheresh. “But I also like how the camaraderie is developing in this class, its becoming really fun. I look forward to our next class event at Charleston Race Week.”
Report by Dobbs Davis. Trophy photos by Sandrine/CGSC.