Barton Edges Out Benjamin for Atlantic Title
Published on July 24th, 2016
Twenty-one teams competed in the Atlantic Class US Nationals, held July 21-23 at Niantic Bay Yacht Club in Niantic, CT. Finishing tied on points but winning on countback was Bill Barton, representing Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club of Blue Hill, ME.
Sailing One 4 All, Barton had aboard the same crew that helped him win the 2013 series: Peter Smith, Peter Duncan and Tom Blackwell. Finishing second was Steve Benjamin (Seawanhaka Corinthian YC) in Cassidy, crewed by Ian Liberty, Chris Fortin and Doug Carey.
In three days of difficult, shifty conditions few of the 21 boats were able to achieve real consistency. An extra dimension was added by the significant tide, especially on the first two, lighter weather days. On the last day, aware that the forecast westerly could kick up a nasty wind-against-tide chop, ace race officer Ken Legler set an inshore course with more, shorter legs, in relatively flat water and less tide. The 15-knot wind was still shifty, but it was a great day’s racing to end the series.