USA, Singapore Win Optinam Team Racing

July 7, 2013

USA Team #2 and Singapore emerged as eventual winners in the Optinam team racing event after many hard fought battles on the flat waters of Hamilton Harbour on Sunday [July 7].

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.

Photos by Charles Anderson:

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.

Bermuda was able to field three teams for the team racing championship. BER 1 was seeded second and hopes were high as it was made up of the Bermuda World’s team of Chase Cooper, Campbell Patton, Benn Smith and Mikey and Ceci Wollmann. BER 2 was seed sixth and was made up of Joe Arrowsmith, Tayte Stefaniuk, Peter Dill, Yannick Hillier & Matilda Nicholls. BER 3 was seeded ninth and included Tre Maxwell, Alice Reeves, Adriana Penruddocke & George Buckley. BER1 and BER 2 had moderate success but both were eliminated in the quarter finals after their second losses. BER 1′s two losses were at the hands of the eventual finalists. Many of the younger BER sailors were team racing for the first time and performed admirably.

Since 2004 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.

The full race results can be found here.

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