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Sail Scene

New England crew earns match racing hardware

The U.S. Match Racing Championship wrapped up Sept. 28 after four days of racing, with the title and the Prince of Wales Bowl going to Pequot Yacht Club of Southport, Conn., for a fourth time in the history of the championship.

Dave Perry of Southport, Conn., who was joined by crew David Moffet of Jamestown, R.I., and Chris Museler of Portsmouth, R.I., led the Pequot Yacht Club team. The championship was sailed in Sonars and hosted by Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, N.Y.

Weather conditions on Long Island Sound were not ideal for sailing the last day. The semifinals were cut short and finals cancelled because of a lack of breeze, after the first three days of the regatta saw moderate-to-heavy wind. This was unfortunate, as the final promised a strong chance it would be another repeat of the previous two years: a faceoff between Pequot Yacht Club and King Harbor Yacht Club’s team led by the defending champion Brian Angel of Manhattan Beach, Calif., and sailing with Payson Infelise and Michael Delanty. These two teams have flip-flopped the last few years with Perry winning in 2006, and Angel in 2007 (Angel also won the event in 2005 when Perry did not compete).

Chief umpire Steve Wrigley announced the crown went to Perry’s team via tiebreaker rules.

Perry’s team qualified for the Nation’s Cup regional qualifier in Charleston, S.C., and if they win, they will move on to the International Sailing Federation’s Nation’s Cup World Event to be held in Malaysia in December.

Marblehead sailor comes up short

It all came down to the final race of sailing’s U.S. Championship of Champions to find out who would take home the crown in a battle of the best in one-design racing. Sailed Sept. 24-27 in Sunfish on Great South Bay out of Sayville Yacht Club, N.Y., the battle was on between Sunfish North American Champion Doug Kaukeinen of Rochester, N.Y. and Thistle National Champion and 2005 Champion of Champions Mike Ingham also from Rochester, N.Y., both sailing out of Rochester Canoe Club.

Going into the final race, Kaukeinen was one point ahead of Ingham. In the first leg of the final race, Ingham was ahead of Kaukeinen, but Kaukeinen passed him at the gate at the leeward mark. Ingham nearly caught up with the Sunfish champion when the wind lightened, but Kaukeinen managed to stay ahead and finished second in the final race, securing his win, while Ingham finished fifth.

After returning to the docks, Kaukeinen said he was a “nervous wreck” going into the final race. Having sailed against Ingham before since they come from the same yacht club, he knew it was going to be a tough one. “It wasn’t over until the very last beat,” he says. Kaukeinen and Ingham both sailed consistent regattas, finishing a total nine and eight races in the top three, respectively.

Bill Lynn of Marblehead, Mass., who qualified for the regatta though the Sonar class, took third place.

This article originally appeared in the December 2008 issue.