by Greg Nicoll
All eyes were on the skippers and crews of Zingara and First Today as they prepared for the final day of the Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championships held at the National Yacht Club in Toronto, Canada. The two yachts were tied at 24 points each after three days and nine races and, with years of fierce competition between them, it had all the makings for a long drawn battle to the death. But within one minute of the first of two scheduled races on the last day of the regatta it was all but over.
High five all around aboard First Today as they win the last rac and capture the 2011 Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship
First Today from the Youngstown Yacht Club, New York, pose with the Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship Trophy
Richard Reid owner/ skipper of Zingara summed it up by saying that they were looking for a good lane at the boat end of the line but got caught with their pants down and were forced to go the right side of the course which was the wrong way to go. He added that there were some 20-30 degree shifts. If you were in the middle it was great but not were they ended up on the right hand corner. At the end of the race Richard walked around the boat and shook hands with all of his crew and later said that he would be back.
First Today Skipper Gary Tisdale with wife Melanie who headed up the Onshore Team
The crew of First Day, Skippered by Gary Tisdale, sailed a very steady last day with a sixth in the first race and a bullet in the final race of the day. Gary said it was nerve racking doing the math all day, calculating the effects of the drop race, but in the end, First Day ended up with 31 points against Zingara’s 38 points. Gary praised his crew, the same crew that won the 2010 Championships, and his shore team headed up by his wife, Melanie, that pulled it all together. Gary also had great words of praise for the National Yacht Club and the volunteers that hosted a first class regatta.
Cheryl Carter, from The Barbados Tourist Authority who was the title sponsor of the regatta, was very pleased to be part of this extremely competitive regatta and presented the winners with spectacular carved trophies created by native Nunavut artists from the very northern regions of Canada.
Skipper Richard Reid, after a long day thanks his Zingara team for a great effort, but came up just short
The 2012 Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championships will be held at the Cleveland Yacht Club on September 8th, 2012.
For more information go to: www.2011beneteau367northamerican.com