At the J/24 Midwinter Championship taking place at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, Florida, John Mollicone from Newport, RI and his Helly Hansen team have triumphed as 2013 champions. With Tim Healy, Geoff Becker, Dan Rabin and Gordon Borges, the group was able to spectate the last of the 10-race series to allow the other 19 teams to duke out the remaining places.
2013 J/24 Midwinter Championship
Dropping the DNS, Mollicone ended the three-day event at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, FL with 21 points and a line of 8,3,1,1,2,2,1,2,1. Will Welles helmed Cougar to an impressive series and 26 points for second place. Peter Bream’s Team Tarheel notched 43 points for third.
Conditions in sunny Tampa Bay remained gorgeous on Wednesday, with breeze between 14-16 knots and puffs to 18. Mollicone praised the 'champagne sailing conditions' as the best he’s ever seen there. On the heels of winning last November’s J/24 North American Championship, Mollicone thanked his consistent team, saying 'We’ve got a good team, but the biggest thing is we’ve got the same people all the time, and it makes a big difference in our crew mechanics and communication.'
The group put in some practice time and training before the event which 'helped a lot with getting comfortable again on the J/24 after taking some time off,' Mollicone explained. His dependable group will be heading to Howth, Ireland in August for the J/24 World Championship, but he’ll turn over the helm to Tim Healy.
'We’ll just switch roles, and then next year I’ll drive in Newport (for the 2014 J/24 Worlds),' shared Mollicone.
In Wednesday’s final two races, Mollicone and Tony Parker took the bullets. The top six overall: John Mollicone (21 points), Will Welles (26), Peter Bream (43), Mike Ingham (44), Tony Parker (47), Travis Odenbach (47).
Davis Island YC