Mahoney crowned A-Cat North American Champion by one point

Bruce Mahoney - ISAF International A-Class Catamaran North American Championship 2014
Ocean Images
ISAF International A-Class Catamaran North American Championship 2014 - Moon misses win after hooking crab pot on final day; High School student Herrin rounds out podium.

The Outer Banks’ Croatan Sound had a going-away gift for the nearly 50-strong 2014 SailNC A-Class North American Championship fleet on their final day of racing; Perfect weather and a beautiful, 8-12 knot Northerly breeze. Houston’s Bruce Mahoney found himself back on form after falling to second place overnight to Friday’s standout performer Ben Moon; the Texan led from start to finish in the first race of the day, while Tampa Bay’s Moon saw his championship slipping away. 'After catching a crab pot, I found myself in something like 13th place on the first race,' said Moon. 'I was able to grind back to fifth, but with Bruce winning that race and taking a two-point lead, I knew my chances of taking my first North American title were slipping away.'

Moon’s fifth place in Race five would prove decisive. Despite his sailing to a monster win in the final race - finishing more than three minutes ahead of the second place boat - Moon couldn’t overtake Mahoney’s lead.

This is Mahoney’s first North American Championship win, and he said it was one of the most challenging regattas he’s ever sailed. 'We’ve had just about every condition you could possibly have in what was basically lake sailing conditions all week, and with Ben pushing me constantly, there was never a lot of room for mistakes,' said Mahoney, who welcomes the chance to return to Manteo for another event. 'The hospitality here in North Carolina was wonderful, and SailNC did a great job with extremely fickle wind conditions; just a great time all around.' Moon agreed. 'We stayed out at the beach and surfed every morning before sailing, and you just can’t beat that!'

The scientists used the Computerized Scanning and Imaging Facility at WHOI to get CT scans of their coral skeleton core samples.
Tom DeCarlo, WHOI

18 year old Jeremy Herrin rounded out the podium, finishing six points off the leader, and he said he felt good about it. 'I got fifth place in the North Americans last year, so this is a solid improvement and I’m pretty happy,' said Herrin, who started the day in 28th place. Herrin says he thinks more young adults should be sailing these boats. 'Ask around at your club or email the Class association; it’s one of the most helpful bunch of people around and non-stop fun.'

The CT scan images have a resolution of about the width of a human hair. The images show the borings made by bioeroders in the coral skeleton.
Tom DeCarlo, WHOI

Seattle sailor Ken Marshack earned the distinction not only of traveling the furthest of any competitor, but also the title of 'North American Intergalactic Champion', a voluntary sub-class for older boats and bodies. 'It’s been great fun, and I want to thank the volunteers and SailNC for a wonderful time,' said Marshack.

Leg three, Day four - Decision time! - Dongfeng still holding the lead as they approach lighter winds. Key day for Leg 3 as the fleet take the decision when to gybe out to better winds and aim to hit the north east Monsoon winds first - Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.
Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race

Championship Fleet
1. USA 311, Bruce Mahoney - Total - 8
2. AUS 11, Ben Moon - Total - 9
3. USA 31, Jeremy Herrin - Total - 14
4. USA310, Woody Cope - Total - 22
5. USA230, Bob Hodges - Total - 22

Coral reefs need to grow just below the sea surface so that the corals’ symbiotic photosynthetic algae can absorb sunlight. If they are submerged too deep, the ecosystem wastes away without solar energy to make food. In a healthy ecosystem, this delicate balance is achieved by a constant and often overlooked tug-of-war. As corals build their skeletons up toward the sea surface, other organisms—mollusks, worms, and sponges—bore into and erode the skeletons to create shelters.
Tom DeCarlo, WHOI

Intergalactic Fleet
1. USA192, Ken Marshack, - Total 4
2. USA335, Martin Hamilton, - Total 7
3. USA44, Joe Leonard, - Total 11
4. USA122, John Schiefer, - Total 14
5. USA17, Mark Batchelor, - Total 17

Intergalactic Fleet
USA192, Ken Marshack, - 1, 14, 2, 6, 1, - Total 4
USA335, Martin Hamilton, - 2, 9, 1, 16, 4, - Total 7
USA44, Joe Leonard - 5, 15, 3, 15, 3, - Total 11
USA122, John Schiefer, - 5, 20, 4, 21, 5, - Total 14
USA17, Mark Batchelor, - 5, 27, 10, 12, 2,- Total 17

27 February, 2015. Volvo Ocean Race Village opening in Auckland. John Key - Prime Minister of New Zealand and Steven Joyce - Minister for Economic Development taking a shot with the Trophy in the Tap-Snap activity. Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15
© Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race

February 25, 2015. Leg 4 to Auckland onboard Team Alvimedica. Day 17. The straight line drag-race to Auckland enters its first full day with the rich only getting richer at the front of the line--always sailing into the stronger winds first. Kiwis Ryan Houston (R) and Dave Swete (L) look ahead towards their home country of New Zealand. Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15
© Amory Ross / Team Alvimedica

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-14 - Leg three - Dongfeng Race Team.
© Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race

To study a coral, Tom DeCarlo uses an underwater drill to extract a thin core of its skeleton. The drill hole is sealed with cement so that the coral can continue to grow. In about a year, the coral will have grown completely over the hole, leaving no trace of our sampling.
Anne Cohen, WHOI

World ARC 2015 - Crew picture in Saint Lucia.

Ben Ainslie winning the 2010 ISAF Match Racing World Championship at the finals in Malaysia.
Gareth Cooke / AWMRT

Sam Rowe, RYA Sailing Development Officer (SDO) - Lifeskills National Careers Week Day One