by Jake Fish
U.S. Offshore Championship - Sunday belonged to Steve Travis (Mercer Island, Wash.) and his team representing the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle. Trailing by five points and in third place when the day started, Travis ran the table on Sunday by winning all three races to earn the title and his first Lloyd Phoenix Trophy.
U.S. Offshore Championship 2013
Travis got off to a quick lead in Race 5. Travis was followed by Ryan Hamm (Charleston, S.C.) and Andrew Beeler (Annapolis, Md.) around the first weather mark. Travis kept his lead around the final weather mark, with Hamm and Norman Vallette (New Orleans, La.) trailing. Travis won the race, Hamm placed second and Vallette third. The win pulled Travis into first place overall with Norman Dawley (Lusby, Md.) and Hamm tied for second and two points behind.
Travis got off to another good start in Race 6 and led around the first weather mark, followed by Hastings and the 2011 champion Bruce Kuryla (Milford, Conn.). These three teams remained in this order for the remainder of the race, as Travis won his second in a row to take a six point lead with one race to go. Travis pulled out the Sunday 'hat trick' with his third win of the day in Race 7 to win the regatta by eight points over Hamm.
Travis returned four crew members from the 2011 runner-up team. The crew consisted of Rob Mitchell, William Heston, Ken Blalock, Bryan Rhodes, Harry Dursch, John Bowen and Nick Padleckas.
'Today we tried to focus on where it looked like we could catch wind early and get a quick lead,' said Travis. 'We watched the wind direction and for changes. By getting to the mark first, we avoided chaos at the mark with the other boats and were able to get further ahead.'
Each team consisted of a crew of eight, including one skipper and six crew members, plus one U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman provided from the varsity offshore racing team. A minimum of five of each competitors’ team, including the designated skipper, must have raced together in at least five regattas in AMERICAP/ORR, IMS, IRC, MORC, PHRF, Offshore One Design, Offshore Level Class Racing or Portsmouth Numbers rating systems in the past 18 months. Each team’s skipper must have been the regular helmsman for the five qualifying regattas and must start and sail all windward legs in this regatta. Teams were selected based on US Sailing Area and resume.
The U.S. Offshore Championship is a US Sailing National Championship event sponsored by Gill North America. The championship is a Sailors for the Sea - Clean Regattas certification event.
1. Steve Travis, 4-3-7-3-1-1-1- ; 20
2. Ryan Hamm, 3-10/SCP-1-4-2-5-3- ; 28
3. Norman Dawley, 8-1-2-1-8-8-5- ; 33T
4. Andrew Beeler, 1-2-4-9-6-7-4- ; 33T
5. Bruce Kuryla, 6-6-5-2-4-3-9- ; 35
6. Tim Prophit, 1/RDG-4-6-8-5-6-8- ; 38
7. Steve Hastings, 9-9/SCP-3-7-7-2-2- ; 39T
8. Norman Vallette, Jr., 5-8-8-5-3-4-6- ; 39T
9. Richard Mentelos, 7-5-9-6-9-9-7- ; 52