Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 728x90

Impetuous takes bittersweet win in 11th Swan 42 National Championship

by New York Yacht Club on 16 Jul
Zabetakis' Impetuous team - 11th Swan 42 National Championship © Stuart Streuli / NYYC
If everything had gone to plan, Paul Zabetakis and his Impetuous team would be celebrating their first Swan 42 National Championship and the opportunity to represent the host club in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup in September. While the former is something Zabetakis has chased for more than a decade, not earning the latter gives his win in the 11th Swan 42 National Championship a bittersweet quality.

As it has been every year since the class was founded in 2007, the Swan 42 National Championships was hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court. Also run at the same time were the IRC East Coast Championships and the inaugural New York Yacht Club Multihull Regatta.

In 2015, Zabetakis' Impetuous team finished second in the fourth Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. The past two seasons have been focused on moving to the top step of the podium. But just days before the start of the National Championship, which also served as the second half of the qualification series for the Club's berth in the Invitational Cup, a family medical issue cropped up forcing Zabetakis to miss the first three days of the event. Tactician Bob Slattery served as the team's helmsman in his absence. But since Slattery isn't a member of the New York Yacht Club, Zabetakis was forced to withdraw his team from the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup selection series.



'We tried to figure out some way of still collecting points [toward the selection series],' said Zabetakis, 'but there wasn't anything we could do. So we decided to change our focus. I wanted the team to have good time and enjoy their last big event of the year.'

In a full range of conditions and in atypically inclement weather, the Impetuous team shown brightly, winning four of seven races and never finishing worse than fourth in a tightly-knit 10-boat fleet.

'It was very shifty all week, and it was very tough,' said Slattery. '[Substitute tactician] John Mollicone found us clear lanes every time off the start, and we didn't have to do many tacks on the first leg. If you’re doing four tacks or more, you’re not going to be first at the windward mark. We were able to get off the line and get ahead pretty quickly.'

Slattery has sailed in the Swan 42 class for many years, but he'd never helmed the boat in a race until the first race of the championships.

'It was totally different,' he said. 'I’m used to looking around the course, telling everybody what to do and asking the driver to concentrate on the boatspeed. I’d never really helmed the 42 before except for in between races. I was a little bit concerned that we might be off the pace. The crew was very good, which makes it easier.'



Building a cohesive crew is one of the often overlooked challenges of sailing large keelboats. Zabetakis takes no small amount of pride in the team he has developed, and their performance this past week in winds that at times topped 20 knots.

'To me, it’s always been about finding the right chemistry,' says Zabetakis. 'The culture and personality is the main thing because the skill sets can be learned. Once you get a core group, it starts to decide on the next person to come on board. I’ve been fortunate the last couple of years to put together a really good group.'

William Edward's crew from the Royal Thames Yacht Club finished second, with the Southern Yacht Club team led by helmsman Marcus Egan in third. Both of those teams will be competing at the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup in September.

Sparkling crew work was also a key to victory for Patti Young's Entropy team which won the seven-boat IRC3 division. After a disappointing performance in the 163rd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex in June, Young, husband/helmsman Paul Hamilton, and the crew committed to a rigorous practice schedule over the past month.

'We didn't think we showed our best at the Annual Regatta, and we had something to prove,' says Young. 'We were dedicated in practice and went over everything we could do better and how to minimize our errors.'

Young also credited some changes she and Hamilton made to the boat over the winter, including a longer bowsprit and bigger spinnakers.

'It has made a significant difference in our performance,' she said. 'We had a very narrow range downwind before and now it’s more forgiving. We don’t have to be perfect all the time. We can sail lower and faster.'

The net result was three race wins and a four-point advantage over Jim Bishop's Gold Digger, which took second in the overall standings. Quentin Thomas' Pendragon was third.



In IRC2, Art Santry's Temptation/Oakcliff team was virtually unbeatable, winning six of seven races. In the one race the team didn't win, the margin of victory was just 11 seconds.

Santry's been racing his Ker 50 for the better part of a decade and his team's familiarity with the boat is a big part of their success.

'The boat’s in great shape,' he says. 'After six years of sailing this thing, it’s finally turn key. It’s fun. We like a little more breeze that we had this week, and a little more lump and bump. But we had great crew work, no mistakes whatsoever all week. I also thought the committee did a heck of a job getting races off because the weather conditions were not easy.'

Paul Jeka's After Midnight was second in IRC2

IRC1 was a match race between two TP52s, Tony Langley's Gladiator and Steve and Heidi Benjamin's Spookie. Langley won the first two races and held on for a one-point overall win.

The inaugural New York Yacht Club Multihull Regatta attracted eight catamarans between 53 and 66 feet long. While ostensibly built for performance cruising, these powerful cats enjoyed the chance to stretch their collective legs on some navigator-style courses utilizing government marks. The battle for first was between Greg Slyngstad's 53-foot Fujin and Jason Carroll's 62-foot Elvis, with the latter coming out on top. Steve Cucchiaro's Flow was third.

Giacomo Yacht SaleMariners Museum 660x82Protector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

29er Hong Kong Open – Notice of race released
With competitors due to start unloading containers of 29ers from the 21 December, a great turn out is expected With mild winter conditions of warm sea and air temperatures, great breeze and boasting some of the best race tracks available anywhere, all eyes will be on the world’s best 29er sailors competing here in Hong Kong
Posted on 18 Aug
Tasar World Championship in Gamagori
As Libby said after the first race day of three races and five hours on the water, it was one of their toughest days The five race day event saw the outstanding North American crew from Seattle YC, former gold and bronze medal Olympians in the Flying Dutchman and 49’er Classes, Jonathan and Libby Johnson McKee, take out their fourth World Tasar Title
Posted on 18 Aug
A Pacific Yankee Doodle Dandy opening day at Melges 20 Nationals
On a traditional sunny, summer day, Newport is known for giving sailors a headfake with a weak On a traditional sunny, summer day, Newport is known for giving sailors a headfake with a weak, northerly, morning breeze, only to have that fade into a solid, southwest seabreeze. Knowing the conditions well and despite the solid northerly morning gradient, PRO Anderson Reggio wisely postponed the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship fleet, and settled on a 2 o'clock
Posted on 18 Aug
Admiral’s Cup Regatta will span the generations
Excitement in the yachting community surrounding the Admiral’s Cup 50th Anniversary Regatta has spread to all corners Excitement in the yachting community surrounding the Admiral’s Cup 50th Anniversary Regatta has spread to all corners of the sailing world. News of the event, to be held in Sydney this December, has also inspired some remarkable reunions.
Posted on 18 Aug
41st Annual Wooden Boat Festival - Overall report
Tall ships and everything in between—North America’s largest wooden boat festival celebrates its 41st year Tall ships, paddleboards, kayaks, tugboats, and everything in between—North America’s largest wooden boat festival celebrates its 41st year on September 8–10, 2017. Demonstrations, presentations, plays, music, dancing, and great food—this is a weekend of fun for all ages
Posted on 17 Aug
2017 U.S. National Championship - Newport Pow Wow
Summer sailing and racing in Newport is at its seasonal high point and smack dab in the middle of it all Summer sailing and racing in Newport is at its seasonal high point and smack dab in the middle of it all, is the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport happening on August 17-19. Three days of competitive sailing will take place under the careful management of PRO Anderson Reggio and his legion of local sailing and race committee volunteers.
Posted on 17 Aug
Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup - Racing postponed for Day 3
As forecast, winds in excess of 30 knots off the Old Head of Kinsale forced the abandonment of the programme for Day 3 As forecast, winds in excess of 30 knots off the Old Head of Kinsale forced the abandonment of the programme for Day 3 of the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club, Ireland.
Posted on 17 Aug
Step two for Kialoa II
Kialoa II has completed the Rolex Fastnet Race and will soon hoist sails and head to Sydney, Australia Kialoa II has completed the Rolex Fastnet Race and will soon hoist sails and head to Sydney, Australia, and the second major goal for the owners Patrick and Keith Broughton, the Rolex Sydney Hobart starting from Sydney Harbour on December 26, 2017.
Posted on 17 Aug
MAPFRE set the Volvo Ocean Race bar with overall Leg Zero victory
Newer teams know they have more work to do, but there are still plenty of positives to take from the progress they made Charlie Enright’s Vestas 11th Hour Racing became the third team to grab a victory from four stages in Leg Zero – a series of pre-race qualifying stages for the next edition of the round-the-world race – as they sneaked ahead of MAPFRE in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Posted on 16 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – MAPFRE seal overall Leg Zero victory
ast-improving Vestas 11th Hour Racing took the stage win with the shortest Distance to Finish at 0430 UTC. The decision to call a halt to the racing came late on Tuesday night as the stage had become a drifting contest, with the teams making a series of expensive gybes in a bid to find some wind, and latest ETAs predicting that the boats would not reach Lisbon until well into Thursday.
Posted on 16 Aug