A familiar name is at the top of the leaderboard at the J/24 US National Championship, hosted by Beverly Yacht Club in Massachusetts. John Mollicone’s Helly Hansen team holds a four-point lead over Will Welles’ Cougar. Another four points back in third is Sumio Shimoyama of Japan with Mark Hillman on Sokokumaru. Mollicone is the current J/24 Midwinter Champion (he also won in 2013), crewed on the 2013 J/24 World Championship team, and won both the 2012 and 2013 J/24 North American Championships.
Forty-five teams are competing in Marion, including entrants from various areas of the United States, along with several Canadian crews and even representatives from Japan, France and Australia. Welles got the regatta going with a win in race one, when winds were 6-8 knots. Mike Ingham’s Nautalytic followed in second, and Travis Odenbach’s Honey Badger in third. The breeze picked up a bit to 8-10 knots in the next contest, as Aidan Glackin’s Mental Floss grabbed the victory. Natalie Penner’s Giggles and John Wilsey’s Panceta Doble completed the top trio. In the day’s final battle, the Shimoyama/Hillman team placed first, ahead of Mollicone and Wilsey. Leading the six-boat Women’s Division is Penner on Giggles.
Racing continues through Sunday. Complete results may be found here