John Mollicone from Newport, RI and his Helly Hansen team have successfully defended their J/24 Midwinter Championship title. With Geoff Becker (trimmer), Tim Healy (tactics), Collin Leon (mast) and Gordon Borges (bow), the group was able to spectate the last of the 10-race series to allow the other 26 teams to duke out the remaining places. Dropping the DNS, Mollicone ended the three-day event at Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, FL with 18 points and a line of one, five, one, one, one, two, three, three, one.
Thanks to a bullet in the final race of the championship, Travis Odenbach’s Honey Badger (with Patrick Wilson, Rossi Milev, Chris Morgan and Emery Williams) snagged second place with 29 points. Tied on points, but in third place, was Luis Olcese’s Scaramoush of Peru with crew Christian Sas, Joel Raffo, Joaquin Razetto and Alek Stewart. Conditions on Sunday remained sunny and warm with winds between five - seven knots.
Mollicone praised the work of the Race Committee, saying, 'The courses were nearly perfect. It was never windy, but we got 10 good races in.' He also complimented his team, which will be competing in the J/24 World Championship this September in Newport with Mollicone at the helm. He credited their boat speed as the key to success. 'It was somewhat choppy both upwind and downwind so having a bit of a speed edge helped us. Our whole team did a great job.' He’d also like to see the Midwinter Championship return to Miami within a rotation of other Florida venues. 'You can’t beat the weather at 80+ degrees and seven - twelve knots of breeze!'
The top five overall: John Mollicone (18 points), Travis Odenbach (29), Luis Olcese (29), Robby Brown (40.7), John Poulson (48).
Complete results are available at website