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Southern Spars

U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifier - Chris Nesbitt in action

by Rick Roberts on 16 Aug 2017
2017 U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifier - Chris Nesbitt Rick Roberts
Chris Nesbitt of San Diego Yacht Club and his team won the World Sailing Grade 3 2017 U.S. Match Racing Championship Qualifier Sunday, thus earning a qualification spot to the big dance at the 2017 U.S. Match Racing Championship, Oct. 13-15, at Oakcliff Sailing on the Long Island Sound in New York State.

The regatta, promoted and supported by US Sailing and hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club, was sailed on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37 One-Design race boats. The same boats used for the World Match Racing Tour’s, World Sailing Grade 1 Congressional Cup.

“I haven’t raced on these boats in years,” Nesbitt said, “and I only had a couple of my old teammates for this weekend.

“As a group, we needed to learn the boat and each other’s names. We ended up having to re-load the team with two people just two weeks before this regatta. Yesterday was a challenge, but it was easier today. Most of the team hadn’t raced together before Saturday.”

The weather cooperated with south to southwest breezes building from 5-6 knots in the morning to 10-12 by late afternoon giving LBYC’s Principal Race Officer Charlie Legeman minimal delays in getting the races started on-time.

The close-fought weekend between Nesbitt and Jeffrey Petersen of Balboa Yacht Club came down to the first match in the last flight of the regatta with Nesbitt beating Petersen.

At that point, Nesbitt was tied for points with Petersen, both having 10 wins and 2 losses. But Nesbitt and his team of Travis Wilson, Pat Powell, Michael Nicoletti, Robert Garrett and Max Mayol beat Petersen both Saturday and Sunday in the double round-robin format, breaking the tie and giving Nesbitt the win.

Finishing third was Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s, Justin Law with nine wins and three losses. Law is quite skilled on Catalina 37s, having won LBYC’s Butler Cup Grade 4 Match Race in November of last year.

Nesbitt shared his thoughts on the weekend’s racing.

“This was all about teamwork,” Nesbitt said. “When you write this story, make sure the crew gets the credit for the races we won, and that I get the credit for the races we lost. You can’t be competitive on these boats without a great crew.

“We want to thank the Long Beach Yacht Club, the race organizers and the race committee in making this a well-run and fun regatta. It was a very enjoyable weekend.”

Final Results:

1. Chris Nesbitt, San Diego YC, 10 wins, 2 losses
2. Jeffrey Petersen, Balboa YC, 10, 2 (on tiebreaker)
3. Justin Law, Newport Harbor YC, 9, 3
4. Brian Bissell, NHYC, 5, 7
5. Dave Hood, Long Beach YC, 4, 8
6. Michael Levy, Santa Cruz YC, 3, 9
7. Sydney Gathrid, Del Rey YC, 1, 11

Full results available at;

Fever-Tree 660x82Selden 660x82RS Sailing BOTTOM