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Melges 2023 - Melges 15 LEADERBOARD

NAASA sails 100 miles around Narragansett Bay-in F18s

by NAASA 18 Aug 08:50 PDT August 12-13, 2023
36 F18s start off Newport - New England 100 © Nick Woviotis

Last weekend, catamaran sailors took to Narragansett Bay for 2 days and 100 miles of high-speed endurance racing for the "New England 100".

The 33rd running of the "100" was hosted at Sail Newport and run by the Narragansett Adult Athletic Sailing Association (NAASA). Thirty-six sailors competed in this test of athleticism, determination, and nerve on courses around Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. The spectacle of these boats going in excess of 20 knots was enjoyed from Fall River to the ocean off Second Beach in Newport.

Starting off Rose Island under the Newport Bridge on Saturday, the course took the fleet around Aquidneck Island counter clockwise. The event began with the promise of clear sailing. However, the sailors were greeted with dense fog off the mouth of the Sakonnet River, challenging sailors to navigate around the rocks using iPhones with special marine navigation apps, while suspended from trapeze wires and going double digit speeds. The fleet - supported by safety boats - handled the challenge without incident. Eventually the fog burned off in time for the teams to safely transit the narrows between Portsmouth and Tiverton.

Saturday's winds spanned the full range from light and shifty to strong and squally, demanding adaptability and finesse from the 36 sailors. As the day progressed, the standings started taking form. Despite the long courses, the competition was tight with teams in close proximity at most marks or turning points. The close competition was highlighted with three teams finishing the 50 mile course less than one minute apart - John and Peter Giuliano, Team Bar Karate (Lars and Olin Guck), and Team Valante Mechanical (Kaleigh Morgan and Cam Farrah.) At the end of the day though, it was Team Fly Tradewinds sailed by Todd Riccardi and Dalton Tebo standing on the top the podium

After a one hour onshore postponement to allow the thunderstorms to clear the area, the excitement continued on Sunday with a full tour of Narragansett Bay's islands. The teams embarked Newport on a course pass Hope Island around Patience Island, then south down the West Passage around Beavertail to complete a circle around Jamestown with a finish off Rose Island.

The Sunday race began with a high speed downwind start, injecting an immediate thrill into the competition. The Bay was busy with multiple fleets of larger yachts sailing in another regatta, Safe Harbor Race Weekend, - so the fleet of fast catamarans had to zigzag around those sailors on their way to Hope. The day provided all conditions including stronger pressure for the trip out and around Beavertail then a ripping spinnaker run home to the finish in Newport.

The day's standout performance belonged to Joe Valante and Jimmy Zelmer followed closely by Team Fly Tradewinds (Riccardi and Tebo.) When the combined Saturday and Sunday results were tallied those same two boats took the top two spots on leaderboard followed by former 100 Champions the Giuliano brothers in third. Making the Valante victory even more impressive and special - he was celebrating his 63rd birthday on Sunday.

"The sky's the limit in sailboat racing, and Narragansett Bay showed us her best this weekend." said Jamestown's Chris Bulger who is the event Chair, NAASA President, and a New England 100 competitor. Bulger went on to say "With the support of Sail Newport, our volunteers and sponsors, NAASA was able to showcase Narragansett Bay as the perfect location for sailing's fastest boats. Our mission is bring this type of sailing back in the USA and put is on more competitive footing internationally"

As the 100 sailors packed their boats, sought out aspirin and ice packs - plans were already afoot for 2024.

Full results here

2023 New England 100 Results (Place, Yacht Name, Sail, Skipper/Crew, Results, Total Points)

F18 (Portsmouth - 15 Boats)

1. Fly Tradewind, Usa7, Todd Riccardi / Dalton Tebo - 1 - 1; 2
2. The Surf Club, USA11, Michael Easton / Adam Moore - 2 - 3; 5
3. Capricorn, 94, John Giuliano / Peter Giuliano - 4 - 2; 6
4. Guck Inc/ Bar Karate, 005, Lars Guck / Olin Guck - 3 - 4; 7
5. Valante Mechanical, 21, Kaleigh Morgan / Cam Farrah - 5 - 5; 10
6. No Worries II, USA442, Skip Whyte / Rodrigo Benvenuto - 6 - 6; 12
7. Ernst & Young, 281, Josh Bartoszuk / Henry Lee - 7 - 8; 15
8. Arete, USA414, Sam Carter / Ian Ray - 9 - 7; 16
9. The Fastnet Pub, USA2060, Chris Manson-Hing / Jensen McTighe - 8 - 10; 18
10. GT3 Creative, USA60, Arthur Bulger / Jake Demos - 10 - 9; 19
11. Zebra, USA5150, Carrie Marshall / Joe Carter - 11 - 12; 23
12. USA274, Hardy Peters / Dimitri Ovren - 13 - 11; 24
13. Ronstan, 1719, Kate Myler / Nolan Cooper - 12 - 13; 25
14. Doolan Platt & Setareh LLP, 2062, Benjamin Setareh / Dan & Rachel Setareh - 14 - 14; 28
15. Payne Capital Management, USA089, Christopher Payne / Nathan Huf - 15 - 15; 30

Open Class Spinnaker Beach Cats (Portsmouth - 3 Boats)

1. Valante Mechanical Inc, Uni21, Joseph Valante / Jim Zellmer - 1 - 1; 2
2. Kraken, 292, David White / Jamie White - 3 - 2; 5
3. Victory, USA149, Will Rottgering / Jahn Tihansky - 2 - 4/RET; 6

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