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2019 Melges IC37 US National Championship at Newport, Rhode Island - Day 2

by Melges Performance Sailboats 29 Sep 2019 07:20 BST 27-29 September 2019
2019 Melges IC37 US National Championship - Day 2 © Melges Performance Sailboats

Three races were completed on Day 2 of the inaugural Melges IC37 National Championship in another round of pristine conditions that gave the fleet a memorable day on the water. The Members Only syndicate team still leads the competition into the final day, but it was Double Jointed, co-helmed by Ray Wulff and Andy Fisher, and Qubit, helmed by Chris Lewis that shined this afternoon.

In an effort to challenge sailors in this premier event, the Race Committee set up longer courses that featured 1.8 nautical mile long legs, but the Melges IC37 teams took it in stride. Competitive starts turned into trying, tactical windward legs, and eventually, fierce windward mark roundings with the entire 20 boat fleet reaching the top of the course at the same time. In these IC37's by Melges, the most level playing field available, the keys to consistency and success are preparation, teamwork, and skill.

Double Jointed, known all summer long for their consistency, reinforced their reputation today with four, two, three scoreline and jumped up the leaderboard into second place. Co-helmsman Ray Wulff attributes their ability to stay consistent in such a competitive fleet to the Double Jointed crew on board.

"It's great to have our regular team back, and the fact is we just got back into our routine. That routine has been pretty potent over the season and it was potent today. The crew work has been spectacular. Having Steve Burke back on board doing main has just meant that with Jake Doyle on the jib, they've just set us up in awesome lanes and going fast. And it makes it 10x easier. We just chipped away [each race]. We made sure we had a process before the race and during the race. Half the time we're so 'heads down' that the next thing you know, good things are happening."

Chris Lewis and his team onboard Qubit also had a stellar day on the water with a six, one, six scoreline, launching them from 10th place in the standings after Day 1 up to 3rd overall after five races. Team member Alec Snyder claims the same approach to sailing a successful event. In reviewing their pre-regatta preparations, Snyder explained "from the very beginning, the whole idea was to just do better every day on the water. Improve from the mistakes you have made, learn from what you've been going through, and try to do the best you can do every time."

The focus for the Qubit team leading up to the event was to "take a look at the amount of time that has been put in [to the Championship] between the Class, the competitors, everyone who has been organizing and supporting this entire first season of the IC37's by Melges. It's the top event so we set a focus on trying to do the best we can here."

Both Double Jointed and Qubit exemplify the benefits of teamwork, boat handling, and sailing your own race. With five races completed and five different race winners, and just nine points separating the top five overall, it's clear to see there is a small margin for error on the water.

As sailors spent the evening on the lawn at the New York Yacht Club for cocktails and dinner, they rejoiced on the two perfect days of the 2019 Melges IC37 National Championship. But with pristine conditions forecasted, three races scheduled, and podium spots on the table, they are all looking forward to the final day tomorrow — a bittersweet feeling.

"Wrapping up this season... it's been pretty special," said Ray Wulff. "I think everybody will look back at the first season and think 'oh my gosh this was awesome,' and look forward to doing it again the next year."

The Race Committee will announce tomorrow's course area at 9:00 am EDT and racing is scheduled to begin earlier with a First Warning at 10:30 am EDT.

For more results and event information, visit nyyc.org/2019-melges-ic37-national-championship.

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