Sublime downwind planing on Sunday capped off 3 days of awesome racing between 29 boats at the VX One North Americans in Charleston, SC. The regatta kicked off with boats from as far away as Toronto and Dallas participating in practice starts and races on Thursday.
On Friday, Tommy Harken’s excellent Race Committee team, held 4 races lasting about 40 minutes each. Foreshadowing things to come, Chris Alexander from Gulfport Yacht Club, took first in 2 of those races. The Carolina Yacht Club finished off the day with a shrimp boil dinner for the class under the club’s Boathouse.
With lighter northerly breezes and a strong flood tide, there were 3 races on Saturday starting out by Fort Sumter. After racing the competitors heard a chalk talk hosted by the new distributors for the boat: Sailing, Inc.’s Bill Wiggins and Vela Sailing’s Rod Favela.
Sailing on Sunday was moved up 30 minutes to take advantage of the predicted weather. With the breeze on, it was key to start with speed, get clear air, hike the boat as flat as possible and put the bow down in order to go fast forward. Local Bill Wiggins on SendIt led around the first mark and popped the kite for thrilling downwind action before happily settling for second in race one. Sailing in a major VX One event for the first time this weekend, 2016 J/22 World Champion Mike Marshall learned quickly. He took a 1 and 2 on the final day to move his team in second place overall. Ultimately, he bowed to Chris Alexander’s experience in the VX. With John Bowden and Caroline Main onboard, Chris scored just 19 points over 9 races with one throwout.
This 19-foot sport boat is building momentum, with 2 new distributors and rapidly growing fleets from South Carolina to Toronto. Next year’s North American’s are scheduled for Newport, RI.
Full Results: http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/16581
Photos: Michael Wiser