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SDYC Team Wins USMRC Qualifier
Chris Nesbitt and his San Diego Yacht Club teammates Parker Mitchell, Michael Nicoletti and Kara Voss just missed a picket fence performance at the US Match Racing Qualifiers hosted by StFYC May 18-19, 2019.

SDYC Team Photo by Chris Ray

Chris Nesbitt and his San Diego Yacht Club teammates Parker Mitchell, Michael Nicoletti and Kara Voss just missed a picket fence performance at the US Match Racing Qualifiers hosted by StFYC May 18-19, 2019. 

One of many USMRC Qualifiers being held around the country, San Francisco Bay greeted the seven J/22 teams with a rainy, cold, and gusty Saturday featuring a southerly 15-18 kt breeze. The cross-current flood in the morning and ebb in the afternoon required the race committee set the courses with offsets to achieve a square downwind run, and in the morning that meant a port rounding – rare in match racing, which favors starboard roundings.

The front had passed through by Sunday, allowing for a more normal westerly alignment of the racecourse and starboard roundings without an offset. Aside from the usual boat-on-boat tactical antics, major gains were made by teams exploiting the tide relief on the shore, placing a premium on winning the start and going left.

Nesbitt’s team handled these challenges while bringing their usual aggressive style and won all their races in the first round robin, losing only one match in the second round robin to local Nicole Breault, sailing for StFYC with her Vela Racing team of Karen Loutzenheiser, Molly Vandemoer and Hannah Burroughs. Chris thereby won the event and advances to the US Match Racing Championship, held at StFYC in October.


Team Vela Photo by Chris Ray

Nicole Breault finished second, and David Wood from Balboa Yacht Club, sailing with Daniel Pegg, Maxwell Mayol and Marbella Marlo, finished third.

In giving out the awards, Commodore Paul Heineken remarked that the St. Francis is deeply supporting of match racing, this being the third of five match racing events at the club this year. In addition to the teams on the podium, he also noted that this regatta attracted several skippers still in high school and their young teammates representing Encinal, Richmond and Coronado yacht clubs, boding well for the growth of match racing here on the West Coast.  

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