Mike Ingham’s Nautalytics came on strong down the stretch of the J/24 North American Championship to edge out reigning Champion Will Welles’ Bogus and win on a tie-breaker. With crew Marianne Schoke, Max Holzer, Justin Coplan and Quinn Schwenker, Ingham entered Sunday’s racing seven points behind Welles. A Nautalytics bullet in the day’s first race, followed by a third, put the pressure on Welles, who recorded a 17 with a scoring penalty (his discard) and then a 5 to tie the two teams on points at 24. Ingham broke Welles three-year North American Championship winning streak from 2015-2017, and it was actually Ingham who held the title prior to that in 2014. John Mollicone’s Helly Hansen completed the top three overall with 30 points in the 35-boat fleet competing at Charleston Yacht Club. “We were third and Will was fourth at the last rounding of the last race,” recalled Ingham, knowing he needed to put one more boat in between them to secure the Championship. “We match raced the final leg. John Mollicone passed Will, and we maintained!” Ingham noted how tough a venue like Charleston can be due to the current and big shifts. “It’s a heads-up venue. You’ll have bad moments, but the teams who survive those moments will excel. We definitely picked a bad side a bunch of times, but we recognized it and got out. The key is reacting quicker than the next guy.” Two more races took place Sunday, bringing the total to eight. The breeze was light and tricky in the first contest, won by Ingham. Winds picked up to the top end of the genoa in the final battle, won by Nicolas Cubria’s Elvis.
The top five:
Nautalytics, Mike Ingham – 1 -4 - -7 -7 -1 -1 -3 ; 24
Bogus, Will Welles – 3 -5 -1 -1 -6 -3 - -5 ; 24
Helly Hansen, John Mollicone – 2 -6 -4 -6 - -2 -6 -4 ; 30
YouRegatta, Carter White – 4 -1 -3 -8 -4 -14 - -7 ; 41
Elvis, Nicolas Cubria – 17 -7 -10 -4 -8 - -17 -1 ; 64
Complete results may be found at https://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4496, and photos are available on the J/24 Class Facebook page.