Team Intac competes at U.S. Nationals, brings home more hardware

Team INTAC Crowley starting windward - 2011 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship
Robert Jennings
Virgin Islands sailors continue to make a name for themselves in international sailing, with Team Intac returning from a successful challenge at the 2011 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship at the American Yacht Club in Rye, NY on June 10 – 12.

Hot of their victories at the Heineken International Regatta, Rolex International Regatta and the 40th BVI Spring Regatta, Team Intac travelled up to the USA to put their boat and team to the test against the top ranked sailors in the world. Skippered by Mark Plaxton they successfully sailed to an impressive second place overall finish.

'You can compare the Melges 32 to a fighter jet. It is another level of sailing altogether.' says Peter Holmberg, Team Intac's Project Manager & Tactician, and former Virgin Islands Olympic medallist and America’s Cup Challenge winner.

The talent-packed event saw 11 teams from the USA, Caribbean and Asia competing for the coveted U.S. National Championship trophy in widely mixed conditions ranging from very light on one day to averaging over 25 knots with 4-6 foot waves on another.

The first day saw beautiful sunny skies but virtually no wind. The teams were forced to wait patiently, floating about on a flat calm Long Island Sound for more than 3 hours, waiting for sufficient wind to start racing. The wind finally filled around 1:30 p.m. and allowed for three races to be sailed. At the end of the day Jason Carroll (New York, N.Y.) on Argo took center stage to lead with at 1-2-1 result line after three races. In second was Japan’s Takashi Okura on Sled and USA’s Ed Tillinghast on Dark N' Stormy in third with BVI’s Plaxton and the Team Intac standing at fourth.

Saturday's conditions were the polar opposite of Friday's sunshine, warmth and light wind. For some teams, it was the first time they had barreled down a 20+ downwind run. A blustery 22-25 knots blew solid all day, coupled with sizable waves and very cool temperatures. The big breeze would have made for ideal downwind planing conditions, had the waves not been so big. Never once did the breeze let up, and in fact it increased ever so slightly as the day went on and the waves grew larger as well.

'On the second day we were travelling so fast that at times we would slam into the back of a wave and literally find ourselves completely underwater', reports Intac Pitman, Mark Stephenson.

By the end of Day 2, with several boats having dropped out of the final race due to equipment and crew issues, Jason Carroll aboard Argo continued to lead the regatta with Japan’s Takashi Okura on Sled in second and BVI’s Mark Plaxton on Intac now climing to third.

Going into Sunday's races, Carroll led the fleet by an impressive 11 points and the battle for positions second through fifth remained heated. Japan's Okura sat comfortably in second place, seven points ahead of Plaxton in third.
Moderate 8-10 knot conditions prevailed for the third day with Plaxton grabbing a second place finish in the first race. The final race saw Team Intac decisively claiming the highly battled second place by defeating Japan’s Sled by four points in the final standings.

Team INTAC Crowley 2nd Place 2011 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - 2011 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship
Robert Jennings

Final Results - 2011 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship

Preliminary Cumulative Results

North American Championship Racing

1. 28 USA 128 Argo
Melges 32 Jason Carroll 1 2 1 1 1 1 5 13/DNS [13] 12.0

2. 700 IVB 007 Intac
Melges 32 Mark Plaxton 5 7 2 3 4 9 2 4 [9] 27.0


3. 55 JPN 5095 SLED
Melges 32 Takashi Okura 2 1 6 8 2 3 10 9 [10] 31.0

4. 230 USA 230 Pisces
Melges 32 Benjamin Schwartz 8 9 8 2 7 5 4 1 [9] 35.0

5. 206 USA 206 Ramrod
Melges 32 Rodrick Jabin 6 3 5 10 5 4 6 8 [10] 37.0

6. 151 USA 151 Dark N'Stormy
Melges 32 Edward Tillinghast 3 5 4 4 8 13/DNF 9 6 [13] 39.0

7. 15 USA 1315 Ninkasi
Melges 32 John Taylor 10 4 11 5 9 2 3 10 [11] 43.0

8. 57 USA 157 Mojo
Melges 32 Steve Rhyne 4 6 9 7 3 7 11 7 [11] 43.0

9. 178 USA 178 Sicktrix
Melges 32 Geoffrey Pierini 9 10 3 6 6 13/DNF 8 2 [13] 44.0

10. 0 USA 184 Bronco
Melges 32 Michael Dominguez 11 8 7 9 13/DNS 6 7 3 [13] 51.0

11. 62 USA 162 Zetiana
Melges 32 Alexis Michas 7 11 10 11 13/DNS 8 1 5 [13] 53.0

12. 329 USA 32917 Warpath
Melges 32 Stephen Howe 13/DNC 13/DNC 13/DNC 13/DNC 13/DNC 13/DNC 13/DNC 13/DNC [13] 91.0