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Rick McGregor wins R19 Nationals in dramatic fashion
WEST END – Rick McGregor survived a late charge from past class champion Benz Faget with a win in the final race to take the 2018 Rhodes 19 National Championship trophy. Click thru for report.

Event Site | Results


2018 Rhodes 19 National Champion Rick McGregor, Commo. Guy Brierre, Regatta Chair Tom Long, Heather Funkhauser, and Jackson Benvenutti
Not Pictured: Gary Taylor

Rick McGregor won the 2018 Rhodes 19 National Championship title by winning the final race of an 11-race series over the weekend of October 4–7.  The weather gods provided great racing conditions over the four day event.

McGregor held a small lead after the first two days over five-time R19 National Champion and local ace, Benz Faget. However, two races into the final day, Faget had taken a one-point lead with just one race remaining. In fantastic racing conditions, Faget found himself on the wrong side of shift, dropping him back into fifth place while McGregor, with Jackson Benvenutti calling tactics, maneuvered into a three-way fight for first place with Mike Lane of Marblehead and local fleet captain Rocky Sanchez. The three boats surfed down the final leg of the final race jockeying for the win.  McGregor's Pog Ma Hon (which is an Irish "greeting") surfed past the others to take a half boat-length win in the final race and the series.

The twenty-boat fleet had sailors from Chicago, Buffalo and New England join our local sailors from Fleet 7 and Fleet 4 from Fairhope. SYC sailors dominated the final standings, taking 4 of the top 5 overall places. Only Marblehead’s Mike Lane broke the local stranglehold, finishing third overall behind behind McGregor and Faget. Sanchez took fourth place and Dwight LeBlanc Jr rounded out the top five.

Crewing for McGregor was Heather Funkhauser and Jackson Benvenutti, who as tactician, is putting together an impressive string of championships this fall. Also crewing was Gary Taylor, who substituted for Funkhauser on Friday.

Look for a complete article on the regatta in the next Tell Tale.