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.
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.