TIGHT FINISH AT THE 2018 ATLANTIC NATIONALS
Steve Benjamin’s Cassady Wins the Title Tied in Points with Dave Peck’s Miss April
Madison Beach Club hosted the 2018 Atlantic Nationals with three days of good breeze that welcomed 27 teams for some competitive racing. Coming into the last race made for a very tight finish between Steve Benjamin’s Cassidy and Dave Peck’s Miss April who tied. Benj won the tiebreaker, securing his overall win. Dave’s brother Norm Peck III finished third place on Nonesuch, just one point behind second place. This was Steve Benjamin’s fourth North American title as a skipper in the Atlantic Class.
North Sails was well represented at the Nationals with Tim Healy sailing on Jeff Shay’s Papa, Rodrigo Meireles sailing with team Savvy from Cedar Point Yacht Club and North Sails designer North Sails expert Ched Proctor stood by for on the water support, checking sails and helping teams tune-up as so they could be ready for racing. We caught up with experts Tim Healy, Rodrigo Meireles, and Ched Proctor to get their take on the event.
Tim, you grew up sailing in Niantic Bay. How special it’s for you to be back in Madison sailing the Nationals?
It was great sailing in the Atlantic fleet again! I was sailing with my good friend Jeff Shay. Jeff was my junior sailing coach in the 80’s and he was also the bowman on my father’s J/24 back in the 1980 for the J/24 Worlds in Newport RI!
It was good to see fellow Niantic sailors, Norm and Dave Peck, battle it out with Benj for the Championship. The Peck’s and the Healy’s have done a lot of sailing with and against each other in many different classes including the 505, Penguin, Interclub, Bluejay, Laser, Lightning and Atlantic. Not only did I learn many important sailing skills from Jeff Shay and the Peck family, I also learned how to ski from both! My parents are friends with their parents from the Niantic Bay YC and we often spent weekends in the winter at their ski house at Magic Mountain VT.
I have many close friends in the Atlantic fleet and it was fun to catch up with them at Nationals. There are many new faces in the fleet as well. There is for sure a growing interest in the class over the past ten years. The boats are beautiful with their classic lines and are very fun to sail!
Rodrigo, you have recently joined the Atlantic class, what’s special about this class so far? How are you enjoying learning to sail a classic boat like the Atlantic?
I have been sailing the Atlantic for about a year now and I really enjoy the boat. The camaraderie of the fleet members and the classic feel of the fleet is truly one-of-a-kind. It was great to come up to Madison to compete at the Nationals with David Polsky from CPYC. I plan to race next year on my own boat.
Ched, you were supporting the fleet on the water checking sails and making sure all the competitors were up to speed for each race. As a sail designer, what’s next for the North Atlantic sails?
Our clients seem pretty happy with the sails as currently designed. It has taken 33 years of designing and evaluating Atlantic sails to get to where we are now, and it is a good place. The sails are fast and easy to handle. The longer battens in the main are a great asset to the class. They make the sails much smoother and allow for the best sail shape.
Learn more about North’s fast Atlantic sails.
|2018 Atlantic Nationals|
|1||Cassidy / Steve Benjamin|
|2||Miss April / David Peck|
|3||Nonesuch / Norm Peck III|
|4||Schucks / Scott Reichhelm|
|5||Savvy / Dave Polsky|
|6||— / Chris Wittstock|
|7||Waypoint / Rory Coster|
|9||Papa / Jeff Shay|
|10||Thistle / Mark Foster|
|* Denotes Partial North Sails Inventory|