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Mahoney crowned New A-Class North American Champion by one point - Moon Misses Win After Hooking Crab Pot on Final Day; High School Student Herrin Rounds Out Podium
The Outer Banks’ Croatan Sound had a going-away gift for the nearly 50-strong 2014 SailNC A-Class North American Championship fleet on their final day of racing; Perfect weather and a beautiful, 8-12 knot Northerly breeze. Houston’s Bruce Mahoney found himself back on form after falling to second place overnight to Friday’s standout performer Ben Moon; the Texan led from start to finish in the first race of the day, while Tampa Bay’s Moon saw his championship slipping away. “After catching a crab pot, I found myself in something like 13th place on the first race,” said Moon. “I was able to grind back to 5th, but with Bruce winning that race and taking a 2-point lead, I knew my chances of taking my first North American title were slipping away.”

Moon’s 5th place in Race 5 would prove decisive. Despite his sailing to a monster win in the final race - finishing more than 3 minutes ahead of the second place boat - Moon couldn’t overtake Mahoney’s lead.

This is Mahoney’s first North American Championship win, and he said it was one of the most challenging regattas he’s ever sailed. “We’ve had just about every condition you could possibly have in what was basically lake sailing conditions all week, and with Ben pushing me constantly, there was never a lot of room for mistakes,” said Mahoney, who welcomes the chance to return to Manteo for another event. “The hospitality here in North Carolina was wonderful, and SailNC did a great job with extremely fickle wind conditions; just a great time all around.” Moon agreed. “We stayed out at the beach and surfed every morning before sailing, and you just can’t beat that!”

18 year old Jeremy Herrin rounded out the podium, finishing 6 points off the leader, and he said he felt good about it. “I got fifth place in the North Americans last year, so this is a solid improvement and I’m pretty happy,” said Herrin, who started the day in 28th place. Herrin says he thinks more young adults should be sailing these boats. “Ask around at your club or email the Class association; it’s one of the most helpful bunch of people around and non-stop fun.”

Seattle sailor Ken Marshack earned the distinction not only of traveling the furthest of any competitor, but also the title of “North American Intergalactic Champion”, a voluntary sub-class for older boats and bodies. “It’s been great fun, and I want to thank the volunteers and SailNC for a wonderful time,” said Marshack.

Championship Fleet
1. USA 311, Bruce Mahoney - Total - 8
2. AUS 11, Ben Moon - Total - 9
3. USA 31, Jeremy Herrin - Total - 14
4. USA310, Woody Cope - Total - 22
5. USA230, Bob Hodges - Total - 22

Intergalactic Fleet
1. USA192, Ken Marshack, - Total 4
2. USA335, Martin Hamilton, - Total 7
3. USA44, Joe Leonard, - Total 11
4. USA122, John Schiefer, - Total 14
5. USA17, Mark Batchelor, - Total 17

Photo : © Ocean Images
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