WAYZATA, Minn. (Sept. 24, 2018) — The 63rd U.S. Adult Sailing Championship begins Wednesday at the Wayzata Yacht Club with three-time winner Benz Faget (Metairie, La.) looking to tie the record for most victories in the legendary, US Sailing championship.
The 60-year-old Faget, a champion sailor across a number of different classes, previously won the Clifford D. Mallory Trophy three times, in 1994, ’99 and 2014. If he were to succeed among the 11 teams competing this week he’ll equal the record for victories by a skipper, four, held by Scott Young (Austin, Texas), who won in 1985, ’87, 2006 and ’08.
Faget, representing the Gulf Yachting Association, will be racing with regular bowman Randall Richmond (New Orleans, La.) and trimmer Joshua Dupree (Mobile, Ala.).
“Scott is a good friend of mine, we’ve done a lot of sailing against each other through the years,” said Faget. “Hopefully I still have it in me. It’s normally a well-challenged championship. It was 20-something years ago when I won the first one, so I hope I still have it in me.”
Even if Faget wins the championship Young will remain a step ahead. Young also won the Mallory Trophy twice as a crew (1979, ’81), giving him six overall victories.
“Benz has always been fast,” said Young, who’s sitting out this year’s regatta. “He’s always one of the fastest out there. He’s a very good helmsman, determined and competitive. He’s definitely formidable.”
The Mallory Trophy, a magnificent sterling silver tureen trophy, has a long and colorful history that dates to the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Racing for the Mallory Trophy was first held in 1952 as the U.S. Men’s Sailing Championship. Since then it has become a more open and inclusive regatta, allowing female skippers and all-female crews. In reflection, the regatta was renamed the U.S. Adult Sailing Championship in 2013.
The Staton J. Peele Sportsmanship Trophy also will be presented to the skipper or crew who is selected by the competitors, judges and race committee, according to the deed of Gift, as best exhibiting the traits of true sportsmanship.
Eleven teams representing their Regional Sailing Association (RSA) have entered from across the country. Teams qualified by competing at a high level in their respective RSA qualifying events or by submitting a resume. The 35 sailors hail from 12 states and racing will be held in the 22-foot long J/22 sloop.
The championship regatta will be hosted by the Wayzata Yacht Club in Wayzata, Minn., just outside the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, and will be sailed on Lake Minnetonka. Wayzata Yacht Club is a community sailing center for adult and youth sailboat racing programs and has been nationally recognized for its leadership and growth of a preeminent, innovative regional sailboat racing community. Hosting the U.S. Adult Sailing Championship is just the latest feather in the club’s collective cap.
“The Wayzata Yacht Club organizing committee is very excited about hosting the U.S. Adult Sailing Championship and recognizes the importance of the historic Mallory Cup,” said Odell Tuttle, Communications Chairman for the Wayzata Yacht Club. “The whole club is looking forward to welcoming sailors from around the country to explore the waters of Lake Minnetonka as well as our local area.”
The fleet includes a mix of past champions and local sailors. Faget and Southern Massachusetts Sailing Association representative Paul Wilson (New York, N.Y.) have combined to win the championship four times. Wilson, who’ll be representing the Southern Massachusetts Sailing Association, previously won in 2010.
“I expect extremely challenging conditions, with shifty winds and physically grueling short courses,” said the 49-year-old Wilson. “The talent at the finals is off the charts, so it should be one heck of a championship.”
Local sailors include Michael Hanson (Wayzata, Minn.), who’ll skipper the crew representing the Inland Lake Yachting Association, and Hawaii Yacht Racing Association skipper Maddy Kennedy (Honolulu, Hawaii). Kennedy grew up in Wayzata before moving to Honolulu to attend the University of Hawaii.
“I’ve been sailing all my life, came up through the Lake Minnetonka sailing school and Minnetonka Yacht Club,” said 28-year-old Hanson. “It’s cool getting folks from around the country up to Wayzata. The club is one of the best racing clubs in the country. There should be good competition.”
Besides having to contend with a competitive fleet, Faget is also concerned about the weather. At this time of year, one week into autumn, the conditions are transitioning from warm summer winds to chilly winter breezes. The air temperature could well be cold on the lake that has a water temperature around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
“It’s going to be chilly and I’m getting old. I’ll probably be the oldest skipper there,” said Faget. “There’ll be good sailors there and you have to respect the competition. Hopefully we can give them trouble.”
63rd U.S. Adult Sailing Championship Entrant List
Sept. 26-29, 2018
Wayzata Yacht Club (Wayzata, Minn.)
- Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association // Skipper: Sean Bradley (Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.)
- Gulf Yachting Association // Skipper: Benz Faget (Metairie, La.)
- Inland Lake Yachting Association // Skipper: Mike Hanson (Wayzata, Minn.)
- Sailing Association of Intermountain Lakes // Skipper: Robin Jackson (Littleton, Colo.)
- Hawaii Yacht Racing Association // Skipper: Maddy Kennedy (Honolulu, Hawaii)
- Inter-Lake Yachting Association // Skipper: Ryan Lashaway (Rocky River, Ohio)
- Texas Sailing Association // Skipper: Fred Meno (Fort Worth, Texas)
- Twin Cities Regional Sailing Association // Skipper: Michael Schmid (Jordan, Minn.)
- Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay // Skipper: Vaughn Seifers (El Cerrito, Calif.)
- Lake Superior Yachting Association // Skipper: Susan Mattis Turnham (Duluth, Minn.)
- Southern Massachusetts Sailing Association // Skipper: Paul Wilson (New York, N.Y.)
For results, standings, photos, real-time updates on Twitter, and more information from the 2018 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship, please visit the event website.
Participate in the conversation this week on Twitter and other social media channels using – #MalloryTrophy18.
The 2018 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship is sponsored by Gill.
For more information contact
Odell Tuttle, Wayzata Yacht Club, email@example.com
Sean McNeill, US Sailing, firstname.lastname@example.org
About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
About Gill North America
Gill was an idea born on the water. In 1975 our founder, Nick Gill, was a keen sailor who utilized his father’s factory in Nottingham to begin production of truly capable sailing apparel. Kit that could be both protective and comfortable. We develop and test all our garments and we’ve grown to become one of the leading marine apparel brands in the world. We’ve equipped round-the-world teams when they’ve won prestigious ocean races, as well as Olympians to get them on the podium. Inspired by our nautical heritage we’ve also developed lifestyle clothing that can be worn anywhere, but which is still engineered with a marine pedigree. Today our garments utilize a range of cutting-edge technologies, from Activated Carbon baselayers to SuperFabric™, the most abrasive-resistant fabric in the world. At sea, saltwater comes at you from everywhere, so our clothing is tested in-house and on-the-water to withstand the very worst. For more information, please visit www.gillmarine.com/us/.