Snow & Wilson Win 49er NA in Miami; Mollerus & MacDiarmid Take Fourth in Portugal

Nevin Snow and Dane Wilson win the 2020 49er North American Championship, Ian Barrows and Hans Henken claimed second.

DAY 4 – FINAL RECAP: Nevin Snow and Dane Wilson Win 2020 49er North American Championships
December 13, 2020

The four day 2020 Skiff North American Championships concluded today with equally impressive final results in both the 49er and 49erFX divisions. Ultimately, Nevin Snow (San Diego, Calif.) and Dane Wilson (Ojai, Calif.) claimed the top podium spot and the Trevor Moore trophy; “a special trophy to 49er sailors, especially in Miami,” said presenter Dave Hughes, lifetime friend and custodian of the Local Trevor Moore Olympic House. Sailing in honor of the late 2012 49er Olympian added a special layer of meaning to the event and reminded the competitors of what Trevor stood for: intensity, focus, and a demand for excellence.

We know Trevor was smiling down on the group this weekend as spectators witnessed close racing and excellent tactics on the racecourse; behind by just one point in second place was Ian Barrows (St. Thomas, USVI) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.). Brothers Christopher Williford and Duncan Williford (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) placed third with four points of separation out of second, but let the top 49er teams know they meant business when they scored a bullet in race seven. The 49erFX fleet matched similar results with Lucy Wilmot (Orinda, Calif.) and Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) securing first place, Stephan Baker (Miami, Fla.) and Ripley Shelley (Miami, Fla.) neighboring the girls in second by one point of separation, and Nick Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.) and Caroline Atwood (Blue Hill, Maine) / Aidan Iconis (Greenwich, Conn.) secured third by only three points. Overall, the FX racing was incredibly close with five different boats winning races.

Beyond the scoresheets, however, lies an important undercurrent to the broader picture of skiff sailing in the United States and the vision that has been in the making for years now. “We finally had great FX racing in America with talented teams of different ages and backgrounds,” said Luther Carpenter, US Sailing Team Head Coach, “it was so exciting to see such great skiff action among both current team members and aspiring team members.”

Even though this weekend was classified as a formal regatta, the event featured extensive coaching staff with varying expertise who guided competitors for the duration of the championship with very collaborative briefings and debriefings. Competitors soaked up an impressive amount of content as the regatta progressed, and it was one more step in the right direction for the US Sailing Team to solidify its priority on growing and learning together as a group. Coaches Leandro Spina, Charlie McKee, Luther Carpenter, and Mark Asquith all provided on-the-water tips, as well as pre and post-race briefings to deliver an exceptional learning environment within a competitive regatta.

While Shannon Bush and her Coconut Grove Sailing Club race committee team put in a valiant effort to get races off for the latter two days of the 49er and 49erFX event and the only two days of the 29er regatta, the coaches stayed on their toes and made the most of the extra time on land when the wind refused to cooperate. This afternoon, while an eager bunch of 29er sailors waited for the breeze, 49erFX winners Erika Reineke and Lucy Wilmot addressed the fleet to share their insight about transitioning from youth sailing to the Olympic FX class.

“It’s a shame we didn’t get any races for the 29ers this past weekend,” said Phil Muller, founder and head coach of 2NINER, “But our evaluation of success is focused on bridging the gap between the youth and Olympic class athletes. It’s about youth sailors meeting Olympians, Olympic coaches in the boat park, and asking questions. We would never have had the ambition to launch this race series in the middle of a pandemic without the support and guidance of our sponsor Kolter. And now, halfway through our six-event series, it’s been an extremely positive experience for all of us to come together and share our passion for racing. So all things considered, it’s been a huge success.”

The excitement was high today even with the lack of wind. Luther Carpenter, U.S. Olympic Sailing Head Coach, summed up the four days of racing with these thoughts:

“It was great to be working on the water with our US Sailing Team members, new campaigners, and even some teams sailing in their first skiff event!”

“The sailing talent on the course was impressive, and our task as coaches was to fast track their abilities to sail the boats proficiently and fast.”

“Everyone was smiling and learning, and thrilled to be part of a new community.”

Andrew Mollerus and Ian MacDiarmid In Action at Portugal Grand Prix Round One

In separate US Sailing Team news from Portugal, 49er duo Andrew Mollerus (Larchmont, N.Y.) and Ian MacDiarmid (Delray Beach, Fla.) placed fourth out of 38 entries at the Portugal Grand Prix Round One event this weekend. They finished one point from the podium behind third place team Lukasz Przbytek and Jakub Sztorch of Poland. Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra of Spain took home first place honors.

Mollerus and MacDiarmid posted six top five finishes in the 12-race regatta.

Final Standings

Event Coverage from Vilamoura Sailing on Facebook


DAY 3 RECAP: Making the Most of a Quiet Day on Biscayne Bay
December 12, 2020

Day three brought the 49ers, 49erFXs, and now 29ers 0-1 knots of breeze, but plenty of team bonding on the water as PRO Shannon Bush and her race committee team from The Coconut Grove Sailing Club gave it their best effort to get races off. Ultimately, Biscayne Bay took a rest day and sent our sailors back to shore for pizza.

US Sailing Team athletes made the most of the extra time on shore by sharing some knowledge with the Olympic Development group, and coaches pooled together videos of boat handling, maneuvers, and starts from days one and two to review as a group with USST athletes providing commentary and advice.

Tomorrow is the fourth and final day of the 2020 Skiff North American Championships, and we’re optimistically looking forward to a great day of racing as our top two 49ers, currently just one point apart, battle it out for the top spot: Nevin Snow (San Diego, Calif.) and Dane Wilson (Ojai, Calif.) in first, and Ian Barrows (St. Thomas, USVI) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.) in second as of day three.

Harry Melges (Fontana, Wis.) and Finn Rowe (Fontana, Wis.) join the rest of the 49er squad on the water for day 2 of the Skiff North American Championships

DAY 2 RECAP: Halfway through Skiff North American Championships
December 11, 2020

Day 2 was another light day with 4-5 knots out of the northeast for the first two of three races the group was able to get off before a large shift to the east that forced the race committee to abandon and reset the course. The Coconut Grove Sailing Club race committee and PRO Shannon Bush worked hard in the challenging conditions to set a fair course and did an excellent job with what Mother Nature provided.

Harry Melges (Fontana, Wis.) and Finn Rowe (Fontana, Wis.) joined the squad on the water today after Finn arrived in town yesterday afternoon, and the pair was happy to be back together on the water. “Today was good for us,” said Harry “we got off the blocks a little slow but we quickly got back to our normal pace… it was a great first day back on the water!”

Not only was today’s wind velocity spotty and difficult to predict, but the shifts forced the fleets to treat each leg of the course as if it were its own race and separate from the previous leg. Today’s weather required the sailors to adjust quickly and remain on their toes at all times, and it was imperative that they compartmentalize and move forward from any mistakes.

As we head into day three of the four day championship, Nevin Snow (San Diego, Calif.) and Dane Wilson (Ojai, Calif.) sit in first place with 10 points, Ian Barrows (St. Thomas, USVI) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.) are in second with 11 points, and Harry Melges (Fontana, Wis.) and Finn Rowe (Fontana, Wis.) are in sixth with 30 points (after taking off day one of racing). With tight racing in the top two spots and third place with 15 points not far behind, spectators are in for a treat as the conditions are forecasted to continue to change and force our sailors to stay on high alert.


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DAY 1 RECAP: Racing Begins for 49er & 49erFX Fleets
December 10, 2020

Day 1 brought 5-7 knots of breeze rather consistently from the northeast with shifts to the north-northeast. Both the 49er and 49erFX fleets logged their first four races of the North American Championships, officially kicking off the four day event. For skiffs that thrive in intense conditions, light wind sailing requires an altered set of skills; crews keep their weight far forward by tacking in front of the mast, and both the skipper and crew have a heightened consciousness of their weight placement fore and aft to work the hull through the waves.

Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.) spoke to the difficulty today brought, recalling how he and his teammate Ian Barrows had to “distinguish the differences between pressure and shifts and make tactical decisions up the racecourse.”

“Today was good for us,” said Nevin Snow (San Diego, Calif.), “We had four races with three firsts and a third. It was pretty light today and we’d been training in really good breeze so we had to shift gears to be ready for a light and long day and remember to stay hydrated. It was a smaller fleet on a long race course which meant we were working for a longer time to either keep our place or make gains which was challenging in itself.”

The US Sailing Team wrapped up the day with high spirits and tired quads from fine tuning their weight placement and spent some time on land with the Olympic Development group sharing some advice on rig tension for various conditions.

Results & Standings:

Event Coverage

Additional Event Information


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Nevin Snow and Dane Wilson training on Biscayne Bay, December 6


MIAMI, Fla. (December 9, 2020) – The Coconut Grove Sailing Club in conjunction with the North American 49er Class Association will host the 49er & 49er FX North American Championships for four days of racing on Biscayne Bay. The 29er North Americans will overlap for the latter two days of the event, and all three classes will grace the bay with their colorful sails. Racing begins on Thursday, December 10 and the regatta concludes on Sunday, December 13.

While this year’s North American Championships will be lighter in attendance due to pandemic restrictions for neighboring countries, the event is still an outstanding opportunity to get US Sailing Team athletes on the water in a competitive setting. 

US Sailing Team 49er athletes Ian Barrows (St. Thomas, USVI) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.), Nevin Snow (San Diego, Calif.) and Dane Wilson (Ojai, Calif.), Harry Melges (Fontana, Wis.) and Finn Rowe (Fontana, Wis.) will hit the water tomorrow for four days of competition.

“We have one regatta under our belts and have been doing a lot of training in the meantime,” said Wilson. “The North American Championships this week will be all about applying everything we’ve been working on since the last time we were on a formal race course.”

All three 49er teams have been sailing together out of the US Sailing Center in Miami since early November and were able to race in a legitimate regatta for series two of the Skiff Generation Grand Prix the weekend of November 14. Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea have been speed testing with their coach since series two of the Skiff Generation Grand Prix.

This week is an especially important checkpoint for Leandro Spina, the US Sailing Team Olympic Development Director. “This vision of a solid pipeline of intro level skiff sailors training right alongside our Olympic skiff sailors has been a goal of the program for a long time, and it’s all coming to fruition this week in Miami. We got a glimpse of our efforts paying off back in November during series two of the Skiff Generation Grand Prix, but now the model is really coming together and we’re going into North Americans with an impressive turnout of competitors.”

Event Coverage 

Results & Standings 

Additional Event Information 

US Sailing Team Media Contact:
Allison Chenard
US Sailing Team Media and Communications Coordinator