no longer the bridesmaid
This time Jeff Siegal and his team, including SCOTW contender Becky Nygren finally made it to the altar after several years of being very very close to winning the Jag in Miami FL. In the Etchells MIdwinters it was a winner-take-all situation leading into the last day. The team who won the day on Sunday would not only get the big pickle dish for the weekend, but also win the 4-weekend Jaguar Series big kahuna trophy. Siegal, with Madro (Jeff Madrogalli), Willem Van Waay and Becky aboard USA 1296, were tied with Tony Rey and one point ahead of Marvin Beckman. Madro said in their crew dinner Saturday night, "We’re practically tied with two other teams for the Whole Thing right now! How cool is it when it all comes down to the last day?!" If you know Madro, you have to wonder how he could contain his excitement sailing out to the starting area Sunday morning in 18 knots of breeze.
At the start of the first race on Sunday, the wind started to die, the pressure was left, but the wind was shifting right. Madro called to take a flyer, they committed to the right and it paid big for them. They won the first race, Rey with Chris Busch and Billy Bennett played the middle, got ping ponged a few times and finished 10th, likely knocking them out of contention for first. For the second race of the day, Siegal and his team again went to the right, Rey lee-bowed them at one point, but they wiggled out and went right again, this time finishing in 4th, but securing the top spot on the podium. Beckman, who finished in 2nd overall, and Busch who’s team finished in 4th (behind Phil Werheim) sounded dejected. For those of us further down the results page, you can’t imagine being unhappy with a top 5 finish. But for these guys, anything other than 1st is a buzz kill.
Several of the boats will be packing up soon and heading West to San Diego for the North Americans including Siegal, Beckman and Busch (sailing his own boat this time). You can bet there’s gonna be a grudge match. – Paige Brooks.