26 Mercs entered the 2017 championship regatta sponsored by the Monterey Peninsula YC. The forecast was for some sun and 8-10 knot breezes. The courses were to be windward leeward with some finishes on the wind and some downwind.
The first race was course 1, windward, gate, windward and downwind finish. Dave Morris with Jared January took of like a bolt of lighting and led the entire race until the last leg where David West with Chris Krueger passed him to go on to win the race and the Ray Johnson Perpetual Trophy. Mac Kilpatrick with Steve Jeppeson also got by Morris to place second. Morris got third followed by Chris Rabb with Kenny Dair. Fifth place was won by Marc and Liz Chandler.
Next race was windward leeward, twice around. The sea was building a pretty serious chop, mainly having an effect on the port tack. The fastest way to the weather mark was to go left get the smoother water and a better wind to go over or through the chop. Paul Cayard with Ken Maring had to work to get by John Ravizza with Randy Hecht. Cayard won the Park and Lynn Densmore Perpetual Trophy. Ravizza was second followed by Jim and Kathy Bradley in the third spot. Pat and Brendan Bradley were fourth followed by Rabb.
Race three was once around windward leeward, finishing on the wind. Coming off the starting line there was a more southerly shift. Kilpatrick took this port tack. It was also beneficial as the seas were little smaller lower on the course. He then tacked on a nice shift back to what was a nice lift. This starting maneuver off the start set him up to place first and win the Jenkins Perpetual Trophy. Raab was second followed by Cayard in third place. Jack McAleer with Brenden Selvig was fourth followed by John Hansen with Tony Basso in fifth place.
After the first day of racing, Rabb leads with 11 points. Kilpatrick was tied with Cayard with 14, West 17 and Jim Bradley 18.
Day two was offering a fresh north-westerly, at about 12 knots max, with the sun out. The sea had a small chop, more out by the weatherly mark. The same course was set up. Race four was the beginning of a day of determination for Pat Bradley. The course was a windward, leeward, windward, finishing downwind. Bradley controlled the race and won it, winning the Holden Sanford Perpetual Trophy. Ravizza was second, followed by Jim Bradley third, Hansen fourth and West fifth. There were several boat breakdowns creating dropouts. The breeze was showing some very southerly type shifts. The leading boats were doing a good job of recognizing the shifts.
Race five there was no holding Pat back, he and Brendan won the last time the Nationals were held in Monterey. They won the last race which tied them with Raab. Pat won the tie breaker and also won the John Koenig Perpetual Trophy. West was second, Rabb was third and Hansen fourth. Lyn Hines with Dave Bacci, sailing their first Nationals in there newly purchased Merc placed fifth.
Congratulations to Pat Bradley, who won the tie breaker for the Championship. However this was not his first tie for the big win. 1966 was his first Nationals win and it was a tie with Dick Thompson. This was an unbreakable tie by the racing rules at the time, both men were given credit.
Chris Raab was second in the tie breaker. David West was one point back placing third. John Ravizza, racing his recently purchased Merc won the fourth place. Jim Bradley was fifth in the final total. Cayard’s cherry picking adventure didn’t go so well, ending up 12th.
Jim and Kathy Bradley won the Jack and Jill Championship. Lyn Hines won the Silver Championship. Class President Park Densmore was second in the Silver group. John Mowry, back after many years with his fine merc, placed third in this group.
Many thanks to Debbie and David Morris for organizing the event. Jerry Stratton was excellent conducting the races organizing organizing his race committee which included past Merc National Champ, Mike Pokabla. The desk registration was done by by Bobbette Bradley and Judy Clark. Many thanks to the Monterey Peninsula YC for sponsoring this event. It worked out very well.
Photos — Thanks to Barbra Worden