US SAILING has kicked off its 2008 season of US National Adult Championships - all of which are sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A - with the US Multihull Championship, which wrapped up on Saturday.
Nigel PITT and Alex SHAFER won the event hosted by Gulfport Yacht Club in Gulfport, Florida, after several days of intense racing on Capricorn F18s. The team was presented with the Hobie Alter Cup Saturday evening at the awards ceremony.
The newly crowned champions jumped into the lead on day three of the regatta, but the lead was never comfortable enough until they secured the title on the final day of racing. Last year's champions, John CASEY and John WILLIAMS finished second overall, just two points behind the winners. And just three points further down were John TOMKO and Ian BILLINGS rounded out the podium finishers.
For PITT and SHAFER, winning the Championship was a long time coming, after having competed in the event for several years and often finishing in the top three. This time around, midway through the regatta, chances of winning once again looked pretty slim for PITT and SHAFER. The team was in the lead going into day three, but was disqualified in a race after colliding with another boat, which resulted in them moving down to third overall at the end of that day. Their persistence on days four and five paid off, however.
First held in 1987, the US Multihull Championship is sailed annually, each year in a different multihull class at a different venue around the country. It is currently seeking host clubs for the next few years. The US Multihull Championship is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A., which sponsors all of US SAILING's National Adult Championships. This year's Championship was sailed on Capricorn F18s, supplied by Fun in the Sun, Inc. and Australian High Performance Catamarans.
For complete results, photos, and daily reports from the event, visit the event website at www.ussailing.org/championships/adult/usmhc