Dan Cheresh and his team on Extreme2 won the C&C 30 Miami Ocean Challenge, the first stand-alone event in class history, and the second event in the class’s 2016 tour. The Miami Ocean Challenge was organized by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Cheresh raced with tactician Mark Mendleblatt, as well as Dave Shriner, Bryn Crawford, Pete Crawford, Nick Ford, John Gluek, and Sam Tobio. Conditions for the three days of racing varied from a blustery 18-25 knots and huge seas on Friday, to moderating 12-16 knot conditions on Saturday and 9-4 knot conditions on the third and final day of racing.
Despite winning four out of 10 races, victory did not come easy for the Extreme2 team. Ahead in points going into the final day of racing, the team suffered a broken spinnaker sheet on the downwind leg to lose three boats and earn a fourth place, ceding the lead to Jim Madden on Stark Racing Mad VIII who own the race and took the series lead by two points. This was followed by a win in Race 9 to Madden’s second place, which closed the gap to one point, thus making it an exciting showdown in the final race for the series win.
Both boats set up near the signal boat at the start, with Madden in early control to leeward. But Cheresh at 10 seconds found a gap, sheeted in, and accelerated perfectly to take a narrow but decisive lead at the start. And when Madden tacked to get to the right, Cheresh simply covered, the two not focused at all on how their other rivals were making gains on either side.
Hooligan, found both pressure and a shift all by themselves in the right corner, tacked and crossed the fleet with the largest margin of any in the series, a lead they held all the way to the finish to win their one and only race of the series.
Extreme2 extended their lead into the pack to finish second, putting Madden back to fifth their worse finish in a consistent scorecard of finishes no worse than third. This was the racing style all weekend: every team had an outstanding winning race, while having to accept others in the no-discard series.
In third on the final podium position was Nigel Biggs and his mixed English, Irish and Welsh team on Checkmate XVI. Biggs explained this event was worth the commute back over from the UK after Key West: “The racing was fantastic, we all have gotten a little better since Key West, and these boats are great to sail. I look forward to our next class racing event.”
For results, visit the yachtscoring website here.
See more photos from the event here.