Newport, RI (July 16, 2016)
Dan Cheresh (Saugatuck, Mich.) was no less excited about his win in the C&C 30 One-Design’s inaugural North American Championship than with the handful of North American titles he’s won in other boats, but this was the first time the trophy came with a wearable component. The C&C 30 One-Design winner was the recipient of one of three Rolex timepieces awarded during Part II of New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex.
“We put a plan together 15 months ago, starting at the NYYC Annual in 2015,” said Cheresh.”This is a great sailing venue, New York Yacht Club is a great yacht club. There’s unbelievable history here. To win the first North American championships in Newport at the NYYC, it doesn’t get any better than this. This was by far the most rewarding event I’ve ever sailed in.”
Of the nice classes in Race Week, Cheresh’s team started the final day with the largest lead over second place, nine points. A missed shift off the line in Race 1 quickly put the majority of that advantage in jeopardy.
“The first race was a little tough, we got off the line up toward the committee boat, tacked over to port and the guys on the inside of us just got wound up and we were in a deep, deep sixth place,” said Cheresh. “We just talked to each other and just said, ‘Stay settled, stay calm.’ We passed a couple of boats and that made us feel a lot better.”
With a first in today’s first race, Kip Meadow’s roXanne (Raleigh, N.C.) pushed itself clear of a pack of five boats contesting second place, and within reach of the lead. But off the line in Race 2, Cheresh and his team did their best to quash any hopes of a final-day comeback.
“We focused on roXanne in the pre-start maneuvers and the rest of the guys peeled away,” said Cheresh. “We did a little bit of match racing in the pre-start. We got off the line in good shape had a nice hole to leeward and we were able to get in front and extend.”
From there, Cheresh let his boat do what it had done all regatta, sail fast. “Speed,” he said with a smile, “is a great tactician.”
With the North American title in the bag, Cheresh will switch hats back to that of the class’s president and lead cheerleader. A nine-boat North Americans is a nice start, but he expects bigger things in the next 12 to 18 months.
“This is a high-profile class and a high-profile boat, and we hope we can continue to build upon this,” he said. “At Key West next year hopefully we’ll have 15 to 16 boats. The 2017 North Americans at Block Island Race Week, we’ll have 15 to 17. I think the class is continuing to grow. 2017 is a very important year in my mind for the class.”
The biennial multi-class regatta is hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court and is a highlight of Newport’s busy summer sailing season. Race Week is known for its split format: Classics and multihulls sailed in Part I of the regatta, from July 9-10, while one-design and handicap classes sailing Part II from Wednesday, July 13, to Saturday, July 16, when the regatta will culminated with a Rolex Awards Dinner on the spectacular grounds of Harbour Court.
Full article available here.