Tedeschi’s are new J/109 champs
LONG BEACH, Calif.—“We plan to keep sailing consistently. That is how we win regattas.”
Those words as spoken by Stephen Tedeschi on Saturday now seem prophetic as he and co-skipper/father Brian did just that Sunday, sailing their boat Tastes Like Chicken, Newport, R.I., to win the second annual J/109 North American Championships in the waters off Long Beach.
Going into the day, Tedeschi knew there were only two or three boats they had to watch: Gary Mozer’s Current Obsession, Long Beach, John Shulze’s Linstar, Newport Beach, and Tony Wetherbee’s Commotion, Dana Point.
In heavy winds of 14-16 knots, some boats had miscues and Current Obsession tore its jib. But the Tedeschi crew of Tony Tedeschi, Mark Ploch, Mark “Gonzo” Gonzales, Alex Millet, Melody Schleusner, and Peter Hamm persevered with fifth- and second-place finishes Sunday to clinch the crown for the championship.
“I noticed in the first race that Linstar and [Current] Obsession were match racing,” Tedeschi said, “so we dropped in behind and were very comfortable being there knowing that the big picture was to finish the regatta ahead of them on points. We knew we could do that by following them.
“We have learned it’s more important to win the regatta than to win individual races.”
Their consistency was quite apparent to their competitors, including Wetherbee, who finished second in the regatta, and Shulze, who came in third.
“Chicken had a game plan and they stuck to it,” Wetherbee said. “They really deserve this. They came the farthest and sailed the fastest.”
Shulze said, “Consistency is what won the regatta for them. We think we put in the best effort we could and are happy to be among the top finishers.”
Coming into Sunday’s racing, Gary Mozer’s local team had third place and was looking to move up, but a torn jib at the start of the second race dashed their hopes as they retired for the day.
Last year’s champion, Jon Halbert’s Vitesse, Dallas, Tex., had challenges throughout the event but looked back in the groove with first-place finish in the first race Sunday, but a miscue at a leeward gate rounding in the second race caused their spinnaker to get away and flap in the breeze while boats passed by, leaving them to finish seventh.
Disappointed but philosophical, Halbert said, “Hey, that’s yacht racing.”
Smiling on the dock after the day’s racing, Brian Tedeschi said, “This was a great regatta… but ya know any regatta is great!”
1. Brian & Stephen Tedeschi, Tastes Like Chicken, Storm Trysail Club,
1-2-3-2-2-(5)-2, 12 points
2. Tony Wetherbee, Commotion, Balboa YC,
3. John Shulze, Linstar, Balboa Yacht Club,
4. Gary Mozer, Current Obsession, LBYC,
5. Tom Brott, Electra, Seal Beach YC,
6. Jon Halbert, Vitesse, Dallas, Tx.,
7. Bryce Benjamin, Persistence, California YC,
8. Chris Mewes, Shadowfax, Navy YC Long Beach,
Race information and official standings at: www.lbyc.org