Loki wins 2016 North American Championship

NEWPORT, R.I. (July 16, 2016) — With 19 boats, the J/109 fleet was the biggest to compete in the 2016 New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex. By the time today’s first race started just after 1 p.m., however, only two mattered. David Rosow’s Loki (Southport, Conn.) and Donald Filippelli’s Caminos skippered by Ryan Dempsey (Amagansett, N.Y.) started the day each with 23 points. With third place 14 points back and a morning delay limiting the class to just one race, the class’s North American Championship, and a Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner Date timepiece, came down to which of these boats beat the other around the track.

Rosow preached all regatta about keeping things simple. With the regatta on the line, he didn’t see any reason to stray from the approach that had gotten them this far.

“We wanted the pin end and to be near Caminos,” he said. “If the opportunity presented itself we would’ve gotten in front of them. We knew we had boat speed compared to the fleet. We had a good start in the front row. We knew it was a two-boat race, and we just had to beat them.”

Click here for video highlights from 2016 Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex.

While Rosow was able to get away cleanly from the pin end, Caminos found itself mired in traffic after a mid-line start, and was eventually forced to tack away. By the time the boats came together at the windward mark, Loki was second, with Caminos two spots back. With the early advantage, and a steady 6- to 10-knot breeze opening few passing lanes, the key was to simply not overthink the strategy for the remainder of the race.

“From there we just shepherded them around the course,” said Rosow, who’s owned Loki for 10 years. “Full credit to Caminos they sailed very impressively. They’re good competitors.”

For Rosow, this is his first North American championship. He’s won distance races before, but never anything on this scale in one-design competition. Adding in a Rolex watch and, no surprise, he was pretty elated.

“Pumped up,” he said. “Incredible. I have a perma grin that won’t come off for a while.”

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