Sailing: After protest, Mattituck Y.C. prevails on fourth tiebreaker

After a protest hearing in their head-to-head race, Mattituck Yacht Club edged out the North Fork Sunfish Yacht Racing Association team in the fourth tiebreaker to win the 48th annual Aspatuck Team Race Championship that was held on Tiana Bay in Quogue on Saturday.

Whereas in fleet racing, individual boats race against each other with the first boat across the finish line winning, the second boat coming in second, etc., in team racing there are three boats on a side and to win, one team must have a lower three-boat score than the opposing team. The emphasis is on tactics and teamwork vis-à-vis boat speed.

The wind blew steadily from the southwest at 10 to 20 knots and the day was mostly cloudy except during the third and fourth series of races when a light rain became a total deluge for approximately 45 minutes.

Racing took place with Sunfish. Six teams, three from the North Fork and three from the South Fork, participated in this year’s competition. A total of 15 races was held over a three-and-one-half-hour time frame. The North Fork teams dominated, winning 12 and placing first, second and third in the regatta.

Doug Adams was the race committee chairman. He and his crew, which included commodore Abby Connett and Laura McChesney, scheduled the races over a “Digital N” course, which consisted of five legs: windward, reaching, downwind, reaching and windward. At the end of racing, the results were: 1. North Fork Sunfish Yacht Racing Association (Ryan Anderson, John Condon and Joe Sullivan), 5-0; 2. Mattituck Yacht Club (Brandon Barnauto, Julia Melty and Eric Stickney), 4-1;  3. Team Anarchy (Bobby Boger, Bart Hale and Christiaan Honig), 3-2; 4. Westhampton Yacht Squadron No. 2 (Wally Dawydivak, Mac and Cole Fleuhr), 2-3; 5. Westhampton Yacht Squadron No. 1 (Geoff Craz, James Fink and Luke Hickling), 1-4; 6. Shinnecock Yacht Club (Lucas Cardaci, Kurt Mion and Nick Panzarino), 0-5.

However, in their head-to-head match, a protest was filed by Mattituck against North Fork and after a hearing by the protest committee, one of the North Fork sailors was disqualified. North Fork had beaten Mattituck, 8-13, however, after the disqualification, both teams were tied for that race at 11 points each. The racing rules of sailing have a number of tiebreakers for just such an occasion, and the race committee had to go to the fourth tiebreaker before a race winner could be determined. The fourth tiebreaker mandates that the win goes to the team that scored the fewest points against common opponents. Mattituck had 30. North Fork had 32. Mattituck was awarded the race, which resulted in a 5-0 record and the Championship. The North Fork Sunfish team dropped to 4-1 and placed second overall.

A fleet race was held in which the top three award winners were Geof Craz of the Westhampton Yacht Squadron, Bobby Boger of Team Anarchy and Julia Melton of the Mattituck Yacht Club.