From Garda to Miami – international cast for M32 North Americans
Racing resumes for the US M32 fleet this weekend in Miami with one of the class’ premier events of the season – the M32 North American Championship.
This also marks the beginning of the five event Florida-based winter season for the high performance one design catamarans, which continues with the M32 Miami Winter Series comprising weekend long events held monthly from January to April.
This will be the first M32 event held in the US after a successful M32 World Championship held on Lake Garda, Italy in September.
That event was won by Chicago-based Don Wilson and his Convexity team, including former match racing world champion Taylor Canfield. Meanwhile Wilson’s sister Jennifer successfully helmed her Convergence to victory in the M32 Pre-Worlds and was third at the Worlds with New Zealander Chris Steele calling the shots.
Both of the Wilsons’ teams will be competing this weekend in Miami as will Dan Cheresh, stepping back on to his own M32, Extreme 2, having joined forces with GAC skipper Ian Williams for the Worlds, where they finished fifth. Larry Philips is back with his Newport, RI-based Midtown team, having come sixth at the World Championship.
Two top M32 teams. that didn’t make the trip to Europe and who will be eagerly taking to the water this week, are those of the DeVos: Rick will be campaigning REV with Ian Williams with several of his GAC Pindar regulars on board, while Ryan will be helming XS Energy, with Olympian and America’s Cup sailor Mark Mendelblatt calling tactics. In fact the DeVos participation is significant as they are the reigning North American champions, with REV having won the 2018 event on Lake Michigan at Harbor Springs, where XS Energy was runner-up.
Making the journey from Switzerland will be Zurich-based Brit Richard Davies’ with his Section 16 team. However on board with Davies will be a largely new line-up including Argo regular Anthony Kotoun and other multihull veterans Denmark’s Rasmus Køstner and France’s Hervé Cunningham.
The M32 North Americans will also see a welcome return to the fold of one of the founding US M32 teams – Michael Dominguez’s Bronco with M32 veteran Jeremy Wilmot calling tactics. Bronco was last a regular feature on the M32 North American circuit in 2015 when they finished second in the Miami Series to Taylor Canfield’s US One team.
“Team Bronco is very excited to step back into the M32 series,” says crewman C.T. Olander. “We are super pumped up for getting out on the water in Miami.
“The Team was presented with a great opportunity this summer. With help from The Skiff Sailing Foundation and M32 North America, we were given a boat and mast to be able to get our feet wet again. Thanks to Bronco Sailing for providing a team – we had a blast and purchased a new boat #61. She is in Miami and ready to be unleashed.
“The primary focus for Team Bronco is to prepare for the M32 Worlds in Miami 2020 and compete at the highest owner-driver level.”
The Bronco team has also partnered with the US patio and umbrella a company TUUCI and together will be hosting Saturday’s post-race social gathering.
The teams will take to the water for an official practice day on Friday, November 15th with complete international umpire (Craig Mitchell and Bill O’Hara) and race management teams (including PRO and M32 Class Manager Mattias Dahlstrom and M32 North America’s Dave Doucett), assisted by volunteers from the Coconut Grove Yacht Club.
The M32 North Americans then take place over Saturday and Sunday (November 16th and 17th) with racing taking place on Miami’s renowned Biscayne Bay. The catamarans will based at Shake-a-Leg, the organization which the M32 Class Association supports, with its stated objective: “To utilize the marine environment to improve the health, education, and independence of children and adults with physical, developmental and economic challenges, in an inclusive community setting.”