Jake Julien Clinches M32 North American Championship Title in Thrilling Showdown
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND (August 28, 2023) — In a heart-pounding who-beats-who final race, Jake Julien and his formidable Rated X team were crowned champions of both the M32 North American Championship and the M32 Midtown Cup series.
The culmination of an entire season’s efforts condensed into one electrifying Sunday race, where everything hung in the balance for both Rated X and defending champion Convexity, helmed by Don Wilson.
“It was super nerve wracking, not going to lie,” said Julien.
The starting line saw Convexity positioned windward and Rated X leeward, setting the stage for an epic clash. By the first mark, Rated X gassed Convexity into their rearview mirror. It looked like game over. But after ten years in the fleet, world champion Convexity will never go down without a fight. They showcased relentless determination and fought through the fleet. The first lead change came at the leeward gate: “I looked back and they came flying in,” said Julien. “We had a good 100-meter lead then all of a sudden it was just gone.” It was a neck-and-neck drag race upwind. Convexity’s straight-line boat speed secured them a 45-second edge. Downwind, they split: Convexity went left. Rated X went right. Fortune favored the latter. Dingbat was hot on Convexity’s heels, forcing an extra gybe, whereas Rated X was able to sail a clean one-gybe leg. Rated X grabbed the lead at the leeward gate and sealed their victory.
The two teams finished with an equal scoreline in both the event and the series. Besting Convexity in the final race secured Rated X’s victory in the event which, in turn, sealed the series.
Ryan McKillen’s Surge rounded out the Midtown Cup podium with the bronze medal after three consistent events. In true Surge form, their strongest races were their last, posting back-to-back race wins. Another equally matched face-off characterized the ‘battle for the bronze’ at the North Americans: Last year’s Midtown Cup champion Dan Cheresh’s Extreme2 was in pole position until the last few races when Bill Ruh’s Pursuit showed their mettle and snatched the podium spot by one point.
And as the curtains close on this riveting season, brace yourselves for an encore. The World Championship looms on the horizon, promising another epic confrontation on these very waters in one month’s time.
The North American Championship trophy has been dedicated to Hayden Goodrick, a longtime M32 sailor we lost too early last year. “We all remember Hayden as a good friend,” said PRO Mattias Dahlström. “He was with this fleet since the very beginning. We miss him, and we’ll always remember him.”
This weekend, the racecourse was fully automated for the very first time, with the help of Vakaros and MarkSetBot. No more race committee boat on the starting line — Motorized MarkSetBots replaced all traditional course marks. Cutting-edge Vakaros RaceSense technology streamlined the starting sequence, transmitted OCS calls, and provided sailors precise distance-to-line data, eliminating the need for manual pinging. As always, the Class employs professional race organizers & umpires on the water to govern the races. The new race management technology in the sport allows for fair, consistent racing.
The fleet shared a warm ‘welcome back’ for Alex Quintner, Ivan Nussberg, Phillip Carlson, Michael Lebov, and Alec Snyder. The all-amateur ‘MILF’ team from Milford, Connecticut demoed the M32 first in Miami and now Newport. Nussberg captured the essence: “This is what sailing is all about. M32s are like Formula 1 on water — It’s like driving a racecar.”
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Photos by Stephen R Cloutier
Video by Felipe Juncadella
Story by Hannah Lee Noll