Randy Hecht’s Niuhi proved that you can recover from a tough first race and go on to become a North American Champion. Following up on their dominate victory in San Francisco home waters last year, the team including Maggie Bacon, Spencer Cole, Ethan Doyle, Russ Silvestri and Juliana Testa clawed back this year at the J/105 North American Championship hosted by American Yacht Club in Rye, NY. In a no-discard series, Niuhi placed 15th in the opening contest, but added nothing worse than a fourth (including four bullets) to claim a repeat victory with 27 points. Bill Zartler’s Deja Voodoo led throughout the regatta but couldn’t withstand the blitz from Niuhi, settling for the silver position with 42 points. New J/105 owner Ray Wulff’s Patriot compiled a solid series for the bronze rank at 49 points. Thirty-one J/105s completed eight races during the four-day Championship. A three-point difference separated places one and two (Zartler and Hecht) heading into the final battles Sunday in sporty conditions at American Yacht Club. Winds at 18 knots and choppy seas tested all competitors, however Hecht’s Niuhi put on the pressure by winning Sunday’s first race, while Zartler’s Deja Voodoo placed 11th. Zartler recovered to take the next match, three places ahead of Hecht. In the end, Hecht’s Niuhi sealed the deal by taking the final race (Zartler 12th) and returning the NAC perpetual trophy to San Francisco.
Top Five:

Niuhi, Randy Hecht – 15 -1 -1 -2 -2 -1 -4 -1 ; 27
Deja Voodoo, Bill Zartler – 1 -3 -2 -6 -6 -11 -1 -12 ; 42
PATRIOT, Ray Wulff – 2 -7 -3 -9 -10 -13 -2 -3 ; 49
Warbride, Ben duPont – 11 -16 -4 -7 -1 -3 -10 -2 ; 54
Warlock, Damian Emery – 4 -5 -5 -17 -3 -14 -5 -9 ; 62
Photos are available on the J/105 Class Facebook page, and complete results may be found at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eid=15597.

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