MC Title Won By John McNeil
26 October 2006
Seven Races. Every wind condition imaginable. Some of the best one-design sailors in the USA. John McNeil displayed patience, consistency and a form that won him the MC National Championship! Powered by the North Sails Z-Max design and coached through his youth by a father that is an incredible scow sailor in his own right. McNeil put it all together to win this major regatta.
Not only did McNeil win but he was solid. His worst race was a 27th (out of 86 boats) and in this race he was winning at one point. A missed shift and light air forced him back in that heat but otherwise - solid as a rock. Winner of two races and then three second place finishes. Pretty stellar in a raw talent field of MC racers.
Jamie Kimball who works with Melges Performance Sailboats and sports the Z-Max mainsail design as well finished 2nd overall and won the final two heats of the championship. "If someone is going to beat me in this regatta, I want it to be my close friend John McNeil". Kimball and McNeil grew up together racing Butterfly's and then Melges MC scows. "We grew up in a ultra competitive sailing environment. In sailing school we would race hard every day. We were young but we were learning a lot". Kimball is the top MC sailor in the country ranking wise but he could not fend off his friend John in this event. John had everything going his way. He was the race leader at the first top mark in 4 of the 7 races. That is in a 86 boat field. That is amazing!
Not only did John learn with and from Jamie over the years but John learned from his father Doug McNeil who has won many major scow championships. Andy Burdick of Melges Performance Sailboats and North Sails has always termed Doug as "one of the most talented natural sailors he has ever raced against". In some fashion Doug has passed this gift onto his son John. John battled back when he did fall behind. He had excellent boat handling skills and he was on the favored end of the huge starting line 6 of the 7 races. Somewhere in those youth years with his father Doug, John picked up on the passion for the sport of sailboat racing. Now he is a National Champion.
David Fox from Spring Lake was third overall and is close friends with McNeil and Kimball. "We are going to party tonight! Spring Lake style", said Fox. Fox and his crew Heather Milne had two excellent races on the final day pulling them to the top of the results. "We had an OCS on the first race so getting in 7 races and receiving a drop race was key for our regatta". Fox uses a North Z-Max mainsail as well which seemed to be pretty quick in all the conditions served up at this regatta. The buzz around the regatta was about the ability for this North Sail to be fast upwind and downwind in every condition!
Final Results will be posted shortly! Congratulations to the Lake Norman Yacht Club, the MC class and all the winners. This years National Championship was incredible!
Prepare for the 2007 MC Nationals now. They are on Torch Lake in Michigan. Rated the #1 most beautiful lake in the USA. Be there! Race MC's! Go to regattas! Guaranteed Fun!