With a win in Sunday’s distance race and a little help from the second-place boat, Seattle’s Kris Bundy and Jamie Hanseler won their fourth International 14 Nationals hosted by Richmond YC. The 25-boat fleet got solid breeze into the mid-20s over the weekend’s six races, which proved a worthy adversary for much of the fleet — every boat below seventh place had at least one letter score.
Going into the distance race — wisely moved to the last of the regatta after the R/C realized the course and timing of the planned Saturday afternoon start would have pitted 25 International 14s against the 289-foot Maltese Falcon and her sizeable spectator fleet — the team of Brad Ruetnik and Matt Noble were leading the regatta, this despite having only a day of practice together before the regatta. Although amped to sail the race — which is an institution at the International 14 Nationals and even comes with its own perpetual trophy — the two decided that rather than risk a DSQ, collision or damage, they’d cash in their throwout and call it a regatta. The only problem was, they’d counted Bundy and Hanseler’s finishes incorrectly, which put them in a tie, which they lost on a countback.
"It doesn’t feel right," Bundy joked while picking up the trophy he’s probably already sent to the engraver three times. "But. . . I guess it does."
San Diego’s Ruetnik and Richmond YC’s Noble — the latter is the reigning world champion in the class — took plenty of ribbing about their error; it was suggested they take a math class for example. But they were good humored about it and the regatta as a whole.
"There was plenty of carnage, good race management and good sailing," Noble said. "Richmond YC always puts on a great event."