FLORIDA, USA. (December 17, 2004) David Ingram was crowned the inaugural Endurance Sails Series Open Class Champion for 2004. The catamaran series, sponsored by Endurance Sails of West Palm Beach (www.EnduranceSails.com), comprises six distance racing events around the State of Florida. The series had an excellent turnout with 100 individual skippers participating in at least one event. Ingram will be the first name added to the perpetual trophy, "The Endurance Cup" after his excellent finish at the final event, the Steeplechase, held last week in Key Largo, Florida. Ingram sailed on a Nacra20 catamaran.
Asked about the level of pressure he felt going into the Steeplechase against a large competitive fleet, Ingram replied "You always feel the pressure of your competition, the southeast offers a great deal of talent at almost every event you attend. You never know if you are going to be on the starting line with an Olympic medalist, W1000/Atlantic1000 winner, and/or several national champions." Ingram also commented on the popularity of the series and the outlook for 2005, "Now that the sailing community knows the series is for real the amount of talent on the starting line next year will be dramatically different. Every race will be a hard fought contest. The 2005 season promises to be very exciting." When asked if he thinks the series is only for the hardcore racer, Ingram replied "No! Four of the six races are geared towards a more relaxed fun aspect of the sport. The Mug Race and Hiram's Haul are two of my favorites and I have done them almost exclusively with my wife."
Second Place was John Casey of Orlando, Florida also sailing a Nacra 20. Having sailed and won the Tybee 500 this year, Casey responded when asked his thoughts on the Endurance Sailing Series as a competitive event, "The only difference between the Tybee and the Endurance Sails Series is that the Tybee is a culmination of six straight days of sailing. Each of the Series events is grueling and great practice for the "big one". We would not have won the Tybee without the opportunities and problems the Endurance Sails Sails Series presented us." Casey offered the following advice to new sailors to the series, "Preparation is the key to success in distance racing. Not just spare parts and new rigging and sails, but staying in great physical shape and treating your body with respect. If there is one piece of advice I can give to a first time distance racer is to make sure you are in peak physical condition so whatever is thrown at you on the water you can combat. Also, I believe we made most of our gains in the last couple hours of each leg, which means the other teams were getting tired, and that was effecting their performance." Third place was Mark Murray of Navarre, Florida sailing on a Nacra F18.
Trophies were additionally awarded for the large one-design Nacra20 fleet, sponsored by Rockledge Boating Center of Rockledge, Florida (www.RockledgeBoats.com). Dave Ingram again won the top spot and the Nacra20 championship title, followed by Jay Roth in 2nd, and Blake MacDiarmid in third. An impressive total of 29 Nacra20 catamarans participated in the series.
The Endurance Sails Series is a year long catamaran distance racing series comprising of six events in Florida. The series is hosted by the catamaran website www.1Design.Net which includes series news, information, pictures, and videos. The 2004 trophy presentation will be made at the first event of next year, The Delray Drag Race, in March 2005.
Next year www.1Design.Net will host the inaugural Harken Buoy Series in addition to the Endurance Sails Series (www.Harken.com). The Harken Buoy Series features a similar format of six major catamaran buoy regattas located in Florida. The Endurance and Harken Series events are held approximately monthly alternating throughout the year.
For further information on the Endurance or Harken Series, visit www.1Design.Net or contact Brian Karr at info@1Design.Net