Natalie J. along with Heartbreaker and Denali^2 round out top 3 placings for this year’s Offshore Racing Rule Great Lakes Championship Series.
Newport, R.I. – December 6, 2016 – The Offshore Racing Association (ORA) and the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) proudly announce the winners of the 2016 ORR Great Lakes Championship Series. This series brings together top sailors racing in some challenging conditions. Taking top honors this year was Philip & Sharon O’Niel with their boat, Natalie J. Other winners include:
- ·First Place: Natalie J – owned by Philip & Sharon O’Niel
- ·Second Place: Heartbreaker – owned by Robert L. Hughes
- ·Third Place: Denali^2 – owned by William F. McKinley
Natalie J. is a fixture in Great Lakes racing and came in second place in the 2012 ORR Great Lakes Championship Series. This year marks the first time Natalie J. was able to race in four major regattas in the Great Lakes under the ORR Rule. “We are thrilled that the ORR rule lets us race our older TP52 against a wide variety of boats. The rule accommodated all different sailing conditions this season, ranging from a very light air distance race like the Queen’s Cup to the Chicago Mackinac, which was a heavy air, thunderstorm-filled race,” stated Philip O’Niel III.
The Offshore Racing Rule started its regional championship racing series in 2010 in the Great Lakes, which was utilized as a testing ground for using the ORR in a variety of regional races. Executive Director Bjorn Johnson explained, “It’s amazing how the Offshore Racing Rule and the regional championship series have exploded since our inaugural year in 2010. The Great Lakes Championship Series was our launch of a grassroots effort to promote and encourage racing to a much broader base of boat owners. We couldn’t be more pleased with its success not only in the Great Lakes, but across the country.”
The 2016 Great Lakes Championship Series included the following events: the Queen’s Cup, Bayview Mackinac Race, Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, Verve Cup (Offshore) and Bayview Yacht Club Long Distance Race. Each yacht's score for the series consisted of the points earned in the qualifying events; the Mackinac was weighted as two races and all other regattas were weighted as one.