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Final Day: Larchmont Y.C. strikes Gold as American Y.C. wins Silver

Photo by Dan Nerney

NEWPORT, RI, September 8, 2012 – If the previous days of sailing were any indication, all the skippers in this week's U.S. Qualifying Series knew today was going to be the toughest day.

With a perfect 12- 17-knot sea breeze, the top seeded Gold fleet teams faltered from near capsizes to breakdowns and penalties allowing hope for the lurking pack close behind. In the end, the last qualifier for the Gold fleet, Larchmont, climbed to the top as Seattle and San Francisco yacht clubs held on to gain the final two spots and berths in the 2013 Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.

"We struggled in the qualifying round, but really started to feel comfortable finally today," said Danny Pletsch, skipper for Larchmont. "The left side of the course was heavily favored today so we started there, then began starting at the boat to be more conservative near the end."

In the Silver fleet, Southern Yacht Club was more than one minute late to one of today's starts, and that was just enough of a window for the consistent American Yacht Club to grab the overall win. Now American has secured a position in the 2014 U.S. Qualifying Series.

For the top three in the Gold fleet, preparing for the Invitational Cup is potentially more intimidating than facing the tooth-and-nail racing each day this week. "They'll probably be shocked to find out we qualified," said Shawn Bennett, skipper of third place San Francisco Yacht Club. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity for the club." Bennett, who has experience preparing for national and world championships, said that he is sure the members will step up the training for next year's event.

Larchmont is in the enviable position of being the first name on the Resolute Cup, a re-dedicated New York Yacht Club trophy that dates back to 1915. Now Larchmont will join Seattle, San Francisco, New York and around 20 international yacht clubs in next year's Invitational Cup to be sailed in the Club Swan 42.

U.S. Yacht Clubs represented this week include American Yacht Club, Bay Head Yacht Club, California Yacht Club, Carolina Yacht Club, Eastern Yacht Club, Edgartown Yacht Club, Fishing Bay Yacht Club, Florida Yacht Club, Fort Worth Boat Club, Grand Maumelle Sailing Club, Grand Traverse Yacht Club, Indian Harbor Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club, Little Traverse Yacht Club, Nantucket Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Pequot Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Seattle Yacht Club, Southern Yacht Club, St. Francis Yacht Club, Storm Trysail Club, Texas Corinthian Yacht Club and Youngstown Yacht Club.

About 2012 U.S. Qualifying Series sponsors Atlantis WeatherGear and J Boats:

Atlantis WeatherGear produces performance sailing apparel and sailing-inspired sportswear for all of the things active people do on and around the water. Based in the New England seaside town of Marblehead, MA, Atlantis is owned and run by passionate sailors, and their designs incorporate a unique combination of no-compromise performance and style inspired by decades of sailing experience and close collaboration with some of the best sailors in the world.

Founded in 1977 with the J/24, J Boats continues to design fun-to-sail, easy-to-handle, performance sailboats that are enjoyed by a broad spectrum of sailors. Today, 13,000+ J Boats between 22' and 65' sail in 30+ countries, ranging from one-designs to racers, cruisers and daysailers, including the J sprit models - J Boats' 1992 innovation (J/105) for easy-to-use asymmetric spinnakers and retractable carbon bowsprits. J Boats has been distinguished with 15 Sailing World / Cruising World Boat of the Year Awards and three ISAF International One-Design keelboat classes (J/22, J/24, and J/80).

Media seeking more information contact Chris Museler or Michael Levitt