The winning Gill team celebrates their first-place finish in the 2008 Sail America Industry Regatta held June 13 in Newport, RI. From left to right: Colin Clark, Canadian and Midwest sales manager; David Pritchard, Gill North America president; Jerry Richards, U.S. and Caribbean sales manager for Gill North America. Photo by Billy Black.
The team from Gill cruises to victory, decisively winning over the field of 11 industry boats in a competitive, but friendly Sail America Industry Regatta held just west of Newport Harbor on Narragansett Bay. Pictured from left to right: Gill North America Canadian and Midwest sales manager Colin Clark, Gill North America U.S. and Caribbean sales manager Jerry Richards, Sail America Executive Director Jonathan Banks. Not pictured: Team member Gill North America president David Pritchard. Photo by Billy Black.
Gill Wins Sail America’s First Industry Regatta in Newport, RI
The first 2008 Sail America Industry Regatta held June 13 west of Newport Harbor was an unqualified success, as the Gill industry team bested a strong and deep field of fellow industry competitors battling for bragging rights as “fastest in the sailing industry.”
Open exclusively to Sail America members, the 2008 Sail America Industry Regatta attracted 11 industry teams, representing a variety of sailing-related businesses and media. Employees of industry companies that are members of Sail America raced in identical J22s under crystal clear skies and a building sea breeze west of Newport Harbor on spectacular Narragansett Bay. The US SAILING Race Committee started the first race at 12:30 p.m. on June 13, after waiting for the southerly to get set up and ran races throughout the afternoon.
Gill won event with only 6 points, including a throw-out race. Hall Spars & Rigging came in second with 15 points, while New England Ropes came in third with 16 points. It was a hard-fought, competitive race that was still friendly, informal and fun. Sail America hosted the awards ceremony and BBQ after the race at Sail Newport. Other teams from the sailing industry participating in the first Sail America Industry Regatta included: Lewmar, Sailing World/Cruising World; Sail Magazine; Blue Water Sailing, West Marine, Team Ronstan, Team Johnson and Latitudes & Attitudes.
David Pritchard, president of Gill North America, who led the winning Gill team, said, “Our team completely enjoyed the day on the water racing against the other brands! Most of us who are in the marine industry have taken our passion and turned it into our profession. It was great to celebrate with other industry veterans on the water and not at a boat show for a change!”
Regatta Chair Dan Cooney said the first Sail America Industry Regatta was “extremely successful” and would set a new tradition that would carry on in future years. “If the sailing industry had the power to design a day and an environment to market the sport to the world, it would look a lot like it did today (June 13),” said Cooney. “This is the perfect payback for all of our hard-working colleagues who travel throughout the winter on their way to and from boat shows.”
The 2008 Sail America Industry Regatta was sponsored by West Marine and supported by GE Capital Solutions, Gill North America, North Sails, US SAILING and the Coddington Brewery Company. Sail Newport hosted the event.
The Sail America Industry Regatta followed the inaugural annual “Growth Through Innovation” Conference June 11-12 presented by GE Capital Solutions and Sail America at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport.
For further information about the Sail America Industry Regatta, please contact Jonathan Banks at 401-841-0900 ext. 12 or at email@example.com.