PLATTSBURGH — Walter Marti, of South Burlington, Vt., and the crew of Avena grabbed a bit of redemption Saturday at the 35th-Annual Mayor’s Cup Regatta.
Avena missed capturing last year’s event by a mere 10 seconds as David Bashaw’s Soundwave sailed to victory.
Saturday, though, Avena captured its revenge.
Marti’s crew powered Avena to the finish line in a time of three hours, 23 minutes and 15 seconds to claim the Mayor’s Cup.
Lady Falcoln, helmed by Chris Downing, came in second place three minutes behind the victors, in 3:26:28. Third place went to Witchcraft, helmed by Michael Parsons, in 3:27:33.
Last year’s winner, Soundwave, came in seventh with a time of 3:29:00.
“We came in second before, so we came back really wanting to do better this year,” Vivien Allan, crew member of Avena, said. “We really wanted it, so we went for it.
“We had great wind and a really great team … just a super crew that has been together for a long time.”
Avena is owned and driven by Marti but has a crew of Allan, Gene Cloutier, Steve Booth, Michelle Jordan, Dave Powlison and Michael Allan.
“We knew from previous races that we had to take off seconds,” Vivien Allan said. “Boat races are often about seconds. We often lose by just a few seconds.
“We really enjoyed it and worked really well together. Teamwork and crew work really pulled us through, and our boat owner has the ability to concentrate in a way I haven’t seen many do.”
In the cruising division, Andy Sajor of Plattsburgh piloted his old 1979 boat, Chaoursarou, to victory in claiming the Rotary Cup. He finished with a time of 2:34:47.
Marc Deslauriers and The First finished second in a time of 2:36:23 seconds. Third place went to O’de Vent, helmed by Daniel Hancock, in 2:36:49.
“(Saturday) went surprisingly well,” Sajor said.
“It’s really funny. This boat was bought in the ‘80s and has won two Mayor’s Cups and now a Rotary Cup. I believe it may be the first boat to win both.”
Sajor made the Mayor’s Cup Regatta a family day.
Members of his crew were all members of his family — his two daughters, Zoe Sajor and Brooke Fincke, his son-in-law, Drew Fincke, and his wife, Kathy Sajor.
“This was definitely a family victory,” Andy Sajor said. “For something like this to happen … I race just once a year … this is special.
“My youngest daughter, Zoe, lives for this. So, I pulled it out of retirement, kind of. We had fun and the kids did really well.”
Both major winners raved about the conditions as the race was greeted with a warm, sunny day and enough winds to keep the boats moving nicely.