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Cooper continues fine start to season

Mackenzie Cooper at last weekend's US Sailing Team Championships

Mackenzie Cooper’s fine start to the Intercollegiate season continued at the United States Team Racing Championships in Annapolis, Maryland, at the weekend.

The Team Bermuda Red Bull Youth America’s Cup hopeful and his Leis Queens team-mates earned a third-place podium finish after beating Triumvirate 2-0 in the Petite Final.

It was the first time that Cooper and team-mates Ian Barrows, Alex Curtiss, Greer Wattson, Catherine Shanahan and Marlena Fauer had sailed together and also a first for team members sailing in the double-handed Zim 15 dinghy.

“For our first time as a team at this regatta I’m happy getting third, but I know we could have won it so that will keep me motivated for the next time,” Cooper said.

Cooper and his team-mates, who had been invited to the event based on their impressive sailing resumes, got off to a slow start during the first qualifying round, finishing tenth among the 12 teams competing.

However, they fared much better during the second qualifying round where they finished third to secure a berth in the Gold Fleet knockout series. Their bid for the coveted George R Hinman Trophy ended with a 2-1 defeat to eventual winners Kirkwood Ticklers.

“As the regatta went on we kept getting stronger and sailed better as a team,” Cooper said. “The regatta was tough due to the conditions and the boats we had never sailed, but we kept the mood light and had a lot of fun, which contributed to our success.”

The US Team Racing Championship was hosted by the Annapolis Yacht Club with the support of Severn Sailing Association.

The event consisted of over 100 races in Annapolis Harbour spread over three days with three flights racing simultaneously and teams swapping out after each race.