Marion man sails to second place with Nantucket fleet at world sailing competition

Sep 10, 2018

A team that sailed to first place in last year’s International One Design World Championships repeated the feat this August, but not without some spirited competition from a crew that included Marion’s Shane Wells.

Wells, a member of the Beverly and New York Yacht Clubs, sailed representing the International One Design Nantucket fleet at the championships, held in Stenungsund, Sweden from Aug. 26 - 31. A class of sailing boat first built in 1936, the International One Design is a 33-foot open cockpit sailer. While considerably slower than current Olympic class boats, the boat is noted for its handling and beauty.

Over the course of five days, Wells and members of his team raced 10 times, coming close to defeating reining world champion Jonathan Farrar and his crew from the Fishers Island Yacht Club.

“It was a fantastic event, but it was a little bittersweet to get so close and not get the job done,” said Wells. “We gave them a good run for their money, but they were a little more consistent than we were, made fewer errors and the recovered better from their errors than we did.”

Wells and members of his crew, led by Richard Werdinger, came in second place despite the challenge of racing in unfamiliar waters.

“A new area is always an interesting challenge because you need to figure out the typical winds, how they interact with the land masses and the currents,” said Wells. “And the winds we were racing in ranged from 1 knot to 26 knots. We got a little bit of everything in terms of wind conditions.”

Wells is an experienced sailor who started at 11 years old as a member of the Beverly Yacht Club’s junior program. While he’s competed in national and regional International One Design championships in the past this year marked the first time he competed in worlds.