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Sail scene

Race Week at the NYYC

Racing in Newport in July was served up with a full roster of regatta events from July 17 to 25 at the New York Yacht Club’s Race Week.

The race committee ran 167 races for more than 1,000 sailors from across North America including a distance race with 46 competitors. Ten boats participated in the entire week and Ajax, a J/105 owned by Lee Dayton of Greenwich, Conn., not only competed, but also won its PHRF division and recorded the fastest finish time in the distance race.

The J/29, Dirty Harry, owned by John Lavin of Warwick, R.I., had the Best Overall Performance in PHRF, by winning six out of eight races. Masquerade, the winner of the 28-boat J/105 fleet, earned the title Best Performing One Design Boat and a Rolex timepiece for owner Tom Coates of San Francisco.

The One Design portion of Race Week hosted 83 boats. More than 500 sailors competed for class championships in eight one-design classes: Farr 395, Farr 40, Swan 45, J/105, J/35, J/120, J/109 and Henderson 30.

Consistency paid off for Roger Wagner’s Farr 395, Endurance, which posted only one fourth among firsts and seconds in the class “no throwout” series. The boat, named after Shackleton’s adventure to the South Pole, won both of its final races in the eight-boat class.

“It’s never as easy as it looks,” said Wagner of Stamford, Conn. “Over the last couple of days, the crew continued to put in 110 percent. We put in some hard work, and we talked about anything that didn’t seem right and the crew never let down.”

Race Week doubled as the Farr 395 North American championship.

With two bullets added to the four earned earlier in the series, Craig Speck’s Vim won the nine-boat Swan 45 class. Speck, of Grand Rapids, Mich., said they were in phase with the wind and were able to get into good lanes and control where they wanted to go.

For Rob Campbell of Wilton, Conn., winning the J/120 class was a bonus to the sailing. “Race Week is a good way for me and my friends to get together,” said Campbell. “All six of the adults in our crew grew up sailing together, and we also had two of their kids along with us. So, we had two generations of sailors on board. We sent the kids up to the bow for the hard work and they are terrific.”

With seven firsts and two seconds, Dave Nickerson and Dana Seniff’s Split Decision of Noank, Conn., won the J/35 class by 5.25 points over Aunt Jean, co-owned by Jim Sagerholm and Jerry Sagerholm of Annapolis.

Another boat that dominated its class was Electra, owned by Craig Crossley of Barrington, R.I. Electra posted a total of 17 points in the newly formed J/109 class, with the closest competitor, Storm, owned by Rick Lyall of Stonington, Conn., with 23.75 points overall.

Barking Mad returned to the podium as Farr 40 class champion. Owned by Jim Richardson of Boston/Newport, R.I., Barking Mad won its class at the 2002 NYYC Race Week. Nine boats competed for the North American championship, including Gem, campaigned by the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Virago, owned by Stuart and MarrGwen Townsend of Chicago finished second, with Jeff Siegal’s Appreciation in third.

Champion repeats at Wall Street cup

For the second year in a row, Parker/Vectrix — a team comprising employees from Parker Hannifin Corp. of Cleveland, and Vectrix Inc. of Newport, R.I. — won Shake-A-Leg’s Wall Street and Corporate Challenge Cup.

The 13th annual event brought together business leaders for two days of racing aboard legendary America’s Cup 12 Meter yachts, and raised a record $300,000 to support Shake-A-Leg-Newport’s programs for people with spinal cord injuries and nervous system dysfunction.

Eight corporate teams consisted of up to 10 members of the 14-person 12 Meter crew. In addition, each boat had top sailors from Shake-A-Leg’s adaptive sailing program. Parker/Vectrix relied upon their team’s strategist, veteran America’s Cup sailor Andy MacGowan, CEO of Vectrix, to keep their boat in the lead.

Second place went to Glencoe Group, which made its debut at this year’s event. Bear Stearns of New York City, which was in last place after the first day of racing, came back to capture third place overall.