International Rolex Regatta dominated by Titan 12
The International Rolex Regatta shifted gears this year with some distance races figured into the event’s competition, but that did not stop Tom Hill’s Titan 12 from winning every race.
The 32nd annual regatta made Easter weekend in the U.S. Virgin Islands a tropical paradise for 79 boats and hundreds of sailors. Hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club, the regatta served up warm steady breezes under skies that matched the sapphire blue of the water below. Two of the three days of racing featured distance racing to show off the islands, departing from the regatta’s previous buoy format.
For Richard Shulman of Riverside, R.I., winning skipper on the IMX 45, Temptress, in Spinnaker Racing Class 2, Good Friday lived up to its name for the regatta’s opening day. He and his all-Rhode Island crew posted victories in two of three short-course races. On the second day, he even gave up the helm at one point to take in some of the scenery from the rail of his boat.
The final day’s traditional Pillsbury Sound Race wove through and around the islands, bringing forth all the colors associated with Easter day when the boats launched their spinnakers against a relentlessly blue sky. At day’s end winners in nine classes — including Hill and Shulman — received Rolex Submariner watches as prizes, another tradition that sets this Caribbean regatta apart from the others. www.rolexcupregatta.com
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Admiral’s Cup canceled for 2005
The Royal Ocean Racing Club has canceled this year’s Admiral’s Cup, which was due to take place at Cowes, England, July 9 to 17.
In order to prevent any further expenditure by teams on anything from shipping costs to new sails, a cut-off date of early April had to be made and a decision taken sooner, rather than waiting for the final entry date of May 3.
Despite initial expressions of interest from 13 countries, by early April only two countries had confirmed their entries, with another two or three teams struggling to put together competitive entries.
The RORC’s Admiral’s Cup Management Committee decided the uncertainty surrounding potential teams put in doubt the chances of staging a strong international event worthy of the Admiral’s Cup.
Initially there was good support for the new format of the event and the boats chosen for the 2005 Admiral’s Cup (a Mumm 30, Swan 45 and a big IRC boat). However, this support has ebbed away for reasons ranging from trouble securing sponsorship to owners reluctant to enter their boats in the competition, according to organizers.
“It is a great disappointment to us to have to take this decision,” said Chris Little, commodore of the RORC. “Realistically we needed a minimum of five competitive international teams to guarantee a meaningful series for all concerned. Sadly, we have not been able to attract enough teams.” www.rorc.org
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Block Island Race returns in May
Two popular events organized by the Storm Trysail Club, Block Island Race and Block Island Race Week, kick off the 2005 summer sailing season in the northeast when they return to the waters off Block Island.
This will be the 60th anniversary of the Block Island Race, which starts May 27 from Stamford, Conn.; and the 21st biennial running of Race Week, June 19 to 24.
The 185-nautical-mile Block Island Race is for IRC, PHRF, double-handed and one-design boats of 30 feet and longer, which will make their way down Long Island Sound, around Block Island and back to Stamford.
Block Island Race Week will feature competition in IRC, PHRF and one-
design classes when that event returns to the popular island destination.
The Storm Trysail Club and Larchmont Yacht Club, which hosts the 32-mile Edlu Race on May 14, have established the “Tuna Trophy” for the best combined score of an IRC-rated yacht in the Edlu and Block Island distance races. The Block Island Race will be weighted 60 percent and the Edlu 40 percent. “Tuna” is the nickname for renowned international judge Arthur Wullschleger, who has served as Commodore of both clubs.
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America’s Cup challengers emerge
A European venue for the 32nd America’s Cup is attracting the challengers to Team Alinghi’s defense of the Cup in Valencia, Spain.
At least eight challengers have entered the mix so far for the six lead-up Louis Vuitton races scheduled for this year. Races were to begin in the middle of April in Spain and continue through October in Sweden and Sicily.
Challengers include BMW Oracle Racing from San Francisco, +39 Challenge from Italy, Team Shosholoza from South Africa, Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa Challenge from Italy, K-Challenge from France, Victory Challenge from Sweden, Desafio Espanol from Spain, and Team Capitalia from Italy.
Team Capitalia, formerly known as Mascalzone Latino, becomes the third Italian entry and will feature an all-Italian sailing team. This is the second consecutive challenge for the team led by Italian shipping and ferry service magnate Vincenzo Onorato. Representing the Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia, Team Capitalia has ITA-72 from the 2002 campaign in Auckland, and acquired the two Stars & Stripes boats, USA-66 and USA-77, from Team Dennis Conner.
“In the last America’s Cup, we were competing to learn,” Onorato said. “This time, we are serious. I like the feeling on this team. We are focused and committed to fight to the end.”
The new team will be led on the water by skipper and tactician Vasco Vascotto, a newcomer to the America’s Cup squad, who will rely on helmsman Flavio Favini to steer the boat. Favini was tactician in the last Mascalzone Latino Cup campaign.
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US Sailing announces race dates
US Sailing announced the 2005 schedule for Adult and Youth National Championships.
The 18 events, which began in April and continue through November, will be hosted by different yacht clubs across the country and raced in a wide range of classes of boats.
While some participants are selected by their sailing resume, the course to the majority of championships is either open or based on a ladder structure that begins at the local club level and progresses to regional finals before reaching the National Championship.
For information about U.S. Sailing’s National Championships, visit www.ussailing.org/championships or contact Liz Walker at (401) 683-0800.
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Fresh breeze for BVI Spring Regatta
No rest for the weary at the British Virgin Islands Spring Regatta, held April 1 to 3 this year. After getting used to a no-show day for breeze, competitors were able to get their money’s worth from this regatta.
Three full days of fresh winds kept everyone from heading to the floating bar across the channel from the Nanny Cay Marina. Two quick races on the third day wrapped up the tight competition.
Titan 12 racked up two more bullets to take six of the nine races. Tom Hill of Puerto Rico finished with 13 points to Richard Shulman’s 20 on Temptress. Edgar Cato and his Hissar crew finished in third with 30 points.
In Racing C, Martin Jacobsen’s Crescendo topped off his five-point lead going into the final day and got the better of Mick Schlens’ Cosmic Warlord. With races won by fractions of seconds, they both placed first and second in the final two races but Crescendo’s two-day advantage gave them the win. Peter Newlands’ Beneteau 40.7 Anticipation was third.
While Jamie Dobbs on Lost Horizon II got three bullets and John Foster’s Magnificent 7 only two, Foster’s consistency earned him the win in the D Division.
The BVI’s Sirena 38, Pipe Dream, skippered by Peter Haycraft dropped only one race for the class win and Jose Sanchez and his Myett’s Balaju II crew from Puerto Rico finished second.
Tom Mullen on the J/120, Shamrock V, topped the five-race Performance Cruising Class with four first places and a second. The BVI’s sailing surgeon Robin Tattersall was second with Diva, and Julian Sincock’s Northern Child in third. www.bvispringregatta.org
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US Sailing names Youth World Team
US Sailing announced the members of the U.S. Youth World Team which will represent the United States at the 2005 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship July 14 to 23 in Busan, Korea.
The regatta is open to athletes who do not reach their 19th birthday this year. Racing will take place on Suyong Bay and the team will compete in the Hobie 16, Laser, Laser Radial and International 420.
The U.S. Youth World Team members qualified for the team after winning a select regatta previously determined to be a qualifying event. The members of the 2005 U.S. Youth World Team are Girls Single-handed: Paige Railey of Clearwater, Fla.; Boys Single-handed: Royce Weber of Surf City, N.J.; Girls Double-handed: Megan Magill and Briana Provancha both of San Diego; Boys Double-handed: Adam Roberts and Nick Martin both of San Diego; Open Multihull: TJ and Jerry Tullo both of Staten Island, N.Y.
The seven athletes of the 2005 U.S. Youth World Team will be accompanied by US Sailing’s youth development coach Mike Kalin of Cambridge, Mass.
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Paige Railey wins Princess Sofia Trophy
Paige Railey, the 17-year-old Laser Radial sailor from St. Petersburg, Fla., won the Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta in Spain, the first major Olympic classes regatta in Europe of the season.
Railey, who is ranked the top Laser Radial sailor on the 2005 U.S. Sailing Team, defeated 35 boats from 10 countries in Palma de Mallorca to take home the honors. Railey won US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR earlier this year.
Railey’s strong performance was consistent throughout the five-day regatta, taking the lead on the first day and keeping it. Out of a total of 13 races, Railey won six. Overall, Railey had a total of 33 points and finished 32 points ahead of British runner-up Charlotte Dobson, who inched ahead of third-place finisher Wiebke Schroder of Germany earlier in the week.