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New Englanders defend team racing title

With eight of the original 16 teams eliminated from contention, the competition format moved to the “first-to-three wins” for the final day of racing for the 2005 Grey Goose ISAF Team Racing World Championship.

The New York Yacht Club’s Race Committee made short work of the quarterfinal rotation in the 10-knot southwesterly on Narragansett Bay, and by noon Oct. 1 both Irish teams had been eliminated, followed by New Zealand 1 and Italy. Those teams then completed a sail-off that determined their overall positions for the championship with IRL 2 coming in fifth, followed by IRL 1, ITA and NZL 1.

The results of the quarterfinals had also set the stage for a showdown between the two superpowers of team racing — Great Britain and the United States. The pairings for the semifinals put USA 1 against GBR 1, each sailing with team racing world champions, and USA 2 against GBR 2. Although the USA cleaned up in both pairings, with win-loss records of 3-0, Great Britain didn’t go down without a fight. The American teams had come into this regatta very well prepared, having spent a considerable amount of time training and competing in Vanguard 15s, the boat that was supplied for this championship.

In the end, the all-U.S. final was a nail biter. USA 2, with Patrick Hogan of Newport Beach, Calif.; Carlos Lenz of Clearwater, Fla.; Pete Levesque of Portland, Maine; Liz Hall of Tiverton, R.I.; Colin Merrick of Portsmouth, R.I.; and Amanda Callahan of Canton, Mass., was showing a little more speed. Team WHishbone, a.k.a. USA 1, the defending champions, with Tim Fallon of North Falmouth, Mass.; Karen Renzulli of Needham, Mass.; Mark Ivey of Huntington Beach, Calif.; Matt Lindblad of Newport, R.I.; Tim Wadlow of Beverly, Mass.; and Ery Largay of Osterville, Mass., demonstrated both composure and skill in the light to moderate breeze with decisive moves and back-to-back wins. USA 2 returned to win a thrilling race three, but USA 1 came back in the fourth race to clinch the championship.

New record set at Vineyard Race

Titan 12 set the new course record and finished first in the IRC fleet in the Stamford Yacht Club’s Vineyard Race over Labor Day weekend. The Vineyard Lightship Trophy was awarded to Tom Hill of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and his crew on Titan 12, a Reichel/Pugh 75. Titan 12 also won the Nina Trophy for first boat to the Buzzards Bay turning mark, the Jig Time Performance Trophy for the best corrected time back from the tower for an IRC boat and the Bill Luders Trophy for best elapsed time overall for an IRC boat.

Hiro Maru, a Swan 43 sailed by Rear Commodore Hiroshi Nakajima of the host Stamford Yacht Club, took home three of the perpetual trophies for its win in the PHRF fleet.

Arcadia, a Beneteau First 375 sailed by Quentin Thomas of the Douglaston Yacht Squadron, won the Cornfield Trophy for winning the shorter Cornfield Point Race.

Fifty-one boats entered the 71st running of the Vineyard Race, which takes the fleet on a 238-mile course from Stamford through the swirling currents of the Race or Plum Gut, past Block Island, and on to the light tower at the entrance to Buzzard’s Bay, to return leaving Block Island to starboard en route to the finish in Stamford Harbor.

Hiro Maru won the Dotty Lorentzen Trophy for best PHRF corrected time and the Bounding Home Trophy for best-corrected time by a vintage boat. Hiro Maru was also part of the winning Stamford Yacht Club team that won the Nirvana Trophy for best performance by a three-boat team. Also on the team were Richard Nugent’s Xanadu and Peter Gould’s Tenacity III.

The Northern Ocean Racing Trophy, awarded to the IRC boat that did the best over the season in long-distance racing in the Northeast, was presented to Richard Breeden of Indian Harbor Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club aboard Bright Star, the TP 52. Bright Star won due to top finishes in the Block Island Race, Marblehead to Halifax race, the Around Long Island Race and the Vineyard Race.