Sail Scene

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Top U.S. sailors named Athletes of the Year

US Sailing selected eight athletes as 2007 U.S. Olympic Committee Athletes of the Year for outstanding performance and achievement.

Laser sailor Andrew Campbell of San Diego and Laser Radial sailor Anna Tunnicliffe of Plantation, Fla., are SportsMan and SportsWoman of the Year; yngling sailors Sally Barkow of Nashotah, Wis., Debbie Capozzi of Bayport, N.Y., and Carrie Howe of Grosse Pointe, Mich., captured the Team of the Year category; Sonar sailors Rick Doerr of Clifton, N.J., Tim Angle of Marblehead, Mass., and Bill Donohue of Brick, N.J., are the Paralympians of the Year.

These U.S. sailors have proven to be dominant forces in their respective one-design fleets in 2007, in both U.S. and international arenas.

In 2007 Campbell continued to string Laser victories together as he campaigned in the United States, Europe and South America. Gold medals included the XV Pan American Games in Brazil, and first place in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which earned him a berth on the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team. Campbell consistently logged top-10 finishes, including a bronze medal in the 114-boat fleet racing the 2007 Canadian Olympic Regatta, Kingston (CORK) and an eighth place in the 149-boat class racing the 2007 Princess Sofia Regatta in Spain.

Tunnicliffe had a year of stellar success, which made her the No. 1-ranked Laser Radial sailor in the world in 2007. A string of gold medal performances began in February with a win in the 96-boat fleet racing the Laser Midwinters East Championship and followed in August by a gold medal at the 2007 Good Luck Beijing — Qingdao International Regatta. In October she won the 16-race U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which earned her a berth on the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team. She was the top American at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal (fifth in class; 107 boats), and at the 2007 U.S. Sailing Rolex Miami OCR in Miami (fourth in class; 67 boats).

Barkow and crew Capozzi and Howe are familiar faces in the winner’s circle of the USOC Team of the Year award: they also won in 2005. The team won at the US Sailing Rolex Miami OCR and the 2007 Princess Sofia Regatta in Spain; the team brought home silver medals from the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Portugal, the 2007 Semaine Olympique Française in France, and the Yngling North American Championship in Miami.

Doerr, Angle and Donohue opened the 2007 season with a silver-medal performance at the 2007 U.S. Sailing Rolex Miami OCR. At the International Foundation for Disabled Sailing World Championship they captured the World Championship. In October they won the U.S. Paralympic Team Trials and the right to represent the United States at the 2008 Paralympic Games in China.

Nautor’s Swan unveils new maxi class for 2008

In addition to the strong one-design class association that Nautor’s Swan has developed over the past couple of years, a new class has been devised to run alongside this successful program in 2008.

Swans measuring more than 60 feet will now have the opportunity to race in a dedicated class of their own. The Swan Maxi Class has been built into the increasingly comprehensive program of racing and cruising events for 2008.

Born through a partnership with yacht clubs around the world, the Swan Maxi Class will incorporate the popular Swan 601 Class and boats will race within existing IRC events with dedicated starts and possible subdivisions. Following on the same class foundations as the Club Swan 42 and Swan 45, the Swan Maxi Class will enforce an owner-driver rule.

The class will make its Mediterranean debut at the Trofeo Aurora Regate di Primavera in Portofino at the Yacht Club Italiano, with racing scheduled in Italy, France and Sardinia. www.swanmaxiclass.com

Lauderdale to Charleston reborn

Southern Ocean Racing Conference Management, which includes members of the Storm Trysail Club and Lauderdale Yacht Club, announced the formal opening for race entries for the 2008 Fort Lauderdale to Charleston Ocean Yacht Race.

Scheduled to begin April 23, this event marks the rebirth of a race that originated in 1968 and ran for 10 years. The race will start just outside of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale and finish just outside of CharlestonHarbor.

The race is also an official leg of the 2008 US-IRC Gulf Stream Series where IRC boats earn points for placement in an overall chase to be the series champion. A number of boats have already entered, including Rima 2, the 55-foot Reichel/Pugh design — a prime candidate for setting a new race record.

A duel of ocean racing tactics and sailing endurance, this 408-nautical-mile race is sailed straight up the Gulf Stream. Competitors will enjoy a constant 2- to 4-knot push as navigators work to keep boats in the axis of the stream and avoid counter currents.

Additional information including the Preliminary Notice of Race, online entry and accommodations can be found at

www.fortlauderdalecharlestonrace.org.

American wins Australian ocean race

Roger Sturgeon did what only two other American sailors have accomplished in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Sturgeon’s US STP 65, Rosebud, was the overall IRC winner of the annual race, held each year the day after Christmas, taking home the Tattersall’s Cup.

Sturgeon, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., described his feelings at winning: “Ecstatic, beyond belief. It’s just unimaginable, the odds against this were huge. We’re tickled to death.”

The win is only the third by an American yacht, with the previous winners being Ted Turner’s American Eagle in 1972 and Kialoa III (Jim Kilroy) in 1977.

The Sydney Hobart Yacht Race completed a hat trick for Rosebud’s Australian racing campaign. Sturgeon also won the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge IRC handicap division and the Rolex Rating Series warm-up regatta for the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Bob Oatley’s 98-foot super-maxi Wild Oats XI crossed the finish in Hobart to take the line honors win for the third consecutive year.

The yacht’s elapsed time was 1 day, 21 hours, 24 minutes, which was only just over 3 hours off their record pace set in 2005. City Index Leopard crossed the finish line 27 minutes later, to take second place.

Cruise-like conditions continued with sunshine and light winds, east to south, allowing the yachts to finish under spinnakers.

Sturgeon’s Rosebud is the first launched of the new STP65 class. Inspired by the success of the TP52 class, the two leading American offshore racing clubs, the Storm Trysail Club and the Transpacific Yacht Club, combined to develop the STP65 rule. www.rolexsydneyhobart.com