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Virginia boat takes line honors in 15th Cari 1500

Taking line honors at the finish of the 15th West Marine Caribbean 1500 was Bob and Mallika DeHaven’s Mistress Mallika, of Alexandria, Va. The new Oyster 62 completed the 1,500-mile passage in 6 days 13 hours 30 minutes.

Handicap and Class 1 winner was Special Delivery, a Taswell 58 sailed by Bill and Diana Quinlan, of Jacksonville, Fla. The fleet of 46 offshore sailboats gathered at Bluewater Yachting Center in Hampton, Va. for a Nov. 10 start on the rally to Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

The group included 13 veterans and 30 first-time participants in boats ranging from 38 feet to 62 feet, with skippers and crews hailing from the U.S. and Canada.

Organizers say the professional weather routers at Commanders’ Weather issued a forecast that remained extremely accurate for the entire trip. The fleet left the Chesapeake in light northerlies that diminished overnight as the boats approached the Gulf Stream. Most boats motored across the Stream, completing their crossing in the first 24 hours.

The peaceful crossing of the Stream ended abruptly for Tim Schaaf and the crew of his catamaran, Jet Stream, when they struck an unlit weather buoy the second night out. They quickly discovered a sizeable hole in the bow of one of their two hulls. Fortunately the well-constructed boat was built with crash bulkheads that limited flooding to a tiny bow compartment. Fellow ralliers Harry Weber, Crescendo, and Jim Ripple, Mirus, came to their aid, with Crescendo standing by until Jet Stream was joined by the Coast Guard Cutter Block Island and was escorted back to Chesapeake Bay.

Meanwhile the fleet pushed on into light to moderate southeasterlies, awaiting the passage of a well-predicted cold front which reached the more northerly boats on the third day, the more southerly boats on the fourth day. Winds shifted to the north and built to 35-45 knots, then gradually weakened and shifted to the northeast, where they remained until all the boats were in Tortola.

A return rally is planned for May 1, 2005, and a rally to Bermuda will be held in mid June. www.carib1500.com

New England sailors

inducted into Hall

The Atlantic Coast Dinghy Championship, held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in mid-November, was interrupted to celebrate the induction of three individuals into the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Hall of Fame.

Commander Philip Harman of Bucksport, Maine, was presented with the Lifetime Service Award; Stuart Nelson of Laconia, N.H., was recognized for his Outstanding Service as a Professional; along with Annie Johnson of Vancouver, Wash., recipient of the Student Leadership Award.

In recognition of their significant service to college sailing organization, their names will be added to the permanent ICSA Hall of Fame display in the Robert Crown Sailing Center at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

The unflagging efforts of Harman were responsible for the development of the Maine Maritime Academy sailing team during the 40 years (1962-2002) he spent on the academy’s waterfront — most of those years as director. In the 1970s, starting with eight Larks and a collection of random boats, he built the facilities to include 20 420s and 16 Lasers, along with Solings and Shields.

Nelson was recognized for Outstanding Service as a Professional. He is credited with passing on a lifetime of skills — gleaned sailing a Tech on Boston’s Charles River — to more than 25,000 students during his 25 years (1965-1990) at MIT as a coach and physical education sailing instructor. He was the first women’s sailing coach when sailing debuted as MIT’s first varsity sport for women only. In 1971 Nelson was instrumental in forming the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Sailing Association and promoting a Learner’s Regatta at MIT.

Western Washington University graduating senior Annie Johnson was recognized with the ICSA Student Leadership Award for 2004. She was recognized for helping the team at WWU grow, becoming team captain in 2002 and ’03.

Seeking memories of early Heineken Regattas

The Heineken Regatta is hoping for some input from sailors who logged miles around Saint Martin during the first few years of the 25-year-old event.

Celebrating the silver anniversary of the regatta this year, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club is putting together a memoir of the event, and is lacking pictures and stories from the early years. Anyone who sailed from 1981 to 1985 is asked to send his or her thoughts and photos along to the regatta organizing committee, at regatta@heinekenregatta.com.