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Sail Scene – Florida

Miami hosts Farr 40 anniversary regatta

Almost 10 years to the date of the Farr 40 Class’s first regatta in 1997, Jim Richardson of Boston, Mass., and Newport, R.I., aboard his Barking Mad, won the Farr 40 10th Anniversary Regatta.

Massimo Mezzaroma and Antonio Sodo Migliori of Italy, aboard Nerone, won the Farr 40 10th Anniversary Match Race Invitational. Sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A., along with North Sails and Edgewater Boats, the regattas were held Nov. 27 to Dec. 2 in Miami, Fla.

“It’s always amazing to win in this Class,” said Richardson, a two-time World Champion and the Class’ president. “There are so many good teams out there. I have the advantage of sailing with Terry (Hutchinson), Skip (Baxter) and Morgan (Trubovich). We’re going on eight years together and we know what to expect from each other.”

The Storm Trysail Club ran the match racing round robin as well as the eight-race fleet racing series with assistance from the Farr 40 Class Association.

Eight Farr 40s competed in the match racing with Wolfgang Stolz’s from Germany Opus One and Nerone tied on points at the end of the round robin. However, Nerone’s title was decided on the count back as Nerone had defeated Opus One in their match-up. Barking Mad finished in third place.

In the fleet racing regatta, 17 Farr 40s competed. Class newcomers Alex Roepers of Stonington, Conn., on Plenty won the seventh race, while Doug Douglass’ Goombay Smash of New York, N.Y., won the eighth race.

Past World champion Nerone finished in second place, while Mean Machine was third. Most of the competing teams are expected to participate in the upcoming Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, scheduled for April 16-19, 2008 in Miami, Fla.

A-Cat sailors race for world title in Fla. Keys

The last day of the 2007 Ronstan A-Cat World Championship in mid-November turned out to be pretty severe with the wind too strong to give sailors another day to shift their fortunes.

Glenn Ashby, Lars Guck and Pete Melvin kept their 1-2-3 positions when the gusts in the 30-plus range dictated the end to the regatta, held in the Florida Keys.

Throughout the regatta, Ashby and Guck had been in a back and forth battle with each taking the lead at different times during the regatta. Through seven races, the most they were separated was by two points and that is how the regatta ended. Ashby took to straight bullets during races with Guck posting a 2 and 3.

Race officials lauded sailor Carla Sheifer for her efforts to rescue another competitor on the course.

Third time’s (also) a charm for Barkow

For the third straight time, Sally Barkow of Nashotah, Wis., won US Sailing’s Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship.

Racing took place Nov. 14-17 on GalvestonBay in Shoreacres, Texas. Barkow and her crew of Debbie Capozzi of Bayport, N.Y., Amanda Callahan of Canton, Mass., and Annie Lush of Poole, England, were awarded the Bengt Julin Trophy and a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Stainless Steel & Gold Datejust.

Going into the final two races, Barkow led the 39-boat fleet with 14 total points. “We went out and knew what we had to do. It was tricky and light and mind-boggling, instead of having to race the boat hard like yesterday. We had to make sure we were in the top eight. Then if we were beating Derby Anderson, we wouldn’t have to sail the last race.”

Barkow finished fifth in the first race and elected not to sail the final race.

In both the 2005 and 2003 Rolex IWKC, Capozzi and Lush were with Barkow, along with her third Yngling teammate, Carrie Howe of Grosse Pointe, Mich., who could not attend this regatta.

In second place overall was Cory Sertl of Rochester, N.Y., a two-time Rolex IWKC champion and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. Going into the final day, she was in third place and had to put enough places between her boat and Derby Anderson of Annapolis, Md., and Anna Tunnicliffe of Plantation, Fla. At the end of the day, she achieved her goal by scoring a 2-4, while Tunnicliffe finished with 7-2 and third place and Anderson with 11-16. Anderson finished fourth overall, beating her last best finish of 10th in the 2005 Rolex IWKC.

“We’re very relieved to finish in the top three,” said Tunnicliffe, who will represent the U.S. at the 2008 Olympic Games in the single-handed Laser Radial dinghy. “That was my personal goal.”

Record run during Transat Jacques Vabre

Franck Cammas and Stève Ravussin led Groupama 2 to victory in the mid-November Transat Jacques Vabre after 10 days of intense sailing across the Atlantic on a trimaran.

The win improved their previous record by nearly 48 hours, a record held by Franck Cammas and Franck Proffit since 2003.

Presented as the favorite at the start in Le Havre, the crew of Groupama 2 did not let the odds-makers down. Leading as they rounded the Western tip of Brittany, they greatly reduced their sail area during the brief but intense gale encountered off Cape Finisterre. Though their direct rivals made the most of the situation to steal ahead, the pair opted instead to spare both the equipment and themselves.

Still in downwind conditions during the descent towards the Canaries archipelago, Groupama 2 regained control of operations. Next, it was en route to Cape Verde that the outcome of the race was decided. Tactically better positioned, the winners were marked by the fact that the one of their hottest contenders would have to make a few hours’ pitstop to replace a foil or a rudder on one of the floats. From then on, Groupama 2 continued to extend their lead, quickly stretching a 50-mile advantage to over 300.

West Coast boat wins big out East

Anticipation ran high in Annapolis, Md., at the Storm Trysail Club’s three-day IRC East Coast Championship held in early November.

Not only was there an important title at stake but also defending champion Dan Meyers of Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I., showed up with a longer, better version of his champion racing yacht Numbers, now a new Judel-Vrolijk design purpose-built for the IRC rule. After seven races, however, it was a west coaster, John Kilroy of Los Angeles, Calif., who stood taller in IRC stature with his “Box-Rule” Transpac 52 Samba Pa Ti.

Kilroy and his team, which included multiple world and national champions as well as America’s Cup talent, including Annapolis resident and Emirates New Zealand tactician Terry Hutchinson, won IRC Class 1 and became the overall IRC East Coast Champions when the Race Committee deemed them to have the best cumulative average corrected time for the regatta.

The event hosted a total of 45 boats, divided into five classes, and was the final event in the 2007 IRC Gulf Stream Series.

Numbers performed as planned when Meyers won the distance race, which for scoring purposes, was weighted at 1.5 times the buoy races, but then Kilroy pushed Samba Pa Ti to three victories in four brisk-breeze races on the final. His resulting overall lead over Meyers was a mere .5 points because Meyers had followed him in second for those three races and won the fourth.

“Waterline length prevails in reaching conditions, so Numbers had an advantage with that and the wind pressure (where she was ahead of us on the course) during the distance race,” said Kilroy. “In the other races, she was still going faster and finishing over the line first, so we spent more time dealing with boats like Hissar (Edgar Cato’s Farr 60) and Rima 2 (John Brim’s Reichel/Pugh 55) tacking on us, so it’s a tribute to our crew that we could do that. It was so fluky; there were unique opportunities and disappointments for everyone.”

In Sunday’s first race, Meyers finished second to Kilroy’s third, turning the tables to make the .5 lead his own, but Kilroy finally snatched overall victory when he won the last race, with Meyers in fifth, and put 3.5 points between them in overall scoring. Meyers finished second overall.

In the remaining classes, leaders emerged early and posted comparatively large margins of victory. Tsunami, a NYYC Swan 42 owned by Preben Ostberg/John Aras/Bud Dailey of Rockville, Md., won IRC Class 2; Sarah, an X-41, owned by Greg Manning of Warwick, R.I., won IRC Class 3; Rush, a J/109, owned by Bill Sweetser of Annapolis, Md., won Class 4; and KA’IO, a Beneteau First 36.7, owned by Art Silcox of West River, Md., won Class 5 for the one-design Beneteau 36.7s.