Sail Scene Long Island Sound

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Perseverance key to Ida Lewis victory

A low-pressure system delayed the planned Aug. 10 start of the 2007 Ida Lewis Distance Race, but the following morning sunshine prevailed and a fresh northerly enabled a colorful “spinnaker sendoff” for the 14 boats competing.

By that time, the Race Committee had shortened the race — originally set at 177 miles — by 27 miles and two teams had dropped out due to schedule conflicts caused by the delay.

The race started off Fort Adams State Park at the mouth of Newport Harbor, continued past Castle Hill and Brenton Reef, then incorporated Block Island, Montauk Point, Martha’s Vineyard and Buzzards Tower into its configuration before returning to Fort Adams and just beyond to the finish line at the historic Lime Rock location of the race’s host Ida Lewis Yacht Club.

“A severe weather warning had been issued on [the day before the scheduled start] and the call was for 25 to 35-knot gusts when the sailors would be on their leg from Montauk to NomansLand [south of Martha’s Vineyard],” said principal race officer Peter Gerard. “In the spirit of caution and safety we decided to delay and shorten the course, diverting the second of two Montauk legs to a mark southeast of Block Island.”

In the end, it was lack of wind instead of too much wind that foiled the efforts of half the fleet and allowed only seven boats to finish, four of those being the larger IRC entrants that made it back to Newport before the light-medium winds on the backside of the front began playing games with the rest of the fleet.

Two of five double-handed boats — sailing in a new division for this race — were the last to officially finish and the only ones to take home trophies after the rest of their fleet gave up. They were Paladin, a J/35 skippered by Jason Richter (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) in first, followed by Off Beat, a J/109 skippered by Doug Hannah (Jamestown, R.I.).

Stephen Murray (New Orleans) defended his IRC title with his TP52 Decision, edging out Ron O’Hanley (Boston) and his Farr 50 Privateer. www.ildistancerace.org

U.S. qualifies for 10 Olympic classes

After two weeks of competitive racing and challenging conditions in Cascais, Portugal, the 2007 U.S. Sailing Team wrapped up a successful ISAF Sailing World Championships with 10 Olympic berths, a silver medal and six top 10 finishes.

Top performances by the team qualified the United States for spots at the 2008 Olympic Games in the following 10 classes: Finn, 470 Men and Women, 49er, Laser, Laser Radial, RS:X Men, Star, Tornado and Yngling.

“We’re very pleased to have qualified the USA in 10 events,” said U.S. Sailing’s high performance director Gary Bodie of Hampton, Va. “We’re confident we’ll qualify the RS:X Women at the 2008 World Championship.”

Sally Barkow of Chenequa, Wis., Carrie Howe of Grosse Pointe, Mich., and Debbie Capozzi of Bayview, N.Y., also known as “Team 7,” won a silver medal in the 25-boat Yngling fleet. Team 7 has stood on the podium at the last three Yngling World Championships, confirming their position among the most competitive teams in their class.

“Sally’s team has been on the podium in nearly every event this year,” said Bodie. “Undoubtedly, Sally’s team and Great Britain’s Sarah Ayton’s team are the favorites for 2008.”

Barkow and Ayton continue to battle for top scores at every major regatta.

Other team members who achieved top-ten finishes are: 49er team Morgan Larson of Capitola, Calif., and Pete Spaulding of Santa Cruz, Calif., finished fifth in an 81-boat fleet; Laser Radial sailor Anna Tunnicliffe of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., finished fifth in a 112-boat fleet; 470 Men’s team Stuart McNay of Boston, and Graham Biehl of San Diego, finished 10th in a 114-boat fleet; 470 Women’s team of Erin Maxwell of Stonington, Conn., and Isabelle Kinsolving of New York, finished 10th in a 67-boat fleet; and Tornado team of Johnny Lovell of New Orleans, and Charlie Ogletree of Kemah, Texas, finished 10th in a 49-boat fleet.

Wall Street challenge deemed a success

Teams of corporate executives traded their business suits and briefcases for life jackets and sailing gear to raise funds for Shake-A-Leg-Newport during the Wall Street Corporate Challenge Cup.

Hosted at the Newport Shipyard July 6 and 7, the 16th annual regatta drew executives from the financial and legal world for two days of racing aboard legendary America’s Cup 12 Meter yachts. Proceeds — each of the teams raised $30,000 to participate in the regatta — will support Shake-A-Leg’s summer programs for people with spinal cord injuries and nervous system dysfunction.

Team MBIA of Armonk, N.Y., won the six-race series with Latham & Watkins of New York in second place, and Bank of N.Y. Mellon Financial Corp. of Boston in third.

“Winning this is exciting, but it’s not the main reason we participate,” said Michael Ballinger, director of corporate communications and team leader of MBIA. “We keep coming back because of the great work Shake-A-Leg does.” www.shakealeg.org

Greenwich boat rules at Swan Americans

After a second place in the final race, Bandit, owned by Andrew Fisher of Greenwich, Conn., wrapped up the NYYC Swan 42 division in the Swan American Regatta, held off Newport, R.I., July 15 to 21.

Alexander Jackson’s Amelia continued their regatta run, taking victory in the race around ConanicutIsland. However, Bandit stuck close to her rival on the racecourse to finish just 46 seconds behind and take the title by four points.

In the other classes, Leonardo Ferragamo’s Pioneer Investments by Cuordileone won the long distance race, but couldn’t prevent Jim Swartz’s Moneypenny adding the Swan American Regatta to his list of trophies. Sailing with America’s Cup veterans Kimo Worthington and Mike Toppa, Swartz’s men retained the Swan American Regatta title, taking victory by 12.5 points.

The two other defending champions also wrapped up their respective titles with victories. Joseph Huber’s Swan 44 Reef Points wrapped up the non-

spinnaker division by 7 points, while fellow Swan 44 Crescendo won Class C with a 16-point margin.