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Sail Scene – Long Island Sound

It’s champion x 3 at Farr 40 Worlds

Vincenzo Onorato and his Mascalzone Latino are the 2008 Rolex Farr 40 World Champions, achieving a first in the sailing world — three straight victories in this ultra-competitive one-design class.

“As I told my crew before the start, it is quite impossible to do,” said Onorato of winning again. “But we did it, thank God. It was a tough week.”

What makes this accomplishment even more remarkable is Onorato had two substitutes for regular tactician Adrian Stead in Morgan Larson and John Kostecki.

“Driving was a lot of stress for me; I had to tune up with another guy each day,” Onorato said. “John is an incredible talent. To be able to tune up with a guy like him is fantastic.”

Arriving on the dock the moment Mascalzone departed for the first race of the 10-race series, held April 16-19 off Miami Beach, Larson assisted in the team’s 3-12-1 results that put them into first overall. When Kostecki joined the team the next day, he admitted there was considerable pressure maintaining the standard set before him.

“In such a situation we lost Adrian Stead for a good reason,” said Onorato of Stead who rushed home the day before the regatta for the birth of his first child. Kostecki continued the winning form and helped keep the team at the top of the standings each day, posting all top 10 scores except for a 14th in his first race as tactician.

The American boat Ramrod finished in seventh overall and was the top American boat.

“It’s great to finish in the top 10,” said owner/helmsman Rod Jabin of Annapolis, Md. “We achieved all our objectives, which was to win a race and get in the top 10. I couldn’t be happier, really.”

This was his team’s second world championship, having competed in the 2006 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds in Newport, R.I. Barking Mad, Jim Richardson’s two-time world champion, finished in eighth.

Mass. sailor wins third title at Women’s Match

Sandy Hayes of Scituate, Mass., and her team won the 2008 Rolex Women’s Match, hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida from April 10-13. Sailing with Hayes were crew members Nancy Heffernan, Cindy Olsen and Verian Aguilar.

A total of 10 teams competed in the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade 3 match-racing regatta, which was created in 2002 to improve opportunities for women sailors interested in match racing. With the win, Hayes, along with second-place finisher Katy Lovell of New Orleans, La., gained an automatic invitation into the Rolex Osprey Cup, an ISAF Grade 1 regatta, to be held Oct. 21-25, at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

Lovell’s teammates were Alice Manard, Ann Graham and Kim Logan Gotchberg. Rachael Silverstein of St. Petersburg, and her team of Jee Lee, Kristen Herman and Abby Ethington finished third.

“It was my 50th birthday on Friday, so it was a great way to celebrate,” said Hayes, who also won the 2006 and 2004 editions of the Rolex Women’s Match.

According to regatta co-chair Tom Farquhar of St. Petersburg, the outcome of the regatta was determined in the 89th and final match.

Southern sailors win Multihull Championship

US Sailing kicked off its 2008 season of U.S. National Adult Championships sponsored by Rolex with the U.S. Multihull Championship.

Nigel Pitt of Hartwell, Ga., and Alex Shafer of Clermont, Fla., won the event and the Hobie Alter Cup after several days of intense racing on Capricorn F18s April 22-26 at the Gulfport Yacht Club in Gulfport, Fla.

The champions jumped out on Day 3 of the regatta, but the lead was never safe until they secured the title on the final day of racing. Last year’s champions, John Casey of Longwood, Fla., and John Williams of Long Beach, Calif., finished second overall, two points behind the winners. And just three points farther down were Texans John Tomko of Canyon Lake and Ian Billings of Austin, who rounded out the podium finishers.

For Pitt and Shafer, winning was a long time coming, after competing in the event for several years, often finishing in the top three.

First held in 1987, the U.S. Multihull Championship is sailed each year in a different multihull class at a different venue around the country.