Sail Scene – Mid-Atlantic

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U.S. boat wins Rio de Janeiro Race

American George David’s 90-foot Rambler managed a hat trick in the 22nd Rolex Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro Race, taking line honors, the overall

handicap win and setting a new race record for the course, taking 9 hours off the previous record.

Rambler was the first boat to finish the 1,123-nautical mile race covering the course between the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, with a new race record in elapsed time of 4 days, 9 hours, 55 minutes and 45 seconds. The Reichel Pugh-designed yacht’s corrected finish time of 105 hours, 55 minutes and 45 seconds could not be beat.

“The amazing thing, this is the third hat trick in less than a year for Rambler and the team,” said skipper Ken Read. “Many boats go through a lifetime waiting for one – a testament to the owner, the boat and the entire team.”

The first half of the race featured fast reaching conditions in which Rambler reveled, but after encountering a transition zone, the conditions became more tactical with the breeze going light and on the nose. Despite this, the boat averaged 11.85 knots over the course.

Top U.S. sailors pick up special hardware

Lightning World Champion Jeff Linton of Tampa, Fla., and Princess Sofia Trophy Yngling Champion Sally Barkow of Nashotah, Wisc., were celebrated as US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year and were presented with engraved Rolex timepieces at the New York Yacht Club in New York City on Feb. 29.

The 27-year-old Barkow told the audience at the ceremony that she would not have earned the award for the second time (2005) without the support of the talented team on which she relies. She and Yngling teammates Debbie Capozzi of Bayport, N.Y., and Carrie Howe of Grosse Pointe, Mich., will represent the United States at the Olympic Regatta this summer in Qingdao, China (see following story).

Also joining Barkow at the luncheon were Annie Lush from Poole, England, and Amanda Callahan of Canton, Mass., who crewed for her at U.S. Sailing’s Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship.

The 45-year-old Linton was recognized primarily for his domination in the Lightning class, where he won the 2007 World Championship and Winter Championship. His success in the class also included the South American Championship held in Bogota, Columbia; the title win at the Florida District Championship; a second-place finish at the Lightning Deep South Regatta in Savannah, Ga.; and second overall in the Lightning Southern Circuit.

“2007 was one of the most fantastic years we ever had,” said Linton, whose wife Amy Smith Linton is always included in his crew and joined him onstage along with crew Jahn Tihansky of Annapolis, Md. “We have a living room full of silver this year and this is the icing on the cake. After 35 years of competition, it hasn’t gotten better than in the last 5 to7 years because we are just relaxing and having fun.”

Yngling sailors qualify for U.S. Olympic Team

For Yngling sailors Sally Barkow of Nashotah, Wisc., Carrie Howe of Grosse Pointe, Mich. and Debbie Capozzi of Bayport, N.Y. it is official: after years of hard work, the team is bound for China this summer to represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games.

“We have a long road ahead of us to get ready for the tough competition in China, but we’re looking forward to it,” said skipper Barkow.

After earning a fourth overall finish at the Yngling Women’s World Championship in Miami, Fla., the trio – also referred to as Team 7 – successfully completed qualification for the U.S. Olympic Team for Sailing.

The competition at the Yngling Women’s World Championship was fierce, with several countries still hoping to qualify for a berth at the Games. Team 7 earned the Yngling berth for the United States last August after winning a silver medal at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal, which was also the first event of two that would determine the representatives to the Games.

The 2008 Olympic Games will take place August 8-24. The Olympic regatta will be held in Qingdao, China, a coastal city located 430 miles east of Beijing. The United States has qualified for a berth in all 11 Olympic and 3 Paralympic classes.

Sailors circle Buzzards Bay Regatta dates

The 36th annual Buzzards Bay Regatta will be held August 1-3 and hosted by the Beverly Yacht Club in Marion, Mass., in cooperation with the New Bedford, Mattapoisett and Low Tide yacht clubs and Community Boating Center of New Bedford.

The regatta features a mix of one design and handicap classes: Laser (including Masters), Laser Radial, Vanguard 15, Club 420, 505, Shields, Bullseye, J/22, J/24, J/80, J/105, J/109, Multihull, PHRF Racing, PHRF Cruising, and IRC. The J/109 East Coast Championships, the Corsair Multihull Pre-Nationals, and a Classic Yacht fleet will also be part of the regatta.

The Buzzards Bay Regatta is one of the largest multi-class regattas in the United States with about 450 boats and 1200 sailors across 15 different classes. www.buzzardsbayregatta.com