Sail Scene NE Feb 07

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Mass. sailor wins Etchells Worlds

Jud Smith, of Marblehead, Mass., the three-time North American Etchells champion and four-time Worlds runner-up, took the gun in the eighth and final race to win the 2006 Audi Etchells World Championship off Fremantle, West Australia.

Smith’s crew consisted of Canadian Dirk Kneulman and New Zealanders Andrew Wills and Thomas Saunders.

Winds were climbing toward the 20s as Smith led from the first mark. He was overtaken by his countryman, Chris Busch, down the run but rounded inside the San Diego sailor. Halfway up the beat for the second time, he crossed ahead and was never overtaken again. Smith crossed ahead of Busch, American Craig Healy came in third.

Ante Razmilovic from Britain needed to beat Smith by two places on the final day, but the best he could do was fourth. New Zealander Alastair Gair led into the eighth and final race of the series. At the top mark the Kiwis were 18th, but fought back to take seventh place and had to be content to settle with second overall. www.etchellsworlds2006.org

New England boat wins IRC championship

The second-ever IRC East Coast Championship, hosted Nov. 3-5 by the Storm Trysail Club Chesapeake Station, yielded a familiar victor from the big-boat racing arena.

Dan Meyers of Boston, Mass., and his Farr 60, Numbers, rallied to win both a distance race held on Friday in 15- to 20-knot winds and the second of two short windward/leeward races that were squeezed into the final afternoon in barely-there breezes of 5 to 7 knots. Up to seven races had been planned, but day two’s weather did not cooperate. Meyers and his team became the overall IRC East Coast Champions when the Race Committee deemed them to have the best cumulative average corrected time over the three races completed.

A total of 33 boats, divided into four classes, competed in the regatta.

A first-time event for Meyers, the IRC East Coast Championship succeeded in helping the Numbers crew shake off cobwebs from a 2-1/2-month competition hiatus.

Meyers also took top honors in the IRC 1 class followed by Wahoo, a Corby 41.5, owned by Augustus Fretz of Stevensville, Md.

Peter and Debbie Gibbons-Neff of Rosemont, Pa., topped IRC 2 class with their Farr 395, Upgrade, with Dame Blanche, a Beneteau 40.7, owned by Othmar von Blumencrom, Great Falls, Va., taking second in class.

Curt Schwab of Washington, D.C., aboard his Beneteau 36.7, Volition, won the IRC 3 class besting 11 other entries.

One-design trophies also were awarded in this class, with Volition topping the fleet again even after the distance race had been omitted from scoring. Taking second and third, respectively, were Chip Devine of North Potomac, Md., with Dreamboat Annie; and Garth Hichens of Annapolis on Seahorse. The two teams switched positions, however, when scored for the IRC championship. Winning IRC 4 class was Bill Sweetser of McLean, Va., aboard his J/109, Rush, followed by Bobby Oberg’s Horseweed, a Beneteau First 10R from Annapolis.

“Next year this event becomes the last race in the U.S.-IRC Gulf Stream series, which starts in Key West and ends in Annapolis,” says race chairperson Bill Kardash. “We are trying to gain traction on the Chesapeake for IRC racing, and there is growing interest as IRC gets a foothold in this country.”

The 2006 IRC East Coast Championship was sailed on Chesapeake Bay with shoreside activities at Annapolis Yacht Club. It also served as a warm-up to the Rolex U.S. IRC Nationals, which will be sailed as part of the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week XXII, scheduled for June 17-22.

Boston College takes fifth consecutive title

Typically, frozen halyards and hot cocoa are staples of the Timme Angsten Memorial Regatta, held annually in Chicago over Thanksgiving weekend — but not this year. Collegiate sailors racing for the 60th Annual Timmes and Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association’s Fall Championship rollicked in an unseasonably warm November weekend with temperatures in the low 60s.

The temperatures and decent winds made for an excellent racing weekend, and top-ranked Boston College clinched their fifth consecutive Angsten victory. The winning team includes Spencer Powers, Jay Connolly, Field Osler, Sandy Williams and Mallory Brown. BC’s Timmes record is second only to the Coast Guard, who’ve won seven consecutive Timmes from 1959-1965.

Originally called the Northwestern Invitational Regatta, the Timme Angsten Regatta was initiated by Northwestern University sailors in 1947.The race was renamed in memorial to the regatta’s primary founder, Timme Angsten.