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Sail Scene - New England

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New England boattops Onion Patch field

Crescendo, the Swan 44 MkII owned by Martin Jacobson of Greenwich Conn., finished top boat in the 2006 Onion Patch series, a performance that helped the Indian Harbor Yacht Club team win this year’s Onion Patch Trophy.

The series, which attracted seven teams from across America, takes in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, the Newport Bermuda Race and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta. The Storm Trysail Red team, made up of Aera owned by Brit Nick Lykiadopulo, Blue Yankee owned by Bob & Farley Towse of Stamford, Conn., and Googolplex owned by Colin Rath of New York were second, followed by Storm Trysail White team, made up of Orion owned by Pat Patterson of Virginia Beach, Va., Gold Digger owned by Jim Bishop of New York and Dawn Treader owned by Larry Cohen of Gloucester, Va.

The Indian Harbor team included Crescendo, the J/44 Brown-Eyed Girl owned by Scott Dinhofer of Chappaqua N.Y., and the J/130 Christopher Dragon owned by Andrew Weiss of Greenwich, Conn. Crescendo, which had a crew including Australians Hugh Trehame as a watch captain/navigator, Robert Wilmot as a watch captain and Jeremy Whitty, the co-navigator, won the Henry B. duPont Trophy for her stellar performance.

Nasty Medicine, the Farr ILC 40 owned by Bermuda’s Stephen Sherwin, was the top Bermuda Boat in the Onion Patch and won the Gurnet Rock Trophy.

The Catherine Hollis Memorial Trophy for the best corrected time in the Bermuda Race went to the New York 32 Siren owned by Peter Cassidy of Rochester, Mass.

Distance regattadebuts off Conn.

The Mystic River Yacht Club Distance Challenge lived up to its name in mid-June.

This first MRYC regatta started at Seaflower Reef between Fishers Island and Groton Long Point. Three classes ventured 20 miles to the south, five miles past Montauk Point, to a distant Racon RW “MP” in light conditions. The breeze began steady then fell off when the fleet met the north of the fork. As winds filled back in, the yachts barreled back towards Fishers Island and through Wicopesset Passage. Inside Fishers Island Sound the wind left the fleet battling for inches in a building ebb tide. Finally, 9-1/2 hours after the start, enough breeze filled in to finish the 40-mile race.

Winning the Spinnaker Class was John Sutherland on She’s the Boss. Taking the Two-Hander Division was Jim Francis on Free Spirit. Free Spirit was also first in fleet. Winning the Non-Spinnaker class was Mike Cavanaugh on Crystal Slipper.

The Mystic River Yacht Club plans to hold this race again next year, challenging crews in navigation, tactics and boat handling, next time within a 100-mile course.

A brief homecoming for America’s Cup

The America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup trophies returned to Europe June 20 after spending a week in New York City.

The visit to the United States was a homecoming for the America’s Cup trophy, which spent 132 years (from 1851 to 1983) in the New York Yacht Club trophy room.

The Louis Vuitton Cup has a shorter history in the Big Apple — it was won by Australia II at the first opportunity in Newport in 1983 and has since been competed for in Fremantle, Australia, San Diego, Auckland, New Zealand and now Valencia, Spain.

Beginning June 22, the first day of racing in Louis Vuitton Act 12, the trophies will take up position in the Port America’s Cup at the Velese Vents building, on display to the public who visit the America’s Cup Park.

More than $200K raised at Wall Street Challenge

Teams of corporate executives traded their business suits and briefcases for life jackets and sailing gear to raise more than $200,000 for Shake-A-Leg-Newport during the Wall Street Corporate Challenge Cup.

Hosted at the Newport Shipyard July 7-8, the 15th annual regatta drew executives from the financial and legal world for two days of racing aboard the 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 varied programs for people with spinal cord injuries and nervous system dysfunction.

Team Mellon Financial Corporation (Boston) won the six-race series with Proskauer Rose (New York City) in second place and Parker/Vectrix, a partnership of Parker Hannifin (Cleveland) and Vectrix, Inc. (Newport, R.I.), in third.

“We were a little surprised that we won, but it’s awesome,” says Justin Scott of Mellon Financial Corporation. “Everyone was working together; the boat ran smoother. We had a fast boat, Freedom, and that really helped us to win.”

Rounding out the finishers were Latham & Watkins (New York City) in fourth; KBC Financial Products (New York City) in fifth; MBIA (Armonk, N.Y.) in sixth; Wachovia Capital Markets (Charlotte, N.C.) in seventh; Debevoise & Plimpton (New York City) in eighth; and Bear Stearns (New York City) in ninth place. www.shakealeg.org