Sail Scene – New England

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Swan 42 Nationals debut off Newport

Alex Jackson of New York City, sailing Amelia, won the first U.S. National Championship of the Swan 42 Class hosted Sept. 13 to 16 by the New York Yacht Club in Newport, R.I. Finishing second was Mustang, co-skippered by Gary Jobson,

Norwood Davis and Whitey Lipscomb. Finishing third was Tiburon, skippered by Mark Watson.

Jackson and his team sailed consistently over the first six races taking two firsts and a second to build a strong lead. While they struggled in the shifty conditions, finishing 15th in the final race, they managed a 4-point victory.

“We certainly didn’t win by much,” Jackson said. “The good races had compensated for the bad ones.”

The wind was light to moderate from the south on Day 1, but blustery on Day 2 as a cold front whipped up Narragansett Bay. Jackson reported winds topping 30 knots on one downwind leg. The final day brought a northerly breeze that lost its way throughout the day.

With a second- and fifth-place finish, Mustang had the best results the final day of racing and climbed into second place overall. Mark Watson of San Antonio, Texas, sailing Tiburon, seemed to have won the regatta after winning the seventh race, but a disqualification in race six dropped him to third overall.

The Swan 42 Class — just a year old — is a new one-design class commissioned by the New York Yacht Club in collaboration with Nautor’s Swan. This is an owner-driver class with limits on both professional sailors and sail inventory. Many of the 18 boats were competing in their first event including Colin Buffin’s Uxorious III from Great Britain. By the end of the year, the Swan 42 class is expected to be 38 boats strong, competing in 11 countries.

ICSA names 2007 All Academic Sailing Team

The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association has recognized 20 outstanding scholar athletes by their selection to the 2007 ICSA All Academic Sailing Team.

The 2007 ICSA All Academic Team recognizes 10 First Team and 10 Second Team student-athletes who maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a scale of 4.0, were a key starter or reserve member of their school’s sailing team, and who had reached junior standing at his or her institution of learning in order to be considered eligible for this distinction.

Members of the 2007 ICSA All Academic Sailing Team — First Team are: Anna Bargren of Wauwatosa, Wis. (University of Wisconsin ’07); Nicole Beckett of Satellite Beach, Fla. (University of South Florida ’08); Michael Easton of Lexington, Mass. (Tufts University ’08); Jack Field of Noank, Conn. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology ’08); Matthew Kastan of East Amherst, N.Y. (University of Rhode Island ’07); Rebecca Levin of New Haven, Conn. (Stanford University ’07); Melissa Pumphrey of Annapolis, Md. (St. Mary’s College ’07); Eva Seligman of Potomac, Md. (University of Southern California ’07); Emily Simon of Oak Brook, Ill. (Harvard University ’07); and Kristen Sproat of Annapolis, Md. (U.S. Naval Academy ’08).

Members of the 2007 ICSA All Academic Sailing Team — Second Team are: Krysta Anthony of Annapolis, Md. (U.S. Naval Academy ’08); Julie Arsenault of Thompson, Conn. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology ’08); Christina Dahlman of Chevy Chase, Md. (Harvard University ’07); Brendan Healy of Arnold, Md. (College of Charleston ’07); Matthew Knowles of Middletown, R.I. (Harvard University ’07); Whitney Loufek of Newport Beach, Calif. (UC Irvine ’07); Russell O’Reilly of Charleston, S.C. (College of Charleston ’07); Andrew Perry of Sarasota, Fla. (Brown University ’08); Meris Tombari of Fishers Island, N.Y. (UC Irvine ’07); and Frank Tybor of Coronado, Calif. (UC Irvine ’07).

Winners crowned at men’s, women’s nationals

After four days of racing, winners were crowned at the U.S. Men’s Sailing Championship for the Clifford D. Mallory Cup and U.S. Women’s Sailing Championship for the Mrs. Charles Francis Adams Cup, hosted Sept. 11 to 15 by the Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego.

Local San Diego sailors Brian, Daniel and Alex Camet captured the Mallory Cup; and Lake Michigan skipper Elizabeth Altman of Chicago, racing with Nancy Heffernan of St. Louis, Mo., Vickie Matthews of Chicago, and Marie Hansson of Chicago won the Adams Cup.

Competitors from throughout the country — who qualified via regional ladder elimination events, or were selected by résumé — raced Etchells at both events.

Second-place team Kaitlin Storck, Melissa Pumphrey, both of Medford, Mass., Lyndsey Gibbons-Neff of Rosemont, Penn., and Gretchen Curtis of Marblehead, Mass., received the Mrs. Willis D. Wood Trophy.

In second place for the U.S. Men’s Championship was the second San Diego Yacht Club team of Chris Busch of Coronado, Calif., Bill Bennett, and Mike Herlihy both of San Diego.

Porter crowned Melges 24 champion

Brian Porter’s Full Throttle team held off world champion Dave Ullman, helming Scott Holmgren’s Rosebud, to win the Melges 24 U.S. Championship in warm 8- to 12-knot breezes.

“We were 1-2 at the Worlds, we were 1-2 at the North Americans, and now we’re 1-2 here, with Brian getting the win,” Ullman said. “Those guys are just so fast and so good — they’re always solid.”

Porter’s crew included Melges Performance Sailboats President Harry Melges III and V.P. Andy Burdick, all from Lake Geneva, Wis.

Porter was very impressed with the difficulty of the racing conditions, held off Detroit, Mich., Sept. 21 to 23. “There was just no predictability at all to the wind shifts,” the new Champion said.

U.S. captures two golds, two silvers

American sailors made a strong showing at the 2007 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship, capturing two gold medals and two silver medals on LakeOntario. By winning four of a possible nine medals, the United States topped the national medal count at this weeklong event hosted by the Rochester Yacht Club of Rochester, N.Y.

The performance of U.S. sailors at this world championship in the SKUD-18 class — a new Paralympic class making its debut at the 2008 Paralympic Games — proved the United States is a nation to watch in this double-handed fleet. The United States had four boats in the Top 10, capturing first, second, fourth, and seventh places in the 18-boat class.

Gold medalists Karen Mitchell of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and J.P. Creignou of St. Petersburg, Fla., sailed consistently at the leading edge of the fleet, never finishing below Top 10 in an individual race despite varied wind conditions that ranged from light air, to a day with intermittent squalls, to teen-strength breezes that gusted into the low-20-knot range. Nick Scandone of Fountain Valley, Calif., and Maureen McKinnon-Tucker of Marblehead, Mass., captured the silver medal.

Sonar skipper Rick Doerr of Clifton, N.J., Bill Donohue of Brick, N.J., and Tim Angle of Marblehead, Mass., captured gold in a 27-boat Sonar class that was deep with world-class talent. Only 3 points separated the top three boats in the final standings, and the U.S. team of Paul Callahan of Cape Coral, Fla., Tom Brown of Northeast Harbor, Maine, and Roger Cleworth of Lithia, Fla., captured the silver medal.

The Paralympic Games will be held in Beijing in September 2008. The Paralympic Regatta will be sailed in Qingdao, China, a city located about 430 miles southeast of the Beijing.

Swede snares TP52 Global Championship

With only a single score outside the top five all week — a sixth place in the first race — Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis from Sweden swept to a comprehensive victory at the Rolex TP52 Global Championship 2007. The winning margin was 26.75 points ahead of 2006 Champion Eamon Conneely’s Patches from Ireland. Only 6 points separated the next four boats.

Two races were held on the final day under a leaden sky and in light winds that struggled to reach double figures. The first race, a 1.7-nautical-mile leg with 6 to 7 knots of breeze, was won by Alberto Roemmers’ Siemens of Spain, who finished fourth overall in the championship.

The second race, with a 2-mile leg, was won by Patches — tactician Ian Walker and helmsman Stuart Childerley signing off the championship with a third bullet. But the true story of the day was Artemis as Tornqvist walked away with the Global Championship trophy and a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece for his efforts.

Tornqvist, with Russell Coutts in the role of tactician, hit both starts cleanly showing no signs of nerves.

“I am really surprised that we won with such a margin by the end,” said Tornqvist. “I think that the trend was pointing that we would do a good regatta, but we all knew how it is with so many good boats out there. You cannot take anything for granted. We feel like we’ve been on the top before and then boom, something happens and then you are 10th, 12th in the field, which shows its strength and also how small the margins are for error.”