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Sail Scene New England November 2006

Newport boat wins class at Ida Lewis Distance Race

Thirteen boats completed the biennial overnight Ida Lewis Distance Race, which began in Newport, R.I., Aug. 18.

Stark Raving Mad, the Reichel/Pugh 66 owned by Jim Madden of Newport Beach, Calif., and sailing in IRC class, crossed the finish line off the Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport Harbor in less than 23 hours, making it the fastest to complete a two-lap, 175-nautical mile course that twice took the fleet out past Block Island to Montauk Point off Long Island.

New Orleans’ Stephen Murray, skippering his TP52, Decision, won the race on corrected time while New York’s John Brim skippered his Farr 60, Rima, to second; and Bob Towse of Stamford, Conn., took third aboard his Reichel/Pugh 66, Blue Yankee, leaving Stark Raving Mad with a fifth on the scoreboard.

Each boat in the fleet was greeted at the finish by an Ida Lewis committee boat and a bottle of champagne. Though two handicap divisions were to have sailed two separate courses, forecasts of light winds made the race committee opt to have both groups sail the shorter Montauk Course rather than the 245-nautical mile Shinnecock course.

“It was a navigator’s race,” says Andy Lovell, tactician aboard Decision. “There was about 10 knots of breeze when we started, and we saw 14 at one point, but it averaged between 7 and 8 knots.” Lovell explained that Decision went farther north than most boats on its second lap of the course, finding the best breeze closer to the Connecticut shoreline. At the finish, the team had no way of knowing if they had turned in the winning performance, but they wondered if the bottle of champagne was a sign that they had.

“Turns out everyone got the champagne, but we did win!” says Lovell.

Newport’s Tim Woodhouse, skippering his Thompson 35, Rumours, took line honors for the PHRF class and won the class on corrected time, finishing at around 10 p.m. The second-place finisher, Middletown’s Tom Rich, skippering his Peterson 42, Settler, said his mostly teenage crew had a great first-time experience sailing overnight and encountering a whale, which spouted water that sprayed them as they sailed. Finishing third in PHRF was Boston’s Ron O’Hanley, skippering his Swan 48, Privateer.

NARC Rally returns this fall

The fleet participating in the seventh annual North American Rally to the Caribbean will depart Newport (R.I.) Yachting Center Oct. 30 (depending on the weather window), bound for St. Martin in the Caribbean. An end of the rally party is planned for Nov. 17 on the island.

The rally averages about 20 boats and offers a chance to sail to the Caribbean in company. For information call (800) 472-7724.

R.I. sailors earns gold at Olympic test regatta

The U.S. Sailing Team wrapped up a successful Olympic Test Event with two gold medals and one bronze at The Good Luck Beijing — 2006 Qingdao International Regatta.

Paige Railey of Clearwater, Fla., won the Laser Radial class, after gaining a substantial lead after the first 10 races. In the Star class, Andy Horton of Newport, R.I., and Brad Nichol of Lake Sunapee, N.H., won the gold medal, while George Szabo of San Diego and Eric Monroe of Corona del Mar, Calif., followed with the bronze.

Anna Tunnicliffe of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., finished fourth in the Laser Radial class; John Lovell of New Orleans and Charlie Ogletree of Kemah, Texas, secured fourth in the Tornado; Dalton Bergan of Seattle and Zack Maxam of Coronado, Calif., came in fifth in the 49er; Zach Railey of Clearwater, Fla., finished sixth in the Finn; Stuart McNay of Boston and Graham Biehl of San Diego finished eighth in the 470 Men; and the Yngling three-person teams of Sally Barkow of Chenequa, Wis., Carrie Howe of Grosse Pointe, Mich., and Deb Capozzi of Bayview, N.Y.; and the team of Carol Cronin of Jamestown, R.I., Kim Couranz and Margaret Podlich, both of Annapolis, Md., came in fifth and 10th, respectively.

The conditions were ideal for finishing all 11 Medal Races, as a light, southeasterly breeze blew across Fushan Bay. Two fleets raced simultaneously on two courses, Alpha and Bravo.

“Luckily, the conditions were favorable and the team made the most of them and got the job done,” says team leader Katie Kelly. “We went out with a bang.”

The regatta gave 464 top sailors from 41 countries the opportunity to test the conditions, venue and competition for the 2008 Olympic Games.

New York Yacht Club milks home advantage

The home team from the New York Yacht Club defended the Morgan Trophy Keelboat Team Racing Championship against what participants described as the most talented keelboat team racing fleet ever assembled.

This year’s event, held in mid-August in Newport, R.I, using the club’s new fleet of Sonars, included almost all of the prior winners of the Morgan Trophy, nine former dinghy team racing world champions, including five members of the reigning world champions, team WHishbone, and many former intercollegiate champions, college sailors of the year, all-Americans and Olympic aspirants.

Participating teams included Southern Yacht Club, Yale Corinthian Yacht Club, perennial contender Larchmont Yacht Club, team WHishbone and last year’s runners-up Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club.

This year’s event, raced three-on-three in Sonars with four people in each boat and using spinnakers, consisted of three complete round-robins of racing in shifty and challenging 5-10 knot winds.

The NYYC was able to jump out to an early lead with a 4-1 record in each of the first two round robins, and despite losing their last three races of the event, they emerged victorious, with a 10-5 record, over second-place Seawanhaka (9-6) and third-place WHishbone (8-7). In fact, just one win separated each place from the next at this event.

NYYC helmsman Rob Richards attributed their win to strong starts, lots of luck and masterful joke-telling by members of the NYYC team — the Morgan Trophy features a tradition of joke-telling at the regatta dinner on Saturday night — with the intended result of the other teams laughing too hard to concentrate on Sunday morning.

Big gusts power Newport regatta fleet

Challenging weather on Narragansett Bay with winds gusting over 30 knots made for two exciting days of racing at the Museum of Yachting’s 27th Annual Classic Yacht Regatta held Sept. 2 and 3. More than 60 classic sailing yachts registered for the event, which included a parade through Newport Harbor.

The fringes of Tropical Storm Ernesto produced blustery conditions for racing in the East Passage and Narragansett Bay for Day 1’s racing with less-vigorous conditions on Day 2.

First place in the Gant Class, first Herreshoff in Fleet, the Sappho Trophy for the best corrected time and the Atlantic Trophy for best elapsed time were presented to Ticonderoga, the 1936 ketch owned by L. Scott Franz.

Amorita, the NY-30 owned by Jed Pearsall, took first place in the Land Rover Class as well as The Leiter Cup for first gaff-rigged boat in the fleet.

First place in the Bigelow Tea Class was awarded to Ian McColough’s Destiny.

Kittywake, owned by Lance Senning, won the Itravel Class and Peter Wilhelm’s S-Boat, Dirigo, won in the Best Life Class. Winners in special classes included Nimble, Pandora, Equus and American Eagle.

Designer awards for first in fleet finishers included: Nor’Easter (Alden) and Cinderella (Hunt). Olin Stephens presented the award for first Sparkman & Stephens in fleet to Edgar Cato, the new owner of the famous 1929 ocean racing yawl, Dorade. The Thomas Benson Memorial Restoration Award went to the NY-30, Alera.

Elizabeth Tiedemann of Seascope Yacht Charters was honored with the Clingstone Canon, the Museum’s annual award for Corinthian Spirit. She was also presented with a Classic Yacht Regatta First Place Trophy in memory of her late husband, Bob Tiedemann, one of the Museum’s founders and winner of the first Classic Yacht Regatta.

Swedish sailor wins 2006 Knickerbocker Cup

In an upset in the finals, Martin Angsell (Sweden) with crew Johan Sawensten, Peter Thorwid, and Par Johansson beat Adam Minoprio (New Zealand), 2-1 to win the 2006 Knickerbocker Cup, held Aug. 30 through Sept. 3 on New York’s Manhasset Bay.

In addition to the prize money, Angsell will have his name permanently placed on the Cup along with such past winners as Peter Gilmour, Ed Baird, Paul Cayard, Russell Coutts, Terry McLaughlin and Dave Perry.

If spectators were to make bets on the outcome of this year’s competition, it most likely would not have been on Angsell. They entered the semi-finals in fourth place with a record of 6-4 at the end of the full round robin. All bets were for the young New Zealanders from Team BlackMatch, which, in addition to Minoprio, included David Swete, John Puckey and Nick Blackman. They ripped up the competition with 10 bullets after two days of racing, which put them solidly in first place with the right to chose their competition in the semis.

With wind at a minimum after Tropical Depression Ernesto had passed, Minoprio chose Torvar Mirsky (Australia) because he wanted to stay away from the Europeans who are known for their skill in sailing in light air. Minoprio chose wisely as BlackMatch handily beat Mirsky, with crew Nick Davis, Mike Hughes, and Graeme Spence, 2-0. Angsell’s semi-final round was also a 2-0 game against third-place Pierre-Antoine Morvan (France), with Nicolas Pauchet, Eric Lejoliff and Devan Lebihan.

Angsell attributed his win to “knowledge of local water and feeling comfortable sailing on Manhasset Bay. I didn’t have a specific strategy against Minoprio, but though we had a good chance because we are more experienced. And I really liked the Colgate 26 a lot because they are easy to maneuver and preformed well in all wind conditions.”

The late Edward du Moulin, Past Commodore of Knickerbocker YC, and a member the New York YC and the Storm Trysail Club was the founder of the Knickerbocker Cup in 1982. He was also one of the organizers of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame and served as its first chairman, from 1993 to 1995. In 2000 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Crescendo wins Bermuda Cup

It was a fair-weather sail all the way to St. Georges for the 13 boats competing in the 13th annual Bermuda Cup from Hampton to Bermuda held this summer.

Crescendo, Harry Weber’s Beneteau 47.7 from Lyndora, Pa., was the handicap winner in the Rally Class while Eventually, John Parker’s Island Packet 420 from Skillman, N.J., received line honors and third place on handicap for the 640-mile event. Second in class went to Valiant, Wes Jones’ ultra light Fast 40 from Gloucester, Va.

The rally started from a point off Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads with sunny skies, following winds and spinnakers flying. Fair southwesterly winds and clear skies sent the fleet out the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at noon June 20. Weather conditions were favorable for most of the way with 8 to 14 knots from the south and southwest. Towards the end of the trip the winds locked into the southeast leaving lumpy upwind conditions for the entire fleet.

Eventually, participating in her fifth Bermuda Cup, was the first to finish in 4 days, 5 hours. Nine boats competed in the Rally Class and four boats sailed in the non-racing Cruising Class.