Sail Scene Nov 2006

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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 thought 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. www.kyc.net

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.

N.Y. sailor takes second at championship

Charlie Buckingham of Newport Beach, Calif., won the 2006 U.S. Junior Single-handed Championship in impressive style taking home US Sailing’s Smythe Trophy.

Last year’s champion, Cameron Cullman of Rye, N.Y., took second place after a tiebreaker with Caleb Paine of San Diego.

In the battle for the U.S. Double-handed Championship for the Bemis Trophy, the final race had the leaders only two points apart. Then, the teams were tied at 15 points. In the tiebreaker, Portland Yacht Club’s Alan Palmer of Yarmouth, Maine, and Katherine Gullick of Portland, Maine, edged out Sam Williams of Summit, N.J., and Margaret Rew of Princeton, N.J., sailing for Bay Head Yacht Club with teammates Molly Lucas of Little Silver, N.J., and Sam’s sister, Charlotte in third.

Palmer, Gullick, Williams and Rew were all smiles at the end and congratulated each other warmly. At the awards ceremony Cullman received the Faye Bennet Sportsmanship Award.