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Sail Scene Sept 2007 Florida and the South

Caribbean International draws record-sized fleet

Great starts and “covering the fleet” were the tactics that paid off for Puerto Rico’s Fernando Monllor, who won the 15th annual Scotiabank Caribbean International Optimist Regatta, sailed out of St. Thomas Yacht Club June 23 to 25.

Monllor was one of a record 95 sailors, between the ages 8 and 15, representing Germany, Canada, the United States mainland (Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington), Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, all three U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Barbados and Curacao. It was the largest regatta of its kind in the Caribbean.

“I rounded the mark 29th in one race,” Monllor said, explaining his method to success. “After that, I just told myself, ‘I’m fast,’ as a way to catch up. And, I relaxed. That helped.”

Junior sailors were grouped into advanced and beginner fleets, and the advanced fleet was further subdivided into age groups.

Monllor also won the Red Fleet (age 13-15), followed by fellow islanders Raul Rios, in second, and Ivan Aponte, in third. Rios is the reigning South American Championships winner and Aponte the North American Championships winner, distinctions that highlight the caliber of sailing talent at this regatta. Monllor, Rios and Aponte also scored top three overall, respectively, in the advanced fleet.

In the Blue Fleet (age 11-12), St. Thomas’ Ian Barrows won following a spectacular tacking duel in the last race of the regatta against Christopher Williford, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who finished second by five points after 12 races. The Dominican Republic’s Edwardo Ariza ended third.

St. Thomas’ Addison Hackstaff enjoyed two celebrations on the regatta’s final day — a win in White Fleet (age 10 and under) and his 11th birthday. “I got a black flag the first day for being over early. Boy, I really hated that,” said Hackstaff. “The second day I really thought about my strategy because I really wanted to win, and I did.”

Curacao’s Odile van Aanholt finished second, in spite of a being seasick the first day. “I like being at the top. So when I felt better, that’s what I tried for,” said van Aanholt.

In the beginner Green Fleet, CaymanIsland sailors cleaned up first and second. Elliot Vernon took first, after sailing an Optimist for less than a year. Fellow islander Camilo Bernal took second, while St. Croix’s Alexandria Rich finished third.

St. Thomas’ Green Fleeter Kai Holmberg enjoyed his first Scotiabank Regatta but had a tough time pulling himself away from the television on the regatta’s second day. His uncle, Peter Holmberg, was making news by helping Alinghi win its first race of the 2007 America’s Cup.

Nikki Barnes, from St. Thomas, earned the Top Girl award and the Pete Ives Sportsmanship Trophy, while the United States’ Daniel Judd in Green Fleet won the Chuck Fuller Sportsmanship Trophy.

April date set for Lauderdale-Charleston

The Southern Ocean Racing Conference announced the rebirth of the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston Ocean Yacht Race would begin April 23, 2008.

The event originated in 1968 and ran for 10 years. The race will start just outside of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale and finish just outside of CharlestonHarbor.

A classic duel of ocean racing tactics and sailing endurance, this 408-mile race is sailed straight up the Gulf Stream. Competitors will enjoy a constant 2- to 4-knot push as navigators work to keep boats in the axis of the stream and avoid counter currents.

The race is sponsored by the Lauderdale Yacht Club, Carolina Yacht Club in Charleston and the Storm Trysail Club. The race will be organized and managed by Southern Ocean Racing Conference.

The inaugural race in 1968 was won by Dr. Dean Woosley in his 40-foot vessel, Columbia. The 53-foot sloop Bumblebee, owned and skipper by J.D. Kahlbetzer, completed the 1976 race in 40 hours 34.5 minutes and holds the race record.

“With today’s yacht designs, sails and navigation equipment, we expect the previous record time to be easily smashed,” said Buck Gillette, Race Chairman and LYC Past Commodore.

The Preliminary Notice of Race can be found at

American Etchells sailor is dethroned at Worlds

Despite constant rain and poor visibility, the final race of the Etchells World Championship in Cowes, held June 29 through July 1, was a stunner. The wind moderated although conditions were still extremely testing with constant shifts in the southwesterly breeze which varied from 8 to 15 knots as the bands of rain came through.

The 2006 World Champion Jud Smith, sailing USA1361 with David McClintock and Steve Girling, bowed out of his tenure as World Champion in true style by giving the rest of the fleet a master class in Etchells sailing to win the final race and take second overall. But the day belonged to Andy Beadsworth, Oscar Strugstad and Simon Fry, sailing GBR1361, as they took on and ultimately trounced Ante Razmilovic, Jez Fanstone and Stuart Flinn sailing GBR1333, in a stunning final showdown for the championship.

Going into the final race Beadsworth knew that Razmilovic was his only rival for the title and the two boats came off the line side by side just to the left of center. Beadsworth was to weather as they headed off on starboard but Razmilovic had a little more speed and began to climb out eventually forcing Beadsworth to tack and initiating a gripping match-race-style dogfight. The main body of the fleet had gone right and before long the two boats were out on their own. Beadsworth’s greater match racing experience showed and although Razmilovic briefly had the upper hand it wasn’t long before he was back in control as the pair rejoined the main body of the fleet at the top of the beat.

Through the race Beadsworth and his crew gained on the fleet every time they came back in the mix. By the last leg, they overtook fifth-placed Peter Duncan, then picked off Jake Gunther for fourth. At they approached the finish they were neck and neck with Nils Razmilovic vying for third. Yet again they were on top of the breeze and as Razmilovic took a final hitch right they stayed left and gained one final place to finish third and take the championship.

At the prize-giving ceremony outgoing World Champion Smith, for whom this is a fifth second place at an Etchells Worlds, paid tribute to the new world champions declaring them worthy winners, and thanking them and the rest of the fleet for a great competition.

Young sailors duel for national championship

At most sailing regattas, the rewards come at the end when battles are done and winners are crowned. But at the U.S. Youth Sailing Championship — the nation’s premier youth sailing regatta that ran from June 22 to 28 at Southern Yacht Club — rewards came not only in the form of trophies in four classes but in a final day of racing when the breeze came on to bring lively, challenging conditions to top youth racers competing on New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain.

One hundred and fifty sailors from 23 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands raced the last day of this four-day series in 10 to 15 knots of breeze, with brilliant sunshine and shifts large enough to effect course changes. The previous days of racing saw lighter air in the 6- to 7-knot range and waves of thunderstorms on one day of this U.S. Sailing championship, sponsored nationally by Vanguard Sailboats and Nautica.

Despite the changeable conditions, winning 29er team Emily Dellenbaugh of Easton, Conn., and Briana Provancha of San Diego; and second-place team Oliver Toole and Willie McBride, both of Santa Barbara, Calif., tracked steadily to the top of their competitive 19-boat fleet.

“I just kept going fast and tried to be really smart and conservative,” said Dellenbaugh. A second in the final race gave them their class win.

The top men and women’s 29er teams qualify to represent the United States at the 2007 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship.

Sailing a Laser Radial at last year’s event, Fort Lauderdale sailor Colin Smith came painfully close to a class win, but lost the first-place slot on a tie-breaker. Racing a Laser this year, he arrived at this year’s championship with a score to settle. Trailing class leader David Hernandez of Miami for two days at the series opening, Smith moved into the lead after Day 3 and kept his commanding position once the breeze picked up to win the class and the Robert L. Johnstone Trophy.

The Laser Radial class had the largest degree of a shakeup in the standings on the final day when the bigger breeze came on: this class sailed to the starting line with its top five leaders in place, and that order was completely shuffled by the time the fleet sailed back to the docks at race day’s end. Class winner Ian Heausler of Tampa, Fla., was in a solid third place after three days of racing, a full eight points behind class leader Justin Doane of Nokomis, Fla. But a final day of 6-3 finishes gave Heausler the class win and the Robert and Ann Conner Trophy; Doane finished second, and Anne Haeger of Lake Forest, Ill., took third.

Club 420 skipper Tyler Sinks of San Diego arrived at this championship with some unfinished business: after a second place at this event in both 2005 and 2006, Sinks, racing this year with crew Morgane Renoir of San Diego, was hunting for a win in this 32-boat class. By Day 1, the Sinks/Renoir duo was leading the class but slid into second place on Day 2. But on Day 3, this double-handed team focused on their prize and never finished worse than a sixth place in the day’s five races. A final day of 3-1 finishes wrapped up the class win and the Manton D. Scott Memorial Trophy for Sinks and Renoir.

The David M. Perry Sportsmanship Trophy is awarded in each class to the sailor(s) selected by fellow competitors who demonstrate good sportsmanship behavior. The 2007 sportsmanship winners are: Judge Ryan of San Diego and Hans Henken of Coronado, Calif., in the 29er class; Joe Morris of Annapolis, Md., and Alex Sachs of Coral Gables, Fla., in the Club 420 class; Justin Doane of Nokomis, Fla., in the Laser Radial; and Josh Garber of Deephaven, Minn., in the Laser class.

Classic yacht sinks during regatta

Beautiful weather with moderate winds made for two days of exciting racing at the Museum of Yachting’s Robert H. Tiedemann Classic Yachting Weekend held off Newport July 7 and 8. About 30 classic sailing and power yachts raced.

An afternoon collision July 7 occurred between three vessels at a mark rounding off of Conanicut Island, which resulted in the sinking of the classic yacht Amorita. The crew were immediately pulled from the water by nearby competitors and no injuries were sustained.

An independent protest committee of certified U.S. Sailing Judges convened to determine the circumstances of the collision, their decision resulted in the disqualification of Sumurun, a 94-foot 1914 Fife ketch and the exoneration of Alera and Amorita, both 43-1/2-foot Herreshoff-designed NY-30s.

A salvage team set about raising Amorita, which its owners say will be restored. The 102-year-old NY-30 is co-owned by Jed Pearsall and Museum of Yachting Chairman, Bill Doyle.

At the Sunday evening Regatta Prize-Giving first place in the Vintage III Class was awarded to Belle, owned by Joe Loughborogh. First place in the Vintage II Class went to Sam Croll III & Henry Skelsey aboard Angelita. Halsey Herreshoff’s Rugosa took first place in the Vintage III Class. In the 12-Metre Class, Northern Light, chartered by Mark Watson took first place. The Good Old Boats Division was won by Windigo, owned by Mark Treat, and the Spirit of Tradition Class was won by White Wings, chartered by Hap Haugh. The winner of the S-Boat Class and Overall Winner of the Regatta was Osprey, owned by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse whose team included Mike McCaffrey and Mike Fluette.

The Classic Power Boat Rally featured six beautiful commuter-style yachts including Elizabeth Tiedemann’s Pam, Don Glassie’s Rum Runner II, Earl McMillen III’s Enticer, Jurgen Friedrick’s Scout and Ken LeDonne’s Y Not Wilbur.