BACK AT THE HELM
Brad Van Liew on board his yacht, Le Pingouin. Van Liew is a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie with a vast array of extreme sports behind him. A lifelong sailor, Van Liew had his heart set on competing in the BOC Challenge, which would in 2005 be renamed the VELUX 5 OCEANS. In 1998 his dream was
realized when he competed in the Around Alone, finishing third in class two. Van Liew lives in Charleston, S.C.
New Yorker second at big-boat series
Pieter Taselaar went to San Francisco to play with the big boats in the 46th running of the St. Francis Yacht Club series in September and came away with a second-place finish in the Melges 32 class.
Bliksem, Taselaar's boat from Scarsdale, N.Y., led the event for two days, dropping into third place on Day 3. Then it was able to recover a position on the fourth day to finish second in the one-design class of 27 boats. The Italian boat B-lin Sailing, owned by Luca Lalli, took class honors.
"I went the wrong way and the race was over," says Lalli. "With Star, Bliksem, Red and Full Throttle, it is impossible to do what I did and come back; the level is very high."
"People come from all over the world to sail in this event, because it's one of the most challenging sailing venues on the planet," says event chairman Norman Davant.
High winds prevailed on the first day, but dwindled progressively on subsequent days.
R.I. boat wins Farr 30 North Americans
As Hurricane Earl pounded the East Coast, Jim Richardson's Barking Mad was doing the same thing to the Farr 30 fleet that was racing in the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association's Annapolis Race Week and competing for the class' North American title.
At 13 strong, the Farr 30s were one of 18 classes participating in the Labor Day weekend regatta, marking the second consecutive year that the class held its North American championship in conjunction with Annapolis Race Week.
"Earl gave us beautiful weather," says Deneen Demourkas of Santa Barbara, Calif., the Farr 30 International Class president. "It was the four most beautiful days I've ever seen in Annapolis. We were afraid the first day would be cancelled, but the humidity went away and it was gorgeous."
The Farr 30s were the only class scheduled to sail on Sept. 3, and in four races Richardson of Newport, R.I., and his ace tactician Terry Hutchinson of Annapolis, the 2008 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, ensconced themselves at the top of the fleet with finishes of 1-2-2-1. While Richardson had not competed in the class for the last two years, he had spent that time racing his Farr 40 with the same core crew.
"I know the program [Barking Mad] and the players and they are very good," says Bodo von der Wense of Wayne, Pa., who is the 2009 Farr 30 North American champion, and skipper of Turbo Duck, who explained that Barking Mad's out-of-the-gate dominance was no surprise to the fleet. After the first day of racing, the team on Turbo Duck, which had not sailed together since April, was 21 points behind Barking Mad and that significantly reduced the chances of von der Wense repeating as the class' North American champion.
Nominations sought for top American sailors
As the sailing season winds down in North America, US Sailing members can play their part in the sport's history by submitting a nomination for the top American sailors of 2010. The awards recognize one male and one female sailor for their outstanding individual achievements on the water at national and/or international events during the calendar year.
By making a nomination, members are automatically entered to win two tickets to the Feb. 25 awards ceremony at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, with travel and accommodations provided by Rolex and US Sailing.
This article originally appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Home Wters section of the December 2010 issue.