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Sailing – New England

PUMA finishes second in Boston leg of Volvo

Having been the bridesmaid so often, Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race was one that Puma skipper Ken Read would particularly have liked to win but, once again, it was not to be, and the team finished in Boston in fourth place.

PUMA Ocean Racing, skippered by Ken Read, sailed into the only USA stop in fourth place.
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet, covered in fog, sails in the Boston in-port race at Fan Pier.

Puma began Leg 6 in the lead, after finishing second in the Rio in-port race, but quickly dropped to

seventh the following day. The first third of Puma’s leg was spent in the second division until, on Day 7, they pulled up to third place.

“It’s good to be home,” Read says. “It feels like a long way we’ve been already. This is not exactly the result we wanted, but it’s great to be here.”

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Newport-based Privateer crowned in Heineken

In what will go down as one of the windiest, wildest events in the history of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, a long list of new champions were crowned in the 29th edition of the annual Caribbean competition.

New winners include Ronald O’Hanley’s Cookson 50 Privateer, and Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80 Team Selene well as several past St. Maarten Heineken Regatta victors such as Sergio Sagramoso on the Beneteau 44.7 Lazy Dog and James Dobbs on the J/122 Lost Horizons.

The 2009 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will largely be remembered as the year a solid northeasterly breeze kicked in on the first day of the three-day event, and continued in unrelenting style for the duration of the racing. Because of the severity of the winds, which peaked at nearly 40 knots on Day 1, and the massive, confused seaway that soon accompanied them, race officials decided to forgo the usual Saturday and Sunday racing schedule that in previous years took the fleet in and out of the exposed French-side port of Marigot.

Instead, the race committee concentrated the weekend competition off Simpson Bay on the island’s southern coast. Even so, there was no lack of drama on the race course, where calamity often reigned and blown sails, toppled masts and bone-jarring collisions were all part of the action.

Privateer capped off a tremendous St. Maarten Heineken Regatta series to win the Spinnaker 2 class with a perfect scorecard of four first-place finishes. Privateer not only left its entire class well astern, but on the final race they caught and passed the entire Spinnaker 1 division with the sole exception of the Farr 115, Sojana.

“It’s another year of experience with the boat,” says O’Hanley, a Bostonian who bases Privateer out of Newport, R.I. “Last year was the first time we’d sailed in any kind of big breeze. But all the effort the crew’s done since then has paid off. Our crew work was perfect and our trimmers were just superb. These were our conditions.”

Another boat with a strong New England pedigree also earned a place in the winner’s circle. Schmidt’s Team Selene is a familiar presence in Newport and Nantucket, Mass. But for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta — in which the striking 80-footer registered a five-point win over Peter Harrison’s Sojana in Spinnaker 1 — Team Selene was truly an international one, with nine different nations represented among the 22-strong all-star crew.

The 30th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will take place March 4-7, 2010.

Privateer also recently took the overall title for the 29th running of the Montego Bay Race and collected the silver Pineapple Cup.

The 811-mile race from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Montego Bay, Jamaica, gave line honors to Roger Sturgeon’s STP65 Rosebud/Team DYT of Fort Lauderdale with an elapsed time of 2 days, 11 hours, 28 minutes, 35 seconds — one hour shy of the race record set in 2005, and won the IRC A class. Daniel Woolery’s King 40 Soozal of Alamo, Calif., won the four-boat IRC B class, while Jack Desmond’s Swan 48 Affinity won the three-boat PHRF class. Conditions for the race were mixed with winds consistently in the 20-knot range, although slightly different in direction than typically expected.

25 youth regattas on tap for 2009

Young sailors around the country will have the chance to sail in U.S. Sailing-coordinated regattas from two tremendously popular circuits. The USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival and the U.S. Junior Championships will collectively organize a combined 30 regattas around the country from June through December.

In its 13th season, the Junior Olympic program is a nationwide series of regattas for youth, ages 8 to 21. Twenty-five regattas are slated for 2009 in the United States and more than 4,300 sailors are expected to participate. The action begins with two events in June, and culminates with the 33rd annual Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta, the largest junior sailing event in the country. The Orange Bowl is hosted by the U.S. Sailing Center and Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami. Last year, more than 700 junior sailors from 24 countries, as well as 26 U.S. states and territories participated.

U.S. Sailing's Chubb United States Junior Championships is a nationwide elimination series that concludes Aug. 13 in Marblehead, Mass.

The summer schedule gets under way with the U.S. Youth Championships from June 25-30 at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, Conn. The series sails into July with the U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship from July 6-11 at the Hampton Yacht Club in Hampton, Va. The U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship follows this event from July 19-24 at the Westhampton Yacht Squadron in Remsenberg, N.Y. The C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Trust supports both events. These open events for girls, ages 13-18, feature intensive clinic instruction prior to the championship.

U.S. Sailing’s Chubb United States Junior Championships is a nationwide elimination series that concludes Aug. 13 in Marblehead, Mass. This event is run by organizers from the Pleon, Eastern, Corinthian and Boston yacht clubs.

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R.I. sailors help capture 2009 Women’s Match

Genny Tulloch of Tiburon, Calif., and her team won the 2009 Rolex Women’s Match, hosted April 9-12 by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. Sailing with Tulloch, who is ranked No. 1 on the U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, were crewmembers Liz Hall of Bristol, R.I., Jamie Haines and Chafee Emory, both of Newport, R.I. A total of 10 teams competed in the International Sailing Federation Grade 3 match-racing regatta, which was created in 2002 to improve opportunities for female sailors specifically interested in match racing. With the win, No. 43 world-ranked Tulloch, along with second-place finisher Debbie Capozzi of Bayport, N.Y., gained an automatic invitation to the Rolex Osprey Cup, an ISAF Grade 1 regatta, to take place Oct. 21-24, at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

Genny Tulloch (3 on stern) went on to win in the Rolex Women's Match, with Rhode Island crew Liz Hall, Jamie Haines and Chafee Emory.

This article originally appeared in the July 2009 issue.