Upset marks 12 Metre world title race
While history didn’t quite repeat itself, it came pretty close. The final races of the New York Yacht Club’s 2009 12 Metre world championships were sailed on a sparkling Rhode Island Sound as helicopters buzzed and spectator boats jockeyed for front-row seats to the action — evoking memories of 26 years to the day when the longest winning streak — 132 years — in sporting history ended with the loss of the “Auld Mug” to Australia.
On this day, however, there were 17 of the venerable 12 Meters making their way around the old America’s Cup stomping grounds off Newport, R.I.’s Brenton Point.
For the final act of the world championships, two races were sailed in all four divisions — Grand Prix, Modern, Traditional and Vintage — before The Candy Store Cup was rerun after being abandoned on Day 2 of racing. Bill Koch of Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass., on Kiwi Magic-KZ7, won the Grand Prix division after adding finishes of 1-3 for a net total of seven points. Lexi Gahagan of Wilmington, Del., driving Wright on White-KZ3, finished 3-2 to place second overall in the division standings, one point back.
The Traditional Division saw the only real upset of the championship as Charlie Millikin and Carol Swift, both of Newport, on American Eagle-US21, fought back from a three-point deficit with a 1-2 to tie Weatherly’s Clay Deutsch of Newport who finished 2-3. With eight points apiece, the tiebreaker went in favor of American Eagle, earning Swift a surprise swim off the dock at Bannister’s Wharf courtesy of the crew.
In the Vintage division, Einar Sissener of Norway, on Gleam-US11, was a point out of first when the day began and placed first in both races to win by three points over Kip Curren of Middletown, R.I., on Northern Light-US14.
“In the Modern fleet, on any given day any boat can win, they’re all that close,” says Dennis Williams of Hobe Sound, Fla./Mashpee, Mass., after winning that division on Victory ’83-K22.
Bliksem takes Audi Melges 32 championship
Pieter Taselaar’s Bliksem from Mamaroneck, N.Y., won the Audi Melges 32 world championship 2009, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo. Taselaar’s team included Jeremy Wilmot of Newport, R.I., as tactician and his brother Nathan of Sydney, Australia, who is a 470 Olympic gold medalist. Other crewmembers were Americans Willem van Waay of San Diego, George Peet of Detroit, Alex Clegg of East Greenwich, R.I., and Australians Paul Atkins and Michael Coxon.
Bliksem’s victory became a reality when its protest against Italian Claudio Recchi’s Team 93, then sitting in second place, was upheld, leaving them untouchable at the head of the overall classification.
Ten races were completed during the course of the class’ first world championship.
Atlantis WeatherGear joins US Sailing team
Atlantis WeatherGear and US Sailing announced Atlantis will be the technical and casual apparel partner of U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics for the next Olympic and Paralympic quadrennium.
U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics is made up of 66 athletes who will train together during the next four years with the goal of winning medals at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games in Weymouth, U.K. Atlantis will also supply clothing to 35 athletes on the newly launched under-18 and under-23 youth development teams.
Bostonian wins Sonar world championship
With completion of the sixth race of the Sonar world championship, the one throw-out came into play and moved Dave Franzel of Boston into the slimmest of leads over Jud Smith of Marblehead, Mass. The two were tied at 26 points, but Franzel’s first place in the third race gave him the lead on the tiebreak going into the final races.
The 57-boat fleet floated around in a typical Long Island Sound calm for nearly four hours before race committee chairman Mark Murphy was able to set a line and get the fleet away in a light south westerly. The east-going ebb had begun and the weather leg was directly uptide. As the wind faded, it was obvious no boat was going to make it to the first mark before the 45-minute time limit. So the score was unchanged and Franzel became the 2009 Sonar world champion with his crew of Greg Anthony, Todd Cooper and Conor Hayes.
Karl Ziegler of Rowayton, Conn., finished third, with Noroton Yacht Club’s Peter Galloway taking fourth.
US Sailing picks new committee chairman
Rob Overton was named the new chairman of US Sailing’s Racing Rules Committee.
Overton is the author of the answers to all of the Rules Quiz questions, and now he is the chief rule writer. Having Overton contribute to UK-Halsey’s widely used Rules Quiz program was a deliberate decision made far in advance of his new appointment. He has been a member of the Racing Rules Committee since 1993 and one of just five international rules writers who drafted the new Section C rules that took effect this year.
An expanded rule quiz program is now available as a download. The download format allows users to receive numerous free updates with the click of a button. For example, the Rules Quiz program was updated 10 times within the first six weeks of 2009.
For a stripped-down version of the rules program, visit www.ukhalsey.com.
This article originally appeared in the New England Home Waters Section of the December 2009 issue.