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Even Lighter on the Sound

September 7, 2003
Jennifer Davies

If Friday’s racing was light and shifty, Saturday’s racing was even more so at the Sailing World NOOD at Larchmont YC. If you were frustrated by Friday’s petulant northerly, chances are you found the 2 to 7 knot southerly even more patience busting. However, as trimmer Don Winton of the J/105 Odessy said, “If you can’t play in light air, you shouldn’t sail on Long Island Sound.”

Despite the difficult winds, 132 boats turned out to race in 13 classes on Saturday, and two races were completed on the big-boat course, one on the smaller where the wind was so light that half a dozen J/30s, J/24s, J/80s, and J/105s missed the time limit. Patience was a virtue all day; for some there was even a 90-minute wait for a launch ride ashore because all classes descended on the harbor at the same time when racing was finally called for the day. Yet good humor was mostly in evidence, helped by the combination of a beautiful day, Sam Adams, Mount Gay, and lots of greens and protein laid out by the club.

In the quest for the Soverel 33 national title, Paul Jeka’s Santana scored two firsts and moved out to a 12-point lead going into the last day of the regatta. As the day’s only double winner, Jeka received the Hall Spars & Rigging Boat of the Day award. Richard and Michael Jones’s Outrageous earned a pair of thirds, and Jerry Dodge’s Yankee finished 4-2, both moving up in the fleet and challenging the current second and third place boats, Bushwacker and Deviation. Mark Ploch, sailing aboard Outrageous, said, “The wind conditions were very veiny and a 30 degree shift was small.”

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Brent Hughes’s J/27 team on Bohica, which had made the most of the party on Friday night after enduring a long trip from Ontario, Canada, had the right mojo going on the light and sloppy Blue Fleet course and won the race to tighten up the standings considerably. After a poor performance Friday and some soul searching, Michael Tambone’s Jambo! also upped their game, and nearly nipped series leader, Douglas Davies’ Amethyst, on the last beat for second place. Amethyst may be in front, but three boats are within three points now, including Hughes.

Things got turned inside out in the 4-boat fleet of Henderson 30 sportboats, as frontrunner New Wave, owned by Mike Carroll, struggled in the first race, rounded the top mark third, and watched Walter Kennedy’s Savannah streak from fourth to first on the final run. “They sailed twice the distance,” said New Wave helmsman Marty Kullman, “but they stayed in the breeze and that won them the race.” Kullman made his own comeback on the final run of the shortened second race, flying past Girlfriend and Loveletter to take their fourth first of the series.

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| Jennifer Davies|

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| A tug and barge came through the Blue Course midway through the race, catching the attention of the J/105 Jato and all the other nearby boats. Jato finished the race in sixth.* * *|

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Riot extended its lead in the Farr 40 class over Solution by a point, to 5, as each boat won a race. Jeff Siegal’s Appreciation jumped from 5th to 3rd with a pair of seconds. Gem and Columbia, the two academy boats, split their races. “We felt good about the second race,” said Coast Guard Academy crewmember Caroline Bladen of Gem’s 4th place finish. Less so about the first race, where they brought up the rear, but as crewmember Mike Manuel said, “Overall, we’re really happy. At Block Island our best races were two sevenths [out of 8].”

Other highlights: Kerry Klingler’s 352 moved into a 1-point lead over Matt Baker’s Hyperdrive in the J/80 class. Mike Fracchia’s Carpe Diem leapfrogged Roger Wagner’s Endurance with a 1-3 to move into a 3-point lead among the Farr 395s. Steve Leicht and Steve Langan’s J/105 Moonshine, a double winner on Friday, finished 19th while Joerg Esdorn’s Kincsem improved on its 3-2 finishes the first day with a win on Saturday to take a 6-point lead.

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