MARBLEHEAD, Mass.–“There was a light breeze, lumpy sea, and the current was against us going upwind . . . There wasnt a lot to work with out there today,” said Sonar crew Greg Merz, sailing with skipper Stew Neff of Marblehead. Still, Neff and his crew managed to pull a strong performance out of tough conditions on the third day of the Sailing World NOOD at Marblehead Race Week.
Neff sailed a 3-2 day, and HUP TWO is tied for the lead of the 36-boat Sonar class. There is one more day to go, and clearly this four-person crew knows its skills are solid–not only in managing the weather conditions, but in managing the stress of leading one of the most competitive fleets at Race Week.
“We had great crew work today; a good sense of humor; and great psychological counseling,” joked Neff. There have clearly been tense moments on the water. But at the end of the day, this crew was celebrating a strong performance and looking forward to the final leg in this historic event. In Sundays finale, HUP TWOs stiffest competition will be Jonathan Cressy and Steve Cucchiaro, also tied for the lead, and Bill Lynn of Marblehead, who stands in third place.
All twelve classes competing at Marblehead Race Week face a final day of competition on Sunday. For some, points leads are so strong that their fates are nearly mathematically sealed; others will have to fight until the final finish.
Rob Gorman and his 15-year-old daughter Kelly are winning the Viper 640 class. Although their finishing record is nearly flawless, with one second-place finish and five firsts, Kelly Gorman does not talk only of winning: she talks more about the fun of crewing for her dad in this fast 21-foot boat. “Its fast downwind. We literally fly. I used to sail my own boat, but its really more fun racing with my dad,” says Kelly. The Gormans are leading the Viper fleet by four points.
For IOD sailor Bruce Dyson, everything clicked today. “Weve got the sails right, got the chop down. The combination worked, and we had great boat speed today–extra-special speed. I dont really know why it worked, but Ill take it,” said Dyson.
With no worse than a second-place finish, Dyson and his crew on Gypsy–a boat that Dyson resurrected and rebuilt after she had nearly disintegrated after sitting on the bottom of Long Island Sound for several months–have a commanding points lead in this 14-boat class.
After a final day of racing on Sunday, awards will be presented at the Eastern Yacht Club on Sunday night. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of the twelve classes in the regatta, and two perpetual trophies–the Leonard Munn Fowle Trophy and the Norman E. Cressy Trophy–will be awarded as the best-performance prizes of the regatta. Sponsor Hall Spars and Rigging will also award a Boat of the Day award to Saturdays top performer.
The NOOD (National Offshore One-Design) regattas are owned and organized by Sailing World magazine of Newport (R.I.). In Marblehead, hosts Boston, Eastern, and Corinthian yacht clubs and site sponsor Alpha Omega are joined by support sponsors Frederiksen, Hall Spars & Rigging, Marlow Ropes, Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Raymarine, Ronstan, Samuel Adams and The Boston Beer Company, and Sunsail.
RESULTS (top 3 in each class):
NOTE: Complete results and photos can be found at www.sailingworld.com.
[Skipper, Hometown, Boat Name, Points]
CORINTHIAN (7 boats)
1) Rob Vener, Marblehead, MA, Cerulean, 4
2) Don Yeaple, Marblehead, MA, Nepenthe, 12
3) Katherine van Dyke, Salem, MA, Vickary, 15
DAYSAILER (8 boats)
1) Natalie Coleman-Fuller, West Hartford, CT, Odile, 9
2) Brian Bush, Westboro, MA, Ramona, 11
3) Dan Duggan, Marblehead, MA, Cherry Bomb, 12
ETCHELLS (23 boats)
1) Peter Duncan, Rye, NY, Spot, 15
2) William Douglass, Marblehead, MA, Valkyrie, 19
3) Hefter/Hitchcock, Dorchester, MA, Chemical Imbalance, 25
FRERS 33 (6 boats)
1) Ken Bowden, Marblehead, MA, Knotless, 3
2) Neal Melanson, Rowley, MA, Vapor Trail, 5
3) Warren Hudson, Chestnut Hill, MA, Eclipse, 6
IOD (14 boats)
1) Bruce Dyson, Marblehead, MA, Gypsy, 7
2) Kenneth Drewry, Marblehead, MA, Small Hotel, 16
3) Greg Mancusi-Ungaro, Marblehead, MA, Elektra, 17
J/105 (10 boats)
1) William Strauss, Marblehead, MA, Heart Throb, 2
2) Rich Hill/George Lowden, Marblehead, MA, Dark Horse, 5
3) Ernest Hardy, Winthrop, MA, Jaguar, 7
J/24 (29 boats)
1) Paul Michalowski, Swampscott, MA, Mojo, 11
2) Mark Toso, Wenham, MA, High Five, 16
3) Eric Cressy, Marblehead, MA, The Opera Aint Over Till the Fat Lady Sings, 20
RHODES 19 (38 boats)
1) Jeremy Bloxham, Marblehead, MA, Jumbly, 8
2) Michael Carpenter, Reading, MA, You Sexy Thing!, 14
3) Doug Trees/Shan McAdoo, Hamilton, MA, Swingroom, 17
SONAR (36 boats)
1/tie ) Stewart P. Neff / Henry Brauer, Marblehead, MA, Hup Two, 9
1/tie) Stephen Cucchiaro/Johnathan Cressy, Charlestown, MA, Slueth II, 9
3) Bill Lynn, Marblehead, MA, TBD, 16
THUNDERBIRD (8 boats)
1) Ken MacLeod, Quincy, MA, Flying Gull, 7
2) Sean Kane, Dorchester, MA, Chikanery, 11
3) Paul Feldon, West Newton, MA, Jester, 16
TOWNCLASS (7 boats)
1) Arthur O’Neill, Swampscott, MA, Frolic, 9
2) Jane R. Cooke, Marblehead, MA, Aufblitzen, 10
3) James Cooke, Marblehead, MA, Elusive, 15
Viper 640 (10 boats)
1) Rob & Kelly Gorman, Marblehead, MA, UFO, 5
2) Seamus & Kate Hourihan, Boxford, MA,Snake, Rattle & Roll, 9
3) Philip Smith, Marblehead, MA, Blue Venom, 19