Looking for Breeze in Larchmont

With port-tack starts and bizarre shifts, anything could and did happen on the second and final day of the Lands' End Larchmont NOOD Regatta.

Day 2 Larchmont Highlights
Dave Reed

With a marginal northerly drifting across Western Long Island Sound this morning for the second day of the Lands' End Larchmont NOOD Regatta it was impossible to predict what would happen on either of the two racecourses set up by the Larchmont YC race committee. Would the northerly be strong enough to hold, or would the sea breeze fill in before 2:30 p.m. cutoff time? Or even worse, would it die all together before anything could happen? It was "shifty as hell," says one competitor, but the breeze held on long enough for one circle to put a race on the score sheet, and two for the other. Complicating conditions was a strong southbound current tearing down the Sound, which created one entertaining starting sequence after another-boats port-tacking entire fleets while others struggled to get upwind to the line. In the Express 37 class, the first to start the day, Mort Weintraub's Troubador claimed the pin, tacked immediately to port, and crossed the fleet with ease. Troubador appeared to be running away the race halfway up the first beat, but Adam Loory's Soulmate, from the Bronx, N.Y., the series leader going into the race, took a few sterns to get to the right side of the racecourse and put his team right back in the race. "We were deep, but all that mattered was that we were covering Afterglow [second overall at the time by 3 points]," says Loory, "because that was the only boat we had to beat." Soulmate managed to claw back to third (Afterglow finished) sixth, giving the Bronx-based Express 37 a 6-point margin and ultimately the Express 37 East Coast Championship title. Proof of the tricky conditions; Troubador could only muster a fourth from its brilliant start. Following the Express 37s were the J/109s, and only half the fleet got away when the starting gun went off, and here too was a bit of stern ducking among the leaders to get to the right. Adrien Begley's Mad Dogs, from Atlantic Heights, N.J., got away clean to finish the race with a third, beating Steve Furnary's Patriot across the line and holding onto its overall lead. It was a tight race, though. "They were close behind at the weather mark," says Mad Dogs & Englishmen tactician Dave Dempsey. "At one point we had plenty of boats between us, but Patriot managed to pass those boats on the run. At the next mark we split left and right, there was better pressure on the right, and the race was done." The division win earned Begley and his New Jersey-based crew the Lands' End Larchmont NOOD Overall Trophy, which entitles them a slot at the Caribbean NOOD Regatta Championship in the British Virgin Islands in November, which will be sailed in Beneteau 393s, provided by Sunsail. In the Farr 395 division, John Aras' Tsunami, from Rockville Md., won the day's only race, but Roger Wagner's Endurance, from Upper Saddle River, N.J., wasn't far behind; second was enough for Wagner to retain his lead. Roy Halverson's Crossbow, from Tenafly, N.J., chalked up another win, to complete its sweep in the Beneteau 36.7 division before the wind shut down. On the regatta's other circle, the race committee managed to knock off two races, and there was just enough wind to tempt them into a third. But John McArthur, the skipper of the J/30 Smile who'd been battling with Stephen Buzbee's Blue Meanie in every race of the series, wanted no such thing. "I was nervous that there was going to be another race," says McArthur, from Stratford, Conn., whose team won the first and finished second in the next, leaving only 1 point to spare with Blue Meanie. "I was perfectly happy when I saw the Melges 24s starting to motor in. It was a big lumpy day where you had to keep the bow down; I'm lucky to have a lot of crew that doesn't mind sitting below all day." These two teams, and others, will square off again next weekend at the J/30 North Americans in Westport, Conn. Arthur Kelley, the skipper of the Frers 33 Brilliant, was also happy to see the race committee pull the plug after two races. With a 2-2 on the day, they'd slipped into first when the morning's leader, David Nebaur's Wolverine was called over early and had to restart the second race, managing only a fifth. "That was really disappointing," says Wolverine's Tom Corse, "but the guys on Brilliant sailed an incredible regatta, and they deserve this one." There were upsets in the 14-boat Shields and 17-boat J/105 divisions as well. In the Shields, Vincent Monte-Sano and Rob Dailey, from Larchmont, won both races to bump Fred Werblow from the top of the standings. The two teams had been trading firsts and seconds throughout the weekend, but Monte-Sano and Daily owned the day. And in the 105s, Kevin Granger's Cyan, From New York, N.Y., snatched the overall lead in the final race with a second, capitalizing on the mistakes of the morning's class leader, Damien Emery's Eclipse, which coughed up its lead with a thirteenth in the final race. Simon Strauss's Team Gill, from New York, N.Y., was one of two teams to win all of its races (the other was Halverson's Crossbow), and in doing so, Strauss won the Melges 24 Northeast District Championship. For complete results