MARBLEHEAD, Mass.–The Cressy family turned to a good friend to award the top honor at the 2003 Sailing World NOOD at Marblehead Race Week. Rhodes 19 champion Kim Pandapas, a Marblehead local, was the sixth recipient of the Norm Cressy trophy, annually given to the top sailor in one of the most competitive classes at the regatta.
While the wind blew out of the southwest for all four days of the regatta, it was anything but predictable as there was both a cool southerly component and a hot westerly component to the breeze. Each seemed to take over at seemingly random times. “There were no persistent shifts,” said Pandapas, who finished six of seven races in the top three. “So I just played the oscillations.”
Pandapas raced with his wife Christine for the event and today, with the forecast for a building breeze that could reach into the 20s, he brought aboard Elise Mazerias, who crewed for him last year while Christine was tending to the Pandapas new baby, to help out.
The 45-boat Rhodes 19 fleet was the regatta’s biggest. According to Pandapas, most of the fleet felt the right was the way to go, and so starting at the boat was a priority for many of his competitors. “I think the boat is a very dangerous place to start,” said Pandapas. “In a big fleet anything can happen to you. Only one or two guys are going to come out looking pretty.” Instead of fighting through the traffic, Pandapas said he would work down the line a bit, start in clear air and then try to punch out to the point he could cross the majority of the boats that started on the starboard end of the line. From there he would play the shifts to the windward mark. This strategy usually got him there in good shape and he went to work picking off the boats in front of him. The strategy could hardly have worked any better, as the Pandapas team placed second three times and won two races and won the class by 14 points over the Carpenter/Mansfield duo in You Sexy Thing!.
“Its huge,” said Pandapas of winning the Cressy Trophy, which was decided by the Cressy family and regatta chairwoman Susie Schneider. “Norm is a legend. Hes a great competitor and hes also a great friend of mine. Norm is race week. The whole family are the best sailors I know. When a family like that picks you, its pretty amazing. I feel pretty prviledged.”
The Cressy family in fact made a strong bid to win their own trophy, finishing third in the 29-boat J/24 class. Norm Cressy has been a fixture at Race Week for 55 years, crewing in his first one at the age of 10 in a North Shore One Design. How did this one stack up? “We had no fog, no rain, no thunder, and plenty of wind,” said the veteran sail maker, who will turn off his sewing machine on Sept. 1 after 45 years in the business. “It was a great week.” Of course, Norm probably wouldnt enjoyed this week of sailing even if the weather didnt cooperate. “Ive owned a lot of boats over the years,” he continued, “and this was the first time Ive raced with my two sons.” After starting the regatta with a fourth and a 17th, Mark Toso settled into a groove, finishing each of the last six races in the top three and winning the J/24 class by 4 points over Paul Micalowski. For his efforts, both on the water and off, Toso was awarded the Fowle award.
Out on the Outside circle, the Etchells class was all but decided when the wind came in steady this morning and the race committee decided to send the 25-boat fleet on one long race to aid with getting all the small keelboats out of the water after the regatta. Bill Lynn came into the day with a comfortable 12-point lead, one that he was comfortably he wouldnt lose in those conditions.
“The races we won and the race today were all when the breeze had settled in,” said Lynn, a 40-year-old Marblehead resident who works for an advertising agency in Boston. “When the breeze was lighter–like when we got the fourth, the fifth, the eighth, and the 17th–I couldnt figure out what was going on. You had to pick a side and believe in it and we werent very good at that. The fourth and the fifth werent too bad but the eighth and the 17th were disastrous.”
| Stuart Streuli|
| The 9-boat Viper class blasts off the line during the first of two races on Sunday at the Marblehead NOOD. As winds hit the mid teens, the speed sports boats came to life off Marblehead Neck.* * *|
A pack of five boats in the hunt for second also helped Lynn to focus on his own race, which ended up being a third, and not get mixed up in a match race with one boat. The regatta was, for Lynn, just one more step in preparation for the Etchells Worlds on Long Island Sound in September. Lynn has finished as high as fifth in the worlds in previous years and is hoping for an improvement this time around. “I dont think wed be doing it otherwise,” he said. “Weve got to find a little more boatspeed to have a shot. The level of ability in the class has improved so much in the last six years that were all looking for that last twentieth [of a knot of boatspeed]. Its hard to find consistently.”
One advantage Lynn noted was that hes been able to find a crew of two very talented sailors, Tom Erskine and Doug Sabin, who are also the right weight–at just 160 pounds, Lynn needs more help than most to get up to the 635-pound class weight limit–and are also Marblehead locals. “Some people go to great lengths, get guys from all over the country,” he said. “Its great to have two guys in Marblehead who are the right size and so talented.”
(Skipper/BoatName) (Hometown) (Finishes)Points**
1.JackCochrane/FALLLINE Boston,MA 1-1-1-1-(2)-1-2=7
3.KatherinevanDyke/Vickary Salem,MA 3-3-2-1-(4)=9
1.BrianBush/RAMONA Westboro,MA 1-3-1-(5)-1-1-3=10
3.DonaldPerry/MDREDHOT Sarasota,FL 4-1-(5)-4-3-5-1=18
1.MarkToso/HIGHFIVE Wenham,MA 4-(17)-2-3-3-1-1-3=17
1.JasonBalich/OVERACHIEVER Beverly,MA 1-1-2-1-(5)-1-3-1=10
2.MattBaker/HYPERDRIVE Skillmen,NJ 4-2-3-3-1-2-(5)-2=17
3.KevinColcord/CIRCE’SCUP Marblehead,MA 2-5-7-2=16
3.Alex&ConwayFelton;/SEGUIN Wenham,MA 4-3-5-(24)-4-6-4=26
1.StewartNeff/HUPTWO Wenham,MA 1-1-1-(6)-3-1-3-1=11
1.DouglasSchofield SagamoreBch,MA 1-1-11-1=14
2.GuyGurney/Mongrel Darien,CT 4-4-3-7=18
1.WendyLoat/LOONEYTOONS Toronto,ON 1-1-1-(3)-1=4
2.KenMacLeod/FlyingGull Quincy,MA (4)-2-4-1-3=10
3.Diane/PaulReid/THATDAMNTHANG Toronto,ON 3-(6)-3-2-2=10
1.ArthurO’Neill/FROLIC Swampscott,MA 2-1-(3)-2-1-1=7
2.RonaldGeddes/ROSYII Boston,MA 1-(2)-2-1-2-2=8
3.JaneR.Cooke/AUFBLITZEN Marblehead,MA (8DNC)-(8DNC)-4-1-3-3=19
2.S&KHourihan;/SNK,RTTL&RLL;, Boxford,MA (4)-1-1-4-3-2-3-1=15
3.PeterO.Frisch/PEWNPACKET Swampscott,MA 3-3-6-5-1-5-(10)-4=27