Marblehead (Mass.) July 28, 2001 — When winners reached the docks today at the Sailing World NOOD at Marblehead Race Week, being held July 26-29 off Marblehead, there were smiles all around–for class victories, and for a rewarding day of racing in sun and southeast breeze. But in the backs of every class leaders mind lurks the prospect of tomorrows races.
Two overall prizes in this 112-year-old event ride on the outcome of Sundays racing. And even the most talented sailors in the field know that its not hard to add a bad race to a string of victories. Just ask Marblehead racer Jud Smith.
Smith, a local sailmaker whos a household name among racers for success in world-class fleets, had a day of very mixed results: in three races, he scored finishes of 18-1-1 in the Sonar class. “We went to the wrong side of the course in the first race, where there simply was less (wind) pressure…Yes, I should have known better. But we definitely changed our plan for the next races.”
That new plan resulted in his two first-place finishes. Smith is still leading the Sonar fleet–with 37 boats, one of the largest fleets at Race Week. He is racing with family this week: his wife Cindy; his daughters Lindsay (age 13) and Darby (age 11), who take turns crewing each day; and local racer Elizabeth Eisner.
For Smith, having his daughters onboard is a way to pass on his sailing knowledge to his girls, just the way he learned with his father as a youngster. But in the end, his efforts at Race Week may not make as big an impact for young talents with a quick learning curve. “In three years, theyll probably be better than I am!” he said.
The Etchells class, one of the larger fleets with 26 boats, is filled with local world-class talents who have sailed countless races on Massachusetts Bay and pulled together a vast databank of local knowledge. However, this class is being lead by a crew from California with little local experience, on a boat skippered by Tim Lynch of San Diego.
With the big shifts in Fridays breeze, conditions were tricky for most racers. But according to Lynchs crew John Gladstone, this crew found todays wind–which was light and more consistent in direction–to be more straightforward. Their results were proof: they took finishes of 2-2-2 to lead the Etchells class by a large margin of 11 points heading into the final day.
In the J/24 class, the battle got much hotter today, and the race committee was moved to manage aggressive sailors in this fleet. After two general recalls, when too many boats jump the gun and cross the starting line early, the race committee added additional penalties to harness the sailors who were getting an unfair edge with an early start.
“The goal is to make the racing as fair as possible,” said Principal Race Officer Dennis Esposito, of the committees move. Even with the addition of extra penalties, two boats picked up a 20% hit on their score for early starts.
Esposito noted that there were no early starters on this circle on Friday–and its clear that desperate measures are kicking in as sailors near the final stage of competition. In some classes, those measures may be more desperate than others.
The Corinthian class has a lethally close points situation as this fleet enters the final day. Only two points separate the top five boats, and three boats are in a three-way tie for third place. Don Yeaple of Marblehead leads the seven-boat class.
The conclusive battles at Race Week will be played out on Sunday, July 29. Final awards–including the presentation of the regattas two overall trophies–will be presented on Sunday evening at the Corinthian Yacht Club, one of three host clubs that is the site of regatta headquarters for Race Week 2001.
The first Marblehead Race Week was held in 1889. This 112-year-old Race Week joined the family of NOOD (National Offshore One-Design) events, a nine-regatta national circuit organized by Sailing World magazine (Newport, R.I.), in 1998. Marblehead Race Week is hosted by the Boston, Eastern, and Corinthian Yacht Clubs. Support sponsors of the event include: Hall Spars & Rigging, High Sierra Sport Company, Lewmar, Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Samuel Adams, and Sunsail.
Race watchers can find daily race reports and results at the Sailing World website (www.sailingworld.com).
RESULTS (top 3 in each class)
[Skipper, Hometown, Boat Name, Total Points]
210 (8 boats)
1) Susan Epstein/Tom Robinson, Sharon, MA, In The Hunt, 5
2) Bert Roth, Gloucester, MA, Grace, 9
3) Robert Reis, Hingham, MA, Windy Calm, 11
Corinthian (7 boats)
1) Don Yeaple, Marblehead, MA, Nepenthe, 10
2) Rob Vener, Marblehead, MA, Cerulean, 11
3/tie) Herb Maher, Marblehead, MA, WINDSONG, 12
3/tie) Gigi Breed, Marblehead, MA, VICKARY, 12
3/tie) Bill McGrail, Marblehead, MA, STARDUST, 12
Day Sailer (6 boats)
1) Natalie Coleman, N. Chatham, MA, Odile, 8
2) John Killian, Acton, MA, NAN-LEE, 16
3) Dan Duggan, Marblehead, MA, Cherry Bomb, 21
Etchells (26 boats)
1) Tim Lynch, La Jolla, CA, Poodelyn, 9
2) Peter Duncan, Rye, NY, Spot, 20
3) Charles Quigley, Marblehead, MA, Valkyrie, 25
Frers 33 (6 boats)
1) Ken Bowden, Marblehead, MA, KNOTLESS, 3
2) Matthew Whitlock, Chicago, IL, Bird Dog, 4
3) Neal Melanson, Rowley, MA, VAPOR TRAIL, 6
IOD (14 boats)
1) **Bruce Dyson, Marblehead, MA, GYPSY, 7
2) Bill Widnall, Lexington, MA, Javelin, 10
3) Michael Best, Lakeville, CT, TANGO, 17
J/105 (10 boats)
1) Robert Swirbalus, Charlestown, MA, PHENIX, 2
2) Rich Hill/George Lowden, Marblehead, MA, DARK HORSE 4
3) Vernon Polidoro, Marblehead, MA, Vigilante, 7
J/24 (30 boats)
1) William Welles, Marblehead, MA,15
2) Eric Cressy/Adams/Warren, Marblehead, MA, Banana Slug, 23
3) Joseph E. Winston, Barrington, RI, PASSAGE EAST, 25
J/80 (9 boats)
1) Jason Balich, Beverly, MA, OVER ACHIEVER, 4
2) Geoffrey Pierini, Metuchen, NJ, Bada Bing, 9
3) Anthony Picardi, Wellesley, MA, IOLANTHE, 11
Laser 28 (10 boats)
1) Judy Button, Mississauga, Ont.,Canada, RAGS, 5
2) Dave Black, Mississauga, Ont.,Canada, Jet, 9
3/tie) Denise C. Bienvenu, Dorval, Quebec,Canada, Convictus, 12
3/tie) Tim Dear, Nepean, Ont., Canada, Rock N Roll,12
Rhodes 19 (43 boats)
1) Kim Pandapas, Marblehead, MA, MO HOTTA MO BETTA, 17
2/tie) Jeremy Bloxham, Marblehead, MA, JUMBLY, 22
2/tie) **Doug Trees/Shan McAdoo, Hamilton, MA, SWINGROOM, 22
Sonar (37 boats)
1) Jud Smith, Marblehead, MA, No Time Too, 16
2) Lee Morrison, Darien, CT, 24
3) Bill Lynn, Marblehead, MA, Sara (h) Sandwich, 25
Town Class (8 boats)
1) Rex Antrim, Nahant, MA, ALBATROSS, 4
2/tie) Brooks Corl, Millis, MA, Wolverine II, 13
2/tie) James Cooke, Marblehead, MA, ELUSIVE, 13
Viper 640 (11 boats)
1) JB and Kelley, Braun, Marblehead, MA,7
2) Gretchen Curtis, Marblehead, MA, FIRECRACKER, 13
3) Rob Gorman, Marblehead, MA, UFO, 15
**defending class champion from Race Week 2000