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Washout in Galveston

High winds and rain bring regatta to an early end.

September 21, 2003
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Dave Reed

Sheets of rain swept across the lawn of the Houston YC this morning, at times blown horizontal by 25-knot gusts. Up went the postponement flag at 9 a.m., and almost immediately several of the 136 entries at the Sailing World Texas NOOD Regatta started hauling their boats. They rightly knew that dark squalls marching across Galveston Bay meant only one thing–this regatta was done.

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| Dave Reed|

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| The traditional Mount Gay Hat toss stirs the crowd into a frenzy.* * *|

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With the racing called off at 10 a.m., yesterday’s overall standings remained unchanged–a relief for some, but a lost opportunity for those hoping to move up the standings in the 33-boat J/80 class. But that was not to be and Jay Lutz and his teammates were crowned national champions after six races. Discarding their worst finish, a 12th in yesterday’s final race, Lutz never placed worse than third, and said his performance this weekend was good warm up for the J/80 World Championship next week in Forth Worth, Texas. Runner up was former America’s Cup skipper John Kolius, who recruited his crew from the ranks of the local high school sailing team. John Darden, of Fort Worth, was third, 6-points out of first.

In more than a few classes, a single race could have dramatically changed the outcome today, especially in the Level 70 class where Fred Lindsey’s team on the J/27 TLT stood tied with David Bethencourt’s Viper, another J/27. “He’s definitely going faster than ever,” says Lindsey, who won on the tiebreaker. “But trust me, if we’d raced today, he would’ve been the only boat we’d be focusing on. We’re happy to win, but would have loved to settle it on the water.” Lindsey and his crew all sail a J/22 on Canyon Lake, some 200 miles away, and borrow the J/27 every your to compete at the Texas NOOD. “It’s the only time we can get all my J/22 crew on one boat at the same time,” says Lindsey. “This is one big party for all of us.”

Doug Kivlovitz and Doug Cummings, co-owners of the J/24, Children at Play, were more than happy to wrap up the racing today. “We’ve done this regatta three years in a row,” says Cummings, “ and we finished third the last two years. I’ve been racing 30 years and have probably done at least 2,000 starts out there so it’s nice to finally win this event.” Cummings and Kivlovitz trade regattas, each time bringing along at least one of their children. In Cummings’ case, this time it was his 11-year-old daughter Katie, who eloquently offers, “It was fun.”

Perhaps the most decorated helmsman after this weekend is Pete Harper, of Lucas, Texas. With no racing today, the 40-year-old skipper swept the regatta for the Catalina 22 Texas State Championship, making it his fifth state title. On top of that, he’s a two-time national champion, and a three-time regional champion. “We’re on a roll,” says Harper. “We’ve had a great year and for whatever reason Galveston Bay is real kind to me.”

The Sailing World Texas NOOD is the final event on this year’s nine-event National Offshore One Design circuit, and will kick off in 2004 in February in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Results for all classes: http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article.php?articleID=2019

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