2003 Acura SORC Report

Tight Racing and Close Finishes at This Year’s SORC

Massimo Mezzaroma, the 30-year old owner/driver of the Farr 40 Nerone [named after the Roman emperor Nero] and his crew weren't allowed to celebrate their win at the 2003 Acura SORC when they returned to their berth at the Miami Beach Marina Sunday afternoon. Instead, they waited outside a jury room to hear whether or not a protest by Dee Smith, tactician on Hasso Plattner's Morning Glory, in second place, would remove them from the top of the hyper-competitive Farr 40 fleet. Smith had flagged the Italian crew for a Rule 42 [propulsion] violation."It's a strange protest," said Mezzaroma, a real estate developer from Rome. "It's impossible to do that [kinetics] on a Farr 40. This is just a tactician problem. Dee is not a nice person in my opinion. All this yelling and violence is not in the spirit of the class." "The chances of winning this protest are small," Smith acknowledged as he waited for the jury's decision. "But we had to do it." Smith's only witness was another member of the Morning Glory crew, who gave his side of the story to the jury and left. Backing up Nerone's tactician, Vasco Vascotto, was most of Mezzaroma's crew, who talked quietly on cell phones and with each other as they awaited the jury's decision.After a brief deliberation, the jury called Smith and Vascotto back in the room and gave their decision: Morning Glory had lost the protest."The jury said our movement was normal," said Vascotto, as he and the crew left to hit the Tiki bar at Monty's, headquarters for après-race activities. Smith headed for the airport. "We sailed the boat well," he said before he left. "Two Europeans won the series, that's not bad, but it's a shame we lost, I wanted to come away a winner."Although there were only 16 boats in the Farr 40 fleet, the racing was extreme. "You know the competition is good when you're fighting it out for tenth place with Atalanti and Breeze on the final race," said Bambakou's tactician, Chris Larson, who managed to eke out the tenth by taking sixth in the final race. Other racers on the Sailing World circle, where the 40s played, were entertained by the Farr fleet, as winners in one race were often at the back of the pack in the next . An early example was Vincenzo Onorato's Breeze, which set the tone for the series by winning Race 1 and finishing last in Race 2.Boats competing in the SORC raced three-day or four-day series. The Farr 40, IMS and PHRF classes raced from Thursday through Sunday. The Melges 24, Mumm 30, J/105 and Multihulls classes raced Friday through Sunday.Tight racing, great race management, and good sailing conditions were the hallmarks of the event. In the Farr 40, IMS, PHRF 1, 2, and 3 fleets, a total of10 races were held during the 4-day event. In the nine-boat J/105 class, Tom Coates, of San Francisco, owner of Masquerade, squeaked out a win in that class's 6-race series by beating Jim Sorensen's Wet Leopard in the final race. "We started right with Wet Leopard because we had to stay on top of him to win," said Coates. We started to leeward of him and thought we had him buried a few times, but he kept coming back." In the end, Coates prevailed, beating Wet Leopard by scoring third in the final race to Sorensen's fifth.In the IMS class, George David's Idler beat Marco Birch's Talisman by nine points, but it wasn't as easy as the score makes it appear. Birch and his crew had only just taken possession of their 53-foot boat a few days before the event, but managed to take three wins off the experienced crew of Idler. "Our boat is a rocketship in anything over 12 knots," said Britt Hughes, Talisman's tactician. "But we need to work on sailing in the light stuff. We sailed the boat for the first time on Wednesday, the day before the SORC began. It's probably one of the fastest IMS-50s in the U.S., but Idler_did a fantastic job." In third was Doug Croker's _Canvasback.Winning the multihull division was Peter Freudenberg of Stuart, Fla., sailing his Corsair 28R Condor with Todd Hudgins, also of Stuart, as helmsman. "We had great speed and good starts, " said Freudenberg. "We had great crew work and just made fewer mistakes than the other guys. Freudenberg has owned the trimaran for only 5 months. "I wanted to go fast and have fun," he said. "And you can't have a keelboat in Stuart. This sucker will go 22 knots and we can sail it right on to the beach if we want."For Adrian Stead, tactician on the winning Mumm 30 Moby Maga Joana, the challenge wasn't only dealing with the seven other boats in the class, but also understanding what his crewmates were saying. "I need to speak better Italian," he said. "But we learned how to work and sail together." Stead and the crew of Moby Maga Joana will continue their Italian-English training on the European circuit this summer. Listed below are the top three in each class, for the complete results, see http://www.acurasorc.com Farr 40:Massimo Mezzaroma, Nerone, Savon, Italy, 6-3-10-9-1-5-8-4-2-4, 52Hasso Plattner, Morning Glory, Novato, CA, 4-1-8-14-12-2-1-3-1-8, 54Robert Hughes, Heartbreaker, Ada, MI, 11-6-3-1-5-10-2-13-4-2, 57 IMS:George David, Idler, Hartford, CT, 1-1-1-2-2-1-3-1-3-1, 13Marco Birch, Talisman, New York, NY, 3-4-2-1-4-4-1-4-1-2, 22Doug Croker, Canvasback, Easton, MD, 4-2-4-4-1-2-4-2-2-3, 24 J-105Thomas Coates, Masquerade, San Francisco, CA, 1-2-5-1-2-3, 9Jim Sorenson, Wet Leopard, Sag Harbor, NY, 2-1-1-3-3-5, 10Donald Priestly, Wet Paint, Mashpee, MA, 3-5-3-4-1-1, 12 Melges 24Peder Nergaard, Baghdad Rejects, Oslo, Norway, 3-2-2-1-1-1, 7Luca Santena, Joe Fly, Olgiate Comasco, Italy, 2-1-1-4-2-2, 8Roger Peacock, Black Seal, Sorognl, England, 10-4-3-3-3-3, 16 Mumm 30Luigi Parente, Moby Maga Joanna, Naples, FL, 1-4-1-1-7-3, 17Bent Dietrich, Rainbow, Hamburg, Germany, 7-3-2-3-3-2, 20David Koski, Go Figure, Highland Heights, OH, 3-2-8-2-1-6, 22 MultihullsPeter Fruedenberg, Condor, Harvey Cedars, NJ, 1-4-1-2-3-3, 10Don Mcgetrid, Team Raider, US, Miami, FL, 6-3-5-1-1-1, 11David Bowman, Ultraviolet, Chelsea, MA, 4-2-3-4-2-2, 13 PHRF 1:Roger Sturgeon, Rosebud, Santa Cruz, CA, 1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1, 9Charles Burnett, III, Bandolier, Seattle, WA, 2-2-2-1-3-3-2-5-3-2, 21 PHRF 2:Terrance Smith, Raincloud, Isle of Palms, SC, 5-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1, 10Geoff Stagg, Tazo, Annapolis, MD, 2-3-10-7-5-2-2-2-3-3, 28James Bishop, Gold Digger, New York, NY, 8-5-2-1-2-6-8-4-4-7, 39.5 PHRF 3:S.A. Spencer, Triptease, Miami, FL, 2-1-1-1-2-2-2, 13Scott Taylor, Defiance, Long Beach, CA, 1-4-6-3-1-2-2-1-1-3, 18Gordon Ettie, Sazerac, Miami, FL, 3-3-2-2-4-3-3-6-4-1, 25