Alchemy First to Finish Chicago-Mac, Pegasus 77 Heads for the Barn Door

Australian Team Leads Admiral’s Cup

Started in 1991, Grand Prix Sailor is a racing news publication of Sailing World Magazine ( new Andrews 77 Alchemy turned wind and water into silver at 1:45 a.m. (Central Time) Monday, scoring first to finish honors in the Chicago-Mac Race. Alchemy, owned by Richard and Mary Compton of Santa Barbara, Calif., and racing in the Open division, finished in 35h:25m:17s, despite the light conditions that were the hallmark of this year's Race. Next to finish was Caliente, the 44-foot multihull that capsized short of the finish during last year's windy race. As of 6:30 a.m. CDT Monday, a total of 15 boats, including all members of the Great Lakes 70 fleet, had crossed the finish line.Alchemy, built by Dencho Marine and launched in late April, is constructed of carbon fiber, has a retracting keel that allows the 14 foot draft to be reduced to 9.5 feet, and uses water ballast. Next up for the 77-footer? Port Huron-Mac.'S CUPAfter two days of buoy racing, it looked as though the Spanish team-composed of King Juan Carlos on Bribon Telefonica Movistar (a 55-foot Jason Ker IRC racer/cruiser design) and Telefonica Movistar (a Rodman 42), in the IMS 600 class-might be the team to beat. The 55-footer was having no problem correcting out against the Australian entry, Wild Oats, a canting-keel rocketship, and the rest of the big boat class, but the Rodman 42 botched a port/starboard incident with the Sinergia 40 Dickey's Yacht Sales on Sunday, and was disqualified. The DSQ sent the Spanish team from first to third in the standings. Taking the lead in the series after the protest is the Royal Prince Alfred team, an Australian syndicate composed of Wild Oats and Aftershock (also a Rodman 42). In second, one of four English challengers, the Sailability RORC team. Monday's schedule calls for a distance race of 24 to 36 hours sailed in the English Channel. A late press release from the Admiral's Cup reports that both Australian boats are leading their respective classes in the distance race. "With a strong outgoing tide under the fleet, they made good progress from the start to Hurst Narrows, near the famous Needles that mark the western end of the Isle of Wight.The course takes the fleet west initially, to a mark off Poole in Dorset, before they turn and head up the English Channel in an easterly direction, going south of the Isle of Wight, to the Owers Light Buoy, off Brighton.The course is subject top change by the race committee, depending on the wind strength, with the big boats initially expected to do 182 nautical miles, while the small ones have a proposed course of 146 nautical miles." http://www.rorc.orgSCATHINGFor an excellent, but rather pointed analysis of the racing so far and the Admiral's Cup in general, check out Ed Gorman's article "Writing on the Wall," published at, a paid-subscription website. TRANSPACLady Bleu II, a Dynamique 62 sailing in the Aloha A class was the first to finish the Transpac, crossing the line around mid-day Sunday. Next to finish, sometime late Monday or early Tuesday, should be Philippe Kahn's Pegasus 77, which started five days after Lady Bleu II and will, barring disaster, collect the Barn Door Trophy for best elapsed time. Sunday's position report showed Pegasus 77 comfortably ahead of rival Pyewacket, and with only 288 miles to the finish, Kahn looks like he might even be in the running for a corrected-time win as well. The most exciting race could well be the battle between the Transpac 52s Beau Geste and Alta Vita, which after 1,700 miles of racing, are separated by less than a mile. http"// CLASSIC NEWPORTOrganizers of the Sail Newport Regatta, sailed last weekend, couldn't have asked for better conditions. Three solid days of wind, ranging at the low end at 10 knots to the high end of 25. And add to the mix a warm sun and surfable swells for divisions racing on Rhode Island Sound and full-moon tidal flow for those inside Narragansett Bay. It was all-around perfection.An 11-boat High-Tech 18 fleet was on hand as the sole high-performance catamaran class, giving spectators a glimpse of what the sailing will be like when they return to Newport in greater numbers in September for the International Catamaran Class Trophy (a.k.a. The Little America's Cup). First-timer HT-18 skipper Johnny Lovell and crew Ward Cromwell apparently had no problem transitioning from their Olympic Tornado and topped Randy Smyth by a slim 2-point margin.A number of high-profile rock stars turned out in other classes, not to mention the Etchells, the largest keelboat fleet of the event. Many teams were sailing for qualifying spots for the Etchells Worlds in September and Ken Read, at ease and at home on the Sound, schooled the fleet, beating second-place skipper Bill Fortenberry, also of North Sails, by nearly 20 points. Deeper in the standings were class standouts Jud Smith, Dave Curtis, and Dennis Conner-all three used Black Flag penalties as their throwouts, but couldn't touch Read.The J/24 fleet was stacked with talent, too, with teams tuning up for this week's J/24 Silver Anniversay Regatta, which kicks off on Tuesday with a one-day Championship of Champions. The roster includes Ken Read, Brad Read, Fortenberry, Curtis, Terry Hutchinson, Chris Larson, and nine others. Racing will take place between Newport's Goat Island and Rose Island, allowing spectators to take in the action from the western sea wall of Goat Island. The regatta moves offshore with buoy racing Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with a scheduled parade and race around Conanicut Island on Friday. As of today, 88 boats were registered.For results from many other classes, and information on the J/24 Silver Anniversary: http://www.sailnewport.orgGrand Prix Sailor is compiled by the editors of Sailing World magazine. If you'd like to subscribe, see Contributing Editors: Tony Bessinger (, Dave Reed (, Stuart Streuli (, John Burnham (