Veteran Around Alone competitor Brad van Liew sailed his Open 50 TommyHilfiger American Freedom across the finish line off Torbay at 08:42:49 UTC Monday morning and took first place in Class 2. “For 15 years I have dreamed of winning a leg of this event and could name every person who has done so throughout the history of the race off the top of my head,” said van Liew in an e-mail shortly before finishing. “I am proud to be a part of that fraternity.” Despite a good showing in the last Around Alone, this was a momentous occasion for van Liew; it was his first leg win in an Around Alone.
Van Liew’s closest competitor, Spirit of Canada, was just over 500 miles from the finish line this morning. Bruce Schwab, the sole entry yet to finish in Division 1, is slowly inching his way towards Torbay with his wounded Open 60 Ocean Planet, which suffered a broken boom on Sept.21.
Laser Masters Worlds
Winds gusting to 30 knots on Saturday, the final day of racing for the World Masters championship, could have spelled the end of a good run for Ed Adams, of Middletown RI. As the winds increased during the week, Adams’ lead, garnered in lighter breeze early on, shrank. Going in to the final day, Mark Bear, a long-time laser sailor from Bristol, R.I., had tied Adams on points. “I knew that if I was to win the title,” said Adams, “that I had to hike and work harder than I ever done before.” The lighter Adams did just that, finishing third, ahead of Bear.
Andreas John of Germany won the Apprentice Masters, the only other class to race the windy final day. Steve Cockerill of Great Britain won the Apprentice Radial class, and his countryman Keith Wilkins, successfully defended his Great Grand masters title and the Pusser’s Rum Best Overall Performance title.
Mumm 30 Worlds
Italian skippers scored the top two spots at the 2002 Mumm 30 Worlds held in Annapolis last week. Guiseppe Abba, sailing his Mumm 30 Alina was the winner of, and Paolo Cristofori, sailing Printel Wind, placed second. Canadian Fred Sherratt was third, with top American John Podmajersky in fourth.
In Bermuda over the weekend, local talent Peter Bromby, sailing with crew Leatrice Roman, Christian Luthi and Kees van Beelan, won the Bacardi Cup, a qualifier for the Bermuda Gold Cup. “Our straight line trimming worked well, particularly our upwind sailing,” said Bromby. “Our downwind sailing, especially the leeward mark rounding, needs work, so that’s what we’ll be concentrating on this week in preparation for the Gold Cup.”
The Bermuda Gold Cup, a sanctioned Grade 1 match-racing event, which since 1989 has offered 16 spots to unseeded skippers in addition to the eight spots for seeded competitors, as well as a womens division, is the largest of its kind in the world. http://www.bermudagoldcup.com
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship
The Snipe Worlds are held every two years, but in the off years, the grandly titled Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship takes its place. This year, longtime Snipe sailors Augie Diaz and John Rogers sailed a consistent 8-race series off Alamitos Bay YC to top the 25-boat fleet. “Even though this was the first time we’d sailed together, we meshed perfectly,” Diaz said. “We had very good starts and very good speed. What we didn’t have was the killer instinct. We had position to win a few times but couldn’t prevail.” www.abyc.org
Aussies Darren Bundock and John Forbes were crowned the Tornado world champions last Friday, after scoring a steady stream of top ten finishes–2, (6), 1, 1, 2, 5, 1, 4–in the 57-boat strong fleet sailing in the waters off Martha’s Vineyard. This is the fifth time that Forbes has won and the third for Bundock.
2002 European Champions Olivier Backes and Laurent Voiron, of France took 2nd place with 19 points, and Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen, of the Netherlands nabbed third with 28 points. The top American finishers were Lars Guck and Jonathon Farrar, in 17th.
IMS Rule Changes Probable
A meeting held in Newport, R.I., over the weekend may spell big changes for the IMS rule. In Europe, especially in the Mediterranean, production racer/cruisers such as the IMX 40 and the Swan 45 are tearing up the IMS fleet and having great fun doing it. In Spain, there’s a strong fleet of current generation IMS 50s with new custom boats arriving all the time. In the United States, one-design classes are where the best racing exists, and no new, custom IMS racers have been built since 1998. One of the common complaints about IMS is that the rule as it’s currently written, encourages slow, stiff boats.
In order to jump start the IMS rule worldwide, the IMS International Technical Committee is considering some rule changes to make the IMS rule more workable and hopefully, more popular.
The proposed changes include:
¿ A more thorough and careful weighing of the differences between overlapping and non overlapping sail plans.
¿ A better assessment of downwind aerodynamics. Currently, IMS favors large mains and small spinnakers.
¿ A more accurate sailing length calculation.
¿ A better system for measuring and handicapping asymmetric and symmetric spinnaker sizes.
¿ Water ballast. At long last, the IMS rule may allow water ballast if it can be measured properly.
¿ Wind averaging. A better way of averaging wind velocities over the course of a buoy race.
Stay tuned, these changes will be discussed in November and may be implemented as soon as 2003.
The English subscription website www.madforsailing has undergone a paradigm shift over the weekend. This, from a release on the website last Friday. “Madforsport Ltd. have sold the assets of madforsailing to concentrate on their magazine publishing business. The change of name is to prevent any potential conflict in the future with Madforsport Ltd’s ‘madfor..’ brands and identity.”
Madforsailing editor James Boyd has formed a company titled International Sailing Media and has purchased the assets of madforsailing. Boyd and company will carry on with the website under a new name, which Boyd says will become operative Tuesday. see www.madforsailing.com for details
As the Louis Vuitton Cup begins, Grand Prix Sailor’s Monday Morning Digest won’t be covering Cup news. To get the skinny on what’s happening on the Hauraki Gulf, sign up for Grand Prix Sailor’s America’s Cup Edition at www.sailingworld.com, or check out the America’s Cup section of the SW website, http://sailingworld.com/sw_cup.php