Kiel Week, Giraglia Rolex Cup, Exclusive Randy Smyth Interview

Around Alone Racer Simone Bianchetti Dies

KIEL WEEKIt had been a frustrating spring for the American Yngling crew of Hannah Swett, Joan Touchette, and Melissa Purdy. A French dock worker strike imprisoned their boat, forcing them to miss a few key spring regattas. Then they struggled to a 10th at SPA, while Betsy Alison's team enjoyed a big international win.To make up for lost time Swett and company added a few more regattas to their schedule. They won the Danish Nationals and last week added a second place in Kiel Week, finishing six of 10 races in the top 5. "We are very happy with our boatspeed," said Purdy in an e-mail. "Denmark was a good tune-up."The trio won the first race of Kiel Week, but then slipped to fifth in the second and were black flagged, along with 13 other boats, in the third race. After an eighth and another fifth, they hit their stride, going 1-7-9-2-2 in the final five races. Denmark's Dorte Jensen won the regatta with 26 points. Swett, Touchette, and Purdy finished with 31. "Many of the top boats were caught in the black flag start," said Touchette. "We just had to continue to sail well and be patient. We knew we would be able to drop that finish."Alison, along with Lee Icyda and Suzy Leech, finished eighth. Jody Swanson, Cory Sertl, and Elizabeth Kratzig were 12th.The Tornado class only got in three races during the five days of Kiel, but two-time Olympians John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree made each count, finishing second, fourth, and second to win the regatta. Another team of veterans, 470 sailors Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham, also had a good regatta, finishing fifth in the Men's 470 division. "Not too bad, but easy to see where we can be better," said Foerster, a two-time silver medalist, in an e-mail. "We now pack up the boats and go straight to Brest, France, for the European Championship. We will have a few more of the top teams at the Europeans so it will be a harder regatta. That's good; we need all the practice we can get."In the 470 women's division, the two top American teams were again very close to each other. This time Erin Maxwell and Jen Morgan had the upper hand, finishing ninth, with Katie McDowell and Isabelle Kinsolving just one point behind in 10th.Other top Americans included Michael Karas and Anthony Boscolo, who were 14th in the 49er silver fleet; Zach Railey, 49th in the Laser; Ben Barker, 27th in the Mistral silver fleet; and Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl, 14th in the Star fleet. Bermuda's Peter Bromby and Martin Siese were seventh in the Star class.For complete results, www.kielerwoche.deGIRAGLIA ROLEX CUPNeville Crichton's über maxi Alfa Romeo lopped 2h:7m:59s off the record for the Giraglia Race-the offshore race of the Giraglia Rolex Cup-last Thursday/Friday. Starting from St. Tropez, France, and finishing off Genoa, Italy, the race is 243 miles long and took Alfa Romeo 22h:13m:49s to complete. "The long race and the record were our main objectives at the Giraglia Rolex Cup," said Neville. "We enjoyed the inshore races but the long race with the strong winds gave us the opportunity to really push the boat hard and enjoy the sailing. The highlight of the race for me was rounding Giraglia Rock in the dark. We had 25 knots of wind and we were traveling at 23 knots. It's quite a significant corner of the course and we changed from a jib top to a spinnaker at that point. There was quite a lot on right then." Alfa Romeo's next opportunity for the spotlight will be the Fastnet Race, which starts August 10.Overall winner of the regatta was another Reichel/Pugh-designed maxi, Alexia, owned by Alberto Roemmers and sailing in Class 0. The Carkeek/Botin-designed Grand Soleil 56R X-Sport, owned by Stefano Spangaro, ruled the three inshore races of the event and won Class 1. For complete results, see: http://www.yci.it/regate/regate2003/giraglia/index_en.htmDAIMLERCHRYSLER NORTH ATLANTIC CHALLENGEAfter riding the back side of a front nearly all the way across the Atlantic at pace, Skip Sheldon's Reichel/Pugh-designed Zaraffa crossed the finish line of the DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge Saturday, only 13d:15h:7m:28s after they started. The next boats to finish should be Tempest, scheduled to finish Wednesday morning, and later that day, Snow Lion.Zephyrus V retired from the race Saturday after suffering rudder-bearing damage during an attempt on the 24 hour record. For complete results and race tracking, see http://www.dcnac.deSW HALL OF FAME/ SMYTH EXCLUSIVEThree sailors joined SW's 31-year-old Hall of Fame for champions, designers, and innovators in the sport, as announced in the magazine's July/August issue-Jochen Schuemann, John Bertrand, and Randy Smyth. This week's interview at http://www.sailingworld.com is with two-time Olympic silver medalist and five-time Worrell 100 winner Randy Smyth. Here's an excerpt:Sailing World: Where did you learn to sail in California? How did you get started?Randy Smyth: We lived in Fullerton, about an hour from the beach. My grandparents lived in Long Beach, so we'd go down there on the weekends to get out of the heat and play on the beach. My mom had a Sabot, like an Optimist pram, West Coast style. She had built it back in high school as a plywood boat. I was 5 years old and that's what I was sailing. It was more fun to capsize than sail it. That was my introduction to sailing. My sailing on multihulls started after a boatshow when my Dad came home with this box with an Aquacat inside it, a $695 boat show special. We got out our pliers and screwdrivers and put the thing together. That was 1964, so I was 10 years old. That was my first catamaran sailing. I thought that was pretty cool because it was already twice as fast as the Sabot and a heck of a lot more fun. You could take more friends out on it.SW: Were you doing any sailboat racing at that point?RS: The next year when I was 11, I raced a long distance race on that thing out to Catalina Island, which for an 11-year-old is pretty far-it's 25 miles or whatever. Fourteen Aquacats started, all adults except for us. Only seven people made it over; I don't know what happened to the others, maybe they got tired and turned back. Anyway, we made it over there.SW: Who were you sailing with?RS: My little brother David who was 9 at the time. It was pretty funny.SW: Did your parents know you were doing this?RS: Yes, in fact, we had a Cal 24, and my parents went over on that with my other brothers and sisters. We met them over there and slept on the big boat, then raced back the next day.SW: Did you get hooked by the idea of sailing long distances on beach cats?RS: That's what I'm trying to point out. This was Day 1, I guess so; it was in my blood pretty early on. The rest of the interview is posted at http://www.sailingworld.comSIMONE BIANCHETTISinglehanded racer Simone Bianchetti died suddenly on a friend's boat in Sevona, Italy over the weekend apparently of natural causes. He was 35 years old. We'll leave it to Robin Knox-Johnston, quoted in Brian Hancock's story on Bianchetti's death at aroundalone.com, to eulogize this popular sailor."Simone was larger than life. He was an ebullient, extrovert who charmed all of us who were fortunate enough to know him. He was also a very fine racing sailor and seaman as his second position in Class 1 for the last leg of this year's Around Alone showed. Difficulties with his boat prevented him from showing his true pace earlier in the event, but what we saw at the finish was a Simone who had sorted out his problems as was showing his real potential. He had so much more to offer, achievements to come, but sadly he has been taken from us before he was allowed to show the world his true capabilities. We mourn a good friend, the epitome of the "laughing fellow rover." http://aroundalone.comANTARCTICA CUPLast week, organizers of the Antarctic a Cup, a lap of the continent of Antarctica scheduled to begin in 2005, announced the final format for the event. The race will begin and end in Auckland, New Zealand and the yachts will race non-stop around Antarctica, passing through 12 gates, some geographic and some virtual. Teams will accumulate points and prize money in a skins-type format, with the fastest elapsed time between each gate being worth 100,000 euros. The yacht that has accumulated the most points will win 1 million, and the yacht that takes line honors will win 2.5 million.Cost to enter the Antarctica Cup is 4.6 million Euros, but you get to keep the boat, which the organizers say will be eligible for the 2007 and 2009 events. Strict nationality rules will apply; sailors have to be passport holders of the countries they represent. A minimum of six and a maximum of 10 entries will compete.The yachts are expected to take 45 days to complete the 15,000-mile course. Before the race, the teams will take part in a mandatory 45-day program of events, based out of Auckland. These will include short-course and offshore racing. A race around New Zealand is in being considered as a shakedown before the major event. http://www.antarcticacup.com470 HALL OF FAMETo mark the 40th Anniversary of the design and launching of the Olympic 470 dinghy, the International 470 Class Association has introduced the International 470 Class Hall of Fame. With 470s sailing in almost 70 nations and 40,000 boats owned worldwide, the class has become recognized as one of the toughest double-handed dinghy classes in which to win a world championship.The Hall of Fame inductees are three-time 470 world champions from the U.S. Dave Ullman and Tom Linskey, and Ukrainian triple world champions Ruslana Taran and Elona Paholchik. http://www.470.orgBLOCK ISLAND RACE WEEKThe Everett B Morris Trophy, top prize for the Storm Trysail Club's race week, went to Tom Enright's J/105 Pretty Sketchy, which dominated competition in the 34-boat one-design class, the biggest of the 19 classes racing at the 20th anniversary running of the biennial regatta. Pretty Sketchy, steered by Enright's 18-year-old son Charlie, also won the A. Justin Wasley Memorial Trophy for the overall winner of the one-design class with the largest number of entries. --Keith TaylorTo see the full results from BIRW, see http://www.blockislandraceweek.comNORTH SAILS RACE WEEKPHRF 1 (7 boats)---Yassou (Transpac 52), Jim Demetriades, Los Angeles YC, 1-2-2-1-1-(3)-2, 9 points.PHRF 2 (11)---Cita (Schock 40), Cita Litt/George Twist, Newport Harbor YC, 3-(4)-1-2-2-1-2, 11.PHRF 3 (8)---Chance (Farr 395), Paul Kent, San Francisco YC, 2-2-1-1-1-1-(4), 8.PHRF 4 (11)---Shekinah (J/109), Jim and Lori Thompson, Cabrillo Beach YC, (12)-5-1-2-01-3-3, 15 (wins tiebreaker from Rival (J/35), Dick Velthoen/Paul de Frietas, Ventura YC).PHRF 5 (9)---Kiwi Boat (Young 88), Chuck and Brad Mercord, NFYC, (3)-3-2-3-3-2-3, 16.FARR 40 (9)---Shadow, Peter Stoneberg, St. Francis YC, 1-2-(6)-6-1-1-1, 12.1D35 (8)---Sensation, Fanger and Mario Yovkov, San Francisco, (5)-4--1-1-1-1-3, 11.SCHOCK 35 (11; Pacific Coast championships)---Piranha, David Voss, Channel Islands YC, 2-1-2-1-(4)-4-1, 11.MELGES 24 (16)---USA 399, Dave Ullman, Balboa/ABYC YCs, 1-2-3-1-3-(7)-1, 11.J/120 (6)---Doctor No, Jed Olenick, San Diego YC, 1-1-(2)-2-2-1-1, 8.J/105 (26)---Masquerade, Chris Perkins, St. Francis YC, 1-1-(5)-1-1-1-1, 6.J/80 (7)---DNA, David Hammett, Bahia Corinthian YC, 1-1-1-1-(2)-1-1, 6.Complete results and photos at www.premiere-racing.comRACE REMINDERSTranspac starts Tuesday. The first 25 boats-10 Cal 40s, 10 Aloha competitors, and five boats in racing division 5-will leave the starting line near Point Fermin on the Palos Verdes Peninsula at 1 p.m. Twenty-two division 3 and 4 racers will start Friday, July 4, followed by 12 division 1 and 2 boats Sunday, July 6. Under normal conditions, the first boats-most likely Philippe Kahn's defending Barn Door winner Pegasus 77 or Roy E. Disney's record holder, Pyewacket, starting July 6-could finish off Diamond Head as early as Sunday, July 13. http://www.transpacificyc.orgThe Marblehead to Halifax Race begins Sunday, July 6. It is a qualifier for the Northern Ocean Racing Trophy and the New England Lighthouse Series. The monohull course record was set in 1989, when the Santa Cruz 70 sloop, Starlight Express, completed the 360 nautical miles in 33h:29m:57s. Boats to watch this year will be the always well-sailed Blue Yankee, Bob Towse's R/P 66; Richard Breeden's R/P 77 Bright Star; Tom Hill's latest Titan, and the two CM-60s Harrier and Rima, which could both be spoilers for the corrected-time win. http://www.bostonyc.org