The New York YC Race Week, sponsored by Rolex, drew to a conclusion Sunday afternoon as 93 teams sailed the last of seven races in the One-Design portion of the regatta. The winners of the Farr 40 class, Jim Richardson, of Newport, R.I., and the crew of Barking Mad, and the J/105 class, Glen Darden’s Hoss, based in Fort Worth, Texas, took home the coveted Rolex timepieces.
The 93 teams entered saw challenging conditions throughout the event, but none so challenging as the first day, when the race committee sent racers out into a thick blanket of fog. “We were all completely lost in the fog,” said Doug Clarke (Oyster Bay, N.Y.), who was driving M-Fatic, the 2000 Melges 24 national champion owned by Neil Sullivan and Scott Findlay of Annapolis, Md. “To find our way around the course we had to make sure we started on the middle of the line and, from there, we timed our tacks–roughly five minutes on starboard and five minutes on port. We did that so we didn’t over stand the mark and could find it! Our visibility, at times, was about four boat lengths away. I expected this kind of weather, and I love it because fog is the classic New England sailing experience, adding another tactical element to racing.” M-Fatic won the Melges 24 class by one quarter of a point over Kilroy, owned by Jeff Jones of Shelby Township, N.J.
One of the most faithful and supportive members of the J/44 class, Jim Bishop of Jamestown, R.I., sailing Gold Digger won the 8-boat class by one and a quarter points over Stampede, sailed by another class stalwart, James Sundstrom of Rye, N.Y. This is Bishop’s fourth J/44 North American Championship win. “We had a four boat length lead at the weather mark,” said Bishop. “And we were able to stay in front for the next three legs.”
The Mumm 30s, building up for the Worlds, which will be held in Annapolis in September, saw some of the closest racing in the regatta. Richard Perini of Australia, and the crew of Foreign Affair–who have been sailing in every single Mumm event in the U.S. since last Fall in preparation for the Worlds, took himself out of first place Sunday with a disappointing sixth-place finish. Fred Sheratt of Canada, sailing Steadfast, scored a second in the final race, earning the class win and the North American Championship. Dan Cheresh’s crew on Team Intermec, hailing from Holland, Mich., tied Sheratt on points but lost the tiebreaker and placed second. For full results, see www.nyyc.org
Fresh off their triumphant, record-breaking finish in the Newport Bermuda Race, the crew of Roy Disney’s Pyewacket scored a record-breaking run in the Chicago-Mackinac Race as well, sailing the 333-mile course up Lake Michigan in 23h:30m:24s. Their time beat the record of 25h:50m:44s set in 1987 by Dick Jennings’ Pied Piper in 1987.
Everyone in the Midwest seems to be on the Chicago-Mac website this morning so its tough to get on and check the complete results. For those with patience: www.chicagoyachtclub.com/racetomackinac
In the latest clash of the titans, Bob McNeal’s Zephyrus V, a fresh-out-of-the-box Maxi 86, and the first of the class, bested the 147-foot ketch Mari-Cha III in the Pacific Cup, a 2,070-mile race from San Francisco to the Hawaiian Islands. Both boats, however, were unable to save their time on the hard-charging TransPac 52s J-Bird III, Alta Vita, and Rosebud. As it stands now, J-Bird III, owned by David Janes, of Newport Beach, Calif., is the class winner. Thanks to their giant-killing record so far in California-Mexican-Hawaiian venues, look for even more of these TP52s to be built. The tough part is selling them to East Coasters, who haven’t seen these boats racing yet. Hopefully, a promised appearance in Key West Race Week 2003 will come to pass. It’ll be interesting to see in what class they enter and how well they’ll do in buoy racing conditions against IMS or PHRF/Americap boats.
Thanks to some great sailing and a four-day headstart that saw them in a different weather pattern, the crew of Wildflower, a custom Wylie 27 owned by Skip Allan of Capitola, Calif., looks to be the overall winner of the Pacific Cup. www.pacificcup.org
Despite slipping slightly from their impressive qualifying positions, the American teams of Mikee Anderson-Mitterling and Graham Biehl and Frank Tybor and Jeffrey Boyd still managed to finish inside the top 10 at the 2002 International 420 World Championships at Clube Nautico de Tavira in Portugal. Ever since the class was replaced domestically by the more sturdy, but less dynamic, Club 420, the U.S. has been an after thought at the International 420 Worlds. But this year was a significant exception. Tybor and Boyd won the qualifier and finished eighth in the regatta, while Anderson-Mitterling and Biehl were fourth in qualifying and seventh in the main event. The regatta was won by Farokh Tarapore and Vika Kapila from India. The U.S. also scored a noteworthy result on the women’s side as Julie Papanek and Whitney Besse finished fifth.
In other youth sailing news, the American team is off to a great start at the 2002 ISAF Youth World Sailing Championships in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. Andrew Campbell has finished all five of his Laser races in the top five and leads that class by eight points over Tobias Schadewaldt of Germany. Paige Railey is in third in the Byte class and will moved up significantly when she’s able to discard a third-race OCS.