Swedish Match Final, Bertrand Interview, Volvo Baltic Race, TransPac, Marblehead Halifax

Stuart Streuli reports on the final Swedish Match Race of the series

SWEDISH MATCH CUP FINAL EXCLUSIVEBy Stuart StreuliThe wheels almost came off for Chris Law Sunday in the Swedish Match Cup final. The 51-year-old British skipper blazed into the final on a run of 10 wins in 11 races, and then won the first two races in the best-of-five final match against Poland's Karol Jablonski. But then Law picked up a penalty in the pre-start of the third race, which cost him that race, and then was manhandled by Jablonski in the fourth start, which resulted in a wire to wire for the Polish team. "I threw one away to the umpires," said Law of the third race. "That annoyed me and it put me off my game in the fourth start and Karol nailed me."Law has always been known as a streaky match racer and it appeared as if his run of good fortune might be at an end. But he was able to shake off the two losses and quickly give himself the advantage in the final start, holding Jablonski well out to starboard of the starting line and then leading him back to cross the line a boat-length ahead. More at: http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article.php?articleID=1916SAILING WORLD HALL OF FAMEJohn Bertrand, renowned for his America's Cup victory in 1983 over Dennis Conner and the New York YC, was elected to Sailing World magazine's Hall of Fame earlier this year. In this web exclusive interview, SW Editor John Burnham quizzes him about how he progressed as a racing sailor to the international stage. The full interview is at http://www.sailingworld.com.Sailing World: Did you have your sights set on possibly going to the Olympics?John Bertrand: Well, the dream was the Olympic Games and America's Cup if you read the magazines and listened to the interviews and so on. Really, my world was Sharpies because they were the hot class and the most active racing. The Olympic Games classes were very low profile in Australia, but you'd get 100 boats out racing in the Sharpies class. That's where the top sailors were racing. Actually I went from the Sharpies into the America's Cup when Sir James Hardy asked me to consider trying out for the America's Cup. As a result, the very first keelboat I sailed on was Gretel II. I remember stepping onto the deck of the boat and wondering why didn't it tip over a little bit. With 20 tons of lead, the dynamics were pretty different. I was 22 then, and I sailed as a port trimmer on Gretel II in the 1970 America's Cup Challenge.SW: Which brought you to North America.JB: Within that period I was able to gain a scholarship to study at MIT in Boston. Rasa and I had just gotten married before we came to the States for the America's Cup. She was a nurse, and she supported me going through MIT. We had absolutely zero financial resources. I had a teaching assistant's scholarship that paid for some of my fees at MIT and that's about all.SW: Once you were there you started thinking more about the Olympics?JB: While at MIT I discovered the intense joys of match racing on the Charles River at the MIT sailing club and also the frostbite racing up at Marblehead every second Sunday. My professor Jerry Milgram-crazy man, brilliant-was a key part of our life. I used to race his Interclub dinghy. That was a real eye opener in terms of intense North American sailing; it was the first exposure I had in terms of dinghy sailing. In Marblehead I met Robbie Doyle and his wife Janet. Robbie introduced me to the Finn; I ended up borrowing one from MIT and going to Toronto for the Gold Cup in 1971.SW: How did you make out?JB: I got 8th out of 110 boats. It was the first regatta I'd raced a Finn in so that gave me the impetus to consider going to the Olympic Games for Australia.The interview continues at http://www.sailingworld.comICSA HALL OF FAMEThe Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) of North America, governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada, has recognized four individuals for their significant service to the organization: Harry Anderson (Newport, R.I.) was presented with the Lifetime Service Award. Dan Winters (Hampton, Va.) and Gail Turluck (Chelsea, Mich.), were recognized in the category of Outstanding Service, for their contributions, respectively, as Professional and Volunteer. Danna Svejkosky (Haltom City, Texas) received the Student Leadership Award. Winters, Turluck and Svejkosky will be inducted into the ICSA Hall of Fame (Anderson was previously inducted) and their names will be added to the permanent display located in the Robert Crown Center at the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland). In 1969 the ICSA Hall of Fame was established to recognize the competitive achievements of undergraduates, as well as the service contributions of individuals whose efforts helped in the establishment, growth, and development of college sailing.UCA BEATS ZARAFFA'S ELAPSED TIMEUCA, the 85'3" Judel/Vroljik sailed to its design brief during the DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge and won the HVS Jubilee Trophy, awarded to the yacht with the shortest elapsed time. Despite predictions that Zaraffa's time of 13d:15h:7m.28s couldn't be beat, UCA, owned by Klaus Murmann, managed to take 7h:54m:23s off Zaraffa's time despite starting a week later and sailing in a less-breezy weather pattern.UCA was designed by Judel/Vroljik with the DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge in mind. "Our goal was giving UCA a good chance to win," said Rolf Vrolijk in an interview in the German newspaper Die Welt. "It isn't the most extreme boat of the fleet, but we aligned the lightweight carbon fiber construction exactly to the conditions which were expected, winds between 12 and 18 knots." For results and tracking, see www.dcnac.deSNOW LION SECOND ACROSSSaturday, nearly a week after Zaraffa's finish, the Nelson/Marek 50 Snow Lion had the honor of being the second boat across the finish line of the DaimlerChrysler Challenge. Owned by New York YC rear commodore Larry Huntington, Snow Lion is an IMS 50 originally built in 1993 and its performance in this 3,600-mile race is nothing short of stunning. "I am so pleased with the boat," said Huntington in a www.nyyc.org article. "It held up wonderfully. We didn't break anything, there were no ripped sails, yet we raced it very hard. We had a fine adventure, and everybody was safe. High 30s was probably the top wind speed we saw, connected to some very large seas. The rough stuff was in the Gulf Stream before Point Alpha. There was another rough passage up by Scotland, most of the headwinds were very strong and beat [us] up badly." For results and tracking, see www.dcnac.deHIGH SPEED WIRELESS ON THE WATERSailors headed to Newport, R.I for the Swan Cup at the end of July will be pleased to hear that they'll be able to check weather, emails, news, and whatever else they can access from the Internet at high download speeds while in the southern part of Narragansett Bay. The Wi-Fi hot zone, which is served from a central point in Newport, utilizes the popular 802.11b wireless technology platform. Residents in the hot-zone coverage area, and boaters and other visitors to the harbor, can access the Internet via laptop computers, PDAs or other wireless devices that are equipped with a wireless networking card.Of course it's not free, but the pricing is reasonable. Users in the Newport hot zone can select from among four connectivity plans: $30 per month for unlimited access, $6 per 24-hour period, $3 per hour or $1.50 for a 15-minute session. With speeds reported as high as 1.2 megabytes per second, downloading the latest forecast from the Internet shouldn't take long. Visit http://www.GOQGO.com for more information.VOLVO BALTIC RACERather than let the past-generation Volvo 60s rot away in boatyards, Volvo Ocean Race organizers found a better use for the has-been thoroughbreds of ocean racing and organized the Volvo Baltic Race, a multi-leg series combining buoy racing with distance races between Swedish and German ports. The seven-boat championship kicked off with a windward/leeward race at Germany's Kiel Week on June 21 before teams sprinted to Sandham, Sweden. They then joined the Accenture Round Gotland Race on June 29 before racing to Marstrand, Sweden, last weekend. Throughout the series, teams battled the typical wide ranging of conditions expected of a Northern Hemisphere summer, and in the end it was TeamRS, with New Zealander Erle Williams in charge, winning the overall title and the SEB Trophy. TeamRS fended of the efforts of Matthew Humphries, of England, and his Challenge of Netsurvey, to win the final distance race, giving TeamRS its .50-point winning margin."We had to win the Volvo Baltic Regatta and it was a great effort by the crew," said Williams. "It was a tough race and Challenge put up a really good fight. I think the lead changed about six times."Final standings for the Volvo Baltic Race: 1. TeamRS, Erle Williams, NZ 2. Challenge of Netsurvey, Matthew Humphries, UK 3. Sony Ericsson, Thomas Blixt, SWE 4. Elanders Ten Celsius, Mikael Lundh & Walter Verbraak, NED 5. Nilorn, Fredrik Frejme, SWE 6. Atea, Jan Mortensson, SWE 7. Pontona Youth, Thomas Dahl DEN. For complete results and photos: http://www.volvobalticrace.orgMARBLEHEAD HALIFAX RACEThere are no position reports available for the 30th biennial Marblehead-Halifax race, in which 95 boats started last Sunday, but keep an eye on the Royal Nova Scotia yacht Squadron's website http://www.rnsys.com/ for finishing times. Large speedsters such as Titan XII, Carrera , Bright Star, Blue Yankee, and Donnybrook should be in early on, but don't count out the two Farr/Carroll Marine 60s, Harrier and Rima, which have been known to spoil all of the larger boats' fun on occasion.Light air is forecast for the race area for the next few days, so don't expect even the faster boats to break the monohull course record for the Halifax Race, which was set in 1989, when the Santa Cruz 70, Starlight Express, completed the 360-mile race in 33h:29m:57s. TRANSPACDivisions 1 and 2 of the Transpac Race, the final two starts of this staggered-start race, began their 2,200-mile journey to Hawaii on Sunday. The much-hyped matchup between Philippe Kahn's Pegasus 77 and Roy Disney's Pyewacket will be exciting to watch, especially considering that this will be the last event for both boats under their present ownership. At last report, SW editor-at-large Peter Isler reported that Pyewacket was about a mile ahead of Pegasus as they passed Santa Catalina island. Two of the 57 boats entered have dropped out, both with rudder issues: Lucky Dog, a J/125, and Cone of Silence, a Super 30. To follow the racing, see http://www.transpacificyc.org/ Grand Prix Sailor is compiled by the editors of Sailing World magazine. If you'd like to subscribe, see http://www.sailingworld.com Contributing Editors: Tony Bessinger (tony.bessinger@sailingworld.com), Dave Reed (dave.reed@sailingworld.com), Stuart Streuli (stuart.streuli@sailingworld.com), John Burnham (john.burnham@sailingworld.com)