Gary Jobson 368
America’s Cup Musings
I served as master of ceremonies at an America’s Cup forum at the New York YC this week. Terry Hutchinson and Clay Oliver represented Team New Zealand, and designer Dirk Kramer represented Alinghi. Also on the panel were Halsey Herreshoff, Tom Whidden, and Brad Dellenbaugh, who was the chief umpire for the 32nd America’s Cup. It was clear to me through the night that the sailors and designers are all hoping that the America’s Cup confusion is clarified in the near future. The judge in this case carries a big stick, and Ernesto Bertarelli now realizes that he stepped out of bounds pushing too hard. My prediction is that we will see an event in 2010 in a 90-foot boat with seven challengers.
Annapolis: America’s Sailing Capital (At Least in the Fall)
The sailing in Southern California is great in the spring, and no place tops Newport, R.I., or Nantucket in the summertime. But without question, the fall belongs to the Chesapeake.
Consider this list of events taking place off Annapolis over the past several weeks: Annapolis Yacht Club Fall Series, Soling East Coast Championship, 505 North Americans, J/105 North Americans, J/24 East Coast Championship, Etchells Invitational, Star Fall Bowl, IRC Championship, Opti Halloween Howler, U.S. Naval Academy Collegiate Racing, The McMillen Cup, The Kennedy Cup, Comet Invite, Colgate 26 Regatta, J/30 North Americans, plus the U.S. Sailboat Show, a Cruising Club of America cruise, and a New York YC Chesapeake cruise. Whew! That’s a lot of sailing. Best of all there were strong, reliable winds for every event.
Making these regattas a success is no small feat. The volunteer organizers and race committees at Annapolis YC, Eastport YC, Severn Sailing Association, and the Naval Academy are all first rate.
My message to sailors across the country, when you plan your calendar, plan to visit the Chesapeake in the fall. The water is warm, the wind is good, and the racing is great.
A number of Annapolis sailors were heavily involved in recent U.S. Olympic Sailing Trials: Mark Murphy, Jack Lynch, Joe Krolak, Sandy Grosvenor, Angelo Buscemi, Pat Healy, Hugh Elliott, and Ron Ward.
Sailing with a Master, Jud Smith
Last weekend I raced in Annapolis YC’s annual Fall Etchells Regatta. Nineteen boats braved blustery conditions and lots of rain. Lucky me, I had 2005 Etchells World Champion Jud Smith trimming the main. The man is brilliant. It is such a joy to see an artist at work.
In Race 1 I got off to a slow start. To make matters worse we went the wrong way and rounded the first mark in 14th. On the next three legs we simply passed one boat after another by sailing fast, working the windshifts, and going for a jibe set when everyone else did bear aways. We ended up third in that race and went on to win the regatta, narrowly defeating Allen Terhune, who is one of the strongest upcoming talents in the U.S. He won the Lightning championship earlier this year, and it seems every time you hear about him he is at the front of the pack.
Jud’s style is simple: He looks at the rig and sails, gets them to where he thinks they are correct, and then observes the boat’s performance. As a helmsman, I had to work to keep the boat pointing high, and Jud nudged me to do that. When he sees something not going well, he makes one adjustment at a time and gets things going fast.
Tom Neill Profile
Chicago’s Tom Neill is one of the most successful big boat owners in the Midwest. He is a work hard, play hard type of guy. Sadly, Tom is fighting lung cancer at the present time. I’ve recently conducted interviews with him and members of his loyal crew. Look for the feature in the January/February issue of Sailing World.