After three days and six races, just three seconds separated Stephen Murray Jr.’s (New Orleans, La.) TP 52 Decision IV from Mike Williamson’s (New Castle, N.H.) King 40 White Heat in the battle to claim the overall title at the 2009 IRC East Coast Championship. In total, 38 yachts raced in five classes at the event, held October 30-November 1, 2009, with overall results calculated on average corrected speed for each of the class winners for the entire regatta. (Decision IV sailed in IRC Class 1 while White Heat sailed in IRC Class 3.)
“This is a very prestigious regatta, with great race management and top-notch competition,” said Murray, who also raced in the 2007 IRC East Coast Championship. “We really wanted to make the commitment to win it. We came to Annapolis a month before this regatta so we could race locally, tune the boat and improve our performance. I’m happy to say that effort paid off.”
This marked the ninth year that the East Coast Championship was organized by the Storm Trysail Club’s Chesapeake Station and the fifth year it was run under the IRC rule. The Storm Trysail Club has long been a strong advocate for IRC racing in the U.S.
Conditions ranged from 7-23 knots over three days of racing, with light rain leading ahead of a cold front on Sunday. In Class 1, the standings couldn’t have been tighter with Decision IV scoring 17.5 points vs. 18.0 points posted by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s (King’s Point, N.Y.) STP 65 Vanquish (ex-Moneypenny); third place went to Richard Oland’s (Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada) Southern Cross 52 Vela Veloce, which amassed 24 points.
Class 2 featured a one-design start for six Farr 40s. Matt Beer’s (Washington, D.C.) Sundance won the class over Preben Ostberg/Todd Olds/Bud Dailey’s (Annapolis) Tsunami; third place went to Kevin McNeil’s (Annapolis) Night Shift. Racing was very close, with four of the six boats winning at least one race each.
Class 3 was won by Williamson’s White Heat on the strength of three bullets in six races; second place went to David Murphy’s (Westport, Conn.) J/122 Pugwash, followed by Marc Glimcher’s (New York, N.Y.) J/122 Catapult.
In Class 4, Ed and Molly Freitag’s (Annapolis) Beneteau 40.7 Down Time won, followed by Bill Sweetser’s (Annapolis) J/109 Rush. This broke Sweetser’s multi-year dynasty in the class, while third place went to Mdsn. Jason Mazzoni’s (USNA-Annapolis) Navy 44 Swift.
Class 5 held a one-design start for seven Beneteau 36.7s, with Peter Firey’s (Vienna, Va.) Pegasus narrowly defeating Jim Keen’s (Solomons, Md.) Foxtrot Corpen and Don Finkle’s (Youngstown, N.Y.) KA’IO coming in third.
The Storm Trysail Club, reflecting in its name the sail which sailors must shorten when facing adverse conditions, is one of the world’s most respected sailing clubs, with its membership comprised strictly of skilled blue water and ocean racing sailors. In addition to holding various prestigious offshore racing events (among them the Block Island Race, Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race and Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race), STC hosts the biennial Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex and works year-round to grow the sport of ocean racing. It was one of the early leaders in establishing and promoting the use of the IRC rating system in North America, and it has developed, with the Transpacific Yacht Club, the Storm Trysail Transpac 65. With an added mission to encourage young sailors to become big-boat racers, the Storm Trysail Foundation hosts the annual Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta in addition to several Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminars.
Place, Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points
IRC 1 (IRC – 8 Boats)
1. Decision IV, Botin-Carkeek 52 52, Stephen Murray, New Orleans, LA, USA – 1.5, 3, 2, 2, 4, 5; 17.5
2. Vanquish, STC 65 65′, USMMA Sailing Foundation Steitz, King Point, NY, USA – 12, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1; 18
3. Vela Veloce, Southern Cross 52 52′, Richard Oland, Rothesay, NB, CAN – 9, 1, 5, 4, 2, 3; 24
IRC 2 – Farr 40 (IRC – 6 Boats)
1. Sundance, Farr 40 40, Gary Beer, Washington, DC, USA – 1.5, 1, 2, 2, 6, 2; 14.5
2. Tsunami, Farr 40 40, Preben Ostberg / Todd Olds / Bud Dailey, Rockville, MD, USA – 6, 2, 4, 1, 4, 1; 18
3. Nightshift, Farr 40 40, Kevin McNeil, Annapolis, MD, USA – 3, 5, 1, 4, 2, 5; 20
IRC 3 (IRC – 10 Boats)
1. White Heat, King 40 40, Mike Williamson, New Castle, NH, USA – 4.5, 1, 2, 3, 1, 1; 12.5
2. Pugwash, J 122 40, David Murphy, Westport, CT, USA – 3, 4, 1, 1, 3, 3; 15
3. Catapult, J 122 40′, Marc Glimcher, New York, NY, USA – 1.5, 3, 5, 4, 2, 5; 20.5
IRC 4 (IRC – 7 Boats)
1. DownTime, Beneteau First 40.7 39.25, Ed and Molly Freitag, Annapolis, MD, USA – 7.5, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1; 14.5
2. Rush, J 109 35, Bill Sweetser, Annapolis, MD, USA – 1.5, 5, 4, 2, 2, 2; 16.5
3. SWIFT, Navy 44 MkI 44, Jason Mazzoni, Annapolis, MD, USA – 6, 1, 1, 5, 5, 4; 22
IRC 5 – Beneteau 36.7 (IRC – 7 Boats)
1. Pegasus, Beneteau First 36.7 36, Peter Firey, Vienna, VA, USA – 1.5, 3, 4, 1, 3, 2; 14.5
2. Foxtrot Corpen, Beneteau First 36.7 36, James Keen, Solomons, MD, USA – 3, 6, 1, 3, 2, 1; 16
3. KA’IO, Beneteau First 36.7 36, Don Finkle, Youngstown, NY, USA – 7.5, 1, 2, 2, 1, 6; 19.5
Claudio Recchi’s Team 93 (ITA) remains in first place overall with three races having been run in the Audi Melges 32 World Championsip 2009, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Pieter Taselaar’s (New York, N.Y.) Bliksem (USA) took a bullet in today’s only race and climbed from yesterday’s third place to sit in second place overall ahead of Stefano di Properzio’s Mataran (ITA). Red (GBR), owned by James Woods, slipped from second overall to fourth after taking sixth place in today’s race. Recchi, who is one of the most experienced Melges 32 owners, also has aboard with him former Melges 24 World Champion Federico Michetti and American two-time Olympic medalist (’84 gold in the FD, ’00 bronze in the 49er) Jonathan McKee (Seattle, Wash.). Victory, however, is by no means assured to any of the current leaders, since there are three more days of racing to go and a possible seven more races to be held with a discard coming into play after race six.
The start of racing today was delayed as the Race Committee headed to the regatta course to see whether this morning’s rain storm would pass over Porto Cervo and allow the games to commence. After recording winds of 15-17 knots accompanied by widely spaced swells coming in from the southeast and wind-driven waves coming in from the northeast, the Committee, headed by Principal Race Officer Peter “Luigi” Reggio deemed that racing would be challenging but secure, and the first warning signal was given at 12.30 p.m.
“It was blowing at around 18 knots at the start; the seas were a bit messy but the conditions were not a problem for this class,” said Reggio on his return to Porto Cervo Marina. “As the race went on, the wind picked up to 25-26 knots and the seas were building. This is an owner-driver class and these conditions are tiring, and we decided that for the safety of all, it was better to send the fleet home. We still have three more days of racing left.”
The windward-leeward course set today was again approximately 7 nautical miles and it was Taselaar, with Australian brothers Jeremy (tactician) and Nathan (the 470 Men’s 2008 Olympic Gold medalist and three-time world champion) Wilmot on board, who led the fleet across the finish line ahead of Team 93 and Mataran. Francesco Martino’s Pilot Italia (ITA) took fourth place ahead of Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino (ITA).
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Friday 25th September, at 12 midday with a maximum of three races to be held on each race day. According to the forecast, conditions should improve tomorrow with light rain in the morning giving way to sunshine and northerly winds of approximately 14-18 knots.
Audi Melges 32 World Championship 2009
Melges 32 – Summary Results – as of 09/24/09 at 15:47
Place, Boat Name, Helmsman, Owner, Nation, R1-R2-R3-Points
1. TEAM 93 Claudio Recchi Claudio Recchi, ITA,2,1,2, 5.00
2. BLIKSEM Pieter Taselaar Pieter Taselaar, USA,6,2,1, 9.00
3. MATARAN Stefano Di Properzio Stefano Di Properzio, ITA,7,4,3, 14.00
4. RED Joe Woods Joe Woods, GBR,1,6,11, 18.00
5. MASCALZONE LATINO Vincenzo Onorato Vincenzo Onorato, ITA,12,3,5, 20.00
6. PILOT ITALIA Francesco Martino Francesco Martino, ITA,8,8,4, 20.00
7. ARGO Jason Carroll Jason Carroll, USA,10,10,6, 26.00
8. FANTASTICAAA Lanfranco Cirillo Lanfranco Cirillo, ITA,9,5,13, 27.00
9. BAGUA Andrea Cecchetti Andrea Cecchetti, ITA,5,7,18, 30.00
10. UKA UKA RACING Armando Giulietti L. Santini & A. Marinelli, ITA,4,11,19, 34.00
11. JOE FLY Giovanni Maspero Giovanni Maspero, ITA,3,12,20, 35.00
12. BITIPI Savino Formentini Savino Formentini, MON,11,17,9, 37.00
13. SEI TU 32 Antonello Morina Antonello Morina, ITA,15,14,15, 44.00
14. CALVI NETWORK Carlo Alberini Carlo Alberini, ITA,13,20,14, 47.00
15. MATRIX Luigi Melegari Luigi Amedeo Melegari, ITA,21,13,16, 50.00
16. OPUS ONE Wolfgang Stolz Wolfgang Stolz, GER,20,9,22, 51.00
17. JANAS Pietro Fois Roberto Pardini, ITA,16,30(DSQ),8, 54.00
18. TORPYONE Edoardo Lupi E.Lupi & M.Pessina, ITA,23,21,10, 54.00
19. RUSH DILETTA Mauro Moccheggiani Mauro Moccheggiani, ITA,17,16,23, 56.00
20. TEASING MACHINE Jean Francois Cruette Jean Francois Cruette, FRA,26,24,7,57.00
21. HIGHLIFE Dave Cowell Peter Rogers, GBR,19,26,12, 57.00
22. BRONTOLO Filippo Pacinotti Filippo Pacinotti, ITA,14,15,30(DNF), 59.00
23. TEAM BARBARIANS Fred Kemp Stuart Simpson, GBR,18,19,24, 61.00
24. BLACK MAMBA Martin Knetig Martin Knetig, CZE,27,22,17, 66.00
25. BIG BANG HUBLOT Cesare Curtis Battistella & Curtis, ITA,22,18,26, 66.00
26. SHAKEDOWN Geoffrey Pierini Geoffrey Pierini, USA,24,23,25, 72.00
27. FRA MARTINA Edoardo Pavesio Edoardo & Vanni Pavesio, ITA,25,28,21, 74.00
28. I.NOVA2 Carlo Pesenti Carlo Pesenti, ITA,28,25,28, 81.00
29. LEA Ernesto Faraco Aamalia De Lana, ITA,29,27,27, 83.00
The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s sailing season in Porto Cervo is about to close in style with the twelfth and final event of the season being an inaugural ISAF World Championship for one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding one-design classes around. The Audi Melges 32 World Championship 2009 began officially on Sunday 20th September with registrations, measurements and official checks on the 30 participating boats and crews, but the tension will truly rise when racing starts tomorrow, Wednesday 23rd at 12 midday. Racing will continue through Sunday 27th September with a maximum of ten races scheduled.
Although approximately two-thirds of the fleet is Italian, seven other nationalities – Australia, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Monaco and the USA – are also represented. The teams to watch are numerous and no one boat is seen as a favourite for the championship, so competition is sure to be fierce.
Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network (ITA) has performed well this season, winning the Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series after four legs in Italian waters. Peter Taselaar’s (New York, N.Y.) U.S. entrant Bliksem showed excellent form in the final two legs of the Sailing Series gaining three bullets and four second-place finishes over 13 races and boasts four-time 470 World Champion Nathan Wilmot of Australia aboard. With three professional sailors allowed on each crew, sailing superstars are not in shorMatrix Cortina t supply. America’s Cup Sailor Ray Davies is calling tactics on Luigi Melegari’s D’Ampezzo (ITA) while Pietro D’Alì, 2007 winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre, is sailing on Rush Diletta (ITA) and Adrian Stead is tactician aboard Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino (ITA). Onorato is a former World Champion in the Farr 40 and Mumm 30 classes and will be looking to establish a name for himself in the Melges 32 class.
The fleet completed a practice race in light winds of approximately 11 knots and lumpy seas today, but many boats were clearly keeping their tactics under wraps until racing starts in earnest tomorrow. Normally sunny Porto Cervo has been experiencing unsettled and stormy weather over the past few days, and conditions look to remain variable for the first few days of racing. Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio is confident, however, that the YCCS Race Committee will manage to fit in the full quota of 10 races, or close to it.
The first signal is scheduled for 12 midday tomorrow, Wednesday 23rd September, and the forecast predicts east to northeasterly winds of 8 to 10 knots.