Typically, a reference to “battle of the Melges” conjures up images of a sail-off among like one-design boats, but tomorrow at the International Rolex Regatta, it will mean that Chris Stanton’s (Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI) Melges 24 Devil 3 will have to fend off a Melges that is eight feet longer to win. Going into today, Dave West’s (Road Town, Tortola, BVI) Melges 32 Jurakan was leading in the CSA-handicapped Spinnaker Racing 2 Class but tied with Devil 3 on points. When Devil 3 added finish positions of 1-2 to its score line today, it not only broke the stalemate with Jurakan, which posted a 4-1, but also established a two-point margin on the leader board.
“They (Jurakan) are a much faster boat,” said Stanton, thinking about tomorrow. “Bigger sails, more people, and they give us about seven minutes every hour, and today we had a two-hour race, so it’s not like it will be a boat-for-boat race. They’ll round the first mark, then we’ll take a stopwatch and time ourselves around the same mark.”
Some teams farther down in the standings had talked about yesterday’s perfect conditions for the planing sport boats in Stanton’s class (among them two more Melges 24s and an Olson 30, currently in third), but Stanton was quick to point out that the fair balance is that making the high-performance boats go fast means “you have to work really, really, really hard.”
“We have a guy onboard who normally sails on a bigger boat, and he’s really getting an appreciation for the fact that it’s a lot of work. On some boats you don’t have to hike in lighter wind, but with these boats you have to. Upwind it’s a tactical battle and downwind it’s always a tactical battle with the asymmetrical chutes. Yesterday, it was more sport-boat conditions, but today we were just like the others. We weren’t planing in the 12-15 knots this morning, or the lighter 10-12 knots this afternoon.”
The course for Stanton’s second race today took him to the southern coast of St. Thomas’s neighboring island of St. John where his team enjoyed long reaches that required lots of navigational decisions, local knowledge and consideration of current. It was likewise for the IRC class, where Richard Oland’s (Rothesay, NB, CAN) Vela Veloce is now tied on points with Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s (New York, N.Y.) Interlodge for the lead.
“It was beautiful and let us see some country we would not have gone to see,” said Oland. As for tomorrow, Oland’s situation is indeed more boat-for-boat than Stanton’s, since Vela Veloce and Interlodge are the same size. “The question is how well will each of the teams sail,” he said, adding that he thinks his team is primed for rising again to the occasion, continuing its good starts and tight teamwork.
The IC 24s, which had snuck in an extra buoy race yesterday after the rest of the fleet headed home from the races to Charlotte Amalie and back, managed eight races today. Leading the 15-boat fleet is Puerto Rico’s Fraito Lugo aboard Orion, but with as many races likely for tomorrow, it’s anyone’s guess whether Lugo can hold out against the great depth of talent in this class.
Elizabeth Brookes’ Farr 65 Spirit of Isis (Antigua) leads CSA Spinnaker Racing 1, while Antonio Sanpere’s (Christiansted, VI) J/36 Cayennita Grande has maintained his lead from yesterday in the CSA Non-Spinnaker Racing Class. John Holmberg’s (St. Thomas) Hobie 16 Time Out now leads the Beach Cats while James Dobbs’ (Antigua) J/122 Lost Horizon is leading Spinnaker Racing/Cruising Class.
Before racing this morning, a moment of silence was observed in honor of well-known island sailor and long-time International Rolex Regatta competitor Guy Eldridge (Road Town, Tortola, BVI), who died yesterday after racing. He had skippered Luxury Girl to fourth in Spinnaker Racing/Cruising Class.
They may be at the back of the pack in the Non-Spinnaker Racing Class, but MuMu Sunset and Winds of Glory are still standouts at the International Rolex Regatta.
MuMu Sunset, a Freedom 40 with its cat ketch rig, two freestanding masts and distinctive hull design featuring a “pirate ship” style cabin at the stern, simply looks like no other race boat here. Its skipper Jean Braure, a Frenchman who has been living in the islands over 50 years, is quite unique as well. The 75-year-old, who sailed for the USVI three times in the Olympics (’84, ’88, ’92) in Soling and Tornado classes, is also an accomplished mountaineer and still skippers MuMu Sunset as a charter boat in the Islands. If that’s not enough, his book, The Sailor Who Climbs Mountains, hits the book stores this month. “I have sailed the regatta 15 times on other people’s boats, and even won it twice as skipper, so when I didn’t have another ride this year, I decided to finally enter my own boat.”
With three races under his belt, Braure is sitting in eighth out of eight boats, but takes it all in stride as one more adventure. “Unfortunately we suffer from our rating, and the boat doesn’t go well to windward – it is more perfect for chartering,” said Braure. “Our was a beautiful race around Buck Island today. It was the perfect day for racing and sailing in the Virgin Islands.”
In the seventh position above MuMu Sunset and feeling proud about it is the team aboard the Cal 30 Winds of Glory, comprised of students from the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School here in St. Thomas. They are lead by teacher Stan Lorbach, who teaches a course at the school on how to build boats and sail, the only one of its kind offered at any public school in the USVIs. “We really want to build the program and get it going across the territory,” said Lorbach, noting that it might have been fortuitous that the engine aboard Winds of Glory ceased earlier this season; it allowed Lorbach to introduce engine repair to the curriculum. And though the admitted goal of the team is to survive the Rolex Regatta, they are happy not to be last. “It’s a learning situation and it’s fun,” said Kean senior Jeremy Ronan. “Not everyone gets to do this kind of stuff, so we feel blessed.”
Top-Three Results as of Saturday March 27th
Place, Boat Name, Boat Type, Length, Skipper, Hometown, Finish Postions, Total Points
IC 24 (One Design – 14 Boats)
1. Orion, IC 24 24, Fraito Lugo, Ponce, PR, USA – 2, 3, 2, 1, 4, 4, 5, 1, 9, 7, 1, ; 39
2. LIME, IC 24 24, Colin Rathbun, Road Town, Tortola, BVI – 10, 6, 1, 5, 8, 2, 6, 5, 1, 1, 3, ; 48
3. Brand-New Secondhand, IC 24 24, Christopher Curreri, St Thomas, VI, USA – 6, 2, 4, 3, 9, 7, 4, 8, 2, 4, 8, ; 57
Spinnaker Racing 1 (CSA – 2 Boats)
1. Spirit of Isis, Farr 65 65, Elizabeth Brookes, Falmouth Harbour, Antigua, WI – 1, 1, 1, 1, ; 4
2. Kialoa V, Frers 80 78, Freddie Mills, Lake Placid, NY, USA – 3/DNF, 2, 2, 2, ; 9
Spinnaker Racing 2 (CSA – 11 Boats)
1. Devil 3, Melges 24 24, Chris Stanton, Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI – 1, 2, 1, 2, ; 6
2. Jurakan, Melges 32 32, Dave West, Road Town, Tortola, BVI – 2, 1, 4, 1, ; 8
3. Rushin Rowlette, Olson 30, Kevin Rowlette, Tortola, UK – 7, 4, 3, 4, ; 18
Non-Spinnaker Racing (CSA – 9 Boats)
1. Cayennita Grande, J 36 36′, Antonio Sanpere, Christiansted, VI, USA – 1, 1, 1, ; 3
2. SAGA I, Frers F3 36′, Gerd Petersen, Pembroke Pines, FL, USA – 2, 2, 2, ; 6
3. Bermuda High, Hanse 400 39′ 7, Martinus van Breems, Norwalk, CT, USA – 4, 3, 6, ; 13
Spinnaker Racing/Cruising (CSA – 17 Boats)
1. Lost Horizon, J 122 12.21, James Dobbs, Antigua – 2, 1, 1, 1, ; 5
2. Three Harkoms, Beneteau 442 Oceanic 44.5, James Hudleston, Yarmouth, Great Britain, England – 1, 2, 3, 4, ; 10
3. El Ocaso, J 120 40, Rick Wesslund, Miami, FL, USA – 3, 4, 4, 2, ; 13
IRC (IRC – 8 Boats)
1. Interlodge, JV 52 52, Austin and Gwen Fragomen, Newport, RI, USA – 1, 2, 1, 4, ; 8
2. Vela Veloce, Southern Cross 52 52′, Richard Oland, Rothesay, NB, CAN – 3, 1, 2, 2, ; 8
3. Equation, Andrews 68 68, Bill Alcott, St. Clair Shores, MI, USA – 6, 4, 4, 1, ; 15
Beach Cats (Portsmouth – 5 Boats)
1. Time Out, Hobie 16 16, John Holmberg, St. Thomas, VI, USA – 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, ; 7
2. Auto Manic, Hobie 16 16′, Chris Schreiber, Christiansted, VI, USA – 1, 1, 3, 2, 2, ; 9
3. Puma, Prindle 19 19′, Jason Siska, St. John, VI, USA – 6/DNS, 6/DNS, 2, 3, 3, ; 20
There were no surprises in the finishes posted by the 17 Twelves who completed only a single race today at the 2009 12 Metre World Championship. After sailing out to the old America’s Cup racecourse off Brenton Point, the wind speed took a nosedive as it changed direction from WSW to NNW, leaving the competitors drifting for close to two hours. With one race completed, the four divisions were given a combined start for the Candy Store Cup, sending them on a course back into Newport Harbor to the finish line at Bannister’s Wharf. The wind, however, continued to be uncooperative and the race was abandoned when the Twelves were unable to make the time limit for the race.
Yesterday, racing in the Modern division was quite contentious, with the outcome of numerous protests resulting in Challenge 12 and Courageous each picking up a DSQ when the jury decisions did not go in their favor and causing a complete shake up in the results for that division. Unscathed by the protests, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.) at the helm of Victory ’83 is reaping the benefit of having assembled a crew that includes several who have sailed together for close to 30 years, including Heart of America veterans Wally Henry (San Diego, Calif.) and Jim Gretzky (Storrs, Conn.), along with three father and son pairs – Jerry and Rome Kirby, Bill and Randy Shore (all Newport, R.I.) and Larry and Matt Mialik (both Madison, Wisc.), making for a well-oiled effort as evidenced by the 1-1-2 they posted on day one.
Peter Stalkus (Newport, R.I.), navigator aboard Victory ’83, has the distinction of having been navigator with four America’s Cup campaigns (’80 Clipper, ’83 Defender, ’87 USA 61 and ’97 Young America). His take on Victory ‘83’s impressive performance here is that Dennis Williams, its owner, has been meticulous in his approach. “The boat is well prepared and it shows,” said Stalkus after the team picked up their third win in four races. “It has good speed and we’ve practiced ahead of time.”
While the fallout from the protest decisions catapulted Intrepid from fifth into second and Freedom from fourth to third, today’s result did not do much to help either. Intrepid added a fifth-place finish today and dropped back to fourth overall, while the Freedom’s fourth-place finish held them in place. For Courageous, who had slipped from third to fourth overall after the protest, their second-place finish today moved them up to second overall. Challenge 12, dropping from second place to fifth after the protest results, was third in today’s race and did not move in the overall standings.
Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.), on Kiwi Magic, leads the Grand Prix division, while tied on points – six each – with Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) on Wright on White. In the Traditional division, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.) on Weatherly leads with six points, three ahead of American Eagle being driven by Charlie Millikin and Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.). Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.) on Northern Light is leading by one point over Gleam, driven by Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), in the Vintage division.
Images By George Bekris
(click on image to enlarge)
Legends Forums – The Legends Forums are a unique sidebar to the 2009 12 Metre Worlds, bringing together the biggest names of the America’s Cup 12 Metre era for question-and-answer sessions moderated by Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.), who won the America’s Cup with Ted Turner in 1977 and went on to become the voice of sailing for television. Held after racing each day dockside at Bannister’s and Bowen’s Wharves, with a finale forum planned for Sunday, as well, at the awards ceremony at Harbour Court, the forums are designed to include representation from a varied – and knowledgeable – group of personalities in the categories of Syndicate Representative, Crew, Design, Journalist and Other Notables. On opening day, the panel included Skip Lissiman (AUS), Gianfranco Alberini (ITA), Russell Coutts (NZL), and Americans Charlie Hovey, Harry Anderson, Dave Pedrick, Andy MacGowan, Bill Koch and Dick Enerson. The questions ran the gamut from “Who was the best 12 Metre skipper?” (all of them who won, it was decided in consensus) and “What was the best Twelve ever?” (Intrepid for being the biggest departure, changing all future designs) to “What will win the next America’s Cup, a trimaran or a catamaran?” (that one was a toss-up). Clearly, the audience was enjoying the up close-and-personal encounter, and they lingered to talk about the exchanges long after the luminaries had left, some even discussing what questions would be best to ask a different group tonight.
Racing resumes tomorrow, Friday, September 25, and concludes Saturday, September 26.
2009 12 Metre Worlds Results for Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009
Place, Boat Name-Sail Number, Skipper (Hometown), Finish positions, Total Points
Division I – Grand Prix
1. Kiwi Magic-KZ7, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.) 2-2-1-1, 6
2. Wright on White-KZ3, Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) 1-1-2-2, 6
3. USA-US61, Richard Matthews (W. Mersea, GBR), 3-3-3-3, 12
4. America II-US46, Michael Fortenbaugh (New York, N.Y.), 4-4-DNF-4, 17
Division 2 – Modern
1. Victory 83-K22, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.), 1-1-2-1, 5
2. Courageous, US26, Stephen Glascock (New York, N.Y.), 3-2-DSQ-2, 13
3. Freedom-US30, Ernest Jacquet (Boston, Mass.), 4- 5-1-4, 14
2. Intrepid-US22, Jack Curtin (Toronto, CAN), 2-3-4-5, 14
5. Challenge 12-KA10, William Borel (Paris, FRA), DSQ-4-3-3, 16
Division 3 – Traditional
1. Weatherly-US17, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.), 2-1-1-2, 6
2. American Eagle-US21, Charlie Millikin/Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.), 4-2-2-1, 9
3. Columbia-US16, Alain Hanover (Weston, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-3-3-3, 10
4. Nefertiti-US19, Sears Wullschleger (Nantucket, Mass.), 3-4-4-4, 15
5. Easterner-US18, Paul Callahan (Ft. Meyers, Fla./Newport, R.I.), 5-5-DNS-5, 21
Division 4 – Vintage
1. Northern Light-US14, Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), 1-2-1-2, 6
2. Gleam-US11, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), 3-1-2-1, 7
3. Onawa-US6, Morten Kielland (Geneva, SUI), 2-DNF-DNS-3, 13
Some of the competitors at the 2009 12 Metre World Championship are certainly experiencing déjà vu as a veritable “Who’s Who” of sailing walked the docks at Bannister and Bowen’s Wharves this morning as the first day of this long-anticipated event got underway. From current America’s Cup poster boy Russell Coutts (Auckland, NZL), who is sailing on Kiwi Magic with Cup patron and skipper Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.), to Dawn Riley (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) who broke ground as team leader of the first women’s entry in the Cup, to noted British sailors Harold Cudmore (Cowes, GBR) and Andy Green (Lymington, GBR), there is a surfeit of recognizable faces. Twenty-six years ago when the America’s Cup was won by Australia (in 1983) in Newport, it ended the longest winning streak in sporting history (132 years). Four years later, two more milestones in the event’s history were marked: Dennis Conner became the first person to lose and then win the Cup, and the Twelves were sailed for the last time as the America’s Cup yacht of choice after 29 years.
“It’s wonderful to wander about the docks at Bowen’s and Bannister’s Wharf and see the 12 Metres here again, where they were in ’83, many of them with their same crews from then,” said Robin Wallace (Newport, R.I.) who was a member of Race Committee for the Challenger Series in ‘83 and is the Principal Race Officer for this event. “With the current legal squabbles going on, people have become disenchanted with the America’s Cup, but this is like a re-awakening of the class, a reinvention of a competition that celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the 12 Meters first being used in the Cup.”
Divided into four divisions – Grand Prix, Modern, Traditional and Vintage – the 17 competing yachts sailed three races today, all in different wind levels in the Twelves old stomping grounds off Brenton Point. The southwesterly breeze went from light, increasing to 12 knots for race two, and into the mid-teens for the third race, with a relatively flat sea state until race three.
We broke a couple of sails,” said Dawn Riley who came to the event to participate in the Legends Forums and wound up racing on America II. “But, we’re kind of a slower boat in the Grand Prix so we were happy to beat one of the boats to the top mark and almost to the bottom mark. And, we improved from the first race to the second race and everybody on board had fun. The bad news is you break sails and you can’t race, the good news is it was full-on physical, athletic, screaming, swearing . . . and everyone came out with smiles.”
All Images By George Bekris
(click on image to enlarge)
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2000, 3 races sailed (3 races total)
Place, Boat Name-Sail no., Skipper (Hometown), Finish positions, Total Points
Division I – Grand Prix
1. Wright on White-KZ3, Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) 1-1-2, 4
2. Kiwi Magic-KZ7, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.) 2-2-1, 5
3. USA-US61, Richard Matthews (W. Mersea, GBR), 3-3-3, 9
4. America II-US46, Michael Fortenbaugh (New York, N.Y.), 4-4-WDR, 13
Division 2 – Modern – Protests Pending
1. Victory 83-K22, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.), 1-1-2, 4
2. Challenge 12-KA10, William Borel (Paris, FRA), 2-4-3, 9
3. Courageous, US26, Stephen Glascock (New York, N.Y.), 4-2-4, 10
4. Freedom-US30, Ernest Jacquet (Boston, Mass.), 5-1, 11
5. Intrepid-US22, Jack Curtin (Toronto, CAN), 3-3-5, 11
Division 3 – Traditional
1. Weatherly-US17, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.), 2-1-1, 4
2. Columbia-US16, Alain Hanover (Weston, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-3-3, 7
3. American Eagle-US21, Charlie Millikin/Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.), 4-2-2, 8
4. Nefertiti-US19, Sears Wullschleger (Nantucket, Mass.), 3-4-4, 11
5. Easterner-US18, Paul Callahan (Ft. Meyers, Fla./Newport, R.I.), 5-5-DNS, 16
Division 4 – Vintage
1. Northern Light-US14, Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), 1-2-1, 4
2. Gleam-US11, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), 3-1-2, 6
3. Onawa-US6, Morten Kielland (Geneva, SUI), 2-WDR-DNS, 10
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 Boston, USA to Galway, Ireland
(click on image to view gallery)
Volvo Ocean Race Boston In Port Race
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6 Finish - Rio de Janeiro, Brasil to Boston, USA
Challenge and Adventure Image Galleries of Newport Bucket Regatta by George Bekris
(click on image to view gallery) http://www.challengeandadventure.com/Newport_Bucket2009/ http://www.challengeandadventure.com/Newport_Bucket2008/ http://www.challengeandadventure.com/Newport_Bucket2006/ http://www.challengeandadventure.com/Newport_Bucket2005/ .