Pugwash, owner David Murphey; Wings, owner Mike Bruno & Tom Boyle (Photo by Billy Black / Rolex )

Pugwash, owner David Murphey; Wings, owner Mike Bruno & Tom Boyle (Photo by Billy Black / Rolex )

New York Yacht Club 158th Annual Regatta Presented by Rolex

 
After a rousing 19-mile Around the Island Race on Friday, sailors at the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) 158th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex had to face light winds on Saturday and Sunday and a subsequently abbreviated race schedule where every move counted as critical to final results.  With 104 boats entered in Friday’s race (separately scored and optional) and 133 entered in weekend racing, this 2012 edition of what is revered as America’s oldest regatta will go down in sailing history as having its biggest fleet ever…and, for some, the most intriguing last-minute victories.
 
One for the record is Alex Jackson’s (Riverside, Conn.) trumping of the nine-boat Melges 32 class with Leenabarca in the second of two races today.  Two of the class’s world champions (Doug Douglass on Goombay Smash and Pieter Taselaar on Bliksem) were tied for first going into that race, which was the last of three in the regatta series, and Jackson trailed in scoring by one point.  According to Douglass, who exchanged friendly banter with Jackson back onshore, “We both went right, and Alex schooled us by going left and winning—he stole (the series) from us!”  Jackson joked that while the competition was incredible, “we were just better,” but in all seriousness, the stakes are high for this class as it prepares for its world championships here later this summer.  “More teams will be showing up as we get closer to that event,” said Jackson, who finished sixth two years ago at the worlds, “so I wouldn’t say that this was the biggest fleet of Melges 32s we’ve ever had, but it sure included some of the toughest teams.”
 
Also winning on the final note today was defending champion Mike McCaffrey (Newport, R.I.) aboard Osprey in the Herreshoff S class.  Stephan Sloan’s (East Greenwich, R.I.) Argument was leading the regatta until it was forced over the start line prematurely in today’s second race and had to restart. “That gave us the opportunity to salvage a first out of what was looking to be a second or third,” said McCaffrey.
 
Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Conn.), winner of the Swan 42 class with Bandit, said his team also had an “incredibly bad start” in today’s first race, but it battled back to finish fifth.  “Luckily, we were very much in phase in the second race,” said Fisher, “and we picked more of the right wind shifts than the wrong ones and won.  It was a little bit of luck, a little bit of skill.”  His closest competition was John Hele’s Daring, which represented the Royal Canadian Yacht Club to win last year’s New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex and is helmed by Canada’s Terry McLaughlin, an America’s Cup veteran and 1984 Olympic silver medalist in the Flying Dutchman class.
 
Among the largest boats in the fleet was George Sakellaris’s (Framingham, Mass.) Mini Maxi 72 Shockwave, which won IRC 1. “We had a conservative day,” said the boat’s captain and crew member Reggie Cole (Newport) after today’s single race. “We just wanted to beat (George David’s) Rambler today, because that’s what we had to do to win, but it was just by happenstance that we also beat (Hap Fauth’s) Bella Mente.  She  blew out a spinnaker and we passed them to finish first.”
 
Ptarmigan, Larry Dickie’s (Greenwich, Conn.) Ker 43, came from behind to win today in IRC 3.  Skipper Bill Lynn (Marblehead, Mass) said that Saturday it had been hard to get out of the shadow of James Madden’s (Newport Beach, Calif.) Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad, which won the day on the merit of posting victory in a single race. “There was massive wind sheer and shifts to deal with,” he said, explaining that on the first beat his team had looked good, but “after that, we were struggling” and finished third.  Though today proved more manageable, playing shifts was still the name of the game and Ptarmigan made the most out of them to finish first to Stark Raving Mad’s fourth and post four points to its five (for second place).
 
Steered by Lexi Gahagan, Dennis Williams’s (Hobe Sound, Fla.) Victory 83 dominated the 12 Metre class, posting three victories in as many races, while in IRC 5 class, Leonard Sitar’s (Holmdel, NJ) J/44 Vamp took class honors with a 2-1 in his series.
 
Past J/122 North American champion Mike Bruno and Tom Boyle (Irvington, N.Y.) finished 2-1 in the regatta’s two races to take IRC 6 on his J/122 Wings, while past J/109 North American champion Bill Sweetser (Annapolis, Md.) on the J/109 Rush topped IRC 7.
 
David and Sandra Askew’s (Annapolis, Md.) IRC 52 Flying Jenny 2 won IRC 2, while winning IRC 4 was the Taylor 45 Africa, skippered by Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Jud Smith (Marblehead, Mass.).  Peter Kellogg’s (Short Hills, N.J.) Catboat 33′ Silent Maid won CRF 2 Non-Spinnaker, and Lars Forsberg’s (Greenwich, Conn.) S&S Yawl Black Watch took CRF 1 Non-Spinnaker.
 
In PHRF Navigator’s class, 22 boats competed, proving that this relatively new concept (begun last year) is popular for those who prefer a classic government buoy course to the more prevalent short-course racing on Saturday and Sunday.  Defending champions Ben Hall and Bill Berges (Tiverton, R.I.) won Class 5 on their Evelyn 32 Bluto, while Paul Koch’s (East Greenwich, R.I.) Freedom 35 Jazz Fish took Class 6.
 
A Rolex timepiece was awarded on Friday evening to the overall IRC winner in that day’s Around the Island Race.  Accepting the Rolex was Takashi Okura (Tokyo, Japan), owner and skipper of the IRC 52 Sled, which also won its IRC 2 class
 
Rolex also will award a timepiece to the overall winner (determined by the organizers) of Saturday’s and Sunday’s combined series of races, which officially constitutes the NYYC 158th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex. This special prize, as well as engraved overall trophies in each class and the Great Corinthian Trophy for yacht club teams of three or more boats posting the best class finishes, will be announced and awarded at the November 8 Annual Awards Dinner at the NYYC’s main clubhouse in New York City.
 

Swan 42 fleet (Photo by Billy Black / Rolex)

Swan 42 fleet (Photo by Billy Black / Rolex)

Known for attracting a diverse range of boats, NYYC’s Annual Regatta presented by Rolex is the first major sailing contest of the season in historic Newport, Rhode Island.  In even-numbered years, the regatta draws a large number of competitors who compete a week later in the Newport Bermuda Race and who use the Annual Regatta to gear up prior to the start of that distance race.  Part of the 2012 US-IRC Gulf Stream Series, NYYC’s Annual Regatta presented by Rolex is the first event in the NYYC Classic Yacht Series.  Additionally, IRC yachts are eligible to enter the Onion Patch Series which consists of the Annual Regatta, the Newport Bermuda Race and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta.  The first race completed on Saturday and Sunday during NYYC’s Annual Regatta counts toward the Onion Patch Series. 
 
For daily results, releases, photos and video by T2p.tv, please visit the New York Yacht Club’s website at nyyc.org. 
 

 

Shockwave, Mini Maxi 72, George Sakellaris (Photo by Billy Black / Rolex)

Shockwave, Mini Maxi 72, George Sakellaris (Photo by Billy Black / Rolex)

Final Results
NYYC 158th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex
June 9-10, 2012
 
Blue Class 1 – IRC 1 (IRC – 3 Boats)
1. Shockwave, Mini Maxi 72, George Sakellaris , Framingham, MA, USA – 1, 1, ; 2
2. Bella Mente, J-V Mini Maxi 72′, Hap Fauth , Minneapolis, MN, USA – 3, 2, ; 5
3. Rambler, RP 90 W B 90, George David , Hartford, CT, USA – 2, 3, ; 5
 
Blue Class 2 – IRC 2 (IRC – 5 Boats)
1. Flying Jenny 7, IRC 52 52, David and Sandra Askew , Annapolis, MD, USA – 1, 2, ; 3
2. Vesper, TP 52 52, Jim Swartz , Park City, UT, USA – 3, 1, ; 4
3. Interlodge, IRC 52 52, Austin and Gwen Fragomen , Newport, RI, USA – 2, 4, ; 6
 
Blue Class 3 – IRC 3 (IRC – 9 Boats)
1. Ptarmigan, Ker 43 43, Lawrence Dickie , Greenwich, CT, USA – 3, 1, ; 4
2. Stark Raving Mad, Swan 601 60, James Madden , Newport Beach, CA, USA – 1, 4, ; 5
3. Defiance, Marten 49 49, Hamnett Hill , Montreal, Que, CAN – 4, 2, ; 6
 
Blue Class 4 – IRC 4 (IRC – 13 Boats)
1. Africa, Taylor 45 45, Jud Smith , Marblehead, MA, USA – 1, 2.5, ; 3.5
2. Nasty Medicine, Corby 41 41.5, Stephen Sherwin , Hamilton, BER – 2, 2.5/Protest, ; 4.5
3. After Midnight, CTM 41 41, Paul Jeka , Atlantic Highlands, NJ, USA – 4, 1, ; 5
 
Blue Class 5 – IRC 5 (IRC – 9 Boats)
1. Vamp, J 44 44.9, Leonard Sitar , Holmdel, NJ, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Carina, Custom 48 48′, Rives Potts , Essex, CT, USA – 1, 2, ; 3
3. Cygnette, Swan 441 44.36, William Mayer , Dover, DE, USA – 5, 3, ; 8
 
White Class 6 – IRC 6 (IRC – 12 Boats)
1. Wings, J 122 40, Mike Bruno & Tom Boyle , Irvington, NY, USA – 2, 1, ; 3
2. Christopher Dragon, J/122 40, Andrew Weiss , Mamaroneck, NY, USA – 1, 5, ; 6
3. Old School, Farr 395 39.5, Ganson Evans , Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA – 3, 6, ; 9
 
White Class 7 – IRC 7 (IRC – 10 Boats)
1. Rush, J 109 35.25, Bill Sweetser , Annapolis, MD, USA – 1, 1, ; 2
2. Dorade, S&S Yawl 52.5, Matt Brooks , Fremont, CA, USA – 5, 2, ; 7
3. Picante, J 109 36, Rober Salk & John Sahagian , Jamestown, RI, USA – 4, 3, ; 7
 
White Class 8 – Swan 42 (One Design – 10 Boats)
1. Bandit, Swan 42 42, Andrew Fisher , Greenwich, CT, USA – 3, 5, 1, ; 9
2. Daring, Swan 42 42, John Hele , Newport, RI, USA – 1, 3, 9, ; 13
3. Vitesse, Swan 42 42, Jon Halbert , Dallas, TX, USA – 6, 1, 6, ; 13
 
White Class 9 – Melges 32 (One Design – 9 Boats)
1. Leenabarca, Melges 32 32, Alex Jackson , Riverside, Conn., USA – 5, 1, 1, ; 7
2. Bliksem, Melges 32 32, Pieter Taselaar , Newport, RI, USA – 2, 3, 4, ; 9
3. hedgehog, Melges 32 32, Alec Cutler , Pembroke, BER – 4, 5, 2, ; 11
 
Green Class 1 – 12 Metres (One Design – 8 Boats)
1. Victory 83, 12 Metre 65, Dennis Williams , Hobe Sound, FL, USA – 1, 1, 1, ; 3
2. Courageous, 12 Meter 68, Ralph Isham / Alexander Auersperg , New York, NY, USA – 2, 4, 2, ; 8
3. USA, 12 Metre 65′, Guy Heckman , Newport, RI, USA – 4, 2, 4/Protest, ; 10
 
Green Class 4 – Herreshoff S Class (One Design – 9 Boats)
1. Osprey, Herreshoff S Class 27.6, Michael McCaffrey , Newport, RI, USA – 2, 2, 3, ; 7
2. Argument, Herreshoff S Class 27.5, Stephan Sloan , East Greenwich, RI, USA – 1, 1, 7, ; 9
3. Swallow , Herreshoff S Class 27.5, Leeds Mitchell IV , Providence, RI, USA – 3, 4, 2, ; 9
 
Green Class 2 – CRF 1 Non-Spinnaker (PHRF – 6 Boats)
1. Black Watch, S&S Yawl 67.86, Lars Forsberg , Greenwich, CT, USA – 3, 1/Protest, 1, ; 5
2. Angelita, 8 Metre 50.33′, Samuel Croll , Greenwich, CT, USA – 1, 5/Protest, 2, ; 8
3. Sonny, S&S Custom 53 53, Joseph Dockery , Newport, RI, USA – 2, 2, 4, ; 8
 
Green Class 3 – CRF 2 Non-Spinnaker (PHRF – 7 Boats)
1. Silent Maid, Catboat 33′, Peter Kellogg , Short Hills, NJ, USA – 1, 4, 1, ; 6
2. Belle, Luders 24 38.25, Jonathan Loughborough , Newport, RI, USA – 2, 2, 2, ; 6
3. SYCE, 6 Metre 34, Bob and Farley Towse , Stamford, CT, USA – 3, 5, 3, ; 11
 
Green Class 5 – PHRF Navigators Race (PHRF – 14 Boats)
1. Bluto, Evelyn 32-2 32, Benjamin Hall , Tiverton, RI, USA – 2, 2, ; 4
2. Tonto, J 105 34.5, Fred Darlington , Cumberland, RI, USA – 6, 1, ; 7
3. Blockade Runner, Farr 30 30, Bruce Bingman / Taran Teague , Annapolis, MD, USA – 1, 8.5, ; 9.5
 
Green Class 6 – PHRF NS Navigators Race (PHRF – 8 Boats)
1. Jazz Fish, Freedom 35 35, Paul Koch , East Greenwich, RI, USA – 1, 3, ; 4
2. Duck Soup, C&C 40 39’6, Bill Clavin , Warwick, RI, USA – 2, 2, ; 4
3. True, J 160 52, Howard Hodgson , Ipswich, MA, USA – 5, 1, ; 6
 

Victory 83, 12 Metre 65, Dennis Williams (Photo by Billy Black / Rolex)

Victory 83, 12 Metre 65, Dennis Williams (Photo by Billy Black / Rolex)

 

Sled   (Photo by George Bekris)

Sled (Photo by George Bekris)

Sailors on over 100 boats enjoyed classic Newport weather for today’s 19-mile Around the (Conanicut) Island Race, a traditional prelude to the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, which will mark its 158th edition this weekend. The oldest regatta in America is enjoying a record number of 146 entries, with 133 of those signed up for weekend racing. (Today’s Around the Island Race was separately scored and optional.)

“It was southwest 8-12 knots, building to Beavertail,” said Tom Erskine (Marblehead, Mass), main trimmer on Ken Colburn’s Swan 42 class winner Apparition, explaining that with that much horsepower to the wind, the race committee had no problems sticking to a scheduled noon start for a clockwise course that started just south of the iconic Newport (Pell) Bridge. “Then it was 12-15 on the backside of the island and 15-16 on the nose coming home — just great conditions.” It didn’t hurt, either, that the sun shone all day after several days of relentless rain.

“The Race Committee started the smaller boats first,” added Erskine, “which made it fun to see all those classics like Black Watch and Dorade sailing near us, and then at the top of the island Rambler (the largest boat in the fleet at 90 feet) came ripping by us at 17 knots!”

Though Rambler was first to finish in just under two hours, but it was the IRC 52 Sled’s performance that earned owner Takashi Okura (Tokyo, Japan) a class win in IRC 2 and the overall victory in IRC class, which meant he goes home with the coveted Rolex watch as prize for his efforts today. Sled circumnavigated the island in just over two hours.

Spinnakers (Photo by George Bekris)

Spinnakers (Photo by George Bekris)

 

“I am still jet lagged,” said Okura, who arrived only yesterday to join his mostly-Japanese team on a charter boat that bears the name Interlodge. (Austin and Gwen Fragomen also sailed their newly built IRC 52 named Interlodge and finished third in the class behind Jim Swartz’s IRC 52 Vesper.) “We tried to sail calmly and quietly and just think about the wind and the tide.” Okura added that for ten minutes after the start, Vesper was leading, but the Sled team was able to play the current to its advantage and succeed at a takeover. Okura also won a Rolex watch here in 2006 when he sailed the Farr 40 North Americans as part of the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex and he has every intention of adding an Annual Regatta victory to his resume after he competes this weekend. (Rolex also will award a timepiece to the overall winner of Saturday’s and Sunday’s combined series of races.)

Fourteen class winners today included Hap Fauth (Minneapolis, Minn./Newport, R.I.) with his newly built Judel-Vrolijk 72’ mini maxi Bella Mente in IRC 1 and Annual Regatta defending champions Rives Potts (Westbrook, Conn.) in IRC 6 aboard his custom 48 Carina; Michael McCaffrey (Newport) in the Herreshoff S class with Osprey; Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla.) in the 12 Metre class with Victory 83; and Joseph Dockery (Newport) in CRF 1 (classics) with his custom S&S 53 Sonny. (Ken Colburn’s Swan 42 Apparition is also a defending champion.)

Since 1845, the tradition of the Annual Regatta, first hosted at the New York Yacht Club’s original clubhouse in Hoboken, N.J., has been interrupted only by war. The event – in even years — is part of the Onion Patch Series, which also includes the Newport Bermuda Race and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta.

Fleet  (Photo by George Bekris)

Fleet (Photo by George Bekris)

Racing for the NYYC Annual Regatta presented by Rolex takes place on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound for all classes, with a PHRF Navigator Class — for those who prefer a classic government buoy course to the more prevalent short-course racing on Saturday and Sunday — having the option of racing either one or both of the weekend days. Live music, refreshments and daily prizes greet the sailors as they come ashore after racing each day to the rolling lawn at NYYC’s Harbour Court clubhouse.

NYYC Around the Island Race (Photo by George Bekris)

NYYC Around the Island Race (Photo by George Bekris)

For daily results, releases, photos and video, please visit the New York Yacht Club’s website at nyyc.org.

Results New York Yacht Club Around the Island Race

Friday, June 8, 2012

Place, Sail, Yacht Name, Yacht Type, Owner/Skipper, City, State, Country, Finish Date-Time, Elapsed, Corrected, Class Finish/Fleet Finish

Class 1 – IRC 1 (IRC – 4 Boats)
1. USA 45 Bella Mente, Judel-Vrolijk Mini Maxi, Hap Fauth , Minneapolis, MN, USA — 08Jun12-02:56:37PM / 0:01:56:37 / 0:03:06:07 — 1 / 3
2. USA 60272 Shockwave, Mini Maxi, George Sakellaris , Framingham, MA, USA — 08Jun12-02:58:22PM / 0:01:58:22 / 0:03:07:22 — 2 / 6
3. USA 4511 Team Tiburon (Wizard), R/P 74, Mark E. Watson III , Newport, RI, USA — 08Jun12-02:59:16PM / 0:01:59:16 / 0:03:08:47 — 3 / 9

Class 2 – IRC 2 (IRC – 6 Boats)
1. USA 5206 SLED, IRC 52, Takashi Okura , Tokyo, JPN — 08Jun12-03:07:54PM / 0:02:12:54 / 0:03:03:00 — 1 / 1
2. USA 52007 Vesper, TP 52, Jim Swartz , Park City, UT, USA — 08Jun12-03:09:09PM / 0:02:14:09 / 0:03:05:15 — 2 / 2
3. USA 5210 Interlodge, IRC 52, Austin and Gwen Fragomen , Newport, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:10:45PM / 0:02:15:45 / 0:03:08:41 — 3 / 8

Class 3 – IRC 3 (IRC – 8 Boats)
1. USA 79 Ptarmigan, Ker 43, Lawrence Dickie , Greenwich, CT, USA — 08Jun12-03:19:12PM / 0:02:29:12 / 0:03:07:14 — 1 / 5
2. IVB 4915 Defiance, Marten 49, Hamnett Hill , Montreal, Que, CAN — 08Jun12-03:25:27PM / 0:02:35:27 / 0:03:13:04 — 2 / 21
3. USA 50069 Temptation – Oakcliff, Custom Ker 50, Arthur Santry – Oakcliff Sailing , Arlington, VA, USA — 08Jun12-03:24:52PM / 0:02:34:52 / 0:03:15:17 — 3 / 31

Class 4 – IRC 4 (IRC – 9 Boats)
1. USA 52915 White Witch, King 40, Larry Landry , Newport, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:32:39PM / 0:02:47:39 / 0:03:08:36 — 1 / 7
2. USA 52830 Barra, Morris 486, Bruce MacNeil , Lincoln, Ma., USA — 08Jun12-03:35:41PM / 0:02:50:41 / 0:03:12:52 — 2 / 17
3. BER 1000 Nasty Medicine, Corby 41, Stephen Sherwin , Hamilton, BER — 08Jun12-03:31:00PM / 0:02:46:00 / 0:03:13:53 — 3 / 25

Class 5 – IRC 5 (IRC – 10 Boats)
1. USA 49 Gold Digger, J 44, James D. Bishop , Jamestown, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:31:33PM / 0:02:51:33 / 0:03:07:09 — 1 / 4
2. USA 43600 Vamp, J 44, Leonard Sitar , Holmdel, NJ, USA — 08Jun12-03:34:32PM / 0:02:54:32 / 0:03:10:04 — 2 / 14
3. USA 60003 Pugwash, J 122, David Murphy , westport, CT, USA — 08Jun12-03:36:51PM / 0:02:56:51 / 0:03:12:35 — 3 / 16

Class 6 – IRC 6 (IRC – 11 Boats)
1. USA 315 Carina, Custom 48, Rives Potts , Essex, CT, USA — 08Jun12-03:35:16PM / 0:03:00:16 / 0:03:08:55 — 1 / 10
2. USA 16 Dorade, S&S Yawl, Matt Brooks , Fremont, CA, USA — 08Jun12-03:44:10PM / 0:03:09:10 / 0:03:09:09 — 2 / 12
3. USA 1976 Mischief, Lyman-Morse 40, David Schwartz , Smithfield, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:44:19PM / 0:03:09:19 / 0:03:10:04 — 3 / 13

Class 7 – 12 Metre GP/M (One Design – 5 Boats)
1. K 22 Victory 83, 12 Metre, Dennis Williams , Hobe Sound, FL, USA — 08Jun12-03:02:22PM / 0:02:32:22 / 0:02:32:22 — 1 /
2. USA 61 USA, 12 Metre, Guy Heckman , Newport, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:08:57PM / 0:02:38:57 / 0:02:38:57 — 2 /
3. KZ5 Laura, 12 Metre, Kip Curren , Warwick, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:10:30PM / 0:02:40:30 / 0:02:40:30 — 3 /

Class 8 – 12 Metre Traditional (One Design – 3 Boats)
1. USA US 21 American Eagle, 12 Metre, Cynthia Alten-DeLotto , Newport, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:15:50PM / 0:02:45:50 / 0:02:45:50 — 1 /
2. USA 16 Columbia, 12 Metre, Alain Hanover , Weston, MA, USA — 08Jun12-03:16:10PM / 0:02:46:10 / 0:02:46:10 — 2 /
3. USA 19 Nefertiti, 12 Metre, Jon Wullschleger , Sarasota, FL, USA — 08Jun12-03:16:24PM / 0:02:46:24 / 0:02:46:24 — 3 /

Class 9 – Swan 42 (One Design – 8 Boats)
1. USA 4235 Apparition, Swan 42, Ken Colburn , Dover, MA, USA — 08Jun12-03:07:25PM / 0:02:42:25 / 0:02:42:25 — 1 /
2. USA 4227 Hoss, swan 42, Glenn Darden & Paul Williamson , Fort Worth, Texas, USA — 08Jun12-03:10:46PM / 0:02:45:46 / 0:02:45:46 — 2 /
3. USA 4214 Daring, Swan 42, John Hele , Newport, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:10:57PM / 0:02:45:57 / 0:02:45:57 — 3 /

Class 10 – CRF 1 Non-Spinnaker (PHRF – 6 Boats)
1. USA 50 Sonny, S&S Custom 53, Joseph Dockery , Newport, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:32:59PM / 0:03:12:59 / 0:02:38:07 — 1 / 1
2. USA NY 6 Spartan, NY 50, Charlie Ryan , Providence, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:20:07PM / 0:03:00:07 / 0:02:43:09 — 2 / 2
3. US 71 Black Watch, S&S Yawl, Sam Earle , USA — 08Jun12-03:26:38PM / 0:03:06:38 / 0:02:43:36 — 3 / 3

Class 11 – PHRF 1 spin (PHRF – 9 Boats)
1. USA 34 Blockade Runner, Farr 30, Bruce Bingman / Taran Teague , Annapolis, MD, USA — 08Jun12-03:19:48PM / 0:03:04:48 / 0:02:48:29 — 1 / 7
2. USA 51109 Capella, Sabre 452, David Millet , Needham, MA, USA — 08Jun12-03:24:41PM / 0:03:09:41 / 0:02:53:03 — 2 / 16
3. USA 56 Spirit, J 92S, EC Helme , Newport, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:40:29PM / 0:03:25:29 / 0:02:54:46 — 3 / 17

Class 12 – PHRF 2 spin (PHRF – 3 Boats)
1. USA 8 Osprey, Herreshoff S Class, Michael McCaffrey , Newport, USA — 08Jun12-04:02:48PM / 0:03:52:48 / 0:02:47:33 — 1 / 6
2. USA 22 Argument, Herreshoff S Class, Stephan Sloan , East Greenwich, RI, USA — 08Jun12-04:04:59PM / 0:03:54:59 / 0:02:49:44 — 2 / 10
3. USA 5 Surprise, Herreshoff S Class, Fred Roy , Newport, RI, USA — 08Jun12-04:08:17PM / 0:03:58:17 / 0:02:53:02 — 3 / 15

Class 13 – CRF 2 Non-Spinnaker (PHRF – 2 Boats)
1. T 82 Silent Maid, Catboat, Peter Kellogg , Short Hills, NJ, USA — 08Jun12-03:54:12PM / 0:03:44:12 / 0:02:52:42 — 1 / 13
2. USA US 53 Cherokee, 6 Metre, Molly Savard , Middletown, CT, USA — 08Jun12-04:07:22PM / 0:03:57:22 / 0:03:08:06 — 2 / 23

Class 14 – PHRF Non-Spinnaker (PHRF – 9 Boats)
1. USA 1968 Hermie, Columbia 50, Gerald Harris , Rowayton, CT, USA — 08Jun12-03:36:02PM / 0:03:26:02 / 0:02:46:03 — 1 / 4
2. USA 414 Coup d’ Etat, McCurdy Rhodes 46, Michael Shea , Farmington, CT, USA — 08Jun12-03:34:26PM / 0:03:24:26 / 0:02:47:19 — 2 / 5
3. USA 42700 Duck Soup, C&C 40, Bill Clavin , Warwick, RI, USA — 08Jun12-03:32:51PM / 0:03:22:51 / 0:02:48:37 — 3 / 8

For More Images Of the NYYC Around- the- Island Race 2012 by George Bekris click HERE

 

NYYC Round the Island Race 2012 (Photo by George Bekris)

NYYC Round the Island Race 2012 (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

With three races conducted in strong winds, there was opportunity for boats to make a significant move in the standings on the second day of Quantum Key West 2012. Or in some cases it was a chance to further increase leads taken on Day 1. Pisces fit into the former category, moving into the overall lead in Melges 32 class by winning two of three races on Tuesday. Skipper Benjamin Schwartz and company showed superb boat speed and made some sound tactical decisions and now lead the 19-boat fleet by tiebreaker over John Kilroy and the Samba Pa Ti team. “We are a new program so it is a tremendous feeling to be doing well in a big-time regatta like Key West. Hopefully, we can keep it going,” said Schwartz, who joined the class last summer and promptly placed fourth at U.S. Nationals. Schwartz has America’s Cup veteran Ed Baird calling tactics and Quantum professional Scott Nixon trimming the jib and spinnaker. “You have to give Ed and Scott a lot of credit for getting our boat up to speed,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have a great crew. Today was very challenging because the wind velocity was up and down and the sea state was not very forgiving, but the guys never stopped working and we were able to change gears pretty well.” Race committees on all three courses completed three races in 8-14 knot easterly winds.

With five races in the bag, organizers with Premiere Racing are already halfway to the stated goal of holding 10 races during the five-day regatta. There was a lead change in the Farr 40 class as well with Charisma (Nico Poons, Monaco) and Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Germany) overtaking Groovederci (John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Cal.). Struntje Light has posted a pair of seconds and finished no lower than fourth in the seven-boat fleet, but Charisma holds the overall lead via tiebreaker by virtue of winning Race 5. “We had a very good day on the water and are happy with where we stand at the moment,” Schaefer said. “We have nice boat speed upwind and our crew work has been excellent. We have a very good tactician and he’s made some fantastic calls that have kept me in phase.” Renowned Italian professional and America’s Cup veteran Vasco Vascotta is calling tactics aboard Struntje Light, which has competed in Farr 40 class at Key West ever since 2002 with a top finish of third. “Wolfgang is doing a good job of driving and is getting better every day. The guys onboard have a great attitude and are ready to fight to the end. The good news is that we can still improve our performance.” PowerPlay lived up to its name by making a strong move in IRC 2 class with a strong line of 1-3-4 on Tuesday. Owner Peter Cunningham, a resident of Georgetown in the Cayman Islands, has a nice mix of amateur and professional crew with tactician Tony Rey, trimmer Dave Scott and bowman Geordie Shaver among the superstars aboard. “We’ve only had the boat for six months and we’ve made a lot of modifications during that time,” Cunningham said. “We’re pretty happy with our performance so far. We’re sailing fairly well and having a lot of fun.” Quantum Racing, skippered by Doug DeVos, continues to set the pace in the 52-foot class and leads PowerPlay by six points. Terry Hutchinson, helmsman for the Swedish syndicate Artemis Racing that is Challenge of Record for the America’s Cup, has made strong tactical calls in leading Quantum to victory in three races and second in the two others. “Today was far from straightforward. The wind was very shifty and there are some tricky current patches to deal with,” Hutchinson said. In other classes, the three-race day merely served as an opportunity for the early leaders to extend on the competition.

Red  (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Red (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Ran, a Judel-Vrolijk 72-footer, continues to sail impressively in the Mini Maxi class (IRC 1), winning all five races so far. Red, skippered by Joe Woods of Great Britain with Paul Goodison aboard as tactician, has accomplished the same feat in the inaugural Farr 400 class. “I guess we’ve just figured the boat out a little faster than the other teams,” said Woods, who has previously sailed a Melges 32 at Key West. “We’re winning, but not by much. The racing has been awfully close.” West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes has posted straight bullets in Melges 24 class and built a commanding 10-point lead over Alan Field and the WTF team. Detroit resident Bora Gulari is steering and getting tactical advice from Australian native and North Sails pro Jeremy Wilmot as West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes seeks to follow up on its 2011 national championship. Groovederci, skippered by Deneen Demourkas of Santa Barbara, Cal., has won all five races in Farr 30 class. Teamwork, a J/122 owned by Robin Team of Lexington, N.C., has posted two bullets and a pair of seconds in grabbing a narrow one-point lead over the 1D35 Tres Hombres in PHRF 1. “We’re having a great time because the conditions have been terrific and the competition has been spectacular,” said Team, who has his brother and two sons in the crew. “We’ve been mixing it up with Tres Hombres and finished overlapped with them in the first two races today. Rush is also tough so I think it will be a dogfight the whole way.” Rush, a J/109 skippered by Bill Sweetser of Annapolis, was named Lewmar / Navtec Boat of the Day after posting a superb score line of 3-2-1. Tom Babel is calling tactics while Quantum pro Tad Hutchins is calling tactics on Rush, which is currently third in PHRF 1 and second in the J/Boats Subclass. “The conditions were very good for us today. When the wind is 14 knots or less we can fly our big jib, which is kind of like our secret weapon,” Sweetser said. “We pay for that jib in our rating so it’s good whenever we can use it.” It’s been close but no cigar for Rush at Key West as Sweetser’s boat has finished first or second in class several times, but never come away as overall winner at week’s end. “One of these years we’re going to finally break through and it’s going to be wonderful,” he said. Regatta dates are January 15 – 20, 2012.

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

For more Key West Race Week photos by  Tim Wilkes check out Tim Wilkes Photography

Jim Mitchell's Vinctore Was Named Overall Rolex US IRC National Champion (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Jim Mitchell's Vinctore Was Named Overall Rolex US IRC National Champion (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

“This is a very emotional win for me,” said Jim Mitchell (Zurich, SUI), owner of the Custom 52 Vincitore, upon winning the 2009 Rolex Big Boat Series. “At the end of racing, when I looked at my Dad, who was out on the chase boat, we both had a tear in our eyes. The speech I gave on the first day was that we have a passion for sailing, a passion for friends and family, and we will let the results speak for themselves.” At the Rolex Trophy Ceremony this evening, winning skippers in six of the 11 classes competing were awarded one of six St. Francis Yacht Club Perpetual Trophies. In front of the owners, crew, family and friends of the 97 competing boats, those six skippers also were presented with a Rolex Submariner timepiece in recognition of their accomplishments.

As winner of IRC A class, Mitchell was awarded the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy. “I didn’t know it was the original trophy,” said Mitchell, clearly taken aback by the priceless silver piece dedicated in 1964, and deeded to the premier handicap division. “That’s a pleasant surprise. It brings a tear to my eyes. That’s so awesome.”

2009-rolex-big-boat-series-perpetual-trophy-winners

The St. Francis Yacht Club awarded its six Perpetual Trophies this evening at the Rolex Trophy Ceremony where each of the skippers was presented with a Rolex Submariner timepiece in recognition of their accomplishments. Class winners, from left: VELOS, Owner: Kjeld Hestehave Class: IRC B; GOLDEN MOON Owner: Kame Richards Class: Express 37; GOOD TIMIN' Owner: Chris Perkins Class: J 105; TUPELO HONEY Owner: Gerard Sheridan Class: IRC D; SOOZAL Owner: Daniel Woolery Class: IRC C; VINCITORE Owner: Jim Mitchell Sr. / Jim Mitchell Jr., Class: IRC A (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

As the top performing IRC rated boat, Vincitore – with tactician Norman Davant and helmsman Chris Dickson – was named the overall Rolex US-IRC National Champion, and Mitchell was presented with a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece to mark the occasion. “We are bringing Vincitore back again next year,” he promised. Tom Akin & Mark Jones’ (San Francisco) chartered TP52 Flash finished in second with John Kilroy (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Samba Pa Ti in third.

The St. Francis Yacht Club race committee planned the day’s final Bay Tour, but with light and inconsistent wind direction, racing was abandoned for the four IRC classes, along with the 1D35 and J/120 classes. The six races completed through yesterday (Saturday) stood as the final results.

The City of San Francisco Trophy, one of the two golden spades used to break ground for the Golden Gate Bridge in 1933, was awarded to Kjeld Hestehave’s (Richmond, Calif.) 73-foot Velos. Since the very first race, the largest boat entered in this regatta dominated his opponents in IRC B class with six straight race wins. Dale Williams’s (San Francisco) Kernan 44 Wasabi finished in second place, with Sy Kleinman’s (Saratoga, Calif.) Schumacher 54 Swiftsure II in third place, tied on 16 points with Wasabi.

“This win is 12 years in the making,” said Hestehave. “We were here in ’97 and ’98, and we got two second places that year. We were here two years ago and got killed by everyone.” Hestehave explained that he prepared Velos, the Greek word for velocity, for the Pacific Cup, fairing the bottom and getting it tuned. Originally, he planned to participate in StFYC’s annual Stag Cruise, which historically follows the Rolex Big Boat Series, but when he realized there wouldn’t be enough berths at the club’s Tinsley Island location, he brought Velos up from San Diego for the occasion. “We were here so we thought we might as well race the boat,” he recalled. “With 22 crew onboard, that’s a lot of drink tickets and a lot of sandwiches, and tonight is going to be very expensive.”

J105 Class Chris Perkins and Good Tiimin ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

J105 Class Chris Perkins and Good Tiimin ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Dan Woolery’s King 40 Soozal (Alamo, Calif.) won the IRC C class and the Richard Rheem Perpetual Trophy, which was established in 1972 in memory of Richard Rheem whose famous yacht Morning Star was the elapsed time winner in the 1949 and 1955 Transpac races to Honolulu. Gold Phoenix, the J/44 chartered by James Bishop (Jamestown, R.I.), finished in second, while Tim Fuller (Marietta, Calif.) and the J/122 Resolute finished third.

Only two entries had straight wins in all races: Velos, in IRC B, and Gerard Sheridan’s Elan 40 Tupelo Honey in IRC D class. “I’m feeling great, we really wanted it this year,” said Sheridan, who lives in San Francisco, but grew up in County Galway, Ireland. “We trained for it and the crew is outstanding. Every single one deserved to be on the crew, I’m delighted for myself and for my crew.” This is Tupelo Honey’s fifth Rolex Big Boat Series. It won its class in 2005 and finished second in the other years. Clearly happy to have won an IRC class at this year’s regatta, the 45th annual, he said, “I think IRC is saving big boat racing around the world. It’s giving a new sense of purpose to racing and serious big boat campaigns. Handicap racing is never perfect, but this is close to perfect.” Sheridan was awarded the Keefe-Kilborn Trophy, which was established in 1976 to honor Harold Keefe and Ray Kilborn.

 On the North course racing started late, but with a short-lived band of wind, the race committee was able to shorten the course and finish the Melges 32, Express 37, J/105, Beneteau 36.7 and Cal 40 classes.

The Melges 32 class was racing for its national championship. Philippe Kahn’s (Belvedere Cove, Calif.) Pegasus had to retire yesterday due to an equipment malfunction, but they were back on form today, winning the seventh and final race, putting them into fourth overall. Andy Lovell & Burt Benrud’s New Orleans-based Rougarou won the six-boat class and the title. Local sailor Don Jesberg and his Viva was second overall, with Stephen Pugh and Taboo in third.

Although Bartz Schneider won today’s final race in the Express 37 class, it wasn’t enough points to topple Kame Richards (Alameda. Calif.) and Golden Moon from the number one spot. Schneider’s Expeditious finished in fourth overall behind Mick Shlens and Blade Runner in second, and Michael Maloney’s Bullet in third. Richards also won the Atlantic Trophy. Established in 1978, the trophy features the ship’s bell of the yacht Atlantic, long-time Transatlantic Ocean record holder (1905). The bell was donated by John C. “Jack” Morris, and the trophy by Jack H. Feller Jr.

The Commodore’s Cup, which was established in 2004 to be awarded to the largest one-design fleet, was awarded to the winner of the J/105 class, Chris Perkins’ Good Timin’. “Honestly, Bruce Stone sailed a great series,” said Perkins of the fleet. “He only had one bad race and won three out of seven sailed. His Arbitrage is clearly one of the quickest boats. Everyone would agree he is quicker than us.” So what would Perkins credit his team’s win to? “The challenge in a 25-boat fleet is consistency,” he continued. “We didn’t have any big mistakes and that is what made the difference for us.”

Masakazu Toyama and Crew (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Masakazu Toyama and Crew (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

 While they may not have taken the overall 1D35 class win, Japanese entry Ebb Tide was clearly a crowd favorite and stepped onto the prizegiving stage to massive cheers and chants. Owner Masakazu Toyama has sailed the Rolex Big Boat Series for the past three years, each time in a different class, and this time the team’s efforts paid off with a trophy for 2nd in 1D 35. Toyama says he’d love to live in San Francisco one day, “It’s fun, and we will be back” he said with a big smile. Gary Boell and Diablita won the 1D35 class, Barry Lewis’ Chance won the J/120 fleet and Bill LeRoy and Gone with the Wind won the Cal 40 class.

Samba Pa Ti IRC A Overall Winner (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Samba Pa Ti IRC A Overall Winner (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

After a large area of thunderstorms moved through this morning, the over 1,000 sailors competing in day three of the Rolex Big Boat Series were given a new challenge: light wind and minimum visibility through the dense fog hanging low on the water. As locals are apt to exclaim – ‘It’s never like this in San Francisco’ – a theory confirmed by spectators lined along the sea wall and second-story viewing bleachers at St. Francis Yacht Club.

An on-time racing start by the StFYC volunteer race committee, lead by PROs Kevin Reeds (Annapolis, Md.) and Hank Stuart (Rochester, N.Y.), gave the 97 competing boats two races for a total of six races. Tomorrow’s final race – known fondly as the Bay Tour – will cap off a solid four days on the water.

Flash, the TP52 skippered by Tom Akin & Mark Jones, won the day’s first race, finished third in the second, and now stands in second overall in IRC A class, one point behind class leader Vincitore, the custom 52 owned by Jim Mitchell (Zurich, SUI) and driven by Chris Dickson. John Kilroy’s TP52 Samba Pa Ti finished 3-1 and is now in third overall.

The fastest boat around the IRC B racecourse today was Kjeld Hestehave’s (Richmond, Calif.) 73-foot Velos. Since the very first race, the largest boat entered in this regatta continues to dominate the class. It now looks untouchable with six total points. Sy Kleinman’s (Saratoga, Calif.) Schumacher 54 Swiftsure is tied on 16 points with Dale Williams’s (San Francisco) Kernan 44 Wasabi. “We are more than thrilled to be there,” said Williams, who figures he has competed in at least 20 Big Boat Series in his career, winning in 1999 with a previous boat named Wasabi. However, this Wasabi is brand new, designed by the same group who created Williams’ last boat the 70-foot Peligroso. “It’s really easy to sail,” he said. “We’re surprised how fast it goes. There’s a retractable sprit, but no spreaders, no runners, no reaching struts and no after guys. It’s fast at 12,900 lbs. with 6,700 lbs of ballast. It’s everything we thought it was and more.”

Willims set up a StFYC duel for second place tomorrow between his Wasabi and Swiftsure, giving the overall nod toward Velos. “That is a very well-sailed boat,” said Woolery. “They deserve to be out front. It’s been a lot of fun and really nice to sail against them and Swiftsure.”

Bustin Loose Sydney 38 Class Overall Winner (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Bustin Loose Sydney 38 Class Overall Winner (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Soozal, the King 40 owned by Daniel Woolery (Alamo, Calif.), continues to lead the IRC C class, with James Bishop (Jamestown, R.I.) and the J/44 Gold Phoenix moving into second overall ahead of Tim Fuller (Marietta, Calif.) and the J/122 Resolute.

“Today’s first race was a pivotal race for us. We didn’t know what to expect,” said Woolery. After corrected time, the relatively new boat took first place and then a second in the day’s second race. “The second one was a little more difficult,” continued Woolery. “Our jib goes up on a jib lock and it didn’t stay up on the lock. So, as we went to the bottom mark, our plan was to go into Alcatraz and through the Cone. We were behind Gold Phoenix and we thought ‘Let’s go into the cone.’ We were right behind them and immediately the jib fell down, and that forced us to tack over to clear it. We tacked back and as soon as we did, we realized we weren’t going to make the Cone, so we tacked over to the beach first. Phoenix did as well. When all was said and done we were seven seconds corrected in front of them. At that point the race became between us and TNT.

“If TNT had gotten second and not us, then that would have brought Phoenix a little closer in the gap” said Woolery. “We were in great tacking duels, and managed to tack our way up to Phoenix. We were a minute and a half behind when that whole engagement started, and we put almost a minute and a half on them. Overall we’re feeling really good.” Soozal has a four-point lead over Gold Phoenix going into tomorrow’s final race. “We’re going to win tomorrow,” he predicted.

Gerard Sheridan’s Elan 40 Tupelo Honey continues to dominate IRC D class with two more bullets. The San Francisco-based boat won both of today’s races on corrected time and, barring any mishaps tomorrow, stands to take the overall win. “Tomorrow we will go out and race like we like to race, which is fairly conservatively,” said Sheridan. “We don’t want to take any major risks.” This is Tupelo Honey’s fifth Rolex Big Boat Series. It won its class in 2005 and finished second in the other years. “At the start of the year I decided I wanted to win Big Boat this year,” he continued. “It’s the premier regatta on the West Coast, and here at the St. Francis, the race management is impeccable.”

In the grand-prix Melges 32 class, vying for its National Championship this weekend, New Orleans-based Rougarou looked unstoppable blazing downwind. With two more wins today – to add to a series scoreline of 1-2-1-5 – the team lead by co-owners Bert Benrud and Andy Lowell needs to finish fourth or better to win the title. Philippe Kahn’s (Belvedere Cove, Calif.) Pegasus encountered trouble in the first race and dropped out to expedite repairs. The team plans to be back in the race tomorrow. Local sailor Don Jesberg and his Viva is in second overall, with Stephen Pugh and Taboo in third.

Expeditious (Photo by Daniel Forster)

Expeditious (Photo by Daniel Forster)

 

Class leaders from yesterday that held onto the lead in other one-design classes include Pat Patterson (Angwin, Calif.) and Summer and Smoke in the Beneteau 36.7; William LeRoy (Tiburon, Calif.) and Gone with the Wind in the Cal 40; Kame Richards (Alameda. Calif.) and Golden Moon in the Express 37; and Chris Perkins (San Francisco) and Good Timin’ in the J/105 class.

The other two one-design classes saw a change in leadership with Barry Lewis’ Chance gaining a slight edge over John Wimer’s Desdemona, now in second place, in the J/120 fleet, and Gary Boell and Diablita taking over from Alex Farrell (Mountain View, Calif.) and Alpha Puppy in the 1D35 class. Alpha Puppy fell to third place, while Ebb Tide, chartered by Masakazu Toyama (Tokyo, JPN), moved into second.

 

J44 Gold Phoenix Won Race 6 In the IRC C Class (Photo by Daniel Forster)

J44 Gold Phoenix Won Race 6 In the IRC C Class (Photo by Daniel Forster)

Double Bullet for Golden Moon On The First Day of The Rolex Big Boat Series ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Double Bullet for Golden Moon On The First Day of The Rolex Big Boat Series ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

In Italian, the word Vincitore means ‘the winner’ so Jim Mitchell and his multi-national crew took the theme to heart by winning both races in IRC A class on the opening day of the Rolex Big Boat Series. Over 1,000 sailors on 97 boats in 11 classes are competing through Sunday, September 13. “I wouldn’t miss this regatta for anything,” said Mitchell, who grew up in Chicago but now calls Zurich (SUI) his home. “It was one of our crew’s birthdays yesterday, Dallas Kilponen, and I think our two bullets are the best present we can give him.” All of the IRC class leaders – Kjeld Hestehave’s Velos (Richmond, Calif.), Daniel Woolery’s King 40 Soozal (Alamo, Calif.) and Gerard Sheridan’s Elan 40 Tupelo Honey – joined the two-bullet club today, in the IRC B, IRC C and IRC D classes, respectively. All four divisions of IRC handicap-rated boats also are competing for the Rolex US-IRC National Championship.

The other two groups vying for national championships are the Express 37 and Melges 32 classes. For Burt Benrud, this is not only his first Rolex Big Boat Series but also his first season in the Grand-Prix one-design class. “This is our first big outing and we could have not picked a better location,” he said. Benrud, with co-owner Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and crew on the Melges 32 Rougarou, won the day’s first race, took a second in the second and now sit in first overall in the six-boat class. “We are sailing under the Southern Yacht Club flag, and we are very proud to be able to represent our hometown.” Don Jesberg (Mill Valley, Calif.), the recent winner of the class’s North American championship, is in second place overall on his Viva, followed by Stephen Pugh’s Taboo (Sausalito, Calif.).

Melges 32's Taboo and Pegasus Cross Tacks (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Melges 32's Taboo and Pegasus Cross Tacks (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

“We actually had our first Express 37 National Championship regatta in 1986,” said Bartz Schneider, the class fleet captain and president, and skipper of Expeditious, currently in fourth place overall. “This is our 20th national championship at the St. Francis. In 1990 we had our first National Championship as part of the Big Boat Series, and except for 2001, we have had it as part of the regatta every year.” Leading the nine-boat class is Kame Richards’ (Alameda, Calif.) Golden Moon, with Elan, owned by Bill Reiss (Oakland, Calif.), in third. Schneider summed up the fleet leaders: “Golden Moon will be tough, with Bay tide guru Kame Richards at the helm. Elan will be very competitive. And Blade Runner (Mick Schlens, Los Angeles, Calif.), with their name already on the trophy several times, is always a possible threat.”

The largest one-design fleet is the J/105 class with 25 boats. Returning champion Donkey Jack, owned by Robert Conrads (San Francisco), took 13-6 in two races and is now eighth overall. Bruce Stone’s Arbitrage won the day’s first race, while Adam & Guillemette Spiegel’s Jam Session won the second, putting them into second overall behind class leader, Jeff Litfin & John Case’s Mojo.

Cal 40's Comtete For The First Time As A One Design Class ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster

Cal 40's Comtete For The First Time As A One Design Class ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )

While many of the competing boats are from the Bay Area and California, some hail from ports across the US and abroad. Lorenzo Berho and his J/145 Raincloud hail from Mexico City, Mexico and are in sixth overall in IRC B. “Raincloud is a Mexican family and friends boat that has changed our lives, and also has helped us fulfill several dreams,” said Berho, who only started sailing five years ago. “We had a great experience in last year’s Rolex Big Boat Series that we decided to come back in spite of the difficult economic times, and for most of us that means traveling from Mexico City. The organizers are great and the competing boats are really friendly. Last year we got fourth place in our fleet so we would love to get a third place this year. We know that most of the fleet is very competitive and there are many experienced sailors with local knowledge. I am turning 50 years old on September 15, so I chose this regatta as my birthday present. There is nothing better than sailing with my family and best friends in the most outstanding Bay of the world.”

Jim Mitchell is another perfect example of the international aspect present here in San Francisco for racing. Now living in Switzerland, he launched Vincitore a year and half ago in New Zealand and when asked about his international crew – New Zealand’s Chris Dickson and Simon Minoprio among them – considering that many of the other entries in the race are locals, he quickly said, “Not us, we’re like the United Nations!”

When asked what makes him come back each year to San Francisco for the Rolex Big Boat Series, Jim said, “It’s just so much fun, the competition is great, you have the city, the weather- it’s always windy, constant wind. I really wanted to bring my boat to Europe and sail some races over there,” he continued, “but I want to sail with family and the guys from New Zealand like sailing in Chicago, San Francisco and the Caribbean. Bringing the boat here is just so fantastic and I’m glad to be here.”

Mister Magoo Leads The J120 Class After Day One ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )

Mister Magoo Leads The J120 Class After Day One ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )

This evening competitors celebrated the first day of racing at the Rolex Party where the first daily video was shown. The regatta ends with Sunday’s final Rolex Trophy Ceremony where specially engraved Rolex timepieces will be awarded to the St. Francis Yacht Club’s six Perpetual Trophy winners.

About St. Francis Yacht Club
Founded in 1927, St. Francis Yacht Club, within view of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a year-round host of over 40 regattas on San Francisco Bay. The club is renowned for its expertise in running world and national championships.