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21 July 2004, 09:42 am
First Four Days Of Racing Finish On A High
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© Daniel Forster/Rolex

New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex
Newport, Rhode Island

Sunny skies and a building breeze provided sailors with their best day yet. Yesterday's three races determined winners for racing in one IMS, one 12-Meter and six PHRF classes, bringing to a close the first half of Race Week.
Turning in an impressive eight victories over 11 races was Dan MEYERS' (Boston, Mass.) Farr 60 Numbers in IMS Class. "We lost our first race of the day by three seconds to Blue Yankee and then won the last two races," said Meyers, explaining that Blue Yankee was his closest competitor going into yesterday's races albeit with little chance of catching his team mathematically in the standings. "That's how close the racing was. I don't think there was one place where we were more than 30 seconds ahead or behind them. And Rima and Harrier were at each other all day." Rima and Harrier are also 60-foot Farr-designed boats, while Blue Yankee, a Reichel/Pugh 66, is the largest boat at the regatta. Blue Yankee did not finish the last race due to a broken halyard.

"The Race Committee was so committed to running three races today, we were back into the sequence right after we finished the previous race," added Meyers, recalling that the same thing happened on opening day under similar weather conditions. "They have to be commended tremendously for getting in so many races for the series. Even yesterday, when we had so little wind, they waited it out and gave us a race that ended up being interesting and fun."

The Swan 56 Falcon, owned and skippered by Mark MINKUS (Upper Saddle River, N.J.) pulled off the greatest coup of the day in PHRF Class 2, pushing the previous day's leader Grins, a Farr 36 owned by Rick ORCHARD (Duluth, Minn.) to third on the scoreboard and edging out Blair BROWN'S (Newton, Mass.) Taylor 45 Sforzando, with Bermuda's Olympic Star representative Peter Bromby aboard, to take the top spot.

"We approached today as if it were a one-day regatta," said Minkus. "That enabled the crew to focus on each race as a single race as opposed to thinking about it as the end of a long week."

Among all the PHRF classes, it was determined by the Race Committee that the J/29 Dirty Harry, in Green Class 3 and owned by John LAVIN (Warwick, R.I.), had the best overall performance, winning six out of eight races. His prize was a Rolex Submariner watch.

"We also won our division at Race Week in 2002," said Lavin. "Our crew has been sailing together for the past seven years. Racing was really fun for us and we're happy to come back here and win again." Lavin considered the top three finishers behind him as his toughest competition throughout the week, including second-place finisher Firewater, which won the two races that Dirty Harry did not.

Race Week's unique format allows sailors to compete in both handicap and one-design racing at a single event. In some cases, the sailors compete on two different boats, but in others, the same boat competes with the same crew in both sessions. For the second half of Race Week, North American championships for the Farr 395, Henderson 30 and J/35 classes will be determined. The Farr 40 class will determine its East Coast Champion, while the J/105 class will determine its Southern New England Champion. Other one-design classes competing are the J/109, J/120 and Swan 45. Splitting the handicap and one-design portions of Race Week is tomorrow's Distance Race, which is scored separately. Forty-five boats have signed up.

Full results are available on the NYYC website at the address below.
Barby MacGowan (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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