For the Swan 601 Moneypenny, it looked like a normal day at the office. The team executed the race with a clinical efficiency that would have made James Bond proud. This 60 foot thoroughbred was launched two weeks ago and yesterday was its first major outing on the race course. Owner Jim SWARTZ (USA) has pulled together some of the biggest names in professional yacht racing to race this yacht, including Dee SMITH (USA) on tactics.
'We just wanted to stay out of trouble, and keep it clean,' said SMITH, who reported a top speed downwind under spinnaker of 17 knots. 'We started five boatlengths down from the committee boat, just where we wanted to be.' Moneypenny led from start to finish, crossing the line almost eight minutes in front of the Swan 68 Chippewa, owned by Clay DEUTSCH (USA). SMITH leads Class A on corrected time, by almost three minutes over second-place Swan 56 Lolita, owned by Frank SAVAGE (USA).
Chippewa would have done better if it had not taken a penalty turn immediately after the start. DEUTSCH steered the 68 footer through the 360 degree penalty turn as a precautionary measure after a starting line incident with his great friend and rival SAVAGE. 'We had a disagreement about available space,' laughed DEUTSCH in good humour back on dry land. 'It was a good day to be a big boat out in those conditions, but we should have done better. I think if we can avoid those errors, then we can give Moneypenny and the others a good race.'
Martin JACOBSON and Leon CHRISTIANAKIS's (USA) Swan 44 Crescendo dominated Class B, beating Gordon ETTIE's (USA) Swan 40 Sazerac by exactly four minutes on corrected time. Things were much closer in the non-spinnaker Class D division, however, with one minute separating the first four boats on corrected time. Joseph HUBER's Swan 44 Reef Points beat Carel PAAUWE's (NED) Swan 60 Marie Blue by 25 seconds under the Nautor's Swan Rating system.
Although two races had been scheduled today, the New York Yacht Club race committee sent the fleet in after the eventful first race - except for the Swan 45s of Class C. The Swan 45s are among the best handled yachts in the fleet, and the committee decided to hold a challenging second race for the nine boat division. By this time the wind was gusting to over 30 knots, and with the steep waves these conditions were proving a handful even for the Swan 45s. Spinnakers were blowing out, and as one sailor noted with a smile: 'It was a good day for the sailmakers.'
One Swan 45 relishing the conditions was Goombay Smash, which owner William DOUGLASS (USA) helmed to a first race victory of 40 seconds over Massimo FERRAGAMO's (USA) Bellicosa. He followed this up with a 1 minute and 28 second victory over defending champion Craig SPECK's (USA) Vim in the second race of the day.
Goombay Smash tactician Brad READ was still buzzing when he stepped ashore. 'The second race was full on nuclear,' he said. 'We had a bad start and were fourth at the top mark. Plenty's spinnaker was flagged out to leeward and we were going 17 knots, trying to pass them. We snuck through a ten foot gap where there was a boat wiped out to leeward of us and a boat wiped out to weather of us and within about 30 seconds we were in first place. Then, boom! We won.'