Hoss and Barking Mad are Best Performers. For the 93 teams competing at the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex, today was the perfect ending to a perfect regatta: bright sunshine and 12-15 knot winds on calm seas.
Today's final race capped off three days of competition and seven races in the series for each of 10 one-design classes. Mumm 30, J/35, J/120, J/105, J/80 and Melges, Farr 40, J/44, 1D35 and Farr 395. Rolex timepieces were also the perfect prize for two skippers turning in outstanding overall performances: Glen Darden of Fort Worth, Texas, skippering the J/105 Hoss, and Jim Richardson of Newport, R.I., skippering the Farr 40 Barking Mad.
"There was great competition here," said Darden. "Just look at the scores. We never won a race, which says it all. " Darden, who has a second home in Newport and co-owns Hoss with Fort Worth crewmates Reese Hillard and Philip Williamson, added he was pleased that his 27-boat class was the largest at the regatta and perhaps one of the most competitive. Hillard explained that Hoss will travel to Chicago in September for the J/105 North Americans after doing a few more local regattas. "We're defending champions for that event, so we've had that in our plans all along," said Reese.
For Jim Richardson, it was consistency that paid off. "In three days of racing we had seconds, thirds and a fourth," said Richardson, who will take Barking Mad to the Bahamas in November for the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. Richardson added that the competition was remarkably tough in his 11-boat class, requiring his entire team to focus on their game plan. "We didn't try to hit any homeruns out there; we tried to sail well and not make any mistakes."
The Mumm 30 class saw some of the tightest competition in any fleet over the past three days, and--going into the final race--less than one point separated the top three boats. After steering Foreign Affair to the top of the scoreboard yesterday, Australian Richard Perini stumbled with a sixth in today's final race and dropped himself to third overall. Steadfast, owned by Fred Sherratt of Canada, finished second in the race for 21.75 points and first overall, giving him the Mumm 30 North American title as well. Dan Cheresh's Team Intermec finished tied on points with Sherratt, but second based on the tiebreaker.
With six wins and a fifth-place finish, David Nickerson of S. Glastonbury, Conn. won the J/35 class aboard Split Decision. Six boats competed for the J/35 New England Championship, including two campaigned by the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.). Split Decision, which recently won Block Island Race Week, finished with 9.75 points over the second-place boat Baboon, owned by Bos Powell of Mystic, Conn. with 20 points.
In the Farr 395 competition, Craig Albrecht of Glen Head, N.Y. attributed his dominance in the relatively new one-design class to preparation. "It's basically spending more time in the boat and having good people onboard," said Albrecht. In today's final race, Albrecht and his seven-person crew aboard Avalanche went out to sail their own race and do as well as possible. "We felt we had an advantage upwind and a bit more speed. The breeze was consistent, but with 10-degree oscillations. We expected the usual, which is the breeze going right, but when we looked at the Farr 40s ahead of us they were going better on the left, so we just went with the shifts and sailed with what we had." Albrecht won six of his seven races to post 6.5 points and secure more than an 11-point lead over the rest of the fleet.
Another skipper that had the upper hand on the fleet was Charlie Shumway in the J/120 class. Shumway and his partner John Yeager keep their boat Bella Notte in Newport for the summer and campaign it along the East Coast. Five out of the seven races sailed were owned by Bella Notte, giving the boat a low score of only 9.75 points. T-Squared, owned by Charles Townsend of New York, N.Y., finished second with 18 points.
After yesterday's racing, Geffrey Pierini's J/80 Bada Bing was in first place by three and one quarter points. Keeping near the main competition, Over Achiever owned by Jason Balich of Beverly, Mass., paid off with a class win for Pierini, fresh off a 13th at the J/80 Worlds in France. "We needed to make sure he didn't beat us by three boats," said Pierini. "We match raced with him at the start. He fouled us and while they were doing their 720, we took off upwind, making sure to cover him. We led most of the way, but they sneaked by us near the finish in fifth. We were sixth, but it worked out for us."
Jim Bishop from Jamestown, R.I. added the J/44 North American title to his resume today when he won the final and deciding race of the J/44 class. Going into today's race, there was only a one-quarter point spread between Bishop's Gold Digger and two other boats. "It was very close at the start with all the boats on the line," said Bishop. "We had a good clean start and found some great boat speed. We had a four boat-length lead at the weather mark and we were able to stay in front for the next three legs to the finish."
The 1D35 East Coast Regional Championship title went to Frank Meadows of Rocky Mount, N.C. on Roxanne.
With a unique and successful split-week format, Race Week has proven popular with many of the sailors here this week. For its first four days, the nine-day regatta hosted 66 entries divided into nine IMS and PHRF classes, with some PHRF entrants opting to be dual-scored for AMERICAP II. A distance race, hosting 54 entries, was held between segments.
J/105 (27 boats, seven races)
1. Hoss, Glen Darden, Fort Worth, Texas, 9-2-7-2-7-8-3, 38 points
2. Kincsem, Joerg Esdorn, Rye, N.Y., 5-8-8-5-2-13-1, 41.75
3. Picante, Robert Salk, Jamestown, R.I., 15-14-4-3-5-1-2, 43.75
Melges 24 (9 boats, seven races)
1. M-Fatic, Neil Sullivan, Annapolis, Md., 2-7-2-4-2-1-1, 18.50
2. Kilroy, Jeff Jones, Shelby Township, Mich., 3-5-4-2-1-2-2, 18.75
3. Pumbaa, Wayne Pignolet, Annapolis, Md., 6-2-3-1-3-3-3, 20.75
J/80 (7 boats, seven races)
1 Bada Bing, Geffrey Pierini, Metuchen, N.J., 2-1-DNF-1-1-2-6, 20.25
2. Over Achiever, Jason Balich, Beverly, Mass., 1-2-DNF-4-2-1-5, 22.50
3. Bangarang, Kirk Stirland, Norwalk, Conn., 6-5-3-3-3-3-4, 27
Farr 40 (11 boats, seven races)
1. Barking Mad, James Richardson, Newport, R.I., 3-2-3-2-2-3-4, 19
2. Le Renard, Stephen Phillips, Annapolis, Md., 4-9-4-1-1-5-1, 24.25
3. Total Eclipse, Mark Bregman, Ridgefield, Conn., 1-1-DNF-7-9-4-2, 35.50
J/44 (8 boats, seven races)
1. Gold Digger, James Bishop, New York, N.Y., 1-4-1-2-5-3-1, 16.25
2. Stampede, James Sundstrom, Rye, N.Y., 4-3-5-1-1-2-2, 17.50
3. Maxine, Greenwich, Conn., William Ketcham, 3-1-2-3-2-5-4, 19.75
1D35 (6 boats, seven races)
1. Roxanne, Frank Meadows, Rocky Mount, N.C., 1-2-1-1-1-1-4, 9.75
2. Sotet Lo, Philip Kubat, Newburyport, Mass., 2-1-3-2-2-3-1,13.5
3. Jazz, John Fisher, Peabody, Mass., 4-4-2-3-4-2-5, 24
Farr 395 (4 boats, seven races)
1. Avalanche, Craig Albrecht, Glen Head, N.Y., 1-1-1-1-1-2-1, 6.5
2. Quintessance, Roger Widman, Larchmont, N.Y., 2-3-DNF-3-2-1-2, 17.75
3. Wired, Steven Garland, Hingham, Mass., 3-2-2-2-3-3-3, 18
Mumm 30 (10 boats, seven races)
1. Steadfast, Fred Sherratt, CAN, 7-3-3-2-1-4-2, 21.75
2. Team Intermec, Dan Cheresh, Holland, Mich., 2-5-5-1-3-2-4, 21.75
3. Foreign Affair, Richard Perini, AUS, 1-9-1-4-2-1-6, 23.75
J/120 (5 boats, seven races)
1. Bella Notte, Charlie Shumway, Newport, R.I., 1-3-1-1-1-1-3, 9.75
2. T-Squared, Charles Townsend, New York, N.Y., 2-5-2-2-2-3-2, 18
3. Ruffian, Seamus Hourihan, 3-4-5-5-5-2-1, 24.75
J/35 (6 boats, seven races)
1. Split Decision, David Nickerson, S. Glastonbury, Conn., 1-1-1-5-1-1-1,
2. Baboon, Bos Powell, Mystic, Conn., 2-3-4-4-2-3-2, 20
3. Fast Attack, Jeffrey Smith, Annapolis, Md., 3-2-6-3-3-2-5, 24