The 90 foot maxi Genuine Risk made its Big Boat Series debut yesterday in IRC Class A, although the owner, Randall PITTMAN has sailed in this regatta before, but on a J/35. Robbie HAINES (USA), onboard strategist explained how the 23 person crew came together. 'We had a really good day today considering we haven't all sailed together before,' he said. 'Even though we didn't beat Morning Glory, we were pleased with our boat speed. Even though we lost to them by about 45 seconds, we feel positive that we can beat them. We just have to sail well and I believe we have the team to do well.' Overall IRC A leader is Beecom, Reichel/Pugh 72 owned by Isao MITA (JPN) with Gavin BRADY (USA) sharing helming duties, and Pegasus 52, owned by Phillippe KAHN (USA) in second.
In the three other IRC classes, Marda PHELPS' (USA) Santa Cruz 52 Marda Gras leads IRC B; John SIEGEL's (USA) Wylie 42 Scorpio leads IRC C and Gary MOZER's (USA) J/109 Current Obsession leads the IRC D class. All four IRC classes are competing for St. Francis Yacht Club Perpetual Trophies.
In the J/120 class, defending champion Steve MADEIRA (USA) scored a 3-1 to lead the ten boat class with his boat Mr. Magoo. MADEIRA is sailing with most of the same crew as his 2004 winning effort and chalked up his lead to consistency. 'We absolutely work well together,' he said. 'The racing is this class is so tight, so all we do is try to sail well and avoid the major mishaps like being over early and wrapping our kite [spinnaker] around the boat. Today's [yesterday's] second race was during max ebb of the current and it really worked in our favour. We were able to ride the two knot current at the last windward mark and use it to pass Chance, our main competition, to take the lead. It was tight to the finish line, so we're really happy we're leading.'
The largest fleet here is the J/105 fleet with 33 entries and perennial favourite Good Timin' leads with a 2-1 finish for the day. 'We grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat,' said skipper Chris PERKINS (USA). 'We really consider ourselves tied for the lead with Scott SELLERS and his gang on Donkey Jack since we both had a first and a second. Scott did a great job winning the first race.' An upset in the fleet was Tim RUSSELL's Aquavit scoring a ninth. 'He is clearly one of the fastest boats out there and that will hurt him,' said PERKINS.
Andy COSTELLO (USA) is the only undefeated skipper in the fleet scoring two bullets. His Sydney 38 Double Trouble leads the six boat class.
Two races are planned each day for Friday and Saturday, with one long, final race planned for Sunday.