Monday, October 14, 2013

Dramatic, Misty AYC Fall Series Finale!

J/105s sailing AYC Fall Series on Long Island Sound (Rye, New York)- The classic fall offshore sailing series on Long Island Sound got off to a spectacular start on its first weekend.  But, the luck was not going to hold with gigantic swings in the weather and the USA's ginormous budget-busting battles full of hot-air down in Washington, DC-- no question that amount of "hot air" was surely going to have its affects as far north as Wall Street and their favorite playground- Long Island Sound!  No question, the DC goons were "raining on everyone's parade" this past weekend.  What could've been a brilliant weekend for Saturday and Sunday turned into a goofy day of racing on Saturday and a wet, foggy, misty easterly on Sunday.  Heck, if you were a betting man (or trading guru) you would've shorted the markets worldwide Monday at dawn, such was the gloom!  But, a few Mt Gay & tonics and local micro-breweries tempered the atmosphere to simply a dull roar for the awards Sunday afternoon.

The American YC RC took their time on Saturday (much to their chagrin) to get in only one race on the East Course while the West Course guys got in two races. But, both AYC RC's took the bit in their teeth to get the ball rolling on Sunday to get in two solid races for all.

Winning IRC B was the J/122 WINGS sailed by Mike Bruno and crew, posting a 1-2-2-1-3-2-2-2 score for 12 pts.  Just behind them in third was stablemate J/122 PATRIOT helmed by Stephen Furnary (the same boat that won with all the AYC Juniors in the recent Stamford-Vineyard Race!)- they posted a 2-1-1-3-4-3-3-4 for 17 pts.  Lying fourth after the weekend's sailing was Ron Richman's J/133 ANTIDOTE with 12 pts.

J/111 sailing AYC Fall Series on Long Island SoundPHRF A class had three J/111s sailing and Paul Strauch's crew on ANDIAMO started out the series on the first weekend as top dog amongst the 111s, continuing their great performance this summer at Storm Trysail's Block Island Race Week. However, in the end the ANDIAMO gang "kissed" a rock on the way into Mamaroneck Harbor Saturday afternoon and withdrew from Sunday's sailing.  Only one point back after the previous weekend, the PARTNERSHIP team led by David and Maryellen Tortorello sailed fast and smart and posted a 2-3 on the last Sunday to take over 3rd spot for the series!

What happened in PHRF C Division?  The one with all the 30 footers?  The usual suspects all occupied the top spots led by the famous father/son team of John & Tony Esposito on their J/29 HUSTLER.  However, giving them a serious "run for the money", perhaps for the first time in decades, was Tom & Julie Sinatra's J/29 SMOKIN'J, taking second by just a mere 3 points after the smoke cleared on the race course.  Do we smell a "rubber match" here between these two teams??  Hmm, could be possible.  Third was Christian Uecker's J/92 HOUND DOG and fifth was Aleksandr Tichter's J/29 AKULA.

The cool, classic cruiser-racers, the two decades old J/44 one-design class, had yet another amazingly tough battle for leadership in the class.  At the end of the day, it was a fantastic turnout of nine boats, kudos for Jim Bishop (Jamestown, RI/ New York, NY) and friends for keeping this extraordinary class rolling along with fun competition.  This time, Bill Ketcham's MAXINE took three straight bullets on the first weekend to overcame Jim Bishop's GOLD DIGGER two 1sts on the last day to take the overall J/44 crown!  With MAXINE in first and "the DIGGER" in second, Len Sitar's VAMP narrowly edged out the balance of the competition for third overall.   Fourth was Jeff Willis's CHALLENGE IV and fifth was Joerge Esdorn & Duncan Hennes's J/44 KINCSEM (notably getting their first 1st place in class in the 6th race of the series)!

J/109 one-design sailboats- sailing AYC Fall Series on Long Island SoundThe J/109s had ten boats participating with some new names at the front of the fleet.  The early leaders on the first weekend were Jim Vos's SKOOT in first, Bill Rogers's BIG BOAT in second and Jack Forehand's STRATEGERY in third.  However, over the course of the second weekend of racing, there was no way to hold back perennial J/109 Class champion, Rick Lyall sailing STORM.  Compiling three 1sts and a 2-4 in the last five races permitted the STORM crew to scream up the finish ladder to win the regatta by 7 pts!  Others who had been in the top five were not so fortunate.  Forehand's STRATEGERY also sailed fast the last weekend to grab second overall.  After some forgettable races in the last six starts, Vos's SCOOT dropped to third overall, losing the tie-breaker at 34 pts each with STRATEGERY.  Fourth was Adrian Begley's MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN and fifth Rogers's BIG BOAT.

The J/105s had a great turnout with nineteen boats, great racing and some new rising stars in the fleet.  By simply sailing in the top three all series long, Sean & Susan Doyle's KESTREL led the fleet home with a remarkably consistent scoreline of 2-3-4-2-2-4-2-2-3-3-2 for 25 pts net. George & Alex Wilbanks's REVELATION held on tight to their position in second from the weekend before to take the silver.  The same was true for third place, taken by perennial class champion Damian Emery sailing ECLIPSE.  In fact, the entire top five finish positions from the first weekend never changed!  Imagine that?!  What are the odds of that ever happening in any fleet of this size.  Consequently, Paul Beaudin's LOULOU took fourth and fifth was Jeremy Henderson's CONUNDRUM.  Sailing photo credits- Tom Young/ American YC
For more American YC Fall Series sailing information