Thursday, August 21, 2014


J/105 winner of Verve Cup- Rocking HorseKASHMIR Smokes 111s, NORTHSTAR Overwhelms 109s
(Chicago, IL)- This year’s Verve Cup, which featured a three-day offshore course race from Friday through Sunday and a one-day distance race on Saturday, included 12 racing sections.

Sailing conditions were ideal throughout the weekend. On the final day of sailing on Sunday, temperatures were in the upper 70s with winds out of the ENE at 7-11 knots. Both circles completed a total of nine races throughout the weekend, with Circle A completing three races and Circle B completing two today.

“A lot of the sailors have said that this is the best weather we’ve had for a regatta in quite a while,” said Verve Cup Chairman Martin Sandoval. “The Race Committee did a great job on the water cycling through the sequences to get racers started. They worked very efficiently on the water.”

CYC Member Sandy Curtiss, skipper of ROCKING HORSE, won the J/105 section with his crew, which included his two sons, Alex and Will.  “Sailing in the race today with my two sons was pretty special,” Curtiss said. “I haven’t sailed with them in quite a while, so it felt good to have them as part of the crew.”

“We had fun. We did our job,” said ROCKING HORSE crew-member Ted Towey. “I’d emphasize how much fun we had. We all get along extremely well, so it was good humor and hard work out on the water this weekend.”

Curtiss went on to say that, “We had great starts (until they ganged up on us the last day) and excellent boat speed.  The wind was shifty and 7-20 kts E/NE. Some confused chop.”

ROCKING HORSES’s Verve victory also secured the 2014 J/105 Fleet 5 Goose Island Championship.  More congratulations are in order for Sandy and crew!

J/105 fleet sailing Verve Cup off ChicagoWhat is remarkable was to see the turn-around of the ROCKING HORSE crew, posting all top five finishes in nine total races and winning three races on their way to the class win.  Their record of 3-3-1-4-3-1-1-4-5 for 25 pts total enabled them to take the class by four pts.  Behind them were a J/105 class “who’s who” of past champions in the Great Lakes.  Second was Clark Pellett on SEALARK with a 1-6-3-2-2-2-4-5-4 for 29 pts.  Past winner HERE’S JOHNNY, John Moore, posted an equally impressive 6-1-6-1-5-5-3-1-3 for 31 pts.  Jon Weglarz’s THE ASYLUM took fourth while Steve Knoop’s BELLA took fifth.

Perhaps the “flip-flop” fleet award must go to the J/109s.  After a “momentous” Chicago-Mackinac Race, the J/109 fleet must’ve been taking a breather.  This time it was Dave Gustman’s NORTHSTAR that took class honors by a Chicago-country-mile (e.g. more than most).  Their record of five 1sts (including the last three races) simply dusted their fleet.  Second was Doug Evans’ TIME OUT with 24 pts and in third was Peter Priede’s FULL TILT.

Having just finished their J/111 North Americans, the class was not only well-practiced after the NOOD and the Chicago-Mackinac Race (again having dominated the fleet overall), but it was clear there were a few “axes to grind” for the Verve Cup finale in this class.  Having licked their wounds in the preceding events, it was a command performance by the “three musketeers” on KASHMIR (skippered by Karl Brummel) that took the event with four 1sts and three 2nds in nine races for 17 pts total.  Second was Chesapeake Bay Champion Martie Roesch on VELOCITY from Annapolis YC, showing he and his team had learned a thing or two about sailing in Chicago.  Third was Len Siegal’s LUCKY DUBIE, the crew being happy that Lenny had survived a bike accident and could still sail fast, in fact, winning two races he was so fast!!  Fourth was Steve Dabrowski’s NIGHTHAWK and fifth was Rich Witzel’s ROWDY.

In the ORR Distance Races, the J/Crew did well.  Frank Giampoli’s J/120 JAHAZI took the class win in ORR 1 Class.  In the ORR Distance Race 2, the J/88 RAMBLER skippered by Benjamin Wilson took third.

Finally in the ORR 3 Class which race around the buoys, it was the Bayers /Welch/ Busker gang aboard the J/35 FALCON from Detroit that won class honors with a “runaway”- six 1sts and three 2nds to win by a Detroit Minute (which is farther than a Chicago country furlong!). Larry Schell’s J/35 TOUCH OF GREY from Chicago, normally accustomed to winning by enormous margins, may have punted their first regatta in quite some time. Perhaps the Detroit guys got into their heads (ya know, Redwings vs Hawks, Pistons vs Bulls, Tigers vs White Sox, that kinda stuff!).  For more Verve Cup Offshore sailing information