Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Glorious Marblehead ONE Regatta

J/24 women's Sailbags team
Women’s SEABAGS Team Triumphant in 24s, Smith’s Stomp 70s, 105s “Blown Away”
(Marblehead, MA)- It was a lovely weekend for sailing in Marblehead last weekend.  While Marblehead is renowned for lights airs, it did deliver on sunny skies, light to moderate winds and wonderful socializing at the beautiful Corinthian YC.  The big winners, and perhaps the most popular, were the all women’s team sailing the J/24 SEABAGS Women’s Sailing Team in PHRF Class 6.  Led by their skipper Erica Beck Spencer, her crew of Marina Carlson, Kim Calnan, Charlotte Kinkade and Jess Harris performed flawlessly to post their first major regatta win ever on their J/24- - needless to say, it was a joyous celebration!  In the largest class in the regatta, the sixteen-boat J/105 class literally got “blown away”.  Well, not literally like in a lot of wind, but perhaps figuratively.  The trio of Harvey/ Mann/ Samel on BLOWN AWAY dominated their fellow 105’ers.  And, it was the All-American family Smith on their yacht AFRICA that took class honors in the J/70s with a near sweep of all five races.

J/105 sailing Marbheleahd ONE regattaDespite the lightish conditions on the vast Atlantic Ocean off Marblehead, the PROs from the three principal yacht clubs (Eastern, Boston, Corinthian) running the regatta did an admirable job starting up to nine races for some of the fleets.  The large J/105 class managed to get in seven races. The BLOWN AWAY crew won their first major J/105 regatta; their dominance in the conditions was self-evident after posting two bullets in the first two races.  From there on end, the simply stuck their boat into “cruise control” and won with a total of 18 pts.  Starting off a bit slower but gaining more steam and more momentum down the tracks was Fred de Napoli’s ALLEGRO SIMPLICITA.  Fred’s crew also managed to win three races and closed fast with bullets in the last two races, but it was not enough to close the gap on BLOWN AWAY.  As a result, Fred’s team finished second.  Third was also a top performance for Jon Wale’s crew on BANTRY, winning a tie-breaker to collect the bronze!  Losing that tie-break on 32 points was Mark and Jolene Masur’s TWO FEATHERS from Fort Worth Boat Club in Ft Worth, Texas.  Fifth place was taken by MERLIN with skipper Charlie Garrard at the helm.

J/70 Africa sailing Marblehead ONE regattaThe J/70s had a bit of a “schooling” by the Smith family.  With father Jud at the helm, Mom and their two kids managed to win four of five races on their way to an emphatic victory against a very competitive fleet.  The young crew of Tyler Doyle and Chris Boulter on USA 245 took second place with steady finishes in the top three.  Also sailing a consistent series in the top five was a pair of wily local veterans on the mighty yacht RASCAL- Henry Brauer and Stew Neff.  RASCAL’s steadiness earned them a spot on the podium to take third overall.  The rest of the top five included another family effort, Johan & Daan Goedkoop’s REGATTA FLUFF taking 4th position and in fifth place was Frank Arabia’s COWABUNGA.

J/24s sailing with women crewIn the PHRF handicap world, it was time for celebration for the five lovely ladies on the J/24 SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILNG TEAM.  Led by their talented skipper Erica, they posted the stunning record of 1-1-2-1-2 for 7 pts total to take the crown (tiara, perhaps?) of PHRF 6 class.  Yet another J/24 was giving them a run-for-the-roses all weekend, past regatta winner John Denman’s crew on AIRODOODLE.  His team’s efforts resulted in them shadowing the women’s team all weekend long, posting a virtual mirror image of the ladies scoreline- a 2-2-1-2-1 for 8 pts total to take the silver.  Finishing in third and completing a class sweep for the J/24s was John Wells’ SHELDON J collecting all 3rd and 4ths for a total of 18 pts.

J/111 and J/122 sailing Marblehead ONE regattaThe PHRF 5 class saw Ward Blodgett’s J/33 SIROCCO sail a solid seven-race series to take second in class, just missing the win by one point!  Fifth place was Pat Cerundolo’s J/29 IL CATTIVO.  In PHRF 4 class, Dan Boyd & Mitch West’s J/109 WILDTHING took 6th overall.  In PHRF 3 class, Tomas Bergstrand’s new J/88 FREYJA also finished 6th in the shifty, light conditions.

Finally, in PHRF 2 class, the J/111s were slicing and dicing the waters much to the chagrin of their classmates.  However, in the end the top 111 was Gary Weisberg’s HEAT WAVE, taking a third overall.  The second 111 was Mike Williamson’s BRIGADOON in fifth position and the third 111 was Ed Kaye’s PRAVDA 2 in 6th place.  Tom Mager’s J/122 GIGI was having a rough time trying to shoo away the 111s that kept buzzing them on the race course.  Photos by Andrew Sims and Wavelength Studios
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