Harry Blake in LIMELIGHT pretty much ran away with fleet honors this year. Dave Tambellini in BELLA ROSA was second. Sorry, not sure who was third.
In the Big Boat Series, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, BELLA ROSA took honors, tied in points with Phil Gardener's 20/20 but coming out ahead under the tie breaking rules. We took third, one point behind, in BLACKHAWK.
Our midwinder season started this month and we had 10 J/105s on the starting line at the Golden Gate Yacht Club, really unheard of for midwinters.
The fleet is now 16 strong and we should have up to 13 boats on the starting line for next year. It's really satisfying to see the fleet still active and growing. These boats have hit a sweet spot in Bay Area racing.
OVERALL STANDINGS 1 LE-RENARD S. PHILLIPS 1 1 8 9.5 2 ARCHANGEL M. SORENSEN 3 6 1 9.75 3 JAVA GROOBEY/HRONEK 4 4 2 10 4 PLUM CRAZY A. SKIBO 2 7 4 13 5 MACCABEE R. LEVITT 5 2 7 14 6 CURLEW J&M DETWEILER 7 8 5 20 7 SEASAW K. RYMAN 8 3 DNC 23 8 BLONDE ATTACK B. SUTTON 6 5 DNC 23 9 TOURIST TRAP MIKULSKI/STITZE 9 11 3 23 10 NO MORE TROUBLE J. CORCORAN 10 9 6 25 11 ATALANTA D. BIRD 11 10 9 30For complete AYC Fall Series results see: http://www.us.net/ayc/fall97.htm. For more Chesapeake Bay racing information see Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association: http://sailing.org/cbyra/.
OVERALL STANDINGS 1 Fred Babson FLUIDITY 1 3 3 1 1 3 (4) 12 Sandusky Ohio #39 2 Robert Taylor HIJINX 2 1 2 5 3 2 (5) 15 Jamestown, RI #173 3 Don Cameron LUCKY DUBIE 4 2 5 3 2 (5) 1 17 Chicago, IL #46 4 George Petkovic REVELATION (8) 4 4 4 4 1 2 19 Chicago, IL #64 5 John Zakin WE BE JAMMIN 2 (5) 5 1 2 5 4 3 20 Chicago, IL #93 6 Pat Clark ENGARD 6 6 6 (7) 7 6 6 37 Chicago, IL #165 7 Marty Hastings JOIE DE VIE 7 (9) 7 6 6 8 8 42 Mt Prospect, IL #123 8 Laughlin/Radtke MOSQUITO 3 8 (9) 8 8 7 9 43 Milwaukee, WI #143 9 Rod Wallace ROAD RUNNER 9 7 8 9 9 (9) 7 49 Centerville, IA #101Babson wins 1997 J/105 North Americans
The third time was the charm for Fred Babson and his team from Sandusky, Ohio. After finishing 7th in San Francisco in 1995 and 5th in Annapolis in 1996, Babson and his crew of Gary Harris, Rick Poorman, Pat Hughes and Bruce Roberts beat a tough fleet to win the 1997 J/105 North Americans in Chicago Sept. 26-28. The seven race, one throw-out series in moderate but shifty winds rewarded conservative "away from the corners" sailing, conditions well suited to Babson and his Lake Erie team.
The first race was a good omen for the out-of-town boats as Babson and Bob Taylor of HIJINX dueled towards a 1-2 finish. Taylor, from Jamestown, Rhode Island borrowed a J/105 trailer, then hired Babson's delivery driver to tow it the 1,800 miles to Chicago. Arriving just as the skipper's meeting got underway, HIJINX's mast was stepped with the assistance of a derrick on the top deck of host Columbia Yacht Club, whose club house is a 300' moored ship. An hour later HIJINX was ready to sail.
Race 2 and 3, sailed in a light to moderate northerly with chop, saw the emergence of the local boats. Don Cameron on LUCKY DUBIE took a solid 2nd in Race 2 behind HINJINX, then John Zakin aboard the red boat WE BE JAMMIN 2 won Race 3 followed by HIJINX and FLUIDITY. The key to success appeared to be BOTH staying in the breeze lines AND keeping the boat moving through the chop. The lead boats sailed with no backstay tension and lots of depth in the small jib, constantly easing and trimming the sails and steering wider angles upwind.
The second day saw a slight drop in the chop, but no less shiftiness from the wind. Starting in the southerly direction, the breeze kept eeking towards the east, making the left side predominately favored all day. Fred Babson and FLUIDITY seized the opportunity to notch two bullets and a 3rd. By the end of the day the top of the fleet settled into two groups, with HIJINX challenging FLUIDITY for the lead, and LUCKY DUBIE, WE BE JAMMIN 2 and George Petkovic's REVELATION duking it out for the number 3 spot.
With six races in, and one day to get in the 7th, Race Chairman John Thomas amended the time limit to allow for a six-leg 13 mile windward-leeward course. The competitors were rewarded with a 12-16 knot northwesterly wind. Babson held a 2 point advantage over Taylor, and Taylor's only chance to win the regatta was for HIJINX to win Race 7 and have Babson's FLUIDITY finish 3rd or worse. Having just come off competing in the CIGNA Cup match racing event, and as HIJINX's Todd Berman said "having our tails handed to us by Pace, Gilmour and Holmberg," the HIJINX team was ready to apply some of their newly learned moves to ambushing FLUIDITY. The race committee and the rest of the fleet were treated to an aggressive display of pre-race match racing, with both boats alternatively getting the advantage, circling the committee boat like vultures. Just prior to the starting signal, HIJINX was able to push FLUIDITY over the line, but in so doing started early herself, and with the view of the line totally blocked, the committee recalled the fleet. Moments later, the two boats were at it again. This time, both started cleanly with HIJINX to leeward and FLUIDITY safely on her windward hip. The two continued to the left until HIJINX could tack and cross FLUIDITY. A short tacking duel ensued, and when the smoke cleared, both boats were stuck in the left corner and soon passed by several boats. The defining moment came at the windward mark, when FLUIDITY tacked safely in front of HIJINX about 5 lengths from the mark. HIJINX extended her bowsprit in preparation for the spinnaker set and then briefly established an overlap with the bow sprit inside of FLUIDITY's transom. The boats rounded without contact but red flags quickly appeared on the backstays. To the relief of everyone, especially those who knew of the good-natured rivalry that had developed between HIJINX and FLUIDITY, both protest flags were later lowered and no protests filed. In the end, Race 7 was a clean sweep for the local boats with LUCKY DUBIE, REVELATION and WE BE JAMMIN 2 finishing 1, 2, 3 and thereby locking up the 3, 4, 5 positions in the regatta. FLUIDITY carefully covered HIJINX to the end to lock up a well deserved victory. Later at the awards ceremony, the FLUIDITY crew was presented with the J/105 North American Championship perpetual trophy, newly given to the class by Regatta Chairman Chris Coffin. Rod Wallace and his team aboard ROAD RUNNER were presented a KVH Datascope for the "Go-Fast" award. Larsen Marine, Doyle Sailmakers, America True Syndicate, and J Boats were also recognized for supporting the event. The 1998 North Americans is slated for Newport, Rhode Island.
Tuning/sail differenced between FLUIDITY and HIJINX:
FLUIDITY HIJINX HEADSTAY LENGTH 13035mm* 13035mm* MAST BUTT (From Blkhd) 9.75" 9" UPPER SHROUDS +11 +11 INTERMEDIATE SHROUDS +10 +8 LOWER SHROUDS +1 +4 MAIN North Dacron Banks Dacron JIB North Soft Norlam Banks Mylar/Dacron SPINNAKER North 89 sq meter Halsey 89 sq meter */ Measured from the headstay pin to the intersection of stem and sheerline.
1 Bob Carballal Tar Baby 3 1 4 2 2 11.75 Centerport, NY #80 2 Terry Laughren Winged Victory 4 5 1 6 3 18.75 Darien, CT #170 3 Bob Taylor Hi Jinx 6 3.94 3 1 6 19.69 Charlestown, RI #173 4 Bob Swirbalis Phenix 1 3 8 7 4 22.75 Charlestown, MA #55 5 Nelson Weiderman Kima 4* 7 2 5 5 23.00 Wakefield, RI #37 6 Harvey Howalt If Only ... 8 4 5 6* 1 23.75 Newport, RI #165 7 Paul Simpson Tern 9 2 6 3 9 29.00 Greenwich, CT #73 8 Hugh McLean All Right 5 6 10 8 7 36.00 Windsor, CT #56 9 Ernest Hardy, Jr. Jaguar 7 9 9 10 8 43.00 Winthrop, MA #102 10 Josh Burack Peregrina 10 8 7 9 10 44.00 New Rochelle, NY #167 11 Kirk Brown Jazz 11 10 11 DNC DNC 56.00 Hingham, MA #19 */ Scoring penalty accepted (two positions)Fleet 2 continued its reputation for close racing as five different boats won in five different races in the NOOD Regatta. Dean Carballal sailed consistently enough to win the regatta and has the right to compete in this years Brut Cup. Finishes of the races were characterized by close finishes with as many as five or six boats finishing within 20-30 seconds after five miles of racing. Sailing conditions were excellent with winds in the range of 10-16 knots for most of the three day regatta.
1 Brian Tedeschi Ethereal 1 4 3 8 1 3 20 Norwell, MA #27 2 Bob Carballal Tar Baby 4 2 7 2 2 4 21 Centerport, NY #80 3 Fred Stelle Ace 5 1 4 7 7 1 25 Sag Harbor, NY #12 4 Nelson Weiderman Kima 3 6 1 5 9 2 26 Wakefield, RI #37 5 Dimitrios Spentzos Odyssey 6 7 5 1 4 7 30 Port Jefferson, NY #121 6 David Huck Just Married 2 8 2 9 3 8 32 NY (charter) #55 7 Leslie Laughren Winged Victory 8 5 6 3 10 5 37 Darien, CT #170 8 Hugh McLean All Right 9 3 DSQ 4 5 10 43 Windsor, CT #56 9 Ian Steel Domino II 10 11 8 6 8 6 49 Verona, NJ #119 10 William Conway, Jr. Phantom 7 9 9 10 6 9 50 Franklin Lakes, NJ #114 11 Ron Mortara Gioia 11 10 10 11 DNC DNC 66 Waban, MA #162This year's Block Island Race Week was marked by very close competition among the racers. Four boats won races and only four points separated the top five boats going into the final day. Conditions were generally light and variable with no racing held on Tuesday due to lack of consistent breeze. The boats were very evenly matched in speed and the crews that could find the breeze, the angles, and the favorable current managed to come out ahead.
Saturday's races were postponed for two hours while the race committee waited for the wind to fill from the ESE in Block Island Sound. Two short races were sailed in good breeze that eventually got up into the high teens. The Melges surfed to victory in the fist race, while the second was won by the J/29 (with Rolex Yachtswoman Betsy Allison aboard). On Sunday the RC posted a course around Jamestown Island and started it in a northerly. At the north end of Jamestown Kima was in mid-fleet, but when the wind died, the crew kept the boat moving and she sailed around the leaders and most of the B fleet. When the wind shifted all the way around from the west to the southeast, the last leg went from a close starboard jibe spinnaker reach to a port tack beat. Kima finished 30 seconds behind the Quest for the victory on corrected time.
After some light air on Monday, racing was in near perfect conditions ranging from 14 to 20 knots of breeze. Tuesday and Friday were especially challenging with waves and chop. For more details, see Key West Race Week web site.