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-   -   Stage Set for a Blustery Finish (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/racing-articles/20583-stage-set-blustery-finish.html)

Doran Cushing 01-20-2000 07:00 PM

Stage Set for a Blustery Finish
 
<HTML><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" border="0" align="center"><tr><td colspan="2" height="8"> </td></tr><tr><td valign="middle" align="left" width="244"><img src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/cushing/0121KwDoranC4.jpg"></td><td width="8">&nbsp; </td></tr><tr><td height="1" colspan="2"> </td></tr></table><P> The fat lady is ready to sing at Key West Race Week, but not before one more blast of cold and powerful winds spreads across the Florida Keys Friday as the five-day regatta comes to a close. With winds likely over 20 knots headed down the state of Florida, even the class leaders with substantial point leads will have to be somewhat cautious and keep the keels down and rigs upright.</P><P><img src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/cushing/0121KwDoranC1.jpg" width=align="left">With 16 one-design, PHRF, and IMS divisions racing this premier winter regatta, only four teams can be assured of winning their divisions prior to the closing race Friday morning. Unbeaten through seven races-and uncatchable in the points standings-are Jeff <I>Sampson's</I> S2 7.9 <I>Rugger </I>(PHRF 8) and John Esposito's J/29 <I>Hustler</I> (PHRF 6). Irvine Laidlaw's CM60 <I>Highland Fling</I> leads the nine IMS boats by 11 points through Thursday, and the Antrim <I>27 Ultra Violet</I> of Dave and Donna Prucnal lead their nine-boat PHRF 5 division by nine points and hold the tie-breaker advantage.</P><P>The <I>Atalanti</I> <I>XI</I> Farr 40 team extended their lead in one of the most competitive and most talented divisions-a division of one-design 40-footers which allows professionals on board, but the owner must drive. George Andreadis' <I>Atalanti</I> <I>XI</I> posted a 5-2 record in the breezy conditions Thursday and holds a 16-point lead. That's not a lock on the trophy, but with Olympian Robbie Haines calling tactics and a veteran core of crew aboard <I>Atalanti XI</I>, it's not likely they will beat themselves.</P><P>One of the crew who has raced aboard a number of the <I>Atalanti </I>series of boats with Andreadis is North sailmaker Ethan Bixby of St. Petersburg, FL.</P><P>"We've had some breaks, and we know how to change gears in the different conditions," Bixby said. "There are six core guys and three new guys on the boat here. There is a wide range in the level of the owners in this class, but George (Andreadis) is doing a great job driving."</P><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" border="0" align="center"><tr><td colspan="2" height="8"> </td></tr><tr><td valign="middle" align="left" width="244"><img src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/cushing/0121kwdoranc2.jpg"></td><td width="8">&nbsp; </td></tr><tr><td height="1" colspan="2"> </td></tr></table> <p>The Sarasota, FL-based Henderson 30 <I>Speed Racer</I>, owned by the Liebel brothers Steve, Scott, and Chris, finished 2nd Thursday to put a 10-point gap between the Henderson 30 and its closest rival, Buddy Melges' Melges 32 <I>Ceres Group</I>. Reveling in the 12 to 17-knot breezes, the Henderson 30 sport boats reported downwind speeds over 15 knots on the windward/leeward courses. </P><P>Proving that even the best sailors in the world can get in trouble, Buddy managed to tangle with a starting line committee boat in the second race Thursday. The RC boat reported that Buddy's boat had several stanchions torn loose when the race boat hooked up with the anchor line and bowsprit of the much heavier powerboat.</P><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" border="0" align="right"><tr><td width="8"></td><td valign="top" align="left"><img src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/cushing/0121KwDoranc5.jpg"></td></tr><tr><td height="8" colspan="2"> </td></tr></table><P>Brian Porter put the throttle down in the Melges 24 class, opening up a five-point lead aboard Full Throttle with Harry Melges' <I>Zenda Express</I> holding onto the second spot in the 46-boat fleet with Argyle Campbell's <I>RockN'Roll</I> seven point behind <I>Zenda Express</I>.</P><P>Going into Thursday's races, the <I>Doane Ltd</I>. Partnership aboard the J/105 <I>Flame</I> had sailed five clean races, winning two and finishing in the top six in each of the other races. They trailed the class leader <I>Plum Crazy</I> by one point and had beaten <I>Plum Crazy</I> four out of five times boat for boat. A screwed up halyard in race one and being over the starting line early in race 2 dropped the Naples, FL-based <I>Flame</I> back to fourth overall and little chance of a class win.</P><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" border="0" align="right"><tr><td width="8"></td><td valign="top" align="left"><img src="http://www.sailnet.com/images/content/authors/cushing/0121kwdoranc3.jpg"></td></tr><tr><td height="8" colspan="2"> </td></tr></table><P>The party tent at Key West Race Week is as much a part of the tradition of this event as any other. The noise level is deafening just from the exchange of war stories from the day's racing action. Videos of the races, particularly on windy days when spinnaker wraps and takedowns become a form of entertainment, bring sudden roars across the tent. Throw in two hours of gratis drinks and the tent experience is just that, an experience. Having said that, the mood Thursday night might have been just a notch more subdued as a five-day regatta was taking its toll and Thursday's races were incredibly physical. With a forecast of bigger wind and waves on the closing day, the party may have been put on hold for just one evening.<P>&nbsp;<TABLE BORDER=0 BGCOLOR=#ffffff CELLSPACING=0 width="400" height="397"> <td width="66">&nbsp; <CAPTION><b> <br> Overall leaders after four days:</b></CAPTION> <THEAD> <TR> <TH BGCOLOR=#FFFFFF BORDERCOLOR=#000000 width="66" >&nbsp;</TH> <TH BGCOLOR=#FFFFFF BORDERCOLOR=#000000 width="324" >&nbsp;</TH> </TR> </THEAD> <TBODY> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">IMS</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Highland Fling</i>/Irving Laidlaw/CM60</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">PHRF 1</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Chessie Racing</i>/George Collins/Santa Cruz 70</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">Farr 40</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Atalanti XI</i>/George Andreadis</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">ID35</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Heartbreaker</i>/Robert L. Hughes</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">PHRF 2</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Speed Racer</i>/Liebel Brothers/Henderson 30</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">PHRF 3</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>White Trash</i>/Greg Smith/Olson 40</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">J/105</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Plum Crazy</i>/Andrew Skibo</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">Mumm 30</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Villede St. Raphael</i>/Dick Jean Pierre</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">Melges 24</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">Brian Porter</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">PHRF 4</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Snake Eyes</i>/Tom Ballard/SR 33</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">PHRF 5</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Ultra Violet</i>/Dave &amp; Donna Prucnal/Antrim 27</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">J/29</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Tomahawk</i>/Bruce Lockwood</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">J/80</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Syzyey</i>/Jay Lutz</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">PHRF 6</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Hustler</i>/J. Esposito/J29</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">PHRF 7</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>L'Outrage</i>/Bruce Gardner/Beneteau First 10</font></b></font></TD> </TR> <TR VALIGN=TOP> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="66" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS">PHRF 8</font></b></font></TD> <TD BORDERCOLOR=#c0c0c0 width="324" ><font color="#ed4242"><b><font size="2" face="Trebuchet MS"><i>Rugger</i>/Jeff Sampson/S2 7.9</font></b></font></TD> </TR> </TBODY> <TFOOT></TFOOT> </TABLE></HTML>


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