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Full field takes to waters in Dunedin Cup

Published October 18, 2006

About 100 boats enjoyed a sparkling day short on wind Oct. 7 at the Dunedin Cup, a benefit for Dunedin's Boundless Playground being constructed adjacent to the new community center. The larger boats drifted for a while in the gulf until a sea breeze produced pleasant sailing conditions.

Knotty Cat, a Gemini 34 sailed by Dan Wallace, headed the Ocean Cat division, which was added this year through the effort of Sid Zipperman.

The Racing class winner was Michael Twining's C & C 33 Vim, and Mark Gruber's Hunter 26 Nauti Breeze led the Cruising class. The Ensign winner was Zeke Durica, a stalwart in the class.

John Fondryk won in the faster Catamaran division, and Rick Walsh and crew Helen Moses lead the smaller cats.

The racing for cruising boats 27 feet and under, along with the Pram and Sunfish racing, will be rescheduled.

The Sea Pearl is an open cruising boat with two masts built in Tarpon Springs by Marine Concepts. These boats sport working oars and are known for sailing in very shallow water. "If you can see a standing bird's legs, don't sail there," is the advice. They, too, had very little breeze, but racing started and, based on where boats were when it was canceled, the trophy was awarded to Whisper, sailed by Ron Hoddinott.

Also, Clearwater Yacht Club hosted the Junior Championship regatta in the gulf outside the Community Sailing Center. A total of 104 competitors sailed in light air. Race official David Billing, with assistance from Fairlie Brinkley, Mike Dawson and Dick Boblenz, were able to complete enough races over the weekend to allow sailors to discard their worst race in the scoring.

The Opti Green Fleet for new sailors, with 37 boats, was the largest group, boding well for area sailing. Eliot Caple from Naples won the class, followed by Clearwater's Brooke Griggs and Griffin Rutherford from Davis Island Yacht Club.

The Opti Red fleet leader was Parker Polger from Clearwater's Team FOR. The Blue fleet leader was Courtney Lehan and White was Allie Maurillo; the latter two are from Davis Island YC.

Ian Hausler of Davis Island won the Laser Radial fleet, followed by Mateo Vargas of St. Petersburg YC. Emily Billing of Clearwater YC was third and recipient of the Olivia Memorial Trophy for the first female finisher. Olivia Ceraolo was a beloved Clearwater junior sailing team member.

Other class winners were: Laser full rig, Zeke Horowitz, Team FOR; Laser 4.7, Cam Hall, SPYC; 420, David Lasky, SPYC.

ST. PETERSBURG YACHT CLUB DISTANCE CLASSIC: One of the area's few overnight races started Friday evening. There was no wind at the starting area so George Pennington's race committee boat led the fleet under auxiliary power to a start near Southwest Pass. The wind picked up around 9 p.m., getting the leaders to Naples after midnight and the smaller boats before dawn.

Rusty Allen skippered his Frers-30 Salty Pause to the Spinnaker class win. The Non-Spinnaker group had the Tartan 41 Addiction sailed by Richard Booth leading. The Cruising fleet had the slowest rated boat to finish, Marc Fortune's Watkins 27 Paramour, by four minutes over the Isla Del Sol Mexico race winner Mango L'Attitudes sailed by SPYC Commodore Fred Bickley and crew.

U.S. OFFSHORE CHAMPIONSHIP: Robert Hobbs of Tampa and his team from Davis Island YC won the Lloyd Phoenix Trophy, the national offshore sailing title. His crew was James Traun, Mike Gable, Cory Thompson, Alan Thompson, Josh Wilus and Cameron Salmon. The event was on Catalina 37s at Long Beach Yacht Club, Calif. David Mendelblatt placed second in the Sunfish Worlds in Charleston, S.C.

Mark Mendelblatt and crew Mark Strube placed 11th out of 66 boats in the Star world championship in San Francisco. The conditions were mostly light air and heavy tidal current.

Brad Funk tied for first in the Pre-Olympic trials in the Laser, but lost the tiebreaker.

Paige Railey was second in the Laser Radial pre-trials after being disqualified in the last race.

[Last modified October 18, 2006, 08:13:58]

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