Wind an obstacle in keelboat event
By DAVE ELLIS
Published March 21, 2007
The Pass-A-Grille Yacht Club's annual keelboat regatta has been a one-day affair since it was known as the Anchor Cup. This year it seemed more like two races, as the wind quit during the race, then returned with a solid sea breeze.
Jeff Grossman and crew on his Skye 51 ketch Polyphonic were in position to get the new wind first and used all five sails to romp to victory in the True Cruising class. Tim Roberts, another Clearwater Yacht Club sailor, placed second on the Endeavour 35 Chances R. True Cruising, with 14 boats, was the largest class of the regatta.
Davis Island's George Cussins, on his J/105, led the Spinnaker A division, St. Petersburg Yacht Club's Grant Dumas' Ranger 33 the B and the Hunter 28.5 of Treasure Island Yacht Club's Rafael Paris the Non Spinnaker fleet. The Racer/Cruiser winner was Jeff Russo on his J/40 from Davis Island.
ENSIGN MIDWINTERS: The Ensign full-keel design was based on a 1959 MORC hull by Carl Alberg. The Pearson boat building company asked Alberg to tweak the design for the market. The boat has been inducted into the American Sailing Hall of Fame and still attracts owners as it did in 1962.
The builder of the 22.5-foot, 3,000-pound craft is now Zeke Durica of Dunedin. He was a busy sailor last weekend as the organizer of the Ensign Winter Regatta out of Dunedin Marina.
Friday's racing included the rain storm at the edge of the cold front that was taken in stride. Saturday, with 30-knot gusts, was more than the sailors from five states wanted to brave. Sunday the races were completed with Durica winning among 12 boats. Travis Van Neste of Wayzata, Minn., was second.
SNIPE MIDWINTER REGATTA: World Snipe champ Augie Diaz and crew Tracy Nan Smith from Miami won the Snipe Midwinter regatta over 34 boats in light air off Clearwater's Sand Key. The win also makes him the Pan-Am Games representative in Brazil for the class.
Brian Bissell and Alexis Rubin of Annapolis, sailing Ethan Bixby's former boat, placed second after a strong final day.
HIGH-SPEED SAILING: The Formula 16 and A-Class Catamaran class winter regatta held at Gulfport Yacht Club had ample wind on Boca Ciega Bay. Saturday was too much for half the fleet. Only Matt McDonald of Titusville and St. Petersburg's Seth Stern with crew Stefan Kaschkadayev finished all the races in the F16 and placed in that order among eight boats.
The A-Cat is not designed for much more than 20 knots of wind. Thirteen of the 19 boats finished at least one race. St. Petersburg A-Cat sailor Patrick Burger won Race 5 when he and another boat were the only ones to go around the course the correct number of times. Miami's Brett Moss won overall with Tampa's Woody Cope second, losing out due to the Race 5 miscue.
LIGHTNING MIDWINTERS: Jeff Linton, sailing with regular crew Amy Linton and Mark Taylor, conquered the 72-boat regatta at St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
SUNFISH MIDWINTERS: Dave Mendelblatt repeated as champ, this time on Charlotte Harbor.
FSA YOUTH REGATTA: This event names the Florida girl's champ in several classes. In the 420 class SPYC sailors Rachel Silverstein and Kelsee Connon placed second with Jamie Curran and Margaret Spears third.
The Laser 4.7 winner was Georgia Hardage of SPYC; the Radial fleet leader was Corey Hall of host St. Petersburg Yacht Club with Reguli Granger of SPYC and DIYC in second. In the 41-boat Optimist Dinghy, Kathryn Booker of the host club won the White fleet, the youngest division.
[Last modified March 20, 2007, 22:18:54]
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