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Regatta takes on international flavor

Published May 2, 2007


Regata del Sol al Sol, the annual race to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, saw 28 boats sail the 456 miles to the Yucatan from Tampa Bay.

The updates on boats' positions found online have shown the navigator's choice of route and relative success.

At press time the Irwin 68 sailed by Fred Bickley and Larry Wissing on his Bajor 38 had withdrawn from racing and motored to the finish. Racing is very close among the fleet in generally light air.

Results and fleet tracking at

MORGAN INVASION: The 22nd annual rendezvous for all boats Morgan was held April 21 at Davis Island Yacht Club. The usual venue is Treasure Island Tennis and YC, but construction of the new building made the move necessary the past two years. TITYC dock master Les Lathrop welcomed the boats at DIYC. Charlie Morgan was his usual loquacious self, regaling the crew of 54 participating boats with tales of his boat's adventures.

A race is always scheduled for the Morgan Invasion, few taking the results seriously. Morgan 22, 24, 27, 38, Out Island and other Morgan-designed classes enjoyed a 15-knot breeze.

USF QUALIFIES: Coach Allison Jolly's University of South Florida team qualified for the national championship of college racing for all three sailing disciplines. After previously qualifying as one of the two teams in the Southeast in coed and team racing, USF has received an invitation to the women's finals.

The women's qualifier was held at the USF St. Petersburg venue using their venerable Flying Junior sloops. New sails arrived just in time for use. Warm 8- to 12-knot breezes with waves made for challenging racing.

Charleston, last year's top sailing college, easily won, dropping to second place in only one heat. Eckerd College's "A" division boat placed second, but adding the "B" team's scores lifted USF to second place by six points.

The finals will be hosted by Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis May 23-June 2.

After a less than stellar result at a very windy New York college regatta, Jolly shook up the lineup for the Morris Trophy at Boston University. Winds were more moderate. The usual "A" division crew Tim King took the helm in "B" division, while skipper Jesse Combs crewed for him. The regular "B" team of Mitch Hall and Elizabeth Foy sailed in "A" division. The result was a third-place finish among 18 top teams, following Boston U. and Yale.

AMERICA'S CUP TRIALS: St. Petersburg sailor Mark Mendelblatt has one of the best views of America's Cup racing in Spain. He is the crew who climbs the mast to look for wind on Emirates Team New Zealand. Don't tell his mom.

HYERES, FRANCE: The huge Grade 1 regatta for Olympic classes saw Clearwater sailors near the top of the fleets. Brad Funk placed ninth out of 188 Lasers, and Paige Railey fourth of 105 Laser Radials despite sailing with the wrong fleet one race and breaking her mast just before another and not being allowed to race. Zach Railey placed 17th among 69 Finns. Each was the top U.S. boat in his or her fleet.

CATAMARAN RACING: The Mini-Macho Around the Island race Sunday saw nine intrepid crew sail the 38-mile course. The event had been postponed due to stormy weather on its original date. Winners included Bob Barton, Hans Geissler and Mike Catley with crew Ali Mims.

[Last modified May 1, 2007, 20:35:52]

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