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Dead winds stop sailors at Davis Island regatta

By DORAN CUSHING

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 8, 2001


After a day of racing with promising breezes Saturday, Sunday's light winds disappeared by noon and forced an early end to the Davis Island Yacht Club Commodore's Cup regatta on Hillsborough Bay.

The racing divisions completed three races Saturday, and only Ray Mannix's J/29 Semper Fi was undefeated among the 38 monohulls in five spinnaker and non-spinnaker classes. The true cruising class sailed one race -- a 17.2-mile trip across Hillsborough Bay and Tampa Bay -- with Eric Layton's Morgan 30 Last Dollar taking top honors after finishing in almost 51/2 hours. "One day we had wind, one we didn't," race chairman Jay Tyson said. "Saturday you had to pay attention to the wind shifts or pay big time. The Wall was leading the first race when it sailed into a (wind) hole and parked."

Gordon Schiff's Mumm 36 The Wall, racing in preparation for Key West Race Week later this month, was scored "did not finish" in the first race but won two other races Saturday and took third place overall in Spinnaker Division A.

Also preparing for Key West week, Joe Blouin's 1D35 Storyville edged Allan Thomas' J/120 Solar Express by one point to win Spinnaker A.

With three first-place finishes in Spinnaker Division B, Mannix credited his sailmaker and experience for Semper Fi's success in recent Tampa Bay regattas. "This crew has been sailing together for a while now. We're in synch and pulling all of the right strings."

Brad Kadau's Changin L'attitude finished Saturday with two firsts to take the top trophy in the three-boat SR Max class, edging Bill Embree's Viento on a tiebreaker.

The points spread in the four-boat non-spinnaker division was almost as close, with Bob Touton's J/30 Shibumi beating Bill Meyer's Ericson 32 About Time by two points. In the largest fleet -- the 11-boat J/24 class -- Peter Bream's Tarheel won Saturday's closing race to edge Bill Icely's Preparation J by one point.

The race committee attempted to start one race Sunday morning after a 90-minute delay waiting for wind, but the racers failed to reach the first mark within the time limit. Attempts at another start were abandoned.

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