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Calm day shortens regatta

A lack of wind forces the Anchor Cup event to stop early.

By DORAN CUSHING

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2001


With a favorable forecast and plenty of wind at the start, the 57-boat fleet of monohulls and multihulls that began racing in the Gulf of Mexico at the Anchor Cup Regatta on Saturday morning could have expected a short day on the water.

But winds predicted 10 to 15 knots dropped to wisps across the course near Pass-a-Grille, and 32 boats finished within the regatta's time limit. Joe Blouin's 1D 35 Storyville was the first to finish, covering the 22.6-mile course in just more than 4 hours, 20 minutes, and captured overall spin-naker honors as well as winning spinnaker Division 1.

Second across was John Dowd's Stiletto 27 catamaran Iguana, but the Corsair F/27 trimaran tri Southwinds moved into first place in the multihull division, based on corrected time after rating adjustments. Sailing a 15.7-mile course -- shortened because of the lack of wind -- Ken Wilus' Ranger 23 Cakewalk topped the non-spinnaker class and also won non-spinnaker Division 2.

"This race brought out the best in everyone," said Wilus, who leads the West Florida PHRF Boat of the Year series in the non-spinnaker class. "You had to play the shifts and keep the boat speed up. It was a tactical race." Susan Tibbits' team aboard the Hooks/Kelly 34 Grand Illusion was surprised to discover it had won non-spinnaker Division 1 as it raced to the original finish line not knowing the course had been shortened at the next-to-last turning mark.

"The race committee was pulling up anchor when we though we were finishing," Tibbits said. "We didn't find out we had won till we got back to the dock."

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