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Husband-and-wife team wins regatta

By DORAN CUSHING

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 22, 2000


With a husband-and-wife team sharing the driving duties, the sailors aboard Fire & Ice took top honors at the Tampa Sailing Squadron's Fall Regatta on Tampa Bay with a narrow win in the deciding race.

Blessed with perfect sailing conditions, George and Anne Cussins' J/105 won two of three around-the-buoy races in the seven-boat spinnaker class. The team didn't know it had clinched the overall title until the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) time adjustments were tallied with Fire & Ice edging Pocket Rocket by less than a minute in the closing race.

"It was important to watch the windshifts at the windward mark to know what jibe to take on the downwind run," George Cussins said about his team's winning strategy. "The downwind legs were key for us." The Cussins are co-owners of Fire & Ice and share the time driving the boat, George said.

"She (Anne) steers the windward legs and I usually take the helm on the downwind legs," he said. "She's pretty good at the helm, and that works out pretty well."

The teamwork seems to work. This is the second regatta in recent months on Tampa Bay the Cussins have won, having taken honors at the TransBay regatta in June.

Behind George Wolf's J/27 Pocket Rocket was Donald Rychel's Tripp 28 Volcano, third in the spinnaker class.

Tampa Sailing Squadron member Woody Fraser posted three consecutive wins in Non-Spinnaker A division aboard the Morgan 27 Thunder, and James Nunn won two of three races to top Non-Spinnaker B division aboard his Southerly 23 Aardvark.

Sailing one race on a distance course across Tampa Bay, Bill Mundy's Sarasota-based Contour 34 trimaran Carin took honors in the multihull division, and Bob Meyer's Catalina 27 Godspeed won the cruising division on the same course.

Conditions for the fall race were ideal, with a moderate northeasterly wind holding up for most of the day and offering the 24-boat fleet a tricky but fast day of racing. The event was a benefit for Habitat for Humanity.

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