Dominant Defiant nailed in two protests
Canada's Terry McLaughlin and his team on Defiant were disqualified from two key races yesterday, both of which involved start line incidents. So far, the Canadian Rolex Sailor of the Year, has totally dominated this ultra competitive fleet, his lead before the protests were heard; an impressive 22 points after five races.
"It was unfortunate," said McLaughlin about the jury's decision. "Of course I think we were correct in each case, but we either didn't have the right witnesses or didn't present our case well enough. In hindsight, I wouldn't have done anything different on the race course."
With a no-discard rule the Farr 40 fleet is extremely hard on any boat that messes it up. This is well appreciated by the vast majority of teams, and one of the features of the racing, certainly on the European circuit the boats never get themselves into a position where disqualification could be the outcome.
Doing turns is always the way out, even if a skipper was to loose ten boats in the process. The quality of tacticians in fleet is second to none, and they will accept turns on the spot for any infringment. Start lines are obvioulsy a flash point in such a closely matched fleet, but again in Europe, protests and serious mis-behaviour are almost unheard of.
The Daily Sail has learnt that there may be a degree of resentment from a number of American yachts towards McLaughlin, due in part to his past Olympic history in this amateur owner/driver class. "Just wait until Stuart Childerely [recent winner of the Etchells Worlds] buys one" said one source to higlight the differences of opinion through this international fleet.
We also learn that German Hasso Plattner, the highly experienced skipper and owner of a string of racing boats named Morning Glory, has packed his bags and gone home. After being disqualified in the first race, he also lost a protest he filed against Jim Richardson's Barking Mad. This is why DNC's are now appearing on the score sheet.
After three light-air races today, Le Renard remains the leader, with 52 points over Nerone, skippered by Italy's Antonio Sodo Migliori. Joss, owned by Owen Kratz of League City, Texas, "won the day" with the lowest combination of scores from a 1-9-5 score line. The team, which has been sailing together for 14 years but only started Farr 40 racing at the beginning of this year when Kratz bought his boat, moved up from 14th to fifth today in overall standings.
"I think it had to do with our learning curve, in that we finally found our boat speed in light air at this regatta," explained Kratz, who gave credit to fellow Texan and Olympic Medallist John Kolius (LaPorte) for calling "brilliant" tactics.
Two other new race winners emerged today as well: Bambakou, skippered by John Coumantaros of New York, N.Y., and Groovederci, skippered by the regatta's only woman skipper Deneen Demourkas of Montecito, Calif. Demourkas passed race-three leader Crocodile Rock on the last leg to claim her victory and add it to a 13th and a second. She moves to fourth place overall behind Crocodile Rock, which is owned by Alex Geremia and Scott Harris of Santa Barbara, Calif. Bambakou sits in eighth overall.
"It's anybody's ball game," said Demourkas, who is within striking distance to top-three. "That's what makes it so fun in this class." Today officially was North Sails Race Day. Sailing concludes tomorrow on the waters off Atlantis, Paradise Island. The event is hosted by the Storm Trysail Club.
|Place||Boat Name||R 1||R 2||R 3||R 4||R 5||R 6||R 7||R 8||Total|
|6||SAMBA PA TI||12||5||7||8||12||6||7||16||73|
|11||DEFIANT||1||4||26 dsq||9||26 dsq||7||19||3||95|
|17||GONE TOO FARR||15||12||17||18||17||14||16||17||126|
|20||MORNING GLORY||26 dsq||6||4||17||2||26 dnc||26 dnc||26 dnc||133|
|25||FLASH GORDON 4||20||24||24||21||23||24||18||20||174|