Rush leads Onion Patch

Brand new Swan 45 leads NYYC series

Wednesday June 12th 2002, Author: Talbot Wilson, Location: United States
Tom Stark's new Swan 45 Rush took a narrow lead in the 2002 Onion Patch Series after thirty-five yachts squared off in the first two Onion Patch races of the five-race series sailing in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta in Newport Rhode Island.

Rush took a second Saturday and first on Sunday for 3 points to lead Stephen Munger's S&S Harrier by 3 points. Harrier finished 3-3 with 6 points. Third place is held by William Mayer's Cygnette with a 1-7 and 8 points.

The Swan 44 Aura owned by Bill Kardash of Annapolis, has won the series for the last three times. After two races, she is in 15th place with 17-14 finishes, but usually makes up a lot of points by a solid performance in the ocean race.

Although some 80 yachts sailed in the NYYC regatta, 36 are entered in the entire Onion Patch Series. The event began on Saturday 8 June with a postponement to wait for the predicted southeasterly to fill in. When it finally came up, it didn't stay long. The maxis got away and were well up the course, but the wind died and the foul tide held the other classes on or near the line.

The Committee abandoned the race and restarted when the breeze came back again some two hours later. The RC's patience paid off. Race 1 was sailed in a good breeze on a 7.7 mile windward-leeward ocean course with 1.5 mile legs.

Race 2 was sailed Sunday morning on a course well up in Narragansett Bay. Winds were 15-20 knots from 200 degrees and pretty steady all day. With the breeze up and the boats sailing on a tight 10.6 mile windward-leeward course in relatively flat water, there was plenty of action. The US Navy 44 Swift was dismasted when the overtaking Swan 68 Chippawa snagged her backstay. Later in Race 3, Swan 45 Goombay Smash put a hole in the Usmma's Tripp 41 No Quarter.

The third Onion Patch Series race, the Cruising Club of America and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race, starts Friday 14 June at 1250EDT. The final two races of the Onion Patch Series are the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's Anniversary Regatta on Bermuda's Great Sound 21 June.

For full results click here.

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