Big Fat Greek Winning

Rich Roberts reports from day two of Key West Race Week

Tuesday January 21st 2003, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United States
With apologies to Hollywood and no offense of George Andreadis intended, the Athens banker has won the Farr 40 class three consecutive years and event Boat of the Week the last two years, and he has now sailed Atalanti XII into first place after two days of the five-day event.

Another defending champion, Richard Perini from Sydney, rose to the top with a 4-1 day. Perini's Mumm 30, Foreign Affair, sits one point ahead of Pierpaolo Cristofori's Printel Wind, the runner-up in the class worlds.

Also in Division 1, David Kirk of Chicago drove his 1D35, Détente, to a pair of wins to take over first place from Doug and Dick DeVos' Windquest.

Atalanti XII, with first- and second-place finishes following Monday's 11th and third, has as commanding a lead as that rough-and-tumble class allows with 17 points to 26 for Crocodile Rock, the Scott Harris/Alexandra Geremia entry that led after day one.

"We try very hard," Andreadis said with a shrug and a smile.

Close does not begin to describe it. The starts were cavalry charges and the mark roundings gridlocks. Dr. Wolfgang Schaefer's Struntje light from Germany won the second race Monday but got squeezed out at a mark Tuesday, fouled a rival and while doing a 720-degree penalty turn almost ran over a photographer who was in the water.

And what happened to John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti?, the third-place boat in the recent class Worlds and with a fairly experienced tactician named Paul Cayard on board, finished dead last in the 24-boat fleet in the second race.

"We were over early at the start," Kilroy said, "and on the first run we were outside [the fleet] when a 35-degree shift came." He thought they were sailing conservatively. "We aren't into flyers," he said. There also was a problem getting clumps of weed off the rudder and propeller "that was ugly," Kilroy said.

Worse, the Farr 40s' Division 1 course, where the 1D35s and Mumm 30s also are sailing, is the only one of four courses with no throwouts - the others will discard their worst finish after seven races - so one bad race can be fatal.

Atalanti XII, with Robbie Haines on tactics, edged Jim Richardson's Barking Mad (Gavin Brady) for its win Tuesday as the boats finished at opposite ends of the line. Then Andreadis chased home Vincenzo Onorato's Italian entry, Breeze (Adrian Stead).

"We had the lead and lost it," Andreadis said. "It was very close with the other boats." Crew member Rick Brent said, "Robbie was very good on the tactics, and George settled in after eight months of no sailing. We were fortunate because some of the boats had trouble at the start."

Steve Phillips, who won the Worlds with Le Renard, had a pair of fifths, despite the fact "we hit a lobster pot and couldn't get it off the keel."

Perini is sailing Foreign Affair with a different crew than last year, except for mastman Darren Jones. The others had trouble getting time off, so the boat has four Australians, two Americans and a Canadian. One of the Americans is veteran Jud Smith serving as tactician.

"It's still going pretty good," Perini said. "In the first race, we got a good start and then had to give away two boat lengths to avoid a crab pot that was trailing its line. It forced us to tack off and lose some boats."

Those, along with subtle currents and fickle wind shifts, are the challenges facing the 290 boats on the inshore courses. By the end of the week the winners will have earned their awards.

The event's largest fleet of 57 Melges 24s saw flashes of form when Norway's Kristian Neergaard, sailing with world champion Harry Melges as crew, and California's versatile Morgan Larson scored wins, although overall they lie eighth and fifth, respectively.

Meanwhile, Bruce Ayres has put together two thirds and two eighths to reach first place, three points ahead of defending champion Flavio Favini, sailing Franco Rossini's Swiss entry Blu Moon. Favini, incidentally, sailed on Onorato's America's Cup challenger, Mascalzone Latino.

Neergaard won Tuesday's first race by 70 yards over Argyle Campbell's Rock N'Roll from Newport Beach with a good start and protecting the right side of the course. But he was blocked out of that side in the next race and slipped to 15th.

In the International Team Competition for the Key West Trophy, the Italian team of Onorato's Farr 40, Breeze, Cristofori's Mumm 30, Printel Wind, and Maspero Giovanni's Melges 24, Joe Fly, has a two-point lead over the German team composed of Struntje light, Blu Moon and Bent Dietrich's Mumm 30, Rainbow. Italy won the trophy three years running until last year.

The event is scheduled for nine races, but wind prospects for Wednesday are grim, although another cold front was expected to bring back more breeze Thursday and Friday.

Farr 40s

Pos Name Entrant Tactician R 1 R 2 R 3 R 4 Total Country
1 Atalanti XII George Andreadis Robbie Haines 11 3 1 2 17 GRE
2 Crocodile Rock A. Geremia/S. Harris Vince Brun 2 2 4 17 25 USA
3 BOTTADI CULO Arrivabene/Mincione 3 4 14 6 27 ITA
4 Barking Mad James B. Richardson Gavin Brady 10 5 2 16 33 USA
5 ISKRA Borys B. Jarymowycz Dave Curtis 7 12 6 10 35 USA
6 Samba Pa Ti John Kilroy Paul Cayard 4 7 3 23 37 USA
7 Struntje light Dr.Wolfgang Schaefer Iain Percy 8 1 9 21 39 GER
8 LeRenard Steve Phillips Andy Horton 21 8 5 5 39 USA
9 Warpath Fred & Steve Howe George Szabo 14 17 8 3 42 USA
10 Breeze Vincenzo Onerato Adrian Stead 22 13 7 1 43 ITA
11 Virago Stuart Townsend Steve Benjamin 20 6 11 7 44 USA
12 SLED Takashi Okura Yutaka Takagi 6 20 17 4 47 JPN
13 Heartbreaker Robert L. Hughes Jeff Madragali 1 14 16 19 50 USA
14 Groovederci Deneen & John Demourkas Jesper Bank 15 9 13 15 52 USA
15 Nitemare Tom Neill Pat Considine 23 11 10 12 56 USA
16 Bambakou John G. Coumantaros Chris Larson 13 15 21 8 57 USA
17 Honour Alek Krstajic Tony Rey 9 16 24 9 58 CAN
18 Mean Machine Peter De Ridder Stu Bannantyne 16 10 12 22 60 NED
19 Racing Bull Jean Pierre Delmotte Franck Cammas 12 21 15 13 61 FRA
20 Joss Owen Kratz Terry Hutchinson 5 18 25 p20 18 66 USA
21 Kokomo Lang Walker Roger Hickman 18 22 22 11 73 AUS
22 Flash Gordon 4 Helmut Jahn 24 24 19 14 81 USA
23 Diana S.A. Promendo Afonso Domingos 19 19 23 20 81 POR
24 Gone Too Farr David Carrel Jason Rhodes 17 23 18 25 dsq 83 USA

Class leaders (after 4 of 9 races):

FARR 40 (24 boats)---Atalanti XII, George Andreadis, Athens, Greece, 11-3-1-2, 17 points.

1D35 (8)—Détente, David Kirk, Chicago, 2-2-1-1, 6.

MUMM 30 (15)—Foreign Affair, Richard Perini, Sydney, Australia, 2-3-4-1, 10.

MELGES 24 (57)---Monsoon, Bruce Ayres, Newport Beach, Calif., 3-8-3-8, 22.

J/105 (29)---Eclipse, Damian Emery, Shoreham, N.Y., 3-8-2-6, 19.

J/80 (22)---Warrior, Craig and Martha White, Fort Worth, Tex., 1-2-1-9, 13.

J/29 (10)---Hustler, John and Tony Esposito, City Island, N.Y., 1-1.7-1-3, 6.7.

TARTAN 10 (8)---Liquor Box, Robert and Bill Lehnert, Cutchogue, N.Y., 1-2-1-1, 5.

CORSAIR 28R (14)---Hot Flash, Robert Gleason, Wareham Mass., 1-3-1-6, 11.

IMS (4)---Idler (N/M 50), George David, New York, 1-1-2-1, 5.

PHRF 1 (5)---Rosebud (Transpac 52), Roger Sturgeon, San Francisco, 1-1-2-2, 6.

PHRF 2 (6)---Bandolier (1D48), Charles Burnett III, Seattle, 2-4-1-2, 9.

PHRF 3 (12)---Tsunami (Farr 395), Ostberg/Aras/Daily, Annapolis, 1-1-2-1, 5.

PHRF 4 (10)---New Wave (Henderson 30), Michael Carroll, Clearwater, Fla., 1-1-1-1, 4.

PHRF 5 (13)---Fitikoko (Tripp 38 ML), Andrew Wilson, Annapolis, 3-2-1-3, 9.

PHRF 6 (12)---Dr. Evil (Olson 29), Tom Treat/Cliff Davis, Milford, Conn., 3-1-3-1, 8.

PHRF 7 (10)---Invincible (N/M 30), Brian Lees/Jeff Gastrau, Annapolis, 1-1-1-1, 4.

PHRF 8 (9)---E-Ticket (Moorings 38), Dan Myers, Lighthouse Point, Fla., 1-4-1-4, 5.

PHRH 9 (10)---Ruby My Dear (Express 37), Grosse Point Park, Mich., 3-4-2-2, 11.

PHRF 10 (12)---Rumblefisch (J/24), Peter Fischel, Savannah, Ga., 1-3-1-4, 9.

Fi Brown reports on the Melges 24 action

It was a day of exciting racing and mixed fortunes for the Melges 24 fleet at Key West. The big, high quality fleet and tricky conditions have resulted in some surprise upsets with most of the top names now counting at least one poor result. Bruce Ayres is very much the exception to this rule and is the only person with all top ten results.

Today's first race, number three in the series, started on time in around 8 knots from the north east with only a small chop. The fleet got away cleanly at the first attempt with the majority opting for the right hand end. It was Bruce Ayres who led round the first mark with Kristian Nergaard, Argyle Campbell, Philippe Kahn and Jamie Lea hot on his heels. Down the first run Nergaard and Ayres were neck and neck with Nergaard just getting the advantage at the mark. The lead pair had opened up a small margin over third placed Campbell with Lea overtaking Kahn for fourth.

Up the second beat Nergaard opened up his advantage nicely but behind him Campbell and Ayres were locked in a full on battle culminating in a gybing dual to the finish which Campbell won by less than a boat length. Lea hung onto fourth whilst Keith Musto took on Kahn for fifth place in yet another excellent gybing match which Musto just managed to win.

The wind had dropped slightly for the fourth race. Amongst the small number of individual recalls was Jamie Lea who found himself returning across the line for the second time in the regatta. Up the first beat it was very much a case of picking the shifts up the right hand side and Britain's Stuart Rix, helming for Quentin Strauss, was the man who picked them best rounding just ahead of Brian Porter at the first mark.

Musto slotted into third just ahead of overnight leader Alec Cutler, helming for John Sherlock (please note we incorrectly stated that Kate Mullin was helming this boat in yesterday's report - our apologies to all concerned for this error), with Campbell fifth and Doug Clark, helming for Paula Zubrzycki, sixth.

Down the run the top three held their places with Campbell getting by Cutler to take fourth at the leeward mark. Rix and Porter both took the right hand side up the second beat whilst Musto opted for the left in what was to be a blinding move enabling him to take the lead by the second windward mark ahead of Rix, Campbell and Porter. Places were changing with every tack and gybe and by the final leeward mark Musto was just ahead with Campbell second and Rix third. Maspero Giovanni's brand new Melges 24 team with Luca Santella at the helm had suddenly found their feet in the boat and worked their way up from ninth to fifth ahead of Porter and Morgan Larsen, Flavio Favini, helming for Franco Rossini, and Cutler. It was wide open up the last beat with Larsen sailing like a man possessed to win the race with yards to spare. Behind him Musto and Santella fought all the way to the finish with Musto getting second on the line by inches. Campbell took fourth ahead of Rix, Porter and Favini.

In the overall standings Ayres now has a three point lead over Favini with Campbell in third, Cutler fourth and Larson fifth. "We had a really great day but its a long regatta and with the discard being used for the first time this year it's still completely open." commented Ayres on the dock.

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