Leaders emerge

Rich Roberts reports midway through Terra Nova Trading Key West Race Week

Wednesday January 21st 2004, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United States
To those who think Samuel (Shark) Kahn had an off-day at Terra Nova Trading Key West 2004, presented by Nautica, Wednesday with 14th- and 10th-place finishes, think again. The 14-year-old phenom of the Melges 24 class twice spotted his 57 rivals an advantage by having to return to the line after crossing before the starting horn - but finished the day by increasing his lead from 12 to 14 points.

"Stuff happens," said Mark Reynolds, coach of the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Team Pegasus. "They did a great job coming back."

But a moment of reckoning is due Thursday. The worst stuff that happened to most of the 301 boats from 18 countries and 32 states will be forgiven when the discard rule kicks in after the seventh race - a blessed event for especially for the French.

Philippe Ligot's P&P Sailing Team, with former European champion Sebastian Col driving, has won half the Melges 24 races this week but remained out of the lead pack while carrying a 59-point burden for failing to return after an overanxious start of their own Monday. If they and the Shark both discarded their worst scores now, the French would lead with 11 points to Kahn's 24. But there is still a lot of sailing to do.

Only the Division 1 boats - Farr 40s, Swan 45s and Mumm 30s - must count all of their races of the nine scheduled through Friday, so the Farr 40s especially seem destined to continue as a dogfight. Crocodile Rock, Alexandra Geremia and Scott Harris' defending champion from Santa Barbara, Calif., is the third leader in three days - without winning a race.

The secret is that it's the only one of the 23 boats without a double-digit finish, the same formula that won for them a year ago - a title last year and in first place again without running a race the last two years.

Fred and Steve Howe's Warpath, the co-leader from San Diego a day earlier, has a clear handle on the situation after finishing first and 19th in Wednesday's fluky moderate winds.

Steve Howe, the younger family partner who drives, said, "It was shifty out there . . . hard to stay in phase [with the wind shifts]. In the first race we were definitely in phase and in the second race we couldn't get into phase. Today was a good example of what it's like in this class. It could be worse."

Warpath shares third place with Jim Richardson's Barking Mad, Newport, R.I., five points off the pace, with a reborn John MacLaurin, the 70-year-old phenom from L.A., holding Pendragon V on a role only 1.8 points out of first place.

A similar scrap is going on among the biggest boats in PHRF 1, where three rivals are within five points of Clay Deutsch's Swan 68, Chippewa, sailing their handicaps for all they're worth against the fastest rated pair - Tom Hill's R/P 75 Titan and Bill Alcott's Andrews 68 Equation - who are running an easy 1-2 boat-for-boat consistently but finding it difficult to cover from so far ahead.

With the clock calculations, Roger Sturgeon's San Francisco-based Transpac 52, Rosebud, scored a first and fourth Wednesday to win Mount Gay Rum Boat of the Day honours - extending a sweep this week for West Coast boats, although owner Roger Sturgeon has lived in Ft. Lauderdale the last two years.

"We feel like the most improved boat this week," said Sturgeon, who won the class last year and is in third place now. "It isn't quite as easy as last year. This is harder than most one-design racing. The adrenaline pumping is what it's all about. Win or lose, it's just a blast."

Other significant performances came from American multihull icon Randy Smyth, who drove Ken Winters' Corsair 28R trimaran Rocketeer II past Bob and Doug Harkrider's Bad Boys into first place by two points, and Rich Bergmann's Zuni Bear, the 2003 Boat of the Week from San Diego that scored two firsts and will toss an opening day 19th Thursday. That will all but wrap up the J/105 title again.

Then there is the Mumm 30 affair between John and Deneen Demourkas, husband and wife, from Santa Barbara. After a few years of Deneen driving the family Farr 40, they now have separate boats - both winners Wednesday.

Although they're running third and fifth overall, John said, "It'll be a happy camp tonight." Ross Macdonald, a former world Star class champion from Vancouver is calling tactics for John.

"After a few days I started listening to Ross," John said. Do they race each other? John: "She was on my air today, so I don't know. Fact is, I don't have any concept of where she is." Deneen: "We keep an eye on him. Gotta keep him under control."

Shark Kahn seemed not at all disappointed about his day. "Each race we passed a lot of boats . . . maybe 40 or so," he said. "But we shouldn't depend on that."

Father Philippe paid a more severe price, slipping from second to ninth place on a 30-22 day. When he jumped the start in the second race, he didn't hear his sail number hailed on the radio until he was so far up the course that he hoisted his spinnaker to go back downwind to re-start. "That cost him about six minutes," Reynolds said.

Results from Swan 45s, Mumm 30s and PHRF 1

Pos
Boat name Skipper
From
R1
R2
R3
R4
R5
R6
Tot
1
RUSH (Reloaded) Thomas L. Stark
Newport, RI
4
2
2
4
1
2
15
2
VIM Craig Speck
Newport, RI
2
2 rdg
4
1
4
5
18
3
Bellicosa Massimo Ferragamo
CT
1
6
5
2
2
3
19
4
Cuordileone Leonardo Ferragamo
Punta Ala, ITA
3
9 dsq
1
3
3
6
25
5
Bandit Andrew Fisher
Newport, RI
6
1
3
7
6
4
27
6
Goombay Smash William Douglass
Newport, RI
5
4
8
5
5
1
28
7
Better ThanÉ Andrzej Rojek
Newport, RI
8
5
6
6
7
7
39
8
Devocean Stephen DeVoe
Jamestown, RI
7
7
7
9 dnf
8
8
46
Mumm 30
1
Turbo Duck Bodo Von Der Wense
Annapolis, MD
1
2
2
1
2
4
12
2
Team Bold Nelson Stephenson
Southport, CT
4
1
1
2
4
5
17
3
Groovederci Deneen Demourkas
Santa Barbara, CA
5
5
8 p40
3
1
2
24
4
USA 65 David Pyles
Easton, MD
2
9
5
4
8
3
31
5
Groove Too John Demourkas
Santa Barbara, CA
7
4
12
5
3
1
32
6
Surprise David Irish
Harbor Springs, MI
8
6
4
7
6
6
37
7
One More Time Bruce Lockwood
Groton Long Pt, CT
3
8
9
11
11
7
49
8
Cygnet Rick Swann
Fairfield, CT
6
12
7
6
7
11
49
9
Dark & Stormy Kevin Young
Cleveland, OH
12
3
10
8
9
8
50
10
Snooker Albert Russell
Cleveland, OH
9
11
6
9
10
9
54
11
Go Figure Jeff Wittenberg
Chicago, IL
10
7
11
10
12
10
60
12
Champosa Jonathan McDonagh
Minneapolis, MN
13
10
8
13
5
12
61
13
1029 Truman Allen/Chick/Elam
Key West, FL
11
13
13
12
13
13
75
PHRF 1
1
Chippewa Clay Deutsch
Road Harbour, BVI
Swan 68
7
1
1
1
8
1
19
2
AERA N Lykiardopulo
Cowes, UK
Ker 55
1
3
9
2
2
3
20
3
Rosebud Roger Sturgeon
San Francisco, CA
Transpac 52
3
7
5
3
1
4
23
4
Highland Fling Irvine Laidlaw
Douglas, Isle of Man
CM 60
6
5
2
6
3
2
24
5
Strabo Marty Fisher
Annapolis, MD
Swan 70
4
2
6
4
5
6
27
6
Titan 12 Tom Hill
Newport, RI
R/P 75
5
4
4
5
7
7
32
7
Equation Bill Alcott
Detroit, MI
Andrews 68
4 p20
8
7
8
6
5
38
8
Breakaway Mike Webb
Falmouth, UK
SantaCruz70
9
6
3
9
9
9
45
9
Renegade K Meade/S Gagne
Palm Beach, FL
SantaCruz70
8
9
8
7
6 p20
8
46


See our reports on the Mumm 30s and Farr 40s.

Other class leaders

J/105 (29)---Zuni Bear, Richard Bergmann, San Diego (1-19-1-2-1-1), 25.

J/80 (20)---Sooner Magic, Mac Kilpatrick, Ft. Worth, Tex. (1-5-1-2-5-5), 19.

Corsair 28R (10)---Rocketeer II, Ken Winters/Randy Smyth, Miami Beach
(2-2-1-3-2-1), 11.

Corsair 24 (9)--- I-Fly, Steve Marsh, Miami, Fla. (1-2-2-2-2-2), 11.

C&C 99 (11)---Trumpeter, Wally Hogan, Toronto (1-4-3-1-2-2), 13.

T-10 (8)---Liquor Box, Chuck Simon/Bill Buckles, Key West (1-2-3-1-1-3), 11.

PHRF 1 (9)---Chippewa (Swan 68), Clay Deutsch, Road Harbour, BVI
(7-1-1-1-8-1), 10.

PHRF 2 /IMS (8)---Storm (R/P 43), Les Crouch, San Diego (1-2-1-1-4-5), 14.

PHRF 3 (8)---Raincloud (J/133), Mike Rose, Kemah, Tex. (1-1-2-1-1-1), 7.

PHRF 4 (10)---Tiburon (Melges 30), Michael Gray, New Orleans (1-5-1-1-2-1),
11.

PHRF 5 (12)---K2 (J/120), Luis Gonzalez, Mallets Bay, Vt. (10-2-1-2-4-1),
20.

PHRF 6 (14)---Bounder (Sydney 36), David Hudgel, Detroit (1-5-1-2-2-1) 12.

PHRF 7 (12)---Phaedra (Evelyn 32-2), Robert Patroni, Pensacola, Fla.
(7-1-3-2-2-1), 16.

PHRF 8 (9)---Hot Ticket (Farr 37), Jim Hightower, Houston, Tex.
(1-1-3-1-4-3), 13.

PHRF 9 (11)---Rhumb Punch (J/29), John Edwards, Solomons, Md. (4-5-5-1-3-3),
21.

PHRF 10 (7)---Ego Tripp (Tripp 26), Rich Harrison, Annapolis, Md.
(2-1-2-1-2-6), 14.

PHRF 11 (12)---Circus (J/30), Team Circus, Chicago (3-2-3-2-3-3), 16.

Title Sponsor, Terra Nova Trading, L.L.C. (member NASD, SIPC & PCX), is recognised as an innovative leader in Electronic Direct Access Trading. The Chicago-based firm enables customers to electronically route orders to major markets and ECNs. Terra Nova Trading's technology partner, Townsend Analytics, Ltd., is the developer of the premier real-time trading platform, RealTick(r), which is also a Key West sponsor.

Nautica has upgraded its role to the Presenting Sponsor level. The winners of the multi-boat International Team Competition will receive the Nautica Trophy.

Mount Gay Rum, Lewmar, Samson Rope Technologies, Pearson Yachts, Raymarine and the Florida Keys and Key West Tourist Development Council round out the official line-up. The Historic Seaport is the Official Site for the event. The Performance Sailing Industry Partner Program, now in its third year, features 26 companies that have made a multi-year commitment to the event.

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