Fine conclusion

As Charleston Race Week winds up

Sunday April 19th 2009, Author: Meaghan van Liew, Location: United Kingdom
With numerous battles on tap this morning between 174 race boats across the 13 divisions that made up 2009 Charleston Race Week, mother nature ordered up a sparkling day with near-perfect sailing conditions to close out the memorable event.

"This is probably the best place I know to race," said local sailing coach Ryan Hamm. "We just don't have a lot of days without good wind - not a bad reason to live here if you're a sailor."

The harbor courses saw 12 knots of wind at the start of the day quickly increasing to over 15 knots, lifting the sporty Melges, Viper, and SB3s out of the water at full planing speeds while providing plenty of power for the big J/24 and J/80 fleets. Alton Brown, crewing on the J/24 Slingblade, said that after Friday's intense racing, he "felt like he'd been beaten with a bamboo stick," but that today's Southerly wind was "just incredible."
College of Charleston sailor Terry Ensick had a special method for finding the most powerful wind - she wore a pair of bunny ears her crew bought for her Saturday night. "They were my secret weapon," said Terry. "It let me feel the gusts much sooner than without them."

Five-time Charleston Race Week competitor Brian Robinson, from Annapolis, MD, had never sailed the offshore courses until this year. He usually competes with wife Kristen aboard her J/80 inside the harbor, but this year switched to perennial champion in PHRF C, the Annapolis-based Beneteau L'Outrage. "I'd heard that it was a really long trip to get offshore from the docks, but was surprised to find it wasn't bad at all," Robinson said. "You just couldn't ask for better conditions, and you can bet we will be back again next year."

Charleston sailors Lacey and Don Terwilliger own one of the biggest raceboats on Charleston Harbor, the Beneteau 47.7 Dauntless, and their hard-fought battle ended with a second place. "Going into today, half the fleet was neck-and-neck, a real nail biter," Don said. "The whole week was definitely the best in the 9 or 10 years we've been doing it." Lacey agreed: "The April date is perfect, though we'd love to have another whole day of racing next year for four full days - we want more Race Week, and we think everyone else does too!"

Dauntless finished just a few points off the winner off the overall PHRF award for most competitive handicap racer, Robin Team's J/122 Teamwork, which also won last week's 409-mile Fort Lauderdale to Charleston Race. "It's such a pleasure to come here and race in a great venue, and I've got a great crew that gets us wins like these," said Team. Teamwork isn't just a race boat either. "We'll get her home to North Carolina and take all the racing sails off, and then cruise her for the summer with the family - and we'll be back next year for sure."

Scott Nixon, winner of the Charleston Race Week Cup Perpetual Trophy, is certainly familiar with the award. As tactician for Travis Weisleder last year, Nixon helped Carloan.com to the prestigious award, given to the best boat in the most competitive one-design class - and this year he won it himself aboard the Melges 24 Quantum Racing. "This year was different - it means so much to win the trophy as a helmsman," said Nixon. "The competition was great, the breeze was just about perfect, and my crew earned every bit of this award. We'll keep coming to Charleston as long as they'll keep having us."

The Viper 640, Laser SB3, and Melges 20 Classes had a blast fighting for their trophies as well. "I got away from big boat racing over the past few years because it was so much slower than the dinghy racing I did in college, but the speed and fun of these twenty-foot boats is just awesome," commented Viper sailor Cyrus Buffum. Buffum runs the Charleston Waterkeeper, an environmental organisation that protects the waterways of Charleston from pollution, and is impressed to see such a great turnout for 2009. "Seeing over a thousand sailors enjoy these great waterways in Charleston is inspiring," said Buffum. "With the growth of Race Week, it makes our mission even more clear - keep these great waterways clean for everyone who loves spending time on the water in Charleston."

The various Race Committees have the hardest job on the water, organising the courses, starts, and finishes for the fleets, frequently crashing around in anchored boats at the mercy of the waves, yet they seemed to have as great a week as the competitors. Course 1 Principal Race Officer Hal Smith directed all racing on the 20-foot sportboat circle, just off the shore of downtown Charleston. "It was extremely exciting racing among the twenty footers, with so many new owners and young people among the fleet," he said. Race officiating is often a thankless job, but when asked what the high point of Smith's week was, he answered: "At some point, nearly every boat on the course sailed over to us and gave us their thanks for our work, along with lots of smiles on lots of faces. That's not really one point - but it's a lot of really good ones."

When asked what the low point of his regatta was, Smith answered, "Well, that would be now - because Race Week is over."

Final Results:

Place, Yacht Name, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points

Viper 640 (One Design - 35 Boats)
1. Black Mamba, David Guggenheim, USA - 3, 1, 2, 1, 2, 14, 3, 11, 4, 6, [14] ; 33
2. Thin Ice, Stuart Hebb, USA - 2, 2, 6, 5, 8, 5, 1, 1, 8, 7, [8] ; 37
3. Honour, Brad Boston, CAN - 17, 3, 5, 3, 4, 9, 2, 8, 2, 4, [17] ; 40
4. USA 94, Jonathan Nye, USA - 6, 6, 7, 6, 5, 4, 16, 2, 3, 3, [16] ; 42
5. USA 108, Bill Griffin, USA - 1, 9, 4, 12, 1, 11, 10, 5, 1, 18, [18] ; 54

Melges 20 (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. USA 21, Marc Hollerbach, USA - 1, 3, 5, 1, 5, 3, 1, 5, 1, 3, [5] ; 23
2. Shakedown, Geoffrey Pierini, USA - 5, 2, 4, 7/DNS, 3, 4, 2, 2, 2, 1, [7] ; 25
3. 102, Phil Sustronk, CAN - 2, 5, 2, 3, 1, 2, 5, 1, 5, 5, [5] ; 26
4. SuperFly, Eric Wynsma, USA - 4, 1, 3, 4, 2, 1, 6, 4, 3, 4, [6] ; 26
5. Simplified Sophistication, David Hammett / Linton Weiss, USA - 3, 4, 1, 2, 4, 5, 4, 7/DNS, 7/DNS, 7/DNS, [7] ; 37

Laser SB3 (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. Boat, Sean Fidler, USA - 2, 1, 3, 1, 1, 1, 2, 4, 3, 1, [4] ; 15
2. The Claw, Jackson Benvenutti, USA - 1, 3, 2, 2, 3, 3, 1, 1, 1, 4, [4] ; 17
3. CIAO!, Alain Fedensieu, France - 3, 2, 1, 3, 4, 4, 4, 2, 2, 2, [4] ; 23
4. Olympic Challenge, Connor Brady , USA - 5, 5, 4, 5, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 3, [5] ; 31
5. Foggy Notion, John Fonseca, USA - 4, 4, 6, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 5, 6, [6] ; 45

Melges 24 (One Design - 31 Boats)
1. Quantum Racing, Scott Nixon, USA - 3, 1, 11, 1, 4, 3, 9, 1, 4, [11] ; 26
2. KO Sailing, John Kolius, USA - 1, 5, 4, 2, 15, 8, 2, 10, 1, [15] ; 33
3. Rock N' Roll, Argyle Campbell, USA - 5, 4, 2, 3, 5, 1, 12, 11, 10, [12] ; 41
4. Party Girl, Jens Altern Wathne, NOR - 13, 7, 6, 7, 8, 2, 1, 9, 14, [14] ; 53
5. Blur-Pacific Energy Ventures, Steven Kopf, USA - 10, 3, 10, 9, 3, 6, 11, 18, 2, [18] ; 54

J 80 (One Design - 9 Boats)
1. J Hawk, Kerry Klingler, USA - 2, 4, 1, 1, 1, 4, 2, 1, 1, [4] ; 13
2. Relentless, Al Minella, USA - 5, 1, 2, 5, 2, 1, 5, 3, 5, [5] ; 24
3. Lucky Frog, Ben Schwartz, USA - 1, 3, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1, 6, 7, [7] ; 26
4. Rocket, Jon Morris, USA - 6, 6, 3, 3, 5, 5, 7, 2, 2, [7] ; 32
5. Bob Dylan, Mike Sudofsky, USA - 7, 2, 4, 6, 4, 8, 3, 4, 3, [8] ; 33

J 24 (One Design - 16 Boats)
1. Murder Incorporated, Chip Till, USA - 1, 2, 2, 9, 2, 1, 2, 1, [9] ; 11
2. Tutakrnaut, Roger Dougal, USA - 2, 1, 17/DNF, 2, 5, 3, 1, 5, [17] ; 19
3. Footloose, Maarten Zonjee, USA - 3, 17/DSQ, 1, 1, 4, 7, 5, 3, [17] ; 24
4. BASH, Ron Medlin, USA - 5, 3, 3, 3, 8, 11, 3, 4, [11] ; 29
5. SOL, Ryan Hamm, USA - 7, 6, 5, 5, 3, 4, 7, 2, [7] ; 32

J 105 (One Design - 5 Boats)
1. Big Booty, Patrick Eudy, USA - 2, 1, 1, 4, 2, 2, 1, [4] ; 9
2. Dead on Arrival, Joe Highsmith, USA - 1, 2, 2, 3, 1, 6/DSQ, 2, [6] ; 11
3. High Visibility, Billy Bremer III, USA - 3, 3, 3, 1, 3, 1, 4, [4] ; 14
4. Absolutely, Junius Grimes, USA - 4, 4, 4, 2, 5, 3, 3, [5] ; 20
5. Revelation, John Demere, USA - 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 5, [5] ; 28

PHRF A (PHRF - 9 Boats)
1. Teamwork, Robin Team, USA - 1, 1, 2, 8, 2, 2.5, 2, [8] ; 10.5
2. Dauntless, Don Terwilliger, USA - 3, 3, 1, 5, 4, 1, 3, [5] ; 15
3. Captivity, Sam Byrne, USA - 4, 2, 4, 1, 6, 4, 1, [6] ; 16
4. EmOcean, Will Hanckel, USA - 5, 5, 10/DNS, 3, 1, 2.5, 4, [10] ; 20.5
5. Jubilee, Cal Huge, USA - 2, 4, 3, 4, 3, 5, 5, [5] ; 21

PHRF B (PHRF - 12 Boats)
1. Tangent, Gerry Taylor, USA - 1, 1, 1, 10, 2, 1, 1, [10] ; 7
2. X-Esse, Taylor / Linehan, USA - 2, 3, 7, 1, 1, 6, 6, [7] ; 19
3. IMP, George Radley, IRL - 4, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, [12] ; 20
4. Arrow, Willy Schwenzfeier, USA - 5, 4, 3, 5, 13/RAF, 9, 2, [13] ; 28
5. Hoodoo, Ric Campeau, USA - 3, 5, 4, 6, 3, 7, 7, [7] ; 28

PHRF C (PHRF - 11 Boats)
1. Seefest, Ira Perry, USA - 1, 2, 2, 0, 3, 1, 6, 2, [6] ; 11
2. L'outrage, Bruce Gardner, USA - 2, 1, 1, 0, 4, 3, 4, 1, [4] ; 12
3. Remedy, Bert Carp, USA - 4, 5, 6, 0, 1, 2, 2, 5, [6] ; 19
4. For Sail, Jim Mackevich, USA - 5, 4, 3, 0, 5, 5, 1, 3, [5] ; 21
5. Breeze, Valeri Safiullin, USA - 3, 3, 4, 0, 10, 8, 3, 6, [10] ; 27

PHRF D (PHRF - 7 Boats)
1. Slapshot, Tom Freeman, CAN - 1, 1, 2, 0, 1, 1, 2, 2, [2] ; 8
2. Huntin' Tripp, Treez Decker, USA - 3, 2, 1, 0, 2, 2.5, 1, 4, [4] ; 11.5
3. Tantrum, Timothy Savage, USA - 4, 3, 3, 0, 5, 4, 3, 3, [5] ; 20
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ryan Worobel, USA - 2, 8/DNF, 8/DNS, 0, 4, 2.5, 4, 1, [8] ; 21.5
5. Ruckus, Joseph Markusic, USA - 6, 5, 8/DNS, 0, 6, 6, 5, 5, [8] ; 33

PHRF E (PHRF - 11 Boats)
1. Whisper, Tom Bell, USA - 1, 2, 2, 0, 1, 2, 2, 1, [2] ; 9
2. Caribbean Soul 2, David McAleer, USA - 2, 1, 1, 0, 2, 1, 3, 5, [5] ; 10
3. Buena Vida, David Rodarte, USA - 5, 4, 3, 0, 6, 5, 1, 4, [6] ; 22
4. Susimi, Michael Carrington, USA - 3, 12/DNF, 12/DNS, 0, 5, 3, 4, 3, [12] ; 30
5. Tohidu, Jay Cook, USA - 4, 3, 4, 0, 8, 6, 7, 6, [8] ; 30

PHRF F Non Spin (PHRF - 8 Boats)
1. Gone, Dick McGillivray, Jr., USA - 9/DNS, 1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, [9] ; 6
2. Bliss, Randy Brooks, USA - 2, 3, 4, 0, 3, 3, 2, 3, [4] ; 16
3. Suwannee, Donald Michael, USA - 9/DNS, 2, 2, 0, 4, 4, 3, 2, [9] ; 17
4. White Flash, William F Hellings, USA - 1, 4, 3, 0, 9/DNS, 5, 5, 4, [9] ; 22
5. Pied-'a-Mer, Bernard M Schapiro, USA - 3, 5, 9/DNS, 0, 5, 7, 4, 5, [9] ; 29

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