Tight at the top

After a breezy day of competitiion at Charleston Race Week

Sunday April 20th 2008, Author: Meaghan van Liew, Location: United Kingdom
A breezy sixth race capped off an action-filled Saturday on the water, resulting in extremely tight scores in many of the racing classes at 2008 Charleston Race Week. The top two positions in 9 of the 12 competing classes are separated by four points or
less, setting up a suspenseful final race tomorrow morning.

The two highest-profile classes at the event – the Melges 24 and the powerful A-rated big boats – have ties at the top of their leader boards. Kristen Lane, helming the Melges 24 Out House, is neck-and-neck with Travis Wiesleder's Carloan.com, both with 11 points. Lane's tactician is Morgan Larson, the veteran of two major America's Cups and three Olympic campaigns.

This is Larson's first time racing on Charleston Harbor since he left school more than a decade ago. “It's great to be back here - we're having so much fun, the racing is so tight and the venue so good.” With lighter breeze forecast tomorrow, Larson knows that tomorrow's winner-take-all battle isn't going to be easy. “We go really well in the light air, but regardless ofwhere we finish, we've had a great time.”

Trailing by just four points is Simon Strauss and the crew of Yoga, who led a late-day charge to win the final race by less than half a boat length over Lane. “It's not over yet,” said Yoga tactician and top dinghy racer Bora Gulari. “Those guys are going to be worrying about each other, and we're going to do our best to get out front and stay there - hopefully that will be enough.”



On the offshore courses, a shifty, unpredictable southerly dominated the morning, providing a real challenge for everyone. “We had a lot of trouble calling our laylines,” said John Bowden, a local sailmaker and crew of the leading J/105 Big Booty. “Fortunately, when the breeze came in, we were seriously fast.” Bowden and his crew lead by only two points over Max Power, but they've got a plan for tomorrow. “We're concentrating on the party right now - everything else will take care of itself,” explained a crewmember.

At 1:30, the breeze began building, settling in at a solid 18 knots with gusts to over 25. While a few boats had gear breakages, most held up well to the strong southerly. Yesterday's leaders Bluto, A Parent Tripp, Rumor, Yellow Jacket, Rush, and Echo held on to their leads, some only barely, and most will have to sail fast during tomorrow's single race in order to win their classes.

Tomorrow's forecast shows a light Southeasterly breeze, and racing will likely be finished before the sea breeze builds in earnest. Based on the racers' comments, the teams can't wait to finish off a nearly ideal weekend of racing at one of the most competitive Charleston Race Weeks ever.

Results:


Melges 24 (One Design - 26 Boats)
1. Carloan.com, USA605, Travis Weisleder - 1, 4, 1, 4, 1, 6, [6] ; 11
2. Out House, USA623, Kristen Lane - 2, 3, 3, 1, 6, 2, [6] ; 11
3. Yoga, GBR592, Simon Strauss - 4, 2, 8, 3, 5, 1, [8] ; 15

Viper 640 (One Design - 10 Boats)
1. I Am the Mambo King, USA1, Justin Scott - 4, 1, 1, 1, 3, ; 10
2. Viper 640, USA77, David Guggenheim - 3, 3, 4, 3, 4, ; 17
3. USA 23, USA23, Eric Gotwalt - 1, 6, 3, 8, 5, ; 23

J 80 (One Design - 11 Boats)
1. Rumor, USA19, John Storck, Jr - 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, [2] ; 5
2. Game Plan, USA176, Geoffrey Pierini - 7, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, [7] ; 9
3. Outrageous, USA888, Michael Jones - 8, 5, 3, 3, 4, 5, [8] ; 20

J 24 (One Design - 15 Boats)
1. Short Bus, USA3971, Chris Hamilton - 5, 3, 2, 3, 2, ; 15
2. BASH, USA1829, Ron Medlin - 10, 1, 1, 1, 6, ; 19
3. Squid, USA1656, Ryan Hamm - 7, 6, 5, 2, 1, ; 21

PHRF E (PHRF - 9 Boats)
1. Bluto, USA53194, Bill Berges - 1, 3, 2, 3, 1, 1, [3] ; 8
2. L'outrage, USA73456, Bruce Gardner - 8, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, [8] ; 9
3. Cool Change, USA22, Robert E Turner IV Chas Boat Works - 3, 4, 4, 1, 5,
5, [5] ; 17

PHRF F (PHRF - 9 Boats)
1. A Parent Tripp, USA2634, Harrison Yeigh - 1, 5/SCP, 2, 1, 3, 2, [5] ; 9
2. Terminal Velocity, USA407, Simon Beemsterboer - 8, 1, 3, 7, 1, 1, [8] ;
13
3. Slapshot, CAN83190, Tom Freeman - 4, 2, 4, 2, 4, 3, [4] ; 15

PHRF G Heavy Displacement (PHRF - 12 Boats)
1. Whisper, USA41038, Tom Bell - 13/DNS, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, [13] ; 7
2. IMP, IRL1990, George Radley - 13/DNS, 1, 2, 1, 2, 2, [13] ; 8
3. Andiamo, USA113, David Kowert - 1, 4, 8, 4, 4, 7, [8] ; 20

PHRF H Non-Spinnaker (PHRF - 5 Boats)
1. Prelude, USA70, Patrick Le Goff - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, [1] ; 5
2. Ibis, USA31636, Michael Kapp - 6/DNS, 3, 2, 2, 3, 3, [6] ; 13
3. Pied-'a-Mer, USA52991, Bernard M Schapiro - 2, 2, 3, 6/DNS, 4, 4, [6] ;
15

J 105 (One Design - 11 Boats)
1. Big Booty, USA658, Patrick Eudy - 6, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, [6] ; 7
2. Max Power, USA90, Gerrit Schulze - 1, 2, 2, 10, 1, 2, [10] ; 8
3. Sea Shadow, USA43772, William Riker - 4, 8, 5, 1, 3, 5, [8] ; 18

PHRF A (PHRF - 6 Boats)
1. Yellow Jacket, USA92, Larry Bulman & Jeff Scholz - 1, 1, 3, 2, 4, 2, [4]
; 9
2. Teamwork, USA52939, Robin Team - 2, 3, 1, 5, 2, 3/SCP, [5] ; 11
3. Cracker, USA52675, Hunt Lawrence / William Niedringhaus - 4, 5, 6, 1, 1,
6, [6] ; 17

PHRF B (PHRF - 12 Boats)
1. Rush, USA51, Bill Sweetser - 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 2, [2] ; 6
2. EmOcean, USA37120, Will Hanckel - 5, 2, 3, 1, 2, 1, [5] ; 9
3. Temptress, USA50484, Robert Hibdon - 6, 4, 5, 4, 3, 4, [6] ; 20

PHRF D (PHRF - 12 Boats)
1. Echo, 22763, Dean Forbis - 1, 1, 6, 2, 6, 4, [6] ; 14
2. Tangent, USA53228, Gerry Taylor - 7, 3, 1, 6, 4, 2, [7] ; 16
3. Hoodoo, USA333, Ric Campeau - 5, 9, 2, 1, 3, 6, [9] ; 17

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