Farr 40 and Mumm 30s at Newport
Rolex Yachtsman of the Year (2000) Mark Reynolds, a decorated Star sailor whose accomplishments include three Olympic medals (two gold, one silver) and two Star World titles, will serve as tactician aboard the Farr 40 Le Renard, owned and skippered by Stephen Phillips. "I've sailed in Newport only a few times, mostly aboard 50 footers and Maxis," said Reynolds, a sailmaker who lives in San Diego. "It will be great to get back again. I've just started with this program, so it will be a good regatta to get under our belts, as a team, before the Worlds."
Tough competition will come from veteran Swan sailor Clay Deutsch who has chartered the Farr 40 Raging Bull for this event. Deutsch just finished eighth in class at the Bermuda Race aboard his Swan 68 Chippewa, which has been sent on to the Mediterranean for the Swan Worlds in September. Deutsch, though he has never before sailed a Farr 40, will have plenty of talent aboard, including Californian Farr 40 North American and SORC champions Matt Ciesicki and Eric Arndt, and world-champion crew members Nancy Hood and Jack Slattery.
The Australia-based team aboard Foreign Affair leads the list of contenders for the Mumm 30 North Americans. Foreign Affair, owned by Sydney's Richard Perini, was commissioned last year for the Mumm 30 Worlds in Italy, where it finished 12th , and then was shipped directly to North America for the 2002 Mumm 30 circuit. This will be the sixth time the Foreign Affair crew has been flown to the States for a major regatta, and plans are to sustain the boat's impressive record, which includes class victories at Key West Race Week in Florida and the Newport Gold Cup more recently here in Newport.
"Though Richard Perini owns and campaigns a Farr 40 called Corinthian Doors, the Mumm 30 is the priority as we look toward the Worlds later this year," said Foreign Affair's Boat Captain/Team Manager Darren Jones. "When we launched, we had a two-year goal of winning the Worlds in France next year. We're not short-tracking it for this year, but the way we 've been sailing, we're certainly capable of winning here and in Annapolis. We're consistently in the top six, and I guess if you're in that position and luck goes your way, anything can happen."
Jones added that one Race Week entrant he will watch closely is Dan Cheresh's Chicago-based Team Intermec, since that boat is "£doing well on the U.S. Circuit."
The one-design portion of Race Week at Newport, which starts tomorrow and continues through July 21, also is serving as the J/44 North Americans, 1D 35 East Coast Regional Championship and the J/35 New England Championship.
For the first half of Race Week at Newport, which toop place July 13-16, Jones sailed aboard the winning local boat Rumours, a Thomson 35 owned and skippered by Hood Sails owner Tim Woodhouse. The Race Week's unique split-racing format allows such dual participation in handicap racing and one-design racing.
"Whenever you see the name Rolex attached to a regatta, you know it will be quite a prestigious event," said Jones. " Foreign Affair's goal for the one-design racing is clear, but it was also very important to me to help Rumours win its class, since I've sailed the last three Block Island Race Weeks with Tim and the Chicago-Mac last year. The two racing segments really have equal status."