Full throttle takes King's Day regatta

Fiona Brown reports from the final day of the Melges 24 racing in Jacksonville, Florida

Monday November 18th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States
The third and final race of the King’s Day Regatta in Jacksonville, Florida gave way to extreme sailing conditions bringing challenging and very interesting results.

As the boats made their way to the racecourse they experienced almost flat conditions, winds around 10-12 knots. The wind built quick increasing to 15-18 knots at the start. Everyone got off clean, most working the left side of the course with quite a bit of scrambling for position. Working their way to the top mark, rounding first was Doug Fisher with Morgan Reeser navigating (USA-62 “Iocane”), Nigel Pill and Alex Shaffer (USA-544 “Tommy Bahama”) was second and overall leader Brian Porter (USA-549, “Full Throttle”) came around third hot for the top position.

As the fleet made its way down the course winds continued to build and sustained at 20-25 knots making for interesting gybes, mark rounding and take downs. Porter, who had closed the gap significantly between himself and Fisher, rounded the mark then went right making good use of clean air.

Back downwind for the second to last leg the wind was really whipping. Porter left the fleet giving him a substantial lead to win the race. It took him 5 minutes and 45 seconds to come from the top mark to the bottom leaving the Fisher and the Pill/Shaffer teams to battle it out. Fisher managed to close the gap significantly but it just was not enough to over take the powerful “Full Throttle” team resulting in a second place finish. The Tommy Bahama crew battled it out with Argyle Campbell (USA-524 “Rock n’ Roll) who made big improvements in the field landing a third place finish. The Pill/Shaffer team was fourth. Doug Clark helming for Paula Zubrzycki (USA-495 “First Crush”) also made great strides and landed a fifth position.

Due to increasing winds, the teams started to struggle a bit to keep the boats under control. The race committee became witness to several “shrimping” incidents and in some cases even worse. The J-24 fleet was also on the same course racing, one in particular lost its rig, on other boats spinnakers were mangled and destroyed. Others finally took the kites down completely and made it across the finish line as best and as quick as they could.

The Full Throttle crew scored 3 bullets this weekend unmistakably making them the overall winners in Jacksonville. Argyle Campbell captured second place. Some of yesterday’s contenders did not survive so well today such as Sheldon Echlund (USA-553) who was tied for second place overall, finished eighth in today’s race resulting in a third place finish overall. Paula Zubrzycki finished fourth. Doug Fisher landed a fantastic fifth place finish, up from the eighth position in yesterday’s results. Jeff Jones (USA-497 “Kilroy”) scored a twelfth position today leaving him in eighth in the final overall standings, down from seventh.

Pat Lambert, Regatta Chairman, conducted the awards ceremony. Several customized awards were given on behalf of the FYC. The Crab Trap Award went to the boat who caught the most crab traps in the St. John’s River over the weekend – Terry Gibson & Doug Folsetter “Booby Trap”; winner. The Rookie of the Year Award was given to the individual that has sailed the least before this regatta yet competed – John Raymont “No Tourism”; winner. The Shrimp Cocktail Award given for “shrimping” with the spinnaker – Steve Jones & Eric Andrews “Sick Puppy”; winner. All other awards given respectively to the individuals listed on the overall standings.

Kim Beddard made an announcement to the Melges 24 fleet that the Florida Yacht Club is the home Sterling Trophy. She briefed the crowd on the history of the trophy and how it came about. The Sterling Trophy is awarded each year to the team that wins the International Melges24 Class Association World Ranking. This year again, that award goes to Jamie Lea and his “Black Seal” crew.

Last but certainly not least, kudos to the FYC! In particular to Rick Preston, the designated On-water Chairman did a fine job with all races conducted. They were professional and well organized. The FYC’s top-notch committee and facilities really made the King’s Day Regatta one of the best to attend in the Southeast.


Final results:
1. BRIAN PORTER – USA-549 - FULL THROTTLE
2. ARGLYE CAMPBELL – USA-524 - ROCK ‘N ROLL
3. SHELDON ECHLUND – USA-553
4. PAUL ZUBRZYCKI – USA-495 - FIRST CRUSH
5. DOUG FISHER – USA-62 - IOCANE
6. JEFFERY TODD – USA-58 - HOT TODDY
7. WAYNE PIGNOLET – USA-174 - PUMBAA
8. JEFF JONES – USA-497 - KILROY
9. ROSS GRIFFITH – USA-155 - MOVING TARGET
10. NIGEL PILL / ALEX SHAFFER -USA-544– TOMMY BAHAMA

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