2007-08-23 / News

Double J/22 win for Porter

By Jeff Westcott

Yet another picture perfect day greeted the fleet of eight J/22's on Aug. 12, with a light, but steady, southerly breeze. The race committee of Peter and Sally Schott set a course of Zp, 13p for the first race. The pin of the generous starting line was favored, especially so since the flood tide was only in its earliest stage. At the gun, the whole fleet was bunched at the pin, forcing Bob Miniutti and Eric Senior's Good News over early. FJ Ritt's Paladin and Bad News, with Cory Sertl driving again this week, got the best of the tangle and led in the early going. Playing the left side at first, then seeking current relief on the right later, Bad News rounded the windward mark first, followed by the close group of Paladin, Rhapsody, and Blues eRacer. On the run to the can north of the bridge, Blues eRacer gained by sailing a more direct course in the flood current to take a narrow lead at that mark. However the final beat, often more of a fetch in a southerly, was lengthened by the adverse current just enough to allow Bill Porter's Rhapsody to grind out her first win of the year. Louis Mariorenzi's Blues eRacer held on for a strong second from Paladin and the fading Bad News. Besame, Chaos, Machbuster, and Good News followed in that order.

The course for the second race was lengthened to Zp, 13p, 15p. With the pin still favored, but the current building, a better organized start found most of the fleet going right soon after the gun. Only Machbuster defiantly went left into the tide and she quickly paid the price. Bad News again led at Z, and a fairly compact fleet began the long run to 15 (a special mark, not far from Besame's mooring). Only 500 yards from the mark, Bad News still led, but found herself lower than the pursuit and suddenly in a hole, as the breeze went lighter near the Jamestown shore. In no time Rhapsody, Paladin, Blues eRacer, and Rob Salk's Besame had all slipped by the no-doubt frustrated Bad News. As the leaders approached the finish, the tide finally overpowered the pin buoy causing some confusion as to where the finish line really was. It was clear, however, that Rhapsody had sealed another win, abetted by Mark Sertl's crew work. Twice Bad News had won the race to the windward mark, only to be chased down by the relentless Rhapsody. After a review by the committee, the remaining order was determined to be Paladin, Blues eRacer, Besame, Bad News, Chaos, Good News, and Machbuster, the last three in a virtual dead heat.

Bad News clings to a one-point series lead over Paladin. Rhapsody, now third, trails by eight.

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