Jamestown skipper takes second in NYYC Race Week’s IRC 3
Neither too much nor too little wind, comfortably cool temperatures, plenty of sunshine glittering on the water – conditions couldn’t have been more perfect as 98 teams enjoyed a conclusive Sunday of sailing at the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport.
The last session of the split-format regatta started Thursday for IRC, One-Design and PHRF, and today each of 11 classes yielded a winner, with three of those classes – Swan 42, J/109 and Beneteau 36.7 – also naming their new 2012 national, North American and Northeast champions, respectively.
Though his score line didn’t scream it, there was plenty of tooth-and-nail fighting to determine that defending Swan 42 champion Ken Colburn, helming Apparition, would go home as the 2012 Swan 42 national champion.
A leader on day one, Colburn got displaced at the top of the leaderboard by John Hele’s Daring on day two but fought back to a comfortable lead Saturday. In three races Sunday, Apparition finished 1-4-4 to Daring’s 6-11-6 and proved that the key to winning the 15-boat contest was never finishing out of the top four.
After its performance on the fi- nal day, Daring fell to third overall, while Phil Lotz’s Arethusa snuck into second overall on the merit of a 2-5-2 finish Sunday.
“I’m very pleased with the results. Our team was excellent,” said Colburn. “We had a couple of lucky breaks, which in a big fleet sometimes come your way and sometimes doesn’t, but frankly we were able to find good boat speed, take advantage of the shifts when they occurred, and ultimately just put together a good regatta.”
Rick Lyall, the skipper of Storm, won the J/109 class and with it became the 2012 North American champion. It wasn’t easy with 17 boats and an assault by Bill Sweetser’s Rush, which finished second, and three-time and defending North American champion Ted Herlihy’s boat Gut Feeling, which finished third.
“It’s beyond words how happy we are,” said Lyall, who won the North American title once before in 2009.
In the IRC 3 division, Art Santry, skipper of the Ker 50 named Temptation-Oakcliff, had said that if his crew – comprised partially of Oakcliff Sailing Center students – kept up its stellar work, his team was going to be tough to beat. The self-fulfilling prophesy played out Sunday, when the team finished 4-2-1 to post 16.5 points over the 20 posted by Jamestown resident Jim Bishop’s J/44 White Gold on merit of a 2-1-2.
Tempation-Oakcliff, with Oakcliff’s executive director and veteran America’s Cup sailor Dawn Riley aboard, established its dominance early in the nine-race series and had four victories plus a tie for first in their score line.
In IRC 2, Jim Swartz’s IRC 52 Vesper prevailed to win after Sunday’s three races where secondplace finisher Interlodge, owned by Austin and Gwen Fragomen of Newport, made a valiant effort to overtake. Having won three races Saturday, Interlodge proceeded to win only one on the final day while Vesper won two.
“They were on fire yesterday, so we had to up our game today,” said Swartz. “We are so close on ratings that it’s almost like One- Design racing. Today’s third race was the most fun. We had a serious tacking duel on the first beat and we were ahead at the top mark, which we hadn’t been in the other two races.”