Feb 26, 2012, 4:35 PM
Post #4 of 4
Report by John Payne
Re: [The Publisher] 2011-12 Jaguar Series
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January 24-26, 2012
COCONUT GROVE, FL – The Etchells Midwinter Regatta wrapped up over the weekend on Biscayne Bay. The three-day regatta serves as not only the class midwinter championship, but as the final event of the Jaguar Cup Series. Since this is a class sanctioned event, crew weigh-ins and sail checks are part of the requirements for competition. The Jaguar Cup Series Champion would be the boat with the best total score, made up of their finish places in two of the first three Jaguar Series regattas combined with their finish place in the Midwinter Regatta.
Friday, the race committee, led by PRO Dave Brennan, ran three very competitive races under sunny skies, with winds of 8 knots. Forty-Seven Etchells sailed the windward-leeward course, with a bearing of 180 and a length of 1.5 miles. Fort Lauderdale’s Tom Lihan (USA 1225) with crew, Moose McLintock and Bar Batzer, led the first race wire to wire. In race two, Tony Rey of Westbrook, CT, driving George Andreadis’s GRE1368 with crew, Bill Bennett, and Cris Cantrick pulled out the victory. Placing third in both races was Miami’s Buddy Cribb (USA 1273). By the third race the breeze had filled in to 12 knots. Rey and his team reeled off a second straight bullet, followed by Tomas Honros (USA 102) sailing with Zach Via and Henry Frazer; and Marvin Beckmann (USA 1232). Beckmann had Etchells world champion and recent Rolex Yachtsman of the Year recipient Bill Hardesty on the bow and calling tactics.
Saturday dawned just as beautiful a day as Friday, save for one problem….No Wind. A frontal boundary was taking its time making its way down the Florida Peninsula, leaving Biscayne Bay with winds that were light and variable. The race committee kept the fleet on shore while monitoring the conditions up the coast and out on the bay. The front was slowly moving South, and by 1300, it appeared the new breeze was beginning to fill in, so the AP was lowered. Once the fleet made it out to the race course, the RC kept watch on the rapidly backing winds. Once they settled on a course of 045, they started a race in the freshening breeze of 15 knots. A five leg race was run, and was won wire to wire by BBYC’s Dr. Scott Piper sailing with Tim Banks, and Henry Chau. He was followed by Tomas Honros and Marvin Beckmann.
Sunday’s weather was rainy with much more wind. The breeze on Biscayne Bay was around 18 knots with some gusts to 23. A windward leeward course was set, with a bearing of 110 degrees and a distance to the weather mark of 1.7 miles. Tom Lihan started at the pin, and led the fleet up the left side of the course, which had been paying most of the regatta. He rounded first with Tony Rey and Michael Gavin close behind. After a course change on each succeeding legs, Jeffrey Siegal with Jeff Madrigali, Willem Wan Wey and Sarah Callahan clawed his way to the top, and held on sailing the downwind to take the horn.
The stage was now set for the final race. The only boat with a mathematical chance to catch Rey was Lihan, but he would need to win the race and have Rey finish 8th or worse. Both boats started at the pin, and headed out to that favored left side. Jeffrey Siegal led the fleet to the top mark followed by Barry Allardice, Rey, Honros and Lihan. They maintained that order until the second upwind. LIhan followed the shifts up the right side and passed everyone. Said Tom, “I figured we were racing for second in the regatta, and that there was no way to catch T Rey who was right behind us, and keeping us close. But, on the downwind we got a great lift, jibed out, and put some nice space between us and the rest of the fleet.” By the second leeward rounding, Lihan was neck and neck with Argyle Campbell. Tom again took the right side of the course, and, sailing upwind, crossed everyone. Moose noticed T Rey was falling further back, and realized that with their lead, they might still be able to win the regatta. Then, out of nowhere, Bruce Huber (USA 1177) came in from the left side, crossed Lihan and clamped on them, pushing them back to second for the race and the regatta. Lihan remarked, “By the time they crossed us, there wasn’t enough race track left to make a move to pull out a win. But, we are very happy with our results, we have a good boat, and we are racing now, not sailing.”
Tony Rey sailed an excellent regatta with all of their finishes in the top ten. When asked what his thoughts were about the Midwinters, he said, “This was a boat-speed regatta. The key was starting left and playing that side up the course, though it wasn’t so favored that you couldn’t also make the right side pay. The shifts were fairly consistent, and if you didn’t over stand the weather mark by 15 lengths like we did in one race, you would be OK.”
The 2012 Jaguar Cup Series winners were George Andriadas and Tony Rey. Tom Lihan and Jeffrey Siegal finished second and third respectively.
Special thanks to the great race committee at Biscayne Bay Yacht Club. Over 50 volunteers help put on the Jaguar Cup Series.
Full Midwinters results: http://www.etchellsfleet20.org/results/2012JMW.html
Full Jaguar Cup Series results: http://www.etchellsfleet20.org/results/2012JagSeriesStandings.pdf