KEY WEST, Fla.—Mean Machine? Where’d they come from?
Upstaging the Farr 40 establishment, the way Peter De Ridder cleaned house
Friday at Terra Nova Trading Key West 2004, presented by Nautica, he’ll be
paying excess baggage charges on his way home to Monaco and The Netherlands.
The Dutch investor is a longtime presence in world sailing with a series of
Mean Machine racers but a relative novice in the slambang Farr 40 class. “We
started low key,” he said, “sneaked into second place [Thursday] with a
fourth and a second, and all of a sudden . . .”
Winners of the class. Terra Nova Trading Trophy Boat of the Week for winning
the most competitive class. A share of the Nautica Trophy International Team
Competition victory, courtesy of the presenting sponsor.
Mean Machine was paired with Kristian Nergaard’s Melges 24, Baghdad, from
Norway as the Europe B team, which outsailed nine other Farr 40-Melges 24
“All of that makes it a very big day for us,” De Ridder said, as he popped a
bottle for the ceremonial champagne shower of his crew.
The only race they won was the last one. Mean Machine was locked in the
midst of five boats in the 23-boat fleet separated by only two points as
they sailed out into a cotton patch of whitecaps for the last of nine
races—a Key West record—over five days. The emerald seas were churned up
by 15-knot winds gusting to 23—the strongest of a solid week of moderate
to heavy breeze.
Kelly, Andrew Cheney’s Beneteau 1st 10 from St. Petersburg, Fla., received
the Lewmar Trophy as PHRF Boat of the Week for winning PHRF 9, where six of
the 10 racers won races but he won three.
Rumor, John Storck Jr.’s J/30 from Huntington, N.Y. was Terra Nova Trading
Day Boat of the Day for winning Friday’s finale, which earned fourth place
France made a strong runner-up bid for the Nautica Trophy with Sebastian
Col’s victory over 14-year-old Samuel (Shark) Kahn in the Melges
24s—although Kahn won his third race in a row Friday—but Erik Maris’
Twins 2 was too far back in the Farr 40s in 13th.
Kahn, the current world champion, won four of nine races and led most of the
week as Col, sailing Philippe Ligot’s P&P Sailing Team entry, dragged a
59-point anchor around the course for jumping the starting line Monday. But
when Col was able to discard that score after the seventh race, the contest
Kahn, now trailing by five points, did everything he could except put the
necessary boats between himself and the Frenchman. He match-raced Col off
the pin end of the line and chased him relentlessly around the seven-leg,
14-mile course until passing him on the last upwind beat to the finish to
win by three boat lengths, with his father Philippe a close third to claim
fifth place overall.
“We got ’em on a shift,” Shark Kahn said. “They were down and we were up.
Everybody hiked their butts off.”
Col said, “We wanted to stay close to Shark the whole time. We wanted to
finish in the top five. We started in the same position as Shark, and by the
middle of the first beat we were in front and were able to sail our own
course and focus on going fast.”
Were the Kahns disappointed? Not much.
“That’s pretty good—two boats in the top five,” Philippe Kahn said. “The
French sailed fast. Without the throwouts, he [Shark] wins the regatta. But
the French deserved to win. They’re a great team.”
The conditions all week were such that most of the 3,000 sailors who worked
301 boats from 18 countries and 32 states were going home happy, no matter
where they finished.
“The first run was a lot of fun,” Kahn said, reveling in the surfing
conditions. “We got four firsts. We were more consistent than we were in the
Worlds. But the French won fair and square.”
His father said, “It’s a great event—a perfect regatta. The race committee
did a great job. Starting 58 boats isn’t easy. They talk on the radio and
explain everything to you. It’s awesome. It’s the greatest regatta in North
Shark and Col have a certain bond, as well. Both speak French. Kahn’s
father, a software entrepreneur, grew up in France, as did his mother.
“I picked it up listening to my parents talk,” Shark said.
Certainly, De Ridder had no complaints, in any language. His first Farr 40
experience was 15th place at Key West last year.
“I’d never helmed a boat at this high a level,” he said. “At the start I was
a little bit nervous but controlled. The tighter it gets the more I like it
and the better I start. I like it when the pressure is on. We were right at
the pin end and lifted [on the wind].”
Mean Machine and Marc Ewing’s Riot, from Northeast Harbor, Maine, both fired
off the pin, kept going left and partway up the beat were able to cross the
fleet on port tack. Mean Machine passed Riot downwind to take the lead for
keeps, then fought off Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad, Newport, R.I., by about
four boat lengths at the finish.
Barking Mad was second overall, ahead of Crocodile Rock, the Alexandra
Geremia/Scott Harris defending champion from California that reached the
last day with a one-point lead but finished seventh in the finale.
“We had an OK start, but it’s tough sailing,” said Harris, the helmsman.
” The fleet has improved . . . more boats, better prepared. Look at the guys
on the winning boat.”
The winning lineup: De Ridder, helm; Ray Davies, tactician; Sander Van Der
Borch, bow; Dennis Goethals, pit; Eduard Van Lierde, floater-grinder;
Marieke Poulie, floater; Dirk De Ridder (no relation to Peter), downwind
trimmer; Matt Reynolds, main; Jon Gunderson, upwind trimmer; Rutger Van
Eeuwijk, mast. Davies and Gunderson are New Zealanders, Reynolds is from San
Diego and all the others are Dutch.
Seven different boats finished first in the nine Farr 40 races.
Rich Bergmann’s Zuni Bear from San Diego, last year’s Boat of the Week,
repeated its J/105 victory—by a hair—in an all-California showdown with
Tom Coates’ onrushing Masquerade from San Francisco. Zuni Bear won four of
six races, then slipped to 9-6-7 as Masquerade closed out the week 1-4-1.
That left both with 28 points but Zuni Bear with more wins for the
Swan 45 and C&C 99 one-design fleets were new on the scene. Six of the eight
Swans won races, but consistency was key for Thomas Stark’s RUSH (Reloaded),
Newport, R.I., with Ed Baird as tactician.
Wally Hogan’s Trumpeter, one of six C&C 99 entries from central Canada, won
four of the nine races.
The Swan Performance Trophy went to So Far, Lawrence Hillman’s Swan 48 from
Chicago, for its consistent dominance in PHRF 8, where it was first or
second in seven races.
Trimarans were introduced to the event two years ago and reached new heights
this time. Bob and Doug Harkrider, hardcore Corsair 28R campaigners from
Augusta, Ga., won four races to prevail over the Freudenberg/Hudgins Condor,
Sewall’s Point, Fla., and Ken Winters’ Rocketeer II, Miami Beach, which had
Randy Smyth on the tiller.
The new Corsair 24 class was won by Robert Remmers, sailing Breaking Wind
from Buda, Tex.
Title Sponsor, Terra Nova Trading, L.L.C. (member NASD, SIPC & PCX), is
recognized as an innovative leader in Electronic Direct Access Trading. The
Chicago-based firm enables customers to electronically route orders to major
markets and ECNs. Terra Nova Trading’s technology partner, Townsend
Analytics, Ltd., is the developer of the premier real-time trading platform,
RealTick(r), which is also a Key West sponsor.
Mount Gay Rum, Lewmar, Samson Rope Technologies, Pearson Yachts, Raymarine
and the Florida Keys and Key West Tourist Development Council round out the
official line-up. The Historic Seaport is the Official Site for the event.
The Performance Sailing Industry Partner Program, now in its third year,
features 26 companies that have made a multi-year commitment to the event.
CLASS WINNERS (9 races)
Swan 45 (8 boats)—RUSH (Reloaded), Thomas Stark, Newport, R.I.
(4-2-2-4-1-2-4-5-1), 25 points.
Farr 40 (23)—1. Mean Machine, Peter de Ridder, The Netherlands
(6-7-18-5-6-12-4-2-1), 61; 2. Barking Mad, James Richardson, Newport, R.I.
(2-8-6-8-16-4-15-1-2), 62; 3. Riot, Marc Ewing, Northeast Harbor, Me.
(18-12-3-6-11-3-3-5-4), 65; 4. Crocodile Rock, Alexandra Geremia/Scott
Harris, Santa Barbara, Calif. (9-2-8-9-3-8-6-7-13-7), 66; 5. Warpath, Steve
and Fred Howe, San Diego (10-6-7-1-1-19-9-8-12), 68.6.
Mumm 30 (13)—Turbo Duck, Bodo Von Der Wense, Annapolis
Melges 24 (58)—1. P&P Sailing Team, Philippe Ligot/Seb Col, France
(1-(59)-1-2-1-6-7-3-2), 23; 2. Pegasus 492, Samuel (Shark) Kahn, Waikiki,
H.I. (4-5-4-1-(14)-10-1-1-1), 27.
J/105 (29)—1. Zuni Bear, Richard Bergmann, San Diego
(1-(19)-1-2-1-1-9-6-7), 28; 2. Masquerade, Tom Coates, San Francisco
(3-(11)-4-6-3-6-1-4-1), 28 (Zuni Bear wins tiebreaker).
J/80 (20)—Warrior, Craig and Martha White, Ft. Worth, Tex. ((13)-
J/120 (7)—Oui B5, John Sylvia, San Francisco (1-(6)-5-1-2-5-4-3-1), 22.
Corsair 28R (10)—Bad Boys, Bob and Doug Harkrider, Augusta, Ga.
Corsair 24 (9)—Breaking Wind, Robert Remmers, Buda, Tex.
C&C 99 (11)—Trumpeter, Wally Hogan, Toronto (1-(4)-3-1-2-2-2-3-1), 14.
T-10 (8)—Liquor Box, Chuck Simon/Bill Buckles, Key West
PHRF 1 (9)—Chippewa (Swan 68), Clay Deutsch, Road Harbour, BVI
PHRF 2 (8)—Storm (R/P 43), Les Crouch, San Diego (1-2-1-1-4-5-1-1-(9)),
IMS (6)—Talisman, Marco Birch, Newport, R.I. (DSQ-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1), 9.
PHRF 3 (8)—Raincloud (J/133), Mike Rose, Kemah, Tex.
PHRF 4 (10)—Tiburon (Melges 30), Michael Gray, New Orleans
PHRF 5 (12)—K2 (J/120), Luis Gonzalez, Mallets Bay, Vt.
PHRF 6 (14)—Bounder (Sydney 36), David Hudgel, Detroit
PHRF 7 (12)—Phaedra (Evelyn 32-2), Robert Patroni, Pensacola, Fla.
PHRF 8 (9)—So Far (Swan 48), Lawrence Hillman, Chicago
PHRF 9 (11)—Kelly (Beneteau 1st 10), Andrew Cheney, St. Petersburg, Fla.
PHRF 10 (7)—Phantom (B-25), Frank Silver, Kill Devil Hills, N.C.
PHRF 11 (12)—Circus (J/30), Team Circus, Chicago ((3)-2-3-2-3-3-1-3-1),
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