Hamlin wins 18ft skiffs in San Francisco

The 18′ Skiff International Regatta wasn’t quite a changing of the guard, Howard Hamlin, 53, was the winning skipper for the third time in five years -but if runner-up Samuel (Shark) Kahn, 17, is the wave if the future, that’s fine with Howie.

‘It’s great to see Shark doing so well,’ Hamlin said after wrapping up the title with first and second places Saturday. ‘Maybe it will draw other young kids into the class.’

Kahn passed former winner John Winning, 54, for second place on the last day, and the Australian indicated that he, too, would welcome an influx of youth, although he will continue to campaign around the world ‘if the body’s up to it.’

Saturday saw the lightest winds of the five-day regatta—15 knots over the middle of the course and 19 at the leeward mark—but it was still a test of skills and equipment.

At the start of the day Winning’s Yandoo was the only boat that hadn’t flipped all week, but that distinction vanished midway of the second three-lap race around the 1 ½-mile windward leeward course. While attempting a jibe one of his crew accidentally knocked the tiller out of his hand and over Yandoo went. Winning read that incident as a signal to call it a regatta and head for the beach.

That left the race to Kahn, with Hamlin finding himself second in a race he didn’t even have to sail.

‘We were just trying to stay out of everybody’s way [in fourth place],’ Hamlin said, ‘and then we got a puff downwind and there we were.’

Kahn fell back to third after finishing fourth in Saturday’s first race, but recovered with a purpose to improve on his third place of last year.

‘Second place is awesome,’ Kahn said. ‘The first race we were a little nervous and stressed. The second race we realized we had to sail really hard to put a boat between us [and Yandoo]. We were just kind of lucky. I didn’t know what happened to John.’

Hamlin ended the week winning five of the last seven races, and the victory sustained his spectacular roll sailing a variety of skiffs this summer. He already had won the European 18 Skiff title on Italy’s Lake Garda, finished a close second in the 505 worlds in Great Britain and won the International 14 Nationals at Long Beach—all with different but exceptionally strong crews. This week it was Mike Martin of Newport Beach, Calif. and Trent Barnabas of Australia.

Next month Hamlin will compete in the I-14 Worlds in his hometown of Long Beach, Calif.

‘This was a great series against Yandoo and Shark,’ he said. ‘It was really tight all the time and it was windy all week, which is what we live for.’

The class leaves town for another year with its legend of camaraderie intact. As usual, there were no protests—is there ever?—and during the week even teams that had dropped out of races with broken boats were back down on the beach at Crissy Field helping more fortunate opponents carry their craft up through the sand onto the grass staging area.

Saturday morning Great Britain’s Peter Barton and crew Martin Borrett returned the bowsprit and dagger board they had borrowed from rival Pegasus Racing’s arsenal of equipment, not to mention the boat Hamlin loaned them but by week’s end was too damaged to continue.

Hamlin won his two JJ Giltinan world championships in that boat but figures it’s still repairable as a loaner, if it means putting another competitor on the water.

Barton plans to return.

‘Sailing a skiff on San Francisco Bay is like hiking on the slopes of Mount Everest,’ he said. ‘Sailing upwind and downwind is achievable, but across the wind is the death zone. You can survive there momentarily but you can’t live there.’

Winning had a warning for potential new campaigners: ‘In many classes you can read a book and go out and do it. They’ve made sailing too easy. The difference makes this class special.’

This is one of the class’s three major events each year, along with the JJ Giltinan World Trophy Championship in Sydney and the European champion held last June on Lake Garda in Italy.

FINAL STANDINGS (10 races; two discards):

1. Pegasus White, Howard Hamlin/Mike Martin/Trent Barnabas, Long Beach, Calif., Newport Harbor YC, (2)-(3)-2-1-1-2-1-1-1-2, 11 points.

2. Pegasus Black, Samuel (Shark) Kahn/Cameron MacDonald/Paul Allen, Honolulu, Waikiki YC, 1-2-3-(5)-3-1-2-2-(4)-1, 15.

3. Yandoo, John Winning/Andrew Hay/’Geoff Bauchop, Sydney, Aust., Australian 18 Footers League, (3)-1-1-2-2-3-3-3-2-(DNF/8), 17.

4. DeLonghi, Grant Rollerson/Simon Nearn/Dan Wilsdon, Sydney, Australian 18 Footers League, (DNF/8)-(DNS/8)-4-3-4-DNF/8-5-6-3-3, 36.

5. Vodka Cruiser, Patrick Whitmarsh/Mark Breen/Ben Glass, Alameda, Calif., Monterey Peninsula YC, (DNF/8)-(DNS/8)-7-DNF/8-5-4-7-4-5-4, 44.

6. West Marine, Peter Barton/Martin Borrett/Ian Turnbull, United Kingdom, Royal Lymington YC, (DNF/8)-(DNS/8)-5-4-6-DNF/8-4-DNF/8-DNS/8-DNS/8, 51.

7. Skiff Sailing Foundation White, Chad Freitas/Dan Malpas/Matt Noble, San Francisco, St. Francis YC, (DNF/8)-4-6-(DNF/8)-7-DNF/8-6-5-DNF/8-DNF/8, 52.

Complete results and photos: www.stfyc.com (click successively on Regatta Information … 2006 Racing Calendar … August)

by Rich Roberts

18′ Skiff International Regatta – The Greatest Show on H20

St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco
Aug. 21, 2006
Bring on the big breeze for the 18 skiffs on the Bay

SAN FRANCISCO—Last year’s top three finishers have returned to San Francisco Bay for the fifth windy, wet and wild 18′ Skiff International Regatta Tuesday through Saturday.

Skippers of those three-man crews range in age from 2005 winner Howard Hamlin, 53, of Long Beach, Calif. and runner-up John Winning, 54, of Australia to Samuel (Shark) Kahn, 17, the latter a clear exception in the tightly knit class dominated by veterans.

This is one of the class’s three major events each year, along with the JJ Giltinan World Trophy Championship in Sydney and the European champion held last June on Lake Garda in Italy. Hamlin, with crew Mike Martin and Trent Barnabas, dominated the latter event with first place in 8 of 11 races and didn’t need to sail the next two. They were fifth in the Giltinan in February.

They’ll be challenged by Winning, Kahn and four other entries, including a team from the United Kingdom’s Royal Lymington Yacht Club led by Peter Burton, with Martin Borrett and Ian Turnbull as crew. Only Borrett has sailed here before, in International 14 regattas in 1989 and 1997.

“It’s spectacular,” he said. “We had a little taste of it [in practice] yesterday but it was only 15 knots.”

Twenty-plus is likely and the reason why the 18s—in any breeze the fastest monohulls on the planet—have given up using their taller masts here.

“We don’t need the big rig here,” said Hamlin. “Everyone’s used it once—and got smashed.”

Martin said, “At Garda we used only the big rigs. At Sydney we use the big rigs about 5 out of 7 days.”

Borrett said, “When we talked yesterday at breakfast I told Pete that we’re tying the big rig to the trailer and it’s not moving this week.”

Nevertheless, they’re here sailing 18s because, Borrett said, “we’re addicted to speed.”

The schedule calls for 10 races over five days starting at 1 p.m., twice around a 1 ½-mile windward-leeward course set for ideal spectator viewing from just inside the Golden Gate Bridge past the Crissy Field staging area and the host St. Francis Yacht Club. The exception will be a later start Friday followed by the annual Bridge to Bridge race when the 18s will mix it up with kite boards and windsurfers.

The British trio has borrowed Hamlin’s extra boat but has been sailing 18s for three years. Barton, 38, won the European Grand Prix series in 2005 and finished fifth in the European Championships won by Hamlin’s team this summer.

Hamlin and Martin also are on individual rolls. Sailing with other crew, Hamlin was second in the 505 Worlds last month and won the International 14 U.S. Nationals at Long Beach a week ago.

Martin won the 505 North Americans in 20-25 knots here last week with seven wins in 11 races.

ENTRIES (10 races, 2 discards):

DeLonghi, Grant Rollerson/Simon Nearn/Dan Wilsdon, Sydney, Australian 18 Footers League.

Pegasus Black, Samuel (Shark) Kahn/Cameron MacDonald/Paul Allen, Honolulu, Waikiki YC.

Pegasus White, Howard Hamlin/Mike Martin/Trent Barnabas, Long Beach, Calif., Newport Harbor YC.

Skiff Sailing Foundation Blue, Patrick Whitmarsh/Kevin Richards/Ben Glass, Alameda, Calif., Monterey Peninsula YC.

Skiff Sailing Foundation White, Chad Freitas/Dan Malpas/Matt Noble, San Francisco, St. Francis YC.

West Marine, Peter Barton/Martin Barrett/Ian Turnbull, United Kingdom, Royal Lymington YC.

Yandoo, John Winning/Andrew Hay/’Geoff Bauchop, Sydney, Aust., Australian 18 Footers League.

Complete results and photos: www.stfyc.com (click successively on Regatta Information … 2005 Racing Calendar … August)

PRESS OFFICER
Rich Roberts
(310) 835-2526
cell (310) 766-6547
richsail@earthlink.net

‘Eat My Wake’

-Forbes Life

The preferred sport of father-son team Philippe and Samuel Kahn isn’t sailing. It’s beating each other’s brains out.

It was the moment every parent dreads. Philippe Kahn watched, crestfallen, as his son committed a transgression so grave, so obvious, that he had no choice but to administer drastic punishment.

So Kahn flew a red protest flag from the stern of his racing yacht and forced his son Samuel (Shark) Kahn to forfeit a first-place position in the Mumm 30 World Championship in Toronto last September. Shark, all of 15, was helming his own $100,000 yacht with a crew of five. He had tried to sneak in front of his dad but fouled him instead.

Kahn thought about letting the offense pass–what father wouldn’t?–but under the strict rules of yacht racing he was obliged to require his son to perform two 360-degree turns as a penalty. Shark went from the front of the fleet to the back and finished fourth. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” says Kahn, 52, a beefy French-born software magnate who in January sold LightSurf, his latest company, to VeriSign for $270 million in stock. “But everybody else was watching. What could I do?”

The snarling, hypercompetitive dad who seeks to realize his own frustrated ambitions through his kid is a cliché. But that’s not Kahn. Yes, he foots the bill for an outrageously expensive sailing program that has helped transform Shark into one of the world’s best racing skippers. But what he wants isn’t a surrogate. It’s a sparring partner.

At the Mumm 30 regatta, as in other top-level races around the world, the Kahns compete first against each other, then against the fleet. “Dad won’t give me a break,” says the shaggy-haired teenager. “I’m sure he didn’t want to protest me, but it’s about racing, and it wouldn’t have been fair for anybody else.”

Shark could hardly expect less from someone of his dad’s background. Kahn’s mother survived a Nazi death camp, his father the French Foreign Legion. Kahn himself became a karate champion at age 16. In the early 1980s he abandoned a career as a high school math teacher to strike it rich in Silicon Valley. His first big success, software house Borland International, grew to more than $480 million in revenues in the early 1990s before withering from bad management and bitter competition from Microsoft.

Undeterred, Kahn started Starfish Software, whose products synchronized data between mobile devices. He sold the company to Motorola for $258 million in 1998 (his share was 50%). Motorola and other cell phone companies backed his next idea–software to transmit photos between cellular phones. That was LightSurf (his take: VeriSign shares worth $125 million).

Kahn spends $1 million to $2 million a year hiring sailors to coach himself and Shark, while also bankrolling those sailors’ Olympic campaigns. Racing with Kahn & son these days are: Kevin Burnham, gold medalist in the 2004 Olympics; Jeff Madrigali, two-time Olympic medalist and 1990 world champion in the Soling (a 24-foot keelboat) class; Fredrik (Freddy) Looff, Swedish champion in the Finn and Star classes; and William Hardesty, 1998 College Sailor of the Year and an Olympic hopeful.

Aided by such talent, in 2003 Shark became world champion at 14 in the Melges 24, a five-person hot rod of a sailboat that can do 20 knots-plus with a stiff wind behind it. But hired talent didn’t explain his victory. Says yachtsman and sailmaker David Ullman, who lost to Shark that day: “It’s absolutely insulting to the rest of us to say, ‘Daddy bought him the best crew and he won.’ I had two Olympic medalists on my own boat.” Kahn Sr. himself has felt the sting of losing to Shark. “I’m not pushing him–he’s pushing me!” he complains in French-accented English.

Shark seems completely unfazed by his success, yawning and looking bored as his father holds a team meeting in a rented bungalow at the tony Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida, after a recent regatta. Discussion shifts to conflicts between Shark’s school calendar and a regatta in Europe. “He’s a pro sailor now, isn’t he?” Dad asks, only half-jokingly. “You’re dropping out of school, right?”

Shark doesn’t bother to reply. His self-confidence and self-possession come in part from the fact that he enjoys a life outside the world of sailing. He likes math and hockey and attends a private school in Santa Cruz, California. His stepmother, Sonia, makes sure Kahn doesn’t push the boy too hard.

The software entrepreneur and his wife were each the first in their families to finish high school, let alone go to college, so they don’t have outsize academic dreams for Shark. Kahn says sailing can teach Shark about teamwork, performance and having a positive attitude. “It sure beats watching television.”

When asked what he enjoys most about thrashing around in high-performance sailboats, Shark says, “I like going fast. I’m 15.”

Forbes Life
Eat My Wake
Daniel Fisher, 02.28.05

The original article can be found here
http://www.forbes.com/global/2005/0228/060.html

‘SHARK ATTACK’

-SSANGYONG JJ GILTINAN 18ft SKIFF CHAMPIONSHIP

15-years-old American sailor Samuel ‘Shark’ Khan will become the youngest person ever to skipper an 18ft Skiff when he lines up on Saturday in the first heat of the JJ Giltinan (world) Championship on Sydney Harbour.

‘Shark’ will skipper ‘Pegasus Racing’ against the world’s best skiff sailors.

Although new to the flying 18 footer machines, he has a great sailing record already and will add a new dimension to the class.

‘Shark’ says he learned how to sail on a Hawaiian outrigger canoe, and besides sailing does a lot of snowboarding and windsurfing as well as playing a lot of hockey.

He is the youngest person ever to do a Transpac (Los Angeles to Honolulu), winning in both 2001 and 2003.

A spectator ferry will follow each heat, leaving Double Bay Wharf. Costs are:
Adults – $15
Children – Free

Race dates are:
Heat 1 – Saturday, 19 February
Heat 2 – Sunday, 20 February
Heat 3 – Tuesday, 22 February
Heat 4 – Wednesday, 23 February
Heat 5 – Thursday, 24 February
Heat 6 – Saturday, 26 February
Heat 7 – Sunday, 27 February

All enquiries can be directed to the Australian 18 Footers League (phone: 9363 2995) or Frank Quealey on 0417 421 952.

Frank Quealey
Media Officer
Australian 18 Footers League

The official website for the SSANGYONG JJ GILTINAN 18ft SKIFF CHAMPIONSHIP
http://www.18footers.com.au/

Tough Love in the Kahn-test; Sherratt’s Steadfast in First

Sailing News _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/)

Sept. 22, 2004

Bell Mumm 30 World Championship

Royal Canadian Yacht Club / Sept. 21-24, 2004

*** Photo information below ***

Thursday’s weather: Wind SE 0-7 knots.
Friday’s forecast: Wind S 8-10 knots.

Tough Love in the Kahn-test; Sherratt’s Steadfast in First Place

TORONTO, Canada—The only race Thursday in the Bell Mumm 30 World Championship almost didn’t happen, and Philippe Kahn almost wished it hadn’t.

But there it was: his own son fouled him, he protested and the standings went inside out going into the fourth and final day Friday. The new leader, replacing 15-year-old Samuel (Shark) Kahn, is Fred Sherratt, a local sailor representing the host Royal Canadian Yacht Club, who finished third.

Nelson Stephenson, the class president from Southport, Conn., sailed TeamBOLD to its first win of the week, two boat lengths in front of Australia’s Richard Perini on Foreign Affair.

The younger Kahn, who led by six points after the first two days, flamed out after the incident at the first windward mark when he and his father, sailing Pegasus 20 and Pegasus 591, were fighting for the lead. After doing a double penalty turn—a “720” in racing jargon—he rejoined the parade in seventh, briefly appeared to be making a comeback but went all the wrong ways as the wind died on the last downwind drift and straggled in 18th, beating only two boats.

Principal race officer Mike Milner hoped to sail four races Friday to complete the 11-race schedule. The event rules say none can start after 5 o’clock, so Milner moved the day’s starting time up an hour to 10:30 a.m.

Ironically, Thursday’s race didn’t start until 5:34 p.m. after four general recalls following a day of card-playing and lawn bowling before Milner, two miles out on Lake Ontario, decided there was finally enough wind to race—not more than 6 or 7 knots but just enough to race twice around a one-mile windward-leeward course.

Sherratt, sailing Steadfast, has 36 points. Tom Ritter’s Tramp from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., slipped into second place (44), followed by the Shark (45), Philippe Kahn (47) and Perini (49).

The course of the regatta turned as Shark Kahn approached the first windward mark on port tack as his father came in on starboard, slightly behind but with the right of way. Instead of crossing in front or ducking behind, Shark tacked on the other Pegasus’ lee bow and forced his father to luff up to avoid a collision.

Shark’s tactician, Richard Clarke, a veteran Finn and big boat sailor from Toronto, blamed himself for suggesting the fatal move.

“That’s about the stupidest thing I could have done,” he said.

And it put Philippe Kahn on the spot. Neither he nor his son had ever protested the other while racing Melges 24s against each other in recent years.

“So much for people who say we team-race,” Philippe said as darkness descended on the docks. “If it costs him the Worlds, it costs him.”

A nephew, Brian Lee, also is a member of the crew.

“It broke my concentration on the run,” Philippe said, still in emotional agony. “But what dad and uncle couldn’t do it? It may be a loss for Shark and Brian, but it’s a lesson in life.”

Shark understood. “It proves we’re not on the same team,” he said. “I wasn’t surprised. He had every right to protest us. I fouled him.”

Stephenson won the race on the last run by playing the middle of the course while most boats tried one side or the other.

“It doesn’t work very often, but [tactician] Anthony [Katoun] called a good tactical race,” Stephenson said. “Everybody on the boat contributed. I just steered.”

Sherratt has sailed a steady regatta with no wins but only one double-digit finish. Tactician Scott Collinson said, “We don’t usually race this time of day, unless it’s beer can [races] in the harbor. We tried to focus where the pressure was, not play the angles.”

Earlier, the only wave was the local heat wave attributed to a broad high-pressure area across the northeast that smothered the breeze and threatened to break temperature local records for the first week of autumn at the western end of Lake Ontario.

Thursday’s high was 28 degrees C. (82.4 F.), down a bit from Wednesday. Friday’s forecast was cautiously promising that the class’s eighth world title would be settled on the water: 8-10 knots from the south.

Appropriately, with the weather foremost in everyone’s mind, the day was dedicated to supporting sponsor North Sails, which is providing daily forecast for the sailors.

While waiting out the shoreside postponement, the sailors played cards and were introduced to lawn bowling, without some of the refinements.

“I’m not sure we were dressed properly,” one said. “Aren’t you supposed to wear all white?”

Bell, Canada’s national leader in communications provides connectivity to residential and business customers through wired and wireless voice and data communications, local and long distance phone services, high speed and wireless Internet access, IP-broadband services, e-business solutions and satellite television services. Bell Canada is wholly owned by BCE Inc. For more information please visit www.bell.ca.

Joining Bell in support of the event are contributing sponsors Champagne Mumm, CHUM Limited, Lewmar, McMillan Binch LLP, Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Stella Artois and Sorgentone.

North Sails continues as the worldwide leader in sailmaking through an ongoing commitment to making sails lighter, stronger and faster. North’s 3DL thermo-molded sails dominate grand prix sailing worldwide and have been the sail technology of choice for every team in the last America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race events. For more information, visit www.northsails.com .

Standings (after 7 of 11 races):

1. Steadfast, Fred Sheratt, Toronto, 8-2-4-6-2-11-3, 36 points.
2. Tramp, Tom Ritter, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., 1-7-7-15-4-5-5, 44.
3. Pegasus 20, Samuel Kahn, Honolulu, 3-1-17-3-1-2-18, 45.
4. Pegasus 591, Philippe Kahn, Honolulu, 5-3-5-1-5-19-9, 47.

5. Foreign Affair, Richard Perini, Sydney, Australia, 2-12-13-2-17-1-2, 49.
6. Team Intermac, Dan Cheresh, Holland, Mich., 6-10-9-10-7-6-6, 54.
7. TeamBOLD, Nelson Stephenson, Southport, Conn., 15-11-14-9-3-4-1, 57.
8. ,Groovederci, Deneen Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Calif., 4-18-2-14-6-14-4, 62.
9. Calvi, Carlo Alberini, Pesaro, Italy, 16-5-11-7-13-7-10, 69.
10. Cygnet, Richard Swann, Fairfield, Conn., 13-8-1-12-10-8-19, 71.
11. USA 65, David Pyles, Easton, Md., 7-16-6-18-8-10-7, 72.
12. Team Traffic, Philip Werheim, USA, 14-13-21-4-9-3-132, 77.
13. Notorious, Kevin Brown, Toronto, 9-9-12-8-16-16-8, 78.
14. Three Niner, David Gonzalez, Lambertville, Mich., 12-15-10-5-11-13-15, 81.
15. it, Jim Sminchak, Euclid, Ohio, 11-4-16-16-18-15-16, 96.
16. Dark’n Stormy, Kevin Young, Novelty, Ohio, 10-14-19-11-12-17-17, 100.
17. Surprise, David Irish, Harbour Springs, Mich., 18-17-15-13-15-12-11, 101.
18. Champosa, Jonathan McDonagh, Minneapolis, Minn., 20-6-3-19-19-20-20, 107.
19. War Pony, Art Guerrera, Atlantic Highlands, N.J., 19-10-8-20-20-9-12, 108.
20. Hammer, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn., 17-19-18-17-14-18-DSQ, 125.
21. Wildthing, Jeff Fogarty, Fonthill, Ontario, 21-21-20-21-21-21-14, 139.

More information and photos: www.mumm30rcyc.com and www.mumm30.org

ROYAL CANADIAN YACHT CLUB

Julie Burgess
Sailing Coordinator
(416) 934-4435
sailing@rcyc.ca

MUMM 30 CLASS

Renee Mehl
Secretary
(410) 268-1001
info@farr-int.com

PRESS OFFICER

Rich Roberts
prior to Sept. 19 (310) 835-2526
mobile (310) 766-6547
richsail@earthlink.net

PHOTOS

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Please contact the press officer.

Shark Makes It Unsafe for Mumm 30s on the Water

Sailing News _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/) _/)

Sept. 22, 2004

Bell Mumm 30 World Championship

Royal Canadian Yacht Club / Sept. 21-24, 2004

*** Photo information below ***

Wednesday’s weather: Wind 10-12-7 knots, SW-S.
Thursday’s forecast: Wind 5-10 knots.

Shark Makes It Unsafe for Mumm 30s on the Water

TORONTO, Canada—One doesn’t hear about many shark attacks on Lake Ontario, but there aren’t many 15-year-olds devouring major international one-design classes the way Samuel Kahn is sailing the Bell Mumm 30 World Championship.

Kahn, a.k.a. “Shark,” and his world-class crew of Mumm 30 neophytes finished third, first and second in Wednesday’s second day of racing—Lewmar Day around the historic Royal Canadian Yacht Club—to seize a six-point lead after six of 11 races.

“Awesome stuff,” said a rival, Richard Perini of Sydney, Australia, who had a fair day himself by wrapping a second and first around a 17th to climb into fifth place in the feisty 21-boat fleet.

The younger Kahn took over the lead from his father Philippe, the California software developer who opened the day with a win, followed by a fifth and a wind-dying 19th, settling into third place 11 points off his son’s pace and five points behind second-place Fred Sheratt, the local hope from the host club.

The Shark’s stunning performance is an even larger surprise than the weather. On the first day of autumn, when the resident Canada geese should be flying south and citizens donning winter woolies, the region remained in the grip of a high-pressure system with a peak temperature Wednesday of 29 (C.), which converts to 85 (F.)—probably warmer than it was in the Kahns’ second home in Hawaii.

The conditions meant light to moderate winds fading to very light and swinging 45 degrees left through the afternoon.

“It was hot,” Kahn said—his only complaint.

When he and several of the same crew won the Melges 24 worlds last year a fair share of credit was given to the other guys in the boat, particularly professionals Richard Clarke and Mark (Crusty) Christensen. But when a quiet lad of 14 and now 15 steps into an authentic international one-design class like the Melges 24s and Mumm 30s and outperforms veterans as Kahn is doing, some extraordinary forces must be at work.

At least he raced the Melges 24 a couple of years before reaching the top. Here, he and each of his six crew members are racing a Mumm 30 for the first time in their lives.

Clarke, the tactician, said, “His improvement over a year is just amazing. He’s giving us a little feedback now. He used to be a mute back there, but now when we’re sailing a target speed of 6.2 knots he says, ‘I could be going 6.3; the windward telltales aren’t flowing.’ ”

Clarke also notes Christensen’s contribution for “setting the boat up so well” by tuning the rig and trimming the sails.

Christensen said, “None of us has ever raced a Mumm 30 before this week, so we’re all still learning. Shark has always listened and done everything we said, but now he’s saying how it feels. The nice thing is he’s really unfazed by it all.”

The unassuming skipper said, “Mainly, if I give any feedback it’s to see if I’m doing the right thing. Pretty much all I do is look at the telltales and the speedo.”

But he’s also having fun. “Light air is all about concentration,” he said, showing a subtle sense of humor. “I had an extra cup of coffee this morning that may have helped.”

Nelson Stephenson, the Mumm 30 World Council president from Connecticut, said Kahn’s performance midway of the regatta is “a big surprise” that defies conventional wisdom. “Everyone that knows these boats knows it takes a lot of time to learn them.”

Perini said, “Sure, he has a great crew, but you still have to steer the boat, and, sure, he’s had the opportunity to sail at this level with family support, but he still has to get on the boat and do the job.”

And he’s doing it better than anyone so far. Three races are scheduled Thursday and the last two Friday.

Bell, Canada’s national leader in communications provides connectivity to residential and business customers through wired and wireless voice and data communications, local and long distance phone services, high speed and wireless Internet access, IP-broadband services, e-business solutions and satellite television services. Bell Canada is wholly owned by BCE Inc. For more information please visit www.bel.ca.

Joining Bell in support of the event are contributing sponsors Champagne Mumm, CHUM Limited, Lewmar, McMillan Binch LLP, Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Stella Artois and Sorgentone.

Standings (after 6 of 11 races):

1. Pegasus 20, Samuel Kahn, Honolulu, 3-1-17-3-1-2, 27 points.
2. Steadfast, Fred Sheratt, Toronto, 8-2-4-6-2-11, 33.
3. Pegasus 591, Philippe Kahn, Honolulu, 5-3-5-1-5-9, 38.
4. Tramp, Tom Ritter, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., 1-7-7-15-4-5, 29.
5. Foreign Affair, Richard Perini, Sydney, Australia, 2-12-13-2-17-1, 47.
6. Team Intermac, Dan Cheresh, Holland, Mich., 6-10-9-10-7-6, 48.
7. Cygnet, Richard Swann, Fairfield, Conn., 13-8-1-12-10-8, 52.
8. TeamBOLD, Nelson Stephenson, Southport, Conn., 15-11-14-9-3-4, 56.
9. Groovederci, Deneen Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Calif., 4-18-2-14-6-14, 58.
10. Calvi, Carlo Alberini, Pesaro, Italy, 16-5-11-7-13-7, 59.
11. Team Traffic, Philip Werheim, USA, 14-13-21-4-9-3, 64.
12. USA 65, David Pyles, Easton, Md., 7-16-6-18-8-10, 65.
13. Three Niner, David Gonzalez, Lambertville, Mich., 12-15-10-5-11-13, 66.
14. Notorious, Kevin Brown, Toronto, 9-9-12-8-16-16, 70.
15. it, Jim Sminchak, Euclid, Ohio, 11-4-16-16-18-15, 80.
16. Dark’n Stormy, Kevin Young, Novelty, Ohio, 10-14-19-11-12-17, 83.
17. Champosa, Jonathan McDonagh, Minneapolis, Minn., 20-6-3-19-19-20, 87.
18. Surprise, David Irish, Harbour Springs, Mich., 18-17-15-13-15-12, 90.
19. War Pony, Art Guerrera, Atlantic Highlands, N.J., 19-10-8-20-20-9, 96.
20. Hammer, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn., 17-19-18-17-14-18, 103.
21. Wildthing, Jeff Fogarty, Fonthill, Ontario, 21-21-20-21-21-21, 125.

More information and photos: www.mumm30rcyc.com and www.mumm30.org

ROYAL CANADIAN YACHT CLUB

Julie Burgess
Sailing Coordinator
(416) 934-4435
sailing@rcyc.ca

MUMM 30 CLASS

Renee Mehl
Secretary
(410) 268-1001
info@farr-int.com

PRESS OFFICER

Rich Roberts
prior to Sept. 19 (310) 835-2526
mobile (310) 766-6547
richsail@earthlink.net

PHOTOS

High-resolution digital images are available free to print publications.
Please contact the press officer.

Big Melges line-up in Sweden

Yachting World, August 4 2004

A total of 83 Melges 24 crews from 14 nations and three continents are making their way to Marstrand, Sweden to compete in the 2004 Melges 24 World Championship from 9-13 August. Crews from as far a field as Australia and California will join the top European teams for what promises to be another very closely fought regatta.

Pegasus Racing, Samuel "Shark" Kahn August 2004Reigning world champion Shark Kahn (pictured), who turns 15 today, will be back with his victorious 2003 crew of Richard Clarke, Mark Christensen, Brian Hutchinson and Brian Lee to defend his title. Amongst those leading the charge to divest Shark of his crown are 2001 world champion Flavio Favini, reigning European champion Luca Santella, 2001 European champion Cedric Pouligny, Sebastien Col, Keith Musto, Rob Smith, Stuart Rix, Kristoffer Spone and Shark’s father Philippe Kahn.

Five time Finnish open champion Kenneth Thelen has his sites set on winning a record third Corinthian (amateur) world title while Norwegian Kristian Nergaard will be equally keen to pip him to the post to take a second Corinthian win.

Ten races are scheduled over five days on windward/leeward courses just to the west of Marstrand Island.

 

Dutchman flies to Farr 40 Victory at Key West, Shark Wins Again, But France’s Col Collects Melges 24 Title

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
global alliances.

“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
overall.

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
turned around.

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
America.”

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
tiebreaker.

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
(1-2-2-1-2-4-3-5-3), 23.

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)-
2-2-1-7-6-1-1-4), 24.

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.
(1-1-3-2-1-(5)-1-2-2), 13.

Corsair 24 (9)—Breaking Wind, Robert Remmers, Buda, Tex.
((10)-1-1-1-1-1-2-1-2), 10.

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
(1-2-3-1-1-3-1-1-(9)), 13.

PHRF 1 (9)—Chippewa (Swan 68), Clay Deutsch, Road Harbour, BVI
(7-1-1-1-(8)-1-1-1-1), 14.

PHRF 2 (8)—Storm (R/P 43), Les Crouch, San Diego (1-2-1-1-4-5-1-1-(9)),
16.

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.
(1-1-(2)-1-1-1-2-1-1), 9.

PHRF 4 (10)—Tiburon (Melges 30), Michael Gray, New Orleans
(1-(5)-1-1-2-1-1-2-3), 12.

PHRF 5 (12)—K2 (J/120), Luis Gonzalez, Mallets Bay, Vt.
((10)-2-1-2-4-1-2-3-3), 2.

PHRF 6 (14)—Bounder (Sydney 36), David Hudgel, Detroit
(1-(5)-1-2-2-1-3-1-2), 13.

PHRF 7 (12)—Phaedra (Evelyn 32-2), Robert Patroni, Pensacola, Fla.
((7)-1-3-2-2-1-2-5-3), 19.

PHRF 8 (9)—So Far (Swan 48), Lawrence Hillman, Chicago
((9)-2-1-5-2-1-2-1-1), 15.

PHRF 9 (11)—Kelly (Beneteau 1st 10), Andrew Cheney, St. Petersburg, Fla.
((7)-3-1-5-6-2-1-1-2), 21.

PHRF 10 (7)—Phantom (B-25), Frank Silver, Kill Devil Hills, N.C.
(1-(6)-1-2-4-2-3-1-1), 15.

PHRF 11 (12)—Circus (J/30), Team Circus, Chicago ((3)-2-3-2-3-3-1-3-1),
18.

Complete results, Photos and Press Releases

CONTACTS

PREMIERE RACING, Inc. 67B Front Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945
Tel: (781) 639-9545, Fax: (781) 639-9171
Event Email: KWInfo@Premiere-Racing.com
Event Web Site: www.Premiere-Racing.com
Terra Nova Online: www.TerraNovaOnline.com/sail

MEDIA CENTER
(305) 295-9988

PRESS OFFICER
Rich Roberts
cell phone (310) 766-6547
richsail@earthlink.net

Pegasus Racing has strong showing at Key West Race Week

23 January 2004 – In a thrilling final race today the fifty-eight strong Melges 24 Class at Terra Nova Trading Key West was decided in favour of Frenchman Sebastian Col sailing Partners & Partners with William Thomas, Christian Ponthieu, Thomas Allen and owner Philippe Ligot. With only five points separating Col and second placed Shark Kahn it was still wide open going into this final race and the spectator boats were out in force to watch them fight it out.

For the first time in nine starts the fleet got away clean with the wind offshore again at 020 degrees and 16 knots ensuring plenty of shifts to keep the sailors on their toes. Shark Kahn and Col set to before the start match racing for position on the line, as a result neither of them got a spectacular start although Col got the slight advantage coming off the line just to the left of centre.

The first beat was nip and tuck with Col working his way clear of the gaggle by the middle of the leg and stretching out a 50 yard lead by the weather mark ahead of Silvio Santoni from Italy, helming for Franco Maria Rao. Shark Kahn slotted into third from Maurice “Prof” O’Connell, helming for Enda O’Coineen and Des Faherty of Ireland with Philippe Kahn fifth and Bruce Ayres sixth. In the battle of the Ecklund & Melges brothers it was Sheldon & Hans who rounded first in seventh place with Jeff and Harry in ninth. Flavio Favini, helming for Switzerland’s Franco Rossini, split the Ecklunds in eighth.

Down the first run Col opened up a nice one minute lead whilst Shark closed up on Santoni with whom he rounded the leeward mark overlapped. O’Connell had dropped back to ninth leaving Philippe Kahn in fourth just ahead of Favini while Kristian Nergaard moved up from tenth to sixth. The Ecklunds rounded together in seventh and eighth with Jeff just getting the inside track as Sheldon had a minor fumble on the rounding loosing a few valuable feet.

On the second beat Col again pulled away from the pursuing pack while Shark battled his way past Santoni. Philippe Kahn and Favini held their fourth and fifth places and Jeff Ecklund and O’Connell overtook Nergaard for sixth and seventh.

By the end of the second run Col had almost two minutes lead and the spectators definitely thought it was all over. Philippe Kahn had overtaken Santoni and rounded just behind Shark who had a minor horlicks with the kite, just rescued last minute by some very smart crew work. Santoni now sat in fourth from O’Connell, Favini and Jeff Ecklund with Sheldon Ecklund pulling back to eighth just behind his brother.

As they set up off the last beat both the Kahns got the better of a left-hander and suddenly Shark was right back on Col’s tail, closely pursued by his father Philippe. A tacking duel ensued and two thirds of the way up the beat Shark finally got through. Philippe meanwhile was also catching up and Col found himself the meat in a Kahn sandwich as the three boats ground out tack after tack on the approach to the line. Despite constant pressure from Col, Shark crossed just ahead with Philippe third from Santoni. In the battle of the Ecklunds is was Jeff who got race honours in fifth from Favini, Sheldon Ecklund, Nergaard, O’Connell and Paul Brotherton, who pulled up to tenth on the final run.

Speaking after racing Col confirmed that it had been a tough but rewarding day – “For us it was the start that was most difficult. We had a good battle with Shark and were quite happy with how we came out. On the final beat we missed a shift and he got passed us, but with the five point lead we were reasonably relaxed. As always Key West has been great and we are delighted to win. Our next goal is the Melges 24 World Championship in Marstrand in August where we hope to challenge Shark for the World title.”

In the overall standings Sebastian Col and Philippe Ligot’s P&P Team win by four points from Shark Kahn with Kristian Nergaard third and Flavio Favini fourth. His tenth in the final race was enough to secure Paul Brotherton, helming the Terra Nova Trading Team for Scotland’s Ian Cleaver, fifth overall while Philippe Kahn had to be happy with sixth. The war between the Ecklund and Melges brothers was eventually won by Jeff and Harry in seventh overall with Sheldon and Hans just trailing them in eighth. Silvo Santoni was ninth and Bruce Ayres tenth.

As usual Peter Craig’s Premiere Racing Team have provided the Melges 24 class with an outstanding opening event for their year. Particular thanks must go to PRO David Brennan and his team who provided perfect racing every day and to all the event sponsors, including Terra Nova Trading and Nautica.

Pegasus Racing and Shark Still Leading On Day Three In Key West

21 January 2004 – It was a day of ups and downs in the Melges 24 fleet at Terra Nova Trading Key West today. The breeze was much shiftier and lighter than on the first two days and the change in conditions really put the sailors to the test.

Overnight leader Shark Kahn was among those called back and in the fifty eight boat fleet many thought that would be the they’d see of him. How wrong they were! By the first windward mark he was up into the forties and he just kept grinding away picking them off leg by leg ultimately finishing fourteenth – his worst result of the regatta to date.

As if that wasn’t enough he then went and did the same thing in race six. Again he rounded the first mark in the forties and again he and his crew of Team Captain Mark “Crusty” Christensen, Tactician Richard Clarke, Spinnaker/Jib trimmer Brian Hutchinson and Bow Brian Lee demonstrated that they are not only one of the fastest Melges 24 crews out there, but they’re pretty damn smart as well. By the second weather mark they were up to twelfth and they went on to take tenth place.

Yesterday’s big story was the battle between the fourteen year old Shark and his father Philippe, who was lying overall second overnight. Unfortunately for Philippe he had something of a disasterous day scoring 30, 20 which drops him down to ninth overall and out of the running for the 2004 Melges 24 title in Key West.

Away from the saga of the Kahn family the rest of the fleet was also enjoying two fantastic races. Race five started in 6-7 knots from 030 degrees with a large number of boats being called over in individual recall. Up the first beat those who picked the right found themselves on the loosing wicket and at the first mark it was Norway’s Kristian Nergaard who headed the fleet from Karen Gottwald, Sheldon Ecklund, Mike Dow, Sebastian Col, helming P&P Racing for Philppe Ligot from France and Paul Brotherton, helming for Ian Cleaver from Scotland. Down the run the wind started to back a little and although Nergaard hung onto his lead Col pulled up into second ahead of Ecklund whilst Gottwald dropped to fourth and Dow to fifth. Silvio Santoni, helming for Italian Melges 24 Class president Franco Maria Rao, came from ninth to six.

Up the second beat Col got through Nergaard rounding three boat lengths ahead. From there on in he extended his lead whilst Nergaard also pulled out from the pursuing pack. Behind them John Jennings, helming for Bob Dockery got the shifting breeze just right and came from nowhere to round the second windward mark third. Having got a top three position in his sights he wasn’t letting go and despite various pushes from the pack he defended successfully all the way to the finish. Behind him Brotherton eventually took fourth from Santoni. Ireland’s Maurice “Prof” O’Connell, helming his first Melges 24 regatta for owner Enda O’Coineen, was another who took full advantage of the shifting wind moving from the mid teens on the first beat up into sixth place just ahead of Sheldon Ecklund, Germany’s Dietrich Scheder and Gottwald.

By the start of race six the wind had gone all the way round to 350 degrees and had increased to 10-12 knots. Peter Stoneberg made the best job of judging the shifts up the first beat and was followed round the windward mark by Col, Ross Griffiths, Santoni, O’Connell, Sheldon Ecklund, Brotherton and Flavio Favini, helming for Switzerland’s Franco Rossini. Overnight sixth placed Bruce Ayres rounded in tenth just behind Scott Gregory, helming for Michael Schultz.

Down the first run Col got past Stoneberg, Santoni pulled up to third and Sheldon Ecklund moved into fourth just ahead of Griffith and O’Connell who were having a great toussle as they rounded. Favini had managed to overtake Brotherton for seventh and opened up some space by the leeward mark. Although Col took the right hand gate he tacked left relatively early in what proved to be a less than successful move dropping him back to seventh by the second weather mark. Stoneberg now led from Favini, Sheldon Ecklund, Brotherton, O’Connell and Ayres.

On the final lap it was Ayres who spotted another big backing shift first and proving that not only can he spot a shift but that he also knows what to do with it he promptly sailed himself into first place. On the dock after racing Ayres was typically understated commenting “It went right a little bit and worked down to the right and that was it!”. As they battled with the shifts, the rest of the fleet was changing places with every tack and gybe. In the end it was Brotherton who took second from Sheldon Ecklund with Britain’s Stuart Simpson coming from eleventh to fourth ahead of Sean Scarborough, Col and Favini. Unfortunately Stoneberg found himself on the wrong side of the shift and dropped into eighth in front of Santoni and Shark Kahn.

In tonight’s overall standings Shark Kahn still leads on 38 points from Flavio Favini on 52, Kristian Nergaard 60 and Bruce Ayres 61. Brothers Sheldon and Jeff Ecklund are now in fifth and sixth places with 63 and 66 points respectively. Sebastian Col is in seventh on 70 points but his scoreline includes an OCS of 59 points so the introduction of a discard after race seven tomorrow will definitely put the cat among the pigeons!