Annapolis sailor Charlie Scott hammered the competition for the second year in a row in the annual Lloyd Phoenix Regatta at the Naval Academy last weekend.
The regatta is the United States Yacht Racing Union's National Offshore Championship and was sailed by 10 teams representing nine of USYRU's 10 national regions and the Naval Academy. Area H in the Pacific Northwest did not compete.
Scott, representing the Annapolis Yacht Club, headed the Area C team.
Sailing with Scott were Charlie Smith, John Danly, Bob McKay, Doug Stubee, Jim Hayes, Shane Zwingleberg and Theo Petersen, all of whom regularly compete as a team on Justice, the SSD & G Syndicate's Schock 35. The team twice has been named best overall handicap sailors and earned the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association's highest annual award, the Labrot Trophy, in both 1988 and 1989.
With the exception of Hayes, who joined the team on Justice this year, Scott's crew were all veterans of his successful Lloyd Phoenix competition last year, and Scott was quick to attribute his continued success to their excellent, well-practiced teamwork.
The sailors competed in the academy's 44-foot Luders yawls. The old yawls were in use for racing for the last time, and now will be retired, having been replaced by a new fleet of Navy 44 sloops.
"Everybody knows what to expect and everything goes pretty smoothly," Scott said of his team. "It really makes a difference. In the day races it was really important to get a good start off the line, because it's hard to make anything up later with those things (the old yawls). Good teamwork definitely makes the difference, and good sets and takedowns, all of that really helps."
The series began with two medium- to light-air windward-leeward races on Friday, followed by a light-air 28-mile distance race to Poplar Island and back on Saturday.
Sunday's concluding events were paired windward-leeward contests in what academy offshore coach Ward Blodgett called "a nice little southerly" for the best racing of the weekend.
Scott posted his worst finish of the series in the six-hour light-air distance race on Saturday, coming in third, but aced one of Friday's and both of Sunday's closed-course contests for a final series score of 7.25 points, 13.5 points ahead of second-placer Paul Queyrel of Area J's Balboa Yacht Club in Southern California.
"The distance race was pretty slow in the light air in the yawls," Blodgett said. "Everyone did well at different times in the regatta, so it was actually very competitive."
Scott and another sailor, who had been only a single point behind him in the series after Friday's racing, came up against more direct conflict at the turning mark in Saturday's distance race, and each protested the other, resulting in the other sailor's disqualification after a hearing.
Scott pointed out, however, that since the Boston sailor had crossed the finish line ninth in that race, putting him already seven points behind the Area C boys, his disqualification cost him only two additional points and did not make much difference in his ability to hold close behind the front-running Annapolis team.
"The distance race was a mess," Scott said. "The wind was goofy everywhere on the course. We were way ahead at one point, and we were way behind at another point, so I thought we were lucky to get third in that one. The day races on the windward-leeward courses were a lot easier, and the wind was a pretty steady southerly, so it was just a matter really of getting a good start and holding onto the lead."
"We all thought it was pretty neat winning the last regatta they'll ever have for the Naval Academy yawls," McKay said.
1989 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and Etchells 22 and J/24 World Champion Larry Klein of San Diego, Calif., resigned Thursday night from Bill Koch's America's Cup team, the America3 syndicate.
In a statement released Friday by America3, Klein gave as his reasons for leaving the syndicate a desire to concentrate on one-design racing, for which he has an extremely strong and hard-won reputation, and to focus more attention on his J-World sailing school in San Diego.
It is too early to predict whether a replacement for Klein will be sought, said America3 spokesman Barbara Wolfe, adding that there still remains a great deal of sailing talent on the team. "Another reason may have been that there was so much talent on America3 that he may have felt he would not be the one to steer the boat," she said.
In addition to Koch, a successful amateur helmsman and owner-skipper of the revolutionary new maxiboat Matador 2, the team also includes America's Cup veterans and sailing legends Gary Jobson and Buddy Melges.
In the statement, Koch expressed regret at Klein's resignation and wished him well in future sailing endeavors.
Wolfe said that to her knowledge Klein's resignation had not been requested and came as a surprise to the America3 Syndicate.