Brady's singular achievement Annapolis' pride a winner in Miami


February 14, 1993|By NANCY NOYES

Annapolitan Jim Brady, winner of the 1992 Olympic silver medal in the Soling class as foredeck man for skipper Kevin Mahaney and himself a J/24 and J/22 World Champion skipper, showed that he can do it all on his own last weekend.

He scored an impressive victory in the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta in the single-handed Laser class.

Brady, who was named 1990 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year among his many other achievements and credits, was heavily involved in the Laser circuit as a junior sailor.

And although he essentially has been a full-time sailor since his college days, he has not actively competed in Lasers or any other single-handed or small centerboard class of boat since winning the U.S. Laser National Championship in 1983.

In that event, like this year's Miami OCR, Brady competed more or less cold in the class, having decided to race after a Laser-class hiatus of several years.

Brady finished with a nine-point lead over fellow '92 Olympic silver medalist, Flying Dutchman sailor Steve Bourdow of Baton Rouge, La., in the overall scoring.

Brady said, "It has been eight years since I've raced a small centerboard boat, and it feels pretty good to pull off a victory like this."

Brady often has said that in big-fleet racing he prefers to sail conservatively, concentrating more on consistently staying in the top five or 10 in any given race, rather than worrying about winning individual races or taking chances that could result in penalties or disqualifications.

In typical Brady fashion, his Laser win in Miami included three second-place finishes but no bullets. Half of his finishes in the 10-race series were in the top five, however, and all but one -- a ninth-race 11th -- were in the top 10.

The 35-boat Laser class, the largest of the regatta, also included Severn Sailing Association's Henry Filter of Stevensville. Filter, known locally and nationally as a top Snipe contender, was sixth in class, and fellow SSA member and noted junior sailor John Torgerson of Annapolis, was ninth overall.

Competition in the four-day regatta, which ran from Feb. 4-7, out of the U.S. Sailing Center in Coconut Grove, Fla., included more than 200 sailors, representing 17 countries, racing in the nine Olympic classes.

The 10th Olympic class -- the triple-handed Soling in which Brady and teammates Mahaney and Doug Kern excelled for more than two years before the '92 Games in Barcelona -- had no entries at the event.

Also competing in Miami were Diane Burton of Annapolis and Leslie Skelley of Havre de Grace, who finished 13th and 17th, respectively, in the women's single-handed Europe dinghy class.

Men's Mistral boardsailor Kurt Wold of North Potomac was 11th in his class of 19 competitors, and the Annapolis team of James Appel and Jamie Fontenella was eighth out of 14 teams in the Men's 470 class.

Appel's one-time Olympic campaigning partner, Charlie Ogletree, a former Annapolis resident now living in Texas, was first in the 17-boat Tornado class, sailing in partnership with John Lovell of New Orleans.

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