Annapolis' Larson continues to pile up the victories

SAILING

March 13, 1994|By NANCY NOYES

It's been a busy and successful few weeks for Chris Larson of Annapolis, who's been in Florida adding major laurels to his impressive list of accomplishments.

The last week in February, Larson won the J/22 Midwinter Championship Regatta in St. Petersburg.

Then, a few days ago, he drove David Clarke's Pigs in Space to victory in the extremely competitive Mumm 36 Class at the S.O.R.C. in Miami over March 2-6.

In the J/22 event, Larson and his crew, Moose McClintock, Will Jeffers and fellow Annapolitan Margaret Bellinger, headed up a tough 41-boat fleet with a total low-point score of 15 in the seven-race, one-throw- out series.

Larson and his team led after the first day, with finishes of 1-2-1, but light air the next day proved frustrating for him and he fell to second with finishes of 10-11. Two bullets on the final day moved him handily back into the No. 1 slot, however.

"It was a true IMS Grand Prix regatta, and hopefully it's a trend for the future. It was a great regatta," Larson said.

Some of his competition in the Mumm 36s included Olympic silver medalist Jim Brady of Annapolis at the helm of Atalanti in second in the class, Kiwi Russell Coutts of America's Cup fame driving Thomas I Punkt to third, noted maxi racer George Coumantaros' Allegro in fourth, and Olympic medalist Joachim Scheuman in fifth in the nine-boat division.

Four grand-prix level IMS divisions took part in the regatta, with Peter Gordon of Annapolis and his crew on his Farr 44 Gaucho first in IMS 2 and in the IMS fleet overall, and Bob Crompton and his Annapolis-based Farr 50 Full Cry in second by only one point behind John Thompson's Infinity in the 50-foot IMS 1 division.

Among the world-class crew sailing aboard Pigs in Space with Larson and Clarke were tactician Geoff Stagg, Bob Wylie and Andrew Ogilvie of Farr International in Annapolis. With finishes of 1-4-3-5-3-1-5 in the series, the Pigs in Space team finished 3.75 points ahead of its nearest challenger.

Larson said racing the first day was canceled as a strong front brought in tornado warnings and high winds. The front stalled and produced gusty 25- to 35-knot winds the next day, breaking rigs and other equipment and shredding sails across the fleet.

Two races each day for the remaining three days of the event brought the total races completed to seven, with no throwouts. Larson said the breeze for this three-day period ranged from six to 12 knots and was "shifty but still good racing."S.O.R.C. IMS Fleet results

IMS 1 (3 starters): 1. Infinity, Thompson, Sands Pt., N.Y., 11.25 (1-1-2-3-2-1-2); 2. Full Cry, Crompton, Coatesville, Pa., 12.25 (2-2-1-1-1-3-3); 3. Falcon, Holmberg, Oklahoma City, 16.75 (3-3-3-2-3-2-1).

IMS 2 (9 starters): 1. Gaucho, Gordon, Annapolis, 18.75 (1-5-2-2-5-2-2); 2. Bullseye, Garvie, Nevada, 28.5 (7-6-3-7-1-1-4); 3. Flash Gordon, Jahn, Chicago, 31.75 (2-3-1-3-9-5-9).

IMS 3 (9 starters): 1. Pigs in Space, Clarke, Wilmington, Del., 21.5 (1-4-3-5-3-1-5); 2. Atalanti, Andreadis, Greece, 25.25 (2-6-1-1-9-6-1); 3. Thomas I Punkt, Punkt, Germany, 27.75 (DNF-2-4-6-1-3-2).

Romagna inducted in hall

More than 120 members and guests of the Corinthians honored veteran 12-Meter racer Victor Romagna at his induction into the America's Cup Hall of Fame at the Naval Academy's Officers and Faculty Club last Saturday.

The Corinthians, an amateur sailing organization founded in the 1930s, was modeled on London's Little Ship Club and was founded as an outgrowth of the New York Yacht Club. Today there are fleets in New England, Philadelphia and Annapolis.

Romagna, who lives in Annapolis, was inducted by Halsey Herreshoff, president of the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, R.I.

Romagna competed in a number of 12-meter campaigns, sailing aboard Vim, Columbia, Weatherly, and Intrepid.

Another award was presented on behalf of the Corinthians' Annapolis Fleet to the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron's Capt. Steve Laabs and Cdr. Larry Dawes in appreciation for their assistance as hosts of last September's Corinthians Fleet Challenge Regatta.

That evening, Herreshoff was named honorary chairman of the 1994 Hospice Cup Regatta, the nation's largest charity regatta, conducted in Annapolis in September.

The Hall of Fame was established by the museum in 1992 in recognition of the America's Cup, the oldest international sporting trophy, and the notable people who have taken part in the competition.

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