First Ronstan/Mumm draws top sailors

SAILING

May 01, 1994|By NANCY NOYES

Superstars of sailing were in Annapolis last weekend for the first Ronstan/Mumm 36 East Coast Championship Regatta, sailed out of Annapolis Yacht Club.

Eleven crews of top-notch sailors on the new racing thoroughbreds designed locally by Bruce Farr & Associates took part in an eight-race Grand Prix series.

For George Collins of Gibson Island, the event was made even more memorable as he purchased the boat he had chartered for the event just two days later. Like his previous boats, this one also officially bears the name Moxie.

The Moxie team, with J/24 and J/22 champion Chris Larson of Annapolis at the helm and Olympic medalist John Kostecki calling tactics, took second overall in the series.

It finished behind series winner David Clarke from New Jersey and his team on Pigs in Space, helmed by J/24 world champion Ken Read of Newport, R.I. Moxie took more guns than any other entry in the regatta and would have won the event had it not been for a premature start in the last of Friday's three races.

Also sailing aboard Moxie were Dave Scott, Mark Fischer, Gavin Brady, Joe Fortney and John Gluek.

"We had a very good crew, and the teamwork gelled," Collins said. "Kostecki and Larson hadn't sailed together before, but the two worked very well together. Kostecki did a great job on tactics, and Larson was great. We were buried deep in both races on Sunday, but we pulled it out for two good finishes."

Collins said Moxie had the best boat speed of any through the weekend, and attributed it to solid preparations of boat and crew before the regatta.

Winner of the Sailing World Owner/Driver Award was Rhode Island's Peter Vessella, who sailed Rhody Express to third overall.

Mumm 36 East Coast Championship

1. Pigs in Space, David Clarke, N.J., 21.75 (6-1-2-2-4-3-2-2); 2. Moxie, George Collins, Gibson Island, 28.25 (4-2-PMS-5-1-1-3-1); 3. Rhody Express, Peter Vessella, R.I., 36.75 (3-8-4-1-5-2-6-8).

RRBC Spring Series

The Rhode River Boat Club's annual Spring Series again proved to be a great opportunity to get out the winter kinks. Set over three Saturdays from April 9-23, conditions ranged from wild and blustery to light but sailable, offering good competition and good practice for a fleet of 30 boats sailing in five classes.

Two races were completed each of the first two weeks, with a fifth race the only contest on the last weekend.

First off the starting line each time was a Meter class, made up of J/80s, J/92s and J/105s. Eight boats contended, using a handicap system to make up for the disparities in size, with Ken and Marge Swiecicki of Fairfax, Va., and their team on their 105 ESS taking top honors in a close series.

In the combined PHRF A and B class, made up of seven starters in a fairly wide ratings band, winner of the series was Annapolitan Jonathan Bartlett, sailing the J/30 Soul Kiss.

Topping off an extremely close series in PHRF C, the largest class of the series with nine starters, Michael Yost of Annapolis and team on his Santana 20 Zesty Session narrowly won top honors over John O'Brien and crew on his J/22 Life Jacket.

Both boats were premature starters in the first race of the second week, and each had earned a first and a second the previous week.

With a second for Yost and a first for O'Brien in the penultimate race, the series came down to a strong performance by Yost and crew on the final weekend, when they aced the last race to O'Brien's third-place finish and took the series.

Rhode River BC Spring Series

Meter Class (8 starters): 1. ESS, Ken & Marge Swiecicki, Fairfax, Va., 12.75 (2-1-2-4-4); 2. Jammin', Dan Mullervy, (hometown unavailable), 13.5 (1-5-4-3-1); 3. Ubiquitous, Jim Stansbury, Gaithersburg, 16 (3-3-6-2-2).

PHRF A/B (7 starters): 1. Soul Kiss, Jonathan Bartlett, Annapolis, 7.25 (2-3-1-1-1); 2. Warp Speed, Neil Murphy, Falls Church, Va., 10.5 (1-1-5-2-2); 3. Caper, Bob Muller, Annapolis, 14 (3-2-2-3-4).

PHRF C (9 starters): 1. Zesty Session, Michael Yost, Annapolis, 11.5 (2-1-PMS-2-1); 2. Life Jacket, John O'Brien, Pasadena, 12.5 (1-2-PMS-1-3); 3. Jaguar, Eugene Horn, Gaithersburg, 15.75 (3-5-1-3-4).

Alberg 30 (3 starters): 1. Kestrel, McGregor Gray, (hometown unavailable), 8.25 (1-1-PMS-1-DNC).

Triton (3 starters): 1. Jubilant, Jim Schwartz, Chevy Chase, 7.25 (1-1-2-1-3).

SSA Spring Bowl

Severn Sailing Association played host to its annual Spring Bowl regatta for J/24s, Solings and Melges 24s last weekend for a fleet of more than 30 boats.

For Annapolitan Steve Hankin and his J/24 crew, including Matt Sturr, Scott Williams, Chris Sigmund and Christina Scheidt on Saturday and John Guthsun on Sunday, having been to South Carolina for the J/24 Easter Regatta about three weeks earlier paid off with a win in the season's first Chesapeake Bay event.

Hankin and crew aced the series' first race, then were forced to work back from near disaster after hitting a crab pot shortly after the start of the second contest, to finish sixth.

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