Fleets fill Charlotte Harbor as regatta wraps up
After two days of heavy winds and high waves, Mother Nature delivered Chamber of Commerce weather for the final day of the inaugural Charlotte Harbor Regatta, Sunday, Feb. 7, on Charlotte Harbor, Florida.
More than 60 boats in eight classes, including two of the three Viper 640 vessels that broke masts on Saturday, started the day in picture-perfect sailing conditions. Shifting winds, not damaging gusts challenged skippers Sunday.
In the Viper 640 class, Brad Boston continued his winning ways to capture the overall victory ahead of Dan Gorman. Bill Abbott took advantage of his competitors’ misfortunes on Saturday to slip into third overall and held on Sunday to stay there.
Fred and Reid Hutchinson went 1-2 in the Sunfish class, while Rita Steele took third. The trio traded spaces in the Top 3 all weekend, but Fred Hutchinson’s consistency – a first, two seconds and two thirds – prevailed.
With two wins in the Hobie 16 class Sunday, Mike Montague vaulted past Day Two leader Kenneth Hilk, who dropped to third behind Randy Payne.
Rick White started strong Saturday with a win and finished the regatta the same way to take the overall title in the Hobie Wave class. Dave White and Stan Woodruff finished second and third, respectively, separated by a point after six races.
In the S2 7.9 race, Paul Robbins made a strong run at Alan Konegsberg with two wins Sunday, but fell two points short in the overall standings after nine often grueling races over the three days. Peter New took third.
Donna Steele bounced back from a second place finish on Saturday to win all three races Sunday to top Alden Spencer in the Laser class.
Harry Carpenter capped off four seconds with a win in the day’s last race to capture the title in the Flying Scot fleet, followed by John Selldorff and Jeff Penfield, who took third over Ira Perry with a tiebreaker win in the third race.
For full race-by-race results from the Charlotte Harbor Regatta go to www.charlotteharborregatta.com.
Day two: WILD WEATHER GREETS RACERS ON DAY TWO OF THE CHARLOTTE HARBOR REGATTA
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (Feb. 7) – A second day of unusually strong winter winds tested racers and tossed up the standings on Day Two of the inaugural Charlotte Harbor Regatta on Charlotte Harbor, Florida.
The winds forced one class to abandon the course and snapped the carbon-fiber masts of two boats in another. Despite the challenging conditions, six of eight classes finished at least one race and Sunday’s forecast offers picture-perfect sailing conditions for the final day of racing.
In the exciting Viper 640 class, winds in the mid-20s off Ponce de Leon Park made for thrilling, but hazardous racing. Brad Boston, who won four races Friday, was forced out of the action with a broken mast Saturday, as was Day One runner-up Dan Gorman. Into the void sailed Bill Abbott, who picked up a first place, followed by Jonathan Nye and David Guggenheim in the only race the Vipers could to get in.
Boston retained his overall lead and was working on a replacement rig in the parking lot of regatta host sponsor Fishermen’s Village Resort & Marina Saturday afternoon to get back into the fray on Sunday. By mid-afternoon, winds exceeded 25 and gusted higher and spectacular sea spray flew over the marina’s breakwater.
Five robust Sunfish racers took advantage of only slightly calmer air in the ironically named Peace River, to complete a wet and wild race on their first day of action. Fred Hutchinson took top honors, with Reid Hutchinson finishing second and Rita Steele third.
Twenty-one boats in both classes on the multihull circle completed two races, as the Hobie 16 and Wave skippers muscled their ways around a triangle course designed to account for the blustery conditions. In the Hobie 16 class, Ken Hilk retained his Day One lead over Mike Montague, but the latter got within a point of the leader with a win in the day’s final race.
The Hobie Waves joined the action Saturday morning and Stan Woodruff and Rick White traded firsts to stand at 1-2 going into Sunday’s racing. With many racers arriving after long drives in the wee hours of the morning, the fleet drew on coffee and bracing waves to fight through two races.
In the S2 7.9 race, Paul Robbins turned the tables on Alan Kanegsberg for his first “bullet,” or first place, of the regatta. Through two days, Kanegsberg leads Robbins, 9-6.
Alden Spencer, a recent high school graduate who crammed through a crash course in Laser sailing on the drive down to Charlotte Harbor from wintry Massachusetts, won the Laser class.
The strong Flying Scot fleet never got going in the face of 3-5-foot seas and squally puffs, their crews perched on the deck at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, nursing refreshments and whetting their appetites for tomorrow’s racing, which start at 10 a.m. on all circles.
For information about the Charlotte Harbor Regatta visit on our Web site at www.charlotteharborregatta.com.
Source: Charlotte Harbor Regatta