By Talbot Wilson
Hamilton Bermuda, June 22, 2012- Following a week of celebrating a fast passage in the Newport Bermuda Race, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club hosted its Anniversary Regatta presented by the Butterfield Group Friday. ‘Christopher Dragon’, the J122 owned by Andrew Weiss from Mamaroneck NY, took the New York Yacht Club Trophy for first in the 31-boat fleet.
Weiss and crew won Class 3 with class bullets in both races. They were first in fleet overall with 2.5 points. ‘Decision’, the Carkeek 40 owned by Stephen Murray of New Orleans LA, came second in fleet with 6.5 points. He also had two bullets in his class.
‘Decision’ and ‘Christopher Dragon’ were tied exactly on corrected time in the first race. That tie in the fleet results gave each 1.5 points in the first race. In fleet standings for Race 2, ‘Christopher Dragon’ was first and ‘Decision’ fifth to break the tie. Jim Bishop’s J44 ‘Gold Digger’ from Jamestown RI was third in fleet.
The US Naval Academy TP52 ‘Invictus’ was leading the Onion Patch Series coming into the Anniversary Regatta, but scored 11-11 for 11th place overall.
The first race of the regatta was a windward leeward race in Bermuda’s Great Sound sailed in west winds of 12-15 kts. Class winners were ‘Decision’, ‘Old School’ a Farr 395 sailed by Ganson Evans Ponte Vedra Beach FL, ‘Christopher Dragon’ and the US Naval Academy NA44 MkI ‘Swift’.
The second race was a ‘tour of the islands’. It started with the same weather leg as Race 1, but that is where similarity ended. The fleet then went east in the Sound to Kings Point buoy turned right into Port Royal Bay (the Little Sound) and rounded two marks at the its south west end. The boats returned past Kings point and went into the Granaway Deep, came back out and crossed the sound to Lantana and then headed for ship channel #99, and Two Rocks Passage into the Hamilton Harbour and the finish at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
The second race was won by ‘Decision’, ‘Old School’, 'Christopher Dragon’ and ‘Swift’.
There were lots of upwind and downwind legs and plenty of action in the mark roundings. In the first race there was a near collision between Haerlem a Swan 55, the Cal 40 Belle Aurore, and Ptarmigan, a Ker 43 al in different classes rounding the third leeward mark. Quick response by port tacker Belle Aurore avoided Ptarmigan who had to keep clear of Haerlem at the mark.
Wizard sailed by Mark Watson’s Team Tiburon zipped around the course to finish first overall. Watson’s special guests on board were His Excellency Mr. George Fergusson the Governor of Bermuda, Commodore Jonathan Brewin, and Bermuda Department of Tourism’s Manager of Sports Marketing, Adam Barobza. The Richel/Pugh 74 footer blasted across the finish line at over 15 kts under full spinnaker.
Immediately following the races Bradford Kopp of the Butterfield Goup, Commodore Brewin presented prizes from Gosling Rum including special Gosling Rums, decanters and other glassware. Malcolm Gosling then welcomed the sailors and guests to the traditional ‘Welcome to Bermuda party’.
The RBYC Anniversary Regatta presented by the Butterfield Group is the final event of the Onion Patch Series… The NYYC Annual Regatta, The Newport Bermuda Race and the RBYC Anniversary Regatta. According to provisional results the Top boat and winner of the Henry B. du Pont Trophy is Stephen Murray’s Decision.
The ‘provisional’ top three-boat team and winner of the Onion Patch Trophy is the NYYC Red Team: 'Christopher Dragon', Rives Potts’ 'Carina' and 'Gold Digger'.
NYYC Blue— 'Stark Raving Mad', 'Dorade' and 'Temptation' (which did not sail in the Anniversary Regatta) finished second based on provisional results and The US Navy with 'Invictus', 'Defiance' and 'Swift' came in third.
Onion Patch Series prizes will be awarded at the Newport Bermuda Race prize giving Saturday evening at Government House, Bermuda.