Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Race Week, 17-26 April 2009

Peter Vessella takes Lasers by a point while Team ‘Not Mine’ sails away with third straight J105 prize

by Talbot Wilson

Peter Vessella sailed in his first Bermuda International Invitational Race Week and based on provisional results will take the Laser’s Race Week Championship trophy home to San Diego California.

Vessella earned it the hard way by defeating perennial Race Week winner Malcolm Smith by a single point after eleven races. Brett Wright was third just five points behind.

Vessella commented that he had last sailed to Bermuda in the Newport race back in 1982 and came two times before that. Brett Wright pointed out that the competition was tight. “Seven different competitors took at least one first place,” Wright said.

In action on the Alpha course, ‘Not Mine’, skippered this year by Alan Williams, won the series and the B. W. Walker Memorial Trophy without having to sail the final race. This is the third consecutive Race Week class win for the ‘Not Mine’ crew. Four Bermudians have co-owned two J105’s named ‘Not Mine’ because when their wives asked them whose boat ir was they all said, “Not Mine.”

Williams said, “We had some very good crew work throughout the series. My starts weren’t always the best but we were able to get the boat rolling and work our way in to the top spots consistently.

“We want to get some more J105’s in Bermuda and have three potential owners who might move up from the J24’s. With Bermuda duty being reduced and used boat prices being what they are this is a good time to build the fleet.” There are now six J105s in Bermuda but one was damaged and could not compete this year. “Nine boats would make a great class,” Williams added.

In IOD action, with one race to go on Friday, Somers Kempe, who had won the A Series earlier in the week, continues to dominate the class, he had a 1-4-6 performance and a total of 13 points. William NcNiven scored 2-1-3 today and trails by just one point. Kevin Horsfield has 21 for third with one race to go on Friday morning. The B series won’t e decided until then.

Kempe also leads the Vrengen Gold Cup chase for the overall series. With 24 points he is nine points ahead of the Watlington/Horsfield co-skippers and four more points ahead of past Race Week champion Kevin Farrar.

Both the J24 and Etchells classes won’t be decided until racing is completed on Friday. The J24 Class has two more races scheduled and the Etchells just one. The top three in each class are all potential winners

Last year’s J24 champion Trevor Boyce leads his class with 18 points, just three ahead of Tim Lynch and Lance Fraser who are tied at 21 each. These three teams have been battling nip and tuck all week.

Tim Patton continues to lead the Etchells class with 15 points, Ed O’Sullivan and Ben Nichols are both is hot on his transom with 19 points each. They may not be able to catch Patton, but the will certainly have a battle for second place at least.

About the 2009 Bermuda International Invitational Race Week

The 2009 Bermuda International Invitational Race Week is sponsored by Bermuda Premium Spirits Limited, local distributors of Bacardi® rum. Racing will be held on two courses. The Keelboats- IODs, J105s, International Etchells class and J24’s- will be on the Alpha course. Lasers will sail the Bravo. Global competitors will represent Australia, Sweden, Norway, Canada, US and the UK against the usual strong contingent from the Bermuda classes.

Racing starts at 1100hrs on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for both courses. The ‘Bacardi Gras’ Celebration on Race Week’s ‘Bat Tuesday’ leads into a ‘No Race’ day on Wednesday, just right for international guests to enjoy the sights and non-sailing activities of Bermuda. The ‘Bacardi Gras’ Bat Tuesday party is open to competitors and the public.

Bacardi also presents a daily prize at the RBYC Terrace Bar post race party. THE BACARDI SAILING SPIRIT PRIZE, for the day’s significant sailing achievement, is awarded ceremoniously each afternoon.

The Prize Giving Party at RBYC concludes Race Week on Friday the 24th of April. In addition to the fantastic sailing competition, the week is sprinkled with fleet parties.

Inaugurated by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in 1927, Bermuda International Invitational Race Week has become an established international yachting fixture each spring - attracting top skippers from all over the world. Bermuda Premium Spirits Limited, local distributor for BACARDI® rum, is the sponsor and has been for the past nine years. All classes with an active local racing program in Bermuda may invite international sailors to participate in the 2009 Bermuda International Invitational Race Week. International participation is required for a fleet to compete.


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