Two one-design classes got a head start in the race for the Yachting Magazine Trophy, awarded to the overall Boat of the Week at GMC Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week, as competition began today at the international keelboat regatta held on the Straits of Florida off Key West.
Conquering a puffy and shifty breeze blowing between 6 and 10 knots from the southeast, the 1D35 and Farr 40 classes were the finalists for Race Week 99’s first Boat of the Day award. The award is determined using a time and distance formula. A smaller ratio indicates a more competitive class. The time and distance formula is one of two criteria used to determine the Yachting Magazine Trophy winner.
At the end of the day, the duo of Johnny Roberts and Ed McMurphy, co-owners of the 1D35 Fine Line, claimed the daily honor and with it a titanium MR-G Tactician watch from event sponsor and sponsor of the day Casio Watches. First through fifth in the class was separated by 2 minutes and 3 seconds.
“Today it was a matter of where you went,” said Roberts, referring to the challenging conditions that foiled the winning hopes of many early race leaders. “I just went where my tactician, Bill Fortenberry, told me to go. The pressure’s now on to keep it going all week.”
The Farr 40 class finished runner-up for the award. John Thomson (Port Washington, N.Y.) drove his defending class champion Solution to a 29-second victory over Jack Woodhull’s (Newport Beach, Calif.) Persephone. First through fifth in the class was separated by 2 minutes and 12 seconds.
“The one-designs always provide close racing,” said Event Director Peter Craig. “Success today didn’t come easy. The breeze was puffy and there were some major shifts, which makes the performance of these classes even more impressive.”
Other class winners relied on the large wind shifts to fight their way into the winner’s circle. Pasquale Landolfi’s (Porto Cervo, Italy) Brava Q8 won IMS 2 in such fashion. Brava Q8, a 40-footer, trailed a few of its rivals around the first leeward mark, and then banged the left side of the second beat and shot into the lead. Brava Q8, a two-time ILC 40 World Champion, won the class by more than four and a half minutes.
Paolo Gaia’s (Milan, Italy) 49-footer Breeze won IMS 1 in similar dominant fashion. Breeze finished third at Race Week ’98, and is looking to rebound from that showing. “We’re very happy with our performance today,” said Gaia. “We did very well among the 50-footers in Europe last summer, and we’re looking to continue that streak here this year.”
In the Melges 24 class, which is hosting its Midwinter Championship in conjunction with Race Week, Charlie Ogletree’s (Newport Beach, Calif.) Planet Loaf finished first and second and opened an early 4-point lead over Bruce Ayres’ (Newport Beach, Calif.) Monsoon, which won Race 1 but finished 6th in Race 2. Brian Porter’s (Lake Geneva, Ill.) Full Throttle holds third after Day 1 with finishes of 7-2.
The Mumm 30 class began its ’99 season with Massimo Mezzaroma’s (Rome, Italy) Malinda/Invicta capturing the early lead. Malinda/Invicta placed 2-4 in today’s racing, good for a 1 point lead over Bodo Von der Wense’s (Annapolis, Md.) Turbo Duck and Carla Silva’s (Portofino, Italy) Sector.
Steve Liebel’s (Sarasota, Fla.) Speedracer blitzed the competition in the Henderson 30 class with two firsts, winning Race 1 by 1 minute, 17 seconds, and Race 2 by 2 minutes, 42 seconds. Michael Carroll’s (Clearwater, Fla.) New Wave and James Walsh and David Cook’s (Brielle, N.J.) Purple Haze are tied for second. Each had a 2nd- and 3rd-place finish today.
Italy’s strong showing in IMS 1 and the Mumm 30 class helped propel its three-boat team to the early lead in the three-boat team competition for the Yukon Cup, presented by title sponsor GMC Yukon. Team Italy (Breeze, Malinda/Invicta, Planet Loaf) leads Team Germany (Rubin XV, Rainbow and Monsoon) by 10 points, with the United Kingdom team (Hi Fling, Tu