Thick fog caused more than a few problems for the 93 boats competing in the second half of New York Yacht Club's Race Week at Newport yesterday

Over 600 sailors competing in the second half of the New York Yacht Club’s Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex this weekend, had to contend with thick fog for the duration of the race. In 5-12 knot winds, three races were run on two circles for Mumm 30, J/35, J/120, J/105, J/80 and Melges 24 classes while two races were completed on a third circle for Farr 40, J/44, 1D35 and Farr 395 classes.

For the Melges 24 fleet, an additional challenge was the lack of onboard Global Positioning Systems (GPS), which are prohibited by class rules. “We were all completely lost in the fog,” said Doug Clarke (Oyster Bay, NY), who was driving M-Fatic, the 2000 national champion owned by Neil Sullivan and Scott Findlay of Annapolis. “To find our way around the course we had to make sure we started on the middle of the line and, from there, we timed our tacks – roughly five minutes on starboard and five minutes on port. We did that so we didn’t over stand the mark and could find it! Our visibility, at times, was about four boat lengths away. I expected this kind of weather, and I love it because fog is the classic New England sailing experience, adding another tactical element to racing.” M-Fatic posted a score of 2,7,2 for a third place overall.

With a schedule that calls for a total of seven races to be sailed, each race can make or break a team’s chance at claiming a Rolex watch, the top prize for the best performing boat at the end of the week.

The largest fleet sailing is the J/105 class with 27 boats from eight states. Larry Harvey from Calabasas, California, and his all-Californian Angry Beaver team won the first race of the day. With the fog thickening and decreasing the visibility, however, the next two races demanded more luck than skill and strategy, especially when the GPS coordinates didn’t take the team to the weather mark as expected. “We plugged in the numbers, went right to the coordinates, but when we got there, there wasn’t anything floating around to go around,” said Harvey. Harvey finished up the day with a 16-22 to land in ninth place overall.

For the J/105 Hoss, skippered by Glenn Darden from Fort Worth and loaded with Texans, GPS was good only for a laugh. “We’re all lake sailors,” said crew member Kelly Gough. “We just looked at the GPS and then at each other and said, ‘anybody know how to use this?’ We were officially lost.” Hoss, posting a 9,2 to lead the fleet after the first two races, took a seventh in the last race to finish second in overall scoring.

The one-design portion of Race Week at Newport, which continues through Sunday, is serving as the Mumm 30 and J/44 North Americans, 1D 35 East Coast Regional Championship and the J/35 New England Championship. In a unique split format, Race Week accommodated nine classes of handicap-rated boats for four days of racing on the front end before switching into one-design mode.

Results (after first day’s racing)

J/105 (27 boats, three races)

1. Pretty Sketchy, Thomas Enright, Warren, R.I., 2-9-1, 11.75

2.(t) Hoss, Glen Darden, Fort Worth, Texas, 9-2-7, 18

3.(t) Cyan, William Baldwin, New York, N.Y., 7-6-5, 18

Melges 24 (9 boats, three races)

1. Hummer, Daniel Cameron, W. Sayville, N.Y., 4-1-1, 5.50

2. Milagro, Travis Weisleder, Newport, R.I., 1-3-6, 9.75

3.(t) M-Fatic, Neil Sullivan, Annapolis, Md., 2-7-2, 11

4.(t) Pumbaa, Wayne Pignolet, Annapolis, Md., 6-2-3, 11

J/80 (7 boats, three races)

1. Jibber Jabber, David Janetti, Southampton, N.Y., 3-3-2, 8

2.(t) Bada Bing, Geffrey Pierini, Metuchen, N.J., 2-1-DNF, 10.75

3.(t) Over Achiever, Jason Balich, Beverly, Mass., 1-2-DNF, 10.75

Farr 40 (11 boats, three races)

1. Kokomo, Lang Walker, AUS, 2-3-1, 5.75

2. Barking Mad, James Richardson, Newport, R.I., 3-2-3, 8

3. Total Eclipse, Mark Bregman, Ridgefield, Conn., 1-1-DNF, 13.75

J/44 (8 boats, three races)

1. Gold Digger, James Bishop, New York, N.Y., 1-4-1, 5.50

2. Maxine, Greenwich, Conn., William Ketcham, 3-1-2, 5.75

3. Brown-Eyed Girl, Scott Dinhofer, Chappaqua, N.Y., 2-2-6, 10

1D35 (6 boats, three races)

1. Roxanne, Frank Meadows, Rocky Mount, N.C., 1-2-1, 3.50

2. Sotet Lo, Philip Kubat, Newburyport, Mass., 2-1-3, 5.75

3. Jazz, John Fisher, Peabody, Mass., 4-4-2, 10

Farr 395 (4 boats, three races)

1. Avalanche, Craig Albrecht, Glen Head, N.Y., 1-1-1, 2.25

2. Wired, Steven Garland, Hingham, Mass., 3-2-2, 7

3. Quintessance, Roger Widman, Larchmont, N.Y., 2-3-DNF, 10

Mumm 30 (10 boats, two races)

1. Cygnet, Rick Swann, Fairfield, Conn., 3-1, 3.75

2.Team Intermec, Dan Cheresh, Holland, Mich., 2-5, 7

3. Bold 2, Nelson Stephenson, Southport, Conn., 5-4, 9

J/120 (5 boats, two races)

1. Bella Notte, Charlie Shumway, Newport, R.I., 1-3, 3.75

2. Dragon, Hugh Balloch, Greenwich, Conn., 4-1, 4.75

3.(t) Salsa, Nicholas Brown, Newport, R.I., 5-2, 7

3.(t) T-Squared, Charles Townsend, New York, N.Y., 2-5, 7

3.(t) Ruffian, Seamus Hourihan, Boxford, Mass., 3-4, 7

J/35 (6 boats, two races)

1. Split Decision, David Nickerson, S. Glastonbury, Conn., 1-1, 1.50

2. Baboon, Bos Powell, Mystic, Conn., 2-2, 4

3. Fast Attack, Jeffrey Smith, Annapolis, Md., 3-3, 6