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Down To Last Leg Of Last Race
Key West, Florida, USA: Victory literally came down to the last leg of the last race for many of the grand prix classes at Key West 2011, presented by Nautica.
No class was more exciting than the RC44, which Mascalzone Latino captured via tiebreaker over Team Aqua by winning the final race. Skipper Vincenzo Onorato and crew not only got the gun in Race 10, but also managed to put a boat between themselves and Team Aqua to forge the tie with 22 total points apiece. The Italian team was declared the victor by virtue of having more first place finishes than the American syndicate.
Over the docks in front of the Westin Hotel, Vela Veloce skipper Richard Oland sported a Cheshire Cat grin after snatching victory away from Anema & Core in the last race. The Canadian-based Southern Cross 52 trailed the Annapolis-based Judel Vrolijk 52 by two points going into Race 10, but wound up winning by one point after posting a bullet and watching Anema & Core place fourth.
Richard Clarke served as helmsman while fellow professional Stu Bannatyne called tactics aboard Vela Veloce, which closed the regatta with back-to-back bullets. Vela Veloce made its debut at Key West 2010 and placed last in IRC 1 so to come back a year later and win IRC 2 was quite satisfying.
Boston resident Dan Meyers was equally exuberant after skippering Numbers to victory in IRC 1 class. The JV 66 won Friday's initial race then held on for a one-point victory over Shockwave (George Sakellaris, Newport, R.I.) after placing fourth in the last two races.
Four-time America's Cup winner Brad Butterworth called tactics for Meyers, whose all-star crew also included recent America's Cup Hall of Fame inductees Simon Daubney, Warwick Fleury and Dean Phipps as trimmers. In a unique twist, renowned 54-year-old bowman Jerry Kirby was setting and dousing the spinnaker while his 21-year-old son Rome steered Numbers downwind.
Jim Richardson and the Barking Mad team completed an impressive wire-to-wire win in Farr 30 class by posting a strong line of 2-2-3 on Friday. Amateur Marty Kullman called tactics while pros Skip Baxter and Morgan Trubovich trimmed the sails for Richardson, who placed first or second in eight of 10 races in the five-day series.
Tonnerre de Breskens 3, a Ker 46 owned by Peter Vroon of The Netherlands, won nine of 10 races in running away with victory in IRC 2 class. British pro Kevin George called tactics aboard Tonnerre, which finished with a whopping 18-point advantage over runner-up Antilope (Grand Soleil 43, Willem Wester, Great Britain). -- Bill Wagner
Full results: www.Premiere-Racing.com