THE RACING Kachina, had to borrow a J/24 mast from Tahoe-based Half-Blind Monkey after theirs was damaged enroute. Atypical of Lake Tahoe sailing — and counterpoint to the flukey conditions the Melges fleet enjoyed on the same weekend at the other end of the Lake — the winds remained consistent for the duration of racing. Good sailors know you learn something new every time you go out. A wake-up call for J/24 sailors new to Lake Tahoe was the strict environmental regulations that prohibit the use of 2-stroke motors on the lake. But the Windjammers YC had even planned for that — every day, the fleet was towed out for the start of racing, and towed back in after the finish. — Jim Scripps J/24 WESTERN REGIONAL QUALIFIER — 1) Tundra Rose, Keith Whittemore,* Seattle; 2) USA 3324, Ryan Cox,* Dublin (CA); 3) Jaded, David Klatt, Oxnard; 4) Geraldine, J. Mitchell, San Diego; 5) Whisper, Gibson/Quinton, Vista (CA). (19 boats) * qualified for J/24 Worlds
Hart-Nunes Regatta When Ernie Nunes drew, built and sailed the first Mercury in 1939, he might well have envisioned that its fine sailing abilities would make it a popular racing boat. But he likely never dreamed that the pretty little 18-footer would still be going strong 65 years later. But the Mercs and their faithful are going strong. Year after year, they return every spring — tanned, rested and ready for a season of action. Part of that action was the recent Hart-Nunes Regatta, sailed out of the San Francisco YC on July 8. Eight boats from the local fleet, and one from Fresno, showed up to do battle in Raccoon Straits for one of the most coveted trophies in Mercury-dom — the half model of Jim Hart’s beloved #33, Katapura II. Both Jim and Ernie are gone now, but their spirits certainly live on in the regatta and the fleet. Conditions for this year’s regatta were ideal: 10-14 knots of wind, minimal ebb and flat water. The leeward mark for the sausage courses was near Kyle Cove on the Tiburon side, while the weather mark was off Angel Island’s Point Stuart.
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Everything went pretty well until the fifth race. In some heavy traffic at the second leeward mark, Jim Bradley — who was leading on points — took a fall inside the boat, which rounded up right in front of Dan Simmons, who clobbered Bradley's boat, punching a hole just below the chainplates. Thankfully, it was just a ‘flesh wound’ and both boats completed the race. That put Bradley (sailing with wife Kathy), Dave West (with Ken Powell) and Doug Baird/Mike Figour in a three-way tie for first with 15 points apiece — with West/Powell winning the tie-breaker and the Hart-Nunes trophy. The Bradleys were second, with Baird/Figour third. At least until everyone thought about it a bit. In something you don’t see too often in sailboat racing any more, the next day Bradley and Simmon both officially withdrew from that last race — knocking each down a place in the overall standings. As local Mercury 'godfather' Pax Davis put it, “Apparently, each decided for different reasons that they had been in the wrong.” The scores following this article therefore represent the final re-
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The August 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.