— ABSOLUTELY EPIC
'TNT' had to battle for the IRC B honors; inset — Brad Copper claimed his second Rolex in four years.
regatta win, finishing as strong as they did capped a well-sailed regatta and this year's Rolex Big Boat Series marked a personal milestone for the 90-year-old Kleinman — it was his 30th, and the 16th aboard Swiftsure II.
grouped together based on similar performance are racing each other. The big boats are in the big boat division, we're in the next one down, and the sportboats are in the next division." After trading the top two spots on day one, only a fifth for Kleinman in Friday's first race gave Copper and tactician Seadon Wijsen any breathing room — room they'd need when Swiftsure II finished with three straight bullets to get within two points of TNT. Although the Swiftsure crew — known reverentially as "The Elks Club" — couldn't pull off the
IRC B Nine boats were classed together in IRC B, and the grouping provided the closest margin of victory of any of the regatta's eight divisions. All nine were rigged with symmetrical spinnakers. Almost all were designed to IMS. All were of moderate displacement. And none could touch a runaway effort by Brad Copper's Tripp 43 TNT, and Sy Kleinman's Schumacher 54 Swiftsure II. After the first day of racing Copper — who already has a Rolex in his trophy case — was bullish on the division assignments. "This is the first year that I can say the division assignments are apolitical," Copper said. "The boats that should be
rally around owners driving."
IRC C For the second year in a row, IRC C was reserved for the sportboats in the 40-ft range, aka the Fast 40s. Because lighter boats under about 45 feet haven't gotten much love from the IRC rating rule, grouping them together by type, rather than rating, gives them a better shot at taking home some silverware while providing for better competition. Although the club tried the idea last year, it didn't work to everyone's satisfaction when Dale Williams' Kernan 44 Wasabi — a deceptively larger boat than the rest of the field — was lumped in with the group. This year, with Wasabi having been sold out of the area, and the only other potential interloper, Criminal Mischief, bumped up to IRC A, the field was a well-matched grouping of great, fun-to-sail boats. A pair of Farr 36s, a 1D35, and the brand new, and totally sweet Farr 400, joined a group of four J/125s in what was probably the biggest-ever gathering of J/Boats' cult classic. The result was some really good racing. Ultimately the J/125s took the top four spots, led by the Bay Area's Andy Costello and his shiny silver Double Trouble. Costello and tactician Will Baylis were pushed hard upwind by the eventual runner-up, Southern Californian Tim Fuller and his crew on Resolute, but when it came time to point the boat downhill, Costello absolutely blew the hatches off the fleet, keeping the boat planing at full speed on the runs and finishing with a straight-bullets scoreline. The funny thing was that Costello hadn't even planned on sailing the regatta. But October, 2011 •
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The October 2011 eBook issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.