Of all the ocean sailing records, the Atlantic crossing is without doubt the most famous and most sought after. In 2001, legendary American adventurer Steve Fossett sailed across the Atlantic faster than anyone else in four days, 17 hours, 28 minutes and 06 seconds. Frenchman Bruno Peyron and his crew smashed Fossett's record aboard the maxi catamaran Orange II, finishing the course from Ambrose Light near New York City to Lizard Point off the southwestern tip of Great Britain in just four days, eight hours, 23 minutes and 54 seconds - more than nine hours faster than Fossett's PlayStation. Halfway through the 3,100 nautical mile trip, Orange II hit a submerged iceberg and broke one of its two steering rudders. The team had to slow down considerably to keep from capsizing but managed to maintain a boat speed average of over 28 knots. Peyron and his veteran team already hold numerous sailing records including the fastest 'round-the-world time. And on this trip, they broke their own 24-hour world speed record -- not once but twice - making Orange II the fastest sailboat in the world.
Bruno Peyron's first reactions a few seconds after he crossed the finish line: "It's immense joy...There are smiles on all the tired faces. Its only normal as we have given it our all and sometimes in life doing your utmost is a good thing. We're focused on what is happening at the moment. For me, that makes three Jules Verne Trophies and three Atlantic records. What I like too is the way it happened. Things went exactly as planned." As for the damage to the boat, Peyron had this to say, "We lost between six and eight hours with this incident with the rudder, but really it's not that serious, even if we know we could do better and the boat deserved better. But I'll say it again, it doesn't really matter. It gives our friends and enemies a bit of a chance to try and beat us... and it will give us another chance to come back and try again, even if it wasn't deliberate." And as for the possibility of cutting the crossing from New York to the Lizard to under four days, he said, "Without hesitation, yes. When we did our route planning before the collision with the UFO, this bit of ice, we were in the process of setting a time of less than four days. So, I'll say it again: without hesitation, yes. Crossing in less than four days is possible."
While the world knows Bruno Peyron and his sailing feats, we have some local junior sailors who are making their mark on the sailing world, too. Last week, Elizabeth Whipple and her younger brother, Alex, who sail out of Manhasset Bay YC, won the Law Trophy. This prestigious award is the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRA of LIS) area associated Quarter-Finals for the Bemis and Smyth National Championships. Skipper Elizabeth, 16, with Alex, 14, as crew, qualified to participate in the regatta based on their sailing performance the previous year. The Commodore Law Trophy Regatta was hosted this year by Indian Harbor Yacht Club and took place on July 6 and 7. As winners of the Law Trophy in the Club 420 division, Elizabeth and Alex are eligible to represent the JSA at the Area B Semi-Finals of the Bemis and Smythe National Championships in Rochester, NY.
Your reporter caught up with these two talented junior sailors and asked them about the regatta. According to Elizabeth, "The first day the breeze was up and down, and shifty. We really had to play the shifts. The second day it was really light in the morning and we didn't get any races in. The wind finally filled in but it was up and down, and choppy." They attributed their wind to having a light-weight crew and "we had a really light boat - we had an advantage there; and it was also our technique. We were able to go really fast upwind that helped us." With about 25 boats on the starting line, these two had a lot of competition. Alex, who was one of the two youngest attending the regatta, said, "we won the first three races - the first one by a lot. One race, we were in fourth place and picked the opposite side of the course, and we were able to sail past the number two and three boat. And when the first place boat was disqualified, we won that race. The final race of the day, we came in third." And Elizabeth added, "Actually we had some really good races - we were winning by 16 points. On Friday we had enough points that we didn't have to race the final race, but we raced it anyway." The next stop is Rochester, NY for the Area B competition. The two are looking forward to having a little better wind in Rochester. "There's a lot of really good people going there," said Elizabeth, "hopefully we will do as well as we did at the Law Trophy. The wind is supposed to be good there, too." If they do well, then the team is off to Houston for the Bemis Trophy. Good luck to the Whipples.
Manhasset Bay YC was Race Committee for the weekend of July 8-9. On Saturday, there were 11 Sonars and 6 MBOs racing in very little wind. Results for the Sonars: Race 1: 1. #451, Ping, Sue Miller/John Browning, 2. #652, Rick Jordan, and 3. #487, Viento, Jonathan Siener. Race 2: 1. #682, Puff, Ralf Steitz/Ted Toombs, 2. Viento, and 3. #375, Housemartin, Greg Danilek/Beth Danilek. Results for the Sonars on Sunday, July 9. The wind was up and the racing was good. Top boats in the first race: 1. #396, Delight, Bob Kirtland, 2. #652, and 3. Puff. There was a second race but with so many boats over early at the start, there was a general recall, so the race does not count, even though all the boats sailed the entire race course.
The Manhasset Bay One Designs (MBOs) had two races on Saturday, July 8. Results of the Race 1: #21, Blue Chip, Chip Allen/Einar Haukeland, 2. #11, Old Gray Foxes, Bob Adams/Curt Champlin, and 3. #9, Miss B Haven, Grace Allen/Ralph Heinzerling. Race 2: 1. Miss B Haven, 2. #25, Blackjack, Adrian Alley/George Graf, and 3. Old Gray Foxes. Results for the MBOs on Sunday, July 9: 1. Miss B Haven, 2. #5, Escapade, Ned Baker/Dick Moore, and 3. Old Gray Foxes.
The Knickerbocker One Designs (KODs) were out on Sunday, July 9. They had two races. Top boats in Race 1: 1. #8, Second Chance, Perry Lengton, 2. #12, name unavailable, and 3. #15, Dybbuk, Roy Israel. Race 2: 1. #14, name unavailable, 2. #15, and 3. # 12, name unavailable.
Only a few boats sailed on Thursday, July 6. Division I, II, II and CATs were DNF (did not finish). In Division IV, two boats finished: 1. Aquila, Keith Dorman, and 2. Oy, Eric Weintraub.