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Nearly 400 boats of all sizes take part in 41st annual Buzzards Bay Regatta

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DARTMOUTH — The 41st Buzzard Bay Regatta (BBR) began racing from the New Bedford Yacht Club under intermittent showers on Friday and Saturday, and ended with a spectacular Sunday of sailing. Over 390 boats with more than 1,200 sailors turned out for this year’s regatta, co-sponsored by the Beverly Yacht Club, Low Tide, and Mattapoisett Yacht Clubs.

The BBR is the largest multi-class regatta in the United States, with sailors competing in races in five circles. All four yacht clubs helped with the many volunteer activities — from parking, launching, and delivering sandwiches to sailors out on the water — needed to keep things running smoothly all weekend, said BBR 2013 Chairperson Mary Ellen DeFrias.

The pre-race logistics included securing an onshore ambulance for emergency response, an EMT boat, arranging parking at Dartmouth High School and providing shuttle bus service. After racing entertainment was provided by local bands on Friday and Saturday nights.

Some sailors stayed in local bed and breakfast spots and hotels; “some of the teams on the larger boats rent houses and spend the week practicing,” Ms. DeFrias said. “The race is a help with the economy, and we have a lot of support from the restaurants in the area,” she added.

Thursday morning, before the three-day racing weekend got underway, the 420’s and Lasers were already capped for registrations. “This year, we have Gold and Silver awards for Club 420 fleets; the Gold and Silver will receive awards for first through fifth place to skipper and crew,” Ms. DeFrias said. The fleet was split in half so that there were 75 boats at each starting line, she explaineded.

In the Green Circle, the 420’s were situated off the Padanaram Harbor; the 505’s, Vanguard 15-class and Rhodes 19 boats competed in the Blue Circle off Middle Ledge; the Orange Circle held Lasers and Laser Radials competing off Fort Rodman, closer to shore and in split groups. Sailors raced in one group the first day and raced in another group the second and third days.

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Further out towards Mishaum Point, the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) and multi-hulls raced in the Yellow Circle, and J24’s, J80’s, and PHRF Cruise and Etchells vied for first place trophies in the Red Circle.

“One of the changes in this year’s race (was) in the PHRF, we posted the split groups so they would know who they were racing against. Strategies in PHFR racing are important,” noted Ms. DeFrias.

This was the BBR’s second year for the Dick Fontaine Distance Race, honoring one of the original organizers of the BBR. The Memorial Trophy is awarded to PHRF and multi-hull classes for the first through third places.

Fontaine was a judge and longtime racing enthusiast who died in 2011. “He taught me to sail, and was part of the South End New Bedford and the Low Tide Yacht Club,” Ms. DeFrias noted.

“This year Coral Reef Sailing Apparel provided the Buzzards Bay Regatta 2013 collection of shirts. We gave up designing a tee shirt and this company is familiar with the typical taste in apparel which appeals to sailors, and the quantity of items needed,” she said.

Friday dawned with rain and a light breeze. “We constantly check with the National Weather Service and SailFlow for accurate weather conditions… (checking) does the front have just rain or has it got something more?,” Ms. DeFrias explained. It’s not like the old days, she suggested. “Now we have cell phones in case weather comes up and we have to pull boats out of the water,” she explained

Saturday afternoon, with unpredictable weather conditions, Dartmouth Harbormaster Steve Mello was called on to tow in the multi-hull Fledermus of the Rush Creek Yacht Club. “The water was way too rough sailing off Mishaum, with the wind against the tide, and we broke our daggerboard,” explained crew member Ian Grant.

The crew continued to tack into the harbor with very little steering, and the harbormaster’s boat towed them through the bridge to the town landing, he reported.

On Sunday, splendid weather conditions beamed down on the sailors. This year, the BBR was part of the Club 420 Triple Crown race between the 420’s Nationals and the 420’s North Americans, with the results from the BBR being the decider of the winners of the season’s racing.

In PHRF Race 1, Wicked 2.0 with NBYC Douglas Curtiss skippering came in second out of seven races scored. In PHRF Race 2, with seven boats taking part, NBYC’s Ted Herlihy skippered Gut Feeling won first place on the basis of seven races scored. In PHRF Race 3, with 10 boats entered, NBYC’s Ryan Walsh on No Mas came in first place after seven races.

Five boats from NBYC were in the Etchells competition; Robert Hitchcock aboard Etchells 11105 came in first place out with 10 races scored. In the PHRF Cruise Class, NBYC’s Albert Signorella in Sundance was the top boat with six races scored. In the 57 Lasers, NBYC Mark Bear placed second with nine races scored.

A great turnout with favorable wind conditions added up to another successful regatta in Dartmouth.

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Boat Sales Up in Minnesota, Nationally

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, boats are back.

Allen Tucker owns Supreme Marine in Minneapolis where he sells new and used motors. This year, sales are up.

“It’s been sitting for two, three, four, five years,” he said of customers’ boats, “and they’re bringing them in for, ‘can you get it going again?'”

It’s a similar story at Hallberg Marine in Wyoming, especially when it comes to pontoons.

“We’ve had by far the best year we’ve ever had in 54 years at Hallberg,” said Sales Consultant Keith Lidberg.

In fact, the whole industry is having its best season in years. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (N.M.M.A.) says new powerboat sales increased 10 percent nationally in 2012, and they increased by 34 percent in Minnesota.

Numbers aren’t in yet for 2013, but the N.M.M.A. expects another five percent worth of growth.

The N.M.M.A. says Minnesota ranked fourth in state powerboat sales last year.

Numbers one, two, and three — in order — were Florida, Texas, and Michigan.


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Past and Current Local Sports Stars Set Sail for Charity

CHICAGO, Aug. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — 

WHAT IS MATCH RACE SAILING?

Match racing is exciting for both the spectators and the sailors:  two boats compete head to head with the simple objective of crossing the finish line in front of your opponent. Match racing also has judges in powerboats who watch the races closely, and who dole out “instant justice” on the water. 

MATCH RACE – SPORTS ANALOGIES:

  • NASCAR:  All equipment is the same “box rule”; putting team work at a premium; there are ‘virtual’ passing lanes all throughout a sailing race (must be paying attention to wind, water and your competition to find them, however); 2 laps in the ‘race track’
  • FOOTBALL: The tactician on board is akin to the quarterback: calling the plays; Match racing is like an on-field battle between a receiver and a cornerback, and the wind is the ball.  Both want to get to it first and keep it from the other, and just like in football, there are rules about how you can go about getting the wind, and if you break those rules there is a penalty.
  • BASKETBALL:  Racing sailors aim to steal their opponent’s breeze just like you would intercept a pass in basketball
  • HOCKEY:  Sailing umpires and referees both intervene and provide instant justice to police competitors when rules are broken
  • BASEBALL: Boats will tack and jibe back and forth in an attempt to pass. It’s a lot like the cat and mouse game of a pitcher trying to keep a good base runner close to first, so the runner can’t steal second base.

ABOUT CHICAGO MATCH CUP: 

This August the Chicago Match Cup, a $100,000 sailing competition and the only U.S. stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, will set sail alongside the Tall Ships® Chicago 2013 Festival, Aug. 6 – 11, 2013. Twelve of the world’s best teams compete in match race sailing, a form of head-to-head combat similar to the America’s Cup. Navy Pier’s east end will be transformed, promising front-row seats, family-friendly Race Village, live music and race commentary. For more info, www.chicagocup.org.  Tickets are available at www.navypier.com.

ABOUT WORLD SPORT CHICAGO:

World Sport Chicago (WSC) is a not-for-profit working to enhance participation in sport by youth across Chicago. As the legacy organization of Chicago 2016, World Sport Chicago works to expand existing sport programs, to increase access to new programming and to develop a deeper understanding of sport, all with a focus on applying sport as a tool for social and emotional development of youth. Since 2007 WSC has been helping schools, communities and youth across Chicago benefit from participation in sport. 

worldsportchicagonews@worldsportchicago.org

ABOUT THE CHICAGO SPORTS COMMISSION

The Chicago Sports Commission recruits, attracts and supports major sports events in Chicago. CSC’s goal is to fill hotel rooms through sports events and position Chicago as the premier sports tourism destination in the world. For more information visit www.chicagosportscommission.com.


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Boat Sales Up in Minnesota, Nationally

Posted at: 08/06/2013 3:03 PM

Updated at: 08/06/2013 6:07 PM

By: Josh Rosenthal

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In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, boats are back.

Allen Tucker owns Supreme Marine in Minneapolis where he sells new and used motors. This year, sales are up.

“It’s been sitting for two, three, four, five years,” he said of customers’ boats, “and they’re bringing them in for, ‘can you get it going again?'”

It’s a similar story at Hallberg Marine in Wyoming, especially when it comes to pontoons.

“We’ve had by far the best year we’ve ever had in 54 years at Hallberg,” said Sales Consultant Keith Lidberg.

In fact, the whole industry is having its best season in years. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (N.M.M.A.) says new powerboat sales increased 10 percent nationally in 2012, and they increased by 34 percent in Minnesota.

Numbers aren’t in yet for 2013, but the N.M.M.A. expects another five percent worth of growth.

The N.M.M.A. says Minnesota ranked fourth in state powerboat sales last year.

Numbers one, two, and three — in order — were Florida, Texas, and Michigan.


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Sailing-Sweden's Artemis loses to Italy in America's Cup debut

* Artemis happy to get racing

* Luna Rossa tear sail before start, still win

By Ronnie Cohen

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Artemis Racing, the grief-stricken Swedish team vying for the America’s Cup sailing trophy, lost its first race to Italy‘s Luna Rossa on Tuesday on San Francisco Bay, but won the contest for hearts and minds.

Luna Rossa sailed its 72-foot catamaran with duct tape holding together its main sail after a pre-race mishap, but still finished nearly two minutes ahead of Artemis.

It was nonetheless still something of a victory for Artemis, which suffered a fatal training accident in May and whose participation in the event was in doubt until recently.

Unable to train until two weeks ago, Artemis is the clear underdog in a three-way competition with Italy and New Zealand for the right to compete against defending champion Oracle Team USA for the fabled America’s Cup.

A small crowd that met the boats at the finish line along the San Francisco waterfront waved a few Italian flags for Luna Russa – and heartily cheered for Artemis.

“Just to be out there leading them to mark one after all we’ve been through was enough to put a smile on my face for a long time,” Artemis skipper Iain Percy said after the race.

The Swedish team showed that it remains a contender, beating Italy at the starting line and finishing closer to its opponent than Luna Rossa had finished in an initial series against Emirates Team New Zealand.

Artemis finished one minute and 57 seconds behind Luna Rossa on Tuesday. The closest the Italians came to Team New Zealand in the first set of races was two minutes and 19 seconds.

“The last month’s been hard, and it was good for us to finish today with a win,” said Luna Rossa helmsman Chris Draper, who added they had torn the main sail just before the start of the race and the shore crew was still taping it together with only three minutes to go.

The tear “made sailing the boat a little bit harder trying to nurse it,” he said.

The winner of the best-of-four semi-finals between Artemis and Luna Rossa will compete against New Zealand, which defeated Luna Rossa in a round-robin preliminary series, for a spot in the main event against Oracle beginning Sept. 7.

Software billionaire Larry Ellison’s Oracle team won the Cup in 2010 and with it the right to set the rules and choose the venue for this year’s competition.

His decision to use high-tech catamarans that can reach speeds of more than 50 miles per hour on windy San Francisco Bay has been much-criticized in light of the Artemis accident in May, in which British Olympic gold medalist Andrew “Bart” Simpson was killed after he was trapped under a capsized Artemis boat.

Before Tuesdays race, Artemis CEO Paul Cayard talked to Reuters about the teams difficulties.

“We’ve had our challenges,” he said. “But challenges are just an opportunity, an opportunity to be together, work together and overcome, and ultimately that’s what being on a team is all about. Its also more opportunities to build that strong relationship.

“I feel that Artemis is a strong team because of what we’ve been through and were taking it on the race course.”

Artemis skipper Iain Percy described getting back on the boat and into the race as bittersweet.

Simpson and Percy had been friends since they were 10 years old, and went through Britain’s youth sailing program and then on the Olympics together.

Late last month, when Percy was about to step into the yacht for the first time since Simpson’s death, his voice choked with emotion.

“It’s really a sad day for me personally,” he said. “I’d love to be going out there with Bart. He would have been so excited.”

He looked at a ribbon with Simpson’s nickname printed on the sleeve of his wetsuit.

“He’s gonna be with us out there,” he said.

“So keep an eye on us Bart.”


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