So I’m sitting with my crew mates having just finished the EFG Winter Cup regatta and asked, “What should I write?” Simple, Peter replied, just say “It was windy!” High teens into low twenties and the Viper 640 fleet sailed six races over two days in Biscayne Bay. The fleet sailed out of the US Sailing Center Miami but the race committee, headed by PRO Scot Giering, brought an excellent team from Biscayne Bay Yacht Club.
The EFG Winter Cup is the final qualifying regatta for the EFG Viper Pan-American Championship. This year’s EFG Pan-Am qualifiers were sailed in key areas of the US as well as Lake Garda, Italy, and both the east and west coasts of Australia. With qualifier points carrying over to the Pan-Am Champs (to be sailed this coming Thursday – Saturday as part of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week sponsored by EFG) on Biscayne Bay.
A total of 18 boats registered for the 2016 EFG Winter Cup with the fleet expanding to 29 for the Pan-Ams. A northwester blew on Sunday’s first day of the Winter Cup with winds reaching the mid-twenties in the afternoon. PRO Giering sent in the fleet after two races in order to keep everyone safe and ready for the rest of the week’s sailing. After those races, Ireland’s Anthony O’Leary from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, was on top of the fleet with two bullets. The 60 year old O’Leary, sailing with his son Robert and Tom Durcan, played the left side both races and managed to win both heats handily. O’Leary usually sails his Kerr 40 across the pond, but this is second year for the EFG Winter Cup and the Pan-Ams. Just a few points behind O’Leary was Noroton Yacht Club’s Joe Healey sailing with Ryan Zupon and Pat Aylward with a pair of seconds. Rounding out the top three was Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s Nick Amendola with Pat Gavin-Brynes and Travis Odenbach.
When the Viper sailors arrived at their boats this morning for the concluding day of the Winter Cup, the wind was piping in the high teens again out of the north. This proved a challenge as it required the competitors to sail into the wind for a few boat lengths in a narrow channel off the Sailing Center, make a HARD right, another right, a left and a right with puffs making this a challenge for all. The RC postponed until the boats made it to the course with the winds still in the high teens.
When the first race went off, a .75 mile beat to the north, O’Leary was in the mix again but so was former Laser World Champion sailing for the UK’s Stone Sailing Club’s Lawrence Crispin sailing with his son Luka and long-time crew Hector Cisnaros. Crispin sailed a solid four races today winning three and placing second in Race 5. With the wind laying down a bit as the afternoon wore on…say down to 16 with puffs approaching 20, Crispin’s boat speed was excellent and he played the shifts downwind spotlessly. The deck shuffled a bit as, in the end, it was Crispin winning the regatta with 8 points beating O’Leary with scores of 5-13-3-2 by four points. Moving into third with 16 points was US Star Olympian John Dane III from Pass Christian Yacht Club. For Dane, this was his second Viper regatta following the Gulf Yachting Association’s recent selection of the Viper as their interclub boat. Dane was sailing with his son Schaeffer and John Boyd. They posted scores of 2-2-1-5 for a total of 18 points and dropping Haley into fourth at 24 points. Rounding out the top five was Larchmont Yacht Club’s Peter Bauer sailing with Dorsey Roseberry and Viper 640 Class Association Administrator Buttons Padin.
The next evolution for the Vipers here in Miami is the Miami Scorch – usually a blast reach to/from No Name Harbor at the tip of Key Biscayne. November over Alpha has yet to be hoisted, but the six mile beat into a 20+ knot easterly may not be what the folks are looking for on their way to a luncheon. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines and drive, drive, drive.
Preliminary scores are linked below. Thanks to the Race Committee, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, and the US Sailing Center Miami for hosting the event.
Results: VIPER Winter Cup Results 2016 a