And the picket fence got even longer... - Viper 640 International Class Association

Jackson Benvenutti, Andrew Eagan, and Chris Alexander extend their streak of bullets to seven!

You know you’re doing well when your drop is a first, and that’s what’s happening for the team from Bay Waveland (MS) Yacht Club. Yesterday, we got Jackson’s take on their first three wins. Today, we’re talking with Andrew Eagan, middle on the boat, who works with Chris Alexander on tactics. Andrew shared the following on today and yesterday’s racing: “We know we have good boat speed, but in the first three races today we struggled to get off the line. The big thing is how well we communicate and move on the boat together. We’re in total sync although we haven’t sailed with Chris before. It seems like our comms are getting better every race between Jackson on the helm and Chris easing the jib in puffs, keeping the boat speed maxed at all times. Knowing we had boat speed we didn’t panic on the first leg knowing we could grind down a lot of the boats. And, while all our first six races were ‘all business’ aboard’, in the last race the mood lightened up a lot because we had a good start, we could sail free, and the ice broke. How? At breakfast this morning with Mark Zagol, Mark told me he had coached Chris in college at Kings Point. Mark told me Chris’s nickname back then was Pooh Bear. At one point, when the wind freshened and Chris had to move from in front to behind the shrouds, I said ‘Get back here, Pooh Bear.’ ‘How do you know that?’ From then on, the atmosphere on the boat lightened dramatically.”

PRO Hal Smith’s take on today was ,“Fantastic racing by the entire fleet finishing close to one another in every race in what started as a light air day (around 4 knots) and finishing in a fresher breeze of 9-10. Tomorrow, we’re looking for double-digit pressure from a southerly direction that may have a touch of east in it.”

Perhaps more importantly than Hal’s point of view is that of his wife, Sally, who was scoring on the signal boat. Sally was recording the finishes for all the boats full of sailors with ear-to-ear grins. “What a great class of boats and sailors!”

There are two subdivisions being scored. The top Corinthian crew after two days is Great Scot, sailed by Jay Rhame, Rachel and Peter Beardsley, currently sitting in third place overall. The top Masters Team (helm over 55) is Sam Hopkins, from the host club, sitting in fourth place.


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