Leaders remain secure at Sperry Charleston Race Week


15 April 2018

  Day two of racing at Sperry Charleston Race Week - the ORC East Coast Championship - featured light air but sailable conditions, and leaders in each of the three ORC classes continued to lead their respective classes.

On the offshore courses for ORC Class A and B, one windward/leeward race was sailed, followed by a race into the harbor from the course area. Yesterday’s class leaders, Steve Benjamin’s TP 52 Spookie in Class A and Rob Hibdon’s 1D35 Photon sailed by David O’Reilly, won the first race but were overtaken by their slower rivals in the long race, with Robin Team’s J/122 Teamwork winning Class A and Willy Schenzfeier’s J/35 Arrow winning Class B. Scoring in the long race used the Triple Number Long Distance/Coastal ratings for Low wind conditions.

On Class C’s Circle 3 course area, the ORC C class shares the tight venue between shores and shoals of Charleston Harbor with the Melges 24 and J/88 classes, and is occasionally affected by actions from these classes. For example, the first race of the series on Friday had to be discarded due to a Melges hooking the windward mark, dragging it out of position, and a problem with the mark boat on maintaining position for the ORC C class. Also, some errors in the recording of elapsed times created incorrect results that were eventually sorted in the evening.

Mike Beasley’s Jim Donovan-designed GP 26 Rattle n Rum continues to dominate this class, but the margins are tight: races are fast, with the 11 boats in this class racing around the 3-mile W/L track in only 35-40 minutes, and results in corrected times are measured in seconds, not minutes.

Ruttle n Rum is trying to repeat as winner of the prestigious Palmetto Trophy that goes to the top performing boat among the handicap classes and could do so considering the caliber of competition in this class.
UltraViolet, an Antrim 27 owned by Dave Prucnal of Pasadena, Maryland, has given Beasley’s boat all it can handle and is well within striking distance if multiple races are held Sunday.
“UltraViolet follows us around the course. When we tack, they tack,” said Beasley, whose GP 26 owes time to the Antrim 27. “UltraViolet can get a piece of us downwind because they can square the spinnaker pole. It will be match racing with the Antrim if we go out tomorrow.”



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