As Northern Hemisphere racing starts to look towards winter, fall presents some of the best action there is all year, led by the growing sportboat sector.
Sure, the name changed, but our International Sportboat Anarchy Funfest (ISAF) regatta is shaping up to be a good one. Nearly 70 sportboats of various sorts are coming to Coronado to sail in our two day event in the south bay – one of the best sailing venues in San Diego. This first time event is going to let all the boats race handicap against each other (as well as in class for those with enough for a class) and has everything from a J/125 to a bunch of Open 5.7’s. Great racing, live entertainment, Dave Ullman Q&A, food, drink and whatever craziness we can think of should equal Good Times!
Snakes On A Sound
September sees the kind of grass roots action that’s helping to keep racing going despite generally down participation across the board, with the class that defines “grass roots” leading the way. That’s, of course, the Viper 640, a class that began its rebirth right here on these pages and in Sportboat Anarchy – and just a couple of years after Vipermania flooded the forums, the class will see its biggest regatta ever next weekend. Some 38 boats will race out on Long Island Sound out of Stamford Yacht Club, and the event will feature some familiar names and faces to sportboat aficionados; top M24 owner Simon Strauss along with Moth World Champ Bora Gulari for one, Olympian Brad Boston on Farr 40/Mumm 30/Melges 24 racer Lee Shucherow’s brand new Viper for another. Also V designer and AC trimmer Brian Bennett on Charleston champ David Guggenheim’s boat, and former Melges 24 Class pres and 2-time Finn NA champ John Porter on his boat. Check out Viper Class President Justin Scott’s form guide for the event, the entry list is here, and add your picks and talk smack here. The hot Viper sailor Venomiss has been deputized as OTW Anarchy reporter and will be bringing you comprehensive videos, pictures, reports and interviews from the 38-boat Viper NA Champs this Fri-Sun. Thread here.
Low Key Grand Prix
While the official US Melges Class has poor turnout for a number of recent events, local cheerleaders like Paul Hulsey and Mike Down in the Midwest, JC Raby in the Northeast, and Steve Kopf and David O’Reilly in Charleston have been behind some solid 18-30 boat regattas this summer, refusing to accept “the economy” as a reason they can’t go racing. Yet despite dozens of 24s in the neighborhood waiting for their owners to come rig them up for Worlds, Annapolis Race Week pulled only ten boats, with Alan Field’s WTF once again proving untouchable – are the Naptown racers saving their juice for October, or are the locals simply not gettin’ it done? Meanwhile, 17 M24s are expected for the Charleston Harbor Melges 24 Challenge this weekend to put the finishing touches on their Worlds prep, and entries continue to trickle in for Worlds in advance of the 23 September early registration deadline. Will they see 60?
Gardening In Sardinia?
Meanwhile, as the Cleans pack for Italy to ready for yet another stellar On-The-Water Anarchy report from the Melges 32 Worlds in Porto Cervo, we’re starting to hear complaints about the amateur status of some of the declared crews. The Class recently sent out a notice that emphasized that “there is a chance your team may not qualify to race with your submitted crew declaration.” ISAF officials will be on hand to interview a scheduled 22 Category 1 sailors to see if they are really gardeners or if they just get paid that way. With much of the waning Farr 40 fleet now moving over to the faster, funner 32, is it any surprise that the same bullshit should follow? Gentlemen, start your (whining) engines…