they coulda been…

race report

they coulda been…
Oh wait, they actually are Contenders!

The Contender World Championship held at the Tradewinds Resort and the Saint Petersburg Yacht Club, Florida April 24 – 28, 2012on the Gulf of Mexico coast saw varied conditions for the nine races. Saint Petersburg Yacht Club pulled out all the stops for this important event. There was some trepidation since it was held off the beach rather remote from the club. Good organization and many volunteers pulled it off.

Winds ranged from just above the six knot minimum for the morning races to a solid 15 for later in the day. The results show when the wind was light or heavier simply by looking at each competitor. Florida sailor Ethan Bixby, for example, is tall and thin. His light air finishes were 2, 1, 1. In the wind, finishes resulted in an overall 5th place. Still, that’s the best for a North American sailor in decades, as there are no large fleets there for practice.

Antonio Lambertini of Italy won two of the races and placed well in the others, once the two throwouts were removed. He was four points ahead of countryman Giovanni Bonzio . Third was Soren Dulong Andreasen of Denmark, who excelled in the windier races. Open winner and first Master was Joachim Harpprecht of Germany, two points ahead of Bixby.

First Grand Master, over 60, was Emilio Betta of Italy. Stephanie Mah, Canada was first (and only) woman sailor and Bo Grohne, Germany the first (and only) junior.
Also represented were The Netherlands, Australia and Great Britain. The competitors gained a reputation at SPYC for having the best appetites of a sailing class, and a fun-loving group. They are welcomed back. Results here. View the SA thread on Dinghy Anarchy.

Dave Ellis
Race Committee Rescue Boat, who had no jobs all week.