By Capt. Steve Stevens
TIBURON - Hank Easom skippered his 8-meter racing yacht to win the Best Performance honors at the Corinthian Yacht Club's Mid Winter Regatta.
In addition to winning the overall award, Easom also captured the win for Division PHRF 2. During the four-race series, the yellow-hulled Yucca was driven to win two bullets and two second-place positions for a total regatta score of 6 points.
Combining local knowledge and years of experience with his 8 meter, and a San Francisco sea bag full of sailing skills, Easom was able to defeat the fleet of 21 boats, including several contemporary Bruce Farr-designed Beneteaus and a custom 38-foot Farr.
The Feb. 16 regatta was dominated in the PHRF 2 division by Easom and Bill Melbostat helming the Soverel 33 Navigator. These sailors have been battling against each other throughout the winter, in both the Corinthian's regatta and the Seaweed Soup hosted by the Golden Gate Yacht Club.
Melbostat drove his yacht hard to a total of 10 points (2,1,5,2=10 points), stealing second from David Holscher in his lightweight Melges 24 Whole Heart (4,3,3,4=14 points). Ken Pimentel, who is usually seen racing on the ocean and not around the buoys, captured the fourth-place position in Remedy, his big Beneteau 42 (5,7,7,7=26 points).
In addition to the individual competition among the 11 divisions, the regatta was also a competition for the best three-boat team representing an individual yacht club. The San Francisco Yacht Club's team of Arbitrage (a J/105, owned by Bruce Stone ), Eclipse (Mark Dowdy's Express 37), and Melbostat's Navigator, won the Aotea team trophy for their outstanding combined performance.
Stone's Arbitrage was able to capture two bullets and a second for a total score of 8 points (1,1,4,2=8 points), winning the J/105 one design class over Gary Kneeland's Orion (6,2,3,5=16 points).
Dowdy, driving Eclipse in the Express 37 one-design division, scored three bullets in this highly competitive fleet of fast boats (1,1,2,1=5 points) with Pineapple Sails' Kame Richards taking the second place position (2,2,4,3=11 points). Elan, Bill Riess' boat, followed Richards' wake for a solid third (3,3,5,2=13 points).
A few Farr 40s were out participating among the 100 or so yachts at this mid-winter series. Tuning up for the main racing season was Walton Logan in Blue Chip, the Watts / Thayer entry Non Sequitur, and Mary Coleman skippering Astra.
These one-design, grand-prix racers were competing in the PHRF 1 division, sailing against Santa Cruz 50s and 52s, Sydney 38s, and 11-meter racing yachts. Logan drove Blue Chip consistently to capture the win for the PHRF 1 class (4,1,2,3=10 points), taking the top spot away from Mike Travis in Surfer Girl, the much bigger Santa Cruz 50 footer (1,3,4,4=12 points).Mark Varnes, in the 11-meter Team Iverson, battled throughout the four race series with the newer Sydney 38 skippered by Michael Kennedy. But Varnes pulled it off for the third with a score of 21 points (6,7,3,5=21 points) versus the Sydney's 23 (3,5,9,6=23 points).
The complete results of the Corinthian Yacht Club's Mid-Winter Regatta can be found at their Website: www.cyc.org.