Connecticut sailor clinches overall Lightning regatta title


ANNAPOLIS -- Connecticut sailor David Dellenbaugh clinched the overall title of the 16th biennial Lightning World Championship Regatta with a fourth-place finish in yesterday's race.

The sixth and final race of the series, which began Monday at the Severn Sailing Association, was a makeup of Friday's race, which was postponed because of lack of wind. The fleet of 39 top international teams sailed yesterday in light and shifty northwest winds.

Dellenbaugh stayed far enough ahead of the competition on th final and most difficult upwind leg.

"It wasn't too bad up the first beat, but by the second beat all the cruising boats and powerboats were showing up, and it got (( really sloppy, shifty, and holey," he said. "We had a good start, and we were always in the front of the pack, though. We were sixth at the first mark and picked up to third from there, but we lost one on the last leg."

Dellenbaugh, sailing with Marblehead sailor Hale Walcoff an Lightning Class Chief Measurer Kip Hamblet of Keene, N.H., the owner of the boat, said consistency in his finishes was the key to victory.

"I sort of threw consistent tactics out the window because of th [shifty and variable] winds, but we never had a finish worse than 10th," he said.

Dellenbaugh retired from competition in the Lightning class i 1972, although he has continued racing in other classes of boats and types of competition. Last year he returned to Lightnings, which he had sailed on Long Island Sound as a youth.

A worst-race throw-out was deducted from each team's fina series score, leaving Dellenbaugh six points ahead of both Canadian Larry MacDonald and Newport, R.I., sailor Brad Read.

Final series standings: 1. US 11346, David Dellenbaugh, 25 pts. 2. KC 14499, Larry MacDonald, 31 pts. (9- [13]-1-13-2-6); 3. US 14296, Brad Read, 31 pts. (6-6-5-1-[17]-13); 4. US 14045, Matt Fisher, 34 pts. (8-8-[DSQ]-4-5-9); 5. US 14384, Colin Park, 40 pts. (1-[33]-13-16-8-2); 6. US 14073, John Oldham III, 41 pts. (19-7-2-[26]-6-7); 7. US 11739, Keith Taboada, 44 pts. 12-[28]); 8. US 14405, Greg Fisher, 49 pts. (10- 9. US 14455, James Crane, 49 pts. (3- DNF]-3-16-10-17); 10. EC 11928, Juan Santos, 50 pts. (2- [DNF]-9-9-29-1).

Race No. 6: 1. EC 11928, Juan Santos; 2. US 14384, Colin Park 3. KC 14507, Jim Cameron; 4. US 11346, David Dellenbaugh; 5. US 14427, Mark Bryant.

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