Read is main stay of J/24 raceFour-time...


Read is main stay of J/24 race

Four-time J/24 World Champion Ken Read of Newport, R.I., won the 1993 J/24 North American Championship in Hampton, Va., last week.

The seven-race, no-throwout series was plagued by light and shifty air, making consistency difficult for competitors in the 46-boat fleet.

Read's finishes -- a first, two seconds, a third and three fourths -- were the highest consistently.

"It took several years off this individual's life, anyway," Read said. "It was a very difficult, long series with no throwout so the rule was just don't make a mistake. Our goal was to finish in the top five of every race, and actually we made it into the top four each time."

Top finisher from the Annapolis J/24 fleet was Naval Academy coach Doug Clark, seventh with 106 points. His only top-10 finish, a third-race third, was saddled with a 20 percent penalty, for nine additional points.

"We didn't start off that well, because we were in a serious collision with a port-tacker in the first race that put a hole in our boat," Clark said, explaining that he had requested redress for the incident, after which his position was dropped from eighth at the first mark to a 26th-place finish.

The other sailor was assigned a 40 percent penalty despite the damage to Clark's boat, and the request for redress was denied, Clark said, speculating that he might have been successful in the redress process if he had dropped out of the race.

Instead, he said, his crew was alert enough to install a collision patch before the boat took on too much water, and he was able to finish. Clark said it was the first collision he had ever had in which a boat was holed.

Light air and fleet inversions in the shifty and patchy light air after the first day's 8-10-knot breezes made things difficult through the week, as did crowded mark roundings, Clark said.

"Conditions were extremely tough," he said. "But the Race Committee really did a great job trying to get the races off and to keep the courses as fair as possible, moving marks, whatever it took."

Sailing with Clark were James Appel and Sean Healy of Annapolis, and Ward Blodgett and Jack McDonald of Washington.

4$ J/24 North American Championship 1. Ken Read, Newport, R.I., 19.75 (4-2-1-3-2-4-4); 2. Terry Hutchinson, Traverse City, Mich., 25.5 (2-11-2-1-7-1-2); 3. Alan Adler, Brazil, 26.75 (3-1-7-5-3-2-6); 4. Brad Read, Newport, R.I., 61 (5-12-18-2-14-3-7); 5. Steve Ulian, Marblehead, Mass., 61.75 (1-6-4-8-5-33-5); 6. Bear Hovey, Stamford, Conn., 71.5 (32-3-5-7-1-23-1); 7. Doug Clark, Annapolis, 106 (26-13-3*-14-12-14-15); 8. Andrew David, Newport, R.I., 111 (14-17-6-4-15-DSQ-8); 9. Rob Overton, Virginia Beach, 120 (25-15-10-17*-4-24-16); 10. Ernst Swieteisky, (address unavail.), 124 (31-5-PMS-10-6-7-18).

* denotes 20 percent penalty added,

Entries due for Solomons race

Eastport Yacht Club's 13th annual Solomons Island Race starts on Friday evening, July 23.

The official entry deadline is this tomorrow, although additional entries will be accepted until 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 21, with an additional $25 late fee above the entry fee of $35 for US Sailing members and $40 for non-members.

Starts in the 55-mile overnight race are being offered for IMS I through III, PHRF A-1 through C, J/35s, J/30s, J/29s, MORC, Catalina 27s, Pearson 30s and multihulls.

Sailing instructions for the race will be sent to each competitor upon receipt of an entry and also will be available at the clubhouse, 317 First St., Eastport, and from the check-in boat. Night racing rules that were removed from the CBYRA Green Book this year are included in the Solomons SSI.

The event also includes an all-day carnival at Solomons, at Zahniser's Marina, with coffee and danish, and EYC's Bloodies for a Buck Saturday morning, followed by entertainment during the day and dinner and dancing to Mama Jama that evening.

Dinner is available by pre-paid reservation only, but all other events are open.

Information: EYC at (410) 267-8986 or Bob Scharf at (410) 263-6235.

EYC's race managers encourage competitors in the Solomons race to stay on for a few days for the Southern Maryland Sailing Association's first Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge, featuring three days of windward-leeward racing Sunday through Tuesday for Alberg 30s, Catalina 27s, PHRF A-1 through C, Nonspinnaker, IMS, J/24s, J/29s, J/30s and J/35s.

Deadline for entry in the Screwpile Challenge also is tomorrow. Entry fee is $75.

Information: Ron Spicuzza (301) 862-3130.

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