Shatter Records In
Ninth Cape Circumnavigation
by William F. Galvin
It was the year that Sails Around Cape Cod came of age. All the elements were there this weekend; wind, rain, fog and boats --more than ever.
The ninth running of the ocean race that circumnavigates Cape Cod saw records set in a big way and several new winners in the two racing and one cruising classes.
The elapsed time record around the 125 mile course was shattered this year by Arthur Burke's J-44, Spice, winner of Class A of the racing division. Burke set a new course record of 15:41:02 with a corrected time of 14:38:32. MMA's Pendragon skippered by Chuck Fontaine placed second followed by Bob Norton's Beneteau 42, Endeavour.
The winner of Class B in that division, Neil Tomkinson out of Saquatucket Harbor in his Sabre 34, Chinook, also finished inside the former course record of 19:26:47 minutes held by Jim Carney out of Harwich in his Swan 47, Banzai. Tomkinson finished in 19:25:28. Good wind throughout the race course assisted the top four boats in Class A in beating the former record. Tomkinson's competition in that division came from Joe O'Laughlin in Tabu, a Catalina 36 finishing second and David Maclay's Alberg 35, Unicorn taking third place.
Carney, a perennial winner in the racing division, who had entered the field but was forced to withdraw because of last minute business obligations, missed a race filled with competition and conditions for shattering records.
Another record set this year was the number of boats racing in the ninth annual event now sponsored jointly by the Harwich Chamber of Commerce and Massachusetts Maritime Academy. With 35 boats registering and only 29 making it to the starting line, a new participation record was still set. The previous number had been 23 boats.
The majority of the vessels, 16 starting, were crowded into the one cruising class and pitting boats with PHRF ratings as low as 87 against others as high as 234 (The difference calculates into seconds per mile in corrected time for the 125 mile course).
No matter, Bruce Robinson's Hinkley 42, Eider Down, proved no match for the rest of the fleet, beating last year's cruising class champion Jeffrey Goldstein in his Cal 39, Jubilant, who finished second in that class by a half hour on corrected time.
The Chatham challenge was won by Bill Marsh in his Tartan 40, Asolare, skippered by Bill Riley. That team placed third in the cruising class edging out Kent Richardson in his First 46, Dark Star, by 19 minutes in corrected time.