Bermuda International Invitational Race Week - Thompson victorious

Will Thompson (BER 586) with his crew Somers Kempe and Adam Barboza won the Etchells Class in Bacardi’s Bermuda International Invitational Race Week 2012.
Talbot Wilson - Copyright
At the 2012 Bermuda International Invitational Race Week, Will Thompson and Tim Patton have been battling tooth and nail over the course of the week for Etchells bragging rights and the Trimingham Trophy that is awarded to the winner of the class. Today Thompson snatched the prize with a third and a first on the day.

It looked bad for Thompson at the start of the day’s first race. He was sliding down the line near the pin and a wind shift made it impossible for him to lay the mark to start. He had to make a 270º gybe to escape the crowd of boats coming down above him. Then he had to take their sterns on port tack. Will was able to claw his way back to third place in the light and shifty westerly wind that the Great Sound handed out early in the day.

In the next race Thompson and his crew of Adam Barboza and Somers Kempe got away early and sailed flawlessly from Start to finish. Ever gracious veteran Patton who had a fifth and a third today said, 'Thompson’s crew had an advantage over us today in the light air. We just couldn’t keep up.'

Adam Barboza who trims the main for Thompson said, 'At the start of the first race we were stalled out at the pin and had to escape. The best choice was to gybe quickly and cut our loss. Third place was good for us, and we put two points on Timmy. In the final race, we got ahead and stayed between Tim and the marks. We were sailing fast in these conditions.' Thompson had finished second in the 2011 Bermuda International Invitational Race Week.

Bermuda’s Malcolm Smith put a ten-point lead on Brett Wright in the 13-race Laser Class series to win the International Race Week Championship Trophy. Smith dropped his worst two scores a nine and a three and ended with 16 points. Wright dropped his seven and a four and ended at 26 points after leading from the first day to the final.

Smith commented on his win, 'It is good at my age, 53, to get another Race Week title. I just try to stay in shape and sail in phase. I did what I had to do today to win.'

Rockal Evans had hoped to make this Race Week his third in a row, but it wasn’t going to happen. He had a breakdown on the first beat of the first race today and took 15 points. He dropped that score and a fifth to end the series at 31 points.

Giles Peckham of Cowes UK who had taken two bullets in the first two races of the IOD ‘B’ series got a fifth and a first in Thursday’s two races. He has a six-point lead there over Bermuda’s Penny Simmons.

Giles Peckham of Cowes UK gets the win in the second race on day 4 of Bacardi's Bermuda International Invitational Race Week 2012. Peckham leads the 'B' Series and gets to fly the yellow spinnaker again Friday as the day's top IOD.
Talbot Wilson - Copyright

In the battle for the Vrengen Gold Cup, Peckham’s team and the Burnham/Rugg Fishers Island team are still in a tight battle. In the overall competition, with a full schedule of 13 races completed, the two worst scores are dropped. Burnham/Rugg lead Peckham in the overall chase by three points with two races remaining on Friday. The winner of the cup won’t be decided until the final race of the final day.

Penny Simmons, Bermuda’s top IOD sailor, has had a rough series. Today he had a first in the first race, wining by a time zone according to a spectator. Then in the final leg of the second race he found his own parking lot two-thirds of the way down the last run. 'I had been in first at one point in that race,' Simmons said, 'But on the last run I was in second and sailed into a hole. It was like the man upstairs put his thumb down on me and said ‘get back in your place’ and then we dropped a place to Bruce Dyson who found the wind we lost and came charging from a long way back to pass us just at the line.'

Peckham will fly the IOD Class yellow Bacardi spinnaker on the final day because of his top performance on Thursday. He will be in a tough three-way fight with the Bernham/Rugg crew and the local Simmons team.

Bacardi’s Bermuda International Invitational Race Week action concludes in the waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound with two races scheduled for IOD’s Lasers and Etchells concluded their scheduled races on Thursday. The Comets held all of their races on the opening Sunday with Stevie Dickenson and Patricia Young taking the silver.

Race Week got started Saturday evening with a welcoming reception for competitors, the race committee, sponsors and guests at Bacardi Headquarters. Tuesday night the social schedule continued as everyone was invited to the RBYC for a 'Cuba Libre' buffet dinner at 6:30PM followed by a Bacardi DJ party on the club terrace. Prizes will be awarded Friday evening, April 27th, at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Bermuda International Invitational Race Week website