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Bermuda International Race Week - Unusual way to win a regatta

by Talbot Wilson on 28 Apr 2012
John Burnham (17) and Giles Peckham (14) match up in the 12th IOD race of The International One Design Class in Bacardi’s Bermuda International Invitational Race Week. Burnham and co-skipper Peter Rugg won the 13-race series for the Vrengen Gold Cup and also the 7-race ’A’ Series. Peckham won the 6-race ’B’ Series.©Talbot Wilso - Bermuda International Invitational Race Week 2012 Talbot Wilson - Copyright
Six-time IOD World Champion Penny Simmons won the last two races in Bacardi’s Bermuda International Race Week, but it wasn’t quite enough to pop him into the lead in either the IOD ‘B’ series or the overall 13-race test for the IOD Vrengen Gold Cup. Giles Peckham of Cowes UK scored an 8-2 today and won the six race ‘B’ series while Simmons came second.

The Vrengen Gold Cup for first overall in the series finally went to the John Burham-Peter Rugg co-skippered Fishers Island NY team. Victory, however, was in doubt until late in the afternoon following a collision in the twelfth race.

Burnham had to retire from that race with a 14-point DNF and then got automatic redress of average points for all races sailed in the series for not being able to sail the finale.

'It is an unusual way to win a regatta,' Burnham said while he and his team repaired the rigging later in the afternoon. 'But the rules are clear. We’ve had a great week and we always enjoy coming to Bermuda.' Burnham won the ‘A’ series before in 2007. This is his first overall win in Race Week. Burnham is a two-time IOD world Champion.

Simmons and Peckham were tied for second overall and Peckham moved up to second in a tiebreaker. Burnham & Rugg, who alternated on the helm each day, had won the seven-race ‘A’ series on Wednesday.

'There are some seriously good sailors here in Bermuda,' Peckham commented, 'and they all have a Corinthian spirit. That’s the beauty of Bermuda International Invitational Race Week.'

Simmons said, 'I made mistakes early in the week and gave away positions I shouldn’t have. It was a great week and the winners sailed well and earned their prizes. It was another great Race Week.'

Damage that took the Fishers Island team out of sailing on the last two races came early. About 100 yards from the weather mark on the first beat of the first race today, Burnham was at the helm of Shadow. He was on port tack trying to cross Marc Migliazzo in Vrengen who was approaching starboard. At the last minute, Burnham decided not to cross and bore away to duck Migliazzo’s transom.

As the boats passed side by side in opposite directions, Burnham’s boat stood upright in the lee of Vrengen’s mainsail. Vrengen’s masthead caught Shadows rig and broke the jumper diamond. Shadow was out for the day’s two races.

Earlier in the week the Comets, Etchells and Lasers finished their events and Bermudians dominated the podium. The Comets sailed five races, all on the first day, and Bermudian Stevie Dickenson came first followed by compatriots Dimitri Stevens and Tre Joinville.

The Lasers sailed thirteen races and Bermuda’s laser master Malcolm Smith was first winning the International Race Week Trophy. He was followed by Brett Wright in second and Rockal Evans in third.

The Etchells Class silver, the K.F. Trimingham Trophy, was also won by a Bermudian, Will Thompson. Tim Patton came second and James Hudleston was third.

Prizes were awarded Friday evening, April 27th, at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.


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