Sydneysider Richard Perini and his dedicated crew aboard Foreign Affair, have won the Mumm 30 Newport Gold Regatta against a world-class fleet, after flying in from Australia and still suffering jetlag from their Anapolis regatta earlier in the month.
'I have a wonderful crew and we had the best sails - D4 from the Doyle Fraser loft at Somersby - we carted them on the plane with us - they are like gold', he said late last night.
'We had a new D4 wardrobe, made from P.B.O. with grey UV film, they just looked awesome, and we are very happy with our progress; all the small modifications we have been working on did exactly what was required', he added.
Perini, who has top-placed at a number of Mumm events, recently won the Key West Mumm 30 Regatta, and is now looking like the boat to beat in the Mumm 30 Worlds to be staged in Annapolis in the USA in September.
Prior to the Worlds, Perini and crew will contest two other world-class Mum 30 events in the USA.
Describing the Newport Gold Regatta, Perini said day one was sailed in 13-18 knot breezes in a dense fog. Winning the start from the pin end, they kept to the middle of the course to lead and win the first race.
By the time the second race came around, the fog was even thicker, the breeze unchanged. They opted for a boat end start, winning it, but due to fog, could not find the top mark, overstanding it by ten lengths and allowing four competitors to slip through, but gained throughout the race to finish 2nd and the award of 'Boat of the Day'.
The following day saw sunshine, clear skies and a fresh sou-westerly. Foreign Affair had a good start in Race 3, leading for most of the race, they were forced into a match race to narrowly beat Steadfast to the finish.
Race 4 started in 15 knots, with Perini leading the fleet and looking good for another win, until he realised on the final beat that the 2nd and 3rd placed boats had gone in opposite directions, leaving him no alternative but to go to the middle of the course. It cost them 1st place, but they were happy with their 2nd.
The final day of racing 'had something for everyone' - with winds from 10 to 35 knots going from south to nor-nor-west. Foreign Affair had their worst start of the regatta - 7th after shooting the line early. Perini described it thus, 'we were in deep doo doo, with the leaders looking a long way away'.
However, the crew worked hard to claw back to 4th place, then when 30 knots kicked in they excelled themselves to take 2nd place, therefore giving them the regatta.
Perini said they were unlucky not to win the final race, 'the crew were totally stuffed, you've never seen a more wasted unit - but we won the regatta and I can't say enough for my crew and my sails, they are champions!'