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Wirth Munroe Ocean Race at The Sailfish Club of Florida

by J-Boats 15 Dec 2019 12:06 PST

Light and shifty winds challenged the 32-boat fleet in the Sailfish Club of Florida's 63rd annual Wirth M. Munroe Ocean Race, the second event of the 2019-2020 Islands in the Stream Series. The 60-mile Classic course from Miami to Palm Beach was shortened to 50 miles because of the light conditions while the 40-mile Sprint course from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach was completed without change.

"This year's Wirth Munroe was a true test of patience and strategy," said Race Committee Chair Tom Bowler of the Sailfish Club. "Boats that took full advantage of the Gulf Stream's push north were rewarded."

Bowler said the fleet of 32 boats marked the race's highest participation level in a decade, and reflected the growing appeal of the two-course format, introduced by the Sailfish Club two years ago as a way to increase participation.

"We are delighted to see entries grow, and while we would have liked to see more wind for this year's race, the two-course format continues to generate positive feedback from skippers and crews," he said.

A number of teams participated in their first winter blast up the spectacular, cobalt-blue, Gulf Stream.

In the ORC A Class, Seth Hall & Tom Pollack's J/124 Marisol from Newport Harbor Yacht Club in Newport Beach, CA took on a very mixed class that included the globe-girdling Mills 68 Prospector down to a Farr 40! In the end, MARISOL took the silver in this hugely competitive class loaded with pro sailors. It took them nearly 8 hours to complete the 50.0nm course, even with a 4.0+ knot boost from the fast-moving, northerly flowing Gulf Stream!

In the ORC B Class, Joe Brito's J/121 Incognito from Newport, RI and Chris Lewis's J/44 Kenai from Seabrook, TX also took on a kaleidoscope of sailboats ranging from a GP 26 to an old Aerodyne 38. In the end, Incognito managed to drift home to a bronze medal on the podium with Lewis's Kenia taking a fifth place.

In PHRF A Class Tom Anderson & Hanson Bratton's J/120 Kairos from Bayview Yacht Club in Birmingham, MI pulled off a bronze medal performance as well, taking just over 8 hours to complete the course.

Finally, sailing the shorter "Sprint Race" in PHRF 7 class, John Kearn's J/88 Loose Cannon from Castaways Sailing Club in Jupiter Island, FL simply smoked their class, winning by over one hour on corrected time to win class honors!

The Organizing Authority for the race consisted of The Sailfish Club of Florida in partnership with the Storm Trysail Club and with the support of the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club. The SORC, Storm Trysail Club and the Sailfish Club of Florida oversee race management. See www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=9636

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