Please select your home edition
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - Top 728 x 90px - 004 gif

Melges 24 Bushwhacker Cup at Pensacola Yacht Club

by Talbot Wilson/Pensacola YC 16 Nov 2021 15:07 PST 12-14 November 2021
‘Pacific Yankee' gets a nose out at the start of Race 1 in a brisk 10-15kt NNW breeze, gusting to 25, in Racing on Day 1 of the Pensacola Yacht Club's 2021 Bushwhacker Cup. Four brilliant races were completed Saturday, two on Sunday © Talbot Wilson

Yes, the travel was worth the trouble. Canadian Richard Reid's 'Zingara' came all the way from Port Credit, Ont, to Northwest Florida to win first place overall in the 2021 Bushwhacker Cup hosted by Pensacola Yacht Club.

For the six-race regatta, Reid and his team of Rebecca Anderson, Richard Clarke, Bill Gooderham, Brian Kamilar and Goncalo Ribiero scored bullets in the first and final races to score 1 -[14] -5 -6 -2 -1. With one race to drop, 'Zingara' won with a score of 15 points.

Top Corinthian boat and overall Atlantic Coast Champion was Steve Suddath's '3 1/2 Men'. Suddath and crew Shawn Burke, Steve Burke, and Jack Smith ended with a line score of 7 - 8 - 8 - 3 - 3 - [22/UFD]... They got to drop their final race 22/UFD, a 'U' flag disqualification. The Jacksonville team ended with 29 points, in sixth place overall.

Team 'Nefeli' led by Peter Karrié of Mainz Germany traveled even further then Reid. They trailed by only two points overall at the end. 'Nefeli' scored 3 - 5 - 4 - 1 - [7] - 4 for 17 points. The European crew came to Pensacola the Monday before racing to get acclimated and practice. That paid off with a nice second place win. This is their first event on their road to the Melges 24 Worlds in Ft Lauderdale in May 2022.

Third place overall and first place in the Gulf Coast Regional Championship went to New Orleans skipper Dwight LeBlanc iii on 'Triple D's'. LeBlanc had been leading after the first four races on Saturday with his line score of 4 - 1 - 3 - 2 - 9 - [22/UFD] for 19 points. LeBlanc scored a '9' in the fifth race, but with the 'U' flag flying for the final race, 'Triple D's' was over the starting line early, along with three other boats, pushing the pin end of the line. The 'U' flag means if you are over early, you are DSQ.

Proudly hoisting the Bushwhacker Cup, overall winner Reid said, "Our boat had stayed down here [the US] for 20 months since 2020, since this funny thing happened, this pandemic. We are glad to be here. I want to comment on what a great job the Organizing Committee did for the regatta and what a great job the Race Committee did keeping their cool, being patient and waiting for the best breeze today [Sunday]. What a great time we had... Thank you Pensacola Yacht Club. We are coming back for the [Melges 24] Nationals in 2022."

Top five for the overall Bushwhacker Cup:

1. Zingara, Richard Reid, CAN - 1 -[14] -5 -6 -2 -1; 15
2. Nefeli, Peter Karrié, GER - 3 -5 -4 -1 -[7] -4; 17
3. TRIPLE D's, J Dwight Leblanc iii, USA - 4 -1 -3 -2 -9 -[22]; 19
4. PACIFIC YANKEE, Drew Freides, USA - [19] -12 -1 -4 -1 -3; 21
5. Gamecock, Peter McClennen, USA - 2 -3 -6 -[10] -4 -7; 22

After missing 2020 racing in the Bushwhacker Cup because of Hurricane Sally damage, Day 1 Racing in Pensacola YC's Melges 24 Bushwhacker Cup was nearly perfect on Saturday. The 21-boat fleet sailed four races on four 1.25-mile leg courses in the first race and 1-mile legs thereafter.. Starts were hard fought with one general recall and several individual recalls.

Weather mark roundings were crowded. Winds were brisk at 15-18kts, gusty to 25kts and shifty out of the NNW and with a persistent move to the left. With the north wind and low tide at 3:30pm the current flowing south out of the bay was a factor.

And any wind from any northerly direction on Pensacola Bay makes choosing left or right difficult. On Saturday, even the middle course was unpredictable. Boat prep, skill and luck prevailed. One minute it was the penthouse and the next... the other house.

Day 2 / Sunday started as a no-wind drifter with a two-hour wait on the water. Then, just before noon, the old faithful sea breeze kicked in and two races were sailed in a southerly shifting westerly as the pressure increased to 10-12kts.. The competition was close.

On the first try at a start for the final race, all the boats pushed too close to the line and the outgoing tide pushed them over for a massive general recall. On the second try, PRO Hal Smith went with the dreaded 'U' Flag in an effort to prevent another general. Four competitors near the favored pin end were pushing too hard again and were over early and pulled a DSQ... one was 'Triple D's' which dropped from first to third. They had a 22UFD score that was dropped from the total but that just helped them to third.

'Zingara' finished strong with a 2-1 in the final two races to win the 2021 Bushwhacker Cup. As Reid said... "I'll be back."

Commodore Tom Pace and Commodore Emeritus Nikki Ferry presented the trophies as the crews enjoyed their Bushwhackers and chili. Pace congratulated the sailors on their performance.

"This has been a great Bushwhacker Cup. We are glad to have you back in Pensacola. We hope you enjoyed the variety of racing conditions and our unmatched PYC hospitality. Next year, 2022, we will be hosting the Melges 24 National Championships at this same weekend November 10-13th. We want you back; and please, bring your friends."

"Pensacola YC will also be moving our West Florida Open Regatta to Halloween weekend, October 29-30, just two weeks before your nationals. We want every Melges 24 entered in the Nationals to come for that as a warm-up, leave your boats 'mast up' and return for our Bushwhacker Cup/Melges 24 National Championship."

"We can't wrap it up," Pace added, "without thanking Visit Pensacola for the skipper's swag bags and West Marine and Baptist Hospital for the swag to fill them. After practice racing on Friday thanks to John Bowman and Mike Marshall from North Sails held a dock talk session with all the latest pointers on preparation, sails and tuning the Melges 24."

Each crew member got a Bushwhacker cup and a batch of tickets for complimentary Bushwhackers. And that's when the party started."

Related Articles

Bacardi Winter Series Event 1 at Biscayne Bay
Richard Witzel on 'Rowdy' secures J/70 glory A gorgeous morning greeted teams on Biscayne Bay, Miami for day 2 at Bacardi Winter Series Event 1. However, it was an altogether different race track compared to Saturday, with a light breeze coming in from south-south east & most of the chop dissipated. Posted on 20 Dec 2021
Tight racing opens Bacardi Winter Series Event 1
Racing got under way to schedule on day one Racing got under way to schedule on day one at the Bacardi Winter series 1 in Miami on Saturday 18 December 2021. Posted on 19 Dec 2021
Bacardi Invitational Winter Series 1 opens
40 J/70 and Melges 24 teams prepare in Miami The Bacardi Winter Series 1 will host around 40 teams in Miami this weekend. The regatta will be comprised of the J70 and the Melges 24 fleets, racing out of Shake-A-Leg on Biscayne Bay. Posted on 17 Dec 2021
U.S. Melges 24s announce National Ranking Series
Schedule for 2022 ready for you to plan your year The U.S. Melges 24 Class Association (USM24CA) is proud to present its National Ranking Series schedule for 2022. Posted on 16 Dec 2021
Inaugural Melges 24 Croatian Nationals
Šime Fantela & Team Tutta Forza claim the win On November 19-21 the inaugural Melges 24 Croatian National Championship was held in Split, organized by the JK Mornar. Posted on 25 Nov 2021
IM24CA on course for 2022
Members from all around the world met virtually on November 6 for the Annual General Meeting The World Council of IM24CA, which consists of the National Class Association chairs and the IM24CA Executive Committee members from all around the world met virtually on Nov 6 for the Annual General Meeting to discuss the past Melges 24 season Posted on 15 Nov 2021
Talbot Wilson on the 2021 Bushwacker Cup
An interview with Talbot Wilson on the 2021 Melges 24 Bushwacker Cup I checked in with Talbot Wilson, marketing and publicity officer for the 2021 Bushwacker Cup, via email, to learn more about this exciting One Design regatta. Posted on 9 Nov 2021
Bushwhacker Week - Pensacola is regatta ready
Practice, North Sails clinic, briefing and party kicks off the event on Friday Welcome to the countdown to the Pensacola Yacht Club's 2021 Melges 24 Bushwhacker Cup. Practice races, final registration, a North Sails clinic, the competitors briefing, and a party kick it off Friday (Nov 12). Posted on 9 Nov 2021
Pensacola's Bushwhacker Cup set for record turnout
Melges 24 event living up to its reputation as a competitive, fun regatta The Melges 24 Bushwhacker Cup is living up to its reputation as a competitive, fun regatta. With one month to the first warning, entries are equal to the numbers in the previous Pensacola event. Posted on 14 Oct 2021
Melges 24 European Sailing Series Trieste overall
Melgina and White Room are the champions of the series 2021 Melges 24 European Sailing Series concludes after the earlier events held in Malcesine and Riva del Garda in Italy and Melges 24 Europeans in Portoroz, Slovenia with a total of fifty-one teams from fifteen nations that joined the circuit this season. Posted on 4 Oct 2021
ASB21-SW-1456x180-Banner-Bottom-3J Composites 2020 - FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTER