Exciting finishes cap regatta

Sailboats competing in the James Island Yacht Club Regatta decorate the Charleston Harbor on June 16, 2013.

Seventeen sailboats vied for optimum starting position under blue skies Sunday at the James Island Yacht Club Regatta. The boats’ white hulls scarcely missed one another as racers adjusted their lines and sails to control the wind that was pushing them toward the starting line.

Abreast of the starting line, race committee chair Jay Adams began counting down to signal the beginning of the day’s second Lightning fleet race. The breeze was steady — about 10 knots — but the racers’ eagerness took hold. A majority of the fleet crossed the starting line before Adams had signaled for the race to start.

“These guys are aggressive,” said Glenn Young, owner of the race committee boat from which judges scored the races on the main course.

A general recall was announced for the Lightning race, allowing the sailors a second chance at a fair start. This time, it worked.

Just then, Young’s wife Brenda yelled, “We’ve got a finish!”

The judges turned their attention to the port side of Young’s boat to watch another fleet (Sea Island One Designs) whip past the finish line.

Fifteen minutes later, the white and blue Lightning sails raced toward the orange buoy that marked the finish. Crossing the finish line first, but only by a few feet, was Joe Pitcavage. Despite narrowly winning the race, Pitcavage finished third overall in the Lightning class.

By 3 p.m., the racing had mostly ended, wrapping up what regatta chair Phil Janse called “a successful weekend.”

Back on land, racers, friends, and family sat under tents drinking rum punch and eating burgers. Dan and Katie Perrin chatted with Katie’s father, Ed Durant about their day of racing.

“We have turned this regatta into a sort of Father’s Day tradition,” Katie Perrin told her dad. “It was a perfect weekend.”

Drawing 125 boats and over 500 racers, the James Island Yacht Club Regatta is one of the largest sailing events in the Lowcountry. And with the end of such a large event also comes a sense of relief for Janse.

“This weekend was a tremendous success—everyone had a good, safe time. Next year is going to be twice as enjoyable because we will have a new chair. I can just watch and enjoy.”

The AC Hollings Perpetual Trophy, given to the winner of the largest fleet (Lasers), was awarded to Paul Whitesides.

The Clyde Easterling Perpetual Trophy, given to the winner of the one-design race (SIOD), went to Stan Laroche.

Youngest sailor to complete all races was Matthew Roark (12).

Oldest JIYC sailor to complete all races was Joel Lambiness (63).

JIYC Regatta Top Finishers

SIOD Class: 1. Stan LaRoche, 6; 2. Steve Kopf, 15; 3. Stephen Haynsworth, 15.

E Scow Class: 1. Kevin Jewett, 8; 2. Walter Prause, 14; 3. Robbie Wilkins, 20.

Lightning Class: 1. Paul Whitesides, 29; 2. Mark Marenakos, 40; 3. Joe Pitcavage, 33.5.

Hobie 16 Class: 1. Kris Bostic, 10; 2. Nicholas Boshe, 15; 3. Carter Lucas, 18.

J 70 Class: 1. Jack Martin, 10; 2. David Loring, 13; 3. Ken Corsig, 20.

Opti Blue Class: 1. Garrett Merganthaler, 30; 2. Collin Porter, 36.5; 3. Matthew Monts, 53.5.

Opti Red Class: 1. Austin Ando, 24; 2. Andrew Dodd, 35; 3. Alex Mazzeo, 38.

Opti White Class: 1. Gavin Parker, 96; 2. Benjamin Smith, 107; 3. Thomas Mazzeo, 120.

Opti Green Class: 1. Savannah Dixon, 15; 2. Matthew Roark, 35; 3. Clara Fordney, 38.

Col 420 Class: 1. Todd Fanning, 19; 2. Carter Cameron, 13; 3. Patrick Mazzeo, 32.

Sunfish Class: 1. Greg Walters, 34; 2. Bill Smith, 34; 3. Brian Swan, 42.

Laser Class: 1. Rob Bowden, 14; 2. Jerry Callahan, 30; 3. Seph Limehouse, 30.

Laser Radial Class: 1. Parks Blair, 39; 2. Will Monts, 73; 3. Sally Key, 79.

Y Flyer Class: 1. Craig Bennett, 2.

Snipe Class: 1. Lewis Seabrook, 8; 2. Chip Whitesides, 16.