NEWPORT, RI, AUGUST 18, 1999–New boats, sailed by family and friends — that was the recipe for success on the second day of competition at Swan American Race Week off Newport yesterday. Racing in two classes, 42 Swans from 36 to 68 feet in length finished one race in challenging light air conditions after a dying northerly breeze forced the abandonment of an earlier race. Boats raced today for Brewers’ Yacht Yard trophies.
Nader Habashi from Annapolis, MD, sailed his Swan 56 Redoutable to first place in the F Division for boats over 45 feet. Today’s victory pulled the Chesapeake Bay boat up into fourth place overall in the big boat class. In G Division for boats under 45 feet, Herb Schwartz from Riverside, CT, skippered his Mark II Swan 44 Wenden to a first-to-finish gun. The win moved Wenden up from second overall to first overall in the smaller boat class.
A weak cold front that passed over Newport on Tuesday night forced a one hour delay before skies brightened and both classes started in a light northwesterly breeze. After 45 minutes racing in the shifty and uncertain northerly the fleet was scattered over several miles of ocean. Soon after, as the first boats neared the end of the first spinnaker run, the breeze died and Race Committee Chairman Pete Lawson signalled abandonment of the race. Later, the only complete race of the day got under way after the southwesterly sea breeze filled in.
Habashi, a critical care physician from Annapolis, MD, who has been sailing for five years, took delivery of his new Swan 56 in May this year. In yesterday’s breezes gusting to 24 knots he posted a 12th and a fifth place.
“We sail on Chesapeake Bay in light winds and we’re not used to the kind of winds and seas we encountered yesterday,” he explained. “Today was more to our liking.
Habashi said he was racing his boat with family and friends, many of whom were new to sailing. “I like to introduce people to the excitement and the great satisfactions of sailing,” he said. “I find they have the right attitudes and they are sponges for learning. Its particularly gratifying to see newcomers to the sport managing a big powerful boat like ours.”
In F Division, Graham Smith from Seattle posted a fourth today to solidify his hold on first place in the class with seven points. Robert Watson’s Swan 56 Neva, from New York, NY, is second with 15.5 points. Only three and a half points separate the boats in second through fifth places.
Wenden owned by Herb Schwartz is another new Swan. Schwartz, a lawyer, and a 30-year sailing veteran is campaigning his sixth boat named Wenden, a name derived from the names of his daughters Karen and Wendy. Its his first Swan, and Schwartz said he chose the Swan 44 because it was a good solid cruising boat. Like Habashi, Schwartz is relying on family and friends for crew. “The competition here is very good,” said Schwartz. “We were lucky to do this well.
Sponsors for Swan American Race Week include, Asprey and Garrard, Ferrari, Ocean World, Trident Funding, Brewers Yacht Yards, and Sebago. For more about Race Week, check the web site.
Swan American Race Week 1999 –
Results, Day 2, August 18, 1999
F Division (Boats over 45-feet):
1. Vellamo, W. Graham Smith, Swan 48, Seattle, WA (2-1-4), 7;
2. Neva, Robert C. Watson, Swan 56, New York, NY (6.5-7-2), 15.5;
3. Nefertiti, Bob Schwager, Swan 46, New York, NY (4-4-8), 16;
4. Redoutable, Nader Habashi, Swan 56, Annapolis, MD (12-5-1), 18;
5. XCargo, Keith McKinney, Swan 53, Dallas, TX (5-10-3), 18.
G Division (boats under 45 feet):
1. Wenden, Herbert Schwartz, Swan 44 Mk II, Riverside, CT (3-2-1) 6;
2. Crescendo, Martin D. Jacobson, Swan 44 Mk II, Jamestown, RI (4-1-3), 8;
3. Alibi, Bill Breck, Swan 44 Mk I, Greenwich, CT (2-6-6), 14;
4. The Ugly Duckling, Frederic Joyce, Swan S&S 44, Utica, NY (6-3