Nelson/Marek Design Dominates MORC InternationalsSAN DIEGO, Calif. (October 30, 1996) The 1996 Cutty Sark MORC Internationals were hosted by the Davis Island Yacht Club, in Tampa, Florida, from October 24 through October 27. Fifty-five boats were entered in the six-race, one-throwout series that was raced in breezes that ranged from five to fifteen knots.
The event was dominated by Thomas Carruthers and his team aboard his Nelson/Marek-designed MORC 30 Invincible. She not only won Division 1 with finishes of 1-1-2-1-1, but also took the overall honors with finishes of 6-8-1-1-1 in the fifty-five boat fleet. She out distanced her nearest rival, the G&S 30 Zoo |, by a staggering 15.75 points.
The series began with three light-air races the first day, which featured large wind shifts, and even larger holes. The first two races featured downwind finishes that favored the smaller boats, who were able to carry puffs to the finish line, and save their time. In the third race of the day, Invincible won the start, and sailed away from the fleet in the dying afternoon breeze, winning the race easily.
The second day featured even bigger shifts, and larger variations in velocity. Race 4 saw Invincible use her drop race, when she missed a 40#188# right shift on the first beat. After rounding the top mark deep in the fleet, she quickly ground her way into the lead by the next top mark, and extended rapidly, correcting to second in division, but was unable to finish better than 14th in fleet. The breeze settled down slightly for the fifth race, once again allowing Invincible to show her speed, winning the race overall.
The last race, sailed on Sunday, featured a long seven-leg windward/leeward course. The wind started off at 10 knots out of the east, but rapidly built to a peak of 15 knots, and shifted to the left. Invincible nailed the start, tacked on the shift and sailed away in the building breeze. Many shifts followed throughout the race, some as large as 25#188#, and Invincible hit most of them, winning the race overall by almost 3 minutes on the 10.7 mile course.
This win continues the success that Nelson/Marek has enjoyed in the MORC class that dates back to 1986, when the Nelson/Marek 30 Cowboy won Class A in the Internationals. Since then, the NM30 Babe Ruthless won the Internationals in 1988, the NM30 Zoo |I won the Internationals in 1993, and the NM25 Easy Go was the International champion in 1994. Zoo |I also won the 1994 Canadais Cup match-racing title held in Level 30 MORC yachts in 1994, narrowly edging out Invincible in the hard-fought U.S. defense trials, before easily winning the Cup itself.
Invincible was launched by Westease Yachts in the spring of 1994. Carruthers did an excellent job of steering the boat, while Harry Pattison, Invincible's tactician for the event, did a masterful job of keeping Invincible on top of the shifts and in the narrow breeze lanes.
Nelson/Marek designer Drew Freides, who was also on board for the series, notes that, "Even in the light and shifty conditions, Invincible performed at the top of the fleet, and when the breeze came up, she was virtually untouchable."
For additional information, please contact: Nelson/Marek Yacht Design, Inc., 2820 Canon Street, San Diego, CA 92106, Tel (619) 224-6347, Fax (619) 224-5192.
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