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2003-02-04 01:06:21

Smooth Sailing Ahead For Nassau Race Week

Miami Yacht Club teams with local club

The 6th Annual Nassau Race Week, set for March 15-19, is expected to get a big boost from an international partner.

Race Week Commodore John Lawrence has announced that the Miami Yacht Club has teamed with Nassau Yacht Club to co-host the event that brings big boat sailing back to The Bahamas.

"We are very excited that the Miami Yacht Club is joining us for the first time in hosting this prestigious event," Lawrence said. "Their participation means boats from that club can compete against each other as well as whoever else wants to join in an open ocean race from Miami to Nassau and then compete with local or other boats in the two days of round-the-buoys racing off Montagu Bay."

The Miami-Nassau Race is scheduled for a March 15 start and depending on wind direction, intensity and boat hull speed, the crossing could take competitors up to 36 hours. Three boats, including Nassau-based Spindrift, a Hunter 35.5 skippered by attorney and real estate broker Peter Christie have signed up for that.

Some seven boats have signed on to date for the Nassau regatta, a series of five races over a two-day period. Boats range from a J44 out of Miami to a Melges 24 from Nassau. Oliver Liddell, a local attorney and partner in the firm of McKinney, Bancroft & Hughes, took the title last year and will be back to defend it in his Beneteau 42.

In between races and official events, the host committee is scheduling parties, dinners, an awards presentation and other activities.

"Organising a regatta like this takes tremendous cooperation from a lot of people and many of those have been working on it since last year," Lawrence said. "We've got a sail measurer coming in from Florida, the official jury, race committee boats, rescue vessels, including BASRA cooperating, we have to have a race committee boat out on the finish line for when boats cross from Miami.

But no matter how hard you plan, the one thing you can never plan ahead of time is the wind and weather. And in the end, that's often what makes a regatta thrilling or just a very calm ride."

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