Bell Joins Mumm 30s for 8th World Championship in Toronto

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Sept. 14, 2004

Bell Mumm 30 World Championship

Royal Canadian Yacht Club / Sept. 21-24, 2004

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Bell Joins Mumm 30s for 8th World Championship in Toronto

TORONTO, Canada—Take it from Nelson Stephenson, the Mumm 30s have found a happy home and a solid supporter for their eighth world championship Tuesday through Friday, Sept. 21-24.

The Bell Mumm 30 World Championship will be contested out of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club with Canada’s national leader in communications as the title sponsor.

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Locals say the timing is right for the best wind and weather conditions of the year as summer slides coolly into fall and the average high temperature along the northern shore of Lake Ontario is 68 degrees F.

“The venue is a world-class facility,” said Stephenson, the new North American champion and Mumm 30 World Council president from Southport, Conn. He has had his boat, TeamBOLD, on site since last month.

“Most of us will probably never be able to compete in the world championship for less and get more value for our money,” Stephenson said.

But one thing it can’t buy is the championship, which has been in the grip of a different Italian team each of the last four years—currently, Claudio Recchi and Carla Umbertalli, who won sailing Cheyenne at Portoferraio, Italy on the island of Elba last year. In their absence, Carlo Alberini, sailing Calvi from Pesaro, will try to continue the Italian dominance—a tall order in this competitive and compact fleet of 20 boats from three continents.

Stephenson said, “In the expected conditions at Toronto, at the end of the week the trophy will belong to the team that displays consistency, sails cleanly and avoids the pitfalls of sailing a major, four-day, non-throwout regatta—no small feat in this fleet. At Elba last year 11 different boats won races.”

Stephenson’s team won the overall Mumm 30 class North American title this year with a second place at Key West, first place in the New York Yacht Club’s 150th annual regatta—their first major win—and a third at the Holland (Mich.) Regatta.

Eleven races are scheduled over the four days, starting at 11:30 a.m., conditions permitting. The Royal Canadian Yacht Club, founded in 1852, is on Toronto Island, which is accessed by launch from the city shorefront. The racers will sail a windward-leeward course set two miles off the Centennial Pier.

The fleet includes three teams fresh from the Farr 40 Worlds at San Francisco last week: Deneen Demourkas of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Australia’s Richard Perini and California-Hawaii software developer Philippe Kahn, the father of the camera phone.

Demourkas will race a sister ship—also named Groovederci—of the Mumm 30 she sailed in the 1,000-mile Tour de France a la Voile this summer. The only non-European entry, she finished third after leading the first half of the race. Since her second place in the Farr 40 Worlds two years ago and victories in single races in 2003 and 2004, she has held world-class status in both international fleets.

Her team includes five-time Canadian Olympian Ross Macdonald of Vancouver, B.C., who with crew Mike Wolfs won a silver medal in the Star class at Athens.

Richard Clarke, a Toronto native and three-time Olympian in the singlehanded Finn class, will be sailing with Kahn’s 15-year-old son Samuel, a.k.a. “Shark.” The younger Kahn will sail a second Mumm 30, also named Pegasus, for the first time in competition, and rivals would do well not to take him lightly. When he was only 14 he won the Melges 24 class world championship.

Meanwhile, he sailed on his father’s maxi sled Pegasus when it won first-to-finish “Barn Door” honors in the last two Transpacific Yacht Races.

Others in the extraordinary depth of title contention include the previous two North American champions, Dan Cheresh from Holland, Mich., and David Pyles, Easton, Md.; Tom Ritter, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., who won at Annapolis and Holland this year, and hometown hope Fred Sherratt, who was third in the 2002 Worlds at Annapolis.

The Mumm 30, sailed by a crew of six, rates among the elite of international one-design classes. It has been locked in as the boat of choice for the Tour Voile through 2010 and was recently picked as one of three team classes for the 2005 Admiral’s Cup at Cowes, an event regarded as the unofficial world championship of offshore racing. The boat was created by Bruce Farr & Associates, the designer said, as “a state of the art one-design keelboat that would be fast and exciting, yet uncomplicated and economical.”

At 31 feet LOA, its one-ton lead bulb represents 44 percent of its 4,461-pound displacement, giving it stiff stability but, with limited overall weight, good light air speed, acceleration and agility. The power and ease of handling come from a fractional rig complemented by masthead spinnakers.

Joining Bell in support of the event are contributing sponsors Champagne Mumm, CHUM Limited, Lewmar, McMillan Binch LLP, Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Stella Artois and Sorgentone.

Entries (alphabetical by boat name):

Calvi, Carlo Alberini, Pesaro, Italy
Champosa, Jonathan McDonagh, Minneapolis, Minn.
Cygnet, Richard Swann, Fairfield, Conn.
Dark’n Stormy, Kevin Young, Novelty, Ohio
Foreign Affair, Richard Perini, Sydney, Australia
Groovederci, Deneen Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Hammer, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn.
it, Jim Sminchak, Euclid, Ohio
Notorious, Kevin Brown, Toronto
Pegasus 20, Samuel Kahn, Honolulu
Pegasus 591, Philippe Kahn, Honolulu
Steadfast, Fred Sheratt, Toronto
Surprise, David Irish, Harbour Springs, Mich.
TeamBOLD, Nelson Stephenson, Southport, Conn.
Team Intermac, Dan Cheresh, Holland, Mich.
Three Niner, David Gonzalez, Lambertville, Mich.
Tramp, Thomas C. Ritter, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
USA 65, David Pyles, Easton, Md.
War Pony, Art Guerrera, Atlantic Highlands, N.J.
Wildthing, Jeff Fogarty, Fonthill, Ontario