Peter and Rachel Beardsley from Larchmont, NY along with Sarasota YSP product Dan Pletsch, now residing in Greenwich CT, ran away with the Actionquest 2014-15 Viper Winter Series. Sarasota Bay served up some variable conditions February 7-8 for the last 9 races of the 28 race series. One abandonment, a shortened course and numerous course changes were necessary to deal with the conditions.
The Beardsley/Pletsch team showed remarkable ability to change gears to keep their speed up and claw their way back from disadvantageous shifts. Dan Pletsch credited their noticeable downwind speed advantage to a new North spinnaker that allowed them to sail low and fast. Blackout Panda consistently started in the favored area of the line without getting involved in a battle for the one best place at the pin or the boat. They won 6 of the 9 races with no finish worse than a 2.
Henry and Barb Amthor from Hampton YC, Virginia, sailed a very consistent series to come second by only 5 points. Sailing with David Livesonaboatatmarinajacks, the 505 class veteran husband/wife team led the series going into the weekend. Barb became a crowd favorite when, practicing before the second leg of the series in January, the boat ran aground pitching her into the mast. She sailed the next two days with 7 stables in her scalp, winning 4 of the 9 races.
Peter Denton with his crew on Torr-ific had a solid grasp on third place for the New York Yacht club.
Aboard the first local boat was event sponsor Travis Yates and crew sailing the ActionQuest boat, Sidewinder. They began to hit their stride in the last event of the series, posting a 1,2 and 3. The 2 was a photo finish with Blackout Panda.
The fleet is now off to Miami for the EFG Winter Cup March 1-2 and the EFG Pan American Championship March 5-7. Might be a little windier there.