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ROBIN COMES BOBBIN' ALONG
Carleton Mitchell
March 11, 1974
In the blustery windup of the winter's biggest sailing series, the SORC, one boat went to the bottom and the ultimate winner, seemingly a cinch, had some bad moments
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March 11, 1974

Robin Comes Bobbin' Along

In the blustery windup of the winter's biggest sailing series, the SORC, one boat went to the bottom and the ultimate winner, seemingly a cinch, had some bad moments

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The drama of the sinking and its aftermath somewhat obscured the fact that 111 of 112 starters finished without untoward incident, although driven to the limit and beyond. Over the years the quality of the fleet has improved in the same ratio as its quantity.

When the racers went to the start of the Nassau Cup later in the week—on a day that might have been arranged by the Chamber of Commerce for escapees from northern climes—it seemed there would be an end to drama. The sun glinted on a blue sea, the sky was dappled with the small fluffy clouds of fair weather and the breeze came in from northeast at no more than 18 knots. Running Tide showed her usual speed to windward in Class A, and there began the familiar duel at the other end of the fleet, the two Teds battling for the lead in Class E but strongly challenged by the Bruce King-designed Terrorist. Suddenly, Ted Hood dropped back with a torn mainsail. Reefing, Robin Too II still kept close to the leaders, but an hour later her genoa sagged like a broken wing, and she turned back toward the start, seemingly out of the race. A headstay fitting had let go at the deck. Ten minutes later it had been jury-rigged, but had not the wire luff of the jib stood up to the strain, the mast might have gone over the side, and with it Ted Hood's first SORC championship. As it was, he finished fifth in class and 11th in fleet for the day, with America Jane II only a boat length ahead at the finish, and that left Hood securely on top. Lightnin's second in class and fleet to Terrorist elevated Ted Turner to runner-up in the SORC standings, and America Jane II came in third. As consolation, the previous SORC leaders, Scaramouche and Running Tide, topped their respective classes for the circuit. But, sink or sail, it was the year of the One Tonners, the hottest class afloat.

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