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One rumor that should be refuted is that Hoot Mon was barred from the Bermuda race because the other entries were afraid of her, or considered her unseaworthy. Actually she was kept out only because of eligibility requirements. Traditional specifications for this race limit the amount of overhang in relation to waterline length, and Hoot Mon's overhangs exceeded the limit. Had she lengthened her waterline or shortened her over-all length, she would have been allowed to race. Her owners didn't care to.
Even in a year of success for the Hoot Mons and the Trucha IIs, the older and more conventional boats still took their share of victories in the important races throughout the nation. Howard Ahmanson's 10-meter Sirius, now about 25 years old, beat 141 other entries in the 136-mile Newport (Calif.)-Ensenada (Mexico) race, and stands as the year's deep-water champion in the lively Pacific Coast area. Jim O'Neill's Stormy Weather, fleet leader in the Storm Trysail race, has been winning races ever since 1934. De Coursey Fales' schooner Ni?a (winner of the 1928 transatlantic race to Spain) beat a record fleet of 43 boats in winning the Stamford-Vineyard race for the fifth time; and Wendell Anderson's Escapade, launched in 1938, won the Port Huron-Mackinac race for the fourth time?a record.
While distance racing was more popular in 1954 than ever before, many yachtsmen, partly because of economics, partly through preference, were skippering small boats in four-to 15-mile afternoon races. Every weekend and often during the week on both coasts, the Great Lakes, and on almost every inland lake large enough to float a boat, small sailboats were racing in unprecedented numbers.
The keenest sailors among them, divided into scores of different classes, headed late in the season for the national and world championships that are now held for all the more popular classes. And the biggest triumph in the classes was scored in the World Star Championship Series at Cascais, Portugal, by a perennial challenger who had never before finished among the top three in world competition. He is Carlos de Cardenas of Havana, Cuba who has been sailing Stars for 25 years. This year the long chase resulted in a heart-warming victory. Charlie de Cardenas, with his son Carlos Jr. (see cut) crewing for him, sailed his Kurush V against 34 boats representing 12 nations, and walked off with four firsts and a second in the five-race series. This was the greatest record ever compiled in the 32-year history of the event.
The Star Class was the first to organize a world championship, and for years the Star world champion was the king of small-boat racing. Now countless other classes have scheduled national and world championships of their own, and more and more good sailors are branching into them. Though these other events are growing in prestige to rival the Stars, the feeling persists that the Star Class world title is still the hardest to win. Stars have been called the yachtsman's violin, and it takes a virtuoso to sail one to victory in world-wide competition.
WHIZ KID FROM CALIFORNIA
The largest class of all, the Snipe, which boasts over 10,000 boats throughout the world, holds its world championships only in odd-numbered years. The big one for Snipe sailors this year, therefore, was the National regatta at Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio. A sailing whiz kid, 19-year-old Tom Frost from Newport Beach, Calif., won it for the second year in a row. His record of two firsts, a second, a third, and a fourth against the country's top 24 Snipe sailors makes him a crown prince among small-boat skippers.
Probably the fastest boats afloat per foot of length are the International 14s. Only 14 feet long, their class rules allow for modification in design, as long as the boat remains within certain limits. As a result of refinement, they have developed sensational speed but are tricky to sail well?more so, even, than the Star. Outstanding performer in these racing machines this year was De Forest W. Trimingham of Bermuda. Shorty, as he is known to his sailing confreres, beat some of the best American "14" sailors in the Princess Elizabeth Trophy series at Bermuda last spring. Then he shipped his boat Barilea to England for the race which a 14 sailor would rather win than any other?the Prince of Wales Trophy at Weymouth on July 15.
The course was an exhausting 15 miles?five times around a three-mile triangle. It was blowing so hard that only 22 of the 43 select starters could finish. But Shorty (see cut) was on top at the end, and, for the first time since 1936 (when Colin Ratsey won for the U.S.), the Prince of Wales Trophy left England.
GREAT LAKES CUP DEFENDERS