The Mercury Nationals at Stillwater Cove YC this past Sunday not only marked the 2021 Mercury championship but also the 75th edition of a Mercury championship.  Thanks go out to Richard Clark, Denise Foderaro, Chip Wood, Jerry Stratton, Charlie Kurtmen and all the volunteers for a truly memorable regatta both on the water and off!

The 75th running of the Mercury Championship was hosted by Stillwater Yacht Club. The fleet of 21 boats were challenged by the shifty winds and foggy weather but in the end the championship was won by the perennial champion Doug Baird with his crew Tarasa Davis. Doug grew up racing out of Stillwater Cove and through his many years of racing, with wins in almost every one of the Mercury Championship venues, Stillwater is still his favorite place to sail. Crew Tarasa Davis, a member of MPYC, has a history of racing in the Snipe Class but each year she joins Doug for at least one Mercury Regatta. Second place went to past class champion Mike Burch of CBYC. Mike with crew Greg Dair of Ullman Sails Long Beach had a great first day to lead with a point over Russ Silvestri and his crew Ryan Treais who closed out the regatta in third place. For those of you who don’t know Russ he is a former Olympian sailing for the U.S.A. in the 2000 Olympics. The Silver fleet was won by Ben Bradley who got a lot of help from his cousin and crew Brendan Bradley. Ben has had his boat, Pacer, up on the hard for three years while attending grad school. But he is now back in California and joining the LA fleet. Brendan was a last minute addition to Ben’s crew having just returned from his third Trans-Pac.

Race 1 started as a normal Carmel Bay race with the fleet, led by Baird, tacking up the edge of the kelp to a mark off Pescadero Point. At the leeward gate mark things changed as the wind moved to the South. Silvestri was first to see the change and he led the rest of the race. Guest skipper Erik Menzel with crew Bren Meyers had their best race of the regatta finishing second with Burch third.

In race 2, the south breeze had settled in and Burch, with Baird in hot pursuit, took over the winning. Silvestri slipped down to fourth making the scores for the day; Burch at 4, Silvestri at 5 and Baird at 6. Dave Bacci with daughter Natasha as crew showed great consistency by finishing the day with a 5th in each race.

Race 3 was delayed by fog but with a solid breeze from the South, the RC decided the racing would continue. The weather mark was not visible from the starting line but the RC did a good job of communicating the compass heading and distance to the mark so the fleet took off into the Carmel fog. Just prior to the start Silvestri reported a break down and although he was back on the water for the 4th and 5th race. This breakdown really hurt his chance for an overall victory since Mercurys race a no throw out championship regatta. Last year’s Champions, Chris Raab and Kenny Dair, found the weather mark first and held the lead for the rest of the race. Lyn Hines with crew Eric Strassevich did a great job both upwind and down to hold second place over new Mercury sailors Shaum Sinawi and Gerard Sheridan, who had their best race of the regatta finishing third. Bill and Katie Worden also had their best race with a fourth place finish. Both Baird and Burch fell back into the pack with a 5th and 10th respectively.

For race 4, the fog was still in and the scoring was a good mix with nobody winning more than one race. Silvestri, back on the race course, changed that by taking his second first place finish of the regatta. He had to hold off his old match racing partner Chris Raab to take the win. Raab made an amazing come back in this race after missing the leeward mark and sailing into the kelp off Carmel beach. Third in the race went to Baird who after 4 races had a very strong lead going into the final race.

Race 5 was still foggy but the weather mark was visible and the wind still had some south in it. John Ravizza with his crew Chris Boome led all the way. They had had and up and down regatta with a 3rd and a 1st as their best races. Their going away finish in the last race must have felt really good. Silvestri took 2nd and Lyn Hines 3rd. Hines , Ravizza and John Hansen had a three way tie at 37 points with Ravizza’s first place finish putting him ahead of Hines with a 2nd, and Hansen with a 4th. Baird and Burch duked it out right from the start of the race but Burch needed too many boats between him and Baird to over take Baird to win the regatta. Baird finished with 24 points with Burch with 26.

The real story of this regatta was the excellent job the Stillwater Yacht Club members did for our class. Club Fleet Captain Dick Clark, brought together a large group of club members to work together to make this regatta one of the best Championship Regattas in the long history of the class. On the RC, Jerry Stratton, the PRO, had help from Chip Wood, Don Whelan, Patty and Jack McAleer, Dave Morris, and special thanks to Don Beach for the weather mark anchor work in 200 feet of water. On shore Staff Commodore, Denise Foderaro was everywhere doing a fantastic job with the social events. Her helpers included Judy Clark, Barbara Whelan, Joanie Wood and many other SYC members. Special thanks to Commodore Judy Furman for her help with rallying her club membership to attend the events and help in so many ways to make this such a great success. I can’t forget to add our thanks to the Port Captain, Charlie Kurtman, a former Mercury owner, for all he does to make Stillwater run as smoothly as it does. Social events included a beautiful evening sunset BBQ on the pier and a foggy outside dinner at local Mercury enthusiast Tim Allen's nearby home.

Race report by Lyn Hines & Pax Davis

Lots of photos click here, here and here!

Sail Boat Skipper Yacht Club  1   2   3   4   5  Total Pos
508 AXON Doug Baird [Gold]/ HLBC/ Atlanta Yacht Club, MPYC 4 2 5 3 10 24 1
Tarasa Davis
472 Jade Mike Burch [Gold]/ CBYC/ CBYC 3 1 10 6 6 26 2
Greg Dair
471 Nihui Russ Silvestri [Gold]/ StFYC/ StFYC 1 4 23/DNC 1 2 31 3
Ryan Treais
548 David Bacci David Bacci [Gold]/ Richmond Yacht Club/ Richmond Yacht Club 5 5 13 8 5 36 4
Natasha Bacci
537 Fortran John Ravizza [Gold]/ St Francis YC/ St Francis YC 10 3 14 9 1 37T 5
Chris Boome
541 Checkerboard Lounge Lyn Hines [Gold]/ Richmond YC/ Inverness YC 7 14 2 11 3 37T 6
Eric Strassevich
562 Magic John Hansen [Gold]/ Encinal Yacht Club/ Encinal 9 8 11 5 4 37T 7
Tony Basso
429 Space Invader David West [Gold]/ RYC/ RYC 8 12 12 4 8 44 8
Chris Krueger
570 Carbon Offset RAAB / DAIR [Gold] CBYC / ABYC 14 9 1 2 23/DNF 49T 9
463 2020 Shaum Sinawi [Gold]/ St Francis Yacht Club/ St Francis Yacht Club 11 7 3 15 13 49T 10
Gerard Sheridan
468 Miss Behavin' Thomas Priest [Gold]/ TPYC/ Los Angeles Yacht Club 17 6 8 14 9 54 11
Damon Guizot
563 It's a Rental Erik Menzel [Gold]/ RYC/ Richmond YC 2 18 6 10 23/DNC 59 12
Bren Meyers
475   W. Greg Clark [Gold]/ CBYC/ Diego Garcia YC 12 11 19 7 11 60 13
Peter Clark
553 Stars Jim Bradley [Gold]/ St Francis Yacth Club/ StFYC 6 13 15 12 15 61 14
Kathy Bradley
431 Tsunami Bill Worden [Gold]/ Richmond/ Richmond 18 23/RET 4 16 7 68 15
Katie Worden
529 Makani John Davis [Gold]/ Encinal Yacht Club/ Encinal Yacht Club 13 15 17 13 12 70 16
Karissa Peth
580 Pacer Ben Bradley [Silver]/ None/ St. Francis 19 10 7 18 23/DNF 77 17
Brendan Bradley
498 none James McGuinness [Silver] none 20 16 16 19 14 85 18
572 P.A.W. Park Densmore [Gold]/ Sloop Tavern Yacht Club/ RYC 15 19 9 23/DNC 23/DNC 89 19
Cody Kim
584 Gator Steve Jeppesen [Gold]/ Stfyc/ Stfyc 16 17 18 17 23/RET 91 20
Ken Maring
554 Melba Steve Kraft [Gold]/ MPYC/ MPYC 21 20 23/DNF 20 23/DNF 107 21
Michael Kraft
552 Paper Tiger Steve Gould [Gold]/ St Francis/ N/A 23/DNC 23/DNC 23/DNC 23/DNC 23/DNC 115 22
Nate Gould