2000 Bill Gooderham North American Championships
Matt Cockburn

After much letter writing and correspondence over the Winter and Spring, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club was gracious enough to re-deed the Bill Gooderham Canadian - American Team Race Trophy , which was last won by the Americans in 1986 in Victoria, for our use as a new North American Championship Cup. Mr. Gooderham was a 4 time winner of the North Americans and his widow gave us the final ‘OK’ for the trophy’s new use. There were 5 boats on the racecourse which were North American Champions of the past: US73 'Saga', US81 'Goose', US87 'Maybe VII', US97 'Buzzy III', and US123 'Haute Flash'. I’m sure Bill Gooderham would’ve been pleased with the keen competition this year.

Friday, September 22, 2000
After a brief Skipper’s Meeting and the presentation of memento placques to the winners of the 2000 Sir Thomas Lipton Cup, which was sailed for by 10 boats the prior weekend, the Seattle Yacht Club set a Windward-Leeward course of approximately 5 miles. Winds for the day ranged from 15-18 knots with 1-2 feet of chop for the 2 races sailed. US 73 ‘Saga’ withdrew from the first race after the first weather leg, suffering a tremendous tear on their heavy #1. ‘Saga’s skipper, Kimo Mackey, was undeterred, however. ‘Saga’ sailed back to the dock under main only and Kimo took the damaged sail to a nearby sail loft for a large, but quick, repair. They were back out on the racecourse in time for the second start, finishing 5th. Charlie Hoffmann’s US 122 ‘Capriccio’, a 1986 Bruce Kirby design built at Jespersen’s of Sidney, B.C., set the tone for what would be their regatta with impeccable crew work and 2 emphatic wins. Students of 6 meter sailing would’ve been pleased with the closeness of the racing. Less than five minutes separated the 8 finishers of both races 1 and 2. It was a rousing start to the regatta. Beer and pizza were served at the dock following the racing. The sunset over the Olympic Mountains to the West was spectacular and everyone enjoyed the warm cameraderie and rare spectacle of a fleet of sixes all lined up.

Saturday, September 23, 2000
The 6 meters were alone on the racecourse Friday, but on Saturday we joined the approximately 50 other yachts entered in SYC’s Star & Bar Regatta. Ours was the 7th start of 8 classes. The race committee was kind enough to put an empty start between us and the prior class, thus clearing the race course a little. Winds were lighter this day, staying consistent between 10 and 12 knots, sunny, with less than 1 foot of chop. Absolutely perfect would be an understatement. The SYC race committee had obviously honed their race management technique, using a 3 minute starting sequence to get in 4 races for every class. All courses were windward-leeward, approximately 6 miles long, and the racing was tight. Often there were 4 or more sixes overlapped at the marks. Joth Davis’ US 87 ‘Maybe VII’, an immaculately restored, bright mahogany, 1953 S&S design, served notice with 2 wins, as did Hank Thayer in his 1978 Doug Peterson design, US 109 ‘Discovery’. Andy Parker and his young crew on US 119 ‘Sockeye’ stayed in the hunt, going 5,3,3,3 for the day. Charlie Hoffmann stuck with his strategy of “keeping his nose clean, staying out of trouble, and sailing his own race”, finishing 3,4,2,5 to keep ‘Capriccio’ in the overall lead at the end of another great day.

Sunday, September 24, 2000
Unbelievably, the weather continued to cooperate. Again, sun and 10-12 knots greeted the six meters and the race committee set a windward-leeward course. Several of the boats had not been paying attention to the Race Instructions, which stated an earlier Sunday start time, and were late for the first race. ‘Buzzy III’ was alone at the start line right up to the 3 minute warning. Several of the boats tacked and made for the start line from more than 2 miles away. Charlie Hoffmann and his crew posted their third win this day, as did Hank Thayer in ‘Discovery’. 3 races were sailed and it looked like the Champions would be named in the protest room. ‘Capriccio’, it was found, had fouled ‘Discovery’ in race 8. A quick countback made it look as though ‘Discovery’ had won, but further review rewarded the men of 'Capriccio' and the Larchmont Yacht Club.

We were all little disappointed at the last minute withdrawal of KA 8 Pacemaker, as well as a scheduling conflict which prevented Dieter Gruenau from bringing KA 11 ‘Arunga’ down from Penticton, but overall, the regatta was a smashing success. Charlie Hoffmann trucked ‘Capriccio’ across the country, from Larchmont, New York. Hank Thayer trailered ‘Discovery’ from Newport Harbor, California. Mats Selin and Jonas Lindberg came all the way from Sweden to sail in the regatta and find out what is happening in the Class in North America. The 9 boats competing were rewarded for their efforts with unbelievably consistent conditions, a well run regatta and tight racing. Joth Davis’ ‘Maybe VII’ was a constant threat, and had they been on time for race 7, the outcome may have been different. Nonetheless, they were the highest placing Classic (pre-1965), and were awarded the Classic Trophy, a beautiful mahogany half hull based on the lines of US 72 ‘Lulu’. It was interesting to note that 4 boats in this competition were already inscribed on the Gooderham trophy for having won it in past team races; ‘Maybe VII’, ‘Buzzy III’, ‘Saga’, and ‘Goose’. I know we are all looking forward to the next North Americans, which will occur in the Fall of 2002.

 Boat  Scores

 US 122 Capriccio  1,1,3,4,3,4,1,DSQ(10)*,3

 US 109 Discovery  4,2,4,1,1,OCS(10)*,3,5,1

 US 87 Maybe VII  5,3,1,6*,5,1,6,2,2

 US 119 Sockeye  3,4,5*,3,3,3,2,3,4

 US 123 Haute Flash  2,7,2,2,9,2,4,1,RET(10)*

 US 73 Saga  DNF(10)*,5,7,5,4,7,7,6,5

 US 97 Buzzy III  7,DNS(10)*,6,8,7,4,5,7,8

 US 96 Hanko III   8,8,9*,9,6,6,8,8,7

 US 81 Goose  6,6,8,7,8,8,DNS*,DNS,DNS

 KA 8 Pacemaker  Did Not Compete  

Back to News