Story and Photos by Art Petrosemolo
The 53rd Monmouth Boat Club Lightning Long John Regatta looked like it would come down to the final race but instead the results were decided on the regatta’s next to last outing.
Noroton (Conn.) Yacht Club’s Rob Crane led Nyack (N.Y.) Boat Club’s Justin Coplan by 1 point after four races Saturday, April 26. During the Sunday, April 27, morning’s opener, Crane led the fleet taking line honors while Coplan finished ninth almost assuring the final standings. The pair finished ninth and 14th in the final race with Crane’s regatta total of 25 points to Coplan’s 39 securing the Long John title.
The win was the first for Crane in the historic MBC regatta that has been sailed yearly since 1961 and first organized by the late Mary Huntsman.
The weekend regatta, the first of the MBC season, saw winds in the 15 to 25 mph range both days with a short chop on the Navesink River off the Red Bank shore.
Pro John Luard, Locust, set long, windward-leeward courses for the 24 participants who came from as far away as Buffalo, N.Y.
Winner Crane, who represented the United States in the Laser Class at the London Olympics, had six finishes, including one win, in the top 10 boats. Coplan had five top 10 finishes and a 14th in the final race.
Will Brown skippered the third-place boat 1 point behind Coplan.
MBC’s top finishers were Jack Huntsman (Red Bank) 12th despite overturning in the final race, Ted Duffy (Shrewsbury) 13th, Dale Barney (Red Bank) 16th, David Watts (Oceanport) 17th, Randy Dickerson (Leonardo) 18th and Pat Corr (Leonardo) 23rd.
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