MacAlpine Downie Gibbs Cup 2014 – Hornblower Regatta – Denver Sailing Association – Cherry Creek Lake – Colorado May 17-18

7 boats, 7 Races – 1st David Spira and Dawn Darling, 2nd Tony Chapman and Dan Spira 3rd Jim Daus and Nate Burger

Photos – Results


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This regatta marked the racing debuts for skippers Dave Neely, new Buccaneer owner, sailing with his son Sean and Cameron Holland with Max Williams – the Community Sailing of Colorado youth team sailing together in the Buccaneer for the first time. Rounding out the fleet are Chris Gulden with crew Erik Bartholomy and Sue Swisher with Ralph Stevenson – both Chris and Sue started out crewing on the Bucc and are now helming their own boats based on Cherry Creek and training for BNAC. Erik skippers his own Bucc as well based at Union Sailing Club in Longmont. Tony Chapman from Arizona sailed with Dan Spira and past BNAC champs Jim Daus and David Spira sailed with new crew for the first time – Dawn Darling with Spira and Jim’s crew Nate Burger.

The first race was won by Spira and Darling with young Cameron and Max just behind in 2nd place! Cameron is very strong in the starts and they were very quick downwind as the lightest team in the fleet. After 3 more races in light shifty winds the standings put Spira on top with 4 wins, followed by Daus, Holland and Chapman all within a point of one another.

Saturday night the Buccaneer fleet hosted a rum bar for the regatta party and talked up the plans for BNAC at Dillon Yacht Club this August.

On Sunday the breeze was on! A solid 12-15kts with small shifts. Perfect for hiking and the RC sent the fleet on a marathon race consisting of 3 laps of the lake! This race would favor the most fit team and sure enough Jim and Nate won with a nice lead, followed by Spira, Chapman and Holland. Tony and Dan turned it on in the last two races as the breeze diminished a bit and their teamwork improved, winning the last two races of the series and 2nd overall!

Dave Neely and Sean were sailing their newly acquired Chrysler and racing for the first time. Eventually they had the spin flying well and steadily closing the gap with the fleet and improving their skills. No doubt they will be training right up to the opening race of the North Americans on Lake Dillon where they have a home in Frisco.

Thanks to DSA for hosting a great regatta, wonderful Colorado weather, and to all the teams who turned out including Tony, the BCA Treasurer who flew in from Phoenix, to make this a very memorable MDG Cup.

– David Spira, Bucc 5280 Altitude