Commodore Paul H. Smart reviews the shore activities:
Not all the talent was concentrated in the 35 top-flight skippers at Newport Harbor, nor yet in their crews. Everywhere there was high-level organization and management. Commodore Mackel and his wife Jean and Mr. and Mrs. Cotton were everywhere, every day, always on hand when something had to be done. But it was all so smoothly done it sometimes went unnoticed. From early morning (8 a.m.) to early morning (1, 2 or 3 a.m.) they were arranging, doing, or preventing from happening a thousand things.
And the ladies! As you entered the door on first arrival there was a whole phalanx ranged at long tables. Of course we expected cordiality from southern California, and their efficiency was no surprise, but what did impress us was that they were all there every day: nobody collapsed under the continual barrage of questions, frustrations and irritations, and they were as kind and pleasant and helpful on the last day as on the first.
A minor but typical detail indicates the thoroughness and imagination with which things were done. For the contestants there was a bountiful supply of California's fresh fruit, replenished as rapidly as it disappeared, and arranged by an interior decorator. Daily this arrangement, including the color scheme, was altered, reaching a climax on the final day as the World's Championship Trophy was heaped full and overflowing with fruit that can scarcely be obtained except by picking it where it grows.
At the final awards banquet each contestant was presented with a handsome full color photograph of his own boat taken during the series, through the courtesy of Eastman Kodak.
The international race committee was loaded with considerable brass. Bill Severance is a Gold Star crew, as is Dick Edwards. Former International President and World's Champion Charlie de Cardenas was a member, as was Commodore Smart, and President Frank Gordon was on hand for part of the series.
W. Glenn Waterhouse, who won the World's in 1933, and former Gold Star crews Mark Yorston and Jim Hill were among the spectators every day. There were seven Gold Star winners of the past out there on the course trying to prevent some newcomer from breaking into their exclusive club. ... They failed.
Not every entry
can be a winner....
We got home last Friday (the 3rd) in time to put the boat in the water for our final races over Labor Day weekend in order to win the season. ...
But California was another story. I could not at all cope with the sea or ever guess, which way shifts would come. We hit the beach in the 1st, 3rd and 4th races; nothing there. Only the last race was that the way to go - and naturally, that day we went out to sea. But I sailed like a real plumber and got just what I deserved. Had a wonderful time, as we expected; it sure is a great place for a series - except we could have used more wind.
I can't help much with your report, because we were always so far back that I have no idea who reached various marks first and when or how the lead changed. They posted all positions at every mark on a bulletin board at the club house by means of on-the-spot information received by radio, so that the people at the club were kept in touch and probably knew more about the race than we did while it was happening. But I did not take that information down. In fact we tried to forget the series, except that it was a great vacation!
Comment by the
Champions - Donald Bever and Chuck Lewsadder
It was a good series for us, but I don't think we were going any faster than the top of the pack. From Comer's experience here in '59 and my own at San Diego in '61, we knew that the west coast boats would be very good off the wind. However, we seemed equally as good, as a result of considerable concentration on this phase all season; and that might have been the key, plus Lady Luck, of course, whom we always welcome aboard.
Chuck Lewsadder is a real World's Champion crew, and quite possibly I couldn't have won the series without him. Nevertheless I do regret that one of my previous crews couldn't have been along to enjoy the series and the tremendous welcome we received after winning; I've never experienced anything quite like it.
Special thanks go to Bill Ficker for his views on the series.
There was one other abnormal occurrence: for the first time since 1947 a west coast boat did not win in local waters. Stripped of local advantage, all were left to battle as best their sailing skills would permit.
Only two, Buchan and Burnham, both former Gold Star winners and strong favorites to pick up a second World's Championship, could match the outstanding performance of Don Bever, and then for only four races. Both Burnham and Buchan had earlier displayed their wares during Newport Harbor Race weekend and the tune-up race prior to the series. The winds were light; and when Bever showed well, those who were supposed to know attributed his showing to the light flukey conditions, unwilling to admit that the two Gold Star favorites would permit themselves to be displaced. But the weather that prevailed before the series continued, and Bever and crew Lewsadder also continued ...
In a series that provided the also-rans with lots of excuses about windshifts, holes, unpredictable currents or lack of same, it was interesting to see the same three boats finishing in the top five every day. Only Buchan's Frolic was relegated to 7th in the final race, and this was because Buchan was compelled to take chances in the final lap in a last-ditch attempt to catch the flying Maché. The only other boat that appeared capable of giving the Three B's trouble was Gary Comer's Turmoil, of Southern Fake Michigan. Gary seems to like west coast sailing; he only barely lost a heartbreaker at Newport in 1959 to Lowell North. North Star, the perennial boat to beat, did not display her usual speed, and although finishing 6th for the series, was only up in the money in one race for a daily second.
The defender Don Edler sailed a fine series if one counts only four races. However, the disastrous fourth race found Big Daddy in 31st place, obliterating all chances of a repeat performance. What was a disaster for Big Daddy was a day of jubilation for Alan Holt and Bill Murray of Shilshole Bay, Washington. Their Ariel won by more than four minutes, the biggest margin of the week. There was one other outsider in the top group, soon to gain fame by winning the North American Silver Star: Scandale, of Albrechtson and Tell, from Sweden. They came close to winning the third race, being nipped by Chatterbox just at the finish.
Meanwhile, as always, there was much tough racing going on throughout the fleet. The competition was keen, as gold, silver and blue stars were strewn far down the line, hoping to stay alive but slowly fading from the leaders' sight.
To detail each race would become repetitive. After all, how many ways can you spell Bever, Burnham and Buchan? It was Buchan at first, winning the Elder Memorial Trophy. By midweek Burnham led the other two, each separated by one point, to win the Vanderveer. At the end of the fourth race, the same three were tied for the lead. Now the Gold Star depended on one race! In the grand finale, these three all jumped off to excellent starts. Bever had the best, and perhaps this was the difference, Maché was never headed. It was the necessary frosting to complete the cake. The World's Championship went to Bever and "Four Bar Charlie" Lewsadder in the midst of the shouting and whistle-tooting of hundreds of spectators.
Worthy of note were the constant capabilities of the top boats to come through, although at times being back in the ruck. The top boats had boat speed, an absolute "must" to win in this kind of competition. It is significant that, even though the Three B's were closely watching each other in the final race under the highest possible tension, while the others could sail as they chose, the Big Three still rounded the first mark ahead of all the rest.
One could observe differences in style of sailing. Maché always appeared to be strapped very flat and pointing high, although it didn't impair her speed. Possibly it helped them to be the lightest skipper and crew of the major contenders. Chatterbox appeared to be slightly eased and driving off, while Frolic was somewhere in between the two. Whereas the latest tendency seems to be toward straighter leaches with slightly more curve in the luff, Bever's sail had a bit more roach on the leach than the others. With the wind conditions as spotty as they were, it was difficult to observe any correlation between speed and boat weights. Sometimes the heaviest boats passed very light boats downwind. (Thirteen boats in the fleet weighed in lighter than Maché.)
It seemed to me that there was again a swing toward gadgets, reels, adjusting mechanisms and the like. Almost every boat was experimenting with some method or fitting for doing something better. But it is getting more and more difficult to make any breakthrough by means of superior equipment. In this regatta there did not appear to be any advantage due to the use of special equipment. The availability of excellent boats, rigs, sails and hardware has put the emphasis back where it belongs: on the skipper and crew. The overall quality of the boats was exceedingly high; there was not a slow boat in the fleet.
The races were excellently
run by a competent committee headed by William Severance. Marks were accurately
located, spectator boats were controlled, and the general conduct of the
races was beyond criticism.