Scott Piper Wins 2009 Coral Reef Cup

Scott Piper sailing his Etchells’ Pipe Dream with crew Stuart deLisser and Richard Shellow won the 3rd Annual 2009 Coral Reef Cup hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club held March 20th to 22nd, 2009 on Biscayne Bay. In fresh North–North East Biscayne Bay conditions that increased each day, the top three boats went into the 7th and final race all within 3 points of each other and each with a chance to win.

In second place going into the final race was Marvin Beckman from Houston, Texas sailing his new Etchells 1378, followed closely by Ante Razmilovich and Swedish Blue from the UK. In the thrashy 18-24 knot final race, Piper pulled off a perfect boat end start and with great upwind speed stayed between his competition and the mark to maintain a 2–5 boat length lead around the course to clinch the series by a 5 point margin.

Placing forth overall with all Doyle sails was Frank Atkinson’s, factory team – Rigging Systems Sailing, with Sally Barkow helming and Jamie Stewart doing jib and bow. In 5th, sailing a consistent series was last year’s runner-up, Buddy Cribb’s Victory with John Bertrand on main and tactics, and Doyle Miami’s Eamonn deLisser on jib and bow.

When Piper was asked about his winning strategy for the series, he commented “Each day of the series we would get out on the course early to determine the upwind headings. This helped us throughout the series either catch up when we were behind, as we found ourselves early in race one, by sailing on the lifted tack, positioning more in the middle of the course with the top of the fleet, and not get too leveraged out to a side”.

When asked how this regatta strategy compared to the Jaguar Series Piper said, “In the Jag series, with twice as many boats on the line, finding clear lanes to sail in often dictated where we went, which made it harder to sail on the lifted tack. I often chose to just start at the windward end to avoid getting tacked on in the middle of the course, and we would find ourselves too often on the outside of the first shift and pinned out to a side. In the Coral Reef Cup, we would start near the favored end, had the speed to hold our lanes, tacked in the shifts, and we were often able to take advantage of the “key effect”(port lifts) at the top of the beat since the course was closer to the Key than Jag series”.

For sails Scott used his 2008 AP Doyle Main, 2007 Doyle Crosscut Spinnaker, 2008 DCM (Medium) Jib and a new 2009 DCH + (Doyle Flat Heavy) jib and Doyle Full Radial Spinnaker the last windy day. Stuart deLisser said “We figured out our tuning better for this regatta compared to Jag series and tuned more aggressively, especially as the wind speed increased the last day.” Scott added “that we really liked how the new flatter jib went in the heavy stuff, I credited much of our success to the new jib and the great job Stuart and Richard did battling and boat handling in very close quarters throughout the windy series”.

Scott’s achievements on the race course and the open ocean are impressive. Scott Piper was recently recognized by the Cruising Club of America with the 2008 Blue Water Medal for 12 years of adventurous voyaging for a total of 180,000 nautical miles. Read more about Scott’s 2008 Blue Water Medal.

To learn more about Doyle Etchells Sails, click here.

For 2009 Coral Reef Cup Final Results, click here