Lawrence Crispin Wins EFG Viper Pan-American Championship
Published on March 14th, 2016
The Viper 640 sportboats are just returning from Miami, FL, after sailing two regattas on Biscayne Bay. The first, the EFG Winter Cup (March 6-7), was the final qualifying regatta for the 2015-16 EFG Viper Pan-American Championship, a 12-month series of international qualifying regattas held in Europe, Australia and North America.
As in the past, the EFG Viper Pan-Ams are sailed as part of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week sponsored by EFG (March 10-12) with each competing boat carrying over qualifier regatta points to be combined with their Bacardi scores.
This year, Lawrence Crispin, sailing with his son Luka and long-time crew Hector Cisnaros, swept both the EFG Winter Cup and Bacardi Miami Sailing Week regattas to earn the title of EFG Viper Pan-American Champions. “This is a big win for us,” noted the senior Crispin, who hails from the Stone Sailing Club in the UK and is a former Laser World Champion. “We’ve just purchased a Viper for us to sail when we get back to the UK and will then be shipping it to Bermuda for the 2015 Viper International and North American Championships in November.”
Crispin’s leadership of the fleet was not totally without its challenges. After the first day of the EFG Winter Cup, Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Anthony O’Leary (former Irish Sailor of the Year) held the lead as he sailed with his son Robert and Tom Durcan. O’Leary finished second for the EFG Winter Cup with former US Star Olympian John Dane III, Shaeffer Dane, and Dave Bolyard in third.
Dane and his crew, while not from across the Pond, are new to the Vipers sailing a boat purchased by their home club, Pass Christian Yacht Club in Pass Christian, MS. That purchase is part of the Gulf Yachting Association’s selection of the Viper 640 as their new Capdevielle interclub boat.
Day 1 of the Bacardi/Pan-Am racing for the Vipers was cancelled due to high winds but the fleet raced eight races over the final two days in winds in the high teens. Crispin won two of the eight heats, was second twice and third twice to beat Tyler Moore but seven points for the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week title.
Moore, sailing with his wife Jane and Tim and Karen Fallon, made a strong finish winning four races — including the final three. Rounding out the top podium spots for Bacardi were Ian Nicholson and David Hitchcock from Britain’s Hayling Island Sailing Club sailing with Australian David Chapman as their helm.
After combining points, it was Crispin who took home the 2015-16 EFG Viper Pan-American Championship followed by Moor. In third for the Pan-Am title was 2015 Viper Atlantic Coast Champion Tom Loutrel from Corinthian Yacht Club and Charleston, SC who, with Brian Zimmerman and Jeff Gentzel were only a point behind Nicholson in the Bacardi scoring moving up a place for the overall thanks to a stronger qualifying regatta carry-over score.
Report by Edward R. Padin.