2006 Shark Nationals
Without a doubt the Shark Class Catamaran is the oldest,
active one-design multihull fleet in the world. They were first demonstrated
in the United States as early as 1960. At one point they had two builders
and for a long period they had no builder. During that period anyone
interested in sailing these beauties had to like to rebuild boats.
Yet the class survived by using old, rebuilt boats. Those that sail
these boats really do love them. Now the primary builder is John Rogers
of Upstate New York, who builds the boats out of wood using the WEST
System. They are absolutely beautifully finished wooden boats.., looking
more like Grand Pianos than sailboats. Rick White was known to ask,
"Beautiful.., but where is the keyboard?"
Bryan & Chris Perrin win Nationals on their beautiful wooden
There are also two other builders, one in Columbus, Ohio
and the other in Maine. So, now the class is strong and getting stronger.
Many of the boats in the class are now newer, stiffer and lighter boats.
Still the old designs are competitive.
Despite the age of this class fifteen boats came prepared to take the
Championship. The Shark Class held their Nationals at Put-in-Bay, Ohio
for the first time since 1973. Both the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club and the
class developed a reciprocal love affair. Class Officers asked if they
would be asked back, and club officers replied, "Anytime!"
There were winds of every nature. The first day was on the high side of
moderate winds, and then on the second day it was very light. One race
ended in a drifting match. But, just as in show biz.., "...ya gotta
leave ‘em laughin." And the wind Gods did just that –
Winds kicked in at over 15 mph for the entire day.
Even youth was represented in the great event. These two teenagers
did a great job or racing. They are Eric Perrin & Patrck Turbett.
Check the names of the competitors and you can see this class is very
With winds ranging around 12-15 mph on the first day, Bryan and Christina
Perrin started off with a bang, registering two bullets out of the two
races of the day. George Braddon and Sue Bennet took 3rd and 2nd to stay
in range only 3 points back. Holding down third after the first day was
Fred Erdman and Shelly Dugan.
The rest of the fleet had very mixed finishes. For example, Betty Bliss
(nee Betty Wells) past North American Champ from the 1960's returned to
skipper Richard Cordell's home-built Shark. They took a DNF and 7th; Rob
and Dawn Turbett grabbed a 5th, then a 9th place.
Past National Champ, John Sherry, teamed up with the Wave North Coast
Champion, Leah White.
The air never built for the entire day. It started out in the 5-7 mph
range and died down before the end of the first race, which was shortened.
The wind picked up enough to get a second race in for the day.
The Perrin team slipped out of the lead with a 4th and 13th finish. Braddon
and Bennet had good races and took the overall lead by three points over
Erdman and Dugan. All of their finishes were good, while most of the fleet
had a really bad race somewhere in the four sailed races. And, if the
fleet did not get in the six races scheduled over the three days, there
would be no throwout.
The last day had two final races scheduled.., and the wind complied. Again
the wind was up and blowing over 15 mph with gusts – a total surprise
as light winds were forecasted. The sailors were all grinning again.
The Perrins must love the wind – they took still another bullet
in the first race. Braddon and Bennet slipped into a 7th place finish,
but still maintained the lead over the Perrins by 3 points.
The last race would decide it all.
The Perrins had to do a circle after the start and then headed off to
the unfavored side of the course in last place. They could only get back
into 7th before the finish. Meanwhile, the Bennets took a bullet and Braddon
and Bennet had their first tank job with a 12th place finish.
With the throwouts Perrins won by one point over the Bennets, and Braddon
and Bennet went from the lead to third place overall. Erdman and Dugan
also had a bad last race and finished in fourth overall. Bliss and Cordell
finished in the money despite their DNF in the first race. The sailed
very consistently thereafter and took 5th overall.
1) Bryan & Chris Perrin 14
2) Jack &Leslie Bennett 15
3) George Braddon & Sue Bennett 17
4) Fred Erdman & Shelly Dugan 21
5) Betty Bliss & Dick Cordell 27
6) Rob & Dawn Turbett 27
7) John & Pat Perrin 29
8) John Sherry & Leah Soares 29
9) Jerry Pattenaude & Joe Lieberman 36
10) Greg & Sonya Carnevale 38
11) John & Linda Rogers 45
12) Ken Putney &Cathleen Ward 55
13) Eric Perrin & Patrck Turbett 56
14) John & Trey Cobb 57
15) Jeff Vandeveer & Brian Meehan 61