July 12, 2009

Parsons wins 4th Mayor's Cup

PLATTSBURGH — Last year, Mike Parsons and Peter Hall chose to race the Witchcraft rather than the Obelix in their Mayor's Cup victory.

Short on crew members this year, the decision of which boat to race in the regatta came easy.

Whereas last year's winning crew consisted of 10 sailors, Parsons and Hall had just one other crew member, which made the Obelix the obvious choice this time.

Maybe it doesn't matter which boat they pick.

With Mark Stata — who also raced with Parsons and Hall to victory last year — on board, the Obelix came out on top in the 32nd Mayor's Cup Saturday.

Parsons and Hall became the first repeat winners since 2000.

Parsons triumphed for the fourth time, tying Fritz Horton of Shelburne, Vt. for the most wins at the mid-summer sailing classic. Not that it matters to Parsons.

"It's not our goal to get more wins than anybody else; our goal is to win every race we enter," Parsons said.

Parsons has now won two Mayor's Cups with each of his two vessels, the Obelix and the Witchcraft. He won with the Witchcraft in 2002 and 2008 and the Obelix this year and in 2006.

While gray clouds blanketed the skies for most of the day and turned into a storm by mid-afternoon, Hall, a world champion in Star class, said the weather was perfect for sailing.

"This is what sailors love, 20 knots of breeze. It can't get any better," he said.

Not all thought so, as some sailors dropped out of the race due to the inclement weather, something race chairman Kjell Dahlen didn't blame them for. He told the crowd that gathered for the award ceremony at Naked Turtle that he considered postponing the race, which was met by good-natured displeasure from the crowd.

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