Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vanderbol Undaunted by View from Back

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Vanderbol Undaunted by View from Back

Article excerpt

JACKSONVILLE BEACH -- Randy Smyth of Fort Walton Beach and Steve

Vanderbol of Fernandina Beach were literally at different ends

of the spectrum just before yesterday's start of Leg 5 on the

13-leg Worrell 1000 coastwise catamaran race from Fort

Lauderdale to Virginia Beach, Va.

But they were speaking the same language.

"We've had a good Florida race," Smyth said of the three legs

that began in Fort Lauderdale Monday and ended Thursday at

Jacksonville Beach. "Now the rough stuff starts."

The 10 boats remaining from the starting field of 13 left

Jacksonville Beach yesterday at 10 a.m. They were expected to

finish the longest leg of the race, 121 nautical miles to Tybee

Island, Ga., near Savannah, late last night or early this

morning.

Smyth, a silver medalist in the 1992 Olympics, a winner of

Jacksonville's Mug Race and a past winner of the Worrell with

three races under his belt, has led all the way.

He and Fort Walton Beach's Jason Sneed averaged 11.06 mph on

their Nacra 6.0, covering the 307 miles from Fort Lauderdale in

27 hours, 49 minutes, 8 seconds. They lead second-place Rick

Bliss of Mansfield, Mass., on another Nacra 6.0, by 2:22.

Vanderbol, most of whose racing experience has been on inland

competitions near his former home of Dallas, is on the other end

of the line -- dead last at 37:01:38, almost 10 hours behind

Smyth.

"It's brutal," said the 33-year old Vanderbol, the president of

a Dallas-based sportswear company. "Let me change that. Let's

say it's very, very taxing."

The former Marine said he wasn't discouraged by being last in

the pack.

"We lost our jib at the start on the first day, and that was

extremely heavy weather," Vanderbol said. "We sailed the whole

first leg [from Fort Lauderdale to Jensen Beach] with only a

main. That's not any way to have to sail a catamaran. We were 12

hours behind at the end of that leg."

Vanderbol left Jacksonville Beach with Hans Geissler, the

designer of his G-Cat, as crew, spelling Al Levine of

Centerport, N.Y. The boat is a little longer and more robustly

built than most of the lighter craft in the race. …

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