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Published: Sunday, 6/19/2005

65-year-old Hall-of-Famer prevails in local catamaran race

Rick White, winner of more than 200 major multihull regattas, did it again at the Round the Bay Catamaran Race, held off the beach at North Cape Yacht Club yesterday.

The 65-year old sailor, a 1997 inductee into the Sailing Hall of Fame, carried off both the overall honors and first in the 13-14-foot division.

The 44-boat fleet had a spinnaker start and plenty of wind for the first leg, After that the air died.

"There wasn't enough air and we just sat there drifting," White said. ``The only reason I won was I had a high enough number [handicap rating] that the longer I stayed out there, the more time the other boats owed me."

"I really felt I wanted to quit."

White, a designer for Calvert Sails in Islamorada, Fla., raced a 13-foot Hobie Wave with a Hooter, a tricky flat-cut spinnaker that is roller-reefed on the headstay like a big drifter genoa.

"I invented the sail, so I might as well use it," he said.

One of the first catamaran owners in the U.S., White has won national, regional and state titles in numerous classes.

Steve and Kristen Attard of North Cape took the line honors in the 16-18-foot division, but were beaten by George Fecher, of Cincinnati, who also placed second overall in the fleet.

- Shirley Levy

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