Friday, October 22, 2010

Scott Ferguson nominated for sailor of month

BMW ORACLE Racing Design Team member Scott Ferguson is a man nearly seeing double these days. Ferguson has been head down on the computer, part of the group helping develop the wingsail for the new AC45 catamaran.

“The AC45 is engulfing our lives,” Ferguson said. “It’s more work than we expected, but it’s exciting, too. I hope it’ll be a cool craft.”

Ferguson recently was nominated for the November Seahorse Sailor of the Month for what he did in mid-September: the 49-year-old captured his second successive Laser Masters World Championship. Check that, he dominated the regatta.

He is the fourth BMW ORACLE Racing team member to gain nomination for Seahorse Sailor of the Month. Team afterguard member Larry Ellison and boatbuilders Tim Smyth/Mark Turner have previously won the award, and sailing team coach Glenn Ashby has also been nominated.

Ferguson won with the low score of 15 points on a scoreline of all top-three finishes: 3-1-1-1-3-2-1-2. He discarded a 6th and final race DNC and won by 21 points over Dutchman Arnoud Hummel.

“I’m happy to be nominated,” said the modest Ferguson, one of the gurus behind the towering wing that propelled USA 17 to victory in the 33rd America’s Cup. “It was exciting to win a second worlds. I dodged some bullets in the middle of the regatta, but a lot of things went right for me.”

Ferguson won last year’s championship in Nova Scotia also over Hummel, who won the 2008 Laser Masters Worlds. “Hummel started 1-1-1-2 and I thought he’d be tough. There are a lot of good sailors in that fleet.” Ferguson has also finished third and fourth in previous Laser masters worlds.

Ferguson, who races out of the Conanicut Yacht Club on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, said he felt comfortable sailing in the shifty conditions off Hayling in the U.K.

“We were racing on the Solent in huge chop and against the current,” said Ferguson. “I guess growing up on the East Coast; it didn’t faze me sailing in the shifty conditions. We sail that stuff all the time. You’re going to have your ups and downs, so you just have to be patient and let it all happen.”

Ferguson is going up against long-time campaigner Piet Vroon of the Netherlands, whose Ker 46 Tonnere de Breskens 3 was recently named the RORC’s yacht of the year for 2010.

(Photo courtesy Paul Wyeth)