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Boat of Year chase resumes with many in the hunt

After a midwinter lull, the chase for the Captain Morgan Suncoast Boat of the Year is on again. This weekend's Anchor Cup races mark the beginning of the backstretch. From here on, the competition should be close. This weekend's races will take place off Pass-a-Grille Beach on Saturday and Sunday. Seventy boats are expected, with more than a dozen in serious competition for the Boat of the Year award.

Bigger boats have always done well. The largest boat in contention this year had been Jezebel, a J-37 sailed by Bob Dockery of St. Petersburg (please see box).

But Jezebel has been sold and is out of the series. Now, the top three boats are within a handful of points.

Fred Brown and Steve Proctor's J-27 Wizard currently holds the top spot, with Sherry Welch's Majic, another J-27, following closely.

With eight races remaining, including the Anchor Cup, the series is very much up for grabs. "It's nice to be on top so far," said Proctor. "But there are a lot of races to go."

Also on Saturday, the Women's Yacht Racing Association will hold its second race of the spring series off The Pier.

BOAT OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

Standings for Captain Morgan Suncoast boat of the year, based on the best five races:

+1. Jezebel, J-37; Bob Dockery, 29.75 points

2. Wizard, J-27; Steve Proctor/Fred Brown, 38.75 points

3. Majic, J-27; Sherry Welch, 42 points

4. Be Bold, Sonar 23; Mike Sullivan, 44 points

5. Hot Tuna, Olson 30; Joe Nuzzo, 50 points

6. Hurricane, J-27; Rogner/Hesselman, 65 points

7. Wild Blue Yonder, Pearson Flyer; R. Hobbs, 67 points

8. Eagle, Kiwi 30; Joe Byers, 76 points

9. Hot Tub, Farr 36; Bill Terry, 82 points

10. Spanish Fly, Lindenberg 28; Jose Hoyos, 83 points

+ Out of the series.

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