Twenty-six-year-old skipper Ed Lebens and his teammates on the J/70 Reggae Shark arrived at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club marina with a clear plan for the final day of the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series: to cover their rivals and carefully defend their lead in the ultra-competitive fleet. The primary focus was keeping tabs on Bruce Golison’s Midlife Crisis, just 14 points behind. “We had a pretty healthy gap so we were really just going to try not to have a shocker and sail our own race,” says the young sailor from Oyster Bay, NY. When the wind failed to materialize across Tampa Bay, however, race committees across all four of the circles pulled the plug and sent all competitors to shore. “We were OK with it,” Lebens said. Onboard with Lebens for the regatta were teammates Malcolm Lamphere, Scott Ewing and Ian Barrows. Sailing together for the first time in their positions on the boat, they had a decent start to the series with a ninth in the first race, but then logged top-five finishes over the next seven races, a streak that was highlighted by a surprise win in the last race of the day on Friday. “We got a third in that race, but the two boats that finished in front of us were both UFD [disqualified for starting early], so out of a 50-boat fleet…the odds of that happening is pretty amazing. We were fired up about that, and it was a good way to end the first day.” Lebens’ summary of his team’s success was straightforward: “Clean starts, being conservative and not committing to a side until the top of the beat, and just having fun with my friends.” Jay Golison’s Its All Good won the Mixed Plus + division, and Tod Sackett’s FM edged out son Lee with Dave Kerr to claim the Corinthian title. Detailed race information and results are posted at:

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