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A wild ride

April 29, 2001

Scott Zimmer, had the quickest corrected time, despite having arrived at

the finish line at 5:52 a.m. -- nearly two hours after the Pyewacket. The

trophies will not be awarded until noon today.

Few were surprised to see the success of the 65-foot sled Ragtime

despite the steep competition she faced from the newer sleds, as the

vessel has the distinction of having won more races than any other boat

in history, according to Zimmer.

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In fact, the crew used this race as a tune up for the upcoming

Transpac race to Hawaii, which after this year the Ragtime will have

sailed more times than any other vessel in history.

In the cruising class, a revamped 42-foot Catalina named Pikake was

the first to cross in its class, but the all ex-military aviator crew's

jubilant celebration was cut short when their skipper and friend Clyde

Childress had to be rushed to the hospital Saturday just after noon.

Crew members said that he suffers from back troubles and may have

mixed his medications.

Crews from all 26 classes continued to trickle in all day Saturday and

were expected to continue coming in as late as Sunday morning.

The grand tradition of the race continued after the boats were docked,

with celebrations and the many philanthropic aspects of the race.

The race began back in 1947, when members of the Newport Ocean Sailing

Assn. decided they wanted to organize a small event for sailors returning

from the battles of World War II. The fun little stint they had planned

for April 23, 1948, which they expected might draw 30 skippers, instead

drew 117 ships.

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