TOP DOG:

Jim Brady of Annapolis beat 62 competitors from 13 nations to win the prestigious J-24 World Championships in Ireland last week, finishing 2-1-1-38-3-2 in the six-race series in his boat, Just More Fun. Brady, 26, a sailmaker at North Sails Chesapeake, is a two-time J-24 Midwinters champion and twice J-22 North American champion. He beat out two-time J-24 world champion Ken Read of Newport, R.I., for the title.

Brady will be in action again locally when he races Aug. 27-31 in the J-22 Worlds at Gibson Island Yacht Club near Annapolis. His crew in Ireland was Mark Foster, Stefan Kassenich, Steve Inman and Andy Remmings.

ROCKFISH REDUX:

Just when you thought you had them all figured, the rockfish rules threaten to change again.

Maryland's striped bass season, Oct. 5-Nov. 9, was supposed to include closure of spawning stretches of tributaries and all waters of the Chesapeake above the Patapsco River, including the rockfish-rich Susquehanna River below Conowingo Dam. But strong opposition surfaced at a public hearing in Belair last week and the Department of Natural Resources is reconsidering and is expected to open all waters to fishing.

The theory behind the proposed closure was that rockfish are stressed in fresh water and less likely to survive catching and releasing. DNR officials now say if they rescind the closure, they will monitor freshwater stretches and close fishing if released fish have a high mortality rate.

Meantime, Virginia officials hit a snag with their proposed free permit system for anglers who fish for rock in that state's fall season, Nov. 5-Dec. 5.

The problem: no provisions for Northern Virginia anglers to pick up required free permits at a convenient place. The nearest location was Colonial Beach. State officials now say they hope to choose a Northern Virginia site at their Aug. 28 meeting. For information, call the Marine Resources Commission after that date at (804) 247-2200.

SPEED DEMON:

Potomac's Charlie Marks, whose Eric's Reality is defending national superboat champion, will take his entourage up and down the Hudson River on Saturday in an Offshore Professional Powerboat Race.

Marks struggled with mechanical problems on the first five races of the powerboat circuit this year, but managed a second-place finish last weekend in Grand Haven, Mich.

CUPDATE:

Italian millionaire Raul Gardini has two America's Cup class yachts up and running. His Il Moro de Venezia I and II are trialing off Palma de Mallorca, Spain, in advance of the European America's Cup Class regatta in November, in which boats from Spain, France, Italy and possibly Japan will compete.

Gardini already has arranged shoreside facilities for his yachts in San Diego, where he will move his operation Jan. 5 to prepare for May's America's Cup.

No U.S. defense syndicate yet has a boat in the water and only Dennis Conner's has one in the building process. The latest entry in the potential defense fleet is backed by the Beach Boys, who plan a concert tour to raise funds. That entry is to be called Harmony and will be skippered by Olympian John Bertrand.