NYYC 150th Annual Regatta

Kicks off today with an inshore sprint for the Rolex Cup

Friday June 11th 2004, Author: Barby MacGowan, Location: United States
In honor of its sesquicentennial, the New York Yacht Club’s 150th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex kicks off Friday, June 11, with a special Around the (Conanicut) Island Race for the Rolex Cup. With 100 boats signed up for this race, another 20 boats will join the fleet to make 120 that will compete in the traditional weekend (June 12-13) of Annual Regatta racing that is part of the biennial Onion Patch Series. (The Onion Patch Series also includes the Newport-Bermuda Race, starting June 18, and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Anniversary Regatta, starting June 25.) The race for the Rolex Cup, optional and free of entry fees, honors those yacht clubs that supported the on-the-water activities of the NYYC before its acquisition of Harbour Court in 1987. The Rolex Cup, a newly commissioned engraved Sperrin Crystal bowl, will be awarded to the top two-boat team representing any participating yacht club in Friday’s race

The fleet will be separated into three IMS classes, with a class each for PHRF, NYYC Cruising Rule (non-spinnaker), 12 Metre, Classic, TP52, J/105, Farr 40 and Mumm 30. The latter two classes are scheduled to sail at least one race prior to the 1200 start of the Around-the-Island Race.

"Those two classes have come here primarily to do the Annual Regatta," said Kim Woodhouse, the Farr 40 New England Class Representative. "They will not go on to do the Bermuda Race." Among the fleet of 11 Farr 40s is Stuart Townsend’s Virago, which is calling Newport its home for the summer so it can participate in local regattas, including the NYYC’s Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex in July.

"This is a wonderful place to sail," said Townsend, who has campaigned Virago for the past four years and a Mumm 30 of the same name before that. "The boat was in Florida, and it made sense to bring it here in preparation for the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds in San Francisco this September."

Of the four 12-metres entered, three-- Intrepid, Courageous and Freedom--have won five America’s Cups between them. The fleet of ten classic yachts includes Angelita, an 8-metre sloop that won for America its first gold medal (at the Los Angeles Olympics) in 1932 and also competed in the 1936 Olympics in Kiel Germany. The 12-metres and classics built before 1958 have the option of counting scores for the Annual Regatta toward the NYYC’s debuting 2004 Invitational Racing Series for Vintage and Classic Yachts. (The second and third events in the series are, respectively, the NYYC Race Week at Newport and the Museum of Yachting’s Classic Yacht Regatta in September.)

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