Big boats, one designs, 12 metres

A diverse fleet competed this weekend at the New York Yacht Club’s 153rd Annual Regatta

Monday June 11th 2007, Author: Michael Levitt, Location: United Kingdom
The New York Yacht Club’s 153rd Annual Regatta presented by Rolex saw 94 yachts compete on Saturday and Sunday. Also, the Around the Island Race - the Friday preamble to the Annual Regatta - saw 65 of those yachts race. For Friday’s Around the Island Race, the yachts started in bright sunshine, but soon enough sailed into a full-on fog. The weather tone for that day and the next was thus set. But then there was Sunday! Ah Sunday - a rare day in June.

Annual Regatta presented by Rolex

In the 153rd edition, IRC Class 1 was won by NYYC Rear Commodore Bob Towse’s and Farley Towse’s Blue Yankee, after being tied with George David’s 90ft Rambler, the previous day. The latter yacht, skippered by Ken Read, is bound for the upcoming transatlantic Nordbank blue race. Yeoman XXXII, skippered by David Aisher, Commodore of the RORC, won IRC 2. Blair Brown’s Sforzando - winner of the Herreshoff Medal in 2002 - was undefeated in IRC Class 3. Ragtime, steered by Jeff Johnstone, was likewise undefeated in IRC Class 4. These Blue Fleet yachts, which sailed outside on Rhode Island Sound, managed three races.

Tsunami finished first among the eight NY42s with an unblemished record. She is owned by three friends from Maryland: Preben Ostberg, Bud Daily and John Aras. Martin Jacobson’s Crescendo won IRC White Class 2. Kalevala II, Tapio Saavalainen, led IRC White Class 3 and Savasana, Brian Keane, won the J/105 class, which featured a fleet-high 16 yachts. These white-fleet yachts sailed four races, also in Rhode Island Sound.

In 12-Metre racing, USA, Ralph Isham, won the Grand Prix division; Courageous, James Gubelmann, was first for Modern yachts and Nefertiti, Jon Wullschleger, led the Classic 12 Metres. Angelita, Jed Pearsall, was first among the Classic yachts; Swing, Marie Klok Crump, was first in IRC non-spinnaker and Élan, John Hammel, won PHRF Class 4. These green-fleet yachts sailed four races on Narragansett Bay.

Around the Island Race

In Friday’s Around the Island Race, which rounded Conanicut Island (Jamestown), Blue Yankee won IRC 1; Conspiracy, a NY42 steered by Richard Werdiger of the Cahoots syndicate, won IRC 2; Thin Ice, Stuart Hebb, IRC 3; Rush, Bill Sweetser, IRC 4; Courageous, 12 Metre; Bat IV, Andrew Kennedy, J/105; Amorita, Jed Pearsall, Classic; Jazz Fish, Paul Koch, IRC Non-spinnaker and Divided Sky Vincent McAteer, PHRF.

Rolex Cup

The Rolex Cup was won by Divided Sky and Mischief, David Schwartz, of Team NBYA. The Cup was presented by Rolex to the New York Yacht Club in 2004 in honor of its 150th Annual Regatta. It is a perpetual trophy awarded to the best two-boat team in the Annual Regatta’s Around the Island Race. Nine teams entered this time.

Commodores’ Challenge Cup

Also at the prize-giving for the Around the Island Race, a new trophy - the Commodores’ Challenge Cup - was presented by RORC Commodore David Aisher, skipper of Yeoman XXXII. It is open to past and present commodores of British or American yacht clubs. In the interest of Corinthian sailing, the commodore must steer the boat, and more than 50 percent of the crew must be amateurs. The cup will have two venues: Cowes Week in England and the NYYC’s Annual Regatta. The holder can mount a defense at either venue. It will be sailed under an internationally recognized rating rule (IRC at present). Another requirement is that all challengers must dine out with the holder of the Cup to have their challenges accepted.

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