Titan on top
Fog shrouded the first part of Friday’s 19 mile Around the Island Race, Artie Means, navigator aboard Tom and Dottie Hill’s Puerto Rican entry Titan 15, had his work cut out for him. “We were short-tacking up the southern side of Conanicut Island and I could see land on my instruments but the crew couldn’t see anything, even when we only had 40 seconds left before reaching shore.” The new Reichel-Pugh 75, which recently won the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race and is counting this as only its “second race out of the box,” won on corrected time and was first-to-finish with an elapsed time of just over one hour and 51 minutes, beating out by one minute the 90ft Rambler, owned by George David. Though Friday’s race was an optional, separately-scored competition, it foreshadowed Titan’s coming battle with Roger Sturgeon’s Rosebud/Team DYT (which corrected out to second over Rambler’s third in the distance race) in weekend buoy racing that would determine Annual Regatta winners.
“I guess we’ve paid our dues,” said Tom Hill, referring to the huge task of designing and building the breakthrough Titan 15, which succeeds his other famously successful race boats of the same name, “and this is the reward. The boat is sailing beautifully.”
After Saturday’s two races, Titan was tied on points for first with Rosebud, known for excelling in heavier winds, which topped out at 14 for the regatta. Sunday’s two races in their IRC Class 1 presented mainly light air, which allowed Titan to confirm a slight advantage and take the regatta, though only by virtue of tie-breaking rules.
“Every dog has its day and even when it’s not your day you race as hard as you can,” said Sturgeon. “We have pretty dissimilar boats but we were close in that we traded places (two firsts and two seconds for each).”
The IRC boats were split into five classes, with One-Designs, Classics, 12 Metres, 6 Metres and PHRF boats rounding out the fleet.
On Sunday, Clay Deutsch maintained his lead from Saturday in IRC 2, repeating his victory from last year aboard his Swan 68, Chippewa. “Today it worked out,” he said, describing his 1-2 finishes in pleasant breezes and under a sky that seemed to have finally purged itself of the early morning’s rain.
In IRC3, aboard the King 40 Act One, Charlie Milligan and co-owner Allan Stern turned in two bullets to hold four victories in their four-race series. “We had to worry about some other boats,” said pit man Doug Ferguson. “But we were first to the first top and bottom marks every time. We took the finish line gun all four times and saved our time on everyone. It was our breeze.”
Taking IRC Class 4 was William Mayer’s Swan 441 Cygnette, while William Sweetser won IRC Class 5 with his J/109 Rush on a tie breaker. In the Classics division NYYC Rear Commodore Tom Harrington steered his S&S design Black Watch to victory over five races, and in J/105s, Brian Keane’s Savasana prevailed to win a five-race series as well.
The 12 and 6 Metres are both prepping for their Worlds in the fall here, while the J/122s are warming up for their North Americans later in June at Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week, another event presented by Rolex. Winning in 12 Metre Classic and Modern classes after five races were, respectively, John Wullschleger on Nefertiti and Dennis Williams on Victory 83. The 6 Metres, which sailed five races, were won by Tony Widmann on Ranger. Taking J/122 class was Andrew Weiss on Christopher Dragon after six races.
According to Glenn Darden, who skippered Hoss to victory in the NYYC 42 class: “From the sketchy weather forecast, it didn’t look good…but then six great races later…it was a great weekend of racing!”
Winning 'Best Boat of the Day' for Saturday were Act One, Hoss and Savasana, while Sunday’s honors went to Troubador, Flapper and Daring.
NYYC 155th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex
Final top three results
1, Titan 15, Tom Hill, Newport, RI 6
2. Rosebud, Roger Sturgeon, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 6
3. Rambler, George David, 15, Hartford, Conn. 15
1, Chippewa, Clayton Duetsch, Newport, RI, 6
2. Sundance, Gary Beer, Washington, 9
3. Cat Came Back, Lincoln Mossop, Bristol, RI, 12
1. Act One, Charles Milligan/Allan Stern, Newport, RI, 4
2. Gold Digger, James Bishop, New York, NY, 17
3. Ciao!, Philippe Paturel, Halifax, Can., 18
1. Cygnette, William Mayer, Greenwich, Conn., 6
2. Carina, Rives Potts, Essex, Conn., 7
3. Kalavala II, Tapio Saavalainen, Annapolis, MD, 11
1, Rush, William Sweetser, Annapolis, MD, 10
2. Gut Feeling, Ted Herlihy, S. Dartmouth, MA, 11
3. Storm, Rick Lyall, Wilton, Conn., 14
1. Savasana, Brian Keane, Weston, MA, 11
2. Sea Shadow, Wilson Pollock, Bonita Springs, FL 16
3. Mopelia Denis Seynhaeve, Annapolis, MD, 16
12 Metre Classic
1. Nefertiti, John Wullschleger, Sarasota, FL, 7
12 Metre Modern
1. Victory 83, Dennis Williams, Hobe Sound, FL, 7
1. Black Watch, Tom Harrington, Greenwich, Conn., 8
2. Sonny, Joe Dockery, Greenwich, Conn., 14
3, Angelita, Sam Croll, Greenwich, Conn., 15
1. Ranger, Tony Widmann, Stratford, Conn., 9
2. Flapper, Jacob Vargish, Barrington, RI, 10
3, Alana, Thomas Rodes, Cambridge, MA, 18
1. Chris Dragon, Andrew Weiss, Mamaroneck, NY, 15
2, Gambler, Doug Shaffer, Bayview, TX 19
3. Flying Jenny VI, David Askew, Annapolis, MD, 19
1. Hoss, Glenn Darden & Philip Williamson, Ft. Worth, TX, 22
2. Apparition, Kenneth Colburn, Dover, MA, 31
3. Daring, John Hele, Newport, RI, 35