New York Yacht Club Race Week to resume today
While many sailors in the One Design portion of New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex head back to the office today, some are busy planning their strategy for the second half of the regatta, due to start on Wednesday. Four days of racing will take place on Rhode Island Sound and be purely IRC-rated. The best performing boat among the 35 entered will take the Rolex US-IRC National Championship title and its skipper will be presented with a specially engraved Rolex timepiece at the Rolex Gala and Awards Party on Saturday evenin..
As part of US-IRC's Gulf Stream Series, Race Week has attracted some standouts on the world yacht racing stage such as Ron O'Hanley's 50ft Privateer, George David’s 90ft Rambler, Richard Oland’s Southern Cross 52 Vela Veloce, Dan Meyers' J/V 66ft Numbers and from Australia Ray Roberts’ STP65 Evolution Racing.
Participating in NYYC Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex is part of Roberts’s overall strategy for Evolution Racing. “The boat was already here, and I have previously raced here and enjoyed it so much. I love sailing in the States, and there’s always that friendly rivalry between American and Down Under Sailors.”
Evolution Racing’s crew includes boat builder Steve McConaghy calling tactics, well-known Australian strategist Jamie McFale, Andy Hudson, who crewed on Transfusion the second-place finisher at the 2010 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds, and chief sail designer Ben DeCoster, who also manages the Sydney-based Evolution Sails of which Roberts owns. Together they have created new design shapes for Race Week, which Roberts likens to “…not only a battle on the water but among sail designers.”
Evolution Racing, Rambler and Numbers will compete in IRC 1 class, while IRC 2 consists of seven boats including Privateer, Vela Veloce and John Brim’s R/P 55 Rima 2, George Sekellaris’s Farr 60 Captivity, Enrio Staffini’s 52ft Anema & Core, Blair Brown’s 55ft Sforzando and Lawrence Huntington’s Ker 50 Snow Lion.
Seven boats will compete in IRC 3, including Phil Lotz’s NYYC Swan 42 Arethusa, which took class honours in the first half of Race Week. Although Lotz does not plan to change Arethusa’s winning formula, the crew plans to take some time today to look at a few sails. “We don’t really sail IRC,” said Lotz. “However, with this boat we’ve had luck. We know how to optimise our boat speed, and when you’re out there you don’t really know what to expect. We are hoping that will give us an edge.”
Andrew Weiss’s Christopher Dragon and David & MaryEllen Tortorello’s Partnership, the third and fourth place J/122s, respectively, from the One Design half of Race Week, will compete in the eight-boat IRC 4 class. The largest class, IRC 5, contains 10 boats, including Rives Potts’s Carina, a 48ft sloop that won the Newport Bermuda Race’s St. David’s Lighthouse Division.