Next up - the Newport Regatta

200+ boats to race in 19 one design classes this week

Friday July 13th 2012, Author: Jan Harley, Location: United States

Hot on the heels of the America’s Cup World Series, Sail Newport remains a hotbed of activity as Rhode Island’s community sailing centre next hosts one of the summer’s most diverse sailing events – The Newport Regatta featuring Bacardi Newport Sailing Week Presented by EFG – set to take place over 13-15 July.

Over 200 boats have entered the regatta which will provide competition in 19 one-design classes. Among them are the J/80, Star and Viper 640 which will race for both the Newport Regatta and Bacardi Newport Sailing Week trophies.

In the J/80 class, Newport sailor Andy Burton will work to defend the class win he scored during the inaugural Bacardi Newport Sailing Week in 2011. For the Viper 640 class, which has on its entry roster British Olympian Barry Parkin, powerhouse sailing couple Phil and Wendy Lotz, as well as defending champion Pieter Taselaar, the class’s New England Championship title will also be on the line.

The J/24 class has the largest number of boats registered as that class will also vie for their Northeast Regional Championship, along with a berth to the 2013 J/24 World Championship for the top-finishing U.S. helmsperson not previously qualified. Familiar names in that fleet include two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Cory Sertl, 2010 J/24 World Champion Tim Healy, 2005 Thistle National Champion Mike Ingham and young talent such as Darby Smith. Smith’s father, Jud Smith, the 2006 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, and Bob Merrick (Portsmouth, R.I.), 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist, will surely spice up the competition in the Etchells and F18 fleets, respectively.

The Etchells class will use the regatta to determine their Atlantic Coast Champion, the 505s their Region 1 Champion and the Vanguard 15s their Atlantic Coast Champion, making for a total of five classes using the event to determine a major class championship.

Marking its 28th year of competition, the Newport Regatta has become one of the largest multi-class events on the east coast.

Also racing will be A-Class catamarans, Club 420, J/22, J/105, Laser, Laser Radial, Sunfish, Swan 42, Snipe, VX One and 49er classes, bringing together nearly 1,000 sailors from 15 states and several countries to compete.

Spectators will be able to view the action from shore as racing takes place on four courses set on Narragansett Bay: off Brenton Point; between Rose and Goat Islands; Potter Cove in Jamestown; and near the Coasters Harbor Navy Yacht Club north of the Newport Pell Bridge. The talents of more than 100 skilled volunteers from Ida Lewis Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Newport Yacht Club, Coasters Harbor Navy Yacht Club and Barrington Yacht Club will be called upon to run the massive event.

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