Busy year ahead

News of New York Yacht Club's regattas this season

Friday April 2nd 2004, Author: Barby MacGowan, Location: United States
This summer, the New York Yacht Club will stage some of the sailing world’s most anticipated east coast events of 2004 while celebrating a 10-year partnership with Rolex Watch U.S.A.

First on the calendar is the NYYC’s 150th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex. Hosted at Harbour Court, the NYYC’s Newport clubhouse, from June 11-13, it kicks off the biennial Onion Patch Series that includes the Annual Regatta, the Newport-Bermuda Race (starting June 18) and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Anniversary Regatta (June 25). In honor of its sesquicentennial, the Annual Regatta will be a three-day event with the addition of an optional Around the (Conanicut) Island Race for the Rolex Cup on Friday, June 11. This special race, open to all participants 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.

"Before we had a presence in Newport," said Steven Wolff, chair of the NYYC’s Sailing Committee, "the club often ran events on Long Island Sound that would not have been possible without the support of other clubs, especially Indian Harbor, American, Larchmont, Seawanhaka Corinthian and Riverside. As a gesture of thanks, a trophy will be awarded to the top two-boat team representing any participating yacht club in Friday’s race."

The Around the Island Race will be followed by a weekend (June 12-13) of course racing in divisions for IMS Racing, IMS Cruiser/Racer, Americap II, PHRF, ACC, 12 Meter, NYYC Cruising Rule (non-spinnaker), One-Design and Classic. If attendance at the Annual Regatta is anything like it was at the NYYC’s Sesquicentennial in 1994, there will be hundreds of sailboats and thousands of sailors participating. Attendance should be further bolstered by Newport-Bermuda Race entrants and America’s Cup Class yachts preparing in Newport for the UBS Trophy (June 19-26), which will be conducted under the auspices of Team Alinghi, but with an independent Race Committee appointed by the NYYC.

The NYYC Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex will make its fourth biennial appearance over July 16-25. Popular and unique for its split-racing format, the event hosts handicap racing under IMS, PHRF and Americap II in the first half of the week (July 16-20) and one-design racing in the latter half (July 22-25), with an optional distance race, open to all divisions, scheduled for mid-week, (July 21). North American championships for the Farr 395, Henderson 30 and J/35 classes will be held at the event, while the Farr 40 class will determine its East Coast Champion and the J/105 class will determine its Southern New England Champion. Other one-design classes competing are the 1D35, J/44, J/109, J/120 and Swan 45, with others expected to be added.

Making its debut this summer is the NYYC Invitational Racing Series for Vintage and Classic Yachts, a three-event series open to boats built before 1958. It will consist of the NYYC’s 150th Annual Regatta and Race Week at Newport--both presented by Rolex—and the Museum of Yachting’s Classic Yacht Regatta (Sept. 3-5), celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Prizes will be awarded for the series, as well as for each of the three events.

"We already have had many more inquiries for all of our regattas," said Wolff. "With the 10th anniversary of our relationship with Rolex, the historic nature of the 150th Annual Regatta, the return of America’s Cup racing to Newport and this being a Newport-Bermuda Race year, we are preparing for an awesome summer of sailing."
The NYYC also hosts a full schedule of national and international team and match racing events each summer. This Fall, other notable events to be hosted by the NYYC and presented by Rolex include the Sonar North American championship (August 26-29) and US Sailing’s U.S. Women’s Match Racing championship (September 30-October 3).

Racing for all the NYYC events will take place on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay. Rolex Watch U.S.A. is the presenting sponsor of NYYC events as part of an exclusive, long-term partnership that began in 1994.

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