Harken Derm

American Yacht Club prepares for 34th Annual Spring Series

Published on April 25th, 2013

(Rye, NY) Race Committee and support staff at American Yacht Club are well into preparations for the Club’s venerable Spring Series to be held on the weekends of April 27/28 and May 4/5.

The season opening racing, inaugurated in 1980, has long outgrown its local roots with entries from well beyond the waters of Western Long Island Sound. Some 96 yachts were on the starting lines at the inaugural event and the numbers have grown over the years as entrants are attracted to well run races, worthy competition and a good chance for early season breezes. The initial event had two divisions – IOR and PHRF. Right from the start the event drew top competitors, including IOR winner Tatoosh, a Frers 46. Interest in the series grew quickly, and in 1984 the number of entries reached 144.

With that 1980 Spring Series, the American Yacht Club race committee inaugurated something that is now familiar to racing skippers far beyond Long Island Sound: procedures in the Sailing Instructions permitting course changes to be signaled and accomplished after the start, when necessary to accommodate changes in wind direction and strength in the course of a race. American Yacht Club had been a pioneer in improvements in race management since the early 1930s, when it introduced the signaling of turning marks shortly before the start; this did away with the old system of fixed courses that had not always yielded good tests of design quality and sailing skill.

Continuing its focus on innovation and improving the quality of race management, AYC’s Race Committee launched, in 2010, a dedicated Safety and Rescue Patrol for all circles during specific high profile regattas. The initiative recognizes that the growing popularity of major AYC sponsored and hosted Regattas is putting more boats and more competitors on the water with an increased risk of accidents and injuries.

“Over the last few sailing seasons, AYC has expanded its hosting of regattas and pushed the racing calendar out from April into October and later,” commented Race Committee Chairman Nicholas Everett. “As this occurred, the cold water and heavier conditions at either end dictated a new focus on safety. By training and deploying qualified manpower to race day safety and support we will not only enhance AYC’s already well-earned reputation for professional race management but also signal to competing captains that we have assigned the highest priority to the well being of their boats and crew.”

On the Signal Boats, AYC’s Spring Series race committees bring a lot of experience on race day. John L. “Tinker” Myles, Jr., who has chaired the committee at both AYC and the NYYC, has done RC duty on every Spring Series from 1981 on, and has been PRO on the East Course for a number of years.

In the current Spring Series, AYC runs two circles and accepts one-design, classics, IRC, PHRF and HPR class starts. Multiple races per day are offered on Windward /Leeward courses. AYC makes guest moorings available for the regatta and the week in between on a prearranged basis. Call AYC at 914 967-4800 for Details.

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