Opera House Cup Announces Changes to 2013 Regatta
Published on May 7th, 2013
As the oldest wooden boat regatta on the east coast, the Opera House Cup celebrates its 41st regatta on August 18, 2013. Considered the grand dame of classic racing, and now in its 8th year as a host for the Panerai North American Classic Yachts Challenge, this Nantucket, MA event prides itself on maintaining the classic spirit and character of a time honored tradition. Yet, to the 60 plus competitors that return every year hopeful that their name will be engraved on the OHC Cup, the continuing evolution of the OHC is a sure bet for another exhilarating day of wooden cruisers and racers vying against one another for the bragging rights to that one overall winner’s cup.
Changes to the OHC Regatta, presented by Panerai, come after a complete review of all aspects of how the race is organized. No changes materially alter the OHC, but as Chip Thayer, OHC’s 2013 PRO, says “I’m honored to have the opportunity to be a part of this year’s OHC. In working with the OHC committee, it’s been clear that their guiding principle has been to only make changes that strengthen the tradition of this great event, honor the boats that make it so special and make the event even more fun for the sailors.”
For starters there will be updated courses, better scheduling for an earlier start (so more time for awards/party/after party), amended starting orders, an additional starting class, increased awards , special recognition of cruisers, and enhanced CRF reporting to name just a few of the changes.
Modifications to the OHC courses will improve overall safety. Two courses have been replaced and several others adjusted. The start will be moved to 1.4 nm from the ferry channel, and it is even rumored that the start line with a weather beat may be altered. Think reaching starts and favored ends. In addition increased emphasis is given to longer legs so the different classes have ample time to spread themselves out on the course before reaching marks. Chip Thayer, with 20 years as Annapolis’ Race Committee Chair, says “I think the course changes will give the competitors a great sail, while eliminating a few concerns with safety. I look forward to being on the water with all these beautiful boats.”
Schedule Changes make for an earlier day overall. First warning will be moved to 1100. Harbor Start moves back to 0930 (coincides with the annual Rainbow parade). Official notifications and announcements are earlier. The OHC party starts at 1800 as in the past, but the awards ceremony has been moved to earlier in the evening. Competitors are advised to carefully review the NOR at www.operahousecup.org and the SI (posted Aug. 17) for changes.
To ensure that all participants are equally engaged in the race, the OHC is returning to earlier practices with smaller, slower rated boats scheduled to start first at the beginning of the fleet. In 2008, the OHC changed that order; from 2008 through 2012, faster rated, larger boats started first. Other classes will start in order of their CRF ratings and size.
A fifth starting class will be added to accommodate smaller and mid-sized yachts. This added class further spreads out the fleet making for less congestion and crowding at the starts and mark roundings, as well as, providing for more similarly rated vessels to race against each other.
Prizes and more silver will be awarded. A fourth place prize will be added for divisions/classes with greater than 12 competitors. The expanded honors are in addition to the overall winner awards, division awards for Classic and Spirit of Tradition, class awards for Twelve Metre and Alerions, plus the Robert H. Tiedemann Award, Gwen Gaillard Spirit of the Race Award, First to Finish, and Performance awards.
Cruising Yachts Honored. The OHC was started by wooden boat restorers and owners who just wanted to have a good time and celebrate their passion. A challenge to the OHC and all classic regattas is how to recognize the cruisers and encourage them to compete against racing yachts designed to win. The OHC has a large number of cruisers competing every year, and in the past 10 years, 3 winners of the OHC have been cruising boats, so for 2013, in addition to the Robert H Tiedemann Trophy, the OHC plans a special recognition to honor competing cruisers.
One more update for Opera House competitors. With the introduction of the CRF rating system in 2010, the OHC continues to work with the Panerai North American committee and the CRF rating systems to improve both reporting and calculations of overall ratings. For 2013, a closed CRF/Panerai website will post current, valid CRF ratings for organizing authorities. OHC will use this site to confirm reported ratings. In addition the OHC will post all CRF ratings that it receives on its registration site. Since it remains the skippers’ responsibility to provide their most current, valid CRF certificate to OHC, this service will enable all competitors to confirm the accuracy of their ratings.
Lastly, Nantucket welcomes its guests. Registered Sail Nantucket and Opera House Cup skippers may establish credit upon arrival at the Nantucket Yacht Club to purchase food and drinks; NYC and Great Harbor Yacht Club will provide launch service; and For Nantucket Race Week’s registered Sail Nantucket (Aug. 16, 17 see http://www.nantucketraceweek.org) and registered Opera House Cup competitors, Nantucket Yacht Club is offering a limited number of complimentary moorings in the outer harbor. NYC reserves the right to allocate these moorings, and may require rafting depending on demand and the size of available moorings. For more information on these limited moorings contact NYC at 508.228.1400. As in the past, skippers may also reserve moorings directly through Nantucket Moorings at 508-228-4472 or dock space through Nantucket Boat Basin at 508.325.1350.
Proceeds from the Opera House Cup regatta and party benefit the youth sailing programs of Nantucket Community Sailing, a 501(c) 3 organization. For more information or to register for the 41st Opera House Cup go to www.operahousecup.org
FOR MORE INFORMATION
CEO, Nantucket Community Sailing
4 Winter Street
Nantucket, MA 02554