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One-Design Stalwarts Find Success at NYYC Annual Regatta

Published on June 11th, 2016

Newport, RI (June 11, 2016) – A decade of tooth-and-nail one-design racing in the Swan 42 class served Chris Culver and Paul Zabetakis well on Day 2 of the 162nd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex. With just four Swan 42s registered for the regatta, the class was folded into the IRC fleet, joining a pack of 6 other boats, all between 41 and 43 fleet in length and all very close in rating. Culver and his team on Blazer won the first race, while Zabetakis’ Impetuous (above, at left) took top honors in Race 2. With two races in the books, the two boats are at the top of the standings, with three and four points, respectively.

“It was very difficult sailing today,” said Zabetakis. “We were seeing 10 knots (of windspeed) at the top of the rig, but it wasn’t anything near that on the water. It was really squirrelly. Our crew work was good, we’ve got some new guys on—our bowman was our mast man last year and this was his first outing on the bow—but everyone stayed focused and did a good job. We had a good day.”

Racing in a handicap fleet as part of a one-design subclass presents some opportunities and also some additional challenges. The presence of other similar boats means there is often someone against which you can gauge your speed. On the other hand there can often be more traffic around the track while boats are the edges of the rating band may find themselves sailing more in open water and undisturbed air.

“You’re used to the boats being very even,” said Zabetakis, who has done limited handicap racing with his Swan 42. “When you’re going upwind, you can peg off another 42 as far as your speed and height. The second race we were just matching with the other IRC boats, and it’s harder because the angles are different.”

He also noted that tracking placings during the course of the race is a new challenge for his team. “If we do more IRC racing,” he said, “we’re going to have to get a handle on the rating game.”

One class down in IRC 4, the competition for the top spot is even tighter, with four boats sitting within a point of the lead. Chris Lewis’ J/44 Kenai and Quentin Thomas’ Pendragon are tied for first with five points while Ganson Evans’ Old School, a Farr 395, and Sedgwick Ward’s J/111 Bravo are sitting on six points.

Three boats scored a pair of race wins today. Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente rebounded from a very frustrating third yesterday to take both Maxi72 races and the early lead in the class’s inaugural North American Championship. Carl Olsson sailed his J/109 to a pair of firsts in IRC 5 while Bruce Stone accomplished the same feat in the J/105 one-design class.

The forecast for tomorrow is calling for substantially more breeze, which could go a long way in shaking up the standings, especially in the IRC classes where the boat designs that favor heavy air will find an opportunity to make up for any struggles in today’s single-digit wind speeds.

Event WebsiteResults

About the 162nd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex
More than 150 boats are expected to compete in the 162nd Annual Regatta presented by Rolex. The event will feature a race around Conanicut Island on Friday, June 10, and then two days of buoy racing for the IRC and one-design classes, and point-to-point racing for the multihulls and navigator classes. The regatta is part of the prestigious Onion Patch Series, along with the Newport Bermuda Race and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta. The sponsors of the 162nd Annual Regatta include presenting sponsor Rolex and regatta sponsor Porsche Cars North America and the participating New England Area Porsche dealers.

Report by Event Media

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