Harken Derm

Big breeze thrills NYYC Annual Regatta

Published on June 12th, 2016

Newport, RI (June 12, 2016) – For the crew on the U.S. Naval Academy’s Ker 50 Wahoo, the journey to the top of the podium of IRC 2 in the 162nd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex started on the chilly Chespeake Bay during the latter stages of the past winter.

“I look at this regatta and I think it was really won over the course of three months,” said Midshipman 1st Class Matt Robbins, the boat’s skipper. “We worked really hard on three different platforms of boats in order to prepare this crew. We dealt with a lot of changes. We sail with a crew of 12 midshipman and everyone of them developed the experience to step up on a day like today and keep things under control. That was the name of the game (today), keeping things under control and finishing the race.”

Regatta participants awoke on Sunday to find the sun shining and the breeze blowing pleasantly out of the southwest. Saturday’s overcast weather and evening thunder storms were a distant memory, and it appeared as if the 162nd edition of North America’s oldest regatta would end on a high note. Then a cold front rolled through and the breeze shifted to the northwest and increased dramatically.

By the time the boats started final preparations for the day, the wind was steadily into the low 20s with gusts approaching 30. One boat lost its rig before racing and there were plenty others who decided discretion was the better part of valor and either didn’t race at all or withdrew before crossing the finish line.

For the crew on Wahoo, however, it was never a question whether to keep sailing. After a second in the first race, the midshipmen found themselves at the top of IRC 2 with two other boats within one point of the lead. It would all come down to the final race. By the first mark of the final race, the race was Wahoo’s to win or lose.

Both Temptation-Oakcliff, skippered by Art Santry and Siren, skippered by William Hubbard, the only two boats within striking distance of the lead, retired due to equipment issues. Robbins and his team pushed hard to the finish nonetheless, setting a spinnaker on both runs and winning the race and the class.

“Days like today are really achieved over the course of months of training,” said Midshipmen Robbins, noting that 10 of the 12 crew entered the academy with minimal sailing experience. “That’s really where, for me as the skipper of the boat, my pride in the crew comes from, seeing how hard they’ve worked. And I know they’re going to work that hard going to Bermuda.”

While IRC 1, IRC 2 and the 12-Metres, some of the biggest boats in the regatta, did Stadium Sailing in the cozy confines of Narragansett Bay’s East Passage, significantly smaller boats were battling the elements on the open ocean.

The C&C30s was the newest class at the regatta. The high-performance 30-footers look like an overgrown surfboard. But, says two-time Olympic sailor Mark Mendelblatt, the boats are surprisingly seaworthy. “We had up to 27, 28 knots of wind, and were averaging low 20s for both races. It was right on the edge, but OK.”

Later this summer a fleet of a dozen or more are expected to contest the class’s first North American championship during Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex. For many of the six teams sailing this past weekend, this regatta served as a high-test tune-up for the big show. Mendelblatt sailed with Dan Cheresh onboard Extreme2, which won the regatta with an impressive 2-1-2-1 scoreline. Mendelblatt placed the lion’s share of the credit on Cheresh’s shoulders.

“The driver is always the biggest factor on the sailboat, but on these boats where the level is close and it’s very tight at the top, the driver is usually who can pull it off,” said Mendelblatt. “Being able to drive the boat fast in a straight line is the most important thing, throughout the range of conditions. We did have a few [boathandling] mistakes, but in that breeze everyone makes mistakes. A couple of times we got handed the race, but we were always up near the front and didn’t have any major mistakes.”

Catamarans are a recent edition to the Annual Regatta, but given the intensity of the racing in both twin-hulled classes this past weekend, there is strong expectations for the future.

When Michael Dominguez and his Bronco team couldn’t start Sunday’s only race due to equipment issues, the M32 came down to a winner take all battle between three teams. Chris Poole’s Riptide Racing came out on top, with Malcolm Gefter’s Liftoff in second.

The other catamaran class, the largest and luxurious Gunboats, were one of the classes that most enjoyed the brisk conditions, doing two races and hitting speeds in excess of 20 knots. Jason Caroll’s Elvis has been the class of this fleet, but this weekend it was Jonathan Bush’s Zenyatta that ran the table winning all three races to take first place.

The 162nd Annual Regatta presented by Rolex came to a close on Sunday afternoon with an awards ceremony on the lawn of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court. The wind had only increased, and more than a few sailors wondered if it was time to reef the tent. But everything stayed in place and the awards went off without a hitch, leaving everyone to savor the memories of a very diverse weekend of sailing and look forward to the next big event, whether it be the Newport Bermuda Race, July’s Race Week at Newport, or something else.

Results – Top 3 for each class
Yacht Name, Type, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points

IRC 0 – Maxi72 (IRC – 4 Boats)
1. Bella Mente, Judel-Vrolijk Mini Maxi 72, Hap Fauth , Naples, FL, USA – 1 -1 -2 ; 4
2. MOMO, Maxi72 72, MOMO Racing Limited , Tortola, BVI – 4 -2 -1 ; 7
3. Caol Ila R, Mini Maxi 72 72, Alex Schaerer , Mreihel, Birkirkara, MLT – 2 -4 -3 ; 9

Classics Spin (CRF – 11 Boats)
1. Discovery, Thomas Rodes , USA – 3 ; 3
2. Belle, Jonathan Loughborough , USA – 2 -1 ; 3
3. Sonny, Joseph Dockery , USA – 1 -2 ; 3

Classics NS (CRF – 6 Boats)
1. Ruweida V, Joseph Huber , USA – 1 ; 1
2. Amorita, Jedd Pearsall , USA – 2 ; 2
3. Angelita, ABC Skelsey/Croll , USA – 3 ; 3

IRC 1 (IRC – 6 Boats)
1. Vesper, TP 52 52, Jim Swartz , Park City, UT, USA – 2 -1 -3 -1 ; 7
2. SPOOKIE, TP52 52.00, Steve & Heidi Benjamin , South Norwalk, CT, USA – 3 -2 -1 -2 ; 8
3. Interlodge IV, Botin 44 44, Austin and Gwen Fragomen , Newport, RI, USA – 1 -5 -2 -3 ; 11

IRC 2 (IRC – 8 Boats)
1. Wahoo, KER 50 Custom 15.37m, Matt Robbins , Annapolis, MD, USA – 3 -1 -2 -1 ; 7
2. Temptation/Oakcliff, Custon Ker 50 50, Arthur Santry , Newport , RI, USA – 2 -3 -1 -9 ; 15
3. Watermark, Bermuda 50 50, Jack LeFort , Jamestown, RI, USA – 4 -4 -5 -2 ; 15

IRC 3 (IRC – 10 Boats)
1. Blazer, Swan 42 42.5, Christopher Culver , Stamford, CT, USA – 1 -2 -2 ; 5
2. Impetuous, Swan 42 42.5, Paul Zabetakis , Stuart, FL, USA – 3 -1 -4 ; 8
3. Quintessence, NYYC/Swan 42 42’5, Roger Widmann , Larchmont, NY, USA – 8 -4 -1 ; 13

IRC 4 (IRC – 10 Boats)
1. Kenai, J 44 44.9, Chris Lewis , Houston, TX, USA – 4 -1 -1 ; 6
2. Old School, Farr 395 39.5, Ganson Evans , Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA – 1 -5 -4 ; 10
3. Pendragon, X-41 41, Quentin Thomas , Portsmouth, RI, USA – 3 -2 -7 ; 12

IRC 5 (IRC – 11 Boats)
1. Morning Glory, J 109 35, Carl Olsson , New Rochelle, NY, USA – 1 -1 -1 ; 3
2. Rush, J 109 35, Bill Sweetser , Annapolis, MD, USA – 4 -2 -3 ; 9
3. Leading Edge, J35 35, Tom Sutton , Houston, Texas, USA – 3 -5 -2 ; 10

C&C 30 (One Design – 7 Boats)
1. Extreme2, C&C 30 One Design 30, Dan Cheresh , Saugatuck, MI, USA – 2 -1 -2 -1 ; 6
2. Stark Raving Mad VIII, C&C 30 One Design 30, James Madden , Newport Beach, CA, USA – 5 -4 -1 -2 ; 12
3. roXanne, C&C 30 One Design 30, Kip Meadows , Raleigh, NC, USA – 4 -2 -3 -3 ; 12

Etchells (One Design – 10 Boats)
1. MB III, Etchells 30, Jamie Hilton , Tiverton, RI, USA – 2 -1 -1 -3 ; 7
2. America Jane II, Etchells 30, Scott Kaufman , New York, NY, USA – 1 -3 -5 -2 ; 11
3. Skanky Gene, Etchells 30, Jay Cross , New York, NY, USA – 5 -5 -2 -1 ; 13

J 105 (One Design – 5 Boats)
1. Good Trade, J 105 34.5, Bruce Stone / Nicole Breault , San Francisco, CA, USA – 1 -1 -1 -1 ; 4
2. Sterling, J 105 34.5, Mark Lindquist , Kingston, MA, USA – 4 -2 -2 -2 ; 10
3. Two Feathers, J 105 34.5, Mark Masur , Dallas, TX, USA – 2 -3 -3 -3 ; 11

S Class (One Design – 6 Boats)
1. Aquila, Herreshoff S Class 27.5, Geoffrey Davis , Providence, RI, USA – 1 ; 1
2. Squaw, S-Boat 30, Matt Hayes , Bristol, RI, USA – 2 ; 2
3. Osprey, Herreshoff S Class 27.5, Sheldon Whitehouse , Newport, RI, USA – 3 ; 3

Gunboats (One Design – 4 Boats)
1. Zenyatta, Gunboat 62 62, Jonathan Bush , Cambridge, MA, USA – 1 -1 -1 ; 3
2. Elvis, Gunboat 62 62, Jason Carroll , New York, NY, USA – 2 -2 -2 ; 6
3. Flow, Gunboat 60 60, Stephen Cucchiaro , Boston, MA, USA – 3 -3 -3 ; 9

M32 (One Design – 7 Boats)
1. Riptide Racing, M32 32, Chris Poole , Oyster Bay, NY, USA – 2 -2 -3 -6 -1 ; 14
2. LIFTOFF, Marstrom 32 32, malcolm gefter , newport, ri, USA – 3 -1 -4 -5 -2 ; 15
3. Bliksem, Marstrom 32 32, Pieter Taselaar , Newport, Rhode island, USA – 5 -3 -2 -3 -3 ; 16

12 Metre Modern (One Design – 3 Boats)
1. Victory 83, 12 Metre M 65, Dennis Williams , Hobe Sound, FL, USA – 1 -1 -1 ; 3
2. Intrepid, 12 Metre M 65′, Jack Curtin , Toronto, Ont, USA – 3 -2 -2 ; 7
3. Courageous, 12 Metre M 65, Ralph Isham /Alexander Auersperg , Newport, RI, USA – 2 -3 -4 ; 9

12 Metre GP (One Design – 2 Boats)
1. New Zealand, 12 Metre G 64, Gunther Buerman , Middletown, Rhode Island, United States – 1 -1 -1 ; 3
2. Laura, 12 Metre G 65, Kip Curren , Warwick, RI, USA – 2 -2 -3 ; 7

12 Metre Traditonal (One Design – 2 Boats)
1. Weatherly, 12 Meter T 69 ft, Jay Schachne , Barrington, RI, USA – 1 -2 -1 ; 4
2. American Eagle, 12 Meter T 67, Robert Morton , Newport, Rhode Island, United States – 2 -1 -2 ; 5

ORR Navigators (ORR – 11 Boats)
1. Kinship, Baltic 52, Tom Selldorff , Weston, MA, USA – 2 -1 -1 ; 4
2. Temptress, Taylor 41 41, John Gowell , East Greenwich, RI, USA – 3 -2 -3 ; 8
3. Crazy Horse , JV 50 50, Kevin McLaughlin , Fairhaven, MA, USA – 1 -5 -5 ; 11

PHRF 1 (PHRF – 6 Boats)
1. Irie 2, Ker 55 55, Brian Cunha , Newport, RI, USA – 2 -1 ; 3
2. Eagle, J 120 40, Steven Levy , Greenwich, CT, USA – 1 -3 ; 4
3. Reef Points, Westerly Marine 60 60, Gurdon Wattles , Little Compton, RI, United States – 4 -2 ; 6

PHRF 2 (PHRF – 10 Boats)
1. Jazz, J 88 29, Douglas McKeige , Mamaroneck, NY, USA – 1 -1 ; 2
2. High Noise, Italia 9.98 33, Alex Sastre , Coconut Grove, Fl, USA – 3 -2 ; 5
3. Electra, J 88 29, Jeff Johnstone , Newport, RI, USA – 2 -3 ; 5

PHRF 3 NS (PHRF – 8 Boats)
1. Jazz Fish, Freedom 35 35, Paul Koch , East Greenwich, RI, USA – 1 -2 ; 3
2. Duck Soup, C&C 37 R/XL 39’6, Bill Clavin , Warwick, RI, USA – 5 -1 ; 6
3. Crackerjack, Cambria 40 41.03, Alan Krulisch , Arlington, VA, USA – 2 -9 ; 11

Event WebsiteComplete Results

About the 162nd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta
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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