A Unique Kind of Yachting Event

Published on May 8th, 2017

The inaugural Designer Series Rendezvous will honor renowned yachtsman, sailmaker, and naval architect, Ted Hood. Yachts designed by Mr. Hood along with their owners, friends, and the public are invited to participate in a three-day celebration on July 21-23 showcasing his enormous contribution to the sailing world.

“We want this to be the industry event of the season,” says Andy Tyska, President of Bristol Marine, who got his start working at Hood Designs after getting his degree in marine architecture. “Everyone who shares in the love of yachting should be there.”

Andy’s concept of the Designer Series came shortly after Ted Hood’s memorial in 2013. “I was inspired by how many former colleagues continue to work in the industry as well as the many clients who cherish his boats. He helped so many people start their careers, and his legacy continues to resonate throughout the boating world. I wanted to find a way to continue to honor that legacy, and others like Ted, who have helped move our industry forward.”

The event, at the Herreshoff Marine Museum & America’s Cup Hall of Fame in Bristol R.I., will kick off with an “Open Boat” Dock party surrounded by Ted Hood designs including his flagship America’s Cup 12-meter, Nefertiti. The Hood family will bring “Robin,” Ted Hood’s first Little Harbor built in 1959. Also on the guest list are a variety of Little Harbors, Whisper Jet Powerboats, and Bristol Yachts.

On Saturday (July 22), the sailboats will compete in a pursuit race around Prudence Island while the powerboats are invited to compete in a Log Race or raft up in Potter’s Cove. Nefertiti will take out a limited number sailors who don’t have a boat of their own to race but want to be part of the action.

That evening, there will be a Clam Bake under the tent on the docks of Herreshoff with speeches and presentations from former colleagues, friends, and family of Ted Hood followed by dancing to a favorite local band, the Sugarbabies.

To close out the weekend, as Bristol is known for the 4th of July Parade, Sunday (July 23) will be the Designer Series Parade of Boats. The public is welcome to the waterfront to watch as the Ted Hood designs sail and motor through Bristol Harbor before departing back to their homeports. Nefertiti is also available to take guests for the parade and 2-hour sail back to Newport.

With the vision for the Designer Series to become not only an annual event but also an international one, the focus going forward will be to partner with a marine industry school or design program to develop scholarships and cultivate “up and coming” Ted Hood’s of the world. The designer and location for the 2018 Designer Series Rendezvous will be announced at the inaugural event. Details here: designerseries.org.

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