Candy Store Cup and High School Sailing

Published on August 8th, 2017

by Joe Cooper
The Candy Store Cup, staged out of the Newport Shipyard in RI was held over 3 days, the last weekend of July. The Candy Store Cup is a dedicated regatta for Superyachts, with the minimum LOA for entry of nominally 30 meters, around 100 feet.

Such yachts are generally not the kind of boats high school sailors get the opportunity to sail on, outside of the owner’s family and friends. Fortunately, I have a lot of mates in the area who know of my interest in, work with, and passion for having local high school sailors have the kinds of experiences I had as a teenager, well sort of. NOT too many 56 meter Perini Navi Ketches in Sydney town in the 1960s and 1970s.

A couple of weeks before the regatta I had an email from Murray Lord, principal at Wellington Yacht Partners and former yacht captain of small ships of this size. The note asked me if I was interested in sailing on the 56 meter Zenji for the Candy Sore Cup, and if so to contact the captain. Murray was to be the ‘race’ skipper.

One thing led to another and after meeting with Matt, the very pleasant and easy going British skipper, I got the nod. At the end of our discussions I raised one point of interest to me, “Can I bring some HS sailors?” After some more talking on this subject, Matt was gracious enough to let me bring up to three young sailors per day. Hot Dog, I thought.

I sent out the Bat Signal to the Prout School Sailing team email list on this topic. Short version? I was able to have 5 of the sailors, all young ladies, (80% of the 2017 team was ladies) rotate through the four days of sailing, one practice and three race days with me.

Well, ‘sailing’ on a 56 meter Perini is a rather different bag o’ sail ties than almost any other sailing. There is barely anything one person alone can do on deck, the kite sheets are probably 350 feet of 25 mm spectra, the dock lines not as long but twice as thick and even the fenders, light though they are being inflatable, are more easily managed by two. And the kite? I did not get the actual area of the sail but it lives, on the foredeck, in a bag that would be hard to get into the average sailmakers Ford 350 Econovan.

Full report… click here.

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