Harken Derm

All forms at 165th Annual Regatta

Published on June 16th, 2019

Newport, RI (June 16, 2019) – With the exception of maybe a little more sun and a little less rain, Robin Team has a hard time imagining a better Father’s Day.

The J/122 skipper from Lexington, N.C., spent today sailing with his two sons in testing conditions and putting the finishing touches on a near flawless weekend of racing at the 165th edition of the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta including the Swan American Regatta.

“What better way to way to spend Father’s Day than racing offshore with your two sons and getting the opportunity to walk across the stage at the New York Yacht Club,” says Team. He didn’t add winning, but maybe he didn’t have to. That was merely the cherry on top.

The Teamwork crew, which also includes Team’s brother, started the long weekend with a convincing win in IRC 4 in the Around-the-Island Race on June 14, and carried that winning feeling into two days of buoy racing in big breeze and cresting waves on Rhode Island Sound.

Teamwork won three races yesterday and the first race today. With the overall title all but in the bag, Team and his crew were a little cautious in the final race in order to preserve their assets for Block Island Race Week, which starts a week from tomorrow.

“We were in a J3 [jib] all day long and we ended up running three different spinnakers based on the conditions,” says Team. “We just changed gears based on the wind intensity. All of that made it really, really fun.

“Toward the end of the regatta we got a little bit conservative because we did have a lead and we didn’t want to break anything. So we ran a [smaller high-wind spinnaker] on one leg and ran a [reaching spinnaker] on the final leg to the finish.”

A fourth in that final race was the lone blemish on an otherwise perfect scorecard. But finishing that race overlapped with another competitor after 90 minutes of hard racing just emphasized how competitive it was in IRC 4, which made the overall victory that much sweeter.

“That was one of the beautiful things about this regatta,” says Team. “The rating band was really tight and you knew how you did at the end of the race instead of waiting for the corrected times to come out. It was fun to have two other J/122s there, they were really well-sailed boats, we love sailing against them. The J/111s and the J/44s were all great competition as well. We’ll be back.”

Fatherhood was also on the mind of Tristan Mouligne, who took a similarly impressive win in PHRF 3 aboard his Quest 30 Samba. Normally June finds Mouligne doing one singlehanded offshore race or another. He and Samba are a familiar sight at events such as the Bermuda One-Two, which departed from Newport a week ago.

“At this time of the year I’m usually doing the singlehanded Bermuda One-Two Race,” says Mouligne. “I have a young baby at home [and another on the way] so I decided to say here this summer and do some inshore racing with the boat, which is a little bit of a change for me.”

The Quest 30 was right on the forefront of the sportboat revolution when it was launched 25 years ago. Plenty of newer designs have hit the water since, but the Rodger Martin design can still show similarly sized boats a clean pair of heels in the right conditions and with the right guidance. Samba won each of the division’s four races.

“We had a great crew on board,” says Mouligne of his team, which included his brother and long-time friends. “The navigator-style courses with some reaching is favorable for our boat. All four of our starts were good. We never got ourselves in big trouble off the line. We sailed very well downwind, and survived upwind in the heavy-air conditions.”

This year’s edition of the Annual Regatta featured a strong fleet of classics, some of which were around for the 65th edition of the event in first half of the 20th century. But they all braved the challenging conditions like much-younger boats. Wendy Schmidt’s 55-foot Santana, a beautifully restored Sparkman & Stephens design, dominated the Classics 1 division with five wins in five races.

“It was great fun this weekend competing in five close races with serious classic competitors like Sonny and Dorade,” says Schmidt. “In the gusty and shifty wind conditions, I’m really proud of the boat handling and crew work of our team. They executed. Also, racing in the Bay north of the Newport Bridge gives you a wonderful race track. The relatively short windward leeward courses provided lots of opportunities to shift positions and kept everyone on board engaged at every moment. You couldn’t make a mistake.”

No one expected a perfect scoreline in the 17-boat IC37 class. With everyone still learning the boat—and sailing for the first time in significant breeze—mistakes would be made by every team. The team that limited the damage best was the Members Only crew led by Jay Cross, Hannah Swett, and Ben Kinney.

Members Only won two races and took a fifth and a seventh in the other two to earn the team a two-point win over Double Jointed, led by Andy Fisher and Ray Wulff. Rear Commodore Christopher Culver’s Blazer was third.

The 165th edition of North America’s oldest sailing competition was also the 15th edition of the Swan American Regatta, which was previously last run in 2007.

Brendan Brownyard’s Swan 42 Barleycorn won both of the races in the 12-boat fleet, which ranged from 39 to 60 feet. Heidi Herlihy and Todd Barbera’s Swan 56 Tramontana placed second, with The Cat Came Back, a Swan 42 skippered by Lincoln Mossop, in third. For the Nautor’s Swan boatyard, which is one of the sport’s most enduring brands, it was a triumphant return to Newport.

“The New York Yacht Club reserved us a very warm welcome back, thus underlining the long-lasting relationship between Nautor’s Swan and the iconic Club,” says Giovanni Pomati, Nautor’s Swan CEO.

“This was the perfect play-ground for Swan American Regatta to start a new era, with an enthusiastic group of owners expressing their love for our brand and their perfect ClubSwan spirit, made up of passion for sailing, love for their yachts and a dramatic will to get together. Being these aspects are so contagious, I am pretty sure that this is just a successful starting point, which paves the way to a great crescendo in future editions.”

The historic 2019 New York Yacht Club sailing season will continue with the Transatlantic Race 2019, which will see a fleet of 15 yachts head out of Newport bound for Cowes, England, and the One-Design Regatta. In July the sailing season will reach a peak with the Club’s 175th Anniversary Regatta. The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup in September will be another highlight.

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Source: Stuart Streuli

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