This win covers a lot of ground
Published on October 4th, 2021
by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
The IC37 class was created by the New York Yacht Club to promote one-design competition for amateur sailors. They conceived a 37-foot keelboat that was modern and speedy, but not so tweaky that it would be a struggle to sail well. Combined with strict class rules, the goal was to create the most-level playing field in big-boat sailing.
It is a challenge in our sport as nothing thwarts participation like an inability to feel competitive, and as boats get harder to sail, requiring more elite crew to sail them well, fewer people stay involved. So from its initial announcement in May 2017, to its first year of racing in 2019, it was fingers crossed the plan would deliver on its promise.
Critical to any new one design class is achieving critical mass, and New York Yacht Club checked that box by purchasing the initial 20-boat fleet and leasing them to their members. Since then, privately-owned boats and have been secured but the hub of all activity is in Newport, RI.
By and large, the plan has been successful, though the cost is still significant which impacts participation, but the inaugural 2021 IC37 North American Championship had 17 boats on the line, which is still plenty to create havoc at the turns.
More so, evidence the class has found its groove comes from the popularity of this championship winner – Das Blau Max led by Cory and Mark Sertl with full assistance from their kids Nick and Katja. With dad and daughter on trim, son on helm, and mom on tactics, the Sertls controlled the 8-race series.
It is not often a Scuttlebutt race report gets a massive response on Facebook, but this one did:
“Family first!” – Jonathan Bartlett
“Great job!” – Lynne Jewell-Shore
“Way to go! Very cool to sail as a family.” – Tarasa Davis
“Awesome!!!” – Allison Jolly
“Giving back to the sport and winning a championship at the same time. That’s pretty cool.” – Ken Legler
“A big thanks to the Sertl Team — we needed you and you came through!! Well sailed regatta.” – Douglas Newhouse
There’s winning, and there’s winning, and this win covers a lot of ground.