Stacked fleet for IC37 US Nationals

Published on July 12th, 2022

In what will be the largest turnout for the young class, 24 teams are entered in the 2022 IC37 US National Championship on July 13-16 in Newport, RI. Joining the fray is newcomer Glenn Darden who will be applying his one design DNA to the fourth title bout of the class.

“George Francisco and I are teaming up,” says Darden (Fort Worth, Texas). “He’s a friend from Texas, a really good Etchells sailor. We both have been waiting to do this. This is our first taste at putting an IC37 program together. It’s lot of fun. The fleet is stacked, and the teams have been putting in the time, which is critical when you have nine or 10 people on the crew.”

Held concurrently during 2022 Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex, the 12th edition of this biennial event has a collection of handicap, one design, and classic divisions, but the IC37s will be getting a lot of attention.

“One of the main keys in any one-design fleet is getting off the starting line well,” says Darden. “It’s tough when all the boats go about the same speed. It puts a premium on consistency and the best technique.”

The innovative 37-foot one-design raceboat was created by the New York Yacht Club to provide racing in matched, high-performance boats with minimum hassle. The strict class rules specify one-design sails, standardized rig tune, and coed amateur crew.

The Club purchased the first 20 boats and charters them through a concierge racing program that provides a top-flight racing experience for a reasonable price and without the logistical challenges of owning a boat. Darden is appreciative of the unique opportunity provided by the IC37 class.

“I congratulate the Club for putting that together, it’s a big step,” notes Darden, who likes the crew-weight regulation. “We sail with three pretty big guys on the boat, so we need to get lighter sailors, so that helps with adding females into the mix. It’s great having more women on board our boat and in the class in general.”

While Darden is a very experienced one-design sailor with a history of success across a variety of classes, including victories in the last two J/22 Midwinter Championships, moving from a small keelboat, with a crew of 3 or 4, to the IC37, which is typically sailed with 9 to 10 people, is a challenging leap.

“There’s a lot more jobs, including the spinnaker retrieval system, which adds another big element to the crew work,” says Darden. “Once you perfect the spinnaker takedown, the retrieval line is a fabulous tool. We haven’t quite perfected it.”

With the 2020 and 2021 winners Pacific Yankee (Drew Freides and Bill Ruh) missing, it will be on the 2019 titlist Members Only team led by Benjamin Kinney and Hannah Swett to reclaim the trophy.

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