Growth for Safe Harbor Race Weekend

Published on August 7th, 2022

The second edition of Safe Harbor Race Weekend welcomes a 25% jump in registrants for the 2022 event on August 12-14 in in Newport, RI. Sixty-two teams in boats ranging from 30 to 116 feet in length will be split into two divisions: Division 1 with racing on Narragansett Bay for ORC, PHRF (A, B & C), Performance Cruising (A & B), and IC37 One-Design classes; and Division 2 with racing on Rhode Island Sound for Superyacht classes (A & B).

Venue hosts are Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard, Safe Harbor New England Boatworks, and Safe Harbor Jamestown Boatyard, with Safe Harbor organizing the social activities ashore and Premiere Racing, a renowned regatta management team, managing the on-water competition.

“Safe Harbor Race Weekend is a chance for sailors to enjoy three unforgettable days of shoreside events, revelries and racing excitement at Safe Harbor locations in Newport, Portsmouth, and Jamestown,” said Safe Harbor President Rives Potts (Westbrook, CT), an accomplished racing sailor who has registered his 48-foot classic yacht Carina in the regatta.

Potts conceded that as memorable as these shoreside opportunities promise to be – and with no doubt, they left indelible impressions last year – they are secondary to the assurance of good, quality racing on the water.

“First and foremost, it’s about the competition,” he said, adding that there is something for everyone to enjoy, including multiple windward-leeward courses on two days for ORC and PHRF; a single navigator’s course on each of two days for Performance Cruising classes; and an ‘Around Prudence Island Race’ for those classes to enjoy (weather permitting) on one day.

The IC37 class will race windward/leeward courses all three days on Narragansett Bay, while the Superyachts will race navigator’s courses on Rhode Island Sound all three days.

Last year’s ORC and overall winner Jim Madden (Newport Beach, CA) will sail again in ORC with his same seasoned crew aboard his Carkeek 47 Stark Raving Mad. Two of last year’s winners from separate PHRF classes – Joe Brito’s (Bristol, RI) J/121 Incognito and Mark and Cory Sertl’s (Rochester, NY/Jamestown, RI) Farr 30 Das Blau Max, will meet head-to-head in the ten-boat PHRF B class.

“As to our expectations, we are just hoping for good breeze,” said Mark Sertl. “In handicap racing, with such a diverse class, each dog will have its day. Being the smallest boat in the class, we need to get off the line with a lane and then play lane management until the boats spread out.”

Hawk, the Evelyn 32 owned by Richard Barker and his daughter Katie Barker (Newport, RI), will return to the eight-boat PHRF C class, which it won last year. John Santa’s (Southport, CT) Swan 46 Galadriel also returns as defending champion in the seven-boat Performance Cruising Spinnaker A class.

“The racing is point-to-point but it’s not in a straight line and it’s not around buoys,” said Galadriel’s skipper Stephen DeVoe (Jamestown, RI) about the navigator’s courses that distinguish this class from most of the others. “It’s around government marks and typically we have a good bit of upwind and downwind work, so it makes it fun.”

The Superyachts have expanded their competition schedule this year to three days, up from two last year, and will use handicap ratings, size, and sailing characteristics to split into their two classes. Hap Fauth’s (Minneapolis, MN/Naples, FL) custom HJB Whisper, at 119’ and the largest yacht in the regatta, looks to be a frontrunner for the four-boat Superyacht B class, as it finished second last year to PERSEUS^3, which was unable to return.

“It’s more competitive to sail in two classes where all the boats are more similar in size,” said Whisper’s Captain Simon Davison (Newport, RI), “and especially on these large boats where you need to pull so many people together, three races make the effort worthwhile. Whisper’s crew (numbering into the 20s) is largely Corinthian as opposed to all paid professionals, which means friendly rivalry and having a good time are the most important things.”

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Source: Media Pro Int’l

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