Breeze on for Women’s 2v2 Team Race
Published on June 4th, 2023
After 45 races in conditions that ranged from very windy to very, very windy, Bristol Yacht Club (Bristol, RI) overcame a four-way tie to win New York Yacht Club’s third annual Women’s 2v2 Team Race held June 3-4 in Newport, RI.
Given the dire forecast for the event, the fact that any races were held at all is a victory for the 10 teams with 86 sailors and two dozen race officials and umpires involved in the regatta. It was a testament to the skill of the sailors and the faith of the race officials that the competitors would be able to handle conditions that approached gale force and kept multiple other fleets off the water.
“We thought that if we were going to get in any racing [on day one], we should just go out right away,” says Claire Harrington, Rear Commodore of the New York Yacht Club and the Principal Race Officer for the regatta.
“My thought was we’ll just see how it’s going, how they’re handling the boats. Remarkably, there were virtually no calls to the bosun, and the teams did a remarkable job of handling the boats. I was very impressed with the skills of the sailors. It was very tight, competitive racing.
“It was only when I started to see steady state wind in the 30s and gusts over 40 that I said let’s call it off before something serious happens.”
The second day was windy, though more reasonably so, enabling Harrington and her all-female race committee to finish one full round-robin. But with that completed, race officials found themselves with a challenging tiebreaker task.
After a deep dive into the Racing Rules of Sailing’s Team Racing Appendix, Bristol Yacht Club, which finished second last year, came out on top, with Team Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association in second, Larchmont (NY) Yacht Club in third and Newport Harbor Yacht Club (Newport Beach, CA) in fourth.
Abigayle Konys, team captain for the Bristol Yacht Club squad, said the key to surviving the first day, in particular, was all between the ears.
“You have to go into it with a good attitude, or it’s just not going to be your day,” said Konys. “No. 1 is making sure we’re communicating and keeping up that energy. That’s the only way you can approach a day like that and if you can do that and keep your boats moving in the right direction that’s going to be the best thing you can do.”
Bristol was one of the smallest yacht clubs competing in the regatta. But the venerable club, based just a short daysail from Newport on Narragansett Bay, has been steadily building its team racing program over the past few years.
“We love [this event],” says Konys. “Anytime you get a group of women together, having this much fun and great competition, that’s going to be a highlight for the summer.”
Winning never hurts either.
The winning Bristol Yacht Club team was Stephanie Hudson (skipper), Abigail Konys (team captain), Lucy Paskoff, Molly Clarke, Sophia Reineke (skipper), Abby Cook, Megan Roach, and Rebecca King.
1. Bristol (R.I.) Yacht Club, 7 wins – 2 losses
2. Team Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association, Annapolis, Md., 7-2
3. Larchmont (N.Y.) Yacht Club, 76ers-2
4. Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Newport Beach, Calif. 7-2
5. Chicago Yacht Club, 5-4
6. New York Yacht Club, 4-5
7. Corinthian Yacht Club, Marblehead, Mass., 4-5
8, Eastern Yacht Club, Marblehead, Mass. 3-6
9. Annapolis (Md.) Yacht Club, 1-8
10. American Yacht Club, Rye, N.Y., 0-9