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Anticipation ran high throughout the New York Yacht Club’s 154th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, hosted Saturday and Sunday from the NYYC’s Harbour Court Clubhouse in Newport, R.I. Competitors, designers, journalists and spectators alike were anxious to see how the newest, hottest IRC boats measured up against one another in seven IRC classes, while five other classes (one each J/105 and Farr 40 one-designs, one each for 12-Metre Modern and Classic Traditional, and one for Classics) stirred up their own excitement. A total of 110 boats competed.
In the end, it was Dan Meyers’ (Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I.) Judel-Vrolijk 66 Numbers that took IRC Class 1, where most of the attention focused. In that class were such show stoppers as the 99-foot super maxi Speedboat, owned by Alex Jackson (Old Greenwich, Conn.) and skippered by Mike Sanderson (NZL), and Il Mostro/Puma Ocean Racing, skippered by Ken Read (Newport, R.I.), which both suffered around the buoys, due to their size and optimization for straight-line speed, which will be better tested by next week’s Newport to Bermuda Race. Numbers instead contended primarily with Hap Fauth’s (Newport, R.I.) Reichel/Pugh 69 Belle Mente, which trailed Numbers by seven points in overall standings after Numbers won the last three of that class’s four races, and Rogers Sturgeon’s (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) Rosebud/Team DYT, which then trailed Belle Mente by only one point in the final standings.
“It was a terrific regatta,” said Meyers. “Today was a little tough because there were larger sea conditions than wind, and each tack on each side was substantially different. It was blustery and we tore two spinnakers, so we were pretty busy, but it was a good opportunity to get ready for Bermuda.”
As for his competition, Meyers said, “Belle Mente at times looked quick and Rosebud was sailing just as fast as us. All of the boats in our class were good boats in the given conditions. The new boats (which also included another STP65 Moneypenny, owned by Jim Swartz of San Francisco), had some teething pains, but we’ve had them, everyone else has been through them, too. It won’t take long for them to all sort that out. It couldn’t have been a nicer regatta.”
Belle Mente‘s crew member Matt Flood (Westbrook, Conn.) pointed out that this was indeed the crew’s first regatta since the boat was launched earlier this summer. “It’s so different in design, technology and speed from the previous Belle Mente,” he said. “It’s the planing vs. displacement, really, that makes it so totally different, very impressive.”
In IRC Class 3, Blair Brown’s (Newton, Mass.) Taylor 45 Sforzando won overall, with Bermuda’s Star class Olympian Peter Bromby serving as tactician. “Yesterday’s winds were patchy,” he said, after his boat had won the day. “You were either in it or you weren’t.”
In IRC Class 4, which was comprised entirely of NYYC Swan 42s, new owner Phil Lotz (New Canaan, Conn.) aboard Arethusa, made his initial power play yesterday as well, winning two races before posting a 1-5 today to seal the deal.
Kevin Grainger (Rye, N.Y.) won the J/105 class with his Gumption3 after six races in his series. “We had two really good days of sailing in varied conditions–light air and flat seas yesterday and 10-13 today and lumpy and demanding. The top four boats were tight in our fleet, but we managed to figure it out enough today to stay in contention and execute better around the marks.”
The Great Corinthian Trophy, awarded to the yacht club team with the best score in the two-day series went to Annapolis Yacht Club, with team members Rush, Flying Jenny VI and Tsunami.
For full results for the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, please visit www.nyyc.org.
Photo Credit: Dan Nerney
– PR –