Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Light and Variable NYYC 164th Annual Regatta

New York YC Harbour Court and J/109J/111 Dominates PHRF 2! J/Crews Sweep IRC 5!
(Newport, RI)- The Annual Regatta is North America’s oldest annual sailing event. It was first run in 1845 on the Hudson River and has been sailed out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport, RI, since 1988. The 164th edition offered buoy or navigator-course racing for one-designs and yachts sailing under IRC, ORR, CRF and PHRF handicap over the June 9th and 10th weekend.

The regatta won’t be remembered as one of the more memorable ones over a century and a half.  A large immovable high pressure system offshore kept Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound mostly covered in clouds with hardly an isobar or gradient breeze in sight. Saturday started out with some promise, but the light northerly died in the middle of many races, went to zero for a period of time, then flowed in lightly from the southeast as a thermal with not much punch behind it across all race courses.  Then, Sunday dawned with an even worst forecast, again with a light northerly, that died anyways, followed on by a very light 4-6 kts southeast wind for the inside courses and across-the-board cancellations of most races offshore in Rhode Island Sound.

Nevertheless, despite the conditions, some of the battle-hardened J/Teams proved to be up to the challenge and walked off with a fair amount of silverware.

A winter of one-design racing in St. Petersburg and Annapolis proved to be a great experience for Doug Curtiss' team on the J/111 WICKED 2.0. Matching up against a fleet of World-class J/111s is a great way to learn precisely how to squeeze every drop of the speed out of the 36-footer.

"It tends to hone the skills a little bit," Curtiss says with a laugh. "We learned a lot."

Still Curtiss came into the weekend, where he raced in the PHRF 2 class, with modest expectations.

"We like to be top third and just go out there and have some fun," he says. "If I had to say there's a signature that I hope to leave on the Wicked program, it's that we have great crew chemistry, everybody has fun and we just like to be competitive.“

With a first in Saturday’s single race— a marathon that took teams all of four hours to complete—and a second on the sole race on Sunday, Curtiss exceeded all his goals. WICKED 2.0 won the class  over Phil Lotz, Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, who was racing the new NYYC IC37 in its inaugural Annual Regatta.  Taking fourth was another J/111, Abhijeet Lee’s VARUNA.

In the PHRF 3 Navigator class of ten-boats, EC Helme’s J/92S SPIRIT was leading the class by one point going into Sunday’s only race. However, unfortunately snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with a 6th in the last race to drop into second with a 2-2-6 tally for 10 pts.

What may be perhaps one of the most astonishing outcome for this light airs event was the complete sweep of the top five in IRC 5 Class.  The winner was determined on a tie-breaker between Bill Sweetser’s J/109 RUSH and Chris Lewis’ KENAI, each finished with 5 pts total.  The countback saw Sweetser’s 109 RUSH crew take the win based on winning the last race.  Third was Tom Sutton’s renowned Houston, TX crew on their J/109 LEADING EDGE with 6 pts.  Fourth was also determined on a tie-breaker between Albrecht Goethe’s J/109 HAMBURG and Paul Milo’s J/122 ORION at 10 pts apiece, with HAMBURG taking the countback.  For more NYYC Annual Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.