Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rolex New York YC Regatta

J/111 sailboats- sailing upwind off Newport, RI (Newport, RI) – With 135 boats competing (nearly one-third were J/Boats), the New York Yacht Club’s 157th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, held June 10-12, broke all of its past attendance records, and with winds whipping into the high teens for buoy racing over the weekend, it certainly is in line for being the most memorable Annual Regatta in recent history.

The oldest regatta in the country kicked off with an optional 18-nautical mile Around the Island Race on Friday that saw the IRC 3 class led home by George Shaw's J/122 TUMBLEWEED from Marblehead, MA, only to lose on handicap to a sistership Andrew Weiss' J/122 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON for first overall.  Third was the J/122 WINGS sailed by the very capable Bruno/ Callahan/ Boyle team.

Saturday and Sunday saw unusually windy conditions relative to what was forecasted by the NOAA Met office for the waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.  Saturday was especially windy and rough with winds blowing in from the ENE at 15 to 22 knots with a huge quartering swell on starboard tack rolling in from the SW.  Sunday's racing for J's occurred up the Bay in the area north of Newport Bridge, nearby to the Quonset Naval Airbase.

The most competitive division happened to be IRC 4 that had J/111s, J/122s and J/44s all competing against one another.  It was a very tough class.  After the dust settled amongst this group, whoever got a "lane" to keep the boat going fast until the first shift had a huge advantage.  Top dog amongst this trio of boats was Bruno/ Boyle/ Callahan racing their veteran champion J/122 WINGS to second place.  Third was Bill Ketcham's well-sailed J/44 MAXINE.  Fourth was Annapolis-Newport winner Andrew Weiss' CHRISTOPHER DRAGON and fifth was the J/111 ANDIAMO sailed by Jeff Johnstone.

Having an equally competitive regattas as the tough IRC 4 group was the J/109 gang sailing against one another in IRC 6.  As has been the case many times over the years, it was going to be a fight between the two top J/109s- Sweetser's RUSH and Lyall's STORM.  And sure enough, it was another shoot-out at the "OK Corral".  This time it was RUSH that got the upper hand to finish second overall with STORM coming in third by only one point, the last race determining the ultimate finish position.

Amongst the J/105s were a bunch of class heavyweights jousting for leadership in the regatta.  After the smoke cleared, it was Brian Keane's SAVASANA that won by just four points over Bruce Stone's JOUSTER.  Third was Mark Lindquist's STERLING, fourth was Mark and Jolene Masur's TWO FEATHERS and fifth was Chris Beane's VIXEN.

In PHRF 2 were five J's, with top dog going to John Lanvin's J/29 DIRTY HARRY, finishing second in class.  Just one point back was the J/24 NIGHTHAWK sailed by Mike Ryan and Richard Barker.  The J/33 and J/100s didn't fair so well, not keeping themselves out of foul trouble of some sorts or another.  For more Rolex New York YC Annual Regatta sailing information