Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sail Newport Regatta Preview

J/70 sailing upwind (Newport, RI)- One of the biggest one-design regattas held all year long in the famous seaport of Newport, RI is the SAIL NEWPORT Regatta.  Hosted by its Executive Director Brad Read and the army of Sail Newport volunteers, the regatta runs for three days from July 8th to 10th with all sailing taking place in Narragansett Bay.  Three J classes are participating, including J/24s, J/70s and J/88s.

In the J/70 class, there are a number of leading teams that may be just having a “real-time” clinic on “go-fast” all weekend long.  Consider that a combined five J/24 Worlds, three J/22 Worlds, overall & Corinthian winners of J/70 Worlds and at least five Key West winners (J/70, J/111, J/105) along with major offshore races (Stamford Vineyard, Block Island Race, etc) are in the fleet of nine boats!  Who are these players in the world of offshore/ one-design sailing?  None other than John Brim’s RIMETTE, Heather Gregg’s MUSE, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA, Tim Healey’s HELLY HANSEN, Al Terhune’s DAZZLER and Will Welles’ SCAMP! Two women’s skippers will be vying with Heather for top women skipper, Hannah Swett’s USA 311 and Suzy Leech’s JUNKANOO. In addition, Dave Franzel’s SPRING and Gordon Fletcher’s GIJIMA will keep everyone honest!

In the J/24s, another women skipper hopes to make her mark on the proceedings!  Erica Beck Spencer’s crew on SEA BAGS WOMEN’S SAILING TEAM will hope to replicate some of their top performances, like winning the Marblehead NOOD Regatta J/24 class.  Rob Lambert’s BARFLY will be one of the featured crews in the leaderboard.

Finally, the J/88s are dialing up their activities this summer in Newport.  While next week is New York YC’s Race Week, representing the J/88s New England Championship, a number of crews are racing this weekend as part of that warm-up.  Key West Winners, Mike Bruno’s WINGS, will be up against an ever faster, smarter crew on Doug McKeige’s JAZZ and also Doug Newhouse’s YONDER.  For more Sail Newport Regatta sailing information