Under Sail: First North American Classic Yacht Challenge Thrills in Newport

The award-winning Joe Loughborough
arrived in his 1962 Jaguar

Six-Meter Totem wins Overall Series Trophy, Sonny Awarded the Panerai Radiomir Regatta 1/8th Second Titanio.


But that was at the finale, a really enjoyable cocktail and dinner event for participants after Classic Yacht Regatta, where  Newport Seen heard the back story. In fact, many of them.


A de-masting, a collision, and a man overboard didn’t alter the spirits or the strong performance of yachts and crew in the exciting Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatts, the third and decisive event in a series of three New England regattas held in Marblehead,  Nantucket, MA, and ultimately, the MOY Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport, RI.


Robin Wallace, yacht designer Spice Chris Bowman,

& Mark McVay

Sail Newport, the organizing authority for the highly anticipated regatta, made the prudent decision to abandon Saturday’s racing due to the high winds and rough waters expected in Newport with Hurricane Earl. Racing at the Classic Yacht Regatta was instead held on Sunday. The entry list saw 57 boats registered, 42 of which ended up participating in the Sunday MoY Classic Yacht regatta, recognized by all participants and sponsors to be an impressive display of commitment by the skippers and crews of the classic and vintage boats.

Yachts proudly hoisted their pennants and battle flags while circling the inner Harbor for the traditional “Parade of Classics,” allowing the on-shore spectators to view these beautiful vessels sailing out to sea.


Discussing the race in the Panerai lounge

After a blustery opening to the day that saw several yachts returning to port with breakages and a postponed start, the race began on a shortened course. Once under the bridge and heading downwind there was an exciting man overboard maneuver with the 12-Meter Valiant losing one of their crewmembers overboard. The 6-Meter Totem came to their assistance as Valiant, helmed by owner Gary Gregory, did an excellent job of collecting the crewmember before completing the race with all crew onboard. Totem continued their race and managed to finish the 12.4–nautical mile race, taking third place overall in the classic non-spinnaker class.

There was an impressive fleet of the 12-Meter yachts participating with the final class winner being Columbia, helmed by Alain and Don Hanover. The S-Boat class had four entries — including the oldest in the fleet, the 1919 Argument — which was overtaken by the 1926 Firefly helmed by Alan Silken. The 46’ W-Class Equus, owned by Wendy Schmidt, took the honors of winning the Spirit of Tradition class, giving the 12-Meter Valiant a close second and the 76’ W-Class White Wings third place in the second-largest class of the event, with ten entries.

Jim Wallen of Juno, and Linda Armes

The evening’s prize-giving ceremony and Awards Dinner was held under a tent at MOY. George Hinman, a past Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, thanked Panerai for their fifth year of sponsorship. Each boat that was first-in-class in the following categories received an heirloom-quality Panerai barometer. The class winners were: Equus, which won the Spirit of Tradition non-spinnaker fleet; Steve Frarys’ Kestrel took the honors of the classic spinnaker class, as well as a Designers Award for best performance by a Herreshoff-designed yacht; Sonny took first place in the classic non-spinnaker class; the Luders 24 Belle, helmed by owner Joe Lougborough, won the 6-Meter division, Firefly captured the S-Boat class, and Columbia took first place in the 12-Meter class.


Deirdre Opp & Mary Gillette

The newly restored 1930 Bill Luders-designed Totem, the 6-Meter skippered by owner Jesse Smith that placed third in the classic non-spinnaker class, was awarded the best. Corinthian Spirit of the regatta and received the trophy for the overall winner of the North American Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge/



The highly anticipated award of the evening was for the Overall Classic Yacht Regatta winner with the presentation of the rare 2010 Panerai Radiomir Regatta 1/8th second Titanio – 47 mm watch, which was won by Joseph Dockery, owner of the 1937 custom Sparkman & Stephens-designed Sonny in the classic non-spinnaker class. Sailors swapped stories and watched videos of the event on a flat screen TV. Newport Seen listened in on the exciting racing stories, and talked with dapper Joe Lougborough, who had driven his vintage Jaguar jauntily into Fort Adams.


A video of the Classic Yachts Challenge


In addition to title sponsor Officine Panerai, the MOY Classic Yacht Regatta is presented by Land Rover and operated by the organizing authority Sail Newport. For further information, go to www.sailnewport.org


Studying a hull at MOY

The Clipper's dog mascot, Wendy

Discussing an exciting weekend at the Museum

of Yachting


Jens Lange, baby Jasper, & Ron Cerribeau


Picking up drink tickets


A jolly group of sailors!


Jonathan Chapman & Lary Gotch


Brian Sullivan & artist Bill Heydt



Joe Davis is happy


Entering the Land Rover giveaway


Herb Marshall (American Eagle), Kristi Chesher,

Larry Goss, Carol Swift, and Mike de Angeli


Juno crew Adrian Higgins, Kim Battista & Scottie



Lovely chilled sweet corn soup


IYRS/MoY Chairman George Isdale welcoming sailors


George Hinman speaking about the race


IYRS/MOY's Clark Poston (c) with sailor & John Mecray


A glittering prize


The coveted prize table


Awarding the prize to sailor


Receiving an award 


Simon Davidson of Sonny with Award


An award-winning team


MOY Classic Yacht Regatta winner  Sonny thanking

the committee


Susan Daly of IYRS talking about the first ever Classic

Regatta Challenge Series


A thrilling video of the Classic Yachts Challenge


Susan Daly &


Clasping a trophy


Thanking the race organizers & Panerai


The Totem crew, winners of the Panerai

Classic Yachts Challenge


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