Rolex Regatta at New York Yacht Club Thrills




The 162nd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex was a thriller and a winner!


From supermaxi yachts to one-design racers, the weekend in Newport was the perfect way to kick off the season while honoring the tradition of the 162nd New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, which has been run every year since 1845, save a few years when the nation was at war. Title sponsor Rolex, as well as regatta sponsor Porsche Cars North America and the participating New England Area Porsche dealers, supported three days of racing in Narragansett Bay, and the New York Yacht Club organized racing — and the parties.


Rhode Island served up typical early summer conditions, with one day of light air, one day of thick fog, and one day of knock down winds.


Friday, the first day of racing, was a 19-mile lap of Conanicut Island. Structured as a pursuit race, the slowest boats start first, with the faster boats to follow, in the hopes that all the boats will finish at relatively the same time and enjoy the evening’s festivities.


Tom Sutton, from Houston, TX, won the IRC 5 class after a tough race, including fouling another boat during the early part of the race.  As they came back up Narragansett Bay, Sutton and his crew aboard “Leading Edge” recovered and blazed across the finish line to take first in the class for the day.


“That boat I’ve owned for 20 years,” said Sutton in an event statement. “But this is a people deal. A boat is an inanimate object. People bring the boat to life. And we have great people. That’s what’s so fantastic about our sport. Yeah you can spend a lot of money on your boat, but if you don’t have a great crew it doesn’t matter how much money you spend. It’s a family crew and they’ve all sailed all their lives.”


On day two of the regatta, conditions were even more challenging, as fog affected wind patterns and shifty breeze made racing difficult even for the most experienced sailors. In the end, it was experience that saved the day, and Chris Culver aboard the Swan 42 “Blazer”, and Paul Zabetakis aboard the Swan 42 “Impetuous” triumphed, placing them selves in first and second place, respectively, by the end of the day in the IRC 3 class.


“It was very difficult sailing,” said Zabetakis in an event release. “We were seeing 10 knots (of windspeed) at the top of the rig, but it wasn’t anything near that on the water. It was really squirrelly. Our crew work was good, we’ve got some new guys on—our bowman was our mast man last year and this was his first outing on the bow—but everyone stayed focused and did a good job. We had a good day.”



The final day of racing was the high speed intensity that many crews were hoping for going into the regatta, but perhaps they wished for too much- a number of boats were dismasted due to the strength of the wind, forcing them to retire from the race and possible future races this summer as they head to the marinas for repair. These dismastings caused a number of other boats to act conservatively and withdraw from the day’s racing. The rest of the fleets raced in the heavy breeze, and ended the day with a prize giving under the tents at New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court.


Overall, the weekend served up a little bit of everything, an ideal way to kick off a sailing season where we can plan to see more of the same. After all, in sailing, we’re always at the mercy of Mother Nature, and must always be prepared for anything, even at a regatta as time-honored and predictable as the NYYC Annual.   


                                                                               --Lisa Gabrielson



Top 3 Boats in Each Class, Overall:


IRC 0 – Maxi72 (IRC – 4 Boats)

1. Bella Mente, Hap Fauth
2. MOMO, MOMO Racing Limited
3. Caol Ila R, Mreihel Birkirkara


Classics Spin (CRF – 11 Boats)
1. Discovery, Thomas Rodes
2. Belle, Jonathan Loughborough
3. Sonny, Joseph Dockery


Classics NS (CRF – 6 Boats)
1. Ruweida V, Joseph Huber
2. Amorita, Jedd Pearsall
3. Angelita, ABC Skelsey/Croll


IRC 1 (IRC – 6 Boats)
1. Vesper, TP 52, Jim Swartz
2. SPOOKIE, TP52, Steve & Heidi Benjamin
3. Interlodge IV, Botin 44, Austin and Gwen Fragomen


IRC 2 (IRC – 8 Boats)
1. Wahoo, KER 50 Custom, Matt Robbins  
2. Temptation, Custom Ker 50, Arthur Santry
3. Watermark, Hinckley Bermuda 50, Jack LeFort


IRC 3 (IRC – 10 Boats)
1. Blazer, Swan, 42 Christopher Culver
2. Impetuous, Swan 42, Paul Zabetakis

3. Quintessence, Swan 42, Roger Widmann


IRC 4 (IRC – 10 Boats)
1. Kenai, J 44, Chris Lewis

2. Old School, Farr 395, Ganson Evans
3. Pendragon, X-41, Quentin Thomas


IRC 5 (IRC – 11 Boats)
1. Morning Glory, J/109, Carl Olsson
2. Rush, J/109, Bill Sweetser
3. Leading Edge, J/35, Tom Sutton


C&C 30 (One Design – 7 Boats)
1. Extreme2, Dan Cheresh
2. Stark Raving Mad VIII, James Madden

3. roXanne, Kip Meadows


Etchells (One Design – 10 Boats)
1. MB III, Jamie Hilton
2. America Jane II, Scott Kaufman
3. Skanky Gene, Jay Cross


J /05 (One Design – 5 Boats)
1. Good Trade, Bruce Stone / Nicole Breault
2. Sterling, J/105, Mark Lindquist
3. Two Feathers, J/105, Mark Masur


S Class (One Design – 6 Boats)
1. Aquila, Geoffrey Davis
2. Squaw, Matt Hayes
3. Osprey, Sheldon Whitehouse


Gunboats (One Design – 4 Boats)
1. Zenyatta, Jonathan Bush
2. Elvis, Jason Carroll
3. Flow, Stephen Cucchiaro


M32 (One Design – 7 Boats)
1. Riptide Racing, Chris Poole
2. LIFTOFF, Malcolm Gefter ,
3. Bliksem, Pieter Taselaar


12 Metre Modern (One Design – 3 Boats)
1. Victory 83, Dennis Williams
2. Intrepid, 12, Jack Curtin
3. Courageous, Ralph Isham /Alexander Auersperg


12 Metre GP (One Design – 2 Boats)
1. New Zealand, Gunther Buerman
2. Laura, Kip Curren


12 Metre Traditonal (One Design – 2 Boats)
1. Weatherly, Jay Schachne
2. American Eagle, Robert Morton


ORR Navigators (ORR – 11 Boats)
1. Kinship, Baltic 52, Tom Selldorff
2. Temptress, Taylor 41, John Gowell
3. Crazy Horse , JV 50, Kevin McLaughlin ,


PHRF 1 (PHRF – 6 Boats)
1. Irie 2, Ker 55, Brian Cunha  
2. Eagle, J/120, Steven Levy
3. Reef Points, Westerly Marine 60, Gurdon Wattles


PHRF 2 (PHRF – 10 Boats)
1. Jazz, J/88, Douglas McKeige
2. High Noise, Italia 9.98, Alex Sastre
3. Electra, J/88, Jeff Johnstone




PHRF 3 NS (PHRF – 8 Boats)
1. Jazz Fish, Freedom 35, Paul Koch
2. Duck Soup, C&C 37 R/XL, Bill Clavin
3. Crackerjack, Cambria 40, Alan Krulisch












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