Then, of course, the wind shut down…
Although only an overnighter, for the sailors taking part in the 2017 Ida Lewis Distance Race, the course must have still felt plenty long this past August as they were hammered by a series of storms only to have the wind shut down at the finish.
“It was Biblical,” said Newport skipper Brian Cunha, who took overall honors in the PHRF division aboard his Kerr 55, Irie 2, with a crew comprised primarily of local sailors. “It was just one cell after another, and it was raining so hard you couldn’t have your face to the wind, because it hurt so much. We were waiting for Noah’s Ark to come floating by.”
“We knew the forecast wasn’t going to be easy on us, but we didn’t think we’d see 50 knots,” said Constantyn van der Voort, a member of the Young American Yacht Club sailing team aboard the J/105 Young America, which took first in PHRF—Spinnaker B. “That was a little scary, because we had three sails up…the storm jib, the #3 jib on the furler and the mainsail.”
In all, of the 40 boats that entered, only 33 set out from Narragansett Bay on the multiple courses available to the different sections, and 10 of these ended up retiring. For more on the race, which is organized by Newport’s Ida Lewis Yacht Club, visit ildistancerace.org.