Skip to main content

Wrapping Up a Windy NYYC Race Week

NEWPORT, R.I. (July 27, 2008) -- Diabolical winds made for plenty of exciting stories back at the New York Yacht Club after its sixth biennial Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex concluded today. The four-day competition had started much the same wet, windy way on opening day, but fortunately sunshine followed for two days with fair winds to dry things out. Today, the race committee managed
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

NEWPORT, R.I. (July 27, 2008) -- Diabolical winds made for plenty of exciting stories back at the New York Yacht Club after its sixth biennial Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex concluded today. The four-day competition had started much the same wet, windy way on opening day, but fortunately sunshine followed for two days with fair winds to dry things out. Today, the race committee managed a race in each of four classes (NYYC Club Swan 42, Melges 32, J/109 and J/105) that were competing on Rhode Island Sound but had to abandon a second race when a storm swept through, wreaking havoc with 48-50 knot winds. All told, 120 boats were competing. Another six classes (IRC 1 and 2, PHRF 1 and 2, J/122 and Beneteau First 36.7) had taken off on a middle-distance race around Conanicut Island and felt top winds of a more reasonable 28 knots.

"You know it's windy when everything is going sideways -- the wind, the rain, the boat," said Damian Emery (Shoreham, N.Y.), who won the J/105 East Coast Championship with his overall victory here and was already the class's Southern Circuit champion. His J/105 Eclipse started out with two victories in the six-race series, but "fell back" the second day when Briane Keane's Savasana emerged as the boat for it to beat. "Today we were definitely sailing against each other," said Emery, who finished second to Keane's fifth. He added that Eclipse was hit by the storm on the second downwind leg of the second race, but fortunately the spinnaker had been doused early and only the boat's roller furling jib was destroyed.

In the J/109 class, which is sailing its North American Championship, victory went to Ted Herlihy (South Dartmouth, Mass.) aboard Gut Feeling. Yesterday, he had been tied on points with Donald Filippelli (Amagansett, N.Y.) on Caminos. "We were staying in the vicinity of Caminos and Gossip (Steve Kenny & Greg Ames, Wainscott, NY), which was in third yesterday. We didn't have to win but we were hoping to beat Caminos. It worked out just the way we hoped." Gut Feeling finished second to Gossip's first, while Caminos finished sixth today.

Herlihy recounted the start of the fifth leg of the second race, when the race committee cancelled while the wind was blowing 38 knots. His crew scrambled to get the sails down and that's when gusts topped out at 48 knots. "Before they cancelled, we had been wondering how we were ever going to round the mark and go back to weather," said Herlihy, who came close to winning the North Americans two years ago. "We thought we'd do well but this feels great," he said about his overall victory.

All Andrew Weiss (Rye, N.Y.) had to do today to win the J/122 East Coast Championship was finish fourth or better on Christopher Dragon. He finished third, two places behind his closest competitor in overall scoring: David Askew's (Annapolis, Md.) Flying Jenny. Only two points separated their final scores, which reflected a protest last night won by Flying Jenny against Christopher Dragon. "We made it closer than we needed to," said Christopher Dragon's navigator Larry Fox, "but we did it."

Coming around the island at about the same time in PHRF Class 1, overall winner Tom Rich (Middletown, R.I.) had a much easier time of it. "The winds reached 27 knots when we were on the back side of the island. It wasn't as bad as what happened outside on the Sound," said Rich, who turned in another victory today to go with his seven previous victories in as many races. Rich also won Race Week at Newport in 2006, and also with straight bullets. "I can say we've beat the New England Patriots' record -- we're now 19 and 0 at Race Week."

In IRC 1, Robert and Farley Towse's (Stamford, Conn.) Blue Yankee made an attempt to replace Roger Sturgeon's (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) Rosebud/Team DYT at the top of the scoreboard but was unsuccessful in its bid, finishing third to Rosebud's first in the around-the-island race. "We improved on our game tremendously here," said Sturgeon, "because of the competition, and specifically because of Blue Yankee. It went down to the last race; we felt the pressure the whole time."

Mark Watson (San Antonio, Texas/Newport, R.I.) is now the NYYC Club Swan 42 class U.S. National Champion after he finished fourth today in Tiburon. "We sailed against a bunch of great sailors and friends and managed to win," said Watson, noting that consistency was the key to success in this, the largest class at the regatta with 20 entrants.

Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), sailing Star, became the new Melges 32 National Champion, a title which he adds to his 2006 title, after finishing fifth today. Pieter Taselaar's (Scarsdale, N.Y.) Bliksem rose from fifth to second overall after winning today's race, leaving early leader David Hoyt (Stowe, Vt.) aboard Goat to settle for fourth behind third-place finishers Michael Carroll/Martin Kullman (St. Petersburg, Fla.) aboard New Wave.

After trading places at the top of the leaderboard with William Purdy's (New York, N.Y.) Whirlwind, John Hammel's Elan (Arlington, Mass.) made the decision final today that he was the class's Northeast champion. He finished second in today's race, while Purdy, who finished seventh, fell to third overall, allowing Tom Peelen's (S. Dartmouth, Mass.) Quokka to move into second place.

In PHRF 2, Ben Hall's (Tiverton, R.I.) Evelyn 32 Bluto finished second, to win overall, while in IRC Class 2, Blair Brown's (Newton, Mass.) Taylor 45 Sforzando finished second to win.

Sforzando's peformance was deemed the best among all IRC participants, which earned him a Rolex timepiece. As well, Rolex timepieces went to the J/109 North American champion, the Melges 32 National Champion and the Swan 42 National Champion.

Related

Background-02

Notice to Mariners: A Blog from the SAIL Editors

As a teenager, I stumbled across a copy of Derek Lundy’s Godforsaken Sea in the back room of a used bookshop. I had never heard of the Vendée Globe and frankly found all the boat-speak in the first 50 pages a little difficult to get through. But Lundy’s storytelling and the draw ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

VIDEO: Celestial Navigation Episode 2

Celestial navigation is an invaluable tool for all kinds of sailors. In episode two of the celestial navigation series, learn the basic elements of navigation and the sight reduction process using declination and GHA to determine the Geographic Position and navigate using a ...read more

Film-poster

Cruising: Year of the Sea Shanty

Along with other timeless pursuits, like baking sourdough and gardening, singing sea shanties surged back into popularity during the recent lockdown, thanks, in part, to the app TikTok and its “duet” feature, which allows singers from around the world create music together. By ...read more

Book-Cover-9780712353700

Book Review: Sailor Song

Sailor Song is the ultimate guide to the music of working sailors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The book includes lyrics and sheet music for 50 of the most beloved sea songs with fascinating historical background on the adjoining page. Chapter introductions provide ...read more

Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 10.42.33 AM

Race Update: RORC Transat

With the fleet leaders about halfway to Grenada, the 2022 RORC Transatlantic is shaking out to be a tactically interesting one. The race, now in its 8th edition, began on Saturday with 30 teams ranging from 70-foot catamarans to a 28-foot JPK 1010. Early in the race, light winds ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_1585

Experience: Fire Down Below

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, local racing had resumed with household crews only. My wife, though, while always up for a pleasure sail, was not up for this kind of thing, so, for the fifth time in what was any measure an unusual sailing season, I found myself singlehanding my ...read more

BestBoats2022-logo

Best Boats 2022

In case you hadn’t heard, the fall 2021 boat show season was one for the record books. If there was ever any doubt the sailing public still enjoys making its way to Newport, Rhode Island, or Annapolis, Maryland, to see the latest in boat design, those doubts were put to rest ...read more

01-LEAD-Dominique-David-2048x

Mulithull Show Coming to La Grande-Motte

After a year without boat shows, 2021 proved to be a blockbuster summer and fall for events around the globe, and the International Mulithull Show is looking to continue that trend in 2022. First held in 2010, the show, which takes place in La Grand-Motte, France, on the shores ...read more