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Newport Bermuda: Give It a Go!

By Dick Holliday

Stormy Weather Newport BermudaMore than a century ago, a visionary sailor named Thomas Fleming Day invented a pioneer ocean race from America to Bermuda. The idea seemed radical but it caught on and today the Newport Bermuda Race (NBR) is the world’s oldest scheduled ocean race.

Next stop Bermuda! Michael Maholchic’s Swan 44 Stormy Weather (Annapolis, MD) powers out of Newport.   © Allen Clark/PhotoBoat.com

Since 1926, the race has been co-organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. In 50 Bermuda Races since 1906, 50,000 men and women and 5,000 boats have sailed in the event known and respected worldwide as The Thrash to the Onion Patch.

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The Magic Ingredient For Foiling

By F. K. George

Foiling OakcliffWith the introduction of affordable boats like the Waszp, foiling is coming to the masses and Oakcliff Sailing in Oyster Bay, NY is leading the charge. The 15 participants in Oakcliff’s inaugural Foiling Camp in August were once among the many starry-eyed sailors who watched the America’s Cup and dreamed of what it was like to defy gravity and lift out of the water. Now, thanks to Oakcliff, they no longer have to imagine; they’re doing it!

Chris Poole shreds the waters of Oyster Bay.   © Oakcliff Sailing/Francis George
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The 2017 Ms. Race

By Diane Kropfl and Bill Sabanski

Ms RaceOn Saturday, August 19, 2017 the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club in Atlantic Highlands, NJ hosted the 13th annual Ms. Race, bringing together women of all ages to celebrate “Women on the Wind, the theme for this year’s event.

Elaine Haher’s team on her J/24 A Good Hair Day, claimed a second consecutive Ms. Race victory. As the 2017 Women’s Champion, Haher received the NJYRA’s Commodore’s Cup.   © Thomas Gardner

Race day started with a Captain’s meeting and breakfast courtesy of the generous sponsors followed by sailing instructions and a Ms. Race seminar. The 2017 edition of the race found crews anxious to get on the water, as the previous week found many of the crews on the bay jockeying each evening for practice and training.

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Lionheart Victorious in the J Class World Championship

J Class On the same Newport, Rhode Island waters where the legendary Ranger cleaned up 4-0 in 1937, the last time ever that the mighty J Class raced for the America’s Cup, the first J Class World Champions is Lionheart, the owner-driven, Dutch-flagged modern day Ranger descendent.

Consistency was the key to Lionheart’s victory. ©Rod Harris/rodharrisphoto.com
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Farrars Win International One-Design Worlds at Northeast Harbor

One-Design WorldsEight past world champions showed up within a 20-boat fleet in late August to race in the International One-Design World Championship at Northeast Harbor, ME. Five days and 10 races later, the team led by Isabelle & Jonathan Farrar of Fishers Island, NY outlasted the rest of the Norwegians, Swedes, Bermudians, Canadians, and other Americans to capture the championship—their second victory in three years.

 

Twenty teams from Norway, Sweden, Bermuda, Canada and the USA contested the 2017 IOD Worlds.   © Sue Charles
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“Look Ma! No Hands!”

Reaching for Success at the Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race

By F. K. George

Claggett

Winning skipper Pauline Dowell  receives helming instructions from sighted crew Kay VanValkenburgh (lime shirt), who also guides her during coaching sessions and briefings.   © Oakcliff Sailing/Francis George

Twenty-seven competitors on 9 teams were served a mixed bag of conditions at the second annual Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race for sailors with adaptive needs, hosted by The WaterFront Center in Oyster Bay, NY August 25 - 27. Pauline Dowell (Boston, MA) and her crew of Christian Thaxton (Sommerville, MA) and Kay VanValkenburgh (Boston), who are returning racers at this event, clinched victory without a single loss on their scoreline. They even bested Rio Paralympic silver medalist Rick Doerr (Clifton, NJ), who made his debut in match racing at the Clagett/Oakcliff and earned a second place spot after a tiebreaker with Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, CT).

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Rough Going on the Ida Lewis Distance Race

WarriorIrie 2Haerlem and Young American Persevere to Win

By Barby MacGowan, Media Pro International

Ida Lewis Race

Co-skippered by Stephen Murray, Sr. and Stephen Murray, Jr., the modified Volvo 70 Warrior won line honors and IRC division in the 2017 Ida Lewis Distance Race.   © Stephen Cloutier/photogroup.us

The weather started out gloomy, then got downright nasty for the 13th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race, which started Friday, August 18 off Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI. A forecast calling for storms to pass over the racecourse during the night convinced seven of the original 40 entrants to drop out prior to the start for six classes (IRC, PHRF Spinnaker A, PHRF Spinnaker B, PHRF Cruising Spinnaker, Doublehanded and Multihull). Of the remaining 33 teams, an additional ten were forced to retire due to damaged equipment or other problems incurred during multiple squalls that left memorable impressions and their calling cards of driving rain and winds gusting over 40 knots.

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Newport Bermuda Race Preparation

Newport Bermuda RaceThe Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) has named Safe Harbor Marinas as the Official Boat Preparation Resource for the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race.  Said Bermuda Race Organizing Committee Chairman Jonathan Brewin, “We are very happy to welcome back Brewer Yacht Yards, now owned by Safe Harbor Marinas, as members of the sponsor family for the 51st Bermuda Race.  BROC is especially pleased that Safe Harbor Marinas will again bring its expertise to sailors with its race-preparation seminar.”

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Fun, Friends and Family at the Lightning Women’s, Juniors’ & Masters’ North American Championships

By Ben Cesare

Lightning classFun! That is the way I always describe Lightning Class regattas. The North American Women’s, Juniors’ and Masters’ Championships, hosted by Metedeconk River Yacht Club and Lightning Fleet 34 in Brick, NJ August 2 - 4, 2017 was an exception in that it was super fun!

Laura Jeffers, Johanna Schon and Teresa Colantuono won the Women's North American Championship by a 3-point margin. Photo by Art Petrosemolo/nautical photography.us

Fantastic sailing was combined with a three-day family reunion, complete with a Mexican dinner, a pizza party, and a final great steak dinner conducted during a full on, four-lane corn hole tournament on the club’s beautiful front lawn. The only drawback was that, as is typical at Lightning events, it’s hard to get the boat rigged on day one because there is so much hugging, high-fiving and general banter that it’s hard to concentrate!

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13th Annual YRALIS Championships Regatta

By Andrea Watson

Lawrence McGrathThe 13th running of the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound’s Championships Regatta nailed it on so many levels. A few days before the regatta, the weather forecast for Saturday, August 5, the first day of the two-day event, predicted heavy rain and lightning all day, but Saturday dawned with only some light rain. By the time of the first warning, skies were cloudy with no rain in sight. Sunday brought more of the same.

Laser winner Lawrence McGrath leads second place finisher Jean Fillion around a mark.   ©Mary Alice Fisher Photo/maryalicefisher.com

Year after year the YRA cashes in favors to Mother Nature (don’t even ask), and she smiles on western Long Island Sound in the vicinity of Riverside Yacht Club and Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, CT and American Yacht Club in nearby Rye, NY.

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