Mother Nature served up gorgeous conditions for both weekends of the AYC Fall Regatta. © Jim Reilly


“Long Island Sound sailing conditions were spectacular!” said AYC Sailing Director Kevin Broome. “Everyone, including sailors, Race Committee, and support boats worked hard. Our wind ended up being a little stronger than the forecast each day. Warm weather, wind, and some waves were enjoyed by everyone, and it was a great weekend all the way around!”

John Sommi’s Cloud9 (Darien, CT) highlighted the 11-boat J/88 class with a sensational two weekends of racing, posting seven bullets in a row to start the first weekend of racing and ten bullets overall to finish first in the division. “We had Cloud9 prepped for North Americans next week,” said Sommi. “The boat setup was fast, and the crew’s work was flawless. The scores don’t reflect the competitiveness of the fleet, the starts were contested and there were many close crossings. We got a few breaks to finish many races just a boat length or two ahead or behind the nearest boat.”


The USMMA’s M.A.T. 1180 notched four bullets on her way to second place in IRC. © Jim Reilly

Peacemaker YCC, a Ker 11.5 helmed by Leo Vasiliev (Bayville, NY) posted five bullets during the first weekend and followed up with two more in the final weekend to finish atop the PHRF class.

Close finishes and tight scoring highlighted the 6-boat J/44 fleet, with only four points separating first and fourth place heading into the final weekend. Lenny Sitar’s Vamp (Holmdel, NJ) posted a 1-2-2 during the final three races to finish tied for first with Don and Rick Rave’s Resolute (Huntington, NY). Close behind, Bill Ketcham’s Maxine (Greenwich, CT) and Tom Blackwell’s Breakaway (Fairfield, CT) tied for second in the division and finished only one point out of first.

After finishing first in the AYC Spring Series this May, Loki, helmed by David Rosow (Fairfield, CT) returned to take first again in the J/109 division after posting five straight bullets in the second and third day of racing.

The IRC Division saw two boats trading spots nearly every race throughout, which made for some really thrilling competition. Pterodactyl, Scott Weisman’s R/P 45 Custom (White Plains, NY) finished with four straight bullets during the final weekend to take first place with Kenneth Luczynski’s M.A.T. 1180 YCC (U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; Kings Point, NY) finishing a close second in the division.


Bill Ketcham’s Maxine finished third in the always ultra-competitive J/44 One-Design Class. © Jim Reilly

John Gochberg’s USA 551 (New York, NY) had an impressive two weekends of sailing in the 8-boat J/70 class, posting eight bullets in 12 races to take first place. Finishing second was the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Yogi (New London, CT), helmed by Nick Custer and a new crew that included recent Junior American Yacht Club grad Richard O’Leary, Merrill Cline, Greg Gaskel, and Dan Peveler. “It was great to see so many young sailors mixed into the adult racing!” said Broome.

Sailors enjoyed food and drinks on the front lawn overlooking the New York City skyline following both weekends of racing, and a wonderful awards ceremony hosted by American Yacht Club at the regatta’s conclusion.

During the first weekend, AYC also welcomed back special guest speaker Tucker Thompson, who gave a presentation on this year’s America’s Cup to a full audience.

“I have been coming to American Yacht Club each year to present about the America’s Cup or Volvo Ocean Race, and each time I am simply blown away by the club, the staff, and the members of AYC,” said Thompson. “It is one of the best clubs I visit on my annual 40+ yacht club speaking tour and I always look forward to coming back. It would be great to see a big AYC turnout in New Zealand for the Cup in March of 2021 and hopefully, if American Magic is successful, we can bring the Cup back to AYC for another visit!”

Included in this year’s Fall Regatta was a wonderful beer tasting on the front lawn featuring Sloop Brewing Co. Big thanks are in order for Doyle Sails, who sponsored the beer for this year’s Fall Regatta and Poland Spring for sponsoring water. For all final results, visit and be sure to visit American Yacht Club’s Facebook page to view photos from both weekends of action.  ■