Winners Named in Five Classes, Fundraising Extended!
All types of boats comprised the fleet of 37 entries sailing in the first-ever Rhody Regatta, which was combined with the International Yacht and Athletic Club (IYAC) Newport Cup on July 1. The event, an 18-mile race around Conanicut (Jamestown) Island, raised more than $15,000 for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank through team donations and will keep its fundraising link live through the month of July, should anyone else wish to make a donation.
“Amazing event, amazing spirit,” said IYAC’s Pat Kennedy, who co-chaired the combined event, “and we couldn’t have had a better day of sea breeze coming in early for a prompt 11 a.m. start.”
For Class 1’s winner Blackwing, a Stuart Knockabout 28 owned by Eric Hall (Bristol, RI), itwas a team effort for Newport sailors Steve Prime (substituting for Hall at the helm), Scott McLeod (calling tactics), and Peggy Hersam and Richard Rankin (handling the sails). “We benefited from a long run down the backside of Conanicut Island, which favored small boats like Blackwing,” said Prime. “I think IYAC ran a great race, serving up ideal sailing conditions. The local racing boats like to support fundraising races such as this and Sail Newport’s Sail for Hope (in September). Just a great day for sailing around Conanicut Island!”
Other winners were Ryan McKillen’s (Miami Beach, FL) M32 Surge in the M32 One-Design class; Alex Wadson’s (Portsmouth, RI) Shaw 6.5 Manic in Class 2; NEKA Sailing’s Ker 11.5 Peacemaker in Class 3; and Jim Madden’s (Newport Beach, CA) Carkeek 47 Stark Raving Mad IX in Class 4. Stark Raving Mad also was declared Best Overall Finisher and will have its name added to a long list of winners engraved on the IYAC Newport Cup.
Originally scheduled for the first weekend in June, the inaugural Rhody Regatta was rescheduled due to threatening storms. Next year, it will move back to its original June time slot on the Narragansett Bay racing schedule.
The RI Community Food Bank acquires and distributes food through its 140 member agencies, including food pantries, meal sites and shelters. It serves more than 63,000 Rhode Islanders each month, a number that reflects a 20% increase over pre-Covid years. To make a donation, please visit rifoodbank.org/rhody-regatta/ ■