Downpours and strong winds throughout the weekend didn’t dampen any of the racing or festivities at the NYYC’s best annual regatta in recent memory.
With 135 boats competing, the New York Yacht Club’s 157th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, held June 10-12, broke all of its past attendance records, and with winds whipping into the high teens for buoy racing over the weekend, it certainly is in line for being the most memorable annual regatta in recent history.
The oldest regatta in the country kicked off with an optional 18-nautical mile around-the-island race on Friday that yielded Richard Oland’s Southern Cross 52 Vela Veloce as the IRC 2 class and overall winner, his performance worthy of a Rolex timepiece as prize. In weekend racing, Oland’s team continued to fare well but was ultimately outmatched in IRC 2 by David and Sandra Askew’s TP 52 Flying Jenny, which won and was followed in the standings by Peter Cunningham’s IRC 52 PowerPlay, leaving third for Vela Veloce.
An additional five IRC classes sailed, with PHRF and Classics (each with a spinnaker and non-spinnaker class) rounding out the racing action, along with one-design competitions for J/105, Herreshoff S, 12 Metre, 6 Metre and Swan 42 classes.
“It was bloody hard work,” said Ken Read, skipper of Puma Ocean Racing’s Volvo Open 70 mar mostro, which beat out Dan Meyers’ JV 66 Numbers in IRC 1 class, “but anytime you have good breeze and gnarly conditions, you feel like you actually accomplished something.”
Read’s reference to gnarly could have been to several outbursts of rain, but that didn’t deter the hardy if decidedly damp sailors from the task at hand. He noted that his crew is the same that will participate in the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race and the Transatlantic Race 2011. “We are set up to go offshore right now with the same 10 guys,” he said, “but we have an inshore component for the Volvo, so we have to practice and this was one of those times.”