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A Dramatic Finish At The Annual Regatta

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  • A Dramatic Finish At The Annual Regatta



    Vesper Hangs Tough to Claim Overall ORC Win in 170th Annual Regatta
    Newport, R.I. — On a light-air, four-race day, the final standings in a top-flight competitive fleet are as likely to come down to the mistakes you avoid as the things you do right. That was the case in ORC B at the 170th Annual Regatta. David Team’s Vesper squad fought all day with rival Fox, skippered by Victor Wild, doing most everything as right as can be expected on a very challenging day.



    “We felt in the first two races, when it was really light, 6 knots and under, that we had a click of pace on people,” says Team. “But then the wind shifts come into play with that light of a breeze. The first race we got it called right, the second race we were on the wrong side of the shift, but our speed was still good all day.”

    As the seabreeze filled for Races 3 and 4, Fox found its groove. Going into the leeward mark rounding of the final race, it appeared everything was going the way of Wild’s crew, which had a two-point lead in the standings and was ahead in the race.

    “Fox was leading, we were trying to do our best to figure out how to pass them,” says Team. “They fouled [a boat from another fleet] and they did the right thing, a 360, and that kind of just reshuffled the race.”

    The New York Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta was first sailed on the Hudson River on July 16 and 18, 1846. A similar competition the previous year was called a Trial of Speed. With a few exceptions for world wars and other global crises, the event has been held every year since. For the majority of its existence, the Annual Regatta was raced on waters close to New York City. Since 1988, however, the event has been sailed out of the Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, R.I., and, in 2004, it settled into the current three-day format, which includes a race around Conanicut Island on Friday, two days of buoy or navigator-course racing on Saturday and Sunday and nightly social activities on the grounds of the historic Harbour Court mansion. The 170th Annual Regatta featured an historic fleet of more than 150 boats, including the 10-foot 52 Super Series fleet, competing in North America for the first time since 2017. The Annual Regatta is sponsored by Helly Hansen, Safe Harbor Marinas, Peters & May and Hammetts Hotel,

    The full scores list for the 170th Annual Regatta can be found here.
    https://yachtscoring.com/event_resul....cfm?eID=16456

    To read about Vayu's thrilling come-from-behind win in the XS 52 Super Series Newport Trophy, click here.

    In the five-boat ORC B, with a preponderance of professional sailors across the fleet, one small mistake can make a huge difference. In this case, it dropped Fox from first to fourth in the race, and from first to second in the regatta.

    Team has actively raced his 52-foot Vesper for four-plus years. While he’s based on the West Coast, his sailing has been concentrated further east, Florida in the winter and then splitting his summer regattas between the Great Lakes 52 circuit in the Midwest and Newport. This year, with the ORC World Championship scheduled for early fall, is a Newport summer, and the Annual Regatta is one key step on the way toward contending for a world championship in the fall.

    “It’s a process,” Team says. “We think we’re on the path to where we hope to be. We still have some things to accomplish. We’ve got a couple of very strong competitors that we are trying to beat. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. We’re all trying to get better for September/October.”



    While Team has his eyes squarely set on ORC competition, that’s definitely not the case for Drew Freides. A devoted one-design skipper, Freides entered his Cape 31 Pacific Yankee in the Annual Regatta hoping that enough of his fellow Cape 31 owners would follow suit and he would enjoy some one-design racing in the up-and-coming class. When the class fell short of what’s required for a one-design start, the Pacific Yankee team and three other Cape 31s were moved to ORC D.

    “It definitely had us on two wheels a little bit,” says Freides, a former world champion in the Melges 24 and Melges 20 classes. “We weren’t prepared for handicap racing, so we had to adjust our sailing. We wanted to beat our fleet [of Cape 31s]. But the boat is pretty competitive under ORC. We changed our expectations after we got off to a good start and started racing against the rest of the fleet as well.”

    Freides and his team were super consistent through three races, taking two seconds and a third, winning the class by 3 points. As the smallest and lightest boat in the fleet, successfully racing the Cape 31 required some strategic concessions.

    “Tactically, it made you think differently,” says Freides. “We couldn’t put ourselves in spots that could compromise us because the bigger boats were faster upwind. Once we turned the corner, we could sail away from them pretty easily.”

    In second and third in the overall standings were two other Cape 31 teams, which is somewhat of a surprise given that handicap rules have traditionally not been kind to lighter, smaller, faster boats.

    “I haven’t done a lot of homework on the ORC rating of the Cape 31,” says Freides. “But these boats seem to rate really well under ORC. [Cape 31 designer] Mark Mills has done a fabulous job. I’m surprised more people haven’t bought these boats because they’re just a lot of fun.”

    The largest fleet at the regatta was the IC37 class, with 24 boats. The fleet this year has been buoyed by nearly 10 new teams. But after the dust settled this weekend, the name at the top of the results was a familiar one, Steve Liebel and his New Wave team. With a fifth, a ninth and a second in the crucial final race, New Wave finished the regatta tied on points with Daniel Thielman’s Kuai team, winning the regatta via a tie breaker.

    “Sailing was phenomenal, a little tricky today, shifty and light, but a good time,” says Liebel. “Sometimes you were looking like a hero, sometimes you were a zero. We were both today. I think we were second-to-last in the first race today, but climbed back. In the end, it was a good day.”







    Last year, the IC37 fleet usually numbered around 15 boats. This year it should be greater than 20 in all major regattas, which means winning requires an extra degree of caution.

    “A fleet with 12 to 15 boats is a little more forgiving,” says Liebel (at left, Bow 23). “You have a bad start or have an error, all of a sudden you’re in 10th. You pass 5, you’re in the top 5, so you’re ok. In 23 or 24 boats, you get deep—and every top boat out there was deep at some point—and it’s hard to get back to the top half of the fleet.”

    While the other four boats in the top five were all teams with previous experience in the class, Liebel was encouraged by the three new teams—Glory from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Nathan Allman’s Barefoot team and Bill Zartler’s Voodoo Too—that rounded out the top 10.

    “It’s exciting to see those new people coming into the class and doing well,” says Liebel. “A lot of people, a lot of different boats, had some very good finishes. It’s great to have those people come into the class, see success and hopefully they’ll want to come back.”

    170th Annual Regatta
    June 14 to 16, 2024
    New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, Newport, R.I.
    Click here for race-by-race details

    Place, Yacht Name, Sail, Owner/Skipper, Results, Total Points
    ORC B (One Design - 5 Boats)
    1. Vesper, USA52007, David Team - 1 -3 -2 -1 ; 7
    2. FOX, USA55052, Victor Wild - 2 -1 -1 -4 ; 8
    3. Prospector, USA52052, Larry Landry Paul McDowell - 3 -2 -3 -2 ; 10
    4. Azulito, USA4501, Wendy Schmidt - 4 -4 -4 -3 ; 15
    5. Summer Storm 52, USA520, Andrew Berdon - 6 -6 -6 -6 ; 24

    ORC C (One Design - 13 Boats)
    1. Vamoose, Uni52443, Bob Manchester - 1 -3 -1 ; 5
    2. Entropy, USA4235, Patricia Young - 4 -6 -2 ; 12
    3. Jax, USA 2022, ?ivind Lorentzen - 2 -4 -7 ; 13
    4. Settler, USA8668, Thomas Rich - 6 -2 -5 ; 13
    5. Impetuous, USA4206, Paul Zabetakis - 3 -7 -3 ; 13

    52 Super Series (One Design - 10 Boats)
    1. Gladiator, GBR11152X, Tony Langley - 2 -1 ; 3
    2. PLATOON, GERGER-52, Harm M?eller-Spreer - 1 -9 ; 10
    3. Interlodge VII, USA5210, Austin Fragomen - 3 -7 ; 10
    4. SLED, USD5095, Takashi Okura - 6 -4 ; 10
    5. Phoenix, RSA5211, Hasso Plattner - 4 -6 ; 10

    Classics 1 (CRF MkII - 5 Boats)
    1. Intrepid, US22, Jack Curtin - 2 -2 -1 -1 ; 6
    2. Onawa, US 6, Mark Watson - 1 -1 -4 -2 ; 8
    3. American Eagle, US 21, jeffrey randall - 3 -3 -2 -4 ; 12
    4. Nefertiti, US19, Jack Klinck - 4 -4 -3 -3 ; 14
    5. Gleam, US11, Dennis Gunderson - 6 -6 -6 -6 ; 24

    Classics 2 (CRF MkII - 3 Boats)
    1. Marilee, NYYC 13, Ken Colburn - 1 -1 -1 -1 ; 4
    2. Dorade (spinnaker), 16, Matt Brooks - 2 -3 -2 -2 ; 9
    3. Gesture, USA102, Alexander Mehran - 3 -2 -3 -3 ; 11

    PHRF 2 (PHRF - 14 Boats)
    1. Crossfire, BER125, Brian Hillier - 1 -1 -1 -5 ; 8
    2. Acadia, USA45002, Erik Asgeirsson - 3 -2 -8 -1 ; 14
    3. The Cat Came Back, USA35001, Lincoln Mossop - 2 -6 -3 -4 ; 15
    4. Incognito, USA1, Chris Brito - 5 -3 -5 -2 ; 15
    5. Oakcliff Farr 40 Black - HFOR Racing, USA51695, Oakcliff Sailing - 4 -5 -2 -7 ; 18

    PHRF 3 (PHRF - 10 Boats)
    1. Varuna, Usa88, Abhijeet Lele - 2 -5 -1 -3 ; 11
    2. Das Blau Max, USA683, Mark and Cory Sertl Sertl - 1 -4 -2 -5 ; 12
    3. Divided Sky, USA3503, Vincent & Kristina McAteer - 3 -2 -6 -2 ; 13
    4. AFRICA B-Squad, 707, Jud & Cindy Smith - 7 -1 -5 -1 ; 14
    5. Wicked 2.0, USA30, Douglas Curtiss - 5 -3 -4 -6 ; 18

    PHRF 4 (PHRF - 17 Boats)
    1. Gallant, 24, Nathan Broomfield - 5 -1 -2 ; 8
    2. Mischief, USA1976 (s), David Schwartz - 4 -5 -1 ; 10
    3. Dark Star, 53194, Roger Lowlicht - 1 -3 -10 ; 14
    4. Defiance, 23, Elliott Brandicourt - 11 -2 -4 ; 17
    5. AGENT 99, USA141, Jeff Johnstone - 3 -12 -3 ; 18

    Classics 3 (CRF MkII - 8 Boats)
    1. Arete, USA1, tim palmer - 1 -1 -5 -1 ; 8
    2. Squaw, 57, Angus Davis - 2 -2 -2 -2 ; 8
    3. Osprey, S8, Sheldon Whitehouse - 9 -3 -1 -3 ; 16
    4. Surprise, S 5, Fred Roy - 4 -7 -4 -4 ; 19
    5. Aquila, USA51, Geoffrey Davis - 3 -9 -3 -5 ; 20

    Shields (One Design - 10 Boats)
    1. Bit~O~Honey, 237, Ken Deyett - 1 -5 -2 -4 -1 ; 13
    2. John Dory, 217, Jamie Hilton - 2 -6 -8 -1 -2 ; 19
    3. Karaselet, USA74, Darden/ Shore - 5 -1 -11 -3 -4 ; 24
    4. Weetamoe, 17, Peter Fernberger - 3 -8 -5 -2 -8 ; 26
    5. Tinky, 258, Clayton Deutsch - 9 -4 -9 -5 -3 ; 30

    PHRF 1 (PHRF - 7 Boats)
    1. After Midnight, USA1201, Paul Jeka - 4 -4 -1 -1 ; 10
    2. Siren-Oakcliff, USA50069, William Hubbard - 1 -3 -2 -7 ; 13
    3. OUTLIER, USA151, Harvey Jones - 3 -1 -5 -4 ; 13
    4. Courageous, USA 26, Oakcliff Sailing - 5 -2 -6 -3 ; 16
    5. IRIE 2, GRE55, Brian Cunha - 6 -6 -3 -2 ; 17

    PHRF 5 (PHRF - 3 Boats)
    1. Blackwing, SK 19, Scott MacLeod - 1 -1 -1 -1 ; 4
    2. Eider, 42053, Daniel Pesch - 2 -3 -2 -4 ; 11
    3. No Worries, USA31905, Matthew & Diane Beaulieu - 3 -2 -4 -4 ; 13

    PHRF Non-Spinnaker (PHRF - 5 Boats)
    1. Frolic, NA5, Bill Doyle - 1 -1 -3 -2 ; 7
    2. Osprey, 56644, Beth Van der Eems - 2 -2 -4 -3 ; 11
    3. Caneel, 40968, Chip Hawkins - 6 -6 -1 -1 ; 14
    4. Ponyo, 18, Paul Koch - 6 -6 -2 -4 ; 18
    5. FIDELIA, USA61368, Barbara Vietor - 6 -6 -6 -6 ; 24

    ORC A (One Design - 4 Boats)
    1. Proteus, US60722, George Sakellaris - 1 -1 -2 ; 4
    2. Vesper, CAY007, Jim Swartz - 3 -2 -1 ; 6
    3. Temptation/Oakcliff JV66, USA119, Art Santry Oakcliff - 2 -3 -3 ; 8
    4. FOGGY, USA2829, Richard Cohen / Jay Cross - 4 -4 -4 ; 12

    ORC D (One Design - 14 Boats)
    1. PACIFIC YANKEE, USA31062, Drew Freides - 2 -2 -3 ; 7
    2. Cool Breeze, USA31072, John Cooper - 7 -1 -2 ; 10
    3. Dingbat, USA70, Miles Julien - 6 -5 -1 ; 12
    4. The ROCC, 64, Al Minella - 3 -6 -4 ; 13
    5. Rima98, USA8198, John Brim - 1 -7 -7 ; 15

    IC37 (One Design - 23 Boats)
    1. New Wave, USA023, Steve Liebel - 5 -9 -2 ; 16
    2. Kuai, USA027, Daniel Thielman - 2 -6 -8 ; 16
    3. MENACE, NZL006, HOWARD SPENCER - 1 -3 -17 ; 21
    4. Skeleton Key, USA022, Peter Wagner - 15 -1 -6 ; 22
    5. Qubit, GBR017, Chris Lewis - 19 -2 -3 ; 24
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