Many racing sailors have a strong attraction to the newest and flashiest boat or piece of gear, but there’s a lot to be said for knowing well what you have. For the team on Art Santry’s Temptation-Oakcliff, familiarity was a key to success at the 164th Annual Regatta.
“It’s our seventh year together and the consistency is paying off,” said Bill Rudkin, who filled in at the helm on Saturday and Sunday while Santry attended his daughter’s college graduation. “We’ve learned the boat. Art keeps the sail inventory as state-of-the-art as you can get it, and we put in a lot of time at practice. That allows us to shift gears in all different conditions.”
With Santry at the helm, Temptation-Oakcliffwon Friday’s Around-the-Island Race in IRC 3. When the wind never materialized offshore on Sunday, the fourth and first that Temptation-Oakcliff recorded in a pair of buoy races on Saturday was enough to secure the team’s second first-place trophy of the regatta.
The Annual Regatta is North America’s oldest annual sailing event. It was first run in 1845 on the Hudson River and has been sailed out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I., since 1988. The 164th edition included a separately-scored around-the-island race on Friday, June 8, followed by buoy or navigator-course racing for one-designs and yachts sailing under IRC, ORR, CRF and PHRF handicapping systems on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10. The 164th Annual Regatta is sponsored by AIG Private Client Group.
With nine boats spread across a relatively narrow rating band, IRC 3 was one of the most competitive classes of the regatta. And the results in Saturday’s two races bore that out, with no team getting more than a single top-three finish. After a fourth in the first race, the Temptation-Oakcliff team started the second race with a firm plan.
“We were not worried about the bias of the starting line; it was where we wanted to be 200 yards off the starting line that determined where we wanted to start,” says Rudkin. “We were determined to protect the right side of the course, so we, almost to a fault, delayed ourselves at the committee boat end to ensure we could get over to the right side first. We were able to do that, and a right-hand shift was there that gave us a chance to spring out and round the mark first.”
Holding off a pack of top race boats, many of which had superior downwind speed, wasn’t easy. But the Temptation-Oakcliff team was able to keep all but the fastest boats in their wake and record the race win on corrected time.
For Patti Young’s team on Entropy, knowing the boat was important, but not as important as the cohesiveness of the crew itself.
“This team is the same core people [that we’ve had for the past few years], and we had seven of the nine Bermuda Race crew on the boat,” says Young, also noting that five of the 11 people sailing on Entropy this weekend were women. “The key to our success this weekend was communication. They can sense when people need something and there’s not a lot of need for explanation. That helps us minimize mistakes.”
Like with Temptation-Oakcliff, Saturday’s second race was pivotal for the crew on Entropy.
“We sailed our own race,” says Young. “We didn’t get involved with the other boats. We separated from the faster-rated boats in the class early on, and I think that was a big difference for us.”
For Young and co-owner Paul Hamilton, who steers the boat while she does the navigation, the weekend was a great lead-in for the Bermuda Race, which starts on Friday.
“Everybody’s really excited,” she says. “It’s a good way to start the season.”
A winter of one-design racing in St. Petersburg and Annapolis hardened Doug Curtiss’ team on the J/111 Wicked 2.0. Matching up against a fleet of identical boats is a great way to learn precisely how to squeeze every drop of the speed out of the 36-footer.
“It tends to hone the skills a little bit,” he says with a laugh. “We learned a lot.”
Still Curtiss came into the weekend, where he raced in the PHRF 2 class, with modest expectations.
“We like to be top third and just go out there and have some fun,” he says. “If I had to say there’s a signature that I hope to leave on the Wicked program, it’s that we have great crew chemistry, everybody has fun and we just like to be competitive.”
With a first in yesterday’s single race—a marathon that took teams all of four hours to complete—and a second today, Curtiss exceeded all his goals. Wicked 2.0 won the class by a single point over Phil Lotz, commodore of the New York Yacht Club, who was racing the Club’s new IC37 in its inaugural Annual Regatta.
The busiest sailors, at least in terms of races, were the crews on the speedy M32 catamarans. After starting last, and passing much of the fleet in Friday’s distance race, the fleet of five boats ripped off eight buoy races over the weekend.
Craig Monk’s ChinaOne.Ningbo won the regatta with three wins in the final four races. Dan Cheresh’s Extreme2 finished second.
“It’s always fantastic coming to sail in Newport at an event run by the New York Yacht Club,” says Cheresh. “Not only do they run a great regatta, but the beauty and tradition of the NYYC makes it one of the best events on our circuit.
“M32 North America put together yet another epic regatta that wasn’t decided until the last race on the last day. On this day, Craig Monk’s team on ChinaOne earned the win on that last race, as well as the regatta win.”
|164th NYYC Annual Regatta Final Results
Click here for complete Saturday/Sunday results
Click here for Friday Around-the-Island Race
Photo Credits: © Stuart Streuli/NYYC, © Daniel Forster/NYYC,