BRISTOL, R.I. – The Designer Series–a new type of boating rendezvous that gives boat owners, the marine industry, and the public a chance to celebrate the sport’s iconic designers—will launch a new scholarship for students studying for careers in the marine trades.

The inaugural Designer Series will salute the life and work of Ted Hood and takes place at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol from July 21-23. The weekend-long event will include on-the-water and land-based festivities and gather a diverse fleet of Hood-designed sail and power boats, along with the individuals who enjoy these boats and the professionals who helped to create them.

“The Designer Series was conceived as an event that can both honor the past achievements of our iconic yacht designers, but also look forward—and an important part of the mission for this series is to help cultivate the Ted Hoods of tomorrow,” said Andy Tyska, president of Bristol Marine who is one of a team of individuals spearheading this new series.

The Designer Series Scholarship of $3,000 will support an individual who is pursuing a career in recreational yacht design or marine engineering, service or construction. Students studying at a trade school or an institute of higher learning can apply for this funding.

Individuals who wish to apply for the scholarship should visit scholarship. The application deadline is August 1.

Ted Hood was a sailmaker, rigger, yacht designer, and a skilled yachtsman who skippered the 12-meter Courageous to a win in the 1974 America’s Cup. A Massachusetts native, he founded Hood Sailmakers in Marblehead; in the mid-1980s he moved his business to Rhode Island and transformed a stretch of Portsmouth coastline once occupied by the Navy into one of the largest yacht service, design and building operations on the East Coast.

Hood brought an innovator’s mindset to his work and produced breakthroughs in yacht deign, rigging and sailmaking. When Hood passed away in 2013, he left behind a fleet of some 1,500 boats built from his designs.

A diverse fleet of Hood designs will gather for the first time for this inaugural event–including the 12-meter Nefertiti, Hood’s first America’s Cup design; Bristol and Little Harbor sail and power boats; the original Robin, the 1959 40-foot sloop credited with launching Hood’s design career; the luxurious 116-foot Whisper, one of the last boats created by the Ted Hood Design Group; and others.

On-water events for the fleet will be held on Saturday. Tickets to an “open-boat” party on Friday evening, where attendees can view and board the fleet, and Saturday night’s clambake featuring the local band Sugarbabies are still available. Sunday will feature a boat parade along Bristol’s harbor front.

A core of marine-industry professionals who worked closely with Ted Hood–including Tyska, Ted Fontaine (Fontaine Design Group, Portsmouth) and Matthew Smith (Matthew Smith, Naval Architect, Barrington)–and Hood’s sons Ted Jr. (Wellington Yacht Partners, Portsmouth) and Bob Hood (Hinckley Yacht Services, Portsmouth) are spearheading this new event.

To purchase tickets to the weekend’s festivities, visit the event website at

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

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