Sail Newport Race Committee vessels are rigged and ready for racing tomorrow in the annual Newport Regatta. Sail Newport photo.

By Kim Cooper, Sail Newport

The Newport Regatta starts today for one-design classes racing in the annual Sail Newport event. The regatta has been widely popular as an East Coast “must do” for sailors since the first racing weekend in 1984.

Competitors are registered from Canada, the U.K., and 12 U.S. States, including CA, CO, MD, FL, RI, MA, GA, CT, NY, SC, FL, and NJ.  All classes will race both Saturday and Sunday on Narragansett Bay.

“Itʻs always been our signature summer event. With windward/leeward courses, the Newport Regatta is known for lots of racing, great technical sailing, a seabreeze, and fast in and out at the hoist,” says Ian Maccini (Jamestown, RI), the VX One Class local leader and competitor on “Blue Lobster.”  Maccini will sail the weekend with crew Molly Sylvia (Jamestown, RI).

The VX One class is relatively new to the racing community since its debut eleven years ago. There are 300 boats worldwide, most in the U.S. and mainly on the East Coast. This weekend the sailors will test their mettle and “warm-up” for their New England Championship being sailed on the same water next week.

This weekend, other classes in the Newport Regatta include the IC 37 class, Ensigns, and F-18 catamarans. The breeze is forecast to be lighter, so the race committee will work to get as many races on the scoreboard as possible.

The IC 37 Class has a strong line-up of teams familiar with top-three finishes. Steve Liebel (Tampa, FL) is coming to the Newport Regatta after a solid performance in the first half of 2022, winning the class Winter Series in Florida. Also, his team on “New Wave” placed third in the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) Annual Regatta in early June.

Terry McLaughlin (Toronto, ON, CAN) of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) will race “Defiant.” He is the champion of the Canada Cup 2021 and one to watch in the Newport Regatta this weekend.

As a family event, the Sertl family (Jamestown, RI) will share skipper duties on “Das Blau Max” between Cory, Mark, and Nick Sertl, along with a strong crew often seen in the top three.

The Newport Regatta is designated by an IC 37 Class rule to encourage youth sailors and several boats will include young crew members from a Sail Newport youth training program (EOS) and local high schools.

Depending on weather conditions, the F-18 (Formula 18) and VX One classes will be set up for windward/leeward racing most likely to be located in the Potter Cove area.

The F-18 Class has a robust local fleet and ambitious season with thirteen regattas mostly sailing out of Sail Newportʻs Sailing Center. The class has designated the Newport Regatta as a qualifying match to determine their 2022 NAASA (Narragansett Adult Athletic Sailing Association) season championship.

“We are at Sail Newport for the season because itʻs the best facility for high-performance sailing on the East Coast,” says Chris Bulger (Boston, MA), a class leader. We are super excited about this weekend.”

Other skippers participating in the Newport Regatta this weekend include Bulger, Michael Easton (Burlington, MA), and Skip Whyte (North Kingston, RI). Sailor Todd Riccardi (Swampscott, MA) will compete.  He placed third in the recent North American Championship, and Narragansett Bay is his home water.

Also, Kaleigh Morgan (Barrington, RI) will skipper the F-18 “Savasanaasa.” Morgan is an active youth sailor and currently training out of Sail Newport in the Naacra 17, an Olympic-class catamaran.

Sponsors include Heineken, Mount Gay Rum, Interlux, Slammer Marine, Regatta Craft Mixers, Lolea, Yellow Rose Distilling, Martin Millerʻs Gin, Granny Squibb Co., Licor 43.

Follow the weekendʻs events at sailnewport.org

Results to be posted as they happen.

For more information: The Newport Regatta

Community Submission

This content has been contributed to What's Up Newp. The views and opinions included within are not necessarily those of What's Up Newp, our contributors, or our advertisers.

We welcome letters to the editor on current local topics. Email them to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.