Over the four IC37 regattas this summer held in Newport, Rhode Island, there have been four different winners and one-third of the 24-boat fleet have stood on the podium. With big breeze expected this weekend, it will be a hard-fought showdown on Narragansett Bay as two big prizes are up for grabs in the largest of big boat one-design fleet in the US: The IC37 North American Championship and the 2022 IC37 Season Championship Trophy.
The third edition of the IC37 North American Championship will begin Friday, September 23 running through Sunday the 25th and hosted by New York Yacht Club. With 20 boats registered, this event will cap another intensive summer of racing for both the NYYC-owned charter teams as well as privately owned boats.
Steve Liebel’s NEW WAVE currently sits in the top spot for the Season Trophy with 54 points followed by Hannah Swett and Ben Kinney’s MEMBERS ONLY (50 points) and Rod Jabin’s RAMROD (48 points). To qualify for the inaugural award, teams must have sailed in the NYYC Annual Regatta, US Nationals, and this weekend’s event plus either the Sail Newport Regatta or Safe Harbor Race Weekend. Points are earned through the high-point scoring system where first place earns the number of boats in the fleet, second place earns one less, etc., which means with 20 points available this weekend and 11 boats set to qualify, the Season Trophy is still anyone’s to win.
On the starting line will be last year’s North American Champions, the SertlFamily with DAS BLAU MAX, and all four of the 2022 Regatta champions: Chris Lewis’ QUBIT (NYYC Annual), MEMBERS ONLY (Sail Newport Regatta), NEW WAVE (US Nationals), and Doug Newhouse’s YONDER (Safe Harbors Race Weekend). 13 of the competitors utilize the innovative NYYC’s Charter Boat program with 7 privately owned boats making up the scratch sheet.
By the end of the weekend, eight teams will have sailed all five events this summer: ARETHUSA (Phil Lotz), GAMECOCK (Peter McClennen), KASHMIR (Mike Mayer), MAHALO (Charles Kenahan), MIDNIGHT BLUE (Alexis Michas), NEW WAVE, SKELETON KEY (Peter Wagner), and YONDER.
Instrumental to the success of the season is Class Coach Moose McClintock, who has been on the water for all 23 races this summer and runs a practice weekend early in the season and a day before every major event culminating in 22 total sailing days between June and September.
McClintock’s biggest focus is always on the importance of practicing the repetition of moves among the crew so they become second nature. He consistently offers tips between races from his coach boat and during fleet debriefs on ways to execute these maneuvers in order to minimize communication, which in turn increases boat speed.
That crew work priority has been evident as every winner this season has attributed crew synergy in one way or another to their victory. With nine sailors typically making up a team and only one Group 3 member permitted onboard, this means there are over 150 corinthian sailors on the water this weekend fighting alongside each other to make it to the podium.
Racing kicks off daily at 11 am in Narragansett Bay or Rhode Island Sound. With strong northwesterly breezes expected throughout the weekend, this could be a regatta for the record books with every race taking all the sailors have to give.