Bequia - Candy Store Cup 2017 Overall and Class B winner (Photo © George Bekris)

Bequia – Candy Store Cup 2017 Overall and Class B winner (Photo © George Bekris)

 

 NEWPORT, R.I. (July 31, 2017) – Sailors couldn’t have asked for a sweeter experience at the 2017 Candy Store Cup Superyacht Edition. The event showcased some of the world’s most spectacular and technologically sophisticated luxury sailing yachts racing off Newport, R.I. on Thursday through Saturday (July 27-29) and provided three days of wildly varied conditions, courtesy of Mother Nature, as well as a full slate of colorful social events, courtesy of co-hosts Bannister’s Wharf and Newport Shipyard, the latter of which was headquarters for the event and home to most of the fleet while not racing.
 

 

At Saturday night’s prize giving at a Newport estate on Ocean Drive, the 92-foot yawl Bequia was declared overall winner and awarded the silver Candy Store Cup Trophy in addition to its Class B victory prize of a glass vase filled with penny candy. Until then, no one was quite sure who would take the overall honors, due to the close racing that had taken place over three races, held one-per-day and covering from 12 to 26 miles each.

 

 

Thursday, in a 23.7-mile race that started off Castle Hill and featured Brenton Point and the Cliff Walk as scenic backdrops, the enormous superyachts struck imposing silhouettes against an overcast sky that every so often allowed the sun to peek through. The mid-range southwesterly winds allowed Bequia to set the pace with a 58-second win over Freya at the finish line, which was set just off Fort Adams as a “first” for the regatta, which debuted last year as a combination of two individual regattas previously known as Newport Bucket Regatta and Candy Store Cup.

 

Freya (Photo © George Bekris)

Freya (Photo © George Bekris)

When the wind switched to an ever-so-light northerly on Friday, Freya returned the favor by beating Bequia by a mere 43 seconds at the traditional finish line off Castle Hill. With the two boats now tied, it meant that Class B’s winner would be determined with Saturday’s final race. This was the case, also, in Class A, where Action and Sunleigh had three and four overall points, respectively, and Class C, where MeteorWhitehawk and Naema were tied with four points each.

Sunleigh (Photo © George Bekris)

Sunleigh (Photo © George Bekris)

 

On Saturday, a dogs-off-chains nor’easter demanded that the Candy Store Cup winners be especially deserving…and they were. Bequia handled the 25 knots like it was 15 and won the race after Freya was forced to retire with a split mainsail.

 

 

“We had a wonderful week sailing against Freya,” said Bequia‘s tactician Tom Whidden at the awards party. “We’re quite different boats, but obviously the handicap rule is doing a good job, and we had some really close racing. We felt badly they had a breakdown on the last day; we were looking forward to seeing how we’d do, and I think we would have been very close.”

Ranger (Photo © George Bekris)

Ranger (Photo © George Bekris)

Bequia‘s overall victory was contingent first on class victory, next by lowest point score among class victors (Action and Bequia both had four points each), and then by traditional sailing tiebreaker rules, but when the latter failed to clarify the winner, the race committee deferred to the regatta provision of “starting prowess” as the final determinant. That trait, it turns out, the extraordinarily well-sailed Bequia possessed in spades.

Meteor (Photo © George Bekris)

“How spectacular to have a medium-air, a light-air and a heavy-air race,” said Whidden, noting that despite the whipped-up seas on Saturday, the course allowed them to sail in relatively flat water. “They couldn’t have planned it better.”

Dan Meyers, the Newport/Boston resident who won Class C, skippering his 170′ schooner Meteor to finish positions of 1-3-1, agreed: “The first day was a perfectly moderate day, so nobody could complain. Friday, much to our detriment, it was light and a struggle for us but kind of fun to try to keep Meteor going on the track. And Saturday was full-on. A kite up in 30 knots keeps your attention, but it was fun. We had it all!
Wild Horses (Photo © George Bekris )

Wild Horses (Photo © George Bekris )

“This is different than any other superyacht regatta in the world,” added Meyers. “It’s run by a team of people who know how this is supposed to go; the courses were really well conceived, the classes were really well conceived…They made everything better: the social events are better, the racing is better, the new Thursday-through-Saturday format is better. It’s more fun…more friendly, but they don’t sacrifice on the sailing.”

NAEMA G Schooner (Photo © George Bekris)

NAEMA G Schooner (Photo © George Bekris)

 

Ian Walker, tactician aboard Class A winner Action, a 121′ sloop, said that for a boat that was built for cruising, Action was raced pretty hard. Action had to beat Sunleigh on Saturday to win, but Sunleigh chose not to sail in the conditions. Ranger had a problem with its mast track and had to retire, leaving Action as the default winner.

“I’ve really enjoyed this regatta,” said Walker. “I love that the boats are so close together on the docks here; it’s well supported by sponsors; there is lots of hospitality in a relaxed atmosphere; and obviously Newport is a beautiful place to be this time of year. You couldn’t wish for a better superyacht regatta, and in a way the fact that the Candy Store Cup is smaller and more intimate is its unique selling point.”

Shore-side parties included an owner’s dinner at the famous Clarke Cooke House on Bannister’s Wharf; a “yacht hop” on Friday at the Shipyard where hundreds of sailors milled around the M. GEMI pop-up store selling Italian leather shoes and sharing gelato in addition to a food truck that provided a hearty dinner for the hungry sailors.

Candy Store Cup headquarters ( Photo © Robert W. Kranz )

Candy Store Cup headquarters ( Photo © Robert W. Kranz )

 

 

Saturday’s prize giving hosted 400 people who got their last thrills of the regatta dancing to an Eagles cover band that could have easily been mistaken for the real thing.

Royal Huisman, Perini Navi, Vitters and Rybovich, which are major players in the superyacht industry and were all stewards of the Newport Bucket, are presenting partners of the Candy Store Cup. Supporting partners of the event are KVH Industries, North Sails, Sentient Jet, Southern Spars / Future Fibres, Willis Towers Watson, The Marshall Islands Registry, and M. Gemi.

Candy Store Cup Newport Results  
July 27-29, 2017

Class A Winner - Action at start crossing the start line Thursday's race. ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class A Winner – Action at start line Thursday’s race. ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class A
1. ACTION, 121′ (37m) Royal Huisman/Dykstra Sloop, 1-2-1, 4
2. SUNLEIGH, 105′ (32m) Jongert/Tony Castro Sloop, 3-1-4/DNS, 8
3. RANGER, 138′ (42m) Danish Yachts/S&S Dykstra Sloop, 2-3-4/RET, 9
Class B Winner - Bequia at race start on Thursday ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class B Winner – Bequia at race start on Thursday ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class B
1. BEQUIA, 92′ (28m) Brooklin Boat Yard/Stephens Yawl, 1-2-1, 4
2. FREYA, 88′ (27m) Nautor’s Swan/Frers Sloop, 2-1-5/RET, 8
3. WILD HORSES, 75′ (23m) W-Class Yachts/White, 3-3-2, 8
4. AUDREY II, 89′ (27m) Jongert Ketch, 4-4-5/RET, 13
Class C Winner - Meteor at the Breakers ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class C Winner – Meteor at the Breakers ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class C
1. METEOR, 170′ (52m) Royal Huisman/Dykstra Schooner, 1-3-1, 5
2. WHITEHAWK, 104′ (32m) Lie-Nielsen/Bruce King Ketch, 2-2-2, 6
3. NAEMA, 118′ (42m) Graafship/Hodgdon Yachts G Schooner, 3-1-4, 8
4. ZENJI, 184′ (56m) Perini Navi/Ron Holland 4-4-3, 11

More George Bekris Candy Store Cup Photos

More photos will be added to the gallery in coming week.

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George Bekris Photography

Meteor © George Bekris

For the second year running, the Candy Store Cup Superyacht Edition will showcase some of the world’s most spectacular yachts racing in a regatta designed specifically for them. The event, scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, July 27-29, is organized and hosted by Newport Shipyard and Bannister’s Wharf, which partnered last year to consolidate the Newport Bucket and Candy Store Cup regattas.

The largest yacht entered thus far is the 184’ (56m) Perini Navi ketch Zenji, which will join the other entries at Newport Shipyard’s newly expanded docks alongside dozens of other megayachts, both sail and power. The working shipyard has become the epicenter of the megayacht industry in New England and is uniquely positioned on the Newport waterfront to allow the public to view the yachts that are berthed there.

 

The Candy Store Cup is all about sportsmanship and camaraderie, as the pristine superyachts must race to rules specially formulated to keep them safe distances from each other. The format calls for pursuit-style (staggered start) racing on Rhode Island Sound, with one race planned for each of the three days, leaving plenty of time in the afternoons and evenings for socializing. Racing begins at 1 p.m. off Castle Hill and will provide a stunning visual for those watching from vantage points along the shore of Narragansett Bay’s East Passage, south of the Pell Bridge. The Candy Store Cup Party and Awards are on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Royal HuismanPerini NaviVitters and Rybovich, which are major players in the superyacht industry and were all stewards of the Newport Bucket, are presenting partners of the Candy Store Cup Newport. Supporting partners of the event are KVHNorth SailsSentient JetSouthern Spars / Future FibresWillis Towers WatsonThe Marshall Islands Registry, and M. Gemi.

Newport Shipyard, one of the most popular and recommended shipyards in the U.S., is a full-service marina and shipyard with over 3,500 linear feet of dock space that can accommodate yachts up to 300+ feet. Its amenities include a dockside café, ship store, fitness center, courtesy vehicles and crew housing. Bannister’s Wharf, founder of the original Candy Store Cup in 1977, is situated in downtown Newport and attracts visitors and locals alike with 20 shops and galleries that offer a diverse selection of life’s niceties. The social center of the Wharf is the Clarke Cooke House, home of the original Candy Store Cup.

 

PRELIMINARY CLASS BREAKS (UPDATED JULY 13, 2017)

CLASS A:

Action – Sloop – 37m – Royal Huisman – Dykstra
Ranger (J) – Sloop – 42m – Danish Yacht – S&S / Dykstra NA
Sunleigh – Sloop – 32m – Jongert – Tony Castro

CLASS B:

Audrey II – Ketch – 27m – Jongert – Jongert
Bequia – Yawl – 28m – Brooklin Boat Yard – Stephens
Freya – Sloop – 27m – Nautor’s Swan – Frers
Wild Horses – Sloop – 23m – W-Class™ Yachts – White

CLASS C:

Meteor – Schooner – 52m – Royal Huisman – Dykstra NA
Naema – 42m – G Schooner – Graafship – Hodgdon Yachts
Whitehawk – 32m – Ketch – Lie-Nielsen – Bruce King
Zenji – Ketch – 56m – Perini-Navi – Ron Holland

 

Newport Shipyard Candy Store Cup aerial view ( Photo © Billy Black )

 

Fonica In Straights of Gibraltar (Photo by Jacques Vapillon)

Fonica In Straights of Gibraltar (Photo by Jacques Vapillon)

Since the end of the day yesterday the first boat of the Istanbul
Europa Race fleet has entered the Atlantic, leaving the Mediterranean
in its wake. One by one, on the same single tack, the crews have
followed in the tracks of leader Michel Desjoyeaux, who has been
leading the way towards Brest for more than the last 24 hours. Though
all are making modest speeds, the passage of the Straits of Gibraltar
has mixed up the competition on this third leg more than ever,
particularly among the boats vying closest to take on the leader.
Veolia Environnement and Groupe Bel have been having quite a battle,
which Paprec Virbac 2 is doing its utmost to join. Further back, the
Spaniards aboard 1876 have been contending with a mast problem which has slowed them down, while the Mediterranean has yet to finish with the men of DCNS…

For its first edition, the Istanbul Europa Race has the pleasure of presenting a fleet of around fifteen boats,  helmed by the top sailors of our time. The trust the sailors display in the organising company, together  with the scale of the event and the course on offer,  greatly appeal to sailing  professionals.

In terms of image,  the skippers are perceived as adventurers, sacrificing everything for their passion and a far cry from overpaid stars. In addition they practise a sport which, though given a lot of media coverage, is sheltered from the numerous excesses you can observe in other sports (structured finance, doping), and benefits from a ‘clean’ image in every sense of the word.

As such  these top level offshore racers have expressed a desire to accept the invitation to what is to be an unmissable race in their professional career. Among them we can already mention:

The Istanbul Europa Race, in the prestigious IMOCA class, is the latest great sailing race in the yachting calendar. Its long course through Europe is to make it a major sporting event from its very first edition. In the great tradition of stage races, the Istanbul Europa Race will bring together a fleet comprised of some of very best sailors of our time, taking them on an ideal course and offering a genuine invitation to travel.

From One Sea To Another (Photo courtesy of Group Bel)

From One Sea To Another (Photo courtesy of Group Bel)

A human, competitive and cultural adventure, the Istanbul Europa Race has a wealth of assets to bring to the table.  A public,  comprising amateur sailors and enthusiasts alike, is bound to come out in force to view  the spectacle,  to  witness this  new encounter  between man and  the natural  elements,  at the forefront of which are the waters of the  Mediterranean,  as well as the  Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel. The excellent  line-up of sailors offered,  the original aspect of  the race ports and  the course together  with the public presence,  all go to ensure massive,  international media coverage,  given the infatuation that is prompted by sailing.