Sonny, winner of the Panerai Watch (Photo © George Bekris)

 

The 38th edition of the Marblehead Classic Yacht Regatta ran August 10th-12th at the Marblehead Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA.  The Yacht club was founded in 1885  and was the perfect setting for the beautiful classic yachts. The race teams enjoyed the hospitality, parties and commaradie that is traditional among classic yacht racers.

Tough racing was called for Saturday for rain and lack of wind the sailors in this year’s Marblehead Classic Yacht Regatta were relieved when the rains let up and the sky cleared on Sunday. The Sunday conditions were favorable to get some racing in and the yachtsmen could not have been happier to get out on the course and get things moving.

The one-day race featured staggered starts, so that the smaller fleets like the International One Design and the schooners like the 128-foot “Altair” and the 160-foot “Columbia” could finish on corrected time – around the same time – and this was the case as the entire 50-strong fleet headed straight for the mouth of Marblehead Harbor on Sunday afternoon just off the lighthouse.

In the schooner fleet, the win in the Vintage Grand Classic went to the 63-foot schooner “When and If” with “Altair” second and the Schooner Columbia third.

The win was all in the family, however as the captain of the Schooner Columbia Seth Saltzman is the owner of the “When and If,” and his younger brother Dylan is her captain.

In the Vintage Corinthian Yacht – Spinnaker Division – first place went to the Sparkman & Stephens designed “Sonny,”  and the New York 32 “Siren,” who won the non-spinnaker division.

The Nathaniel Herreshoff designed Buzzard’s Bay 25 “Resolute,” won took first in the Grand Prix Yachts non-spinnaker fleet.

The 12-metre “Valiant,” owned by Gary Gregory of Marblehead won in the Grand Prix Yachts Spinnaker Division.

North American Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge begins with the following result at the end of the Marblehead weekend:

2018 Final Full Race Results (PDF Format)
2018 Results by Panerai Class Only (PDF Format)
2018 Order of Finish (PDF format)
2018 Series Results (PDF format)

View more photos of the event by George Bekris at Marblehead Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta 2018

That’s a wrap to a great event and the classics will continue throughout New England during August and September.

 

 

Lilla - IRL 7600 - CNB Briand 76 yacht skippered by Simon De Pietro (Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

Lilla - IRL 7600 - CNB Briand 76 yacht skippered by Simon De Pietro (Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

Hamilton, Bermuda, June 21, 2012 – ‘Lilla’, the big red Briand 76 (IRL7600) owned by Simon and Nancy De Pietro of Cork, Ireland and Mattapoisett MA, sailed a fast straight-forward Newport Bermuda Race and won Class 13 in the Cruiser Division. ‘Lilla’ also took first place in the whole Cruiser Division and will be presented with the Carleton Mitchell Finesterre Trophy for first place.

True - USA 22  - J160  production yacht yacht skippered by Howard B Hodgson Jnr (Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

True - USA 22 - J160 production yacht yacht skippered by Howard B Hodgson Jnr (Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

‘Lilla’ led classmate ‘True’, a J-160 owned by Howard Hodgson of Ipswich MA by 1 hr 17 min on corrected time for the win in class and division. ‘True’ was second in both Class 13 and the division. Third place in the Cruiser division went to ‘Odyssey’ a Swan 55 sailed by Glenn Dexter from Halifax NS.

And there is Icing on the cake for ‘Lilla’. In 2011 she raced in the Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race and set the 645-mile course record from Marion MA to Bermuda at 68:58:45. That performance last year and her top finish in the Newport Bermuda Race earn her the Bermuda Ocean Cruising Yacht Trophy presented by SAIL Magazine. This special combined competition trophy goes to the captain who has the best performance in consecutive Newport Bermuda and Marion Bermuda races. ‘Lilla’ sailed from Newport this time— a 10-mile shorter course in 63:17:13, some 5 hours and 41 minutes faster.

“The only problem we had,” said navigator Nancy De Pietro, “was getting water to the forward head and shower. The water tank we were using was aft, on the port side [That was the high side on the long port tack all the way down from Newport] and the pump had trouble because it was sucking air up there.”

“The one great thing about sailing on this type of boat is that we get to shower after coming off of every watch,” said Simon De Pietro with a smile.

Not having water for showers would have been a crisis for this cruiser crew… all good friends and family. It was an international crew with sailors from Ireland, the Dutch West Indies, England, Canada, South Africa and the USA. ‘Lilla’ has a comfortable 3-cabin layout and is used for charter as well as offshore racing.

In addition to doing the Bermuda Races, she has also done the Caribbean 600. She is an aluminum yacht with just 8.5-foot draft. She does not go to weather well but on a reach her waterline works and she is good and fast. The De Pietros thought of entering the St. David’s Lighthouse Division but needed to be able to use the power winches.

‘True’ a 53 foot J-160— also in Class 13— finished an hour behind ‘Lilla’ Her navigator Richard Casner of Dedham MA said, “The conditions were perfect for ‘True’ we had entered as a non-spinnaker boat and we think that paid off. We were right next to the Swan 60 ‘Lady B’ when she set a chute and we were able to walk away from her. The double headsail rig we used was just right for this boat in this race.”

The Newport Bermuda Race had 6 divisions and 17 classes. The Cruiser division had 30 entries. More than 100 prizes will be awarded Saturday evening on the lawn of Bermuda’s Government House. His Excellency Mr. George Fergusson the Governor of Bermuda will present the prizes along with Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore John Brewin and the Cruising Club of America Commodore Dan Dyer.

 

 Carina -USA 315 - McCurdy & Rhodes 48 yacht skippered by  A Rives Potts Jnr, making the most of the blustery conditions.  Carina is the provisional winner of the principal St David's Lighthouse Trophy for the third time.(Photo by  Barry Pickthall / PPL)

Carina -USA 315 - McCurdy & Rhodes 48 yacht skippered by A Rives Potts Jnr, making the most of the blustery conditions. Carina is the provisional winner of the principal St David's Lighthouse Trophy for the third time. (Photo by Barry Pickthall / PPL)

Going into Monday evening, LLwyd Ecclestone’s ‘Kodiak’ crew was hopeful of winning the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy, the most coveted of the three main Newport Bermuda Trophies awarded to the corrected time winner of the large amateur division. Then came ‘Carina’ to steal the show.

It looks as though, Based on provisional results, Rives Potts’ McCurdy and Rhodes 48-foot ‘Carina’ (Westbrook CT) won Class 3 and the silver scale model St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy for first in the Division and probably more loot to boot. ‘Carina’ with Potts at the helm won the same first place trophy in the 2010 race and in 1970 ‘Carina’ won it under Richard Nye. This ties ‘Carina’ with ‘Finisterre’ as the boat with the most lighthouses on her trophy rack. ‘Finisterre’ won three in a row under Carleton Mitchel 1956, 1958 and 1960.

Defiance - NA 23 - Navy 44 training yacht skippered by Bryan Weisberg (Photo by Daniel Forster / PPL)

Defiance - NA 23 - Navy 44 training yacht skippered by Bryan Weisberg (Photo by Daniel Forster / PPL)

‘Carina’ finished at 6:16PM in Bermuda and had a corrected time of 45:08:16. The US Naval Academy’s new Navy 44 ‘Defiance’ was second in Class 3 behind ‘Carina’ and also second in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division. Her corrected time was 45:42:50. The US Naval Academy’s older Navy 44 Class 2 boat, ‘Swift’, was first in her class and third overall for the division with a corrected time of 46:09:04. It was a pretty tight race with just 26 corrected minutes between these top two boats in the division after a 635-mile sleigh-ride.

 

For Potts and crew, this is his second St. David’s Lighthouse win in a row. “We had a fantastic race,” Potts said. “ Pretty straight forward. We powered through the stream and then played two big shifts down the rhumbline further south. We gybed twice and then tacked twice for the finish when the wind got lighter and went forward. We finished under a light #1 headsail.” These gybes and tacks were more than most of the other boats in the race made and probably helped ‘Carina’ win overall.

“The boat just got back from a circumnavigation and racing in the world’s top races three weeks ago. My son and nephew did a great job of getting ‘Carina’ ready for Bermuda. In a race like this, preparation is one key to winning. Crew work is another and we had a family based crew working together.” Potts added.

The crew of ‘Carina’ is made up of four fathers and five sons. One of the fathers, Bud Sutherland, is Rives Potts’ brother-in-law and his son Rives Sutherland is the Captain of ‘Carina’ who took her on her global trek.

Change happened overnight in the Double-Handed Division, too. Perennial double-handed winner Hewitt Gaynor (Fairfield CT) slipped his J120 Mireille into first in Class 15 and first in the division. Joe Harris (South Hamilton MA) who sailed such a fast race in his Class 40 ‘Gryphon Solo2’ was alone on the leader board Monday. Harris had an elapsed time of 60:20:26 while Gaynor’s was 74:12:34. On corrected time, ‘Mireille’ beat ‘Gryphon Solo2’ by roughly 4 hours.

 

Shockwave - USA 60272 - a mini maxi yacht skippered by George Sakellaris (Photo by  Daniel Forster / PPL)

Shockwave - USA 60272 - a mini maxi yacht skippered by George Sakellaris (Photo by Daniel Forster / PPL)

The provisional Gibbs Hill Division winner is ‘Shockwave’ a Reichel/Pugh 72 skippered by George Sakellaris of Farmington MA. Sakellaris will win the silver replica of the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, a top prize along with the St. David’s Light. ‘Shockwave’ took double silver snatching the North Rock Beacon Trophy, the third important prize for the IRC corrected time winner, which is a silver replica of the 1960-1990 North Rock Light Tower that once warned mariners of the rocky approach to Bermuda from the North.

 Med Spirit - FRA 1575 - Welbourn 92 maxi skippered by Michael D'Amelio.(Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

Med Spirit - FRA 1575 - Welbourn 92 maxi skippered by Michael D'Amelio. (Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL)

‘Med Spirit’ sailed by Michael D’Amelio (Boston, MA) in the Open Division is the other winner that seems clear under the provisional results for the Royal Mail trophy. Six boats started in this division that featured boats from 40 feet to 100 feet in length. Their common denominator was moveable ballast, either canting keels or water ballast. The 3 Class 40 boats all had water ballast and were fully crewed so they did not qualify to sail against the 3 Class 40’s that went double-handed in Class 15.

The Wally 100 ‘Indio’ under Mark Fliegner (Monaco) came second. ‘Donnybrook’, in her maiden race skippered by Jim Muldoon (Washington DC) had to retire with damage to her daggerboard and daggerboard trunk. Under corrected time only about 5 hours separated the winning 100-footer and the bottom Class 40.

‘Spirit of Bermuda’, the Bermuda Sloop Foundation sail-training vessel, was the sole entry in the new Spirit of Tradition Division. She finished Monday night at 11:20 ADT.

 

Shockwave - USA 60272 - a mini maxi yacht skippered by George Sakellaris (Photo by  Daniel Forster/PPL)

Shockwave - USA 60272 - a mini maxi yacht skippered by George Sakellaris (Photo by Daniel Forster/PPL))

By John Rousmaniere

As of 1800 Sunday, six boats have finished the race, each of them breaking an elapsed time course record. In finishing order, they are Rambler (Class 10), Bella Mente (Class 10), Shockwave (Class 10), Team Tiburon (Class 10), Med Spirit (Class 16), and Kodiak (Class 8). Shockwave and Kodiak are the current corrected time leaders in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division and St. David’s Lighthouse Division, respectively. Med Spirit is the current corrected time leader in the Open Division.

First to finish Rambler, a 90-foot Reichel/Pugh sloop owned by George David (Hartford, Conn.), broke the course record decisively, averaging 16.06 knots down the 635-mle course in a time of 39 hours, 39 minutes, 18 seconds. She clipped 9 hours off the previous course record set in 2004 by Morning Glory, which averaged 13.06 knots for Open Division boats and 14 hours from the ‘Official’ Record. Med Spirit set the new Open Division record of 45 hours, 26 minutes, 28 minutes… three hours faster than the previous record.

Sailors had vivid descriptions of high-speed, extremely rough conditions on the long, fast reach that prevailed from start to finish. Scott King, Team Tiburon, reported that after starting under a spinnaker, once the boat cleared the Narragansett Bay entrance buoys the crew set a double-headsail rig with a topsail over a jib. They then took in and shook out reefs in the mainsail as the conditions warranted, with one or two sailors always working the mainsheet.

Team Tiburon sailed Wizard a 74-foot sloop designed by Reichel/Pugh and chartered by Mark E. Watson III, a Bermuda business CEO. They covered 385 miles in her first 24 hours in the race, averaging almost 17 knots. “She felt slow when the speed dropped to 11,” King said. “I’ve been in boats where 11 knots was not even part of the plan.”

King said the water was always rough, with some waves 8 feet or higher and water constantly on deck, pushing sailors around. The Gulf Stream crossing was not as rough as he expected, he said, but it was spectacularly beautiful.

“Just before we entered the Stream we saw a long streak of phosphorescence in the water, as though a full moon was out and shining right down on it.” The phosphorescence disappeared when the boat charged into the main body of the Gulf Stream, but reappeared. “Dolphins were torpedoing through all this, right in front of us,” King said.

As they neared Bermuda on Sunday morning, Team Tiburon sailed into a series of rain-squalls with stronger winds that pushed the boat to over 20 knots as she crossed the finish line off St. David’s Head.

 

George David"€™s 90ft maxi Rambler has smashed the 635 mile Newport Bermuda race record, clipping a massive 14 hours off the previous best time set 10 years ago by Roy Disney’s Pyewacket.  The new record now stands at 39hr, 39 minutes, 18 seconds (subject to ratification)  - an average speed of 16knots(Photo by Barry Pickthall/PPL)

George David"€™s 90ft maxi Rambler has smashed the 635 mile Newport Bermuda race record, clipping a massive 14 hours off the previous best time set 10 years ago by Roy Disney’s Pyewacket. The new record now stands at 39hr, 39 minutes, 18 seconds (subject to ratification) - an average speed of 16knots(Photo by Barry Pickthall/PPL)

Dateline: 07:09:18 ADT Bermuda: George David’s 90ft maxi Rambler has smashed the 635 mile Newport Bermuda race record, clipping a massive 14 hours off the previous best time set 10 years ago by Roy Disney’s Pyewacket. The new record now stands at 39hr, 39 minutes, 18 seconds (subject to ratification) – an average speed of 16knots.

A delighted George David said. “These were perfect conditions. The most exciting moment was when we hit 26 knots. I’m so pleased with our performance. We have reduced the record by 25% – Not bad for a boat that is now 10 years old. This Rambler is the best boat I have ever owned!”

Rambler not only slashed the race record, her crew also spanked their rivals, with Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente crossing the lighthouse line 1 hour 43 minutes behind, followed 3 minutes later by Shockwave skippered by George Sakellaris.

On corrected time however, Shockwave beat Rambler by 33 minutes, followed by Belle Mente in 3rd and Team Tiburon 4th. Two yachts in class 10 are still racing.

 

RAN, BEAU GESTE, RAMBLER, BELLA MENTE, TITAN (Photo by Daniel Forster)

By Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette
Newport Bermuda Race chairman John Osmond is “excited” about the diverse crews competing in this year’s 635 mile ‘Thrash to the Onion Patch’ — and for good reason.The veteran American sailor, who has served on the Bermuda Race organising committee for more than a decade, has described this year’s fleet as “extraordinary” and is absolutely thrilled to see Bermuda Sloop Foundation’s Spirit of Bermuda make its maiden voyage in the century old race.“The participants attending are an extraordinary group from boats that were built in the 1930s to boats that just came out of the mould six months ago,” Mr Osmond said. “We are very excited about the spectrum of boats that are going and especially the fact that Spirit of Bermuda is among the entries in its brand new class (Spirit of Tradition).”
There are 166 entries competing in the race, including four Bermuda boats.American entry, Ragana, withdrew from the race at the weekend after experiencing mechanical breakdown en route to Newport.Mr Osmond, a veteran of 15 Newport Bermuda Races, said preparations for this year’s race have so far gone as planned.
“Everything is going along quite smoothly fortunately for the committee which consists of 46 people who have been working for two years on this event,” he said. “All the pieces have come together and everybody has been working very hard.”
Bermuda Race vice-chairman and past RBYC Commodore Les Crane added: “I think registration is going very smoothly and John Osmond who is the race chairman has done a fabulous job putting all this together.“We’re registering the boats ensuring all the paperwork is complete and that everyone is in compliance with the rules that allow them to race.“The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club work closely with the Cruising Club of America who are partners in this race and we’re up here to ensure everyone understand what to expect when they get to Bermuda.”There are a number of social events that will take place in the final lead up to the start of the race, not the least of which is the ever popular Gosling’s Rum Newport Shipyard Crew Party.“We will have a great Bermudian party sponsored by Gosling’s at Newport Shipyard on Wednesday night,” Mr Crane said. “There will be Dark & Stormies and music and it will be a lot of fun.”The 2012 Newport Bermuda Race commences June 15 and concludes several days later in St David’s. The RBYC Anniversary Regatta presented by Butterfield Group will be sailed in the Great Sound on Friday, June 22nd.

 

Newport Bermuda Race 2010 Start (Photo by George Bekris)

Newport Bermuda Race 2010 Start (Photo by George Bekris)

Entry List for Newport to Bermuda 2012

Yacht Yacht Type Division Captain
ANGEL Ctm 84 CD Edward T. Anderson
ATTITUDE Beneteau 423 CD Shawn Dahlen
BLUE C&C 51xl CD Daniel Epstein
CALUSA Sabre 386 CD Peter H. Holmes
CAPELLA Sabre 452 CD David Millet
CETACEA Hinckley SW 59 CD Christopher J. Culver
CHASSEUR Little Harbor 54 CD Gregory G. Smith
CHECKMATE Alden 44 CD Frank J. Flores, Jr.
CONTINGENCY Oyster 53 CD Christopher C. Darby
CRACKERJACK Cambria 40 CD Alan H. Krulisch
DEFIANCE Swan 56 CD Peter B. Noonan
FEO Joshua Ketch CD Eric P. Best
GLORY Tartan 4700 CD William Slattery
GRACE First 40.7 CD Jack Ives
HAERLEM Swan 55 CD Hendrikus PLM Wisker
INISHARON F&C 44 CD James D’A. Murphy
ISOLA Baltic 52 CD Howard Eisenberg
KANGAROO IV Sabre 425 CD Harvey E. Cohen
LADY B Swan 60 CD John P. Madden Jr.
LIBERTY CALL Hallberg Rassy 43 CD Matthew G, Pilon
LILLA CNB Briand76 CD Simon De Pietro
MOONDANCE Swan 56 CD Michael V, Johnson
OCEAN WANDERER 1 Montevideo 43 CD Erwin Wanderer
ODYSSEY Swan 55/57 CD Glen V Dexter
PILGRIM Alden 44 CD Mark Rice
POESKE Beneteau First42 CD Richard Donn
SHINDIG Pea39 CD Kevin G, Flannery
SKY Swan 53 CD Barrett Raymond
TRUE J/160 CD Howard B. Hodgson, Jr.
WISCHBONE Oyster 53 CD Jeffrey S. Wisch
ALIBI J120 DH Gardner L. Grant, Jr.
AMHAS Class 40 DH MacKenzie Davis
AVATAR Ranger 37 DH John Kedzierski
CHOUCAS Sunfast 36 DH Frederic Cosandey
DRAGON Class 40 DH Michael Hennessy
EAGLE J40 DH Dana Oviatt
GRYPHONSOLO2 Akilaria RC2 DH Joseph S. Harris
KIVA Hinckley SW 51CB DH Mark Stevens
MIREILLE J120 DH E. Hewitt Gaynor
NEXT BOAT Morris 45 DH Mark Ellman
OAKCLIFF RACING Ker 11.3 DH Jeffrey A. MacFarlane
PALADIN J35 DH Jason Richter
PENGUIN Pearson 35 DH Steven H. Dane
RESOLUTE J122 DH D. Scott Miller
RUSE Swan 44mkII DH William Marsh
SAILOR BANDIDO Quest 33 DH Christopher A. Palabrica
SEABISCUIT J46 DH Nathan C, Owen
VALOUR Peterson 37 DH Ernie Messer
WHISPER Hinckley 48 DH Thomas J. Vander Salm
AVRA Ctm 40 GHL George Petrides
BELLA MENTE 72′ Mini Maxi GHL Hap Fauth
CLEM Swan 56 GHL Jaime Olazabal
DEFIANCE Marten 49 GHL Hamnett P. Hill
DRAGONFLY J/130 GHL Colin A. McGranahan
MEANIE R/P 52 GHL Thomas Akin
PANDORA C&C 115 GHL Peter J. Bromley
PTARMIGAN Ker 43 GHL Lawrence F, Dickie
RAMBLER Ctm 90 GHL George David
RIMA2 RP 55 GHL John G. Brim
SHOCKWAVE Mini Maxi GHL George Sakellaris
SNOW LION Ker 50 GHL Lawrence S, Huntington
STARK RAVING MAD Swan 601 GHL James C. Madden
TEAM TIBURON R/P 74 GHL Mark E. Watson III (USMMA)
TEMPTATION-OAKCLIFF Ker 50 GHL Oakcliff Sailing Santry Arthur
UXORIOUS IV Swan 62 GHL Colin J. Buffin
DONNYBROOK Andrews 80 Open James P. Muldoon
ICARUS Class 40 Open Amanda Mochrie
INDIO Wally 100 Open Mark Fliegner
MED SPIRIT Welbourn 92 Open Michael DAmelio
TOOTHFACE Akilaria Class40 Open Mike Dreese
TRANSPORT COHÉRENCE Class40 Open Benoit Jouandet
ACTAEA Hinckley B40 SDL Michael M, Cone
AIRBORNE IV Beneteau 50 SDL William B. Greenwood III
AKELA III Swan 43 SDL Djoerd Hoekstra
ARROWHEAD J42 SDL Steve Berlack
AURELIUS Bestevaer 76 SDL Daniel van Starrenburg
AURORA Tartan 41 SDL Andrew F. Kallfelz
AVENIR C&C 41 SDL Joseph Murray
BACCHANAL J133 SDL Jan Smeets
BACCI Swan 53 SDL Lorenzo Vascotto
BANDANA Swan 47 SDL Charles F. Benson
BARLEYCORN NYYC Swan 42 SDL Brendan J Brownyard
BARRA Morris 486 SDL Bruce M. MacNeil
BEAGLE J/44 SDL Philip H. Gutin
BELLE AURORE Cal 40 SDL Doug Jurrius
BLACK WATCH Ctm 68 Yawl SDL Joseph C. Robillard
BOMBARDINO Santa Cruz 52 SDL James and Macrae Sykes
BRETWALDA 3 Rogers 46 SDL Bob Pethick
BRIGAND Ctm 50 SDL Sean D. Saslo
CANNONBALL Swan 68 SDL Charles A. Robertson
CARINA Ctm 48 SDL A. Rives Potts, Jr.
CHARLIE V J/44 SDL Norman H. Schulman, MD
CHRISTOPHER DRAGON J/122 SDL Andrew Weiss
CONVICTION TP52 SDL Ralf Steitz
CONVICTUS MAXIMUS Farr IRC 42 SDL Donald W. Nicholson
CRAZY HORSE Frers Comp 45 SDL Patrick T. Walker
CYBELE IMX-45 SDL Rick Burnes
CYGNETTE Swan 441 SDL William J. Mayer
DAWN STAR Baltic 46 SDL William N. Hubbard III
DECISION Carkeek HP 40 SDL Stephen Murray
DEFIANCE NAVY 44 SDL Bryan Weisberg
DOGSLED Kaufman 47 SDL Todd Forrest Barnard
DORADE S&S Custom SDL James A. Hilton
DREAMCATCHER Swan 48 S&S SDL Stephen Kylander
FEARLESS Farr 395 SDL Shaun J. Ensor
FINESSE J42 SDL Newton P.S. Merrill
FLYING LADY Swan 46 SDL Phillip S. Dickey MD
GLIDE J42 SDL C.Tanner Rose, Jr
GLORY J/44 SDL Jason LeBlanc
GOLD DIGGER J/44 SDL James D. Bishop
GRACIE McCurdy & Rhodes SDL Stephan A & Simon W Frank
GREAT SCOT J35 SDL Darren Garnier
GREY GHOST Zaal 38 SDL Philip P. Parish
GRUNDOON Columbia 50 SDL James A. Grundy
HAKUNA MATATA Cal 39 TM 1-147 SDL Christopher J. Andrews
HIRO MARU Swan 43 Classic SDL Hiroshi Nakajima
HOT TICKET King 40 SDL James E. Hightower
ILLUSION Grand Soleil 45 SDL Ralph F. Racca
INVICTUS TP52 SDL Ralph Duffett
ISLA New York 32 SDL Henry S. May, Jr.
JACKKNIFE J133 SDL Andrew Hall
JACQUELINE IV Hinckley SW 42 SDL Robert Forman
KODIAK Ctm 65 SDL Edwin Llwyd Ecclestone
LAPIN Beneteau First 4 SDL Christopher J. Clark
LINDY Peterson 38 SDL David G. Dickerson
LIR Swan 45 SDL John A. McNamara
LORA ANN Express 37 SDL Richard T. du Moulin
MAGIC Santa Cruz 52 SDL Kenneth Laudon
MATADOR J133 SDL Dale E. McIvor
MISCHIEVOUS Ctm 65 SDL Albert J. Fitzgibbons III
MISTY J40 WK SDL Fred Allardyce
MOLTO BENE Beneteau First 4 SDL Richard Ewing
MOONSHINE Tartan 4100 SDL Dennis J. Ziemba
MORGAN OF MARIETTA Centurion 42 SDL Colin G. Golder
MORPHEUS Schumacher 50 SDL James D. Gregory
MUSICA Aerodyne 38 SDL Cliff T. Haddox
NASTY MEDICINE Corby 41.5 SDL Dr Stephen J. Sherwin
NICOLE Cal 40 SDL Thomas C. duPont
OLD SCHOOL Farr 395 SDL J Ganson Evans
PASSION4C Bill Tripp 56 SDL Stefan Lehnert
PATRIOT Nautor Swan SDL Richard J. Isted
QUEST Cambria 40 SDL Dennis W. Powers
RAGANA Cape Fear 38R SDL Darius Peleda
REGATTA Carter 41 SDL Constantine G. Koste
RELATIVITY First 50 SDL Hall Palmer
ROCKET J. SQUIRREL Swan 39 SDL L, Otorowski
ROCKET SCIENCE J120 SDL Rick F. Oricchio
RUNAWAY J/44 SDL Lawrence R. Glenn
SELKIE McCurdy & Rhodes 38 SDL Sheila McCurdy
SHAZAAM J42 SDL Roger B. Gatewood
SHINNECOCK J120 SDL James C. Praley
SINN FEIN Cal 40 SDL Peter S. Rebovich, Sr.
SLIDE RULE First 44.7 SDL Scott Bearse
STAMPEDE J/44 SDL Jimmie Sundstrom
STORMY PETREL Leadership 44 SDL Jack Neades
SWIFT NAVY 44 SDL Steve Jaenke
TEMPTRESS IMX-45 SDL Robert W. Kits Heyningen
TRIPLE LINDY Swan 44 MKll SDL Joseph Mele
VAMP J/44 SDL Leonard J. Sitar
WANDRIAN Taylor 41 SDL D. William Tucker
WAZIMO Aerodyne 38 SDL Barrett Holby
WHITE RHINO Swan 56 SDL Collin J. Marshall
WIDOW MAKER C&C 44 SDL George Bauer
WINDBORN J120 SDL Richard W. Born
ZEST Hinckley SW42 SDL Brian E. Swiggett
ZION Aerodyne 38 SDL Timothy P. Maney
ZOE II First 40 SDL Francois Brassard
SPIRIT OF BERMUDA Ctm 86 SPIRIT Scott Jackson
Atmosphere on the dockside at Les Voiles de Saint Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

Atmosphere on the dockside at Les Voiles de Saint Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

On the eve of the third running of Les Voiles de St. Barth, April 2-7, the palm-fringed port of Gustavia, St.Barthlemy quickly filled with an impressive array of race boats: ocean-racing maxis including the 90-foot Rambler and the Swan 112, Highland Breeze; classic beauties such the Olin Stephen-designed Dorade and the Fife-built yawl Mariella; a trio of IRC 52s, multi-hulls including the 66 Gunboat Phaedo, and two large racing classes with a mix of Melges, J/boats, and a mix of 40-footers, including the hot-off-the-press Carkeek 40, Decision.

Over 60 boats are registered for this years edition, up fromwith a large number of returning entries, proof that the regatta has filled the need for spirited competition towards the end of the winter season a time when tourism typically begins to wind down in the Caribbean. Though that was hard to tell yesterday, at the islands tiny airport, as the steady stream of small commuter planes landing were filled with a duffle bag-wielding collection of sailors from the ranks of the Americas Cup, round-the-world-ocean races, and Olympic competition, that included Gavin Brady (Vesper), Scott Vogel (Rambler), Bouwe Bekking (Nilaya), Cam Lewis (Paradox), Charlie McKee and Ross MacDonald (Mayhem), Tony Rey, Jeff Madrigali, and Nacho Postigo (Powerplay), and Dee Smith (Decision).

But its not just the professionals that flock to Les Voiles de St. Barth, the regattas program and mix of courses also appeals to a competitive group of amateur and family racers that hone their skills on the growing circuit of Caribbean regattas that take advantage of this sailing paradise.

Nilaya heads out for practice prior to the start of Les Voiles de St Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

Nilaya heads out for practice prior to the start of Les Voiles de St Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

While not the easiest of destinations to reach some U.S. west coast sailors logged 16+ hours in transit, while others from Europe only slightly less the island of St Barths itself is a welcome reward at the end of the road: a turquoise blue, crystal-clear sea, pristine white sand beaches, and an array of fabulous restaurants just payoff for a long days journey.

Francesco Mongelli, navigator onboard Jim Swartz IRC52 Vesper, is here racing in St Barths for the first time. The Italian sailor, who sails primarily in Europe, has been racing with the Vesper crew since last October, and was clearly keen to have touched down in this French paradise, Its a mix of all the best sailing places, together with perfect weather and good food. Having spent the afternoon in a tender carefully checking out the coastline and charted (and uncharted) rock outcroppings, Mongelli added, Its pretty similar to Porto Cervo, the difference is that there you more or less know where everything is, and the charts are accurate. You cannot take the same risk here that wed take in Porto Cervo.

Racing will run from Tuesday, April 3 Saturday, April 7 and will feature a mix of Olympic triangles, short coastal courses, and a 20-30 nautical mile round-the island race. The fleet will be split into seven classes: Maxi (> 21 meters), IRC52 (former TP52s that have been optimized for the IRC rule), Spinnaker I + II, Non-Spinnaker (racer/cruiser), Classic (vintage/traditional), and Multihull. Thursday is a layday at Nikki Beach, with lunch and a full afternoon of activities, including a paddleboard competition.

New this year, Les Voiles will offer real-time race tracking with 2D visualization via the internet. Waypoint-Tracking (www.waypoint-tracking.com) developed the system in close collaboration with ISAF. The site will allow enthusiasts to follow the daily racing action live or to replay at a later time.

Many of the competing boats are moored stern-to at the Quai General de Gaulle, site of the Race Village, where all of the daily breakfast and post-race activities and music take place. This evening, skippers and tacticians were on hand for the Skippers Briefing led by Loic Ponceau, Race Committee Chairman, and organizers Francois Tolede, Luc Poupon, and Annelisa Gee. Following that was Les Voiles St. Barth Opening Ceremony, where Bruno Magras, President of the Collectivit of St. Barth, welcomed more than 500 sailors to the weeklong event.

Whisper heads out to practice for Les Voiles de Saint Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

Whisper heads out to practice for Les Voiles de Saint Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

A regular and enthusiastic competitor in the Caribbean, Sir Peter Harrison was named the godfather or patron of this years Les Voiles. Harrison, owner of the 115-foot Farr-designed Sojana, told the crowd, As a visitor from England to this beautiful French island, one of the most beautiful in the West Indies, Im thrilled to be asked to the patron of Les Voiles. Bon vent Les Voiles de St. Barth, and good luck, everyone!

Also sailing on Sojana is Lionel Pan, who is also back for his third Les Voiles. He said, Obviously there are plenty of good reasons to be here, and to come back every year with the same enthusiasm: this place is made for sailing. In a very short time, Les Voiles de St. Barth has become the place to be, very much like Saint Tropez in the Mediterranean. And the word is spreading around. Shortly there will be a waiting list to be a part of the event!

The weather forecast for the next few days calls for light winds, though the breeze is expected to increase throughout the week. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Tuesday, April 3, two miles northwest of Sugarloaf Rock off Gustavia; one race is scheduled with a start time of 12noon.

Gustavia Harbour on the eve of the start of Les Voiles de St Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

Gustavia Harbour on the eve of the start of Les Voiles de St Barth © Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St. Barth

 

 

 

Rambler At Voiles de Saint Barths 2010 ( Photo by  Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

Voiles de Saint Barths ( Photo by Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

When the third annual Les Voiles des St. Barth gets underway this April 2-7, there will be more that meets the eye than the simply stunning panoramic views of the colorful French West Indies island that hosts the event and the expansive blue Caribbean ocean that surrounds it. Competitive sailors and, for that matter, local residents and visitors alike will have the privilege of also indulging in the indelible impressions left by the aesthetically unmatched designs of some of the world’s finest yachts participating as well as the passion of their owners.

Among the 60+ entrants registered to date is what many call the world’s most famous yacht of all time: the 52’ (15.8 metre) yawl Dorade. Purchased in 2010 by Matt Brooks (San Francisco, Calif.), Dorade was designed by the late Olin Stephens and originally launched in 1930. She influenced nearly all developments in yacht design for the next three decades and was hugely successful in distance racing, taking overall victory in the 1931 Transatlantic race and the 1931 and 1933 Fastnet races, among others. Now, Brooks, who has spent the last year overseeing a refit and major restoration of Dorade, is utilizing Les Voiles de St. Barth as a platform for both yacht and crew preparation, with the goal of entering Dorade in her first major modern ocean race this summer: the Newport to Bermuda Race, in which she finished second in both 1930 and 1932.

“We are assembling and training a crew with the right skills, chemistry and experience to race Dorade and win,” said Brooks, who is a world champion in the Six Meter class as well as an accomplished mountain climber and world record-holding jet pilot. “We also are toughening up Dorade herself, readying her for the kind of long-range sailing she hasn’t seen in decades, keeping in mind that while she may be game, she is also an 80-year-old lady.”

Dorade will sail in the Classics division against such other standouts as Kate, an Intel 60 (18.2 metre); Cruinneag III, a 63’ (19.4 metre) ketch, and Marie Des Isles, a Gran Shpountz 65 (20 metre). Among Dorade’s crew will be John Burnham, an IOD World Champion and Shields ClassNational Champion; legendary Bermudian sailor Buddy Rego; Jesse Sweeney, Dorade’s navigator and a member of the Camper Emirates Team New Zealand’s meteorology team for the Volvo Ocean Race; and Jamie Hilton, a two-time 12 Meter World and North American Champion, who also was a member of Brooks’s team when it won the 2011 Six Meter World Cup.

Voiles de Saint Barths 2010( Photo by Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

Voiles de Saint Barths 2010( Photo by Christophe Jouany/Voiles de Saint Barths)

“St. Barth is a legendary destination and a beautiful place to sail, and we are expecting great wind, great camaraderie among the competitors, and a good test of the new and improved Dorade,” said Brooks.

Another remarkable yacht that will be seen in St. Barth is the Hoek 115’ (35.2 metre) Firefly, the recently launched prototype for the new one-design F Class. The superyacht was designed to hold her own against larger (130’/39.7 metre) J Class yachts and sports some similarities such as a towering rig and long bow and stern overhangs to those massive yachts, which were built in the 1930s and have experienced a rebirth.

According to her designers, Firefly is a perfect mix of classic lines and retro-design details, optimizing her for the Spirit of Tradition classes hosted by some regattas, but at Les Voiles de St. Barth she will depend on her high-performance racing characteristics to prevail against eight other yachts thus far signed up in Maxi class (yachts 75’/22.86 metres and longer).

“The concept is to have a beautiful, classic-looking boat with a modern underbody, using the latest technologies in deck gear and rigging solely for use as a racing boat and/or daysailer,” said Mark van Gelderen, who supervised Fireflys nine-month building process and has been the captain since she splashed in June of 2011. Having headed straight to the Med to compete in a handful of maxi events, Firefly was further optimized to improve performance before heading to the Caribbean.

“We have a relatively young crew combined of professional sailors, very good amateurs and friends of the owner,” added van Gelderen, who will be skippering and driving together with the owner. “Within the crew we have Olympic, Volvo Ocean Race, big boat and dinghy experienced sailors a great combination of very motivated guys!”

Van Gelderen also explained that St. Barth will offer a great place for guests and crew to be entertained when not participating in racing. “There are beaches, great restaurants, shopping and peace and tranquility, all within close proximity,” van Gelderen said. “It’s the perfect combination.”

While three other Maxi Class boats — the 112’/34 metre Baltic Nilaya, the 112’/34 metre Swan Highland Breeze, and the 115’/35 metre Farr Sojana — are nicely matched size-wise to Firefly, no one is quite sure how they or five smaller Maxis in the class are going to compare speed-wise. Certainly all eyes will be on the 90′ (27.4 metre) Reichel/Pugh Rambler, which won the inaugural Les Voiles de St. Barth and has been brought out of retirement by its owner George David (Hartford, Conn.) after its successor, Rambler 100 (which won last years Les Voiles de St. Barth with David steering) lost its keel and capsized in the 2011 Fastnet.

“These races invariably start a mile or two off Gustavia (the main harbor and capital of St. Barth), which means in any kind of a northeasterly trade it is a shifty first leg to a weather mark just outside the harbor,” said David, who most recently finished second overall and second in class with Rambler at the 2012 RORC Caribbean 600. “Then there are a couple of miles reaching either way across the south side of the island, so it’s a parade after that first weather mark, and you don’t want to get there second. Our ride last year, Rambler 100, got us there first every time with boat lengths to spare. It wont be so easy in the 90 footer.”

David noted that 15 of Ramblers crew sailing in the Les Voiles de St. Barth were present at the now-famous Fastnet incident, and a majority of them have sailed in the last two runnings of this regatta.

In addition to the Classic and Maxi classes at Les Voiles de St. Barth, there will also be a Racing Class with divisions for Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker, 52-Footers, and Multihulls. Other notable entries include the Tripp 75 Blackbird, the Carkeek 40 Decision, the X 65 Karuba 5, and the Irens 63 trimaran Paradox.

With a Tuesday (April 3) through Saturday (April 7) schedule that includes four days of intense racing and a lay day on Thursday (April 5), the regatta kicks off on Monday, April 2, with opening ceremonies and cocktails at the festive Race Village on the Quai General de Gaulle overlooking Gustavia Harbor, where the event is headquartered. Lay day events planned for Nikki Beach include lunch and a surprise sporting challenge for all crews. Evening activities include off-site parties as well as post-racing bands and entertainment in the Race Village.

Official Poster
Organizers unveiled the official limited edition Les Voiles de St. Barth 2012 poster by well-known St. Barth artist Antoine Heckly. Only 300 posters will be printed, with the original artwork to be auctioned off during the crew party –hosted by the real estate agency, Sibarth — at Shell Beach on Wednesday, April 4. Proceeds from this auction will be donated to FEMUR (Foundation for Emergency Medical Equipment) to fund the purchase of a CT scanner to be installed in the new Radiation Center in the island’s Hopital de Bruyn.

 

Yachts in St Barths (Photo courtesy of Laurent BENOIT / Les Voiles de Saint Barth )

Yachts in St Barths (Photo courtesy of Laurent BENOIT / Les Voiles de Saint Barth )