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 )

 

Adix Passing by Meteor © George Bekris

Adix Passing by Meteor © George Bekris

NEWPORT, R.I. (August 2, 2016) – The transition of the former Newport Bucket into the Candy Store Cup Superyacht Edition appeared effortless and suitably fabulous when a dozen of the world’s grandest sailing yachts competed off Newport, R.I. from Friday, July 29 through Sunday, July 31 and benefitted from the combined forces of co-hosts Newport Shipyard and Bannister’s Wharf. In true Bucket fashion, social activities included a “yacht hop” on Friday night aboard the participants’ yachts, a gathering at Newport’s famous Clarke Cooke House, and a regatta dinner with live reggae music on the grounds of a Newport estate.

“There was an easy camaraderie in the air as sailors from around the world renewed old friendships, but the real story was the spectacle on the water as superyachts such as Adix, Meteor, Columbia, Zenji and Ranger unfurled their sails off Castle Hill to begin racing,” said Newport Shipyard’s Owner Charlie Dana, who also sailed in the event. “It was a jaw-dropping sight.”

Bequia wins first place Class B in the Candy Store Cup , Newport RI

Bequia wins first place Class B in the Candy Store Cup , Newport RI (Photo by Billy Black)

After three races over three days, the 92-foot (28m) yawl Bequia won the overall Candy Store Cup (filled with candy and champagne) for having the lowest point score for the regatta. With Tom Whidden (Essex, Conn.) as its skipper and tactician, Bequia also won its Class B with four points earned on two race victories on Friday and Saturday and a second-place finish on Sunday.

Tom Whidden skippered the 92-foot (28m) yawl Bequia to win Class B and the overall Candy Store Cup at the inaugural Candy Store Cup 2016 Superyacht Edition.

Bequia (Photo by George Bekris)

Bequia (Photo by George Bekris)

Tom Whidden skippered the 92-foot (28m) yawl Bequia to win Class B and the overall Candy Store Cup at the inaugural Candy Store Cup 2016 Superyacht Edition.

“There are a lot of great sailors here and the racing was really close, especially when you consider it was mostly light air,” said Whidden at Sunday’s awards at Newport Shipyard. “The top-five finishers in our class (Bequia, Wild Horses, Sirona, Sapphire and Sejaa) were all within seven minutes on corrected time today after the 13.6 nautical mile race, and yesterday, the top three were within three minutes of each other after a slightly shorter race.” (Friday’s race was the longest, at 15.6 nm.)

Adix wins first place Class A in the Candy Store Cup , Newport RI (Photo by Billy Black)

Adix wins first place Class A in the Candy Store Cup , Newport RI (Photo by Billy Black)

 

More images of the Candy Store Cup by George Bekris can be seen in the show below and at George Bekris Photography

Schooner Adix passes Castle Hill during the Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

 

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Newport’s newest superyacht race has begun with a bang.  As the first start guns fired at Castle Hill in Newport history was in the making. The inaugural Candy Store Cup Superyacht Edition in Newport, Rhode Island first day is on the books and is destined to be a classic yearly desirable race for superyacht owners from across the globe to gather and compete in the historic waters off Rhode Island.   Newport Shipyard and Bannister’s Wharf have consolidated the Newport Bucket and Candy Store Cup to create this fabulous superyacht event.

This edition brought in eleven beautiful sloops, ketches, yawls and schooners. As time goes on this race will continue to attract the most beautiful boats in the world to Rhode Island and continue and grow the tradition of Superyacht racing in Newport and the New England coast.

 

Though the first day started with a bit of rain the boats all took to the water and completed the racing as the skies brightened over the Narragansett Bay.   More racing will continue on Saturday and Sunday with a promise of sunny skies and lovely weather.

Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

The result of Day 1

RACE 1
Class A: Course Length: 15.60 NM – ORCsy: Flat Sea/Light-Moderate Wind
Position Yacht Name LOA
1 RANGER 42 m
2 METEOR 48 m
3 ADIX 56 m
4 ZENJI 56 m
5 SUNLEIGH 33 m
6 COLUMBIA 44 m

CLASS B: Course Length: 15.60 NM – ORCsy: Flat Sea/Light-Moderate Wind
Position Yacht Name LOA
1 BEQUIA 28 m
2 WILD HORSES 23 m
3 SIRONA 20 m
4 SEJAA 25 m
5 SAPPHIRE 23 m
6 AUDREY II 27 m

More images of all three days of the Candy Store Cup can be seen at

George Bekris Photography

 

Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

Zenji, Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

 

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Adix and Ranger, Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

 

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Meteor, Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

 

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Sejaa, Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

 

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Sungleigh and Ranger, Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

 

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Sunleigh, Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

 

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Ranger, Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

 

Adix, Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

 

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Candy Store Cup 2016 Day 1 (Photo © George Bekris)

Columbia Candy Store Cup 2016 George Bekris

#CandyStoreCup #Bannisterswharf #NewportShipyard #SchoonerColumbia #Columbia #Adix #superyacht #superyachts #Newport #Schooner #CandyStore

Schooner Columbia © George Bekris

Schooner Columbia © George Bekris

One week until the start of the “Candy Store Cup”
The Candy Store Cup 2016 Superyacht Edition will be hosted and organized by Newport Shipyard and Bannister’s Wharf and will take place July 29-31, 2016 in Newport, RI.  Below are some of the beautiful superyachts entered in this year’s racing.

NEWPORT, R.I. (July 22, 2016) – From July 29-31, eleven of the world’s largest and most glamorous sailing yachts will race for the inaugural Candy Store Cup Superyacht Edition in Newport, Rhode Island. Newport Shipyard and Bannister’s Wharf have consolidated the Newport Bucket and Candy Store Cup to create this fabulous superyacht event.

W-Class Wild Horses © George Bekris

W-Class Wild Horses © George Bekris

Initially, the Candy Store Cup was a quick race around Newport Harbor with 12 Metres and any other boats that wanted to join in, and the Bucket was more of a party for the biggest sailing yachts that had no races to enter,” said Newport Shipyard owner Charlie Dana. “It’s exciting to fast forward several decades later and have this opportunity to bring back the fun, casual atmosphere that was present during those original events and match it with the imagery of these spectacular superyachts.”

Meteor © George Bekris

Meteor © George Bekris

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 noon 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.

Sejaa © George Bekris

Sejaa © George Bekris

Royal Huisman, Perini Navi, Vitters and Rybovich, which are major players in the superyacht industry and were all stewards of the Newport Bucket, remain sponsors of the Candy Store Cup Newport. Supporting sponsors of the event are Pantaenius Insurance, North Sails, Sentient Jet and Southern Spars / Future Fibres.

Schooner Adix © George Bekris

Schooner Adix © George Bekris

The 2016 Candy Store Cup entries are:

Class A

Adix – Schooner – 213’ (65m) – Astilleros PdM / Pendennis – Holgate & Dykstra NA
Columbia – Schooner – 141’ (43m) – W. Starling Burgess / John W. Gilbert & Sons
Meteor – Schooner – 170’ (52m) – Royal Huisman – Dykstra NA
Ranger –  J Sloop – 138’ (42m) – Danish Yacht – S&S / Dykstra NA
Sunleigh – Sloop – 105’ (32m) – Jongert – Tony Castro
Zenji – Ketch – 184’ (56m) – Perini-Navi – Ron Holland

Sunleigh © George Bekris

Sunleigh © George Bekris

Class B

Bequia – Yawl – 92’ (28m) – Brooklin Boat Yard – Stephens
Sapphire III – Sloop – 75’ (23m) – CNB 76 – Philippe Briand
Sejaa – Sloop – 82’ (25m) – JFA, Chantier Naval – Judel & Vrolijk
Sirona –Sloop – 72’ (22m) – Martin Marine – Tripp
Wild Horses – Sloop – 75’ (23m) – Brooklin Boatyard – White

 

Meteor © George Bekris

Meteor © George Bekris

Meteor, the 170’ (52 meter) schooner built by Royal Huisman will compete in the 2016 Candy Store Cup.

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. With its friendly staff, welcoming atmosphere and event planning capabilities, Newport Shipyard also is host to many other prestigious yachting events, including the biennial Newport to Bermuda Race Crew Party and the Newport Charter Yacht Show in June.

Newport Shipyard © Billy Black

Newport Shipyard © Billy Black

Click here for full event schedule.

 

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A well earned overall triumph for the 33m Baltic built Win Win this year (Photo by Claire Matches ©www.clairematches.com)

A well earned overall triumph for the 33m Baltic built Win Win this year ©www.clairematches.com 

The Superyacht Cup, firm favourite with owners and sailors alike, has not only become the second-biggest event on the superyacht sailing calendar, but is also the longest running regatta of its kind in Europe. An exhilarating four-day event which perfectly mixes fun times with fierce racing in the Mediterranean’s most popular superyacht haunt, pretty Palma de Mallorca. An island known not only for its sun-drenched days but also for its beautiful bay, which because of its particular shape delivers a blissfully consistent sea breeze. Saudade’s tacticien, Volvo Ocean Race veteran, Bouwe Bekking agrees: “We’re happy how we sailed and of course the event is very nice and I think the owner will be back next year as well. Sailing-wise Palma is one of the best places in the world and very well served for superyachts.”

This extra special 20th Superyacht Cup came to a truly spectacular close yesterday afternoon, with a jubilant crowd cheering on the grinning sailors of the nine winning teams who took it in turns to storm the Superyacht Cup stage. After three days of hair-raising action it was the 33m Baltic built Win Win who claimed overall victory this year. An ecstatic Clive Walker, captain on board this carbon rocket, commented: “I’ve got a huge smile on my face. We’ve been trying to win a regatta ever since we launched the boat two years ago and we’ve finally done it, which is a huge relief. To be part of this team for the last eight years and having won with the old boat (Scorpione dei Mari) as well is incredible, just fantastic. A win-win situation!”

P2, with three bullets to her name, was the undisputed winner in Class B. In classic Class D it was the gleaming Herreshoff designed Mariette of 1915 who, also with a perfect score of three firsts, championed. In Class C the lovely Tempus Fugit proved victorious. No mean feat as she was up against a regular racer: the Vitters built Ganesha, and the ridiculously fast 35m Sojana. This speed balling boat recorded one of the highest speeds over the past few days, a whopping 17.98 knots, -she ended up clinching third. With all 22 competitors divided across four classes, racing was close and saw fast boats fighting tight battles. The ORCsy handicapping rule which was used at The Superyacht Cup again this year, also helped to turn out some of the tightest and most dramatic superyacht racing to date.

In classic Class D it was the gleaming Herreshoff designed Mariette who championed. ©www.clairematches.com

Yesterday’s final race day saw light conditions yet exciting sailing which perfectly rounded off three days of rip-roaring regatta action. Big boat races are close-knit affairs, which bring together the best of the world’s professional sailing talent with experienced enthusiasts. As the sun went down on this 20th edition, hundreds of happy Superyacht Cuppers will have made new friends and will be taking home sunny memories of yet another thrilling and fun-filled event. The 24m petite performer and Claasen built Hearbeat’s owner/tactician enthused: “The spirit is good, I just love it, it’s good racing, tight racing and very well organized. We’re very happy to be here every year. Unfortunately we’ll have to go back to Holland for refit so we won’t be here next year, but in 2018 we’ll be back to have some more fun and try and win again, just as we did in 2013!”

The 38m Perini P2 pulled out an undisputed and impressive win in Class B. ©www.clairematches.com

Although this edition’s line-up saw a number of freshly launched boats and first timers running around the race-course, this year’s fleet was also made up of tried and tested Cup veterans which have been returning to the island year after year for the regatta’s solid sea breeze, relaxed ambiance and social events to match the on-the-water-action. The high performing, award-winning 28m Kiboko Dos for example, she claimed third in Class C, competed for the third consecutive time this year.

Our much talked about party themed ’20 Years of Rock’, showed us a good amount of sailors rock the dance floor as much as they ruled on the race course. Owners and their guests were able to enjoy a thoughtfully prepared three course dinner, at what is, without a doubt, one of the loveliest dinner venues in the Mediterranean: The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca. Thursday and Friday’s happy hours served up cold drinks to dilute the stress after three riveting hours on the race course and saw everyone from newbie crew to seasoned sailors discuss different takes on the day’s performance. Additionally, oodles of the most talented sailors could be seen chatting at the bar, with a beer in hand and a smile on their faces.

In Class C the lovely, modern classic Tempus Fugit proved victorious. ©www.clairematches.com

We would like to thank all the yachts of this year’s wildly diverse fleet for the past three days of hair raising sailing and of course our sponsors who have each helped make this edition another all-round success. And while we say ‘Hasta Luego’ to another memorable edition of The Superyacht Cup, a regatta where the atmosphere is relaxed, the sailing fast and the dock-side fun a given, we are already looking forward to seeing the world’s most gorgeous yachts take part in our next edition, June 2017. And although this 20th regatta will be a hard act to follow, plenty of competitors have already said they wouldn’t want to miss out on next year’s racing, we’re sure all fans of superyacht sailing will wholeheartedly agree!

Highlight of Saturday’s prize giving was of course the announcement of Win Win taking overall victory this year. ©www.clairematches.com
Lucky is first-to-finish in the Transatlantic Race 2015 (Photo  by Lloyd Images)

Lucky is first-to-finish in the Transatlantic Race 2015 (Photo by Lloyd Images)

(Friday, July 10, 2015) –  Late afternoon, British time, Bryon Ehrhart’s Lucky was the first boat in the Transatlantic Race 2015 to cross the finish line at The Lizard, ending a brutal 8 days 22 hours 5 minutes and 3 seconds at sea on a 2,800-mile eastbound crossing of the North Atlantic, sailed mostly in strong winds.

At present Lucky holds the lead in the Transatlantic Race 2015 under IRC handicap, but the title remains under threat from boats yet to finish. Similarly, her impressive course time is likely to be bettered by the maxis which started four days after her.

“We are excited to have finished; it was an interesting test,” said Ehrhart, who earlier this year acquired his Reichel/Pugh 63 (formerly the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner, Loki) with the principle aim of competing in this race.  Erhart, a Chicagoan, is a member of the New York Yacht Club and the Royal Ocean Racing Club – two of the four clubs, with the addition of Storm Trysail Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron – that comprised the organizing authority for the race.

Navigator Ian Moore added: “Obviously the whole crew are really excited to have made it to the finish and to be the first boat home. It has been a very long night and a very long day. The beat to the finish felt like it would never end and the wind started to run out. It is a fantastic feeling to finally finish the race.”

 

Competing in IRC 2, Lucky set off from Newport, R.I., on July 1 with the second group of starters, including Clarke Murphy’s longer and much-higher-rated 100’ Nomad IV. Nomad and Lucky sailed neck and neck for the first few days, but Lucky took a more direct easterly route towards Point Alpha, the ice exclusion, which allowed her to reach its south-western tip 13 miles ahead.

The two boats continued due east after passing the south-eastern corner of the exclusion zone, staying in the best breeze as they determined how cross to a patch of light winds on Sunday, July 5. Ultimately Luckymade the best of it, adding six miles to her lead over Nomad IV. By this stage both boats had passed all of the first starters, which had departed three days before them, with the exception of the biggest boat in the fleet, the 138’ Mariette of 1915. Lucky finally passed the 100-year-old schooner two days from the finish, at the same time as she was splitting from Nomad IV to head north.

With the Azores High forecast to extend over the western tip of the U.K. as Lucky made her final approach to the finish, she headed north where the breeze would remain strongest for longest. Thanks to this she managed to extend her lead to more than 60 miles, but with the risk that Nomad IV, approaching from the west-southwest would come in with pressure and overtake her.

Lucky lost ground as she headed north of the Scilly Isles early this morning and was forced to beat up the narrow passage between Land’s End and its off-lying Traffic Separation Scheme allowing Nomad IV to close. But it was too little too late.

 

Lucky crossed the line while Nomad still had 37 miles to sail in a dying breeze. Nonetheless it was close after more than 3,000 miles of racing—in distance sailed—considering the two boats are so different:Lucky, a 63’ long stripped out racer; Nomad IV, at 100’, a much bigger boat but fitted out with a luxury interior, and also having suffered a catalogue of problems on this race.

“It was always in the back of our minds that they were out there charging along,” admitted Moore. “But it would have been a big job for them to catch up 50 miles in 12 hours.”

As to what contributed to Lucky’s success, Ehrhart commented: “It was everything. The crew is certainly the leading star in this and the boat was well prepared as was the crew. It was a good navigational plan by Soapy [Ian Moore]. We think we sailed as well as we could. They didn’t leave anything out and there was nothing I wish we could have changed. I just hope that the result stands.”

Elsewhere in the fleet, last Sunday’s starters now have the bit between their teeth and are making fast progress. All four boats—the two maxis, Comanche and Rambler 88, and the two trimarans, Phaedo³ andParadox—have been eating up the miles, none more so than Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo³. In the 24 hours until 1030 ETD (1430 UTC) she had sailed a massive 626 miles at an average speed of 26.5 knots. In the inter-maxi monohull dust-up, Rambler 88 was doing a good of job of staying in touch with the 100’Comanche, having lost only 30 miles to her in the last 24 hours.

These boats are now picking off the rest of the fleet. Some 275 miles north of Phaedo³ is the current Cruiser class leader, Jack Madden’s Swan 60, Lady B.

“We have been doing well,” reported Lady B’s navigator J.J. Schock. “We are averaging about high nines speed over ground and everyone is in good health and spirits.” This morning Lady B was seeing 25 knots from the southwest and two-meter seas, which Schock described as having a long period, so “quite comfortable. We are sailing along on starboard tack under main and No. 3. Everything is calm on board and we’re just trying to make good speed.”

Schock acknowledges that this crossing has been particularly breezy, with wind speed having remained in the high 30s for days, occasionally accompanied by squalls into the 40s and one gust reaching 50 knots.

Being in the Cruiser class means they have the luxury of not having to eat reconstituted freeze dried food. “We have a wonderful cook on board and she is taking very good care of us. When it has been rougher, we have been having some peanut butter and jelly and crackers. When it has been nice we have had some nice meals,” said Schock.

Further up the fleet Earl St. Aldwyn’s Shipman 50 Zephyr experienced some drama last night when the shackle on the spinnaker halyard exploded, causing the kite to tumble into the water and for the boat to run over it. “We managed to recover it remarkably with no damage,” reported skipper David Sharples. “We sent George Bullard up the mast to recover the halyard at first light.”

Now up to sixth on the water, Ross Applebey’s Oyster Lightwave 48 Scarlet Oyster was this morning running downwind, but had prudently dropped the spinnaker in the early hours after the breeze had built to 30 knots. “We are pointing at the mark, but it is pretty rolly. I think we have managed to find ourselves a bit of current again, so it is heating up again. We are in pretty good shape,” commented Applebey.

The battle remains relentless against the ocean racing classics Carina and Dorade, but Scarlet Oyster is now ahead of the former on handicap, but still lying third to the immaculate S&S classic in IRC Class 4.

 

Lucky Crew Celebrates taking Line Honors (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Lucky Crew Celebrates taking Line Honors (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Paradox and Phaedo3 battle for  the start.  Paradox wins the battle leaving Phaedo3 to do a 360 and fight to catch up leaving Castle Hill light and Newport behind (Photo by George Bekris)

Paradox and Phaedo3 battle for the start. Paradox wins the battle leaving Phaedo3 to do a 360 and fight to catch up leaving Castle Hill light and Newport behind (Photo by George Bekris)

With 2,800 miles to sail and just two boats on the starting line, a conservative start would seem like the smart play. But for the 63-foot trimaran Paradox, owned by Peter Aschenbrenner and skippered by Jeff Mearing, the start of the multihull class in the Transatlantic Race 2015 offered up a wondrous opportunity to throw a little mud in the eye of Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo3, the 70-foot MOD 70 trimaran that is the odds-on favorite to take overall line honors in the race. It was too good to pass up, no matter what the overall risk-reward analysis might say.

Phaedo3 doing 360 for another go at the start line (Photo © George Bekris)

Phaedo3 doing 360 for another go at the start line (Photo © George Bekris)

The starboard end of the starting line was heavily favored due to the straight shot it provided out the channel, so both boats set up off the Jamestown shore for a long timed run on starboard tack. Paradox led into the starting area off the Castle Hill Lighthouse and, with both boats a few seconds late, seemed to be content to cross the line with a slight lead. At the last second, however, Aschenbrenner hardened up and cut off the path of the hard-charging Phaedo3, forcing the larger boat to spin head to wind on the wrong side of the starting line and turn an achingly slow 360, before setting off in pursuit of its rival.
Phaedo3 Dials it up to catch Paradox who leads out of the start. (Photo © George Bekris)

Phaedo3 Dials it up to catch Paradox who leads out of the start. (Photo © George Bekris)

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Paradox leads out past Castile Hill leaving Newport to cross the Atlantic. (Photo © George Bekris)

For a race of this extreme distance, such an advantage at the outset means little. To wit, by 3:30 p.m., 90 minutes into the race, Phaedo3 had rolled over the top of Paradox and was scorching south of Martha’s Vineyard on an east-southeast heading at 30 knots.Paradox wasn’t exactly plodding along, hitting over 22 knots according to the tracker, but was quickly losing touch with the competition. Hopefully the early win helped ease the pain of watching Phaedo3 disappear over the horizon.
Comanche bowman signaling to the cockpit prior to the start. (Photo © George Bekris)

Comanche bowman signaling to the skipper prior to the start. (Photo © George Bekris)

Anticipation for today’s second start—the final act of the fortnight of U.S.-based activity for the Transatlantic Race—has been building since last summer when the news broke that two new super maxis – the 100-foot Comanche and Rambler 88 – would be competing in the race. While both skippers have downplayed the duel—the boats have different design briefs and there is a 12-foot difference in overall length, in a sport where longer is often faster—the sailing public hasn’t let go of the “which one is faster” debate. It doesn’t hurt that the two skippers—Ken Read, who is skippering Comanche for owners Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark, and George David, the owner/skipper of Rambler  88—were once crewmates on David’s IMS 50 Idler, which competed as a part of the American team in the 1999 Admiral’s Cup.

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Rambler 88 approaches the start at Castle Hill (Photo © George Bekris)

Whether despite this or because of it, the final start of the Transatlantic Race 2015 was more true to expectations for such an event. Both boats maneuvered significantly through the pre-start, probing for an advantage. But with neither boat providing an opening, the afterguards of each boat were content to blast across the line in sync, Comanche to leeward and slightly ahead. As with the trimarans, the speeds jumped significantly once the boats passed the R4 channel marker south of Brenton Reef and were able bear off and ease the sheets. At press time, Comanche had pulled out to approximately a 1.3-mile lead over Rambler 88, with both boats recording speeds in the low 20s.

Comanche and Rambler 88 passing one another dialing up the start (Photo © George Bekris)

Comanche and Rambler 88 passing one another dialing up the start (Photo © George Bekris)

No matter where they stand relative to their respective competitors, sailors on all four boats have to be extremely pleased with the weather, which provided them with ideal reaching conditions for the escape from Newport. Whether it lasts, however, is a significant question. In the immediate future it appears to be some lighter winds. Any advantage or disadvantage at the start will be quickly forgotten if any of the boats struggle to push through to the next band of breeze.

And they're off!! Comanche and Rambler 88 leave Newport. Next stop the UK. (Photo © George Bekris)

And they’re off!! Comanche and Rambler 88 leave Newport. Next stop the UK. (Photo © George Bekris)

 For more photos of the 3rd start action by George Bekris see the gallery at www.georgebekris.com

 

TR 2015 Roster of Entries Starting on July 5 (4 boats)
Comanche, Jim Clark & Kristy Hinze-Clark, New York, N.Y., USA
Phaedo3, Lloyd Thornburg, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Paradox, Peter Aschenbrenner, San Francisco, Calif., USA
Rambler, George David, Hartford, Conn., USA
Rambler 88 passes Castle Hill Inn heading into the Atlantic from Newport, Rhode Island  (Photo © George Bekris)

Rambler 88 passes Castle Hill Inn heading into the Atlantic from Newport, Rhode Island (Photo © George Bekris)

 Here are the many ways to Follow the Race
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TransatlanticRace     
Yellowbrick Tracking: http://yb.tl/transatlantic2015 (will be activated 24 hours before the first start, June 28 at 1400 EDT).
Yellowbrick Tracking on tablet or smart phone – You must first download the YB Races app, then within the app, add the TR2015 race. There is no charge to follow this race.  Apple iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yb-races/id452193682?mt=8
Google Play/Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yellowbrick.raceviewer&hl=en
Twitter Handle: @TransatlantRace
Instagram: @nyyc_regattas
Comanche and Rambler 88 battle for position as the Transatlantic Race 2015 3rd start get underway (Photo © George Bekris)

Comanche and Rambler 88 battle for position as the Transatlantic Race 2015 3rd start get underway (Photo © George Bekris)