Record Number of Teams are Ready to Rock

The 157th edition of the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta gets started this Friday with a record number of entries.

Dan Nerney Photo

Dan Nerney PhotoDan Nerney

NEWPORT, R.I. (June 7, 2011) – The New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex will be as big as ever in its 157th edition scheduled for Newport, R.I., this Friday through Sunday, June 10-12. In fact, while entrants for the event typically rise during even-numbered years to coincide with the running of the biennial Newport to Bermuda Race (co-hosted by the Cruising Club of America and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club), in this “off-year” of 2011 the number of boats has reached 135, surpassing all other Bermuda Race years, including 2006, when the Bermuda Race celebrated its 100th Anniversary and the Annual Regatta hosted its all-time high of 132 boats.

“What is the oldest regatta in the country is also going to be one of the most exciting on the East Coast this year,” said NYYC Annual Regatta Event Chair Peggy Comfort. Comfort, also a NYYC trustee, explained that this year’s Annual Regatta has drawn many first-time entries due to its being scheduled conveniently between the Annapolis to Newport Regatta and the Transatlantic Race 2011 (TR 2011). It hosts handicap racing in divisions for IRC (in six classes), PHRF (in spinnaker and non-spinnaker classes) and Classic as well as one-design racing for J/105, Herreshoff S, 12 Metre, 6 Metre and Swan 42 classes.

“We’ve enhanced post-racing social events and prizes, so that anyone missing from the mix this year will hear about it and know to come next year!” said Comfort.

Live music will greet the sailors as they come ashore to the rolling lawn at NYYC’s Harbour Court clubhouse for cocktails and refreshments and daily prizes. New this year is the awarding of a Rolex timepiece on Friday evening to the overall IRC winner in that day’s optional Around-the-Island Race. (As in past years, the two-boat team with the best individual finishes in Friday’s race will win the Rolex Bowl.) Also new, Rolex will award a timepiece to the winner of Saturday’s and Sunday’s combined series of races, which officially constitutes the NYYC 157th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex. This special prize, as well as engraved overall trophies in each class and the Great Corinthian Trophy for yacht club teams of three or more boats posting the best class finishes, will be awarded at the November 10 Annual Awards Dinner at the NYYC’s main clubhouse in New York City.

“Another new feature of the regatta is the addition of a Navigator Class for those who prefer a classic government buoy course to the more prevalent short-course racing on Saturday and Sunday,” said Comfort. (In this class, teams can race on either one or both of the weekend days; Friday’s Around-the-Island Race is also optional for all classes and can be entered separately or not at all.)

Showing on the roster as the largest boats competing are Dan Meyers’s JV 66 Numbers; Puma Ocean Racing’s Volvo Open 70 mar mostro; George Sakellaris’s mini maxi (72’) Shockwave and the Oakcliff All American Offshore Team’s R/P 65 Vanquish in IRC 1. But it’s Charlie Robertson’s venerable 70’ Cannonball that has the longest waterline length compared to its rivals in IRC 3 and certainly the most stories to tell about the maxi yacht racing heydays of the 1980s. Competing against Cannonball are such notables as Lawrence Huntington’s Ker 50 Snow Lion, which will be competing in the TR 2011, and Stephen Devoe’s Swan 45 Devocean.

Exciting action is sure to be seen in IRC 2, which has eight boats in the 50-foot range, with six of those being 52 footers, including Peter Cunningham’s PowerPlay, making its debut; Richard Oland’s (St. John, New Brunswick) Vela Veloce, Jim Swartz’s (Park City, Utah) Vesper; Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s Interlodge; David and Sandra Askew’s Flying Jenny7 and Louis Henry’s Invictus. John Brim’s RP 55 Rima2 and Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50 Privateer are also competing in this class.

The classic yachts just may provide the most beautiful of the images on the water. Sam Croll's 8 metre, Angelita, which won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1928, will rival the many competing Herreshoff-designed S boats and metre boats in representing the perfect restoration of a glamorous bygone sailing era. While Angelita will sail in her class against such beauties as Joseph Dockery’s 53’ S&S Sonny and the late Don Glassie’s custom 50’ Fortune, the elegantly refined S boats—from the oldest one-design class still actively racing and sailing in its original boats--will get their own start.

Among the 12 Metres are three that have won the America's Cup: Columbia, Courageous and Intrepid. And while Joe Loughborough’s Luders 24 Belle will sail against six 6 Metres, including NYYC Commodore Robert C. Towse Jr.’s and son Farley Towse’s SYCE, it’s also notable that two New York 32s, Isla and Siren, are signed up. The New York 32 dates back to 1935 and was a one-design fleet at the NYYC designed by Olin Stephens.

Another class originated for the NYYC, the Swan 42, is well represented with 16 boats (14 sailing in their own one-design class and two sailing in IRC). The one-design competition is serving as the NYYC qualifier for the multinational New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup in September.

For more information, and to follow the results, visit www.nyyc.org

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About The NYYC Annual Regatta Presented by Rolex**

The tradition of the Annual Regatta began at the New York Yacht Club's original clubhouse in Hoboken, N.J., in 1845, during its second year of existence. Racing for the NYYC Annual Regatta presented by Rolex takes place on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, with daily awards and social activities at Harbour Court, NYYC's on-the-water clubhouse in Newport, R.I. For a full list of entries and additional information, please visit the New York Yacht Club on the web at www.nyyc.org

**About Rolex and Sailing
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Among the sports with which Rolex has partnered for many years, sailing holds a special place. The association dates back to the late 1950s, and the close ties that bind the company to the world of yachting grow stronger every year. Rolex's approach to sport is to link with disciplines and events in alignment with its philosophies and ideals that exemplify its values. In the sport of yachting, the primary associations are with the Maxi Yacht class of yachts, significant offshore races, select championships and classic yacht regattas that unite historic and beautiful vessels.

Off the water, Rolex participates in the development of the sport through its support of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the world governing body and the annual ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, which recognize male and female sailors who have distinguished themselves over the course of a year. Rolex has also cultivated close relationships with the sport's best-known yacht clubs, those that organize landmark events and hold traditions that Rolex respects and appreciates. As part of its Testimonee program Rolex counts among its ranks a number of exemplary sailors: those who practice the sport in a spirit and manner universally admired. Through this interaction with yachting, Rolex has become more than a mere sponsor of the sport. It is a true partner. www.rolex.com