By DAVID SCHWARTZ The Narragansett Bay Yachting Association held its largest event in more than a decade on Sunday, showing that sailors hunger for the chance to get out of their homes and enjoy racing safely on a beautiful day on the bay. The fleet
By DAVID SCHWARTZ The Narragansett Bay Yachting Association held its largest event in more than a decade on Sunday, showing that sailors hunger for the chance to get out of their homes and enjoy racing safely on a beautiful day on the bay. The fleet ranged from a TP 52 to a fifty foot schooner built a hundred years ago. In between were sport boats, Herreshoff S boats, and real dual purpose racer-cruisers.
For the two spinnaker classes, the Ida Lewis Yacht Club Race Committee set up a 16-mile course around government marks starting right outside Newport Harbor. Legs were pretty short at around 3 miles each to help keep the crews on their toes. The start of the large spinnaker class with a dozen boats was very competitive and a hoot to watch. The crew on the 6000-pound sport boat had huge grins on their faces as they made a 35000 pound, 60 footer (and 4 others) bail out at the boat end just before the gun. The crews on the affected boats did not look nearly as happy, but they soon made up ground.
Large wind shifts, puffs, wakes from 100’ power boats and a building breeze topping out in the high teens rewarded good tactics and boat handling. This was especially true on the first leg, a beat out to Beavertail which is the point of land at the south end of the bay. Boats were fighting an adverse tide and nasty chop so most chose one side of the bay or the other. Those on the West side were doing best until the wind shifted 70 degrees to the south and the sea breeze filled in. End result was a dead heat as boats from either side rounded the first mark together.
The legs turned into a succession of almost dead downwind then upwind courses. The downwind legs showcased the differences between sailing a planeing boat and a displacement boat. Time and again, a Melges 24 would come screaming in on a reach toward a Seguin 40 which was sailing with a symmetrical kite almost dead down. The boats were dead even. The 24 would try to surf by to leeward, hit the wind shadow from the 40, lose her plane and stop! Try and try again but no luck. Finally the 40 had enough of being headed up and chose to slow slightly and duck behind the 24, missing her stern by six inches.
The regatta also had a class for the seven S-boats that registered. These are 28-foot wooden daysailors that were designed and built in the 1920’s and 30’s. They are distinctive as they sport very curved wooden masts. Tough to sail well and a bit fragile, the class hits a tender spot in the hearts of many sailors on the bay. The RC gave them two shorter races. Starts were closely fought as you would expect in a one design class. Once on the course, the boats spread out as some handled the chop and puffy winds better than others. To learn more about upcoming races, log into https://nbya.org/nbya-racing-events/ Race Results:
Boat place, name, owner
1. OSPREY, Michael McCaffrey
2. Surprise, Fred Roy
3. Stallion, Donald Tofias
4. Lady Luck, Nick Sollecito
5. Mischief, Walter Bopp
6. Aquila, Geoffrey Davis
7. Shona, Robert Hutchinson
1. Das Blau,Max Farr, Cory Sertl
2. Amadeus V, Jay Turchetta
3. Ghost, Andrew Besheer
4. Wilde Agnes, Paul Grimes
5. Arethusa, Phil Lotz
6. Full Send, Ben Steinberg
7. Irie 2, Brian Cunha
8. LAURA, Francis Curren
9. First Light, Peter McClennen
10. Resolute IV, Terrence Arndt
11. Salacia, Mark Nannini
12. Intrepid, Michael Patterson
1. Zephyros, Timothy Grimes
2. Mischief, David Schwartz
3. Leading Edge, Tom Sutton
4. Altair, Dexter Hoag
5. The Party Tree, Samuel Cushing
6. Sparkle, Hannah Swett
7. Fortune, John Taft David Schwartz is the current president of NBYA. He has been racing Mischief, a Lyman-Morse Seguin 40, around New England for over 20 years. He can be reached at david A look at the starting line.