New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta Presented by Rolex
Timeless Design Graces 158th Edition
NEWPORT, R.I. (April 23, 2012) – The premature arrival of spring fever and the confluence of major sailing events scheduled for the summer of 2012 has created an upbeat mood among sailing enthusiasts in New England’s sailing Mecca of Newport, R.I.. The “City by the Sea” will display her iconic charm during the high profile events to hit the waves of Narragansett Bay – including the America’s Cup World Series and a tall ships extravaganza – starting first with the oldest and longest-running regatta in America: New York Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta presented by Rolex. From June 8-10, the 158th edition of the race will continue a historic legacy that has only been interrupted by war.
The historic nature of the event also extends to the regatta entry list that is currently led by Argument, the Herreshoff S-boat owned by Stephan Sloan (E. Greenwich, R.I.). The oldest one-design class still actively racing, the 27-foot wooden S-boats first splashed in 1919. Roughly 100 were built and the original boats still racing, with their high ratio of sail area to wetted surface, display the vintage style that delights photographers and casual observers alike, not to mention those who race them and appreciate the boat’s high performance. Fast in light wind due to the large sail area, a full lead keel keeps the craft stable in strong breeze. Requiring an experienced crew to coordinate handling spinnaker lines, halyards, running backstays and sheets simultaneously, the design – like the Annual Regatta – has stood the test of time.
Sloan conservatively expects that as many as nine of the classic S-boats will participate in NYYC’s Annual Regatta. Having owned Argument for five years with his sister, Sloan has previously raced her in NYYC’s Annual Regatta and is looking forward to this 158th edition. “It’s the start of the season for us,” said Sloan. “The Around the Island Race is a real draw for us as it is great fun and a good start to the season. It’s also a home-club regatta for me and being at Harbour Court is a chance for great get-togethers.”
The S-boats are among the yachts eligible to compete in the 19-nautical mile Around the Island Race that is the first segment of the “regatta within a regatta” format that constitutes NYYC’s Annual Regatta presented by Rolex. Taking place on Friday, June 8, the Around the Island Race is scored separately, with a Rolex timepiece presented to the overall winning yacht in the IRC division during evening festivities at NYYC’s Harbour Court.
On Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10, the S-boats will race in the traditional two-day series as part of the Green fleet along with Classic, 12 Metre, 6 Metre and smaller one-design classes. IRC and larger one-design classes will be accommodated in the Blue and White fleets, and all three fleets will have one or two races each day, separately sailed and scored. PHRF and non-spinnaker IRC classes will race as the Red fleet and will sail one “Navigator” race each day using government and racing marks on the southern part of Narragansett Bay. Staged as an ideal fit for cruising yachts entered in the Newport Bermuda Race, the relaxed format of the Navigator race offers competitors in that biennial race a low-key tune up before undertaking that classic distance race.
Among the IRC yachts that will compete in NYYC’s Annual Regatta presented by Rolex is Invictus, the TP-52 formerly known as Samba Pa Ti, which is raced by the U.S. Naval Academy’s Varsity Offshore Sailing Team.
“We will have seven 4th Class (freshmen), five 3rd Class (sophomores) and two 2nd Class (juniors) including myself and two coaches,” said Ralph Duffett, currently a 2nd Class Midshipman at the Academy, detailing the makeup of the 15 to 16 people who will be in the crew, all with varying experience. “In my opinion the greatest part of our program is our ability to take freshmen and sophomores with relatively less experience and over a fall season of learning basic skills and knowledge of tactics and strategy, followed by a spring season of more hands-on and offshore training, and field winning crews on several different types of boats in all of the regattas we participate in.”
“The thing I am looking forward to the most is the Around the Island Race,” continued Duffett, explaining that he has sailed on Invictus in the past two NYYC Annual Regattas (2010 and 2011). “After a spring of training it is our first point-to-point race and is a good way to test all the skills we have been honing all season. In my eyes it is an iconic start of the Annual Regatta. Even though it is scored separately, its navigational difficulty as well as the nature of the race gets everyone geared up for the rest of the regatta.”
Invictus, like other IRC yachts, will use the Annual Regatta as a tune-up prior to the start of the Newport Bermuda Race, before also competing in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta. The three events together constitute the Onion Patch Series, with the first race completed on Saturday and Sunday during NYYC’s Annual Regatta counting toward this series.
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.
Part of the 2012 Gulf Stream Series and the first event in the NYYC Classic Yacht Series, NYYC’s Annual Regatta presented by Rolex is open to yachts with a minimum length overall of 25 feet. The entry deadline is June 4. For a full list of entries and additional information, including registration, please visit the Annual Regatta event page on New York Yacht Club’s website at nyyc.org
About Rolex and Sailing
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