New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport Presented by Rolex
Newport, RI, USA
July 23, 2010

Third Day Proves Tactically Challenging

Daniel Meyers' NUMBERS won the day's two races to take the overall lead in IRC 1, Photo credit: Rolex / Daniel Forster After a brief postponement on shore by the Race Committee while the wind filled in, it was back to the ocean track for the 35 boats competing in New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex. Two windward/leeward races were held on Rhode Island Sound under less-than-perfect conditions; however the light rain and 4-6 knots of wind challenged tacticians and prompted a shake-up in a few of the standings.

By taking two wins in two races today, Daniel Meyers’s (Boston, Mass.) J/V66 Numbers also took over the IRC Class 1 lead from George David’s (Hartford, Conn.) Rambler. The 90-footer dropped into second position. Ray Roberts’s (Sydney, Australia) STP65 Evolution Racing is in third.

In IRC Class 3, Steve Benjamin’s (South Norwalk, Conn.) Robotic Oncology held onto its lead by winning both races. With four wins in five races, the Tripp 41 has a four-point lead on Arethusa, Philip Lotz’s (Newport, R.I.) NYYC Swan 42 that won the distance race. “In today’s first race we didn’t have a great start, but we were able to clear out and get into phase,” said Benjamin of the four-leg windward/leeward race. “By halfway up the first weather leg we were in the lead and from there we just extended.”

Steve Benjamin's ROBOTIC ONCOLOGY won both of the day's races and is first overall in IRC 3, Photo credit: Rolex / Daniel Forster The talk of the regatta has been Benjamin’s boat name, Robotic Oncology, which he explained is in tribute to Dr. Samadi of Mt. Sinai Hospital. “I made him a promise that if he could cure me, then I would take him sailing,” said Benjamin. “He is coming to Newport tomorrow, and we hope he’ll go sailing with us. This is a very sweet return to sailing for me.”

Robotic Oncology performs best in light air conditions, explained Benjamin. After a disappointing fifth-place in yesterday’s windy distance race, he is hoping for more of the light air like today. “We didn’t sail as well as we could have yesterday,” he said. “We had some issues onboard including some bad sail changes made by me and bad tactical problems. We broke both runner tails, had a few little gear failures. Tomorrow we’ll be happy with light wind.”

The biggest shake-up of the day was found in IRC Class 5 with Bill Sweetser’s (Annapolis, Md.) J/109 Rush winning the first race to take the overall lead from Rives Potts’s Carina, which fell to fifth with 6- and 7-place finishes. Storm, Rick Lyall’s (Wilton, Conn.) J/109, moved up from third into second overall, while Nordlys, Robert Schwartz’s (Port Washington, N.Y.) J/109, hop-scotched from sixth into third overall by winning the second race.

Richard Oland’s (Saint John, New Brunswick, CAN) Southern Cross 52 Vela Veloce held onto first in IRC 2. but Blair Brown’s (Padanaram, Mass.) 55-foot Sforzando dropped to third place with a 3-4 finish. “In the last race our prop was open during the start,” said Peter Bromby, the Bermuda Olympian calling tactics on Sforzando. “We could hear humming before the start and we didn’t pay any mind to it,” said Bromby. “We started and couldn’t get into it, but knew something was up when we were a knot and a half slow. Overall, it was a pretty average day.”

Ray Roberts at the helm of his STP65 EVOLUTION RACING, Photo credit: Rolex / Daniel Forster Bromby went on to speculate what tomorrow might bring. “Vela Veloce is tough to beat,” he said. “It’s been sailed consistently, same with Captivity. Our bread and butter is getting off the start well and be able to save our time, which has proven to be tough as the others are getting off the line well and sailing well.”

In IRC 4 Christopher Dragon continued its winning ways remaining undefeated and at the top of the class.

Racing concludes tomorrow, Sunday, where the best performing boat will take the Rolex US-IRC National Championship title and its skipper will be presented with a specially engraved Rolex timepiece at the Rolex Gala and Awards Party on Saturday evening.

NYYC hosted daily awards and post-racing refreshments in the Hospitality Villa at Harbour Court