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

Second Half to Host Rolex US-IRC National Championship

NYYC Race Committee Chair Tinker Myles and Event Chair Peter Cummiskey at the Captains's Meeting Tuesday evening., Photo credit: Rolex /   Daniel Forster While many sailors in the One Design portion of New York Yacht Club (NYYC) Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex head back to the office today, some are busy planning their strategy for the second “half” of the regatta, due to start on Wednesday. Four days of racing will take place on Rhode Island Sound and be purely IRC-rated. The best performing boat among the 35 entered 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.

As part of US-IRC's Gulf Stream Series, Race Week has attracted some standouts on the world yacht racing stage such as Ron O'Hanley's (Boston, Mass.) 50-foot Privateer, George David’s (Stamford, Conn.) 90-foot Rambler, Richard Oland’s (Saint John, Maine) Southern Cross 52 Vela Veloce, Dan Meyers’s (Boston, Mass.) J/V 66-footer Numbers, and Ray Roberts’s (Sydney, Australia) STP65 Evolution Racing.

The crew of BIG BOOTY prepares at Newport Shipyard, Photo credit: Rolex / Daniel Forster Participating in NYYC Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex is part of Roberts’s overall strategy for Evolution Racing. “The boat was already here, and I have previously raced here and enjoyed it so much. I love sailing in the States, and there’s always that friendly rivalry between American and Down Under Sailors.”

Evolution Racing’s crew includes boat builder Steve McConaghy calling tactics, well-known Australian strategist Jamie McFale, Andy Hudson, who crewed on Transfusion the second-place finisher at the 2010 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds, and chief sail designer Ben DeCoster, who also manages the Sydney-based Evolution Sails of which Roberts owns. Together they have created new design shapes for Race Week, which Roberts likens to “…not only a battle on the water but among sail designers.”

Evolution Racing, Rambler, and Numbers will compete in IRC 1 class, while IRC 2 consists of seven boats including Privateer, Vela Veloce and John Brim’s (New York, N.Y.) R/P 55 Rima 2, George Sekellaris’s (Framingham, Mass.) Farr 60 Captivity, Enrio Staffini’s (Annapolis, Md.) 52-foot Anema & Core, Blair Brown’s (Padanaram, Mass.) 55- foot Sforzando, and Lawrence Huntington’s (New York, N.Y.) Ker 50 Snow Lion.

Seven boats will compete in IRC 3, including Phil Lotz’s (Newport, R.I.) NYYC Swan 42 Arethusa, which took class honors in the first half of Race Week. Although Lotz does not plan to change Arethusa’s winning formula, the crew plans to take some time today to look at a few sails. “We don’t really sail IRC,” said Lotz. “However, with this boat we’ve had luck. We know how to optimize our boat speed, and when you’re out there you don’t really know what to expect. We are hoping that will give us an edge.”

NYYC Race Committee Chair Tinker Myles and Event Chair Peter Cummiskey at the Captains's Meeting Tuesday evening., Photo credit: Rolex /   Daniel Forster Andrew Weiss’s (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) Christopher Dragon and David & MaryEllen Tortorello’s Partnership, the third and fourth place J/122s, respectively, from the One Design half of Race Week, will compete in the eight-boat IRC 4 class. The largest class, IRC 5, contains 10 boats, including Rives Potts’s (New York, N.Y.) Carina, a 48-foot sloop that won the Newport Bermuda Race’s St. David’s Lighthouse Division.

On-demand video will be available after 9 p.m. each evening of Race Week at where complete results also can be found.

About Rolex Watch U.S.A.
Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America’s Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including elite athlete preparation, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing and offshore, one-design and women’s events. Since 1994, Rolex Watch U.S.A. has been the exclusive presenting sponsor of NYYC events.

From left: NYYC Race Committee Chair Tinker Myles, Newport Bermuda Race winner Rives Potts and NYYC Commodore David Elwell at the Captains' Meeting Tu., Photo credit: Rolex /   Daniel Forster The New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex joins other prestigious
Rolex-sponsored events including the Rolex Miami OCR, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, New York Yacht Club’s 156th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, Rolex Big Boat Series, Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex.

About the Rolex US-IRC National Championship
With the concept of moving the Rolex US-IRC National Championship around the country to encourage growth in IRC fleets, the 2009 championship was run in conjunction with St. Francis Yacht Club’s Rolex Big Boat Series, in San Francisco, Calif. and crowned a winner in Vincitore, the Custom 52 owned by Jim Mitchell (Zurich, SUI/Chicago, Ill.). In 2008, the championship was sailed in conjunction with the 48th Little Traverse Yacht Club Regatta and One Design Series, in Harbor Springs, Mich. and won by Stripes, the Great Lakes 70 owned by Bill Martin, (Ann Arbor, Mich.), and in 2007, the inaugural championship was held as part of the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex and won by Blue Yankee the Reichel/Pugh 66 owned by Bob and Farley Towse (Stamford, Conn.).

The event is part of the 2010 US-IRC Gulf Stream Series