by Jan Harley
The 29th edition of New England’s premiere one-design event, the Newport Regatta in conjunction with Bacardi Newport Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank, is set this weekend at Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center.
2013 BACARDI® Newport Sailing Week - Star sailing during the 2012 regatta
Variety is surely the spice of life as this multi-class event is proving with an extensive list of one-design classes that have been invited to participate in the racing: 2.4 Metre, 12 Metre, 49er, 505, A Class Cats, Byte CII, Etchells, Farr 30, F-18, J/22, J/24, J/70, Laser, Laser Radial, S Class, Star, Sunfish, Swan 42, Vanguard 15, Viper 640 and VX One.
Over 225 boats are registered in those 21 classes, of which six will race to award a major class championship: the J/24 class will determine their District 2 Champion, the 505s their East Coast Champion, the Viper 640s their Atlantic Coast Champion, the VX One their New England Champion, and, in both the Byte CII and Farr 30 classes, a North American Champion.
Among the complement of local talent registered to compete this weekend are Jamestown’s Phil Lotz in the Viper 640, and Portsmouth’s Bob Merrick, the 2000 470 Men’s Olympic Silver Medalist, racing in the F18 class. Newport has strong representation with Ralph Isham and Alexander Auersperg on the 12 Metre Courageous; Pieter Taselaar and Jim Richardson in the Farr 30 fleet; and Lynne Shore, the 1988 470 Women’s Olympic Gold Medalist, racing in the Laser class.
In addition to the on-the-water action, Bacardi Newport Sailing Week will also feature an exciting art exhibit with a historical perspective on boats from every era of the America’s Cup, 'Champions on the Breeze,' featuring the work of Rhode Island-based photographer Cory Silken. The exhibit will be on display July 8-14 in IYRS Restoration Hall and is open daily from noon to 7:00 p.m. free of charge. The Bacardi hospitality – so familiar to regatta competitors through the company’s legendary post-racing social events – can also be enjoyed through its partnerships with the Sunset Music Series (at the BB King Concert on Friday, July 12) and the Newport Restaurant Group (at 22 Bowen’s, The Moorings and The Smoke House Grille). Stop by one of these top Newport restaurants and ask for the BACARDI Newport Sailing Week featured drink: The Ultimate Cuba Libre.
For more information on Bacardi Sailing Week activities and the Newport Regatta visit the event website.
Spectators will be able to view the action from shore as racing takes place on five courses set on Narragansett Bay: off Brenton Point; between Rose and Goat Islands; Potter Cove in Jamestown; and near the Coasters Harbor Navy Yacht Club north of the Newport Pell Bridge. The talents of more than 100 skilled volunteers from Ida Lewis Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Newport Yacht Club, Coasters Harbor Navy Yacht Club and Barrington Yacht Club will be called upon to run the massive event.