by Jan Harley
The historic Ida Lewis Yacht Club was a beehive of activity today as competitors readied for the eighth edition of
Competitors review the courses proposed for the Ida Lewis Distance Race
the Ida Lewis Distance Race (ILDR) which is set to get underway at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 17.
Three starts will dispatch approximately 26 boats ranging from 30-56' on an overnight adventure that will potentially cover between 104 and 177 nautical miles. The course, which may be different for each class and which will be determined shortly before the race starts, will take the competitors out of Narragansett Bay before bringing them back for the ILDR's signature champagne finish between Ida Lewis Yacht Club and the
southern tip of Goat Island.
Jamestown Yacht Club member Edmund Flynn (Marlboro, Mass.) was enthusiastic about making his fifth consecutive run in the ILDR. He will sail the Beneteau 40.7 Lark with Tim Brownell (Wickford, R.I.) in the doublehanded class in which he took third place last year. 'We'd like to be competitive and we'd like to win the race,' said Flynn. 'We go out there to have fun.
It's really great because you have the mix; you've got the current, you're in different breeze at different times and you have this strategic challenge towards the end where you have to decide which side to go around Block Island.'
The first-time entries from SUNY Maritime College (Throggs Neck, N.Y.) and Massachusetts Maritime College (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) are the latest competitive tweak for an event that has worked to expose youth sailors to the challenges of offshore racing. In its third year, the Youth Challenge has attracted four boats which have met the requirement that more than 40% of the crew must have reached their 14th birthday but not turn 20 prior to August 17, 2012. Joe Harris' (South Hamilton, Mass.) Class 40 GryphonSolo2, Peter Bourke's (Newport, R.I.) Outbound 44 Rubicon, Chris Bjerregaard's (Bristol, R.I.) Bashford Howlson 36 Shearwater and Ken Luczynski's (Newport, R.I.) Class 40 Toothface have all met the necessary requirements to race in the Youth Challenge.
'Last year we had one junior sailor onboard and it was really fun and she was very voracious to learn,' said Luczynski who will be racing in the ILDR for the third time albeit as a new contender for the Youth Challenge Trophy.
While Luczynski regularly sails distance races with owner Mike Dreese (Boston, Mass.) and to-date has about 30,000 miles under his belt on Toothface alone, he will sail this time with three junior sailors accompanying the crew. 'Class 40s can be intimidating boats to sail because of their speed and quick reflexes. I have so many miles on this boat that I've really developed a routine and because the boat is normally sailed shorthanded we can ease the kids into the maneuvers and, hopefully by the end, we will have all of them steering.'
The Ida Lewis Distance Race is a qualifier for the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF); the Northern and Double-Handed Ocean Racing Trophies (IRC); and the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series.