If you come down to the Thames this weekend you'll be in for a big surprise. But it's the Thames in Connecticut not England, it's New London, not old London town. The surprise is that after an absence of 60 years, you'll be seeing some of the sleekest yachts that America has to sport as the 155th New York Yacht Club's Annual Summer Cruise has its starting place in New London.
New York Yacht Club Summer Cruise 2010
Modern New York Yacht Club yachts in action
More than 100 vessels, sailing yachts and their power boat tenders, will provide a rare informal boat show. They'll be moored and berthed in a scattered group around the area over the weekend. Boats will begin arriving Friday night, go for a race offshore during the day on Saturday, and depart Sunday in a Parade of Sail down the Thames River.
The docks are full at Wayfarer Marine with Eggemoggin Reach Regatta yachts as well as those stopping in Camden with the New York Yacht Club Cruise.
The Thames America's Cup Committee, Inc., TACC, whose mission is to promote the Thames River area as a venue for yacht racing events, has worked for several months on the city's first Yachting Weekend.
'We are delighted that the New York Yacht Club will be returning to New London after an absence of 60 years when its members cruise to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy this last weekend in July,' said John S. Johnson, a city businessman, yacht club member and president of TACC. 'We hope people come out to enjoy the public events and view the vessels arriving and departing.'
New York Yacht Club 2010 Summer Cruise
Like all good rally events, it will start with a bang, and visitors are likely to leave with a heightened knowledge of the culture of the town. New London will certainly be turning on the hospitality for the prestigious club, originators of the America's Cup. Weekend events include a free dance party with Blues music and an evening 'arts stroll' featuring 10 downtown galleries.
The Nimble Arts Circus will perform free at 4 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Parade.
There'll also be a Walking Tour of Historic Architecture in New London on Saturday for yacht club visitors and will be led city historian Sally Ryan.
The weekend concludes Sunday with a Parade of Sail down the Thames River, starting about 9 a.m. as the fleet departs, headed for Newport Rhode Island.
Last year the New York Yacht Club Summer Cruise visited Camden Harbour, and the images shown in this article are from that gathering.
New York Yacht Club Summer Cruise 2010 2