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NYYC Annual Regatta - From humble beginnings to making history

by Barby MacGowan on 23 Feb 2011
2010 NYYC Annual Regatta Round the Island Day One Bella Mente leads Il Mostro round the weather mark NYYC
New York Yacht Club's Annual Regatta Presented by Rolex was first run in 1845 when nine yachts gathered off the Club’s first clubhouse in Hoboken, New Jersey to compete. This was the start of the New York Yacht Club's Annual Regatta, which is now the oldest and longest running regatta in America.

The New York Yacht Club’s Annual Regatta presented by Rolex will be held for the one hundred and fifty seventh time this coming June 10-12 in Newport, Rhode Island.

With a growing awareness and appreciation of the Club’s history, the Flag Officers and Sailing Committee are looking to increase participation in the competition on the water and the camaraderie on shore. 'We are looking to really step it up this year,' said Phil Lotz, Sailing Committee Chair. 'The Annual Regatta and the Annual Cruise are the Club’s most important events, and we are hoping to attract not only all of our regular competitors, but also to encourage all those who have not participated in recent years to come to Newport and join in the history.'

Racing starts on Friday, 10 June, with the Around-the-Island Race. This classic 19 nautical mile race around Connecticut Island offers the sailors many challenges and beautiful scenery. Teams of two yachts can also enter the competition for the Rolex Cup. There is no entry fee for this race, and it is scored separately from the racing over the weekend. Racing will be followed by a cocktail party and awards ceremony for the Around-the-Island Race on the upper lawn.

IRC, One-Designs, 12 Meters, 6 Meters and Classics will compete in a two-day series on Saturday and Sunday, 11-12 June. Several races are planned each day. Teams of three or more yachts representing a yacht club other than NYYC can enter to compete for the Great Corinthian Trophy. The Swan 42 Class is planning three days of buoy racing; a one-day regatta on Friday and the two-day series over the weekend.

A change from recent years is the addition of 'Navigator' races on Saturday, 11 June and Sunday, 12 June for non-spinnaker classes using the NYYC Cruising Rule, PHRF and IRC NS handicap systems. There will be one race each day using government and racing marks on the southern part of Narragansett Bay. Each day of racing will be scored separately.

'There are hundreds of boats out there that may not want to thrash around a windward/leeward course,' said Lotz. 'This will be the perfect opportunity to sail a more relaxed race, maybe with a short-handed crew, and not have to commit to a full weekend of racing.' Yachts in the 'Navigator' races have the option of only paying for the day they race.

Entry fees have been lowered from previous years to encourage participation, and IRC or One-Design yachts that have entered the Annapolis to Newport Race that starts on June 3rd will receive a $50 credit.

On Saturday, 11 June, cocktails, music and awards for the day’s racing will precede the traditional Annual Regatta dinner held in the tent on the lower lawn. Unlike previous years when the trophies for the Annual Regatta have been awarded at the Club’s Annual Awards Dinner in November, the trophies this year will be awarded on the upper lawn at the conclusion of the regatta on Sunday, 12 June.

'It’s all about the fun...more fun on shore and a wider variety of racing on the water to best suit the sailing interests of our members,' said Event Chair Peggy Comfort. 'We are planning some nice surprises this year.'
The Notice of Race and entry forms are now posted here The entry deadline is Monday, 6 NYYC Annual Regatta
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