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A letter to CYOA members from Steve White

by Steve White, CYOA 10 May 2020 06:51 PDT
Classics season kicks off - 2019 New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta © Classic Yacht Owners Association

We hope you and your families are safe and healthy. While we all wait at home and dream of being back on the water soon, we wanted to bring you up to speed on what the Classic Yacht Owners Association (CYOA) has been doing since our Annual Meeting and Classic Yachts Challenge Series (CYCS) Awards presentation last fall.

We have been busy indeed! We also know many of you have been busy with quarantine projects which is why we will also be launching a bi-weekly update featuring Member's Boats. Contact us if you have a project you would like us to feature.

First, pursuant to the directives of the Fall meeting, we tackled the election of a new CYOA governing group for 2020. Within that order, we needed to appoint a Board of Directors that is entirely comprised of the classic yacht Regatta Organizers, and we were successful in doing so.

The new Board of Directors is as follows:

  • Steve White - Chairman and President - Eggemoggin Reach Regatta
  • Bill Lynn - Vice Chairman - Herreshoff Classic Yacht Regatta
  • Timothy Dittrich - Secretary - Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta
  • Diana Brown - Treasurer - Nantucket Regatta & Opera House Cup
  • Drew Lyman - Camden Classics Cup
  • Thom Ashton - Castine Classic Yacht Regatta
  • Dennis Gunderson - Camden-Brooklin Wooden Boat Race
  • Jens Lange - Newport Classic Yacht Regatta
  • Joel Labuzetta - Indian Harbor Classic Yacht Regatta
  • Michael Emmert - Heritage Cup
All previous Board Members have been added to our Board of Advisors. We thank them all very much for their hard work and much of the organization that has brought CYOA to life.

The immediate focus of the new board is to promote and support CYOA and the annual Classic Yachts Challenge Series (CYCS). To help do this we have continued to rely on our very strong and very hard-working Technical Committee, led by Simon Davidson. I am a member of this group, and I can tell you that they are dedicated, hard-working and committed to fair racing for everybody. They have already donated thousands of hours of their time to creating and refining the new CRF rating rule.

This will be a yearly effort, and in the future, every yacht's rating certificate will bear the current year date to identify the validity of the rating. Also, every certificate will include a Division assignment (Vintage, Classic, Modern Classic or Spirit of Tradition) to help RO's with class assignments. This year, new rating adjustments have been instituted for rigging material construction, beam at aft waterline location, canoe stern configuration and ballast to displacement ratios, as well as adjusting the multipliers to make our rating system as fair as possible.

The second major project we took on was to develop, expand, and schedule the 2020 Classic Yachts Challenge Series. We've expanded it to include all of the major classic yacht regattas in the northeast, and qualifying is relatively simple. Our hope is that many yachts will qualify and that, pandemics willing, we will have a huge party in the Fall. Below was the schedule before the pandemic, and while there are many unknowns right now, we are still very excited about the Series.

  • NYYC Annual Regatta, Newport RI - Postponed Date TBD
  • Camden Classics Cup, Camden ME - July 24-25
  • Castine Classic Yacht Race, Castine ME - July 30
  • Camden-Brooklin Wooden Boat Race, Camden ME - July 31
  • Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, Brooklin ME - August 1
  • Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta, Marblehead MA - August 8-9
  • Nantucket Regatta, Nantucket MA - August 14-15
  • Opera House Cup, Nantucket MA - August 16
  • Herreshoff Classic Yacht Regatta, Bristol RI - August 29-30
  • Newport Classic Yacht Regatta, Newport RI - September 5-6
  • Indian Harbor Classic Yacht Regatta, Greenwich CT - September 12
  • Heritage Cup, Sea Cliff NY - September 20
As regatta organizers are now part of the board, we continue to have ongoing conversations about dates or modifications to the events, and we'll be updating the schedule on the CYOA website as we know more. We expect to be able to share some news shortly after June 1st. Stay tuned to for the latest.

Regarding CYOA finances, I want to stress that we are a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit organization. The vast majority of the work is donated by our members and directors, with payment going only to rating certificate production, website management, member communications and the awards party.

To this end, we want and need everyone to become a member of CYOA, as well as to hold a CRF certificate. Your membership dues are vital to help us pay for these necessary expenses and provide you with a fair rating and provide the Regatta Organizers with the support and advice they need. Please join or renew today. Visit to sign up.

Finally, we plan to continue to send out e-newsletters to keep everyone current with CYOA, but we encourage you to visit our website often as we will publish the results of the individual regattas as well as the scores of the Series events as they unfold over the summer.

Stay safe and see you on the water soon!


Steve White, Chairman CYOA

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