Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik 2021 Season 2 LEADERBOARD

A Q&A with Bill Lynn on the 2021 Herreshoff Classic Yacht Regatta & Rendezvous

by David Schmidt 24 Aug 08:00 PDT August 27-29, 2021
2014 Herreshoff Classic Regatta © Ingrid Abery / www.ingridabery.com

Call me a biased Yankee, but every time I hear the word "bristol" used as a nautical descriptor, my mind immediately pivots to the stately yachts that populate East Coast classic-yacht regattas. Being a native New Englander, my mind's eye further narrows to the classic Herreshoff designs that can be seen plying New England waters, often with many hours of shed time supporting each hour of sailing time. Therefore, it seems only fitting that the Herreshoff Marine Museum and the America's Cup Hall of Fame, located in Bristol, Rhode Island on the shores of Narragansett Bay, is hosting their Classic Yacht Regatta & Rendezvous (August 27-29, 2021) to celebrate their 50th anniversary Golden Jubilee.

Racing will take place from Friday through Sunday, with the first warning gun sounding each day between 1230 and 1300 hours. According to the event's NOR, the regatta is open to yachts with a valid 2021 Classic Rating Formula rating certificate (read: not just Herreshoff designs), as well as to Herreshoff S class and H12 class yachts.

Attending sailors can look forward to some great racecourse action, as well as fun shoreside events ranging from post-racing cocktails and the chance to rub elbows with other wooden-yacht aficionados, to the opportunity to tour the Herreshoff Marine Museum and the America's Cup Hall of Fame's impressive, historic facilities.

I checked in with my friend, Bill Lynn, who serves as the president and executive director of the Herreshoff Marine Museum and the America's Cup Hall of Fame, via email, to learn more about this exciting classic-yacht event.

How many yachts and sailors are you and the other organizers hoping to see at this year's Jubilee Regatta and Rendezvous?

I'd love to see 40 boats here and 250 sailors. It's a bit difficult to handicap the over/under at this point in another weird year, but for our 50th Anniversary edition, we're inviting non-racers to come join the party as well.

The event starts with a feeder race from Newport to Bristol on Friday, followed by a reception on the waterfront with the boats at our docks. It's an awesome party, and it would be fun to have as many boats-both Herreshoff and otherwise-at the dock that evening.

What kinds of shoreside events are planned? Given the nature the crowd, are there any interesting lectures or presentations planned?

Friday evening's "Living Boat Show" is a terrific event as it's open to the public, and we usually get pretty solid representation from the Bristol community and Herreshoff fans in addition to the sailors.

Saturday night's regatta dinner is always a raucous affair as well, with upwards of 300 attendees. Halsey will be talking about the founding of the museum.

How about the regatta side? How many boats do you hope to see on the starting line(s), and also what kind ofd racing are you anticipating—W/Ls, triangle, or "harbor tour" racing around islands and natural features?

The typical HCYR includes a feeder race from Newport to Bristol on Friday, racing around the northern end of the bay on Saturday, and a feeder race back to Newport on Sunday.

Saturday is the big day - the official Herreshoff Classic Yacht Regatta - and we hope to make it a two-race day this year instead of the single race we've run in past years.

One of the two races will likely be a race we ran during last year's Covid edition, which involves a "hot lap" of Hog Island, a small island just south of Bristol. It's about an eight-mile track with lots of turning marks, and last year's edition featured a duel between Weatherly and Nefertiti, in which the two boats were never more than a boatlength apart and finished within ten seconds of each other. Pretty fun to watch!

The S Class one-designs will sail W-L courses, but the bigger boats will go on a tour of the northern end of Narragansett Bay, a part of the Bay that many of the folks who sail regularly in Newport don't see very often which makes it fun and interesting.

How competitive do you think the racing will be? Are we talking about the intense pre-start jostling that we saw at the 2017 J Class Worlds in Newport, or do you think that owners will be a bit more reserved, given the historical nature of the fleet?

There are some interactions that are closer than anyone would like to see, but for the most part, it's about enjoying racing these beautiful boats with friends, and then relaxing on shore with an adult beverage or two.

No one wants to see these boats damaged, and no one wants to deal with the aftermath, so people are generally pretty well-behaved!

What kind of conditions can attending sailors expect to encounter off of Bristol, Rhode Island in late August? What are the best- and worst-case scenarios?

Depends on whether you like big breeze or not! The afternoon sea breeze in Bristol is pretty predictable, and it can build to 18-20 [knots]. The classics have a wind limit to try to avoid splinters, but it can get pretty fresh here.

If you could offer one (or two) pieces of tactical advice about the local waters to visiting and locally based Herreshoff owners (and crews), what would it be?

I think that the most important thing you can do when sailing anywhere on Narragansett Bay is to understand current. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy, and so many races are won and lost here depending on how you play it.

Get a good tide chart, talk to the locals, and poke around online for resources. Much of it is reasonably intuitive, but you ignore it at your peril.

Can you tell us about any efforts that you and the other organizers have made to try to lower the event's environmental footprint or otherwise green-up the regatta?

The museum itself has converted to solar for our electricity needs, so we're trying to do our part to combat climate change.

I'd be lying if I told you we're the greenest event, but we and the other event organizers are taking steps to try to eliminate single-use plastic bottles, straws in cocktails and anything that might find its way into the Bay. We have recycling bins all over the waterfront, and while we haven't tracked the amount of material in them over time, they do get emptied quite frequently.

Our event relies on a very small team of volunteers so we don't use a ton of chase boats. And since we use mostly government marks, we don't need more than one mark boat.

Is there anything else that you'd like to add, for the record?

What a freaking year this has been so far! Seems like folks are doubling-down on event and party attendance after a year off, and it is wonderful to see the number of people that want to come celebrate our 50th birthday with us!

The party continues through December, and you can find info on all of the HMM Golden Jubilee events at www.herreshoff.org/50th.

Related Articles

A Q&A with Mark Wheeler on the 2021 J/111 Worlds
An interview with Mark Wheeler on the 2021 J/111 Worlds Sail-World checked in with Mark Wheeler, regatta chairman of the 2021 J/111 Worlds, via email, to learn more about this One Design championship. Posted on 14 Oct
Spain SailGP debriefing, U.S. Youth Championship
Latest newsletter from Sail-World's David Schmidt in the USA While early October is always a great time for racing in North America, last week's sailing news cycle was dominated by the Spain SailGP event, which unfurled off Cadiz, Spain, on the country's southwest coast. Posted on 12 Oct
Jumbos rule
B&G gave us Nemesis, and this was a pretty cool piece of kit indeed. Not all the world's jumbos got retired and parked in the Arizona desert at the beginning of 2020. Boeing's venerable bus had served us all - so, so well… Later on that same year, B&G, gave us Nemesis, and this was a pretty cool piece of kit indeed. Posted on 10 Oct
Nancy Pearson and Buttons Padin on the Viper640 NA
David Schmidt checks in with the event co-chair and class administrator Sail-World checked in with Nancy Pearson and Ed “Buttons” Padin, event co-chair of the 2021 Viper 640 North American Championship and Viper 640 Class Administrator (respectively), via email, to learn more about this One Design regatta. Posted on 5 Oct
What's happening in America's Cup land?
Like it or not, it is the pinnacle event in yachting A lot is written about the America's Cup, and a huge amount of it is speculation. Like it or not, it is the pinnacle event in yachting, and for those who try to win it, it becomes an all-consuming obsession. Posted on 4 Oct
Hinman Trophy, offshore sailing, and Mini Transat
Summer may have handed the baton off to autumn, but the sailing scene hasn't been cooling off Summer may have handed the baton off to autumn, but that certainly doesn't mean that the sailing scene has been cooling off in North America, at least not yet. This past weekend gave the sailing world multiple great events to follow and participate in. Posted on 28 Sep
Hooray for the hundredth!
Here is our card to the J/99, which will soon enough have 100 vessels sailing all around the world. Now if you're a British subject that means you get a letter from HRH QEII. If you're French, maybe you get one from President Macron. Certainly POTUS does to US citizens. Posted on 26 Sep
James Keen on the Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge
An interview with James Keen on the 2021 Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge I checked in with James Keen, chairman of the 2021 Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge, via email, to learn more about this exciting regatta. Posted on 23 Sep
Square peg, round hole. Round peg, square hole.
One thing is pretty clear with fluid dynamics. Smooth and flowing wins the day. If you think about fluid dynamics for just a second, one thing is pretty clear. Smooth and flowing wins the day. Posted on 23 Sep
Mixing it up
A few sailing events which are a bit 'out of the norm' As we head towards the end of September, I've been thinking about which events, and days out sailing, have been the most fun this year. There are a few to choose from, and overall it's been a good year for time on the water. Posted on 21 Sep
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 004 gif BottomHenr-Lloyd BLU FOOTERLloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px1 BOTTOM