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From NYYC Annual Regatta to Newport Bermuda Race

by IC37 Class Association 15 Jun 15:27 PDT
NYYC Annual Regatta © Scott Trauth /

"I've been leading going into the last day for two other major IC37 events. This is the first time we've actually pulled it off, so you could say 'third times a charm," says 168th NYYC Annual Regatta winner, Chris Lewis with his Qubit crew. Now he is hoping for the same outcome next week in the Newport Bermuda Race with his other boat, the J/44 Kenai - except this is his fourth attempt in the iconic ocean race.

Lewis credits last weekend's win to having a good feel for the boat and being able to communicate what he is feeling with his trimmers. "The more active you are, the better you are in this boat," he says.

Lewis has been chartering a NYYC IC37 since the first season in 2019. A native of Texas, he feels the charter program was perfect for him to campaign in competitive big boat one-design fleet. He explained that as a crew of amateur sailors family and work commitments are inevitable so they focus on a few major events and a few practice days just ahead of the event.

A slip of 6th in the first race of Sunday left him just one point ahead of America's Cup skipper and avid match racer, Terry McLaughlin, and his Defiant crew.

"Then it was game on. Our game plan was to stay away from Terry. The crew was nervous but we managed to sail cleanly and make good maneuvers so the practice all paid off."

Lewis also adds that the fleet is "becoming like a family." Crews are sailing on different programs (his bow person, Sarah Ragle, was part of the winning Winter Series crew on New Wave and his accomplished tactician Marcus Eagan sailed on the winning Invitational Cup team, Southern Yacht Club, and multiple past season winner, Pacific Yankee) and go out of their way to share coaching tips - which makes onboarding new crew easy. "It is great to see some new teams and helping just gets everyone up to speed for better racing."

This was his first regatta without his wife Karen, as she is home with their new grandaughter back in Texas. Karen normally handles the strings in the pit, but they took advantage of the extra youth sailor rule and invited 16-year-old sailor James Brock, to step into the role. "We taught him pit in 2 days and he did great. It was amazing to put those extra hands into a vital role, which clearly paid off."

The Texan crew will be back for US Nationals during NYYC Race Week in mid-July, but first Lewis takes on the "Thrash to the Onion Patch," just five days after stepping off the IC37 along with his mast guy, Thomas Young. The start is Friday, June 17th right in the same waters he competed in last weekend.

When asked how the transition is going, he says: "She's our third child, we have owned Kenai for 25 years and know the boat very well. We just really are hoping the momentum from last weekend carries through."

The NYYC Annual Regatta kicked off the Summer Season, the next event will be the Newport Regatta hosted by Sail Newport July 9-10.

IC37 Results:

1. Qubit, USA017, Chris Lewis - 4 - 1 - 2 - 6 - 1 - 2; 16pts
2. Defiant, CAN035, Terry McLaughlin - 6 - 4 - 1 - 3 - 3 - 3; 20pts
3. Ramrod, USA024, Rodrick Jabin - 8 - 6 - 11 - 1 - 7 - 1; 34pts
4. New Wave, USA023, Steve Liebel - 17 - 2 - 4 - 9 - 2 - 8; 42pts
5. MO, USA020, Hannah Swett - 5 - 5 - 14 - 4 - 9 - 6; 43pts
6. Yonder, USA033, Douglas Newhouse - 1 - 15 - 16 - 2 - 6 - 7; 47pts
7. Menance, USA012, Howard Spencer - 11 - 11 - 9 - 12 - 4 - 4; 51pts
8. Arethusa, USA029, Phil Lotz - 2 - 7 - 10 - 8 - 12 - 14; 53pts
9. HHB, USA006, Darden / Francisco - 3 - 14 - 3 - 5 - 17 - 13; 55pts
10. Das Blau Max, USA014, Cory, Mark and Nick Sertl - 15 - 3 - 7 - 16 - 10 - 10; 61pts
11. Ursa Minor, USA013, Peter Cummiskey - 10 - 13 - 5 - 7 - 11 - 15; 61pts
12. Kashmir, USA004, Michael Mayer / Steve Henderson - 16 - 8 - 12 - 11 - 5 - 9; 61pts
13. Skeleton Key, USA022, Peter Wagner - 7 - 10 - 15 - 18 - 8 - 5; 63pts
14. Gamecock, USA031, Peter McClennen - 12 - 12 - 6 - 13 - 14 - 11; 68pts
15. Midnight Blue, USA027, Alexis Michas - 14 - 9 - 17 - 10 - 13 - 12; 75pts
16. Mahalo, USA003, Charles Kenahan - 9 - 17 - 8 - 19 - 18 - 17; 88pts
17. Ticket, USA009, Ed Whitmore - 13 - 18 - 13 - 17 - 16 - 16; 93pts
18. Old School, USA015, Ganson Evans - 19 - 16 - 18 - 15 - 15 - 21/DNF; 104pts
19. Foreign Affair, GBR021, William Edwards - 18 - 19 - 19 - 14 - 19 - 18; 107pts
20. Res Potentia, USA002, THOMAS NEWMAN - 20 - 20 - 20 - 20 - 20 - 19; 119pts

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