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Sailing - Connecticut & New York

N.Y. Yacht Club race sees large turnout

The New York Yacht Club’s 155th annual regatta, the longest running regatta in American history, attracted 105 boats, the most in a non-Bermuda Race year and 1,000-plus sailors competing on Rhode Island Sound over three days.

With fog shrouding the first part of Friday’s 19-mile Around the Island Race, Artie Means of San Diego, navigator aboard Tom and Dottie Hill’s Puerto Rican entry Titan 15, had his work cut out for him.

“We were short-tacking up the southern side of Conanicut Island and I could see land on my instruments, but the crew couldn’t see anything, even when we only had 40 seconds left before reaching shore,” he says.

The new Reichel-Pugh 75, which recently won the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race and is counting this as only its “second race out of the box,” won on corrected time and was first to finish with an elapsed time of a little more than one hour and 51 minutes, one minute ahead of the Custom 90-foot maxi Rambler, owned by George David of Hartford, Conn.

The IRC boats were split into five classes, with One-Designs, Classics, 12 Metres, 6 Metres and PHRF boats rounding out the fleet.

Clay Deutsch of Newport, R.I., maintained his lead in IRC 2, repeating his victory from last year aboard his Swan 68 Chippewa.

In IRC3, aboard the King 40 Act One, Charlie Milligan and co-owner Allan Stern of Newport, R.I., turned in two bullets to hold four victories in their four-race series.

Taking IRC Class 4 was William Mayer’s of Greenwich, Conn., Swan 441 Cygnette, while William Sweetser of Annapolis, Md., won IRC Class 5 with his J/109 Rush on a tiebreaker. In the Classics division, NYYC Rear Commodore Tom Harrington of Greenwich, Conn., steered his S&S design Black Watch to victory over five races, and in J/105s, Brian Keane’s Savasana of Weston, Mass., prevailed to win a five-race series as well.

Winning in 12 Meter Classic and Modern classes after five races were, respectively, John Wullschleger of Sarasota, Fla., on Nefertiti and Dennis Williams of Hobe Sound, Fla., on Victory 83. Tony Widmann of Stratford, Conn., on Ranger won the 6 Metres, which sailed five races. Taking the J/122 class was Andrew Weiss of Mamaroneck, N.Y., on Christopher Dragon after six races.

Winning “Best Boat of the Day” for Saturday were Act One, Hoss and Savasana, while Sunday’s honors went to Troubador, Flapper and Daring.

New York sailors shine at Hospice Regatta

Four local sailors competed in early June in the Hospice Regattas national championship at Rochester Yacht Club on Lake Ontario. Team Mudhead — Connecticut sailors Greg Gilmartin of Waterford, Ken Lane of West Hartford, and Frank Murphy of Noank and Skip Hoffman of Ashaway, R.I., — competed against 20 other teams in the two-day, nine-race event.

Representing Hospice Southeastern Connecticut, Team Mudhead raced against teams from all over the country. Local knowledge of the waters helped three New York teams take the top prizes. Team Mudhead took 13th place overall.

Hospice Southeastern Connecticut provides end-of-life care in the home to those with a life-ending disease, regardless of age or ability to pay. It is a non-profit, community-based organization serving New London County.

This article originally appeared in the Connecticut & New York Home Waters Section of the September 2009 issue.