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Sailing - New England

Rhode Island seeks next America's Cup

Rhode Island wants in on the 34th running of the America's Cup in the United States. The governor and the state's government created the America's Cup Rhode Island 2013 Planning Committee with hopes that the state could host the event.

The proposal will include an infrastructure and capacity assessment to present the Narragansett Bay area as an option to the BMW Oracle and the America's Cup Organizing Committee.

"Throughout the history of the America's Cup, Rhode Island has demonstrated itself to be an ideal host location and boasts excellent sailing conditions, the necessary marine infrastructure and marine trades, world-class accommodations, legions of supportive sailing enthusiasts, and exceptional physical beauty," says Gov. Donald L. Carcieri. "We are well-poised to compete with any city in the world to host the next America's Cup."

"Bringing the America's Cup back to Newport is the historic equivalent of the Olympic Games returning to Athens, Greece in 2004," adds Keith Stokes, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

'Youth Challenge' seeks junior sailors

Junior sailors from Narragansett Bay and the surrounding region will be able to extend their summer sailing season this year by 150 miles. The Organizing Committee of the Ida Lewis Distance Race has announced the introduction of its Youth Challenge - aimed specifically at introducing junior sailors to offshore sailing - for this year's sixth edition of the race, which is scheduled to start Aug. 20.

Regional yacht clubs and sailing organizations are invited to field youth-crewed teams on the 150-nautical-mile course that is offered for PHRF classes. (The other course, reserved for IRC classes, is 177 nm.)

"The idea of the Ida Lewis Distance Race Youth Challenge is to give junior programs an incentive to organize teams and develop the skills necessary to succeed in a medium-distance overnight race," says committee member Joe Cooper, who is spearheading the effort.

In 2006, second-place finisher Tom Rich (Middletown, R.I.) said his mostly teenage crew experienced their first overnighter on his Peterson 42 named Settler and they will never forget the whale that sprayed the boat when it spouted, seemingly in encouragement of their efforts.

For information, visit Online registration is open through Aug. 6.

Isler surges to Heineken Regatta victory

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta attracted some of the world's most talented sailors including the likes of America's Cup legends Peter Isler, Peter Holmberg, Gavin Brady, around-the-world sailors Kenny Read, Wouter Verbraak, Olympic/America's Cup skipper Andy Beadsworth, and Dutch Olympic silver medalist Margriet Matthijsse.

In the three-horse battle between Titan, Highland Fling and Rambler, it was Titan that benefited from a strange twist of misfortune when she blew out her A5 spinnaker. With no option other than to hoist a slightly flatter A3, it proved to be the perfect choice of sail when the wind shifted round to a tighter angle. Reveling in the 20-knot squalls and sailing right on the edge, Peter Isler tactfully gave Titan the opportunity to really show her true colors and, in a fine demonstration of downwind sailing, stormed past Highland Fling and Rambler at blistering speed, not only taking line honors, but also an impressive first overall in class. For information, visit

New Web site for 470 class

The 470 Class, the Olympic equipment of choice for the men's and women's two person dinghy events, launched a new Web site.

With a focus on presenting the 470 sailors, the new version of is the first stage of implementation of the new Web site. External media, such as video, social networks and photos are integrated into the site to give a cohesive experience for the user and avoid jumping between different Web platforms.

This article originally appeared in the New England Home Waters Section of the May 2010 issue.