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Sailing - New England - October

Zwerver takes Castine Classic

Zwerver, the 57-foot Sparkman & Stephens-designed sloop built in 1954, led the fleet in the 10th annual Castine Classic Yacht Race to Camden sponsored by the Castine Yacht Club.

Zwerver leads the fleet in the Castine Classic Race.

Zwerver was sailed by a crew including Robert Brooks and Ben Rogers, as well as Jeff Grey and A.J. Evans of S&S. Her owner, Frans van Schaik from the Netherlands, was unable to make the race.

The Castine event kicked off three days of classic boat racing culminating in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta. Zwerver also won the Camden Feeder Race to Brooklin — with S&S chief designer Bruce Johnson at the helm — and took second in her class in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta.

Under clear skies, the fleet of 31 boats set sail in four classes from the Castine harbor bell on a 19.6-mile course ending off Curtis Island in Camden. The winds at the start were light and fickle, but a few miles down the course a moderate southwest breeze filled Penobscot Bay.

Sailing in Classic A, Zwerver beat Joyant by 15 seconds on corrected time. Joyant, a 58-foot Herreshoff gaff-rigged sloop built in 1912, was sailed by Robert McNeil. A three-minute penalty for not towing a dinghy cost Joyant the top spot. Siren, the 45-foot S&S-designed New York 32 skippered by Peter Cassidy, took third, less than two minutes behind the winner.

This year’s Castine Classic celebration honored Maine boatbuilders and offered a symposium featuring many of Maine’s leading builders, including representatives from Hodgdon Yachts, The Hinckley Company, John M. Williams Company, Brooklin Boat Yard, John’s Bay Boat Company, Lyman Morse Boatbuilders, Morris Yachts, Rockport Marine and Sabre Yachts.

At the awards ceremony at the Wooden Boat School in Brooklin following the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, David Bicks, co-chair of the Castine events, presented the Ames Cup to Brooks of Zwerver as the overall winner of the Castine Classic Yacht Race.

Zwerver also won the Sparkman & Stephens trophy awarded to the S&S boat with the lowest corrected time.

The Phalarope Trophy was presented to Anne Ashton, skipper of the top Concordia Yacht, Phalarope. This trophy honors the memory of her late husband, Castine sailor Thomas G. Ashton, Sr.

The Mitch Gibbons-Neff trophy — given in memory of Mitch Gibbons-Neff, late head of S&S — was awarded to Cassidy of Siren, as the top New York 32 in the Penobscot Bay series. Three well-sailed New York 32s competed for this honor, with Siren edging out Falcon and the newly restored Isla.

Newport Bucket sees close finishes

The Perini Navi, P2, was the winner of the 2009 Newport Bucket Regatta, followed by the 108-foot Ron Holland Ketch, Avalon, with Timoneer, the 147-foot Dubois/Vitters Shipyard Ketch in third.

The recently reconstructed 100-foot Alden design schooner, Summerwind, was among the early starters and maintained her lead ahead of the 93-foot Taza Mas, fully around the course to finish seven minutes ahead, winning the day’s race with Taza Mas in second place. Both owners are long-term yachtsmen, hailing from Texas. Sea Diamond, 1958 Rhodes Motorsailer recently refit in Newport, started fully two hours ahead of the fleet and sailed to third place on the 22-mile course, nine minutes later.

The competition in the racing division was much closer. The Alden 72-foot sloop, Fearless, slipped away from the fleet to win the division by three minutes over the new 125-foot Perini Navi Performance Sloop, P2, in second. Two minutes later, the W Class 76, Wild Horses finished third, with Selene, the Swan 80, in fourth, by two seconds.

This article originally appeared in the New England Home Waters Section of the October 2009 issue.