Race Week Day 1

Rolex NYYC Race Week

Vesper (inside) and Spookie rounding the windward mark.

Newport, R.I.

I am here in Newport racing onboard Phoenix, a TP 52 designed by Botin. We raced the boat a month ago here and broke our mast.  It has been a very tight schedule to get the mast repaired and the boat back out on the water in time for this event.  In fact, we sailed for the first time with the repaired mast night night at 18:00. Thanks to Southern Spars, New England Boat Works, and everyone in between who made our return to racing possible for this season.

Today was the first day of racing in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Race Week.  This is handicap racing which means that boats of different sizes and performance all race together.  The scoring is done on a “corrected” time basis, according to the handicap of each boat.  Our class has 6 boats; 3 TP52’s and three smaller boats. The 3 TP 52’s are virtually the same speed and rating.

We had three races today in 14-17 knots from the southwest.  There was no favored side so the race track was wide open.  The three of us TP52’s raced “rubbing wheels” around the track in all three races.  Vesper and Phoenix each won a race while Spookie, with Olympic Silver Medalist and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Steve Benjamin driving, got three seconds and is leading our class.  A smaller boat, Iterlodge, took the win in the second race largely because the three of us TP’s tangled with each other and made extra maneuvers.  It was fantastic racing and we felt like we onboard Phoenix felt like we improved in each race.

I can comment on what happened on the other race course or in the other fleets on our course.  The Rolex NYYC Race Week is a large event with over 150 competitors on 4 or 5 race courses, some inside Narraganset Bay and some outside in the Ocean.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for similar conditions. In fact, the condition should be good for the entire 4 days of the event. We will be doing a Coastal Race tomorrow as opposed to the three windward/leeward, race track type races we had today.  In the Coastal Race you race point to point and you can sail various wind angles so you need some specialty sails for that.

For results go to: http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eid=2713

Racing continues through Saturday.

Paul